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Mini ITX Photo Editing Build

by sophmarra


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Oct. 21, 2018

Date Built

Sept. 8, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3.7 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

21.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

52.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.607 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.008 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

25.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C


My husband convinced me to build a PC after I started experiencing some frustration with the refurbished pre-built ASUS computer that I bought in 2013. After researching for five or six months (and waiting for prices to drop on some parts), I ultimately decided on some pretty common and well-reviewed parts. I bought everything with photo editing and light gaming in mind.

Intel i7-8700k: I debated between this and the Ryzen 7 2700x, but ultimately decided on the processor that would run cooler in my build so that I could hopefully keep things quiet.

be quiet! Dark Rock 4: The instructions were terrible, but I eventually figured it out. So far, it has been plenty quiet and cool enough. I don't plan on overclocking or anything anytime soon though. I also really like how it looks.

Asus ROG Strix Z370-I: This motherboard is small, obviously, so that made plugging things in hilarious at times, but it was one of the only motherboards that had a USB-C slot, which will be great for many of the external hard drives I use with my current MacBook Pro. So far, wireless and bluetooth seem to be pretty good, which was also important to me.

RAM, M.2 SSD, and other SSD: These are great for what I need for photo editing. Everything is super speedy for any editing that I do. While this is not a ton of internal storage, I use external hard drives pretty regularly for redundancy.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 ti: This is super overkill for anything that I need, but I got a really great deal on it from B&H Photo before they started charging taxes. I originally planned to keep using my GTX 750ti, but I upgraded my monitor to a 4k monitor with HDR and I wanted my graphics card to be able to handle that. I've been able to play GTA V 4k with normal & very good settings at 60 fps, which is a fun bonus. Typically, I really just play the Sims 4 though.

LG 27UK600 - The part list lists the 27UK650, but I actually purchased the 600 model from Best Buy which is identical according to LG, but does not have an adjustable stand. This wasn't a problem at all as I have a monitor arm. This monitor is beautiful and I got it on sale, so I am very happy. Color accuracy also seems good and works great with my MacBook Pro with a USB-C to HDMI cable.

Originally, I purchased the NZXT 400i case, however, this was larger than it needed to be, so I purchased the 200i. I'm much happier with the smaller case. The cooling does not seem to be any different at all and the noise remains to be very very reasonable. Cable management on the 200i turned out to actually be easier with my parts. I'm not 100% happy with all of the power cables at the bottom of the computer, but it's also not a huge priority to me to make sure unseen parts are meticulous and delightful.

Overall, I've built a quiet, powerful, small, and stylish computer. While hardly a budget build, I feel that the overall value is great and this computer should last me a very long time.

Comments Sorted by:

Wesley_ 4 points 28 days ago

Very nice color scheme. Amazing RAM clearance ;)

sophmarra submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 days ago

Thank you! When I was attaching the heatsink I was very anxious, but thankfully it worked out!

Wolf88 4 Builds 3 points 28 days ago

Nice build and setup, great job !

sophmarra submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 days ago

Thank you!

CooproxXo1 2 Builds 3 points 28 days ago

I want your setup very badly

Bronstet 4 Builds 3 points 28 days ago

Great job I can see why you like the Dark Rock, looks great in your PC through the tempered glass.

Malaysaian_One 2 points 28 days ago

love the minimalistic style, +1

only suggestion would be to get a gpu backplate

sophmarra submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 days ago

I bought a custom glossy white one from JMMods, but it was too thick and would not fit. The motherboard sticks out just above the GPU so there is like half a cm of clearance. I was bummed.

Malaysaian_One 2 points 28 days ago

You could try making your own with some 3mm acrylic if that would fit

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBwfBCW9qZU ive used this video in the past to make my own backplate and its very helpful

sophmarra submitter 1 Build 2 points 28 days ago

Awesome idea! Thank you for the link, I may give that a try!

Lamaa_low 2 points 25 days ago

Wow. Very nice looking build, +1.

I really like how it's all really clean and minimalistic. Also great black/and white contrast.

Can I ask you how noisy does the setup get? I'm thinking to do a similar one (case, cooler and CPU), when I'll have the money haha.

Thank you for sharing!

sophmarra submitter 1 Build 2 points 24 days ago

Thank you! Keeping it simple and clean was my goal.

