Page 1:Squeezing More Bang From The Same Buck
Page 2:CPU And Cooler
Page 3:Motherboard And Memory
Page 4:Graphics Card And Hard Drive
Page 5:Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
Page 6:Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Box
Page 7:Limited Overclocking Strikes Again
Page 8:Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
Page 9:Benchmark Results: Synthetics
Page 10:Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3
Page 11:Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Page 12:Benchmark Results: F1 2012
Page 13:Benchmark Results: Audio And Video
Page 14:Benchmark Results: Productivity
Page 15:Power Consumption And Temperatures
Page 16:Is This Our Best $500 Gamer Ever?
Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Box
Prepping Rosewill’s Blackbone is simple. The front bezel snaps off with a small tug from the bottom. And with no front-panel wiring attached, it's easy to set that aside while you're working on the drive cages or fiddling with the front fan.
As we’ve seen in the past, threading the painted standoffs into the painted motherboard tray requires a nut driver. We couldn't do this by hand.
The ASRock H77 Pro4/MVB gives us an option to reuse a cooler designed for Intel's LGA 775 interface, which is nice. But frankly, this is overshadowed by the board's thin, flexible PCB (not so nice). Exercise extreme caution when it comes to mounting the boxed Intel heat sink and attaching the 24-pin ATX power connector. I can't recall the last time I was worried about damaging a motherboard during system assembly.
As you can see, the Blackbone is a roomy case. Our short 8” graphics card made it possible to mount the hard drive in any of the internal 3.5” bays. Unlike some of the enclosures we’ve used, Rosewill doesn't skimp on the length of its internal cables. The fan and front-panel leads are long enough for us to wire everything up neatly. Unfortunately, although our motherboard has an on-board USB 3.0 header, this older case design doesn't offer front-panel USB 3.0 ports. We were able to connect all four USB 2.0 ports using on-board headers, but had to curl up the eSATA cable, leaving one non-functional port on the front header.
Although the assembly was pretty straightforward and we were able to get this machine up and running quickly, we did run into one small problem the first time we fired it up. The bezel’s vent filter was a bit warped inward, making the slightest bit of contact with the case fan. The result was a faint ticking sound. It was only a minor issue, solved by removing the bezel and pressing the grill out a bit.
- Squeezing More Bang From The Same Buck
- CPU And Cooler
- Motherboard And Memory
- Graphics Card And Hard Drive
- Case, Power Supply, And Optical Drive
- Assembling Our Budget-Oriented Box
- Limited Overclocking Strikes Again
- Test System Configuration And Benchmarks
- Benchmark Results: Synthetics
- Benchmark Results: Battlefield 3
- Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Benchmark Results: F1 2012
- Benchmark Results: Audio And Video
- Benchmark Results: Productivity
- Power Consumption And Temperatures
- Is This Our Best $500 Gamer Ever?