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A $2000 Sweet-Sixteen Present to Myself
by Gigglerump
Permalink:   (74 comments)
Description

PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING

I'll start this off with a disclaimer, I suppose. I recognize that I am certainly not exempt from the helpful criticism present in the wonderful community of this site. However, I would like to say this: This build was in the configuration stage on this site for approximately 1 year before I finally purchased the parts. This is partially due to my simple lack of funds (as I'm 16 and don't have a source of genuine income), but primarily because I wanted it to be as perfectly color-coordinated as possible. Some may think that I could have gotten better performance for the price, but even tiny things like the heatsinks on the motherboard needed to be perfect for me to be happy. That's the quick explanation of why I decided to go AMD over Intel, as there were no greyscale motherboards available for Intel CPUs. While some may want to squeeze the most performance out of their budget, my goal for my personal system was for it to look as good as possible while also performing like a beast.

Anyway, on to the more fun stuff. I have built a number of systems for friends, but never really got the opportunity to do one for myself until now. I simply love the process of configuring good-looking computers and seeing how they look once they're finally done, and I just wanted to do one for myself so I could say "This is mine. There are many like it, but this one is mine." As you can probably tell, color coordination and performance were my two primary goals for this build. That should explain my choices for the CPU, CPU cooler, Motherboard, GPU, and Case (and maybe the SSD as well). Aside from a little bit of unseen blue on the sticker of the WD 1TB drive, everything in this build matches pretty much perfectly. I even went so far as to order a third Phanteks fan to replace the stock Fractal fan in the rear 140mm slot because the Fractal one looked out of place sitting behind the Phanteks cooler, as well as specifically purchasing a color-coordinated monitor and keyboard to match the system theme.

As for performance specs, I haven't noticed a single thing wrong with this thing. I haven't been able to formally benchmark it yet, but I assure you, the FX-8350 and GTX 770 HOF have absolutely no problem with any game I throw at them, even at the highest possible settings (granted, I have played only a few games, including Skyrim and Need For Speed, but think what you will). As for noise, the loudest thing in the whole build is the Phanteks PH-TC14PE, which has never gone above 630rpm, staying practically silent, and keeping the CPU wonderfully cool even under load.

Overall, I'm extremely happy with this build. Building computers is my passion, and I am simply ecstatic to call this beast my personal rig. I'm sure it will serve me well for years to come.

A WARNING TO FUTURE BUILDERS I just want to add at the end here a little note about the Phanteks PH-TC14PE. As it turns out, this CPU cooler is not compatible with my motherboard, the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3. Don't get me wrong, it works fine with socket AM3+, but it is simply incompatible with this specific board. Just a tip for any future builders who may be thinking of purchasing this combination :)

EDIT Just today (3/10/2014), I received a new cooler: the Noctua NH-D14! This thing is a beast! It's lighter, quieter, and cools better than the Phanteks (for me), and I love it. Just wanted to give some insight to people wondering "Why is there an NH-D14 on the parts list, and a PH-TC14PE in the build??"

Part List
Details
AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate4.0GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle19.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load34.0° C
Galaxy GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.20Ghz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate7.01Ghz
GPU Temperature While Idle30.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load45.0° C
Comments
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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Sorted by:
 
 
Emperor200 [1 Build] 13 points 4 months ago

Always wanted to see a 770 HOF inside an r4. Finally…dream has come true.

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 4 points 4 months ago

That's actually exactly what I was thinking while I was configuring this!! "Why hasn't anyone put this sexy card into an R4?! They would look so good together!"

 
 
PCModder 5 points 4 months ago

Cool build. Just focus more on cable management. I like routing the front panel connectors behind the motherboard through the CPU cutout. It always helps them look cleaner. BTW i am not criticizing your cable management because it sucks. I always look for ways to improve cable management in my personal system so I know it is a process. Great build overall +1

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 3 points 4 months ago

Oh don't worry about such criticism. I know for a fact that my cable management is simply horrendous, even in a case with such incredible accommodations. But thank you for the advice. Maybe that'll be a job for me in the future: redoing my cables!

 
 
Sirhcits [1 Build] 5 points 4 months ago

TWIN!!! Oh my god when I saw the build I was like, this looks familiar.

