+ Total (United States):
EDIT: Thank you for featuring the build! All of the positive support and kind comments mean so much :D
This is my second PC build, and the first build I am sharing here on PC Partpicker. This build is the culmination of literally 7+ months of (off and on) work, and nearly a year of planning. The PC features a 3D printed frame and shell, and laser cut side panels, all of which I designed myself. I hope you enjoy :)
THE BUILD PROCESS
Back in August of 2016, I had already began dreaming of a new build, as the Athlon in my first build was showing its age. I teased myself by looking at new, and much faster parts, but decided it would be best to wait until the end of my highschool career, when I would likely have some graduation money to spend. And thus, the wait for Zen began.
By Christmas of 2016, with 5 months of waiting under my belt, I decided I had to get started somehow. This is when it occurred to me that I could design my own case while waiting for Zen to be released. I began with rough concept sketches (on my phone in the dentist's office lol), and began 3D modeling from there. I worked off and on throughout my second semester, and the case went through a total of 11 revisions, with a few drastic design changes (Originally the case featured few 3D printed parts, and resembled a fully acrylic Lian-Li PC-08).
All of a sudden, June rolls around, and while the case design was approaching completion, I knew I needed to begin the project. The mass of hardware ordered inspired me to ramp up progress on the case, and I worked almost non-stop to settle on a design I was happy with by early July. After all of my waiting for Ryzen, I got to wait even more ( :P ) as the 3D modeled parts were printed (>150 hours), and the acrylic sheets were laser cut.
Finally, all components were in my possession and the rig was tested on the motherboard box. All that remained was to assemble the computer. This proved to be both very challening, and very rewarding. The parts were tapped for screws, and dremeled slighlty due to tolerance issues with the printer. The PC was assembled using the rear side panel as a sort of motherboard tray, and 3D printed frame parts (the blocky, rectangular ones) were slowly attached to it, followed by the 3D printed shell (the thin curved parts), and the front acrylic panel.
Overall, I am beyond satisfied with how my case and build turned out. It was such a fun process that allowed me to learn new skills and develop existing ones. The PC is something I am truly proud of, and I honestly can't stop staring at it ;) Though there are a few bugs I would like to get sorted out, whether soon, or in an upcoming revision. Firstly, the graphics card tends to run hotter than I would like. I have managed to keep the temperatures to around 75°C under load, with VRMs below 85°C, but this is a bit hotter than I am comfortable with, and the fans make the computer sound like it's going to take off. Also, the cable management is not quite what I would like it to be. It is a bit messy in some places, with cables hanging or free. The collection of cables behind the graphics card and riser cable leaves little/no room for airflow along the back of the card and may be contributing to the high temperatures.
Any comments and questions are appreciated. :)
Thank you for reading!
FOR THOSE WHO WANT TO KNOW
The case measures 6" x 16" x 14". Each Shell 3D printed piece took ~28 hrs @ 25% infill. Each Frame 3D printed piece took ~10 hrs @ 50% infill.
All of waiting for Zen/Ryzen certainly paid off in this processor. For my mixed workloads of gaming, photo editing, and modeling, it has been superb! Especially when considering the wallet friendly price.
This is my first AIO, and I have loved every moment with it! Installation was a breeze thanks to NZXT's online guide. The cooler remains fairly quiet, even when the fans are at higher RPM. And of course, it is absolutely gorgeous.
Despite the fairly mixed reviews of this board, and the fact that it is no longer the only mITX Ryzen board, I do not at all regret purchasing this board. I will admit that the BIOS is a little bit clunky, but it certainly is navigable. Since this PC is designed to be a small desktop, instead of a portable LAN machine, I don't miss the exclusion of on-board wifi. I also appreciate Biostar's color neutral design (unlike the red competitors).