Originally Posted by Caleb-M
Well after years of just buying off the shelf computers, I've decided i wanted to try my hand at building one. My goals where for a rig that could sit in the living room hooked to my projector and be a mild gaming/ entertainment rig that won't need any upgrades for 2-3 years. So this is what i have planed
CPU- FX8320 3.5ghz 8-CORE plan to clock to 4-4.5ghz
This seems like a reasonably conservative and appropriate overclocking goal for the HSF and motherboard chosen. This should work alright.
Something to ponder: Similar cost to implement Intel Haswell chips (which run quiet on the stock HSF and use about 1/3rd the power compared to an OCed FX-8), will have ~30-40% higher performance than the FXfirstname.lastname@example.org in CPU bound workloads that are less threaded (photo editing, gaming, web-page rendering, etc). On the other hand, the FXemail@example.com will have 30-40% higher performance than those Haswell alternatives in highly
threaded workloads (like software development with many VMs running, software compiling, video editing). Specifically I'm considering the i5-4570/4670 and E3-1220V3 here, which tend to be ~$180-200. A B85 board with similar features as the 970 chipset is about $80, and you can drop the $35-40 HSF and just run these haswell chips on the stock cooler.
I bring this up because while there is a certain "fun" novelty to owning an 8-threaded performance tunable FX chip, they don't always represent the best value in terms of performance/$ for "normal" personal computers. I know for a fact that many people are swept up by the lure of high core count CPUs, just like consumers were swept up by the lure of high GHZ CPUs a decade ago. There are architectural differences in CPU design that make core count and GHZ very difficult to use as measures of CPU performance unless we're comparing CPUs in the same family.
MOBO-ASUS M5A97 R2.0
This is a rational high value 970 chipset board with enough VRM robustness to achieve a conservative
overclock on an FX-8 series CPU.
GPU- EVGA GTX 750 TI SC
If you're getting this for $99 it's hard to argue. If it were me though, I would want to pair this ultra-efficient GPU with an ultra-efficient CPU.
CPU Cooler- COOLER MASTER HYPER 212 EVO
The 212EVO is one of the nicest performing HSFs in its price class and is incredibly popular. I often like to throw out an alternative suggestion here just to get people to branch out from this "boring" go-to choice. The Silverstone AR01 is similarly priced and uses 3x8mm heatpipes instead of 4x6mm heatpipes. Performance is similar, but the blue fan will match the Asus board a little better from an aesthetic perspective, and you can say that you "branched out" and did something different than the norm.
RAM-Kingston HyperX 8G (2X4) 1600MHz
There are a bunch of "hyperX" models out there. Avoid the 1.65V 1600mhz kits, those are bottom barrel chips. The Kingston HyperX LoVo 1600mhz kits are great quality for the money (~$75 for a 2x4 on amazon, 1.35V 1600-9 kit).
When picking a memory kit, I always look for kits that exceed the minimum standards for DDR3, regardless of whether or not it will actually be used at the higher speed or lower voltage or tighter timings. The fact that it is sold as exceeding the standard means there is more headroom (room for error) to keep the kit out of trouble, but will also mean more headroom for performance tuning if you desire to do that.
HD-Western Digital 1TB
Red? Purple? Blue? Black? hehe.... lots to choose from!
If you're not going to put an SSD in this machine, then opt for the Seagate ST1000DX001 instead. (hybrid drive with internal SSD cache)
If you do plan to upgrade or include an SSD. Go with either the budget conscious WD10EZEX, or, if you can spring for a little more, the WD1003FZEX.
Power Supply- EVGA SuperNova 750w
The FX-8320 overclocked even below 4.5ghz can still be ~200W depending on how much voltage is required to get it to the desired overclock. This will represent the most power hungry part of the whole machine. Add up the dissipation of the rest of the machine (drives, fans, vrm losses, GPU, chipsets, RAM, NIC, sound, controllers, etc) and anything over ~350-400W is just going to be purely untapped overhead. I'm all for overhead, but a 750W PSU is going to be over DOUBLE the peak theoretical draw of such a machine. Unless there are plans for this overhead (future GPU upgrades would be the primary) then this can be scaled back a bit without a problem.
So what do you guys think2
I think that if you pulled back on the PSU, scrapped the HSF, and used an $80 B85 board you could have an E3-1230V3 in the same budget, which would offer up to ~40% higher performance in lightly threaded workloads (gaming, etc), while having no performance penalty in parallel workloads (the $245 E3-1230V3 is a hyperthreaded quad core haswell, like an i7). The downside is that you don't get to poke and performance tune a machine, and you loose the novelty of an "8 core" CPU. (The E3-1230V3 is an 8 threaded CPU with 4 very powerful cores, each capable of working on 2 threads at a time, sort of like a "piledriver module." A single hyper-threaded haswell core @ 3.3ghz will match the performance of an entire piledriver module (2 cores) @ ~4.25GHZ) With the machine switched over to an E3, the entire machine combined under a load will dissipate less power than the overclocked FX-8320 by itself.Edited by mdocod - 4/19/14 at 8:31am