Description

This system was built to be a daily use system for my fiancé. What we were shooting for was a system that could do some mild photo editing, surf the web, work as a media server for our Samsung Smart TV, and do some basic 1080P gaming if she so desired.

All of the parts were chosen as "best bang for the buck" with a slight emphasis on performance. The system also had to have the ability to be upgraded to suit her changing needs. We wanted something that fit her personality so we chose a pretty unconventional color theme. There are very few pink cases on the market and we got lucky to sang up what I feel is one of the absolute best pink cases ever made, the NZXT Pink Phantom. The case has long been discontinued and when I purchased it second hand for $200 it was pretty beat up. The right side panel was all scratched up and the front bezel was completely cracked in half on the bottom left side. These cases are so hard to get ahold of though, I had to take a chance. The $200 I paid was a far cry from the $500-$,1500 I have seen these cases sell for due to their limited production. under a worst case scenario, my original plan was to color match the paint on the side panel and to fix the cracked bezel by using fiberglass. A quick message to NZXT though and we were able to get all the damaged parts replaced with new "old stock" parts....this included a new front bezel, the right side panel, and a complete screw and bracket kit FOR FREE...I didn't even have to pay shipping...that's how well they treat their customers over at NZXT!!!

The completed build runs all 4 cores with a mild overclock of 4.55GHZ @ 31C or 87F under normal desktop apps due to the Respire T40 and the Prolimatech PK-2 and that is in a room with an regular ambient temp of 23C or 74F. This makes for rock solid operation with only normal maintenance being required.

The system works amazing for a media server as it runs Samsung Link (a free software download from Samsung for their devices) to stream videos to our TV and Smartphone flawlessly. Games Like Dota2 run @ 1080p with all details maxed at well over 100FPS and even games such as War Thunder never dip below 60FPS with most settings maxed out. This is more performance than she currently needs for gaming but it gives her some headroom for growth. For graphic work she uses Paint.net and Inkscape (free downloads which are clones of Photoshop and Corel Draw). Both work great under normal operation however in Inkscape, after applying multiple filters to a drawing you can see the system start to slow. I do plan on adding an additional 8GB of ram to the system to help combat this.

We also just ordered a OCZ Vector 180 120GB SSD (which has been added to the parts list on 7/20/2015) to increase system performance. I chose this drive for 3 reasons. I am very curious to see if the new controller tech that OCZ is using in the vector series is as good as they claim. Reliability has been an issue for OCZ in the past but this new partnership with Toshiba seems promising and I just want to see it first hand. On paper the drive appears to match up with most other top tier drives out there so I want to see how close their data is to real world performance. Lastly the drive compliments our color scheme perfectly, and that is a plus.

All in all the system does exactly what we set out for it to do and she has been very happy with her computer. It stays running for days and sometimes weeks at a time before reboots (usually due to an update) and it has done this for well over a year with no problems.

Added 3 new pictures on 7/11/15 as I got bored and decided to do a basic mod to the video card. I removed and painted the shroud of the EVGA 750Ti to match the color scheme, then put everything back together. This small mod has made such a difference in how the system looks.

Update:

7/27/2015 The OCZ Vector 180 has been installed and is up and running great. I get a Crystal Disk Mark read of 539 and a write of 444 off of this 120GB SSD. The Clone software that comes with the drive makes moving your O/S as easy as can be. The entire upgrade process from start to finish including all cloning and cleanup of old files from the mechanical HDD took about an hour and a half. I also took this opportunity to revamp the cable management a little and added some photos to reflect the changes. The next upgrade on the list is doubling the ram to 16GB while the pricing is so good.

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Comments

  • 56 months ago
  • 4 points

I like it :) and the pink theme is very unique. I hope it serves you and your fiancée well. +1

  • 56 months ago
  • 4 points

Great... Now my wife saw this over my shoulder... Time to get out the plastidip. But very forward build and rare to see a FX 43X0 used nowadays. 750ti will last you a good long while on non AAA titles too. Well built.

Still... Only +.5 for giving my wife ideas

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

I trust your fiancée actually likes pink?

