Description

Background + Requirements

After building my previous pc (a Bitfenix ProdigyM i5 4690k) a few years ago, I had been using this PC for my living room gaming on my TV as well as media consumption. This was fine and I upgraded it a few times but after setting up a media server on it and the components becoming more and more dated the PC was struggling to keep up with all of these tasks and 1440p gaming. For this reason I finally decided to bite the bullet and build a second PC purely for gaming. I wanted a console feel by default (Steam Big Picture, Xbox Controllers) with the option to switch to Keyboard and mouse as and when I wanted. The PC also had to be small, not ridiculously small, but enough so that it was semi-portable. I also had an Oculus Rift, that I never fully got to utilise on my previous build (high CPU spikes from serving media would ruin the experience) so I wanted to be able to play in VR with little effort too.

Build Process

I started by stripping my 1080Ti from the previous PC, replacing it with a more modest 1060 6GB (enough to transcode video with ease and could still handle light gaming if required). With both this build and my previous pc I like to buy components slowly over time (like a year) buying one or two items a month or saving a few months for something bigger. For this reason I got all my parts shipped to work and progressively built it piece by piece before taking it home.

The build was very straight forward, the time in between purchases allowed me to really think about part choice. I used old laptop HDDs as boot and storage until my SSDs were purchased to allow me to test parts as they arrived. Overall I was very happy with all the parts I selected, there were a few exceptions but nothing really too severe.

GPU I probably would have avoided a blower card and opted for a dual fan card (although having a top clamp on the card because of the height of the reference card was nice as it locked the card in place during movement) as this card was pulled from my old PC and purchased just as the mining craze kicked off. My only real issue with the blower is that its louder than it could be, but still not horrendously loud so I can live with it. But the 1080TI is definitely at its full potential now and is doing a superb job in game.

Motherboard I initially planned on getting the i7 8700 (non K) due to price constraints, so opted for a Hxxx board to match, however I unexpectedly got the K version and not having voltage controls does suck, but its definitely something I'll come back to and upgrade to a Zxxx board (especially if I upgrade the CPU in the future too). But overall this board does the job fine, no complaints so far.

CPU I initially planned on the i7 8700 (non K) as mentioned above, but managed to get this pre-owned on eBay for way below what the retail versions were selling for and even below what the non K versions were selling pre-owned, so it was a no brainer. I'd like to explore overclocking with this CPU in the future but currently its doing a great job even on stock clocks so it's just a bit of head room for the future.

Cooling This case has only fans on the GPU and CPU. Overall temps seem fine, idle CPU around 35-40(c) and around 70(c) under gaming load. I managed to get it up to 82-83 under sustained synthetic load, but I don't see my usage really pushing it that high any time soon. The GPU hits around 70(c) under heavy load but again because of it's separate chamber its pretty much open to the air due to the side vents. The blower is fairly loud under load and the same to the CPU fan, which was very limiting due to clearance, but after messing with fan curves it's practically silent at idle and only really gets audible after entering game but the audio from the soundbar is enough to easily drown it out even at moderate volume.

Case Really like this case, was a challenge at times with the cabling but I did the best I could. The RGB was totally not needed but I wanted to add a little flair in and it looks great when its up and running. I opted for a spinning blue pattern during boot (to mimic the old Xbox 360 spinning circle) and then mapped the GPU temperature to the lighting colour, this results in a white glow at idle, green when gaming and a gradual fade through yellow into red when hitting 75(c) which is heavy stress gaming, looks kind of cool but I'll probably mess with it more in the future.

Overall This build was super fun to do, glad I stuck with it. The guys in my office didn't think I'd last the full year and either impulse buy or scrap the project. But it's finally done, very happy and already taken it a few places to play VR with friends and family.

Bootup lights video if anyone's interested - here

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

For low clearance this does a great job, not the most quiet but definitely keeps the CPU cool. Adjusting the fan curves has some impact on the noise. Would still recommend though.

Case

Really enjoyed building in this case. It's definitely challenging but thin and pretty small.

Comments

  • 5 days ago
  • 2 points

Yes please

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 point

Glad you liked it! Very happy with how it turned out

  • 5 days ago
  • 2 points

Nice build, the lights make it even more beatifull. I wish my build was this clean.

  • 5 days ago
  • 2 points

The lights were an impulse buy for sure, but I think they definitely add something to it. I didn't think it looked that clean in the end, was very tempted to re-do the entire cabling but eventually decided against it. Nowhere to hide cables in this case at all!

  • 5 days ago
  • 2 points

It's realy nice, looks really dense tho, why not aio?

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 point

like next to the gpu?

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I had looked into CPU and GPU water-cooling, but there just wasn't the room. It is pretty heavily packed, but surprisingly each chamber still has a fair amount of breathing room, but yeah overall this is definitely not the most temperature efficient build.

  • 5 days ago
  • 2 points

Nice build, I haven't seen anyone using the RVZ 02 in a while as the RVZ 03 stole its thunder, so to speak. Nice touch with the LED lighting.

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 point

Thanks and yeah I kept looking for builds with the RVZ02 but like you said most now used the 03, I wasn't a massive fan of the newer version as I prefer a simple front look, I like all my PCs to blend into the background until you turn them on and they take center stage! hah

  • 5 days ago
  • 2 points

Still have my rvz02 case around somewhere first build that pulled me into mini itx and sff. Great build +1

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 point

Just checked out your builds and as I thought yours was one of the ones I took inspiration from so thanks!

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 point

Wow, your welcome 🙂

  • 5 days ago
  • 2 points

I like the way you think! I also like to use my living room for media and gaming with wireless control. I prefer it to sitting on a desk. Awesome build! Stunning set up!

  • 5 days ago
  • 2 points

I built in that case not too long ago and I was impressed with the temps for the cpu and gpu the case is very well made.I dont understand why it doesnt get more looks from people looking for a mini atx build.

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 point

Get a 3700x. So much cheaper comes with cooler and has the same performance.

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 point

Well it was actually on my shortlist of cpus but the 3700x was actually the exact same price as the standard i7 at time of purchase before I saw a second hand one on eBay and my familiarity with intel made me stick with them. I do think amd is fast becoming the better option though going forward and will be considering it for my next project