We were contacted by a customer whose current PC just wasn’t keeping up with his gaming demands–in fact, he was getting unplayable FPS during raids. He contacted us, set a budget, and we delved into the build.
After some back and forth to better understand his needs, we settled on the following components.
- NZXT Source 220 case (w/ 3 included LED fans)
- Corsair CX Series 500W Modular PSU
- BIOSTAR Hi-Fi B85S3+ mATX motherboard
- Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz dual-core processor
- Corsair Hydro Series H50 closed loop cooler
- 8GB (4x2GB) Crucial Ballistix Sport RAM
- PowerColor Radeon HD 6970 2GB GPU
- Crucial M500 240GB SSD
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
- LG Internal DVD Burner
We’ve really been impress with the quality and features of NZXT cases, especially for mid-tier builds. The version we picked up included 3 white LED case fans, so it was a no-brainer. Other features include a bottom mounted PSU, rubber grommet holes for cable management, a front USB 3.0 port, tool-less drive bays, ability to hold the largest video cards, and a windowed side panel. Very nice case.
Two of the LED fans are located in front of the tool-less drive bay.
The processor we picked is Intel’s 20th anniversary release, and comes with unlocked multipliers, so you can easily overclock it. Normally, unclocked processors are $200+ (the K line that starts with Core-i5), so this is quite the deal if you don’t need to use a ton of multi-threaded applications. It’s perfect for gaming, so our customer decided to go with it. Since the motherboard is Socket 1150 (Intel’s newest), he’ll be able to upgrade the processor in the future and totally rejuvenate his build. To assist him with this, we went with a really nice H50 closed loop cooler. The water cooler wasn’t in the original budget, but we found some items on sale and made room.
Intel only allows overclocking on the Z chipset, but older BIOS releases from major manufacturers allow overclocking on their B chipset. By using the B chipset and older BIOS, we paid half of what the Z chipset motherboard would have cost.
The closed-loop water cooler comes with 120mm radiator and fan, which we installed on the back panel of the case.
We moved the LED fan that was there to one of the installation places on the top of the case.
We got a great deal on 4 sticks of 2GB of RAM for a total of 8GB, plenty for our customer’s needs.
Here’s our old favorite Corsair CX Series PSU. We went modular this time since we found it at a good price. It helped keep the cable management neat and provides plenty of clean, consistent power for his components.
The HD 6970 has some beautiful copper pipes coming out of the side, giving the aesthetics of the case an upgrade and providing a little eye-candy for the side window.
The SSD is installed in one of the tool-less bays and has fans blowing directly over it. The initial specs only called for a 120GB drive, but we were able to find an amazing deal on the 240GB and upgraded for the customer.
Can’t have a completed build unless you have that cable management handled.
The LEDs really give the case an amazing look.
Through the panel.
And the front.
Our customer loved the build and the process. We were able to overclock the CPU from 3.2GHz @ 1.05V to 4.5GHz @ 1.3V. After hours of stress testing , the CPU stayed right at 60°C, which we were super happy about. We pre-installed WoW for the customer and tested out performance–with all settings on Ultra and resolution at 2560×1440, FPS were above 60!
As always we came in way under budget, even after the build fee and ad-hoc upgrades to the SSD and CPU cooler. We loved the way this turned out; there’s something uniquely challenging in squeezing the most performance you can out of the least amount of money. This was definitely one of our favorite builds.
Interested in what Rocket Custom Computers can do for you? Contact us at [email protected] today and upgrade that poor old gaming computer you’ve been tolerating for far too long.