Description

Built this for my wife so that she would have a dedicated machine for playing video games, instead of having to negotiate the use of my Skylake mITX build. With recent holiday deals on parts, it came together as one of the cheapest and most capable builds I've done from scratch.

Some commentary about some key parts, issues that cropped up, or why I chose them (on top of the reviews in the section below):

CPU: Ryzen 5 2600 - a very capable CPU, great for a budget-conscious builder. Used the stock cooler with this and I'm quite happy - it's very quiet overall. The only issues I had with the stock cooler: 1) the board came with a normal AMD HSF bracket installed, so I had to remove that so that this one could be screwed on; and 2) the fan is a little large, and the direction I initially chose blocked a RAM slot, so I had to rotate the HSF 180 degrees (honestly, no big deal)

Board: Gigabyte B450 Aorus Pro WIFI - I could have probably saved some money here with a more budget-friendly Asrock board, but I've encountered some issues with their boards and support previously, so I wanted to kind of head that off from the get-go. Didn't use the built-in M2 slot for an SSD, but I could definitely see the advantages (fewer cables to route, for one). The board seems perfectly stable, easy to set up, no big issues here.

GPU: XFX Radeon RX570 - my wife hasn't been playing games that are too demanding, and since she was using my machine (running an R9 380X), this would at least be a tiny upgrade

(Sorry for the absence of interior photos - forgot to grab some as we were building it)

Part Reviews

Case

A very nice mITX case for only $50. As far as size goes, I'd say it's about 2/3rd the size of my Corsair 250D. The PSU at the front is kind of nice, since it keeps clearance in the back for CPU coolers. It also has room for an optical drive, if you so desire that. In my case, the optical bay became a place to shove cabling for the front headers, where were somewhat on the longer side, considering the case size.

As for working inside: I think the 3.5" drive bays on the right, vertical face would be somewhat difficult to install, since you have to hold them awkwardly as you screw them into the case. They may also present some cable-routing issues if you use all of the bays. For my build, I just used the central 3.5" bay for a single HDD and a side bay for a 2.5" SSD. The case has a pretty good array of places to tie cabling down. Big pluses for this case: included dust filters and a nice and quiet rear fan.

Power Supply

Great for a simple, mid-range gaming rig. 450W is more than enough. Semi-modular cabling was nice - at least I could keep the molex connectors out of the case. It's also quiet and 80+ Bronze. I took a star off only due to its somewhat limited modular cabling - for example, all the SATA power cables are on a single line, which limits the overall utility of having a modular supply.

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Comments

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Nice build. I'm looking to do something similar

  • 28 days ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. To date, it's been a great setup - quiet, cheap, and fairly powerful; plus the small size lets it sit on a 13" wide shelf below my wife's desk.