I could not load the drivers needed to install Windows 7, but Windows 10 works just fine. It does not come with a Wi-Fi card or antennas, but it does have the antenna bracket and an M.2 PCIe slot for a Wi-Fi card. At the time, it was cheaper buy the wireless parts separate. However, it maybe now cheaper to get one with it included.
I would, but I don't think I'm going to be keeping it.
The reason I came up with that price is an entry level Alienware X51 is $750, and has the same i3, same 8 GB of RAM, a cheaper standard HDD, and a much lower performing GT 745.
Thank you for the input.
Considering that this has superior performance (if only a little) to an entry level Alienware X51, I would consider this a gaming PC.
The 7260 works great, is capable of up to 867 Mbps on 5 GHz AC. It also has Bluetooth 4.0. Windows 10 loaded up the driver right away. No problems connecting to, or staying connected to my router.
Custom part listing has been made mostly easy, if you can find it on another site (like Amazon). There's spaces for name, url, type, and price. I've had to make a lot of use for it due to filters, wiring, or otherwise unlisted parts. Up-vote for the re-purposing. I've had no such luck. The best I've seen is people wanting to sell (yes, sell) their dead or dying 386 era machines.
Nice specific question. I had set it to steady on, so there wouldn't be any confusion with the system in a sleep state. I had told my buddy that the LED could be turned off or set on pulse, as he has set it up on his bedroom TV. He said it was fine as is. It is only somewhat noticeable. Most cases don't allow much visibility from internal lighting. You can see it a bit from the right side case vents, and likely the left too with no video card. You could enhance the light if you were to put a reflective sicker on the case floor. Just mind the motherboard standoffs.
To me the LED is a bonus that i don't really focus on. This is the second time I've used this board. It has some great added features for its price, and as an ITX. Some of these you don't see on less than a $150 Z rated board.
A few added notes to what Eltech already stated. I could've built this cheaper with much the same specs, but with less trusted component brands.
The memory I chose was manufacturer optimized for the lower voltage of an Intel CPU, 1.5V vs. 1.65V for AMD.
A hybrid drive does have some noticeable performance benefit a standard HDD. 5 sec boot time to Windows 10 as an example.
Gigabyte's integrated WiFi uses an Intel AC 7260 half-mPCIe card, which has WiFi AC, and also includes Bluetooth. I have one of these in a standard PCIe card.
The mainboard also has a dedicated USB DAC port. My friend is an audiophile.
This reply is not meant anything against you. I'm merely explaining my thought process, and particular choices.
EVGA has very good warranty support, from experience. They are on a list of component manufacturers that I would trust. Since, I have not used this particular model before, I will tell my buddy to be careful with it. I will also handle any warranty support for him; business policy.
Thank you. Very well stated.
I can agree with you there. I have just a GTX 750 slightly overworking for me, but still very competently.
I'm sorry that I didn't go into more detail on the specifics. Like myself, he's traditionally a console gamer converted to PC. We have trouble letting go of the controller. He has an Xbone controller that he games with. He wanted a cheap, lightweight, all in one keyboard for general navigation. This thing would be horrible to use for gaming.
rework of the drives. parametric for a samsung system ssd, cache ssd, and the most cost effective (currently) wd red mirror. caching the data mirror should more than make up for a performance loss running raid 1.
changed only RAM parametrics. i picked from the top brands, but you can narrow those. voltage cap is also an important selection for Intel CPU's.
Thank you for that question. I had forgotten to photograph that. The dual drive bay, on the very top in the 1st photo, it's in the 2.5" slot. I'll remember to get a shot of that opened up when I repost with the GPU upgrade and 250GB 850 EVO. That may be a few months out, though.
Yes, they are very useful. Thank you.
You want the Z series features, take advantage of them. It you can shift your budget a bit, try to get the G3258. You can OC that chip.
You probably don't want a Q series mainboard. Those are geared more for workstation use.
"just because i can" can be a regrettable statement. "i might use that feature" has a much better ring to it, even if the results maybe the same. Think about how it may be used, or you might wish you had spent that money better elsewhere.
I would say that I'd love to build you one, but shipping might be a bit pricey on this 60lb+ beast.
Oh, this is also a NAS server. I have 2 laptops, 2 smartphones, and sometimes a tablet that backup data to this. All of those devices only connect via WiFi. Windows to Windows connect easily through Homegroup. ES file explorer is a great Android app for transferring data over local networks. There are also apps that automatically do photo backups to a local NAS when connected to WiFi. I can't remember the name of those right now.
Simple answer, yes to all. I agree that this would be a great in-home standard. However, a decent amount of storage and processing power do cost a bit. Also, setup was mostly trial and error. I had fun with this, but others wouldn't.
