Description

My sister is into graphics and animation and while her laptop has a powerful CPU it lacked dedicated graphics as well as other desktop functions so I decided it was time to upgrade her set up to a desktop. She's off to college next year so I wanted this pc to be as travel friendly and space saving as possible, hence the mini itx form. I also wanted it to be gaming ready so we can game while she's away studying. Overall i'm pleased with the build (even though it hasn't been fully tested yet with applications) and it looks like a solid system that should last her a while.

The CPU: An I5 was really the obvious choice since a powerful quad core is required for most animation software as well as games and this I5 fit the budget and the requirements while offering upgrade potential on the new skylake platform.

The Cooler: I'll be honest, I hadn't heard of this cooler before but really it was my only option in a red themed build and it helped that It was designed for compact builds. However, now I've seen the thermals, I can say that I'm impressed by this cooler's performance and appearance. Its functionality is as good as it looks. Awesome!

Motherboard: Honestly, here I just went for the cheapest, decent mini itx lga1151 motherboard I could find with usb3. This Asus board is awesome quality and works a charm. The Bios is also about the best I've seen.

Memory: I chose this HyperX Fury because of it's awesome colour and high quality. Since mini itx boards only have 2 ram slots I elected to go for a single stick to allow upgrade potential to 12 or 16gb.

Storage: I chose a hybrid drive because they offer similar boot times as a ssd + hdd combo but at a fraction of the cost. Obviously capacity is sacrificed, but the faster boot time was a luxury in itself.

Graphics Card: For this black and red build I obviously had to go with MSI and at the time of purchase the R7 370 seemed like the best value for animation with better performance than a gtx750ti at only a fraction of the cost more. However, now prices of the R9 380 have dropped to around how much I paid for this card so I would recommend you pick up one of those if you try out this build. I'll probably have to get her a RX480 or something for Christmas lol.

Case: The Thermaltake core V1 was really the only option for this build, with great functionality and cable management options as well as a compulsory window to showcase the sexy components. A great value case with lots of room for large graphics cards and coolers.

Power Supply: I actually went for a deepcool 500w 80+ Bronze PSU but I couldn't find it on pcpartpicker but I seems to work and should provide more than enough power for this system even if she does need to upgrade the GPU at some point.

Fans: The Core V1 offers potential for 2 80mm exhaust fans at the back of the case and I had to get something to light up the interior so I elected to purchase 2 LED fans to light the case and improve air flow. I also swapped out the 200mm stock fan at the front with a corsair 140mm static pressure red led fan. The static pressure fans are meant to be better for air flow in cases with thick mesh front panels (such as this) so I figured it should be better despite the smaller size. It also gives a nice red glow at the front of the system.

Peripherals: There was really only one option for keyboard and mouse set for a black and red pc. I didn't want to splash out on a razer or corsair keyboard and mouse set since I doubt she'll be doing too much gaming and the graphics requires a tablet most of the time anyway.

Overall I'm excited about this build and hope that this system will function well as a work and gaming pc for my sister for the next few years. Shame I had to go for the weaker GPU but this R7 370 is still a good card and should last long enough to not require an upgrade too long in the future.

As for cable management, it's always going to be tricky to access the cables in such a small case and in knowing such, I chose to just tuck everything down into the bottom compartment as best I could, so apologies for the shoddy cable work at the front of the interior.

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Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 4 points

Thank god my sister doesn't have this high demands. +1

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

XD thanks lol

  • 48 months ago
  • 4 points

This message is to notify you that you've just reached maximum "Good Sibling" skill.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

XD thanks! she better love it :P

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points
One day, a dumb guy told me this: "You can't use DDR3 with Skylake, only DDR3L"...

Mouth closed.

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

What even? XD indeed a dumb guy

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm curious - why not go Nvidia for the GPU to take advantage of CUDA in animation programs? Does the one your sister use not support it?

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Probably budget reasons

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

OpenGL should work for almost everything right?

Also: I think it might be a 2D animation program based off of the tablet. Though I know very little about 3D animation. Played around in Blender but a mouse and keyboard is just fine for that.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I managed to pick this card up for around the same as a 750ti so rather than a gtx950 and this it was between the 750ti and this. Obviously the r7 370 wins out over the 750ti. But I'm sure something better suited will be available when it needs to be replaced. Thanks for your comment :)

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

There are a lot of other case options here, especially for the price range. Also the hybrid drive works well but isn't going to reach the peak of an SSD if stressed.

But overall I like it. It'll work.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I did extensive research into the cases but chose this because 1: it's a pretty and functional case imo and 2: because my pc is in the core V21 and I wanted a bit of similarity between our pic's lol. Also I felt that there was little need for a dedicated ssd and it wasn't worth the extra £40 when the only thing that might bother her is the OS boot time, so the extra £20 for the hybrid was an affordable compromise. Thanks for your comment -^

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow love this build! +1 Very nice gift :)

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! :P

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

nice to see the hybrid drive! I've used them in a few builds and they are great! Given your goals, this was an excellent choice IMO.

nice build!

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks a lot! :)

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! I am looking at starting a build using that case too. Also, good sibling +1

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Aha thanks! :D Highly recommend this case, easy to work with and has options for decent cable management even for the lazy people like me xD

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, I got the same case wrapped in carbon fiber vinyl !

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice! I did consider getting some red vinals but decided against it. However, I did pick up some pac-man decals but I haven't put them on yet. I'm sure the carbon fibre looks awesome though!