Description

My first PC build. Using it for light gaming (fond of World of Tanks at the moment) and when it is otherwise idle, let it run BOINC for various projects (SETI, Rosetta, LHC, World Community Grid, Einstein). I like the small form factor of mini ITX so that was a basic starting point. Budget was a constraint, as this is my first build I wanted to keeps costs reasonable yet still get a decent level of performance. I also wanted to use current versions of hardware to take advantage of the latest technology available. Finally, since I intended to air cool, I wanted components that would run cool, even under load.

I had no significant issues with the build. First time powering on it did not post, but I re-seated the memory and tried again and all was well.

So far, it has performed well and I'm happy with the parts selected.

REVISED 03/25/2017 Added a 1TB HDD, salvaged from an old laptop. Added two 80mm fans to exhaust hot air.

REVISED 10/11/2017 Replaced Zotac GTX 1050 Ti Mini with Zotac GTX 1070 Mini graphics card. Replaced the 140mm and 120mm fans that came with the case with a Phanteks 200mm fan for fresh air intake.

REVISED 11/02/2017 Added 4TB HDD.

Part Reviews

CPU

I settled on a Core i5-6400 CPU to get the 4 physical processing cores and a current Skylake processor. The 6400 stays cool with the stock Intel cooler, even running under 90% load 24x7.

Motherboard

The Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI motherboard provided the current Z170 chipset and built-in WIFI and Bluetooth, which was a welcome bonus. Good I/O connectivity as well. Plenty of SATA ports. The USB3 header is awkwardly in the middle of the board. Only 1 case fan header.

Memory

I've used Crucial memory for several upgrades in the past and never had a problem so I chose 8GB of DDR4 for this build.

Storage

I knew I wanted an SSD as the primary drive so I went with the budget Kingston UV400 240 GB. Coming from spinning hard drives previously, this seems quite fast. No issues, and this system runs 24x7.

Storage

Rescued this hard drive from an old laptop which I upgraded to SSD. Still works fine for secondary storage.

Video Card

Nice upgrade from the GTX 1050 Ti that was part of the original build. Runs at 72C under load 24x7. Fits nicely in the mini-ITX case.

Case

The Corsair 250D case was easy to build in, comes with two fans, dust filters for front fan, PSU fan, and both side exhaust grates. It has a plexiglass view port on the top, 2xUSB 3.0, headphone, and mic on the front panel, and even a bay for a 5.25 inch drive. Power supply bay has rubber stands and there are also 2x2.5 and 2x3.5 drive caddies accessible from the back of the case. Everything is secured with thumb screws.

Power Supply

The Corsair 550W PSU is more than enough for this build. It came in at a fair price and supported GPU upgrade without a hiccup.

Case Fan

Great little fans. I picked up two to mount as exhaust on my Corsair 250D mini-ITX case. They come with build-in PWM splitters which was super handy as my motherboard only has one system fan header.

Case Fan

Surprised how much air this fan moves. I replaced the 140mm and 120mm stock fans with this single 200mm fan and my system is running noticeably cooler and quieter.

Monitor

Price was right ($99) and gets the job done. Nice workhorse display.

Keyboard

I really like this keyboard. Fast response, very sensitive. I appreciate the compact size for my small workspace.

Mouse

Nice portable, compact mouse.

Speakers

These sound surprisingly good when I'm sitting at my workstation. Nice, deep, round bass. Sound drops off quickly as you move away from the speakers, so not exactly room-filling.

Comments

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice Budget Build. But I've seen motherboards for about 80ish dollars with Wi-Fi, so you might've been able to get that i5-6500.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh yeah with the Microcenter combo deals. it knocks the mobo price down $30. So a gigabyte H170N- wifi would be in the high 80's after the combo. Then another $10 off of your ssd. I love the Microcenter. And the6 orice match Newegg and Amazon and such.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, good point. Thanks for the feedback.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

This is nice. Welcome to the pc master race. Now that you already have the Z mobo an i5 6600k is next right?

Thumbs up.

Now tidy up those cables.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

That's the idea! Thanks.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Since were so close to kaby lake I'd wait till that line of chips to upgrade since they'll be on the same socket. You'll just need to flash your BIOS before upgrading.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Can you post some games benchmarks?

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

I've only tried World of Tanks so far. Getting about 110-115 FPS on maximum settings. 1080p

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

I updated the NVIDIA driver last night and now FPS is showing around 52-56 in WoT. This is more in line with expectations, maybe previous driver version was doubling. Still very happy with the game performance.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Could you please tell me the total weight of the case?

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't really have an accurate way to measure, but using the bathroom scale it seems to be about 15 lbs.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for using one of my favorite cases!

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for Mini ITX and 1050ti

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a great build, but unless you planned to upgrade to a K-series processor in the future, you paid an unnecessary premium for that Z170 chipset. Don't get me wrong, it's a solid board, but you could have easily gotten away with a B150 or H110 wifi mobo for maybe thirty bucks less.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the feedback. I did want to leave the option open to upgrade the processor in the future to one that could be overclocked. In hindsight, based on your comment and others, I probably would have gone for the H110 wifi motherboard and the i5-6500 processor. I've since read a few posts elsewhere that this board is somewhat constrained in its overclocking ability due to limited power and heat issues. That said, in its current configuration, it is meeting/exceeding my expectations so I will chalk this up to valuable lessons learned for the next build. Cheers!

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

do u play overwatch if you do how many frames do you get @ 1440p

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry, I have not played Overwatch. Also, I only have 1080p monitor right now :(

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