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Hol' - First Ever Build (Budget of roughly £450) AKA "Murphy's Law"

by SomeJoker



Date Published

Nov. 30, 2015

Date Built

Oct. 26, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

20.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

46.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.03 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6.61 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

26.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C


Like many who couldn't smash open the piggy bank when the now current generation of consoles dropped, or the new Skylake CPU's & high end GPU's came out, I had to make a decision in which direction to fling my money. This was my first PC build and prior to about September (2015) I didn't have a great deal of usable tech knowledge when it came to PC hardware and software, but I researched my metaphorical balls off in constant fear that not doing so would lead to monumental ****-ups. I would now consider myself at least semi-competent in the aforementioned areas. So that's something. Still figuring some areas out, but hardware I have down.

The naming of the system is a reference to the Ship computer "Holly" from the British TV show 'Red Dwarf', and "Murphy's Law" is a reference to both the adage 'Everything that can go wrong will go wrong' and Robocop. I had a little fun with it.

The price of my component upon purchasing them using this terrific website [pcpartpicker] (http://pcpartpicker.com), CCL and eBuyer was £438.05, a price I consider to be good for what I got. It may not have been the optimal time to buy a PC, but god damn it I did it, AND I'D DO IT ALL AGAIN, Y'HEAR?!

EDIT I ran the first of my benchmarks and stress tests today, running everything at stock speeds prior overclocking. On Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0 this build scored 2631! Which I am very impressed with!

Edit Edit Overclocking my CPU by only 500MHz to 4.0GHz I increased my CPU score in Passmark by one hundred. And with this TX3 Evo on the 8320 my temps are great!

Parts and Explaining myself:

After considering a low end i5 processor like the 4440 or the 4460 and having to make a substantial sacrifice in another important area such as GPU, I decided after a recommendation from a friend and some research to go with a mid-tier AMD FX series CPU, the FX 8320. This gives my system the computing power to do what I need without issue, and offers significant overclock potential that I fully intend to take advantage of in the near future with an aftermarket cooler. All for a price far lower than even the lower level Intel i5 CPU's! Even if it does under perform in areas like single core operations, and uses more power.

Standard Gigabyte 970 chipset motherboard, good features for the budget price and quite capable. Would really have liked a more expensive Mobo with more features and better VRM's, but it was not within my budget.

Good ol' fashioned Kingston DDR3 1866 8GB RAM, heat-spreader looks sleek and cool.

1TB Seagate storage, nice and simple, 7200RPM. Would have liked to include a 120GB SSD in the initial build, but couldn't quite fit it in for budget reasons.

Now, the GPU I debated long and hard over... obviously the advantage of getting a cheaper card in a budget build is that it can later be upgraded and switched out. Initially the 750 Ti seemed like a great option for budget gaming, but I yearned for more power! Finally ended up going with this ASUS GTX950, new and shiny, I look forward to seeing what I can get out of this card benchmark wise. This Graphics Card will be enough for my current 1080p gaming needs, & at only £20 more than a 750 Ti. Also this card uses only 90W, low compared to most everything at or above its level, which matches well with my hot-running power hungry AMD CPU. It does warm up to just around the 70 degree mark, and at full speed the fan is noisy, but that doesn't really happen.

Simple cheap case from Corsair with some decent features (some bad), the Spec-01. Would have liked to fork out a little more for a case, but at a low price this thing gets it done (with a few close shaves) for ATX mobos and internals. I love how it looks and the side panel is a great cool-factor feature. With a little effort I feel like I cable managed this rig quite well, and to reward my efforts I consider this to have good airflow.

Solid built 500W EVGA PSU, 80+ efficiency rated, non-modular. Admittedly an area I tried to shave some money off in, but these Power Supplies are well made and EVGA use quality components. Nice and safe for my relatively low power consumption build.

Cooling and airflow wise I decided to go with an overall posi pressure inside the case, to try and keep as much dust out. I used two 120mm Cooler Master fans with good CFM airflow and a 120mm Corsair fan came installed in the case, all with nice Red LEDs, these are great and run nice and quiet as long as they are at low or middling speeds. I also had two extra fans around that I could use so I thought "screw it." (pun intended) and put those in as well.

Bought a cheap K/M off Amazon, fully intending to get better ones later. Also purchased a set of HyperX Cloud headphones, and they're great! 10/10 would recomend.

