Order Placed: AMD FX-8320E, Noctua NH-D15, Zotac GTX 750 Zone Edition

Recently swapped out the internals on the Cooler Master HAF XB. Previously, the case was used to house a cryptocurrency mining rig. Once GPU mining was no longer profitable, it sat unused for a time, before I decided that it might be fun to use my old AMD64 setup. It turns out that this was a poor fit for Windows 7, and the decade-old hardware ran like molasses.

So out from the closet came a barebones AMD AM3+ setup: ASRock 970 Extreme4, married to a pedestrian 4GB DDR3-1600 and a stale AMD Sempron 145. Still too slow.

I decided then to build atop the capable motherboard with a set of energy-efficient components. This rig will be quiet, bordering on silent. It will not play the latest games at maxed out settings, but it will perform most functions quite happily.

A more detailed writeup on my new AMD AM3+ build will come. Until then, here are the parts that I am getting in:


I chose an AMD FX-8320E (~$139, Amazon.com). It has a low TDP at 95W, and has all the overclocking potential of its 125W predecessor, the FX-8320. Guru3D offers a comprehensive review of the processor for those interested. The major factors influencing my selection here were efficiency and price.

CPU Heatsink

I selected the Noctua NH-D15 (~$99, Amazon.com) based on glowing reviews. Noctua’s heatsinks are the gold standard in air cooling, and the flagship NH-D15 sets the bar once again. The NH-D15 was being offered at the same price as the NH-D14, so naturally the NH-D15 won out in the parts billing. The cooler is probably overkill for the FX-8320E at stock clockspeeds, so overclocking will be a definite possibility.


The Zotac GTX 750 Zone Edition (~$119, Amazon.com) found its way into my build for its novelty and overall value. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 is a decidedly middle-of-the-road graphics card, and that’s fine for this machine. The Zotac GTX 750 Zone Edition is entirely fanless, and the cooler keeps temperatures well within reason under load.