Wireless Network Adapter
The master of bow hunter has arrived. It is silent but deadly... Wait, am I still talking about computers? Oh... I'm thinking of something else. And my father called it, but I think some of us may know why without the need of explanation. The build itself cost a total of $918.26.
This ITX is for my father but I wanted to keep it cool, compact, quiet and powerful enough at the same time. His major purposes for this build is using MS Office, Netflix, games, video and photo editing. He's been needing a computer to handle some basic photo and video editing lately so this should be able to handle it.
This build would have been done a lot sooner but, such as life, unexpected events occurred. Plus I had to swap out two fans, which I will explain about it later. Of course, I'm guilty of rambling on so you have my permission to skim read on what you want.
The first 20 photos shows the final results. You can ignore the rest if you want to. However, the ones after photo #20 will show the process of what was worked on, changing parts or displaying certain angles of the case, and its parts. Photos 102 and 103 is an update of fixing the I/O shield.
Now I could have went for an i7 but for what my father does, it's not a major need at this point. It's not like he is working with intensive programs that requires it. He just needed a processor that could handle making and edifying family videos and slide shows to display family photos. Heck I used to work with an intel dual-core before with such things, so I'm pretty sure this processor will be better. The K model was avoided for one reason, there was no need for overclocking.
It does automatically turbo boost, and yes I did test it before with it on and off. I found it very interesting... Seeing the results, you think turbo boost off would make a lot of heat? Ironically not so much because there is about a 3 - 5°C difference. I'm saying it runs a tad more hot when turbo is on but not by much.
Currently Turbo Boost is OFF. If ON, it will turbo boost to 3.9GHz.
However, I think this processor is amazing for what it does. If I was comparing it with another 4 core, it's outstanding. However, there are older versions of the i5 if your budget is tighter then how this build was. The budget had to remain around 1k, not go pass $1,050. In the end result, it worked out pleasantly.
BIOS is updated to A.6. A.5 wasn't properly reading the processor's GHz until it was updated. The layout seemed OK until the positions of the SATA connectors and the USB 3.0 connector made it difficult with a PSU above it. When I swapped out the fans, I had to disconnect these cables very often.
Now since I mentioned about having to replace fans, why? It is because of this type of motherboard. MSI only allows proper fan calibration with 4-pin fans when using the system fan connectors.
If one has 3-pin fans, beware! Your fans will be at the maximum RPM. Hence forth my reason to switch to 4-pin fans with a 2-way 4-pin splitter. And keep this too in mind, MSI cranks 4-pin case fans at 50% as minimum RPM. 25% is the minimum for the CPU fan.
It doesn't allow control with 3-pin fans connectors since it only maxes them out. I heard a 2,000~ RPM Rosewell fan cranked so high that it became impossible to tolerate a jet engine. With the new 4-pin case fans installed, they only run at 938 RPM. Quieter and much better.
I do admit, that I was very disappointed about the case fans being at full speed and incapable to alter it. My fault for not double checking with this type of MOBO but now I know. Still, it is a let down on my end since all the Gigabyte motherboards that I have worked with in the past, allows fan calibrations for both 3-pin and 4-pin case fans. Just be aware of MSI for this but it doesn't mean it's a horrible board, plus I didn't have any issue with the CPU heatsink, so... I have been spoiled with Gigabyte it seems.
The Noctua NF-R8 was pretty impressive for sound wise and still pulled out plenty of heat away. Of course, I had to sacrifice the original placement holder for the thinner 80mm CM case fan. I think most of the fans I intended to grab were dimensional to large anyway so I stuck with a more quiet fan yet effective at the same time. So be aware of this too when working with the Elite 130 CM case if intending to replace the 80mm fan. I had used two zip-ties to hold down the fan onto the case.
The LEPA fan, wow, I was surprised! Not as bright as it gives a soft glow of blue, unlike the LED Rosewell but I think it's for the best. It's not so loud either when it cranks, which is what I was looking for. I do want fans to work when need be but not like a jet engine either. Also the cord is sleeved, and quite long so I had a bit of extra slack but nothing to worry about.
So I'm officially able to express about this cooler, despite I had worked with it much earlier. It works well and isn't too loud unless you had to let it crank hard early for whatever reason. Sounds audible around 1350 RPM or more but not too annoying. I was more concern about temps but for what this processor does, it's doing good.
Valley Benckmark was the result of temps. As long it doesn't hit 72 Celsius, there isn't much to be concerned about. I haven't seen it pass 61 at all. Of course, this was turbo boost being ON, so I wonder if it's part of the reason. Tested it with Turbo Boost OFF and keeping it this way. Stays around 51~54 Celsius with Valley Benchmark.
