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Little Black Box

by ahagglersdust



Date Published

Feb. 20, 2015

Date Built

Feb. 17, 2015

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

34.0° C


2nd Build - Gaming machine primarily. I wanted a smaller form factor.

CPU: good future proofing, decent price. Didn't see a need for i7

MOBO: I wanted wifi, potential for SATA express/m.2 etc. Nice sound on this one as well. Couldn't beat the price with an ASUS. ASRock just slashed the price for some reason.

RAMM: Nothing special. Dual channel, 8GB for future proofing.

SSD: No reason not to get the best here; great reviews from everyone. Super quick. Bootup is now almost instant.

HDD: For storage.

GPU: I thought about this long and hard. I bought this when it was first released and the power requirements were touted. My monitor is 1080. I couldn't see going to a 970 for $150 more. Just didn't make sense. The radeon was a consideration - and maybe i made the wrong pick - but i thought the latest/greatest would be better for the same price. Next upgrade on this will be to a better GPU, once this one runs out of steam.

CASE: Its great. Highly recommend. Very cool design. Easy. Great price. Can't complain at all. Driver of the build.

PSU: I had a 430W, but someone recommended going 500+ in case of overclock. For the price tradeoff, this 600W was the best value for a semi-modular. If i do upgrade GPU, this will cover it.

Monitor: I had it from the last build, but it is just fine. 2nd upgrade will be for this to go to 2440 along with the graphics card. But i think that is a few years off... or maybe 4k. EDIT: I added a Dell 24inch and the quality is MUCH IMPROVED. I can't believe how much money i spent on creating a gaming PC and didn't focus on the actual visual output.

CPU Cooler: Decided on the silverstone AR02. Fits the case. Little tight on the ram so had to move it up. Wanted a Zalman 8900 but NO AVAILABILITY!!! ARGH. Anyway, we will give this one a go.

Lights: Two strips (white and amber)

Cable management: Bought some sleeved cables tables and a ton of velcro ties (cheap).

No overclock: Passmark rating 4700. Runs Elite Dangerous on Ultra, no lag at all. All MOBAs highest settings etc.

Just did a quick overclock with the Asrock A-Tune program. 4.2mhz. New passmark score of 5071. Going to test stability.

Comments Sorted by:

Durann31 1 Build 2 points 40 months ago


ahagglersdust submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

stock cooler it runs under 60ish. Haven't overclocked anything yet.

kaito1410 4 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Everything looks good and nicely balanced. Hopefully in 3 - 4 years we would have one GPU driving 4k to 60hz haha.

Looks like you have space for a 240mm rad there. Might want to give the h105 or the cooler master nepton 240m a try. I know it's over the budget but for future games you will definitely need to overclock that i5 to considerable levels, which will require a decent aio.

ahagglersdust submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

that is the hope! so AIO is the way to go. Dreading pulling out the MOBO but could make a good afternoon project.

kaito1410 4 Builds 1 point 40 months ago

Actually from your pictures it looks like you can just throw the rad in there without pulling out the Mobo? Good luck with whatever choice you go with!

chengvang 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

LOL Same reasons why I went with the GTX 960 too. Plus the fact that the 4GB GTX 970 is and is not a 4.0GB GPU.

ahagglersdust submitter 1 Build 2 points 40 months ago

that actually was a consideration point. When I was buying, there was all this noise about it being <4GB. So why pay for it?

legopirate27 1 point 40 months ago

Hi ahagglersdust, I really like your build and am planning to run a similar/identical set-up for my first build. Is there a good reference guide you could recommend for setting up this rig e.g. youtube tutorial, online guide, etc? Also, is there any advice you'd offer from your own build experience? Thank you!

ahagglersdust submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Honestly, it's my second one so I learned a lot on the first. The case is great. I think Google was my best reference. My advice is to pull all the cables out and pla the routed then bind them once you've got it figured out. But not too close to the fan or it will interfere. I'm adding a kraken x41 for cooling.

On the 960: I might reconsider and go with 970 or better

legopirate27 1 point 40 months ago

Excellent, thanks for the guidance!

leonccyiu 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

How did you connect the lighting and which lights did you use? I don't see anymore power sockets on my motherboard for more case fans or lighting

ahagglersdust submitter 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

i just used some lighting strips - i forget the brand. they come with connectors that will connect into the PSU. No MOBO attachment. Pretty easy with all the excess cables around the bottom.

leonccyiu 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

Thanks! How is the Silverstone cooler? I have the same case I went for the cooler master hyper 103. There was a techpowerup review of the Raijintek Aidos where it performs just as well as the Cooler Master 212 Evo, but other sites don't replicate that, also the hyper 103 has nice led lighting.

leonccyiu 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

I notice the max noise of the silverstone ar02 is 24db but the stock 200mm case fan in the thermaltake is 29db. Does that drown out your cpu cooler? and is it running at 800rpm all the time? Thanks

ahagglersdust submitter 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

the noise to me is nothing on either of those fans. unless you have some serious hearing agitations, you won't notice it at all.

When I overclocked my graphics card, that was more noisy than those two. The front fan is basically silent for me. The Silverstone I can hear sometimes but not much - I don't run it at max though (I don't really see a point to overclocking that high other than bragging rights, which I don't really need...). I guess if you ran it full speed it would be louder. For me it sits low most of the time.

leonccyiu 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

That's interesting, I guess everyone's definition of loud is different. Some say the stock cooler is loud, I haven't installed it yet, but I plugged in it and it was fairly quiet to me.

I agree the graphics card overclocked is going to be very loud. To me the front fan sounds like a mild roar. I am considering changing it for either an aerocool or coolermaster rated at 18 or 19db. I believe since db is logarithmic, a difference in 10db should be 10 times quieter.

My PSU, the corsair cs-450m which is rated at 6db idle is inaudible unless it is exposed and I have my ears right next to it.

ahagglersdust submitter 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

think you may need to turn up your game volumes!!

leonccyiu 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

haha, or plug headphones in

leonccyiu 1 Build 1 point 39 months ago

I have tried running my computer passive with the 200mm fan disconnected, the cpu fan removed with just the heatsink and the processor underclocked, the silence was golden!

I had the lid off to allow the heat from the heatsink to escape, under prime 95 at 2.5ghz on the g3258 the temperature was 60c. I was more worried about the heatsink temperatures on the motherboard, while the motherboard temp sensors were at 60c, one of them had a very short spike to 134c. With the 200mm fan, they are at 30c.

So I am running the 200mm fan with the processor on stock speed and everything is cool. Just the 200mm fan noise which is considerable.

yrretmi 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

Any chance you have a Kill-a-Watt (or similar) and could find out your wattage while gaming?

Kreuzer 2 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

Nice, I got the same case wrapped in carbon fiber vinyl !