Description

This is a dual-purpose machine I call the Dreamstarter. It runs Hackintosh for graphic and web editing, and Windows 8.1 for gaming and LAN party purposes. I just received my new cathodes (the first ones I ordered were slightly too long) and uploaded new pictures with those installed.

I may potentially overclock at a later date, however right now I am incredibly stoked and surprised at the performance. This rig boots in seconds, does nearly everything instantly, and rips through every game I've thrown at it, including Battlefield 4 on absolute max settings with an 80FPS low. What's more, it's a foot tall! Though probably just as heavy as most rigs, it is extremely small and therefore convenient to move around. I can't imagine being more happy overall with my purchase.

Unfortunately my motherboard featured many of its ports on the top left, and some of my cords are very hard pressed just to reach, let alone be properly hidden from view. I'm going to see what I can do about some of them, maybe getting extenders and wrapping them up to the right of the mobo and around. But I don't think they sell an extender for the bright blue usb 3 cord, so I'm trying to think about whether there's much I can do on that one.

====== Parts ======

CPU - i7 screams. Not much to say. Haven't had any lag in any operation so far. Haven't tried editing yet, but I'm sure it will kick ***. I want to get a new cooler early next year and maybe try OCing a bit, although I'm not sure how much I can get away with on a 500W PSU.

Mobo - Gigabyte was required for Hackintosh. This was the only Haswell, mini-ITX case besides the non-OC H87N. Not pleased with the location of USB 3 header, and some of the other pin locations. But no problems other than that.

RAM - No issues with this RAM. Giving me OCD that I only have one stick but I doubt it's affecting performance. When I start editing I will grab another 8.

SSD - First SSD. Screams! Boot time is ridiculous, and the games I have on their load nearly instantly. Very nice.

GPU - Wow. Wow wow wow. This thing is insane. I've yet to find anything that can bring it below 80FPS at 1080. I'm looking forward to picking up my 1440 monitor and seeing how it does with that (and, if it will let me, 3 monitor gaming).

Case - Absolutely loving the case. Was a really easy build, I'm pleasantly surprised with airflow and temps, they are very good. This thing looks sick, and it is absolutely tiny. Such power in such small space! The built-in 500W 80+ Gold PSU is extremely quiet. The inside is fully painted unlike some of the review models. Great build quality. They do get you with the proprietary parts -- $50 custom slim DVDRW and the included custom 80+ gold GPU -- but it really is a high quality case and the PSU is completely solid, if a bit overkill.

Monitors - I had the Hanns-G before and got the BenQ with this build. Just recently also picked up a Qnix QX2710 1440, my plan was to use my other two 27 inch monitors and do some triple monitor gaming. 27 inches is huge when multiplied by 3 lol, I can barely see the full range without turning my head. It might be too big. HOWEVER, I wasn't able to do any 3-monitor gaming because for whatever reason the QX2710, even though capable of running at 1080/60hz, doesn't show up as a 1080/60hz capable monitor to nvidia control panel. :( Might send the BenQ back if I can now that I know this.

Peripherals - Got all this Razer stuff a while back before the build. The colors match my new build very nicely :) Unfortunately this keyboard gives me extreme headaches with the driver software. Also, Razer has a bunch of dicks for support. The hardware is pretty good, but still I won't be buying any Razer products in the future. I'll probably replace these peripherals with Roccat or something some time down the road, but for now they work well.

OS - I run Hackintosh on a partition of the SSD and Windows 8.1 on the other. I am liking Windows 8.1 better than prior versions of Windows (never tried 8.0) but still not a huge fan. So many illogical design decisions and driver nightmares. It was literally easier to get OS X Mavericks working on this PC than it was Windows 8.1. Mavericks worked right away while Windows 8.1 required tweaking to get it to see my DVDRW so I could install drivers. But it's all good now. (I just hope I can figure out a clean way to not go through the entire process again when I get another SSD and have to shuffle things...)

Speakers - I got these Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers maybe a year ago, and they are ridiculously good sounding. The bass is booming, but can be turned all the way down. The treble is incredibly crisp. I love these speakers, they're the best I've ever owned by far. In the price range, I doubt you can beat them. If something happened to my speakers I would go right out and buy them again.

=====

Well that's about it! Please ask any questions, and share any suggestions!

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Comments

  • 76 months ago
  • 3 points

Great build!

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you :D

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

I have the same speakers, they are truly the best +1

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

I had been waiting for someone to make a build with EVGA Hadron Air case, it is also my goal to build one. However I have one question. Don't you have problems with overheating, due to lack of space and having GPU so close to PSU?

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

I was worried too, before I bought it! The PSU doesn't seem to generate much heat, and what it does it spits out the back. (It's incredibly quiet too.)

The graphics card is rear exhaust with intake fan. The fan hangs past the edge of the PSU, so it's getting lots of fresh air from the vent on the non-window side panel as well as underneath the case.

Since there isn't a whole lot of air in such a small space to begin with, the 2 120mm exhaust fans on top seem to be more than enough to create generally good airflow. My temps have all been looking quite normal.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you fit a GTX 780 Ti in there? it's 10.5" inch (aprox.).

