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Build

Project Hexahedron

by Dude13450

10
5 Comments

Details

Date Published

May 23, 2015

Date Built

May 19, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.2GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

74.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.18GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

37.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

87.0° C

Description

FIRST OFF: Sorry for the spaghetti mess; this case (Antec ISK600) offers very little / no cable management (the joys of a mini-ITX cube build).

This machine is used for moderately heavy gaming and entertainment (streaming videos). So far, the system is 100% stable[1] ( max temps: CPU = 74 deg. C / GPU = 87 deg. C w/o crashes) running Windows 8 (NOT 8.1 ... yet). Handles every game I have thrown at it so far. The on-board WiFi module has given me a small performance increase from 1.1 Megabytes/s to 1.7 MB/s on average. The system has about a 30 second start up time (on a "traditional" HDD, SSD would obviously be even faster if you are that impatient). Future uses for this computer are light video editing and potential coding/programming.

My FPS benchmarks (real-time aka not recording)) are as follows:[2]

Battlefield 4 = 70 average

Space Engineers = 122 aver.

The Forest = 56 aver.

DayZ Standalone = 64 aver.

Borderlands The Pre-Sequel = 112 aver.

Just Cause 2 = 162 aver.

TESV Skyrim = 60 aver. (game is locked at 60FPS anyways)

Fallout 3 = 60 (locked)

Fallout New Vegas = 55 aver (also tried 720 = 55 aver. = locked?)

Tomb Raider = 65 aver.

Witcher 3 Wild Hunt = 32 aver. (with NVidia Hair - 42 w/o); if you want 60 FPS here, you're going to want low settings (still at 1080); low on 1280x768 will get you about 110-120 FPS

[Cliche test] Minecraft = 347 aver. (blowing a s**t ton of TNT caused a drop to 80 - not noticeable on a 60Hz monitor/TV)

[1]= temperatures are based on stress (aka "torture") tests; you will not run into these temps around 80-90% of the time (only in certain games/programs) unless your CPU/GPU is a little dodgy from the factory

[2]= unless otherwise noted, assume 1920x1080@ultra settings

Part Reviews

CPU

Straight forward installation combined with great bang for your buck. IMO, you do not need a fancy-schmancy K-series processor for over-clocking when stock clocks will handle anything you throw at it with respectable/decent frame-rates. Temperatures under stress testes (with stock heatsink/fan) maxed out at 74 degrees Celsius (in a cramped mini-ITX case with a spaghetti noodle job on cable management).

Motherboard

Great motherboard! The 9-series chipset will allow me to upgrade to Broadwell should I wish to. The on-board WiFi is faster on my desktop than it is on my laptop (in the same exact location). Download speeds increased from 1.1 Megabytes to 1.7 MB per second on average. The BIOS does not fool around and just jumps right into the Windows OS boot.

Memory

Not much to say here. It's RAM...if the company survives in today's computer industry, it means they are usually pretty decent, if not pretty damn good. But like I said, it's RAM - it's essentially plug in and forget about it all together.

Storage

My WD Blue does not make any loud noises and keeps it's read/write process to faint, audible whisper. Fast, efficient, and tons of room make this an awesome HDD.

Video Card

Handles every game I throw at it except for Witcher 3 Wild Hunt.....this GPU does not seem to like that game (32 FPS average on ultra setting @ 1080). Everything else is mowed down with decent 60-70 FPS and the lesser demanding games run around 120+ FPS (ultra @ 1080).

My only complaint about it so far are the stressed temperature is about 87 degrees C. Still less than 90, but I personally like to see 70s or low 80s (my mini-ITX cube case probably is a factor in this).

Case

Virtually 100% tool-less set up. The SSD and single HDD bays that mount to the top do not even use screws to hold the caddy in place; they are a drop in and slide into place type of fastener. Both of the side vents provide more than enough air for the system (I can feel it drawing air in if I put my hand near these vents).

My only complaints are as follows: (A) there are literally no cable management options, it is simply toss the spaghetti mess into the open corner next to the GPU and try to ignore the fact that you can see the tangled mess through the cooling vent. (B) The front power LED (the blue "bar") is powerful, but the see-through panel that covers the LED is so tinted that you can barely see the light shine through during the day (at night or in the dark is not a problem). {C} Lack of fan options...there are literally no aftermarket fan options for this case; you have the single 140mm fan in the rear that you can replace with a higher CFM fan, should you choose, but that is it (aside from CPU coolers).

Power Supply

As with any build I could have done, the PSU is and always will be my main concern with PC builds. The online community (forums and whatnot) will have you know that if you do not buy the state-of-the-art, top-of-the-line, and/or $150+ power supplies than your PC is going to go up in flames....that was not the case. My GPU (GTX 960) only asked for a 400W unit, and I upped the ante to a 500W (others were telling me to get a 600+ watt Seasonic unit that ran for $98 at the cheapest); however, this unit worked just swell and supplied ample enough power to survive both a 1080 resolution Furmark burn-in and a max CPU load torture test (for about 2 hours) with flying colors.

Comments Sorted by:

Newobc 2 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

The blocking of those GPU fans really is not ideal for the cooling, if you can rotate the MB or get a bit ghetto with a Dremel you might be able to reduce the temps on that GPU and increase the lifetime!

Other than that its a great build! +1

How do you feel about the case overall? Would you buy it again? I'm looking for a good mini ITX case...!

Dude13450 submitter 1 Build 2 points 29 months ago

My GPU temps only get high when playing Battlefield 4. I turned the graphics down a little because all the eye candy was affecting my personal performance (wasn't able to see clearly). And the GPU actually sucks in quite a bit of air despite the fans being "covered" (there is actually about 1/2 inch clearance).

The only beef I have with the case is the way the power LED is wired up. The Power LED doesn't hook into the motherboard (unlike most cases), it is powered via a molex connector, which meant I had to plug another cable into the PSU and ultimately took up about half the open air space that was left after all the main wiring. Building a PC in the case was actually quite straightforward and didn't have nearly as many complications as most people would make you believe (just as long as you assembly the motherboard's components ahead of time).

So aside from the molex Power LED, I love the case. It fits on my desk perfectly and doesn't take up much room at all. I would buy it again, but honestly: maybe not as my first choice (as it was this time).

Dude13450 submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

I took the cover off the case to let the GPU breath some open and it brought temps down to 70C (as from 87C).

And if I were to perform some modifications, I would not use a dremel; I would use a drill (I feel like a drill would give you more precision (and, of course, I would take the cover off so I don't drill into the GPU and get metal shavings everywhere)

bweiss100 1 point 30 months ago

Are you gaming on a 1080p or 1440p monitor? I will probably get a 970 soon and wanted to know if it could handle 1440p. If the 960 can do this on 1080p then it probably can. Also, are you re-using a lot of parts? It looks like you are missing out on a lot of parts. I also recommend if you use this for more than gaming get an SSD. Nice build though :)

Dude13450 submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

I play at 1080. the 970 should be able to handle 1440 at medium to high settings just fine.

And this is my first build all together, so all the parts are brand new.

My two main uses are gaming and video streaming, which it does both perfectly fine.

What exactly do you mean by "it looks like you are missing out on a bunch of parts?"