Disclosure: CPU, Motherboard, RAM, Hard Drive & Power Supply provided by AMD, Western Digital, Hyper X & Cooler Master for review purposes by their PR company. Case & CPU Cooler purchased from BCC Computers Knox City, Australia. (They were nice enough to give me a discount.)
Computers are some of the most loyal machines on the planet. The humble PC will stick with you through adventures through Azaroth, hunting expeditions in Borderlands, kicking butt in Street Fighter, slinging cards in Magic Duals, and just about everything else you can imagine. My loyal PC has gone with me through many, many hours of gaming; helped me produce many videos for YouTube and stream on Twitch. It stores my digital comic collection, showed me thousands of hours of TV shows and movies, and helped me communicate with people all over the world. Hell, without my PC, I wouldn’t have a way to talk to my girlfriend daily or entertain all of you through podcasts both here and elsewhere. I’ve taught myself how to use Photoshop, Premier, XSplit and hundreds of other programs with that old beast… All for under AUD$1000… And I’m glad for every moment, pixel, sound and even frustration that it’s given me.
But even after all of that, the march of technology keeps going. As good as the system was, it was hitting that bottom line in terms of what I could do with it. I couldn’t push the RAM to higher levels, the 3.4Gb i7 processor is now the low end of the scale, and the power supply was only 340 watts… Barely enough to power what I had let alone some of the newer cards I was being sent to review.
One day the technology gods, or at least their mortal messengers, offered me a bunch of parts to build a new test bed PC which will bring me up to date with current day technology, but also enter the realms of the “PC Master Race”, I knew it was time to put this dusty old machine out to pasture. I am thankful for it’s service and hope it’s next adventure it just as for-filing as it’s time with me was.
- CPU: AMD FX 8350 4.0gb Black Processor – An 8-Core 4.0Gb processor… Wow! This processor is designed to be the ultimate in customizable performance. The AMD Unlocked system allows for maximum on the fly adjustment so that whatever you are using the PC for, it’s automatically optimized for peak performance. It’s also one of the coolest processors out there with an average heat temp of 30 degrees. Pretty cool for a processor.
- CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212X fan – This huge hulking CPU cooler is one of the best things out there for the price. It’s not one of those fancy water cooling pieces that most PC gamers would have on their processors, but this done the job really well. The multi-bronze piping dispurses the heat so quickly that it doesn’t have a chance to settle while the fan connected to it is extremely silent no matter how much it’s being worked. Only downside is that it was a literal pain to install… my hands are cut up to shit trying to get this thing mounted correctly.
- Motherboard: MSI 970 Gaming – If you want to get the most out of your system, it has to work for what it is needed for. I need something for gaming, so this motherboard seems like the perfect fit…. Ok, so I know nothing about motherboards ok! It’s black and red, it’s pretty, and the thing hasn’t caught fire yet. I recommend it I guess.
- RAM: Hyper X FURY White 8Gb kit (2x4Gb) – Ah Hyper X, we meet again. First encounter was that wonderful Cloud Mav headset that I use on my PC, my mp3 player, my phone, my PS4, and just about everything that requires a headset to use. Next was wonderful Savage 240Gb SSD that made me change my mind on using SSD technology down the track. Now we have the Hyper X FURY White RAM… Which has blue RAM heat covers on it for some reason. I will admit that I’m already taxing the 8Gb kit to it’s limits with all the multi-tasking that I do on a daily basis, but once I bump that up to 16Gb or 24Gb I think things will work a lot better.
- Main Hard Drive: Western Digital Black 2Tb – Another repeat offender. Last time I had my hands on a Western Digital hard drive, it was the 4Tb Solid State Hybrid Drive, which I loved to death. This is it’s mechanical cousin. While as usual Western Digital hard drive are some of the best build drives on the market and come at a good price, this one was a bit too noisy. As someone who leaves their computer on overnight to process videos and what not, I do notice the drive reading and writing. But that could be the drive settling too.
- GPU: Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 270X Dual X – Ok, so this graphics card is over a year old and is the only piece to migrate over from the old PC (along with some storage drives), but at 2Gb it’s still more than enough to handle some of the newest games on their highest settings. As this is going to be one of the most swapped pieces in this new PC, I don’t mind using some “old” tech.
- Power Supply: Cooler Master 1300 watt Silent Hybrid Pro – You want power? well I got POWAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!! 1300 watts is HUGE. I could run 2 PC’s on this thing and still have enough power left over to do something else with. The most amazing thing about this power supply is that the cables are modular, meaning that I only have to plug in the cables I need to use. No more excess cable clutter! And they don’t call this the Silent Hybrid Pro for nothing; as I can’t hear a thing from the bottom of the tower. Quiet as a padded room.
- Case: Cooler Master CMStorm Trooper Black – The monolith, the behemoth, the big black tower of power… Ok, that last one was one step too far. But honestly, take a look at the picture below and tell me that case isn’t huge as hell! They call this thing portable… Sure, for The Hulk! Even empty the case weighs a fair bit; full it’s only just heavy enough to carry with one hand. It also has fans everywhere! One intake fan in the back, out venting fan on the top, and 2 fans for the 2 hard drive bays in the front. I won’t be surprised if one day I wake up to a hurricane in my bedroom. Well worth the cash.
So how does it work as a whole? Well this post proves that the PC didn’t explode upon booting so that’s a good thing. Gaming wise, I’m able to run Street Fighter V at full screen with all settings at maximum without any lag in the game. I’m able to run World of Warcraft on High settings and keep my FPS at 60+ during intense raids. Videos take slightly less time to process. I’m not smelling any smoke so I’ve put it all together correctly… I think. I’m still in the early stages of pushing this thing to it’s maximum so there is a lot more to do with this. At the time of writing, I’m very happy with my new test bed PC and look forward to using this great machine to bring you more tech and PC game reviews in the future.