Description

After my first attempt (big drawn out failure)

My goal was to build a small, quiet PC that had a strong upgrade path. Also I wanted it to be very responsive for general use (hence my choice is SSD, high single core clockspeed CPU and wired internet)

My last build was about a year ago (October 2015/ you can check my other completed build) where I built my first gaming PC. I just went for it and hoped it worked.

I made several mistakes/ bad luck which just made the PC very unpleasant to use:

  1. Used operating system from an ssd that was in my old living room PC
  2. Changed motherboard without reinstalling OS
  3. Motherboard BIOS corrupted a few weeks after updating my motherboard to Haswell refresh
  4. New motherboard (MSI z97 ITX AC) horrible driver issues, driver instal disk was terrible
  5. Windows authentication issues
  6. Finally tried to reinstall windows. Did not help, so far gone I just hated that PC
  7. Non stop bugs, crashes, sound issues, wifi issues, just a horrible messy waste of time

I sold the thing for parts (except the case and PSU), and didn't think I'd try again. I kept following PC videos on youtube as a hobby, and I became much more hardware 'savy'. I got a graduate job and thought yolo. I tried building again, and this time went absolutely flawlessly. Seriously no mistakes runs like a dream :)

Thanks for reading!

Part Reviews

CPU

Very solid CPU! Although it is great I've tried to leave a strong upgrade path, which is reflected in my choice of motherboard (see below). I have the freedom to upgrade to a 6600k/6700k. Or I can update my bios and go straight to a 7600k/7700k.

But tbh, I really do think this chip is a solid performer, and when coupled with an SSD and a wired ethernet connection, it really flies :D

Motherboard

After owning an MSI Z97 board all I can say is. THANK GOD.

Asus "Pro Gaming' series mobo's just exude quality, everything about them is top tier. I know this board is overkill, but its jammed full of features (which is useful in an itx build as I have no space for expansion cards)

The wifi, bluetooth, sound chip and m.2 slot make it a great backbone to my build, with the freedom to just drop a better CPU in and OC it straight away!

Most highly recommended part of the build!

Memory

Got this off ebay because ram is so expensive at the moment.

This leaves the easy upgrade path for another 8bg stick (16GB total), as I only have 2 dims and didnt want to go for 2 X 4gbs

Storage

Great boot-drive. In my opinion I would never recommend a 2017 build without an SSD, no matter how cheap.

Makes the whole experience much nicer. I do think an NVME drive is OTT for most

I also have a really old HDD in my build (500gb). Could die at any moment hahah >.<

Video Card

Good card. Silent, cheap, low power draw and is a great companion to the i3 6100.

May upgrade down the line, (I know the rx 470 might have been a better option, but I didnt want to spend too much atm).

Case

Great case, fits everything, windowed, logical lay out.

(although pretty damn big)

P.s. I love the PSU shroud, especially with my cheap power supply with all its ugly cables

Power Supply

I wish I could complain about this cheap PSU, but its done very well. Both quiet and reliable.

If i did upgrade to say a 1070, I would also upgrade this

Keyboard

I bought this because its media controls and its very low price.

I may get a better keyboard in the future, but this is such a good buy for a tenner

Comments

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

I like the kraken x64 for cooling if you want to oc but the cryorig air coolers get good reviews as well if you like air cooling. Not a huge fan of the 1050ti but if you go to upgrade might as well go 1070 1080 or a AMD 470 or 480 (to allow future sli or crossfire) lastly a more solid psu to ensure it lasts like a 650 or more 80+ gold rated or better should do the trick. Jonnyguru.com reviews could help with the psu choice.

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

I would go for a single gpu because I've got a mini itx mobo (only one expansion slot).

As far as the Kraken do you know if its as quiet as an air cooler (e.g. Noctua d15). My last AIO was a corsair H80i gt which was really loud.

Also the kraken is £140 in the UK (very expensive)

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

Mine is quiet, but I've heard that occasionally people get a noisy one. And everyone likes the Noctua air coolers! And personally I'm not a big fan of zotac products but they definitely cost less unless you wait for the bigger deals.

  • 31 months ago
  • 3 points

I know this is really old but xfire and sli isn't that great of an option in terms of real world performance. It's better to just sell the current card and get some money to go towards a better single gpu because apparently not that many games support/are properly optimised for xfire and sli Just some food for thought

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

I did take a chance with the zotac card, as their coolers aren't known for being great. But as the card uses so little power (powered off the motherboard) the card is almost silent even when gaming. If I got a 1070 for example I'd go for a better cooler, but for a 1050ti this one is honestly great :)

Also I think I am going to go with a noctua as they cool modern chips very very well and it's so silent (an half the price)

Although the kraken x62 is stunning, best looking cooler available

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

The step I hate a lot while building a PC is installing the OS.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

I totally agree. And installing drivers >.<

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Lol im commenting on my school laptop not on my PC but AWESOME BUILD! Its sexy as ****

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you sir

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Any suggested upgrades to my build would always be welcome! :)

  • I want a better monitor as this one is only 60hz. But I really don't like the idea of a TN panel
  • I am going to get a kabylake 7600k soon, any ideas for coolers?

Again thanks for reading!

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

Look at 240mm rads for cooling. H100iv2 is a good place so start.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

I had a h80i v2 in my first build. It cooled very well but the pump was so loud. It really put me off AIO's

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

Oh really? I have one in each of my two home builds and they're really quiet! Only hear them during load and even then they're drowned out by my GPUs. If you are concerned about noise then look at the be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3, one of the quietest coolers out there, if not THE quietest!

Also- I'm in the UK so I know this for fact: be Quiet! stuff is cheaper because it's a German brand.

Edit: it's on Amazon for 62 quid! Get it now!!

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

And yes it'll fit, I've got the Phanteks mini itx and it is spacious.

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

That's great to know, I had heard that they were cheap. Same goes for noctua as they're an austrian brand

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

The TN panels aren't too bad nowadays. The ASUS VG248QE is at a good price and is 144hz. Jayztwocents did a review on it so check it out if you want :).

  • 35 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks I'll have a look. Tbh I think I'd go for an ips 1440p screen. I'm not really an GPs guy

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

The BXTS15A is not the same as the stock cooler that comes with the i3-6100, which I believe is the E97379-001. The TS15A is a larger cooler designed for the LGA 1151 "K" SKUs (i5-6600K, i5-7600K, i7-6700K, and the i7-7700K).

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

You're right I just couldnt find the stock cooler :P

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I like this build :)

I would however get some quiet fans, and a quiet aftermarket CPU cooler. MAYBE...an silent PSU as well.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!

I did find the corsair fans very quiet (although i wouldve gotten noctua ones if i did it again). The Phanteks fan at the front (240mm) was very loud and annoying so i removed the fan header and the system was much quieter.

I need to update the cooler as well. I have a Cryorig C7 now, which is silent. The PSU never gets loud, because my system uses so little power. I honetly dont think ive heard it before :)