I use this PC for gaming. It runs incredibly well. At 1080p, it can run most games at a consistent 60 fps while in High to Ultra settings.
Building everything went smoothly for the most part. I was annoyed, however, that I could not fit the radiator on top of the case. The 530 has a little attic you could say, which is perfect for a radiator. My plan was to put the radiator in this attic with fans underneath it in the exhaust position, but this was not possible. At least, I wouldn't have been able to screw in every screw. The 530 does not seem to be optimized for the H100i. Instead, I put the radiator inside the case and put the fans on top of it in the exhaust position, pulling air through. Though I never tried it, it seemed really tight to put the radiator fans within the case with the radiator installed.
It was difficult to get a read on whether exhaust or intake was best for the radiator fans. I went with exhaust because its seems more important to have good airflow within the case then provide the radiator with some fresh air. I also do not have a screen to prevent dust.
I can't decide if I want to put an intake fan on that open side panel. It seems like it would disrupt the front 200mm fan's flow, but I do think it would make the case look a lot nicer, as that open space exposes the cables coming from the PSU. If anyone has an opinion on this side fan, let me know please.
The cable management was very easy. I also took out all the HDD trays except one, which really allows that front fan to flow nicely. However, in an attempt to tidy up the cables even more I ended up ripping one of the cables for the front panel's HD audio. Anything plugged into the front panel audio now sounds like crap. When I switched to the back panel, the sound was incredibly low. Either the MSI z97 has terrible sound or my particular board is screwed up. I went crazy trying to change settings, but eventually just invested in a sound card. Wow! It is incredible I must say.
For the lights I am using the NXZT Hue RGB Controller. I just installed it. Its not as bright as I had imagined, but its nice. I might look into some different types of lighting in the future. If anyone has a suggestion for a brighter interior, let me know.
Let me know if you have any feedback or questions regarding the parts.
So far, this cpu has been a vast improvement over the FX 8320. I had the 8320 overclocked to 4.3 Ghz and this i5 has outperformed it completely without any overclock. I no longer have frame drops where I once did. I also feel that the computer is generally running smoother, but I refreshed Windows so its hard to tell whether this is the cpu. As far as gaming goes though, which is why I bought this cpu, it has been performing beautifully.
I have yet to really test this cpu cooler with an overclock. So far, with the i5 4690k running at 3.5, idle temps have been about 32 and during a game they only go to about 44. Eventually, I am planning on doing a light 4.0 overclock and I'm sure this cooler will perform well. The installation was really easy.
This has been great at everything except sound. I had my speakers plugged into the back audio panel and they were very low. I read some other reviewers who had similar issues. I could not solve the problem so I just decided to get a sound card. Now the sound is phenomenal, so I guess it really was the board. I updated all my drivers and messed with a number of different options, nothing worked. It could be the board in general, or my particular board. I am glad though that I was pushed to buy a sound card. The very inexpensive ASUS Xonar DGX is great.
No problems what so ever.
Long load times, but it is an HDD. Seems great at what it does, not much to say.
Mind blowing performance over the 770. Very quiet as well, and I like that the fans are not constantly going, but even when they do start spinning it is hard to tell. I haven't tested the VRAM usage. I am so pleased with the performance on games that I don't really see the need.
Looks incredible. Has a lot of space. I am annoyed that the HDD trays can only be installed by removing the right panel (when facing the front). I am also confused and irritated about this side fan opening. Wouldn't a side fan disrupt the flow of the 200mm front fan? The thing seems useless to me and only ruins the overall aesthetics. The roof of the case is a pain to remove, but doable. I really like that feature. I also love how the disk trays are hidden. The case is rather large and lets itself be known, so doubt buy it if your looking for something subtle. Overall, very satisfied with this purchase.
Just got this today and even though I'm not using super high end speakers and headphones, the sound is miles better than the motherboard. I feel like I can hear more sound, a lot of little nuanced sounds, like the way bullets hit against a wall, or rain drops smack upon the ground. Could be psychological, but I showed a few more people and they were very impressed. Definitely worth the 40 bucks.
I really wasn't expecting much from a monitor under $200, but this is absolutely stunning. The color seems so rich and accurate. I can't game on my TV any more, which was double the price of this. Very satisfied. I recommend it to anyone gaming at 1080p with 60 fps.