This build had 5 main objectives. Listed from most important to least, they were:
1) Multi boot system for Hackintosh, Windows 10, and Windows 7 (eventually) 2) As cheap as possible 3) Fast 4) Small Form Factor 5) Capable of light gaming
Ranking the order of importance of these objectives was critical for this build because some of them are negatively correlated. For example, I could have made a much faster, cheaper system if Hackintosh wasn't top priority. Also, my budget was not allowed to creep. I had a hard budget of $500 but I also had a few coupons and gift cards that I was using to bring cost down even lower. Otherwise I would have ordered a few different parts that were cheaper but were being offered from places I didn't have gift cards.
If you need to build a budget Intel system, this seems to be your best performance per dollar at the moment. I got it for $114.99 from Microcenter with a $30 discount when combined with a motherboard.
I got this motherboard from Microcenter with a $30 discount when combined with a processor. I got a bit of an extra discount because of a problem I had with the previous board.
They call this board extra durable which seems like a weird flex, but okay. So far the board seems to do everything I need it to do. I like the 2 M.2 sockets. The one on the bottom of the board is Nvme only while the top socket takes Nvme and SATA.
There are a couple (like 2 literally) RGB LEDs on this board if you're into that sort of thing. They are controlled by Gigabyte's RGB software and there is also an option to set them in BIOS. The BIOS seem robust and easy to understand.
I'm taking off 1 star in this review because I feel there should be a few more USB ports, even if they're USB 2. There are 4 USB 3 ports on the back of this board with the option for USB 2 or 3 to the front header. So this build has 2x USB3 ports in the front, 4xUSB3 in the back, and a USB-C port in the back.
This was an old SSD I had laying around. I used this as my Hackintosh OS drive. It runs way faster than an HDD so I can't complain.
I wanted to get a decent sized M.2 drive for this build because the motherboard has 2 M.2 slots - one on top and one underneath. I knew that I never want to take this thing apart again to get underneath the motherboard, so that's where this drive went. I can always add a 2nd M.2 drive to the top of the motherboard at a later date.
This drive seems to be well regarded. All I can say is that it boots Windows 10 ridiculously fast. I am very satisfied.
This is a great case that has been a popular choice for years. Here are some of the things it has going for it: - Cheap - Small Form Factor: It's small, even for an SFF case! - Fits an ATX Power Supply - Fits a full sized GPU
There are some drawbacks to the case, but I think most of them are just drawbacks to SFF in general.
People mentioned that while you can use this with an ATX power supply, you should really use an SFX or at least ATX modular PSU. From experience I will say this is absolutely true. I made this build work with an ATX non-modular, but it is UGLY in there. No matter how hard I tried to manage the cables, there's just not enough room to keep it clean. The case has no windows though, so once it's closed up you don't have to look at the mess. I don't believe the cables are creating any performance issues.