Description

I wanted a small form factor rig that had some bite to it and this was the result.

My cable management is non-existent but since it isn't a windowed case it doesn't bother me too much. Also after taking the pictures I realized I need to clean and dust the hell out of this.

It took about a year to actually complete this build as I slowly bought parts for it. Most of the components were all bought around November-December of 2014, while most of the peripherals were purchased throughout this year(2015).

I live in Southern California and CA sales tax is pretty hefty so that added to the final price for many items but since I was able to find great deals and since I'm a Prime member I did it for convenience sake (Free two-day shipping, I also order super saver shipping from newegg and since they aren't too far from where I'm at it usually gets here the next day or in 2 days.).

I honestly was deciding between a mid-tower (h440) or a mini itx build and one late night while browsing Amazon I saw the white BitFenix Prodigy Case on sale for $50 instead of the usual $80-110. That kicked off everything else I got the PSU on sale during an Amazon GoldBox sale and waited until black friday weekend to look for a good cpu deal.

TigerDirect had the i5 and i7s on sale during black friday (I5 4690k was $209 or something like that) but they also had an extra $25 off if you checked out with Paypal (a win-win) and they also don't apply sales tax so it was an even sweeter deal. The Motherboard was at full price but it's actually really nice so I'm satisfied with that purchase.

The SSD was on sale on Amazon for about $10 less than usual and also included a free copy of Far Cry 4 so I jumped on that. Sticking with the theme of small form factor I decided to stick with 2.5 drives and got the 2TB 2.5 HDD on sale from Amazon (it was actually a Seagate External Backup Slim Plus HDD and I just removed the casing and the USB-sata adapter). The other 500gb 2.5 HDD was from my PS4 after I also replaced it with a 2TB drive.

I don't really like the concept of Mail-In-Rebates and usually don't deal with the hassle of them unless they save me $20 and upwards.

I actually got the GTX970 in April 2015 and between last November until then I used an EVGA GTX 760 SSC from an older rig. Was on sale and had another $30 MIR and also included Witcher 3 and when they recently announced Batman Arkham Knight bundled on top of that I spoke to Amazon Customer Service and they gave me a key for that.

OS I already had so that didn't matter too much and the fans were all about $50 which wasn't too big a deal for me.

Monitor was on sale just late last month (May) and I picked it up no tax just shipping and it finally arrived Tuesday

Amazon(Components): Motherboard (Full Price), SSD (Sale/Black Friday), HDD (Sale), Case (Sale), Ram (Sale), Power Supply (Sale), Graphics/Video Card (Sale+MIR).

Newegg(Components): CPU Cooler (Full Price + Rebate - It was out of stock on Amazon at the time so Newegg was the alternative and the price was a wash)

Amazon(Peripherals/Accessories): Keyboard (Sale), Mouse (Sale), Fan Controller (Only a few $ off).

TigerDirect(Components/Peripherals): CPU(Black Friday Sale), Monitor (Sale)

CPU is overclocked to 4.5GHz and at 55-65C at full load. GPU is overclocked 1669MHz 3705MHz (+170MHz GPU Core +200 MHz Memory Clock) and at 60-65C full load.

The Hyper 212 EVO was a tight fit but I still managed to stick 2 exhaust AF120s above it and was able to fit the beast of the Gigabyte GTX 970 and not hit my 230mm front intake fan. Air flows directly in and clears the low profile ram into the Hyper 212 EVO fan and right out to the rear AF120 exhaust. The case is not windowed but it is well ventilated (a bunch of holes) and air directly goes in and the GTX 970 fans are right there pulling it in.

I only run at 1080p and everything runs really nice. Unigine Valley scored 2671 with an average FPS of 63.8. GTA V maxed out (even the advanced graphics minus hi-res shadows) runs at a constant 60. Witcher 3 runs at a constant 60 high/ultra. Shadow of Mordor (High/Ultra sans ultra textures) runs around 90-100 FPS. Battlefield 4 runs nicely (don't remember exactly what fps i was getting).

In the end I saved about $200-$300 and this thing stays cool and runs like a dream.

