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.
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.
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.