Originally planned on making a low heat, low power HTPC but decided to give PC gaming a try. I wanted to build a high quality rig with low heat and most importantly low noise. So I decided that all my fans should be from Noctua because they are know for their quiet fans.

CPU: Decided on the i5 4590 because of the price point and I didn't want to overclock. I got it at Micro Center for $160. I thought about getting the 4590s but I figured that the difference between 84W and 65W was negligible. Maybe I'm wrong and should have went for the 4590s because low Watt= low heat. This was the part that I went back and forth the most on. If there are any suggestions please let me know.

CPU cooler: The NH-U14s offers a great performing heatsink and the fan is a Noctua which is known for being quiet. I looked at the EVO 212 but I wanted the Noctua fan and adding that to the EVO would put it close to the price point of the NH-U14s. Plus the Noctua was easier to mount.

Motherboard: No overclocking needed, so a Z-series board was not needed. Asus is a quality board so I went with quality. It also had 2 fan headers instead of the 1 that I seen from it's competitors.

Memory: Low profile memory was what I was looking for so that it would be compatible with my cpu cooler. Corsair has a great name in RAM so I went with 1 8gb stick. I will probably upgrade to another stick but I think 8gb is enough for gaming and watching movies.

Storage: Want an overall fast system? Get an SSD. Done.

Video Card: This was going to be an R9 270 or 280 but I wanted 1080p gaming at 60fps and not the heat under load. When I found the MSI GTX 970 this was a no-brainer. The GTX 970 had better performance and most importantly did not have the heat that the 270 or 280 would produce. I chose the MSI because their Twin Frozr cooler was one of the best and they make quality stuff. I thought about the 750ti because it also did not produce as much heat and would fit any m-itx case with no issues. Needless to say the GTX 970 won out because I didn't want to regret of not going for the top shelf component.

Case: It was a dead heat between the Bitfenix Prodigy and the Node 304. The node 304 won out because it was the smaller out of the 2 and still offered good airflow. Although I really liked the look of the Prodigy and the fact that the 230mm fan in front would have provided quite a bit of air coming into the case the Node was smaller and was still able to fit all of the components I wanted inside it's case.

Power Supply: JonnyGuru gave it a 9.8 out of 10. Good enough for me. Needed the 650W because the GTX 970 needed at least 500W. The price difference between the 650 and the 550 was negligible to me and the 650 got a better review.

The Build: Building the computer was pretty straightforward. No suprises the heatsink was easy to mount as I thought it would be. A few tips is to take all the fans out prior to starting. I had a hard time getting the motherboard standoffs in with the back 140mm fan in there. But definitely put the fan back in there before sliding the mobo in.

The mobo with the heat sink attached required some finesse to put in place but was moderately simple.

As you can see in the pics, the heat sink fan is sitting on top of the ram module and is almost touching the top of the support bar. If you were to get ram with heat spreaders on top and planned on using a tower heat sink then there might be some compatibility issues.

Plug in the cables from the front of the case first before putting in the power supply. And put the power supply in before putting your front fans on. I would recommend this particular power supply as the cables coming out of it are perfect for great cable management.

All in all, I thought it came out great. I thought cable management would have been hard but I was able to route them in such a way that they didn't affect airflow from the front fans too much. Also, the MSI GTX 970 fans when in idle do not move which is a great feature as it keeps the noise down.


  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

Did changing the stock case fans for noctuas made a significant improvement on the noise level? I'm planning a similar build and wondering if it's worth the money.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't test the stock case fans before the build. I just figured that the noctua fans were high quality, low noise fans and that I should just switch them out regardless. But if you plan on running fans at low rpms then I guess any good fan would do. I have all the fans connected to the motherboard and the mobo software that controls the fans is excellent.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I was planning on doing a silent build with the Node 304. Does the non-reference cooler on your 970 cause high temperatures overall in the case? I'm not sure if I want to go the blower-style route as those tend to be noticeably noisier.

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  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Great idea putting the SSD in the front like that! Lovely build, too, well done :)

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, this is almost exactly the build that I'm converging on. Same case, GPU, CPU, mobo, cooler, the 550w version of that PSU.

I was hoping to try the case fans before swapping them. But it looks like I'd have to remove the mobo & cooler to swap the 14cm, yes? Could I swap the 92mm ones only removing the drives?