Description

  • This mini PC is called the Googlebox. My mother wanted a PC in the kitchen where she could watch videos to prep, bake and cook. Plus she has a 5-month online course this week, August 16th, to learn about chocolate. No real preferences from my mother but she wanted something very compact. I looked online until I came across this Mini ITX case on Amazon.

  • So the purpose is extremely simple as was mention above. It's to watch online videos while be able to work in the kitchen at the same time. And to watch some Netflix or Amazon Prime. This PC offers to use flash drives or external devices when needed.

  • Anything zero price means I already had it for a while now or they've been used before from a previous build. Though I left the price on the CPU.

  • Photo numbers 1-14 is the final result. Photo numbers 15-140 is the building process and the end result.

  • YouTube: Building a G5400 Mini PC (Step by Step)

Benchmarks

CPU-Z CPU Single Thread CPU Multi Thread
Pentium Gold G5400 @ 3.7GHz 356 1,074

Crystal Disk Mark 6 Read [MB/s] Write [MB/s]
All 5, 1GiB C: 18% (43/238 GiB)
Seq Q32T1 1654.3 919.6
4K Q32T1 676.0 587.0
Seq 299.7 264.2
4K 38.70 79.05

UserBenchmark Performance Results Gaming Desktop Workstation
Details Tree trunk, 14% Battleship, 74% Jet ski, 36%

PCMark Benchmark Score Essentials Productivity Digital Content Creation Details
PCMark 10 3,104 6,773 5,881 2,039 PCMark 10 Result

My two cents:

CPU

Intel's Pentium Gold G5400 @ 3.7 GHz Dual-Core Processor

  • It's a great dual-core with Hyper-Threading and has plenty enough performance to handle the daily needs on a computer. The integrated graphics shouldn't sweat over online videos. Though I bought this CPU from Newegg when the processor was first released so the price was a bit high at the time. Pretty sure these days its lessen by now or is MSRP again.

Temperatures

Type|Temperature :----|:----|:---- Idle | 20° C Underload | 54° C


CPU Cooler

Rosewill RCX-Z775-LP 33.5 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler

  • I have so many backup for these particular CPU coolers. Its height is under 2 inches. Can sound better than Intel's Stockfan unless the fan curve is maxed than it's very audible but won't be true for this build. I believe the RCX-Z775 is a great substitute for intel stockfans (LGA775, LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, and LGA1156 sockets) or the case has tight spacing.

Motherboard

Gigabyte's B360N WIFI Mini ITX LGA1151

  • This was actually my least planned motherboard in this part list. Originally I was looking at the ASRock - H310M-ITX/ac. Waited too long and saw the price spike up so I end up leaning towards the Gigabyte B360N WiFi.

  • I was hoping to save about $10 at the time by purchasing this as used on Amazon. Oh boy... it was no major difference when I got the motherboard. It had everything but the magnetized WiFi antenna... so I had to purchase a pair of WiFi antennas ($7) for what was missing. Sure at the time I saved... meh $2~$5. Don't go over $90 for this MOBO.

  • Thankfully, as I was nervous, the substituted WiFi antennas did work! Even the Bluetooth works too. I do suggest looking for WiFi antenna(s) that do support a specific set of frequency and other features base upon the motherboard.

  • Otherwise the motherboard's layout is really thought out well for the connectors. Maybe an exception for the M.2 socket yet it works so it's OK. Now that I think about it, this was my first time to install an M.2 SSD underneath a motherboard! Thankfully the case I purchased does have holes below to help exhaust heat.

  • I am used to Gigabyte's BIOS so I may be biased with the navigation aspect. I had no concerns and it was straightforward to tweak and updating the BIOS. The BIOS was F4. Now the BIOS is F13.

  • Keep in mind if have an Intel 9th generation processor, then the BIOS needs to be updated at least to F11/F12. CPU support info.


Memory

ADATA's XPG GAMMIX D10 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR4-2666

  • Had this RAM since last year, 2018 for $79.99 from Newegg. It had many ideas of where to be but didn't happen. Then its been a backup RAM to help boot other hardware (like assistance with BIOS updates). However it has a home now and it works pretty well. Thankfully the RAM's heatsinks did not interfere with the case while they look cool.

  • Unfortunately I cannot utilize the RAM @ 2666MHz because of the motherboard and it is paired with a Pentium. The motherboard requires an 8th or 9th generation i5 or i7 to enable 2666MHz RAM. Regardless it works well at 2400MHz. Did not require an overclock through the BIOS but I still set the Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.) to Profile 1.


SSD

Inland's Professional 256 GB M.2-2280

  • My first time to experience the Inland SSD. Boots and loads Windows up about 3~6 seconds. I do have a few extras on the shelf but have not official run test one until now.

