Description

Well this was a very simple build for my father in law's church. The uses of this PC will be: Audio Recording through Audacity, Displaying Bible verses and other info using a program similar to Power Point, and Music playback (Disc, YouTube, or stored Music files). As you can see this is a very straight forward simple build. The build budget was under $600 give it or take a few bucks. And the father in law being slightly informed when it comes to tech made some requirements which I will explain in each part description.

CPU: It was requested of me to use an Intel processor and preferably if possible to use their newest generation. Hence my choice of the i3-6100 which is plenty strong enough for what they will be doing with it and any future usage. The build in graphics is strong enough as well to power their PowerPoint like program without even lifting a finger.

MOBO: Very little choices if any others actually of a motherboard that was Mini-ITX with 1151 socket. This Motherboard even though has not many reviews online was perfect for the build. It has a M.2 slot which helped keep the build as minimalist as possible. And it supports DDR3 which I had a few sets sitting around to help them save some money.

RAM: No specific reason here other than I had this set sitting around not being used so it wasn't a loss at all.

M.2 SSD: Well I have had nothing but good luck with Samsung EVO drives (knocks on wood). So Clearly I went for one of their offerings and the smallest storage available. This is though the first time I used M.2 drives and I am quite impressed. By the amount of storage they have used at their current computer in the church I doubt they will ever use anywhere close to 50% of this SSD anyways. So I installed all the main programs, 64Bit W10 on it.

HDD: At the time the Seagate was the best price and WD Blue 1TB which is usually my choice of storage drives were out of stock on both Newegg and Amazon. So yeah. This will be where all their music, pictures, recordings and what not will be stored to.

CASE: Well I needed a small case that was cheap, Mini-ITX , it would allow for at least one graphic card if the need ever arose, a 5.25 drive and the option to expand by at least one more mechanical drive or SSD in the future. Looks didn't matter here since the case will be hidden in the sound boot anyways. I do not like the fact that all the openings on the case don't have dust covers but the Church is mostly dust free. And I will try to make sure they clean it up every few months.

PSU: Well here I just went with the cheapest PSU I could find from a company I somewhat trust. The price on this little EVGA power supplies are hard to beat... from testing though even while under stress the system is barely going over 130w... so plenty of space to upgrade. Even maybe add in a small OC in there.

OPTICAL DRIVE: Once again the cheapest available DVD drive I could find. Best seller on Newegg.

OS: Well my father in law is very familiar with Windows and since the program they use in there to do the church stuff functions in W10 I just opted to go for it to avoid having to troubleshoot things too much once their computer forcibly upgraded them anyways from older windows versions.

So yeah this was my first time working in a Mini-ITX but so far so good. It was quite challenging doing cable management in the case but I was able to keep a direct line of air from the front to the back which will be very beneficial.

Part Reviews

Motherboard

The system has been running for two days now and will continue to run it for a few more days prior to passing it on to my Father-In-Law. But so far so good. The motherboard has all the right ports in the right places. The M.2 Slot is in the back of the motherboard which can be troublesome if problems ever arise. But so far the bios and drivers are all operating as intended. The Wifi works great in my home environment at least. The DDR3 memory support is a great option to keep costs down. Overall a great option for a Mini-Itx Build using the 1151 socket while still retaining DDR3 support.

Now for the cons. As already mentioned the M.2 slot being in the back can be troublesome if problems ever arise with the drive. The IO shield is of terrible quality. Actually snipped a few of the weird things in there in order to fit properly and the sata cables included are extremely stiff. For a Mini-Itx board it would have been nice to see nice flexible cables being that this will clearly go into a small case. But I had some other more flexible and smaller cables sitting around to save my life.

Overall highly recommended board for sure.

Case

If you are looking for a Mini-ITX that doesn't break the bank and has a 5.25 slot then this is probably the case for you... now do you live in a very dusty environment? Then this case is not for you. Too many air openings which is great but none of them are protected which means a lot of dust. But as long as you keep it clean here and there you should be fine. The USB 3.0 cable for the front IO is extremely stiff so keep that in mind and they could have added in a little more cable management little openings to put zip ties and what not. The feet are plasticky as well which means fi you have this in a polished place it will slide around. Overall though an okay case for the price.

