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Heart of the Expedit

by raininseattle


Rant: I'm not a PC building enthusiast. In a perfect world, I'd rather get a PC that was pre-built. Why spend over $1k to watch glorified firework? I was about to grab a MSI gaming laptop but they are plagued by overheating issues with the CPU and GPU under full load. Another reason was that Coffee Lake was not available for laptop form factor. So understanding that, I ventured to my first PC build, with the enthusiasm of someone going to a dentist. End of rant.

I happen to have an Ikea Expedit shelf with an extended desktop, so my preference is to build a PC that fits the space of an Expedit's shelf space. So after some preliminary research I decided to go with the mini-iTX form factor. The Tech Buyer's Guru "THE $2,000 ULTIMATE GAMING MINI-ITX PC BUILD" provided me a blueprint of the parts required, completed with instructions on order of assembling parts onto the case. Those instructions are incredibly helpful for a noob.

Build comments:

  • Even with a big case, the PSU was a tight fit. The case power supply cable was thick and stiff, and to fit into the PSU socket the cable required a tight bend to push the plug in.

  • Important to wire things in order. There's hardly much room to move around the cables once the PSU and the video card were in.

  • Took a long time to build because of inexperience. Words couldn't describe the joy to watch the PC to boot to the BIOS on the first run. Not looking forward to disassemble it.

Part Reviews


Choice between 7700K and 8600K. Either would have worked, but eventually decided to go with the newer Coffee Lake processor. OC'd to 4.8 GHz in my build.

CPU Cooler

Thermal paste tube came with the cooler. Fairly easy to assemble.


Plenty of ports available, and with two slots for NVMe SSDs. One of them came with a metal heatsink slot. Overclocking the processor is as easy as one can get with the software that came with the mobo.


The 950 EVO 256GB SSD would have been sufficient, but upgraded to this because of YOLO.

Video Card

Could have gone with a better video card but my monitors are FHD.


I love this case for the size. It is small enough to fit my Expedit shelf, and yet it is large enough to fit in an ATX PSU and EVGA video cards with dual fans. Assembly is pretty straight-forward with the Tech Buyer Guru's "THE PC BUILDER'S GUIDES: ASSEMBLING AN EXTREME GAMING ITX PC". Enough slots for two HDD's, a SATA SSD and an optical drive if one so chooses.

The case is a black metal box so it doesn't showcase the RGB blings. Probably not a plus to make to the feature builds, but a plus to me for minimizing distractions.

Power Supply

A fully modular PSU does save a lot of space. Not sure if this build would have worked otherwise.


I had this keyboard for a couple days. The keys are round so they feel more like typewriter keys than keyboard keys. On the upside there is a less chance of mistype due to fingers being stuck in between two keys. A good match with the M720 mouse for traversing between devices.


I have had this mouse for a couple days now. A joy to use to traverse between computers. Pretty easy to set up after installing the Logitech Unifying Receiver and Options software. The Flow feature/software provides an impression that I am using one computer with three monitors when in fact you are using a PC with two monitors and a laptop. I could ctrl+c for some text or a screenshot on the laptop and ctrl+v it to the PC.


Difficult decision as the Seagate drives are better priced but reviews on them were mixed. The WD drive hasn't arrived as of this writing.

Comments Sorted by:

blinko07004 2 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

Nice compact little build for carrying around and everything:) I want a 8600k for my next build but didnt know if it was going 2 be a huge stepup over the 4690k..... how is the cpu treating you?

raininseattle submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Great. I have a Skylake Core i5 laptop with 8GB RAM and Intel HD graphics. This new PC runs ThinkorSwim noticeably faster than the laptop. The usual web browsing and Microsoft products are a little bit faster but meh. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm sure it'll run PubG fine. Depends on what you need your PC for I guess.

blinko07004 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Thankyou for your honesty

raininseattle submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Just relaying some information I saw on TechBuyer Guru's forum

The GPU went from an AMD Radeon R9 285 to a Geforce GTX 1070 TI. The 3DMark Graphic Score went from 2592 to 6792.

The CPU went from an Intel I5-4690K @ 3.5 GHz to I5-8600K @ 3.60 GHz. The 3DMark CPU score went from 3207 to 5508.

Overall score went from 2668 to 6512. Both tests were run simultaneously on the two different computers. The new one finished much faster. Both are not overclocked and both had 16GB memory.

I remember ordering the AMD Radeon card from Amazon back when. It was before Prime and free 2 day shipping. While I waited for the card to arrive, your recommendation changed to a brand new GeForce card that had come out that was much faster. I stayed with the one I had ordered which is probably why the lager jump was with the graphics score.

Technology marches on. My new computer built this weekend is already obsolete, but it will serve me well, hopefully for the next 5 years until that in-bedded brain chip comes out.


Cyrus_014 1 Build 2 points 15 months ago

Hey I got an question. I want to overclock my i5 8600k to 4.8GHz too. Can you maybe explain what you really did when you overclocked it and like what settings you changed in the bios. I would really appreciate it! Thanks in Advance.

raininseattle submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

The mobo that I used came with an application called AI Suite 3. When you have the app opened, you'll see the screen of the last uploaded picture. I clicked on the 5-way optimization button on the top left, and just let the software did the work for me.

Cyrus_014 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Wait you didn't do it from the BIOS?

