UPDATED 01/26/2018 Added a few parts overtime, Doubled my ram, better keyboard, mouse, and upgraded my ssd. Elevated my processor off the ground and got one for my monitor as well. Everything has been working flawlessly for 3 years now, not one part out of service, not one blue screen of death, and zero hard resets even with it all being overclocked! Truly a dream. If you are looking at parts for your build, I strongly recommend taking a look at the parts I have. They have been running for 3 years now overclocked without issue. I might upgrade gpu and ps in the future by either buying another 290x or upgrading to 1070ti and going 1000w... still debating, but for now the games I play this is GREAT!

(Sorry, Long Read)

The AAGE: The Above Average Gaming Experience

Now I am not saying excellent, amazing, or great because there are some awesome builds on here that would generate an amazing computer gaming experience; those words are reserved for those systems. I am saying above average because of four things cpu, gpu, ram, and monitor. All within a category I believe to be above average. WARNING Terminology used is at my own discretion and is greatly dependent upon my own opinion. (I have no idea what I'm talking about) Not counting any of the accesories such as, monitor, mouse, keyboard, speaker, etc.. I spent a little over $1400 for the computer alone.

What can I say? This is my first build. Before I found this website, it was just a dream of mine to be able to build my own computer. I was a sucker, purchasing apple, del and hp desktops(in order of my hierarchical opinion), while playing games like CS: Soure, WOW, and LOL. I constantly struggled with slow computing, low fps, and operating errors. Years later I am now in a position where I can afford and have the time to create my own pc. PCPartpicker makes it easy and cost efficient! Plus they give me an opportunity to link up with you guys, Third Party Individuals who are knowledgeable, experienced, aren't trying to sell me anything. I will be spending a lot of time in the forums for help when all my parts arrive, and I begin building (input greatly appreciated!)

I have looked through tons of the builds on this site, and I was utterly amazed on how extreme some of your guys' builds were; left me a bit envious. Envious enough to devote an extra $800 dollars to my budget. Originally I was looking to spend about 1200 bucks with the monitor and accessories included.

After finding the accessories and monitor first, that left me with a little over 700 bucks. I know what you're thinking, "why the hell spend 30% of your budget on a monitor alone?" Well it came down to the fact I needed a new tv in my bedroom, and I thought why spend money on a tv and a separate monitor. I bought the one that I could enjoy doing both on. Instead of going the route of "buying a bad *** tv and connecting my computer to it" I much rather prefer to sit at a desk and enjoy using my computer that way, than hanging a 50" Sony HDTV on my wall. Plus it's a bitchin' monitor!

Other than envy, another reason for the redistribution of funds was I did not want my device to go obsolete in a few years. Now I have seen some awesome affordable builds on here for under 700-- don't get me wrong they are great, but if I went that route I know myself well enough that in half a year I would probably end up wanting to add to it. Then slowly but surely I would have all the major parts replaced ram, cpu, gpu, ps, and boom an extra $700 bucks right there!

So that leads me to here! Now although I was on a bit of a budget, I also am in need of a computer. Waiting around for prices to drop and buying things individually was definitely an option, but I choose to get it over with and follow the pricing options and guides provided to me at this time (I haven't looked back since-- to save me from my suicidal depressive tendencies, when it comes to buyers remorse.)

The Cpu

I wanted a cpu with speed, the ability to multitask, and possibility to overclock. After reading tons of reviews on AMD vs Intel chips, although amd fx 8350 seem very affordable, reliable, and efficient (like a Subaru.) I went with the intel i5 4690k (like a BMW.) Both are great one is a little pricier, I figured I could spare the few bucks and go with the i5. The I7 was never an option for me , I am no video editor or photoshop worker. I'm a firefighter on a budget that just wants to play games on his days off. (I couldn't justify spending that much more when there are so many more parts I need)

The Case

There are so many cases out, I decided I wanted to go with an ATX full or mid-tower. I selected a case solely on simplicity, looks/design, price, and cable management! I didn't want a case that was to loud (in the sense that, it looks overly eccentric not noise related. Is this a computer or a missile?) I checked out nxt cases, thermal take, coarse air, raidmax, blah blah blah. The Corsair Obsidian was exactly what I was looking for, I love the cable minding set up, the room between the drives and the graphics card, it provided me ample clearance to work. Plus its the color black, which I have chosen to get all my parts in black, silver, and a hint of blue to match my decor.

