Description

This is my first build since messing around with computers in the late 90's, early 00's.

I have been using my I7 2.0GHz with Nvidia 710m 2gb laptop for gaming over the past few years and thought it was time for a change.

Most parts were purchased from Mwave in Sydney after doing much price comparing. They're almost identical to PcCaseGear in price, without the added postage being a Sydney resident myself.

I was surprised how easy the build was, the only complicated part was doing cable management in such a small case, but it worked out alright in the end as there are a few channels to run cables and spaces to hide excess.

Case: I really wanted to go for something that could be easily transported around the house or to a casual lan, so I went for the Corsair 250D after much research. I like the design and the room for a full size gpu and aio liquid cooling. Cable management was made somewhat easier by using a fully modular psu, though wrangling a stiff 24pin cable in a small space is still a trick. Most of the cables were able to be partially hidden in the spare 3.5" drive bay, and are barely visible with the optical drive installed.

Cpu and ram: Bought as a combo from Mwave for the right price. Went for the i7 6700K for the overclocking potential and future proofing, and the ram was a no brainer with the 16gb DDR4 2400.

Motherboard: This took a little time to decide, and the Asus Z170i pro-gaming board won over Gigabyte and MSI due to features and cable accessibility relating to the 250D. The bios was easy to work with, though I don't seem to be able to get the xmp profile to stick with 2400Hz rather than the base 2133Hz. Any suggestions would be appreciated on this one. I can't stress enough how much this mobo helped with cable management, if you're like me and don't want a whole lot of cables running over your board (like the Gigabyte/Evga/MSI alternatives with Z170i) then go for this one. It fits well, the back plate is stylish, and you get hd audio/wifi/8 x usb ports inc 2 x usb3.1.

Cpu cooling: I was originally going to use the Corsair GTX 100i, but the hoses seem really stiff and hard to maneuver plus the rad/fan combo looked like it was pushing up against other peoples mobos. The Thermaltake water 3.0 Riing 240 has been a good choice so far with installation being super easy, the fans having 256 colours to choose from, and the rad/fan width sits a huge 1mm away from my motherboard. So far the cooler keeps the cpu around 23c idle (even with an ambient temp of 38c, thanks Australia!) and 56c under stress test load with the fans pulling in cool air through the rad. I do plan to overclock and given how hot it gets in summer here I'm happy with the purchase.

Power supply: It's Corsair, it's fully modular, and it's got enough juice for the system. Fits perfectly into the 250D with the intake fan sitting directly over the bottom fan filter.

Gpu: I was originally looking at the Gigabyte GTX 980 ti xtreme, but the Evga FTW edition won on price being $165 cheaper with almost identical specs. It chews through games that wouldn't even open on my laptop, thoroughly impressed with how it performs, will see how the temps go in the small case.

Optical Drive: Fits flush with the case, and blends nicely with the black colour scheme. Some may find the bezel for this drive doesn't go all the way into the 250D at first, you kind of have to shoe-horn the last bit in to lift the top piece of the case slightly.

Storage: The 500gb Evo series SSD seemed to be the best price for performance drive out there, and while the Z170i has an M.2 slot I didn't think it necessary at this stage to make use of it. The 2tb HDD additional is plenty for my needs as most of my "data" is on external drives. Currently using a program called Steam Mover to make switching my larger games back and forth between HDD and SSD easier, I would definitely recommend it.

Case fans: I upgraded the 140mm stock fan to a Noctua industrial 2000rpm, which sucks air with minimal noise like nobody's business. I found the 80mm x 15mm exhaust fans on ebay. All are 3 pin fans and they work great in dc mode on a curve. These are running off a Deepcool fan hub which is mounted in the rear right corner of the case. The air flow is great even with the front panel in place.

Peripherals: UPDATE I caved and bought an Acer Predator XB270HU 27" IPS G-Sync 1440p 144Hz monitor. It is truly amazing the difference between this one and my previous Samsung S24D300H 24.0" TN 1080p, like night and day. Pretty sure I hit the jackpot with this monitor as there were no dead pixels and no discernible light bleed/backlight glow, as many reviews I have read indicate that those two defects being fairly common. The keyboard and mouse seemed like a good fit and are very comfortable to use. After downloading the software for the keyboard and mouse I was able to match the lighting in both to the purple I have set the rad fans to.

Overall I'm really happy with how this has gone together, and if there is any advice you can offer I'd be more than happy to hear it, same with questions relating to the parts/build.

Photos aren't particularly good due to being taken with a phone camera.

