So first and foremost i will say that this build got out of hand very quickly. I was originally just looking for a replacement PC for a 6+ yo laptop. After not being able to justify some of the prices for the pre-builts I found on offer, I decided to go down the path of building. Of course this took some persuading and assurances that it was "easy enough to do" and "you'll be fine".
I finally started playing around with some various builds (I think it changed at least 12 times in a short space of time), and finally settled on this list. It was more than I wanted to spend initially, but reasoning was it was more "future-proof" so I wouldn't need to worry about updating anything for a long while.
So the brief was as follows: I needed - something small, something with great aesthetics, something future-proof. I wanted - to get back into gaming after fathering 2 kids and 6yrs without even looking at a game, something powerful, something upgradeable when/if funds allowed later down the track.
So with that in mind, I ended up buying all my components from just 2 stores to save on shipping costs (more of a budget blow-out than you might initially think). Within a week on settling on the parts wanted, I had them in hand (very exciting).
The build itself was a little tedious working in such a small space with the sausage fingers I was blessed with, but I think the pain was worth the result in the end.
The only issues I had really were the Kraken not initially working, and cable management. As you can see, cables are sort of messy but again - hard to work in such small spaces with such long cables and big hands. I might get back in there one day to clean it up a bit more, but at the moment it doesn't impede on airflow which was my main concern.
The Kraken: when I first booted this baby up the fan on the Kraken were basically at 100%, which can be quite noisy. Many hours of scouring forums and boards for help later, I found a solution! Unplug the Kraken from the USB header on the mobo and plug it back in once windows has booted. Great. Sausage fingers. In the end, some creative yoga and a pair of needle nose pliers got it done. Never. Doing. That. Again.
All in all I'm ecstatic. The case stays cool thanks to the front dual 80mm fans giving the push-pull set up - and whisper quiet. CPU has not hit over 55C even on load. GPU runs anything I throw at it with ease (probably the one thing I would definitely update later), and nothing else really to complain about. AND IT WAS MY FIRST BUILD!!
Check out my parts reviews below to better understand the logic behind the choices...
Not much really to say. great unit and highly over-clockable for the future. I was initially looking at the 6500 but future-proofing me wanted to make sure it would be useful for a while...
great cooler to look at, and does the job oh-so-well... only giving 4 stars as i had issues with the drivers not being recognised/installing on first boot up. also support from nzxt was a little slow, but workaround worked a treat. Chose this over everything else as it just seemed performance and value for money were 2nd to none.. very happy in the end.
BIOS is great and very intuitive.. excellent chipset and features overall.. USB-C a big plus... again value for money, this beat anything else on offer at the time.. heat pipes also look a treat and like 87653 sata ports and 2 sata express ports are a win for future additions.
ram is ram... got the 3000 just because... case was initially supposed to be white, hence got these in white to match, but still look good with all the other parts, and low profile helps with space in mini itx build..
love it... boots super quick - 9 secs from button push to good to go..
great HDD.. quiet enough so happy with that.
great little card for the price. value for money is unmatched and clock speeds higher than anything else in price range. looks a treat but no lighting... handles anything i throw at it comfortably. eg. with graphics set to full, it runs NMS comfortably at 40+fps without any tweaks whatsoever. will wait for a while before OC..
for the form factor, this thing is a piece of art... cable management is hard, but i love the 2x USB3.0 in the front and the brushed look of the black. Was meant to get the white one, but due to a mix up from the shop I got the black - which actually looks better IRL compared to photos, and ended up matching the decor of my room much better.
great semi-modular PSU and great value for money... also mates well with the node 304 I got, so happy days all round..
The GODS COMMAND IT!! not much else to it really.. it all eventually going to Win10 so just did it.
this was definitely a splurge on my build, but I love it... picture is clear and bright, and it looks a treat with the node 304 sitting next to it. thin bezel and sharp angular design of the base is great, and despite what you might think, the base is actually quite solid, with little to no movement on the desk even with moderate desk bumps..
clear crisp sound and just the right amount of bass to complement.. love the wired remote makes it so easy - just gotta wait for a day/night without the kids to properly put it through its paces.