Hello PCPartpickers. Finally back with my second and final build for the years to come. Pricing shown here was converted from EUR as all parts were bought in Latvia and in total this PC cost me 590 EUR.
Intro, Goal & Planning
This HTPC has been long in the waiting to finally retire and pass on my 8 year old laptop (i5-2410M, GT540M, 6GB RAM, impresively slow HDD). The main reason of replacing the laptop, well, aside from getting a tenfold faster and more responsive system, is to let me upgrade to a 4K HDR TV which my laptop couldn't drive since it can't do anything higher than 1080p.
The goal was to build a teeny, cheap, but not completely bargain basement, and low power PC that can run 4K resolution, but will only collect chrome tabs and stream video/music. It all started with the Metis, ever since I first laid my eyes upon it in suspectlovemaker's build.
Case - Raijintek Metis Classic: A beautiful aluminium box with a great layout. Went with the classic cause I really didn't want that window and can go without the top fan. I was sure I'm gonna build in this case, but tbh I would have liked something even smaller, but all the other ITX cases I looked at were either too ugly or with a terrible layout for a build with no GPU, the only good one I found was Dancase A4, but they are not available locally and either way too damn expensive.
CPU - Ryzen 2200G: Decided to go Ryzen actually fairly late in the planning, original plan was to go with an i3 and a GTX 1050, but the GPU was dropped very quickly and eventually dropped Intel for AMD cause I've already built an Intel system so thought I'd try AMD, and save some money on the side.
Motherboard - Gigabyte B450 I Aorus Pro WiFi: Went with this board cause it was cheap, doesn't have the RGB tax, although it does have LEDs on the one side, but most importantly cause it has HDMI 2.0 ports, which if I recall correctly MSI's B450 ITX board didn't have, tho I might be wrong, and regardless, this is what I got.
Memory - Corsair Vengance LPX 8GB DDR4-2400: For some reason thought that Corsair's RAM is better supported in use with Ryzen, but I'm sure this assumption is comming out of my rear, basically it was just whatever - 2400MHz cause I won't be putting any real workload on this system, 8GB cause it really should be enough, with 9 tabs and spotify open which is gonna be this PC's average workload it's only using 3.5GB.
Storage - WD Black 256GB M.2: Boot drive, has to be M.2, even better with NVMe, also the drive for programs and apps. WD Blue 2TB: Media drive, I was able to survive with a single 600GB drive on the laptop so 2TB should be enough, and I also have a 1GB external drive for those extra archival files.
PSU - Silverstone SST-SX500-LG: A very highly reviewed large SFX form factor PSU with a larger fan for lower noise, although I think it might be the loudest component in my build, well it's either that or the AMD stock cooler, but about that later in the performance section. 80+ Gold is definitely a +, and I know 500W is way more than this system needs, but this is the first decent PSU I could find going up in max power.
Noctua NF-F12 PWM: Cause it's Noctua and nothing's better than Noctua.
120mm fan filter from Silverstone: This case doesn't have any and with only one fan slot I had to go intake and this was the first 120mm filter I could get my hands on.
In short - painful, my fingertips ached for the rest of the day cause of the front IO connectors, but overall wasn't at all as bad as I was expecting of an ITX build(my first one), but that's probably cause I didn't get one of the really tiny ITX cases.
First problem with this case and ITX in general was figuring out in what order to mount and wire the components. I did start by mounting the PSU and case fan but that turned out to be my first mistake, fan had to come out to get the mobo mounted and PSU had to be unscrewed and shifted to the side to get more access to the front IO header. After considering how difficult the access to each header is, I figured I could suffice with just prewiring the EPS cable, and after that I rushed ahead wiring half the mobo when I noticed I made another mistake, the classic mistake, mounted the mobo without the rear IO plate :okhand:
Then there's the biggest pain of them all - front IO header, stuffed beteen RAM and PSU with no room for my fingers and no visibility, couldn't find the correct pins, couldn't align them, couldn't push em in. After a few minutes of ceaseless screaming I unscrewed and pushed aside the PSU which helped a bit and after a few more minutes of screaming and aching fingertips, I got them in. The ATX cable was also a bit tricky, being barely long enough to reach the connector, also had to flip it around against the natural curve of the cable and then there's the pressure I had to apply to fully connect.
Cable management - where? how? Wanted to clean it up but the cables are too short to route them anywhere and eiter way there's no place to hide and tie them down, so I just sufficed with the two included zip ties around the SATA cables, which are the only excessively long cables in this case, everything else just sits around the PSU or is holding up by the ceiling, except for the EPS which I double side taped to the floor and PSU.
Got the OS installed and put it together in around 3 hours.
Thermally this PC is impressive, while just browsing the web, basically idling, the CPU, with no OC and stock fan curve, sits at low 30's °C, while my laptop doing the same task was revving that fan and cooking at 70+°C. After two Cinebench runs the CPU topped at 61°C.
Noise wise however this PC is a bit of a disappointment. My gaming rig in the Define S with it's 12 fans, well, 9 if the GPU is idling, is noticeably quieter, producing just the faintest fan hum, while this PC, well, it's not loud but it has this high RPM "knocking" sound, as if a fan is unbalanced and that sound really pierces through the quiet. I'm not sure whether it's the PSU or the stock cooler, I can stick my ear right up to the Noctua fan and that thing is whisper quiet, but moving my head side to side the sound seems to originate from the cooler.
Currently can't test how well this PC can run 4K resolution, but it's gonna be fine, not like I'm gonna be gaming on this PC.
Aside from that bad fan noise am totally satistied with this PC, runs much much more smoothly than my old laptop, just sad that I have to leave Win8.1 for Win10. The case, while being green is not an eye popping fluorescent green, it's more tame and chill kinda metallic green, and imo fits well in the room even if I don't have anyting else in green.
OK, that's it, thanks for checking out my basic HTPC build.