Description

I built this PC mainly as a compact gaming machine that would be easy to take to LAN parties and other people's houses. I think I succeeded with this build, with a few minor caveats.

Overall, it was a difficult endeavor fitting everything in the case. As is typical with small builds like this. The case I chose, a Silverstone Sugo SG08, was chosen for it's sleek, minimalist design and also for its small form-factor. I had originally planned to use a Fractal Design Node 304, but I had scrapped that idea because of a lack of an optical drive bay and I preferred the aesthetic of the SG08.

Taking apart the SG08 wasn't hard, but it was more time consuming than I would have preferred. The first and most obvious step was removing the panel that wrapped around the top and sides. This wasn't unlike taking apart an old beige case from 1999. On the inside, Silverstone layered everything in order to fit everything inside of the case. The first thing I had to remove was the large, 180mm Air Penetrator fan that came included in the case. Next up was the optical drive mounting bracket, and then the hard drive mounting bracket. After all was removed, I was able to seat the motherboard.

The motherboard I chose was an ASRock Z87E-ITX motherboard. I chose this motherboard because when I purchased the parts, ASUS had not released a mini ITX motherboard, and this one seemed like the best choice. Another reason why I chose this board was because of the unique mSATA port mounted on the bottom, which I inserted a Plextor M5M 128GB SSD into before mounting. And mounting the motherboard was surprisingly easy, considering the size of the chassis. To try to route the cables a bit, I did hide the two 12v rails under the board.

Next came the CPU and the CPU cooler. I chose a Core i7-4770k for the CPU, mainly for the raw power of the chip and also because I can overclock it. For the cooler, I chose a Silverstone NT06-PRO. It was mainly chosen because of how Silverstone designed the case in regards to thermos (the case is divided into chambers, basically) and because of the clearance of the case. Inserting the CPU was jarring, as is all Intel LGA CPUs, but wasn't hard. However, mounting the CPU cooler was a bit of a pain. To mount the NT06-PRO, you have to rest the CPU cooler on the CPU while you try to mount it with an unattached mounting bracket. Because of this, I would accidentally move the cooler as I tried to mount it, smearing the thermal compound everywhere. It took a few tries to get it mounted, and caused a great deal of irritation.

After this, I mounted the RAM. I had some unbranded DDR3 1333MHz lying around, so to save some cash that could be used elsewhere, I just used that. The ASRock has some nifty RAM sockets that have the lock clip only on one side, with a "slot" for the other, allowing for "easy" upgrades if you have a cramped case and/or a low-hanging CPU cooler.

The next step was probably the worst for me, though, and that was installing the ASUS GTX 780 DirectCU II OC. To start off, I purchased this card because of the fantastic cooling system. The card does stay nice, cool, and quiet, even in the most intense of games. But when I tried inserting the huge card, it wouldn't fit in. After closer investigation, the lip on the inside of the mounting rail prevented the card from going in to the socket correctly (it otherwise would have fit). So to accommodate for this, I had to use a pair of metal shears to cut it out. The result is not very pretty or elegant, but because you cannot see it unless the case is open, it's not very noticeable.

Next came the hard drive installation, which was painless (at least in comparison to the last step). I chose a 2.5" Hitachi Travelstar 1TB. I chose this one mainly for its RPM and cache size, given the physical dimensions of the hard drive.

Next, was mounting the optical drive mount. Well, that didn't happen. The power leads from the video card face up instead of coming out of the back, which prevented me from installing that. As such, I had to return the Silverstone slot-loading blu-ray burner I had picked as the optical drive. In addition, because of the size of the card, I also had to order a new, smaller fan. I chose a Noctua NF-P14, because of its airflow and because it's a 140mm fan with 120mm mounts (as the SG08 only has mounts for 120mm fans).

Cable management is basically non-existent in this build, and that's mainly because there is no room in the case for it. Silverstone, unfortunately, made many of the cables too long, and the power supply that came with the case was non-modular. So I, unfortunately, had to route them as well as I could as I went along.

In addition, I recently came across a free 8GB set of Crucial Ballistix Sport Ultra Low Profile at 1600MHz, so I upgraded it to that. I was hesitant at first, since this RAM is notorious for compatibility issues, but I tried it out and it works great.

On the whole, the build was very time-consuming. There are some things that I wish would have gone better during the build. But I'm quite happy with it. Every game I've thrown at it has run at 60 frames per second at 1080p and ultra settings, so there's that. The one thing I do regret is that most of these parts were purchased when they launched, so I ended up paying more for the build than I should have.

Comments

  • 74 months ago
  • 4 points

Nice build. The only thing I would change is the hard drive. Hitachi is not as trusted as some of the other hard drive brands, such as WD.

  • 74 months ago
  • 4 points

I plan on dropping in a VelociRaptor when I happen upon the cash, actually. The Travelstar was a temporary solution that I had the luck of getting really cheap at Micro Center.

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

If you're going to spend money on a 10kRPM hard drive you might as well get another SSD for the similar price you get superior speed. For storage any 7200k drive from Western Digital or Seagate would be a better choice then Hitachi or Toshiba.

