Description

I just moved to the US and set out to build a PC. Probably the biggest thing I missed from back home was my gaming tower, but obviously there was no way to safely bring it over. I already have way too much luggage with my camera gear, so it was never gonna happen. I did manage to salvage my HDDs and mouse at least.

I do a ton of gaming and a ton of photo editing and a bit of video editing too. Since I'm still looking for work and renting here, I thought I'd hold off, but in truth I was gonna get a PC anyway and prices were pretty good. Gives me something to do in evenings so I don't spend all my money on beer.

Just quickly, two parts aren't quite right: I got the Xeon E3-1230 V3 which isn't listed on here yet, and the GA-H87N LGA1150 mobo for it. But essentially that's correct.

This is the first time I've gone AMD on a GPU but the Never Settle bundle is really good - well it will be if the rumours about Watchdogs and whatnot being on there are true. Also, their higher end cards seemed to have more 'small' variants, which I needed for the SG05. Under 10" only.

So. Great case. Wow! Tiny compared to bigger computers, and with barely any limitations in truth. There are some things you gotta work within. Limited PSU, since 450w is about the biggest you'll get for it. Still, a great PSU and it runs steady so far with no trouble. Obviously, a smaller GPU. Just about any GTX760 would fit, some 770s and a couple of the 7970s did from my research. No experience with XFX but it's working well so far.

Only 2 ram slots but I never go above 16gb anyway. No room for Crossfire or SLI anyway, but often I feel like that's a kind of unnecessary step, better to wait out a decent upgrade of another sort.

The build was pretty hard. Getting the GPU in, even at 9.3", was pretty tricky. The hardest part comes in the PSU and HDD cage, since they both sit directly above the mobo. I basically had both half installed and just connected everything up, tried to keep it clean and then shoved it all in. The 3.5" cage was the hardest as there were tons of cords in by then. I might experiment with an all SSD computer in the future, but until then... had to jam it in. Felt rough. Then I realised there was no room to put the cables in it, so I had to take it back out, plug it in and just jam it in again. Would have been okay without a GPU at this point, but no luck there - not sure I'd get it back in if I took it out.

Cables actually turned out better than I thought. Nice wide stream of air through the middle. I kind of tucked most of the small cables in to the side of the case by using the big mobo cable to push it all back.

GPU keeps cool, never above 70 and mostly sits at 65 under load. Not sure about CPU but it's locked, so there you go. I don't overclock but I might give it a go with the GPU if I need it this time.

If you have any questions let me know. I had a great time building it. it was tricky but worth it. I think SFF is the way to go now. Lugging big cases around with little to no benefit for most people is not worth it. Being able to travel with this will save me a lot of money over the next couple of years.

Last thoughts:

Got the Dell U3011 for just over $600 refurb during a sale. Wow! What a monitor. Brilliant. Had the 24" which I loved, but moving from a dual monitor setup, I wasn't sure what to get. Nearly tried the 29" super wide since it was basically a dual monitor on one, but I realised I could get this for less, with more screen real estate and better resolution really. And it pays off. Amazing for photo work. Not really small though haha.

Windows 8 is also really nice. Metro takes a little to get used to but works fine, and it starts lightning fast.

Thanks!

edit: Sorry, nearly forgot pics! You can see them with descriptions at http://imgur.com/a/uUQWz. Most of the pics are just pointing out cables, and the last is a size comparison with an iPad 2. Not the best thing but it worked I guess!

Comments

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

Let me know how that Xeon works for gaming, I'm considering getting the Haswell version.

  • 76 months ago
  • 4 points

They work just like the i7's but for a i5 price. Not sure why people don't buy them instead? Oh and not to mention they run a lot cooler then the i5/i7's. I have the E3-1230 V2 and love it way more then my 3570k.

  • 76 months ago
  • 3 points

Yeah the only reason I can think of is if people OC the hell out of their i7s, but for the price difference I don't see how that's worth it.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah man! I have the Haswell version! It's just not listed on here yet. It's really nice. Barely bats an eyelid. I haven't tried it on any CPU heavy games yet - I'll boot up Shogun and have a go.

Though actually I did try ArmA3 beta for a while which was usually pretty intense and it was fine! I'll report back in a couple of days.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

very good to see a workstation build man, good picks, but you say you do video and photo editing, unless you have adobe CC it would have been a better option to go with Nvidia for the CUDA acceleration, but if you do have CC then you are good, OpenCL in my opinion is better than CUDA anyway :D

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks dude!

And you know, I totally forgot about the damn CUDA stuff! Because I've always gone with Nvidia before I just didn't even think about it. The switch to AMD was pretty last minute since I found the beefier card that would fit.

Phooey. Oh well. Thanks for the reminder anyway haha

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

i love windows 8. if you haven't tried the 8.1 preview yet, you are in for a treat. they make it a much more seamless transition between the desktop and metro interface.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah nice! When's it due out? Should I just jump in on the preview now?

I do like metro for the most part. It's funny having to relearn some things - took me a while to figure out how to close apps and that kind of thing.

One small thing is that everything sounds nice too! Like plugging in a USB is kind of... pleasant now.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

it is supposed to come out in the fall. official date is still unreleased for now

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm in love with this build. This packs quite the punch. I see the photo and video editing, but why the Xeon and not an i5 or i7? Also, wouldn't your applications for photo and video editing take advantage of Nvidia's cuda cores more than the AMD?

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

OP mentioned earlier that the amd was a better deal and he forgot to take CUDA into account. apparently, the Xeon is a cheaper i7 (without integrated graphics) from what i've read

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Forgot to mention my +1

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Xeon is basically a locked i7 for way cheaper than an unlocked i7. I believe they already run a bit better anyway. Also no integrated graphics which I don't care about, and they run cooler too. It just seemed a good fit for me, since I've never OC'ed. I might try it with my GPU though since I seem to be getting plenty good temps already.

You're right about Cuda -I actually forgot all about it. It's one of those things, since I've always used Nvidia, it just didn't occur to me. The switch to AMD was last minute. I liked the look of the Never Settle bundle, the price on the 7970 was right, I thought the extra memory would help with the higher res, a few other little considerations. But yeah. Forgot about the damn cuda!

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

That's still a sexy little card. Aesthetically pleasing is what I mean.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

where did you get that monitor for $630? either way, that's an awesome build. never suspected a Xeon to be put in a SFF case.

oh yeah, and welcome to the US! where did you come from before?

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

The Dell warehouse had a 30% off sale on top of a big price drop on the U3011, so I jumped on it. I was gonna go for something smaller but I've always coveted the damn thing and never seen it that low.

Thanks man! Hail from South Australia originally. Staying over here for at least a year. Cheaper computer parts is a nice benefit of being here!

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

wow, that does sound like an incredible steal!

yeah, from what i notice as a native, a lot of the more important things are cheaper. ;)

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

TAPE!!!!! WOO

  • 76 months ago
  • 2 points

I was tempted to find some duct tape to make it look more ghetto, but all I had was scotch. Sigh

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Holy crap! That is half the stuff I wanted in a build! :O Congratulations.

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man, runs really nice and in a size I never thought possible until recently!

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

how do you take the monitor with you ? very nice build anyway . Check out my build, i just posted it

  • 76 months ago
  • 1 point

Good question. Haven't sorted that yet. My feeling is that I'll either ship it if I'm going somewhere long term, or just run my comp off a hotel TV or something else in the meantime. Where there's a will, there's a way. I'm gonna be staying put for the most part for the next six months or so, so it's fine for that for now.

Your build is lovely dude... really nice work on the cables haha.