Description

I moved to Panama from California about fours years ago. My old HP laptop served me well for the first couple years, but when the battery died, it was time for a new computer. So I spent two or three days shopping around the local shops looking for a decent computer. I found a Dell all-in-one that looked pretty good, so I bought it. Unfortunately, I didn't know much about computer specifications, so I basically ended up with a 24" desktop version of my 2009 laptop...(DOH!). Fast forward to June 2014, (a few days after the one year warranty expired lol..) then, "BOOM!" Normally thunder follows lightning. Not this time. As I gradually became aware that I was not dead, I slowly uncurled from the fetal position that I had spontaneously snapped into. After a few a minutes, the power was restored and I was able to confirm that the lightning had struck about 30 meters in front of me. Fortunately no one was injured, but sadly, my router, several compact fluorescent bulbs, and my Dell were dead. Thankfully, I had ordered a replacement battery from Amazon a few weeks earlier, so the old HP was good to go and I was able to start searching for a new computer.

I have been wanting to build my own computer for a long time. If you're reading this, you know what I'm talking about: You don't want a some silly little iCrap tablet, you want a high speed, 48.5 GHz CPU, nitrogen cooled, 1200 FPS, 64GB RAM, 16TB SSD, "MACHINE OF TOTAL DESTRUCTION!!!". (Sure, we may only ever use it for spreadsheets, email, and ****, but we all want an overpowered rig!) Well, all of that went out the window when I realized my budget was only $500. So I started researching and saving. The hardest part was the realization that I wouldn't be able to order all the parts from Amazon or Newegg, because of the shipping restrictions and costs. I spent a lot time comparing prices and reading reviews.

Long story short; I decided to buy all my parts here in Panama, "sight-unseen" from, "http://www.yoytec.com/index.php/cPath/26" All the parts arrived together, and were very well packaged. Everything arrived in perfect condition, exactly as ordered.

Although I was super excited to finally have all those amazing boxes in front of me, I took a deep breath and carefully examined each one. Almost like magic, they began to come together. Maybe because I had been dreaming about this moment for so long, or maybe because it was just so damn easy, the next thing I knew, it was done. I checked the time, it had taken six hours. For some reason I felt like Dr. Frankenstein. The only thing left to do was press the start button. What if it doesn't start? What if you have a crossed wire or bad connection? What if everything you have worked so hard for, and saved for, goes up in smoke from a single careless press of a button? Sounds stupid, but it took me two hours to press that button...

At first, nothing happened. Then the mouse lit up, followed by the gentle hum of the intake and CPU fans. The monitor flashed a couple times and asked for a disk. I loaded the Windows disk and after some basic configuration, everything has been working perfectly ever since.

CPU: Intel Core i3-4160 3.6GHz Dual-Core- Very fast with integrated graphics. Well priced and very energy efficient (50 watts max). Only downside is that it runs very hot, (80C) at 100% load with the stock heatsink.

MOBO: Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA 1150- Love it! Tons of USB ports, 2 ethernet connections, very strong WIFI, lots of audio jacks, allows for plenty of upgrades, and very easy to install. Highly recommended.

RAM: Kingston Fury Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600- Looks good, works as it should. Recommended.

SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive- Awesome! Zero to Google in under 30 seconds! (Note: It takes me 10 seconds to type my password lol.) It's fast. Very highly recommended!

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB- Very impressive little card. Good price and very efficient, (60 watts @ 65C max). Gets it's power from the PCI slot, so no extra cables. Runs 1080p videos flawlessly. Tera plays @30-60 FPS on max settings smoothly.

CASE: Cooler Master Elite 130 Mini ITX Tower Case- Love it! Great quality, good price, very easy to work with, excellent airflow. Highly recommended!

PSU: Thermaltake 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply- Semi-solid gold! More than enough extra cables provided for a MINI-ITX build. Only a minor complaint; some of the non-modular cables were not exactly "inline" with their connectors, so it was impossible to run some of the cables without twists in line. Recommended.

