Description

This build ended up close to perfect for what I wanted it for. For less than $900 I wanted something small, and I wanted something extremely quiet. On top of those I wanted something that didn't feel underpowered. On the lighter side, web browser, watching tv/movies. On the heavier side I Needed to be able to do some heavy photo editing (lightroom/photoshop). Some casual gaming, my requirement there was to be able to play skyrim on ultra, do not need anything crazier than that. And I had to have wifi on the motherboard. Other than that, I liked the idea of low watt components, pairs nicely with quiet and low heat for a small build, so that's exactly what I did.

I swapped the case fan out for 140mm noctua. It should be noted, as I didn't realize before ordering, that if you go with 140mm fan, it has to get mounted on the inside of the case. This ended up working out better for me as I needed the extra room in the front compartment for cable management.

CPU

Happy with an i5 for my needs, went with the s version for the low watt.

GPU

I do plan to eventually swap something beefier than the 750ti in, will be a nice upgrade in 6 months to a year. But honestly, i'm very happy with the 750 ti. I have not tried bumping up the clocks on this thing yet although i've seen some favorable results. But it more than handles my casual gaming needs while keeping the temps extremely low. The noctua cpu cooler is the perfect size for this case as well.

RAM

Happy with 8gb here, and didn't really need the extra speed on the ram but it ended up being the exact same price as the 1600 version when I was buying so I pulled the trigger.

Motherboard

This is the one place where it might seem like I went a little overkill. I was originally going to get an asrock for $143. I really wanted solid wifi on board. After reading some hit or miss reviews of the mini-itx wifi on asus and others. A deal popped up on the msi gaming board and I couldn't resist. Happy with this purchase as well. Motherboard is not somewhere I usually try to save money. But this thing is beautiful, even the bios is incredible. And the killer wifi reaches the exact same speeds as I do on wired ethernet.

PSU

Currently, I have the 12v plugged in that I don't really need with the 750 ti so if I remove that it'll make a little extra space. I went with this for 2 reasons. I wanted something silent, and I wanted something modular for the small case. The one misstep here are the cables on the rm450 are huge for the case. I jammed a lot of them into the front compartment, but they still crushed my cable management dreams. The psu is dead silent though so that was a win.

Case

Love the elite 110, this machine is going to float between a couple spots, and with it being part of the time in a living room area. I really wanted to go as small as I could. The raven from silverstone was tempting, but I really liked this case for the money. And it ended up being really easy to work in, very happy with it. If I was going to have any gripe, the logo on/off switch is a little light to the touch. You can definitely end up accidentally powering off the machine if you're not careful.

Storage

I had to go ssd, silent and low heat. 250 gb was perfect to get me started. I plan to throw a 500gb ssd in this in a few months to help with editing photos, but i'm more than happy with this much space for awhile. Ended up mounting it on the side panel so that I could mount the psu with fan facing up.

Overall, the machine feels great. Snappy and absolutely zero noise. Even at heavier loads I haven't heard a thing. Temps have been really low. And thankfully I really did not run into any snags building this, enjoyed it.

Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 8 points

such small, much power, so wow

wonderful build :D

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

many comment

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

Great build/parts selection. Good job.

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

Your dog thinks the SSD is food.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

ooooooh I love that motherboard, this is an awesome budget build

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for the dog in the pic :) a good build also

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

why a Z motherboard if you wont overclock? you could have save around $70 on a H97 mobo and use it for a better ITX gpu like https://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-n7602gd5ocitx or https://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-r9270xgaming2gitx On your other parts you did a great job!! +1

  • 63 months ago
  • 0 points

I think he is going to save money for a upgrade to his CPU and gpu later on, big upgrades

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

if that were the case even an i3 4130 which is less money ($80 less) would have suffice, and would never bottleneck the 750 ti, I just feel that 200 for a CPU you might eventually want to upgrade is simply too much.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Remember this isn't a straight gaming build. If I had an extra $200, for the size of this build, and being concerned about noise/heat in the tiny 1 cubic feet without having done a similar build of this size previously. I would have probably still went with the 750 ti. It's too perfect for low-watt/low-noise. I can still push this card above the stock settings and keep my system pretty cool while handling any game i'd be playing this year. If I do upgrade in a year or so, i'd hope that something just as effecient was available as an upgrade on the market.

I wanted the i5 for other tasks like photo and possibly some video editing on top of gaming. i3 would probably have been enough for now. But cpu is not something i'd upgrade often. I do like to leave the possibility to upgrade though, even if it's 2 years down the line. On the other side of that, I never upgrade motherboards. Unless there's an issue with the one I have, it's too much of a hassle to to take everything apart to replace. Having a solid motherboard now was important to me in order to keep this thing running for awhile as well as to be able to upgrade cpu/gpu later on if I need to extend it's life.

For the justification of the Z motherboard. I was originally at a $123 gigabyte, but I saw some reviews for that and others at that price point that pointed to the wifi just not being great on board. I then was looking at an asrock that was closer to $140, but there were not many reviews out there on it yet. The msi popped up for $174, so for 30 bucks more I knew i'd have a great board and really solid wifi. Even without the intention of overclocking, it just felt like a good enough reason. It's definitely still slightly overkill for this build, but I splurged on it and am honestly very happy that I did.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

It's still a very nice build!!! The MSI motherboard is awesome!! One I'm considering is the gigabyte gaming its board 138 with the discount http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaz97ngaming5 even their normal Z97 wifi ITX board is very cheap with the discount

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

For a silent build I'd probably have gone with the Seasonic X Series 460w Platinum fanless PSU. However, yours probably isn't very audible anyway since many better PSUs feature fans that turn off unless they're needed.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

I think the seasonic would have been a nice addition. I originally went out looking at fanless PSUs. Kept seeing reviews that listed coil whine. Seemed fairly consistent across even the most expensive fanless PSUs, most reviews were positive but seeing that often made me nervous. The corsair rm series seemed pretty positive after they fixed some early issues. The one thing that was consistently in reviews for it was how inaudible it was. And it really is dead silent. Even at full load i'm below where i'd need to be for the fan to kick on, so other than the cables being way too beefy/long for my tiny build, it was perfect for the lack of noise. Thanks!

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

I've heard a few people say that coil whine is just as big (or small, depending on how you look at the percentage) of an issue on PSUs with fans,but that the fan noise covers it up. I don't know if that's true or not, as I've never had a part with coil whine and really wouldn't know how it sounds or how loud it is.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

When I saw how expensive the mobo is I wanted to downvote but everything else is wisely chosen. But I am wondering why 750ti instead of 760?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

nice build

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Like the build - I coincidentally ordered many of the same components as you (including the same case, power supply, gpu, and ssd) though I'll be using an i3.

My first time building a PC -- do I need to buy a case fan and cpu cooler too or are you just improving upon stock items?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh man, never saw or was notified of your message. How did your build turn out? I was just improving on stock, generally worth it. And when I do builds I tend to not touch things for awhile after. So while I'm in there, I find it a lot easier to change cpu coolers at that point, rather than tearing it down to the cpu months later -- especially in a crowded case.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I am building similar system. Do you find that GPU is blocking air flow for processor. I find that my PC stays much cooler and quieter when GPU is not installed but with GPU fan has to work harder.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh man, sorry -- was never notified of this. Ever figure out what was happening here? For me, I never really noticed, although I'm not watching the cpu temp all the time. It's a small case so it's definitely possible that past just airflow, that heat is building up more than it would otherwise.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! You inspired me to build some similar build :) Ty!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

I know this was a long time ago, however if you still have that motherboard and cpu cooler, can you pretty please take a picture of it?

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Few photos attached show the mobo + cooler. I am still rocking this build, can definitely open it up later and take some updated photos, but anything you're looking for that isn't shown in the pictures attached to this post?

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

I am looking for a glam shot of the L9i on the mobo, pg 21, and pg 26 shot a top down, I was looking for a side angle like a angle like this: _ so not exactly top-down, but from the side at a slight angle from the top possibly?

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