Description

Update: 1

I have upgraded my windforce 760 to a windforce 780ti! A literal doubling in GPU performance!

Update: 2

Rx 480 Nitro+ OC is mine! Received morning of 28/07/2016

The Story:

Several months ago I was like: "You know what? A small form factor gaming rig would be super cool!" and so I started down the long road that ended with the pictures you see above.
My first problem was what case I wanted; I spent ages trying to make this decision and there aren't many small cases with support for a 294mm GPU.
I had several possible choices:
*Elite 130: Can't get good CPU cooling in this as the GPU will prevent an aio in the front.

*Bitfenix Prodigy: Too big for an itx case.

*Phanteks evolv itx: Too big!

*You get the idea...

And then whilst computex was going on I saw it!

The fractal design core 500!

It was perfect! 280 radiator option; long GPU and a full size atx psu; and more drive options I would ever need; all in the smallest possible space!
Of course the case had only been announced, I still had to wait for it to be released. So after a bit of interneting I found one place that gave an ETA of August time for UK launch. Great, this lines up exactly with the launch of unlocked Skylake! Hyyype!

So I draft in the parts I want and wait... and wait.
Then Skylake launches! Yay! Lets order aaalllll the parts! Oh wait, no itx motherboards! Oh noes! What am I going to do? So I contact my favourite website and ask them "When do you think you'll have a Z170 mini-itx board in stock?" And so they tell me this particular one (Gigabyte Z170n-wifi) was on order and will be in stock by the end of the month! I wait until the website reports it as being 3-4 days or so until they receive them.
Overcome with anticipation I order the parts. (At this point I have the case)
The timer ticks down: 3-4 days. 1-2 days. Due date unavailable.
Yay! Wait, What?! "Due date UNAVAILABLE". Oh noes, this cant be good! So I get back onto them and they tell me it will be in stock by the end of the month. Having heard this from them before after a few days the mobo I have now becomes in stock elsewhere so I ask them to cancel the mobo on my order.
Now bundle deal linked to my mobo was my i5 6600k, they try to cancel only the mobo and the i5 gets removed as well.
Not impressed by this turn of events I order the processor and mobo from the other place and evrything is sorted. Its all out for delivery. Game over, I win. Right?

Wrong!

The order from the original website has a 2 day delivery and goes out three times in three days and each night returns to depot extremely upset I give up and just go and pick it up from them taking it home myself and delve head first into the joy of PC building.

Tl;Dr: Couldn't decide on the case, found case couldn't get mobo, CPU gets cancelled by accident, order needed collecting from depot.

Build experience

Unlike trying to get the parts, actually building this thing was fairly straight forwards and easy.
I did have a minor problem with the pass-through for the psu (as shown in one of the pictures) and not being able to easily plug it into the psu.
I may kinda have forgotten to put the cooler backplate on the motherboard before installing it but it wasn't to difficult to correct that problem once I realised it.

I absolutely LOVED working with the case as you'll occasionally find something you didn't notice and be like "They deliberately put that here to make this easier". Contrary to what Dimitri thinks I found the removable panel easy to remove and replace correctly. The removable radiator bracket was a LifeSaver as it would have been so ridiculously impossible without it. All vents are well placed and allow everything to breath well.
Cable management is tricky but not impossible.

(I have redone the cables and they look so much better, the front SSD spot is very good for hiding cables in, and could potentially upload some updated pics if any of you are interested. (Hint, its much better now)

Over-clocking the CPU was fun (never done it before) although with the removal of the integrated voltage regulator Vdroop and LLC became an annoying thing. I managed to get 4.5Ghz at 1.225V stable and had 4.7GHz at 1.375V running for a short while. Also currently my bios doesn't have an option for adaptive voltage, just "Auto", "Offset" and "Fixed", and no auto doesn't have any fields for me to fill.

Tl:Dr: Great choices all round, love the case.

Part Reviews

CPU

Great CPU OCed to 4.5Ghz stable at 1.225V

CPU Cooler

Amazing performance at incredibly low noise levels. Almost dead silent at idel.

Motherboard

Not the best looking board but works fine. Allowed me to overclock a 6600k to 4.5Ghz. Vdroop fairly bad. -1 No 7.1 sound or M.2 slot. -1

Memory

Used this line at DDR3 and had no problems. Still the case with this DDR4 looks great runs flawlessly.