  • 77 months ago
  • 6 points

Yes the TI should fit. I think it's the same size. Worst case scenario, if you bend/cut the metal lip you can get up to a 12 inch card in.

But you're not allowed to build one of these with a TI. Because you'll make me jealous!!

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello, I would just like to ask 2 questions.

How is your experience in regards to moving it around? I'm concerned of the components inside since I'll also be using it in my travels. Do you put it inside a "shake" resistant type of bag or somewhat.

Can an aftermarket cooler fit inside it or the only available cooling for it is to avail additional case fans?

I'm considering on building my first with almost the same spec except a lower tier GPU and CPU so I hope I get your insights about my inquiry.

Thanks.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, With regard to moving the case around, I have moved my PCs around for 10 years with no problems, so I don't do anything special. This one is so small and non-awkward that it is by far the easiest I've had to move, and easy to do so with significantly less risk. However the case came in some pretty nice fitted foam/cardboard that I may just fashion into a custom LAN bag that also carries a monitor and peripherals all in one hand.

As for the cooler, there are coolers besides stock that work, my research indicates that the best CPU cooler that will fit without custom modding would be the Noctua NH-U9B SE2, and I plan to get that soon but no OC plans for a bit. I know that with some work people have done H100s but it seems like a hassle and I worry about the general airflow without any case fans, though I have no numbers.

I encourage the build, I am loving this case! Good luck, let me know if you have other questions.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet build! Does the PSU provide enough power to that beastly 780 under heavy load? I am worried that if I get this with a GTX 770 and an i5 4670K (with max OC, probably going to be under 4.5 gHz), that the PSU won't be able to power it...

Again, I really like how it came out! I am totally jealous :P!

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh don't worry at all. Max TDP of a single 780 plus an i7 gives plenty of headroom. Case was mainly demoed with TITANs. The 780 TI might be the only card I'd worry about, since it doesn't have a Max TDP and allows you to overvolt quite a bit. You will have no worries whatsoever even close with a 770/i5.

I'm glad you like it! I just got a shipment of cords I ordered so that I could improve the cord mess I have going on in there. And hopefully I'll get a CPU cooler soon. I'll post pics when I make changes.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the advice! I will look forward to your build update, and will probably get something along the lines of an i5/770 or i7/780 for my build. I realize the i7 is a bit much for gaming, but my build is hopefully going to be a Photoshop/video making/number crunching/do-it-all type of machine.

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't think the i7 is overkill for gaming, granted most games can't make that much use of it, but still faster cores are faster cores. I like to have a ton of stuff open on my other monitors while I game so I think the i7 is worth it. Will also last longer. And, like you, I also use it for Photoshop and some limited video editing.

I definitely recommend the i7/780 route if you can stretch your budget, I mean if you're anything like me the computer is a huge part of your life, people pay $20,000+ for cars that they spend less time in.

  • 77 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, that is a good idea. I made multiple versions of the same build (currently dubbed the "Leviathan") on my profile, ranging from a reasonable $1600 build to an outrageous $2300 build with a 780 Ti. I guess I will choose when I save up, but the only reason the 780 Ti option is even there is to leave the option of triple monitor gaming open (I guess that could still work with the i7/780, but I am sure I'll have to tone things down).

I personally think that my i7/780 version of the build is the best too, as triple monitors would significantly raise the cost, which is high to begin with. And the 780 Ti is mighty overkill for this sort of thing, which is probably the biggest reason...

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

I used EVGA Step-Up and I'm in line to trade my 780 for a TI lol.

What is wrong with me XD

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

I've been looking for a good looking ITX case with a window. I also wanted to find some nice looking green LED fans. Thanks. I plan to use them in my build.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

The case is great, I love everything about it!

But, I'm really dissatisfied with the green LED fans. Sorry my rating was 4 star, but that was before one of them started clicking. Also the light they put out is really sad, as you can see in the later pics it is completely dwarfed by an 8 inch cathode (which fits perfectly up there, by the way).

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Check out the Enermax Vegas Trio http://www.enermaxusa.com/fan_uctvt12p.php

I plan on using them in my Hadron. I have the exact fan, minus the lights, in my current build and they are very nice. Going on 3 years now with no issues. Very quiet.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, good to know, but you're a day too late, I ordered some Cougar liquid-bearing ones. They had a lot of reviews saying they were super quiet and lasted a long time. I'm not too worried about the LEDs, my cathodes are good enough. If these have issues I will definitely consider those though.

[comment deleted]
  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Please update when you install the Noctua. I'm curious how good it works.

Tonight I completed almost the same build (GA-Z87N, i5 4670k and a gtx760) and ran into an issue with my cooler. I installed the EVGA ACX mITX cooler specifically built for the hadron and on the gigabyte board it blocks the PCI slot. So now i'm running the generic intel cooler until I can find a high performance one that will fit. (hopefully the Noctua)

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry to hear about the cooler! I was not sure about that cooler either. Dang, I sure hope the Noctua fits now that you mention it, I had seen it used with the EVGA board.

