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Build

Centaurea Cyanus

by Gooberdad

35
51 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

Oct. 30, 2016

Date Built

Oct. 29, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.7GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

29.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.53GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.01GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

48.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C

Description

Centaurea Cyanus is a flower typically colored blue on the outside and turns purple on the inside.( PSST it also sounds like a spell from Harry Potter. Happy Halloween! )

This is the little pc my daughter will take to college and use it for some gaming, word processing, art projects and light Photo Shop use. She is still a senior in high-school, but its build was pushed up due to a twist. My father was retiring and wanted a pc to replace the company computer that would have to be returned. The search began. My mother is still using an 8 year old laptop that needed repair. Well my father was offered another position to stay on and not retire. Focus switched to my mother. A visit to the Microcenter in Marietta, GA while on vacation netted everything but the cosmetic cooler, fans, case and gpu. Once back home, I visited my parents to discuss the new pc size, color and where to place it while working on my mother's laptop. The problem with her laptop was Norton backup had been set to automatically use the C: drive and had it filled to within 148MB. After cleanings and resetting the Norton to manual only, it functioned as an 8 year old 2 core cpu with a slow hard drive would. She was thrilled and stated she didn't want a new computer now. In retrospect I should have broken the laptop so I could upgrade her with what I had bought for them. Speaking with my father we decided I would use these parts for Ellie's college pc and create a computer for them in the future.

Since I was thinking of my parents, I chose the i3 6100, 8 GB of ram, 275GB M.2 SSD, Gigabyte H170N-wifi mobo, and Corsair CX450M psu. My father still likes a couple of simulators and a GTX 1060 was in my mind to handle these. Turns out the little 1060 is up to the task and then some.

I purchased a new Gigabyte GTX 1060 6GB gpu from Jet's using their "TRIPE15" first time user code. I did nothing to the video card for any asthetics. Maybe a lexan pcb cover painted in the future.

The Zalman cooler was selected for a flower like asthetic and painted to imitate the colors as it is in the inside. The two Silverstone pwm fans were painted as well for consistency. The ram was a bright red, so I removed the stickers and painted it purple.

I chose the blue Raijintek Metis for my girly, girl because she requested a blue and purple pc. Having a video card pulling hot air from the top of the case with the only fresh air vent directly above the card's hot exhaust made no sense to me. Easy enough to change that. I flipped the motherboard tray so the video card would be at the bottom. The case front plate had to be partially drilled and tapped for the tray to be flipped and secured. I drilled a 114mm hole in the bottom plate using a Lennox bimetallic hole saw and WD40. The offset of the bottom 120mm fan with filter grill blows onto the gpu cooler fan and past it up into the case. This change has allowed the setup to remain cool and silent in testing so far.

The psu is designed to pull air from the inside and exhaust at the bottom, but a large portion of the exhausted hot air gets recycled back into the case. I "VOID(ED) THE WARRANTY" of so many other parts in my past, what's one more. I flipped the psu cooler fan and modified it's air diverter so it wouldn't contact the inlet side of the fan if it goes to full speed. This now sucks cool air in at both the lower case fan and the power supply and the psu exhausts into the case just above the gpu with the modified internal diverter.

So far I am impressed by the Gigabyte motherboard and GTX 1060. The Intel i3 hasn't missed a beat. The Zalman cooler is quiet and pretty and more than adequately cools the cpu. I am happy to say the ram still functions after me painting it :). All the fans are whisper quiet even after painting and modifications. The Crucial M.2 275 GB SSD is lightning fast. The case is great, and I like the Corsair psu but I wouldn't use any standard psu with this case again. Way too tight of a fit.

I cut the SATA power cable after the first connector and insulated it to connect to the one Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB 2.5mm SSD to clean up the cables and save space. This eliminated a lot of messy wiring. I talked with my daughter letting her know we would upgrade from that ssd if more space is needed.

I could not use any of the sata 3 ports on the side of the mobo due to the psu side pushed against them.

In my version of cable management, the cables are tucked away behind the motherboard and tray, and above, around and behind the psu.

I had to disconnect the 2.5mm SSD during Windows 10 Pro installation due to I forgot to securely format the Windows 8.1 off of it and somehow it wouldn't boot.

I had to disconnect the USB 2.0 wiring attached to 3.0 case cable because I'm naive and connected both causing the front USB 3.0 ports to not function.

