CPU: Strong yet stable Core i5. I didn't want the hassle of dealing with an overclockable CPU for this console killer build, just something fast and stable out of the box.
MOTHERBOARD: The ASRock Z87E-ITX is quickly becoming my favorite motherboard for ITX Intel builds. I absolutely LOVE the fact that it has a mSata slot on the underside of the motherboard in relation to the half size mSata slot on the topside of the motherboard (2 for 1)! It also has support for 2400mhz ddr3, a USB 3.0 header, and wireless AC comes standard.
CASE: The Silverstone SG05 is a very versatile ITX case that can house a full size dual slot GPU up to 10"! It has a great following and is my favorite case to build in. The overall build of this system is VERY quiet at idle!
GPU: I wanted to go with the strongest mid range GPU I could find that was low power and would fit in this case nicely. Since I am partial to AMD GPUs for their power, efficiency and price point, I picked out the MSI R7 265 which has 2GB of GDDR5 memory and a 256 bit memory interface. At only 8.74" long this was the perfect card in my opinion to keep temps down yet still managing to outperform the likes of the Xbox One and PS4.
PSU: I went with the Silverstone 300W SFX PSU for this 250W build. This PSU has a quiet and cool feature that only spins the exhaust fan when temps get too high. I threw on a blue Techflex PSU sleeve kit and also used some white 550 paracord to accent with an additional color. It was my first attempt at sleeving which, overall I feel came out OK.
MEMORY: Kingston Fury HyperX 8GB 1866mhz DDR3 in 2x4GB sticks. Solid ram and right in my price range. Although I could bump up to 2400mhz DDR3 in the future.
STORAGE: I'm using a 32GB msata SSD for the OS mounted in the single full height mini PCIe slot on the underside of the motherboard. For media storage I went with a 120GB 2.5" SSD which sits just below the front 120mm chassis fan.
WIFI / BLUETOOTH ADAPTER: Stock wireless AC from ASRock!
OS: Windows 10 Technical Preview (solid and loving the new OS!)
For this $700 build (double the cost of a kinect-less Xbox One) I wanted to have a system that has a high upgrade factor yet would still outperform the best of the next gen consoles on the market. What I set out to do cost a little more than planned in the end but is a super performer and lacks nothing.
I wanted to really see what DirectX 12 has to offer in increasing the performance of AMD's GPUs (which some have stated a 400% increase in overall performance) so I went with the free version of Windows 10 tech preview and plan to ride along with it until consumer production.
Everything ended up fitting in the case once I removed the HDD cage and did some cable routing. Sleeved PSU cables can be very stiff and a pain to work with especially in an ITX build!
Overall I LOVE this PC and would recommend it to anyone wanting a budget $700 build that will beat up on the consoles of today. Thanks for taking the time to check out my console smasher!