I have finally completed my mini-ITX SteamOS machine. I hadn't built a computer system since about 2005. However, I decided that I wanted to build a gaming PC. I wanted it to be small so I decided to go with the Mini-ITX route. I have experience using Linux and decided that I wanted to try SteamOS as the operating system.
My budget was $1,000 and I was able to stay within that. Originally It was going to be an $800 build but some large games took a bit too long to load, so I decided to go the SSD route for faster load times.
SteamOS is Valve's custom operating system built on top of Debian Linux. The reason I decided to build this is that nearly all my games support Linux and saw no need to get Microsoft involved in my build. Since starting in May 2017, Valve has updated SteamOS and the drivers just work with this build. It was easy and no special hacks or backports are needed. When I installed it originally before the SteamOS update the wifi and Bluetooth had to use backport drivers. But that is no longer and issue.
This build works great. It was straight forward hooking up everything, with the exception of some of the tiny wires that hooked up to the board. I probably could have done better at cable management. Either way, everything works as it should. I find that SteamOS is very smooth and makes an excellent gaming system. I can run non-Linux games via Home Share, or WINE but haven't found a need because I have about 58 games that are Linux compatible.
This is a great, affordable CPU. It works well in a low to mid range gaming computer. It would be great for a desktop computer as well. One downside is that Intel's Optane NVMe memory modules with super fast cache will not work with it. The sites often say that they require 7th generation chips (Kaby Lake chip), but the Intel site excludes Pentium chips with this technology. Get an i3 if you want to boost an HDD. However, that is not a huge problem get a regular SSD if HDD load times bother you.
This is a wonderful little motherboard. It works well with everything I have thrown at it. I like that it has included wifi/bluetooth and pretty much everything I needed.
This is memory, and it works well. Not much more to say except I got it for a good price.
I was going to buy a regular SATA SSD when I saw this. This is really impressive and so far is lightning fast. I had one game that on HDD was taking over 10 minutes to load all the maps and content, this one does the same thing in under a minute. Everything seems more responsive and I have found that things I attributed to a CPU bottleneck were actually an HDD bottleneck as I no longer see the issue.
Most surprising is the size. This SSD is smaller than a stick of ram.
I was concerned about the 3GBs of onboard memory, but this GPU is awesome. I have no issues running 1080p graphics at the highest settings. A few places I have reduced the settings from ultra to high due to unoptimized games.
Great mini-ITX tower. A little larger than I originally expected but am overall pleased with it. It is extremely easy to access from the various sides.
It is a PSU, I got it for a good price. The cables are a bit much and difficult to deal with in my mini-ITX build but it is okay.
I a pleased with this monitor, however since buying it I have seen similar monitors for less. But this one fluctuates on price as well. Despite this, I feel I got a good price and it works as expected.