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Best cheapest option for AMD-FX8350 high end gaming pc??

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May 29, 2013 1:27:50 PM

Hey, I'm going to building my first pc very soon and have already selected a lot of the components, however I'm really stuck on the motherboard and it would be great if some of the more experienced pc builders/tech savvy people could help me out here.

I'm going with an AMD-FX8350 CPU and the GPU is going to be a GTX 780, I would like overclocking capabilities but PCIe 2.0 (x16) is a must. If I was to overclock I would be pushing it to about 4.8gHz maximum (going to use a cpu water cooler).

Another must is also USB 3.0 headers at the front, but when a case says they have USB 3.0 but doesnt mention anything about headers, does that mean its only got usb 3.0 at the back of it and i won't be able to hook up the usb 3.0 at the front of the case??

I picked out some motherboards, budget is real tight so I would only be looking at the cheapest of the cheapest motherboards that present the most bang for buck, so far I've picked out these:

Asus M5A97 R2.0 - £70

MSI 990XA-GD55 - £75

ASRock 970 Extreme4 - £77

£80 would really be pushing it, any opinions on those boards would be great, they seem to provide the x16 PCIe 2.0 that would be able to support a GTX 780 and have usb 3.0 (not sure if they have usb 3.0 headers to connect to the front???) however I'm really unsure on the overclocking capabilities on these.

If anybody owns these motherboards or knows a lot about them please feel free to give some advice, any help is appreciated as I don't want to buy one of these motherboards and then find out I can't hook up usb 3.0 at the front of the case or that I can't overclock my FX-8350 to atleast 4.5gHz.

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May 29, 2013 1:35:44 PM

all 990 series chipsets are pcie 2.0, second save some money by geting a 8320 and spend the extra on a serous heatsink like the nh-d14 as the 8 core fx's produce a lot of heat and i cant tell you of those manufactures asus has by far the best reputation for quality and suport
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May 29, 2013 1:38:57 PM

If you want this for gaming I think you should look into an i5. The intel processors really make a mockery of the AMDs when it comes to gaming and it will probably hold back your 780.

I don't think you should be skimping out on a decent motherboard either, why penny pinch on important components when your dropping a ton of money for a GTX 780?

Just my opinion, get a quality motherboard and processor because its harder to replace/upgrade those than a graphics card.
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May 29, 2013 1:42:08 PM

Isn't the 8320 a different architecture to the 8350 so that means the 8350 would provide significantly higher performance?

I really don't want to bottleneck the gpu, the reason I'm not going with intel is because the 8350 provides slightly better performance than the i5 3570k in a lot of things but the i5 beats it in some, and the 8350 is a lot cheaper.
It's really close, if not better in performance and for the price its a no-brainer.
Please see this vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4et7kDGSRfc

If I went with the 8320 it wouldn't overclock as high as an 8350 or is that also a myth?

So, the cheapest Asus board is the best to go with? It's 970 chipset btw.
Will it let me get a decent overclock and support USB 3.0 headers on the front of my case? It says it it has only 1 usb 3.0 header but my case has 2 usb 3.0 ports at the front, will this make one usb 3.0 slot worthless and un-usable?

Thanks for your reply mate
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May 29, 2013 1:42:17 PM

Yes; if the case does not come with front USB 3.0 ports, you can still use the back USB 3.0. You can also take up an optical bay and add your own front USB 3.0 ports.

As for the motherboards, I would choose the ASRock one just because you plan to do some high overclocking.
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May 29, 2013 1:43:28 PM

SL97 said:
Isn't the 8320 a different architecture to the 8350 so that means the 8350 would provide significantly higher performance? I really don't want to bottleneck the gpu, the reason I'm not going with intel is because the 8350 provides slightly better performance than the i5 3570k in a lot of things but the i5 beats it in some, and it's a lot cheaper.

If I went with the 8320 it wouldn't overclock as high as an 8350 or is that also a myth?

So, the cheapest Asus board is the best to go with? It's 970 chipset btw. Will it let me get a decent overclock and support USB 3.0 headers on the front of my case?
no you relly wann a 990x or 990fx chipset and the 8320 is the same arcitecture your thinking of the 8120

Thanks for your reply mate


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May 29, 2013 1:44:31 PM

SL97 said:
Isn't the 8320 a different architecture to the 8350 so that means the 8350 would provide significantly higher performance?

