Description

I needed a decent workstation to bring to the office. I'm trying to implement some deep learning solutions and my work laptop wasn't going to cut it.

I wanted to build something cheap and portable. This was the first time I built an ITX form factor machine. With this setup, I'm still able to put a full sized graphics card. I've got a Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB. This is the perfect setup up for me to continue developing and learning.

I took a risk with the Mushkin M.2 NVMe drive. It's pretty fast but it's not as fast as the Samsung EVO 960 or the Western Digital Black NVMe. I'm still happy with it and it's probably the cheapest NVMe M.2 drive you can get.

I took another risk with the Cooler Master Liquid cooler. I wasn't sure if it was going to fit in the case and it didn't at first. I had to bend some of the metal inside the case in order to fit the radiator/fan on the side. You can see the part that I had to bend in the picture with the Cooler Master CPU cooler installed. It's a piece of metal right over the fan (it looks like a screw hole that doesn't belong there).

This Intel chip has been great for me. It's a 6-core chip, no hyperthreading. When all 6 cores are working it gets to 3.8 GHz, and for single core tasks it gets to 4.0 GHz.

Right now, I'm mainly using this build for development, but I do think this would be an excellent build for gaming. That Intel chip is great and you can fit a full sized graphics cards. If it wasn't for stupid RAM prices, you could probably get this build under $1000.

Oh, I don't recommend the wireless keyboard and mouse. At first I liked it a lot. But after using it for a day or two, I realized how much I'm used to the traditional positions of the Insert, Home, Page Up, Delete, End, Page Down keys. This keyboard lays those keys a little different. I included a picture.

Part Reviews

CPU

This is a great CPU. I use it for development but I think it would be a great chip for gaming. When all 6 cores are working it gets to 3.8 GHz on all 6. And when its just a single thread, it'll get to 4.0 GHz. Very happy!

Storage

Not as fast as the Samsung EVO 960 or the Western Digital Black NVMe, but still pretty fast. I'm running Ubuntu right now, so I don't have a CrystalDiskMark benchmark, but some Ubuntu benchmarks showed over 2100 MB/s reads (hdparm). I recently got the Western Digital Black NVMe and I got benchmarks in the 3400 MB/s (which is ridiculous and faster than the Samsung).

Case

I really like this case. Small and compact. Enough room that it wasn't too difficult to get everything fitting in.

Keyboard

The Insert, Home, Page Up, Delete, End, Page Down keys are not laid out like a traditional keyboard. I didn't realize it until I started using this keyboard for a bit, but I use those keys a lot when I code.

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