Description

Hey partpickers,

[WALL OF TEXT FOLLOWS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK]

*Sorry about the $&#@% pictures. Camera phone...

As I said in the title, this is my first build. I'm an ex-console gamer and an old macbook user (please, no thumbs down already!), but I recently gave up console gaming after deciding I wasn't willing to pay for another xbox. I started out by bootcamping my macbook, and barely being able to play games on low settings, so I decided I'd build myself a console replacement and get off the apple wagon. While I do still like my macbook for simple tasks, I can't stand the apple mindset of trying to crush any competition and stifling creativity. Enough with the ranting though...

I decided I'd save up some cash and see if I could get a boxing day sale or two for my build. My budget was somewhat flexible, but I was trying to keep it around the $1300-$1400 range. As you can see, I went slightly over budget, but I had a specific parts set in mind.

Quick breakdown of components:

CPU: No brainer for me. Wanted to OC, and as I am mainly playing games, I went with the i5. Thought about the AMD FX-8350 for a while, but I decided to go for the intel. Nothing against AMD though.

CPU cooler: Since it was my first build, I was a bit too chicken to try out the H100i. Although it cools slightly better than the D14, I read some reviews which talked about it being a bit noisy compared to the Noctua. One could always buy new fans though... I wanted to buy the best air cooler I could get my hands on (and get in the case), so I went with the Noctua.

Mobo: More than I needed, and some will say I should have sunk the extra $$ in a better GPU, but I really like the ROG series and the extra functions it comes with. It isn't too hard on the eyes either. I was thinking about getting a MicroATX for the longest time (since I originally had a different case in mind), and would have gone for the Gryphon or the Gene.

Memory: 8gb is fine for me. No heavy video rendering or memory intense tasks. Liked the price and the ratings. Kind of pissed that that factory had to burn down and drive the prices up so much, but that's what happens when one factory makes everyone's ram.

Storage: SSD for the OS and programs, and the odd game that I play regularly. Didn't want to go crazy with the prices, so I went for the 120gb flavour. I liked the price of the EVO at the time, although the PRO would have been nice. For storage, 2tb gave me lots of breathing room, and 7200rpm is kind of nice.

Video card: Bought this first, mainly because of the assassins creed, batman, and splinter cell bundle that was going on. Love all of those games, so I thought it would be a good deal. Originally planned to get the R9 280X, as it may or may not perform slightly better depending on the game. In the end, I liked the Intel NVIDIA combo, and the games pushed me over the edge. I was very tempted by the prospect of Mantle though.

Case: I originally wanted to get the Xigmatek Aquila. I love the style and the size was perfect for a MicroATX. What wasn't perfect was the thought of having to wait for the case to be released in NA. Europe is happily building rigs with this case while NA is stuck watching. At the time of completing the build, the Aquila has still not been released here. In lieu of this, I went with my second choice, which was the Prodigy. Although everyone is sick of seeing them, I am not. I did a few modifications, which I tried to highlight in the pictures (again, crappy quality pics). If you notice, I flipped the front panel and re-riveted it back together so the large 230mm fan was in line with the CPU cooler. I also cut out a panel for the PSU, since the 160mm PSUs are a very tight fit, and I originally planned to get the Corsair AX 750. As for the CPU cooler, wow, tight fit. You can see the back fan pushes one of the columns slightly, but it isn't crushing it by any means.

Case fans: Love the Noctuas, hate the colour. Went with the spectre to let the case breathe quietly.

PSU: As I said before, I originally planned on getting the Corsair AX 750, so I modded the case to make room for it. The reason is that I got it on sale for $130, which was a great price. However, after they (NCIX) charged me, they told me that they had sold out and weren't reordering, so they gave me my money back. I went with a HX650, which was the same size, but semi modular and not quite as nice. This one was a great price as well, due to it being refurbished. NOTE: I have added a section at the end of the description to talk about an issue with this PSU that I have noticed after using the PC for a few months.

Other: Windows OS, and I used my old ASUS monitor and Logitech G500 mouse. I liked the look of the FUNC keyboard, which is very clean looking. I got it for $129.99, which is more than I should have spent on a keyboard, but I do like it!!

If you made it to the end and read it all, chapeau! Many could have build a slightly better system if they sacrificed some other parts, but I like the setup in the end. Cable management is alright from the front, but not so great from the other panel. Considering this is a Prodigy though, I'm happy with how it looks.

But, does it even lift (bro)? BF4 on ultra with disabled AA and a couple of other things gives me ~120fps. With everything on Ultra, I get ~80fps (both at 1080p). Temps stay very reasonable all around.

Thanks for sticking around and reading it for those who took the time. If anyone has any questions about anything, fire away.

