Description

I built this computer mostly for looks. Its a great entry level computer for someone that wants a cheap computer that looks like an expensive machine. There were some things that I should have spent more money on, such as the graphics card, however I am pleased with it. I did have some of the parts given to me for free/discount from another person that was upgrading their rig. The total is around $500 for me, however, I did get Windows 10 for $20 dollars, from my brother. Huge shout-out to him!

The good:

  • Runs well with most games

  • Runs fairly quit

  • Fairly power conservative

  • Looks nice

  • Hidden cables

  • Overclocked by 5% absolutely no problem

The bad:

  • Hard drive rattles a lot

  • Releases a lot of heat with computer and monitor

  • Graphics card bottlenecks performance due to overheating

  • LED lights can be obnoxious at night time

The ugly:

  • Hidden cable management is a disaster

  • Side panel had to be bent in order to close over the screw for the water cooler radiator fan

All in all this computer is a great little machine. Good build for first-timers. I will need to add another fan blowing onto the graphics card to improve performance, and allow overclocking

Part Reviews

CPU

Excellent CPU, I run it through some pretty strenuous tests and never had this CPU bottleneck or struggle. However, the stock cooler fan is mostly an expensive paperweight. I will use that for a cheap build (or as an emergency cpu fan while another one is on its way.) The cpu handled the overclock rather nicely, looking at overclocking it more.

CPU Cooler

This cooler is amazing! The highest ever recorded temp that I have gotten is 55 deg. Celsius, after running the cpu for 30 minutes at full speed on a Prime 95 test, in direct sunlight in a pretty toasty room (at least 85 degrees or higher) room. during normal use, it keeps the cpu down to 20 to 30 degrees, with a mere 11 idle and light usage temperature. This cooler runs quiet, and cool - everything you would want! The only con is that is uses two separate cables for the water pump and the fan. On a lower end motherboard like mine, it uses up every fan slot.

Thermal Compound

What can I say? It does the job, no problems yet.

Motherboard

Great little motherboard. It has essentially every slot that I would need it for. It runs quite well, no problems with it. Overclocking is not the easiest, however it is simple enough. The BIOS could be better, but it does its job. The only con is the motherboard having only two fan slots (chassis fan, and cpu fan). Other than that, it works great. I love the dark board with the bright blue heat sinks (and light blue PCI-E slots)

Memory

Beautiful blue heatsink color. I have not experienced any problems with the ram, but it runs relatively fast, however it does seem that there could be a better value for the price.

Video Card

Awesome little graphics card. This card allows me to run a few games on max settings, and most games on medium settings with no lag. There seems to be a little bug (not sure if it is my card or the software) that sometimes causes the fan to run at full speed, sounding like a throttled hair drier, even when the computer is idling. Other than that, it .runs quite well, and relatively quiet (at normal speeds). Other than that, the software is gold, easy overclocking, easy recording software, settings, etc...

Case

It is a cheap case, but it works. The side window scratches very easy, even with a cloth. A few expansion slots on the front of the case appear to be falling out, even though I have not removed them before. The "cable management" is really not all that nice, and I ended up stuffing a few wire groups into an empty storage bay. The metal is also thin, and flimsy, so it bends quite easily. On another note, it looks nice, the fans works well, the leds are bright and the noise is muffled pretty well. Excellent for a cheap build, but not much more than that.

Power Supply

No problems with the PSU itself, however I regret not getting a semi or fully modular supply. For how many cables it has, it does not seem to have as many useful ones. It only has a few molex ports, and absolutely no pwm fan ports, so i had to order an adapter on ebay. It runs quiet, and for the price, it is an excellent power supply. I would recommend this over similar low end power supplies.

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Comments

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

hi there

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Why only overclocked by .2 GHz or so with that liquid cooler? Also, I'm kind of curious about the choice of a CPU cooler. It probably works about as well as a good air cooler, but costs $40 more and doesn't help with the looks much (imo). And that money would have been miles better to spend on something like a better graphics card (even in the low end, a $30 upgrade to a GT 1030 would have been great).

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

This is my first time overclocking, so I honestly had no idea what I was doing. I plan on trying to break 5 GHz, because the CPU runs at the same temperature before and after the overclock. I also chose that cooler because it does keep the CPU under 30 degrees with any realistic game or process I have put it through, only maxing out at 44 during a strenuous torture test on a hot day in direct sunlight. I also wanted it partly because of how quiet it runs, going quieter than most air-coolers that I have seen. Not to mention the fact that the stock cooler that came with the CPU is garbage, with an idle temp of 38 or so, verses the 10 to 15 degrees the water cooler runs at. And personally, I think the water cooler looks better than an air cooler.

