This build was looking for a reason to live. I had bought 5 broken motherboards for $60. They all had bent pins and I wanted to upgrade my son's computer and my server. I had access to socket 1150 based Xeon E3 chips (V3) from servers that were recently retired. Usually older motherboards are too expensive relative to newer platforms so taking a chance on broken ones was my way to go. I fixed three of the five boards and one of them was this ITX B85N. Didn't have a real purpose for it yet. Scroll six months later and now it has a reason to live.

Always wanted to do a console style HTPC build so I just started buying pieces as they went on sale like the case, cooler, mSATA drive and wireless card. I could have saved more money by using an existing 2.5" SSD drive but I wanted to minimize cables so I utilized the onboard MSATA connector and bought an MSATA EVO.

It's purpose for living came when my father's new CCTV system for his restaurant required 16 stream H.264 playback that his Core i5m 1st Gen laptop was not able to handle. The laptop has served it's purpose quite well even after it was relegated to it's permanent home next to the TV.

All of the pieces were bought in the spring and I recycled everything else from other PCs in my household. The GPU was a cascade from my son's new GTX 1070 that allowed his old Radeon HD 7950 to go to his sister and her 7870 Ghz Ed to go into this machine so that my son can play a little CSGO while visiting the grandparents.

Both the Motherboard and GPU firmware were modded to provide updated functions like NVMe Boot for the motherboard and UEFI GOP for the GPU for Ultra Fast Secure boot.

Pictures of the system buttoned up will be uploaded but I figured the internals and it's wire management were more important.

CPU May 2017 - Xeon is a larger cached i5 Haswell that Turbos to 3.6 Ghz. I have forced the Turbo for all cores on the motherboard. So effectively this CPU runs at 3.6 Ghz.

CPU Cooler Jue 2017 - C7 looks good and is compact. Holds temps down to 68 C under OCCT Power Supply test (both CPU and GPU loaded).

Motherboard May 2017 - Bought as part of a $60 broken motherboard bundle. I was able to salvage this board, a Z97M-Gaming 5, and a Z97-UDH3. I sold the other two for $12 each on ebay. Modified BIOS with updated UEFI modules for all subsystems, including Intel ME, and NVMe boot in case I ever wanted to install a NVMe Add In Card in the PCIe slot vs a GPU.

Memory Circa 2015 - In my inventory, don't remember how much I paid or why I still had it but it was in my drawer and was a heck of a lot cheaper than today's prices (I think $60).

Storage May 2017 - Only large capactiy msata drives to be found, works great and eliminates wires

Video Card November 2013 - I think I paid $150 for it back then. Orginally an upgrade for my son's PC but it has lasted all these years; I even taught the old dog new tricks by adding a UEFI GOP which allows for a 3 second improvement in boot times since I can turn on Ultra Fast boot. Older architecture with the latest features. This is where I get my excitement in building PCs. Making old stuff new again.

Case May 2017 - Compact case with a handle. Was on sale and is really small. Thermals are fine for this build. Motherboard fits the wiring constraints for a clean install. Using previous builds pictures and asking questions I came up with my optimum cable management. It really helps not to have 2.5" drives though and routing power cables behind the motherboard utilizing cutouts on the back take up all the slack.

Power Supply May 2017 - Fits great and flat ribbons cables were easy to maneuver along with the short runs there was not a lot of excess slack.

Wireless Network Adapter May 2017 - the 7260 is the go adapter that provides both 2x2 AC and Bluetooth. THis card effecively makes the board a B85N-WiFi. I also added an Asus 2x2 remote antenna with magnet. This is the same one from their ROG ITX boards for $20.

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  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Very cool. budget bin builds are the most interesting. You are open to the universe and what it will yield. I thought I was going to use an ASRock B250 pro-4 but bent pins said other wise. The process will produce the replacement.

Your platform is more worthy than I

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

I have fixed 5 out 8 bent pin boards I have bought. So if the pics don't look too bad they are sometimes worth it. Gigabyte even replaced one under warranty. I really like their customer service. My son's board worked except for the B channel DIMM slots and they took about 4 weeks to fix it. So you might want to try with Asrock and see what they say.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

This was an open box buy at Micro Center. I returned it for an Asus B250 I built this weekend. I needed a place for the 7500 I took out of my personal computer