Description


This is my first PC build after using Macs all my life. I bought the CPU, Motherboard, Original 4 gigs of ram, Case, and Fans for $50 from my Friend. The PC was had been sitting in his garage for a few years, and to save it from destruction I bought it. I got lucky with the CPU and RAM because I didn't know what was in the PC until I booted it up. I could have ended up with a Sempron 140 and 2 gigs of ram!


So far I am very happy with this build. My CPU overclocked well, but it tends to Bottleneck my GPU quite a bit in DX11 titles. The case is terrible. Most of the 5.25 drive bay covers where bent out of shape and refused to go into the front panel, cable management is impossible due to there being hardly any cable management holes or space behind the Motherboard tray. But after I installed as many of the drive covers as possible, it looks kind of badass with the fan showing.


I bought the PSU, GPU, HDD, Thermal Paste, Fan Splitter, and Extra Ram at Fry's.


I was in a hurry so I grabbed the first 600+ watt PSU I saw, and as the Corsair one had the flashiest box I grabbed that one. It works well. stays very quiet and hasn't exploded yet... So that's nice...


I was a bit more careful when buying my 1060, because I didn't want to spend too much, and I didn't want a ugly MSI card. I am very happy with my Gigabyte card, fans are off most of the time, and stay very quiet under load. It has no coil whine, and it looks great, not that it matters with the case I have.


I have a hard drive. Its a bit slow when opening large files and games, but windows boots surprisingly fast and it wasn't all that expensive.


Ram. I have 12 gigs if it. Its overclocked slightly because of how I overclocked my CPU. It was quite an experience to upgrade from 4 to 12 gigs however. The Scythe cooler that the system came with covered the ram slots, and the case has no motherboard cut out, so in order to upgrade the ram I needed to take the entire system apart. Removing the motherboard was easy, but when I removed the Scythe cooler it pulled the CPU clean out of the socket due to hardened thermal paste. When the CPU was pulled out some of the pins got bent. That was terrifying. Luckily I was able to bend the bent pins back with a exacto knife, and carefully reinserted the CPU back into its socket. With that out of the way I put the extra 8 gig stick of ram into the fourth dimm slot, installed the Silverstone cooler, and rebuild the PC, only to have it fail to post. So, I took the entire computer apart again, removed the new CPU cooler and removed the new sick of ram. Still nothing. After another 30 minutes of testing I realized that one of the power supply cables wasn't plugged in correctly... So yeah. But the PC recognizes all 12 gigs of ram, which is nice.


The Silverstone NT06-E. It's a nice low profile cooler. I bought it at halted for $35, $40 cheaper than on Newegg!. It keeps my overclocked CPU at about 90c under Prime 95, and about 40c under normal usage. The only issue is that is disrupts the airflow of the case because the fan is pointed towards the motherboard, and not pointed towards the exhaust fan. This makes the temps inside the case a bit warmer than with the old scythe cooler... But it isn't sagging and about to fall apart, which is nice.


The pwm splitter made it so that I could control the all my fans. The issue being that speed fan only thinks that all the case fans are connected to one fan header, not the two that are on the mobo. This means that I cannot make the exhaust and front intake fan spin faster than the fans on the top of the case, disrupting airflow further.


So far the pc has been working great. Temps are fine, performance is acceptable, and the overclocks are rock stable. The pc does not collect any dust, and runs very quiet.


EDIT APRIL 10 2017

Replaced the rear exhaust fan with a Corsair AF120 fan, removing the horrid wine that the old fan had, and because it is so quiet I can run it al 100% at all times, lowering idle temps.

Part Reviews

CPU

It's a surprisingly powerful little chip for how old it is. Mine overclocked to 3.65 GHz, making it just a bit slower than a FX 6300. It manages to stay surprisingly cool even when under full load under Prime95. Overall still a decent chip for 2016.

CPU Cooler

It manages to keep my overclocked AMD Phenom II X6 1055T at about 90c under Prime95, and about 40c under a gaming load. Installation was very easy. Managed to find it for $35 at Haltec. 4/5

Memory

Its ram. Hasn't blown up or failed yet even when overclocked.

Memory

Its also ram. However it wasn't able to OC as far as my Patriot Signature 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1333.

