Description

So my wife's laptop finally died (hooray!) so I used that as an excuse to convince her it's better to build a PC myself than to buy something off the shelf. She was sceptical, but agreed.

I've been wanting a gaming PC for the last few months but knew the wife would get super mad if she knew how much they cost. So I put together this PC which will do her absolutely fine for the office work she needs it for.

Little does she know I am just a GPU away from having a sweet gaming rig! In a month or two when she isn't looking I'll sneak one in :)

The parts I used and my initial reasoning and subsequent thoughts;

CPU - 4690k - Can't go wrong with this. Obviously overkill for office work but not at all for gaming. Gives the flexibility of getting a NVidia or AMD GPU in the future, which getting a weaker CPU would limit to NVidia.

Cooler - Evo 212 - I didn't want to go down the AIO route because of price, pump noise and possible maintenance issues. The wife would be very suspicious I had overbuild the PC is she heard one of these whirring away! Evo 212 therefore the obvious choice.

Motherboard - I saw a Linus video that showed basically no real world difference in FPS between very basic and very expensive mobos. So I just brought the cheapest board from one of the big 3 brands (didn't want reliability or bios issues). It seemed to have all the I/Os and sata ports etc I wanted so I thought it was a good choice. HOWEVER I didn't clock the board layout, which means it is probably going to be impossible to fit a gpu AND the evo 212, as the cooler seems to go right up to the PCI slot. I'm really annoyed with myself for the oversight - I assumed that the only spatial considerations were cooler/case, gpu/case and cooler/ram. I didn't think gpu/cooler could be an issue. D'oh! I think I'm left with 4 options.

1 - Turn cooler around 90degrees and blow hot air into the gpu or the side of the case with no ventilation - probably worst option but also the cheapest and least fuss 2 - Buy an AIO cooler. Ideal solution temperature wise but I still have reservations mentioned above. Costly but at least the expense is going on a benefit other than fixing the PCI issue (i.e lower cpu temps) 3 - Fit the stock cooler. Would make the K chip and Z mobo pointless though if I can't OC 4 - Buy a new mobo with better layout. I really hope no one recommends this as rewiring everything will be a PITA lol

Seriously though any comments welcome as you guys have so much knowledge I would be grateful for your advice

Memory - 8GB 1600 - I've read that speed and timings have immaterial real world benefit. So I just brought a red stick :) Better to go single channel with upgrade potential than to get 2x 4gb IMO.

Storage - 850 EVO. Lightening quick, WMI gives it a score of 7.9 which says it all. Must have been my lucky day as I ordered a 240 and was send a 240 and 120 GB. Not sure if this was a some kind of test, hopefully not because if it was I think I failed!

Case - Prodigy - Wife wanted something small and discrete. One outta two ain't bad

PSU - Fractal Design 650W - Tier 2 and only £55. Massively overkill for now but has the horses for either a NVidia or AMD GPU in the future, which is good because still not decided on what to get. Currently thinking 970 or 290X. May go down a rung to 960/280x given only 1080p monitor atm but still undecided.

Monitor - I wanted bigger screen / higher resolution but wife capped size at 22". Naturally I was going to fight this but a good deal came up on this Viewsonic so we have this for now. I can sell it on at cost whenever I want so may upgrade in the future.

...and that's it! If you read this far, thank you for taking the time. Any comments welcome, especially re: GPU fitting issue mentioned above!

UPDATE - Did some stress testing and took temperatures whilst the rig was in the 'cupboard' (actually, given the desk doesn't have a back and the front door was open, it's more like a shelf, but heyho). Results:

3.5ghz - 32 Idle / 60 stress 4.0 ghz - 40 idle / 65 stress 4.4ghz - 45 idle / 72 stress 4.5 ghz - 45 idle / restarted under stress

I think this is OK right? I know a gpu will add more heat, but real world use will be less punishing than prime95, so net net it's fine?

(Think I'll go towards an NVidia GPU, just to be on the safe side :))

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Comments

  • 55 months ago
  • 15 points

Repeat after me: I will not put my gaming rig inside a cramped desk with no where to breath.

  • 55 months ago
  • 3 points

Yeah I'll lift it out when gaming - plus side of those handles. It's open at the back, which is just below a window, so it'll be fine for office use in there. Will monitor temps anyhow

  • 55 months ago
  • 6 points

...or you can just keep it out all the time and let it breathe...?

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

When I first built it that's the line I took with the Mrs. She said fine, as long as you get a white case. After spending hours (badly) cable managing in this case I'm not keen to change - unless the temps go sky high. Will stress test tonight and see how it goes

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Why didn't you go with a white prodigy then? As it stands, you could still plastidip it without any problems.

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

from my experience, the white case is sold out everywhere... I bought my parts two weeks ago and haven't found a white prodigy for its market value ($80). They're all super expensive or out of stock. I ordered one from B&H while they were out of stock (who knew you could do that?) and they're nearing the 14 day "limit" for BitFenix to ship them the case.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I personally like the red case, it pops out.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

sounds good

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

^ definitely what he said

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

This comment made my day haha

  • 55 months ago
  • 0 points

Omg I wish I can give more +1's for this comment of yours haha.

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  • 55 months ago
  • 6 points

LMAO dude... I understand 100%, actively going through the sneaking components in phase. I have a GPU upgrade on my sights for the next sneak-in, what I don't know is how I'm supposed to sneak in a new 1440p or higher monitor -_-

  • 55 months ago
  • 3 points

LOL. Just say it's a miniature TV. :P

  • 55 months ago
  • 4 points

She wouldn't go for that. The other day she asked me how I ended up with a spare power supply, I had to tell her that was something I had upgraded ages ago. And by ages ago I meant two days ago.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL

  • 55 months ago
  • 3 points

Won it in a giveaway? Have a friend "sell" it to you when he "upgrades". Plenty of things to come up with.

