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by skemble
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This build was done for my girlfriend. She's an artsy girl who loves anything to do with Zelda. She's working on painting the side panel with Majora's Mask. Pictures of that will be updated later on. When originally planning this build I thought $800 would do her justice and that's how it went. She has been buying parts since May of this year waiting for sales on the major parts. She is obsessed with the Prodigy, which made parts choice difficult, but we made it work. Color scheme is orange, black, white, and silver.

This build was designed to:

  1. Play some games. Mostly Sims 3, Skyrim, LoL and any emulator she may want.
  2. Give her enough performace to run Adobe style programs to satisfy graphic design projects.
  3. Be fast. Slow computers make grumpy girlfriends...

Kayla is now a Twitch streamer! Check her out most days at 4 p.m. Central!


CPU: Being a mITX form factor processor choices were limited to APUs and Intel. I went with an i5 because i3s and A10s just weren't going to cut it. She doesn't have any interest in overclocking so I went looking a good deal on a locked Haswell i5 and settled with the 4430. It runs quite cool even with the stock cooler.

COOLER: I was hoping that my old Phanteks PH-TC14CS would fit into this build, but the only way it would is without a GPU. Stock cooler isn't loud at all. The only system in the room you can hear is mine.

MOBO: PCPP doesn't have this board yet as it's not available through Newegg or Amazon. Having a locked processor on the mITX platform I knew that the H87 chipset would be the best route and being mostly black, and not Asrock, the MSI H87I seemed to fit. Board is nearly identical to the Z87I except for a smaller heatsink over the VRM. The wifi is actually very strong and has never lost a connection.

RAM: I use G. Skill Ares in my build and it's the only orange DIMMs from a reliable brand. 8Gb, 1600, CAS 9. Pretty standard stuff.

STORAGE: Went with a SSD that I knew to be reliable. Not as fast as a 840 Pro, but not as expensive. She likes how snappy my system is, so it made sense to get another one to match. WD Blue was a no brainer.

GPU: Bought this card back in June. I originally had plans for a 650 ti Boost until I was able to snag this 660 on sale for $175. I sold the key to Splinter Cell Blacklist for $50. For a pure gaming system I would have grabbed a 7870/7950, but I thought she would benefit from having CUDA. She also doesn't need to destroy games. Sims 4 will be played A LOT and won't likely be super demanding. Definitely will upgrade this eventually, but for now this is more than enough for her needs.

CASE: Had to have this case. I know there is a mATX version of this out, but I honestly don't like the layout. This layout works really well for single GPU setups. I really like the window that only shows the GPU as well. Cable management was tricky, but I think I made it presentable.

FANS: Love that the Prodigy will fit a 230mm fan, but didn't think that it was worth the price over a 200mm. Threw in another NZXT Airflow I had laying around. Wanting positive pressure to minimize dust I set up the front 200 as intake, rear 120 as intake and top 120 and exhaust. May flip the rear to exhaust to see if temps change and or if dust is an issue. I put in a fan controller because the mobo only had 2 fan headers and I didn't want to clog up the case with molex connectors.

PSU: Found a steal on a PC Power & Cooling MK III, originally $80. Didn't need a ton of wattage for this and being a smaller case to work with I wanted modular or semi-modular. It also worked out that it is black and white. This unit fit the bill.

Overall very satisfied with this one. It's not the beefiest thing ever, but my girlfriend is happy as can be. This is so quiet at idle with the fans on low that I forget that it's on. Will definitely double as the basement HTPC. I set her up with a wall mount so the monitor will swing out over to the bed so movie watching is a breeze. Happy girlfriend? Check!

Hope you guys like it!


Check out my new Facebook page!

Follow me on Twitter for build updates and general PC mischief!

Twitch I plan to build all of my future builds live on Twitch. I also like to do giveaways for Steam games, so follow me to keep up with all the action!

Part List
Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.0GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle30.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load61.0° C
MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.08Ghz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate6.01Ghz
GPU Temperature While Idle29.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load58.0° C
3DMark 11 Benchmark Results
Performance Preset ScoreP6001
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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Sorted by:
wydomkr [2 Builds] 8 points 12 months ago

I think it's more of a challenge to build in a small case than make a mid or full case look pretty +1 from me.

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 3 points 12 months ago

As my first mITX build I'd have to say the Prodigy is a good one to start with as it's a much larger than normal mITX case. Thanks!

Cropzy [1 Build] 8 points 12 months ago

Good thoughts on all the parts and this is a brilliant build for the purpose. Glad your gf is happy. (Wish I had a gf to build gaming rigs for ;_;).


skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

All in due time! :) Thanks for the look!

Cropzy [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago


No problem man, keep on building!

AustinTheTimelord 3 points 12 months ago

I wish I had money to build gaming rigs for my gf ;-;

RyneSmith [7 Builds] 6 points 12 months ago

As always a pleasure seeing your work!