  • A very impressive budget SSD and I'll see how its endurance is. I don't regret buying two of these but now I am wishing I had bought one more while it was still $40. I'll test this SSD again with a Ryzen build in the future.

  • Keep in mind this particular PCIe SSD is NAND, 3x2 speed and it's a TLC (Triple Level Cell). Ideal for the everyday users who surf the internet, do emails, basic office uses, including games, photos, videos etc. Even though it's a step down from MLC for consumers but it's not something to fret about for the majority consumers who do these specific tasks. Not enough to kill an SSD anytime soon, though who can say?

Temperatures

Type|Temperature :----|:----|:---- Idle | 34° C Underload | 49° C


Case

RGEEK Top Cover with Holes, Aluminum Mini ITX / HTPC

  • I really tried to find something new out in the internet for an HTPC or some sort of Mini case for an ITX motherboard. And along with modern between a lovely appearance. I think I was taking a big gamble with this case because I wasn't sure if it would work out. It almost barely did...

  • Thankfully I managed to squeeze in the ITX MOBO but not ideal on what I had to do for so long. Didn't help either that I was sick out of the blue from a business trip! I was tempted to get my dremel tool and shave metal off near the I/O section of the case but being sick stopped my tracks.

  • Two and half weeks later when I felt better, I managed to adjust and bend the motherboard's I/O shield edges. Just enough to a point I was able to press against the motherboard along with the I/O shield and be able to align the motherboard standoffs within the case. Embarrassing on my end but having sinus issues didn't help my energy being drained for so long either. (So much coughing every morning and night kept me up for those two weeks straight). No I didn't contaminated the case with my germs! If I did then I used 70% isotope alcohol.

  • I suppose after my rambling and explanation above... I can summarize its pros and cons.

‣ The pros:

  • 1) Doesn't require any case fans (chassis fans). There's enough airflow for darn certain. Might be an odd pro here but it's great to see a mini case handle heat exhaustion so well. I've seen plenty of tight cases that had heat exhaust issues as it is.

  • 2) Cable management has no major issues. But I think this really depends upon the motherboard's layout so do be aware of this.

  • 3) Permits two 2.5" storage. Similar method from what I've seen in past mini ITX cases which offers a top bracket for this (and plenty of screws) but I did not use this.

  • 4) A very straightforward case to disassemble and reassemble. It's NOT that complicated to work in this case. Though I semi-support it for being a beginners ITX case that are looking for a no thrills PC that gets the job done. For the sake of daily tasks between photo/video edification that utilizes processors alone.

  • 5) A major bonus is the case looks elegant too. Modern... lovely, whatever one may think of.

‣ The cons:

  • 1) My biggest gripe with this case: the I/O section. It's hard to say how many Intel and AMD builders experienced this difficult circumstance as I have. If for some reason the motherboard doesn't align with the motherboard standoffs because it's the I/O shield or something else then it's a big disappointment. There are ways to get around this finicky situation, like don't install the I/O Shield, but it's really up to the builder for how to resolve it.

  • 2) More a minor con. If that 3.0 USB cable isn't flexed enough, it could be an issue down the road for other motherboards. I really had no major issue here but I was able to see a minor problem probability. If your motherboard's 3.0 USB connector is too close or just in an awkward position so to say then I suggest to gently pre-bend the 3.0 cable ahead of time.

  • I played around positioning but that didn't work so I ended up pre-bending the 3.0 USB cable as gentle as I could. It can be a tight fit and maybe it will block a 2.5" storage but it's just more important to get that cable closely align and not be pushing against nor pulling harshly away from the motherboard.


PSU

PicoPSU-160-XT 12V DC to DC + 144W Power Adapter

  • Had no problems installing this little guy. And I already had the PicoPSU and it was used originally from my "Ace" PC. I never posted about the changes with Ace's v1.5. However I ended up finding purpose for the 160w PicoPSU again.

  • I had the PicoPSU and the Power Adapter since 2015. I cannot recall how much it cost but I am guessing it was a $80 investment. Don't quote me on this! I cannot recall the combo price.

  • Works well regardless and love it's portability. Plus the power adapter isn't that light which in my opinion I prefer this so I don't accidentally knock it off a table or the counter.


Operating System

Windows 10 Home (32-bit/64-bit)

  • Yes I had this OS on my shelf for a few years but never was used until now. At the time I got this for $120 which was a great price for a Home retail version. It had the product key that was required and this is all cared about. I use my own Window 10 USB installation from Microsoft's downloadable ISO and not the retail's USB.

