Description

Update 11/27/2019 Yesterday I finished installing a new set of parts to my build. These include a CPU cooler, case fans, SSD heatsink, and LED strips. The fans I had previously were 3 pin so they were at max speed constantly and very noisy because of this. The new massive cooler replaced a smaller Noctua NH-L9x65 which decreased my idle temps by about 10 degrees and keeps the CPU at a nice 60 degrees while remaining nice and quiet.


Hello everyone! Here is my first gaming PC and I'll explain how it all came together. My brother has been gaming on a PC for a couple of years and finally I got something so that I'd be able to play with him!

I think I've got pretty much everything nailed down (except the cable management; there is none), but if there's anything I'm doing wrong, please mention it in the comments so I can correct it! I'm going to disassemble the entire PC to deep clean and reorganize the cables and some components. I'll update the post with new photos as soon as that's done.

How I got the PC

I was on a budget and wanted to get as much bang for buck as possible, so I decided I'd buy a used PC. I was gaming on a macbook pro before this and some of my friends told me about the deals they got on eBay buying used PCs.

After about a month of searching I finally decided on a PC and drove 600 miles to pick it up because I was worried the shipping would be too rough for the PC to handle. I also made a nice trip out of it. :)

Replaced These

CPU - i5 8600K Decided I'd go with the i7 since I was streaming at the time.

CPU Cooler - Noctua NH-L9x65 Upgraded to the NH-D15 which surprisingly can fit in my tiny case. This lowers idle temps and keeps the CPU at 60 degrees under load which much better efficiency. (It's a lot quieter)

RAM - I forgot the brand, but it was only 1 stick of 16 GB so I decided to go with 2 x 8 GB to utilize the full bandwidth.

STORAGE - Toshiba SSD Went with the 970 Pro; it was worth every penny. I store my OS and apps on this.

CPU Thermal Interface Material (DELID) - By far the scariest, but best thing I've done to the PC. This was basically the poor man's way to lower temperatures since I wanted to overclock and did not have the money for water-cooling. This dropped my temps by 20 degrees

ANTENNA - The original one broke and I found out on a forum that these RC drone antennas actually work on a PC. They work great and are super low profile!

FANS - Stock Phanteks Case Fan The poor thing only had the one fan in the rear that came with the case. I replaced it and added two in the front (intake), one on top above the CPU, an one on the back panel behind the CPU (exhaust).

Added These

STORAGE - Seagate Barracuda I use this to store all my games and the WD to store pictures and stuff.

M.2 Slot Heatsink - Due to the location of the SSD (back of the motherboard), I decided to attach a heatsink to help it stay cool since it barely gets any airflow.

Why I chose a PC with these components

CPU - I went with intel since I read that they work good with NVIDIA video cards and I wanted G-SYNC. Upgraded to i7-8700K because I was streaming and needed the extra cores. K because I wanted to overclock. (Yes, now I know now the VRM on ITX boards doesn't even handle voltages over 1.3V well, but I didn't know that at the time)

CPU Cooler - I wanted to get a CPU cooler that didn't have to work so hard to keep the CPU cool. I was thinking about going with an AIO water cooler, but the risk of leakage was enough to scare me away.

CPU Delid - Again I basically did this because I wanted to lower temperatures without buying expensive water-cooling systems. Honestly though, seeing my CPU split in half gave me the chills.

MB - Not a deciding factor, but it's a plus since my research has led me to believe it's the best ITX board for overclocking since it has a better VRM than any other ITX board. I might sell my board and my case to go bigger and overclock more if anyone's interested in an ITX case and MB.

RAM - I went with Team Dark Pro since it had the lowest CAS latency I can find at 14 and it was 3200mhz. This is the only thing I would've done differently because I paid an extra $50 for this rather than say a pair of sticks with a CAS of 15 or 16 and I barely notice a deference. At least the look good!

STORAGE - 970 pro because SPEED. Just SPEED. Seagate Barracuda because it's faster than the WD.

GPU - NVIDIA because G-SYNC. I wanted to get at least 120+ FPS at 1080p so I went with the 1070 Ti. I felt the extra $400 at the time for a 1080 Ti for more frames or 4K was just not worth it. Plus 4K would increase the price of the monitor dramatically. Strongly considering upgrading to an RTX 2070S for ray tracing.

CASE - Kind of a deciding factor, but It's a good-looking case. My brother has the bigger version. I wasn't necessarily looking for an ITX, but on the plus side, it’s much easier to carry and handle when I'm cleaning it.

PSU - Not really a deciding factor. It's powerful enough and has been holding up great!

FANS - I felt like it need more airflow, so I added 3 case fans and replaced the stock one.

Overclocking CPU

I don't think I got too lucky with this CPU. Even after delidding, I would need way too much voltage to reach 5Ghz (which I now know this ITX motherboard can't even handle) and the temperatures would cause the CPU to become unstable. I ended up needing AVX so I decided to just drop down to 4.8 GHz at 1.28V (I have the load-line calibration at level 1 so it will get close to 1.3V which is the most I feel comfortable on this MB) and call it a day.

Ending Note

This is already getting long so I won't go into the peripherals unless someone has a question. Thanks everyone who reads this and don't be a stranger! Let me know what you think and if you have any questions, I'll get back to you as soon as possible!

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Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey great build, curious as to why you have the Noctua fan blowing away from the heatsink? Also would say 4.8 on all cores is pretty impressive so don't be discouraged.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey ApocPony! Thanks! I didn’t realize that until just now haha. Thank you. I was hoping to get 5GHz, but what’s that in a game like 10-20 FPS? I’m still happy with the CPU regardless. :)

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Try reversing the fan see if you get better temperatures!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey the-doodle-noodle! I did haha. Such a novice mistake, but I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

The fan on the cooler is upside down. Flip it to get better temps.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

The CPU temps will be nearly the same, as push or pull airflow on a heatsink usually yields identical results. The main benefit of a down-facing CPU fan is that the airflow will also cool the motherboard VRMs, as well as memory and other components. That being said, yes I would definitely flip that fan around.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey VaultBoy81! Very informative. I’ll definitely do that when I get this thing back together. Thanks!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey MichelFurman! I’m so embarrassed! I should’ve realized that... Haha thanks for letting me know!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Hopefully the M.2 drive back there doesn't overheat, since barely any airflow gets back there..

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey AshaKraken! Gee I didn’t even think of that. I wish I had a M.2 slot on the front for better cooling. I’m spending time on cable management today so I hop that helps with airflow!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, preferably up front would be nice, but you could probably add a heatsink to help it cool back there. I have the same case but, I avoided putting any M.2 drives back there for this reason.

Good luck on tidying it up!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I actually did a little research and Silverstone has the best heatsink (lowers temps by 20 degrees) and it should fit back there. It’s coming in tomorrow so I’ll know for sure by then.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Good build my guy. Curious as to why you went with such a small Noctua CPU cooler? I'm pretty sure you could get a cooler with a bigger heat sink for the same or less money.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey Majekdor! Thanks! The cpu cooler came with the PC; I bought it off a guy who built it. I’m thinking of going with an AIO water cooler soon. Right now I’ve got my eyes on the Corsair Hydro Series H115i.