Description

It started out as a low cost gaming rig but the gaming bit isn't quite working well. The dual graphics while interesting on paper has been quite a source of frustration and the performance gained isn't all that great.

Its now been completely rebuilt into a great little gaming rig with an i5-6500 and an R9 Nano in it :)

Note: 1. The Noctua NH-U14S does fit however in the default push configuration it overhangs the first RAM slot (at least on my motherboard) which meant that I had to change it to a pull configuration. 2. The Noctua NH-U14S has been replaced with an MSI Core Frozr L now which still overhangs the first RAM slot slightly but you can still offset the fan above slightly

Part Reviews

CPU

Good single threaded performance for games, good multithreaded performance for multitasking, and great value!

Motherboard

Very easy to assemble onto, lots of ports, things are in sensible arrangement.

Memory

Didn't really have any issues with them, except my motherboard does not support 3333MHz RAM, so I had to enable XMP and then manually set the multiplier to 3200MHz. Other than that, they've been pretty solid.

Case

Its compact, and has that unique upside down arrangement of the motherboard which seems to help with cooling the CPU. Airflow is pretty good, the 180mm fan is audible at 100% but in normal usage patterns I hardly hear them (the HDDs are louder still). Not the easiest case to build into, and construction was not the greatest (alignment of some of the side panel screws were off by just a little, enough that I could not remove them without a screw driver), but there is decent amount of cable management and as mentioned, airflow is good.

Comments

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

instead of the 970

you might want to look at the R9 390 or R9 390X

or the cheaper R9 290X

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I was debating between the R9290/390 vs the GTX970 but settled on the GTX970 because they've got mini-ITX versions of it. The alternative is the R9380 but that card has much lower performance compared to the GTX970.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Such a shame to hear about the integrated gpu not crossfiring properly! But, throw a 970 in there and you'll have a very capable little machine!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Dual graphics is always a pain with so many limitation . But that 970 upgrade will be amazing for 1080p gaming.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

did the base clock overclock work out of the box

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Which part are you referring to?

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

the cpu

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, no sorry I haven't overclocked the CPU. The bios I've got does not allow for blck overclocking.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Same here. It's been a huge topic of interest for me, so while I'm saddened by the poor performance benefits, it is quite cool to see someone give it a shot.