I hadn't built a PC from the ground up maybe...ever. I have an old history of doing some light maintenance on computers, cleaning out dust, swapping HDDs/RAM/cards but never a build from scratch. This is compounded by the fact that I haven't even really used a PC at home for almost five years. I decided to ramp the challenge up to eleven and sought a build to function as a general purpose machine capable of playing current games at high/ultra, editing photos (Lightroom), being a capable media server (Plex). On top of that, I wanted an aesthetically-pleasing tiny (mITX) case that was as quiet as possible.
Two huge mistakes with this build: I bought a power supply that was way too big at first (OCZ ZT Series 650W). I had measured my parts obsessively but made the fatal error of not really paying attention to the size of the PSU I had spontaneously picked up while in Micro Center. It looked great (it is) and was going for a great price.
The other mistake: I had no idea what I was doing with the Corsair H90. I had never put any kind of CPU Cooler on any processor, ever. I did have the help of an experienced friend but he'd never done any kind of liquid cooling. The instructions from Corsair were also pretty bad. The LGA 1150 isn't explicitly listed though it is compatible. I ended up putting the wrong screws on the right bracket and then the right screws on the wrong bracket until I finally figured it out.
Aside from that, my ultimate PSU choice could be better but they really don't make too many good power supplies under 150mm in length. Shopping for PSUs (and cases) also kind of sucks because there is no standard on how dimensions are ordered/listed (LxWxH vs HxWxD).
This build is as complete as it's going to be for the time being. I already have the Silverstone PP05 Short Cable Set on the way because the cables that came with the Corsair RM650 are kind of horrible and inflexible. I did also run out of HDD space quickly (thanks to Plex) so I also picked up a Seagate Barracuda 3TB 7200RPM HDD and may give the WD Digital Caviar Blue 1TB to a friend.
Ideally, I wish I could have gone for SilverStone Strider Plus ST60F-PS power supply since it's only 140mm in length and supposedly (per SilverStone) the shortest high wattage PSU there is. Aside from the cables, I'm happy with the Corsair RM650 though. It just causes my graphics card to kind of...bend. When I go in to put those in, I'm also going to attach a molex connector to power the front case fans which I accidentally left unpowered.
All in all, I'm very happy with this computer. All the fans that came with the case were rated at <20 dBA so I was a little apprehensive about the fan for the CPU cooler which is rated at 35 dBA but it's still whisper quiet. I also wish I had been a little more patient to wait for Black Friday and Cyber Monday but I couldn't wait any longer! I probably could have saved $60 between my SSD, the 1TB SSD and case. Though, I do have about $50 in rebates from my Corsair PSU and CPU Cooler on the way, so that's nice.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core||$211.98||(Purchased)|
|CPU Cooler||Corsair H90 94.0 CFM Liquid||$74.99||(Purchased)|
|Motherboard||ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150||$116.59||(Purchased)|
|Memory||Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600||$137.79||(Purchased)|
|Storage||Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" SSD||$185.17||(Purchased)|
|Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM||$63.59||(Purchased)|
|Video Card||EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB ACX||$320.09||(Purchased)|
|Case||Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower||$92.98||(Purchased)|
|Power Supply||Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V||$139.99||(Purchased)|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8 Professional (OEM) (64-bit)||$74.19||(Purchased)|
|Mouse||SteelSeries Diablo III Wired Laser||$0.00||(Purchased)|
|Headphones||SteelSeries Diablo III 57002||$0.00||(Purchased)|
|Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor|
|CPU Clock Rate||3.4GHz|
|CPU Temperature While Idle||-|
|CPU Temperature Under Load||-|
|Extreme Preset Score||X6643|
|Performance Preset Score||P17065|
|Entry Preset Score||E151461|