Keyboard & Mouse

Logitech K400 Plus Wireless Mini With Touchpad

  • I purchased this originally on Amazon for $25 from 2017. Just been used once and put away for a long time. I believe this keyboard is OK but I think the sensitivity needs work on the touchpad. Though truth be told my small hands aren't the best for touchpads either. Sometimes it takes a few more try for the mouse to detect my finger. To me this is annoying so I end up using the keybinds more than the mouse when it didn't sense my finger.

  • However, the range of its WiFi is good. Feels comfortable to type and it's more a HTPC media friendly keyboard. Not sure how battery situation is but I'm sure they will last a good while; despite I had to replace dead batteries in 2017 and obviously the batteries are still working so should be a bonus. Of course I did turn off the keyboard to prevent any dead battery.

  • It's a decent wireless keyboard, but that touchpad isn't my favorite experience.


WiFi Antennas

Protronix 2dBi RP-SMA Antenna(s) for a Wireless Card or Router (2-Pack)

  • I was not sure if these would work. I know the Gigabyte motherboards that provide a WiFi comes with a single, magnetize, Antenna. I did some major searching for this problem and ASAP. I am grateful these did work once I allowed Windows 10 to finish downloading all the necessary drivers and updates. It was not recognized until the Windows 10 updates occurred through the Ethernet (which yes did require that LAN driver to make that work). It may not be the original antenna from the product but goodness me I need that WiFi to work! And it worked!!!

  • If you go on Amazon for these WiFi antennas, the option to purchase can be just 1, 2 or 3 of them. It will depend upon your device that requires a 2.4GHz/5GHz. (802.11b/g/n/ac) Though I cannot say if it works for everyone but I am happy to say it works on GIGABYTE's B360N WIFI MOBO.


24" Smart TV

Insignia NS-24DF310NA19 24-inch 720p HD Smart LED TV- Fire TV Edition

  • The last part of them all was this TV. Purchased on July 15th when Prime Day was still around. Only really saved $10 extra on it but the size was required and the capability of a smart TV was most desired. It fits on the counter well and doesn't interfere with the cabinets above it. 32" TV wouldn't have fit this particular area of the counter when the height from the counter between the cabinet was 17.5 inch~

  • Pretty nice color and not too bright thankfully. And having a clear sound was very important when my mom watches her required videos from her chocolate class and practice working with chocolate at the same time. Along the times she may want a break and watch her Netflix or some Amazon Prime. It may have been a pricey 24" smart TV but it was easy to assemble and worth it. Remote is simple but has the necessary buttons needed. Not too difficult to navigate.

  • She's happy about this smart TV so I'm happy too.


Personal Notes

  • I was happy to make another ITX computer, especially for my mom. It has been a while on my end and maybe the only regret is not paracording the PicoPSU's wires. Maybe down the road, just need more black paracord. But right now it's in need this summer throughout fall and winter. Hopefully more for quite some time too.

  • Thank you for your time to read this description. Please feel free to leave any comments, constructive criticism and questions. I will correct any errors and update for clarification or if I forgot to mention something.

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Comments

  • 9 months ago
  • 4 points

The detailed process and notes on the summary is astounding. Definite +1 frome me. Love simple and small builds!

  • 9 months ago
  • 3 points

Thank you so much! I love simple and small builds too. Really enjoyable to build and so many ways to create them.

Just have to find that right case and what amount of wattage you need: PicoPSU, HDPlex or a Pico ATX switch. And also important is to find the right brick AC/DC adapter. Along with the budget and what the purpose is for the computer. Sort of a good break away from MicroATX and ATX forms, even though I do enjoy building those too.

Thanks again for your support and comment.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

+1 for the details and the clean case

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Why thank you very much. Thanks for your support and compliments!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

I missed this little PC. I would like to do one of these tiny jokers one day.

Good job and thumbs up.

Sorry I'm so late looking at it.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks I appreciate Gooberdad and no worries. These small builds are so enjoyable to work on.

  • 21 days ago
  • 2 points

I'm planning a similar build, potentially two of them, one for my wife, so your build guide has been really helpful for me, thanks for detailing it so carefully. Ventilation looks fantastic, I'll probably use the same case in black. Probably the biggest challenge for me has been understanding power supply options. The picoPSU 160-XT is supposed to be very good but I will likely use the HDPLEX 200W because the 19v input gives me a wide choice of high wattage AC-DC "power bricks". Your photos enabled me to check the HDPLEX will fit which I can see it will.

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 point

No worries and very awesome. I hope you find the right case for what you need with the HDPLEX 200w. Yes, it's a better choice I think and I'm sure the RGEEK ITX case should be no problem with the HDPLEX. I just had the picoPSU 160-XT left on my shelf doing nothing for a few years so it made to give the picoPSU purpose again. Best wishes to you both and happy building.