Description

No, not a macintosh, Little Mac from Punch Out you silly people!

ahem

Anyway, so I finally got around to a mini build that I've always wanted to do and if you look at the first picture, you'll see what I went from as a main PC (Note: The bigger PC has now been sold off). This was my first time getting a go at a mini-itx build and it was quite an experience. It was definitely a major change when going from a big case with good cable management right down to a tightly spaced case. A lot of cursing and frustration happened while assembling this thing, routing the wires the best way for the drive bays to fit etc. However, despite all of this, the end result is a fantastic little case that fits just right on my desk and I'm very pleased. I know there are some out there who did a better job than me at cable management, but I've done my best to make it as less cluttered as possible while also being able to fit all 3 drive bays. I don't plan on using a VGA anyway.

CPU: I chose this because I just needed a cheap dual core for the time being and this fit the bill, I plan to change this with quad core FM2+ APU in the future (cheapest quad core series with integrated graphics). As of right now though, it's quite a speedy processor for what I need it for.

CPU Cooler: This is a CM Hyper 212+, I've also had this from another build and I'm using it on this PC because I would like to OC the CPU for fun.

Motherboard: One of the few A88X chipset mobo's available and it includes WIFI so this was a no brainer.

RAM: After upgrading my gaming build to 8GB, I used the 4GB for this one.

Storage: Never used an SSD before, I thought it was about time I used one and wow the speed on this thing is amazing. 120GB is fine because I'm just going to be using this for school work, I'll probably add a 1TB drive in the future.

Case: There were many cases to choose from, but when I saw the opportunity to get it so cheap, I jumped right at it, it's a very nice looking case too and very quiet.

PSU: Before anyone shouts at how excessive this PSU is, don't worry, I KNOW! This is a PSU I've already had and I'm reusing it temporarily, I'm eventually going to sell it off and swap it for a more suitable PSU.

Monitor: Got this guy for cheap on Boxing Day, the colours are very nice and it seems like a solid monitor.

Mouse: Got it as a gift for my gaming days, keeping it because it's comfortable :).

Keyboard: Very basic, low profile, quiet and solid construction, exactly what I need for school work.

Overall, I'm satisfied with how this turned out but if you feel you would like to provide feedback, please feel free to do so. BTW, if anyone can suggest a good, quiet PWM CPU fan I would appreciate it. Seriously, the fan that came with the 212+ is the loudest thing in my case now lol, I would like my case to be as quiet as possible.

Edit: I forgot a had an extra Noctua P12 fan laying around, so I replaced the CM fan with that. It's not PWM, but it does the job fine and is much quieter. I've also put the fan on the other side of the heatsink and put it in pull configuration, so now I have more space for my cables.

Comments

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Love that case and you managed to get it for a phenomenal price. Gorgeous build and the fact that you got it (with a monitor) for under $500 is an achievement in itself. Nice work!

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Having other parts laying around did help a bit but thanks!

As for the case, I got real lucky. It was a combination of newegg having sale plus a $20 off coupon, then using MemoryExpress and their 25% price match difference to bring it from $89.99 all the way down to half price! It's a great looking case for sure.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

how is the keyboard? im really interested in it but the retailer doesnt have it yet :(

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

It's quite nice actually. The low profile keys feel nice and are pretty quiet. The keyboard is lightweight, but feels sturdy. Regarding features, it's nothing special but if you're looking for a basic keyboard then I recommend it if you can get it at a good price.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

its preorder for 15$!

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice! Mine was also on pre-order as well but I got it quite fast. I bought it on NCIX Canada and the price I paid was worth it IMO :). I also forgot to mention that it's also quite compact compared to media keyboards which are usually kind of bulky.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

wait a minute, so you preordered it from NCIX for 15 bucks and it was readily available? im also in canada :D hello neighbour!

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

I bought it for 22 bucks "pre-ordered" and it was shipped the next day, so I'm unsure as to why it's still on pre-order status, but they have it in stock. And hello right back at ya!

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! But one word of advice on the cpu cooler: When replacing the fan, be careful with the screw sockets because they tend to splinter the plastic if you tighten the screws a little too much. I replaced mine with a blue l.e.d corsair sickle flow fan for novelty, but if you're going for something quiet i hear that the noctua fans are some of the quietest out there. Also, how fast does ubuntu boot up with that SSD?

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the tips!

As for the boot up, it probably won't shatter records but I was generous enough to time it for you :D. From cold boot to the log in screen it took around 25 seconds and from hitting restart on the home screen back to the login took 40 seconds. However, when I first installed Ubuntu it seemed shorter at first and I think it has to do with the display drivers I have. I had to change them because Ubuntu 13.10 at first was artifacting so that might have something to do with it. I also have gnome installed if that means anything.

One thing's for sure, it's definitely faster than the WD Black HDD I installed it in before and once you reach the login screen, everything is prepped for you so you can start using your browser almost instantly.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

nice case

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm building a computer almost identical to your pc. Quick question... With that cpu cooler and the way you have it installed, would you be able to install a graphics card or does the cooler get in the way?

  • 67 months ago
  • 1 point

It's a tough call, I took a quick look and it appears to have some clearance for the PCB pins (the slit). However, the PCB also has screws sticking out a bit so you might not be able to fit it in with the cooler that way. You'd have to turn the cooler 90 degrees which is possible to do (and still have the rear fan installed, it'll just be very tight). I don't have a GPU to test it with so sorry if couldn't give you enough info. You'd have to try it yourself.

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  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Right now I have Saucy Salamander (13.10), it's pretty quick and I'm enjoying it so far. If there's one major nitpick though, it's that you can't customize Unity out of the box, apparently the developers want to lock it down like that for some reason and I didn't like the way it was, so I installed gnome and it felt much better. I don't have much else to say about it right now since I'm a former Windows user and just getting into linux.

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  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, sorry I didn't mention this in my decription, but it was really the whole point of my build. I just wanted an office PC but also a small one as well and this case was just right. I understand that current gen intel pentiums perform faster, but I just wanted to try out an AMD chip for once (and I can also overclock it). It's actually quick enough for what I need it for. I also got an FM2+ mobo because I might update it to an FM2+ quad core CPU in the future but right now this fits the bill. I also want to learn how to use linux as well.

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  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

To tweak Unity you can download 'Unity Tweak Tool' of the Ubuntu software centre.