Description

EDIT: Thanks to the below comments, I upgraded this build slightly by switching out the case fan with a Noctua fan, and by buying PSU extension cables so that I could route the PSU cables correctly. Forgot to take updated pictures, so just trust me when I say the PSU cables run along the back of the case correctly now!

ORIGINAL POST: For my first PC build, I wanted to put together a great replacement for my grandparents' & parents' HP laptop that they were using as a makeshift desktop. The old setup consisted of an HP laptop with a dead battery, hooked up to a VGA-1080p 24" monitor sitting on a wooden slab to give the monitor some height. I don't have pictures of the old setup, but it wasn't great. While it was serviceable for my family's needs I wanted them to have a computer that was actually good to use and didn't hinder them in any way shape or form.

This PC is very much intentionally overkill for my family's needs since I wanted to be able to use it to run some party games as well, and have multiple user accounts that might do different, more intensive things on it. Also, with this being my first build, I wanted to prove that a home-built PC is more reliable than store-bought to my family. Hopefully the build stands the test of time now and validates that.

Any Problems?:

1) I did not realize that the CPU cooler that comes with the 3400G would block the installation path for one of my RAM modules. I had to take the CPU cooler back off, which took a decent amount of force since I had no idea thermal paste was so sticky! During that process the backplate used to mount the cooler fell off the motherboard, which gave me a panic attack thinking I broke the motherboard entirely. Fortunately that worked just fine.

2) The power cables that come with the SF 450W are too short for the H200 case. I was able to make it work by working the cables through the most direct cut-out [until I bought extensions], but they only just barely fit. The SF 450W is definitely meant for use in smaller cases – keep that in mind when picking out parts!

3) I overpaid for quite a few of these parts due to the timing of the build and needing a new computer ASAP at the time. A similar build should be much more affordable if buying at a good time, or getting a cheaper & smaller case.

Part Reviews

CPU

The best 3rd-gen Ryzen chip with integrated graphics. Keep in mind that this is using a different CPU architecture than the Ryzen 3600 and higher chips, so if you plan on using this as just a CPU your performance won't be as good. But if you want/need the integrated graphics, this is the best it gets!

Motherboard

Used for my first build, and it's worked like a charm so far. The feature set was exactly what I was looking for: Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5, and 4K 60 FPS output via HDMI and DisplayPort. All the other features are exactly what you'd expect from a Mini-ITX motherboard, so I can't complain.

Memory

Solid RAM, performs at the advertised speed, and performs well based on my UserBenchmark run.

Storage

Entry-level NVMe drives available at SATA-level prices means you can't really go wrong with this drive. I do wish it was offered in larger capacities, but if all you need is 500GB, then this is likely the best entry-level SSD you can get. Also comes with WD's awesome SSD software that makes it easy to monitor the health of the drive.

Case

Frankly, this was a pleasure to build in as a first-time builder. The case cutouts are thoughtfully positioned and help a lot with cable management. The whole thing also feels very high quality.

I've knocked it down a star for two reasons:

1) The case comes with two fans (I've only been using one since my motherboard only has 1 case fan header though), but these fans are really damn loud if they need to spin up. If you want a quieter PC, be ready to get a replacement fan(s) along with this case.

2) This is a massive Mini-ITX case, so big that I had to spend extra on PSU extension cables to route the power cables correctly along the back of the case. Keep this in mind when you pick a PSU for the case, or start looking at smaller cases if you want to avoid that problem.

Power Supply

Insanely high quality PSU for systems not needing a lot of wattage. The only real complaint is that the including wires are on the short side – when I put together my build in an NZXT H200 case, the PSU cables were too short to be connected along the back-end of the case. I had to use a cut out in the case to have a more direct path between the motherboard & the PSU, but it was very tight.

If you're thinking of using this PSU with a larger Mini-ITX case, be wary. But in a small form factor this is probably the best PSU you can get.

