Description

Just to provide a bit of backstory, I've spent the last 4-5 years gaming on a Dell XPS 8500 (which was pretty okay TBH) and some crappy old Gateway desktop. Before that, I just borrowed my dad's laptop. Starting around mid-2015, I spent countless hours on YouTube and tech forums educating myself about how to build a PC and how to select components. Numerous changes have been made to parts list over the last couple months. Just to list a few, GTX 970 to R9 390, i5 4690k to i7 4790k, an addition of an SSD, and NZXT S340 to an NZXT H440.

Originally, the goal of this rig was to crush most modern games at 1080p 60 FPS, but I forgot that I don't actually have a 1080p monitor. Oops. Currently, it's crushing all games at 900p 60 FPS. I plan on picking up a 1080p, FreeSync, 144hz monitor fairly soon, so I'll update this post when that happens.

As for components, I'm pretty darn happy with the stuff I picked up; although, there were a few hiccups. The i7 I got was purchased from a local Frys, which was great because I didn't have to wait for it to ship. The major downside to that was the i7 came with the heat spreader literally ripped from the actual chip. To add insult to injury, when I received my replacement, I accidently bent several pins in the CPU socket while attempting to insert it. For storage, I chose a 1 TB WD Blue (which came dead, RIP) for mass storage and a 250GB 850 EVO to boot from. I absolutely love the look of the Black/Red H440, BUT the USB 3.0 connector did not get along with the USB 3.0 socket on my MOBO. The grommets did not line up evenly with the socket on the MOBO, and due to the large size of the 3.0 connector, it made it incredibly hard to plug it in while the MOBO was in the case. After about a week, I got so sick of the fact that I had no 3.0 ports on top of my case I took everything out and routed the 3.0 connector through the drive cages and plugged it into the MOBO before I screwed it back into the case. My power supply was sort of a miss buy. I didn't realize there was a difference between the CX 750 and the CX 750M. Oh whale. Thanks to the H440's awesome little power supply bay thing, I had no issues routing the cables I needed through the case.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the build. It boots and launches Steam lightning fast, and is great for gaming and photo editing. In terms of future upgrades, I hope to pick up another 8GB kit of RAM along with some more HDD storage along with a spanking new monitor.

Part Reviews

CPU

Beast of CPU. Doesn't bottleneck games and handles rendering incredibly well.

CPU Cooler

Great bang for the buck CPU cooler. Does what it's supposed to. Warning make sure to put this cooler in BEFORE mounting your MOBO. It will save you a lot of time.

Motherboard

Great MOBO except for the fact that its USB 3.0 header is mounted in a weird direction making it extremely hard to attach the case connector when the MOBO is mounted.

Memory

Does what it's supposed to. Haven't had any problems.

Storage

Boots Windows in seconds. I absolutely love this SSD.

Storage

No problems so far. Decently fast for an HDD.

Video Card

Crushes all games at 900p, hopefully when I get a new monitor I'll update this review.

Case

Beautiful case, easy cable management. A bit tight to work in though.

Comments

  • 42 months ago
  • 4 points

The major downside to that was the i7 came with the heat spreader literally ripped from the actual chip. To add insult to injury, when I received my replacement, I accidently bent several pins in the CPU socket while attempting to insert it.

Oh dear god

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points
I like most of your parts. Concern on two things: Your CPU temp is OK but wondering why it's 70° C when it's underload but you certainly mentioned some bent pins... very sorry to hear about the troubles there since it sounded like you had the first one replaced then accidently bending pins with the new one.
The other is that particular CX750w, not the best PSU for gaming intentions. EVGA's B2 750w or EVGA's GQ 650w would have been better for gaming rig.
Regardless, good job with your build and pushing through some obstacles. +1
  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

I did manage to bend back the pins on the MOBO without much trouble, so I doubt that it'll make a huge difference in performance, but it is a possibility. The way I tested my CPU for load temperature was by running IntelBurnTest (stress test program). Maybe this wasn't the best way to test for temps but I'm not really an expert so I don't know.

Currently, the CX750 is performing fine and I've had no issues at all, minus a bit of cable management stress cause nonmodular PSUs can go to hell. If I run into any problems down the road I'll be sure to switch out the CX for a more gaming oriented PSU.

Thanks for the input and I'm glad you like my build!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point
I'm glad to hear the pins were fixed. I understand how it feels, though I only bent one pin on accident before on a MOBO but it wasn't long to find. I had fix five pins plus another before on a APU... that was a lot of patience.
No worries on PSU, you'll be OK for now. Just something to think about in the future for a new one. Best wishes.

Thanks for the input and I'm glad you like my build!

No problem and thank you for sharing your build!
  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Congrats on your build. In spite of the hiccups you mention I am wondering how good you felt when it came to life. You also wrote "... I spent countless hours on YouTube and tech forums educating myself about how to build a PC and how ..." but yet when you attempted to insert your replacement CPU you bent several pins. Is there any instruction you feel you can offer a first-time builder so they can avoid this situation? You did a really nice job aesthetically I just wish you showed us the build inside the case (not through the side panel).

So how does gaming on this compare to the Dell??

Congrats and Enjoy!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, first tip I'd give anyone on building a PC is if you bend the CPU socket pins DO NOT give up. All you need is a needle, good lighting, and a boat load of patience to bend the pins back into place. Second, check the grommet and connectors in the case to make sure they line up with the sockets on your MOBO. It really really sucks when you have to take everything out and put it all back in just to get your USB 3.0 ports to work.

Compared to a Dell, this thing is a beast. Although I cannot currently test it at 1080p, at 900p it's crushing everything I through at it, so long as I turn off those pesky NVIDIA graphics options. And I'll be sure to post some new, clearer pictures of my build ASAP.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

That power hungry 390 and that psu are not a good combination. good build otherwise.

  • 42 months ago
  • 0 points

Any specific reason why you chose the R9 390 over the GTX 970, I'm having the same debate with myself and deciding which to go with.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point
Maybe OP wanted more gaming performance. Though I heard it is not the best overclocking GPU since the GTX 970 is able to overclock a bit more then the R9 390 but this may vary a lot by each GPU's clocking capability. I'm certain OP will clarify it better.
  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I spent a long time debating with myself over whether or not to get the 970. As you probably already know, NVIDIA is sort of the Apple of the GPU industry. All the big streamers have it, all the major gaming YouTubers have it, which, in turn, makes you want to have it. But if you step back and take a look at the 970 and R9 390 a bit more objectively, you can see there are some pretty clear advantages to buying Team Red. First off, more VRAM. If you plan on playing games at 1440p or with maxed out anti-aliasing, the extra VRAM is definitely going to help boost performance. Second, if you watch a couple of benchmark videos from large tech channels, it's pretty clear that the R9 390 is can outperform the 970 in most games. The only exception to this is when games cough cough Fallout 4, Witcher 3 cough cough are packed with NVIDIA Gameworks features.

Honestly, it really comes down to personal preference. Just because I chose the R9 390 doesn't mean the 970 is a crap card. It has its own set of advantages: superior driver support, better OC capability, NVIDIA shadowplay.

Good luck on your build mate!

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

*Gamewrecks xD

[comment deleted]
  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Office, "budget PSU upgrades, Home PC's and light gaming PCs. They do their job but seem pricey for what you get (in the UK and for me anyway).

hey can also handle light overclocking, but yes, something better like the EVGA NexXXXG would be better

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, that was a bit of a mess up on my part. No issues right now though, but if something comes up I'll be sure to switch it out for a better MODULAR PSU.

Nonmodular PSUs can burn in hell.