Help on this new PC building / parts choosing :)
Written by: Generalissimo - 15:20 Jun-22-2014

Hello guys, I'm building a PC for my cousin, and it's the first desktop I'll be choosing the parts just by myself (no technician consulted in the part choosing process, but we'll get one to assist with the assembly and OS). Although I usually feel pretty fine with my average knowledge of hardware, I must admit that when it's not my own money I desperately need a second opinion.

So, he has a budget of around 800 euros for the case, and here are the components I've currently proposed. You can either comment on whether they cooperate properly together (e.g. bad motherboard, unneeded PSU power) , or give advice on changing some parts. I appreciate it! :

1) CPU - FX-8350 : at 170 euros I find it quite an exceptional choice, and really future proof, no overclock-needed. Although my cousin mostly plays 'older' games, that usually support 2 cores or so, I think there is no point in getting an i5 for the same price and getting 100 fps instead of 70, since he has a 60 hz monitor, and that's already quite enough. However, decent choices for the same price are the: i5-4570 @ 3,2 ghz but I don't know what motherboard would be suited for itand the cost of it.

2) Motherboard - Gigabyte 990XA-UD3 at 90 euros is my main choice. Please note that this CPU will not be overclocked, decent quality for the build is required, thought without overextending the budget.

Other options: Gigabyte 970A-UD3P , Asrock 990FX Extreme3 , Asrock 970 Extreme4 , Asrock 970 Extreme3 R2.0 (please note that these Asrock boards have 4+1 phase count and i don't know if it will cause any throttle) , Asus M5A97 R2.0 , Asus M5A97 LE R2.0 , Asus M5A97 EVO R2.0 (note that according to overclock.net the Asus cards are known for problems : http://www.overclock.net/t/946407/amd-motherboards-vrm-info-database)

Also, if we for some reason end up with the 4th gen i5, what is the equivalent in terms of quality and features of this(/these) motherboard? And please try to keep it below 90-100 euros :-)

3) GPU - Sapphire Radeon R9 270X 2GB Toxic at 210 euros. I know that many r9 270x s can be found for 30 euros less than this, and that for the same price I can get r9 280 , but after all the reviews I've seen of the toxic edition I must admit I'm more than impressed with the cooling system, performance and overal quality. I just don't find it reasonal to get a bad r9 280 or gtx 760 at this price point and experience same performance for worse cooling system. What do you think guys?
Note the monitor will be 1080p too. Althought I must admit that the Gigabyte GTX 760 WindForce has some potential at the same price!

4) Case - Thermaltake Commander GS-III at 40 euros. This may seem like quite low-end, but to be honest, I think it suffices, while having some decent looks. I just don't know if the premium products have anything to crave for that this one doesn't. The only thing I am kind of worried about it the width, for the cpu cooler. And about the gpu size, from what I remember reading both the gtx 760 and the r9 270x fit perfectly, correct me if wrong.

5) RAM - 8GB 1600/1866 MHz CL10 or 9 (as 2x4GB) at about 70-80 euros. OK, nothing too special here :P Just a question, if he ever wishes to add a third module (3x4GB) of the same RAM of course, can he do it? I've read so many yes and nos and maybes in this part. From what I know it depends on the CPU-mobo combo support, as well as the specific RAM model. I don't know... he wishes he 'll have the ability to add some extra RAM in the future without changing other parts of course, so I'm also considering getting him 1x8GB stick so he can get a second one without any worries in the future at all. Is the difference between single and dual channel big enough to notice?

6) PSU - Thermaltake Berlin 630W at 55 euros. I think it's more than enough, I should check the lanes and amps again but from what I remember it is enough for future upgrates too.

7) Storage: he already has an SSD for the OS, certain programs and games like minecraft which load content dynamically and not per-level, and he'll also get a 2TB HDD drive, at about 80 euros. Any proposals for a nice quality one which will last for 5 years or so while not making noises as if a plane is flying inside his case? :)

8) Cooling: CPU cooler: Thermaltake NIC F4 at 38 euros (my other choice is CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO). I want him to make a decently silent PC, but if we get the FX we'll need a beasty cooler and I think the Thermaltake one is a better choice overally from the famous Hyper. Any thoughts?
Will also add a total of 3 relatively silent fans on the case, one in the front for air intake, and a couple on the back and top for air ouput (+the PSU's fan of course).
Ooh, and I'm considering adding custom thermal paste, but I 've no idea of a cheap and good one.

9) He wants a couple of cool looking LEDs, besides the ones on the fan, so I'm working on it :-P Any non-expensive ideas are welcome!

10) ??? I don't think I've forgotten anything, but please comment on it! :D

Estimated total cost (excluding the LEDs I guess) = 800 euros.

Does the CPU cooler not fit in the case? Anything wrong overally? I trully appreciate your help! :-)

Ooh, and if you noticed, this build is relatively similar to the one I was planning on getting for myself (got a decent gaming laptop for school and work purposes instead, will get a desktop on early 2017 or so) since I was quite familiar with the products and I think they are good value for the money.

