Description

The Advanced Micro Destroyer is my second PC build, of all time, and of this year. It's comprised of parts from my previous build, but mostly made up of all new parts. I'm going to give you all a synopsis of my first PC build experience and then we'll get into my second.

My first PC build was alright, it originally contained these parts: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/StryderXCVI/saved/37mQzy Over time however, I began to want more from the system, and with my graduation money I decided to buy a new GPU. I noticed the R9 290 was on sale for $369.99, when they were still $479.99 at the time, and it was only $40 more expensive than a GTX 770, which I originally was going to get, but it pumped out many more frames a second, so I thought why not buy it? I purchased it, and when it arrived I was greeted with black screens. This lead me to ordering a Corsair RM850 PSU for the 80+ Gold rating and Fully-modular cabling. I thought the power supply wasn't giving enough power to my R9 290 with a single 8/6+2 pin cable, and I was all out of 8-pin female connectors. Once I got the Corsair RM850 into the system, I didn't black screen, until about ten minutes, then it started again. I was extremely disappointed and almost RMA'd the card for a GTX 770. But then I decided I wasn't going to give up, and I was going to solve the issue. I eventually figured out it was the memory clock, being too high for the GPU to handle. I toned it down from 1300 to 1250 on MSI Afterburner, and it worked perfectly fine. About a few months later it began to get coil whine, and only happened at 50% or higher fan speed, which became extremely annoying, and again I almost RMA'd the card, but thought I'll just deal with it until I get better cooling for my case. The next step of the original PC, was I sold my i5-4670k and Gigabyte motherboard to my friend who was running an Athlon X4 760k, and I felt he could use the extra power, was just being nice. I replaced it with an FX-6300 and ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0 to give an AMD CPU a shot, and that was all the money I had to spare at the time. I did notice small FPS differences (my i5 was kept at stock clocks because my motherboard couldn't overclock, I messed that up), but it was just about the same. I was contempt with what I had. My Seagate drive I learned only had 32MB of cache, and eventually that began to bug me knowing I could get better, and then I also learned a 2x4GB dual channel RAM setup would've been better than the Kingston 1x8 I had, that was also running at 1333Mhz mind you, so that flustered me as well. I have extreme OCD, and it really began to bug me. Around November, I then decided for Christmas and my Black Friday paycheck I wanted to completely make a new PC, keeping only my R9 290 and my peripherals. So, I then asked my friend who I'd been wanting to get into PC gaming (because he said it was lame and consoles were better) if he wanted to buy my whole system, minus the GPU for a whopping $250. And he said sure I'll take it, so I got a major score there, no longer would I be alone in the PC world, and I'd be extremely happy with my next system come Christmas day.

Now to talk about the Advanced Micro Destroyer. The name is obviously derived from AMD's Advanced Micro Devices name, and I felt it was comprised of fairly flagship AMD parts, so I saw it suitable. Here is my thoughts on each individual part that I used in this build:

AMD FX-8320 8-Core CPU - While AMD's FX line isn't made up of true-core processors such as Intel's, and uses modules, I still feel their architecture holds up fairly in gaming; Especially now, almost three years later. It ran extremely cool compared to my i5-4670k, albeit the i5 was being air cooled. I managed to overclock it to 4.4Ghz, but my PC when restarting would turn on and off twice before actually booting, so I took the overclock off until I could get it measured. While idle with the OC it was only at 34 degrees celsius, and without an overclock it sits at 21 degrees celsius. My whole system actually pushes out cold air rather than hot air when idle, which I was extremely happy with because that's never been the case. The FX-8320 handles every game I throw at it, and powers my R9 290 just fine, just as good if not better than the i5-4670k did, and definitely better than the FX-6300.

NZXT Kraken X61 - I wanted this PC build to be liquid cooled. Installing Cooler Master's Hyper 212 EVO left a negative impact on air cooling for me, the cooler was an extreme pain in the *** to get on, and I had to actually have a friend come over each time to help me get it on because the retention arms would fall apart, because Cooler Master failed to ship the screw that goes in the center to hold them in place. I also wanted to overclock up to 4.5Ghz, which is one of the milestones I want to hit as an enthusiast PC builder now. The Kraken does it's jobs extremely well, running amazingly cool and silent, even when under full load. The CAM software works fairly well, and the glow of the NZXT logo on the pump/water block is beautiful.

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 - I wanted a motherboard that was almost blacked-out, with big heat sinks for overclocking. I loved my old Gigabyte motherboard, and while my ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0 had great functionality, the bright blue VRMs really threw off the color scheme I was going for. The only thing I dislike about the GA-990FXA-UD3 is the BIOS, I feel it's not up to par with ASUS's. Other than that it's great, having SLI and CrossFireX compatibility, and six SATA III 6GB/s ports.

Kingston Fury Red Series 2x4GB DDR3-1600 - I knew I wanted dual channel RAM, that ran at least 1600Mhz without an overclock. I also was hoping for black or red, and I find Kingston a reputable manufacturer of all memory and storage devices, so I decided to stick with them for the RAM. The Fury Red RAM looks gorgeous, and you have to see it in person. I was drooling when it came in the mail. I've had no issues with the RAM, unlike my 1x8GB, where every now and then needed to be taken out and placed back in the motherboard, an issue my friend who purchased my PC has already experienced. I'm extremely pleased!