Is it better then an intel stockfan? Maybe, but I have seen worse before with a 4 core processor. Doing internet, Netflix, and Office tasks are averaged at 30~38°C. With a game that is CPU intensive, ranged between 53-61°C when Turbo is ON.
For this type of CPU fan that is cramped up and isn't fancy. I'm surprised, and impressed with it.
So this RAM is pretty cool looking. Lifetime warranty and runs smooth so far. At the time, this was a good deal so if you get one too, it should be cheaper by now. One thing to be aware of, you will need to adjust the frequency from the BIOS. It is not an easy install and then it's automatically set at 1600MHz. But, it is easy to overclock it.
I changed the frequency with this MOBO. Or use X.M.P. if have a different MOBO. Happy to have it and I will consider more in the future since these can be budget friendly.
Now this is one card, I was changing constantly to be honest here. So, what the deduce did I get this video card for? ... ... ... To have a silent and decent GPU, of course. Not that I intend to overclock this my dear Watson but to have quiet spinning fans.
The GPU is quite impressive I say. And it does wonders when playing some games and testing in the Valley Benchmark. However, keep this in mind. By default, this video card will not spin its fans until the graphics card reaches around sixty-five between sixty-eight Celsius. Oh my!
Does this mean the card which is exhausting so much heat will grim the air with smoke that catastrophe is upon its shelter, and circuit board friend? No, dear Watson, not at all.
In all seriousness here, turn on EVGA's Precision X16 and adjust the fan curve. Make sure the fan curve is set as AUTO or it won't properly adjust the GPU's fan speeds ahead of time, not to the last minute when it gets too hot. This card is pretty impressive. As long the room temperature is good for this case. The fans spinning aren't too loud, and annoying either.
Last thing to mention, this GPU is HDMI connected to a large TV. So having this card helps with the adjustments in resolutions. Using HDMI will auto-adjust each game that is played. Sometimes have to manually alter again but so far the graphics are set on high. The audio works very well and when computer is turned on, one must change the TV's input.
I got this case with a rebate of $15. In the end result, it wasn't too bad to work with but it has its own minor setbacks as well. I think my biggest concern is airflow. Sure it's there but if I think about it, there doesn't seem to be a best way to push cold air and quickly exhausting heat even though I tried to set it up this way. It's also fun to be creative with this case too, cable management.
I cannot say I did a super lovely job with the cables. The goal was to make sure they were out of the way so the cold air can easily be pushed through. Also, to not block the CPU's heatsink, so heat can escape well.
Since I mentioned about removing the default case fans. The front fan was easy to uninstall, once figured out. The side case fan, is a different story. I removed it, including it's placement holder for the thin 80mm case fan. I wonder if there was a better fan for this situation... my major issue was that I had to swap out the side fan twice.
Yes, I was concern of airflow, it all comes down to the bedroom remaining cold. I notice temps are about 7~ Fahrenheit higher in a 70°F room. And that's seeing a combination with the CPU in 61°C and the GPU can consequently reach 70°C. Higher if it gets passed 75°F in the room. So just be aware if room temperature, since these were results of Valley Benchmark.
However, thanks to the Mitsubishi air conditions, it's quite easy for this case to remain cool if the room is too hot. Thus the 54°C and below will occur for the CPU, and 54°C and below for GPU. As long your GPU fans are turned on ahead of time.
Well, to keep this in mind. I had bought this too, exactly at the same time when I purchased my mother's PSU. Oh and here is my human error, big time. I thought I could get a rebate on this. Nope, corsair only allowed 1 per unit for the rebate. Oops, but they were quick to respond when I asked for clarification. My bad... learn from my mistake, triple check your rebates if planning to grab more then one unit of a product before purchase. Or to avoid this huge boo-boo, get a different PSU.
Does it work? Yes, it sure does. It was like a puzzle to figure out on how to keep this semi-modular look decent in this case. I will update this PSU, when I get enough practice with making sleeved paracords.
I loved working on this build a lot and the parts as well. Despite with all the issues that I had run into, it was so enjoyable! If anything else changes, I will update on here again.
UPDATE @ 10/04/2015: I did fix the I/O shield by gently pulling the excess metal up and down once. They easily came off from the HDMI and Ethernet port.
Thanks for taking your time to read my description. I would give you a free drink if I could! Please feel free to leave any feedback, questions or constructive criticism.