No. They're the same architecture, and in fact identical apart from their factory-set clocks. AMD may have binned them so that the chance of a chip that overclocks well is higher with an 8350, but even that small difference isn't guaranteed.
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May 29, 2013 1:45:08 PM

Building an AMD rig currently is actually a pretty good idea. With the next generation of consoles coming up built on 8 core AND AMD architecture, games will start to become more optimized for AMD...As for the PCIe 2.0, I would suggest maybe saving up some money, or just holding back until more AMD MOBOs have PCIe 3.0. The ASUS Sabertooth 990FX/GEN3 R2.0 has PCIe 3.0 (and yes, it does run at PCIe 3.0 with an AMD processor), however it is a bit pricey (~$200, not sure what that is in pounds). Hope this helps!
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May 29, 2013 1:48:05 PM

ksham said:
Yes; if the case does not come with front USB 3.0 ports, you can still use the back USB 3.0. You can also take up an optical bay and add your own front USB 3.0 ports.

As for the motherboards, I would choose the ASRock one just because you plan to do some high overclocking.

For maximum overclocking, the MSI board looks like the better choice. It has more VRM phases than the Asrock board.
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May 29, 2013 1:52:44 PM

@Sakkura: That doesn't count for everything. There are complaints from people complaining about their troubles with getting the MSI board to OC a FX-8320 pass 4.1GHz. There were reviews that says that the MSI board OC is good, but more praises on the ASRock one.
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May 29, 2013 1:53:20 PM

Sakkura said:
ksham said:
Yes; if the case does not come with front USB 3.0 ports, you can still use the back USB 3.0. You can also take up an optical bay and add your own front USB 3.0 ports.

As for the motherboards, I would choose the ASRock one just because you plan to do some high overclocking.

For maximum overclocking, the MSI board looks like the better choice. It has more VRM phases than the Asrock board.


So, simply put the cheap ASrock board will be the better buy out of the other boards I mentioned?
Forking out more money for a sabertooth or a crosshair board is really not an option for me. I'd love to hit 4.8gHz maybe even 5gHz on an overclock but I'll settle for 4.5 if thats all the motherboard will allow.

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May 29, 2013 1:55:25 PM

doubt either will it simly is to power hungry to get to 4.5 though something like 4.2 is more achievable
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May 29, 2013 1:58:55 PM

ksham said:
@Sakkura: That doesn't count for everything. There are complaints from people complaining about their troubles with getting the MSI board to OC a FX-8320 pass 4.1GHz. There were reviews that says that the MSI board OC is good, but more praises on the ASRock one.

I'll admit that power phases aren't everything. On the other hand, Newegg reviews etc. aren't reliable.
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May 29, 2013 2:00:30 PM

£80 on a board would be the absolute max for me if it means I can reach 4.5gHz in an overclock and have x16 pcie 2.0 and also have the USB 3.0 headers, any suggestions?
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May 29, 2013 2:01:09 PM

I doubt you will get to 4.8GHz or 5.0GHz. You need to be insanely good at overclocking to achieve those results. And with a full water cooling setup.
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May 29, 2013 2:07:03 PM

yeah i'll be going with a corsair h60, i know 4.8ghz was ambitious so 4.5 or 4.4ghz would do it for me, i just don't want to risk bottlenecking the gtx 780

the 8320 is tempting, would i be able to achieve a 4.2ghz overclock on it? assuming its exactly the same as 8350 but just with a lower factory clock, as its £30 cheaper than a 8350
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May 29, 2013 2:09:30 PM

Yes; you'll be fine with that. :) 
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May 29, 2013 2:16:59 PM

ok so if i can achieve a 4.2ghz overclock on a 8320, what overclock would i be able to achieve a 8350?
and what motherboard should I go with? the case I chose has 2 usb 3.0 ports on the front i'd want them to be able to support them both but the motherboards say they only have 1 usb 3.0 header :(  the header basically means that it will only support 1 usb port right?
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May 29, 2013 3:14:18 PM

I don't know. Just because you can OC one to 4.2GHz, it doesn't mean it is proportionate to every other CPU. Seriously, just get the ASRock board. It will do you justice. And it has two USB 3.0 on back and a header for your front.
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May 29, 2013 3:32:21 PM

Sure, I'll go with the ASRock and see how high I can overclock the cpu. I'll aim for about 4.4ghz
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May 29, 2013 4:50:22 PM

Once you get your system up and running and you want to start your overclock check in on the overclocking section for some helpful hints. I see you mentioned the Corsair H-60 as a cooler for the CPU, however if your planning on a serious overclock you will want to get the H-80 or H-100 for cooling power.
You should wait a few weeks after your system is running to allow the Thermal Compound to cure completly so that the CPU will not heat up too fast.
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May 29, 2013 6:53:05 PM

burdenbound said:
If you want this for gaming I think you should look into an i5. The intel processors really make a mockery of the AMDs when it comes to gaming and it will probably hold back your 780.

