This build was a blast from the past, literally!!! I put this build together for two reasons, to play retro games through emulators in the living room, and maintain the capability to play my Steam library at 1080p on high settings. Now before anyone goes and says I should have used an Intel processor, or an Nvidia GPU, or I should have used a modular PSU, or this build is outdated and has no upgrade path, I purposely built this PC this way for a reason! I wanted retro styled innards (hence the all over the place color scheme) and an all AMD build with a quad core processor and the latest GPU offering that would emulate pretty much any classic game out there and still be able to game at a solid 60fps @1080p. This retro styled box is going to sit under my entertainment center in the living room right next to my slim PlayStation 4 and it will more than adequately do what I need it to do for the foreseeable future. In fact, it should give my PS4 a run for its money! In essence, this is an all-in-one console that uses nothin' but good ol' AMD parts just like the current consoles on the market!
Now, lets get into the specifics of this build:
CPU: I wanted a true quad core AMD processor that didn't require an overclock, doesn't carry integrated graphics on the die and is fully supported by the mini-ITX platform (FM2+). I ended up chosing this under $70 AMD Athlon X4 845 quad core chip that should be able to handle the workload of emulators and PC gaming for the living room!
CPU Cooler: Adding to the retro look of the interior components is the Noctua NH-L9a which just so happens to be one of the best CPU cooler/fan brands available so this was a no brainer here! Their packaging and component quality is second to none! Highly recommended!
Motherboard: ASRock A68M-ITX motherboard is a no frills mobo that has minimal pricing and features. I didn't need a wireless solution since I will be using ethernet so this solution at only $60+ was an easy choice. It supports DDR3 memory which is fine since I always have a few sets lying around and it also has a PCIe 3.0 x16 graphics slot.
Memory: Patriot Viper DDR3 1866MHz 8GB (2x4GB) memory. I had this set lying around doing nothing and being a very unique blue helps throw off the color scheme even more, giving this build that retro look I was going for. Nothing flashy here and easily clears the Noctua cooler with its taller profile on this particular motherboard.
Storage: A simple single storage solution in this 1TB SSHD from Seagate. If I run out of space on the drive I can always in-home stream games from my main PC instead of cluttering up this drive with full game installs. I also have one more expansion slot in this case if I want to add another drive at a later time. No SSDs here since the 1TB SSHD was the much cheaper solution.
Video Card: I purchased the Diamond Multimedia on the RX 480 launch day direct from the manufacturer's website for $249 when all other cards were sold out and being that it doesn't have a back plate, it further increases the retro look of my build which is excellent! Diamond is not a highly sought after brand but they've been around for quite a while.
Case: The Fractal Design Node 202 is probably the best looking case that can fit horizontally under your entertainment center while still maintaining the ability to house a full size GPU. The included rubber feet were an added bonus! (The case also comes with a stand for those who prefer to place the case vertically). A modular PSU is highly recommended but for my particular build I wanted to feature all the different colored wires to give off the appearance of a much older appliance!
PSU: The FSP 450W SFX 80 plus bronze PSU was an excellent choice at only $70! It features ugly legacy looking rainbow wires that paired nicely with the rest of my components for that 1990's-ish look and feel. It should hold up far and above the wattage output for this build.
OS: Windows 10 Home 64-bit, free from my community college so this was a win win!
I took 10 minutes to make a quick custom vinyl sticker to place across the front of the chassis to give my PC a "Classic NES" look while it sits under my TV. All in all, I am very pleased with the outcome of this build and it further showcases my ability to tame those crazy wires in an ITX case as minimal as this! I absolutely love building mini-ITX PCs and could never see myself building anything else. The smaller the build, the better, especially if I can fit full size components into it. I take pride in wire management and hopefully it shows in all of my builds here on PCPP. For reference, check out pic 21 just so you have an idea of how long the PSU cables were that I had to tuck into this case! I hope you enjoyed checking out this build as much as I enjoyed making it!