Alright, lets start at the top: This build is the whole 9-yards: Desk Build, Monitor Build, PC Build, and Accessories.
Here is the pricing breakdown:
- ~$1,300.00 PC build standalone
- ~$1,750.00 PC Build including Accessories (keyoboard, speakers, mouse, and backup dirve, etc.. )
- ~$2500.00 PC Build including Accessories and Monitors
- ~$3200.00 PC Build including all the above plus the desk and top
This setup is for work. I am not a gamer.. (hence the no "triple-monitor-row" configuration). However since this site has a large population of gamers, let me elaborate on the gaming potential of this little beast. This little PC eats the latest games for BREAKFAST. (And btw, my PC stays cool and frosty if you were wondering, even at full workload). (I wanted to test it, and I did)
For those of you that don't want to read all this, just know that a mini ITX PC can do literally anything you can ask of it if you build it right. My PC is a monster, but it is not as crazy as some of these multi-thousand dollar crossfire/SLI machines. This PC is 4-6 year future proof guaranteed, and is one of the most powerful for the money. I would highly recommend this build to anyone that is considering building a mini ITX PC.
If I could personally make a scale from 1 to 10 for how this PC will run games (1 being a simple chromebook, 10 being a quad SLI GTX Titan build) - I would put this at around a 7.5/8 on today's market. At least the benchmarking I have done indicates so.
In all actuality PC builds are like sports cars.
- You can spend 20K to get an average car (Honda Accord)
- You can spend 40K to get a much faster car (BMW 3 series loaded)
- You can spend 80K to get an much much faster sports car (BMW M5 loaded)
- You can spend 120K to get a sports car that will rival 300K cars (Nissia GTR ) --- This is where I would put my PC and setup
- You can spend 300K to get a sports car that will be somewhat faster than the 120K car (Lambo)
- You can spend 1M to get a sports car that will be somewhat faster than the 300K car (Bugatti)
It is just the law of diminishing returns... Buy something on the power-curve, but don't loose your mind.
////// Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core
Best part of the PC for me. This 4 core, 8 thread at 4.4ghz is incredible. I can crunch a million formula Excel Macro in mere seconds. Plus because it is designated "K" it is unlocked and over-clockable. The price is steep, but it is worth it. This CPU will still be lighting fast comparatively to future CPUs year down the road.
////// Corsair H75 54.0 CFM Liquid
Short and sweet - this does its job and does it well. the highest CPU temp I have ever recorded was 58c, this was a 20 minute sustained test at 100%. People routinely get their 4709Ks up to 80c without issues with extreme overclocking.
////// EVGA Stinger WiFi Mini ITX LGA1150
OK - good board, looks cool, IT HAS A/C WIFI (that is why I got it). However this board is NOT for the cable management gurus out there. If you have looked at the pictures you will notice that the USB board ports, the Sata ports are clearly in stupid locations... right beside the PCIEx16 slot. So I did the best I could to keep cables clean, but it is not entirely possible. Regardless I recommend this board.
////// G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133
Had a little mess up with this, the 4790K only supports DDR3-1600mhz. Regardless, this ram bundle was only 10$ more and the Mobo negotiates down to 1600mhz automatically.... so I wasn't going to waste my time sending this ram back and getting new stuff. The ram works fine, recommended.
////// Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" SSD
If you dont read anything else, read this: - hands down this is the best SSD on the market right now considering speed and price and capacity. Incredible fast AND the speeds advertised ARE the speeds I record in testing. ~520Mb down and up. Also the RAPID mode gets me 7Gb/s (no joke), but for a few reasons I leave that off. If you are going to drop more than a grand on a PC - do the world a favor and get a large SSD. Boot SSD drives and spindle data drives are a thing from 5 years ago when SSDs were $3 per gb... Now they are $.25-.40 per gb... Transferring files, applications - if it lives on the SSD you will notice and you will never ever ever go back. Do not penny pinch when it comes to this.
////// EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB SSC ACX 2.0
Obviously I gave into the 970 bandwagon - because according to the facts this is the best high end card for the money (r7 290x is identical for the AMD fanboys). After much consideration I went with the EVGA because it is super quiet, extremely heat efficient and looks cool.
////// Thermaltake Core V1 Mini ITX Tower
Hands down this is the best mini ITX case on earth right now. I did spend much time researching case sizes because I wanted a full size V-card, and water cooling and a full size power supply but in the tightest and coolest layout possible - this was the only case that fit the bill.
////// EVGA 500W ATX12V / EPS12V
Good average PS - bronze level cert. will meet the needs of my build even if i do monster OC.
////// Arctic Cooling Arctic F8 PWM 31.0 CFM 80mm
////// Dell S2340L 23.0"
IPS panel, any angle viewing. They are glossy (they are glass) - but that is not an issue unless the sun is shining directly on my screens. I actually bought this 2 years ago and the prices have only dropped 40$ since then. Some of the better IPS panel monitors on the market today. The refresh rate is not for hardcore gaming though, but I have literally never noticed it.
////// Logitech K800 Keyboard
Wireless, illuminated keys, volume control - well worth the money.
////// Logitech MX Master Bluetooth Wireless Laser
Horizontal scroll! Plus it looks like a sports car. Not sure if it is worth 100$, but it is worth buying anyways. I have had several Logitech mice, and this is the best one by far.
////// Seagate Backup Plus 2TB
USB 3 , only 5400rpm, but it gets the job done and it looks cool, sleek black.
////// Mackie CR3 3-Inch Creative Pair of Reference Multimedia Monitors
Hands down the best speakers/monitors for the money- I did not want to spend anymore than 50$ on speakers, but this was hands down worth every penny - these will be good for years and they will not need replacing because there is something better. Studio quality monitors, geared towards personal PC entertainment use. Plus there is no annoyingly large sub-woofer that you need. These speakers put out the bass!
////// Uplift Desk 900
I am 6'4" - This thing raises to way higher than I could want - it also goes way way low if you need. After much searching in the 'newish' market of raising desks - this one had the best: strength, distance to raise, functionality (memory settings, one touch operation) compared to anything else in the $400-$700 price range. I bought it bare, because I made the top myself. (space constraints). Do yourself a favor - if you will be spending half or more of your day at a PC - buy this. $500 today is better than $50,000 in medical bills when you are 60 or a lifetime of back pain when you are older..
////// Desk table top
Made this from scratch - bought a giant oak plywood board, oak trim (plain square), red mahogany and walnut stain (came up with a color and mixed it in ratio), brushes, varnish, wood glue, screws, and dowel rods. I cut the top specifically so that my entire setup can be moved in and out of interior doors (I can work anywhere in my house, living room, room, office, even the deck if I wanted). I laminated two identical pieces ontop of each other (1.5 inch thick) and lined the outer edges with oak square trim. I left a notch in the back - laminated two boards (as you can see in the pics) for my monitor bracket. The top came out beautiful.
If you have taken the time to read all this - thank you. I personally am tired of typing as well. I will post a plethora of pictures to explain everything further - do not hesitate to ask me any question!
////// Little tricks I had to do
- If you will notice, the bottom two monitors are actually in front of the top ones. This completely eliminates the bottom bezel of the top monitors!
- The monitor mount is super strong, however, as you can imagine if you hit the desk by accident the monitors would shake... was kinda annoying. However I just ran a thick bead of hot glue along the backside in-between each monitor and everything is secure, nothing can move (plus hot glue is completely safe, and easy to take back off)
Attaching the PC to the bottom of the Desk
- After searching and much thought - the easiest way to securely, semi-permanently attach the PC to the bottom of the desk was actually velcro! I bought some kayak foot hooks, and ran the velcro through them like a fulcrum. I can easily let off the velcro and let the PC slide down if I need to get inside the unit