I was surprised by AMD with a freebie, their A10-7850k flagship APU. Long story short i wrote a review for their A10-6800k and as a thank you they sent me the 7850k, what… was i going to say no? Once the Athlon 860k drops ill make a Mini build for my daughter using this APU and use the Athlon primarily as it is the same architecture minus the iGPU portion with 4Mb cache.
With the APU being a freebie i figured id go a little wild and get MSI’s gaming board, i'll admit, i liked the way it looked and decided on it before reading the features (which aren't too bad), and have not been disappointed at all. the interface is pleasing and easy to navigate, overclocking is a breeze and it looks d@#&ed good in my opinion.
With their Kaveri APU i had read it relies heavily on fast RAM, so i got the fastest RAM that the board could handle that was reasonably priced and overclocked 8 gigs of it to 2400 mhz, no complaints there. Will be adding another kit to take it to 16 gigs in the future just because… why not?
I know AMD likes to run hot so i went ahead and got the aftermarket cooler that i know and trust, albeit i wasn't sure it would fit. the Rosewill BlackHawk case did not disappoint, i did have to remove the built in side panel fan to accommodate the cooler, but i think it was worth it. cable management in this case is superb with rubber grommets and plenty of room with ports for water cooling later down the road. I believe Rosewill did an excellent job with this case.
The two top fan slots were filled with the CoolerMaster fans, controlled via the UEFI under SYS fan 2, the rear exhaust fan was Replaced with another CoolerMaster fan. In the front, as long as you only use the top front slot for a disk reader/writer you can add an extra case fan, so i did naturally with the 4th CoolerMaster fan, joining with the rear exhaust fan to create a natural air flow from the front intake, to the cpu cooler, out the rear exhaust. *see below
i knew i wanted to boot from an SSD and load all my programs on a separate drive, so i went with the best SSD i could find for the price (which happened to be on sale [early 2014]).
The OS was leftover from a previous unfinished build.
The PSU i knew had some bad reviews when it was released, but Corsair had responded publicly to the criticism and had fixed their mistake, so for the price i figured it was the better option.
Snagged the R9 270x before AMD announced the R9 285 thereby reducing the prices on their cards, i do fully intend on purchasing the R9 285 in the next 10 days but wanted to post this build as it stand right now.
Thje CPU is overclocked to 4.3 Ghz @ 1.42v-1.40v, the RAM is at 2133Mhz, and the NB is at 1900 Mhz stable, ive found runnign the RAM at 2400Mhz renders the build unstable. GPU is stock as i plan to resell the card once I purchase the R9 285.
It plays every game at high/ultra settings without any issues. Skyrim with mods at 60+ FPS, BF4 flawlessly, Metro, you name it. but i am ever evolving, constantly improving, craving more…
The NZXT LED kit is great, easy to route, comes with sticky clips to hold it in place, nothing bad to say.
i used a PWM fan splitter and had some issues, the cables didn’t want to stay in the fan headers very well, i was able to remove the pins and resolder the cables into the clip, and then reattach the pins to the module and everything works fine, but i must state they build quality on 1 out of 3 cables was quite poor. the heat shrink had not been heat treated and the cables were not properly secured in the headers (1 out of 3).
EDIT: Sorry im not sure why the pictures loaded out of order :/