The Motherboard

Now this is a part that people just can't express the importance of enough, so I didn't want to go too cheap or crazy expensive. I just wanted it to have everything: sound, ethernet, sata ports, 4 ram slots, and I wanted it to be fast; all at a great a price... it didn't happen. I originally wanted the Asus z97 3.1 with Ac Wifi. They had an awesome deal late april I literally slept on it, deciding whether or not I wanted to pay 175 for it, and the next morning it was back to $208 (crap!) Thankfully, pcpartpicker staff just came out with their feature build the $1200 build, it has the asus z97x A in it, it doesn't have the wifi but I absolutely loved it. I needed a few things other than what they had listed so I decided to stray away from the ram and gpu, but grabbed the cpu water cooler to replace my cheap cpu cooler which was originally $24 dollars. The water cooled was on sale so I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to keep my system as cool as I can afford. Plus, it takes up a lot less space.


What can one say about memory, hmmmm. Last year I completely rebuilt my macbook late 2008 model; I got new power supply, touch pad, hard drive, ram cards, and battery. For the drive I choose the crucial mx200 500gb. For the memory I chose two G skill 4 gb ram cards. Both of these have performed amazingly, and have revitalized my once old crummy macbook. It can now run wow lol with out any problems other than the limitations of the macs cpu and gpu, but thats neither here nor there. Bottom line, I was very happy with those products so I decided to go with those companies once again for my pc. I downgraded my ssd to 250gbs because I only plan for the operating systems and a couple routinely ran programs and games. I will have my wd 1 tb for all the rest. I upgraded to two 8gb rams cards for a total of 16gbs for the freedom of multitasking and speed, I also never want ram holding my system back again.


I completed the build in about a day, and downloaded/updated all drivers and softwares I needed. Without even overclocking, I get 300 fps in CS:Source, Max Fps in LOL, and without vertical sync on in CS:Global Offensive I get 300fps, all these setting are on the Highest Video Settings available. Literally achieving max fps right after plugging it in was unexpected. I have now overclocked it to 4.5 ghz, my temperatures after 5 hours of play on CS:GO stay in the 40 degree celsius range. While only straining my cpu 5-20%. It operates impeccable fast no delay or wait for anything to load up after double clicking it. To my defense, I also have 75mbs internet so internet browsing, video streaming, and multiplayer gaming is on another lvl.

All in all, I am very happy with how my first gaming pc turned out. I do not intend to build another one for myself anytime soon. For all you gamers out there, I enthusiastically recommend the XFX Radeon R9 290x GPU, paired with the Intel I5 4690k. Gaming, video streaming, internet browsing, multitasking, and live webcam streaming is absolutley impressive.

Part Reviews


I couldn't be happier with the performance of this 4 core cpu, paired with a liquid cpu cooler it operates flawlessly at low temperatures. The strain I put on my cpu, gaming, multitasking, and live video streaming at the same time doesn't even reach 70% cpu power. I have successfully overclocked it to operate at 4.5 ghz without error or crashing. I simply don't need to overclock it anymore! Does everything I want. You'll have no problems with this if you pair it up with a great graphics card, cpu cooler, and mother board!

CPU Cooler

Very quite, affordable, and effective. Keep my cpu cool as can be! Extremely happy with my purchase.


Probably the best inbetweener motherboard out right now (when I mean inbetweener, I mean in between medium/average grade MOBS and Top of the line MOBS) Has everything you need, providing you ample enough space for all your components. Only down star is that I would love for a MOBS to come out around this price range with wifi AC capabilities.


Great quality ram at an affordable price!


This is the second crucial mx200 ssd, I have used in my builds. The speed you gain from switching to a solid state drive from a mechanical drive is unreal. Very reliable, fast, and sturdy! (not flimsy at all) I would take it over the samsung ssd price any day.


1 TB Western Digital at 7200rps for only $54? Yes please! Works great. Easy install.

Video Card

I can't be more pleased with the performance of my XFX Radeon R9 290x GPU. Right out of the box I paired it with a I5 4690k, and got 300 fps on CS:GO and CS: Source, as well as maxing out fps on LOL on the highest video settings. All of this was right out of the box, without overclocking.


The simple and elegant design was exactly what I was looking for. Cable minding is extremely simple with guide holes and plenty of tie down points for zip ties. Im really satisfied with the amount of space I had to work with. Fits every component without a problem.

Power Supply

750w power unit that purrs like a kitten. Very quite, and love the cable minding. It has everything I need.

Optical Drive

Works just fine, 10 years ago I would have given an amazing review. These things are pretty much becoming obsolete. It does exactly what it says it does!

