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Budget Build i3 7100 and 1050 ti in a Thermaltake Core V1 case

by Bobbypdue


I built this computer for fun. The aim was to do a sub $600 build without the OS. I got close.

I could have built it cheaper, but I didn't want to get any lower quality parts that might have issues in the future.

I really like the case: Thermaltake Core V1. I've built two computer in the case and it's just such a good form factor. The case could use some improvements: better drive brackets and more room for drives. I think offsetting the power supply and including a bracket for an SFX power supply would allow for a better drive mounting solution.

Part Reviews


It's a good performing CPU in this price range. It came with a stock cooler, but I had an extra Cryorig C7 I had swapped out with an AIO laying around.

CPU Cooler

Great cooler for height limited cases. I didn't test it against the stock cooler, but I've read its cooling capacity is better and is quieter than stock. It's a close fit either touching or nearly touching some motherboard components.


Great motherboard especially for the price I paid which was $88. I wished it had USB 3.1 type C and another fan header, but it has everything else I could want. It's a handsome motherboard with a quality feel. The WiFi is quite good, too.


It's great looking RAM. I wished the prices haven't gotten so high, but that isn't that company's fault that makes/sells this RAM.


It's a classic HDD at a great price with reasonable performance.

Video Card

I think it's the best graphics card it its price range not having a run and manage a power cable to it was awesome. It ran two or three year old games easily at 1080p, but more recent titles needed to have the settings turned down to be enjoyable. If I was saving money to buy parts for a new computer I would save up an additional $50 - $60 for a 1060 3GB or go without a SSD instead. The card is a good entry level video card and probably would be the absolute minimum card I would buy for a computer used for gaming.


I really like this case and it's the second computer I've built in it. It took me a while to get all the cables run to their components and dressed, but after doing it once the second time took me 1/4 of the time. I built the computer and did the cable management in just over a hour. It such a great size. I wished Thermaltake would sell a slightly better version, though with better storage brackets and more space for drives. I don't know why the power supply was placed in the middle if it was placed to the side drives might be able to be mounted horizontally which would be easier and allow more storage.

Power Supply

Great quality for the price. Having black modular cables make the build look much cleaner than if it had non-modular ketchup and mustard cables. The power supply feels well made and some parts of it look just like their more expensive PSUs.

Operating System

Downloaded the IOS image from Microsoft and it's a very easy and quick install compared to disks.


Optane really makes it feel like a much more expensive computer. The first time anything is loaded it feel like it's running from a HDD, but the second time it's much faster. I haven't measured the boot times, but they are much quicker than before I had installed Optane.

The installation of Optane can be difficult there are all kinds of things that can keep it from working and the error messages aren't helpful at all. The first step was to make sure the BIOS detected the Optane module which needed a BIOS update. I wasn't able to get MSI's BIOS updater to work until I activated Windows. I'm not 100% sure the activation was the issue, but it seemed to work right after I activated Windows. Once the BIOS was updated I had to look up the correct settings and once it was set I was sure it was going to work, but it didn't I got another error from Intel's Optane software. Turns out installing the software is the last thing you do and if you install it too soon it won't work until it's uninstalled and reinstalled.

Comments Sorted by:

Fraglepuss 2 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

Youree the first person ive seen with an optane SSD. Any good?

Also nice mini build! :) +1

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

It really seems to speed up boot times, thought I haven't taken the time to use a stop watch with it on and with it off.

Fraglepuss 2 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

Nice, enjoy!

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 2 points 14 months ago

I'll test it in the next couple of days with and without Optane turned on and I'll let you know the difference.

Fraglepuss 2 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

Interesting, yeh do it. Also general usage would be nice to know. For instance how responsive the system day to day. Im sure it will be good, ive heard positive results

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

From shut down to being able to log in:

16.5 seconds with Optane turned on 20.12 seconds with Optane turned off

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago


wampflerman 1 Build 2 points 14 months ago

I am in the process of building a similar system to this, but with a z370 itx board and a i3-8100, nice build!

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Very nice! I bet it's going to kick butt.

Somerando 0 points 14 months ago

I would recommend either waiting for B360 motherboards to come out or get an 8350K. Z series mother boards are usually about double the price of a standard B or H series motherboards and that is because of overclocking.

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 2 points 14 months ago

The problem is no consumer knows when they will be getting the B or H boards and the 8100 seems to be the only widely available processor that's being sold close to MSRP. Perhaps wampflerman just wants to put together an eighth gen computer. Maybe they intend to upgrade to another processor when more come available or the price goes down. I considered it myself, but the high cost of RAM is holding me back right now. I assumed since they said they are in the process of building they already have the parts so telling them to wait isn't going to help.

wampflerman 1 Build 2 points 14 months ago

I'm building it for someone else, the board i chose has a lot of cool features (like dual LAN) and it will allow him to upgrade in the future. (as long as intel stops their compatability crap..) That was also the only ITX board available at a reasonable price. All he does is play WoW so it is going to be plenty powerful for him.

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Intel has been requiring a new motherboard every two generations for years. I've upgraded CPUs every three years or so and every time I've upgraded in the past 20 years I've had to buy a new motherboard. I was never salty about it because I wanted the new features the new motherboards had anyway. If a person buys a 8th gen Intel CPU and motherboard they will still be able to use that same motherboard for the 9th gen CPU's and into 2019 and perhaps even 2020.

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leo_systemex 2 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

Nice build. Used that case for almost one year with a 1050ti and later a 1070. Cpu is a 6700 with a Noctua U9S. Never needed exhaust fans ;) It just needs a dust protector in the video card in my opinion, there was some accumulated on my system.

