Description

So I really didn't NEED a new computer, however I am starting to have issues with my old build. Probably the motherboard or PSU or both. I am not interested in figuring it out or sitting here and waiting for it to blow up. It's had a good run and I'm sick of having some big giant tower with tons of bays and loud fans and all that. So I set out with the plan to make a good value build and something that should work well within my needs for the foreseeable future. First issue was establishing what I need versus what I want. I could spend forever researching components and just end up getting nowhere so I had to make a decision. So what I determined was below.

Use: Office work, Adobe Lightroom, Casual gaming (FO4, Heroes of the Storm, 1 year or older games on Steam I still haven't played)

Price: Cheap as possible, since this computer is more of a desire than a need.

Form Factor: Small, decided on Mini-itx

Additional: Use some of current components that work including : 1 SSD, 2 HDs, and possibly the 750Ti video card that I have in my current PC.

I tried my best to abuse discounts and I did pretty well in the end. I bought the mobo and CPU on jet.com using a 20% off code plus a $20 Amex credit. PSU was the same way on amazon with it going on sale plus using a Discover credit. All in all I think I did pretty well. I put the cost of the hard drives in there but I already owned them. I think $600 for this build would be considered a solid deal.

CPU: Intel Core i5 6500 - I settled on Skylake mostly because I looked back at pricing on previous intel generations of processor and the prices don't fluctuate that greatly. So since I figured I was going to exploit a first purchase on jet.com plus a statement credit from AMEX I might as well go new. This processor seemed to be the best value processor out there. I didn't see the point of spending 20 more bucks for a 6600 and originally I was going to get an i3. Sure the i3 could have fit my needs but I feel a little more future proof with an i5. I also looked at getting a K series processor for a while but it's a lot of upfront cost. Sure it might last me longer but this i5 should be just fine.

Mobo: Gigabyte H-170 Wifi Ultra Durable - There really aren't too many mini-itx options for Skylake. I thought about getting a Z series board for a while, just in case I wanted to upgrade later and also use faster DDR-4 ram. I talked myself out of it which was probably a good idea. Board seems good, I like having the usb C and the m2 slot available. I could care less about wireless but it's nice to have I guess. Seems very solid and I can't believe how small the thing is, I'm big fan of mini-itx.

Ram: DDR4 at the time was pretty much all the same price. It had good reviews and I tested it and both sticks look good.

SSD and HDs - I just used what I had in my old PC. SSD isn't very old but was limited in my old system because of SATA II. I can already tell how much faster the HD is with SATA III. The mechanical HDs I've had for years (~5 or more) both are refurbished and work great.

Video Card - Sapphire R9 280 Dual-X - Well I was going to use my PNY 750 TI OC however this deal came up and for some reason or another I couldn't pass it up (basically an impulse buy). This card looks like it will be a nice bump up from the 750Ti and do just fine since I will only be gaming at 1080p for the foreseeable future. It's pretty big (using the 750TI as reference, which is small), and it uses some decent power but it's nice and seems quieter than the 750TI.

PSU - EVGA G2 550 Watt PSU - I wanted a solid PSU that would be reliable. All the reviews of this PSU were great. I like the ECO mode where the fan doesn't run under low load. The quality on this thing is top notch, also the packaging was really nice. Seems like a really great product.

Case - Thermaltake Core V1 - Saving the best for last. Ever since I saw this case I planned on purchasing it. I didn't want a DVD drive, I don't have a need for any expansion (PCI E cards or anything else). I just really don't need something like an ATX size computer. The case is compact but easy to work in. I mean all the panels come off, so running cables is easy. I don't know if I will really need the exhaust fans in the back but better safe than sorry. Very happy with this case and would buy another if I ever needed it.

Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

This is a great build and the 7950/r9-280 is underrated with 384bit/3gb

Do you notice much difference with ddr4?

I want to move my build into this case.

Is the i5 6500 better than the 8320e black edition oc'd on air at about 4.3?

Your total price is awesome! huge fan of BFB

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

an i5 6500 would be better than any AMD cpu on the market no matter the clock speed.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

So my old system was DDR2 ram and an AMD Phenom 9950 Black Edition (OC at 3.0) and the same SSD and HDs. The new system is way faster on the whole. So not sure how much is the ram or just the totally new (and modern) architecture. I know you can compare clock speeds between AMD and Intel but I know that for an AMD to compete with most intels it requires a much higher clock speed.

I'm a fan of the video card. The 750TI was probably enough but the r9 280 is quite a bit more powerful.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey, I like the build. I just purchased this same motherboard for my own build

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I like it. It's crazy small compared to an ATX. I don't need all the slots so mini itx is perfect for me.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

This makes me want to build a small form factor.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm planing on getting the same case and motherboard. I have some questions:

  1. Are SATA3 cables that come with motherboard long enaugh to be routed under (I see you are using some other cables if I'm not mistaken?).

  2. I want to get m.2 ssd. Is there anaugh space between PSU and motherboard?

  3. Do you have any tips or suggestions before starting the build. Would you change or do something different now that you have the knowledge?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry I didn't see this earlier. So the motherboard only came with two SATA cables and one had one side with a 90 degree bend connector. They are definitely long enough. I recently ordered some blue cables to switch in. It sure looks like there is enough to space to mount the M2, just put that in before screwing down the mobo.

Parts wise I have no suggestions. It probably doesn't need exhaust fans but the F8 silent fans are quiet and move air out the back, I just wanted to be safe. Definitely take off the panels when you build it, makes it crazy easy. Lastly just plan it out, cable wise and you should have no issues. If you do the exhaust fans I had to get 3 pin to molex connectors to plug them into the PSU because the mobo only had a fan connector for the CPU and one more (which I used for the case fan).

Good luck!

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey, I just bought the same case!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Great Job! I'm planning to buy the same case and motherboard to build a media server, so i'll need a total of 3 hard drives (2 HDDs and 1 SSD)... but my only concern is, with this case, is there enough room to access the side SATA connections?? or am I going to be limited to using only the top 2 SATA connectors?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't think you'll have a problem reaching the SATA connections (at least if you use the same mobo). The connections face the front of the computer which I like as far as cable management goes. There is a lot of space between the front of the case and the front of the motherboard.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

did you regret not having a modular PSU?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

The PSU is fully modular, I don't think I could build a computer anymore without one after using this one.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

If only you could prefer single channel RAM. Lesser performance but when you use dual channel you can't add more RAM in the future because mobo has two slot. Otherwise it's best mini-itx build for this price range. Sorry for my bad English.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I was going to do a single stick for upgrade purposes but settled on two sticks to take advantage of dual channel. I figure 8GB ram total is good enough for what I need.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm considering purchasing this case. You mention that your old case was loud. Are the fans included with the Thermalake case quiet enough that the case can be placed on my desktop behind my monitor without annoying me?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I think so, when I had the case out of my bookshelf and was testing it the noise did not bother me.