So I went to a LAN party recently which was awesome as hell. That, combined with the fact that I'm going to be moving into my dorm for college in about two weeks inspired me to downsize my old PC (http://pcpartpicker.com/b/mFZ8TW).
*Most of the problems I encountered are listed in the reviews below
All that I needed to do was change the motherboard, power supply, and case of course. Originally, I was going to with the Corsair Obsidian 250D, but my CPU cooler was not going to fit, and I did not want to buy an AIO at the time. I went with the Node 304 instead because it looked like a microwave (at least it's not a toaster or potato!) and also because it required the least amount of upgrading (or in this case downgrading) and was the cheapest to downsize to. I ended up having to super glue the brackets onto the fan because Cooler Master did not thread the other mounting holes so that I could flip the fan and get the air moving in one direction.
This CPU overclocks very well. I was able to get this thing up to 4.2 GHz stable without having to adjust my voltage at all. I could have went to 4.3 but then my temps would be too high out of my comfort zone. Unless of course I got an AIO or some kind of liquid cooling setup :)
My CPU temps are higher in this build than they were when I had my old rig, but that's to be expected given that there was less airflow. I haven't gotten around to overclocking yet so we'll see what happens with the temps then.
Perfect air cooler for the money. Provides great cooling capabilities, but it is rather large. The fan isn't threaded in all mounting holes so turning the fan around while keeping airflow in the same direction would be a tedious job.
In this build I cut my hands several times working with this thing because of the tight fit inside my case.
Good motherboard, good price, great on board audio (ALC1150). Wifi is average, but the lack of fan headers kinda bugged me. Not too big of a problem in my case since it had a fan splitter. Also, the placement of the headers/connectors were kinda problematic for me. Not the smartest board layout IMO, especially considering where the 8-pin CPU connector was. I had to bend that cable all sorts of ways to keep it from getting caught by my fans.
The first time I put everything together in the case after it posted, the computer hung on "getting devices ready." I rebooted, and I got a screen which said "your computer did not boot properly. This might be due to a recent hardware change. Please insert your Windows Installation disc and select 'Repair My Operating System'" or something along the lines of that. I did just that and for some reason it booted just fine afterwards but hung again on getting devices ready. I tried one more time and my computer finally booted but for some reason Windows was bugging the hell out. Recycle bin was gone, lost the ability to put my computer to sleep, among other things. I assumed it had to do with conflicting drivers since I switched from an ASUS board to an ASRock board, and I ended up just formatting my SSD (which caused the computer to freeze, but a reboot fixed the job). Everything works fine as intended now.
Not sure what to say about this other than that I am disappointed that the heatspreaders are too tall and that they aren't screwed in, but glued on, making them hard to remove.
This thing handles every game I throw at it (though to be fair I don't play too many high-end titles.)
Filters in all the right places. Smart case layout. The top of the case gets kinda toasty since the top of the CPU cooler is just 5 mm away from the panel. I guess that's some extra passive cooling :P
Cable management was difficult as expected, and I just ended up shoving everything in the corner in front of my front fans next to the hard drive mount. Eventually I went back and redid everything, so now there is better airflow from the front.
Just a plain great power supply. I had to get this because my EVGA 750 fully modular PSU wouldn't fit in the Node 304. If this case was fully modular but retained the size that would make this even better, especially since you could get shorter aftermarket cables. That would have been helpful for sure.
I don't see why people hate this OS. I've grown to love it alot.