So there it is, my induction into the PC master race, I look forward to many years of glorious superiority. I encountered issues along the way but I learnt so much! Any questions, feel free to leave them. ;-}

Part Reviews


Fantastic CPU, hasn't broken a sweat yet in the tasks and stress tests I've put it to. With a good mobo, solid cooler and the right adjustments of voltages and frequencies you have so much headroom with this Processor. Without even touching the voltage I had 4.0GHz stable at 44 degrees w/ 100% load. Passmark scores for this chip say the rest, beastly. And although single core performance struggles in comparison to Intel Core series chips it compensates in other areas.

CPU Cooler

Great little cooler, I have an FX 8320 OC'd to 4.0GHz and it very rarely rises above 45-47 degrees centigrade. Excellent for the price and very small in comparison to many other coolers. Second best in its class.


Good solid, cheap, budget mobo. Good features, USB 3.0 headers, good I/O features (I/O shield is a little cheap but w/ever.) Three fan headers + CPU fan, Great on board audio in my opinion. Something to bare in mind is the power phase of this motherboard, it only uses 4 +1, this means it is NOT good for overclocking as the board cannot handle large increases in voltage. The mobo is very important for OCing, but for non OCing purposes this is fine. BIOS is decent enough.


It is RAM and it is not rubbish. Good RAM pats RAM. I know there is never much to say about RAM but this is genuinely great for the price range.


It's no SSD obviously but it's quick for a HDD at 7200RPM, no issues yet and good price per GB. Not too loud either, though if your concerned about how loud your storage will be you should really be looking at backup drives and SSD's.

Video Card

I have to say this is a solid little card! Using only one fan for cooling and a heat sink half the size of that of a full card this gets up to 71 degrees whilst gaming, boost clock goes all the way to 1.2GHz. Got it because it was only £120 (I'm extremely salty about U.S. GPU prices.) Not sure about overclock potential for the aforementioned cooling reasons, but it runs well for 1080p budget gaming. Score of 4982 on Passmark PerformanceTest 8.0.


Like many others I have mixed feeling on this case. So I won't faff about, I'm starting with the problems, things you need to bear in mind when building, things that could make your life difficult (especially if you're a first time builder); Only 1cm of space behind the motherboard tray for cable management & zero to no space at the top of the case, this will lead to problems if you ever want to run a cable such as CPU power through after you've mounted the mobo. The PCI mount at the back of the case is a bad design, there's a reason most case manufacturers use the design they do on the inside of the case, this makes inserting your GPU(s) more complicated than it needs to be. Okay, that's enough complaints, Pros; The case has good airflow, its quiet with the right configuration of fans and cooling. Looks cool, the window in the left side of the case provides a good view to all the juicy innards of your machine. Dust filters on the front fan placings & PSU intake (on bottom of case). Plenty of space inside, drive trays & slots to run wires through & ITS CHEAP(try and get it for under £40)! Relatively so, anyway. Probably the largest selling point of this case. Just be wary, a good case makes a BIG difference

Power Supply

Great price for a good quality non-modular 80+ rated Bronze PSU. Mesh sleeving on cables was decent enough for protection, not particularly pretty and not colour coordinated, but hey. No coil whine and the fan is nice and quiet (at least i think so).

Case Fan

Great fans for the price for general use inside a case, extremely loud at high RPMs, for example running off a 12v 3pin molex supply. LED's decent enough, nut super bright or anything.

Comments Sorted by:

Iceman320 1 Build 4 points 41 months ago

I would call you a Smeg head but your build is too cool, nice cable management, good part selection, and good performance for money spent.

You sir earned my +1 :)

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 3 points 41 months ago

haha, thanks! Glad someone noticed the Red Dwarf reference :)

Iceman320 1 Build 3 points 41 months ago

I just glad someone else knows about Red Dwarf haha, I can count the people I know have watched it on my hand

Such a good show

Baddmint 5 Builds 2 points 41 months ago

Red Dwarf and a Onepiece fan you my man have great taste.

Iceman320 1 Build 2 points 41 months ago

:D glad you think so

detechtive 2 points 41 months ago

I researched my metaphorical balls off

I'm sure that you will notice that your research pays off in the end!

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago


Baddmint 5 Builds 2 points 41 months ago

Nice build dude and you didn't need an IQ equivalent of 9000 PE teachers to build it :).