I don't think you should be skimping out on a decent motherboard either, why penny pinch on important components when your dropping a ton of money for a GTX 780?

Just my opinion, get a quality motherboard and processor because its harder to replace/upgrade those than a graphics card.

LOL i think you will find the fx8350 wipes the floor with the i5 ....but everyone knows that now so i wont waist anymore of my breath on a fan boy....the only thing the i5 has against the 8350 is you might get 1 or 2 fps faster on games ..where as the fx 8350 will smash the i7 on streaming and multi tasking and almost draw level and surpass the i7 3770k on 1440p upwards and the higher the pixels the more it hammers the i7 let alone the i5 ....
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May 29, 2013 7:15:03 PM

Here's an interesting article from Hardwaresecrets. It is about a year old and it compares the i5-3470 (3.2 GHz) and the i5-2500K with the FX 8350 and other AMD CPUs. The two i5 CPU's are a lot faster than any of the AMD CPUs in all the benchmark and gaming tests. The only test the 8350 was faster was with 3D rendering with cinebench. No i7's or faster 15's were tested.

Here's the conclusion:
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/FX-8350-vs-Core-...

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May 30, 2013 7:13:42 AM

trixsta said:
burdenbound said:
If you want this for gaming I think you should look into an i5. The intel processors really make a mockery of the AMDs when it comes to gaming and it will probably hold back your 780.

I don't think you should be skimping out on a decent motherboard either, why penny pinch on important components when your dropping a ton of money for a GTX 780?

Just my opinion, get a quality motherboard and processor because its harder to replace/upgrade those than a graphics card.

LOL i think you will find the fx8350 wipes the floor with the i5 ....but everyone knows that now so i wont waist anymore of my breath on a fan boy....the only thing the i5 has against the 8350 is you might get 1 or 2 fps faster on games ..where as the fx 8350 will smash the i7 on streaming and multi tasking and almost draw level and surpass the i7 3770k on 1440p upwards and the higher the pixels the more it hammers the i7 let alone the i5 ....


I would not say I am a fanboy, I actually really enjoy AMD CPUs I used them exclusively until my current i5. I do agree that the 8350 beats the i5 and even the i7 in certain task, but when it comes to gaming it is pretty unanimous that the intels perform much better. Just look at the benchmarks, here on tom's they consistently recommend the i5 for gaming. If he didn't ask specifically for a gaming rig I would recommend an AMD.
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June 4, 2013 11:57:40 AM

burdenbound said:
If you want this for gaming I think you should look into an i5. The intel processors really make a mockery of the AMDs when it comes to gaming and it will probably hold back your 780.

I don't think you should be skimping out on a decent motherboard either, why penny pinch on important components when your dropping a ton of money for a GTX 780?

Just my opinion, get a quality motherboard and processor because its harder to replace/upgrade those than a graphics card.


none of the i5 can touch a 8350, not even close. and 2 the 780 is a joke 7970 spanks it and is far cheaper. not to mention a 8350 can reach 5.1ghz with a $30 cooler and competes with the best i7 for gaming. Intel is good for waitsing $$ and high high multi core processing. Go AMD all the way and it will be good for your pocket and FPS. Not to mention all the free games and $$ you save you can use towards other things liek a GOOD case
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June 4, 2013 1:17:06 PM

That's funny. Here a ten minute clip that demonstrates that the 780 beats the 7970 hands down, in sheer performance.
http://www.techoftomorrow.com/2013/pc/amd-vs-nvidia-gtx...

And, I'd luv to see what you are basing your claims on especially the claim that the 8350 cpu beats an i5 in FPS. In all the reviews and tests I have seen, an i5 outperforms in pretty much all games with just very few exceptions that depend on the resolutions being played on. OC'd and not OC'd.

The 8350, is an excellent cpu though...
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June 4, 2013 1:19:00 PM

Ok let's not degrade this thread into the usual AMD vs Intel flame war. The OP has decided on a CPU and is asking help with a motherboard selection so let's keep the posts aimed at that.

