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The Cheapstake Gamer: $1000 with a Radeon R9 290

by friedfacekkk



Date Published

Sept. 11, 2014

Date Built

Aug. 27, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

3.6 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

947 MHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5 GHz


CPU: It was a great deal. An i7 for only $250. Picked it up via MicroCenter. CPU usage never exceeds 35%. Getting great performance.

Motherboard: No need to get a Z87/Z97. The only regret I have with the board is that I didn't get a H87 or H97. Great expansion potential for the price.

Memory: Great memory. Cheapest one I could get.

Hard Drive: Nothing too special, great value at $45. Will consider getting another 1tb drive and an SSD in the near future.

Graphics card: Very beastly, can play any game at 1680x1050 with Vsync and Anti Aliasing on to the highest settings and still get at least 45fps. It does get really noisy, so that's a drawback of the card. Not planning to CF the cards.

Case: Has USB 3. That's the only pro about the case.

Power supply: 80+ gold efficiency and 650 watts, not a bad deal at all. Will support my card under full load just fine.

Optical Drive: Meh, who cares? It was cheap and that's that.

Operating System: Went with Windows 8 because of more future support. Decided to get 8 because I heard that Microsoft will be phasing out mainstream support of Windows 7 soon.

Cable management is horrid, but you don't know bad until you see my old Compaq.

Comments Sorted by:

xx116xx 3 Builds 10 points 56 months ago

Have fun with that case? LOL I hate it. So terrible to build in. Aside from that, nice rig! +1

EDIT: To anyone else who views this, don't comment about the cables. There is literally nowhere to put them.

ITneto 4 points 56 months ago

Finally someone who can build a balanced machine with a i7 and a r9 290 for only 1,000 dollars, and you come here to talk about the case.


EDIT: I know this case doesn't offer a good cable management.

Euphemia 1 point 56 months ago

I heard some bad things about it, but I never thought it would be that bad.

xx116xx 3 Builds 4 points 56 months ago

It is bad. I swore never to work with a Thermaltake case again (of course I did 5 days later), but I strongly dislike them.

bdjenkin 1 point 56 months ago

I bought the same exact case for my first build. Also would not recommend. There is not room for a 120mm radiator in the rear.

[comment deleted by staff]
MainManMilez 5 Builds 1 point 56 months ago

Nah I actually liked building in mine, and as a budget case it has a lot of stuff. It's a budget gaming build and I think it's great for the price.

zachar954 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

well if you like it that's the important thing, Oh also the first paragraph of your description basically was the same situation I was in XD

Every1LoveEvery1 1 Build -6 points 56 months ago

He literally didn't try to manage the cables in the slightest, I've seen builds even on this site that can make this case look half decent. He just threw it all in and left it.

Don't blame the case

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

It's a first build. So the cable management isn't exactly going to be great. Or you're just getting paid by the designers by the case.

xx116xx 3 Builds 1 point 56 months ago

Heck, I built in that case and it looked better. But it was my second build and I knew what I was doing, plus I took A LOT of extra time to do it. To make things look neat in this case would take HOURS UPON HOURS.

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Yep. Not really worth the effort unless you're a cable management wh0re.

You know what the 0 stands for.

xx116xx 3 Builds 2 points 56 months ago

That's me! lol

Euphemia 1 point 56 months ago

You fumbled a bit with the motherboard, but all in all, this is some good bang for the buck. The hard drive could have been better with a WD Blue, which is faster and only costs ~$7 more. And, erm, is that resolution in the last picture your main monitor's resolution? If it is, then you should change that ASAP. It's a waste to have a good build and not use it's potential. The cable management god will condemn you if you don't please him, so get to it! Again, aside from those caveats, nice build. +1

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Can't do much about cable management with the case. I might consider stepping up to 1440p as well. Thanks anyways!

Euphemia 1 point 56 months ago

It'd be a good idea, yes. The PB278Q is a solid monitor, if you're okay with an IPS panel.

