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The (not so) Mini ITX build for college

by Chaz27


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

May 29, 2016

Date Built

May 22, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

4.4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

24.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

64.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.19 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

GPU Temperature Under Load

79.0° C


I have been thinking about and researching my own PC build since February. I've been on console for 10 happy years but I've decided that as I have less time to play games, I expect more out of them when I do - and the xbox one was not cutting it (far cry primal was so ugly). I plan on having this for 5+ years with minimal upgrades and headaches, using it mostly for school work, video editing, and games when I want to blow off steam.

This build first started out in a giant Corsair C70 and eventually got smaller and smaller as I realized how much I'd be moving it around next year with College, as well as trying to keep a low footprint. I don't care for SLI so I decided ITX is the way to go.

Paying for this build as a highschool senior isn't all that easy. I got a full ride to the local state college next year through Army ROTC and academic scholarships so my parents pitched in on the majority of the parts. Save the Monitor, video card, and peripherals. This build was mostly me looking to challenging myself, not just with the build but all the wiring and making something I could really be proud of. The build itself wasn't too tough; the the tough part was making everything looks nice (looking at you wires), but in hindsight I'm glad i spent the extra time on the little things.

I play action, RPG, and pretty much any kind of game, post your steam ID below and i'll be sure to add you!

A few disclaimers:

  • yes my desk/ table is ugly. The one in my room is too small and i'll be going to college soon so I figured I'd work with what I had. I'm proud of my cable management on this table, a lot of unseen duct tapage going on here.

  • Did I buy a 980ti 3 days after the 1080 came out? Yes. But I went with Microcenter and there 2 year item return plan. Whenever I feel like the 980ti ain't cutting it, I can take it back to the store and get a gift card with 500$ on it (looking at you 1080ti).

  • I plan to add some nice speakers, a webcam, a HDD, and a better chair by the end of this summer.

  • The motherboard is in fact in my case, the giant Noctua heatsink is covering it (beautifully).


*I bought a Noctua C14s at first but it wasn't cutting it, the stress test temps were fine but during gaming the fan would suck up the GPUs hot air and push that onto the heatsink, leaving me with some uncomfortable temps

*for some reason my voltage won't remain where it is manually set. I have it set at 1.280 but itll jump as high as 1.36, I put in an OC to 4.4 and turned off turbo boost, the Voltage still spikes under load but at least now its warrented.

*cable management for all those small headers and wires is pretty difficult especially in a small case like this, I tried my best but I still need to work on it.

TL;DR: very happy with this build, Going to college next year and I wanted something small and powerful.

Part Reviews


Did I absolutely need it? No, 6600k would've been fine for me. But I want this part to last me a while so i figured getting the stronger processor would be the best move.

CPU Cooler

This gave me alot better temps than the C14s, Really happy I switched

CPU Cooler

Great cooler but you'll need a reference or water cooled car, my situation had me sucking up the hot GPU air and it made my CPU temps as high as 75C while just playing the witcher 3


Great Motherboard, simple BIOS and easy to work with. Only issue is some weird voltage controls but its nothing to serious.


RAM is RAM, this is fast RAM. YAY


very fast game load times


I did not need this but I am so happy I got it, I put TW3 on here, I have never seen one loading screen.

Video Card

Tiny bit of coil whine, but shes powerful and all I need for 1440p.


Really great case, size is a little big but it was a pleasure to build in, just wish you could take the top off.

Power Supply

Made sure I got myself a good PSU, this came highly recommended, does its job and is very quiet.

Case Fan

I'm a fan of Noctua fans

Case Fan

got it for the colors, this thing at full RPM could make make my case fly away

Case Fan

really impressed with this fan, found it on amazon. Perfect for low profile


love this monitor, nothing but good things. I've never had an IPS display though so I can't compare it to that. Gsync and 144 hz is glorious


really impressed with the quality of the board, I also love having no bloatware.


expensive and heavy but other than that its a great mouse.


probably should have went with non gamer headphones but these are great and they look good

Comments Sorted by:

ACowne 2 Builds 2 points 31 months ago

What kind of settings can you play on to get the 2k resolution and 144hz monitor to play smoothly? I recently bought a 1070 and was wondering if I am able to run this monitor.

Chaz27 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

you'll be able to run everything great! Go take a look at the top reviews of Amazon and one of them has the optimal settings. It plays smoothly out of the box but with the right settings it competes with the IPS monitors

ACowne 2 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

Thanks for the reply! I actually had no patience when I saw this monitor go on sale and I am so happy with it and the 1070 combo!

Chaz27 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 30 months ago

It really is great, I love mine

TheFirehawk 1 point 33 months ago

Hey i like it c: I am between a 1080 or a 980ti, i am leaning more towards the 980ti since the 1080 doesnt really have third party reviews yet. plus i would rather have a 1080 with 2.0 fans. Yeah im just kinda in between. Anyways nice job man :D it looks really good c:

Chaz27 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago

thanks! I think the aftermarket cards are released after computex which ends on the 4th. Or go with an evga 980ti and you can step up to the 1080 ACX 3.0

Luciferian 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I'm sorry but I can't help but laugh at the ROTC patch. Cool build, though.

Chaz27 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

ive been putting more stickers to the front panel haha, it is pretty cringey but im excited to do it next year

Luciferian 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Have fun. If you commission, listen to your NCOs ;)

Chaz27 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks! I got the four year scholarship so I'll be commissioning in a few short months

THEIsaacPigg27 1 point 28 months ago

My Steam name is THEIsaacPigg27

TheGamingBible 0 points 33 months ago
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Chaz27 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 33 months ago

Browns! forgot to add that, I do alot of typing for my major so reds wouldn't work and blues would just be cruel to my roomate so browns where the obvious choice