Storage

Nice and fast and cheap. Cansurvivea4footdrop...

Case

Absolutely AMAZING case. Solid build quality, small size, can fit a butt ton of hardware. 10/10 Highly reccomend.

Power Supply

Short length, quiet, great quality. Easy to insert/remove modular cables (Much better than a CXXXM psu)

Monitor

Great colours at a great price.

Comments

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice to see the Core 500, question, do you think is possible to set another rad (120) in the back fan place? i was thinking on putting a 240 rad for the CPU to push air in at the top like you and a 120rad in the back for the GPU to push air out. Let me know what you think, or anybody that read this.

Thank you

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

It'd be a tight fit even if you used a 240 on top and a 120 in the back but I suppose you could just about make it work. Keep in mind how you'll power all those pumps and fans however!

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice compact yet powerful build +1

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Cheers!

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I too have spent ages trying to find the smallest case that can fit 240 or 280mm radiator and full length graphics card and this is it. Great build!

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

i have the same gpu what is your OC that you got

P.S. very nice build

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

This looks like such a well thought pc, congrats! May I ask what are you going to use it for? The gtx 760 pick is a little bit weird to me, since it's an older card, but I also not accustomed to the prices in your region, so it might be just a very nice pick in terms of price to performance. Nice touch with the AIO cpu cooler too, looks like a traditional air cooler would have issues cutting it in that crowded space.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the kind words.

I have the 760 in there because I had got it for cheap at the start of this year, it still works fine and I'll probably upgrade to a 970 or similar next year.

I could have fitted a fairly beefy air cooler but seeing as I didn't know about the thermal performance of skylake and I wanted to try out an aio cooler (which I know will keep anything cool for the foreseeable future) I went for it and don't regret it in the least.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Well I think the AIO cooler was a good choice, give you could afford it. Longer life expectancy is never a bad thing about your electronics. I'd think twice about a 970 though. While it's true that it's still a price to performance king totay, the more you wait the more we get closer to the release of newer gpus, in particular the new 14-16 nm chips are very promising in terms of gains, so I'd personally wait to see what's there to gain with these upgrades.

[comment deleted]
  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, ok, I knew that's why I said "or similar" implying I might buy something with similar pricing in the future where it might not just be a 970 or 390.

[comment deleted]
  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice choice on that PSU. I can tell you have done your homework.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! But, I see you want this to be a gaming rig... So why'd you go with an i5+760? Why not like fx-6300 + 960? Or i3 + 960?

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

As I have mentioned I do plan on upgrading the gpu later to a 970 or 390 so my CPU is just so I don't need to buy a new one down the road. Also I have the 760 because I got it for cheap a while back

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I was really liking the Core 500 for my new build but I realized something that scares me a bit. I want to use a m.2 PCIe drive. The mother boards that would fit this case have the m.2 positioned on the bottom of the board. It appears that there is no access to the bottom of the mother board in this case. So how difficult would it be to add or change out a m.2 drive after the build is completed?

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Hmmm, could be interesting... It would be hard (not impossible) to get at the m.2 slot with everything installed and how tight you secure you cables would play a big role in it.

One workaround would be an m.2 extension cable so you can position the drive in an easier to access place.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, i have a quick question. I have a similar build with the exception of cpu gpu and mobo. But what im wondering is how r u managed to fit the cooler in with out the tubing touching the fans? I had to put the fans on top because the tubing was pressing against the fans and they couldn't spin, also how did u oriented airflow? Did u pull fresh air from the top and exhauste out the back with only one fan? The core 500 is a great case except for airflow which is giving me headaches. My 6700k would throttle if I put in 1.3V for some better overclocking.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, I never realised that could be a problem until I read it just now. It's currently orientated the same way as the picture shows and with the tube angled towards my gpu and when I put it in the tubes just curved themselves into the perfect shape. Soo, that happened.

