Description

A brother of mine wanted a laptop for very simple tasks such as streaming and lite gaming. So knowing that he was a hardcore console gamer, I suggested I made him a tiny PC with more horsepower than what he originally asked for. So we ended up putting together a parts list of a tiny cube capable of playing AAA games with high to ultra settings with stable frames on a 1080p@60Hz display. This case is best used with 1 SSD + 1 HDD configuration. It cannot accommodate more hard drives if you plan to add a discrete GPU to it. So if you needed more space you either go with a 4 or 3 TB drive from the start or add an external storage later.

My main element in putting together the part list was the case. My brother immediately when he saw said he wanted no other case so that's the main reason why I picked it. I selected this CPU because of the reasonable price range and it's strong enough to run games like GTA V with nice optimal visuals. I went intel because it's an energy saver and wouldn't rise the number of watts needed on the PSU. No overclocking is ever planned so no aftermarket cooler is needed for now. And since I'm not overclocking I seleted an H97 mobo to cut a few dollars from the cost while maintaining some functionality like integrated graphics support (as backup measures) and built-in wifi (which isn't quite built-in since it has to eat it's share of the CPU's PCI lanes as it seems). Memory at purchase time was the cheapest 2x4GB-1600-1.5V-CL9 pair that's low profile and allows for adding an HSF cooler in the future. GPU was the best option at the time of the purchase plus it came with a free Witcher 3 redeem code. It fits this case just fine and runs nearly quite. SSD isn't known to lose it's speed over time after the data become old and it I was told that it maintains the benchmarks promised to us by reviewers so I went with it. HDD was available in a store nearby and I didn't think much at the time but later discovered it had only 32MB cache so a blue would be better. PSU has enough watts for the build and being able to discard a couple of cables from such a tight case was a plus so the semi-modular choice was worth it.

This setup is ideal for demanding games that support controllers. Games like platformers, sports, racing and fighting games are suitable for any similar setup. Skyrim and Dark Souls are great too. I wouldn't recommend this kind of setup to people who want to play RTS or online competitive shooters as kb+m become mandatory in that case.

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Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 3 points

Nice

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey, this build is pretty dope. I was wondering though if I wanted to do something like this but wanted more performance out of what would you recommend (ie. what you would keep the same, what would you upgrade.) I haven't done a build before but this seems like a great jumping off point and I could use the help. Thanks.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Get a GTX 970 itx model it will deliver more frames per second at igh setting better than the 960.

  • 58 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build, I've always found cube cases to be cool. Can imagine cable management in that must have been difficult in that though.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

It indeed was. In the last picture you can see how I just tied everything near the top of the case. The part near the CPU fan is spacious though and allows for decent air flow.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

I got a similar setup except for the case. I am waiting for the parts but nvidia told me that the 960 will not fit on the board. Looks like you didn't have an issue. Did you have issues with the i/o shield is the ports on the motherboard or the dual slot of the gpu?

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/Bboy486/saved/gy39TW

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

No issues at all. But before fitting the i/o shield you should use a small spanner to tighten the wifi antenna mount properly. I never used a spanner before in PC builds so this felt a bit weird.

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  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

This looks pretty similar to what I'm trying to do. Are you using xbmc/kodi?

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

That's the first thing I install right after ninite in every new build, new laptop, or a fresh re-install of Windows.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I started out with kodi but overall I switched to plex just for its friendly user interface for the rest of my family and plus I can stream it to any device anywhere. But as far as having arcade games it might be better with kodi. What games do you play on there and does it run pretty smooth? I have a bunch of arcade games I want to add to my htpc.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Games that come with controller support in Steam Big Picture mode. If you turn on that mode and you have a controller supported game then you'll notice the controller icon right below the game title.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you find that the stock cpu cooler was enough to keep the cpu cool effectively? I've been looking at building something almost exactly like this but i'm unsure as to whether or not to buy a water cooler, as the case supports a single radiator mounted in the front.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

If you're gonna choose an unlocked CPU and if you're planning to OC then buy a water cooler. If not, consider a decent budget performance HSF cooler that will be more silent than both stock coolers and water coolers.

Otherwise invest the savings from scrapping the aftermarket cooler in an upgrade of GPU. You can fit an itx model 970 in this case you know. That would be a lot faster than overclocking your CPU.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, liking the build pretty similar too mine. Off topic question may I ask where you purchased your tv cabinet? its pretty much what I'm after but yet to find the ideal cabinet.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks.

The TV bench is a custom combination my brother got from Ikea. It very similar to this one:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S29063624/#/S39072307