In the past, I have built a Craptop Replacement and a gaming PC for myself, so I when a friend was having troubles with his Macbook "Pro" I sprang into action. His once "quality" Mac was having trouble booting and freezing, so it became generally unfit for use. He also mentioned that he would like to play some higher quality games, so this machine is a perfect replacement for him.
This is my first ITX build and I wanted it to be hassle-free. Watching several YouTube videos sure did help. But at the end of the day, it just needed to happen.
Overall, the case was fantastic for cable management, though it doesn't appear that way. There are holes EVERYWHERE to use twist-ties and zip-ties to anchor things down. Since we didn't choose water cooling, I tried to keep enough space to give the CPU some air to breathe by tying everything to either the bottom of the case or the sides (pictures try to show that). I feel this is the best cable management I have ever pulled off, besides all of the cables coming out of the PSU. Since there is no optical drive, and no necessary airflow on the top, I didn't feel it was necessary to get fancy with those guys. Otherwise, I loved making this guy and I hope it lasts him for many years to come.
At the time of purchase, this CPU and the 4460 were the same price on Amazon. I just needed a decent 4-core processor to handle most games. Non-overclocked with a stock cooler was also a must.
Case. Coolermaster Elite 130
I needed a case that was going to fit the 960, and the price for this little guy is great. Sure, I could’ve gotten the Elite 110 but didn’t want to shrink down the GPU.
Motherboard. Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI
Wifi was a necessity for this build, and this is one of the few budget motherboards that has on-board wifi. The placement of the usb 3.0 header is also in a terrible spot on most ITX boards, but this one conveniently places is on the side instead of the middle. He's not every planning to overclock, so the H97 was a no-brainer.
GPU. EVGA GTX 960 2GB SSC
My friend was wanting to do some gaming on 1080p and my thoughts immediately went to this guy. I would’ve preferred the MSI 960, but at the time it was $30 more expensive. My brother has this same card and has had no issues, this was a no brainer.
Ram. Crucial Ballistix 8GB 1600
Ram is ram is ram is ram.
SSD. Crucial BX200 240GB I have a Crucial SSD myself and I absolutely love it. I tested it on CrystalDisk and both read and write were >500MB/s. Solid and great looking drive.
PSU. EVGA 650W Gold
I’ve learned in the past year of being on pcpartpicker, that you don’t want to skimp on the psu. Luckily, my friend agreed and we went with a decent piece with upgradability.