As for airflow I have the rear included fan set as intake and the radiator fans as exhaust cause I didn't want to dump the heat from my CPU straight onto my Mobo but rather help take heat away from it. (I'm not having heat issues but that might be due to never actually hitting 1.2v even with my 4.5Ghz overclock. When I do put 1.3v I still only get about 60 degrees top anyway... I think.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Hmmm. Maybe a bad mount for me. Or maybe because i have the 6700k instead of 6600k. Does it make a difference in thermal? They both of 4 cores. But the only difference is i had mine rear fan to exhaust. Ill change it it intake tonight. Also as for the tubing. I was scared it might break if i bend it too much. I dont use water cooler a lot. Did u oriente the tubing faced toward the front of the case or the back? I have it towards the front and the tubing running in an S shape down to the cpu.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Nah, you're not going to be able to break the tube easily, the circular ridges on the tube should stop most kinks.

As for the shape of the tube, from the front, it comes out the radiator, curves down to the psu and the curves back up almost to the radiator and back down to the waterblock. It has been confirmed by fractal design that some aio coolers won't fit because the tubes are just too long. The ek predator being one.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

yeah, I saw it on jayztwocent vid when he tried to stuff the predator in there and it doesn't fit.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Yup, I believe dimitri from hardware Canucks also had problems. I bought all my stuff before aany of that had been found out so I guess I just got lucky on which aio I chose.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build, man! I'm considering ordering this case to replace my current one, and I was wondering how much extra space you have between the PSU and the GPU. According to Newegg, the length is exactly the maximum that Fractal recommends for using long GPUs in this case.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

It was a very tight fit to get all the cables in there. I don't think I'd get anything bigger in my rig of course if you have a short gpu it's not so much of a problem.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man! I'll try to look for a smaller PSU then to accommodate a longer GPU.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I think you may have won the silicon lottery. I wanted to do compact I ended up with this. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/C4sfJx

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Hehehe, I actually want to upisize to micro atx to get a bit more flexibility and better overclocking without buying a really expensive board because my current one isn't allowing me to overclock my CPU as far is it can go. For my future case I've currently narrowed it down to the air 240 or thermal take core v21.

I also need to update the post. I now have a windforce 780ti :)

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build +1

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

First of all, I would like to say I love this build. You got a plus one from me. I just got one question how much does it way? Great build!

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, it looks a lot different now. Still got the 6600k and 480 but now they're both in a custom loop :) Never got round to uploading it though I probably will when I upgrade the CPU and mobo!

So sorry, I won't be able to answer your question.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

4 years later and still a relevant solid build - are you still getting good use from it? By the way, I sport two AOC monitors - a similarly sized and dated 21.5" touch screen e2239fwt and a more current AG271UG 4K G-sync - both are excellent.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

4 years later and I still check for messages! I've done quite a few upgrades since, now sporting a R7 1700 on an MSI B450M Mortar. After selling the 6600k and mobo it cost me like £15 lmao. Got a really good deal on the parts (amazon warehouse 20% off!).

Micro atx case now with 2x240mm rad custoom loop and an alphacool GPU block, looking at modding my case to fit a third 240mm rad in! XD Oh, and an Nvme drive (so fast!).

Would like some new ram, 2x8Gb B-die tbh.

My AOC is still going strong, £50 well spent XD. Wish I had Freesync but whatev'.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Very funny reply - always kind of comforting to receive new messages about a build you've devised I guess. Sounds like you've been busy - any danger of displaying your latest incarnation?

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Before each upgrade I'm like "ooh, I should upload my build after this". But then I always have more ideas. Never seems finished y'know

[comment deleted]
  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Not really, every other z170 itx board has one.

M.2 on a z97 itx board was rare but now with the extra PCIe lanes on skylake there isn't really a reason to not have one especially on a mini itx board.

[comment deleted]
[comment deleted]
[comment deleted by staff]
  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

It's ok, it's my PC. Not yours, personally I quite like it.

It's actually changed up a bit since my last update, I'm now in a even worse airflow case but I'm planning on watercooling my gpu to fix that. Also, I've got an Rx 580 now thanks to a Vbios change.

It's now in a blue case with a nice blue LED fan in the back. I up sized a bit to micro-atx to potentially accommodate an upgrade to AM4 similar to you. (I had a look at your part lists :P ) Would probably get an Asrock Taichi cause I'd want to see how good an OC I can get.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

Looking back on it it's incredible how much I went through to get this sorted. It was all worth it though! So happy I I decided to preservere with my idea as the final result is truly awesome.

[comment deleted by staff]
[comment deleted by staff]
  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Of course! I'll upload them today; just for you.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Done

[comment deleted by staff]