I built this machine with the purpose of making an emulator machine that would be capable of handling cemu, dolphin and some windows games at 1080p60 with vsync enabled.
I didn't want to spend too much money on this but I also didn't want to compromise on the base parts of the build, so I could easily update in the future by simply exchanging the CPU/GPU. The idea was to buy a cheap CPU and overclock it to at least 4.5GHz so it could handle cemu well, most of the "modern" emulators need single thread performance, when overclocked, the i3 can perform as good or better than a base i7-6700K.
Building on the Nano S was a breeze, you're not compromised by space at all, the case could even be smaller for my build as I'm not using watercooling, lots of empty space on it. I've bought an extra intake fan to give that extra cooling.
I've also decided to go SFX, so I could have an extra gap between the GPU and PSU for extra cooling. Keep in mind that this PSU have short cables, so you'll need extensions. The v2 of this PSU (which is the one I have) already comes with an SFX to ATX plate converter which I only found after it arrived, anyway the converter I bought separately have an extra grid so it's nice!
I've choosen the Nano S, because I wanted a small case that wouldn't compromise on cooling and that it could also fit an high-end air cooler, such as the Noctua NH-D15S, I'm really happy with my choice, the case is quiet and performs really well.
Getting the most out of your hardware while overclocking takes a while, to get an overclock really stable you have to do lots of testing if you want the best overclock possible with a good balance, meaning acceptable voltage and performance. Sometimes you might think it's stable and it ends up cracking up in some app or game. The following clocks is what I consider stable after playing for more than 2 hours Tomb Raider and multiple hours of stress testing tools such as realbench, aida64 stability test, prime95, intel burn test and multiple benchmarks, as you can check below.
Temperatures while gaming reach max 62-65º for the CPU. While stress testing running the max temperature was with RealBench, it reached 80º max (running for several hours).
|CPU||4.55GHz (bclk 123MHz)||1.390v||CPUID|
|GPU (core boost)||2100MHz|
|Dolphin 5.0 Benchmark||301 sec||screenshot|
|CineBench R15 (single)||194cb||screenshot|
|CineBench R15 (multi)||498cb||screenshot|
|Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0||1764||screenshot|
|3DMark Fire Strike||10333||link / screenshot|
|3DMark Fire Strike (graphics score)||14120||link / screenshot|
|3DMark Time Spy||4039||link / screenshot|
|3DMark Time Spy (graphics score)||4418||link / screenshot|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (dx11, very high (anisotropic 2x), vsync triple buffered)||59.91 fps||screenshot|
|Rise of the Tomb Raider (dx11, very high (anisotropic 2x), vsync off)||87.81 fps||screenshot|
Bought it with OC in mind and for single thread performance. I'm really happy with my choice, with an OC to 4.55GHz (easily achievable) you get better single thread performance than a i7-6700K (with no OC), insane value!
I've wanted a great cooler since I was OC'ing and I didn't want expensive WC cooling AIOs that perform roughly the same and are noisy. The cooler performs just as expected, it's really good and keeps my OC temps low :)
I wanted a good OC motherboard with premium features, that's what you get with this board. You can BCLK OC even with the latest official BIOS (7.10 at the time of this review).
Nice price/performance ratio and they overclock well.
For this emulator build I didn't want an expensive card, because the GPU wasn't the decisive factor in emulator performance, but the price for older cards/inferior cards such as 750Ti and 1050Ti were close or simply too expensive to justify the difference in performance, so I ended up choosing the cheapest 1060 I could find.
I'm pretty satisfied with it's performance it handles 1080p60 with vsync very high settings in every game I've tested! It also OC's well, got 2100MHz+ core boost easily.
It was a breeze to build on Nano, you won't be limited by space at all on this case, it can also take 2 radiators if you want to WC. I could even use a smaller case, mine have lots of empty space! :)
This is the v2 of this PSU, it's silent and performs as expected keeping my OC stable. Keep in mind if you're building in the same case as me (Fractal Nano S) you'll need cable extensions as the ones provided are pretty short and that's why it gets 4*.
Silent and perform really well, happy! :)