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Second build (Gaming + Programming)

by Dan15



Date Published

Feb. 29, 2016

Date Built

Feb. 27, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.2 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

55.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.015 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

33.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

72.0° C


After using a Mac for a few years, I wanted to go back to a PC. I've never really owned a powerful enough computer to run games above Low/Medium settings, so I figured I'd build an awesome PC that would last me a while. I'll be using it mainly for gaming as well as programming. Visual Studio is quite resource demanding so having a fast SSD along with lots of RAM really helps.

I'm absolutely loving the speed of the SSD, really happy that they're relatively affordable these days :)

I'm using a BenQ BL3200PT monitor (2560x1440) purchased two years ago.

CPU stress test performed using IntelBurnTest, GPU stress test performed using FurMark.

Part Reviews


It's a processor. It seems to process stuff. A+++ would process again.


Pretty good motherboard. This motherboard has one PCI Express 16x slot and two PCI Express 1x slots. If you use a dual-width graphics card, there'll be barely enough space to insert one additional PCI Express card in the third PCI Express slot, without blocking the graphics card's fan. If you'll be using more than one PCI Express device, it might be worth getting the "MORTAR" (http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-motherboard-b150mmortar) rather than the BAZOOKA, due to the fact that it has one additional PCI Express slot.

The white LED backlighting is barely noticeable (at least in my case) so it's more of a gimmick than a useful feature. I don't really care about it that much.


Cheapest DDR4 memory available. Works well.


Fantastic SSD, super fast! My machine cold boots in seconds. For me it was affordable enough that I just used a single 1 TB SSD rather than a smaller SSD combined with a traditional HDD.

Video Card

Works well along with my BenQ BL3200PT monitor. Unfortunately the box doesn't appear to come with an AMD/Radeon sticker.


Fantastic case. Looks great, very quiet, and lots of room for cable management on the right-hand side (non-window side) behind the motherboard.

Optical Drive

Pressing the button results in a cup holder ejecting from the drive, great for if you're drinking a hot beverage near your computer.

Oh, it also reads CDs and DVDs. Haven't tried burning one yet.

Wireless Network Adapter

Solid connection, no issues so far. Bluetooth works well too. Note that Bluetooth requires an internal connection to one of the USB headers on your motherboard, so you need to ensure your motherboard has one spare USB header. My motherboard had three USB headers and they're all in use now - Two for the front of the case (1 x USB 3.1 and 1 x USB 2.0) and one for the Bluetooth connectivity of this wifi card.

Comments Sorted by:

The_Greek_power 2 points 36 months ago

Im not sure if that motherboard has dual Chanel memory, but, DEFINITELY check the motherboard manual to find out because if it does you can take advantage with your 2 sticks of memory. You currently have them in the two closest slots on to the cpu on the motherboard which shouldn't be right, usually the motherboard manual will tell you to use corresponding colored slots to use to get the performance you paid for outta your system. Other than that Good Job!

Dan15 submitter 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

Thanks for the tip! I'll take a look tomorrow. I'm a n00b with hardware and my previous build (many many years ago) had the cheapest parts for pretty much everything and that motherboard only had two RAM slots, so this is all new territory for me.

Dan15 submitter 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

I just checked the motherboard manual and you're exactly right. They suggest using slots 2 and 4 (the black slots) when only using two sticks of RAM. Fixed it now. Thanks for the comment :)

The_Greek_power 1 point 36 months ago

glad to help :D

rhali8 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Nice and clean!


Dan15 submitter 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

Thanks! :D

rhali8 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago


gorkti200 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

I like these nice no-nonsense builds. Good price point for your power in this machine.

Also your part reviews are funny. +1

Dan15 submitter 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

I made some of the reviews serious where appropriate, but seriously what can you even write in a review about a DVD drive apart from "DVDs go into it"? :P

Wigglesgaming 1 point 36 months ago

any specific reason why you chose the amd gpu over the nvidia?

Dan15 submitter 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

No particular reason. AMD and Nvidia seem similar enough that I didn't really put much thought towards it. I've never actually used an Nvidia GPU, I've always used AMD/ATI (in fact the very first graphics card I had was an ATI 3D Rage Pro). Perhaps I'll switch to an Nvidia one day. Are there any advantages of the Nvidia cards over AMD?

Wigglesgaming 1 point 36 months ago

I'm not quite sure on the advantages over the two companies, I was more curious for my own research because I myself and debating on which to choose and which will give me the best performance for the longest period of time.

BodaciousBuddha 3 points 36 months ago

The R9 390 and the GTX 970 are generally the same. They vary by game but not by much. All else equal, having the extra 4gb on the 390 is a wiser investment as games grow more VRAM-intensive. The R9 390 for $275 is an excellent deal, so set a price alert on it (and on other 390's and the 970's). See their price history to update your expectations on the next possible drop in price. Be patient. The decision is easier when you focus more on price.

As for brands, EVGA, Asus, MSI, XFX, Gigabyte, and Sapphire are first tier. Lower tier are PowerColor, Zotac, HIS, Gainforce, VisionTec. Price often reflects quality, so be wary of the lower tier's cheapest stuff. Duration of warranty is a good indicator of how much a seller is betting on his quality control.

For research, I grant more credence to reviewers who state their methodology (parts tested, their brand/maker, what is being held constant, how the test will be conducted). Otherwise, they'll have more room to ********, and their results won't be as useful. If they give FPS comparisons, averages are nice but without minimums or "1%" figures, it's not too convincing. If gaming performance is your major concern, synthetic benchmarks are largely irrelevant.

The choice is similar to many other choices in life. It's a competitive market, so relax. It's not likely that the average consumer (and producer) gets screwed. People can talk nonsense, so separate anecdotal evidence and pseudo-science from reason and good enough science. Be patient, calm the mind, and aim for price. Keep the tier list and reviews in mind, but remember: you'll generally be good with either product.

Wigglesgaming 2 points 35 months ago

I appreciate the advice, very well thought out and makes it easy to know which one to get and when, thank you.

BodaciousBuddha 1 point 35 months ago

Glad to help! :D

Flesh0119 1 point 35 months ago

The general trend it seems for this gen is the amd cards being slightly more powerful than their Nvidia equivalents but at a far higher power draw. This trend seems to hold until the 980Ti which has no equal and at a far lower power draw than the flagship amd card. Best price to performance at $200 and $300 respectively would be the 380x and 390 I feel.

BodaciousBuddha 1 point 36 months ago

Haha, the price per GB of that SSD had my jaw dropping. With the programming, did you really need the extra 500gb?

I would've dropped down to the 500gb version to free up $55 for a WD 7200rpm 1TB and an extra $145 toward the GPU-CPU, especially since you want the build to last longer. I'd be betting on SSD's to drop in price per performance faster than Intel CPUs and GPUs. :)

Dan15 submitter 1 Build 2 points 36 months ago

I was originally going to get a Mushkin Reactor 1TB SSD at $229, but changed it to the Samsung on a positive recommendation from a friend. I like having just one hard drive, it simplifies things a little bit and is also quieter. Having all my files fast is nice, rather than just picking and choosing what I want to be fast.

I've been using this computer a lot over the past week, and the CPU and GPU seem fine for my needs right now :)

BodaciousBuddha 1 point 35 months ago

I understand; just trying to look out for all the single hard drives out there. :P

RichiBarri 1 point 31 months ago

what happens if i put 2400mhz ram on it?

TheGreenSpy 1 point 13 months ago

RIP RAM prices...