Description

As my Itsy Bitsy Budget build of 2016 faded in it's glory I had been wondering what my next step would be. I upgraded hard drives, ram, and other parts here and there until I finally gave up on the H110 motherboard, 6th gen CPU, and 1060 and decided to make something fresh. I re-built the PC in the same case, but with a new boot drive. Prices on some of the drives have been lost in obscurity as many of them were salvage from years past.

After the dust settled I found I had created something that was not such an itsy bitsy budget anymore, but instead a tough little PC that eats up even the hard to run games and programs I have. The 6 cores on the i5 are much appreciated and well used in games and programs that are CPU heavy. For anything the CPU doesn't handle, that 1080 mini will do just fine with.

So here is the updated list, the build resurrected. The transformation result of my obsession. The tangled mess that is the itsy bitsy powerhouse.

Part Reviews

CPU

A robust little CPU, capable of handling CPU heavy games and some medium workloads. Still bench marking it, but it's been great so far. If you can fit it in your budget, it's worth it over previous gen and lower tier CPUs.

Motherboard

Works like a charm. I'm not an overclocker, so something simple was all I really needed. Went a step up from the H110 I had previously and I am glad for it. Easy bios, not much fuss about anything during the whole installation process. Very compact though, so if you aren't great in a tight space you might want something bigger to work with.

Memory

My old ram, still kicking strong. I got it on the cheap years ago and it's still kicking. it works, that's all.

Memory

The ran upgrade to my build. Just a little boost on top of my previous 8GB. It works well with my 8GB stick of Crucial 2133, and the only difference I noted was that they mounted backwards compared to each other. Nothing big, just don't expect them all to face the same way if you mix and match like I do. This is a good little stick of ram, if you can get it for the right price.

Storage

My old 2016 boot drive re-purposed for video games. Still kicking strong after years of abuse. Not the fastest you can get, but cheap and reliable.

Storage

Got it as a new boot drive, and it works quite well. Installing windows on it was quick and clean. Speeds are good so far, we'll see if it lasts like it's predecessors.

Storage

My boot from my 2015 PC. The first PC I built at home. The SSD is a little newer than the old build, and now it lives in my newest build holding video games. Still kicking on all four cylinders, it's not top of the line but it gets the job done.

Storage

An old salvage drive from computers long past. It mostly stores game files that I'm not currently using. In the current market a larger capacity is better value, but I already had this one lying around so why not use it, right?

Storage

I bought the 5TB earlier this year due to getting a Humble subscription and running out of space. It holds a wealth of video games and old files. I like the nostalgic HDD noises it makes when spinning up. It reminds me of good times. If you're looking for a quiet drive, this is not it. The Big T will carry any files you need it to, but stealth is not an option.

Video Card

The best graphics card I've ever purchased. I've only bought a few in my time, but this one sure is nice. It lights up all purdy like and can run anything I've thrown at it, including No Man's Sky, which is quite the feat given the game's less than optimal optimization. Most games hit my imposed frame caps and stay steady at 2560x1080 75hz. Might be time to upgrade to 1440p soon.

Case

The good ol mini bombshell. The sticker over the logo is still stuck. The bright blue lights on the side panel IO are still covered so they don't blind me. And the case is still razor sharp if you hold it wrong. As far as cases go, this little cutie is one I stand by. It has weathered much abuse with grace. And the original sagging side panel problem went away when the case heated and cooled a few times, leaving the perfect proportions for my new motherboard to mount with all screws instead of just four like the original one it held. It just got better with age, and they don't usually do that.

Power Supply

I bought it in a hurry years ago because it was cheap and reliable. It turned out to be reliable, and has saved me money on a new PSU plenty of times. Quite handy, and fully modular is always nice. EVGA is the only PSU brand I use now. They've gained a repeat customer because of their quality products.

Comments

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build, I will probably be using the parts list.

