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Red Team rocking: Build the ultimate AMD gaming PC

Marco Chiappetta | Oct. 31, 2014
Dollar for dollar, there's still a strong argument to be made for AMD processors.

Thanks to some recent price cuts, our GPU selection for this build couldn't have been any easier. Sticking with the AMD theme, we opted for a Powercolor PCS+ AXR9 290X 4GB, which was available for $359. This card is powered by AMD's Radeon R9 290X "Hawaii" GPU and is outfitted with a huge triple-fan cooling solution. The cooler allows the GPU to operate at higher speeds than reference R9 290X cards, and it's quieter, too. The only AMD-based graphics card that's more powerful is the Radeon R9 295X2 featured in yesterday's build.

We also turned to AMD for PC's storage--sort of. AMD Radeon R7 series solid state drives are built by OCZ and available for fairly competitive prices. Their overall performance is good too, so we picked up a 240GB model for about $145. To complement the SSD, we snagged a 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM hard drive for 60 bucks and threw in a cheap LG DVD-R optical drive on the off chance we'd need to use a CD or DVD at some point.

We had initially planned to use AMD-branded memory in this build as well, but when we saw Corsair's Vengeance Pro DDR3-1866 16GB kit, our minds changed instantly. The kit consists of a pair of 8GB DDR3-1866 DIMMs, which would be a good match for the FX-9590. They even sport black-and-red heat spreaders that go perfectly with the MSI 970 Gaming's color scheme. Corsair is also one of the most trusted names in system memory, so the $175 asking price for the kit was no problem.

We also turned to Corsair to power and house the rig. The Corsair Graphite 600T was one of my personal-favorite cases. When the company recently updated the Graphite line with a newer 780T model with features better suited to today's hardware, I was intrigued. The Corsair Graphite 780T isn't cheap at about $180, but it's absolutely worth the asking price. The case is spacious, with plenty of mounting locations for both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch internal drives. Even better, the windowed case sports a tool-less design and a trio of quiet fans. And hey, it looks good, too. About the only things missing from this case are a switch to turn off its integrated lighting, and a hiding spot to store all of the spare screws and connectors it includes.

As for the power supply, the Corsair HX750i was a good fit. We planned to use only one GPU in the rig, so its 750W capacity was fine, and we also liked that it's fully modular and operates silently under low loads.

For those of you keeping track, the complete parts breakdown for the system is as follows:

  • CPU: AMD FX-9590 - $259.99
  • Motherboard: MSI 970 Gaming AM3+ - $99.99
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB DDR3-1866 - $174.99
  • Graphics card: Powercolor PCS+ AXR9 290X 4GB - $359.99
  • Storage: AMD Radeon R7 SSD 240GB - $144.99
  • Storage: Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM HDD 1TB - $59.99
  • Optical drive: LG SATA DVD-R - $17.99
  • Chassis: Corsair Graphite Series 780T - $179.99
  • Power supply: Corsair HXi HX750i 750W PSU - $169.99
  • CPU cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120XL - $79.99
  • Operating system: Windows 8.1 OEM - $99
  • All told, the system cost rings in at $1,646.90.

 

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