I wanted a new PC to replace my dated, yet still serviceable, FX6300 build from 2014. I plan to mostly use the PC for photo editing, Lightroom, Photoshop, and general web surfing. I've console gamed from time to time over the years, but I have no desire to start PC gaming any time soon. I decided I needed more processing power for Ps and Lr due to my FX6300 starting to show it's age, but I didn't need to spend a lot on a graphics card if I'm not planning to game. I wanted to keep my build small and be able to easily move the PC to a different room if needed, so I started looking into Mini ITX. I was concerned at first about the difficulty of building in a small case, and most of them I but the Thermaltake Core V1 had such good reviews I decided to give it a shot. When I saw a few builds in the Snow Edition, I was definitely hooked on the idea of a black and white build. So far this PC has met my expectation and much more.
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I've always been a fan of AMD and I'm not as familiar with Intel builds, so I decided to stick with AMD for my new build. I've had several Intel systems for work and they were awesome, but I just prefer AMD builds especially when price is a factor. I was almost settled on a Ryzen 2400G when the APUs were released, but when I compared it with the 2600 at the same price point, the 2600 made more sense. Of course there's the price of the graphics card, but I was able to find a used GPU to help offset some of the cost. I briefly considered going for the 2700x, but decided it was overkill for a $120 premium. I don't plan to overclock, but I said the same thing before I overclocked by FX6300 so I may be in the market for an aftermarket cooler some time in the future. Honestly, the Wraith Stealth is a little noisier than I thought it would be. Maybe it's because I placed it on my desk instead of on the floor, but I just had to point that out. Overall I'm very happy with the performance of the CPU.
I live close to a Microcenter, so I limited my choices to what MC has in stock since they offer a $30 discount for a CPU / Motherboard combo. Once the B450 / X470 chipset was released, I decided to go with the B450 since I'm not planning to game. I narrowed it down to the Gigabyte Aorus B450I and Asus ROG Strix B450i. I just didn't think it was worth an extra $30 for the Asus, so Gigabyte it is. They both had the features I wanted - fast USB since I import a lot of photos, M.2 slot, RGB header.
I only use Corsair. Always had luck with them and I'd hate to go with something cheaper and regret it. I figured 16GB was enough for my needs, my only big decision was RGB or not. When I first started part shopping, the 16GB RGB Pro version was around $160 to $180 - just too expensive IMO. But was RAM prices started to drop, I went for the RGB version instead of the LPX. Either way I had to go with the white to fit the theme.
Upgrading to an SSD was very high on my priority list. As prices started to drop on M.2, and then NVMe I figured why not go with the latest technology and an NVMe drive. I didn't want to spend a lot and Microcenter's "Inland" brand was decent enough. I didn't find the actual drive in the parts list for the build, but it's an Inland Premium 256GB NVMe SSD - I picked it up for $44.99, minus the 5% discount I get for having a Microcenter credit card. I definitely needs larger storage for my photos and 2TB is probably enough for now. WD is my preferred brand, so I added a 2TB blue, the 1TB red is just extra storage I added from an old NAS I used to have.
I know a lot of systems are centered around the GPU, but that was definitely not my intent with this build. With Lightroom and Photoshop being my primary use, I just need a decent GPU that won't bottleneck my system. When I saw a used, white GPU that would be ok for what I needed, I jumped on it. I can still upgrade if I decide to game in the future, but for now it's plenty.
The Core V1 is the case I kept coming back to. I looked at the Raijintek Metis since it comes in a stainless finish, but it was just too cramped and I wanted to stick to an ATX power supply. I considered ditching the ITX and going with the Corsair Spec 06 since it comes in white and going with the ATX form factor, but like I said I kept coming back to the Core V1. Now that I see one in person, I'm convinced I made the right decision. It was a breeze to build in for a small case. Lots of space to hide cables and ventilation is great.
I don't need a lot of power, but I wanted a brand that would not disappoint. When I saw an alert for the EVGA 500BR on Black Friday for $19.99 shipped it was a perfect match.