Kingston Fury 240GB SSD - This was my first SSD, I had never experienced SSD speeds, and wanted to give it a go. I didn't have enough money to purchase a Samsung 850 Pro Series like I wanted, but I noticed this Kingston Fury drive was in my price range and thought why not? It'll brand match with the RAM. I have to say, with all my programs that boot up with my OS, along with the OS on this, it's so unbelievably fast compared to any other PC I've booted before. I absolutely love it and can't see me using a PC without an SSD ever again. I haven't tried it with any games yet, as I can't decide which games truly need it yet. I'm thinking Grand Theft Auto V will be the first game to receive the SSD treatment once it comes out next year.

Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 7200RPM - I didn't have any bad experiences with my Seagate drive, but it was louder than this WD Black, which is said to be a rather loud HDD, but this is dead silent compared to that Seagate. I wanted a HDD with 64MB cache and 7200RPM, I also wanted it to be Western Digital because their track record is way up there. I decided to go with a WD Black because I wanted the highest quality I could get, and wanted at least 2TB, and Blue is only available in 1TB, and 5400RPM Green is too slow for games in my opinion, so this was my option. the 3TB version was only $40 more, but I read tons of reviews of DOA's, and poor software on them, so I went ahead and bought the 2TB instead, and I'm glad I did, absolutely no issues! I love it!

Sapphire Radeon R9 290 4GB Tri-X - If you read my first build experience with this GPU, you'll understand it's had its issues. However, after being put with this build and overtime all the issues have disappeared. I black screened once trying to overclock the GPU because I got too comfortable, but I have it back to the stock OC of 1300 on MSI Afterburner and never black screen. It never leaves 40% fan speed with the new case and the fan setup I have going, as well as CPU being liquid cooled so the heat from that never goes near it, it's just phenomenal. A year old GPU and is still quite formidable. I love the Tri-X cooler, but I will definitely save the extra buck for the Vapor-X next GPU I buy. Sapphire has the best AMD GPU cooler designs, hands down. I was going to upgrade to a 390x, but decided I'll wait till 2016/2017 for 490x and whatever flagship AMD CPU comes out and make a Advanced Micro Devastator ;).

NZXT Phantom 530 - I was given the original Phantom by my girlfriend's father for my first build, and while it was a great case, it was old, had many issues, missing screws, dirty, and I had painted it white with spray paint and completely ruined it. I wanted an updated version of it for proper cooling and great design, and I got it with the NZXT Phantom 530. My temperatures on my parts are extremely cool, I have a 140mm intake on the side of the case, a 200mm intake on the front which I plan on upgrading to dual 140mms at some point, and I have the Kraken 280mm rad on top in exhaust and a 140mm exhaust on back. It works absolutely outstanding, and it's a wonder to look at. I look over all the time when playing games to bask in it's beauty.

Corsair RM850 - This power supply has held up amazingly well, and the Fan Zero mode it has where the fan won't come on until it hits a certain load is great for silence, and even when the fan does run, it's whisper quiet. The fully modular cables are great, and aren't hideous like most cables that come with PSUs, and are flat black. Does what it needs to, exceptionally well.

LG UH12NS30 - It's a Blu-Ray player, it plays my movies, has great read speeds, just imported some CDs while writing this description!

Microsoft Windows 8.1 64-bit - Many people complain about Windows 8.1, but I actually prefer it over 7. People make fun of the Metro design, but I honestly don't see what the difference is between clicking a block with a mouse or touching it with your finger. It's still a button on your screen. The only complaint I have is that it doesn't run some older games, even with the compatibility mode. It does boot extremely fast, even on a 7200RPM HDD. I look forward to upgrading to Windows 10!

ASUS VS239H-P - This is the next thing I plan to upgrade. This ASUS panel is an IPS, and has godly color, and I'd highly recommend it for anyone that wants the best looking picture they can get at 1080p. However, it's extremely wobbly from the plastic stand, but it is VESA mountable, so it could be fixed. I plan on upgrading to a 144hz monitor, whether it'll be an ASUS or not, who knows!

Corsair Raptor K50 - The Raptor K50 is essentially a membrane Vengeance K70. It looks amazing, and has great functionality, and the wrist rest is something I can't live without. I've never experience mechanical keys, and do plan on upgrading to a K70 RGB at some point, but for now this is enough!

Corsair Vengeance M65 - This mouse is absolutely outstanding, it's weighted by default, but you can remove the weights with a standard tip screwdriver, but I leave them in as I like the weight. The sniper button helps a lot, and the on-the-fly DPI changing is phenomenal. The Corsair software could use some help, but it does it's job as well. My only complaint about this mouse is it's kind of hard to reach the sniper button and I wish it was somehow adjustable, as my fingers are just a bit too small for it in the way I hold my mouse, but that's not exactly Corsair's fault. Great mouse and highly recommend it!

