I just finished building a new rig and I’ve gotta say I’m super stoked about it. The goal was to build a machine that could play current FPS titles (Battlefield 3) on “Ultra” video settings without overclocking and while staying roughly around a $1K-ish budget. Additionally, I wanted the machine to run cool and QUIET. That last one I just threw in there is the kicker, actually, because quiet is a bit difficult to achieve on a budget.
Here’s what I built:
- MOBO – ASUS M5A99FX Pro 2.0
- CPU – AMD FX-8230 8 Core 3.5Ghz (4.0Ghz turbo)
- CPU Cooling – Corsair H100i Extreme Liquid CPU Cooler
- RAM – Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR3 8GB
- Video – EVGA NVidia GeForce GTX 570 1GB
- OS Drive – Samsung 840pro 256GB SSD
- HDDs – (Various sizes and speeds)
- Disk Drive – ASUS BW-12B1ST Bluray Writer
- Case – Corsair C70 “Vengeance” ATX Mid-Tower (Black)
- Case Cooling – Corsair stock 120mm fans x6 + 2 on H100i radiator
- PSU – Corsair TX750M 750w Modular Power Supply
The first thing I noticed upon firing it up once the OS (Windows 8 pro 64bit) was installed is that the 840pro SSD took my typical few-minute boot-nap and turned it into a six-second party from cold and dead to fully fired up and ready. Awesome. Then I fired up Battlefield 3. Now typically when you play current FPS titles on a AMD FX 8 Core processor it tends to run really hot and if you used the stock fan+heatsink combo you notice that it really screams trying to keep up with all of the heat that the chip is generating. This wasn’t the case with this build since it is liquid cooled. When I fired up BF3 and ran it at max settings there was no change in sound from the PC, just the sounds of battle and flying bullets from the game.
See the next image for a brief summary and conclusion:
A final word for the enthusiasts out there who expend tons of blood, sweat and tears, (not to mention gobs of mullah), this setup is not “top-of-the-line” by any means, nor is it my intension to present it as such. The ultimate goal here was to build a kick-ass machine that can handle all current (and near-future) content like a champ without putting a massive dent in my wallet and blowing out my eardrums with a million decibels worth of fan cooling. Mission accomplished. That being said, if you have the cash with nothing better to spend it on consider the possibilities of building a machine that will cause a brownout in your area when you power it on. Think about how badass your rig will be when it takes a custom cooling loop that only runs on unicorn tears to cool it. That’s right, you’ll be like Conan the destroyer in Lil Wayne’s jeans with women clinging tenaciously to your ankles everywhere you go… Until then, build something awesome that’s within your means, but whatever you do try to do as much of it as you can yourself. It’s so much more rewarding that buying out of the box.
Edit, January 10, 2014:
My buddy just hooked me up with his spare GTX 580 video card last night! Triple screen setup, incoming!