Description

I built this for my brother with the help of family pitching in for parts. I'm very impressed with this build as it is very small and powerful.

Let me get my two complaints out of the box from the get go. First, the ASRock motherboard had bad A dimm slots. Had to RMA it to Newegg for a replacement. Second one works well. I'm not going to deduct a star from it since the motherboard performs very well and is overall a great board that supported my needs. Issues like this happen, just a luck of the draw. Second, the EVGA GTX 970 has some of the worst coil whine I have heard. I have contancted EVGA about this and they said this is "Normal". I have a gold rated PSU, like they recommended, and have tested in a different system with a different PSU brand, rating, and PSU wattage and it still has bad whine. I'm going through the RMA process as we speak. The card itself performs great, putting every game at 1080p over my 60fps minimum requirement. I am deducting 1 star for the coil whine as I have read up on the GTX 970 issues and EVGA specifically with this issue. I'm going to test overvolting the card slightly as recommended by the EVGA tech I am working with for the RMA. If this final test fails, I will be sending the card back for a replacement. If the second one fails to meet my standards, I will be requesting a refund and will opt for a different brand. I have used several GTX 970s from ASUS and MSI but I was looking for a smaller card to fit in this build. Those brands I have heard had similar issues but I personally have not experienced them yet.

Intel i5 4690K - Excellent! Very fast and cool paired with the Noctua. Overclocked to 4.2Ghz with ease!

Noctua NH-L12 - Wow! This is an amazing cooler! It was the easiest thing I have ever installed! The thing keeps the CPU at 37 degrees Celcius at idle and 55 degrees Celcius under load. Great product! I'll never use another brand for a high end CPU cooler solution!

ASRock - Excellent board with all the features I needed. First board was RMA because of bad A dimms. Second one works very well!

G.Skill RAM - Excellent as always!

850 EVO 250GB - Very fast and reliable! I default to Samsung for reliability and performance. Yes, the SanDisk Extreme does perform better but not at the price point.

WD 1TB Black HDD - Excellent! Very fast and reliable! Tons of space for games and other data!

EVGA GTX 970 - Unhappy with this card. Performance wise, it's great as it has played every game tested over 60fps on ultra or high settings. Why am I unhappy? Coil whine is terrible. It is a loud hum from the card one you enter any game. Tested on multiple systems with different PSU brands and wattages, still the loud hum. I'm working with EVGA to RMA the card.

Corsair Air 240 - Excellent case! I was impressed with the quality of the case as well as the ease of installing everything. Great case for airflow and for a small build. Only complaint is the top panel hums/vibrates with high RPM fans. If you position a speaker on top of it right, it goes away.

Corsair 550W - Excellent PSU. Gold rating which is what I wanted for this build with the GTX 970. Modular makes this thing awesome. It does stay cool in the case and rarely do I see the fan kick on.

Pictures coming soon.

Part Reviews

CPU

Very fast and cool! Easy to overclock!

CPU Cooler

Excellent! Will never use another brand CPU cooler for a high end air solution! Small but powerful!

Motherboard

Great board with lots of features! First was a dud due to bad A dimm slots. RMAed and got a second one, works great! Highly recommend!

Storage

Fast and reliable! Can't beat the price per GB with this!

Storage

Tons of space, great performance, and awesome reliability!

Video Card

Great card performance wise, great looking card, horrible Coil Whine. Working with EVGA to RMA the thing after testing it in multiple computers with different PSU brands and wattage. At the desktop, it's silent, in any game (WoT, WoW, BF4, Bioshock Infinite, HoN) loud humming noise that goes up and down depending on frame rate and detail in the game. Limited to 60fps, still terrible. First time with EVGA, most likely my last time. Disappointed with a brand I thought was excellent from other people. Sticking with my main sources, MSI and ASUS.

Case

Excellent case! Top panel hums a little with high RPM fans on top. Tons of room for cabling and excellent appearance!

Comments

  • 52 months ago
  • 2 points

How did you manage to fit a bottom fan with an matx board?

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

It fit all the way pushed up front! Was a perfect fit!

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Would you have rather want a MSI twin Frozr V 970 than your EVGA

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I would have done the MSI TF 970 or the ASUS 970. I have had many of each brand's products (GPUs, Motherboards) and have had 0 issues with them or their RMA department. I was saddened by the EVGA coil whine and the fact that their RMA department told me that's just how high end cards work. My buddy has the MSI 970 TF and his had 0 coil whine. My brother was just here for Xmas break and his card is still making the same noise in games after 6 months of heavy use. Burning in does not solve coil whine. It was the first thing I noticed coming into the basement... "What's that humming noise? Oh, dammit... its his 970." :(

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you need a fan splitter to use that many fans? I want to buy the same board but concerned with the number of fan headers.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I bought the NZXT fan hub. I forget what the name exactly was but I bought it on Amazon for about $15 and it could handle I think it was 9 fans or so.

[comment deleted]
  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

I can't remember now and I'll have to check when my brother comes in for Thanksgiving. I think I might have just used the clam on the side that you swing open.