Description

This is my first build ever, and will always be remembered as such, this is it my carry-on computer.
It is intended to run efficiently several programs I use for my studies as well as Photoshop and Lightroom, to play games like Rise of the Tomb Raise, DOOM, PUBG, and, KSP, Factorio, Cities Skylines, and to warm up my room in the cold of winter (Vega56+R5 1600 make ~$3.5/day on NiceHash without any modification, I'll try undervolting soon).

It all started around two years ago, as I moved to college, my family gifted me with a new MacBook (12" version). The MacBook, my iPhone and my Casio calculator were the only three pieces of technology that followed me. Now don't get me wrong, it's a really nice laptop for its portability, but its dual core 1.2GHz processor won't take you to the moon or even the end of the street.
That was the end of video games for me for a while... The following year, on Black Friday, I convinced my parents that a PS4 would not affect my work (and it did, but not in a bad way !), so I got one as an early Christmas gift. Few months later, a new problem appeared, a program I use for my studies can barely run on my MacBook, I definitely needed more horsepower.

With this in mind, I subscribed to r/pcmr, worked and made economies for about a year and this summer I finally could build my first computer.

Just as many people here, at first I had no clue on how much to spend. But £700-800 seemed like a good spot for me. Well, it went up and up.
One thing I knew is that I wanted a AMD build, I've only ever had Intel, except the Motorola 68k of my Macintosh Classic I bought at a flee market (what a beast !).
Then, putting things together slowly thanks to r/buildapc and r/pcmr, I went for a Ryzen 5 + RX580, that was in March this year.
Then, ethereum miner bought all the cards, and they were willing to pay higher prices than I was (free market and all...). So I settled with my dad to buy a GTX 1060 6GB he would then put in a computer at his office, until I'd buy a Radeon card.
And finally, Vega came out, and even though many people seem to be disappointed, I like the idea of HBM2. It has a blower style fan, which will help my Node 202, as for now, the 1060 blows hot air into the case, hot air that my fans can barely push out. Vega56 seems like the right one for me.

I had read and seen videos saying that the cable management was hard, also I was very pumped that I was going to build my first PC, so I made a diagram for my cabling, feel free to use it fellow Node 202 people !

UPDATE 1 : HD5450 1GB to 1060 6GB - gaming starts now
UPDATE 2 : 450W PSU to nothing whilst the 600W arrives - a £900 paperweight
UPDATE 3 : nothing to 600W PSU - it's aliiiiiiive
UPDATE 4 : 1060 6GB to SAPPHIRE RX VEGA 56 ! - kind of satisfying...
NEXT : keyboard, mouse, freesync monitor, SSD, etc... but first I'll need money

Part Reviews

CPU

Because of pcmr I guess, I wanted a Ryzen build, at first I had the Risen 5 1400 in mind, but thanks to my family helping me out, I went for the 1600 which is more future-proof with its 6 cores 12 threads.

CPU Cooler

The AMD Wraith Spire does not fit in the Node 202, Stealth might, but Spire definitely doesn't.
Seeing the completed builds on this site, most people go for the Cryorig C7.
But for AM4, you need to wait for fancy new brackets to get to you, and time being restricted, that was a bit of a problem for me...
Then, watching a lot of Node 202 build videos on youtube I found this one by Hoosier Hardware in which he made a hybrid cooler with the block of a Spire and the fan of a C7. The fan had to be modded a bit but it's a non destructive mod and I could put it back on it's original block if necessary, so I thought maybe I'd try. It worked, and now I have a pretty silent CPU cooler that should be effective according to Hoosier.
I'll update with temps when I get home in September, I can do a comparison of C7 vs hybrid cooler then, tell me in the comments.

Motherboard

AM4 and mini-itx, well, there isn't that much choice... Biostar, ASRock, and Gigabyte. I picked Gigabyte.

PROS :
- AM4 Mini-ITX MOBO
- WIFI
- Nice BIOS (apparently Biostar's is difficult)
- Price
- Availability
CONS :
- No USB-C
- Still no USB-C

Memory

After a lot of lurking, over at r/pcmr and r/buildapc, I believe Ryzen wants quite a lot of RAM and the quick kind. I also found a good deal that was just £10 to go from 2133 to 3200, so, for the sake of future-proof and belief that my CPU would thank me, I went for it. It works without any problem up to 3200MHz with this motherboard.

Storage

HDDs are cheap.
I'll buy a SSD (M.2 if possible) after my birthday.

Case

Well, I'm a student so I'll move to a new place next year, then again a new place since I'll be done studying here, etc... Also, I need to take a plane to go home, so I needed something small. The Node 202 looks nice, can fit most graphics cards and fits in most backpacks, so it was easy to choose. I bought the PSU with it because it's rated the same as the one I'd buy for £20 less that I could put in something else.

Case Fan

Those are pretty silent given the pressure they can produce ! I use a PWM splitter 4 pins on one side, 3 on the other to have the sensor only on one fans and it works great !