How difficult is the case to mount parts in? I've read some bad reviews on Amazon that say it's very tiny and difficult to use.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Any small form factor case should be purchased with the express knowledge that it is going to be small. Anyone who buys something like a micro SD and complains it's too small is being dumb right? Same thing here. If you want something small you're getting something small. It is definitely a small form factor, and you can't put notably heavy parts in it. This list is light weight and all manages to cram into the case. This is not an easy build though. Be ready for a challenge if you get a micro ATX case, especially a Bitfenix one. My biggest complaint of the entire case was that there are SSD mounts on the side panel and a HDD mount that you have to remove to work on or install the mobo, then replace to add HDDs. So when you have to work on it, you have to unplug your hard drives just to get to the rest of the PC. It's not the sort of PC for people who want it easy, but if you have done stuff like it before it's simple and easy to work with. I have swapped hard drives so many times in this case that it's actually not that bad for me anymore. I did a two hour build in it, which is unheard of for someone who moves as slowly as I do. So it's not that the case is deserving of a bad review, it's just that some people are not ready for it yet. If I built my very first PC in this case, I would have hated it. Luckily my first PC was in a Thermaltake L10 GT Snow, one of the biggest, easiest, flashiest beginner cases you could possibly buy.

TL;DR: It's supposed to be small, either be prepared for a challenge or get a bigger case.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

What about the temps on stock cooler

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

It has never failed me, so until now I haven't really thought to test it. Ran a couple benchmarks just to know. While running the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark GPU hits 70, and CPU hits 63. Both were at or near 100% and hit their max fairly quickly. Multiple runs of the benchmark held similar results. I know I could get that CPU to heat up more if I really pushed it with a multi-core workload, but I doubt I could cause it to thermal throttle which is all I'm concerned about. Edit: Just ran a 64core synthetic bench on Userbenchmark, was able to max it out at 71 degrees. I'll link the full results in another comment if possible.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

The RAM seems to be the PC's limiting factor, but it hasn't really held me back yet so I won't be upgrading it just yet.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Did some projected results in Userbenchmark and a RAM upgrade wouldn't actually change much for my performance anyway. Even though I know I am not currently running dual channel.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

ok was wondering if the the stock cooler was good enough for me

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

If you aren't overclocking, and your airflow is right. It works quite well. It does make some noise though, and under full load it can get annoying if you are in a super quiet room. It's always loud in my PC room, so I don't notice all that much.

If you're gaming only, it won't be an issue. If you are stress testing with 64 core benchmarks, it'll heat up and make some noise. If you're streaming it'll be working hard, but not that hard. If you're using editing programs, it'll work harder. But I can currently use my entire suite of programs simultaneously and the stock cooler keeps it going smoothly. I can run multiple games at once and it doesn't even stutter. One day I left No Man's Sky running in the background on accident and didn't even notice for about 4 hours, and that game is definitely a CPU hog.

If you plan on overclocking literally anything in your PC, get a better CPU cooler. It doesn't have to be expensive either. Budget options like the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo are still viable options. If you want you could link me to your build and I can give you advice about it.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Eh i changed my mind i think i might go with either amd r7 2nd gen or amd r7 3rd(if it releases)

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Ryzen 7 is super great, if that's what you're talking about. It's a super duper platform. At first I thought you had gone on a tangent about the R7 GPUs, and I was about to warn you that they are quite outdated. My old R9 is even out of date these days. But yeah, Ryzen 7 is much better for content creation, and close for gaming. I'm sure the new gen will do both better.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Part of the reason I went stock is the limited case space in this build. Having that open for airflow is more beneficial than filling it with a bigger cooler that would barely even fit and even then might bump the extra HDDs. If you have more space for a better cooler, it's usually much quieter and more efficient than stock coolers.

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  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, man. The Prodigy series really speaks to me. I haven't found anything as aesthetically pleasing yet. I'm hoping more case manufacturers come out with cases with non-standard feet like the fins on this case. I'm thinking in years to come I'll be looking for a new case, but that's a long way out now that I got this lil bombshell put together.