My first build coming from console. I finally wanted to make the switch because I was enjoying PC titles like Arma 3. I originally was going to go for a build with an AMD FX-6300 and overclock it, but I found out that even overclocked to 5.0 GHz (which I wasn't going to hit) it still couldn't keep up with an i5-3570k at stock clock in terms of single core performance. So I then switched to an i5-4570, which with a Micro ATX board it was about the same price as an FX-6300 with a good motherboard and CPU cooler. I was a bit skeptical about the Haswell heat issues, but 65 degrees is what it hits when I'm using software that's maxing the CPU and GPU simultaneously. In games it's about 60 degrees.

The two RAM sticks were separated because I bought another later. I was told the CX500 wasn't a good PSU, but it has had no problems so far, plenty of power for my build. I was also skeptical about buying a WiFi adapter that used USB. At first I had issues with it, but eventually I got it sorted and it has no problems now.

With my modded GPU BIOS, I can hit 1241 MHz on the clock speed. This also has given me a great bump up in performance overall. Before I did this the 660 does not get enough power draw to reach what it's capable of.

In terms of cable management, I'd like to re-route it, but at the same time for only having two exhaust fans it's running cool enough for me to leave it the way it is. Someday I may put another CPU cooler in it and put two 120mm fans in the front, but if it stays around 65 max I won't bother with it. I also covered the side and spare top fan slots with polyurethane foam to keep dust out. I used small zip ties and latched them from the inside and it kept it looking clean.

Overall I'm very happy with the build, and I'm glad I took the time to research parts and make sure I was getting what I wanted.

3DMark11 Performance score:


  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks like a good gaming build for the price. I don't understand the motherboard though. You could have put an ATX GA-B85-D3 in that case for nearly the same price as the Micro ATX version. I'm not sure about the 660, depending on when you bought, but for price v performance it is pretty good at what you got it for.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually that ATX board is $90 on Amazon, it's listed as the GA-P85-D3 but it's the B85 chipset. This motherboard was all I needed, the only benefit of that one would be the PCIe 2.0 x16 lane, but still doesn't support SLI so it's pointless. Anywho this GPU is solid and I actually just flashed the BIOS earlier to raise the power target to 170% and bump the voltage. Gave me a nice bump in performance.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Great stuff.