6 Mar 2014-
The goal was to maximize gaming potential without getting too crazy in the wallet.
Right off the bat I had decided I wanted a PNY Geforce GTX 760. After reading about graphics cards for hours, there really was no other choice that could perform as well in that price range. I ended up getting the graphics card for $180 technically with purchase of Assassin's Creed Black Flag, or I got it for $240 with a free $60 game to boot. On top of that I like that they kept the reference cooler design. It isn't as good as others at keeping the gpu cool but it def helps reduce the temps on other components.
The following items were purchased solely due to low price: Gigabyte MB, Seagate 1tb HDD, Encore Wireless Net Adapter, LG DVD/CD Reader/Writer, Microsoft Keyboard.
I went ahead and opted to get a liquid cooler and after a few reviews the Cooler Master 120v system looked to be well enough for my application. I overclocked my CPU to 4.5ghz @ 1.452v, runs at 54 degrees under load (look below for update on overclock).
I overdid it on the Ram purposefully as the MB can only get up to 2000 speeds. However, I set it to run at 1866 8-10-10-27 with 1.65v.
Ran Prime95 for 6 hours no errors and cpu/mobo temp peaked at 58 celsius.
The case was decided upon because of the price and it having alot of ventillation. Pretty much the whole front panel is vented along with 1x120mm fan. I also wanted a window XD. I placed the cpu cooler on the top vents instead of the rear, figuring that it would be much easier to cool if the fan pushed along the already rising hot air. There was plenty of room to work in there and I managed to clean up the wires quite nicely, so far I'm pretty happy with the case. My only gripe about it is that I feel the front fan is blocked by too many expansion slots, and it is not low enough. This case could really improve with venting for a bottom mount fan with where the front fan is currently placed. It came with 2 hot swap drives as well, meh. I also added a PCI Slot fan, and a "custom" mounted second front fan on the 3 free 5.25 bays. This had a huge impact on my temps. The fan I installed on the free drives blows "cold" air straight at the ram/mobo, while the PCI fan helps pull cool air from the large airload coming from the top as well as pushing out internal exhaust heat from the video card as it does have some small exhausts inside the case.
Switched to a Rosewill 750w Gold Capstone PSU at the advice of this site.
Windows 8.1 cause it's new. I usually hate new windows releases but after I get to know them I end up liking them.
The 27" AOC LED screen was my Wife's idea. It was a good one. I had planned on a smaller BenQ screen but rolled the dice on this bargain brand. I had read problems with dead pixels from unboxing, and I must be lucky because mine is in good working order, and looks great. Good blacks for an LED backlit and a nice sharp image. The only downside to owning this screen, is that I ruined my ability to play on smaller screen sizes.
I'm not really into fancy keyboards or mice, so I went with a cheapy, and the mouse I had from a previous computer.
Benchmarks= Heaven: 41.6 afps, 1920x1080, Ultra, 4xAA, Normal Tesselations, D3D11/ Valley: 47.0 afps, 1920x1080, Ultra, 4xAA, D3D11/ Novabench Score: 1556
UPDATE 5th July 2014- Setup has been going strong now. No problems. If anything I'll be raising my rating of the case since I've worked with a few others in the same price range and this one is the best so far. Changed out the pics
UPDATE 12 April 2015- No problems. The bgears fan at the front on the free drives started to rattle a bit, but after a good cleaning that stopped. I'm going to start looking into adding some more RAM soon. Not for any real reason other than I want to.
UPDATE 18 July 2015- A couple months ago I pushed the overclock even more. I got it running 4.6ghz now at 1.5v. I also purchased a green dual fan for the roof of the case, it was looking a little dreary. I also made some custom cuts in the side of the case to add another fan. I will get pictures of that once I clean it up some more as right now it's just there to draw more air near the vid card. Also I noticed a bruise on my screen, pretty sure it's from one of the kids touching it too hard. The bruise is very small and only noticeable on white backgrounds.
Great CPU for the price, awesome for overclocking when combined with even a cheap liquid cooler. I got mine to go 4.6ghz.
Very underrated product, excellent cooling for the price, I don't know why everyone doesn't just get one of these. Here is a screenshot of my temps without overclocking: https://s28.postimg.org/izymffaal/noctemps.png
Good board, does what is asked and has plenty of options for overclocking.
Versatile RAM, great on the low profile side, and doesn't get too hot.
Works well. Good Price. No complaints.
Awesome card! The reference cooler design is very underrated. It is plenty cooling to keep the card performing well, while at the same time keeping hot air from just circulating in the case.
Update: It died. It's my fault for not cleaning it as much as I should. The reference cooler design is better for the rest of your board, but it's harder to clean.
Great case, I have used other since, and so I edited my review. I wish it was more easily available. Good size, can fit two nvidia 690s (big cards). The material is sturdy, and there is decent room for cable management.
Works well, no issues. I think Rosewill products are getting better and better in quality.
Cheap, and it reads disks. Op Success.
Windows for life!
Wireless Network Adapter
Comes with it's own wireless manager, but it isn't a necessary install. Otherwise it's a good net adapter for the price. I have been using mine as an access point for all other devices in the house for over a year now and it is still going strong.
Great monitor, just keep kids away from it. I got a small bruise on mine after someone applied excess pressure on a particular point.
Works + cheap = win.
Great mouse for gaming, but I am not a fan of the scroll wheel.. seeing as my scroll wheel button isn't working.