Description

(Update April 2018, I changed the CPU cooler and overclocked).

I built this system to be placed in our living room under two conditions set by my wife: It had to be small and it had to be white, all of it. So I came up with this:

Core I5-8600K I was very close to get the i5 8400, but I changed my order in the last minute and got the 8600K so that I could do some overclocking, just for fun as I really don't need it. I had some problems with overclocking it initially. The cooler I got first wasn't powerful enough (BQ Pure Rock Slim) and the Z370N's VRM gets really hot, even a small overclock was bringing it over 100C. So I moved the BQ cooler to my wife's PC and got the Noctua C14S instead, which fits in the case by a hair. The Noctua is a much more powerful cooler and the top-down setup helps cooling the VRM as well. I overclocked to stable 4800 Mhz with CPU core temps peaking at 75C at load and VRM at 83C, which is fine for me.

be quiet! Pure Rock Slim then replaced with Noctua NH-C14S The BQ Pure Rock Slim is a good cooler for a locked CPU, but not good enough for the 8600K. The Noctua on the other hand is probably the best air cooler you can fit in this case. It comes just with one fan which I put on top, for the bottom I used a Phanteks 140mm I had already purchased. The two fan setup is not really needed for cooling the CPU, but it helps cooling the VRM better.

Temperatures went down by 5C when I put the side panel on top and the window on the side against the wall. Now the cooler can take the air directly from outside the case, maybe I should get dust filters.

The C14S is almost as big as the motherboard, making it difficult to plug the case's USB cable. I solved this problem with a low profile adapter I found in ebay. It was delivered from Hong Kong in less than 10 days.

Gigabyte Z370N WIFI The Z370N packs a lot of features in 17cm x 17cm: It comes with two 4-PIN case fan headers, which is all I needed. Two m.2 slots which I didn't use yet, 4 SATA slots which is plenty enough for my needs, sound is good and the WIFI part works well. I also like gigabyte's smart fan software. However I found out the VRM gets too hot, which makes this mobo less than ideal for overclocking.

Corsair Vengeance LPX I got the LPX because they are low profile, so they don't interfere with CPU cooler.

Samsung EVO 850 500GB and ASUS STRIX GTX 970 I recycled from my previous PC. The GPU needs replacement badly, but with the current GPU market situation I'll just wait a few moths and see what happens. I'd love to get a VEGA 56 to pair with the freesync monitor, but current prices are crazy. Thermaltake core V1 I love this case and it's small and white so it pleases both me and my wife. I love the looks and how you can put so many components in it and it doesn't fill cramped.

SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 650W Cheaper than EVGA and checks all the boxes. Getting all the cables plugged to the Mobo was a pain due the small size of the case.

Noctua NF-A20 Initially I got the Phanteks 140mm, but after a week I wasn't happy with the airflow in the case, so I ordered the Noctua and I feel it's better now. It comes with some rubber screws, but they wouldn't fit through the holes in the case and I ended up using the metal screws that came with the stock fan. I ended up using the Phanteks fan with the CPU cooler.

Iiyama monitor Not the monitor I wanted, but it's white, IPS and 1440p. It comes with freesync, which I might never use. The monitor is OK for the price, but many will find it too bright.

Logitech G700 I've been using it for the last 6 years and it never failed me. It's the only black thing it in the build but I don't intend to replace it.

Steelseries Arctis 3 I like it and it's white so my wife also likes it. I got in Germany for a decent price.

Drevo Excalibur It's white, it's small and it's mechanical with brown switches. I couldn't find a single keyboard with these characteristics in Switzerland so I had to go to Germany and get it. It has American layout so I'll have to get used to that.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Fantastic cooler. It's very easy to mount and allows for a lot of flexibility. I went for the dual fan setup.

Motherboard

The Z370N WIFI has everything you need for an ITX build. - Four SATA connectors - Two m.2 slots, although the one in the back doesn't support SATA SSD - WIFI, although the antenna is kind of cumbersome. - Good sound quality - CPU fan header + 2 case fan headers. PWM all of them.

