This is my first build. The goal here was simple: create a platform for not only moderate gaming, but also 3D modeling, extensive web browsing, and the ability to act as a workstation of sorts. The typical balance between work and play, etc.
This being my first build, there were (naturally) a few hiccups at first, which mainly included not being able to find a doggone mini-HDMI to HDMI adapter ANYWHERE in nearby ZIP codes. This is funny because it actually powered on and was fully functional the first time I tried it (which, for me, was hugely exciting). Little did I know that the graphics card I selected at first (the GeForce GT 740) did not have a normal HDMI output. I also forgot to get a monitor (lol) so you know, the little things.
Anyway, I got it all set up, adapted a 24" smart TV as a monitor, and went to town installing Linux at first, and then scrapping that and opting for Windows 10 (which I am much more familiar with). The device kept powering off randomly at firs, which I thought was a heating issue (as I also neglected to apply thermal paste to the CPU), but it turned out to just be a loose AC power cable in the back of the PSU, which I swiftly remedied.
Turned out to be wonderful computer! The AMD FX-8320 was truly a beast for the price, and I will most likely be using another one (perhaps the 8350 if I can get it at a good price) for my next build. The only problem with this build (which is probably glaringly obvious to any veteran builders reading this) is the GPU. In my defense, I neglected to educate myself on the differences between the GT series graphics cards and GTX series that NVIDIA produces, thus, I bought a severely under-powered and archaic GPU that did not cut it. I'm amazed that I was able to play Company of Heroes 2 on medium settings with this thing at like 40 FPS.
I ended up selling the computer, and before that, upgrading to a GTX 950. Worked like a charm and I pretty much broke even on the price. Not too bad for a first time, I'd say.
I love love love this processor. It's price-to-performance ratio is second to none in my experience with CPU's. Regardless of whether or not you're using it for gaming or just everyday work, it performs like a champ. And if you can cool it properly, it OCs like a champ too (although I feel that if you're OCing you're probably an enthusiast with a liquid cooler anyway).
This board is pretty great. I've had zero problems with it, and the UFEI BIOS is nice to work with. It falls short of perfection only because the arrangement of the connection ports for the SATA cables and fan power pins is a little weird; but this might just be because of the way my case is formatted. Overall, this is a great board and I would probably use it again.
I've heard it said that if it's RAM, it looks good, and it works, then you'll probably be okay using it. That saying would apply well to these RAM sticks. No problems and they are fast, as well as being fairly reasonably priced for the amount.
Hybrid Drives are really great, but the relatively small amount of flash memory on this drive was a little disappointing (only 8GB) It's enough for most critical OS files so boot times are very fast, but beyond that, it's nothing to write home about. Additionally, the 5400 RPM HDD is lackluster and slow by today's standards; using it is reminiscent of a bygone era when HDDs didn't have to compete with SSDs and high-speed HDD of 7200 and 15000+ RPMs. The lag when loading and installing things is very noticeable to someone who is very used to an SSD.
On the bright side, it worked just fine and the 1TB of storage is plenty for most people's needs (gamers included). If storage speed isn't really a priority for you, then I would be happy recommending this part. If it is a priority, however, I would implore you to save the money and put it towards an SSD or at least a high-spec HDD.
Now, you'll notice I gave this card 4 stars; this is not because it performed better than I expected or had some crazy awesome features that made me really like it. I gave it four stars because it performed very well given it's age, clock speeds, and architecture. I could barely recommend that this card be used by a gamer of any stretch in today's market (unless you play games that are not graphically demanding or are otherwise very old). However, if you're a light gamer and focus mostly on productivity functions with your computer, I would have no problem recommending this card. It's a solid choice for everyday functions, and I was even able to run a fairly new game a medium-low settings with a somewhat decent framerate. For the money though, I deeply regret not going for a different card; buying a second hand GTX card or Radeon R7 series would have been a much better investment for my purposes.
This case is AWESOME. Well built, love the matte black finish, and it looks great! Would use again. One of the fans it came with was a little loud, but other than that I feel like this case is a phenomenal case for the money I paid for it, which was not much!
You can tell that this is a quality part from start to finish. The packaging was nice, the part itself is solid and well-made, and it comes with any accessories and extensions you could possibly need! On top of that, it even came with a nice little baggie to put all the extra parts in! Would definitely purchase again.
Worked like a charm. Nothing amazing here, other than it responds and spins up very quickly. Would use again.