UPDATE: WOW! I'm beyond flattered to be featured, especially as I know this is a bit of an odd-ball build since you'd never really want to game on it! Thanks PCPartPicker!
Not a gamer here (anymore), but still a very heavy user with very high expectations and demands from my PC. So, wanted to build something that would perform more than admirably for any basic office work, with the occasional video or photo editing (but not much), and really wanted to shoot for a totally silent build. I was immediately attracted to the Core P1 as it allowed for a mini-ITX build, wall mounting, and a great way to show off the build without having to get too custom. The one downside was that with the totally silent build the space reserved for fans and reservoirs was pretty useless – still trying to figure out what I’ll put there, maybe my company’s logo or something on the glass.
The build was surprisingly easy. All the custom option on the case were irrelevant to me as I wasn’t trying to do anything special with the cooling or even to show off a video card (just using the processor’s GPU as it is good enough for anything I’m doing). The big concern was the giant heatsink and how it would interfere with the RAM. Thankfully, with the Vengeance LPX DIMMS it fit, but just to be safe I bought a single 16GB DIMM and put it in the slot further away from the heatsink. The nearer slot could have worked but it would have been SUPER tight – there was no point in messing around since I had the other slot just sitting there. If I choose to expand RAM, which I may in the coming months, I could still use the nearer slot, but it would require a total removal of the heatsink first – so a bit of an undertaking.
As for the heatsink, I fully appreciate giant honking heatsinks are not exactly en vogue from a design standpoint, but I like it. There is something very Zen about it to me given that it is totally silent, circular, and just kind of cool looking. Since everything else is more or less black in the build, coupled with the tempered glass of the P1, which gives a lot of reflection, it is kind of the only thing you see when you look at it from more than a few feet away.
The two main questions I get are about the cooling and the silence, so a quick note on both of those:
Cooling – yes, this build’s base temp is higher than most, but it never moves. At idle I’m at 48C and under a heavy load it goes up to 58C, but nothing I’ve done yet has exceeded that. So, while I don’t LOVE the temperatures, they are very safe. If I have any sort of air circulation in the room more generally (i.e. just have my air conditioning going, etc.) it brings the temps down a few degrees. But with the totally open design of the Core P1, I’m not too worried about the long-term effects on the CPU.
Silence – Silence is golden, yes, but it is also a bit weird. As excited as I was to finally have a totally silent build, now that I have it, I kind of miss the noises. I never realized how much the small hums and whirs were actually indicators to me that something was working, etc. Now, when a Chrome window is a bit slow to load, I’m less sure of it popping up soon or not than I was when I could hear the computer working. In all, I like it a lot, but it can be disorienting when trying to troubleshoot or anything like that. So, as a final word, how does this thing work? Well, I couldn’t run the 3DMark tests as it didn’t like my not having a dedicated GPU. So, I had to instead use Passmark’s Performance Test, which is probably more appropriate for me anyways as this won’t be used for anything beyond very light gaming. Here are the results:
Test: Score - %
CPU: 6530 - 58
2D: 920 - 90
3D: 1003 - 47
Mem: 2581 - 88
Disk: 9475 - 99
So, not surprisingly, the 3D graphics score is a bit low as is the processor. But, again, I don’t need the graphics for much of anything, and the processor crushed the single-threaded mark with a 2513 score (97th percentile) which is the most important CPU measure for me anyhow.
In all, I’m loving this build. It runs like a champ on everything I need, looks great, and by hanging it off the wall and getting it off my desk, I’m enjoying all the reclaimed desk space as well. I can recommend any part in this build, so long as it's specs fit your needs. Thanks for reading, and happy building!
I got a good deal on this and chose to go this option because for single-threaded performance, surprisingly, it even outdoes a non-overclocked i7-7700K. As single-threaded is most of why I do, I chose to save the money. Also, if I ever choose to put some active cooling in, I can still play with this and squeak out a bit more performance. (9/10)
Look, I just think it is amazing that it is possible to cool today’s processors without a fan. The silence is impressive, although sometimes a bit unsettling – more on that later. I think the design is beautiful, and despite being on a Mini-ITX, it didn’t cause much cramming issues other than the first RAM slot where you really should go low profile. I get questions about not going with NoFan’s larger CR-95 – I opted not to for fear of a) even worse cramming and b) it extending beyond the glass of the P1 case which I thought would be aesthetically unpleasing. If passive cooling is of interest to you, this is a great one so long as you keep the TDP low. (9/10)
Thermal compounds are thermal compounds for the most part, but I love the syringe on this - very easy to use and apply. (10/10)
A very solid performer with remarkably easy overclocking options. I didn’t take much advantage of them as I was trying to keep things super cool with my totally passive system, but they’re there if I ever choose to go in a different direction with it. Don’t love the antennae which are more or less a requirement if you are going to use the WiFi or Bluetooth at all. Range without them is pitiful. Not sure I really get the value of the dual NICs either. Other than that, no complaints – well designed. (8/10)
Again, I chose to go single stick in case there was cramming with the heatsink, which there sort of was – it was very tight. Didn’t want to go any faster than DDR4-2400 as I’d have to overclock the CPU, which with the passive cooling I was trying to avoid. So, just bumped things up to 2400, instead of the default 2133. Performs admirably, but expected to see better performance scores. (9/10)
As I don’t need much storage as all my work stuff is on the cloud through my work, and all my personal stuff is on a great NAS I already have in place, this just needed to hold Windows and a few gigs of work stuff so I’m not always downloading. The performance of this thing though is unbelievable. I’ve been using SSDs for a few years, and was blown away by how much better things ran when moving to them from HDD – jumping to M.2 is an equally impressive jump. Everything is just read/written the instant I click. If you don’t have big storage needs, strongly recommended going with these 960 EVO drives. (10/10)
AWESOME case. Super easy to build with, loads of room, and almost limitless options. Strongly recommend. (10/10)
Silent PSUs are really impressive to me and this one is no different. While I sometimes get the tiniest hum out of the processor, the PSU is always completely 100% silent. Very impressed. (10/10)
LOVE my super wide screen, especially for the work I do. Makes two-up screen use super easy and effective!
Phenomenal keyboard. I love playing around with the lighting options, but just as a typing tool, this thing is top-notch. STRONGLY recommend any of the Corsair K-series for any use, be it gaming or office.
Been using this mouse for years and it continues to run like a champ. Super precise and very comfortable. Highly recommened.
Loved these headphones for many years. They originally came out years ago, and for the price, you still can't really beat 'em. If you love your audio, this is a great easy way to step into some professional grade headphones.
Good cabling, but never love Amazon's branding on everything, and the cable themselves are rather stiff. For my needs with hanging the cables on the wall, they were a bit tough to work with. But, as far as extension cables go, they certainly do the job at a very fair price.