UPDATE: I was let down by this Mobo when I finally attempted OC the i5 8600k. VRM temps went over the roof with just a light OC. Even at stock speeds Prime95 will bring VRM to temps over 100C.

I finally switched to a top down cooler and managed to get VRM temps to reasonable levels at 4800Mhz, but still I think a Z motherboard should do better, so it's only three stars.

Case

The Core V1 is a cute little case. I enjoyed working with it and I love to see it sitting on my desk.

Despite its small size it wasn't difficult to install all the components, only connecting the last few cables to the motherboard can be hard unless you have really small hands, but that's to be expected. You can put a regular ATX PSU in this case and my 28cm GPU fits with no issues. The lower section of the case has plenty of room for cable management. Airflow is great with a 200mm fan on the front, altough I didn't try the stock fan.

Power Supply

Fully modular, Gold Certified PSU from SeaSonic at a very competitive price. It comes with all the cables you need and some cable zipties. It runs completely silent.

Case Fan

They are good for the price, but I expected them to be more silent.

Case Fan

Best 200mm fan in the market, its very silent even at max speed. It comes with a Y PWM splitter.

Monitor

Not really a gaming monitor, but it's one of the cheapest 1440p IPS monitors you can get and it comes with AMD freesync. Refresh rate is 70Hz if you use the displayport cable which was provided

I like the looks and the ergonomics.

On the negatives I find the display too bright although I set brightness to the minimum, thus only 3 stars.

Mouse

Best mouse I ever had. I've been using it for the last six years. It never failed me.

Headphones

Good gaming headset with low price and beautiful design.

Custom

I find it too noisy for brown switches, but still a very good keyboard for the price. I also like it because it's white and small and it doesn't look like it came from space like many gaming keyboards.

Comments

  • 19 months ago
  • 3 points

And an expensive white box it is.

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build love the white.

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

I made the same build - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/YWBbt6

U can use more powerfull GTX (just slice peace of metall plank on case for power cables (see on my photos)

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Really awesome build! I love the white theme of it. The whole setup looks really good!

Enjoy!

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

May the blessings of the low video card prices come to your home. Your build really deserves it. Since you mentioned that the refresh rate is 70 Hz, I'll bet that FreeSync will go a long way in making gaming a very smooth experience. Plus, since you don't have to target framerates higher than that, I'll also bet that you can crank your settings higher for a more visually appealing experience. Your setup is clean and tidy as well.

My build has a 7600K in the Gigabyte Z270n-WiFi mITX board which should both be the direct predecessors to your CPU/mobo. I'm glad to see that the layout of the Z370 version is cleaner (mostly I had a gripe about the placement of the USB 3.0 header and how it blocked off cooler clearances).

You've got some work ahead of you (OC, GPU upgrade etc) but once it's done, this computer will really be something to behold.

Also, +1 for understanding wife.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

How did you get your VRM to 100 °C? What are your OC settings?

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

From the top of my head CPU clock ratio 45, LLC on high and vcore around 1.23, so a pretty small OC. The cooler is not really meant for OC, but CPU temps were still reasonable at that voltage. VRM temp was growing slowly until at some point I stopped the test.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

Where do you even check VRM temperature? On my Linux machine I don't see it in sensors information. My clock ratio is 50, Vcore = 1.35V, and at least five cores are under constant 99% load 24/7. Not to mention the GPU, which is also under constant load there.

  • 18 months ago
  • 1 point

You can see the temps for all motherboard sensors in Gigabyte's SIV application, the same that you can use to set up the fan curves. I also managed to link the fan curves for the two headers to VRM temp using the BIOS, which comes handy because the motherboard's CPU sensor is way off.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

You can replace the black mouse with the white Logitech G304/G305 (same model depending on country). It's wireless, well built, and doesn't look like a gamer mouse so wife would be pleased