Slightly more in-depth; it can stream, but I don't quite need it and my network isn't quite strong enough for that yet. When I started on this, more than a year ago, I only had about a $1k budget. To afford some things, I skimped on others. Some surprisingly, to my advantage. One of the things that got cut was an Android streaming device in my living room. At the time, that was going to be around $50 for a decent one. Instead I paid $26 for a 50' HDMI cable to run under the house. The HDMI has far more bandwidth than any home network (currently), and no worry about radio dead-spots, network congestion, etc. I use Kodi.tv (XBMC) for this. So, not so much streaming, as simple playback on a full screen app on a 3rd "monitor." There is also a XBMC remote Android app that allows me to use my phone as a remote for this.
Eventually I will be upgrading my home network to WiFi AC. If Kodi can't handle wireless streaming, then I believe VLC will work for that. More experiments (evil laugh)
I put that in the storage review, but that's OK. there's quite a bit of text in this post. It's two different RAID 0. One is hardware striped for better performance, the 2nd is software spanned for better data integrity in the event of a failure.
This Xeon isn't a Haswell refresh (refresh Xeons end in 1 or 6), so there is no need for a bios update to function properly. However, i did update it anyway.
Thank you for the feedback. I'm glad some people have noticed what I was trying to do with this.
At maximum draw (77.7W), this system would only barely touch 15% of that 500W modular PSU; that would be about 25% for the 300W PSU that is installed. Minimum efficiency threshold being about 20% for any 80+ PSU, so that would waste energy even with a higher 80+ rating.
This is actually a good PSU for the $40 I paid, vs $97 for the cheapest modular PSU. My friend still only had $500 to spend, so I would have been out even more money. As much as I would like a modular PSU here; it would be in no way cost effective, more energy efficient, nor a noticeable improvement to airflow (not in this case).
By SATA converter you mean the Slim SATA adapter? That was necessary for the slim optical disk drive. Even the more expensive PSU doesn't have a Slim SATA power connection listed. Though there are some, far more expensive, ODDs that have an adapter included.
Thank you for the input.
I'm sorry, that is better the eh. I didn't realize what little room that case has on the backside. Cheap cases and non-modular PSUs don't leave a lot of options. The only thing i see to improve, if possible, would be to tie the excess wiring bundle to the backside of the drive cage, like this:
However, if your GPU is getting enough air as is, then it probably doesn't matter. It's still far better than what I've seen from big companies' (Dell, HP...) assembly, and your customer is likely to never open the case.
The cable management is eh, but i'm guessing that case didn't leave much room for it, along with using a non-modular PSU. At least you have all of the wires bundled out of the way. Did you stress test the GPU? Does the windforce stay pretty cool? You've gotten some pretty good deals on parts. Was any of that from previous bulk purchases?
Flipping the category column to left side threw me off right away, but it took me all of twenty seconds to get used to it. I do, however, immediately miss the collapsible categories.
The ability to arrange photos of completed builds is very nice. As is the previews in saved parts lists.
The mobile site seems quite a bit more sluggish, especially with part filter overlay open. Also, there still seems no way to add parametrics on mobile (I could be just missing it?).
I think a great site improvement i could see would be an option to submit custom parts for review to potentially add a new category. The biggest example that stands out to me would be video cables (almost no parts linked here come with this very necessary item), but could potentially include drive adapter brackets, fan filters, case lighting, custom loop liquid cooling components, multi-monitor mounts... and stretching here, desks/chairs. Maybe even a miscellaneous catch-all category?
Overall, i appreciate the continued work. Change, for good or bad, is still an effort to improve and not abandonment.
Unless, the motherboard specifies otherwise, you should move your RAM to the 2nd and 4th slots from the left.
A smart build, no overkill on parts. Nice clean assembly and cable management. I like it.
There are so many people, that say they need an i7 (or whatever unnecessary upgrade) for a gaming only machine "just because."
that kind of reinforces what i had stated. those are comparisons for Samsung's "conservative" SSD. the overall speed is slightly reduced, and there are blocks reserved for wear down. a 250GB Evo actually has 256GB, but only wear leveling has access to the extra. the pro series being their performance line, currently on 850 pro. the user has full access to the die, and they maximize usable throughput. we'll really see the speed from high capacity as manufacturers develop proficiency with the m.2 connection. though Samsung does have the fastest 1TB SSD, in a mSATA form factor. Crucial maintains the best 1TB in a SATA3. this chart compares m.2/PCIe, mSATA, and SATA3:
the peak capable speed achieved through a single SATA3 line would likely be on a 256GB. some manufacturers actually use cheaper materials for the 1TB, so they are likely to be actually slower than a 512GB. however, even the slowest modern SSD is still far faster than the quickest HDD (the 10k RPM WD velociraptor, i believe). and that is comparing comparing SSD's sequential write (slowest stat) vs. HDD's sequential read (fastest stat). an SSD's random read/write is phenomenally faster than an HDD. at one time SSD's were thought to wear out faster than an HDD, since the HDD platters don't physically wear down. however, with extended durability testing on MLC and TLC SSD's; PCB's, heads, and/or motors will statically fail long before an SSD becomes unusable. maximum capacity and price per GB are the remaining advantages of HDD's. a good combo i prefer to sell customers currently is run the OS and programs from an smaller SSD (120-256GB), and store all data on a larger HDD (1TB+)
Not too bad. the power cable for the 970 is a bit of an eyesore, but it looks like there was nowhere else to put it. also, put up a temp monitor for your GPU. if the fans were rattling out of the box, i wouldn't trust it. i'm not sure of the customer service quality of Zotac, but if it comes to it, replacing the cooling fans/heat sink yourself isn't usually too difficult.
