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Build #3: AMD Gaming Build

by JasonUK


Part List View full price breakdown


CPU Clock Rate

4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.5 GHz


This is my 3rd, personal build within the space of about 3 months. I assume that means I'm mental and should seek help - I will as soon as I've built a couple more. I'll primarily be using this machine for gaming, though nothing too strenuous. I'll probably end up selling this to fund another project, so I'm trying not to get too attached.

CPU - I went with AMD, rather than Intel, to save money. I also had an 8320 OC'ed to 4.0GHz and it worked great, so I decided to just buy the 8350 instead. I'll perhaps OC later, but there's no need at the moment.

Motherboard - A rather cheap board, which also supports 8/8 crossfire (though the R9 280X should handle games well anyway). Doesn't have a USB 3.0 header, which I didn't realise until after I'd bought it.

Memory - I have always used XMS3 RAM, and it always works well for me. I also like the simple design/colour.

Storage - Had this left over from my previous build (the guy I sold it to already had his own sorted out). 250Gb is plenty of storage space for me, so I didn't bother purchasing a HDD as well. It isn't in AHCI mode in the BIOS at the moment, hence the low WEI score. I'll change it later on.

Video Card - Thought I'd try out the new cards to see if they're any good. An ironed-out 7970, which should handle the games I play on maximum settings.

Case - I love the 200r because it looks simple.

PSU - This PSU had a ridiculous amount of spare cables for something with such low wattage. Was quite hard to tuck them into the case - managed it but it's almost bulging back there!

Optical - Cheap and works.

OS - Had this pre-installed on the SSD from the previous build.

Peripherals were already taken care of, and I recommend each one - Sidewinder X4 keyboard, Roccat Lua mouse, Gamecom 780 7.1 headset and a 23" Acer monitor.

This build went very smoothly. I did, however, have to clear the CMOS in order to get a signal. Could have been worse - thankfully it was a very easy job which took about 5 seconds.

Please let me know what you think, and I'll try to answer all questions.

Comments Sorted by:

jmasta111 27 points 66 months ago

FX-8350 Best price/performance and most future proof for upcoming consoles

Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO One of the best cooler for the money, there are others that compete but aren't better/worse

ASRock 990FX Extreme3 One of the best full ATX motherboards for overclocking if you're on a budget. It is well made and will overclock perfectly up to the point at which overclocking becomes more detrimental than useful.

Corsair XMS3 2x4GB DDR3-1600 Best price/performance ram you can buy. It gets the job done and while it's not quite as grandiose looking as some kits, it also isn't obnoxious looking like many other COUGH COUGH G-SKILL SNIPER SERIES

Samsung 840 Series 250GB Not the SSD I would buy because the 840 EVO outperforms it by quite a margin for the same price bracket BUT since the drive is marked as zero dollars I am guessing that you had it already which makes that reason unfounded. All in all it's still a very fast drive that is well built and reliable

Sapphire Radeon R9 280x 3GB With the 7950s and 7970's beginning to run out of stock (and 7950 price raising again)the 280x has become the new price/performance king of high end graphics cards. Equal or slightly faster performance of a 770 at $100 cheaper. Also Sapphire makes very good cards with great cooling for a very modest price

Corsair 200R Cases are a subjective decision in many ways but the 200R is a fantastic option (among many) for its asking price and features

XFX 550W 80+ Certified? Check. Single 12v rail? Check. Good reviews? Check. Fair price? Check.

Lite-On iHAS123-04 It's a ******* optical drive what can I say. It makes a great retractable cupholder (being facetous, do not attempt)

Windows 8 I would have personally stuck with Windows 7 but it's a tough call as it really isn't as bad as people say it is, it does perform better (specifically with the 8350), and has utilities such as Classic Shell to bring back features it's missing.

Overall score: 10/10 Don't say that often, I usually have some gripe but I have found absolutely nothing to complain about with your build.

