Description

I decided that I wanted to upgrade my aging 5 year old tower, and the more I looked at it the more I wanted to do something a bit different. I decided I wanted to build a new system, and that I would have a pretty specific set of constraints.

1) It must fit in the 11" tall built in bookshelves in my apartment.

2) It must destroy games at 1080p and must fare well on 1440p (i plan to upgrade to 1440p in the near future.

3) It must be as quiet as possible.

4) It must be able to overclock - not for any terribly practical reason but because i want to.

Microcenter experience: Generally MC was pretty good, I am lucky and live a 10 minute drive from one. Thier price matching policy was explained to me as follows "If you find something online at a major store (e.g. amazon, new egg, tiger, walmart), and it is in-stock, and it IS SOLD BY THE STORE IT IS LISTED WITH (i.e. sold and shipped by amazon) then they will price match it. I was also told that if it was "too crazy a deal" like below their cost then they would not match it. I got my AIO cooler, case, RAM, CPU, motherboard, and power supply here. They will have the best CPU prices anywhere, and there is a $30 off if you get motherboard and CPU together. The sales associates will bug you about every 2 minutes, but if you sound knowledgeable they don't seem to try and sell you on things and will just help you find what you need.

Rationale for Parts:

CPU: 6700k - I honestly don't have a great reason for picking this processor over the 6600k. I can do better on cinebench, calculate pi significantly faster, and uh, do computer things faster? I am hoping that there will be some future increased usage of multithreading in games, but i could have used the 6600k and done just fine. I did want to go with this gen due to the added features of the new chipset.

CPU Cooler: I was looking for the best cooler I could fit in this case, and it seemed like the h80 was likely about the best. Some people had raved about the corsair link software as well, but honestly I am not that impressed. I wasn't as worried about the noise since I wasn't going to use the included fans. If there was one thing I learned reading build guides it is that noctua fans are both made of and equal money. I chose the high static pressure variant for the two radiator fans. It says there is an issue in compatibility between the case and the h80, and while it is super close, it does fit. Honestly, with all I had heard of the issue of building in mini ITX, it wasn't quite as bad as i feared. That said, it did take me about 6 hours.

Part Reviews

CPU

So this CPU I was able to get a stable overclock of 4.5Ghz with a bump up in voltage to 1.345v I tried stabilizing at 4.6 and it simply wouldn't. I tried with the voltage as high as 1.41v (while watching the temps like a hawk) and it would crash out during cinebench. That said 4.5 is rock solid stable, and the temps max out at about 80-82c while running AIDA 64 stress tests. I was hoping for a bit higher of an overclock, but honestly i didn't really even need to overclock. My gaming temps usually run mid 60's.

Thermal Compound

I didn't want to give this product a starred review because honestly i have nothing to compare it to. My CPU cooler seems to be working, I can't really say much more than that.

Motherboard

I really like the mobo - it has great features, the wifi and ethernet have both been super fast. The sound seems to be pretty good though I haven't tried any high-def audio. The Bios UI has been easy to use. If I want I can add a M.2 stick to the back of the board, but as I read more I found that there wouldn't be that much more of a performance boost it what I am doing over a regular SSD. Instead I saved a bit of money and got a 960Gb SSD instead.

Memory

I have these running at the stated 3200Mhz. I was a bit torn as to what I should have gotten for RAM, it seems that right now more than 8Gb is good, but currently more than 16 won't really show you any improvement. It is likely a faster speed than I need, and I am still wondering if getting a slower speed 32Gb kit might have been better. That said no issues with it.

I knock it one star because this is not the best value RAM kit, but I got it at microcenter and I wanted the RAM that day so I could start my build.

Storage

I tested and I am getting the speeds advertised. I got this on amazon prime day for $169 - I was pretty happy with the deal. It is big enough that I will likely be the only system drive I need for a long time. IF I need to add a drive down the road I might add an M.2 Drive and change this one over to more of the "storage" drive.

Video Card

ASUS RoG Strix 1070 OC

By far the most expensive component - I thought about the 1080, but I couldn't justify it especially since right now it seems like the 1080 can't really max the setting on 4k gaming, and at 1440p the 1070 seems to do pretty well. I love that it has a zero RPM fan mode, this means that for large parts of the time that I am gaming the fans don't even come on. When they do it is still very quiet. I got the factory overclocked one because I knew that I would be guaranteed the overclock advertised, though I do realize that I likely could have gotten the same results if I had overclocked the regular one myself.

I considered getting an older card such as a 980Ti, but the fact that the performance is so good on the 1070, PLUS it is more energy efficient (less heat in my shoebox of a computer) made this one the one I picked. I looked at other 1070's but there didn't seem to be a huge variation in them at the time I bought this (mid July) and the 1060's wernt out yet so I never even considered them.

Operating System

I had one really annoying issue when I installed. There was an issue with the .dll file on my install that caused the visual studios software to not work. I spent about 2 hours downloading installing and uninstalling files from the windows website to try and get it tow work. It was a serious issue preventing me from running 3d simulations such as games and benchmarks. The solution? Turns out that it actually needed a 2012 or 2013 (I forget now) version of the .dll FROM THE 32-BIT VERSION. Seriously?

As a humorous aside, I tried to buy this at a windows store nearby. I asked "Do you have the Windows 10 OS 64 bit OEM copies? It Might be called a system builder copy? For people building their own computers?" I got a look from the girl at the Windows store like I was nuts and that wasn't a thing.

