How can I put this? THIS build was...interesting.
Okay, I'll start at the beginning - there once was a little boy who dreamed of working with small form factor cases. First, the Cooler Master Elite 130. Then, he decided to go down in size to an Elite 110 (liquid cooled, too!) But then, one day, the allure of tempered glass and RGB hit him so he then made a build using the Corsair Crystal 460X RGB. Things were fine until Phanteks had to go and make the Evolv Shift. Once again, the little boy's lust for all things buildable could not be sated. You'd think he'd have stopped there, but OH NO!
So, AMD decides to make another line of APUs - the Ryzen 3 2200G and the Ryzen 5 2400G. I'm pretty sure you all can guess where I'm going with this...
The APU (AMD Ryzen 5 2400G) - having owned the previous generation A6-6400K and A10-7890K, I have this kinda sordid love affair with APUs and ITX builds. The 2400G is basically the 4-core/8 thread version of the Ryzen 5 1600 I have in my Evolv Shift build, running at stock 3.6 GHz speed, which I couldn't be more pleased with. I have yet to test it in gaming benchmarks, but for AutoCAD/REVIT 3D modeling (curse of being in engineering...you oftentimes bring work home) the entire package is magnificent! Now, I'll admit - it DOES get a little hot in my case, and the included Wraith Stealth is running at 100%, but the noise is not so obtrusive that I want to tear my hair out.
The Motherboard (Gigabyte AB350N - Gaming WiFi ITX) - the App store software is a bit buggy, and some people will say the 24-pin power connector is in the wrong location (depending upon the case) but outside of that, it works very well. Even got it pre-loaded from the manufacturer with the updated BIOS for AMD's 2000-Series APUs. That was a nice bonus that meant a drop-in solution without worrying about how I was going to update the BIOS for the new APU without having to acquire an older Ryzen CPU.
The RAM (G.Skill Aegis DDR4 3000 MHz) - Despite not being able to clock it past 2400 MHz without issues, it works remarkably well...like my kids when I ask them to clean their rooms. They're not the fastest at doing so, but they do a damn good job so I guess I cannot complain.
The Storage solution (Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 SSD) - Read speed of over 3000, write speed of over 2000, Windows 10 loads in 7 seconds. It took me five times that length of time to type this sentence out.
The Power Supply (Streacom 160w Pico PSU with 160w power adapter) - Okay, okay...so I'm powering my desktop with what is basically a glorified laptop power brick and an interface that looks like someone grafted a chip to the top of a 24-pin connector. But considering that the hardware I have only consumes 119w at full chat (and I never get it that high) it's absolutely brilliant. Plus, I have the added benefit of no noise, except that from my CPU fan...which brings me to -
The Case (Streacom F1CWS EVO all-aluminum ITX case) - Small would be an understatement. I'll go with the bad first - with the cover plate on, my temps got up to 72 degrees Celsius under normal operation. While not incredibly dangerous, I do feel some holes in the top plate could alleviate that as the case got warm to the touch. HOWEVER, once I removed the top plate and just used the mesh cover, which is reserved for SSD mounting, my temps dropped to 43 degrees. So, I may have to modify the top plate a bit depending on some long term testing to see if it doesn't go above 72. If it doesn't, then top plate back on and call it a day.
I'm going to be testing this thing out for a while, but I cannot lie - I had so much fun building this! I love small form factor PCs but this without a doubt, for the few headaches it has, was a joy to build.
3/3/18 Update: Per the additional two photos at the end, I've decided to keep the cover plate off as case thermals now hover around 43-46 degrees Celsius through most workloads and a lot of streaming. Plus, I don't think it looks bad at all, considering the cover for the top is not the SSD tray...
Excellent Speed and capability for the price!
Came pre-loaded with updated BIOS
Gets hot with top plate installed...so I don't use it. I just use the drive cage.