OPTICAL DRIVE: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer- Loaded Windows quickly without any problems...I'll probably never use it again.

OS: Microsoft Windows 8.1 en Español, 64-Bit, DVD, OEM- I read the negative reviews, my friends told me stay away from it... but like a moth to a flame, I thought, "How bad could it be?".....Well, they were right; it absolutely sucks for a PC. I loaded "http://www.classicshell.net/downloads/" and it works fine, but Windows 8 is easily the worst, most overpriced product I have ever bought in my life.

Monitor: Asus VE248H 24.0" Monitor- Slightly better than average (?). After spending a few hours adjusting the settings, it looks decent and it works fine, but I wish I had spent a bit more for an ISP.

Keyboard and Mouse (combo en Español): Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator- Good price, looks great, plug and play, feels good and solid, very responsive, and no batteries required. Cons: The letters on the keyboard are almost impossible to see without the backlight. The backlight does not come on automatically when you start your system, so you have to hit the "SCR LK" button. The mouse light NEVER goes off! (unless you turn off the power to your rig.) Overall, I like the mouse. The two side thumb buttons are great for gaming and browsing, and I like the full sized keyboard. If Cooler Master made the letters more visible and fixed the lighting issues, this would be a really great product.

Surge Arrester: Seems like a very good quality power strip. (I lost two routers and a PC last year due to lightning strikes, so we shall see...)

Webcam: Works fine for basic Skype but, "...this is not the webcam you are looking for...move along..."

Overall, I'm very happy with my first build. It cost a lot more than I expected ($1373.99 including tax), but the satisfaction of actually building it is priceless. I really enjoyed learning about all the different components and how they work together. I knew it would improve general performance, but the advantage in games is incredible! (I only play Tera at the moment). For general use, browsing, streaming, Skype, etc, this build works extremely well. I don't really plan on any upgrades, but in a year or two when prices come down a bit, I might get an i-5 or i-7 with water cooling and a R9 280/290.

Anyway, special thanks to the developers and contributors of PC Partpicker. You guys are awesome! I could not/would not, have been able to do this without you. I love reading all the comments, so please rate and let me know what you guys think. Saludos

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Your cable management fu is masterful. +1

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

ty

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Agree, so tidy and space-efficient... Mine isn't good (I'm using the same CM Elite 130, and installed the plate for the 1 TB Seagate HDD 3.5")

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

I am bookmarking your build for reference with my cable management; looks great! I am about to start a new build using the Elite 130

  • 61 months ago
  • 2 points

Sorry for the delayed reply. I was planning on posting a small cable management guide, but I lost my notes, the dog ate my homework, life got in the way, etc...

I had a look a some of your builds and I my jaw hit the floor! You are a master builder! +1 to all of them. Please send me a link when you finish your CM Elite 130 build. I would love to see it!

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

very nice cable management +1 for that!!!

Just wanted to point out that you should flip the PSU so the fan is facing up, this way the cpu fan and the PSU are not fighting both for the same air. Cooler master recommends putting the PSU with the fan facing down when you are using a water cooler, to help exhaust the warm air.

  • 63 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks for the comment. The main reason I put the PSU facing down was because I have a serious dust problem here. Also, I wanted it to act as an exhaust fan. The air flow is really great, but I understand what you mean. I ran the Intel diagnostic tool and it said everything was 20-40C below max operating temp, but 80C seems way too hot, even with the ambient air temperature at 35C. I'll definitely go with water cooling when I upgrade.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

this would help... but I don't know as you are in Panama

http://www.demcifilter.com/c211/ELITE-130-MINI-ITX.aspx

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Great link, thanks. I didn't know those were available. I'll see if I can get a set.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 If I had done such an awesome cable management job in my own PC I would also be posting tons of pictures of it!

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you. The semi-modular PSU really helped a lot.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 For the cpu, case and cable management !!