Monitor

At the time of building, this was the cheapest 4K monitor I could find on the market. It's been excellent for my needs, but I can't say too much beyond that. The lack of HDR support is actually ideal for me, since Windows 10 support of HDR content throughout the OS is bad. At this time the best solution seems to be just getting a monitor without HDR.

If you want to read a better review, you should look at Rtings.com: https://www.rtings.com/monitor/reviews/lg/27ud58-b

Custom

Starting with the cons, this isn't the best looking monitor arm. Cable management is a little bit poor as you have to rely on using zip ties to hold the cables against the arm. However, the arm feels very high-quality & durable, and feels reliable to put a decent monitor on. I went with this arm mainly because of the monitor arm breakdown I read here, which may be a helpful reference for anyone reading this: https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-monitor-arms/

Custom

Does the job as a TPM – although I only got this part because the GIGABYTE website for my motherboard indicated that the TPM slot would only accept this particular TPM. Proprietary vendor lock-in is something I would rather avoid.

Comments

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

you could buy a cable extension so that it goes behind the PC

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

So I’m looking into cable extensions now, and I’m very unsure as to how to tell if an extension is good quality. I’ve read in multiple places that you want to always use the cables that came with your PSU, so it seems risky to buy extensions? Maybe I’m misinformed on this.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Extensions plug into your PSU cables. They are not like custom cables. Extensions use the exact same pin in one cable, and are compatible with any stock cables. You can pick up some cheap upHere extensions or something from Amazon

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I didnt know the 3400g was already available. Thank you for the info :)

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

It was available from the 7th of July.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! I was not aware of that.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

You didn't have any issues with the 3rd gen CPU in your B450 MOBO? I had heard it might require a BIOS update with an older CPU prior to being able to use the new CPUs.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I paid an extra $25 for my MOBO (included in the price I put in) so that the retailer would update the BIOS for me.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Ahhhhh... That makes much more sense. Thanks for your reply, as I might be having some BIOS compatibility issues with mine (I'm also using the Ryzen 5 3400G with a B450 board).

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Ahh yeah that could explain it. You should be able to take it to the retailer you bought it from / a local store if you don’t have an older CPU on hand to update the BIOS.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Oops I commented the same BIOs update question underneath ok then...

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Sir I'm sorry to inform you but your cable management is in the completely wrong area, that little piece sticking out in the middle hides the place where they are supposed to come out of. The topmost cable is supposed to come out from behind the motherboard

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes you're absolutely right – the top comment on this build points out that I could have used cable extensions to remedy this problem, which I now know about. I'm planning on doing a check-up and minor upgrade on this build this upcoming weekend – I'll replace the 3-pin case fan that came with the H200 case with a Noctua 4-pin case fan, and I have purchased extensions for the PSU cables that I will use to fix the routing that is currently in place.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you need a BIOs update before booting up? I heard that you need to if you use a 3rd gen Ryzen CPU on a b450/x470 motherboard...

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello, this is a wonderful build but I was wondering if you had to update the BIOS on the motherboard so it will be compatible with the Ryzen 3000 series?

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi! Yes I paid $20 extra on my motherboard so that the retailer would update the BIOS for me. At some point the motherboards in stores will have a "Ryzen 3000 Ready" sticker that shows their BIOS is updated & ready to go, but for now I believe it's still an additional cost to factor into the build.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

OK, thanks!

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Also, where did you purchase the motherboard from?

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Canada Computers.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Not sure what your on about with the cpu architecture are ryzen 3000 chips use zen 2

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Ryzen 3600 and up uses Zen 2. The APUs are still on Zen+ and run 1 year behind the stand-alone CPUs in terms of architecture.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Protip: regarding the "AMD" ring on the stock CPU fan, it can be removed and rotated so that it's not blocking your RAM.

In fact, removing it is required to even fit the fan into some really small form factor cases (this is most notable with the Wraith Stealth and the ASRock DeskMini A300).