Description

This is my first build guide, and my first Mini-ITX build. Since I've been traveling a bit, I wanted to build something small and compact. I was tempted to go M-ATX, but decided that the size wasn't worth a larger chassis. Plus, I kind of wanted to build something small anyway.

I spent a lot of time researching what I wanted. And gods, was it a long, epic tale. It took me two days to finish building this, due to some user error, trying out a couple of cooler configurations, that sort of thing. Overall I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

I decided to get a Fractal Design Core 500 after seeing it in person. Perfect size for me, somewhat bigger than the 304, but you can put in a water cooler more easily in this case (more on that later). You could also put in a DVD player, which I wanted, but... well, I couldn't fit it.

As I said, I originally intended to install a DVD player, as well as a 1 TB Western Digital 3.5" drive. I could not fit them because of cable routing coupled with the CPU cooler I got.

The CPU cooler is probably the least-researched item I purchased. Living in Taiwan, things go out of stock here sometimes. I was originally going to buy a smaller cooler, but they were sold out, and the guy offered the Corsair 80iGT instead. I took it, not realizing how huge the thing actually is.

This CPU cooler is virtually impossible to install in a top-mount configuration. However, I found that it fits well in a rear-mount configuration. I used both fans in an exhaust configuration, and I moved the Core 500's stock fan to the top, in the only place it would go: where the DVD player would go. This would be an intake.

Because the tubes are fairly stiff, and large, and the unit itself being so large, the cable management was quite a chore. I think it's a mess, but I did my best to zip tie everything and keep airflow a top priority.

Oh, this was also my first attempt at cable sleeving. I wanted to use parachute cord, but couldn't find any here, so I used some other stuff that I found in the hardware stores here. I kind of like the outcome, even though nobody will end up seeing it anyway, since the case is windowless.

For storage I took an ezlink SDD, 250 gig drive. It's not on the parts list here, so I left it out, but it seems comparable to other brands out there.

Ram is two 4 gig sticks of A-Data 2400 DDR4 ram. i5-6500 processor. I don't overclock, but figured I might as well get a z-170 board, and the MSI Gaming Pro AC was the best choice for me. I was going to go for a Gigabyte Gaming 5, but the Sata connections on the Gigabyte face 90 degrees out towards where the power supply would be, and that would make it nearly impossible to use any of the Sata connections. Therefore, I bought the MSI.

Video card. I'm not much of a hard-core gamer, but I did want to be able to play Fallout 4 and the new Mirror's Edge game when it comes out. So I got a Gigabyte 970, turbo model. I chose the turbo fan model since I heard (and read) that it helps keeps the temps low by blowing hot air out the back of the case, and not necessarily into the system.

I think that's it. I hope you guys like the photos. I don't have a real camera, so I used my iPhone. Tried to make the lighting as good as I could make it. I also made a build video, which i'll be editing over the weekend.

Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

nice build but the cable management needs a little work. but it makes sence cause it is a small case

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Pretty slick I am going for a very similar build.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice, let us know how it turns out!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

So far so good haven't really played much yet but she fired up first time no issues

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Firing it up the first time is always a "please work omg please work" moment. Even when I know I did everything right, you never really know if something got messed up internally during shipping until you fire it up.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Next time you build a PC, the outside of the Anti-Static bag can cause ESD and short the motherboard, I recommend building it on the box the MoBo came in instead

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, maybe some custom case painting would spicen it up a bit. +1

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. I plan to use the same cooler with the same processor.

Do you use the H80i GT to pull cold air in or pull hot air out?

Cheers!

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! I'm using the same case and cooler, well 80i. I ended up using the same orientation. It's pretty much the only option with this cooler and case combo. I ordered some Noctua 15mm fans to try out as they have similar specs to the Phanteks I initially decided on. I'll have to see if the added space is worth the lessened aesthetics, lol. I was able to fit the blu-ray and 3.5 drive, however. It's possible, if you have the upper tube slot under the HDD and the bottom tube come up between the space between the top tube and radiator...if that makes any sense.

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