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First Home built, please feel free to comment

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July 1, 2014 8:52:53 AM

Hi everyone. This is the first time I built a PC from the scratch, the specs are:


    CPU: AMD Fx 8320 3.5Ghz
    GPU: Saphire R9 270x 4Gb DDR5
    RAM:12 GB RAM 1333Mhz AData (without heatsink)
    mobo: GA-78LMT-USB3 (rev. 5.0)
    HDD: Western Digital 7200 RPM of 1TB + 128GB SSD HyperX from Kingston
    Case: Gigabyte Luxo M30
    PSU: Cooler Master 625w Extreme 2


I've also replaced the cpu stock cooler with a cooler master dual fan (I just don't remember the model).

The games that I usually play are:

    Total war series
    Starcraft 2
    Rise of Legends
    World in Conflict
    Company of Heroes 2.

And when I'm not trying to conquer the world, the programs that I most use are:

    Firefox with a looooot of tabs opened at the same time
    Photoshop
    Visual Studio 2010
    VMWare with a couple of virtual machines
    Adobe after effects (not a heavy user, just casual editing)

Since this is the first time I build my own PC, I probably missed something, or I've just wasted some money in certain item. I just want to learn, so any comments will be appreciated,

PS: In the store where I bought the RAM told me that if I bought another 4GB of RAM (total 16GB) they could upgrade my current RAM (normal AData RAM of 1333Mhz) to a Kingston HyperX 1600Mhz RAM with a fancy heatsink, but I'm not sure if it worth it.
a b 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2014 3:23:13 PM

So you're saying you already bought the parts, or that these are what you're looking at?

The FX-8320 will be nice for Visual Studio and some of the professional apps. The eight cores can be utilized there.

Looks like you have three RAM sticks listed there. The 8320 is a dual channel CPU, not triple, so you're a little lopsided. If you're serious about the VMs, I'd up it to 16GB ( more on that below. ) I'd also recommend upping that to 1600 speed at least.

That mboard has an older 760 chipset. That's not as overclock friendly as say the 900 series chipsets. If you want to OC your chip, you'll probably want a better board, and even if you don't, I'd get one that's rated for faster RAM.

I've not heard good things about Cooler Master PSUs. If you can, I'd look to exchange it for an Antec, Fortron/FSP, Seasonic, or XFX. If you need to save a little money, you can drop it to a 550W no problem.

The SSD is nice, and it's even nicer for VMs. I designed the work machines for my coworkers because we bounce around in VMs all day. Having a 256GB SSD means our 30GB images don't chew up all our space and we can start and stop them in seconds, opposed to minutes. It's quite handy, I assure you.
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a c 439 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2014 3:37:17 PM

You REALLY want a better motherboard. That board is not built for 125w CPUs.

The PSU is also very low quality. I would replace it with an XFX 550 unit ASAP. The PSU is the single most important part of the PC BY FAR.
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July 1, 2014 5:35:45 PM

Thanks for your answers.

Such a shame, I already have all the components... I'll try to find a way to change the PSU and the mother board, and upgrade the RAM to 16GB and 1600Mhz. Just have a some questions:


    When you guys are looking for a good mother board, what is the first thing that you check (besides to verify that the CPU is supported)?
    Can a mother board be a bottleneck the entire PC? Or is just a limitation for future upgrades?
    Any suggestions for a good/balanced mother board? I've never tried to do an overclocking, but I probably will do it in the future
    When you are choosing a good PSU, what are the specs that you look for(besides the maximum power)?


@RedJaron: Thank you for the RAM tip, I didn't know about that, and yes, I've 3 8GB sticks.

@TinyVoices: Mmm... I saw in the gigabyte site that the mother board has support for those kind of CPU's (link), so, this board is just on the limit of its capabilities?, will eventually get fried?
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a c 439 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2014 5:59:40 PM

I will not say for 100% that it will fry, but I fried the same board with a 125w CPU. It is definitely on the very brink of its capabilities.