I do definitely agree with you though, I should have spent a good 30 to 50 more on a good graphics card, but with my small budget I'll see how far I can get with a case fan and overclocking.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

I hope you didn't expect much from the GPU, it's good for watching movies and that's about it.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't expect much from it, however I did expect a tiny bit more. My biggest mistake was that I reached the end of my budget so I just grabbed the cheapest GPU I saw.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

If you can later get a 750 ti to improve the gaming experience

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

I definitely will do that. Thanks for the advice!

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

No problem, if you can try upgrade but of course its a budget pc

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

In general, it's a nice build, but

  1. how is the radiator fan configured? It's not a push configuration. Is it pull? I hope it's not push and releasing all the hot air back in the case.
  2. The tube from the radiator seems to be bend (last picture) in a way that it restricts water flow. Is it so or just my eyes are playing tricks on me?
  3. If the GPU overheats, why not return it and get one with an active cooler instead?

a cheap computer that looks like an expensive machine.

I think that's the problem with society: we always want to look different than we actually are...

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point
  1. The radiator is pulling air in from the back case, so that it draws cooler air over the radiator, not pushing the hot air out.

  2. I do not believe that the tube is bent to the point of restricting the water flow. The tubes were pretty stiff, so it just kind of goes where it wants to. In this case it hits the windowed panel

  3. When I did the testing originally, from when I first got it, the GPU did not seem to have a problem. This was noticed after a long session of Rocket League. It is too late to return it now, but maybe I can sell it to a friend?

I do agree with you though, we want to be better than we are, but sometimes it is good to make things look good, as long as we are not trying to be deceptive.

Thanks for commenting!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

I've got a GTX 970 STRIX. It's been working fine for almost a year, but a couple of weeks ago I got a hold on an i5-3570K that I overclocked to 4.7 GHz. This CPU has a pretty nice speed compared to my previous QX9770.

The thing is, in some cases, the CPU is not my bottleneck anymore, and the GPU runs on 100% all the time. (Diablo 3) I've got a pretty nice FPS (150+), but under "normal" conditions, the VRMs of my GPU overheat and the game crashes. :D Either I set up a more aggressive fan curve and produce a deafening thunder of sound in my case or set up a frame limiter. I chose the latter.

Point is, I can relate to having something work for a while, only to realize later that things aren't as nice as one originally anticipated. ;)

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

The radiator is pulling air in from the back case, so that it draws cooler air over the radiator, not pushing the hot air out.

So do you mean that it pulls air from the outside?

I'd really flip it around to push air from the case through the radiators the outside of the case.

The problem is, if you do not have a good airflow, you can easily heat box your components. In your case, the GPU could use more airflow, lower temperatures, so it would definitely benefit from the radiator being configured as an exhaust, not an intake.

So right now you've got

location fan configuration
Rear Corsair H60 intake
Front 120 mm intake
Top 1 x 120 mm; 1 x 120 mm unused exhaust
Side 2 x 120 mm unused n/a

Right now as you can see you've got positive air pressure (2 in, 1 out) which does not promote cooling.

I'd get 2 more fans: one on the top (so you'd have 2 top fans) and one on the side to supply fresh air to the GPU. And would also flip the H60 around to be an exhaust. So you'd have the following:

location fan configuration
Rear Corsair H60 exhaust
Front 120 mm intake
Top 2 x 120 mm exhaust
Side 120 mm; 1 x 120 mm unused intake

Before you'd start buying fans, I'd make sure you have enough connectors for them or buy some splitters (or a Fan Hub, which might be a bit more expensive).

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you so much for the advice, it really means a lot! As you can probably obviously tell, this is my first ever computer build. The main reason I had the fan for the CPU suck air into the case was because that is what the instructions that came with the cooler recommended, as well as my brother who is more experienced recommended it, citing the fact that you want to draw cooler air over the radiator to improve performance, verses trying to cool the water with the hot air in the case. I have one fan that is being delivered, and I will order one more as an additional exhaust in the top, however in the meantime I will flip the CPU fan backwards to be an exhaust. Thanks for taking the time to comment, and putting together the optimal fan placement chart!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

citing the fact that you want to draw cooler air over the radiator to improve performance,

Corsair and your brother are absolutely correct. But with this theory, there is an assumption: the cooling of the CPU is more important than the cooling of the rest of the components in the PC.

In your case, that does not hold, as you said the GPU overheats. So I'd sacrifice some cooling performance of the CPU to gain better cooling on the GPU. There's no use having the CPU perform at 105% when the GPU gets throttled down due to overheating.

And again, make sure you have enough fan connectors in your case / on your motherboard. ;)

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome, thanks for that clarification! That makes a lot of sense, so I will do that, especially as I have not had any sort of problems with the CPU getting even close to overheating. Ill make sure I have a spare connector from the power supply to run a fan that will blow on the GPU. If I do not have enough connectors, will just any cheap splitter/hub off of ebay work?