TL;DR - You don't have to always wait until black friday for deals. As things go on sale just pick them up as you go. I only ended up getting one, albeit important, component on black friday. It also makes the hit to your wallet much lighter (purchasing in increments) as a result.

EDIT: I decided to tidy up the cables a bit and create some space. Still not the best but a little better than before .

Comments

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

I wonder if plastidip would effect the signal of the ASUS antenna. Get the whole rig white...

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Funny thing is I have a wired ethernet connection and only bothered to put up the antenna recently just so I could use my controller via bluetooth but that never happened since I still use it wired. I also thought about getting white psu cables to match the case too but I'm just too damn lazy to bother.

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  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

I might just try it out on the antenna and see if it affects the signal strength. I can always peel it off if it really screws with it.

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  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

I love these white computers! White is now starting to become my favorite theme for a computer and desk.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Same here

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Whats that screen saver? It's very nice :) Nice build although I wouldn't bother to get white cables, cause I mean there is no side window! But overall very nice :)

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! It's actually a wallpaper http://www.hdwallpapers.in/mclaren_570s_2015-wallpapers.html

After all the early feedback it got me all thinking about buying the windowed side panel to swap out occasionally (when it isn't summer and hot as all hell). And then that means getting white psu cables to match and soon enough it'll all spitball and I'll want white ram sticks too.

For now though I'll resist the temptation because it runs absolutely fine the way it is.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh so u can buy a windowed side panel huh? how much does it cost? But cool anyway.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Amazon, Newegg, and Tigerdirect all has them. I've seen them as low as $15 and as high as $30. It's currently $17 on Amazon.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow that's really cheap!

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Bellisimo!! fingers to mouth, kiss then flick

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

This is pretty well exactly what I want to do! Was it hard to get the Evo cooler in this case? And do you think you have negative pressure?

  • 53 months ago
  • 2 points

It might seem like a tight fit now but when I first had it all stripped down and had the fan heatsink+mobo installed it cleared the top and the top sides of the case (might have to slightly angle it). There's even enough space to obviously add two top 120 fans as an exhaust or intake.

The way I have it set up, there are more exhausts (3) than intakes (1 - unless you count the side panel perforated holes an intake). I briefly photoshopped what it looks like. I even removed the middle HDD cage (obviously for the GPU) but also the bottom 2x HDD drive cage for even more space since I only use 2.5 drives and the side panel with the power/reset/ports has to 2.5 drive "cages" mounted to it. I tried to minimize airflow obstruction within the case and it moves nicely from the front right into the cooler and out the back or through the top.

http://imgur.com/qlthC8q

The only thing I would reconsider again is probably getting a shorter PSU since this one is rather long and cable management gets a little messy but for $30 off I can't complain much. I'm also thinking about getting the Black/Silver Mesh Front Panel (white case comes only with a solid front panel with vents around the border) and having it painted/dipped in white to match and get even better airflow but so far the ambient temps in the case haven't gone higher than 60C.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks a lot for this mate, really helpful!! Did you find the cooler gets in the way of the PCI slot? I don't know if I have put the heat sink on incorrectly but it seems like it would be impossible to fit a gpu?

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

If you install the cooler with the fan pulling air from the side panel where the gpu should fit then you'll likely have issues fitting a gpu. If you have the fan in the front pulling from the front of the case then you'll have more than enough space.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Just realised though you have a different mobo to me so it's actually the other way around in my case. I should have just copied your build entirely lol

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Does your GPU not scrap up against that fan? Looks little too close.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

There's some clearance there. Even when installing not once did the gpu hit anything in the case. Sure it's a tight fit but it does indeed all fit with some minimal room to spare.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Where do you keep the SSD and HDD? Is that the HDD from your PS4 or SSD on the bottom there?

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

There are 2 2.5 drive slots on the side panel (with the power+reset switch and usb ports) and I have them mounted there. I'll probably reinstall the lower 2 x 3.5inch drive cage back to hide some of the cables and used 2.5-3.5 drive converters and slot them in.

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi everyone does anyone know a way to save parts lists for later I adore this build but its getting harder and harder to search for it

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, I'm doing an almost identical one. One question, is it necessary to have low profile ram with this motherboard + cooler?

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