You do not need to upgrade the RAM at all. Yours is fine.
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a b 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
July 1, 2014 6:12:50 PM

kracket said:

    When you guys are looking for a good mother board, what is the first thing that you check (besides to verify that the CPU is supported)?
    Can a mother board be a bottleneck the entire PC? Or is just a limitation for future upgrades?
    Any suggestions for a good/balanced mother board? I've never tried to do an overclocking, but I probably will do it in the future
    When you are choosing a good PSU, what are the specs that you look for(besides the maximum power)?


@RedJaron: Thank you for the RAM tip, I didn't know about that, and yes, I've 3 8GB sticks.

@TinyVoices: Mmm... I saw in the gigabyte site that the mother board has support for those kind of CPU's (link), so, this board is just on the limit of its capabilities?, will eventually get fried?


1 ) Well, first thing I check is brand. I won't touch Foxconn boards. Asus and ASRock are my "goto" brands. MSI and Gigabyte are okay too, I've just never used one. I'm not too fond of Biostar or ECS. Intel makes a good board if you don't want to tinker. Other than that I like to see good header and port layout, forward facing SATA ports, and enough I/O jacks for what I need. I could get more detail, but I don't know if you want me writing a novel here.

2 ) No, a good mboard won't be a bottleneck, per se. Technically, yes, you could have one with a slow RAM interface or bad SATA, but that would take a really crappy board, and thankfully that doesn't happen all that often. More than anything, yes, the mboard will limit what kind of CPU you can have, how much RAM ( and what speeds, ) how many drives you can run, and how many expansion cards.

3 ) You can check all sorts of things on PSUs like ripple, efficiency, and what not. Genreally, the better components inside, the cleaner the power signal will be and the more efficient it will run. But most of that stuff isn't actively advertised on the box. Also, check the 12V rail to see how many amps it can deliver. Cheaper PSUs want to advertise high wattage, but they do this by beefing the smaller 3.3V and 5V rails that don't have much draw on them. If it's a 500W PSU and the 12V rail can only deliver 250W, that's a bad sign. A good 12V rail should be able to deliver at least 85% of the total wattage. Stick with quality brands like FSP and Seasonic ( who makes all XFX and many Antec models, ) and you won't be disappointed. While you may spend a little more on a good PSU, it's also one component you can transfer between upgrades and systems. A good PSU can run for years and years, so spending extra is smart in the long run.

4 ) Technically, yes, that mboard of yours can run an 8350, but it's right at its limit. You try to overclock the CPU or have it do heavy number crunching for long periods and it may burn out. It should be just fine for gaming and periodic Photoshop and the like, but I wouldn't push it.
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July 2, 2014 6:52:42 AM

Thank you guys for the info and your time, I'll pay more attention on these parts the next time a build a PC. I just sold the mobo yesterday, I'll try to find something better and in the night I'll post my possible options.
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July 3, 2014 8:08:42 AM

OK, my possible options are:

    GA-970A-UD3P
    M5A99X EVO R2.0
    ga-990fxa-ud3


Where my first option is the cheaper, and the last the more expensive. I haven't done an overclocking before, but I'm planning to learn to do it with this PC, nothing extreme though. Which one would you pick?, and why?
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a b 4 Gaming
a b B Homebuilt system
July 3, 2014 9:44:14 AM

Looking at those prices on Newegg, that's a price difference of $60. That's pretty big. So far as I know, the main difference between the 970, 990X, and 990FX chipsets are PCIe lanes for XFire/SLI support.

  • 970 - One slot, 16 lanes, no XFire or SLI
  • 990X - Two slots, 16 lanes, can split two-ways for x8/x8 support
  • 990FX - Four slots, 32 lanes, can split x16/x16 or x8/x8/x8/x8

  • Note those are all at PCIe 2.0 speeds. Also, the 970 spec can technically run XFire at x16/x4, but that's basically not worth it. For the budget conscious, the 970 Extreme4 is under $100 and it's great for OCing. It also looks like they added a PCIe switch because the thing is rated for XFire/SLI. But if you can't get that, I'd just go with the GA-970A. I'm not a big fan of multi-GPU setups. They're great if you've got multiple monitors or one big resolution display. But otherwise I think it's better to go simple with one strong GPU.
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    July 4, 2014 12:50:29 PM

    I just bought the Extreme4 motherboard, along with a PSU Antec of 620W. Thank you for your helpful advices.
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