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Build/Rebuild: Teaching a young padawan

by oberon13



Date Published

Oct. 1, 2014

Date Built

Sept. 27, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

74.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.102 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C


I apologize in advance for the lack of pictures at this time. This is actually a project I'm doing with my little brother (13). He wanted to get into PC gaming, and since I'm a computer technician, I told him I'd help him build one. Our dad sent me the money for the build, and I ordered all the parts to test before we build it together. I did a very quick and dirty build with poor cable management this weekend (so you wont get any pictures of that mess), but everything runs great so far. I'll be tearing it down next weekend and rebuilding with actual pictures when I build it with him. Stay tuned.

CPU: Was originally going to get the 4690k, but Dad was able to allocate a little more in the budget, and figured the i7 would last him a little longer. The goal is to last my little brother through high school. Performance is great so far, no stutter on anything so far. Just have the normal autoboost going right now at 4.2ghz, will try overclocking to 4.5-4.8 when we rebuild. Bought at Microcenter

Cooler: Got a great deal from newegg on a refurbed H80i. Was originally going to get the standard H100i, but coudn't pass up this deal. The stock fans are a little noisy, but not enough to overpower speakers/headphones, so they can stay for the time being. Also keeps the cpu fairly cool, benchmarked for about an hour, but temps were ~70-74c.

Motherboard: Little brotha wanted things to kind of match. Originally was going to go with the Asus Z97i-PLUS, as I think it has the best layout of a mITX board, but the gold was clashy. The bios isn't too bad on MSI, and the MSI Suite for all the drivers isn't too crappy either. The layout of this board with the case could be very hit or miss. If you're mounting a rad on the side, it's going to be a tight fit unless its a slimmer one. Bought at Microcenter

Memory: Matches the black/white theme, had a decent promo on Newegg, worked outta the box. It auto downclocked to 1600, so when I rebuild it we'll mess around with the timings.

Storage: To save some money, I hooked him up with my old SSD and a couple HD's I bought last year on Black Friday for dirt cheap. SSD still runs like a champ and boots W7 in ~10s. The HD's will hold all his games. Pretty standard setup.

Video Card: Was lucky enough to get this off Newegg the day they came out. The price is phenomal in comparison to AMD offerings right now, and even NVidea series. I told my Dad I'd buy the graphics card to save some money for him, and it will count as Christmas/birthday gift this year. Was originally going to get a 280x, but decided to splurge a little extra on this bad boy just so that I could see it run myself. Now I'm getting one. Runs cool, quiet and is great on the power usage so far. Running Furmark for an hour never went over 70c, and was maxing out my 1920x1080p/60hz tv the whole time.

Case: Besides the way this looks, I kind of hate this case, I'm glad it isn't mine. It'll be great for LAN gaming and portability, as the handle is super solid, even fully loaded, not a single MM of give. The suicide doors are great for working in it, and the added lighting is pretty cool too. The inside is a pain though, and some of the design features are wonky. The ssd mount is on the opposite side of the HDD mounts, so you either have to run seperate sata connectors, ghetto mount the SSD's, or ghetto mount the HDD's backwards. After trying all the options, I decided to run seperate sata cables. The included fan control has a SATA connector instead of Molex (a great idea IMO), and so I routed the sata connector for the H80i and fan connectors to the side of the HDD's with a 4-sata connector, and a 2-sata for the SSD side. Cable management is decent, mostly tuck everything below the graphics card or radiator mount brackets.

Power Supply: Seasonic, gold, semi modular, plenty of power for this build, especially with the new maxwell card having such a low power draw.

KB/Mouse: Haven't really tested this, but it had fairly positive reviews, especially for the price range it falls into.

OS: I had this copy from college discount. Saved some money and everything works on it. I've already done the 2 million windows updates so my brother should be all set. ;)

Feel free to leave some questions/comments on my boxes. This is obviously meant for gaming, and hopefully he'll get into other stuff (streaming/design/etc), but he's 13, so not likely.


Comments Sorted by:

xx116xx 3 Builds 12 points 55 months ago

Meanwhile I get $100 from my dad for my build...

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 18 points 55 months ago

atleast it's 100$ more than you had

xx116xx 3 Builds 8 points 55 months ago


Willwhitacre -1 points 49 months ago

get a job????

gsingh2793 3 points 54 months ago

I'm doing a similar themed build in a 250D with a H100i. I was considering the Asus Z97I plus as well but idk whether the gold will be a nice accent to my red Corsair Vengeance Pro memory and red Twin Frozr or if the gold will clash like you said. The other boards I'm considering are the Asus Z97 Impact, MSI Z97I AC Gaming, and the MSI Z97I AC non gaming. You said the layout on this board was hit or miss. Would you mind expanding on that? Could you also tell me where the front I/O cables go? I haven't seen many clear pictures of that. Which of the 4 motherboards would you go with? I'd appreciate the feedback.

