Description

I'm a college student and I play a good amount of pc games (mostly Fortnite right now). I have been using a ~$500 Acer laptop for all my gaming needs for the past three years. On my laptop I would only get 30-50 fps while playing Fortnite on low settings and it would occasionally freeze for a few seconds during a game. I've won a few duo and squad matches in Fortnite but it has always...been my dream...that one day...I would win a solo match on my own.
I earned some money working at a summer camp this summer and decided it was finally time for an upgrade. I considered buying a prebuilt pc but ended up deciding to build my own because I was going for a high-end build and I think that most high-end pcs are generally overpriced, and building a pc was something that interested me. I was tired of playing on my cruddy laptop and spared no expense on my new rig. I went for the RGB CPU cooler, RAM, case fans, and the 1080 Ti of course came with RGB, and opted for the mATX case for a slightly more compact build - ITX seemed a little too daunting for my first time building. I don't have any branding preferences but since I picked out an MSI motherboard I went for the MSI 1080 Ti to match it (same with the Deepcool CPU cooler and case fans). I bought all the parts new except for the GTX 1080 Ti because while buying other components used will only save you some dollars and is generally not worth it considering no warranty/more risky/missing packaging, buying a used 1080 Ti saved me $200 plus not having to pay tax. I ordered my parts mid August and they started trickling in over the next two weeks. The original plan was to have all the parts a week before I would have to go back to college which would give me plenty of time to build the pc and deal with any unexpected problems, but there was some issues processing my order with one of the retailers and I didn't get everything in time. So instead of transporting one compact pc back to college I had to take the case and all the parts in their separate packaging with me in case something went wrong with them and I had to return them (luckily I was driving back to college so space wasn't that big of a problem). The last component I was waiting for, the sticks of RAM, arrived in my P.O. box a few days later. I finished building my pc on the floor of my dorm room. I had already installed most of the parts beforehand so all that was left was adding in the RAM (I had to move my radiator for it to fit), the graphics card, the case fans, and doing some cable management. Even after I finished I was hesitant to turn on the pc and kept racking my head for anything that I could be forgetting. I decided to go for it: I plugged in the PSU and turned on the power and then sat there for a minute wondering why nothing was happening before I realized that I had to press the power button on the front of the pc. I pressed it and much to my delight the pc turned on, fans started spinning, and a flood of colors lit up inside.
I thought that the hardest part of the build was over, but the hardest challenge I had was actually installing Windows 10 on a USB drive to boot up the computer. I spent at least two hours on and off trying to use the Windows media creation tool. It would get to 100% and then it would report this error code: 0x80042405 - 0xA001A, saying it had failed. I tried restarting my computer and running it again, reformating the USB, running the program from the USB, and switching the which USB it was connected to. I finally got it after I think the 5th try, but the thing that really pisses me off is that this is a well-known and common issue (see here) and Microsoft has done nothing to fix this so it falls on the users to come together and figure it out on their own. About the pc itself: it's super fast. It loads Windows in a second and I get 200+ fps on Fortnite (I'll be testing it on other games later). One day after setting it up I finally got my first solo dub in Fornite :') One minor caveat of this rig is even with the mATX form factor you can see that it still takes up most of my small dorm room desk, but I could of expected this going in. I placed it sideways facing so that I would still have room for books and papers on the left side of my desk. If I really wanted to I could place the pc on the ground beside the desk if I ever got tired of looking at all the flashy colors, but I don't see that happening very soon.

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 4 points

Awesome job! But you should flip the fans on the radiator, so it actually has an intake; it's all negative air pressure :p

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Ahh good point, thanks for the tip!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

I have the 360mm DeepCool AIO, you can also put the fans on the other side. So its your choice if you want to see the back of the radiator or the back of the fans.

Overall, sick build with powerful parts that should last you a good while (or until you get the itch). Maybe clean up the 24pin and GPU cables. I use white extenders from Cablemod.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!!!

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  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Great job. i also agree on a shroud for the m.2 or moving it down.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Will do

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Not many people typically go small for their first build, +1 for the backstory and sick lighting/cpu cooler

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, mATX definitely limited my options for motherboards and cases but I'm happy with how it turned out.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Looking right! Maybe consider some sleeved cable extensions. They are cheap $30 USD range for whole set, including cpu 8 pin, gpu, ATX 24 pin etc, so give your build the extra pop over the messier black PSU cables. Most of these kits come with cable combs already.

My question to you is this: why did you settle on the meshify c mini? I had the same dilemma with limiting matx motherboards (even more so on RYZEN platform) so I went with the full size Meshify C. The difference? Only 1.61 inches or 4.1cm taller in height. The base dimensions of the case are exactly the same, allowing you bonus of ATX motherboard selection. So, that is the route I went. Love the build, just something to think about.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I think when I started out looking for parts I was set on mATX because I wanted that extra bit of compactness and the only thing I would really be giving up were some optical drive bays which I didn't need. Even among mATX I believe there can be a lot of size variation between different mATX cases and while there were some more slimmer cases I could've gone with, I was really impressed with the workmanship and look of the Meshify mini (dust filters on top, bottom, front; two included case fans; velcro straps for cable management) so I stuck with it.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

I like the meshify too - either mini or C are a solid choice!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

How are your temps with all exhaust fans?

Love me the Meshify Mini +1

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi there, very nice build :) I'm currently doing my first build as well and i'm going to use same motherboard as you and am looking for some nice rgb vents to go with it so i wanted to ask two questions. Are you using just splitter or an entire hub for rgb control? And are they controllable from MSIs "MSI Mystic light SDK" software?

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi, if by rgb vents you mean case fans yes I am using a hub to control the rgb lighting of my case fans and cpu cooler. The hub that came with them only has three connections so I had to chain the extension cable, which a few more connections, to the hub so that I could connect all three fans and the cpu cooler to the same hub because the motherboard only has one rgb component. Yes I can control them on the motherboard with MysticLight but since they're all connected to the same connector I can't control them individually. If you wanted you could use a rgb controller to control the LEDs which you would plug into one of the power connectors on the motherboard but then you would need to open your case any time you wanted to change it and use the buttons.

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi! Love your bulid but I do have a quick question: did you get a sound card for this bulid or no?

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

No I didn't get a sound card, didn't see a need to.

  • 12 months ago
  • 0 points

I would move the m.2 to the lower slot so that its blue sticker is hidden under the graphics card.

  • 12 months ago
  • 0 points

I’m sure it’ll run like a best

  • 12 months ago
  • -1 points

Very nice clean looking build.

Only thing I'd suggest / recommend is maybe getting a shroud for that m.2 to cover it up -- purely aesthetics!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the suggestion; I didn't even think about the M.2 showing until a bunch of people started mentioning it. I'll look into getting a heatsink to for it.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I mean it's no big deal, but you can pick them up pretty cheap and it will cover it up :)

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  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

No, there really is no space between the frame on the outside and the mesh on the front plate. The mesh has a plastic frame that comes really close to the case frame. You could conceivably mount something on the outside of the case since the screw holes are still there but you would need to leave the front plate off and dangling to the side which I don't think you'd want.

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  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry I couldn't answer your question sooner. The MSI GTX1080 Ti is also 290 mm and fits with my radiator and fans, together about 50 mm, with about 1 cm to spare. I don't think you'll find graphics cards any bigger than that because vendors are all working to fit the same dimensions (mATX, ATX, ITX) and the 1080 Ti is simply one of the biggest graphics cards out there: you'd be hard pressed to find anything bigger than it. Hope this was still helpful.