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Thanks for the advice. I might pick up a better monitor during Black Friday. :3

Starlbound 1 point 56 months ago

Nice build. Caught my eye because we had almost identical builds (budget builders ftw).

Just one question. Was there a particular aspect that drew you to the i7? Admittedly, I chose to go with a Radeon 7870 card (just before the R7s and R9s arrived) while you went with a high end R9, so you might have just wanted the super power, but I used the FX-6300, a hexacore CPU for over $100 less, and haven't noticed a frame drop in any of the brand new games I'm playing. Haven't actually measured the FPS so that might show more of a drop than I am percieving.

Anyway, noticing that all of your other equipment suggests at a budget build, why the i7?

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 3 points 56 months ago

Only $250 at Micro Center. Why not?

OM2556 1 point 56 months ago

Source 210/Elite craps all over that case, I would suggest it as an immediate upgrade.

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Not worth it. Already spent good money as a case, so why get only a marginally better case and spend another $50-60? Better yet, if I said that the case is troublesome, why would I go through the trouble of getting my parts out just to place it in a case that's easier to work with? I'll definitely try not to scrimp next time I build, but there's no point in getting another case where I already am.

Technowhiz123 1 Build 0 points 56 months ago

I like my Enermax Ostrog Case. I didn't pay $60.

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 0 points 56 months ago

Cool. Glad you're liking your case. Aside from the horrible experience building the PC in the case, the case is actually pretty nice to look at. Has a little side windows and looks pretty slick.

weastbird 1 point 56 months ago

I like the look of that case of course! But i got that case and there's no room for corsair fans... no air flow...

Edit: I was looking for a new case and you should look a that one http://www.corsair.com/en-us/carbide-series-400r-mid-tower-case

https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-case-400r I know the price is double but it double the possibilities

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Not to mention, believe it or not, it has surprisingly good airflow in my PC. The case has special little holes in it just for airflow.

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 0 points 56 months ago

Thanks but I'm not buying another case. Not really worth the extra money or the hassle by this point.

Vorago 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Even though your Valley bench isn't exactly 1080p, it's pretty damn close and it makes me sad to see because my 780 that I paid $500 for doesn't do $150 more than that 290. ):

chuck216 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

You can avoid running the 4 pin power cable over the GPU by doing what I did, running the cable under the GPU between the back of the case and the PCIe connector.


friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

Thanks for the info. I will take your advice next time I build or when I upgrade my gpu.

Mercider 0 points 56 months ago

There's nothing cheap about this.

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Cheap considering it has an i7 and R9 290. Put that into consideration bro.

TheTerminator 0 points 55 months ago


friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago


TheTerminator 1 point 55 months ago

the cables...

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

Yeah I'm aware of that. I can fix it when I upgrade.

CoyoteUglyy -1 points 56 months ago

I like the comp.minus the ram with no heat spreader and case, but the peripherals need an upgrade now.

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Peripherals? As in what? The keyboard/mouse and monitor?

CoyoteUglyy 1 point 56 months ago

yeah your Monitor cant even get close to using the power of a 290, you spent 1000 dollers on a build but not a screen that can use any of it and as for keyboard and mouse idc thats all up to you. i love my cherry red board (100) dollars and my death adder

friedfacekkk submitter 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

Should I get 1440p? I've really been considering upgrading to that.

CoyoteUglyy 1 point 56 months ago

its up to you i love the Asus VG248QE its 144hz 24in and I use it for gaming and then I bought another 24in with an ips display so i could multi task while gaming.

If you went for 1440p monitor the cost of getting one thats over 60HZ is redic and lots of games dont scale past 1080 so theres no point

Euphemia 3 points 56 months ago

Practically all modern games support 1440p as far as I know.

LeeTheNinja 1 point 56 months ago

The QX2710 can be overclocked over 60hz plus it's pretty much the cheapest 1440p monitor at ~$325. But yeah I haven't really heard of that many games not supporting 1440p. At least not enough to justify not upgrading.

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