Description

This build was made to replace my current laptop, which has overheating issues while gaming. I use this machine mainly for gaming, obviously, but not hardcore gaming. The build was made by a friend of mine who knows a lot more than me on computer hardware, so I may not be aware of everything about this build.

Let's talk about the parts:

First, I had a compatibility issue between the motherboard and the CPU. The board wouldn't get past the CPU's initialization, so I had to borrow a CPU from my friend to let the PC boot and to flash the BIOS. Once the BIOS was updated, I put back my CPU in it's socket and everything worked fine from this moment.

The CPU was overclocked from 3.5 GHz to 4.6GHz and runs completely fine under maximum load (tested with OCCT 4.4.1). The highest temperature recorded on the hottest core during OCCT's test was 72°C and the coldest core's temperature was 70°C (for a test of 1 hour). At the end of the test, the CPU's general temperature dropped approximately to 35°C thanks to the Noctua CPU fan, which does a very good job in cooling the CPU. Highly recommended ;) Under a normal load during gaming, the CPU does not heat more than approximately 63°C (tested with 3 hours of Team Fortress 2 gameplay).

As for the GPU, I didn't do extensive tests yet. I tested the card with Unigine Valley 1.0 and there was absolutely no lag. I also did a similar test to Unigine's one with Tomb Raider (the one from March 2013) and Bioshock Infinite and there was also no lag at all. This is why I decided not to overclock the GPU even more than the default overclocking provided with this card. If you guys want more extensive data for the GPU, please suggest some tools I should do the tests with and I'll report back on the results.

The motherboard has great integrated sound. The output is clear and there is an automatic fade-out on sound that stops abruptly (like the pause button on Youtube or in your favorite music player). When using a microphone, the Realtek sound manager can effectively remove any and all background noises.

As for the rest of the parts, there isn't much to say on them. The case is indeed very silent. I only hear a slight wind sound and no whirring. The RAM and WD hard drive work, the SSD lets my PC boot very fast and the power supply has very nice cables that have braided membranes to help you manage your cables. The wireless card is pretty good too. Ping in online games doesn't seem to be affected by the fact I'm not using wired Internet. The monitor is good too and the Blu-ray writer was gifted to me, so that's why it cost me 0$ (in case you were wondering).

So this is it for the parts of my computer. If you want more info or would like some benchmark data I didn't do, just tell me in the comments with the tool(s) to use and I'll try to get this data and update the info on this build.

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Comments

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I build a pc with this exactly cpu and mobo. what do you mean a compatibility issue? will i get that too?

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

The problem was that the computer wouldn't boot at all with the i5-4690K in the MSI Z97 Gaming 5. The motherboard would just not recognize the CPU. If you plan on buying MSI's Z97 Gaming 5 and the i5-4690K or a CPU from the same release, it is likely the computer won't boot out of the box. To make it work, you need to flash the motherboard's BIOS and you can't do that if the computer can't boot. The solution is to use another CPU that is known to work out of the box with this motherboard so it can boot. Flashing the motherboard is then possible. Once the flashing is done, you can put the i5-4690K in the motherboard. The compatibility issue will be resolved and the PC will boot.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

How can i update the bios?

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

You can find a lot of information about flashing/updating a MSI motherboard here: https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=116721.0

This page explains how to use a program used to flash a MSI motherboard (only a MSI one. Don't use this tool with motherboards from other companies.). The tool can be downloaded here: https://forum-en.msi.com/index.php?topic=108079.0 (need to be logged in to a MSI forum account to see the download link).

You basically need to follow the guide (1st link) on another computer to prepare a USB key that will be able to flash the BIOS of the motherboard you want to flash. In your case, you will also need a CPU that is known to work out of the box with the Gaming 5 motherboard, otherwise you won't be able to boot from the prepared USB key. Your computer also needs to be completely built with the working CPU in it, obviously.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Sooooooo ... how do you flash the BIOS if you don't have an older CPU on hand? I was considering getting the 4690k/gaming 5 bundle from Microcenter but this seems like a lot of trouble. I thought Z97s were supposed to work with Haswell Refresh out of the box?

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

I thought so too, but it looks like it doesn't if the motherboardisn't flashed beforehand. If you don't have another CPU to do this procedure, then flashing it will be impossible... There is still a solution though. I suppose you could buy the cheapest compatible CPU you can find on the market so you can use it to flash your BIOS. Once you're done with that cheap CPU, you could just return it to the seller, sell it on Ebay or even keep it for future uses. I found this one that looks like it would be compatible with the motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116974

I hope this helps.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

great choice of parts and nice job with OCing the cpu, i just would have gotten a case with a window to look at all the sexy internals.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, but most of the parts were chosen by my friend. I know he's good with hardware, so that's why I bought the parts he suggested me.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

How's the Noctua nh-d15? Do you regret getting it? And is it THAT ugly like everybody says?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

The Noctua NH-D15 is a very good fan and I absolutely don't regret buying it. I suppose this CPU cooler does look ugly. You can actually see it on one of my pictures. The rotor's color is brown and the frame is beige. It's not the best looking cooler, but its cooling power is incredibly good. If you intend to buy it and you don't plan on buying a windowed case, you shouldn't decide weither to buy it based on it's color. If the looks are important, then I suppose you can try to find an equivalent cooler from another company. Or just buy it anyway if you like it's shape and/or color.

I should also add something I forgot to write in my review. The Z97-Gaming 5 motherboard has the RAM slot right beside the CPU, which means a big CPU cooler like the NH-D15 will have trouble fitting perfectly. When the RAM is plugged in, it removes space for the outer fan of the cooler. When installing the fan, I had to put it a bit higher on the radiator, like if it was sitting on the RAM. Don't worry, the radiator fits perfectly and the fan in the middle too, but the outher one will need to be placed a bit higher.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

oh really? actually i already bought both this motherboard and this noctua cooler..

hmm but i ordered another case - nzxt phantom 530.

will i get into the same issue??

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

The case will not interfere with the cooler as long as it is wide enough for it. I don't think your case will be a problem, it looks like it is wide enough.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

yes i mean will i have the same problem you had with the motherboard and noctua cooler and ram?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, probably. I wouldn't say it's a big problem though. As I said, you just need to place the outer fan on top of your RAM.

  • 64 months ago
  • 0 points

The Fractal Design Define R5 is out, why did you choose the R4? Cheaper?

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Man... these type of comments...

Good build Eric.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

What's wrong with wondering why he didn't go with the newer version of something?

Edit: The R4 is a great case, don't get me wrong

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

i very rarely comment on case choice simply because its so subjective

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I had the bad luck of buying the R4 a day or two before the R5 came out, so this is why I have the R4.