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First time build. Please critique my build

Hi there, I'm looking for some advice on the build I put together. I'm trying to build the most powerful gaming computer possible on a budget of $800-1000. I've put together everything I think I need on pcpartpicker.com and there are no compatibility issues listed but it says on the site that there are certain physical compatabillity issues that cannot be measured by the website. I was hoping to get some advice on how to make sure all my parts will fit together, and also advice on optimizing my build for gaming.

Here is my part list:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($184.98 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card ($309.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($85.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $945.89
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-21 00:47 EST-0500)

(do not need monitor, will be using 1080p flatscreen tv)

Any advice is appreciated
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about time build critique build
  1. You could save money and use a 600 watt psu . The 850 watt is a little too light for crossfire so its kinda pointless
  2. The FX-8350 is your main problem right off the bat. While an i5-4670K costs $40 more it makes a huge difference in many games.

    A handful of games perform about THE SAME between these CPU's, by far more games run about 20% better on the i5 (Skyrim performs up to 33% better with the i5-4670K; proof below though note nearly identical performance in BF3 which may be a GPU bottleneck as all CPU's were similar). The FX-8350 also produces more heat especially when overclocked.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-review,3328-14.html

    (Use the i5-3570K to compare. The i5-4670K is just slightly better.)

    You can look up your own benchmarks, but remember it VARIES between the games a lot. I should also mention the FX is more prone to LOW FPS scores which can produce more noticeable stutter.

    That's my main criticism, my advice is an i5-4670K and a suitable 1150 motherboard.
  3. My parts changes:
    1) DDR3 memory: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f32133c10d8gxm
    $65

    2) i5-4670K: $226

    3) 1150 motherboard: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaz87d3hp
    $126

    also..
    I recommend Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM if you haven't got the OS yet, and START8 ($5).

    I would also KEEP the power supply you picked. I could give technical reasons about a little more prolongs the life, or the fan noise may be reduced (ramps up about 50% load which you may or may not go over). Since it's a good PSU and you might only save $10 on similar 600W I say keep it.

    Samsung 840 EVO installation:
    1. Install Windows (the motherboard drivers from support site especially MAIN CHIPSET etc...)
    2. Install Samsung Magician (then OVERPROVISION, test the SSD and apply a profile).
    3. Remove Samsung Magician after a few days (pops up after cold boot. hope the fix that.)

    *Put your Steam games folder on the Hard Drive, as well as downloads etc. The SSD will slowly fill up (about 90GB usable after overprovisioning) with updates, Restore Points etc. It's plenty of space if you don't install games or download media though.

    Also, if you don't care about HIBERNATION, then delete that feature (Samsung Magician can do it for you) as it eats up about 8GB of space (usually almost as much as your System RAM).
  4. Stick with the FX processor . It is often better than the intel

    Only older game engines that cant multithread well work better on the intel , and most of the time the advantge is theoretical and not something you experience .
    Since a monitor refreshes at 60 Hz , which is the exact same thing as 60 fps, it makes no difference that the intel can run at 100 fps in badly coded games and the FX at only 65 FPS . The monitor will me maxxed out by the cheaper processor anyway .

    In games like Crysis 3 , BF3 , BF4 the FX is way more than just competitive
    http://www.techspot.com/review/734-battlefield-4-benchmarks/page6.html

    Intel fanboys have an issue with this , but thats about all
  5. photonboy said:
    The FX-8350 is your main problem right off the bat. While an i5-4670K costs $40 more it makes a huge difference in many games.

    A handful of games perform about THE SAME between these CPU's, by far more games run about 20% better on the i5 (Skyrim performs up to 33% better with the i5-4670K; proof below though note nearly identical performance in BF3 which may be a GPU bottleneck as all CPU's were similar). The FX-8350 also produces more heat especially when overclocked.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-review,3328-14.html

    (Use the i5-3570K to compare. The i5-4670K is just slightly better.)

    You can look up your own benchmarks, but remember it VARIES between the games a lot. I should also mention the FX is more prone to LOW FPS scores which can produce more noticeable stutter.

    That's my main criticism, my advice is an i5-4670K and a suitable 1150 motherboard.


    photonboy said:
    My parts changes:
    1) DDR3 memory: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gskill-memory-f32133c10d8gxm
    $65

    2) i5-4670K: $226

    3) 1150 motherboard: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaz87d3hp
    $126

    also..
    I recommend Windows 8.1 64-bit OEM if you haven't got the OS yet, and START8 ($5).

    I would also KEEP the power supply you picked. I could give technical reasons about a little more prolongs the life, or the fan noise may be reduced (ramps up about 50% load which you may or may not go over). Since it's a good PSU and you might only save $10 on similar 600W I say keep it.

    Samsung 840 EVO installation:
    1. Install Windows (the motherboard drivers from support site especially MAIN CHIPSET etc...)
    2. Install Samsung Magician (then OVERPROVISION, test the SSD and apply a profile).
    3. Remove Samsung Magician after a few days (pops up after cold boot. hope the fix that.)