I modified the case psu cord pass through bracket, making it larger to allow the cord to be moved after assembly and tied up hiding the excess cord.

I added in two pictures of Heaven benchmark running at the factory settings, and overclocked. The program was used with full screen, 1920x1080 Ultra quality, Extreme tessellation. It outperforms the GTX 780 SC and GTX 970 SSC of my oldest son's pc's.

I'm happy with the build and so is my daughter. It's amazing how this little thing performs compared to her Lavender Lady pc. Enjoy the pictures and feel free to comment. Thanks for reading and 100 points to Gryffindor and all others who made it this far.

Gooberdad(AKA Scott, or just dad) built for Elyanna 10/29/2016. Love you sweetheart. College will be a blast. This should help.

Final thoughts about the case in retrospect; building in a 13.4 liter case (0.473 cubic feet for those of us that don't think in any metric form) was a fun challenge that I will gladly attempt again. Why the company puts the case together like they do, without drilled and tapped screw positions on the front panel to facilitate an essier mobo flip is a mistake. Flipping this pc's motherboard is absolutely essential to proper cooling. The fan on the bottom of this one is most likely unnecessary lraving room for 2.5mm drives. I'm upgrading my review to 5 stars as of 12/18/2016 because the setup, although modified, works better, and quieter than any of the other builds I've had the pleasure of working on.

Edited 11/3/16: I couldn't stand having a windowed case without some internal lighting, so I convinced my daughter I could wire up 1/2 an extra undercabinet rgb led strip and install it into the case. She agreed and again asked for purple. I wired the blue and red leds only and connected them into the molex wiring. I cut the molex wiring short just after its first connector and insulated it. I used a fan 4 pin to molex adapter and modified it. It is insulated with a purpke polka-dot tape, but it can't be seen. I installed the 1/2 strip with 6 leds at the top of tge case and viola a soft purple light now illuminates the inside of the pc.

Edited 12/26/26: I replaced Ellie's TV with a 24" Acer monitor and Z533 Logitech speaker system. I also added a 525 Crucial SSD and replaced her mouse with a G502 and an oversized desk mouse pad. She's set to take it to college now.

Part Reviews

CPU

Fantastic performing little cpu. Such a surprise for just a 2 core processor.

CPU Cooler

Cool, quiet, easy to take apart and paint!

Thermal Compound

This works great for me and my family and all the others that have been cleaned and reapplied paste.

Motherboard

I am an ASUS fanboy, but this Gigabyte works like a charm and looks great in black.

Memory

Yep its ram. Performs well.

Storage

Great slightly older SSD. Can find folks selling these used from Lenovo laptops for around $40 on Craigslist.

Storage

I will use these from now on. I had no idea how fast an M.2 SSD was until I experienced it myself.

Storage

Fast SSD at a great price. Picked up two of these after B&H couldn't deliver an item that sold out and was discontinued Black Friday.

Video Card

Quiet, cool and fast. Getting one for the price of a 3gb on Jet.com! Awesome.

Case

Flip the mobo tray to get around the issue of excess heat from poor air flow by it's delivered design. This is an extremely tight fit if used with a standard sized power supply. I recommend getting a small form factor PSU. Small and beautiful. Anodized aluminum, making it's color durable and the metal easy to drill and cut.

Power Supply

Good power supply. Not a gaming or overclocking psu, but more than sufficient when used within its design.

Operating System

Now that we have gotten used to it, we like it. Glad I was able to use the code for the Windows 7 Pro 64 bit I had purchased last year to activate it.

Case Fan

Pulse width modulated and very quiet at lower to mid RPMs.

Monitor

Vast improvement over a smaller flat screen TV. The three different inputs, wide view angle, color and tilt are surprising for a monitor picked up for $79.99 at Best Buy. I reccomend getting one before the sale ends.

Mouse

Great weighted feel, a sheathed cable, tuneable and with well placed buttons. This mouse is perfect.

Speakers

These speakers look beautiful and sound just as good. At 120 total watts they get quite loud if needed without distortion or becoming tinny.

Comments Sorted by:

joshzpants 3 Builds 3 points 8 months ago

ooooh nice job, looks really good. How the gigabyte 1060? I couldn't find any reviews on it so I opted to buy the evga version then.

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

I'm liking it. It performs a lot like the 970 in games and scores better during benchmarking. It takes a pretty good overclock at well. This one is really quiet.

joshzpants 3 Builds 3 points 8 months ago

thats good to hear. what games have you used to benchmark and does the i3 noticeably bottleneck the 1060?