That feeling you get when Witcher 3 and Fallout 4 immediately detect ultra settings is pretty sweet.

UPDATE: Well the motherboard died, and after two weeks of waiting the RMA came through and the board got repaired. I rebuilt the system and updated the parts list to include the cablemod cables which made management so much easier/neater and 80mm Nocuta Redux fans to replace the noisy cheap ones I previously had.

Update: In order to house the nearly 700gb of games in my steam and gog accounts I picked up a 1tb Samsung 850 evo ssd, leaves my boot ssd free to house other programs needed.

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Comments

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for fellow power-packed mini-itx build

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Fantastic. Simply fantastic.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :)

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice power pc gamer. +1

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I really like your Collegiate Honor Society reward build, looks great.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man. I've got nothing on this though.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Every thing was going so well on this build, then of Monday it wouldn't post/boot, tried numerous tests and finally came to the conclusion that the motherboard was the cause of the issue. Had to pull it all apart and contact to supplier for warranty purposes. sigh

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

Oh crud. That really sucks. Sorry that has happened to you. Don't let it get you down. Store bought units break as well. Here's to a speedy RMA.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Finally got the mobo back and rebuilt the system. Thankfully everything seems to be working fine.

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Are you still happy with the cooler & motherboard & case here?

Assembling mine right now - similar parts, except I went with the H100i (stupidly) hoping that the "v2" had improvements over all the comments about the struggles with the GTX. It doesn't fit / can't see a way to make it work without reversing it and eliminating / reducing the front fan, which seems like a bad option for case airflow.

Planning to order this Thermaltake AIO. Seems like it worked well for you...?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I'm still really happy with how it functions in my build. It was quite easy to install, it's quiet, and the rgb lighting suits my case. The rad/fan total width is still a tight fit but does work, if you want something even slimmer you could try this one https://www.pccasegear.com/products/33231/silverstone-tundra-td02-slim-aio-liquid-cpu-cooler

Are you able to return the H100i you bought?

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

I am! Just installed the the Thermaltake AIO last night and it works great - much better fit than the Corsair H100i. (E.g. it actually works)

Build is all set now... only challenge is that the MSI Gaming X 1080 I put in - while it fits just barely - doesn't fit with the vertical power connectors sticking out of the top. Need to figure out what to do about that... an angled connector might barely work (TBD), otherwise will need to return this case for something else...

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent, glad to hear it worked for you.

With the PCI-E power cables I had a similar clearance issue, that the 5.25" bay impeded them being installed. I was able to get them to fit with my 980 ti but it wasn't great. I eventually picked up some sleeved cables from Cablemod and they fit now with plenty of clearance. Corsair have sleeved cables as well, you could probably find the specific PCI-E cable you need on Ebay or Amazon. They are much more flexible than stock cables provided, photo 18 & 19 will give you an idea of how they fit.

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build and nice description too! I know what you mean about cable/connector management on mITX boards, I had MSI board in this case before and it was a mare to get all those cables around, almost impossible to build a neat system, current ASRock board is so much better in that part- SATA ports on the side, fan connectors on the side, the only difficult part is 24pin connector which goes around on the est part of the board, but otherwise ASRock is a very good choice too!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :) yeah I've noticed that ASrock have released a new high level LGA1151 itx board, it looks pretty sweet with a similar plug layout to the Asus variant I have. Running an X99 itx system would be great if I could make use of all the cores. I'm sure you'll have no trouble powering through any task with that pascal titan and an X99.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! I would have personally changed the water cooler... +1

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, which cooler would you of used?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Personally I would have used x61 Kraken (Best watercooler on the market) or The H110i gtx for the same price and even better performance and temps.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

If I'd gone with a mid-tower set up then a 280mm rad like the H110i and X61 would of been the way to go, but the 250d can only take a 240mm setup which made the Thermaltake a decent choice as it ticked all the boxes and had a $35 discount plus a free game.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah I see now. I forgot the radiator size. I would have gone with the h100i gtx (240mm). I see the discount now...

  • 47 months ago
  • 3 points

As a matter of fact, I wish to build a system very similar to this (actually, get my hubby to do it. lol) but all the info I have gathered says that the H100i GTX wont fit with this mother board. To make it fit others have used thinner fans which I have been told don't provide the necessary air flow for a radiator.

With this in mind, is there another radiator you could recommend?

  • 47 months ago
  • 3 points

This is one of the reasons I didn't use the H100i https://au.pcpartpicker.com/b/TQr7YJ sure it's a good AIO cooler but with the Corsair 250D it's just too wide and the hoses are too stiff.