Re: iBUYPOWER Chimera 4SE Desktop Gaming PC Review
This PC certainly has better components than an owner of a much cheaper iBUYPOWER PC (~$800) that started a thread in the ASRock forum (has an ASR board.) He had problem with high temperatures and performance.
The parts of this PC are mostly very good, the PS is a bit lower in grade but just fine. It's the case and the resulting build that is a compromise.
Interior pictures of the Chimera 4SE are few and don't show the build completely, but I see a few questionable things IMO:
The custom NZXT Phantom 410 case does not have the vented side panel the standard 410 models do, which leaves the case's main air intake to the front fan and vent on the case bottom. The air coming into the case is minimal.
The two video cards will create quite a bit of heat under heavy use, much of that heat will not be exhausted out of the case by the cards.
The Corsair H60's radiator and fan are mounted to use the air inside the case for cooling the radiator. Corsair recommends mounting the fan and radiator so the fan pulls air in from the outside of the PC case, which is always cooler than the air inside a case. I use two H60's, and the CPU temperatures are always lower using air outside the case for cooling. In this PC, the H60 becomes part of the case's air exhaust system, using warm air heated by the video cards to cool the CPU. That is one reason the CPU temperatures under load were so high.
The one exhaust fan at the top is right next to the H60's fan, and partially blocked by the radiator. The two fans are so close together, they may even disturb the air flow to each of them. The top fan should be moved toward the front, if a fan can be mounted there, or two exhaust fans at the top would be better. I use the full size Phantom case, with two of NZXT's ~8" fans on the top for exhaust. With the H60 pushing outside air into the case, the top fans immediately pull the warm air out of the case.
Regarding the review itself, since this is TweakTown, I imagine the readers would like to know:
What are the BIOS/UEFI settings iBUYPOWER used? Defaults? Any OC of the CPU? SpeedStep enabled, CPU and memory voltage settings? Memory speed and timings? What version of the UEFI on this board, a standard ASUS version or what?
What is the SATA mode used, AHCI, and what drivers for the two SATA controllers, standard Windows 8 or IRST? Which SATA controllers are used, Intel, ASMedia, or both? The test results for the Intel 520 are not that great, did they use the ASMedia SATA III (cough) ports? (Please, Nooooo!) It looks like they might have used it instead of the superior Intel SATA interface. I use 520's, they can, and do, better than that.
Did they install Lucid Virtu, on a SLI, dual card system? (Please, Noooo!) What video driver is used? Is SLI configured correctly?
Did iBUYPOWER install all the ASUS software, from AI Suite II to the USB Charger, all 152MB worth, as a zip file? The SaberTooth mother boards have temperature sensors all over the board, my P67 version has 11, how did the temps look?
Are the two case fans connected to the case's fan controller, or the mother board? Is the H60's PWM fan connected to the CPU fan's PWM header? If so, what fan speed profile is used, one of the ASUS defined profiles, or a custom one? If not, where is it connected?
What has iBUYPOWER done to this PC, besides the case, to make it unique and special, compared to what PC builders can do themselves?
All of this adds up and makes a big difference to PC builders. If an All In One PC builder wants to attract the attention of those that usually don't buy PCs like that, they need to make their case with something more than just a flashy PC case.