Description

I was sick of dealing with my laptop's constant overheating (well, until the dedicated GPU died) and poor hinges, I needed something less frustrating. I had $900 to spend on a new PC, around 200 of which was going towards a copy of Microsoft Windows and a new monitor. I both play a lot of games and edit pictures/video/ect. I also needed plenty of space left over on my desk and the ability to easily bring it with me during trips. So, on Black Friday I jumped and put together my build (total cost was around $695 with the sales):

CPU: I got an I5 4460. As much as I would have liked to get a higher end I5, or even an overclockable one, I just couldn't quite fit one in my budget without compromising in other areas of the PC. Thankfully, it performed better than expected, with cool temps and solid speed. Not much to complain about here.

CPU Cooler: I know that the stock cooler would have been more than enough and that I could've gotten better and yadayadaya. The thing is that the computer is about 18 or so inches from me when I use it, and while I can deal with noise during gaming (headphones), I can't stand it when just browsing the web or working. Zalman did a solid job of making a silent cooler, I can't even hear it at max speed from where I sit. I do, however, have to deduct one star as mounting it is a huge pain. There is also about 2 mm of space between it and the GPU.

Motherboard: Works well, layout is solid, and no real issues to report. The place where the antenna rotate very easily, even under their own weight. Obviously not planning to overclock given the CPU so there was no point in getting a Z97 motherboard.

RAM: Note that the heat spreader pictured on PC Part Picker isn't the one you will get when you order it (assuming you order it off of Newegg, at least). I'm glad I got one stick, the CPU Cooler covers the second ram slot and I might be able to upgrade in the future (assuming I can find similar low profile ram or suck it up and buy 16gb outright).

HDD: 1tb of space is far more than I know what to do with.

I skipped the SSD to make space for better parts in other areas, I can live without it.

GPU: I went with Powercolor's R9 285 because it was in my budget, fit inside of the case (otherwise I would have used a different GPU), and more than strong enough to game at 1080p. The heatsink feels like it is of surprisingly high quality. So far I've been able to max out every setting, disregarding ludicrous levels of AA, in most of my games while retaining around 60 fps. I might need to adjust the fan curve because the fans are audible when idle.

Case: It's tiny, absolutely tiny, and you know what tiny does? It makes cable management an utter nightmare. I eventually managed to get them all out of the way, but it was a pain. The blue led light on the front is also piercingly bright. The metal bit that goes over the top bends fairly easily when taken out of the case, as one would expect given the shape. However, in spite of these issues, the case is stupidly small, has good airflow, and feels very sturdy when put together.

Powersupply: I would have loved to get a modular power supply; but, with my budget that wasn't going to happen. Thankfully, all but one cable is in use and it runs perfectly stable.

Overall building this was mostly pleasurable and I am greatly enjoying the performance that I have gotten out of it.

Update: Found that I could fix the loose antenna by tightening the nuts holding them steady.

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Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build. +1

I was thinking about doing a build with that case. Glad to see all the pictures as it is surprisingly a little bigger than I expected it to be.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

I am really happy to see this build. My last build was in a full size case almost ten years ago and I want to replace it with a tiny case this time around -- I am considering the SG05BB, which is how I found your build. To see your tiny build under $700 is inspiring. I might use your spec as my starting point, if that's cool. Cheers.

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  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, glad to see others that like compact computers.

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