Performance and Wrap Up

So how fast is the ridiculously powerful MicroATX system? First we have a batch of 3DMark results...

3DMark Score
Fire Strike
Sky Diver
Cloud Gate
Ice Storm

Looking at the 3DMark Hall of Fame, the Fire Strike score puts us just outside of the top 100. For example the Intel Core i7-5930K armed with three GeForce GTX Titan X cards scored 17973pts, while four Radeon R9 290X cards were good for 17964. Squeezing out 16563pts from our little MicroATX system was a good result.

When it comes to 4K gaming our ridiculously powerful MicroATX system delivered, for the most part anyway.

Game fps @ 4K Settings
Crysis 3
Watch Dogs
Sleeping Dogs
Hitman Absolution
GRID Autosport
Dragon Age: Inqusition
Company Of Heroes 2
AA Low
BioShock Infinite
Battlefield Hardline

Starting with 39fps in Crysis 3 was an impressive effort, especially considering we were still using SMAA. The only other challenges were seen in Company of Heroes 2, Dragon Age: Inqusition and Sleeping Dogs. Meanwhile we saw over 50fps in Thief and Watch Dogs and more than 60fps in Battlefield Hardline, BioShock Infinite, Hitman Absolution and GRID Autosport.

The biggest issue facing compact high performance computers is thermals and this is where the water-cooled Radeon R9 295X2 and Silverstone TD02-E come in handy. Here are the temperatures we recorded when stress testing...

Idle Stress

The stress temperature of the Core i7-5960X is particularly low and this allowed us to do a little overclocking. The Asrock Fatal1ty X99M Killer offers users 4.0GHz at the click of the button, which boosted the operating frequency of the i7-5960X by 33%. This overclock was 100% stable, though it did increase the CPU temperature to 62 degrees which by all accounts is still rather cool.

Packed And Ready To Go

Having put our system together I was in awe of what we managed to fit inside the Silverstone KL06 with relative ease. Inside is a serious looking system, but with its case doors on the KL06 is rather unassuming. From all angles this just looks like a basic gaming system.

The ridiculously powerful MicroATX system is then quite the 'sleeper'. Small enough to tuck under your arm, few fellow gamers would suspect an Intel Core i7-5960X and AMD Radeon R9 295X2 are found within.

What's more, once you start the system up, it's nearly silent thanks to the liquid-cooled CPU and GPUs. The Silverstone KL06 provides excellent air-flow which helps keep the system cool and quiet once gaming.

The Asrock Fatal1ty X99M Killer complemented the build nicely and we liked how easy it was to extract even more performance out of the Intel Core i7-5960X with the click of the button. With all eight cores now running up to 33% faster the Silverstone TD02-E had no trouble keeping temperatures in check.

G.Skill's DDR4 memory not only complemented the build in terms of aesthetics, but it also allowed us to extract the maximum amount of performance from the Core i7-5960X as the memory bandwidth peaked at 52GB/s in the SiSoftware 2015 memory bandwidth test.

There are a number of better storage options and you could say we cheaped out here going with Samsung's SSD Evo 850 M.2 500GB. While a good drive on its own right, certainly not the most complementary SSD for this build but we were still in the process of reviewing the kings of the hill in the SSD world.

A much better choice would have been the new Intel SSD 750 Series 1.2TB which costs a cool $1,100 and would push the build's total to $3,600 as the single most expensive component. Or for less money, Samsung's own (supposedly OEM only) SM951 PCIe 512GB SSD which we like even better. There is also room for a few hard drives if some larger secondary storage is required.

Our build ended up coming in at a cost of $2,750, which includes the Intel Core i7-5960X, Silverstone KL06 case and TD02-E cooling, AMD Radeon R9 295X2, Asrock Fatal1ty X99M Killer motherboard, G.Skill Ripjaws 4x32GB and the Samsung SSD Evo 850 M.2 500GB.

Naturally, gamers will still require a monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers/headset and any required software. If you need help with those picks or any others, TechSpot's Product Finder and community should point you in the right direction.