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Christmas Build / Re-entering PC Gaming

by SargAlas


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Dec. 23, 2014

Date Built

Dec. 11, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.3 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

54.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.14 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C


This build was primarily aimed at 1080, 60 FPS gaming.

Many people will point out that the processor could be replaced with the 4690K or any K series, or the SSD isn't reliable, or the power supply is that or that, but then again, I was shooting for a set budget here, and being a college student, it surely ain't a Kardashian budget ;D

The system runs well, and quite nicely, I still didn't have any issue with any game lagging out or so forth (UBISOFT games being the exception, extremely poorly optimized). I kinda wanted the glass panel of the case to go on the side, complaint the graphices card a bit, but I have noticed that will extremely limit air to the fans, and raise the temp from a max of 70 to almost 85.

No CPU cooling, as it would have raised the price a bit, and since I am not looking at any overclocking, I should be set.

The SSD and HDD runs quite well, I have my OS on my SSD, and all my Steam/Origin/Ubisoft games on the HDD, and the RAM is also well (I had a slight issue at building of not being able to start up the system, but that was because the ram was in the wrong slot, but it was quickly realized)

I am in the process of "pimping" the system out, by either putting LED strips, or possibly just buying LED fans, to both light up the system, as well as regulate the airflow in the case (Which is great, thanks to the 120MM fan up front)

P.S: One of the photos shows the cables all around the area and so forth, that was before cable management :D . Only problem I had during the build was the thick wires of the PSU, and how I am going to route them effectively without bending them. This is probably not the cleanest, but I'm sure my inner OCD will kick in again sometime, and I would even clean it up more. Furthermore, my keyboard broke during shipment, so I will be adding it to the list once it arrives and I test it out. It will be a Razor Tournament Edition

Tips: Modular PSU would definitely be better, and if you are looking at overclocking, the front fan is easily replaceable, to allow a radiator. Other than that, no regrets! :D

Comments Sorted by:

Tentons01 4 points 52 months ago

+1 for squeezing that MSI 970 in a budget build! Definitely my favorite card. Overall I think you did very good considering money was tight (: I'm sorry to hear that your keyboard broke bud.. That's always a buzz kill >.< however I know you will enjoy your razor when you get it! That's one of the best mechanical boards for that price range

I hope you get several years worth of enjoyment from your new rig! :D

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

I know :D. Def the best GPU for the money right now. Alot of people told me to go for a 760 or 280X, but the 970 is just a beast, and MSI made it even look more sick :D

My razor will be here after Christmas :( more time with the family it is then :P

CowsGoRoar 2 points 52 months ago

It's Razer, not Razor. You don't want to cut yourself. ;)

XeoKill 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Typing on a Razor may be a bit uncomfortable...

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

Oh my, that was a 'sharp' fail :$

rishabhchugh13 1 Build 3 points 52 months ago

The pics show a 500W EVGA PSU. Did you list the 430W one by accident? Great build for the budget though :)

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 3 points 52 months ago

Oh yes, my bad on that one, I did use a 500w one, thanks for pointing it out. :D

E_Quitzau 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

Beautiful build and +1 for getting the GPU in to that space. I know you said that you were fine with the stock cooler but look into either a Cooler Master Hyper 212, either the Evo or the Plus. Both are less than $30 and are fantastic price to performance coolers. No real need to water cool since you wont be Overclocking and even though you are fine for now in the winter, once summer hits the extra cooling may be the perfect amount of added security needed to make this system last years and years and years. Great build again though!

Zarzuh 2 points 52 months ago

Is that PSU going to hold?

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

It's very reliable. And from a very good company. my only issue with it was its braided cable, althought its a nice gesture, extra protection and so forth for the cables, it sure made cable managment tough in this small case.

If you have the extra cash, I would suggest a modular PSU

Zarzuh 2 points 52 months ago

I mean the wattage. 430W for a GTX 970 and a i5-4590?

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Oh, my bad on that part. I actually used a 500W supply, with the system barely using 300W. The best part about the 900 series is the power consumption, its extremely low. No more 780s draining power like it's a city block or something :P

Zarzuh 1 point 52 months ago

Yeah the new architecture is really power efficient but on full load is it really 300W?

