Description

it was time. it was finally time.
I have had good PC components for a long time now, but they've been messy, in overly large cases for no reason, and really, they have been changed out so frequently that my primary system started to look more like a test bench than a premium PC. I decided it was time to change that. Don't get me wrong; I love big PC builds, but the case I was using was intended for custom loops, and right now, I dont have the cash for that, but I did have enough to perk up my lackluster build.
For those that hate RGB and big cases, this build is probably more your style. if you do like RGB, you should turn back now.
here's what changed from my previous build:
EVGA Z390 FTW --> Asrock Z390M-ITX/AC
Corsair vengeance RGB Pro --> Corsair Vengeance LPX space gray
Lian-li PC o11 Dynamic White --> Thermaltake Core v1 black
windows 7 HP SP1 --> windows 10 Pro
all other changes like fans and stuff are small and incidental, so I wont bother listing them.
thermals: CPU idle: 24 C. GPU idle: 28 C
overclocking: none done yet, just wanted to show off build, will update when done.
cable mangement: very, very difficult. no good places to route cables in this case. while compatible, the PSU is very large and uses up more space than a normal sized one, which further increases cable management complexity.
I used Arctic MX-4 for the CPU and GPU.
I know the case isnt the prettiest on the market, but it was also the cheapest I could get in the ITX Desktop form factor (yeah ik, gets cheapest case imaginable, buys $30 fan....). shoot me your opinions and suggestions.

one more thing for PCPP staff: the list is compatible, however, the 2080 Ti backplate and both the case's stock fan and noctua aftermarket fan overlap, making it such that the fan is held in on only the right side of the case. I am including pictures of what I mean by this at the end. Just thought you aught to know. to avoid said issue, the GPU would need to be about 7-10mm shorter, or not have a backplate.

Part Reviews

CPU

great CPU if all you do is gaming and/or very light editing. can get a tad hot without good cooling.

CPU Cooler

quality is very average, but it does the job as well as a 120mm AIO could be expected to. there are cheaper options that would work just as well.

Motherboard

small, simple, good bios, decent IO and headers. build quality feels premium.

Memory

price is right at $70 USD. color is more unique than the usual black or red.

Storage

not as fast as a high-end drive, but it doesnt matter for day-to-day tasks, and booting windows is still very quick.

Video Card

very fast, but lacks both style and cooling. fans need to be at at least 60% to achieve what I would consider good cooling.

Case

price is right, lacks cable management options, window is acrylic/plastic instead of TG. overall quality feels just slightly better than what you would expect from a low end case.

Power Supply

fully modular, large power potential, good protections, stays quiet, well reviewed professionally, pretty efficient. recommended if it is below $140 USD and you need the power.

Operating System

its windows. large application support level, but has its issues.

Case Fan

not bad, not bad at all.

Monitor

needs color calibration, but if it can be found around $450 or less, you got yourself a solid 1440p 144hz contender. only good if you have an Nvidia card. if you have AMD or just want to use Freesync with an Nvidia card, the S2719DG is a great monitor using a similar panel for $300.

Keyboard

cheap cherry mx red keyboard. would recommend getting a ducky one 2 at this point over this.

Mouse

high DPI, wired, "palm grip" (my hands are so large that it ends up being claw grip pretty often). the G602 wireless is larger.

Headphones

has connectivity issues, would recommend a sennheiser PC37X or something over these.

Custom

didnt get to use this yet, but had a red set that I used before. they are a bit stiff and plastic-y, but they do the job and look nice with the proper combs on them.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Clean build!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

thank you very much. still needs some cable management sadly, but I will need a smaller PSU and an M.2 SSD to keep the build as clean as I'd like. am also thinking of adding 2 80mm fans to the rear of the case.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Dang $5, honestly impressed.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

fixed, my bad. lol.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

nice

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Man, I'm so bummed out about this case. Not because of the case itself but because I can't possibly fit all the **** I want to into it. I've pretzel-folded myself every which way possible to figure out how to get an i9-9900k in there with a RTX-2070 (with hybrid cooling) and have enough space for the radiator for the CPU and a 120mm Radiator for the GPU. So far, I haven't cracked it. I've considered maybe mounting the RAD to the side panel but I don't think they're thick enough to support the weight and even if they were, I don't think they'll fit.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

i have an idea. the CPU can be cooled with a 120mm AIO on the front and remember how the back panel has 2 80mm fan slots? I'm sure you were thinking that it wouldnt be big enough for a radiator. they dont technically make AIOs that are 160mm (2x80mm), but they do make stand-alone radiators that are. one of those 160mm radiators with like some 3/8 inch barb fittings and tube, a GPU block, a pump/reservoire, and you'd be in business. you'd need to use some 80mm fans too, but you get the idea. if that wouldn't work for you, i can say that the side panels are definitely strong enough to take a 120mm AIO, maybe 240mm if that would fit. the holes are about the right size, though you may need some washers on the screw heads to keep them in place. pair that GPU with a Kraken G12 bracket and once again, I think you'd be in business. the braket itself may need to be cut down slightly, but its still very doable.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh man so I went down to the local Fry's today and played around with the case today and realized that it is, in fact possible to drop a 240mm rad in there in the front. I'd just have to cut a small opening in the bottom plate to fit the bottom of the rad & fans. It would stick out of the bottom of the case but be flush on the top. Of course, life being what it is, they happened to have the V21 beside it (a stock leftover) and it's only barely bigger. So I'm just gonna spare myself the headache and get the slightly larger chassis and call it a day. Either way, I'll still be able to paint it the way I want and have some wiggle room for future expandability but without all the headache of the smaller size.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I find it funny that you build a itx system and then criticize the gpu cooling, still very impressive

  • 17 days ago
  • 1 point

sorry for the late response!
Its not entirely the GPU's fault, as I had previously shunt modded the card and it was drawing quite a lot of watts under load. i mean, it made me able to get nearly 2200mhz stable on air, but it would've been better if it was not shunt modded. needless to say, this case probably wasnt designed with cooling such a large card in the first place. I was just disappointed, but I understand why it wasn't great.

  • 17 days ago
  • 1 point

That’s unfortunate I’ve heard the the black edition doesn't have the best cooler in the first place and I’m sure that contributes to your poor thermals as well.

  • 17 days ago
  • 1 point

oh yeah, it definitely did not help. the Black edition as well as the XC and a few others share that cooler. they really are not that good. barely better than a blower. not as loud, but really not enough mass to dissipate heat into.