EDIT: I've got a bit of a complaint about the PSU after a few months of use. When playing a CPU intensive game, I've noticed that the PSU fan tends to literally chirp like a bird. Just Google Corsair HX650 chirp and you'll see someone else's video on it. Apparently it's a very common issue, and Corsair has been replacing peoples HX650's with HX750's, since the latter apparently does not have this issue. I just wanted to let everyone know in case they are thinking about the HX650. It doesn't make the noise all of the time, but when it does it is a bit annoying. If I were to buy another PSU, I would choose differently, but this one was just too good of a price to pass up. Judging by the forums, it is a pretty common problem with the HX650.

Comments

  • 67 months ago
  • 6 points

Only took me 2 minutes to read everything.

Love the build, I'm actually surprised someone with little PC building skills can manage to hide the cables better in a mITX case than someone with moderate skills in an Mid or Full tower build.

And finally someone who jumps off of the Gigabyte 770 bandwagon.

I wish I could give you +100.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the compliment! Even though no one will really see the inside of the case, I still wanted to take a stab at making it look nice.

[comment deleted]
  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

They are good GPUs but it's nice to see some variety (for me at least).

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Only problem, is that the Asus SagForce is named incorrectly when slotted horizontal. They forget to mention the extra gravity that navigates around the product, yanking the back end ever closer to the bottom of the case without extra work.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Ya I read some reviews that talked about the sag. Luckily since the mobo is mounted horizontally, the graphics card is a lot more stable than with a classic setup.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep. I have nothing against it, it just sags like crazy. I have a 670 that does that.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Really didn't think you could fit a Noctua cooler into a BitFenix, very well done! I agree with you when you say you maybe over did a bit with the motherboard, but besides this, really spot on part selection and prices. Another impressive first build, enjoy it!

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks man! I definitely struggled the most trying to decide on whether I should get a simpler mobo. It was my last part and I missed out on some good sales. I could have got the ASUS Z87I-Deluxe on sale for a great price, which is still more than I need. Unfortunately I snoozed and didn't pull the trigger. In the end I should have got a different mobo, and I'll remember it for my next build.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah that's the great thing about this site, you can analyze the mistakes from your own build, and look at other great builds to make your next project exactly the way you want. Still, a very good first time around.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Yet another prodigy build... Jk great build! Way to get everything to fit inside...

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful mini-ITX build and great part selection for the price. Great job mate!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Clean looling build! Great job!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Props to you, man. It's cool that a first timer used a miniATX case.

And yes, I did read everything, and no, you didn't waste my time :p

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

The prodigy is a mITX case not a mATX case

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I got the terms mixed >.> My bad

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow probably one of the best miniITX builds so far +1

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice +1

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, it must of been HORRIBLE trying to get that amazing Noctua in there! Love the effort and the parts! would give you +2 if i could

  • 67 months ago
  • 3 points

It took a while and was testing my patience! For a while I thought I was going to have to return the Noctua. I almost had to take the top off of the case and then re-rivet it after, but thankfully that wasn't necessary.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Godspeed you! Hope you have a good experience!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Super clean prodigy build... very very nice.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Very well done - especially the cable management is pleasing to the eye :-)

Oh - and welcome to the club of non-Gigabyte 770s!

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I like how you said "sorry for the **** pictures" but at first I thought it was a DSLR because they looked pretty clean! lol, nice build man!

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

The image detail turned out ok, but the background was way oversaturated. I should'by have put a black box in front of a white wall and expected the camera to pick up the detail.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Still good though! Enjoy your build.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Normally I hate Prodigy builds but this is excellent. All your choices are 10s.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Might I ask... What is on your side panel? A magnetic filter?

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes it's a dust filter from DEMCiflex. I didn't like the fact that it was the only intake without a filter, so I bought one online. It's magnetic like you thought. http://www.demcifilter.com/p0296/Bitfenix-Prodigy-Side-Dust-Filter-.aspx

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I've never actually seen demci used in a build... only on product pages lol. Wasn't sure if that was it or not :)

I'm almost finished with my Phenom ITX build, by the way. I'll post it once I finish and take pictures. Only problem is the video card really heats up without those side panel air intake holes. Debating some sort of mod.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

Love the look of the Phenom too. Lots of room for modification. I originally wanted a glass window on the side of the case, but I was worried about the airflow. I think cutting out a side panel and adding a filter would be a good call.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build and parts! I love seeing air cooled builds. But I am so disappoint in windows 8.1 I'm going to hold onto windows7 till they pry it from my hands LOL

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

I agree Windows 8.1 is definitely not the best OS I've tried. I liked windows 7 on my bootcamped mac much better, but didn't want to pay for an old OS on a new build. I've set up windows 8.1 so the start screen is now just an app launcher, and I dumped all of the built in apps and downloaded 'normal' looking ones.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I know what you mean too. I had a moment where I was like "am i really going to install an OS from 2011 with only 1 service pack on my new build?" and once I did there was no going back cause the Mobo and os are married now

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Really loving the looks of your build . Fantastic looking case, great cable management and did I mention it's not an eyesore? :)

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Clean.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

Congrats on the build!