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Yep, tested it upon completing the build. Overclocking might take a bit more juice, but since im not doing it :D

horusrogue 3 Builds 2 points 51 months ago

Actually this series isn't preferable. I kept looking at them for budget systems due to their huge rebates in the past 6 months, but reviews like this kept me sane: http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/12/16/evga_500b_500w_power_supply_review/3#.VNEeTkdiKUk

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

As I said, I was primarily going for Budget rather than luxury or comfort. Every PSU might be a possible bust, and a risk every builder has to take. I actually planned on getting an XFX Modular PSU, but the price would have meant lowering my GPU to perhaps a 960, or something in the 200$ range, which would then made this a very less powerful build.

Either way, 3 Months and still running, Hope it stays another 3 months! :D

Appboy21 2 points 51 months ago

Just FYI, I attempted this build and the EVGA 430W power supply doesn't work/isn't the one you used. It looks like the 600W is being used in the picture

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

It's actually my fault on that part. Another user pointed it out in the comments, I'm actually using the 500W power one, and it's working perfectly. Sorry for the very late reply, University caught up on me :(

bummercheese 1 point 52 months ago

Nice build! I like it a lot!

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Thank you! I will make sure to update it as I go. :D

parkerthepicker 1 point 52 months ago

What games do you play and hows the performance?

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

So far, I have been playing Battlefield 4, The Crew, CSGO, Company of heroes 2, and few others. Across all, I'm hitting a solid 60FPS at 1080, although Geforce sometimes optimizes some games to resolutions beyond my screen one(DSR i believe)

I have also played Unity, the Bug City of this year, and im looking at a solid 55-60 FPS :)

ADFX_Pixy 1 point 52 months ago

Just saying, even though the CPU cooler will add a few dollars, they still help. You can probably get away with a cheap one like the Noctua NH-L9i and it will still help more than the stock cooler. But I understand where you're coming from with your choices. It's great that you squeezed a 970 in your build.

EDIT: WOW the temps you get from just the stock cooler is really nice! You're probably don't even need an aftermarket cooler.

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Thank you :)

I am looking at possibly getting a water cooler, maybe in the future, but if the temps hold as they are, I should be fine.

EDIT: With open case on top and side, the temps for both GPU and CPU drop 4-6 degrees. And since the cold season is coming, I'm sure my PC will be my heating unit this year :P

CSwisher 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

A water cooler is not really necessary for a locked i5 so you should be fine. At the most, I would get a 212 EVO.

Lazy.Mudkip 1 point 52 months ago

Yes, a 212 EVO would be best, but it will not fit in the case according to PCPartpicker.

kirkjohnson 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

An aftermarket cooler will also help with the noise. It was actually my first priority lol. But the temps are good and the build looks very nice. Good job!

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

You are Def right, while running the stress tests, I did notice the noise go up. I might consider it soon,for now, I will let mother nature cool the cube.

Baugi 1 point 52 months ago

I'm also looking to build a new PC with my christmas bonus. Would this build allow me to play WoW at 1080 @60 fps, while running fraps + music, or possible stream?

Burney21 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

I just did a build a few weeks ago for a friend of mine wanting to do the same. Give or take, here is what that build looked like. http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Burney21/saved/B4Vbt6

Baugi 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks! Will that build really do all i'm wanting it to? Also it says the GPU won't fit in the cabinet as well. That's a really nice pricetag though!

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

That case Will actually fit GPUs up to almost 285, I included an extra picture in the pile to show you where the extra length goes into.

Good luck wothyour build :D

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Oh Hell yes, you are Def looking at solid thing. If you are looking at streaming at 60 1080p, the i5 4690K would be better, since it will do the job better.

Burney21 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

I agree, but on a budget, you can easily overclock that 860k to 4.5ghz, I have done it, and a i5 will add significant cost. He steams 1080p Starcraft 2 on it, and he only has a 270x, and is able to play maxed out. That being said, you do have to deal with some extra heat tho, good ol AMD, lol. If you have the cash, definitely roll with the i5 tho, im not bashing it at all, hell I run a 4790k.

