My first mini-ITX build using the wonderfully flexible Thermaltake Core V1 case. After seeing so many cool builds on this site, I thought I would go all out and replace my aging desktop with a fast 4790K overclockable machine. The main use of this PC will be office work with some video editing and some gaming.
Key objectives - Quiet, Fast and Cool!
After many hours of research I chose the Asus Z97i-Plus motherboard as it seemed to have many easy overclock options in the UEFI. Not being an overclocker before I did not want to cook my CPU.
The Kingston Beast RAM seems to work fine on the 2400MHz setting at 1.6V but a little concerned that exceeds recommended settings for the Haswell CPU.
After an initial build without a GPU or custom fan, more research lead me to the Asus STRIX GTX960. Not as fast as top end but not too slow either! Happy to have it overclocked and running cool - the fans seldom come on.
Also added the Samsung 850 PRO drive - blindingly fast using the Magician software that came with it. Windows 10 starts up in seconds.
A bit of bling with the LED strip lights that I got from eBay - $12 from China including delivery. The remote control means I can change the colours to suit. I decided blue was very calming to start with. However after a few weeks preferred the red so I swapped out the Spectre Pro at the front from blue to red and changed the LED strip. You'll see the difference as the photos progress. The only thing now, as another user observed, is that the power on LED is too bright and blue! Will find some perspex to cover it eventually.
Today I added the tiny (?) Noctua NH-U9S - seems to have had great reviews and does a good job for a non-water-cooled unit. Temperatures are not as cool as those reported so am wondering if I have not put enough thermal paste on or maybe too much. Runs around 41Celsius with the CPU at 4.5GHz. Edit- took front cover off and it dropped to 36C. Vacuumed the dust out of the cover and replaced it (amazing how much it collected in a few weeks) and it settled around 39C. So now I am happy!
Being an Australian build I was not lucky enough to get any factory discounts so all up it was around $AU 1600. Much more than I had wanted to spend but in the end I am very happy with the speed and quietness of the build.
Great CPU - runs a little warm but the speed is amazing. Easy to Overclock.
As the reviews state - this cooler is amazingly quiet. Haven't run a full benchmark with a 4.6GHz CPU but will post results when I do.
A bit more expensive than I wanted, however it's UEFI BIOS is amazingly versatile, but above all else makes overclocking simple for novices like me, A host of utilities make is easy to overclock the board without have to leave the OS.
RAM seems fine - bit hard to tell if it is hindering the rest of the build or not. A little concerned that I am running it at 1.6V and not 1.5V which Intel 4790K recommends. Keen to hear what others run this RAM at?
What can I say? Amazingly fast. Could not believe the difference when I swapped out my Patriot Sata II SSD with this one. Chalk and cheese. Magician software works very well and was easily able to speed up the time it takes for applications as well as Windows to start.
Many hours of fun spent overclocking this one. I've not had a medium level graphics card before (always opted for cheapies). This one runs graphics well and so far have only had the fans come on when extreme checks are being run (Heaven Benchmark) As soon as the benchmarking finishes the fans are already off - the heatsink works that well without them!
Incredibly versatile case and very easy to access all components with the sides off. The only time I had to use a set of needle nose pliers was connecting the Noctua fan to the mainboard (bit squeezy at the back of the case). Incredible value case.
Quiet and plenty of power. Maybe too much power but will run cool as should only draw around 300W
Fun coloured fan that runs very quietly. Great airflow.