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Blue Sapphire

by phdguy



Date Published

Oct. 5, 2015

Date Built

Oct. 2, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

49.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.01 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C


Hey Everyone,

After playing console games all my life, I decided to make the switch PC. After months of researching about parts and asking lots of people on the forums here for help, I finally made it! I spent months going back and forth between the GTX 970 and R9 390, but I finally settled on team red as I think it's better performance/dollar on the market right now.

The actual build went pretty straightforward. It took me about 4 hours to put everything together, including trying my best at cable management. I've always loved how awesome blue LEDs look in computer cases so I decided to center my build around that. The rest of the parts just fell into place with my $1500 budget. I still feel like I have so much to learn about optimization, overclocking, etc. so feel free to give me any comments or feedback to help. It would be greatly appreciated!

I just want to thank everyone for all the help in this build! It was so much fun to put everything together. Long live the master race!

Part Reviews


So far so amazing! I've heard this was one of the best CPUs for gaming, and since that's all I plan on doing on this PC, it was a perfect fit. I can't wait to overclock it!

CPU Cooler

Pretty easy installation, and it seems to keep my CPU cool so far. This is probably the only part in my build I'm not 100% sure about, but I was tired of seeing H100s everywhere so I decided to try this out.


Awesome MOBO that has all the features I want. I still need to tinker around with some BIOS settings, and the colors could have been better suited to my build. I got this as a gift though, so I can't complain, right?


less than 10 second boot? Yes please! I love this thing, and 250 GB should be enough for most of my games and apps for some time.


1 TB for less than $50 seems like an awesome deal. I also partitioned the drive so I can have separate space for lots of different things.

Video Card

So far I love my purchase of this! I don't know if it's just me, but I find the back plate to be so sexy. Plus it is slightly OC'ed. I haven't pushed this that hard yet. I just ran a 3D mark test, and I was pretty impressed with the results. I downloaded TriXXX and started looking into overclocking. Does anyone know if I can manually control the fan speed on this GPU? I read online that they don't kick in until 60 C or above. According to Catalyst, my GPU hasn't even gone above 50 C in my case yet. I just want to make sure the GPU is functioning properly. If anyone knows anything about this, I would be forever grateful!


I freaking love this case! So much room for activities! I was never planning on adding and optical drive, and this case has lots of room for my massive GPU size. The cable management on the back made life so much easier. Plus is has sound dampening, and I can't really hear it at all with my headphones on. Highly recommended!

Power Supply

Was debating between this and the G2. I justified the price difference for this tier 2 unit instead of the tier 1 unit to be worth it. I love the semi-modular nature, and it still has a 5 year warranty. I hope tiny_voices will approve ;)

Operating System

Much better than Windows 8. I also have an Xbox so I'm excited to see what cross-functionality this generation of games will bring.


So far I'm very impressed with this monitor! I was debating between this and an IPS panel or the BenQ 1440p 144 Hz 1 ms. The budget nudged me towards this monitor, but I think it looks amazing. I plan to eventually upgrade to 1440p, but for now, this monitor gets the job more than done.

Comments Sorted by:

Dave702 3 points 43 months ago

Nice GPU more powerful than the gtx 970!

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Thanks! I have really been loving it so far. Hopefully DX12 only means more good things for it too :)

xIFoxes 2 points 43 months ago

Love the GPU #TeamRed

jvpcpp 2 points 42 months ago

Great build!+1 but for a $1500 budget you could have fit in as i7 4790K and a GTX 980 ti:http://pcpartpicker.com/p/qFtzD3 but still great build!

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Thanks! I really appreciate it! I like that build too, and I probably will do something very similar to that if/when I upgrade. I've never built a PC before this though so I had to factor in a monitor/Windows/peripherals. Those can be expensive :(

johngerges582 1 point 43 months ago

Excellent build +1.

As I was looking at your motherboard, I was gonna say you could have gone ASUS z97-AR which is basically the z97-a in a greyish black.

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Thank you sir! I really wish I had found that motherboard earlier. It would have looked much better with my blue/black build. Luckily my massive 390 blocks the Asus logo =p

johngerges582 1 point 43 months ago

Well there are also ASROCK motherboards that have black/blue themes such as this

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Yeah they does look much better all in blue. I guess that means I'll just have to build another one, right? ;)

th3legitbeast 1 point 43 months ago

Nice build! I really like the blue light

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Thanks! I really appreciate it!

jonesmbarry 1 point 43 months ago

Looks great, nice build!

Vergere 7 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

Good research means good parts!

BigAll 5 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

Very nice, you did your research well and got a very good rig out of it. Congrats

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Thank you very much! I really appreciate it. :)

Vigomi 2 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

Completely agree with you on the back plate. I would personally find it hard to build a computer for myself without one on the Graphics card. Hows that cooler been treating you? What are the average temps while gaming?

Great build +1 for me.

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Thanks a lot! I'm so glad I held out for the back plate to come on this GPU. The cooler has been fine so far. I haven't been able to find a good app/way to monitor CPU temp while in game. Do you have any suggestions? On my BIOS, my CPU hasn't gone over 30 C yet...my GPU also hasn't gone over 50 C while gaming. Usually somewhere in the mid to high 40s so far.

Vigomi 2 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

Well assuming you don't have two monitors a good way to see both your CPU and GPU is with something like MSI Afterburning. It shows a graph over several minutes, or however long you set it to, and you can see them there. At least, thats what I would do. Also, I appreciate that you decided to try something different out aside from the common Corsair aio's.

tiny_voices 4 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

This looks great! Nice work and great parts list. If you don't mind me asking. What are you load temps for your CPU and what do you have it clocked at?

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Thank you very much! Of course I don't mind you asking. Since I was so excited to build it, I have not spent as much time researching overclocking yet. Right now it's at its stock clock speed, but I plan to read a lot this week and try to overclock this weekend. So far I've just been using RealTemp to monitor my CPU, and during games it's in the mid 40s. Do you have any suggestions for better software for monitoring/testing CPU load temps?

tiny_voices 4 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

I prefer CoreTemp and HWmonitor personally.

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions! I'll check both those out tonight :)

tiny_voices 4 Builds 1 point 43 months ago

No problem!

ApexVasii 1 point 42 months ago

Where did you buy the backplated version? Please answer!

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

I bought it off newegg.com. It says "w/ backplate" in the product title. Hope this helps!

LP_pro 1 point 41 months ago

For GOU overclocking use, MSI afterburner (works with evry GPU). You can control fan there too :). Nice buil btw.

phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 41 months ago

Thanks! I actually just downloaded MSI afterburner and have been experimenting with different overclocking settings to get the best results.

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phdguy submitter 1 Build 2 points 43 months ago

Haha you are welcome. The PSU is the most important part right?

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phdguy submitter 1 Build 1 point 43 months ago

Nice build! I love that case. If I ever decide to upgrade I want to do a black and white build with that case. Love it.

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