Fraglepuss 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

When you start the PC enter the bios, this is where you OC the cpu. Most motherboards especially high end ones will have an automatic OC tool which should get you to 4.8-5.0ghz depending on your cooler.

To get a slightly higher OC you can manually overclock by doing tests, and minor tweaks

Cyrus_014 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Yeah but "auto" settings on motherboards have to support at least almost every possible chip you put in it, even the really bad ones. So they tend to crank up the voltage way above what might be necessary for an average chip. And with that it can possibly reduce the lifespan of the CPU.

raininseattle submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

No, I'm not a PC enthusiast. I don't need to see fireworks. Anything more complicated that what I did will be out of my league. The software did the tuning and saved the settings automatically in the BIOS.

What that tuning software did was it started from 4.5GHz and run some sort of load to detect the temperature, and then incremented by 0.1GHz each time. It "crashed" at 4.9GHz and that was the end of the tuning loop.

Fraglepuss 2 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

Nice build, I really like your desk. The only thing i wouldve said is that the CPU is crazy powerful for this build.

Btw to save on space there are power supplies that are smaller "SFX power supplies". These are much smaller (corsair make a good one) and tend to work better on the ITX cases that still accept full sized PSU's like yours.

How are your CPU temps? Did you OC it?


raininseattle submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Thanks for the suggestions!

I OC'ed the processor to 4.8GHz. I didn't do stress test on it so I didn't know, but from the tuning software it'll probably hit mid-70s when stressed. But most of the time it sat around the 30s for my normal use.

Fraglepuss 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

That should be fine. I think 4.8ghz is the perfect speed for this case.

This thing has no compromises really, should be crazy fast at productivity. I hope you enjoy!

raininseattle submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Had I got a 8700K processor with liquid cooler and extra fan cases, it could probably be OC'ed to slightly higher than 5 GHz, and go whoa... instead I use the price difference to go from a 256GB 950 EVO to a 512 GB 960 PRO.

Fraglepuss 2 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

To be honest in gaming the 8600k is crazy overkill for the 1060, even at stock.

The only thing I'd get annoyed at is the sound, but I assume this is pretty quiet. The nvme is a much nice addition in my opinion

Fraglepuss 2 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

For just gaming any modern quad core at around 4ghz will get the max out of the cpu.

So an i3 8100 or Ryzen 1300x would do fine. The i5 8600k can handle a titan X when overclocked with basically no GPU bottleneck.

That said it's not a bad thing have a cpu as powerful as yours, also the rest of the PC is just as high end. And as you say the 1060 isn't as powerful as the rest of the components, but you play in 1080p 60fps, so this isn't a problem.

raininseattle submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Which processor would you have chosen for this build?

dqcenter 2 points 15 months ago

Hey, nice build,

"EVGA - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB FTW2 GAMING iCX Video Card Could have gone with a better video card but my monitors are FHD.""

Whats wrong with that video card? I was just about to order it, but saw your comment and now i'm worrying a bit :))

Fraglepuss 2 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

It's a great card, but he games on monitors that are 1080p 60fps so a more powerful graphics card would make no different as the 1060 can already max these out

raininseattle submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

What's wrong with it? Nothing, other than that it isn't as powerful as the 1070 and 1080 graphic chipsets. They would be great if you want to run AAA games on your 1440p monitor with GSync.

jjpeacho 2 points 15 months ago

I wouldn't use that m.2 ssd because its quite expensive. I also would not have used that motherboard or RAM.Most of these parts are far too expensive. If you opted for a cheaper ssd and ram , you could've bought an 7700k or even a 8700k.

raininseattle submitter 1 Build 2 points 15 months ago

I'm with ya. Cost is one thing I don't like about this build. But I managed to get the processor overclocked with very little effort so at least the mobo is sort of justified.

annasoh323 3 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

I salute you in your endeavor to make this happen despite not being a PC guy, especially a mITX machine. Most of us do this for the love; you did it for necessity and went through all of this. I applaud that. I also used the Tech Buyer's Guru as a resource when I built my mITX computer (in addition to tons of other places, but that's just what passes for "fun" over in my world).

raininseattle submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Thank you for your comment. It was a three month project to plan and to scalp the parts, so after a while it was like "when is the kettle going to boil?".

I also saw your had your own mini-iTX build as well. Nice job!

annasoh323 3 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

I wish I had been more patient. Not only would I have had better deals, but also probably better hardware since the CPU wars kicked off by Ryzen would have benefited me. But, with my laptop being not much more than a glorified meal tray, I felt I needed to build soon. Ah, well, such is life. Hope you get many good years out of your hard work.

zovski24 1 point 15 months ago

Hey nice build , I have 8600k too and was wondering if H7 would be enough as some people say OC on this cpu should be done with better cooler, I saw you mentioned that you overclocked it to 4.8 (just as I was planning on overclocking too) how's the temps right now ?

raininseattle submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Since I was curious too I downloaded the Core Temp utility. The last picture of the camera roll is a screenshot of the core temp reading. In sum for my usage (ThinkorSwim + 6 Chrome tabs with 1 youtube video running) it's between 30s - mid 60s. You might have noticed the CPU multiplier on that screenshot is lower. I have no idea why that is happening. Unfortunately the AI Suite 3 tool is down after the latest windows update so I can't launch the application to verify it. Hope it helps.