Description

Could look better as far as cable management... but this case made it a bit difficult. Great performance on a budget, though. Currently running the 2600X with LLC Mode 7 and a -0.0750 offset for great temps allowing XFR2 and PBO2 to boost efficiently with minimal throttling. The Corsair RAM settled in at a comfortably tight 14-15-15-32 at 3000mhz and the 1070 Ti running relatively cool at +210 on the core and +450 on the memory. I'm happy with it at the moment, might try playing with things a bit more later on.

I actually like the looks of this case and the build quality isn't exactly horrible considering it's price, however I wish I had spent just a few bucks more on something with better cable management options and a PSU shroud.

Part Reviews

CPU

Coming from a 2nd gen i7 so obviously this CPU is going to be impressive to me. As far as gaming the performance over my 2600k is minimal but noticeable. In terms of general PC performance and streaming it's a refreshing upgrade for what I paid. Seems like at this time (late 2018) the 2600/2600X is the best bang for your buck.

If you're interested in streaming using x264 my results are as follows...

720p30 "medium" or "fast" preset utilizes around 15-25% CPU on average. 720p60 "faster" preset about 15-25% CPU on average. 900p60 "veryfast" preset uses about 15-30% CPU on average.

Any of the above options allow for a fluid and stutter free streaming experience with little to no impact on the game performance itself. This was true for any modern game I streamed including RE2 Remake, Mordhau, Risk of Rain 2, Dead By Daylight, Hitman and Rise of the Tomb Raider to name a few...

CPU Cooler

I haven't ever been interested in 3rd party or high end coolers because I've never really needed them. However, I quickly realized with my first modern build using a Ryzen 5 that they can be quite a beast to tame. I ended up getting a MSI B450M mobo that doesn't currently have voltage offset which apparently is helpful at keeping temps under control while using core boost or enabling "Precision Boost Overdrive" being that it tends to overvolt a bit to ensure stability at high clocks. This resulted in poor temps with the stock "Spire" cooler that the 2600X came with. I was hitting up to 90c under load which was more than I'd like to be at, personally. So I looked into some coolers and didn't want to spend a ton. The original Hyper 212 has great reviews for a cooler in it's price range and is a best seller pretty much everywhere. I thought it was ugly AF though and wanted something to match my purple color theme a litter better. That's when I found this guy. I've yet to hit over 60c under load. I don't know how much better 50+ dollar coolers would be, but this is perfectly acceptable for me. The RGB is vivid and the brushed finish on the top looks quite sexy. It comes with everything you'd need for almost any consumer grade CPU on the market, including AM4. It wasn't too difficult to install and works considerably better than the stock cooler I was using before. I like it.

Motherboard

This is my first AM4 board. I usually go with Asus as I've been using them almost exclusively for years, though after hours of research I settled on MSI. They are the only B450 boards with a half decent VRM in this price range. Still, I ended up strapping a 40mm fan to the VRM heatsink just to ensure the life of the caps around it. On a full load they'd easily hit 100c due to the sad excuse of a heatsink on this model. They finally added voltage offset to their boards making them a decent choice for "X" series R5s and 7s. Overall the BIOS is quite nice and everything works well. All that said, you'd probably be better off going with the B450M Mortar. The Mortar is basically the same board and VRM but with a significantly better heatsink.

Memory

I ended up with the Hynix chips. I have this kit paired with a MSI B450M Bazooka and a R5 2600X. I managed to tighten the timings to 14-15-15-32 pretty easily at 1.35v and was able to pull off 3200mhz at 16-17-17-36 but with significantly more voltage. If overclocking is your main concern I'd look into other kits.

Storage

I've had two of these and they get the job done well enough. There's much better performing SSDs even in this price range now, though. If you find one for a good price and just need a second/third SSD for games or whatever, it's more than adequate. However, for a primary/OS SSD I'd look into one with higher performance marks.

