Description

I wanted to build a quiet, cool high mid-range gaming computer with only high quality, lower power draw components in a Micro ATX case for $1,000, and I did. I cannot believe how quiet and fast this computer is.

I won't say it was easy to put together, because I haven't built a PC in 10- years, but with my buddy's help we were able to get this up and running with zero issues.

It runs incredibly cool and quiet and there is much more room in the case than I even imagined there would be, especially with a liquid cooler.

The best thing I did was replace the stock fans with the Noctua silent fans, as well as use the other Noctua fan to replace the Corsair one that comes with the CPU cooler. Also getting a modular power supply helped a ton with cable management.

Under full load, the computer is at about 44 decibels measured right in the case.

Everything I bought was as high of build quality as the budget would allow, and I think I got an amazing value.

The trade off I made for now was the GPU, getting a 380X is perfect for my needs, it runs cool enough for a high mid range cards and sips power for the performance that it offers.

The fans were optimized by ASUS's awesome BIOS features, and under normal computing I can't even tell the thing is running at all. I live in a smallish NYC apartment so I wanted something with very few compromises, doesn't heat my apartment like a furnace, and doesn't break the bank with the electricity costs (which are insane in NYC, one air conditioner at night for the summer costs me $250 a month).

UPDATE: I added a Y splitter on the chassis fan and added an exhaust fan on the top of the case, much better GPU temps now (83c under load to 75c)

Under load the CPU doesn't go over 40C, which is amazing for the water cooler only being $50.

The motherboard is amazing. The Processor is amazing for the power (did not get the K, no need to OC) and the DDR4 R Ram is crazy fast. The case had lots of nice features, which is why i bought it over the $50 cases.

Oh but then I splurged on the monitor. Freesync 1440P, 144hz IPS panel. Insanely nice looking but expensive. The four corners have some sort of yellow bleed when the screen is all black but I heard that might be normal. It's got 2 USB3 ports on it too! Speakers suck unless I misconfigured something. Awesome since the PC is under my desk.

Part Reviews

CPU

Amazing cost to value/wattage/heat ratio

CPU Cooler

Slightly confusing to put together, but nonetheless amazing value. User a Noctua 120mm quiet fan instead of the stock fan behind the radiator and you'll never hear this thing. A no brainer for $50, could even go higher quality but no need if not overclocking.

Thermal Compound

Basic stuff

Motherboard

Packed with features, awesome BIOS, good tools. USB C? Sure lol.

Storage

Would love to buy two more of these

Video Card

For the money, power and heat, best upper mid range card you buy, Direct X 12 full future support also being key.

If you want you budget build to be future proof, obviously go with an R9 290+ or equivalent card, but the heat, cost and power requirements obviousness alter the entire build.

This was my trade off, but with new chips coming out this year, no need to buy old stuff yet.

Case

Very good case, good value, white is a bit uglier than i imagined but still nice. Go crazy and buy a funky color, you probably won't regret it.

Case Fan

They are truly as quiet and efficient as advertised.

Monitor

Incredible monitor, but at a cost.

144hz 1440p IPS Freesync, it's the only one in existence.

Someone correct me if I am wrong but the speakers are an absolute embarrassment. I wasn't expecting much but they are basically horrible. I am using the audio stream from the DisplayPort cable and it sounds like someone's iPhone headphones are too loud on the train.

Keyboard

ok but probably go with the full sized one.

Comments

  • 33 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey I sent you a PM but maybe you'll see it here. Your ram is installed incorrectly. You have both Dimms in the slot next to each other. In order to use Dual Channel Ram they should be spaced apart. Consult your motherboard manual for correct installation of two dimms.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey thank you, I will change them out when I get home!

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

http://imgur.com/a/8cTKL

this is the recommended config for anyone wondering

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Happy to include any benchmarks if you guys request it, just comment here.

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

How do u like that radeon card? Im looking to a gtx 960 myself for decent 1080p gaming. I have an older I5 4440 atm gateway messed up and sent me one instead of a 4430 but my gain. Right now I just use my 42' tv to play GTA 5 and league of legends right now. I have an old radeon 7570 which I get 200+ fps in league with it but i am maxing it in GTA 5 with no added shaders or anything. Any recommendations?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

How is your rig in terms of power? The 380x's drop below $200 every so often(I don't recommend the 380 as I believe it is less future proof in terms of DirectX 12 support)

The reason I got this card is because its highest performance to cost/heat/power consumption of the modern cards. For 1080p gaming this thing is pretty good.

Compared to you existing card this thing is about 100% better in performance (http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Radeon-HD-7570-vs-AMD-R9-380X/m9639vs3532)

I recommend it but still struggle with the decision not to go with the 290+ type card, but that would change the whole build (cooling, power supply, would not put in micro Atx case etc)

There is a new generation of cards coming out this year so I'll wait till then and reevaluate.

This card outperforms the 960 in every way http://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-GTX-960-vs-AMD-R9-380X/3165vs3532 but is $50 more for a reason

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Just an update - I ran FurMark to test thew heat of this GPU and case configuration.

The fan configuration I had at first was: 1 Chassis intake fan at the bottom 1 Chassis fan exhaust running through the liquid cooler radiator on the side 1 CPU fan which is actually the fan pump in the cooler

CPU temps were ice cold but the GPU was running hot in FurMark (83c, hot for my tastes in this build)

So I added an exhaust fan above the GPU on the top of the case (hot air rises) using a Y splitter from the Radiator exhaust fan to the top exhaust fan because I ran out of motherboard fan inputs. Voltage and wattage should not be a problem.

After rerunning FurMark with the new fan, the GPU did not reach over 75C after 10 minutes on a full burn in test. So I would say that is successful. The best part is these fans are BARELY audible. The loudest ones are the GPUs which are still pretty quiet.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

What did you use to see your temps like your cpu and hard drive temp? Im just curious,i may use that for reference now