Description

This is a machine I built after buying pieces on sale for about 3 months. I mostly chose parts based on numbers (posted ratings compared to other, similar parts), and somewhat on reviews. I do not do any gaming, and do not plan on any overclocking, but I do a lot of statistical analysis, including GIS spatial analysis/mapping, as well as some video editing. For most of what I do, this machine is overkill, but occasionally the extra power may come in handy, and hopefully it will last for a decade like my last machine.

I have seen some really pretty builds here, and those need transparent cases. However, I did not want any visible flash, in fact, I would be happy to have the computer hidden away to just do its job. So nothing I have is RGB, and I got a plain black case that had good sound insulation, with reasonable thermals. I stayed with the stock CPU & chassis fans, and they seem very quiet. The CPU & GPU "load temps" are from doing a full Passmark test (3,435). It's a micro-case, so might work under my futon, assuming I can keep out the dog hair.

The biggest problem I had was that the B350M board was not compatible with the Ryzen 2600x out-of-the-box because of the bios. I was planning on going through the process of having AMD send me a boot-kit so I could flash the bios. However, I ended up having my local Fry's do it, since I didn't know how long it would take for AMD to send me the kit, or if there would be hidden charges (like shipping, or if I accidentally fried the CPU). Plus I didn't even know the bios was the problem--when I finished the build and turned it on, the fans all spun up (CPU & chassis), but the monitor just said, "no input," and since I had no working desktop to try out the parts, for all I knew, I could have received a dead GPU. But, it was just the bios issue. I would have got an x470, but they don't have any micro boards yet, and I did not want to wait.

The only major addition I want for my system is an SSD hard-drive, something like the 970 Pro--perhaps next month...

Part Reviews

Motherboard

I compiled a list of 27 boards that were compatible with the Ryzen but were either mini or micro. Since I wanted a smaller system, I did not want a full-size ATX. Of those only 6 had the minimum features I wanted: 4 DIMM slots, M2-ready & Gen 2 USB ports. Of these, only 2 did not have terrible reviews on NewEgg. I chose the TUF because of good reviews. There were no problems with installation of all of the parts, except the bios was incompatible with the Ryzen 2600x, so had to be flashed. I took off 1/2-star for that.

The other problem is likely just a problem with micro-boards. If I put the GPU (Gigabyte 1050 Ti) in one slot, it covers the PCIE 2.0 x1 slot, meaning, you can't use it. However, if I put the GPU in the second slot, it crushes some of the connections, and I can't set the USB-to-chassis connection at all. So you have to choose which one you don't want to use. I took another 1/2-star off for that.

Otherwise, everything seems great so far. The ASUS system-monitoring software seems nice.

Storage

Great price, no installation problems, boot is almost instantaneous, installation of new programs is speedy. Installed a clean, new Windows 10 Education (with 2018 updates) in less than 10 minutes. Advertised speed & lifespan (TBW) look great for the price, as long as it lives up to the claims.

Video Card

Since I don't do any gaming, I doubt I'll push this thing to its limits, although I do some video editing, which might challenge it. During the Passmark test, the fan only had to come on once for a brief time, and it seemed quiet.

I probably should give this 5-stars instead of 4, however, the problem in my system is the width of the GPU--it covers the PCI slot next to it, meaning it can't be used, unless I put the GPU in the other slot, which covers some of the connections (like the USB-to-chassis) which means those can't be used. So that might be a motherboard issue, perhaps all GPU's are this wide.

Case

I wanted a smaller system, so I looked for a micro-case, and this had great reviews--quiet and decent thermals. It comes with two fans, front and back. So far they seem very quiet and efficient. Putting in the motherboard and power-supply went very smoothly. Everything put together is heavier than I thought it would be, but it seems like a very solidly-built case, with lots of filters.

Power Supply

It seems great so far, with a quiet fan and lots of connections. The Corsair-link software is a nice monitoring system, but the CPU temperature is WAY off (almost twice as high as it is), so I have to use the motherboard software for that. Everything else in the software seems to be correct.

Operating System

This was free with my university affiliation. I hate Windows, but it's the only game in town for PC, other than Linux, which I hate even worse.

Wireless Network Adapter

It's a good adapter when it isn't cutting out. It will work for half an hour, then no signal for 30-seconds. I have used a laptop internal WLAN for 5 years in the same spot in my house with no problems, so it's got to be either the adapter, or the compatibility with my machine. I tried several different adapters from TP-Link & elsewhere, nothing fixed the problem, so I am returning it to try a different WiFi solution. Reviews elsewhere said they have had problems with Windows 10, the OS I use.

Comments

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for the pupper, looks alot like my chiweenie, who is rightly named Apollo. Also, nice simple build! It is what I am going for as well. How do you like that case? I have looked at the ATX Mid tower version of it and it looks pretty solid. The one I looked at is here: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352066&cm_re=fractal_design_define_c-_-11-352-066-_-Product

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

That case looks almost exactly like mine, just bigger. I like it so far (although it's just day 3). It seems incredibly sturdy and well-designed. The power-supply is in a separate compartment from the motherboard, so you can see from the pictures that the cables (and storage) go in the back compartment, easily feeding them through to the motherboard, so the front view looks really clean. If somebody wanted a 'show off' computer, they could easily get this case with the transparent side, since cable-management has been well thought out, imo. It's heavier than I expected, but I interpret that as solid & sturdy!

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

Btw, this dog just showed up on my front porch one day. I heard him outside playing with my shepherd mix. I advertised him for a month, but nobody claimed him, so I guess he's mine now. My vet guessed some kind of chiweenie. He's become a good dog, now that he's finally stopped using my house as a toilet, but that was a rough journey. haha

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

Oh I imagine! Mine is 6, and he is just a spaz, but a good dog. And yeah the case I am looking at is the ATX version of your case, so just a little bigger. I don't like all the show-off stuff, just something basic is what I am shooting for. Kinda like a sleeper, looks boring but packs a punch.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

TBH, the solution to your WIFI issues is to switch to the B350-I ITX board. It has onboard Wifi and the PCI Express x16 is actually a proper PCI-E x16 slot

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build. You can put the WiFi card in the slot where you have the GPU.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Woof

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