Decided I needed a second PC in the house that would be at least semi capable of streaming games from my main rig. I got tired of carrying Operation X up and down three flights of stairs from my office to the rec-room every time we had a guest over and my office became another bedroom. As a huge fan of the Fallout series, I initially wanted to create a post-apocalyptic themed build with a budget in mind of around $750. I needed to procure a cheap case that fit the theme so I chose the Cooler Master HAF 912. I also wanted a black white theme for the interior of the case since I think they look so clean. The only other requirement that I had for the build was to use AMD components. I have never had an AMD powered machine and wanted to switch over and try the other side for this build. So far, I have no complaints on that decision. So far it has met my expectations; I have been able to game at high settings. I dialed it back from ultra as I was experiencing some occasional stutter in game, perhaps tweaking the settings more will get rid of that. As of today (04.12.2016) I have achieved a stable over clock of 4.4 GHz on the CPU and 1100 on the GPU. I have bumped the settings back up to ultra for the game I am currently playing and have not experienced any further stutter in game. Temps at CPU are running around 52C to 54C (these temps are in the basement which currently is about 22C) under full load of Prime95 on a blend test.
As I said earlier I decided to go AMD for this build. I chose the FX-6300 based on decent reviews and the fact that it has some very decent over-clocking potential. It has not disappointed.
Went with the Corsair H75 54.0 CFM AIO cooler based on my previous experience with the brand and that originally I was only going to have room for a 120MM cooler. The unit functions well and is currently keeping temps in check at the current over-clock. I plan to upgrade to a 240 or 280 MM in the near future.
It is what it is. Currently seems to be performing well, only time will tell I guess.
My initial budget for the MOBO was $100 so I wanted the best I could get for that. While there are many boards that were ranked better, many had colors schemes that I just didn’t like. I liked the black white theme of this board, decent (not great) reviews, and a fairly simple UI. The board has been very easy to work with. Hindsight always being 20/20, I should have gone for something better than the 4+1 phase on this board as the heat sinks do get pretty warm under a decent load. Perhaps an upgrade is the near future, I’ll have to see.
Went with the Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2400. I actually scavenged these from my previous build since I had no need for 32GB on it, just painted the covers to match this theme. I have had good luck with these sticks so far. Currently with the MOBO they can only work at 2133 MHz.
I originally ordered an OCZ Arc 100 240GB for the boot drive. It showed up DOA, and as it was the weekend and I wanted to get this thing going, I headed to my nearest BestBuy. The Samsung in my previous build has worked very well so I ended up spending a little more and going that route.
Budget was initially $250 for a graphics card. I chose the MSI Radeon R9 380 4GB based on decent reviews. Temps stay pretty decent under load, low 60’s currently even with the clock at 1100 MHz. I do only game with this machine at 1080p.
Ok, where do I even start? I purchased the Cooler Master HAF 912. I like the looks of the case and it matched the idea I was going for theme wise. Got the case painted before I really looked things over as I did get impatient, lesson learned. Once you mount a 200 mm fan at the top of the case, there is no longer room for the Corsair H75 to mount at the rear and keep everything inside the case. Ok, I can deal with this; I decided to mount the H75 in the front top drive bays as I won’t be using them. I had to modify the 200 mm NZXT fan to fit at the top by removing 4 of the 8 mounting tabs. The 200 mm Bitfenix fan I decided to use for the front bottom of the case needed to be modified as well by removing 2 of the 12 mounting flanges. So on to mounting the H75 and fans, I needed to fabricate a bracket to hold them. I had a sheet of .375 polycarbonate lying around so I used that; it’s light, rigid, very heat resistant, and easy to work with. The sheet rests up against the drive guides in the front and is held from the rear with some small aluminum angle brackets, and all cushioned with thin rubber to kill any vibration or rattles. I can tell you that this cae totally lives up to its name in that it has some AMAZING airflow and cooling potential.
I chose the EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular. I don’t like having extra cables that aren’t needed cluttering up the joint so went the full modular route. The supply had good reviews, gold cert, decent looking cables, and just looked plain sexy. Other than that, it does its job and seems to do it well so far.
I used NZXT air flow series throughout the build, except for one Bitfenix fan at the front bottom of the case. The NZXT fans are quiet, move a good amount of air, and just look very nice with the led lighting.
All in all, the build went very well and I am happy so far with the results. I do want to replace the BitFenix fan at the front with an NZXT fan that matches the rest in the near future. Total cost came in at just under $800 when all was said and done. I probably would have been right on budget had I not had to add the wifi adapter at the end since I couldn’t locate the extra that I thought I had. I look forward to hearing your feedback, concerns, suggestions.