I will definitely update when I install. I'm kind of stalling because just before I got the Noctua I already installed new fans and did a lot of cable rerouting, now I have to undo it all lol. But I will definitely get to it soon...

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

I've contact EVGA's support and waiting to see if they have any suggestions with the EVGA ACX cooler. One idea I have is to put the fan on the opposite side of the cooler and set it to PULL instead of push. But I don't know how efficient that setup would be.

Hopefully EVGA will get back to me soon.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

You have the ACX? That's unfortunate, I think the reference cooler with the rear-exhaust is better for the case.

Well, I installed the U9B today. Unfortunately only the top fan would fit.

I'm not sure if the top fan on pull will be sufficient... the temps seem the same but I haven't put much load on it yet.

Updating with pictures in just a sec.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

I heard back from EVGA. Pulling is just fine with the cooler. Also from doing a little research it looks like the difference in temp between pushing and pulling is only a matter of 3 to 5 degrees. So I went and added it back in and have my i5 overclocked to 4.0ghz. I'm running upper 30s idle and upper 60c under load. Oh, and my GTX 760 ACX under load is only averaging in the 60s for temp. So no issue there.

Later today, i'm thinking of picking up some 4 pin Noctua 120 case fans. I need to double check their airflow rating, but I believe they're MUCH higher than the stock ones in the Hadron. Which hopefully means I'll feel comfortable overclocking higher. (i'm a noob to OC'ing)

(also i'll try and take some pics in the next day or two so I can post my build here on the site)

  • 75 months ago
  • 1 point

I thought, when I was researching, that the 3-5 degree difference was referring to if you have one fan pushing, there is a 3-5 degree difference when you also add another one pulling.

I might try pointing it at the back so I can fit both. It's no ideal but neither are my current temps...

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Check this build out. He used a Noctua C 14 minus one fan.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1438429/build-log-airborns-evga-hadron

Pics are past halfway down the page.

Possible option for you?

I am sooo wanting to make a Hadron build.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello thats one amazing build i was just wondering is the slim slot optical drive have to be the evga one ? Or can you use another slim slot optical drive by the way i live in Australia

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks glad you like! I wasn't able to find another compatible slim slot drive. The ones I found were oriented wrong. But I didn't try any others. Good luck with your build :)

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

plz help i need help : can i fit a Cooler Master Seidon 120V. in the EVGA Hadron or EVGA Hadron Hydro ?

  • 77 months ago
  • 0 points

how about Battlefield 4 playing? if good i want Build like you whit out one Monitor

  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

I've been playing BF4 and haven't seen it go below 80FPS, all on highest settings at 1080.

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  • 77 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, as noted the CPU heatsink will be replaced. Budget was pretty tight so I tried to save a little initial money on things that could easily be upgraded in the future.

1) Yes, but that isn't the only requirement for things like H100.

2) H100 doesn't fit in here without some serious case modding, which I have no experience with.

3) Just preference. It's a Hackintosh and I work in OS X. Also at the time I purchased this keyboard my computer was a Mac.

[comment deleted]
  • 77 months ago
  • 1 point

The 2 fans up top are the only fans. There is no rear fan mount. Even if it would fit in those fan mounts (which I'm not too sure on) I think the case needs at least some airflow. My plan was to get a Noctua air cooler. If taking away a fan affects the GPU temps even a little it's not worth it to me. I don't think there's need for a huge CPU overclock.

[comment deleted]
  • 77 months ago
  • 2 points

I appreciate the input but I'm not sure I understand why it is so important to you for me to have a liquid cooler. I just built this computer not a month ago and I'm super duper happy with this case, I don't see it as a nuisance at all, it's quite convenient. Moreover, I'm not even remotely sold on the 350D, it's massive, not at all in line with my needs, and I don't like the look of it.

I did more research on my case than any other part. I knew it wouldn't fit a water cooler without some work going in. A high CPU overclock was never even a small part of my goals. I don't plan to even bother OCing until a few years down the road. I'm incredibly happy with my case, it is good quality, absolutely tiny, the PSU in it is amazing, it looks sick, and it's ridiculously portable. There isn't a single non-custom case in the world I'd trade it for. Of all the parts in my build the case is the only one I haven't second guessed even for a moment. Overclocking the CPU is just not my priority, portability and even looks come before that.

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  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

The drive doesn't come with the case. Gotta grab one: http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=100-OD-S101-BR

If it's the reference design, which is better for this case anyway, then yeah it will fit.

Sounds like it will be pretty sick. Good luck, look forward to seeing it. I don't think you linked the right build list though? That doesn't match what you said at all :P

[comment deleted]
  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool. What's your main purpose for the build?

[comment deleted]
  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, cool. Might want to make sure all the games you want to play support those super wide monitors. I heard a lot of people got grief with them.

That Blu-ray won't fit the Hadron by the way. It's very particular... although I think I recall someone mentioning they found a blu-ray that would fit it.

Anyway should be a great build :)