Storage

Honestly, I don't do anything so intensive that I can tell a drastic increase in performance coming from my budget SATA SSD I was using for my OS before, though there IS a difference in just loading Windows and large programs. Just barely noticeable for me but definitely there. Maybe the Pro series have much more noticeable gains but I think it'd be overkill for my purposes. This was priced right and had good reviews/decent enough benchmarks.

Storage

Tried and true WD Blue. I've had more of these drives in my hands than any other throughout my years working with consumer level computers. They are my general "go-to" for rotary drives.

Video Card

I got this card used for about $300 on eBay. It's been a great card. Much like the title says, it's pretty damn quiet even when overclocked in a case with less than optimal airflow. Currently running it with a +210 on the core and +450 on the memory using Afterburner. I'm happy with it so far.

Case

I'll start this off by saying "You get what you pay for" ; the reason I say this up front is, despite me loving this case it's definitely a little flimsy in some areas, but it was fairly cheap for a neat looking purple themed case. I love the design/look of it on the outside. On the inside it's quite usable but there are a few things I would have preferred were done differently, most notably the front fan positioning above the HDD cage on the bottom. I'd have much rather have the option to put the fan lower so it can actually hit the drive cage. Other than that it's laid out well for the most part. It's a mini tower so there's not a lot of room but for basic builds it's more than enough, I think. I like it, but FAR from perfect. For the price point it's built well enough.

Overall I'd give this case 3 stars but given it's price I think it deserves 4.

Power Supply

A nice, compact PSU from one of the most reputable ODMs around. For the price it seems to be a wonderful little power supply and is working just fine for my purposes.

Custom

$18 for a set of nice looking purple LED 120mm fans. Simple enough. They aren't "quiet" but aren't "loud" by any means ether. The halo look is quite sexy I think and they seem to move a good bit of air.

Comments

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Why is there no CPU cooler in the pictures?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

If you read the description or the other comments you'll see that I had a few issues due to a faulty PSU and that there'd be more pictures soon. :)

Will be posting tonight. Everything is fine now.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I really want to see those pics of the cooler. Seriously considering it.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Hopefully by Friday I'll be able to take more pics. :)

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Posting tonight! So far so good ; haven't hit over 60c under load yet. Before with Spire cooler I was getting up to 90c

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

BUT CAN IT DJENT

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Of course :)

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

How was building in this case? I really want a micro black and purple case I've been looking at this one.

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

I left a review of the case on here.

Honestly, for the price point and the size, it wasn't too bad at all. It's FAR from perfect and I'd have done a few things differently, but I got it because it was purple themed and it actually looks pretty good in person. I recently redid the cable management and will upload new pictures soon.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

This build is great! Could you add some pictures of the RGB on? I also think it's worth putting more money into your case for your next build.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

I love smaller mATX based cases but the standard (original, old school) tower look. I'm pretty much set on eventually getting the NZXT H400 (when I can justify spending the extra $$) and putting this build in it instead, we'll see. Also, there's not much RGB in this rig, only the GPU and CPU cooler have RGB but I have them set to solid purple to match the case fans. I didn't go with RGB for the case fans because I wanted a purple/black theme and just getting straight purple fans was cheaper (the case came with two and I bought a couple more)

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome! I recommend NZXT cases, simply because they look great, and cable management is simple. Go with the H500 if you're on a budget!

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Nah, I'm more interested in the H400. I don't like the negative pressure design of the H500 and it's a bit bigger than the H400. I'm a mATX guy :P

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I'll know when the replacement CPU gets here later this week. The original PSU was a EVGA G3 that was DOA and fried the mobo, CPU and my drives.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

EVGA did issue a RMA for it but I just went and got a different PSU altogether. I went with a SeaSonic this time around. The G3 has great reviews and is made by Super Flower (one of the biggest power supply ODM's around next to SeaSonic, Delta and Great Wall) so I'm sure I just got unlucky with mine.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

The 212 Black Edition is great. First time around I was using the stock "Spire" cooler and was disappointed at the temps with CPU boost enabled. I was sometimes hitting 90c ; now I've yet to hit over 60c with the 212 installed. RGB is pretty nice too. I'll put up the pics tonight.