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

I hear you about the exhaust fans, but I just hated how it looked and thought maybe it would reduce the temperatures during the hot summers here.

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

I'll keep an eye on dust build-up.

stan47 2 points 14 months ago

Nice build benchmarks????

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

I'll work on it, which ones would you like to see?

stan47 2 points 14 months ago

Ah maybe Skyrim,gta 5 or some known triple a game

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

I actually don't have GTA 5, but I'll run all the built in benchmarks I have. And I'll let you know what I get. I'll aim to get it done by next week. I might swap in a 7350k, 7600k and 7700k that I have, too to see how much of a difference it makes. Thought that will take a lot of time. So maybe two weeks.

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

I posted benchmarks in a separate comment.

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caiokn 2 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

Nice build, congrats! I don't see where you put the M2 stick, is it on the back of the mobo?

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Thanks! The Optane modules is indeed on the back of the motherboard. If I can remember I'll remove the power supply and take a picture of it.

caiokn 2 Builds 2 points 14 months ago

Oh, don't worry about that, I was just curious.

Is heat an issue when in heavy usage situations? I was considering getting a M2 SSD but since this case barely offers any ventilation under the mobo I was worried it could lose performance due to heat building up.

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 2 points 14 months ago

I have another computer with a 1TB Samsung 960 Evo on the back of the motherboard and I have had zero issues. I used the computer in the summer when it was much hotter and I had no issues then either. M.2 could be the best thing for builders in a long time. No additional cables to run makes installing them so easy, you just need to remember to install them first since they'll rarely if ever be in the way during the build, but their slots can be obstructed by CPU cooler and graphics cards.

The speed of is really good especially the Samsung 960 series NVMe M.2's. Of course cost is always a consideration and that's the one downside of the M.2.

caiokn 2 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

Thx for replying. Guess I'll be ordering an M.2 stick soon if heat is not an issue. Although costly, I don't really need more than 120 GB for my system drive, and having less cables in such a small case like the Core V1 is always a good thing :)

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 2 points 14 months ago

I swapped out the processor to see how much performance could be gained with a 7350K I had on hand and I took a picture of the M.2 slot with an installed Optane module. I forgot to add the pictures, though. I'll get them up here, soon.

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

I couldn't remove the bottom of the case since I had adhesive zip-tie tie-downs attached to the bottom panel so I can't remove that panel.

MP3MAN04 2 points 9 months ago

I made a similar build ith this with optane and mp500 ssd but 8th gen, and same case

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Which 8th gen CPU did you use?

MP3MAN04 1 point 8 months ago


Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Very nice!

MP3MAN04 1 point 7 months ago

But I want to do a ryzen 2700x build too!

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

I'm working on one right now. I've put all the part together for testing and I'll be putting them in the case tomorrow.

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

3d Mark scores

  • Graphics score 7865
  • Physics score 6599
  • Combined score 2732

Unigen Heaven Benchmark 4.0

  • DirectXD11
  • 1080P
  • Quality: High
  • Tessellation: Normal

  • Average FPS: 65.1

  • Min: 12.1
  • Max: 145.2
  • Score: 1640

Tom Clancy's The Division:

  • Auto Settings
  • Avg FPS: 72.2
  • Avg CPU: 68%
  • Avg: 77%

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Wildands

Preset: Medium

  • Avg FPS: 51.5, Min 42, Max 59.7
  • CPU: 61.9%, Min: 43.6, Max: 100.0%
  • GPU: 99%, Min: 97.8, Max: 99%

Rise of The Tomb Raider

Default auto settings:

  • Mountain Peak FPS: 55.54 Avg, Min: 29, Max 99.53

  • Syria: 49.30 FPS, Min: 21.97, Max: 78.04

  • Geothermal Valley: 48.65 FPS, Min 6.26, Max: 7305

  • Overall score: 51.26 FPS


  • UserBenchmarks: Game 41%, Desk 66%, Work 35%
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-7100 - 69.8%
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti - 39.7%
  • SSD: Intel Optane+931G 1TB - 119.9%
  • SSD: HP S 700 Pro 512GB - 74.5%
  • RAM: Unknown 2400 C16 Series 2x4GB - 79%
marctonico 1 point 14 months ago

Oh boy, it's gorgeous! I'm building the same rig but going with Ryzen 3 instead of Intel. What games are you playing? Is it loud?

Can't wait to start assembling everything

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 1 point 14 months ago

Thanks for the compliment! I really put some time into cable management and I think it paid off.

I’m playing WoW, The Division, Wildlands, Doom, Fallout 4, when I have time but mostly I play: conference calls: elite and spread sheets: ultra ;)

I’ve been moving parts around to see how the benchmarks are affected. It’s pretty quiet, though I’ve swapped out the Cryorig CPU cooler to try out the stock intel cooler and I notice the stock cooler has a higher pitch which is more noticeable, but it’s got to be the easiest cooler to attach. You simply set it over the CPU lining the pegs of the cooler with the holes on the motherboard and just press down on the pegs. That’s it. If someone would make a much more refined cooler that attached the same way I would image it would be very popular.

PickleBeetJuice 1 point 8 months ago

Great build I am saving for a computer right now but for thirty more dollars you could have gotten a 1060 3gb other than that pretty swell build

Bobbypdue submitter 1 Build 2 points 7 months ago

At the time the 1050 ti was $159 and the 1060 3gb was $200ish. For $50ish more the 1060 3gb is a much better video card, but I was going for a low cost build and the 1050 ti was a better match for the i3 7100. I upgraded the computer to an i5 7400 and a 1060 3gb and then sold it.