Storage

Its a HDD. Its fast. 10/10 would buy again.

Video Card

This is an amazing card. It is able to stay at about 75 degrees when overclocked to 2088 MHz, and with the ram overclocked to 4400 MHz. The fans will get rather loud when under full load, but that seldom ever happens.

Case

It is almost impossible to have clean cable management in this case, due to the fact that there are is no room behind the motherboard tray, and the fact that there are very few places to pass cables through. Cable management is not an issue however, if you are able to get the side panels on. The 5.25 in drive bay covers are just made of flimsy metal and tend to bend and fall out. 3/5

Comments

  • 36 months ago
  • 3 points

Do not underestimate the PHnom II!! They were great chips.

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

Hail to the master race

  • 36 months ago
  • 3 points

phenom ii master race!

  • 36 months ago
  • 3 points

Phenom II FTW!

  • 36 months ago
  • 3 points

holy mother of god! it's the godzilla of the computer world (as i like to call it)! the six core phenom ii!

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

Infinite power!

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

Amazing GPU, Great PSU (could've gone with a cheaper one), Not sure about the case (in my opinion it is not too bad - I find cases to be a moreover subjective thing), Plenty of storage in the hard drive. Just a few recommendations if you plan to upgrade it sooner or now. I would definitely right off the bat get an intel core 6100 or a more powerful CPU than your current one maybe even an i5 if you wait long enough. I would upgrade that Ram to ddr4 16GB (8x2) which can quite a difference it can cost only 30 dollars more than you spent (80$ total). For the ram you will have to upgrade the motherboard to something that can support ddr4. Lastly, I would get a SSD particularly from Samsung which makes by far the best SSDs out there for faster downloads and boot ups.

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

Phenom in 2016?

With GTX 1060?

This Phenom is alive!!!!!!! Amazing

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

Not for too much longer... In cpu heavy games, the Phenom heavily bottlenecks the GPU.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

With out a doubt, What cpu are you going to next?

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

An i5-7600k, or some Zen equivalent... Idk. To be honest the Phenom is fine for every thing I need use it for.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

No kidding, serious bottleneck for some cpu-intensive games. Shoot, even playing games with a Wii or Gamecube emulator can get pretty bad, depending on the game and your settings.

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Phenom ii x6 master race!!!!!!!!

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

My only thoughts? You could of spent way less on the PSU and gotten at least a 120 GB SSD. And probably some better ram. But otherwise pretty good!

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, please return the PSU and buy a $40 SSD. I'm a long time Apple user, but brother, you should be using pcpartpicker for dem deals man.

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

Or I could keep the PSU and buy an SSD anyway. I could spend more than $40 on it though. The only reason why I didn't buy one is that I didn't want to spend too much at one time.

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

Don't worry about the PSU. It's a superb, quality choice... will last for a couple more builds probably. Just 1 component less to worry about going forward. Pretty sure they even have a 10yr warranty now! Anyway, agree with your thoughts, just get a new ssd with the next build!

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

GPU has more RAM than the RAM sticks

11/10

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

That's were you're wrong... the GPU has 6 gigs of ram, and I have 2 2gig dimms and 1 8 gig dimm. 8>6

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Just out of curiosity, would you mind posting both single and multithreaded scores from Cinebench R15 please?

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

CPU score ~520cb CPU single core score 93cb MP ratio = 5.61x

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Besides thermal improvement and platform compatibility, that is a really good score that mostly beats the i3-6100. Nice bro!

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

But the i3 is better for gaming as it has fewer more powerful cores, rather than lots of weak cores.

[comment deleted]
  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice. That poor Scythe cooler got retired because it was sagging too much, and in comes the surprisingly powerful silverstone one. That Mobo is rock solid, apart from a few odd quirks such as when I installed the second pwm fan splitter, both of the chassis fan headers got linked together. According to speedfan PWM 2 header dose nothing, and all the case fans are controlled from PWM 3 even though the top two fans and the intake and exhaust fans are on two separate headers.

[comment deleted]
  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

It must be something odd with the bios then.

Because the

ENTIRE

internet seems to have the M5A97 REV2 version with is different enough where solutions for that bord won't work on the rev 1 version.

sigh

[comment deleted]
  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

R.I.P

[comment deleted]