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

Always a pleasure to hear your comments!

Mattyice47 [1 Build] 3 points 12 months ago

Ditto to RyneSmith

Gooberdad [2 Builds] 3 points 12 months ago

Makes me want to put a mini together. Well done for under a grand!

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 12 months ago

DO IT! :D Thank you sir!

fsma92 [2 Builds] 2 points 12 months ago

this thing is awesome for the price really nice actually! cheers

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago


LeMonarque [3 Builds] 2 points 12 months ago

Agreed about the Prodigy M's layout. The airflow scheme just doesn't cut it to me, though I suppose it may not be as much of a factor on a non-overclocked system. Drive wiring would still be a pain in the butt though. That and the reverse layout means a window only makes sense on the other side, and even then there's the drive "rack"/support beam smack bang in the middle there.

I've kind of gotten used to seeing nice builds from you lol, so this time all I have to ask is what camera do you use to take these pictures? I make do with what I can using just a lowly Canon HF100 and a Nikon D70, but I'm planning on getting a Rebel sometime soon.


EDIT: Actually I do have something to ask: have you checked out the Xeon 1230 V3? It's a Haswell Xeon priced right around a 4670K, except it has hyperthreading, lacks an iGPU, and can't be overclocked. Basically a slightly underpowered 4770 minus the iGPU and $50.

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

That was my reasoning. I wanted her to have a window and the Prodigy M just didn't work out in that regard.

The camera I use is a Canon t2i with some expensive lens my mom got for it. She does semi-pro scrap booking and demands great pictures. I'm lucky enough to be able to borrow it for a while.

I have seen those. I'm surprised I don't see more of those on here actually.

alextargaryen [3 Builds] 2 points 12 months ago

very nice! +1 As long as the girlfriend is happy! :)

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

If she isn't happy, no one is happy ;)

canders [6 Builds] 2 points 12 months ago

You're busy. Didn't you just post one a day or so ago! +1

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

I did! This one was done about a week ago and I just got to posting it now.

Liam81 2 points 12 months ago

Looks great and it sickens me as to how well coordinated the colors are with one exception...... Can you paint the PSU to match the case??

Really well done !! +1

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

I probably could. It would be a huge pain to take it back out. You can't see it through the window at any angle and she doesn't really care that much. Thanks for the up!

Zeus [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

Haven't seen someone use an Orange Prodigy 'til today, and after looking at this build I wonder why..

So beautiful... +1

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

It really is striking. Thanks for checking it out!

18hockey [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

Wow great cable management for such a small case! Love the color too, I didn't know they made the Prodigy in orange until now. +1

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

Thanks! I spent quite a bit of time on getting those cables looking good!

junjaew [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

Looks beautiful and it must have been a challenge to build it in such a small case! Makes me want to get a mini-case myself (I am into small, miniature things). Same graphic card as mine too, love that :)

but above all... very nicely taken photos with a DSLR. +1 for build and +1 for photos.

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

Thank you sir!

stnz [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

Great build and extremely good pictures !

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

Thank you kindly!

Jinteki [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

Another excellent build!

swaggernaut 2 points 12 months ago

i dont know if its the picture quality or just how awsome your builds look

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

I like to think that it's a combo of both, but that's just me ;)

swaggernaut 1 point 12 months ago

ya, definitly, so are these just builds for other people, if not which is your main pc

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

All of the builds are for other people. The one that I use is the Rambo one.

Chartorias 2 points 10 months ago

I really love this build man...

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

I love you for checking it out :)

Chartorias 2 points 10 months ago

It would have been a crime not to have done so.

TrevorHansen7 [2 Builds] 2 points 4 months ago

I just went thought a few of your builds and i am extremely impressed with what I see. I just finished my first after a few upgrades. I wish i knew more people that would prefer a hand built computer so I can build more. its honestly a lot of fun. Well I cant wait to see some more from you!

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

Really appreciate the feedback! Looks like you've got yourself a solid build there too. I was addicted after my first haha

You will be seeing a build posted either this weekend or the early part of next week :)

MicahDubs 2 points 2 months ago

Nice build! I didn't think anyone could use that orange Prodigy to make any PC look good. Looks like a really nice case though! You are really lucky. I am only 13, and I can't just go and buy a bunch of computer parts whenever. I envy you :) I have yet have/build my first PC.

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks buddy! Almost all of my builds are for other people who buy the parts for themselves and I just assemble it for them. I can't really afford to buy parts all day either! Though I wish I could :)

deathfromup [6 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

my girlfriend inherited my old laptop, and let me tell you, there is alot of truth in "Slow computers make grumpy girlfriends..." haha. I keep hinting to let me build a PC for her. Im sure ill convince her one day when that laptop shuts down randomly and she loses like an hour worth of work like it used to do to me.