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Comments

  • 50 months ago
  • 4 points

Solid build m8! I bet the church wont fully appreciate what you've given them.

  • 50 months ago
  • 3 points

The church itself no. But my father in law which is the one that operates the sound booth will. He has been going crazy with their older system that is running a core due from I think ten years back... It takes close to five minutes to even boot. This one is booting in less than 5 seconds and its running everything crazy fast. So I think he will be happy for sure.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

The church itself no

So i was right then? Lol but seriously i hope your father in law has a good time using this, it is one hell of a system for just a sound booth. All it needs is a graphics card and it would become a pretty serious gaming rig.

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

That's some great cable management in such a small space and using a non-modular power supply. I'm sure they appreciate you helping them with all this, you might be able to teach a thing or two about basic computer maintenance and just getting them interested in technology in general (if they aren't already). +1

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah I wish I had picked a modular power supply for a few bucks extra but yeah that was a tough job. So little space so many wires. And yeah I have been going over with my father in law in common sense things to do and not to do in order to keep this build going on strong for years to come.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, judging by your cable management you were better off without a modular power supply (you can always upgrade to modular if/when need be), good luck teaching everyone there the how to's and all that.

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

FYI to anyone interested in this case... The USB 3.0 cable for the front panel is very, and I mean very stiff... hence the giant loop you see in the pictures in order to not bend the connection in the mobo. Really wish folks making this Mini-ITX cases would give us very nice bendable cables due to the space limitations.

  • 50 months ago
  • 2 points

I like it. Small and compact and just what they need. I also think its funny how the full system under load is 130w when I idle at 150W.... So the next thing they need is a high end gaming machine right? ;p

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

If only they gamed lol. Building a similar build to replace his personal system but will be almost exactly the same parts other than case, psu and adding in cooler.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm also looking to build a mini-itx, i3 6100 system, so your build is a great source of info. It will be my first build from scratch. I'm wondering why did you went with an m.2 ssd when a regular one with 250GB would be cheaper. Was there not enough space? I was also considering going with an Asus motherboard but for some reason they don't have any mini-itx h170 with ddr4. Considering going Gigabyte or Asrock, but not sure because I have always had Asus motherboards. Parabéns pelo trabalho!

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Well like I said on the SSD section. I choose to stay with Samsung due to prior experience and never having any issues. Now when I actually purchased the drive it was going for $65 free shipping from Amazon which is about $20+ cheaper than the 250GB SSD and the M.2 option. And if you have an M.2 slot on your mobo and you are not using it I think you are doing it wrong. It helped minimize the build by not having to mount another drive and run cables to it as well. DDR4 is a bit overrated for gaming. There are plenty of reviews out there comparing similar speeds in both camps that will attest to that. So if you going for a budget gaming then I see no need to get DDR4... Now if you were building a balls to the wall gaming pc then yeah go all out.

And keep an eye out, building two more using the same CPU and MOBO combo... one with a Evolv ITX and another inside a Node 304. Apparently father in law liked the system so much he is upgrading his personal pc as well and the Node one I will do it for myself as a Plex server.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info. I'll check those builds. The thing with ddr4 is that I want to be able to upgrade when it gets cheaper. But I'm not looking to build a gaming machine so maybe there's no point.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice man. Clean build. Awesome job getting those ables out of the way.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build btw.. we have the same MOBO.. and would like to ask you if you are using a lower voltage ram by any chance... I heard that skylake CPU doesnt like DDR3 1.5V? any issues by any chance ? right now i have a hyperx fury 1.5v 16gb...

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

I built two systems running the same motherboard and both are running DDR3 1.5V sets without a single problem so far. So not sure if I got lucky or just folks out there with bad ram sticks blaming the voltage...? Not sure.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

thats good to hear well maybe or could be bad ram sticks from other people.. is the ram output voltage in your bios 1.485v too? just curios... mine shows 1.485v but undervolted it to 1.35v still am trying to choose a good OS... so i have no test if it is stable on 1.35v

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  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks.