This rig was built out of need for a more portable machine; albeit one I could still use Premiere on, record with, and play games like The Phantom Pain and CS:GO. So it had to be small, but powerful. The money was sourced from selling my other PC; Leidenfrost, to a close friend. It was sad to see my first build go, but I had a lot of fun putting it together, so at the same time I was really excited to build a new one. You might be wondering a bit about the parts, so let me try to justify my choices below.
CPU : Got this instead of the non-S counterpart due to a good deal I found. Good performance for what I paid, and with it being the S model temps are kept down.
Cooler : Kept this from my old build so I could sell it to my friend for cheaper. Feel the same way about it now as I did then, however it's a little more difficult to work with in such a small space.
Motherboard : Not much more I could ask of this board. Bought it used off eBay with the box and everything included for $80 shipped, but I'd gladly spend $90 for this board.
Memory : Cheap, effective, and I'll be able to upgrade to 16GB when necessary. Runs great, and looks great. Not much more to say.
Storage : I actually bought a 1TB HDD a while back, so I just set that up for my friend then took the one I had in my old PC and threw it in here. However, if you want to use a 3.5" drive in this case, make sure you use a SFF PSU. Otherwise your PSU will lean down and you'll have the time of your life trying to fit both the drive and the PSU in the case. If I could do one thing different I would have traded this 1TB HDD for a 2.5" HDD.
GPU : My old build had an R9 280x, and although I could have picked up the same one for this build, I was trying to keep the TDP and heat down. So I sprung for this. Pretty quiet under normal workload and runs cool. Haven't seen a huge difference in performance between this and the 280x.
Case : As for the compatibility with parts and the overall size, it's one of the best. Can fit a full size reference card without issues, and the footprint is small enough to be stored in a backpack. All for only $40. However, the quality isn't great. The metal shroud is incredibly easy to bend and the front clips for the mesh face plate will break from using any amount of pressure on the screws.
PSU : Wanted a modular PSU for this case, just so happened that this was the cheapest one. Has trouble fitting in this case with a 3.5" drive but otherwise is great.
All in all, the build was a good experience. If I could change one thing with my process I would have tested my components outside the case. Once I had put it all together, after about an hour and a half, it didn't boot. I then had to take everything apart, set up my components to test outside the case, and spent 20 minutes trying to get it to boot. I thought the motherboard was fried or something, but after fiddling with it for a while it posted just fine.
So a build that could have taken two hours tops took me about three and a half. Now that it's up and running though, I couldn't be happier. Considering I only spent about $580 on this build I think the budgeting went rather well. I hope you enjoyed viewing my build, sorry it was so long! If you actually read this far, hats off to you! If you have any questions or anything, don't be shy! The comments are there for a reason :)
Solid. Runs cool, quiet and fast.
Compatibility is great and the pump isn't crazy noisy. Kept both an i5-4590s and an FX-8320 nice and cool (on separate occasions of course). Only downside is that it comes with 4 screws, so I can't have a push/pull setup.
Great mobo, does all I can ask and has a nice black PCB. BIOS is easy to navigate and has some nice features. However it could use another fan header or two, and the antennas for the wifi module are incredibly difficult to install.
Great RAM at a great price.
Can't go wrong with 'ol blue.
Solid card, runs great and performs like a champ for the price. It does have an audible ramp up and gets rather noisy when it's under heavy load, but it works good and looks nice, so I can't be too picky.
One of if not the smallest ITX cases that can house the hardware it can. Unfortunately, lackluster construction and compatibility really ruin it for me.
Great modular PSU. Looks sharp, stays pretty quiet and is very efficient. However, I'll be removing a star as it has no on/off switch - it's always on.