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20:38 Jun-22-2014

as always my recommendation list includes:
FX-8320 (FX-8350 is better, but depending on price difference ofc)
ASUS M5A97 R2.0 (DIGI+VRM and friendly ASUS BIOS ftw)
R9-280X (or R9-270X or GTX760 with lower budget)
cheapest 2×4GB ram (higher frequency and lower CL is better but doesn't really matter)

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23:47 Jun-23-2014

fx 8320/8350 vs i5 and r9 270x or 280(/x)... or gtx 760... so many choices, so much pressure on choosing! :D I'm leaning more towards the i5 in the end, considering his games dont really use many cores, looking for a mobo for it. yeah, i won't spend more than 5 euros extra for faster ram, no worries!

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15:49 Jun-22-2014

1- FX-8320
2- asus 970 chipset
6-seasonic, you will thank me later :-)
7- you can clearly skip ssd and get some 2TB wd blue


no need for -
-FX-8350, same as 8320, only that its clocked and priced lower
-for 990X huge board if you have no plans for crossfire or 10 hdds and asus make best am3+ boards
-ssd for windows, I have older force 3 from corsair and its only few seconds faster than wd black, but cost 3x


and saved money throw on R9 290 (some 150 euro more than 270X toxic)

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17:02 Jun-22-2014

agreed.

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20:28 Jun-22-2014

XFX Pro series for the PSU.
Low price and made by Seasonic

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21:41 Jun-22-2014

Looks like seasonic make all of their psus not only pro series, funny that I saw some commercial where guy from XFX tried to explain that its their own super design :-D
http://media.bestofmicro.com/T/2/361334/original/psu-u-z.png

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08:23 Jun-23-2014

It might be their design build by Seasonic :D

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20:49 Jun-22-2014

I have Seagate 7200.14 2TB and it's definitely not bad for the price either :)

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21:39 Jun-22-2014

I completely agree with what zili says.
I will also say that you'll definately not regret it if you decide to go with the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3. I got the board and it's absolutely gorgeous...

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21:56 Jun-22-2014

@Well Zil nailed it so listen to that guy.

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23:45 Jun-23-2014

so Asus boards are fine, despite what is said abou them? any mobo for the 4th gen i5 suggestion?
Seasonic is expensive and hard to find here, very few shop have them, but thanks for the suggestion.

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07:34 Jun-24-2014

ASUS mobos are among best these days, performance power phase design affects overall stability and overclocking potential and so is most important thing of mobo for me :)

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08:41 Jun-24-2014

Another great thing on asus is fanxpert, which works like fan control, only that motherboard regulate voltage to fans so it works with 3pin too
You can also set your fan rpm based on temperature of your pc and its just awesome
To that psu, I send you list of manufacturers, under OEM you will find real producers, so anything made by seasonic or superflower is great


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-manufacturer,2913-9.html

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15:37 Jun-22-2014

Great build mate :) I have one suggestion.How about you get instead 8350 you get 8320 and for that price difference get R9 280 instead of that 270X?

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15:40 Jun-22-2014

That's a good idea too

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23:43 Jun-23-2014

considering either that or an i5 + 760... so tough choice when build is not for you...

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15:36 Jun-22-2014

I think if you'll buy a better case with more fans it'll cost less then cheap case+ fans, I got thermaltake armor a60 got great cooling but costs 70€ or so.

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15:39 Jun-22-2014

And my case got many leds, very nice blue ones on the fans all top case is very lit.

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15:30 Jun-22-2014

That's a nice build. Only change I would make although not necessarily is to swap the 8350 for an i5. If you have used these 8 or 6 core AMD CPUs in the past and you are pleased with the performance then go ahead! I am just saying that because I haven't and I think that 4 cores are more reliable.

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15:27 Jun-22-2014

Don't buy 8350, i5 is better and costs less.

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15:29 Jun-22-2014

And don't have uneven amount of ram sticks in a duel channel mobo, buy 2x4 cuz 8 will be enough for now.

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23:41 Jun-23-2014

What motherboard for a fair price do you suggest for the 4th gen i5?
And as i explained above, he may need the extra ram, like it will assist him in work related issues, so i don't know what should i do like i said...

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15:31 Jun-22-2014

Buy 760 something is same price it is much stronger 760 is between 280-280x.

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23:41 Jun-23-2014

I'm considering the 760 as well, and seems like we 'll be lead to it, thanks

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15:32 Jun-22-2014

And with i5 and 760 you can buy a 500w psu.

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15:39 Jun-22-2014

760 is a lot more expensive than r9 270x and I would go for it. A top of the class i5 is a bit more expensive than the 8350 too but I agree with this change. I also believe that at least a 600w psu is needed.

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15:41 Jun-22-2014

i5 4400 is cheaper and 500w is enough for it, 600w is an overkill for it.

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15:41 Jun-22-2014

And he said that this 760 costs the same as 270x.

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15:51 Jun-22-2014

4400 yes. Is thinking more like 4550 or 4570 but ok. Normally the 760 and the 270x have a 40 euros difference but this toxic edition seems to be quite expensive. I wonder if it's worth it. I think I would go for 270x windforce

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20:26 Jun-22-2014

Why 600w?
A I5 + 760 never draws more than 300w :P

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20:36 Jun-22-2014

i5 + 270x takes a bit more though i think. and i never wanted to be on the limit :/. that way you will have lots of power for overclocking. and with this big motherboard of his he could even crossfire later :). if you never intend to do any of these though then indeed its kind of a waste... my mistake.

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20:46 Jun-22-2014

Only reason would be Crossfire.


For reference my Rig never uses more than 390w on the power meter(with OC!), that's around 360w for the components if you add PSU efficiency

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