Description

After selling a few things last week, I had money burning a hole in my pocket and I was itching to build so I pulled the trigger on this baby. All parts were ordered on 10/16/13. Case and HDD were bought used on my local classifieds (hence the use of a 5400 RPM drive; just couldn't pass it up for $30). Ram was purchased on Amazon and as soon as I bought it the prices went back up to $80 so I guess I got lucky. The rest was purchased on Newegg. Total for everything came out to $512 after mail in rebates. Pictures at the beginning with 1 Ram stick was before my Ram from Amazon had arrived.

CPU: Absolutely love this CPU for the money. Haven't had a chance to OC this yet but I will update as soon as I get around to it.

Cooler: Does at great job at keeping my CPU cool and at a great price. Just a few minor annoyances. The stock fan that was included with the cooler was rubbing against the radiator making a terrible noise. Tried to mount the fan on the other side but the included screw was not long enough. After a bit of sanding and bending I was able to stop the noise. Would have preferred not to have to do that but for $25 I have no complaints about the performance of this cooler.

MOBO: Absolutely love this motherboard! It is the first ASRock motherboard I have owned and I am willing to bet that it is one of the best budget boards out there. Yes it's only the 970 chipset but for $65 I think it's a steal. I hate the look of blue and black mobo's so about half of all other boards in this price range were immediately eliminated. My only complaints (very minor) would have to be that it doesn't have right angle SATA ports and the placement of the USB 3.0 front panel connector was in an odd place. I thought the latter was going to make my cable management look very poor but the 3.0 cable hid very nicely behind my I/O shield and the black on black against the motherboard helped a ton.

RAM: Got so lucky with this ram. Had my parts all picked out then went to Amazon...out of stock. Buy all my other parts on Newegg, come back to Amazon and BAM...back in stock. As soon as I bought it they went back out of stock and then the price was raised. XMP kicked right in. Didn't even have to touch bios to get them running at 1600.

HDD: 5400 RPM is a little slow but 1TB of storage for $30 I just couldn't pass up.

GPU: For $150 this thing has some CRAZY price to performance power. Yes the cooler is not that great and runs pretty hot but overall this is a great card. It sits at just over "10 so it is a bit on the long side. Overclocked without a problem up to 1200 core and 1550 memory. On stock it was running at ~78C under load. OC to ~85C under load.

Case: LOVE LOVE LOVE this case. In fact, I loved working with it so much that I bought the white version with a window the day after I built this to use in a future build. Cable management is great on it and overall it is a very well built case. Removable drive cage bay is nice and creates plenty of airflow while maintaining silence. My only gripe with this thing is that the side cable management grommets are not really in the best spot for the 24 pin mobo connector. I would have loved to see them use three smaller but evenly spaced cutouts so that the 24 pin would be right in line.

PSU: I know this isn't the highest quality PSU and that its just a rebrand from EVGA but the fact that it was $30 and was 80 Plus Bronze Certified was good enough for me. Whoever put the stickers on this thing was brain dead. It's upside down when you put the PSU in the right way. Cables hid very nicely though so much in fact that I don't even think I could have made this thing look much cleaner with a modular PSU.

Let me know what you guys think. Things I should have changed or improved on?

Edit: Oh yeah forgot to mention the Chivalry reference. Used this to play like Chivalry till like 1 last night and couldn't come up with a cool name. Screw Agatha :p

Comments

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

Solid build mate and great price i just chucked a 7870 myst in my pc, its a killer card for the price!!! 78c at stock? Whats ur room temp like? Mine runs at 64c max at stock. And they must have played a game of pin the header on the mobo to end up with it there!

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Room temp is 20C. I think part of the reason it's running so hot is the fact that I've got 2 of the three moduvents still on the R4. Only have one intake fan on the front, the intake on the cpu cooler, and the exhaust on the top. I'll test it with the moduvents off and see how much of a difference it makes.

  • 73 months ago
  • 2 points

This CPU and GPU is such a solid combo. I'm getting BF4 and everything on ultra with it!

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Easily the best bang for the buck cpu and gpu at the time. The 7870 xt really is an awesome card.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Solid bang

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

you have your radiator fan is set up backwards. right now its sucking air into the case. it should be flipped around to blow air out of the case. otherwise good build :)

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

No for water cooling it is better to have cold air pulled through the radiator otherwise you will be pushing warm air through something that you want to cool. Kind of counter intuitive if you take hot air from the system and blow it through the rad.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

i'm thinking about getting this mb, but the placement of the usb 3.0 header in the back concerns me. i plan on getting the NZXT 210 Elite case and am wondering if the usb 3 cable can reach to the header on this board. how exactly did you get the usb 3.0 hooked up? it looks good, though.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

I had the same concern when I got this board as well but it turned out a LOT better than I thought. If you see in my second to last picture on the bottom left that's all you can see of the front panel USB3 cable. It hid very nicely behind my radiator but I'm guessing it would hide behind a standard 120mm exhaust fan as well. I have the cable routed to the top left cable management grommit in the R4 and the cable was plenty long to do so. I can post a pic of the reverse side so you can see where everything was routed if you like. I couldn't find a better board that had front panel USB 3 support for cheaper. Overall I am very pleased so far.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

could you post a pic of the back of the mb so i can see how you routed it? and also, do you know how long the usb 3.0 header cable is on that case? i want to see if the cable in the NZXT case is just as long. thanks!

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Sure thing! I'll get you a measurement in just a sec. One thing to keep in mind though is that the case dimensions are a little different from the R4 to the 210. Do you know if the 210 has a cable management grommit on the top left?

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

USB 3.0 Cable is ~30 inches long. In the second to last picture the USB 3.0 Cable is the one that I am holding. As you can see there is plenty of slack left over.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks for the info and the pics. i just looked over the parts you used in this build and the build i'm putting together has mostly the same parts. same cpu/vid card. i'll most likely use a different case with a side panel fan to help keep the video card running cooler and i will use a different mb, MSI 970A-G43. basically the same features as your mb, and at the same price, but the usb 3.0 header is on the front.

how is your system running with the 500 watt psu? i read that the 7870xt can use alot of wattage under heavy use. like around 190 watts.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Haven't run into any issues yet. I feel like I had enough headroom to begin with that I was fine to OC. A side panel fan would definitely help this card a lot. I'm just too much of a silence freak to add one.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build for the budget! Cable management (a skill I have not yet mastered) looks great.

I bought the same cooler for my upcoming build - it'll be my first liquid-cooled system so I was surfing around looking for tips. ;)

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

The performance I was getting with it was out of this world. I ended up overclocking my 6300 to 4.3Ghz and it still only hit 57C under full load. Just make sure you use something to reduce the fan speed otherwise it will be extremely loud.

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

What kind of "something" should I use to slow a fan? :O

  • 73 months ago
  • 1 point

Either some type of hardware or software. Fan controllers work good but most come with only 5 7 and 12v speeds. From the software side you can use something like speedfan or adjust speeds in bios.

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Was the CPU compatible with the motherboard out of the box? +1

  • 70 months ago
  • 1 point

Yup. If you buy the MOBO new it should ship with the latest bios so no need to flash.