I built this over Black Friday 2016 and the month before, watching reddit.com/r/buildapcsales for the parts I wanted. Every part here was bought on a significant sale except for the CPU cooler, case, and case fan.
My original goals were to 1) build a small PC because I like the look and don't need much expansion, 2) be able to play games on max settings for multiple years, and 3) spend around $800-900. Without sales, the parts cost $900 without the monitor, but after saving $200 on sales, I also picked up the 1080p ultrawide.
If I was doing it over again, I would plan ahead to add a 3.5" drive. I'm wishing I could add one now that I discovered Plex, but the GPU blocks the mount in the SG13.
Note on the GPU: I originally started with a XFX RX 480 8GB with a reference cooler. But the card was defective, and Newegg support allowed me to swap to the MSI card.
The 6600(non-k) was my preferred buy here, but I got the 6500 on too good of a deal to pass up. I had also debated the 6600k OC route, but decided the cost wasn't worth the small performance increase (money much better spent on the monitor).
Air cooling is working great. With the stock cooler, I maintained 69C at load without any throttling. When I added the Cryorig C7, temps at load went down to the mid 50s without GPU load and 61C with a 100% GPU simultaneous load.
Really liking this cooler; it made my temps go down despite switching my blower GPU for an open air GPU. I thought about keeping the stock cooler that I was happy with, but I decided to preemptively switch since I was already dissembling the PC to get the oversized MSI card in. If you use a blower GPU, the stock intel cooler is just fine.
Got this on a flash sale on Newegg, and very happy with it. Cheap like a H110 but has the m.2 nvme slot for future upgrades. MSI's UFEI is also very nice to work in.
It works. This was the cheapest 16GB I could get at the time when I needed 2 day shipping. Too bad it only runs at 2133.
Grabbed this to save $20 over a Samsumg 850 EVO 500GB black friday deal. Glad I did; the speeds are second best and the price was right. See attached benchmark, getting great speeds after updating the SSD firmware. It has eDrive compatibility, so after installing Win10 I was able to turn on Bitlocker's native hardware encryption for no performance loss encryption.
This GPU is great, although I have a few small issues. The fans are off at idle, and when I stress tested the fans only spun at a steady 21% to keep a 75C temperature (with 100% CPU load). Never lost its 1303mhz boost clock factory OC or its 1750mHz factory memory OC. While the load temps are great, the idle temp of 50C is quite high compared to benchmarks online (~38C). But that was to be expected given the small case. The fans never turn on at idle, and if they do, the card cools fast. We'll see if this is the same during the summer.
This DOES fit in the SG13, but won't lie, it isn't easy to fit. You have to take the front off as you assemble, and the biggest problem is that the 8 pin power cable partially goes under the metal frame, making it
impossible very hard to install the cable after installing the GPU. So I installed the cable first, threaded it through the front hole, then wobbled the card into position. It got stuck a few times and I almost bashed the PCIE connector once, but once it slid in it fits great!
See this build for another example and advice in the comments: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/PKPscf#cx2058348
I am giving it 4/5 is because I do get some coil whine at full load. This is with the PC unobstructed about two feet from me. I hear it when only the GPU is making noise; if the CPU fan spins up or if I have any audio playing, I can't hear it much. I've read any coil whine is bad, but I'm not sweating it yet, if it doesn't change. Some games seem to cause coil whine while others don't, not sure why.
I really like this case's look. It is "cheaper" in that it only has one front dust filter (monthly cleaning will be mandatory) and the case is a bit wobbly when it is empty and when the HDD bracket is out, but I can't complain. The mesh front looks better in person than in pictures; definitely recommend it over the solid front. I can fit the bracket in with the MSI card, but the cable bulk prevents attaching a HDD below it.
This is my only regret from the build. Temps are working fine with an ATX PSU, and airflow is fine after some cable "management" but I am getting a weird thumping sound from the PSU that is audible at idle. I wish the fan turned off at idle; it is the only thing preventing this from being a silent build.
I would recommend spending the extra $30-50 and getting the Corsair SF450 SFX PSU. The ATX cables are WAY too long. Since I already invested, maybe I'll splurge on custom short cables to eliminate the PCIE/SATA bulk (but I'll forever have a huge motherboard cable bulk). Going only an M.2 drive would help a lot too.
Also this PSU does NOT include a SATA power cable that can easily power an SSD mounted to the bottom spot on the case floor. See the pictures, but none of the power connectors are straight, and the 90 degree bent cable goes the wrong way, bending into the case. I had to only mount two screws in the SSD, and now the power cable is bent in, and the SSD is half hanging in the air. Not ideal and stressful on the cable.
I originally mounted the PSU up, then I switched to down just to try to minimize noise from the bumpy fan.
Free from university.
Very quiet fan, RPMs are controlled by the motherboard, and it is supposed to be one of the best! And no, you can't see the color through the mesh.
Once I decided to upgrade the monitor too, this was an easy choice because it has integrated speakers, freesync, and IPS panel. I love it. No quality defects at all, and it's a pleasure to work and game on. It's actually 75hz too, with a 30-75fps fresync range. I didn't include the price in the build, but I paid $217.44 on Jet (after random codes and rebates). I will be selling the two monitors I don't use anymore for ~$90, so that makes the upgrade cost ~$130 to me.
I picked this up used on eBay as an entry level mechanical keyboard with blue switches. Really like it.