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

haha, thanks! and I like the reference! ;)

MacHooper 1 Build 2 points 39 months ago

Not enough SSD's 3/10 ;)

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 2 points 39 months ago


vekspec 3 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

that's quite expensive for a gtx 950. for $200, I think it would have been better to go with a gtx 960.

other than that it looks good! :)

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

Completely agree that price to performance wise most higher end cards are better value for performance, but GTX960's being priced at about £155 here in the UK average, I just didn't think I could justify the boost in performance for the money on a budget. :)

vekspec 3 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

oh ok, last time I saw the part list it said the 950 was $211 lol, so that's why I thought it cost the same as the 960 :)

floridaboz 4 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

Good job for the budget you had to spend on it.

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 2 points 41 months ago


FLuXX_PwR 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

How does that 950 work for you? I'm looking into a budget build for my friend and I'm contemplating a few setups

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 2 points 41 months ago

I'll be sure to let you know when I've done some benchmarks and stress tests, man! :)

FLuXX_PwR 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

Thanks :)

Gamertaghere17 1 point 41 months ago

Might make this build myself but would I be able to switch the GeForce GTX 950 2gb for a MSI AMD R9 380 win no problems in the long run?

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

I wouldn't copy anyone's build exactly, putting your own build together with a little research and studying what other people have done gives you a much better learning experience and better overall knowledge in the end. There are lots of forums and suchlike to ask questions at,Tomshardware, LinusMediaGroup, reddit.com/buildaPC etc...

cheetum 1 point 41 months ago

Hey still kinda new to this XD is this computer good for gaming XD? i mainly play CS:GO and LOL can anyone tell me the fps this computer will have on high setting?:) might build this lol (first time building)

Thebudgetguy 1 point 41 months ago

I also have a budget around 500 dollar and want to build a gaming PC would you recomend directly copying your build or is it better make some changes

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

I would absolutely recommend making changes that cater better to your needs. I left some things out that i didn't feel like I needed like an SSD, I would do as much research as possible to find out whats best for you. Also prices in the US are a little different to prices in the UK, so take that into account with certain builds.

Jeffscrub 1 point 40 months ago

Considering going for the build, just wondering if there was anything ( other than a monitor) you would recommend to add

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

I would recommend doing research on a good build for your needs, as this probably isn't it. Shop around, take a look at other builds in your price range, find out what you would favor in a build.

bluesyasian 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

How are you liking it so far? My build will have the same CPU, GPU, and motherboard so I'm sure we'll both have similar performance.

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

I was very pleased with this as my first build. Do you plan on doing any serious/semi-serious overclocking?

bluesyasian 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Possibly but I haven't thought about a cooling rig if I were to do so. Would a couple good fans and/or a better than stock heat sink be enough if I were to do some mild overclocking? Also just on stock settings, do you find that your rig gets hot? Again right now I just have whatever fan comes with my case.

SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

It's all in my build description... somewhere, haha, it's a bit long. This Mobo doesn't really handle overclocking well at all, But I have mine overclocked to 4GHz (FX 8350 speeds) with a TX3 Evo cooler and a mix of case fans inside, my temps never go above 50 degrees Celsius. which is good for air cooling on AMD. My GTX 950 heats upto 72-73 degrees in long gaming sessions, which is kinda warm but okay for a GPU. Hope this helped, man. :)

bluesyasian 1 Build 2 points 40 months ago

Cool thanks. Yeah if I were to overclock it wouldn't be over 4 so I have an idea of what I should get.

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SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

CS:GO was the first game I bought, haha. I maxed all video settings, turned anti-aliasing and FXAA off and without altering my GTX950 at all - at 1080p - I had about average of 180FPS. It's not a very intensive game & nVidia cards handle it very well.

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SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

If you do not plan on running intensive tasks you do not need the parts i have chosen, honestly my CPU is overkill, you could use an Intel Core i3 or a Pentium series CPU and get results just as good, put the money you save in that are into a better case for your needs or a cooler/faster graphics card. and thanks

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SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

This appears to be far more suited to your needs, the more research you do the more you will find out, man. Best of luck!

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SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

I don't play either of those games, no. Yet to get any intensive games for PC.

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SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Ah, it's fine man! No, I don't do any video editing at the moment, though I imagine a well overclockled, correctly cooled 8320 would handle such a task gracefully. Eight cores at a low price is sort of one of its big selling points.

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SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

Thanks! :p

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SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago


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SomeJoker submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

haha, thanks!