Description

I've included a bunch of images, some from my building process, some of my current setup and its progression as I cleaned up and got some new gear. The last photo at the end is a bonus of my old setup when I first moved into my dorm.

Hello,

This is my first ITX build, and my second PC build overall. I was aiming for something different and much more powerful than my previous gaming build, which was a mid tower. Spent lots of time saving up and researching for just the right parts for this one. Feel free to skip around what I wrote because I know I put a lot down. These are my thoughts and other ideas regarding my build.

Before you comment, I'm using my old 1060 in place of something much stronger until the release of the new NVIDIA Volta GPU's sometime soon. If I get impatient or the new line is too expensive/not what I'm looking for, then I'll jump on a 1080 and put that in here. That's providing I can get one.

I bought the CPU for $250, the RAM for $150, and got the motherboard as a Christmas present. Also used the SSD from my last build as the boot drive for this system.

Thus begins my search for the perfect CPU cooler. When I first put this system together, I went to the BIOS and browsed the settings and information. I discovered that the CPU was running at 51 C at idle with the C7. Didn't know the temps were going to be that high so I immediately returned it and got a M9i. I had one on my old build and it worked perfectly so it was a no-brainer. Idle temps dropped down to about 47 C, which was disappointing at the time. Then, when I was able to get my GPU up and running, I discovered through HWMonitor that the CPU was actually idling in the low 30s...I didn't realize that there was such a difference between the temps shown on the BIOS and third party apps, but it relieved me. I would have preferred a H7, but I decided against it because I'm designing a 3D-printed SFF case and I can only fit an M9i or something similar inside. Might change my mind again though.

Here are the temps and a quick rundown from UserBenchmarks:

  • UserBenchmarks: Game 71%, Desk 94%, Work 71%

  • [CPU] Idle: 32-35 C, Gaming: 49-53 C, Prime95 test: 56 C

  • [GPU] Idle: 28 C, Gaming: 60-67 C

Updated CPU temps with H7 and Phanteks fan:

  • Idle: 29-33 C, Gaming: 48-52 C

PSU had very slight coil whine at first but it went away the next time I powered on the PC. Otherwise the system is quiet considering it has only 1 filter and no sound dampening. Replaced the 200mm fan included with the case because it is quite loud. Case was not hard to build in and has some great features, highly recommended.

Wanted a theme to go with the cute case, what better than Star Wars? No I'm not talking about another damn stormtrooper build. Snowspeeders are superior. Only had some duct tape around so I used that for a little bit of an accent. I'd prefer spray paint but I'm not sure if I will keep the snowspeeder theme for the entire time I have this PC. Note the new LEGO sandspeeder variant set on my desk, I really enjoy it and it inspired some of the aesthetic part of this build. Also excuse the awful chair, its the one the comes with the room and my university won't let students bring in their own chairs or other furniture, so I guess my back, neck, and arms will have to suffer.

Future plans include getting a stronger GPU, upgrading my monitor to match that GPU, and then getting a custom cablemod kit to replace the average cables that come with the PSU. Might also get some speakers and/or an extended white mousepad.

Lastly, here's a list of the other items (most of which are only a couple months old) in the images that I didn't include in the parts list because I'd like to keep my peripherals separate from the rest of my build + cost.

  • ASUS MG248Q 24" (did a dual monitor setup with my old but trusty ASUS VS228 for a few months, but I decided that less is more and stuck with this new screen)

  • Anne Pro (Browns) (replaced my Razer Ornata Chroma with a real mechanical keyboard)

  • Logitech G502 Proteus Core (replaced some old $12 mouse)

  • HyperX Cloud Stinger

  • Xbox One controller + Bluetooth USB adapter

  • 31.5" extended mouse pad from Amazon

Thanks for reading!

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