Description

First build ever, did a ton of research for approximately a year before pulling the trigger. I wanted something small since I might have to move the machine from time to time. I use it for college and gaming. So far I'm really pleased how it turned out with great performance and it is very quiet too. If you have any questions feel free to ask!

Part Reviews

CPU

Great CPU, I was planning to go for the 8400 at first, but since the 8600k had a sweet discount in Newegg for $245 I couldn't say no. I managed to overclock to 4.8ghz at 1.18-1.2V rock solid.

CPU Cooler

Very good cooler for the money. I initially started with a Cryorig H7 but it was too big for the ram (the mounting x bars were in the way, and RAM is too fat). To my surprise it cools the CPU around 10-20C cooler than the H7. I would have given it 5 starts, however, the stock fan that came with the cooler was super noisy and even produced rattling noises. Anyway, I full recommend this AIO over any budget air cooler for a good CPU since it is usually discounted to $44, only 10 bucks more than the H7. Plus, I think it looks way cooler and it is easier to work around in tight spaces.

Motherboard

I initially went with the non gaming version of this motherboard, but the sensors and VRMs were somewhat funky, so I decided to return and go with this one since I read in forums that it is the only good ITX board for coffee lake that has good VRMs and overclocking capacity. So far, very pleased with it.

Memory

I went with it since Newegg had a deal for $200. Very nice RGBs, but it is a little fat, so you might want to consider that if working in tight spaces.

Storage

I already had this SSD around, so I used it for this build. Planning on later adding a Samsung 850 or 860 EVO, or just going for an M.2 NVME.

Video Card

Currently it is a terrible time to buy GPUs, but I was in need of one. So, I decided to go with this one directly from EVGA. Maybe I overpayed a little, but well at least I should have good customer support. I did a custom fan curve that does not let the fan go over 40% and it does not go over 77C during long gaming sessions at 99% load. What really helped me was fan configuration in the case and proper airflow. Worth mentioning that at 40% it is really quiet.

Case

I was originally planning to go with the Fractal Design Nano S, however considering that the Nano S is a little old, and the looks didn't totally convince me I decided to spend a little more to get this beauty. Really good case, and has good airflow options, along with an included RGB led strip, a smart device (that does not have a very optimized software, but after a little tinkering it can be quite useful) that lets you plug up to three fans, a fan splitter that lets you connect up to three fans to one header, and finally two AER 120mm case fans that work very nicely and are pretty quiet.

Power Supply

Read a JohnnyGuru review that says it is one of the best PSUs currently, plus a $15 rebate from Newegg. No complaints here.

Case Fan

Very good static pressure fan that has white leds to match the color theme, however the only negative is that it is DC controlled. PWM fans should work better for the smart device and motherboard compatibility. Nevertheless, it brings good airflow for intake and it can be very quiet while at it too.

Case Fan

I bought this fan to replace the original fan that came with the H60 AIO (corsair fan was complete trash), and I have to say I am very pleased with the efficiency and noise from the fan. The fan is pretty quiet, to me inaudible until 70% or more power is used. And cools a few degrees better than the old Corsair fan. I think that this is one of the best static pressure fans (120mm) around.

Monitor

Did plenty of research for a monitor for gaming and every day use. I ended up going for what it is said to be the best TN monitor on the market right now in many forums. Even the new version of this monitor (XG2402) is said to be not as good as the original XG2401. Response time is very good, zero ghosting issues for me, and almost has IPS colors. However, if you really want vivid colors and are used to an IPS panel, then this monitor might look a little washed out. I would fully recommend to anyone looking for a gaming monitor.

Keyboard

I found this on Amazon for 80 bucks, plus a $25 rebate. So, for a total of 65 bucks and White LEDs with plenty of customization, I am very pleased.

Mouse

Really good mouse (basically the same as the G pro, but for $25 less). I found it on Amazon for $23. For this price point, I would fully recommend it.

Comments

  • 21 months ago
  • 3 points

Glad to see your PSU worked out for you! I also read that review so I took a chance on it and mine was a dud. :(

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Really? What happened to it? That sucks. I supposed that Seasonic should have good QC!

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

I test booted and everything was fine, but any time I would do something demanding like try to play a game I lost video signal completely. I confirmed the psu was the issue by swapping my older psu in there and had no problems. I opted for a Corsair branded one instead. I didn't want to wait for the RMA.

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  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Clean build. Love it!

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Glad to see people have liked it! Thank you!!!

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Very clean! I love it! If only your GPU had a backplate...

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!! hehe yeah, I have thought about that, hopefully in the future I can upgrade to a higher end graphics card!

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, I refuse to own a case with this layout due to the Power Supply Shroud choking the GPU Air intake. You can even Notua the crap outta this case, and it won't resolve that.

If you go with a higher TDP card you likely be forced to do something different. But for the 1060 you can easily get away with what you are doing.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/fGvRsY/thermaltake-case-ca1b800s1wn00

That is a Case with good airflow in this Mini ITX form factor. Just a thought...

Thanks for Sharing !!

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

No problem!

I actually think that the PSU shroud is perfect and makes this case look so clean. In other cases such as the Nano S I think it is even closer.

I also don't think it chokes at all the GPU because I have set up my PSU with the fan on the bottom so it draws air from outside, and it even has a dust filter on the bottom so no worries on dust accumulation there! From what I have seen around here, other people have managed very quiet and powerful rigs using this case (1070s, and even 1080 ti's) and zero problems with the shroud too. Anyway, mileage may vary. Thanks for your input though!