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 3 points 54 months ago

For the 250D, I would definately say the asus boards. I think the z97i-plus would be better as the h100i may be pushed up against the impacts daughterboards. The front IO cables on this one are to the right of the 24pin connector, you can kind of see them in picture 2 (they are the skinny twisted black cables). -This MSI board layout is all at the "top" of the MB, adjacent to the IO, and the asus boards have it all on the right, opposite the IO, which would make it more ideal for the corsair 250d.

gsingh2793 3 points 54 months ago

Thanks for the reply! It's my first time building an ITX desktop so I wanted to check with other builders before I bought my parts. I appreciate it.

gunnermatthew 1 Build 2 points 55 months ago

Really nice build. Love the case I would have gone with 1 TB caviar blue instead of two. can you upload more images :) +1

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

I agree! I bought several of the 500gb's last year from a sale (~25$ ea), so I figured I'd start him off with these and once his game collection builds he can upgrade.

JBrooks 1 point 55 months ago

I've been really impressed by Silverstone's SFX PSU's when building small rigs. For your rig, the Silverstone SX600-G PSU might be worth considering since it has higher wattage, a tiny size, and makes cable management much easier and the result much nicer for small cases. There's more cable room around the PSU because it's so small, and the cables are the highly-regarded PP-05 short-length cables w/black sleeves).

BTW: The Silverstone SFX PSU's come with a conversion bracket so they are compatible with ATX PSU mounts even though PCPartPicker won't show SFX supplies unless you turn 'Compatibility' to 'Off' when viewing PSUs.

Hope that helps, and have a great build! -JB

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Thanks for the reply! The issue with the cables here is just placement on the motherboard in relation to the case. Since the 24pin on the board is parallel with the panels, it would make radiator mounting difficult pushing against the thick cable. Most ITX boards have the 24pin across from the IO, which would make things much easier.

sajiin 1 point 55 months ago

+1 for starting them young man. I wish someone would have showed me how to build a PC when I was younger. Would have stopped me from buying that system that came in a cow box running Millennium. Look forward to more pics of your build.

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Thanks! I'm excited to see the internals too with the full system and cable management...right now they are just tucked enough not to get in the fans...

lilshatespug217 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

That's one hell of a build for someone just entering the world of PC gaming. It's expensive too.

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 2 points 55 months ago

I agree. But it should last him a while (as far as technology goes) - hopefully 3-5 years without having to upgrade any core components.

lilshatespug217 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

Fair enough.

fattieman 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

How did you deal with this "Compatibility Issue":

The G.Skill Ripjaws Z Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory operating voltage of 1.65V exceeds the Intel Haswell Refresh CPU recommended maximum of 1.5V+5% (1.575V). This memory module may run at a reduced clock rate to meet the 1.5V voltage recommendation, or may require running at a voltage greater than the Intel recommended maximum.

I'm getting the same RAM but i5-4690K instead of your i7-4790K.

Please let me know, thanks.

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

This depends on the motherboard, some downclock to 1333mhz, and some do 1600mhz, and then lower the voltage to 1.5. The 1.65 is technically the maximum "safe" voltage the ram runs at, so you can turn it lower or higher (at your own risk) to get faster speeds on the RAM - very similar to OC'ing the CPU

fattieman 2 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

So did you leave it downclocked or do you plan to OC it?

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

I am leaving it clocked at 1600mhz for now, and then this weeekend I will be bumping the timings up with my brother. For most applications, 1600 is perfectly fine, this will be more of a learning process for him than anything.

ReDnAx1991 7 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Let me know when you finish it. +1 for part selection and helping out your young sibling to be part of the PCmasterRace :P

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Will do! The build should be done saturday and pics will be posted monday! -P.S. I'll be posting another build later today of my own home rig in the inwin901, be sure to check it out!

Mombles 1 point 55 months ago

sigh... My pc cost the same amount but it has a 4 year old 540m...

WindeezKC 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

Does that version of the 970 come with a backplate?

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

No it doesn't. I think only the 980's are coming from the factory with backplates, but I could be mistaken.

WindeezKC 1 Build 1 point 55 months ago

I think your right but some of the factory 970s from non-reference dealers do

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 55 months ago

Ah, you're right. I saw the Asus Strix 970 comes with a backplate.

Moiz36 1 point 54 months ago

Tell your bother how very lucky he is to have all those parts! All in all, great build and good allocation of money. 1+ from me.

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 54 months ago


Moiz36 1 point 54 months ago

Just posy more pictures of the finished build and how the internals are in the 380T. lol

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 54 months ago

Sorry! things have been delayed due to his school... I'm trying to visit him this weekend for it

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 54 months ago

Unfortunately I didn't get many this weekend when we rebuilt it, but i'm posting them now.

aidzbelty 1 point 54 months ago

Nice build, I'm checking out that same case and video card. How is the gpu holding up so far, and is that whole thing heavy to carry around?

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 54 months ago

Thanks! The gpu is fine, haven't really played any demanding games yet, but several hours of skyrim and warframe barely phase it.I'd say the total weight is around 20-25lbs, totally 1 handable, and the weight is pretty evenly distributed so it isn't cranking the front or back of your wrists.

ant12313 1 point 54 months ago

How is the motherboard, i'm contemplating going with it but not many reviews, going to get the 970 and 4690k and I think this motherboard would go great in a bitfenix prodigy

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 54 months ago

The board is good, MSI makes quality stuff. I'm sure the 970/4690k will go great with it, my brother hasn't had any issues with his stuff.

MrGuyTheStampede 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

How long is the PSU and did you have to remove the 3.5" drive bays to get it to fit?

oberon13 submitter 3 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

The PSU is a standard ATX, so i think 160mm? not entirely sure off the top of my head, and the HDD bays had plenty of space to stay.