Astro A40 + MixAmp Pro - If I were to buy a pair of headphones right now, I'd buy Kingston's HyperX Cloud, or a pair of Sennheisers. The Astro A40's are good, but they're pretty expensive for a gaming headset, but they are a little more console-oriented. The MixAmp normally acts as a sound card for consoles majorly improving sound, but I use Bose speakers on my old Creative SoundBlaster sound card so it works good so I can use both my devices without switching cables around. I can talk to people on the phone without having to take off my headphones, and can continue playing games in the process, it's pretty sweet!

If you read this far then thanks for reading! I will be updating with a CPU Temperature Under Load and 3DMark 11 Benchmark results once I get around to it, I hope you guys enjoyed, I know I did!

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Comments

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

nice build :D but for the same price as your r9 290, you could have gotten a gtx 970 which, runs cooler, requires less power, and is a little more powerful in my opinion the msi, and asus are the best gtx 970

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I got the 290 in May :s. I would never purchase a 290 for more than $280 now :p. I was planning on doing an i7-5820k and GTX 980 for DDR4, but I didn't have the money.

  • 62 months ago
  • -1 points

EVGA is the best though. Solid prices, great reference & non-reference coolers, and an upgrade program that lets you get the next-gen card for diff. of price (or whatever it is). Also, some guys just got to have AMD :)...

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

yes i agree with you but evga kinda failed with the 900 series cards they use old coolers

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

EVGA uses their ACX coolers, which seem to keep them really cool temperature wise. Why do you think they're old coolers? D:

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

the design and layout is the same as the 600 series and they have three heatpipes but only two touch the gpu if you google best 970s there are a few articles talking about this

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Wasn't aware of that, wow. I see what you mean :p

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd say they even took a step backwards on their GTX 970s. The ACX GTX 760's VRM was already sketchy enough, but the ACX 2.0 GTX 970's is the very definition of ghetto. 4-phase but space for 5, MOSFETs uncooled, super poorly placed chokes...sure, GM204's power requirements are low, but this is playing it way too close for comfort. I'm not surprised that EVGA's cards are among the GTX 970s suffering from rampant coil whine.

And ACX 2.0 seems to be pretty unimpressive. EVGA markets ACX and ACX 2.0 as some kind of next-gen cooler tech when the only credit they have to their name is in the ball-bearing fans, which are an improvement over sleeve-bearing, but still nothing to sneeze at. 72°C and 73°C are not exactly stellar on their ACX GTX 760 and 970 respectively, especially not at the fan noise levels that the coolers produce.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Damn, wasn't aware of that.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for detailed description. rather than that, enjoy your amd build, I support you as amd fan :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Lovely choice of board! Overall a wonderful AMD build.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Why does that 290 cost $370? You can get a Sapphire Tri-X one (the best coolers) for like $260. And why 850W? You don't need that much, it may actually decrease the efficiency because more is not always better. You could've gotten a $60 TOP quality PSU paired with a GTX 970 which would be more than ideal for this type of budget. In fact, with only a $100 CPU and a $2000 budget I'm confused why you don't have two GTX 970's lol.

Here's my build:

https://pcpartpicker.com/b/KKxYcf

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor $239.99 @ Newegg
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler $34.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard Asus Z97-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard $145.98 @ Newegg
Memory G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory $80.98 @ Newegg
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $52.99 @ Newegg
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GB Twin Frozr V Video Card $349.99 @ Newegg
Case Phanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case $99.99 @ Newegg
Power Supply XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply $52.99 @ Newegg
Wireless Network Adapter TP-Link TL-WN722N 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter $14.99 @ Newegg
Case Fan Cooler Master SickleFlow 69.7 CFM 120mm Fan $2.99 @ Newegg
Case Fan Cooler Master SickleFlow 69.7 CFM 120mm Fan $2.99 @ Newegg
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available $1078.87
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-12-30 10:00 EST-0500

With my build, if I had a $2000 budget, I could've added a $160 monitor, another GTX 970 for $350, and replace my PSU for a $100 700W-750W PSU = $610 + initial price of $1100 = $1710 Just saying, I don't mean to criticize your build, it's still solid. I love the case and that you've added an SSD :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

He did this build back in May when prices were way higher.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

ohh ok no wonder, thx for clearing that up :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

My peripherals make a decent amount of the money in this build up, and they were purchased over a course of a year lol. Ya, I got the Tri-X 290 back in May for $370, if I could choose now I'd get a 970, but this was purchased in May. Also, I got my liquid cooler and case from parents for Christmas, and made $250 off my last build in order to get what I have now, not to mention spending $300 of my Black Friday paycheck. AMD will make my decision as to whether I buy one of their new architecture CPUs in 2017 and a 490x, or go to nVIDIA and Intel.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

haha u made great moves! I really like the 290 personally, it's great competition and performance, I was gonna get it at first until hearing about the 970. Enjoy ur build

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build my friend, I've the same case but in White color. Enjoy it +1.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

the bare feet pic... +1 lol

nice build! thinking of giving AMD a try, see what's over on the other side lol