Case Fan

I choose the two fans because for the AIO cooler I wanted something with good static pressure for the radiator. Not as many CFM, but it is supposed to be better for the radiator. A heck of a lot quieter than the stock corsair fans, and higher static pressure, and more CFM. Like seriously these fans are better in every way I can think of. Amazingly quality product. I am definitely a noctua fanboy. (sorry)

Case Fan

I chose this as my exhaust fan because it moves a lot of air quietly. Like it is basically silent. Amazing.

Comments

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice +1 from me <3

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome, i hope you bring us more pictures of gis buil i want gosee it finish.

Congrats.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

What would you like more pictures of? I am hoping to get back to write up more of the build experience - i think the part choices speak for themselves pretty well.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

I would really like a couple of pictures of your led lights in action, and one of the sides of your Elite 130 where i can appreciate the 140mm fan from outside.

Thanks a lot, you inspire to biuld my own mini itx.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

I will snap some in the next day or two and upload them.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Should've waited a bit more for kaby lake to come out (comes out this year) . The first pic made me face palm. The k version is cheaper than the non k wut?. Apart from that nice build.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

We don't even have a release date for Kaby Lake. No point waiting months for what will be a superficial improvement.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, last I heard only mobile processors are coming out for Kaby lake this year, with desktop early 2017.

Of course, that was my rationale when I broke down and bought a 6700k today

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

I actually uploaded some picture for parts i didn't use accidentally. As for waiting, I didn't feel like it and honestly I don't think that you can even make that compelling of a reason why a 6700k is needed. The fact is for gaming we effectively are not CPU bound currently.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Dude... Thats prices are really low :( I wish I had a store like that... Here the i76700k is over 400€... Its the double... God damn.. Anyway... Good build :) loved it +1

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

God I wish I lived near a micro center...

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok so to start, I LOVE you ingenuity! Anytime someone takes a build and relocates or makes it so parts can go where the user wants them always gets a +1 from me. It gets even more if you take your time and do it correctly. I see so many people just hack and slash at a case without taping off or taking any precautions to protect the case COUGH LUKE AND HIS DANG HOT GLUE COUGH. For future builds that you want to mod yourself, not everyone can afford a scroll saw, so I would suggest you go buy a metal coping saw, not expensive by any means. I like your mounting of your LED fans but a suggestion would be to actually snip them at the the solder points, lay them flat and then solder wires to connect them. But overall a very nice build.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Yeah, it seemed to me that the 80mm stock exhaust fan was really not going to cut it. The other option that I considered was to not have an optical drive and place one there, but I really wanted to get a blue-ray/dvd player for my TV. The scientist in me is forced to point out that I have no data on how the temps would have been without the 140mm I added, but anecdotally I can say that once I have been stressing the system hard for 30 minutes or so the air it is exhausting is definitely warm.

Yeah the dremmel was... interesting. For $13 dollars it was about what I would expect. WEAR SAFETY GLASSES. I broke and wore through like 5-6 discs, and once a piece ricocheted off my safety glasses. If I were to do more case modding I think investing in a better tool would be a big help.

I would really like to do something a bit more finished with the cut out, to me is screams for some U tubing around the edge, and a better mounting of the grill. I am not as concerned about dust since it is an exhaust fan, but a dust cover would still likely be a good thing.

I didn't even think of doing that with the LED lights, it honestly bugs me that I mounted something with U ties and adhesive stips. Almost as much as it bugs me that they are plugged into the back of the case for power. If I soldered them together at the corners that would be a huge improvement.

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

You can always disable the fan header in BIOS or Windows with a utility called SpeedFan (very handy to have BTW).

Most people go to a Dremmel for initial tools because its so versatile. Nothing wrong with it, it certainly has its place. I used a Dremmel initially for making speaker adapter plates for car installs because it was cheap and worked. Still have it and it still has its purpose more often than not.

You seem to have a twinge of installers OCD. This is IMO a very very good thing, itll drive you to make a build better and any future installs as equally aesthetically pleasing as functional. Keep up the work, you'll always learn something new or develop new techniques the more and more you build.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Weel my friend, i did it. I build a machine like yours mostly, but i have a doubt and i qould like that you help me, if you can off course.

How you set up the H80i´s fans? i mean intake or exhaust or some combination?

Did you have aby trouble of heat inside the case? or is all good?

Thanks a lot...

  • 39 months ago
  • 2 points

I have no problems with heat - thought the extra 140mm noctua exhaust does suck out a lot of air. I have the radiator in a push/pull config, both fans are bringing air into the case. The noctuas are amazing btw - almost silent and super cool. for the sake of science I really wish I had been able to get readings on temps before adding the fan to the case, because I don't actually know if it is needed. The air it pushes out is warmer, but not hot.

Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Great job. I like the modifications.

Thumbs up.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I have been enjoying it!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

my friend i have a question for you, if there is only one usb header on board (beside usb 3.0) you connected the h80i link cable or the front usb cable from elite 130 case? how did you solve this issue? thanks a lot.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Hah! you caught the one annoying issue I have - I dont have the USB 2.0s on the front connected. I linked the h80i, and of course the 3.0, but the front 2.0 is not connected. It is a bit annoying but I dont need the ports, I have only ever used one of the ports on the front so far at a time.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

how does the psu hold up? im building a simalor build and cant find a psu to get

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

The PSU has been fine so far - even with the OC nowhere near limited. The fan is on eco/ 0 RPM mode and half the time it isnt even on.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build - Do you think this computer build would be suitable to bring on a flight as carry on luggage? Thanks!

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

I could absolutely fit it into my weekend bag. It is heavy though close to 30 lbs all told.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for creativity

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