Description

Return of the Gamer

1st time builder

Last year I bought an ASUS N55JK Laptop equipped with a Geforce GTX 850m. I decided it would be a good all-around Laptop for work and Play.

While I always considered strategy and role playing games to be my forte; I have gradually become more interested in games like BF4, GTA V, Bioshock , Far Cry , Skyrim etc. All requiring more demanding rigs to “fully enjoy”.

I do love the Laptop BUT I didn’t feel too good subjecting my work laptop to the high temps and the overall wear and tear that FPS’s can dish out on my hardware.

So, decided I needed a pure Gaming /media machine . I’d keep the Laptop for my work-related light stuff and occasional light gaming sessions on the go.

Main Requirements:

Portability- needed to be able to fit in a suitcase if necessary (I travel quite frequently)

Low heat / good ventilation- live in the tropics much of the year. (Scared of overheating. Had 2 computers die from it in the past.)

Air cooled- didn’t want to deal with liquid cooled since I hadn’t planned on overclocking. Also this is my first build ; didn’t want to over extend myself.

Intel cpu-- not a fan of AMD; high wattage=high heat.

Air filters- dust and heat work hand in hand to destroy electronics

GTX 970 – loved the reviews on this card. Low power, low heat, good performance= Had to get it!

It took me about 4 days to complete. Took my time and enjoyed almost every moment. Appreciate the whole build more because I put my own sweat into it. Used Youtube a lot for build guides during constructing….play, rewind, freeze etc

Case: 10/10:
After quite a bit of research/window-shopping on PCPP (fantastic site!) and a couple others like Overclockers and Tek syndicate I finally narrowed my case choices down to EVGA Hadron, Corsair 250D, Corsair 240air and the Raven. The Raven RVZ01B won out. I wanted all my case fans PWM controlled for the cooling. So since the case was a Silversone I decided outfit the case with aftermarket Silversone fans. Included fans kept for spare backup. Everything fit well inside. If you are planning a build with this case, do yourself a favor and get a MAGNETIC , PHILLIPS-HEAD SCREWDRIVER . Cable management is tricky and I know I need to improve on this personally for better airflow. At least there’s no window so it’s all out of sight. Wish the case had another air filter for the power supply. Attractive functional design. Great build quality. Get this case!

Motherboard 9/10: Research led me to the Asus H97i. . Apparently ASUS has a good reputation with their MoBo’s. Also, I needed a MoBo that had 3 PWM controllers for the 3 case fans on the case. I had a Wi-fi card laying around from a previous experiment so I didn’t go with the Z97i . Just installed a $6 antenna. Had some difficulty installing board in case. Had to really push to get screws to line up for board to be flush against the back of case.

Video Card: 9/10: I went with EVGA 970 because it seemed to be the popular choice and good customer service reviews. Also did not need any modifications in case due to the size of the card. To my surprise I was getting temps in the upper 90’s and occasional video blackouts. RMA’ed the card after much troubleshooting. Replacement EVGA 970 seems to work fine. No more random video shutdowns and never seen GPU temps reach the 80’s.

Also, started using MSI afterburner to limit card to 75FPS when running games (mostly play BF4). Read somewhere that it helps with cooling and stability . Also read that you will not see the difference because your eye cant see much past 60 fps. Please let me know if this is good practice or not.

Overall I’m very pleased with my Rig. 10\10

If you guys have any advice/opinions/questions especially regards to my video card settings.. please do tell.

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice little compact build, kudos

Nice benchmarks

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks great! small form factor builds are my favorite.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks !
My thoughts exactly . Why settle for more? ..When you can have less!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Correct!! I personally went with ATX because I needed the extra expansion slots, but if you don't need the extra slots then itx is the way to go.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Really nice build, clean looking. How much did those fans cost?

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Fans were about $50.00 total for all 3 . Got all parts for the build from Amazon . Wish I had a way to compare my FQ121's to the Noctua NF-F12 that everyone seems to swear by . I would have got them but they were kind of pricy.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the fans, Love the build. Oh yeah, and Zowie Master Race! As for your 60FPS comment, I most definitely believe that you can see more than that. It was like night and day comparing my 144hz monitor to the 60hz panel on my old laptop.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info. Yea the Zowie is a nice mouse . I love the understated design. Used Logitech mice for years . No more.

Question :What are your thoughts on limiting the FPS in your video card? Do you guys do this? And if so, what do you set it at??

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

For most games I limit FPS, but I rarely use Vsync because of the problems it can cause. The only games I don't do this in are older CoD games, in which more FPS actually means you will shoot and run faster. The brief explanation is that the engine can't handle things in between frames, so if you have more FPS you can shoot faster etc.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

In games where I can limit it (usually easy to run games like TF2 and CS:GO) I usually cap it at the refresh rate of my monitor, in my case 144 fps, and call it a day. It reduces screen tearing a little bit, but any dip below is much more ugly and can be felt much more. If I don't limit it, I personally don't really feel a difference, and I sort of feel bad limiting it, since you're basically keeping your GPU from performing where it was designed to perform.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for that1

Do you guys notice a difference in temps when you do cut the FPS down?

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Not at all. If you're really intent on capping your frame rate, cap it at the refresh rate of your monitor, and call it a day. Temp didn't really change for me, since the GPU is technically still working just as hard.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Will do.

Thanks a lot!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I really want a compact sized build like this, it's so awesome. You're positive you're happy with the airflow? and honestly, what was it like building in such a small case?

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Temps seem to be in check . So I guess I am ok with the airflow in this small case. Always striving for improvement though.
Main problem I have is that I don't have previous experience building computers so I don't have anything to base my opinions on. I can tell you that it wasn't as bad as many people said.
Do your research, plan ahead, get the right tools and have a good organized workspace . Youtube helped me a lot because the case directions are awful.. Like Nike says- Just do it !

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

"Also read that you will not see the difference because your eye cant see much past 60 fps. Please let me know if this is good practice or not." This is a common misconception - however this is simply not true. However what is true is you won't be able to see frames that exceed the refresh rate of the display.

The average display is 60 Hz refresh rate, however can get as high as 144 Hz. So if the display is 60 Hz you can't see past 60 frames, 120Hz 120 frames, 144 Hz 144 frames, and so on. Believe me if you use a 144 Hz monitor and the FPS dips from 144 to 60 you would notice the difference, things would seem choppy, stagger, and would have strange blur.

Since eyes don't see things in frames the human eye can see as many frames per second as outputted, however the difference between fps becomes harder to tell as you get into the higher frame rates. 144 frames to 120 frames is harder to tell then 60 fps to 45 fps.

I know this is a long message, but I am going to add one more side fact, history note thing. The theater uses 24 fps since it is the crossing point of where things don't look terribly choppy, this leads to the misconception of "the human can't see past XX frames". Anyway, sorry you were misinformed earlier. Always hate hearing people re-post that.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks fro the length reply! So, on my 42" 60Hz Toshiba fDisplay that Im currently using , I SHOULD LIMIT THE fps TO 60FPS INSTEAD OF 75 FPS BECAUSE THE DISPLAY IS THE LIMITING FACTOR? Anything higher and my GPU would be working for nothing visible?

I was using FPS limiter mainly as a means to relax the load on my GPU and keep my temps down . As I mentioned before, I have had quite a few bad "thermal" experiences. However, I did not want to ruin my Gaming experience at the same time. Trying to find that sweet spot between performance and efficiency.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

How much noise does it make?

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

When beginning Gaming you do here the fans rev up but after a couple seconds I don't even notice . Usually if its a problem I just turn up the volume a little more and =problem solved