Description

This build replaces my 8 year old computer which is nearing the end of its life. Although I am not a hard-core gamer, I run radio control flight simulators, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, and a few other games. I want to be able to run Oculus Rift or HTC Vibe in the near future. I also use my computer for photo and movie editing, and CAD drawing. I wanted a faster computer than my old one, especially on boot-up. And I wanted to get rid of the big mid-tower chassis. These requirements, along with not buying more capability than I really need, resulted in the selection of the components I used.
This build went together well with only a few minor issues. The internal 120V AC case power lead plug wasn't making good contact with the power supply pins, and that had me off on a wild goose chase for a while (no POST!) until I figured it out and corrected it. I ended up modifying/flipping the SATA power connectors on the PSU harnesses just to make them lay down nicely inside the case - not really necessary, but modifying the cables was no big deal. The Lian-Li PC-Q10WX case is a jewel. Very nicely made, excellent quality, and anodized brushed aluminum, not painted. I used a fairly small GPU so had plenty of room for cables. Excellent ventilation. It costs more than other mini-ITX cases but is worth every penny. I'm very pleased with the Asus MX27AQ monitor. The 27" 2560 X 1440 with IPS screen is a big improvement over my older LG 22" 1680 X 1059 TN screen monitor (which always worked well for me). Colors are excellent and the smaller pixel pitch is very nice. My finished computer works very well, and runs cool and very quiet. With the clear side panel and LED RGB lights it looks great sitting on my desktop. All-in-all a fun build!

Component selection rationale:

CPU Intel Core i5-6500 - Wanted Skylake, at least 3 GHz speed, and meet Oculus Rift requirements. Oculus Rift calls for i5-4590 and Skylake equivalent is i5-6500. To achieve maximum life on this CPU I do not want to OC. Running stock speed reduces the heat output, requires less power, and results in best reliability.

CPU Cooler Cryorig M9i - Air cooling for reliability, low maintenance, and low cost. Didn't want to have a 2+ lb cooler cantilevered off the motherboard, which causes a lot of stress and can be an issue whenever the case is moved around. M9i is a very good performer, fairly quiet, compact, light weight, low cost, and has almost 2X the TDP required for the i5-6500 CPU.

Motherboard ASRock H170M-ITX/ac - Since I'm using a locked CPU with no OC there is no need to spend the extra $ on a Z170 chipset MOBO. H110 board would work but is lacking a few features I desired. There are several H170 MOBO's that look good, and probably all work fine, but the ASRock had six 3.0 USB and two 2.0 USB ports on back which is important to me. Also has a PWM fan header (in addition to the CPU fan header) which I wanted.

Memory Corsair Vengeance LPX 8 GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 red color - 8 GB meets Oculus Rift requirements and is all I need anyhow. These particular Corsairs have lower CAS latency than most others, and are reasonably priced. 2133 speed is all that the H170 MOBO can use, but it is plenty fast enough for me and keeps the price down. Red color just because I like red and it will go good with my other components.

Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500 GB SSD and Western Digital Blue 1 TB 3.5" 7200 RPM internal HDD - Wanted the speed of SSD for the OS and all the rest of the things I intend to do with this computer. I am tired of slow booting, and slow speeds on most everything on my 8 year old computer. The 850 EVO series has a very good reputation and good price. The WD 1 TB HDD will be used for a backup drive, and possibly storage if I need to off-load some things from the SSD. WD Blue has a good reputation and is cheap.

Video Card Asus GeForce GTX 970 DC Mini 4GB - Lots of good GTX 970 cards out there that would just barely fit into my Lian-Li PC-Q10WX mini-ITX case, but this one is very compact and gives me more options on where to put excess cables in the case. This card also has some features which I really like such as a single, new design fan that is efficient and quiet. Also has concrete core inductors which I hope will reduce or eliminate coil whine which seems to be common among almost all the normal sized 970 cards. Boost clock speed is 1.3 MHz which is decent.

Case Lian-lI PC-Q10WX - I'm tired of the large size of the mid-ATX Tower on my 8 year old computer - it just sits under the desk where it collects dust and is hard to get to. I wanted something very compact that will sit on top of my rather small computer desk where I will have easy access. I also very much wanted a windowed case to show off the components. The PC-Q10WX is perfect for me - very compact, full side window, very nicely made from aluminum, looks high-end, and has excellent thermal properties. The black anodized aluminum looks great. This case doesn't seem to be very well known yet and I was lucky to find it after extensive web browsing - I had never seen it before. Lovely case and worth the $.

Power Supply EVGA Supernova GS 550 watt - I needed a PSU that was no larger than 150mm so it would fit into my case well. There are quite a few out there that will work, but EVGA has a good reputation, and the Supernova GS has ECO mode which only runs the fan when needed, making it very quiet most of the time. 550 watts has plenty of reserve for my components.