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

So far used Heaven benchmark. As for games World of Warcraft was confusing until I remebered the program is cpu hungry. So Warcraft is a bit of a funnel. Getting 45 fps in Stormwind heavily populated areas with the settings on level 7 and ultra. Consistent 60 in Overwatch with settings on ultra...just locked at 60 all the time. Turns out it was set to that as the limit, but still good. Not sure Overwatch is a great tester. Wanted to try her older brother's Doom or GTA5, but she hasn't loaded either from his steam library. Maybe Tuesday will get some more games loaded and try something else.

FACUNDO 12 Builds 3 points 8 months ago

Happy Halloween to everyone in PCPP!

Overclocking or GTX 1080? lol

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Sadly neither.

Mike2015 2 Builds 3 points 8 months ago

I was thinking about building my wife a computer in this case (she likes the red one). I have one question, the motherboard and PSU seem set up differently than what I've seen before regarding this case. If you look at this review here, they show the video card going across the top of the PSU, but your build has the video card butted up against the side of the PSU. Did you set your system up differently or what is going on?

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Yes I modified the case a little. I didn't like the video card pulling hot air and recycling it so I took the case apart and flipped the motherboard tray so the card will be at the bottom. The top and bottom case plates have the cut out for either top or bottom. A 170mm or smaller (the Gigabyte card I'm using is a whopping 1mm shorter at 169mm) graphics will fit fine as long as the power connector is not pointing towards the psu. I did have to partially drill and tap threads in the two new screw holes. I used one of the case screws to tsp the threads. I have a picture of the size drill bit I used and only went down about 1/2 way into the front plate. I can't remember the exact bit size. Its an easy case to use if you will use a small form factor modular power supply. I just think it runs much cooler flipping the mobo tray and adding a bottom fan. Oh and reversing the psi fan, but that's just me thinking too hard. You can do it and it looks great built.

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Mike2015 2 Builds 3 points 8 months ago

Oops, missed that.

the description was a little lengthy - sometimes less is more

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Damn Dude. Yeah it's a pretty long description. 100 points to Jipster for reading the entire description!

Well done Jip, well done.

Jabberjaw 2 points 8 months ago

You're funny. I'm glad you had the word "full" I read RTFD the F as another word:0

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Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Right!

clb1991 1 Build 3 points 8 months ago

Awesome paint job, I love seeing builds like this.

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Thanks. I wasn't sure about the look, but my daughter loves it. I have one led strip for it, but sge currently doesn't want it. She says its a subtle color until you really look inside.

TrotTiger 2 points 5 months ago

Hi, I was wondering is that M2 drive still working well? Is it maintaining its performance a few months later?

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 1 point 5 months ago

Yes very much so. It's the fastest SSD I've used so far. I wish I could have afforded the 525GB or 1.1TB version, but the little 275GB Crucial SSD by Micron is holding up well with daily use.

KeenDreams 3 Builds 3 points 8 months ago

Great to see that you went with that gpu, I'm sure that your daughter will be happy with it for quite a few years.

The painted internals look excellent as well, good work!

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 3 points 8 months ago

Thanks. She does love it. I was hoping to break it in for a while since she won't be attending college until next fall, but she hasn't wanted to hook back up her bigger pc. She says this one is so quiet and cute. Well I did make it for her, not for me to use until she goes away to school.....but I had hoped to steal it for a while. Shame on me. Oh yeah thst little gpu is awesome.

likepassingnotesinsecrecy 1 Build 3 points 8 months ago

This is a beautiful build! The finishing of the painted parts is sublime. It is very thoughtful of you to optimize the component layout for cooling and longevity, especially for a system meant to be low maintenance. The oversized zalman flower and ceramique are sure to last long and work well despite eventual dust buildup! The crafty mods for the little details to keep tidy really show the care!

Thanks for sharing and lovely howling dog :)

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Lol thank you. The puppy wanted me to throw the ball right that instant I snapped the picture.

Jabberjaw 2 points 8 months ago

Hey your dog ate your kid's ball I threw back over the fence yesterday. Sorry about that.

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Hey, Sam. That wasn't my kid's ball, but my puppy did destroy it. No problem fella.

Jabberjaw 2 points 8 months ago

Ok. Since we're using real name GD.....ok Scott. :/

Btw build me a pc. I'll be your best neighbor!

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

I'll build it when you buy all the parts.