And quickly realized, it's my PC's twin :P

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/If9

It's a beautiful build my friend :D You had me beat on PSU, I still need to either paint mine or get one to match the rest of my build.

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 8 points 4 months ago

OH MY GOD, MY LONG LOST COMPUTER-BROTHER! IS THAT YOU?! To be quite honest, I'd seen your build on the "Completed Builds" list while I was looking at my parts (so I could see what they would look like all put together) and when I saw yours, I thought "Oh yeah, that's definitely sexy. Mine's going to look just as sexy. We'll be sexy-computer brothers." :P

 
 
Sirhcits [1 Build] 3 points 4 months ago

Sexy brothers it is :P

You should consider routing the GPU cables similar to mine. It makes it look a little less cluttered.

I really love your GPU. If I didn't have the 7970 HD from an earlier build, I would probably have gone for a similar GPU as you did. But I did so I just had to paint the red accents white. :P

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 3 points 4 months ago

Yeah I actually love how you did that. It's those little touches in a build that will make it look that much better.

 
 
SgtTherin [1 Build] 2 points 4 months ago

Just pretty! I am also a fan of that card in the r4. Good job

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Thanks a lot sarge

 
 
cincygooner [4 Builds] 2 points 2 months ago

So what was incompatible with the board and cooler? I have the same combination and I have no issues with it whatsoever.

 
 
Mysthe 2 points 14 days ago

Seriously you did a great aesthetic work, just wow. Have a nice day !

 
 
MrBeastshaw [13 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

How are you liking that monitor?

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 3 points 4 months ago

Coming from a 1366x768 14" laptop monitor, the change was unbelievable. The picture is incredibly crisp, and color-representation is spot-on. If you're thinking of doing a black/white build like me, I would highly recommend this monitor.

 
 
MrBeastshaw [13 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Sweet. I've actually been looking at it because its on sale for $130 right now and has 2 hdmi ports. The white color is definitely a plus though!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Yeah it's a simply fantastic monitor for the price, no doubt!

 
 
Hakumisoso [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

How is the stand? I am considering this monitor too, but it wont really fit on my desk, so about 1/2 to 1/4 of the stand will be off the table. will it still be stable?

If i get just 1 it will be fine, but if i get 2...

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Yes, despite how it looks in the pictures, the monitor only comes forward to about 1/2 the way through the diameter of the circular base. So its center of gravity is almost perfect. Don't worry, it should be fine.

 
 
LookTopHats [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM yummy!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago
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iSkillzorz 1 point 4 months ago

Sweet rig. If you add some white or light blue LEDS to go with the rest of the build or accent the writing on the gpu it will look so sick.

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Yeah, I may go with LEDs in the future. I just think that they look a tad bit cheesy at times. I like the relatively classy look of pure black-and-white parts rather than lighting them up, but your advice is taken into account, I assure you!

 
 
Cheeseburgermafia 1 point 3 months ago

I like LEDS if I water cool with clear tubing. Helps see any slime growing in there a few years later. Silver helps cut that.

 
 
nerdymosh [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

This Computer God Damn!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Thanks a lot :)

 
 
nerdymosh [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

No Problem :)

 
 
aludka [1 Build] 1 point 4 months ago

I like to see people putting out the cash/effort to make a good looking build. So many people get so focused on "every little bit of performance possible" they end up with a build that performs well but is just "ok" to look at. Nicely done. +1

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 2 points 4 months ago

Thank you so much. That's exactly what my thought process was throughout the whole process. Linus from LinusTechTips says that he likes to do whatever he can to make his system silent. I take his thought process and apply it to aesthetics. It's nice to know that someone else thinks the same way! Thanks again!

 
 
Muneem2 1 point 4 months ago

Great Build dude, I also just turned 16. But I've already acquired my build through other means :)

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Good for you sir. It's always nice to know that there's lots of other people in my age group who are into this stuff, and I'm not the only super-nerd out there who likes building computers! :)

 
 
skemble [10 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

What made the cooler not work with the board? Was it the tall heatsink over the VRM?

