Hi guys. I’m here again with another budget entry/mid-level build. This time around we are catering to the game League of Legends and a Joker color theme. The user was very adamant about having purple as the major focal point of the build, but more on that later. The original budget was higher than this, but I just didn’t feel the need. LoL and the occasional indie game are the only tasks for this setup.
Goals for this build:
There isn’t a whole lot to say here. The i3 has been proven to smoke League. I had to go with the latest Haswell-Refresh CPU to allow for the best future expansion. Nothing crazy here.
I chose this board after browsing through some pictures of the Joker and noticing his golden locks. The H97 chipset works nicely with the locked CPU and isn’t over the top expensive. I really like the heatsink details Gigabyte put into this one too. I have to say my only sad face here is the removal of fan control in Easy Tune.
Classic Vengeance memory. The LP model was cheap at the time of buying. 1600, CAS 9, nothing extra ordinary, but it gets the job done nicely.
The user doesn’t need much in terms of mass storage. 1TB would have gone unused. I threw the idea of just getting a SSD. There was plenty of room for it in the budget and I had heard good things about the MX100. I was not let down. This is a great SSD in terms of price/size/performance.
The 750ti is a cool little card. It runs so quiet and cool even after benching League for 5+ hours. In a case this crammed and a real lack of space for cables behind the try, I felt that removing any excess cables would be for the best. The card handles games quite well for as inexpensive as it is. You shouldn’t expect to play games at max settings, but high is more than obtainable for a variety of titles.
Yikes… Bitfenix… This is a bad egg. There aren’t tie down points behind the motherboard tray. What? Not only that, but there is hardly any space behind the tray and the CPU power cable hole gets covered by the motherboard. I had to route the cable through, then put the board in. Luckily the Rosewill Hive has flat cables so it worked out okay. Overall it is very cheaply made, poorly designed, and airflow is ehh at best. The NZXT Source 210 puts this to shame for less money.
The reason you aren’t seeing the windowed version with the purple front mesh. That version is out of stock everywhere and isn’t going to ship until the end of August at best. So the user ordered this model and the windowed one. All he needs to do is swap the front and side panel and he has himself the case he wanted, without having to wait to play some games. He plans to sell the other case.
The Rosewill Hive 550w is a solid little unit. It has similar ratings to the Corsair CX series and is more than enough wattage. That will allow for some expansion in the future. The flat cables were very much needed in this build, due to the terrible case space. It ran quiet the entire time I was testing.
The LED fans were a little something to flair up the build a bit. He had plenty of budget room and insisted on them. This was probably a good idea due to the case not having the best airflow to start.
Ignoring the case problems, this build turned out just fine. I made the cable management work, though the back panel is tight, and it looks quite nice. This little system handles League of Legends like a champ.
Questions, comments, or concerns? Post them below, in a PM, or on my Facebook page. I’m never far away from a computer and always respond!
BENCHMARKS: using latest driver
Tests ran at clocks posted above. Settings were set to the maximum settings (1080P) unless noted differently. I test only tasking segments: firefights, lots of units on screen, explosions etc.
Ultra DX11 DOF
League of Legends
Metro Last Light
High, AF 4x, PhysX, Tess Normal, Motion blur normal, SSAA: On
Spec Ops: The Line
Hope you enjoy!