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Comments

  • 31 months ago
  • 3 points

KSP for the win!!

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

I was going to say 'not with that card you wont', but I see you're in preps to get a 580. :)

Right now, Vega actually looks to be a better option due to they will retail at a lower price than the gouged 580 prices. I'm thinking due to the wattage draw, miners may not see them profitable. I was looking at a 1060 myself, but even those got cannibalized in price.

Once you get your new video card, it will be a sweet setup and a definite PS4 killer. :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Haha, I upgraded to 1060 for now, it is so smooth and beautiful. No matter how bad I am at mouse aiming, this is such an improvement !

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Actually you can find a few EVGA 1060 6gb cards for about $270

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm actually sitting on a waiting list right now on EVGA's website for a 1060 6gb single fan card; either superclocked or non-superclocked. It's definitely cheaper than Amazon or NewEgg's gouged prices and I'm not in a rush. :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Vega is not looking good for power efficiency to performance numbers on the reference cards. If you're going to get Vega and OC to Xbox One X levels of performance, (which is achievable with higher power limits) you will need a better PSU. (like a SF600) And I highly recommend waiting for the STRIX Vega 56 and 64 GPUs. Those will have better thermals, but keep in mind those power limits, which we all hope ASUS will change the BIOSes to raise the power limits.

The BIOSes ARE NOT USER MODDABLE because AMD also put a security check to see if it's been tampered with to comply with M$ secure boot.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I think I'll go for RX VEGA 56 because of few reasons :
- price shouldn't be too high, barely higher than 580 now - there is no 580 blower card whilst all vega will be blowers at first and that's pretty important for Node 202 builds (my 1060 gets pretty hot even though I have pressure fans in there. - I'll also exchange my PSU for a better one in the next days, amazon accepted I return the case+PSU and get the case without PSU+money back.

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

The blower style Vega 56 will most definitely have the power limit engaged. It is impossible to change that power limit set in the card's BIOS. I'd personally go for the STRIX Vega 56, but your use case may be different. You might not overclock at all, and Vega 56 might be sufficient for you.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I need the blower style to push the hot air out of the case, right now, the mini 1060 fills the GPU chamber of the Node 202 with burning hot air and even fans can't push it out efficiently... Also, it's highly likely that I won't overclock. It's already so much better than console, I don't need more, especially in that tiny teeny bad-airflowy case !

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

In the very least, you do need a SF600 after exchanging your Node 202 + PSU with the PSU-less version.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

That confirms my thought, thanks ! :)

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Which monitor will you pair with your Vega 56? I'm willing to pair a 1440p freesync monitor + Vega 56 and I want to know about performance. G-Sync is just too expensive and I don't like nVidia as a company.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm broke right now, so I use my old BenQ 21.5" 1080p 60Hz monitor. Games like PUBG and RoTR are pretty much always at 60Hz on 1080 ultra.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow!!!! Such a beautiful beast.....i have a suggestion for you bro, if you are going to push your beast little bit, you can custom build laptop exhaust fan (you can find it at gpu and cpu in laptop) as there is no fan to blow the hot air outside....i think you can expect good temp decrease...

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

I have Vega56 as a blower, maybe I'll add a intake flange for the CPU fan if I try to push it further.

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

+10 for Ubuntu. btw, what version are you running and how well does vega perform with linux?

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

That was 16.04. Vega was bad at first but now there are better drivers. For gaming I use Win10, so I cannot complain about linux drivers.

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Is the onboard WiFi good? I’m having issues with my Netgear adapter on my current PC.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

I used the wifi for about 38 minutes in total, ethernet for the win ! But it worked just fine !

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

How about adding some pictures to complement your updated part list?

  • 27 months ago
  • 2 points

There is so much I want to do since I updated my build, but I havent had time to do it... I hope to find the time during this term !

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Well done OP and thank you for bringing that wonderful hack/mod to my attention for the SFF build that I'm planning.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Well done OP and thank you for bringing that wonderful hack/mod to my attention for the SFF build that I'm planning. How are you finding the Magicforce 68?

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

That's true, but I don't think I'll keep on getting better PS or XBOX from now on. Also, I payed PS+ only once and now they want us to pay more ?! Don't they get enough money already, just for providing online gaming ?!

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

You know it's bad in console world where maintenance/updates are just as bad as a PC anymore, and they charge for the 'privilege' to use their online service.... lol

It's why the only consoles left in my house are a Wii and a Dreamcast right now. :)

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

As far as the Playstaton family goes, I've had :
PS2 - perfect for splitscreen, network was rare yet funny
PS3 - much less splitscreen, free online, PS+ appears
PS4 - splitscreen dies, you want online, get your wallet out !
And it took four months from the moment I had my PS4 to when I bought a year of PS+, still felt pretty bad... Hopefully, Battlefield 1 made it worth it.