Description

This was a build that my partner designed for their first foray into the gaming world. It was mostly their research with advice and suggestions on my part. They aren't a big gamer but couple's battlestations was appealing and they've started to get into some games slowly. We designed this at the tail end of the mining craze, just before the Ryzen 3rd gen came out. This isn't quite Small Form Factor, clocking in at 26 liters, but it's a good-looking case with lots of modern niceties including rad support, cable routing channels, and smart hubs. My partner also love the look of the blue accents and liked how easy it was to move from home to school. As other people have suggested in the past, this isn't the easiest case to build in, but without custom length cables very few ITX cases are. As you'll see in the photos, the GPU was a tight fit with the radiator and fans. We were pretty sure that it would clear, but we needed to tilt the front panel out before connecting the card to the motherboard. My favorite part in the build must be the motherboard. Its function and finish still has yet to be beat by anything for sale today at this price range. The x470 boards wouldn't really make any sense in this form factor given the lack of expansion slots and the obligatory RGB isn't too gaudy. The rest of the parts are silver without being glitzy and the layout and components seem to be well thought out. We spent a lot of time sales shopping and only really splurged on the case, everything else was the cheapest in its quality bracket. The total cost of the build including the monitor was just over USD$1,400. This write-up, the pictures accompanying it, and the product reviews below were created in the hope that they would be useful to future builders in visualizing and making informed decisions about parts and builds. Feel free to ask any questions, and I'll do my best to answer.

Part Reviews

CPU

The sweet spot CPU for $1000 gaming rigs, provides the general processing for $300-500 GPUs in most titles just fine even at 1080p.

CPU Cooler

A budget part from a relatively unknown company, but offers great value and has gone a year without incident. You can control the aRGB LEDs from the header on your motherboard.

Motherboard

Good value for a mid-range board, especially considering the form factor. The BIOS is acceptably competent and easy to navigate. Has all the functions you would expect from a high-end board without paying for the higher end chipset that seems unnecessary in this form factor. The RGB software is about as good as its competitors and allows for control of most of the aRGBs in my build. Good finish and overall quality feel.

Memory

Runs as advertised and supports Ryzen chips fine. The design is understated with the exception of the RGBs on the top, but you knew that. The aRGBs works just fine with Gigabyte's Fusion software for what it's worth.

Storage

Good value M.2 drive, NVMe and speeds comparable to much more expensive drives.

Storage

Big drive, good value. Holds lots of Steam games for not very much money. Quiet as long as it's properly installed and noise isolated.

Video Card

Big card with good enough aesthetics, tends to be better priced than the competition.

Case

Large ITX case with very little room to work, but it has a unique design and a great build quality overall. Comes with good fans, a smart hub, and LEDs integrated into the chassis.

Power Supply

A fully modular 80+ gold PSU from a good company. Not the prettiest PSU, but the cables look and feel better than ketchup and mustard, which counts for a lot.

Monitor

Awesome panel for design work, with HDR and a good overclock-able panel. Acer is known for their monitors, and this is one of the reasons why.

Custom

Needed this because of the ITX motherboard not having enough headers. There are cheaper options, but this is a sturdy and well featured USB Hub.

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Comments

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

cool design work for first foray into gaming. I like that motherboard too.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, they are enjoying Sims 4 as we speak. I'm a big fan of Gigabyte's products.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks really nice! Also, nice work on cable management. I know what you mean about cables and ITX! Otherwise it seems spec'd out well for your use case.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah the cable management channels are nice enough but not quite large enough for the 24pin ATX Motherboard connectors, seems like an oversight.

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  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry, I must be missing something. Could you elaborate?

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  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Don't even worry about it. Thanks, we really appreciate it.