EDIT: Also, where did you find the pink case? NZXT's site doesn't admit to its existence.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

He said (wrote) he purchased it second hand.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes she loves pink. The NZXT Phantom PINK case is sort of a legend...lol...when NZXT originally released the Phantom case it was part of an april fools joke that they said they were only going to release it in the color pink. Of corse that was not the case but it got so much attention that NZXT released a very limited quantity of these cases. Most resellers that got them marketed them for breast cancer awareness month the year of their release. It is not a plastidip or repainted case...they actually came this way from NZXT. How many I'm not actually sure but I have seen companies that have original ones like this trying to sell them for as much as $2,000 which is ridiculous. I got this one damaged on ebay for $200 and was able to get the replacement parts to fix it directly from NZXT.

  • 56 months ago
  • -1 points

Spraypaint...

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

NZXT made a pink Phantom for awhile.

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

ppcp needs more pink machines lol

1+ for a good part list aswell

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

I only have one question, I do not mean this to be disrespectful, why a GTX 750 Ti?

Also, the pink color with blue lighting looks great. Nice choice!

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

MILD light gaming, and the GTX 750ti is a very capable card, very powerful for its price point, had one, ran skyrim on ultra at 45-60 fps constantly.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I have that card in my wife's machine as well. At 1080P on our 65" TV, Diablo III looks amazing. That's the reason I built the machine, and that card for the $120 I paid for it, is unbeatable for it's intended use.

VERY capable GPU for 1080P gaming, for all but the very latest cutting edge AAA titles...even then, with a few settings turned down, STILL looks better than any console.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I put a GTX 750 ti in it because it was the first card in a budget price range to release with the new architecture so it uses less power but has enough umph to play most games acceptably that she would want to play. At the time it was purchased in fact is was the only card using this new design because the 900 series wasn't available yet.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

You're probably one of the most well-mannared persons I've seen on the internet. Lol.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I love that pink case! -Savannah

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I think I just found my first gaming pc build! :)

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

The one AM3+ CPU that makes sense for budget gaming.

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  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

@marcoclark This is your dream build, right?

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

How loud is the GPU? Many people say that this card runs quite loud, but others claim that EVGA fixed this issue

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

It's actually pretty quiet as compared to many cards I have had. A big thing to remember when building even a mild performance build such as this is to have adequate airflow in the case. If you have a small case then your fans will usually run at a higher RPM to compensate but in a full size tower with decent ventilation the fans will tend to run much slower and give you a lower noise level overall. In the specific build here with 2 x 200mm fans in the top they push a lot of air even at low RPM so everything stays nice and cool without having much noise. To kinda put it into perspective the whole system is quieter than I remember my Xbox 360 that I had in the past.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

How did you mount the ssd on the 2.5/3.5 bay. I just got an ssd for it. Do i need certain screws.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Good question. What I did was pretty simple actually. Once you remove the plastic sled from the case that a normal 3.5" drive mounts to, look at the side. There are 2 metal push pins that are surrounded with a rubber grommet. What I did was push the two pins on the left side completely out and put the screws supplied with the SSD into the rubber grommet and tightened them down. you have to use a little pressure to make the rubber grommet compress enough for the screw to bite in, but once it does just give it a few more complete turns and it will mount nice and tight to the sled without having to make any other modifications. I did it this way because the process is also completely reversible unlike say drilling into the case and mounting it on the back side of the motherboard tray. That would have been like sacrilege on such a rare case. It is also a very sturdy mount for the most part even though it is only using 2 screws.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the late response but what screw would it take. My ssd didn't come with any.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

I used standard fine thread screws that are the same as you would use in mounting a optical drive...but depending on your drive it will either be a fine or course thread screw of standard size that should do the trick.

  • 56 months ago
  • -1 points

FX-4350? Why not 6300? Just because of clock rate?

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

4350 is cheaper

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

By $10. So?

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

Maybe they didn't have that $10

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol.

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

When the chip was purchased there was more like $100 price difference...plus the faster clock worked better for the intended purpose than multiple slower cores.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok thanks :)

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

The 4350 does run a faster clock than the 6300 but also according to tons of research most games utilize only up to 4 cores efficiently so the other 2 cores of a 6300 would be better used in a multitasking situation. This has even been demonstrated on the intel platform using a i5 vs an i7 where if they are both running the same clock there is only a very marginal performance difference for gaming. This could change with directX 12 in windows 10, but for now that was why the 4350 was chosen.

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  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

It's running windows 7 64 bit ultimate.

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