I have the same mobo and some criticized the decision, but it's an absolute BEAST. You still have a 770, so what's the tradeoff? Looks to be a great price on the 1866 RAM too. Good job.

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

You spwnt too much on mobo. Could have saved 100 bucks there atleast and gotfen a 780

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

While I agree that the mobo is a bit over the top, as I mentioned before, the price difference between the 770 and 780 is closer to $200. I would have lost Bluetooth, WiFi, the separate sound card, overclockability, and I would have had to switch the cpu cooler. Definitely not worth trading all of that for the 780 and still having to pay an extra $100.

What a lot of people don't realize is that you can't mount a noctua on any old mitx mobo and expect it to fit in the prodigy. It will be too close to the back wall, which is something that Asus has done specifically so bulky air coolers can have clearance.

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent choices all around. Nicely done!

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

That cpu cooler O_O

+100

  • 65 months ago
  • 3 points

Tight squeeze! Looks kinda ridiculous in a way, but I like it!

  • 65 months ago
  • 1 point

Great work with the cables there! I want to try building in that case one day.

Check out my build too?

  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks man.

And that's a beauty you built there. Very clean.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Ughhhhhhh AMD's overclock like a dream, at least my Athlon 4x 760X

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

cost me like $80 and its OC'ed to 4 ghz with the stock cooler, NH D14 or 15 will get me to 4.6 or 4.8

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

This can get up to 4.6 without much trouble too. For the price you have a nice CPU but overall it doesn't even come in the same ballpark as the 4670k.

  • 55 months ago
  • 0 points

Actually it has 60% of the performance of yours, both at base clock... But costs 2.8 times as much. (http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=1997&cmp[]=192) And with an 8-core option I can beat yours out for less (http://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare.php?cmp[]=1997&cmp[]=1780&cmp[]=1921) Currently I can find the cpu for $160 and an ok motherbord both at under the price of your processor (http://pcpartpicker.com/p/96PnQ7). Currently I am considering making this upgrade to my PC (http://pcpartpicker.com/p/nrDJP6)

  • 55 months ago
  • 0 points

The 8 core would be more attractive, but again performance depends greatly on the game. 8 core is way better for streaming, and some games, intel is better for productivity and other games.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Please re-read my other comment : - /

  • 55 months ago
  • 0 points

A very small performance increase, it has been proven again and again the AMD is the better in builds like this but Intel prevails in enterprise environments. I'm sorry invested my time arguing against your moot points, I simply expected you would like the advise.

  • 55 months ago
  • 0 points

Plus that GPU clock is bull

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't enter the GPU clock, the website does.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

I know this is a old build now. But I'm happy if you reply!

Nice build! Exactly what I hope to do with my own build! Even now it's not a 6-8Core or a high end 4core like a i7 6700k. And the GPU is quite midrange to for being honest, but perfectly reasonable.

It alteast going to crush most Gaming PC's anyways! Nice build with grate cooling!

But what I'm sceard of is the overclocking headroom going to suffer in this kind of PC.

Plz give a poor man some numbers. Even if you have not run any stress test programs can you tell "us" what temps your BitFenix PC are running at when pushing the GPU and atleast half the CPU at the same time. I love to know if I need to watercool my CPU or if a Noctua NH-D14/15 or a smaller NH-U14S going to allow atleast desent temps with a I7 6700k and high end GPU (Same heat amounts as your PC generate at stock speeds)

Decent temps for me is at full load 60c CPU and 70-80 GPU. And any desent Overclocking inside that temp range is epic! But above this temps are Bad.

Good temps for me are 50c CPU and 70-75c GPU. I hope to chees god that's what you get.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

You said the NH-D14 was a hard fit, but I am wondering if a fan could be placed above it. This person (https://pcpartpicker.com/b/zJNNnQ) managed to place close to it (albeit with a NH-D15, not sure if that makes a difference). Do you think it is possible to place a top fan above the NH-D14?

[comment deleted]
  • 65 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes the 230mm is pulling in through the front. All of my fans are pulling in from the front and blowing out the back. If you have an H60, are you planning on putting it on the top area or the back? I also flipped the front panel so the 230 sits higher up, but most people just leave it stock.

[comment deleted]