    *Put your Steam games folder on the Hard Drive, as well as downloads etc. The SSD will slowly fill up (about 90GB usable after overprovisioning) with updates, Restore Points etc. It's plenty of space if you don't install games or download media though.

    Also, if you don't care about HIBERNATION, then delete that feature (Samsung Magician can do it for you) as it eats up about 8GB of space (usually almost as much as your System RAM).


    Thanks for the advice! I should mention that I'm planning on storing most of my games on an external hard drive, and only putting the few games I most use on the ssd. I have heard there is a steam app that lets you easily organize parts of the steam library onto different hard drives, so I'm looking into that.

    As for the operating system, I was planning on using the free download of windows 7 from my school. I'm pretty sure I've got an external CD-drive floating around somewhere at home, so I was going to download it on my laptop and burn it to a CD, then install it when I build my computer. Will this work, or will I need to grab an official OS install disk? I will be over my budget already if I switch to the i5-4670K + motherboard so I really would like to avoid spending on the OS if I can help it. Is linux not a viable option for gaming? I've heard it isn't the most user friendly OS but I can learn to deal with that if its the only issue with it.

    When making the initial build, I spent ages trying to decide between the FX and the i5 processor, but eventually landed on the FX because some sources said that AMD was likely to be more future-proof than intel, in the new generation of games. Supposedly these games will make better use of multiple cores, so the FX would see a greater benefit since it has more cores. I don't know how true these claims are, but one of my major concerns is with my system lasting a long time.

    on a side note, ignoring the issue of FX vs. i5, do you think my motherboard is a good choice with my current build? I wasn't really sure how to choose, so I just picked one in my price range, that said it was compatible with my cpu, and had at least 1 internal 2.5" port(for the SSD). The one I chose seemed good (because it has a fair amount of ports and x-fire, usb 3.0) but really I have no idea. What's your opinion?

    **edit**
    I just noticed you recommend swapping out the ram. I was under the impression that, for gaming, anything over 1600 ram speed has no effect, but CAS can still have an effect. The one I have picked is DDR3-1600, CAS 8, 1.5V while yours is DDR3-2133, CAS 10, 1.6V. Is the extra speed really worth gaining 2 CAS lag?
  6. Best answer
    Outlander_04 said:
    Stick with the FX processor . It is often better than the intel

    Only older game engines that cant multithread well work better on the intel , and most of the time the advantge is theoretical and not something you experience .
    Since a monitor refreshes at 60 Hz , which is the exact same thing as 60 fps, it makes no difference that the intel can run at 100 fps in badly coded games and the FX at only 65 FPS . The monitor will me maxxed out by the cheaper processor anyway .

    In games like Crysis 3 , BF3 , BF4 the FX is way more than just competitive
    http://www.techspot.com/review/734-battlefield-4-benchmarks/page6.html

    Intel fanboys have an issue with this , but thats about all


    Your advice isn't quite accurate.
    1) Yes, the FX-8350 has SIMILAR performance in a handful of modern games but the i5 is better, and by a LOT, in 99% of the game on the market.

    So if you ONLY bought the newest games which also had good multi-threading support the FX might make sense ($40 cheaper) but most people buy older games like Skyrim that work far better with the i5.

    2) The FX CPU drops to a lower frame rate due to its poorer single core performance.

    It's also pointless to say "60 FPS is good enough" as it doesn't work that way. Add in a better graphics card then all of a sudden the CPU is the main bottleneck and now you're below 60FPS. That's a big waste of money if you buy an expensive graphics card and it's bottlenecked by the CPU.

    *There are also several games like Shogun 2 which run far below 60FPS and are severely bottlenecked by the FX-8350 http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/11/06/amd-fx-8350-review/6

    3) The FX-8350 uses a lot more power which can be a concern to many people as that waste heat goes into the room. It uses up to 100Watts more than the i5 when both are overclocked. In my case my room temperature would be unbearable in the summer AND the winter (when windows are closed).

    4) The link you provided as "proof" shows that there's a severe bottleneck in graphics anyway as an FX-4300 gets about the same frame rate so that benchmark proves nothing.

    You also said the FX is "often better than Intel" but provide no proof. The link (which was GPU bottlenecked again) showed the i5 winning.

    *The i5 simply works better with pretty much EVERY GAME on the market by as much as 40% in some cases. The FX can match the i5 in a few modern games.

    It's not being an "Intel Fanboy" to recommend a significantly superior product. The majority of experts recommend the i5 hands down when building a $1000 PC. The benchmarks are really the proof and if you start looking at a lot of them, and not just a few games, it's obvious the i5 is by far a better CPU.

