My first build, got the idea in November and took a couple months to get everything together and do my homework. The machine is only used for gaming, my daily driver needs to be a laptop. I'm primarily going to be setting up a heavily modded Skyrim run, but also some city building and RTS action. Almost all the games I want to play (with maybe the exception of modded Skyrim?) are usually going to be a bit older (Civ v, AoE:2, Homeworld) or not super heavy on the rig (Cities:Skylines, Kentucky Route 0), so tried to hit a sweet spot that will let me stay quick while not taking on any overclocking for my first build. Gotta save something for the next one right?
Started life as a PC gamer (Apogee FTW), but shifted to consoles around the time of GTA3 (PS2 era). Was finishing up Fallout 4 on the PS4 and realized I needed a change, so decided right then and there to invest in a rig I could use for the next few years.
Initially came across this case in a build write up on some other site for a budget build, but ended up deciding to upgrade the components that were in the original guide. Liked the case enough to plan the other pieces around the form factor. This will be sitting on a small platform under my desk and connected to an Asus 32in that shares duty with the laptop.
**Not including an old WD 1TB drive I salvaged from a USB2 external enclosure in the inventory. It's an old SATA2 model, I'll probably swap it out with a 4TB/7200rpm once those get even cheaper than they are now.
Very happy with this processor, since overclocking was not in the plan, based on some homework this is the most bang for your buck. Ran it through Prime95 twice: once for 4 hours, another for 6, no errors.
Great mobo for my mITX build. Wanted something with USB-C since my laptop has it and I'm sure I'll end up getting something that needs it at some point. Really like the built in orange LEDs underneath it, keeps everything clean while adding some pizzazz. All the drivers installed straight from the disks, no problems. Not using it yet but love the extra M.2 NVME SSD slot, and that using it doesn't disable any of the other eSATA connections. Built in Bluetooth is great, and the WiFi is AC, to match my router speeds. Worth the extra cost over the H170 mobos I found, since no overclocking is planned. Also supports two case fans (in addition to CPU fan),has HDMI and DVI built in (not needed because of the GPU but still) and lots of USB options (including a USB 3.1 Type A in addition to the Type C)
Was hoping to get some white RAM for the build, but prices skyrocketed in November and December '16 for some reason, so just went with something dependable and black. Tested them with MemTest86 overnight with no errors.
The gold standard in my opinion. I had bought an external SSD from MyDigital and the damn thing couldn't stop overheating, so I decided then that I would rather pay a bit more for rock solid quality and reviews than save a few bucks. Still, managed to get it for pretty cheap and sold the game it came with, so a good deal too.
This card was pretty new when I did my build, so not a whole lot of deals on it, but so far, it's been awesome. The fan is pretty quiet, it doesn't go above 70 C torturing it with FurMark for an hour, fits the case, matches the components, and should buy me a few years. Hopefully.
Great case, no complaints, it's a small case so cable management can be a bit of a pain, but that's pretty obvious just looking at it. The big fan in the front is awesome, the window on top is great. My only complaint is that (and I read this from some other review so I knew it ahead of time and bought my own) the thumbscrews it comes with are silver with black plastic rings. Kinda cheap, so I just bought a bag of 100 black thumbscrews for $10ish and problem solved. Still though, the case is really quite nice.
From a reliability perspective I have had no problems in the last few days since the build. The 2 stars knocked off are for the amount of cable management that I had to do with the cables I needed. Even if it was fully modular, the same problem would persists. Specifically that the SATA power cables have multiple connectors on them, but they are not spaced far enough apart for my two drives. So I had to use two individual SATA power cables, each with 4 connectors on them, which made them that much harder to fold on themselves. Also the PCIe cables have two connectors on them, so I had to fold on back on itself. These are not negatives for everyone, but I would have preferred 3 cables, with one connector on the end of each as an option. Some people may call that a feature, it was a bug for me.
It's fine, it's Windows, it plays games, it just needs to stay out of my way.
I wasn't sure if I needed these or not, but I picked up two to just add that little extra hot air removal. Initially had them sucking air in, but with the big fan in front of the case, it made a lot more sense to have them push out. They're sturdy, seem well made, and are as quiet as an 80mm fan can be, which is to say not super quiet when on load. Still though, they are good fans.
A bit unique it seems to my small mobo is support for two case fans. One is already taken at the front, but I've got a spot for two 80mm on the back, so needed a splitter. It's cheap, and it's wrapped.
This keyboard sucks, but it is super cheap, so until I can find a Cherry MX Red at less than $40, I'll just keep using this thing. No problems with it at this time, it's just cheaply made and I don't expect it to last long and typing on it is out of the question.
Bought these to replace the cheap thumbscrews the case came with, happy I did.
Didn't want to deal with zipties, these match the color theme and are easy to adjust and hold tight.