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

I was in the same boat. My old laptop wouldn't boot to windows and was running Ubuntu from a USB... She's much happier now!

deathfromup [6 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

Also quick question skemble, Where did you sell the splinter cell blacklist key. i also just got one of those with my GPU and it would be sick if i could get 50 bucks for it.

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

I sold it to a friend that I knew in person. Try reddit?

deathfromup [6 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

yeah i never know how to do those code exchanges over the internet. Because someone has to either enter the code first or give the money first. lol.

I might try Craigslist as well.

tophero 1 point 12 months ago

can't wait to see the case artwork when done

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

I can't either! She needs inspiration to paint and is much more content watching Dr. Who...

hawktalk2013 [1 Build] 1 point 10 months ago

how loud is the big 200mm fan?

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 10 months ago

Super quiet, the whole system is really quiet all the time actually.

Genshrooms 1 point 10 months ago

I'm building a rig very similar to this although a bit more orange.


i3 4330, zotac 650ti boost 2gb, phanteks phtc14 in orange, corsair tx650m (will sleeve the cables in orange eventually)

Mine is also for my girlfriend haha. Girls love the prodigy I guess.

Very nice rig man!

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 10 months ago

Very nice! Thanks for checking it out!

You might check out those Cougar Vortex fans too. They have orange fan blades :)

Genshrooms 1 point 10 months ago

I definitely will thanks man!

JunkyJeff 1 point 9 months ago

Sweet build man! Pretty much going the same direction.

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 9 months ago

Thank you sir! I look forward to seeing it on here!

FlusherBox 1 point 7 months ago

The prodigy is such a good looking case I'm thinking of using it for my brothers uni build

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 7 months ago

It's big for mITX, but not big compared to mid-towers. I really liked working with it :)

Kymando 1 point 6 months ago

Hi, I know I'm aout five months late, but as a first time builder, would it be smart to have an mITX as my first build, similar to the one above?

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

It depends on how much you are wanting to expand in the future or what exactly you are going to use your system for. If you are looking to build something small and mobile for say LAN parties then yeah mITX is great, but if you want to do a full watercooled loop with triple GPUs then a full tower ATX or EATX is your best bet.

Kymando 1 point 6 months ago

Wow. I just want somethign hat wil save space and run my counter strike on ultra. And since it's my first build, will i find it alot more difficult to build mITX?

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 6 months ago

The Bitfenix Prodigy is a very large mITX case so you shouldn't have difficulty building in it.

antoniojack 1 point 5 months ago

Great price for this. Btw how is the graphics card?

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 5 months ago

It's pretty solid for the price. It may not max everything out at 1080p, but it's quiet and cool while playing most games at very nice FPS.

Igorzchannel 1 point 5 months ago

great build , i love sims 3 too , sims 4 coming soon :o

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 5 months ago

Tahnks! My gf is thrilled for the release!

Igorzchannel 1 point 4 months ago

lol , np , always my pleasure to watch your builds :) Btw , which build do you think is your best build under 1000$?

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 4 months ago

I would have to say The Fish Tank.

[comment deleted]
iEGOiST 1 point 2 months ago

Wow.. Wow.. Wo+1..

How does this play League? And is the I/O Shield of MSI H87I really black?

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 2 months ago

This plays league 100+ FPS maxed at 1080p with no issues. Yes the IO shield is black! A lot of the newer MSI stuff has black IO shields :)

iEGOiST 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks :D added it to my wishlist.

You saved me! Now I dont have to pay premium for the black io. How bout the msi h97i ac? Do you think it is black?

iEGOiST 2 points 2 months ago

Really, thanks!

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 2 months ago

No problem :)

Knuute 1 point 2 months ago

I'm having a hard time finding that Motherboard anywhere online, could you possibly link me where you bought it from? Or is it discontinued or something?

Would be appreciated, thanks!

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 2 points 2 months ago

I don't believe that it is available anywhere anymore. Look for the H97 version instead!

Knuute 1 point 2 months ago

Will do! Thanks for the quick reply. :)

Joddy636 1 point 16 days ago

I know you built this computer nearly 1 year ago, but can you remember what your experience was like using the case? I am getting this case for my build on Thursday so do you have any tips for me?

skemble [Submitter] [17 Builds] 1 point 16 days ago

The case is quite spacious if you plan your build out correctly. Make sure you have a PSU that isn't too long or it will cramp the cables into the front of where it slides in. I also got a fan controller so that I could run all the fan cables to a central location. I used electrical tape to keep those cables out of the way on the ceiling and corners. I also picked parts so that I would use as few molex connectors as possible because they are extremely fat and difficult to hide.

Joddy636 1 point 14 days ago

Thanks for the advice! I think more psu should fit and I have rough idea on where I am going to hide cables.