    How much better will the FX-8350 be in the future? I'm sure it will get used more efficiently. Will it overtake the i5-4670K? Maybe, but if so not by much. And again, very few people only buy the very latest games. I also can't recommend an inferior product because it MIGHT beat the i5 in future games.
  7. This is probably the best summary of the i5 vs FX issue. I'm going to say good bye now and let you make up your own mind:
    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/11/06/amd-fx-8350-review/8

    "However, the overall result, while not as disheartening as the FX-8150, is still a distant second to Intel’s Core i5-3570K and associated Ivy Bridge architecture"

    Finally:
    a) I'm recommending the i5-4670K which is slightly better than the i5-3570K
    b) AMD motherboards have inferior SATA controllers which bottleneck SSD performance compared to the Intel ones.

    "Thank you for contacting Samsung SSD Support regarding your concerns and inquiries. You mentioned you have an AMD processor and chipset. The reason I mention this is because Samsung SSDs do not work correctly with machines that contain AMD chipsets. Our SSDs are recommended for use with Intel chipsets and because of this you will see performance issues with your SSD. Now concerning your second issue, the AMD chipset may also be responsible for the sleep mode problem that your having. If your looking for maximum performance from your SSD, the best environment would essentially be a windows based machine with a Intel processor and chipset. "
  8. photonboy said:



    It's also pointless to say "60 FPS is good enough" as it doesn't work that way. Add in a better graphics card then all of a sudden the CPU is the main bottleneck and now you're below 60FPS. That's a big waste of money if you buy an expensive graphics card and it's bottlenecked by the CPU.


    3) The FX-8350 uses a lot more power which can be a concern to many people as that waste heat goes into the room. It uses up to 100Watts more than the i5 when both are overclocked. In my case my room temperature would be unbearable in the summer AND the winter (when windows are closed).

    4) The link you provided as "proof" shows that there's a severe bottleneck in graphics anyway as an FX-4300 gets about the same frame rate so that benchmark proves nothing.


    .


    You seem to have been unable to understand the limitations of monitor technology and how that should affct peoples choices of processor and graphics card .

    I will try again , but if you fail to understand it this time I suggest you just read it more slowly .

    A 60 Hz monitor can only ever show 60 fps . Building a computer to output 150 fps achieves nothing except wasting your money . In most of the single threaded games where the lower per thread performance of the FX is a disadvantage the FX is still making more than enough FPS . Take your bittech link . In that set up the FX is averaging 71 fps in Skyrim .
    The monitor will be displaying 60

    The intel i5 is making 141 fps on average
    The monitor will be displaying 60

    How is the intel better? All thats happened is a dumb test has been applied . And you watsed $40 - 50 by buying the intel and even more on a more expensive motherboard .
    You are usually better off buying an FX processor and spending the $ you save on a better graphics card

    As for power consumption the FX will use about $15 a year more than an i5 . And while your room might be too hot others in colder places would actually be benefiting .Your argument is flawed is not actually ludicrous


    If a Titan is a graphics bottleneck then there is no way to test a cpu . LOL
    What the test actually shows is that the FX can get the very best out of even a very top end graphics card
  9. Outlander_04

    Your response of "just read it more slowly" is condescending and just plain rude.

    There are games that fall BELOW that 60FPS mark already all the time and many games that stutter due to the FX's single-thread performance being a bottleneck though the frame rate still reports 60FPS (it's an average).

    You can't just pick and choose the games you want to justify the FX's cheaper price, and if you don't understand the stutter issue due to single-thread performance, or the advice of all the experts who flat out recommend the i5-4670K then that's your choice.

    Also, don't forget that many people are buying monitors with MORE than 60Hz refresh rates now. There's a new technology called G-Sync from NVidia as well that complements this you should read about if you haven't yet.

    I'll agree to disagree.

    Next time drop the attitude.
  10. photonboy said:
    Outlander_04

    Your response of "just read it more slowly" is condescending and just plain rude.

    There are games that fall BELOW that 60FPS mark already all the time and many games that stutter due to the FX's single-thread performance being a bottleneck though the frame rate still reports 60FPS (it's an average).

    You can't just pick and choose the games you want to justify the FX's cheaper price, and if you don't understand the stutter issue due to single-thread performance, or the advice of all the experts who flat out recommend the i5-4670K then that's your choice.

    Also, don't forget that many people are buying monitors with MORE than 60Hz refresh rates now. There's a new technology called G-Sync from NVidia as well that complements this you should read about if you haven't yet.

    I'll agree to disagree.

    Next time drop the attitude.


    You brought the attitude to the thread .

    I returned the favor and was happy to do so , and would again
  11. Outlander_04

    There's a big difference between saying "your advice isn't quite accurate" then providing links to back that statement up and saying "I suggest you read it more slowly." I never personally attack you except to call your statement rude which it was.

    I know discussions can get heated but there's a line that we should try to avoid crossing. Using words like "fanboy" don't help either.

    I try to keep it professional, but I guess you don't see it that way.
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