that CPU is a good futureproof investment too. IF it ever seems to start slowing on you, then you can try your hand in overclocking. though it may never come to that. i have a 4 year-old 1st gen i7q mobile that out performs my 4th gen i3 desktop CPU.
if your bios will let you up the RAM without changing CPU settings, the no.
smaller isn't faster for SSD's. 240/256GB is the smallest that will maximize speed from the SATA line. scroll down to the spreadsheet on this page:
look at the notes on your build list; "The G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory operating voltage of 1.65V exceeds the Intel Haswell Refresh CPU recommended maximum of 1.5V+5% (1.575V). This memory module may run at a reduced clock rate to meet the 1.5V voltage recommendation, or may require running at a voltage greater than the Intel recommended maximum." there will probably be XMP profiles that you can set for the RAM in the bios. without upping the voltage cap on your CPU you won't be able to get the 2133MGHz from the RAM. good news, having a K-rated processor means that this shouldn't be a problem. however, you will need to mind CPU temps. since you're not actually overclocking the CPU, then you might not need to worry about a 3rd party cooler. just keep an eye on it.
Seems decent. I look forward to seeing photos of your completed build. When you do, please post me a link here, so I know to look for it.
If you plan on overclocking that K-rated i7, then you might want to look into a better than stock cooler. I've read good reviews for the CM hyper 212 evo for an air only cooler, which should fit just fine in that case. Or research into a reliable closed loop liquid cooler. I'd recommend getting that now to save yourself from having to remove the mainboard and scrape off the thermal paste from the CPU later on.
I only made use of Amazon and Newegg, since I have prime and premier through my business. The only possible better prices I've found were through Microcenter, which isn't nearby and not worth the drive.
The top fan mounts will fit two 120mm or 140mm fans. The only two advantages this case offers is top end clearance for a radiator and 220mm side fan mount (only 220mm fan decently priced will mount as exhaust only). Mounting the motherboard was a real pain. Much easier to work with, but lacking any real room for a radiator, is this equally priced case:
I will be posting a build with it in a week or two...
Cable management looks pretty decent to me. I like that you explained the prices, otherwise would be quite unbelievable. Personally, I'm a bit leary of used electronics through Craigslist or Ebay, but sometimes it works out well, like this example. Good job on that.
Asmedia doesn't have very good programming for raid. Stated as supporting it, but I've never had good results. That's the only thing I don't much care for on my Asus board. I wish Asus would've just used the Intel controller for all 8 (on mine) SATA ports. Asmedia isn't well programmed for boot devices either.
Otherwise, good build. At least you found a use for your array.
I had planned on hooking this up to a TV. A laptop isn't what I'm looking for. I'm planning building myself one, then for friends and family members if it's works decent. Also, by light gaming, I mean not Max settings, so a bit beyond web browser games. Thanks though.
My bad, I missed that. I'm fixing it now.
Not last year. The FM2+ boards weren't even out yet. It was before AMD started slashing prices.
Thanks, I wanted a Pentium, but at the time they were out of stock. An i3 was out of my budget range.
I actually did just that. Oh well, people on this site are smart enough to get it anyway.
Plus for the PSU change. You want quality with that part. Else you have expensive toast.
It rearranged my photos for no reason.
Nice catch. So few would probably even know what that is for.
Gigabyte makes a 2GB GDDR5 GTX 750 for $130. Good for the money...
With that overkill of a PSU, I'm guessing you want something with more power?
Maybe a 770? or, for more VRAM intensive tasks, perhaps a 760 with 4GB?
As otherwise mentioned, for what do you plan to use it? How much do you want to spend?
RAM seems perfectly fine to me, though.
Thanks for the detailed photos, including the size comparison to gaming consoles.
Also, if you've never messed with Linux, I'd recommend giving it a try. You'll notice the latest version of Ubuntu has a very familiar feel compared to OSX, though less flashy. Free and far less hardware compatibility issues.