Description

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.

Part Reviews

CPU

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.

CPU Cooler

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.

Motherboard

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.

Memory

Great price. Solid performance and speed. S'all you need!

Video Card

Love it. Runs quiet and consistently. Copes well with bad airflow ;) good temps. Nice and small!

Power Supply

Great PSU. Have had no problems so far. Really nice clean design. Comes with everything you need and is very quiet.

Comments

  • 43 months ago
  • 3 points

Much creative, such unique, very +1...wow.

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

I like it. Its different and you actually made it. Ya, I know you talked about the temps and lack of fans. I'd get a dust filter and a case fans, do a cut out in the back, hook the fan to the mb fan header. Nice Job. Cheers!

  • 43 months ago
  • 5 points

That included not even drilling the smallest of holes for anything, etc. (she wouldn't let me)

but he did an excellent job considering the constraints

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

For sure

  • 43 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks man, I'm keeping an eye out on the dust. So far, there hasn't been any at all, but still early days. I'm sure there will be issues down the line - but fixing them is half the fun anyway :) Thanks for the feedback

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

niiiiiice

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

This is such an awesome idea +1

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! It's working out a treat so far!

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

I love it.

Thumbs up

I would have to add some rear exhaust fans to at least pull a little air into the drawer and out the back.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Yuh, I would if I could. I'm still working out how I can improve the airflow (even though temps are ok). Problem is, it's near impossible without damaging the drawer. And I'm not allowed to do that ;) Thanks, Ped

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah If you could figure out part of a plastic defrost duct from a car to facilitate the pull in and then the push out you might be able to work around the natural gaps in the drawer design. Sounds like a fun project. I had no such restrictions when my youngest son and put his desk/pc together. This looks much better than what we did.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice thinking - could lead somewhere. Might be loud though! Will look into it. Cheers

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Neat idea :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, sir. Lovely builds yourself! ;)

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice and tidy. looks good man. At first I was freaking out because I thought you had it sitting on felt. I was saying "this guy is nuts the static will fry everything. I then realized it was a MDF board. Again good job and enjoy. Keep us posted it you ever upgrade or change anything.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha! Nah, I was quite careful when building it. I even used an ESD wrist strap, as there was no other metal to ground myself! Might add a couple of little fans soon, so will update when they're in. Cheers, Ped

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

All you have to do is put one hole in the back of that drawer or just keep it open so the thermals are less scary

Sad you cant do that tho

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Yup, if only! I'll have to keep it open a little until I can think of something better. Will update if I do!

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

wow.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Very creative. Def +1.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

If that TV stand drawer is made from actual solid wood, instead of veneer, then I wouldn't let you make a dent in it either :P

Tho I reckon it's actually just veneer?

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Haha, you sound just like her! Na it's solid pine. No veneer in 'ere!

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Jo dude, that kind of furniture can last you a lifetime.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Damn That **** is clean

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Luv it +1

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks to me like that plastic cover is on the corsair psu logo, id take that off just to be safe. nice build +1

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Yah, all those plastic bits are off now. Just forgot to do it before I took the photos!

Thanks, Ped

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Clean as can be, and creative too +1

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

t'was the aim :) thank you!

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

That's gotta be the most creative setup I've seen in a long time! I'd be super paranoid about dust [and cat hair for me], but very nicely done!
On a similar note, I've had an idea to build a glass-top table and have all my components on a second layer underneath - essentially building my computer into the desk :D

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you! It's working out very well so far. I've not had any issues with dust (yet).

The desk idea sounds cool. I've seen a couple of builds like that, and they always look sweet!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey I was wondering with that motherboard if it natively supports i5/i7 processors and if it's good with gaming

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, my i5 6600 worked right away. Has been gaming with no troubles.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Wheres the case? and will it do vr gaming?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

It doesn't need a case :)

I've not tested any VR but the specs say it should cope with no trouble. I wouldn't bother getting a 970 now though. Much better off with a 1070.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

what about a gtx 980?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

1070 is still better and cheaper

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

cheapest opinion for gtx 1070?

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

That is pretty creative fair play cool set up as well

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