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Well actually neither of those things. As it turns out, something with the thickness of the 990fxa-ud3 and the height of the mounting hardware provided with the cooler are mismatched. The screws that are used to mount the heatsink to the Phanteks backplate on the back of the motherboard were not long enough to reach the posts, so I had to essentially force them to fit. It was a rather scary experience, I'll admit. Once I get some more money, I think I'm going to switch over to an h80i or h100i because I don't like the idea of having to force computer components to fit on each other.

 
 
skemble [10 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

I would have to say that is odd. I've never encountered something like that before. I vote h100i!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Yeah, I was actually very frustrated when I found that the mounting wasn't working well. I may try to find someone on /r/hardwareswap who will trade one of those water-coolers with me, but I guess only time will tell!

 
 
Sirhcits [1 Build] 1 point 4 months ago

It was a struggle to fit mine too but nothing I'd consider "too much" force. I had to push a little, but managed to screw it in just fine.

 
 
Neuenc [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Very nice build. Although, I prefer TKless KB's (Blue Switches!).

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Yeah, to be quite honest the reason I got this keyboard is because I wanted a mechanical one (and oh yes, the rumors of typing-gasms are true with mechanical keyboards) and it matched my color scheme perfectly!

 
 
Valdore [1 Build] 1 point 4 months ago

This looks great, Gigglerump! Cool that you posted this, because I am actually about to put something very similar together myself (including an 770 HOF inside a white R4). It's going to be a bit more on the white-balance in terms of colour scheme... Just waiting on all of the parts to arrive! I'll definitely post back here to share with you when it's complete.

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Oh please do share! I always love seeing people's builds that are very specific in detail. Please share when you're done, I'm excited to see how it works out!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 3 months ago

Oh man, sorry I took so damn long to respond to this. But holy sweet bajeezus, that computer is sexy! I thought mine looked pretty darn good, but yours easily blows it out of the water. Excellent build! I'm simply in awe :)

 
 
DDawg426 1 point 4 months ago

Nice build! I really like how you matched the white card with the white case. It looks really good!

We have so much in common! Your build is similar to a concept I previously had (almost exactly the same), and we both came (or in my case, going to come) from 1366x768 14" displays. How funny :O!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Nice to see a fellow color enthusiast :D

 
 
DDawg426 1 point 4 months ago

You bet! I would love to make my future build all white like that, but I am assuming the HOF 780 costs more than a normal 780, so I really don't know...

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Eh, if you're willing to put in the extra money for your build to look good, that's what has to be done :)

 
 
DownloadMoreRAM 1 point 4 months ago

Wow that GPU is sexy! Nice build and color scheme!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

THE GPU IS SUPER DUPER SEXY I LOVE IT

 
 
wykydtron 1 point 4 months ago

Awesome build dude. With that kind of attention to detail, especially at the age of 16, your going places in life.

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

I like to think that computer building is my future. Thanks a bunch for the affirmation :)

 
 
Mikeymane 1 point 4 months ago

That card is soooooo perty.

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

I know. I love it so much. It fit so perfectly with the color scheme!

 
 
Djangosp2 [1 Build] 1 point 4 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous. Excellent work!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Thanks very much, I did indeed put quite a bit of thought into it. Glad to know it paid off!

 
 
cjeffcoatjr [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Beautiful.

 
 
PEG086 [1 Build] 1 point 4 months ago

Kudos man. Great job! +1

 
 
canders [6 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Nicely done.

 
 
Ope_Lee [1 Build] 1 point 4 months ago

Nice Build! +1

May I suggest a mouse? Maybe a Logitech G600 or the Corsair M95/M65 :D

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

I was thinking about getting another mouse, but then realized how much I love mine and decided to keep it.

 
 
wi1lywonka [1 Build] 1 point 4 months ago

Man, the White Fractal R4 is such a pretty case.

 
 
XTiger86 1 point 4 months ago

Wow! Very nice! Wish I could have done something like this with all the matching black and white colors but I ended up with red, black, white, and blue because some parts I didn't pay attention to the color and I couldn't wait for discounted price.

 
 
malcar11 [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

This is... ART!!! Congrats! is a beautiful piece of tech. Mine is a little "hard-looking" but is all I want in a PC. Yours is simply wonderful!. Great job.

Caroline!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Thanks a lot Caroline, I appreciate it!

 
 
sqielyr 1 point 4 months ago

It's builds like these that bring a smile to my face.

