New PC gaming Build, looking for suggestions


Dec 12, 2014
So as the subject states, I'm looking to do a new Gaming build. Now as some extra info, I work in IT professionally but I haven't been keeping up with hardware all that much. More server hardware than standard desktop these days for me. However, I have been building my own PC's since the 90's and been an avid gamer since then. However, I am having a hard time deciding which route to go and in my experience, getting as many suggestions, opinions and experiences from others is the best route to figure out what will work best for you. (not including reviews and benchmarks of course)

So with that in mind, I'm looking for a new PC gaming build. I'm currently around a $800-$1000 price range although any money I can save I would prefer too. So if I could even come in below $800, that would really be great but not necessarily imperative. I would like to get the most for my money and save where ever I can. Overall, I am planning to most likely use my current case, as I already have way to many old ones still hanging around in my house and don't need another hanging out.

I'm having a hard time on whether upgrading a few things or buying completely new with lower priced parts is better or not. I currently run:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.3GHZ
4gb DDR2
ATI Radeon 7770 GHZ edition
500Gb SATA

Overall, I figured I would replace my CPU, CPU Cooler, MB, PS, RAM, GPU and then possibly purchase a new case, more RAM, new hard drives and anything else I need later on. However, I also know that DDR4 is out and will be becoming more prevalent in the upcoming years. So either I want to future proof my rig now or consider purchasing another CPU, MB, Cooler and RAM in a 2-3 year period to take advantage of the technology.

With all that in mind, I then wonder what is the better route, AMD or Intel? The typical question. I know typically the i7 processors are top of the line gaming wise, although they don't offer much more than the current i5, especially if you go the i5-4690k route, from what I hear. However, I've never really done any overclocking before and not necessarily sure I am ready too just yet, so having the K series may not be the best for me. However I'm not against looking into it either. Although AMD usually has a lower price point and if I am planning to redo the pc in 2-3 years to take advantage of DDR4, maybe it would be worthwhile to not go "balls to the wall" now and get a couple upgrades to last me till the DDR4 is out and available.

I've been a Intel guy for the longest, I've only run AMD once before back in the 90's. (It was a k6 266 system I ran back in the mid 90's if I recall correctly) So I'm barely familiar with AMD hardware at all, although I just got my current pc last year (was still on P4 till Oct 2013) so as I said, even current Intel I'm a bit shady on. So any suggestions anyone has, I'm completely up for, especially if there are specific models folks would recommend or suggest I stay away from. I was suggested this system:

Case: Antec 300 Illusion - $35

CPU: AMD 8350 - $130

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master 212 EVO $30

RAM: 2 x 4GB 1866mhz G.Skill - $50

PSU: Corsair 600W PSU - $35

MB: MSI 990FX - $60

DVD Drive: $15

Hard Drive: WD Blue 1TB - $60

Video Card: MSI Radeon 290 - $225 w/ 4 free games

Total Cost: $640

As you can see a AMD system, but not exactly sure if its something like this I should be aiming for, keeping the cost low and go "balls to the wall" performance wise when DDR4 is more prevalent in a couple years. On the other hand, should I try and spend a little extra and build a PC that's future proofed for 4-5 years now and call it a day?

Some things to take into consideration. My usage, as I said is primarily games. However, this is also my main PC, so there is still some office use, web surfing, e-mail, video viewing, music listening and sometimes all at the same time. I also do have a youtube channel for games and am interested in trying streaming, so some video editing and stream are possible, just to get an idea of the usage of the system.

A lot of questions and concerns and I've been reading reviews for awhile. My purchase time isn't till late December or late January so I have some time, but would love to take any advantage on sales that I can. Looking for as many opinions, suggestions and experiences as I can get.

Main Questions:
1. Future proof (balls to the wall system) or upgrade & wait for DDR4
2. AMD or Intel on my budget?
3. GPU suggestions and reasoning
4. DDR4 is it worth waiting for prices to come down?
5. CPU & MB suggestions and reasoning

Thanks for the help!



