My old rig has been showing its age lately in games. Mind you, it's a Core 2 Duo e6600 which I built in 2006. And up until this rig it was letting me play StarCraft 2 with decent performance but at all low settings. SC2 stuttered pretty bad towards late games when many units were on the field.
Anyhow, a little while ago I found a good deal on a GTX 1070 and I bought it. Popped it in the old rig and ran it for a while. I started making a wish list for a gaming rig. Something that wouldn't bottleneck the 1070 as badly as my little Core 2 Duo. In reading several reviews I noted that the sweet spot was the i5 line up.
One night, on a whim, I browsed a Craiglist-like website for my area and found this gem. It's as if this little rig was designed to go with my 1070. The rig consisted of everything you see on this part list minus the 1070. While I wouldn't have gone with some of the particular brands or brand/model combinations, this would work very well. I put in my offer, not caring if it would be accepted or not, and long and behold it was. After some back and forth and three days later, we worked out a deal and I bought it. Let me just say that I paid substantially less than the going rate for these parts.
When I reviewed the PC it appeared as if there was a video card in it before. Besides the rear exhaust fan, there was another fan on the side panel but it wasn't connected. I found this odd but not a show stopper. When I installed my video card I found out why it wasn't connected, the power connector interfered with the fan. So, I simply removed it, problem solved. There is enough positive air flow in the case that it really is unnecessary.
Also, when doing some cable management, I noticed that there were extra motherboard stand offs on the back plate. Upon closer inspection, there was also a missing stand-off on a section of the motherboard. I took off the board and found that it was installed in the wrong spot and under a solid section of the board. Luckily, ASUS engineers figured this would happen at some point and designed the board to not have any electronics in typical stand-off installation locations! Yay!
I've been using it for several days with zero issues. StarCraft and HotS run at the maximum settings with zero lag and in all their beauty. I'm very happy with it. It'll serve me well until I build I decide to go big. Priorities, priorities.
Great CPU for the money. Pairs well with a GTX 1070. Runs super cool with its stock cooler.
Great card for the money. This was the sweet spot for price vs. performance at the time of my build.
Pros: For the money, this case is really nice. Front filtered fascia with large fan from factory. Painted black inside and out. Rubber feet. Thumbscrews.
Cons: Flimsy metal panels. Challenging to do proper cable management.