I always name my builds after ships. This is my main Windows rig, which I am transitioning into a gaming-only machine. With Windows operating systems becoming more automated, I have a separate Linux machine for work purposes.
I recovered the CPU and GPU after helping my father upgrade some of his components. I essentially used this as an excuse to purchase a new motherboard and case to transfer hardware from my older system (also AM3+ 970 based). The Aura caught my eye and the case was something completely new. I normally build into mid-tower cases, so I wanted to try something different.
I think what really ties the system together--and I'm sure most of you will agree-- is the CPU fan. The AMD stock cooler is the heart of Firefly 2.0. You can hear it clearly with headphones on, and it keeps things nice and toasty. I will never ever replace this CPU fan, because the competition doesn't come close!
*This is not a completed build. The GPU is a temporary one, as my main GPU, an MSI 380, did not fit into the RIOTORO CR1080. It is a relatively normal-sized card, and both PC Part Picker and RIOTORO's specs indicated that my card would fit no problem. However, when I went to put the side panel on, the plastic shroud of the 380 stuck out a tad and prevented me from closing up the case. The GPU has a z-height of 5"; do NOT use the RIOTORO and a GPU of this height or more, or there will be sadness. (Update: I'm now using a compact GTX 970 after selling the r9 380)
Special thanks to my good friend AJM, who took photos of Firefly 2.0 for me with his CANON camera and used software to really bring out the details and colors. Thanks dude, you helped me publish this build!
One thing to note: I'm having trouble sustaining 60 fps in some games. I believe my CPU is the limiting factor. Specifically, its relatively weak single-threaded performance. Fortunately, it overclocks! Unfortunately, my case is really small! A 120 mm radiator might fit, but it would certainly encroach on the front of my motherboard and make routing a nightmare. I've settled on a 92 mm cooler Master air cooler model. I will try overclocking my FX part to see if it helps.
This is the only ATX-sized case I could find that has PSU/drive compartments behind the motherboard, allowing for a smaller, more boxier case. It's unique and looks cool! The motherboard is inverted, a trend that a few manufacturers are starting to follow now. Apparently there is significantly better cooling this way.
The case can hold up to 3 drives, at least one of which has to be an SSD (I didn't think this was that clear on the manufacturer's website). It comes with one front fan but that's it; there is a slot for a rear 80 mm fan, which you'll definitely want to buy (this adds ~ 10 bucks to your case cost). It cannot hold GPU's much longer than the length of the motherboard due to cables probably being routed through the side.
It also can't hold tall GPU's. My MSI r9 380 shroud hits the acrylic window and I can't close the case. PCPartPicker does not yet correctly identify cards that fit inside this case. I've been able to fit an Asus GTX 750 Ti, XFX Radeon 7770, and a compact Zotac GTX 970.
The case quality is OK, though for 80 bucks I believe there are far better quality choices. Some things about it annoy me. The cable routing is pretty unimaginative; a few big gaps spaced around the motherboard without any grommets makes aesthetically-pleasing cable routing difficult. Tall coolers will not fit in this case, nor will 120mm liquid coolers (despite what Riotoro says). The walls are too thin; for example, I can see a small dent on the top of the case caused by the motherboard tray. The plastic accent peace on the front does not match well at all with the otherwise metal exterior. The PCI slots cannot be reinstalled once removed, as they are meant to be pulled off and discarded. You'll need to buy extra slots (~ 10 bucks) if you ever want to cover an open PCI slot.
Get this case if you like the look, want something compact, and have an ATX motherboard. Otherwise don't bother.