Description

Usage

This unit is to be used in a living room with TV as main display. Used as general purpose PC, a bit of photo and music editing with occasional gaming. Can be used as HTPC even though it is not the main purpose in my case. No overclocking planned.

Requirements

  1. Price range around 800€/900$/100KJPY
  2. Stylish, sober and compact design to fit in a living room
  3. Have comfortable specs with tight budget and low power consumption
  4. Acoustic noise must be as low as possible
  5. Run Doom

Part list

Case

One of the most important point is the design of the case. Actually I used the Golden Field N-2S which seems to be some rebranding of the Kolink Salelitte plus for its external brushed aluminium design, compacity and reasonable price (64$). There is plenty of room for a Mini-ITX build which is good for thermal considerations and ease of build.

CPU

For a general purpose mid range configuration on a budget the Core i5 8400 is a good value for money. I do not plan to do overclocking so I don't need an unlocked CPU.

Motherboard

Had to be Mini ITX form factor. Hesitated between Z370, H370 and B360 chipset. Finally chose H370 thinking that RAID can come in handy in the future. and got a good bargain on a second hand board. If you're in a tighter budget and don't need RAID the B360 might be a good alternative.

Memory

Recommanded configuration is DDR4 2666MHz in a dual channel configuration. 2x8GB seemed enough for my usage. Ordered second hand memory stick but recieved 2x16GB@2133MHz instead (according to motherboard auto setting) ! I kept these units and overclocked them to reach 2666MHz. No stability issue, good enough. Just don't know what to do with all that extra capacity !

Video card

Gaming is not the main purpose of this unit but I did not want to rely only on integrated graphics on occasional gaming sessions. Pretty happy with Asus manufactured video cards quality so far. I chose a 1050ti over a 970 for power consumption considerations and cost as the 970 is more power hungry and might require a more performant and so more expensive power supply.

Storage

M.2 NVMe SSD is the way to go here to achieve optimal performance. I used the ADATA X8200 pro 512GB which has good performance for the price. It is a good alternative to the Samsung 970 Evo Plus if you're on a budget. I don't really use software that require huge amount of space so it's fine for the OS and some games. I might get higher capacity HDD later for bulk storage of my files if the SSD is not enough.

Thermal management

Good thermal performance and low acoustic noise was an important requirement therefore I did not hesitated to put money on silent CPU cooler and case fan. The Noctua fans have very good build quality and are damn silent as well. The huge CPU radiator is does pretty much all the job in keeping the CPU temperature low. Therefore to evacuate the heat, minimal air flow is needed > lower fan speed > lower acoustic noise. The case fan is a PWM version so the speed can be adjusted as needed. The Noctua fans (case + CPU cooler) come with a low noise extension cable to reduce fan speed even more (which I suspect is just a simple resistor). I used these as this unit was built for reasonable power consumption and therefore should not get to much hot.

PSU

NVIDIA recommends 300W minimum power supply for the GTX-1050ti (Max power for GPU is 75W). The CPU should be around 50W and there is no power hungry peripheral. Therefore a 400W PSU should do the job and have plenty of headroom to run cooler and have some ressource for possible upgrades. The case can accomodate a full size ATX PSU but a SFX unit should give more room to have a clean assembly. The Corsair SF450 has excellent efficiency, reliability and is pretty much. Actually, it is fully passive cooled for loads < 90W and then uses a fan profile speed depending on the load. When I benchmarked this unit, even with CPU and GPU at full load I can not manage to start the PSU fan since power consumption is still too low.

Final price list

CPU : 26,150 JPY (235.23$) Intel Core i5-8400 2.8 GHz 6-Core

CPU COOLER : 5,680 JPY (51.10$) Noctua NH-U12S 55 CFM

MOTHERBOARD : 9,980 JPY (89.78$) (Used) ASRock H370M-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151

MEMORY : 10,480 JPY (94.27$) (Used) Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-2133

STORAGE : 11,780 JPY (105.97$) ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 512 GB M.2-2280 SSD

VIDEO CARD : 13,932 JPY (125.33$) Asus GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB Phoenix

CASE : 64$ Golden Field N-2S

POWER SUPPLY : 11,480 JPY (103.27$) Corsair SF 450 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular SFX

OPERATING SYSTEM : 10,70€ (12.03$) Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit

CASE FAN : 2,120 JPY (19.07$) Noctua NF-F12 PWM 54.97 CFM 120mm

TOTAL : 800.79€ / 900.05$ / 100,054 JPY

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Comments

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

cool case bro

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

I know that your parts list shows it as a silverstone case, but is this a Golden Field N-2S case? If so, how is airflow in this thing. Very nice build BTW. Cable management is on point!

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a Golden Field N-2S indeed. Could not find it in the parts database though.

Considering that the front panel is a plain aluminium sheet, there is virtually no air intake possible from this face. However, each side plate has a punched holes grid so there can be good air flow from there.

The GPU will exhaust warm air through the left panel and the PSU through the right one. There are monting holes in the back panel for a 120mm fan to exhaust war air to the outside of the unit. If you use a CPU tower cooler. Depending on the orientation you can have air intake from the right panel with a 90° mount or exhaust to the back fan in the other orientation. I cannot test the first configuration in my build as the radiator interferes with the back fan.

However this build has low power consumption and therefore thermal management is not a critical issue. I'm confident this case can be used for hagher power demanding hardware though.

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  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm going to have to try this... Awesome build!

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! Is it possible to scrub the 21 logo off the front?

  • 21 days ago
  • 1 point

Will this fit a 180mm length ATX PSU and 267 mm GPU ?