This build has been designed from the ground up as a machine to run an Oculus Rift CV1 as best as possible.
Most importantly, this build is a means to showcase VR to family, friends and be easy to take it to events or locations. This is why this system was made around the mini-ITX form factor. Secondarily, I wanted a 'to-date' gaming machine that will run everything I throw at it. Although given the goals of this system, I also want it to run as quietly as possible as it will replace my defunct mATX tower that lives(d) in my bedroom which used to run as an overnight torrent machine/VPNtunnel/fileserv.
Please note: All prices reflect an AUD pricing scheme and thus some parts appear ridiculously expensive... which they are - Stupid Aussie tax.
So, here are some quick reasons as to why I had chosen each part:
- CPU: Budgetary reasons and overclockable nature for extending lifespan.
- Cooler: Comes with Silencio fans - Originally I wanted Corsair H1000i but I was sold on the overall low db that many reviews of the 240M gives.
- Mobo: Random shot in the dark really. Could have done better.
- Memory: Well, it's RAM.
- SSD: Because it's only $5 more than the EVO in 256GB.
- HDD: Recovered from old mATX tower. Note: Enterprise drives are bloody loud ><"
- Video: To give the Rift the best card as possible ...and a mate of mine found them on ebay when they were doing a 20% off CLICKMORE voucher code thingy. So the price isn't bad/fairly reasonable.
- Case: Because it has a handle on top. The colour was chosen via lottery: Brexit remain = Black. Brexit leave = White.
- PSU: It's short enough to fit. The case supports up to 180mm, but you wouldn't be able to use the HDD cage, so 160mm was the way to go. Fits, but it's real tight.
- OS: Because I got it for $40 with a student voucher deal. Otherwise it'd be $200
- Case fan: For their reputation for quietness. Damn, they are more crazy quiet than you think.
- Peripherals: Taken from mATX tower. Keyboard not yet bought.
- CV1: Whole point of this project.
Overall build was simple enough and straight-forward but came with the challenges faced when building in a mini-ITX case. Here are some thoughts for those replicating or planning to build similar systems in this case:
- Plan your radiator placement. Placing the pipes leaving from close to the rear of the fan results in unwanted tension that sends the ribbings into the rear fan. I flipped it over, but over on the other side, plastic lugs from the case stopped the proper fitment. I had to file down the lugs in order for the rad to fit. In the end, no problems. Just modifications needed.
- Do your cable management for the front IO cables under the handle. ALL the plastic panels can be removed off the metal frame. The front IO board also. The handles unscrews and actually reveals a very generous amount of space for cable management. The USB3 header cannot go through here as the cables are far too thick to bend to get to this location.
- Modular PSU's saved the day. Be careful with semi-modular unless completely confident or do not plan in using the removable 3.5" HDD cage. The Corsair Link cable actually needs to feed through the cage to get to the USB plug, so you're down a 3.5 bay
- The front case fan 'screws' don't fit all the way. The holes drilled into the frame are for narrow screws. Squeezing the mounting 'pins' from the Noctua kit was a frustrating affair.
Feel free to comment below with any questions about the build as I'm pretty sure I missed some important points.
Runs fast. Going to bench and overclock in the future
Super quiet even though it has 2 fans
Heavier than I thought it'd be. Would have preferred the Wifi antenna were 2 separate screw on antennas than a long cabled dongle thingy. Annoying to have to deal with the excess cable.
Excellent warranty. SSD's have run into the same situation as RAM... it's just storage space.
Bloody loud. Didn't realise it's actually an enterprise type drive. Would have bought something mainstream thus quieter instead.
HOLY COW. that is all
As a mobile rig, the handle is perfect. But the case itself is ~5kg and so with all the parts inside, it weighs around 10kg. Anyone using this case should consider the gross weight if you want something lighter to take around. I can deal with it, you may not.
So far, the fan has never run since I don't push the system. Maybe they could consider a fanless model in the future?
It's an OS.
Quiet as hell... without the front dust filter installed, otherwise it hums only every so slightly (must be some weird aero harmonics in play when the filter is on) Pain in the butt to install as a front case fan. I think I did it wrong... but whatever, it sucks air in and does it well. If there was a 200mm model, I'd get one. Surely, the Noctua fanboys are all facepalming at my install.
I keep thinking: "Is this thing even on?" I seriously don't hear it even at full speed. Fantastic.
Buttons beyond compare, buttons beyond belief. If you want more buttons, get a G600. The included Eneloop battery is a nice touch.
The last of the Class A/B amplifier giants for everyday consumers. Legendary. If this thing kicks the bucket, I'm fixing it no matter what.