I originally built Kaen for me (first picture) but I revised it as a graduation present. The build is compact, super clean with excellent airflow and whisper quiet. The SSD is for the OS and the HDD is for all content.
Below is a review of the major parts in the build if that interests you. Feel free to message me with any questions about any aspects of the build. Thanks for checking it out!
Define Nano S
I wanted to ensure that, like Kreos, this build was silent at low loads. My ultra pleasant experience with the Define R5's superb ability to silence the fan party inside the case drew me back to Fractal. The simple yet sleek design of the R5 was also very appealing to me so I chose its baby brother: The Nano S. It retains the look, has the same sound dampening foam, and has good airflow as well as ample cable management space. It was fairly easy to build in and freed up a lot of space for me. The case keeps things quiet and is setup for lots of intake air to maintain positive pressure. It's also "dustproof" which is quiet important for us electronics "clean freaks" out there.
One thing to take note of is that the quality if the case is not quite on par with the Definr R4 or R5. The lack of an integrated fan controller like on the R5 is a bit of a bummer but can be worked around. The build quality isn't as good as the R5 but it's $20 less so I guess it makes sense. Lastly, the power LED seconds as the wireless status light, so it will blink as the status light on a wifi card would. Not too concerning for me but might be for some.
Another thing to note is that the side panel window scratches EXTREMELY easily. I'm talkin', wipe it lightly with a soft cotton shirt easily. Trying to get fingerprints off of it is next to impossible without scratching is so trying not to handle the panel by the window or touching it at all is advised.
Great psu. Plenty of power for the revised build and hush quiet. I had cable length issues with the previous build so I managed to snag an individually sleeved Type 4 ATX cable directly from Corsair. Using the gtx970, the new cable would have allowed me to avoid contact with the gpu pcb as it would've granted me the length to route the cable around the back instead of behind the gpu. Cleaner look as well.
I managed to alleviate some pressure on the 8pin EPS cable that I experienced before by routing it through the hole just above the psu. The stock cpu cable is JUST long enough to reach the connector.
The small footprint and low stature of the SF600 allows for some space between it and the gpu which is great. It leaves ~1in of clearance with is more thane adequate for my tastes. I would be highly concerned using an atx power supply in this case, especially with a beefier gpu. There would be almost zero clearance. I highly recommend grabbing a SF600 regardless of your case choice. 600W is usually more than enough power and why not save the space for airflow as well as weight savings.
Speaking of weight, this thing is light and super compact! It's hard to believe its a 600W psu!
ASRock Fatality itx/ac
After 1 RMA, the 2nd board is seemingly excellent. More than enough for a non-k i5 6600. I had previously thrown a 6700k into it but the build purpose changed so I threw the 6700k into Kreos.
I RMAed the first board for a fan control issue. I later found out that it was the Noctua iPPC fans that were the issue. Apparently, this board hates those fans. Both boards had fan control issues with those fans turning off whenever they felt like it and not taking fan profiles. All was good using the NF-F12s and Fractal GP-14 I had waiting around to be used.
The NH-U12S cooler fits perfectly on the board and in the case as well.
I used one 16GB stick of the 32GB kit I had previously used and installed it in the second slot to allow for more clearance between it and the cooler fan. Matches the board perfectly.
The ac wifi works great and the antenna is nice and small. No connectivity issues.
EVGA 750ti SC mini
As you can see in the first picture, I had originally put a GTX970 SSC in the build but decided to keep that card in Kreos and go with 750ti for Kaen. The card requires no extra power which eliminates the pcie cable from the build making it that much cleaner and simpler. The fan has no zero rpm mode like on the ACX version but its silent at low loads. I'll have more acoustical data once I hand it over and some games are played on it. I love the fact that its small, lightweight, and the same length as the motherboard is wide. The 750ti will play the latest titles on decent settings and is an upgrade from the integrated graphics on the AMD A8 it will be replacing. The graduate will be happy with it.
Adequate for most games and low power consumption/heat output. Best choice for the money if you don't need or want to overclock.
Love this cooler. Adequate for even an overclocked 6700k. Noctua design and quality is unmatched imo. Fan is super quiet and optimized for high static pressure. I definitely recommend it.
Great board so far. Wifi/Bluetooth is great and has 2 cha fan headers as well as 8 pin cpu power and M.2 slot. Tuning is easy in the BIOS and fan profiles are cully customizable.
The M.2 connector is on the back of the board so be mindful of that with regard to heat dissipation and motherboard tray clearances.
Stock voltage my second board shipped with was 0.997V which seemed a bit low for Skylake. It may just be undervolting for low loads.
SPECIAL NOTE: The board doesn't like Noctua iPPC fans. I had two boards reject them. If you're using Noctuas, go with NF-F12S or NF-A14s.
Works. It's an SSD
Best fans ever