Eltech 15 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Centaurea Cyanus is a flower typically colored blue on the outside and turns purple on the inside.

It's nice to see another build from you! I like your modification and interesting choice of colors. It looks great. I'm certain your daughter will love it for college and much more! You have my one and keep up the good work!

Love seeing the dog at picture 11. :)

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Thanks El. She loves it. The colors are subdued inside the case without lighting. She may change her mind and want it lighted internally. At that point the colors may look very different to her.

My puppy wants me to throw the white ball in the lower right of the picture and is howling at me to play in the picture.

Eltech 15 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

No problem and awesome to hear! That will be true if she decides to alter with LED.

My puppy wants me to throw the white ball in the lower right of the picture and is howling at me to play in the picture.

Aw... very understandable about having a dog when they want to play. Dogs definitely let you know one way or another. They are like kids too.

ElJuego1977 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Nice build, glad my daughters build could help inspire this one. I definitely think you packed more power in!

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

Shoot I think were running pretty close with our builds.

Poodl 2 points 8 months ago

Nice i3.

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Thanks. She loves this pc.

Sideclone 3 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Oh, yes, you just gave me the rundown of this build and I'm glad I found it! Raijintek looking sleek as always (Kind of wishing I bought the blue one now) and I'm loving that two-tone purple! Grade-A component choice and awesome case airflow mods that I might have to try out for myself. Good luck to your daughter starting a new chapter in her life! +1

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

Man, thanks.

Hey no second guessing. You're the man and your lady loves that pretty red color. Yours looks fantastic. Great story.

Thanks for checking out my daughter's pc and leaving the kind words.

Shermanh21 3 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Sweet build, this is definitely one of the more interesting mods to the layout.

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

Thanks. It turned out staying really cool set up this way. I should have painted it better, but my daughter loves it as is.

rwoody81 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

Awesome build man! Love the custom paint and the little modifications to improve airflow. Really nice job! Really affordable "do everything" machine. I plan on doing a similar build for an HTPC at some point in the future.

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

Thanks. If had built it specifically for my daughter from the beginning though, I would have gone i5 6500, but this little i3 is quite surprising. It has performed really well.

ogag003 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

Badass build and paintjob!! I envy that cable management... I hope i can figure out something to tidy mine too. anyways.. Great Build!! :)

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Thanks. The semi modular PSU helps, but I still cut off the extra leads from the one molex and SATA power cables to save space. If you look you can see the tape insulating the connection at the little SSD. I tucked a bunch of them on top around and behind the power supply. Then took the puctures as best I could without showing them.

So it's just slight of hand.

ogag003 1 Build 2 points 8 months ago

I see. Gonna try something about it... You think cutting unused wires is ok? maybe i'll just leave some for 1 fan and additional SSD... hmmmm...

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Yes cutting unused wires is fine ONLY IF there is no power to them at all when cutting them, and the remaining exposed sections can be properly insulated. It's a do at your own risk kind of a thing. It voids the warranty of your powersupply if you cut wires that are hard wired for sure.

I'm not sure if it voids the warranty on the modular cables as you could get a replacement to send back with the psu. I voided the warranty by taking the my psu apart and flipping tge direction of the cooling fan so I wasn't concerned about returning it if something went wrong. Made it easy to cut the three extra molex connectors and such. I just kept the first connector on each to power up one component so I wouldn't have those extra wires to hide. Just remember csble management is mostly about looks. I don't think a mess of cables will hurt cooling in most all builds. Maybe in these mini builds.

ogag003 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Thanks!! Your right sir, cutting is a bad idea.... just want to figure out something to at least lessen the temps.. :)

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Can you fit an inlet fan on the inside right of that Sugo case near the front? If so and there is no support for a fan, using a 4.5" hole saw is an easy case fan adder. I like using the that hole saw. It makes a 114mm hole, I think, so I can use 120mm fans and put a Silverstone filter over the inlet to add clean cool air to a build.

Viking1993 6 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Wow excellent DIY here and the painting! This is a very attractive build!

Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 1 point 8 months ago

Hey thanks.

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philip staff 10 Builds 2 points 1 month ago

Keep it polite or don't comment on this site.

MegaVoltz 1 point 1 month ago

Sorry

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Gooberdad submitter 7 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

Lol thanks, man. Looking forward to your next build. As with your previous builds the photos alone will be great.

Yep, we rarely turn it on, but that little black tv next to it is its monitor.