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! The case was really easy to work with. I removed the side HDD bracket and the 80mm exhaust fan that came with the case, so there was plenty of room.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

This is going to get mentioned a lot, but great job with cable managment. Really immaculate work there considering it's a mini itx box. Love the low tdp part choices as well. Really nice.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm glad to see you noticed the low TDP. I wanted an efficient rig, but I am really surprised that the total load is under 150 watts, maxed out. When the budget allows, I would like to get a full sized GPU and a quad-core CPU, but for now it handles everything I can throw at it. Thanks for the nice comment.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice job but you overpayed for a lot like the psu, gpu and ram. Other than that, nice work.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

You are right. I bought everything here in Panama so all the prices are about 20-30% higher than normal. I could have bought all the parts from Amazon or Newegg, but the shipping costs would have been a lot more.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

you are a cable management god

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

LOL! I bought a 99 cent bag of zip-ties, and took a little time straightening out the cables. Check out some of the other builders on this site. Especially "Skemble". That guy is good! But thanks for the comment.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

First off, this is the best cable management in an ITX case I have ever seen so kudos for that +1 Second, I'm from Panama and am currently living in California. So that's a pretty neat coincidence. Why'd you move there? I've been playing with the idea of going back in my later years but I'm not sure just yet.

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

I love the tropics. Panama is an amazing country! My dad moved here about 15 years ago, and I came down several times for vacations and just to visit. I fell in love with the place. (Soy un gringo, pero me encanta la gente, la cultura, y la clima.) Thanks for the nice comment!

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Man you did a great job with those cables. Master! I just bought my pc parts, and now I'm just waiting the mobo that is the same as yours, H97N-WIFI. Please, do you have any more pictures of it? Because I don't know how to install the cables in it, and as my case (elite130) is the same as yours, it would help me a lot to see where you put the cables in the mobo. Nice job! I will try to do the same good work in my pc. Thanks

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the nice comment. I'm sorry I don't have any more detailed photos of the MOBO, but the owners manual for the H97N-WIFI has good diagrams and instructions, so you should have no problems making the correct connections. (Be aware that there is no fan connection for the 80mm exhaust fan that comes with the Elite 130.)

Here are a few tips that will help with cable management: 1.) Before you begin; straighten out all of the cables. Use your hands to gently massage out all the bends, kinks, and twists so that all of the cables lay smooth and straight. If you know that a group of cables share the same connection points, you can loosely bundle them together with wire ties. (Note: Wire ties (twist ties?) are the plastic coated metal ones, zip ties are plastic.)

2.) "Dry fit" all of the cables. Carefully route the cables through the case and connect them to their proper terminals. Try to ensure that all of the cables are run; "Square, Level, and Plumb". Use wire ties to temporarily secure the cables. If there are any cables that interfere with airflow or "just don't look right", reroute them until you are satisfied. Avoid sharp bends. Mold the cables so that they naturally line up with their connection points.

3.) Once you have all the cables run nicely, double check your connection points. Gently wiggle and push/pull each one to ensure you have a solid connection. Start the computer. Make sure everything is working perfectly. (I ran mine for 24 hours before moving to the last step.)

4.) Secure the cables. At this point you should have nothing but wire ties holding everything together. Begin replacing the wire ties with zip ties. Strap on the zip ties, (snug but not tight) so that the "nub and tails" are aligned with each other, and that they are nicely spaced. When you are satisfied; gently tighten the zip ties. Carefully cut the tails off near the nubs, and use your fingers to roll the nubs out of sight. Make sure you remove all of the wire ties.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any questions. Please send me a link when you finish your build!

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Sir, you helped me a lot! Thank you very much. I will follow your guide step by step. And sure, I will post photos of mine installation. Cya, Gabriel

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Here bro

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/Jzr7YJ

What you think?

Thanks Gabriel

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

STOP YOUR P0RN PLZZZZZZZ

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!