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 5 points 66 months ago

Thanks for the in-depth response. I went with Windows 8, mainly because I'm going to be supporting it at work in the coming months and have no idea how to use it hehe. Building a PC seemed like an appropriate time to start getting used to it. It's also a nice OS to use, though is definitely suited to tablets more than PCs.

eturo 1 point 50 months ago

What about my build have yet to buy put planning on it. http://pcpartpicker.com/user/eturo/saved/zCN9TW

jmasta111 1 point 50 months ago

I see absolutely nothing wrong with this, everything checks out. Just be aware that a 4790k + 980 will not get you anywhere near that 850w limit on that power supply. That's not a complaint by any means but I think it's relevant to point out in case you wanted to go another route such as with a small form factor build. If you're not planning on more than 2-way SLI at any point, you could fit this entire build without losing any performance into a small form factor ITX or m-ATX case (for SLI). That being said, the R5 is an absolutely phenomenal mid tower and if you don't mind the space and inability to go to LANs easily then there's really no better option out there.

One general piece of advice I could give you would be to consider buying your parts as they go on sale over at reddit.com/r/buildapcsales. If you buy your parts as good sales arive (and have some flexibilty about what parts) you could save huge amounts of money. I built my girlfriend a budget rig with an overclocked Pentium G3258 + 6970 w/ 8GB DDR3 + 1TB HDD for around $200, saving over $150 if I had bought all the parts at once. With higher end builds like the one you are putting together, the savings are even more dramatic because low end parts don't tend to get the same kind of discounts as high end due to their already low profit margin. If you need any further help hit me up on Skype (julian.brennan.licht)

StarOscarito 1 point 46 months ago

Depending on how much he overclocks it, if he does that is.. Plus I personally wouldn't get an ASUS gpu. I hear their fans are cheap and don't do much.

Electrospeed 10 points 66 months ago

You could try... well maybe do... you could've bought...


This is one of the only builds I've seen that I don't have a problem with any of the parts.

Well done, my man, well done.

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 3 points 66 months ago

To be fair, my builds have been fairly similar so it's harder for me to pick useless parts hehe. Thanks for the comment.

Electrospeed 4 points 66 months ago

And that's some sweet cable management considering you have a non-modular PSU.

skemble 24 Builds 6 points 66 months ago

I have to say that this cable management is some of the best I've ever seen. Part choices are amazing as well! Is that a 8 and 6 pin on the GPU?

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 2 points 66 months ago

Thanks mate. It is an 8+6.

tophlayton 2 points 66 months ago

agreed w/ skemble

RedPhoneBooth 1 Build 2 points 66 months ago

Very nice man! I would buy the shiet out of this computer! I like the fact that you opted to only use an SSD! I never thought of that, I always assumed you needed a regular drive with an SSD added on, I might try that...

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

An SSD on its own is fine, if you're like me and don't use a lot of storage.

RedPhoneBooth 1 Build 1 point 66 months ago

Yeah I know but I've always assumed you get a hard drive, and an sad as an expansion... If you have the money you could just get all SSD's, good job man

xSachira 2 points 66 months ago

That GPU looks gorgeous in this build, really neatly done and nice choice of parts. +1

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 2 points 66 months ago

I didn't plan any colour schemes to be honest, just seems to have worked out well! :)

swagnuggets123 2 points 66 months ago


loveGamer 2 points 66 months ago

nice build with my favourite CPU...love it

dopenerd420 1 Build 2 points 64 months ago

Super Solid Build and very clean. +1

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 64 months ago


HD7ames 1 Build 2 points 64 months ago

Clean, Rock Solid, nicely priced, and Smart build broskie!

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 64 months ago


BossingBros 2 points 61 months ago

Hey. Jason do you know what the r9 270x is like I am. Looking at that and my. Budget. It. 450 but that is without a operating system

polarbehr 4 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

only one thing would drive me nuts and that is the cooler not being straight, other than that perfect!

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 2 points 66 months ago

It's straight at the moment. It was just being knocked about a bit as I was dealing with cables/taking photos.

polarbehr 4 Builds 2 points 66 months ago


garbs 1 point 66 months ago

Hey I just build this same system with a few minor changes.