Operating System

I haven't had any software issues. The only problems I have are user familiarity ones, lol still getting used to the new set up.

Wireless Network Adapter

Works great. I just struggling trying to receive the 75mbps my router is pushing out using it, I can't get over 38mbps. This is most likely due to location of my router and walls and floors in between.

Case Fan

No issues, looks and operates awesomely!


Pair it with an awesome graphics card and cpu, and you will experience completed crystal clear 2560x1080p HD picture. The 21:9 aspect ration is awesome. Definitely prefer an ultra wide screen over having to run two separate monitors.


Works Great!


Looks great, operates smoothly, and I love the customizable keys.


Wireless usb is compatible with other logitech units! Amazing! Works great! A much needed buy for those who suffer from carpal tunnel.


Razor mouses seriously have nothing on the design and operation of this LG gaming mouse. Love the look and function. The weights are a great addition, I prefer it heavy!


The dolby surround sound is quite impressive, especially when playing first person shooters likes CS:GO and Source. I can easily hear what direction footsteps and other noise are coming from.


No issues with it, definitely affordable, and works great. There is no automatic sound stabilization, everything needs to be done on your own. They get loud and can easily distort if you haven't stabilized the sound correctly. Recommend only to use for computer and not handheld devices. (easy to distort at top volumes using things like iPhones, iPods)

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  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Oh man, not a single comment! I'll have to throw you a bone.

The parts list is excellent. Some might say you went overkill for the games you said you play, but my motto is that if it's what you want and it makes you happy, then there is no reason not to go for it. I'd kill for that monitor too.

Now, put that GPU to the test and throw something really demanding at it and see what it can do!

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Dsargent7, you're awesome man. Thanks for the mercy comment! I'm surprised you found my build! ha! I thought it was lost in pcpartpicker purgatory.... and you are absolutely right. I haven't begun playing any games to test this comps true potential. I just recently got back into gaming and LOL's the only thing knew I have tried and enjoyed. Primarily due to the fact I own a console with gta 5, cod, etc. I will definitely purchase my next game for PC tho and neglect that console all together. Btw the monitor works great and looks awesome.... Only cons are it can't be mounted and it only lies about two to three inches above surface.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Ha, it's all good. I'm half console peasant myself. Xbox one is basically my Netflix box, but I do own GTA V on it and play that a bit.

If you're trying to decide what to get next, I would definitely you test out that GPU with The Witcher 3. It's got a wide range of options to test out on. My R9 270 is giving me 45-60 fps on low-medium settings, so it's a good test for all sorts of cards. If you're on steam, go ahead and add me at dsargent7. I don't have many friends on there, but I'm always happy to add some :)

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

I'll definitely consider it. I have some friends who already own it and praise it. Be sure to accept my request, it'll be coming your way shortly.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Sweet build, and especially for the price!

Although, one recommendation I would have to make is to raise your PC up from the floor. Put it on a block of wood or something, so that your PC doesn't intake as much dust and your PSU doesn't get choked.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the input lelmat, you raise a great point. The case comes with filiter screens on the bottom and top, I just pulled the bottom off and it is covered in dust....phew

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Sorry man, I find your build to be quite average... But seriously +1 for this gaming rig!! Part choice is excellent and it must be a very capable machine.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the +1 Zman123! Its good to hear that after a year my machine is still able to get looks and praises. I will probably look into grabbing another XFX and running them tandem using crossfire in the future, that will lead me to upgrading my power supply. I am also looking into getting another SSD and upping the ram memory to 32 gbs. Now this will all be done incrementally and hopefully then, I'll be able to achieve that above average rating. :P Happy building friend.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

That 290x is a hungry beast, is that two 8 pins going to it? How much power does the entire build use at idle and load? Just wondering if the 750w requirment for that card is really necessary.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey Jared,

Thanks for your comment. Yes the 290x was a great grab and is fed with the two 8pins. If you look through my build the total watts is around 530, that's without overclocking. I basically opted for the 750w for the fact that if I ever wanted to add another small watt component in the future like hard drives, fans, etc I would have the option too. The price difference between a 550-600w ps compared to the 750w was not a surmountable difference. Plus after overclocking, my monitoring software often records my wattage elevating to just under 670w during bench tests that stress it at 100%. My advice for you is to you check out the price differences of the current ps you have to the ones just above it, and whether or not you want the ability to add components in the future. If the price isn't that much more after rebates and such, and you feel like you would want to add a component in the future. I'd say do it! Good luck with your build, I hope I helped.

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