CPU - I have always went with Intel processors in the past, but decided to give AMD a shot. All I mainly wanted to do with this PC is play games (BF3/4). Initially the 2 processors I was looking at were the FX-8320 and the FX-6300. BF3 uses up to 6 cores, so I really didn’t need the 2 extra cores on the 8320.
FX-6300 vs. FX-8320 http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/698?vs=699
Motherboard – I wanted a board that would allow me to SLI my 760 GTX in the future, stable Overclocking capability, and a mostly black PCB.
I have had good luck with several Intel based Gigabyte boards in the past so I decided to go with the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3. I figured I would give this board a try since REV. 4 came out. Took the risk knowing that REV. 3 had throttling issues. I dropped in the FX-6300 BE w/ Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler. Stock 3.5 GHz temps @ 15-25 C.
As soon as I upped the multiplier to 3.6 GHz and booted into Windows 7 it would throttle the CPU down to 1.4 GHz and back to 3.6. Couldn't get it stable no matter what I did.
-disabled all the turbo and CPU power saving (green) features.
-tried upping the NB/FSB a bit, which resulted in the same instability.
-tried enabling the HPC (High Performance Computing), which still resulted in throttling.
-flashed UEFI to Version F2, no difference.
I decided enough was enough and returned the Gigabyte board.
Went with the Asus Sabertooth 990FX as a replacement. I choose this board because it was built for aggressive overclocking, and I knew I would not have any issues with it because of its solid design (didn’t feel like going through another RMA)…
-Digital Power delivery for the VRM, TUF components (Alloy choke, Cap. & MOSFET; certified by military-standard)
-TUF CeraM!X Heatsink Coating Tech. - 50% Larger Area for Heat Dissipation with the Revolutionary Ceramics-coating Technology
-Liked the black military looking PCB design.
-4 PWM fan capability (most likely going to get more case fans in the future)
-The Asus thermal radar software is awesome for checking temps within Windows and PWM fan control.
-5 year warranty
I was able to get a solid 4.3 GHz out of the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO. @ 4.3 GHz I ran prime95 for 6 hours with a max temp of 57 C. I will try to push for 4.4-4.5 GHz when I get better push-pull fans/more case fans in the future. I am thinking of putting 2x 140 mm top exhaust fans, 1x 140 mm side intake fan, and use the current fans on my CPU cooler to replace the stock 120 mm corsair fans on front and back.
Video Card - GTX 760. Seems like it is the sweet spot right now for gaming @ $260. Went with the Gigabyte version because of the 3 aggressive cooling fans, black PCB, and great reviews. It comes with a stock OC, but I do want to push it a bit more in the future. Also will SLI in the future.
Had the mouse from before.
My ambient temp is around 25 C (76-77 F). I Added 2 Rosewill Hyperborea 120mm fans in push/pull and used the original Cooler Master fans for intake and exhaust. CPU idle temps dropped by 7-8 C. From 37-36 C to 29-30 C @ 4.3 GHz. I will be trying to push for 4.5 GHz and will update asap.
Overclocked the FX-6300 to 4.5 GHz using only multiplier (22.5). Ran Prime95 blend for 6 hrs with no errors. Reached max temp of 61 C. Idle @ 34 C. Ran OCCT for 3 hrs with no errors.
-Voltage @ 1.404
-HT Link @ 2400 MHz
-CPU/NB @ 2400 MHz
-Ram @ 1600 MHz stock
-FSB @ 200 MHz stock
Played battlefield 3 on ultra for ~3 hrs w/ max temp of 51 C.