Operating System Microsoft Windows 10 - I was still using Windows XP which is getting long in the tooth for sure. I've used Windows 7 and I liked it fine. Never tried Windows 8 and heard that it was terrible and so they came out with 8.1 which I haven't used either. Apparently Windows 10 is a tweak of 8.1 and I figure I will just go ahead and get up-to-date on the OS so I won't have to change again for at least another 8 years. Windows 10 is quite different from Windows XP, but once I learn my way around I think I am going to get along fine with it.

Keyboard Logitech G105 - I have a really cheap old membrane keyboard that works OK, but it's PS/2, and I wanted one with back-lighting this time around. I'm not a hard-core gamer - just run radio control flight simulators and other flight sims, and some submarine sims. So I just wanted a decent, fairly low cost back-lit keyboard from a reputable manufacturer. And that lead me to the Logitech G105. Seems to work just fine and I really like the back-lighting in my somewhat dimly lit computer desk area.

Mouse Logitech M325 - Needed a good basic wireless mouse to replace my worn out basic wired mouse. Went wireless because the wire is annoying to me the way I orient and move my mouse. Basic mouse is fine for me as I do a lot of AutoCAD and I'm not a hard core gamer. I do a lot of web surfing and the slick 4-way roller on the M325 makes web browsing easier. Good battery life, light weight, smaller size which I prefer, and a decent price.

Monitor Asus MX27AQ - Lovely monitor. Since I do a lot of photo editing,some video editing, and am a casual gamer (running mostly simulators and sim type games), I wanted an IPS display. Asus MX27AQ has the same display panel as the Dell U2517H which received generally very good reviews, especially for color and picture quality. Asus unit has faster response time, has built-in speakers, and has a beautifully designed case/frame. My research found that Asus monitors generally have a good reputation, the MX27AQ got very good reviews, and the price on the MX27AQ was quite good.

External CD/DVD burner LG GP65NB60 - The Lian-Li PC-Q10WX case has a place for a slot loading optical drive, but I used that space for my HDD. Plus it's hard to find slot loading optical drives. So I just went with an external unit that I can locate anywhere that is convenient on my desk. It didn't really matter much which one, but the specs and price on this LG unit looked good so that's what I got. It works great.

LED Case Lighting Satechi RGB LED Light Strips with Remote Control (ST-CLEDLS) - OK, so my vanity is showing a bit here, but I think it looks pretty cool when windowed cases have internal lighting to show off the components. And I wanted to have the option of changing colors. These light strips run off the computer PSU and have a nice small remote, and I like that the brightness can be changed. Works great and easy to install.

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

HA, that mouse is a nice joke, but srcly, where is the real one?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL That's the only one. Yes, I know, not a gaming mouse, but serves my purposes well.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

alrighty then, but if you ever decide to upgrade, logitech g502 or deathadder chroma.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Great documentation and pictures, and solid part selections. A very well done job indeed. +1

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Finally someone chooses the Logitech G105 (which is what I have :L) +1

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice pictures, stable build +1.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Smart choice in components. Why ASRock mobo?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

There isn't a big selection of H170 chipset mini-ITX mobos. It came down to three - ASRock, Gigabyte, and MSI. Asus has one also but it uses DDR3 RAM so I did not consider it. Any of the three would have been OK, but the ASRock had more USB 3.0 outputs and a USB 3.0 header for the front panel. It also had the additional 3 pin fan header.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

That case is absolutely gorgeous!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

It looks even better in person. I didn't know about it and just happened to run into it whilst searching the web for some other components. Really glad I found out about it.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Gorgeous system! That 970 is a good bit smaller than the STRIX 950, made me look pretty hard at it.

I hope the concrete cores stay working on the 970- had an old 775 board that did that, only lasted about a year and a half.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Yes, hope my GPU lasts longer than 1.5 years. It is a fairly expensive component.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Keyboard tray pullout is the worst...I could never.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I thought I'd be the first to post a PC-Q10 build here. You beat me to it. :)

I fell for this case the moment I saw it; it's pretty and offers phenomenal airflow. You did a great job filling it up. I've been waiting to order mine all year, but It's finally in the post now!

Nice build!

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Very pleased with the case - would definitely recommend it. I love the looks, small size, high quality, and excellent airflow. I think you will enjoy building with it.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I just ordered one Monday. Do you think there's enough room to fit a standard 25mm thick fan or even a slim one below the GPU? Didn't really think of where to put intakes until after I clicked 'place order'...

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd say there is 1/2 to 5/8" clearance under my GPU, so no room for a fan. Not sure why you would want one there - no intake fan is needed. The case has a fan on the back which blows air out. My CPU cooler has a fan which blows air towards the case exhaust fan, so it's warm air is also being removed by the case fan. The power supply fan exhausts out the top of the case. The GPU air coming from the GPU fan gets mostly pulled out of the rear of the case. All of my components are running very cool.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I was just trying to see if theres any way to get positive pressure. My build isnt done yet but my AIO cooler is mounted in the rear as an exhaust and I moved the included fan to the top as an exhaust as well. Temps are fine with a r7 370 as a temp card from a different PC. Waiting for my Nano and storage.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! You almost have the same hardware as me. You win on the graphics side, but I win in size. :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! What case are you using? In my next build, I would like to go even smaller on case size if I can get adequate cooling.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I am using a Termaltake Core V1. I really like the size :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I looked up the Thermaltake Core V1. Nice case. But it is actually larger than the Lian-Li PC-Q10WX case. 1379 cu in vs. 1173 cu in for the PC-Q10WX.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! How are you liking the case? I'm thinking of using the same case for my next personal rig. I think this build would have looked 2x better and less congested with an SFX modular PSU.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! The case has worked out well; I'm very happy with it. It runs cool and looks nice. I enjoy having it sitting on top of my desk where it is easy to get to and I can see the inside easily. Yes, an SFX PS would take up less space and probably look even better. SFX can be used with an adapter plate.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey there, just stumbled across this case by chance like you said you did, and saw your build. Amazing. I really want to get this case but unfortunately I have a reference Nvidia card and an atx psu. The psu is 1cm shorter than yours, but I'm wondering if you think it'll fit? It's also non-modular, so that may make it easier to get the cables out from between the GPU, but will make things messy. Anyway, great build. +1 for the LEDs.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Check out the overview, video, and specs on this case here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112479&cm_re=pc-q10-_-11-112-479-_-Product ATX power supplies will fit according to Lian Li, and 270 mm long video cards.

I'm still loving the case, and it has performed great over the 4 months since I built it. Yes, I really like the LED strips. They do a nice job of lighting the case and it's nice to be able to vary the brightness and change colors. Definitely worth what they cost. Good luck with your build!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a very nice build! I am planning on building my first pc in this case. How is that motherboard treating you? I am planning on getting that motherboard too. Have you experienced any problems with your pc in the months you have had it? +1

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

JaiyRey,

Motherboard has been flawless, as has the entire computer. It's been on 15 hrs/day almost every day since April and has performed as expected. No issues with any of the hardware. As I write this I'm looking through the clear side panel of the PC-Q10WX case at the components and thinking how much enjoyment I've gotten from the build. The LED lighting has worked out well and I enjoy the ability to change colors and intensity. I'm happy with the components I chose.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much for replying, you have eased all my fears of building in such a small chassis! I cannot wait to order all my parts and I will be sure to post my finished build on this site :)

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

You're welcome! With the video card I used I had plenty of room for everything, so cable routing was not an issue at all. Would like to see your build when it's finished.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey man, really like the build, gorgeous case. Love SFF and the LED lighting is a really nice touch. Giving me some inspiration for my upcoming build.

I'm really tempted to get this case, but I'm looking to put a 6700k and GTX 1080 in it. Little bit concerned about airflow/temps though. Based on your experience so far, would you be comfortable putting those parts into this case? Think there would be any room temp wise to OC the CPU?

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't run my video card really hard, but the temps stay very low. No OC on my processor so it runs very cool as well. The case has quite good airflow - it is essentially open on the bottom and top, so I would think you could run OC if you had the correct cooling setup installed. A fairly large passive cooler can be used on the processor, and a single fan liquid cooler can be used in this case. Check out the manufacturers web site here: http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-q10/ They show liquid cooling as an option, and also using dual fans. Good luck with your build!

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Was a little worried due to no ventilation on the sides, but it does look like it has good airflow. It's such a nice little case, but has kind of flown under the radar. Not many reviews on it.

Looks like you're using an open air style GPU... would you recommend that versus blower?

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Graphics card is an ASUS GTX 970 DirectCU Mini. It has a single fan that pulls air in from the bottom and exhausts out the sides. Here are details: https://www.asus.com/us/Graphics-Cards/GTX970DCMOC4GD5/ I like the smaller size which left a lot of space for the extra power supply cables lengths.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

NICE BUILD I REALLY LIKE THE CASE, MY PSU LENGTH IS 160MM DO YOU THINK I CAN USE THAT OR WOULD I HAVE TO BUY A NEW ONE, IN THE PICS IT LOOK LIKE THERE IS ROOM FOR ONE BUT IS THERE?

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I've really enjoyed the case with the internal lighting. Manufacturer specs a max PSU length of 150mm. Check out the manufacturers web site here: http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio/pc-q10/ If you use a short graphics card like I did you should be able to fit the 160mm long PSU.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome thanks for the reply I have a Mini ITX graphics card so my Supply will work I will buy that case now