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

You might as well just look into SSD caching for your hard drives. Grab a cheap 32gb ssd and set it as a cache for a more reliable Western Digital or Seagate drive.

This build is ******* awesome.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

My hitachi has been chugging since 2007.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

I've had problems with mine before. I don't know, but I usually have problems with that brand. I just try to avoid Hitachi HDDs.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow. Really packed inside there lol. But nice parts you stuffed that thing with. +1

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

What a great build! Just out of curiosity, are the fans noisy though? Either way, +1 :)

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

It depends on the workload. Under normal use and moderate gaming, it's usually quite quiet. But if I put something on, like say Crysis 2 with a large amount of mods, it can get pretty loud.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

That's not bad :)

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, and nice desktop background!

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks sick!!!

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Please tell me you don't game on that keyboard? I have that exact same keyboard for a media center and the thing has ton of flex.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't, haha. I mainly use an Xbox 360 controller.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Odd question, but where did you get that desk? I've been in search of one like that!

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

I think I bought it at a Target about four years ago. It's certainly not new.

Here's a similar one, but with a bit different styling: http://www.madisonseating.com/desks-contemporary-computer-desk-with-keyboard-tray-and-casters-by-coaster.html?gclid=CPLPpbDDtboCFa47MgodzF4Aug

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

Does the computer come with the desk? I really need a windows 95 pc.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

That is a very nice build. However, it looks to me like the Graphics Card is on a slight angle. Is that due to the modification you had to make, or just bad eyesight on my part?

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

It might be because of the modifications, the angle of the picture, or even because the fans are slightly different sizes. When I last opened it, it looked like it was seated correctly.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Is that a Daft Punk pun

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

NICE!

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Are the anntenae in the back coming out of the IO shield part of the motherboard?

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

No, they aren't a part of the motherboard and can be replaced/removed if necessary.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you use our own antennas for that motherboard? Im considering buying the same mobo but hate the one it comes with.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Kind of. I used them from an old PCI WiFi card I retired a while ago. You can still get the antennas separately on Amazon for a few dollars a piece if the included antenna doesn't suit your fancy.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, I'm looking into a build with this case (the lite version) and I was looking for help before I buy my parts.

Maybe you can help me - I want to squeeze a PowerColor R9 290 into this case. It's a fat card - nearly 2.5 slots. It measures 46 mm and probably 2-3 of that is the backplate. Think it will fit? It will be close!

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

At 46mm, which is about 1.8", it will likely not fit. My card is 1.6" wide (about 41mm), and I needed to cut into the case to make it fit.

If you're willing to look for something like this version...

http://www.powercolor.com/us/products_features.asp?id=523#Specification

...then it should fit.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I ended up getting that one. It JUST fits. Thanks for your answer! The card I got it a little shorter off the MB than yours, but fatter. The side of the case touches it, but only barely.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

I have this case and have just finished my build. Full size graphics cards are a right pain trying to plug into this case although once in look amazing. Quality system and case you got there though v nice.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Good looking build. Very similar to what I have in mind this year. My wishlist is at http://pcpartpicker.com/p/QRnMdC. I've gone for the GTX 970 mini. I know the SG08 can take a full sized gpu but I'm trying to keep as much room inside it as possible for cable management etc. I'm also gonna be keeping it inside a desk which I'll mod to add intake/exhaust fans. How are you finding your temps? I cant decide on a CPU cooler as there as now so many on the market. I'm looking at probably the Noctua but also a few Scythe ones. Good call on the case!

  • 74 months ago
  • -2 points

All of that awesome hardware...... and then a 1920 x 1080p monitor.

  • 74 months ago
  • 9 points

yes because we can all afford a 550+ dollar monitor.

  • 74 months ago
  • -3 points

He's already spent 1800 dollars.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

So by that logic someone who spent $300,000 for a Ferrari should go ahead an buy a $200,000 motorcycle to go with it?

  • 70 months ago
  • 0 points

Not at all. That doesn't even make sense. What I was saying would be more like buying a Ferrari chassis and then proceed to put a smart car motor inside of it.

If he can afford a $700 GPU he can afford a $300 2560x1440p monitor from China.

  • 70 months ago
  • 2 points

You fail to realize that he may spent all that he had saved for a computer on making a good computer with a $700 GPU. As in, a guy who spent all his money on buying a ferrari chassis, and then choosing to go with a regular motor as he had nothing left to waste on a better one. Unless you are OP, you have no right to say what he can and can't afford.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

I know I've failed to properly reply to this in a timely manner, but here's how it goes. First off, the "monitor" in question is actually a TV. I bought it as a quick replacement for my old monitor that decided HDMI wasn't worth the effort and quit accepting input. It was the best thing Wal-mart had at the time, and was conveniently on sale for a lower price than the dedicated monitors (which were also 1080p). I had originally planned on getting a 29" LG UltraWide much later in the build, but after spending a good amount of time calibrating the TV to my liking, I decided to save some money and just stick with it. The image is surprisingly great for a budget TV. But I don't really need the extra resolution, as I sit a bit further away, and I don't need the response time of a dedicated monitor, as I don't play anything twitch-based.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

What if I said I already have? Because I have.