We all know that these flame wars never get resolved and they can go on forever because neither side will yield.
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June 4, 2013 4:16:23 PM

Lol its widely known that the GTX 780 outperforms the 7970, don't know where the guy got his info from.
In REAL-WORLD tests running games at high resolutions (1920x1080) the FX-8350 does outperform the i5 3570k in almost every game tested. I don't care much for synthetic benchmarks and lower resolutions, the i5 beats the amd by a little in calculations and stuff like that, but the performance in gaming is negligible even when compared to an i7, with the only exception being Skyrim.

For the price, amd offers a lot more than intel but after a certain price amd can't offer any more haha
I'm happy with my cpu and decided to not cheap out on the motherboard and just go with an m5a99x evo rev2
currently the temperatures are way too high and i cant seem to figure out why, i'm using a corsair h70 with 2 fans and the computer crashed when i ran prime95
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June 4, 2013 6:03:15 PM

SL97 said:
Lol its widely known that the GTX 780 outperforms the 7970, don't know where the guy got his info from.
In REAL-WORLD tests running games at high resolutions (1920x1080) the FX-8350 does outperform the i5 3570k in almost every game tested. I don't care much for synthetic benchmarks and lower resolutions, the i5 beats the amd by a little in calculations and stuff like that, but the performance in gaming is negligible even when compared to an i7, with the only exception being Skyrim.

For the price, amd offers a lot more than intel but after a certain price amd can't offer any more haha
I'm happy with my cpu and decided to not cheap out on the motherboard and just go with an m5a99x evo rev2
currently the temperatures are way too high and i cant seem to figure out why, i'm using a corsair h70 with 2 fans and the computer crashed when i ran prime95


The comparison on this site had the 7970 far far far higher in several tests, if it happens in even 3/8 tests by that much (15%0 why on earth would you pay $220 more? ideally for any sane person that would be obvious. I guess i prefer VALUE over bragging rights when the human eye would never know the difference. ( this is no disrespect to anyone)
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June 4, 2013 9:05:41 PM

It has been proven in many benchmarks that the 8350 runs games better with an Nvidia video card then and AMD card , strange as it may seem. Another thing about benchmarks is that when looking at all of them you'll notice one thing, they all are capable of running the games and usually what separates them is a few FPS. So then it's really just a personal choice of what you want to buy. Not everybody looks at value , or bang for the buck or who wins what benchmark of what games, you just have to make smart choices and put things together that fit.
There are many reasons to go with any component and when it's your money you have the choice of choosing the components that you want in your computer.

About your heat issue, you may need to reapply the thermal interface material as you may have put too much. the TIM needs to be applied in a razor thin film otherwise if too thick it acts as an insulator and gives the opposite affect. Are you overclocking your processor?
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June 5, 2013 10:54:39 AM

I didn't have to apply thermal paste as it was already applied on the corsair h70 block when i put it in, in prime95 the cpu goes up to about 68-72 and shuts down the computer around there, i tightened the screws and this only lowered the idle temperatures but not the load temps as from what I saw. I have no clue how to achieve the best performance from the fans as i just mounted them with the fan cable being in the most convenient position to plug into the motherboard, that might be a problem.

I went with the GTX 780 because it offers almost titan-like performance but for a much cheaper price, I was so close to buying a 7970 because of the free games but ultimately, i wanted my pc to be more future proof and heard better things about nvidia drivers so i bought a 780. I get about 70 to 100 fps in BF3, never dips below 60. In crysis 1 I am hugely unimpressed as I have yet to see 60 FPS!! It frequently jumps below 30 and averages at about 40, for an old game I was expecting over 100 fps. I have doubts that my pc will even run crysis 2 and 3 with the performance I've seen from crysis 1. Hugely unimpressed in that game but the performance is amazing in the other games i've played.

All games I played were at the highest settings possible. From benchmarks I saw that the GTX 780 was good in crysis 3 and crysis 2 so I'm hoping its just an issue with crysis 1 not being well optimised for the new gpu.
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June 5, 2013 8:19:54 PM

The thermal shut down for an AMD CPU is around 68c to 72c so that is the reason it shuts down, however you have to remember that with Prime95 you are stressing the CPU at 100% so that becomes the worst case scenario. when playing a game or using other programs you will not be stressing the CPU nearly that high. I know you want it to pass Prime95 but unless you can cool that CPU some more it won't, I would suggest the H-80 or H-100 with push pull fans to get extra cooling power to get those temps down.
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