Description

I built this PC to be used in my living room as a "console" replacement. Obviously it can do a lot more than run games, but that use case was the primary driver in a few of the design requirements:

1) Had to be a small case that would look OK in the living room- no glowing alien head cases the size of a Dalek from Dr. Who would fit here... My wife would get mad. 2) Had to have reasonably good performance to play current games at decent framerates. 3) Had to be upgradable. 4) Had to be reasonably priced (between 500 and 700 US dollars.

I think I met all design goals- plus I got a lot of parts on sale during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. All parts listed here fit with no issues; The motherboard attached to all 4 board standoffs without issues. The GPU fits without struggle. Plenty of room using the Corsair modular power supply. The processor, RAM, and GPU were all readily recognized by the motherboard. All connectors (HDD led, Power switch, reset switch, chassis and cpu fan, etc.) just worked without having to rig anything up. The case appears to be of pretty good quality! No complaints, and the price was right! It came with thumb screws for the top cover, extra screws for mounting everything (at least enough to mount two HDDs or SDDs, with the rubber mounts, etc.)

Here are a few notes: 1) The HDD led connector is marked for + and -, as is the motherboard. No worries about getting this mixed up. Same with power on light connectors. Reset and Power switch each connect to the pins marked reset and power, and that pin's neighboring GND pin. So, power gets a power and a GND pin, reset gets a reset and GND pin. 2) I did not use the stock chassis fan that came with the Cooler Master case- it appears to be just a standard 120mm fan, black in color, not lit (no leds), and cooler master brand. It appeared to come with a few connector options. I used a Thermaltake Riing (not a typo- two i's) 120mm fan that has a blue led ring- it looks nice, and makes it easy to see if the fan is spinning. 3) The chassis fan connector for the fan I used only has three pins, where the motherboard has a 4 pin connector for chassis fan. However, the connector has a recessed part on it, so it will only fit onto the pins 1 way- which is the correct way! No worries! 4) I didn't plan it this way, but it worked out that all parts are black with blue accents, or just black, or just blue- looks nice! I did pick the blue color for the Thermaltake fan. I didn't list that fan in this build, because the case came with a 120mm fan which is essentially the same, just not lit. 5) The Intel processor came with a heatsink fan which, since I am not overclocking, appears to be just fine. There is enough clearance between the heatsink fan and the power supply that there is no concern whatsoever- there is plenty of room. Also, the heatsink came with thermal compound on it.

Overall, this appears to be a nice running machine. PCpartpicker did a great job of helping me pick things that would work together- I double checked everything by downloading manuals and specs for each part I was going to buy online, but it all checked out. Between the front fan pulling air in, and the power supply pulling air off the motherboard and exhausting it out the back, the CPU fan/heatsink, and the two GPU fans- I do believe this machine has plenty of cooling. So far- CPU temp has been pretty stable at 34-35C, mobo at 28C, GPU at 25C (these temps all while the machine is just browsing the web... I've yet to benchmark, stress test with heavy gaming, or optimize fan speeds, etc.) I will comment back with some FPS data once I have it.

EDIT I've since added a 1TB 7200 RPM 3.5" drive, from Western Digital- their "Blue OEM" drive- cost me 45 bucks. The added storage is a huge bonus- as I can move most things to the HDD-saving the SSD for system and some apps that require speedy I/O.

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Comments

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

nice build! the case handles the heat well. i have a similar mid-tower build with CoolerMaster T4 CPU fan and 3 case fans, i5-4460 never reach 40C in winter under 70%-90% workload for gaming and MSI GTX960's thermaltake fans hardly spins until it reach 60C under full workload.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the gpu and RAM choice but what is the resolution of the monitor? DO you have enough storage with the single SSD?

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm assuming 720p.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Not bad, but 120GB of storage does fill up quite quickly..

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes indeed! I have a 1TB Western Digital Blue 7200 RPM HDD to put in it as soon as it comes in the mail.. Think it was like 45 bucks on cyber monday?

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Dang 16GB for $60 is insane!

I'd suggest getting a 1TB drive soon cause 120 GB is gonna run out really quickly

Overall, nice build +1

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

It would have been better for the power supply to flip it so that it would pull cool air from the top of the case. It probably doesn't matter too much though so it's fine leaving it the way it is. I used the same motherboard and I had a little trouble installing the wifi card. Overall, good build!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, I thought about the P/S placement for a while.. Ultimately, I decided that since there was a vent at the top of the case, and the HDD and SDD go right under it, that any drive heat could rise out of the case, and that I could maximize airflow past the processor heat sync if I positioned the P/S intake fan down... But, you've got me thinking.. If I hadn't already zipped up the wires inside, I'd take some temp measurements with the P/S in the other position, and compare..

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Though I find it a bit comical that your pc and monitor are like the same size lol

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh- I should have mentioned, the monitor in that picture was just to get the system up- I'm using my living room with TV with this rig, for gaming.. 1080p.. :-)

Shucks, that old Samsung in the pic is really small (15" I think?) and makes the computer look bigger than it is...