Thermals are fine - so don't worry your little cotton socks. Read on for more info.
This is my first PC build. It is called Eastwood. It took me quite some time to finally be happy with the components, have the funds saved and commit to buy! I'm pretty happy that I've found a good point of price and performance. Hopefully will keep me going for a good few years of casual gaming and general vegging out.
The aim was to have a completely minimalist and discrete, yet powerful build that would fit inside the TV stand drawer - capable of playing the latest games and watching movies/TV seamlessly. No silly frills. Just good, solid components. I was not allowed to damage or modify the TV stand in any way whatsoever. That included not even drilling the smallest of holes for anything, etc. (she wouldn't let me) So I mounted all the parts to a board which fit nice and snug in the drawer. To keep things tidy, I opted for a semi-modular PSU (fully modular was too expensive), and an M.2 SSD so there aren't any SATA cables or drives hanging around.
Back to thermals - I'm sure a lot of you are sceptical about airflow and temps, as there is pretty much no ventilation...well, you'd be kind of right... I didn't bother testing with synthetics - I didn't see the point. But while playing GTA V or The Division, CPU didn't go above 85°C, and 75°C for the GPU. Not exactly great - but the beauty of the drawer essentially being the case, I just opened it a little :) It is still utterly silent, even while gaming. The CPU now sits at around 65-75°C while gaming. So there! I might get a small USB powered fan to help, like the Arctic Breeze, but it's all fine and dandy for now.
Breakdown: CPU + Cooler: I was torn between buying a new 6500 for £160 (with stock cooler), or a used 6600 for £135 (no stock cooler)...sooooo I went with the slightly more powerful and got a fairly cheap, silent and low-profile after market cooler. I know there are more effective coolers out there for the same price (212 EVO) but I just liked how discrete this one was. It was also about the only thing I got swept up by the aesthetics (I'm not one for spangley lights and fancy coloured doodabs, but to me, this thing is perrrrdy). With a locked CPU, it does the job just fine. Word of warning for those who may buy a used CPU from CeX (aka WeBuy), they shipped the item to me without an antistatic bag! Just bubble wrap...crazy, but I must have been lucky - it works fine.
Motherboard: Cheapest Mini ITX (that's all that would fit in the drawer) - luckily had M.2 support too!
Memory: DDR4 is nice and cheap now. 16GB is a solid amount for my needs. Motherboard limited to 2133MHz.
Video Card: I was set on getting a GTX 960 as I thought it was the best for my budget, but a friend convinced me it was worth the extra to get a 970...so there it is. Glad I went with it. Plenty powerful card that should stand the test of time.
Storage: I initially bought a Sandisk Z400S M.2 drive (pictured), but it didn't work. I later found out the motherboard only supports PCI based M.2 and the Z400S was SATA based. Ended up getting the Samsung PM951. It's from the rear end of the NVMe line-up but still plenty fast and works a treat. Didn't need any more than 256GB (although would have liked 512GB if I could afford it) - mass storage is from my 3TB NAS. Cushty.
Power Supply: Cheap, quiet, semi-modular. Good brand. Done.
OS: Win 10 was a bargain on Ebay (and legit).
Peripherals: Found a nifty wireless keyboard with built-in track pad on Amazon for cheaps. Works surprisingly well considering the receiver is a few meters away and tucked inside a drawer. Also using a wireless Xbox 360 pad for ma'games.
Other stuff: I'm reasonably happy with my cable management. Probably spent the most time on it throughout the build! All made nice and tidy with fancy little SHBT's (sticky-hooky-block-things) and cable ties. Used velcro to keep the PSU in place. Drilled in threaded inserts for the motherboard mounts. Also, the work PCPP has done with Charity: Water inspired me to donate 10% of my build budget to those in need of a basic human right. While I sit on my bum with my new PC and run people over GTA for the giggles, it's the least I could do. So thank you PCPP.
Overall, it was good fun to build and ultimately, I'm glad I spent the time to plan it all out properly. Feedback is always welcome!
TL:DR It's a small and yet reasonably powerful PC in a drawer at a half decent price (for UK). All deals done, it came to a little over £700. Yes, I have a Wii Fit. No, I don't use it.
A solid CPU with good temps. No point in buying over the 6500 unless you get a good deal though - I got mine second hand for less than 6500 retail.
It's ok. Nice and quiet, and decent build quality. Cooling performance will always be limited at this size/ff. Does well for itself but should be a little cheaper imo.
Great motherboard. Position of some of the sockets/plugs may be an issue for some, but I didn't need most of them for my build.
Great price. Solid performance and speed. S'all you need!
Love it. Runs quiet and consistently. Copes well with bad airflow ;) good temps. Nice and small!
Great PSU. Have had no problems so far. Really nice clean design. Comes with everything you need and is very quiet.