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Very nice, this is what I like to see! Small price tag, big performance.

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Thank you, I tried my best to lower the price, but keep the performance as good as it gets. That 970 Def helps,performs like a beast, runs like a kitten :D

turtle328 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

I'm really new at this. Are you going to use Linux? Cause it seems apparent you don't have an OS within that build, also are you gonna use Wired connection (no wifi adapter)? Lastly how are you going to download the OS without a Optical Drive?

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Since I had an external DVD write, I simply used a copy of Windows 8 that I had got from a friend. There was an ASUS mobo with wireless capability but it was priced at around 100, so it wants a nice buy.

turtle328 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Cool! Thanks for the reply!

Painntrain 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Nice build. Mobo is nice price but pcie v2 which could hurt your GPU performance a bit and/or future expandability. 970 is a great choice.

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

As far as I can tell, there isn't any issues, and I don't think there would be any issues in the future.

I will be looking at an upgrade, but it will come in form of case, mobo, as well as a new CPU, but that's atleast a year ahead :)

carcinoGeneticist 1 point 52 months ago

very nice :D i found yours bc the build i'm saving up for (my first) is actually very similar! http://pcpartpicker.com/user/carcinoGeneticist/saved/vLRCmG are the case fans needed or would you be okay w/o them?

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Not at all needed. The 970 is good at heat output management, the CPU might heat, under extreme load, but other than that, not needed. I'm just bringing mine to light up the system without having to use led strips, and to just have the best airflow possible :)

Good luck with your build :D

Juanathon 1 point 52 months ago

hey I'm putting together a build (my first) with this same case and GPU. Did this card actually block drive bays like it says on my list?

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

I was confused at the same issue when this site told me. It will block nothing, as the card is situated on one side, and the HDD/SSD cages are on the other. The case will accept even a 780Ti, and that is one long motha... You get the point :P

Good luck with your build. :D

Juanathon 1 point 52 months ago

okay yeah, that's what it looks like in my case. Anyway thnx

philabe 1 point 52 months ago

Nice build ,looking at a similar build my self.I fancy getting back into counter strike (cs go)old 1.6 and condition zero casual player still have my CRT monitor :-) .have been reading online lots this will be my first build what do you think? CASE : Thermal take core v1 CPU : i5 4690 CPU cooler : Noctua NH-9DL GPU : EVGA GTX 970 FTW RAM : G skill Ares low profile 1600mhz(2 x 4gb) PSU : EVGA supernova 650w MOBO : ASUS H971 plus mini SSD : samsung evo 500GB Monitor : BenQ XL2420te (possible future buy) | | : LG flatron 900P CRT (already have) Keyboard : CM quick fire xt (MX brown switch)on order :-) Mouse : Zowie fk1 or fk2 Mouse mat : Razer Goliathus control medium/Puretrak stealth Headset : Steel series Siberia V2

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

The build seems good, and very well. I just don't know why you are going with the CRT monitor. An LCD or LED monitor would def do you way better, and make CS more competitive.

It's like getting a 1000 horse power engine in a 10$ car body. :(

Juicifer13 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

Nice build. I just finished a Core V1 budget build. I was planning on an i5/970 combo also, but decided to stick to a tighter budget as it's not primarily a gaming PC. Seeing your 970 squeezed in there gives me the itch to upgrade anyway.

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

Awesome! Well you can also put one in there if you want, I think I saw someone Squeeze a 780 in there, so you should be fine in the future if you ever wanted to put a monster in there ;D

xXSynth_ 1 point 49 months ago

im getting almost the same thing with the EVGA 970 instead, because the price is lower and its clocked a little higher. i cant wait to get it!

lordcrazyX 1 point 38 months ago

I loved your build. I have similiar one. I want to ask you a question. How did you use 2 80 mm fans because there is one slot ?

Kreuzer 2 Builds 1 point 37 months ago

Nice, I got the same case wrapped in carbon fiber vinyl !

KurtFerrell -1 points 52 months ago

what a ****** *** build

SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

You sire, are a meanie.

Still, I hope you got what you want for Christmas, and not just coal :D

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SargAlas submitter 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

You are welcome,I can't wait to see your build come alive :D

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