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  • 55 months ago
  • 3 points

If you look straight down from the cooler and see the PCI-E slot freely, you are safe. If not, pick up a TX3 for cheap and keep the same orientation. Much slimmer but still a top notch if you replace the stock fan with a 92mm Static for push and 92mm AF for pull for max cooling to the rear exhaust. Otherwise +1 for sneaky sneaky. I gave up sneaking a long time ago lol... wasn't worth the trouble :P

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for this - really helpful and more along the lines of the positive comments I was hopeing for from the users of this site. I may just be able to squeeze a card in then with current setup. But the card would likely be touching the cooler - surely this is badbadbad? Good to know about the tx3 though - probably would have gone with this before if I had known!

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey, I'm trying to get your case, and I have your motherboard as well as a r9 290x. I was hoping that everything would work and was scared that you said the graphics card would be too close to the cooler. I found a video where a guy was using a Hyper 212 evo and a graphics card, so I assume you're OK in that respect.

https://youtu.be/Px_-VC-aj9U?t=6m9s

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey, just went home and tested with my parts, You're totally right, they don't fit.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

That was an Asus board in the video?

I tried a 10 year old gpu in the case last night and it fitted, just. No idea how close the back of the card is to the cooler though or if it is touching. It's impossible to see with the mobo in the case. and I think it's safe to say your 290x will be bigger than the gpu I tried, so you will struggle if you do have the same Msi board as me!

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Yep, this MSI board sucks... The parts didn't fit, and I couldn't get your case (they're a rarity now!), so I ended up getting a Corsair Air 240 and a Cooler Master Seidon 120V.

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

Good choice, but a pain you had to change your plans. You'll have to upload your new rig so we can see :) I just changed the mobo and got a second hand 480 which fits fine now. But that msi board should come with a health warning!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

if you can fit a zip tie sideways... it's sketchy but doable. Yes touching is a no-no, melt the PCB= Dead GPU. I have seen some VERY close GPU's in the past, but my rule of thumb is 3mm or more. And most will say I am crazy for that but as long as it isn't an R9 290... it's usually safe.

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  • 55 months ago
  • 3 points

So what would you consider a worse situation. Your wife catching you watching ****, or catching you mid-installation of your GPU? :P

"Honey, its not what you think!!"

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

idk why but I just love this. Good for you finally building a nice gaming rig. What gpu do you think you will add? This build makes me smile lol. As for fitting the gpu, I think throwing an AIO cooler is a pretty good plan for this type of build. +1

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice setup for a gaming-ready PC!

The Motherboard you picked as well as the other mITX mobos from the top 3 brands are very similar to each other, so a new one will not make much of a difference in where all the pieces are laid out (maybe if one of those were a bit taller? meh?). I would keep the one you got and change the CPU cooler. 212 Evo's are pretty massive and not normally recommended for mITX setups unless there was plenty of clearance. Nearly every other scenario 212's are an awesome option.

So, I don't know if you dealt with many AIO coolers, but there isn't really any noise to be had from the pump itself. At least this is from my experience with Cooler Master Seidon and the like and Corsair H100i/H105 and the like. The Corsair fans that come with the coolers would be creating the noise if any at all. AIO's are fairly expensive, which I do forget. Someone had mentioned TX3 which is a great one because of performance and size. I would recommend a 1.) low-profile heatsink or 2.) at least a heatsink you could blow front-to-back without obscuring the x16 slot.

Another thing is you could try to do is use an mITX video card vice a full-size video card and hopefully that'll fit in without needing to replace the heatsink.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I've had a look on pcpp and found a few examples where people have managed to fit the evo212 and a video card into a msi gaming motherboard. I didn't pay the extra £45 for the gaming version as I didn't see any benefit at the time. I guess that must have a better layout though for coolers and Gpus I've not used a aio cooler so your comment is really helpful. I've just read a few people moaning in their reviews about pump noise but maybe they just had a faulty unit (or OCD!) I don't want to compromise on the video card so will change the cooler. Good to know you endorse the tx3 as well, so I'll probably go with that

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Must have been my lucky day as I ordered a 240 and was send a 240 and 120 GB.

Where do I sign up?

P.S. It's a 250GB not 240 :)

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

It's showing as 232GB capacity so we are all wrong, including Samsung :P

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol. I'm pretty sure you know already, but windows counts in GiB not GB =P

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Indeed, otherwise all HDD/SSD manufacturers would have been done for false advertising years ago!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

=P

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

You lucky dog! But if you got a second SSD what do u use it for or are you just hiding it from wife?

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Lol. Was going to get some extra storage anyway. Was thinking of a 2.5inch Hdd but this will do the job nicely!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

ikr im hoping when i get my build ill get stuff i didn't order

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build. I honestly think the red BitFenix case is a tad flashy, but it adds something to the room. And with the Gpu , you might as well "upgrade" to a Gtx 970. If you get the non reference version, it'll be quite quiet and your wife might not even notice. Anyways it's a very nice build. +1

  • 55 months ago
  • 0 points

That's an awfully nice case to be stuffed into a cabinet somewhere.

  • 55 months ago
  • -1 points

Just as a side note, an aio cooler with a quiet edition sp fan would probably be quieter than and Evo. Not sure what aio coolers you have used that have a pump louder than an air cooler.

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