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Red Rig Showcase


Project Blackout (Define R4/FX-8370)


So this PC has a bit of history to the build that is kinda lengthy, so I've reduced it to short sentances.

Used to work in retail.
Customer bought this HP system.
Customer got virus.
Customer didn't want to pay for virus removal, would rather put the $ towards a new model.
GAVE me the PC.
Sat in my closet for a while, needing a GPU and a more powerful PSU before it would be capable of doing decent gaming.  Kinda forgot about it.
Friends learned of its existence when storytelling one day.
Friends bought me PSU for Xmas cuz they want me to play FFXIV with them.
Have to use their gift, would be rude if I didn't. 
Can't put it in an ugly case.  Bought a Sapphire R9-280 dual-x and the Fractal Define R4. 
Define R4 Blackout Edition was chosen because I wanted subtle lighting, so the smoke tinted window is ideal for a unique, subdued look.
Transplanted old mobo featuring some AMD Phenom 945 (I think) and 6GB of RAM to case.
****Plays FFIV for a while, it's awesome, I missed PC gaming so much (my last PC gaming system had an AMD Athlon 2500 I'd overclocked)****
Wife is jelly. 
Wants her own PC.
Built Brave Little Toaster for her that I posted to the showcase earlier with an FX-8350.
Now I'm jelly of wife's CPU, it's really fast!
Save $$ to buy new stuff.
Go on vacation to Texas Renfaire.  While there, bring lots of $ to Microcenter since my area doesn't have one.  The irony of going to Microcenter before going to a renfaire is not lost on me.
They're out of FX-8350s.  They have one 8370 left.....darn, guess I gotta buy that one. 
Buy new MoBo, CPU, RAM and cooler. 
FX-8370 is FAST. 
Decide to pretty up the case.
Add NZXT LED lighting.


Performance summary:
FX-8370 overclocked to 4.5 ghz on air cooled Evo 212.  Dual Phanteks static pressure fans feed the air straight into the exhaust.  Temp stays below 55c under load.
System is silent when the R4's fan controller is set to low, ideal for netflix and chill with the wife in bed.
System emits very low hum from CPU fans under full throttle when gaming.  Very pleased with its performance and silence despite the overclocked air cooled CPU.  HIGHLY recommend the Fractal Define series for anyone seeking a quiet, beautiful case with air cooling.


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CPUAMD FX-8370 @ 4.5 Ghz
CoolerCooler Master Evo 212 Hyper w/ dual Phanteks SP fans
MotherboardAsus M5A99FX Pro Rev 2.0
Memory8 GB DDR3 @ 1866
GraphicsSapphire R9-Fury
Disc Drive 1128 GB SSD
Disc Drive 21 TB HDD
Disc Drive 3{drive3}
PSU750W Antec Modular PSU
CaseFractal Define R4 Blackout Edition (windowed)
MonitorSamsung S27E390H
Tags (2)
9 Replies

Re: Project Blackout (Define R4/FX-8370)

Now that is a well put together rig! That lighting (RGB strips?) really looks great


Re: Project Blackout (Define R4/FX-8370)

Thanks, it's been a labor of love.  No detail has been overlooked, though I do wish I'd splurged on the R9-380 GPU.  Oh well, the 280 was pretty solid when I bought it and it's still keeping up fine on the games I play.  Maybe next year.

The lighting is an NZXT Hue kit.  Great purchase, but be warned the adhesive on the strip kinda sucks.  The Hue+ just got released which is software programmable and has magnetic backing.  It's super awesome, but also $60.

I looked specifically at fans with white blades/hub when buying for the cooler with the lighting in mind as they'll show up the color that I set the LEDs for, whereas normal black fan blades wouldn't "pop" like the white does.

Eventually I'll take a stab at doing the cable sleeving thing and tidying up a bit inside.


Re: Project Blackout (Define R4/FX-8370)

Awesome Rig! and very interesting story!


Re: Project Blackout (Define R4/FX-8370)

Additional funny story. Notice the CPU cooler in the top right corner looks different than in all the other pictures?

I had just received the static pressure fans from Phanteks as an upgrade; before I had Corsair AF quiet fans that weren't PWM controlled in place and I wanted to see how much of a difference in noise and performance static pressure fans would make.  So I ordered the Phanteks fans and put them in.

Shockingly, my thermals were initially worse!  In fact, my system was getting REALLY hot.  Maybe I knocked the heatsink loose when monkeying with the fans?

No, as it turns out, the side of the fan with the logo on it does NOT always indicate "intake side".  I'd inadvertently installed the fans backwards and was recirculating hotter and hotter air through the case.  Fortunately, as I was trying to compare these vs. previous fans I had hardware monitoring up and running so I figured out I had a problem AS it occurred and shut the system down at 65c (and climbing).

Once I figured out the fan problem (Phanteks actually puts directional airflow indicators on the fan housing, they're just difficult to see), thermals returned to normal and I was able to do a fair comparison.  The result?  The static pressure fans were not only quieter, as they were PWM controlled, but kept the system about 3c cooler.  Not a HUGE difference, but a measurable one.  Plus I liked the way these looked a little better.

Moral of the story:  Any time you're installing a cooling component or rearranging stuff or whatever, always monitor your temps upon booting to make sure it's working like you planned it to.  Also, the fan logo sticker does NOT always indicate "intake side".

Adept III

Re: Project Blackout (Define R4/FX-8370)

This lifestory in a nutshell.

Great rig

Adept II

Re: Project Blackout (Define R4/FX-8370)

What server are you playing FFXIV on? I'm on Famfrit.

Adept I

Re: Project Blackout (Define R4/FX-8370)

ebonclaw​ I loved what you wrote:

"I looked specifically at fans with white blades/hub when buying for the cooler with the lighting in mind as they'll show up the color that I set the LEDs for, whereas normal black fan blades wouldn't "pop" like the white does."

You're like the Michelangelo of rig builders! Kudos on your sweet rig!


Re: Project Blackout (Define R4/FX-8370)


Cactuar over here. 

Why did they decide to make the 3.1 patch come down the same day as Fallout 4?


Re: Project Blackout (Define R4/FX-8370)

Updated!  Full battlestation pics plus the addition of the Sapphire Fury R9 Fury-X I received from erin.maiorino​ and team for week 3 of the holiday giveaway.  This is a TREMENDOUS (12.1") video card that was easier to place in the system than a Fury X, plus it's dead quiet as the fans only spin under load vs. the Fury X's water pump,  Even under load, I've yet to see the fans crank past about 28%; it's actually quieter than my old R9-280, which is going to help out a buddy of mine.  I see 80+ FPS in pretty much any AAA game on Ultra settings @ 1080.  Framerates have doubled even with maxed out graphics settings vs the 280.  It overclocks juuuust enough to match the clockspeeds of a Fury X, so I'm really just missing a few shaders which I'll gladly trade for the silence.  I appreciate the little blue light of doom adding a touch of flair to my rig's lighting.  (It can be switched to red or off FYI)