Description

So this is my second build. I'd been using laptops for the past 3 years... And it was time to go back to PC! My budget was tight, so I decided to build something cheap that was good enough for programs like Unity3D, Houdini or Gimp for textures, but also can play games.

I knew that Houdini excels on Linux and Unity3D is very stable. Then I've seen some youtube videos that you can actually play games in Linux. A new Windows key is about 150AUD, that's the money I can use for something else.

After about 2 months of playing games and using different programs I'm overall happy with the machine. There was some frustration with OS. I've tried Ubuntu, CentOS but in the end I picked Pop!_OS. It's Ubuntu based distribution, but amazing from the start. All the games I play run there from the start, with some minor tweaking (Overwatch, Diablo, WoW).

Unity3D runs flawlessly. The only problem I have is with debugging on connected Android device. Don't want to go into details, but I managed to temporarily bypass that problem. But since this bug is very uncommon I might wait forever for a fix.

Houdini is the only program that does have problems with this machine and I think its because of the integrated Vega graphics on CPU. It's not Linux fault, as Sidefx develop "natively" for Linux. It's usually Windows where strange things happen with Houdini. They have always had issues with AMD graphic cards so soon I will be getting some GTX or RTX GPU. However it is possible that the whole system just freeze while working in Houdini, only thing I can do is hard reset. Fortunately I don't spend that much time there, its mostly Unity3D.

So yeah that's Linux. Some problems here, some problems there, but most of them you can fix with google. And the speed of the OS is incomperable I would say. And after two years it won't grow to 100GB for any reason.

The part I'm very happy with is the monitor. 24" 1920x1200 for 250AUD... is besically a steal. The image quality is amazing. I recommend that one to anyone who works with images and needs good color display. And yeah, you can rotate it 90 degrees. So I will be expanding to a second one like that soon to use it for coding.

Part Reviews

CPU

If you are thinking about this CPU it's probably because of the Vega inside. So you probably wonder how it performs. Well it performs much better than I thought it would. I can play Overwatch with stable 60-70 fps (1920x1600) using some adjusted settings (render scale lowered to 75% helped a lot). Diablo 3 and Starctaft 2 also plays very good, maybe even better. And for that price... I'm very happy with this cpu

Motherboard

It's the first micro ATX I've had in my hands, it's so tiny!

  • 4 slots up to 64GB, that's not bad.
  • CPU installation was easy.
  • BIOS is also easy to use.

  • Upgading from integrated gpu on cpu to a graphics card becomes tricky, but that's for linux. You might need two monitors to switch between integrated gpu and pci-e graphics in BIOS. My guess is 99% go windows so you probably don't care about that.

  • Once you add graphics card your PCI-E x1 slot become useless, so you will use second PCI-E x16 for networking. If you want to use your second PCI-E x16 for something else you might get disappointed. But thats what you pay for micro ATX
  • There is no display on the motherboard in case of any errors.

Memory

A bit pricey but I did't want to run into problems like some people. So I made sure that my ram is compatible with my chipset. Just google RAM Configurator G.SKILL

Storage

Cheap 480GB SSD. Fast and it's working as it's supposed to.

Case

I'm surprised how good this case is. You can remove right, left, top and bottom covers and without any problems do whatever you want, because once you remove them there is so much space inside. You can fit any large graphics card that's a big plus.

One weird thing is the intake front fan which is quite noisy, so you might want to replace that. And since this is intake your front cover gets dusty. So I need to use a vacuum once a week to make it look nice. But on the other hand that might actually be good to remove the dust that often. After 2 months there is no dust inside at all.

Second weird thing is mounting the PS. It's the only part that's a bit tricky to install.

Wireless Network Adapter

  • It's doing what it's supposed to
  • Good price
  • Easy to install, working out of the box.
  • Signal is decent.
  • Doesn't need any extra drivers.

Monitor

Amazing! For a 250AUD price its a steal. Great colors, very solid built

Comments

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Don't forget to update Mesa and the Kernel, cause you get newer game fixes with newer Mesa drivers. RADV improves with every new Mesa version.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

can i ask u one thing? the site spec of the core v21 says that is 336mm height but i dunno if is with the feet or not. can u please mesure the actual dimension in mm of the case with and without the feet? tks. nice build anyway!

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, sorry I didn't see the msg, but unfortunately I don't even have any measuring tool to answer your question :(

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