FX 8320

MSI 7970 TF3

Asus M5A99FX Pro

Same 212 evo and case. I actually ripped out the bottom drive cage and put my drives in 5.25 adapters. I planned on putting another intake fan there but sadly could not figure out how to get it screwed i

I am running a "AI Suite II" overclock at 4200ghz with core temps at 60c and socket temps at 70c under load

This was my very first computer build and although I was a little apprehensive about Team Red I really couldn't be happier with the build, especially for the $900 I spent

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

Sounds good mate, you should post it on here.

swaggernaut 1 Build 1 point 66 months ago

why is your ssd rated as 7.6 in windows. also, how is that graphics card

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

At the time, it was in IDE mode in the BIOS. Couldn't be bothered changing it at the time, but has since been sorted. Now rates as 7.9.

The graphics card was great, and remained very cool under load.

skemble 24 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

I'm curious about 3D Mark/ 11 and unigine benchmark scores. Do you happen to have any?

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

Unfortunately it was sold a few weeks ago, and I can't remember the exact benchmark scores.

With 11894 being the average high-end score, I'm sure it attained around 8-9,000 (This was with the original drivers). Apologies for the vagueness!

EDIT: That's without overclocking.

skemble 24 Builds 1 point 66 months ago

No worries! I don't have most of my systems to test out after I build them either. Thanks for the info!

swaggernaut 1 Build 1 point 65 months ago

what performed better, the 8320 at 4.0ghz or the 8350 at 4.0ghz

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 65 months ago

They are roughly the same. Because you need a custom cooler for the 8320, they end up costing the same as well.

Iknownothing 1 point 62 months ago

Hi Jason,

I don't know anything about gaming computers, so I was on here searching for a build i could mimic. I think i want to build something like yours. I'm not sure i want to spend that much on a video card though. Could you recommend a cheaper alternative? Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm guessing many of the other parts you chose were to optimize the use of the video card you chose. Also, could you comment a bit on the level noise produced by your build.

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

Hi - you may be interested in something like a 270X, or GTX 760. They're the next cards down from the 280X, and cost between £150-200 usually. I don't have this build anymore so you'll have to bear with me, but if I remember correctly, the noise generated wasn't too bad. You could hear it idling, but it didn't overpower other audio such as YouTube videos. You easily swap out the case fans for some silent ones, if this bothered you.

If you'd like to post your total budget on here, I'll see if I can draw up a complete parts list for you.

Iknownothing 1 point 62 months ago

I'd like to spend about $1,000USD. I will be using it for gaming primarily, and I would prefer if it is on the quieter side. If you think I would have to sacrifice a lot, I think i could go up to $1,200 if necessary. Like you, i don't require a lot of storage space, so the 250gb your system has would be plenty for me. Thank you so much for your help Jason.

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 0 points 62 months ago

Here is a balanced build that would perform really well. There are no components in there that will produce too much noise, either.

Iknownothing 1 point 62 months ago

Thank you for your help Jason, i really appreciate it.

Iknownothing 1 point 62 months ago

Are there other video cards you could suggest? That one is only available for an additional $80. Thank you.

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

The GTX 760 is also around that price range.

SneakyBastardSword 1 point 61 months ago

good build,although its about $400 out of my budget. I live in america, so that might affect the price a little, idk. either way, its out of my reach.

Betaspark 1 point 60 months ago

Only one problem I can see, the motherboard you selected doesn't have an onboard USB 3.0 header. The 200R only has USB 3.0 on it's front I/O, those ports are now useless because your mobo. doesn't have the header.

legatus92 1 Build 1 point 59 months ago

How do you think watchdogs would handle on the 280x? Im thinking of adding this GPU to my build.

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 59 months ago

It should be able to max it out. But, I'll let you know tomorrow!

cboyd104 1 point 50 months ago

hey mate, thinking of building effectively the exact same pc in the near future.

What kinda games do u play on it? and what settings and fps'? im into my dayz and h1z1 etc at the moment.


JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

I don't have this one anymore, I'm afraid. But it'll play most games (if not all) at 1080p, on Ultra settings. It'll definitely max out the games you mentioned!

cboyd104 1 point 50 months ago

thanks for the quick reply mate! thats helpful, any other tips or things you would have done differently?

JasonUK submitter 12 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

I wouldn't go for the same SSD as I did. It was just something I had lying around at the time. Perhaps a smaller SSD and HDD combination instead. Other than that, most of these parts are still pretty decent.