I built this for a family friend. She is retired, but participates in a lot of clubs and organizations, and she uses her computer for email, word processing, and watching YouTube.

The machine she was using before was an ancient, hand-me-down piece of junk that was starting to fail. I am surprised it lasted as long as it did. The second photo shows a view of the CPU cooler on the old computer when I removed the fan. It was completely packed with crud, like the rest of the case.

She wanted a new machine in a real hurry and had a budget of $500.00 USD +/-. The only parts from her old computer that were re-used were her wireless mouse and an old Dell keyboard. There was nothing wrong with the keyboard other than it was absolutely filthy. It was disgusting. I took it apart and gave it a thorough cleaning and it was good as new.

I saved a bit of money by getting the monitor in an "open box" deal from Newegg. I've purchased open box items before and have never had any problems, and this was no exception. The monitor was flawless and came with all the accessories. Her previous monitor was a 17", so she was very pleased with the new 23" screen.

The stock intake fan on the Silverstone case was a little bit noisy for my taste so I threw in a Noctua NF-S12A PWM 120mm Fan that I had laying around. I wouldn't have bothered except that the case was going to be up on the desk instead of on the floor. I did not include this in the pricing of the system.

Cable management in this small mini-ITX case was challenging. It helped that I only installed one SSD. I removed the HDD bracket to make more space and provide better air flow.

I considered installing an optical drive but I couldn't squeeze it in under budget so I left it out. She did not really use the optical drive on her previous computer so it was no big loss.

She was accustomed to using MS Office but I couldn't fit that into the budget she set so I installed LibreOffice and told her if she absolutely needed MS Office she could always buy it at a later time.

The system has some upgrade potential, with space for an optical drive, more RAM, more storage or even a video card if it becomes necessary, but I think this will do just fine for the foreseeable future. I was fairly impressed with this build; it's fast, quiet, small, efficient, cool, is vary capable of performing everyday office tasks and providing entertainment (not hardcore gaming) and looks nice in the Silverstone case.

She is delighted with the results and the small footprint and I am happy that she likes it.


  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Ew all that dust haha good friend!

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for the dust

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

She will get 60 fps ez with the am1. Though you should overclock the cat so she can run crysis. And about MS Office... I got it for 10 bucks on my PC completely virus-free. I'll see if i can find the link for you.