May 31, 2014
I agree with going with a nice 990fx motherboard and if your not one for overclocking there is the fx 9370 and the 9xxx have tested well for higher clocks so it is something to consider.



ok... i'll address this in parts

1) DDR4 has some performance improvements, however, its not in your budget, not even close. furthermore you'll be doing a motherboard/cpu/ram change when you upgrade to it in 2-3 years when it's more mainstream.

2) you probably could go with either and be happy. AMD is a nice choice if you want a mini-server, the fx8 cores are fantastic for VMs, and if you don't mind overclocking you probably won't be able to tell you went with amd. I work in the IT field as well, all my daily work is on stock i7s and i5s, and when you overclock my fx8 core up to 4.7ghz or so, you can't tell the difference anymore. If anything it's notably better then an i5 for what i do (VM), and about on part with an i7

3) this is mostly personal preference, though i'll tell you your main consideration should be price/performance. When AMD went to the 7xxx series and nvidia went to the 6xx series we lost the "bad" cards... there really aren't any bad cards anymore, just bad prices. Right now, the r9-2xx series are probably at a slightly better price/performance point then anything from nvidia except for the GTX970.

4) probably not. you'll be waiting 2 years

5) i5+ any z97 board that has the features you want (there is almost zero difference between performance on the intel boards, you basically chose them for looks and features these days). any fx8 core + an Asus m5a99 board, a Sabertooth, the Maximus, or Gigabyte GA990fxa-UG3/UG5/UG7. do not buy any other motherboards for an fx8 core

as for intel vs AMD, get the intel if you have zero interest in overclocking. get the amd if price is a concern, you don't mind overclocking AND you're on a <80hz monitor. because on a <80hz monitor you'll never tell you have an AMD cpu (they'll hit 60fps in pretty much every title with a small 4.4ghz overclock. the intel advantage really only shows up on better monitors)



PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($131.98 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H80i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($84.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($111.96 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Mushkin Redline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($63.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($69.98 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.49 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 290 4GB DirectCU II Video Card ($239.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $805.36
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-12-12 10:35 EST-0500


Apr 27, 2014
For that price range u got a good list.

I think u go now with amd and should not wait for ddr4. Coz i read somewhere that ddr4 is the last of the ddr series. After ddr4 there will be some "hbm" memories with higher bandwidths. Amd even left gddr5 memory for their upcoming careabbian islands gpu, and are going with the hbm memories leaving nvidia behind.
May be ddr4 will jst run for another year or 2, then there will hbm memory sticks. So even if i7 haswell-e is lot more powerful with ddr4 than the 8350, u can go with 8350 for another 2 years coz of its 8 cores @ 4.0ghz.
Wait a couple of years for hbm memory standards and then go with intel i7 chips.
And u dnt seem to oc ur cpu or add another gpu in crossfire x, so instead of going with the 990fx chipset mobo, u should go with the 970 chipset mobo, something like asus m5a97 evo r2.0 or 970 mobo from ur desired vender.
Save money on mobo and go with a little higher gpu like 290x from sapphire or wait 2 months for new gen of amd GPUs.
As for ddr4 memory speeds, u can oc ddr3 to those speeds.
Good luck building ur new rig.


Dec 12, 2014

Some great info here, thank you for the response. So far I am starting to lean towards a AMD system merely because of the price point and since I will want to take advantage of the DDR4 in a couple years, I feel like I should go budget this go around and then go for something more high end once DDR4 is more mainstream.

My only issue here is Overclocking. I've never really done a overclock build what so ever. It's not something I've ever really tried although I would be interested in trying it, since I've always been interested in getting a better understanding in how it works. Would you have any resources you could recommend to someone new to overclocking? Would you even suggest overclocking to someone who is brand new to it in this instance? Thanks for the help.



ok. if you buy an ASUS motherboard (m5a99x evo, m5a99fx pro, 990fx Sabertooth) this guide here is ground zero for overclocking a piledriver cpu (for piledriver it doesn't matter the model number or core count. the overclocking process is the same). Personally i found piledriver to be comically simple to overclock. almost as easy as ivybridge intel cpus.