Description

Unsatisfied with the poor dust filtration on our previous living room PC, we started looking for a new case. Before we knew it, we replaced half of the PC!

16GB of RAM being added in the near future, video card is more than likely also being upgraded to an EVGA 1070 SC if/when I switch my main rig over to a 1080 Hydro Copper(spoiler alert for future build :p).

This little guy sits on a shelf on our entertainment center, hooked up to a decent enough Toshiba soundbar for audio(via optical audio!) and a ceiling mounted Optoma GT1080 DLP projector for video :3

Used for video streaming, movies, 96" gaming and emulation. The most played game on here is Cities Skylines, and with the overclocked i5 it looks amazing on such a big screen and runs pretty well. The original living room build had an i3-6100 and in a game that's so hard on the CPU like Cities, the difference was night and day. The 3GB of VRAM is just enough with a little to spare for the games played on this, and the GPU itself is powerful enough for 1080p with games running on highest or near highest settings. Fast boot time with the SSD, plenty of storage space, an optical drive for our Blu-Ray collection(believe me, if it were my choice this thing would have been skipped and a better AIO put in it's place haha) and a new, much sleeker looking chassis than before.

I meant to take more/better pictures, but I didn't. But I have to say I was extremely proud of my cable management. Once it came time for radiator mounting I wasn't sure if I was going to be happy with how everything would fit, but it all worked out nicely.

Most recent userbenchmark run: http://www.userbenchmark.com/userrun/3893431

CPU overclocked to 5 GHz @ 1.395v

Memory manually set at 2666MHz 16-16-17-36 @ 1.29v

GPU power/temp/voltage sliders maxed, +150 to core and +500 to memory

Part Reviews

CPU

Originally got this stable at 4.5Ghz at 1.2v with a Cryorig C7(dancing on 80 degrees after 15-20 minutes of Cities Skylines though haha). So my immediate thoughts were I got a good chip(my other 7600K requires 1.23v with a better cooler in a much more open case). Switched to a Corsair H80i V2 and got it stable at 5GHz at 1.395v with full load temps being in the 70's, gaming temps varying depending on CPU utilization. I would have liked to get a higher overclock or a lower voltage, but considering how compact the case is, how little the motherboard can breathe, and the fact that my board doesn't have as many power phases as others, I'm pretty happy.

Anything that is coded to use 4 or less cores, this thing absolutely obliterates. ESO runs the best I've ever seen it thanks to the 5GHz overclock, Cities Skylines does as well for the same reason as well this being a quadcore. I've yet to load any emulators but I imagine any of the games that required a super fast CPU to run smoothly will just bow before me. General desktop tasks of course are nothing as well to this CPU so it helps to make it for an overall great media center and gaming PC.

Motherboard

This is a pretty decent little motherboard. I got a bundle price, plus a rebate, plus a free game so I'm feeling really good in the value department, but it actually has a good amount of features. WiFi/Bluetooth, 2 sysfan headers in addition to a CPU fan header, decently placed ports so installing it in the small cases it's meant for isn't a huge hassle. This doesn't have as many power phases as pricier boards like the Strix and others, but you can still get a pretty good overclock stable. I do think they could have fit 2 more USB ports and some people may be put off by the M.2 being on the back of the board.

It's a shame how expensive mITX motherboards are, but even at the full price, this is still not too bad. Though you probably could find something cheaper.

Comments

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

How many RGB headers does the motherboard have?

Also, I saw on MSI's website that Mystic Light has a "play" setting. Does that mean the LEDs change color in response to what's going on in-game?

If it does mean that, would you mind posting a video of what that looks like? It'd be super helpful if you could show the build and the game at the same time.

  • 22 months ago
  • 2 points

It has 1, located between the WiFi antennae and USB/NIC.

For the other question, I honestly have no clue. None of the LED's inside are visible because of the case it's in and the longer 1070 that's now in it.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Got it. Thank you so much for your reply!

  • 27 months ago
  • 0 points

Why did you choose i5-7600K over Ryzen 5 1600?

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

No good mITX boards, poor memory support, worse performance for the types of usage I would be putting it through. I don't need 12 threads, this PC needs a fast clock speed, high IPC and good quadcore performance.

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

Used for video streaming, movies, 96" gaming and emulation.

For this purpose, an R5 1600 can't touch a 7600K @ 5GHz.

  • 26 months ago
  • 2 points

Agree, just in emulation (PCSX2,Dolphin,etc) alone, AMD (including Zen) cant touch high clocked Intel chips. It's why the Pentium Anniversary edition is still relevant for those setups due to their high overclock potential.

This might change someday if the emulation developers are able to utilize more cores, but I heard it's a very difficult feat and as a result low priority compared to other things.

  • 26 months ago
  • 2 points

Dolphin will more than likely always be a 2 core application, there just isn't really a feasible way to break the work down for multiple cores(plus,with Skylake IPC and clock speeds, there's little need to). That's something that I think a lot of people fail to realize, not everything can be split up to run on multiple cores.

Skylake IPC at 5GHz is pretty fast, I will definitely say that. Going to this from a stock i3 6100 has at least tripled framerate in Cities Skylines.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

I see. May it serve you well! :)

  • 26 months ago
  • 2 points

Believe me, I wanted Ryzen to be the "do it all for less" line of CPUs. They're a better value and have way better multi-core performance, but that wasn't what I needed so I had to pay more for fewer cores that are faster. But! I did get a good bundle combo on the CPU and motherboard, so it's not too bad.