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Hella nice and clean, the only suggestion I have would be to make a custom ssd sticker or cover. Not a fan of the silver look, kinda distracting to me

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks man! Actually that is a very good idea! Originally I was hoping to upgrade to a Samsung 850 evo with a cleaner black look and just the Samsung logo. However, I will look into making a custom sticker for now.

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice PC, but lol .. "Vanilla Thunder"

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Named it on an impulse lol.

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Good build, however are you sure that this specific ASrock motherboard is the only ITX Z370 that has decent VRMs + heatsinks? What about the ASUS one? One other thing I've heard about this board is that its Long/Short Duration Power Limit can only go up to 200W - meaning that running an 8700K @ 5Ghz could be concerning, but I don't know whether one could hit this limit. Also how are temperatures on the M.2 SSD at the back of your mobo? Sorry I've got a lot of questions, I'm just considering an 8700K ITX build!

  • 21 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I am inclined to say yes, however I'm not really an expert on VRMs. Having said that I have spent a lot of time researching and from what I have gathered, the common consensus is that the asrock gaming z370 is the best in its class (at least for coffee lake, as of now). You should take a look at this forum, there a some other explanations in that thread which are more detailed and interesting, but I can't find it right now. http://www.overclock.net/forum/6-intel-motherboards/1638955-z370-z390-vrm-discussion-thread-111.html

As for the the M.2 SSD, I don't one installed right now so I can't comment on that. However, I haven't heard any concerns for this board in multiple forums. My normal 2.5 inch SSD never exceeds 30C, but I know M.2 are different and they run hotter. As long as it doen't reach extreme temperature you should be fine. No problem and let me know if you have more questions.

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man, you are awesome!

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

This was a very informative read, thank you for all the details. I think I may be building something very very similar for work soon, just have a couple questions:

Would you change anything now that it's been a few months, in terms of maybe a fan starting to rattle sooner than you thought etc?

What's up with the white power cables going to the GPU and motherboard? Looking at the PSU in your list on Amazon and Newegg, I just see standard cables. Are these sleeves that come with the case, or something extra you've bought? I found a white power cable kit from corsair on amazon .. for 50$. Hoping that isn't the solution :(

As this is for work and in work's budget, I can spring a few more bucks on the water cooler, and at a glance that's the lowest rated (pcpartpicker stars) part in your build. If you had up to an extra 30$ towards it, any suggestions?

Now I originally started this comment solely to ask this question, however the coffee is strong today and many "what-if's" appeared, so lastly: can you possibly elaborate on the DC fan / smart device tinkering? Perhaps there's a new version of the fan by now which could make the issue obsolete? If not, and I were to slap this whole build together, would that fan not function at all or only have 2 settings of 0% and 100% or can you just not set custom fan curves etc? I'm completely ignorant of the significance of the issue or how much effort it takes to correct. You could ELI5 if you'd like, or tell me to get to googlin' if it's a huge chunk of info I need to be aware of, I trust whatever you think is fair :D

Thanks very much in advance for your time, p.s. you box is absolutely gorgeous <3

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem! Sorry for the delayed answer, I haven't been checking this website in a while lol.

Yes, I would make some changes, in fact I did. First, I changed my GPU for a double fan card (MSI Gaming X 1060) because it is way quieter. It literally never goes above 70C and often sits around 62-65 C when gaming and it is basically inaudible. Not to say that the EVGA one is bad, but there is just no comparison against this particular model. I tried experimenting with blower cards and those are louder too, and hotter. People always recommend those, but my experience tells me otherwise. However, your mileage may vary. I really recommend the Gaming X models.

As for the PSU cables, yes, cable extensions or cable sets are not cheap. I had to buy a set for 30 bucks on Amazon for the aesthetics. Keep in mind that these are just extensions that you plug into your cables so cable management is a little more complicated, but definitely doable in this case.

I don't really know why I rated it lower (water cooler) now, lol. Maybe because of the stiff hoses or something. However, cooling wise, it is way more effective than my previous Criorig H7 ever was. They say small radiators are not as effective, but it is been fine for my 8600k OCed to 5ghz, staying around 55-60C while gaming and very quiet too. If you want to splurge a little more and have more piece of mind, you could look into NZXT Kraken water coolers which are pretty nice too, or maybe even the Corsair h100 which is the 240mm version of mine. Both options are very nice and way easier to install than any air cooler, in my experience.

Lastly, I just pasted some black stickers on the SSD to make it flush with the case and on the corsair logo for the same effect. I need to upload photos later to this and make the update. As for the smart device, well, I use it to set my fans quiet. I have custom fan curves for case fans set independently based on GPU or CPU (I can choose from both) and for the RGB strip. The software is not good, but it could work out if youre patient enough and try to mess with it. I'm not aware that there is a new version now, but you could do some research and let me know. But basically, it works fine for me. I don't ask much, just fan curves and the light settings which this device can certainly accomplish, although with some getting used to.

Good luck, and if you have any more questions just let me know!

Edit: Oh right, I do remember why I rated lower the water cooler. The stock fans that come with it are TRASH, and I mean it. They are so loud and make rattle noise with the radiator. Just change the fans with a couple of noctuas or phanteks fans and you'll be golden.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Is it tight when installing both RAMs together? I have the same board and RAM.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

nice roll on that 8600k, I haven't seen a lot of them running that high with such a low amount of voltage. I'll bet with a "better" board you could of pushed 5ghz.

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  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks I really appreciate it!!!