 
 
smatdude13 [1 Build] 1 point 3 months ago

I was putting together a parts list for a new computer, and I chose the same GPU, but it showed me other builds with this card and I saw yours, and man, I feel like I was copying you( I hadn't Seen yours until now) I chose the same cooler, same case, same video card, and same power supply, but the 1000w version. WOW!

 
 
Gfederico2000 1 point 3 months ago

I know you went for a "white" theme throughout the whole build, but how does that keyboard feel? I'm giving you +1 for this, but just want your opinion on how gaming with the keyboard feels!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 2 points 3 months ago

If you like the orgasmic tactile feedback of a Cherry MX Blue switch, then this keyboard is near perfect. No complaints here.

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Anthony21 [1 Build] 1 point 3 months ago

I do like to make the suggestion but not sure if you got that part for your build or not since you didn't change to already bought parts is that the wireless card is fine in all but you wont go reaching above 144.5 MPS with that Rosewill RNX-N180UBE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0

I have it but its miss leading, I have a 2 yr old laptop and it can reach 300MPS without the 5Ghz of my Apple Airport Extreme 4Gen & Airport Express 2Gen. Both Routers reaches 300MPS.

I don't know how to get that card to reach full potential of the actual speed that says its sopose to be. unless I am missing something on my PC running on Windows 8.1 & MAC MAVERICKS, bc both say 144.5 either way, thinking about installing on my old brothers windows xp pc to see how high it shows but sirously doubt it.

This one is more reasonable TP-Link TL-WDN3800 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 http://pcpartpicker.com/part/tp-link-wireless-network-card-tlwdn3800

Other than that it doesn't have (my 2-3yr old lptp) a/n type but they call Rosewill b/g/n 300 type, ya right.

 
 
dhswanson1987 1 point 3 months ago

Good for you! A PC Power & Cooling PSU. You'll never have to worry about PSU problems. Also, anyone saying "you should buy Intel instead of AMD" is just wrong. Nowadays the performance difference is moot for real-world perceptible performance. It's more of a personal preference, like favoring the color blue vs. red. Intel stills dominates the ultra-high end with the Haswell-E procs, and has better performance per watt, but that's about the extent of it. AMD has better integrated graphics [wit their APU's], more cores which is essentially more future-proof, a better upgrade path aligned with their mobo chipsets, and great value. Cool build man. I'm also eyeing and tweaking my build over the long haul since I'm currently deployed. Yeah, it'll be a sweet gaming machine when I get back stateside. I also rip video to hard disk and recode it using Nero, so AMD's 8-core procs are my best option. Then again, the latest version of Nero (I have Nero 14 Platinum -> sale on Newegg, woohoo) is supposed to take much advantage of GPU's. We'll see about that, now won't we?

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 3 months ago

Thanks a lot for the input! I regret to say that I can't adequately reciprocate, but can only say this: I completely agree with everything you said! All this banter about AMD vs Intel is completely pointless until one of them definitively wins over the other for an extended period of time. At this point, they're neck-and-neck (and have been for the past... very long time) so it's stupid to argue about it all. If I'm to toot my own horn a little, I'd say for everyone to just do whatever fits their fancy best, like me with the color schemes, or other people choosing Intel for their beastly workstation-grade hardware.

 
 
KitsuneJin 1 point 3 months ago

Me likes alot

 
 
Questors 1 point 1 month ago

Very nice build. I especially like the choices you made with the case and video card. Other than allowing modular power supplies, OCZ was smart to more or less leave PC Power & Cooling as it's own entity. I still have one of the last true PCP&C 750W power supplies and you just can't kill the darned thing. Kudos!

 
 
Gigglerump [Submitter] [2 Builds] 1 point 1 month ago

Thanks a lot! And I agree, I've heard that these things are essentially the Nokia 3310's of the power supply world!

 
 
JJKnight [1 Build] 1 point 1 month ago

I find it amazing how someone only 16 can get the funds and actually do this, and I'm 19 and still dont have enough for my build in progress. +1

 
 
RisingKraken 1 point 13 days ago

I'm assuming you are too far from your router to use an Ethernet cable? If so I have the same problem, I wanted to know how good that wireless adapter is, easy to set up? Connection good when gaming? Thanks.

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