Description

This is my fourth computer that I've built and my second MiniITX. The previous one used a Silverstone case and felt crammed inside. Morever it used an LGA 1150 motherboard and CPU that could not be upgraded. In this build, I tried to create a strong platform that could be upgraded, used a roomy MiniITX case for ample cooling, and even took a chance and switched computer architecture.

I use this build for coding, surfing the web and listening to music. In the future (say a year from now) I may buy a bigger SSD. It's just not that important right now because my disk use isn't growing very much.

I wish I could play Abzu on this computer, but this game does not run on Linux! I see some people have tried to run it unsuccessfully with Wine. I'm not sure just yet whether I want to try other games.

I've tried to organzie the cables and it looks better than what I started out with. I'm not sure if there's a lot more I can do to improve the cabling.

Part Reviews

CPU

This is the first time I bought an AMD CPU. I think it performs just fine and is cost-effective. Only 65W thermal power. This is really amazing performance/cost for a 6-core CPU. Needless to say, I haven't really measured the performance of this CPU. It just seems "fast enough". For the price I think it's great.

CPU Cooler

This CPU cooloer is very big. Fortunately it does fit it my case. I previously had another Noctual CPU cooler so there was no doubt I was going to stick with the brand. However now when I look at review of other brands, I do think this cooler is a bit expensive. What I like about it is that itkeeps the air moving from the front of the case to the rear. The main problem that I see with tower coolers of this size is that I need to remove it before transporting it.

Motherboard

There is really little difference between a B340 and the B450, even in terms of cost, so I ended up with this one. However I don't really like flashy lights so maybe I should have looked at a non-gaming motherboard. I don't think there are many non-gaming MiniITX motherboards for AMD CPUs however. I'm not happy with the location of the M.2 socket, which is on the bottom of the motherboard. On the other hand, this is one of the cheaper MiniITX motherboards. Higher-end motherboards may come with 2 M.2 sockets. I'm not sure if the cost is worth it however.

I like the automatic fan tuner that comes with the BIOS. During normal use, all 3 fans are at about 700 RPM and is not very audible.

Memory

This RAM module set seems to fall in the middle in terms of pricing. It does not have RGB colors.

Storage

SSDs are getting so cheap! However I decided to reuse this SSD from my previous computer and save some money. At this time, 500GB SSDs go for about $80, which I think is very cheap.

Storage

I had no idea SSDs had gotten so small. Since my motherboard had an M.2 slot I really wanted to try it. I installed my OS on it. The problem is that the M.2 connector is on the bottom of my motherboard. Likely I will never upgrade this SSD because I will have to dismantle my computer in order to do it. I'm glad that I was able to experience M.2, I just think it's important to choose a motherboard that has the M.2 connector on the top.

Storage

It's slow and noisy, but I wanted to use it anyway. I configured my machne with "hdparm" to automatically unmount it when I'm not using it to keep acoustics down.

Video Card

I debated what graphics card to buy for a long time. Since I'm running Linux there aren't that many games to really exercise a graphics card. I chose this one because it was on sale. Fortunately I started this build after the Bitcoin crash, so I never had to deal with inflated prices. Probably I could have gone with a 1050 and saved a little money, but I hope I can find a game that runs fine on Linux.

Case

Yes it is roomy. It comfortably swallows my full-sized graphics card, tower CPU cooler, and SSDs/hard disks. Compared to my previous case, I did not have to use a screwdriver very much. Also it came with 2 90mm front fans and one 120mm rear fan.

For some reason, I can't screw the graphics card to the case due to a height mismatch, but I'm not sure whose to blame.

The power indicator is too bright, so I cover it up at night. I had the same issue with the Silverstone case.

Power Supply

I guess SFX power supplies are expensive. Initially I bought the 450W version, but returned it immediately because I didn't think it met the minimum requirements for my graphics card (I was still deciding on graphics cards back then). A 500W power supply would have been sufficient, but Seasonic doesn't make one. There is one by Silverstone, but I wanted to move away from that brand. When I compare the Seasonic with the Silverstone, I think the Seasonic has more room around the connection points. For this price, I wish the cables were of better quality. For example I had a really tough time managing the cables going from the power supply to the motherboard. The cables need to be twised 90 degrees because of the orientation of the power supply.The motherboard cable design seems to be proprietary and I couldn't use a cable from another brand.

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Comments

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

looks good, but small images...more images please +1

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

I just uploaded bigger pics. Thanks!

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Pictures are a bit small. ) :

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Overclock dat cpu! I got my R5 2600 to 4GHz allcore, and could push it further, but i dont like going beyond 1.375V. Good job tho!