It's a very quiet machine. I keep it right next to my monitor on my desktop and I can't hear it. When the GPU is pushed, I can hear the GPU, but not really the other fans. I don't often push anything and I do have it all in silent mode opposed to performance mode. Even when it's cranking it's still not loud.

djportisnorwood 1 point 28 days ago

Really nice build, I love how neat it is, being a small form factor and all. On a related note, may I ask where you got your desk?

sophmarra submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 days ago

Thanks :) the desk is an ikea countertop with legs and Alex drawers. I believe it is the 74” Karlsby countertop. The legs and drawers were also purchased at ikea, just to be clear.

Jason124 1 Build 1 point 28 days ago

Really nice, clean build! Compact with great cable management and my favourite CPU cooler. Really good job! Only question is the front 2 fans appear to me in the photos as oriented for exhaust while the cpu cooler looks to be pulling air in the normal direction to exhaust from the rear? If that’s the case then both sets of fans could be potentially starving each other of air flow and running your system at slightly higher temps?

sophmarra submitter 1 Build 2 points 28 days ago

Thanks! The fans were a last minute edition when I switched from the H400i to the H200i and I'll be completely honest when I say I had no idea which way to point them. I searched it and attempted to figure it out, but I had a really hard time figuring out which is best and many people put radiators for liquid cooler in the front, so I wasn't sure it was the same if there isn't a radiator. My plan all along was to put it in as you see it now and monitor things carefully whenever I'm doing anything intensive. It's good to know that it may be better another way though. I couldn't figure that out for the life of me.

Jason124 1 Build 1 point 28 days ago

Yeah they’re set to exhaust from the case, essentially the way you’re set up is all you’re fans are taking the air in the case and venting it, the difference in pressure from the ambient room is pulling air in through any vents on the case.

Setting the fans at the front on the other orientation will bring in cool air from the room, the fan on the cpu cooler will pull this air through the fins and then the rear fan will exhaust the hot air. Should bring your temps down, but if you’re not doing anything intensive the only real time they’ll actually increase is if you’re gaming - always better to run at lower temps though!

sophmarra submitter 1 Build 2 points 28 days ago

Seriously, thank you very much for the explanation :)

Jason124 1 Build 1 point 28 days ago

No problem, enjoy!

mjacko1988 1 Build 1 point 28 days ago

Nice, Clean, Smart. Excellent job!

Phildilf 3 Builds 1 point 28 days ago

Very clean.

Your cases shroud comes awfully close to your 1070ti.

sodom 4 Builds 1 point 28 days ago

Very nice and clean job! We have similar H200i machines :)

sophmarra submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 days ago

We do! I probably used your case as inspiration at some point, I'm sure. I really like your cable management!

sodom 4 Builds 1 point 28 days ago

Oh, thank you! I'm glad to hear that :) One tip: you can very easily install a macOS on this PC if you want it in the future ;) Cheers!

DukerHD 2 Builds 1 point 24 days ago

Hey, super clean build! I plan on doing something similar soon. I have one pointer, though! You should flip the radiator and/or fans so that the front fans are facing the other way around. You could put the radiator towards the inside of the case and the fans with the blades facing the front of the case, or just flip the fans where they are now (although this doesn't look as nice as having the radiator there). It looks like the rest of your fans are facing the right way, however!

Again, this is a really nice build. The color scheme works really well and gives me some inspiration for when I use this case.

sophmarra submitter 1 Build 2 points 24 days ago

Thank you! I plan to do this when I install a backplate on my GPU. I really like this case and I'm sure you'll end up enjoying it as well!

yasharora 1 Build 0 points 28 days ago

The 8700K is the hottest mainstream CPU to date...m

rschearer 1 point 28 days ago

What?! Lmao

BuildBoy12 1 Build 0 points 28 days ago

I mean obviously the 8700k emits a constant 110C if you do not delid and that is clearly without any overclocks and with its turbo boost off, duh.

Sarcasm intensifies

rschearer 1 point 28 days ago
yasharora 1 Build 0 points 22 days ago

What? It's infamous for running hot

She wanted to a quiet and cool running CPU- 2700X would've been a wayyy better choice. Especially because it's for photo editing

rschearer 1 point 21 days ago

Cool running? At it's max clock it's hitting the same temps an 8700k when it's clocking about 4.7... And that's it they both have the same coolers. Yeah the 2700x generally runs cooler because it runs much slower. Bring up the speed on it's stock cooler and watch the temps fly