I've always wanted the street sign that said "Speed Hump" I wanted to hang it over my bed. Things were looking up but then I got a girlfriend. She's pretty lenient on most things but wouldn't budge on this. So I went behind her back. Sort of.
The first few shots are of the paint job. I've never painted anything with spray paint and didn't care if it was perfect. It didn't turn out perfect, but I really dig it. Looks better than I expected.
I chose the Wesena ITX1 case for the sole reason of the shape of the top of the case; exactly the shape of most diamond/square road signs. That's the only reason. It turned out to be waaaay better than the pictures do it justice. The thing is really heavy for being so light, if that makes sense. It's thick aluminum and, other than the occasionally strange placed screw, a beautiful case.
The PicoPSU. People say it's small and they mean it. I was and still am this thing does everything I need it to, silently, and has almost no footprint.
The CPU Cooler was the best rated for a case this small and it does well. But the case is still really small. With the lid on and running some crazy bench-marking tools, the internal temps get to about 109 C and the CPU gets to 68C. Pretty close to dangerous. If anyone can recommend a couple good 40-60mm case fans that are thin (so they'll fit) that would be good. Small fans like that are odd territory for me; very few reviews and it's hard to make fans that small AND thin, anyway.
The motherboard was USUALLY rated worse than the Gigabyte version. I went with the ASRock because the CPU cooler would not fit on the Gigabyte with 2 sticks of RAM (APUs need that Dual Channel). This thing came packaged so awesomely! There was no way it could have been damaged in transit. No way. And the BIOS. I'm still a little new o UEFIs but this is ridiculous. Installed the modem driver IN the BIOS and BIOS flashed from within BIOS over the internet. I'm sure it's not a difficult thing for them to do with these new pimp UEFIs, but it's astonishing to me. Also had support for Kaveri out of box (I didn't need to update the BIOS, I just wanted to) and even supports the configurable TDP of the 7850k. Also, very easy to supply the GPU with more system RAM. Upped it to 2GB no problems. Modded Skyrim runs way better than on my 512MB 5700k.
The thermal paste. I had never needed to get thermal paste so this is new territory for me. I was scared about conductivity so went ceramic. Those temps I mentioned earlier were first boots. With the lid off it runs fine and SEEMS to be cooling down. I'll be testing it again soon. I hear ceramic sometimes takes a while to achieve full effect? I'm hoping..
APU 7850k. I had a $50 Newegg gift card from Xmas so I just ignored $50 off the price and then could justify it. Otherwise it's a bit high. Just a bit. But does this baby perform! This teeny little case has impressed so many of my friends it's shaming them a little in their impossibly large builds. I went to my first lan party with this, a 15" monitor, mouse and keyboard, in my little messenger bag on my bike. They all asked where my computer was. They were in for the surprise of their lives. (maybe not that extreme..)
The mSata drive. I knew the PSU was going to be small but this thing! I was used to a 64GB SSD on my previous build so 120GB IS WAY MORE than enough. I'm anti pack-rat. That heart thing is a penny, for scale.
Installing the CPU cooler was easier than I expected. Just set the motherboard on the cooler upside down and screwed it down. Much more secure than the little AMD clamp I'm used to.
I purchased a 100mm low profile fan to help circulate air but had no way to attach it to the cooler. Then my girlfriend chipped in and suggested I use the thermal tape from when i removed the heat sinks from the RAM. GENIUS! She's quite the little intelligent one. It stuck on well and WILL not move I picked up the whole system via the fan. Probably shouldn't have tried, but I did.
The PSU to Power Brick connector was another problem. In comes the girlfriend to rescue me once more. She has done a bunch of metal work (jewelry mostly) in the past and helped me carve a hole in the back plate. It hugged the screws JUST enough to hold it all together. Taking the cord out is no big deal, but I have to be a bit careful when plugging it back in. No biggie as it looks fantastic. (compared to what I would have done..)
That's it. The little guy does everything I need it to. Movies, movies, TV, movies, movies, and some light gaming. I've been mostly playing Kerbal Space Program. See ya'll on the Mun.