$700 Gaming PC - First DIY Build

Got some great feedback on other posts. Looking for feedback on this (final?) list of parts for my first PC gaming system:


Mobo: MSI ATX DDR3 2133 Motherboard 970 GAMING
CPU: AMD FD8320FRHKBOX FX-8320 FX-Series 8-Core Black Edition
GPU: Sapphire Radeon R9 280 3GB GDDR5 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/DP Dual-X with PCI-Express Graphics Card Boost 11230-00-20G
RAM: Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB Kit (2x4GB) 1600MHz DDR3 CL10 DIMM - Black*
Storage: WD Blue 1TB SATA 6Gb/s 7200rpm Internal Hard Drive
PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 650G1 650W ATX12V Power Supply 120-G1-0650-XR
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 300R

  • another 4gb kit would be my first upgrade, bumping system to 16gb

Two questions:
- Would this get me 1920x1080 gaming at high settings for most modern titles?
- If I run this 'as-is', do I need cooling for now? Seems like I can add it later if I want to overclock anything

If anything else jumps out as a potential issue, let me know.

Thanks for any feedback.

Sounds pretty solid at the moment, but it might be needing an aftermarket cooler

Thanks. This stuff is all really new to me. Coming to this with an 18+ year history with Macs, so things like cooling aren't even on my radar. If I run these parts "out of the box" and don't overclock anything, do I still need additional cooling? If so, any recommendations?

get cheaper 1600Mhz memory and bump that gpu up to 280X or find a cheap R9 290

1 Like

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/FvTmvK This build might be a little better for you.

Or maybe this http://pcpartpicker.com/p/q3qdcf if you are willing to part with the SSD.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Xw9KRB It's a bit more than what you had originally quoted, but well worth the cost IMO. It would be easier to put together a build if we had an ideal budget and primary purpose.

I'll check these builds out now. Ideal budget is $700, give or take. Mostly used for PC gaming. Beyond that, I'd like to eventually dual-boot with Linux to play around and learn more about it.

How's this: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/marchawkins/saved/MdjhP6

This GPU looks like a beast, but I'm a little nervous since this is my first build. With this beefier card, am I ok with power? Is the cooler I have on this list good enough?

Also - I'm ok with no SSD and 8gb RAM to start. I'm thinking these can be my first two upgrades in a few months.

Thanks again.

yep. now slap Linux on that beast and you are good. ^_^ (shameless Linux plug)

1 Like

As far as your cooling question, if you want to push that CPU a bit, a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO would do fine and it's only 25-35 bucks depending on the sale. I got my 8320 up to a 4.4 GHz and it tops out at a 56-57 Celsius under stress tests. Just make sure you do your homework on the VRMs for that motherboard before you start pushing the clock speeds. I Had a cheaper Gigabyte board and ended up frying the VRMs and my RAM kit because of an oversight on my part. Make sure you have an 8+2 VRM config and you're good.

1 Like

Awesome info. It sent me down a 3-hour rabbit hole. Being my first build, I had no idea what VRMs were. After some research, it looks like that MSI might not have been the best choice. I found this one that looks pretty good: ASUS M5A99X EVO R2.0 (http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/M5A99X_EVO_R20/)

Any thoughts on that one?

Full build (revised):

Probably fine, though it seems to be a 6+2+2 design which is only useful if it is paired with an Intel chip, so it is effectively a 6+2 design for AMD. I have no experience with 6+2 so hopefully someone else with more experience can shed some light on that for us all. I did update the list with an 8+2 design that is only slightly more and tacked on the 212 EVO just for giggles. While the total cost for you has risen by nearly $200, it's so much better to buy/build it right the first time. If you were going with Linux, you'll be all set.

If you are switching to Windows for the better gaming compatibility, make sure to factor that extra $100 in to the final cost. If you would like to do both, slap in another WD Blue and just run Windows on one and Linux on the other. That is what I have done and it seems to work perfectly fine (did this so I could just wipe the Linux drive when I really break it because I'm a Linux n00b).


Good luck and feel free to keep asking questions. This is an amazing community for learning both before and after your mistakes that will inevitably come when venturing out into a new hobby.

Do you live near a microcenter? If so, check out the amd mobo bundles on their website. Your welcome.

You may want to go sabertooth or Crosshair under ASUS for AMD. Much better VRM. Something like 8+2 or something.

You probably won't need that much power, and there are cheaper, but just as highly rated computer cases if you wanted to save another $50 or put that towards something else. I would prefer you had dual channel memory for better load balancing, but like you said, you can easily expand on it with future upgrades. Another budget-minded option would be to replace the Sabertooth with the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3. It's still a 990FX board you you theoretically should get about the same performance/features out of it.

I've improved upon your revised build with some upgrades that includes some awesome discounts. The total cost for these parts are just shy of $900, but after discounts/rebates comes to $763. Shipping depends on where your located, but I figure it's the best build for what you want.