mATX System Build Photos

The microATX build is very well balanced and we feel the Radeon R9 270 is probably the best match now for a sub-$100 processor such as the Pentium G3258. The Kingston Fury DDR3 8GB kit is also better value at $75, while the Silverstone Argon Series AR02 is a bargain at just $28. The only thing we really splurged on is the BitFenix Phenom Micro-ATX which costs $100, but it is a thing of beauty. That and the optical WD Black 4TB hard drive at $240, but if you don't go for the large secondary drive, the system will come in at under $750. Let's see how it looks assembled...

Here is a look inside the BitFenix Phenom Micro-ATX with the hard drive bracket removed. As you can see despite being a very compact case there is loads of room for the power supply, CPU cooler and even graphics card.

Now we have reinstalled the hard drive bracket which has been fitted with the WD Black 4TB and Kingston HyperX Fury 240GB SSD. There is room for at least one more 2.5" and one more 3.5" device on this bracket.

With everything installed, the BitFenix Phenom microATX doesn't allow gamers to show off the hardware inside but even so it's an impressive looking case.

mATX System
3DMark Cloud Gate 11293pts
3DMark06 27798pts
PCMark7 3369pts
Tomb Raider (1920x1200) Max 35.1fps

The HIS R9 270 offers more rendering power in Tomb Raider compared to the GTX 750 Ti with an average of 35.1fps at 1920x1200 using maximum in game quality settings.

mATX System BitFenix Case @ 3.2GHz
Intel Pentium G3258 26 °C
HIS Radeon R9 270 22 °C
Intel Pentium G3258 47 °C
HIS Radeon R9 270 56 °C

Compared to the Corsair Hydro Series H100i, which kept the Intel Pentium G3258 at just 42 degrees when overclocked, the Silverstone Argon Series AR02 performs very well. This little heatsink kept the G3258 at just 47 degrees, which is only 5 degrees warmer than the Corsair liquid cooler, though we are only testing a relatively low clocked dual-core processor here, so it's hardly putting either cooler to the test.

mATX System BitFenix Case @ 4.4GHz
Intel Pentium G3258 28 °C
HIS Radeon R9 270 24 °C
Intel Pentium G3258 77 °C
HIS Radeon R9 270 53 °C

When testing previously in the standard ATX system, the Corsair Hydro Series H100i liquid cooler allowed the Pentium G3258 to reach 71 degrees, which we thought was quite cool at the time. Surprisingly, the Silverstone Argon Series AR02 only resulted in a 6-degree increase, keeping the G3258 from exceeding 77 degrees. The AR02 also managed to do this without generating much noise.