As usual this whole build started with a new component arriving in the workshop - the awesomely orange Gigabyte Phoenix B150n motherboard \o/
My favourite config at the moment is the GTX 970 + i5-6500 + 2133MHz DDR4 I used previously in my Warlock PC which is good looking in the Corsair 88r but also very performance/price driven. With this new build being smaller and more expensive I've opted to increase the size of the HDD + SSD + RAM right away - really small but pretty well spec'd :)
OK - back to that new mobo! The Gigabyte Phoenix is small, with orange slots and orange LED on the back as well - the logo on it's pretty interesting and I can't really decide if it's a birds face or a flaming eye but either way it looks unique and I like it. The board also has wireless built which is great. I really wanted the orange LED to be visible so I went looking for a little case with a big window and found a nice black EVOLV mini which has some vents along the top that might also let some light glow out and I liked the idea so I grabbed that + a 120mm orange LED fan to put onto the little CPU cooler so the glow would be even out the left and right top slots (I couldn't find the orange led fan on PCPartPicker btw but it does exist!)
This was my second time building in the Phanteks EVOLV mini and it's a great little case, quite roomy inside with excellent cable management space which was pretty lucky because when I was putting this one together the intended EVGA 650w was taken for another urgent DK and so I ended up using my trusty Zalman GX-500 for now :) The SSD mounting in the chassis is particularly cool - a shield fits over the back end of your gpu to hide the power cables and this has a nice easy slot SSD mounting bay on it, because the SSD was going to be so visible I swapped out my usual black samsung for a shiney silver intel 535, though the skull was pretty tempting I liked the orange corner artwork on this one so I went with it to stick with my theme.
You could save some $ on another GPU but I went with the Xtreme Gaming GTX 970 (even though I knew I would miss out on those spectacular ring lights in the small case) because I really wanted the badge to glow orange as well :) The card is pretty nice but a little boring on the backplate :P I highly recommend it for inverted mobo tray builds for sure.
Ram! My Kingston Fury sticks were "borrowed" for another DK so I grabbed a set of crucial ballistics for now, they actually look pretty damn good and I might just keep them!
All in all the build looks crazy cool even with the sub'd ram and psu - I grabbed a braided 24pin so the pics would look closer to the intended black cables that come with the modular evga.
I'll be testing this weekend and I expect the same performance as warlock :P here's the playlist if you're wanting to check the performance of a particular game out = https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtxHocGsjK_Nq27wvbMsImO8QH2WqyjKA&nohtml5=False
A great low profile CPU cooler for builds with tight spaces, I'm not 100% sure the orange LED fan I added will be up to the challenge of the really small fins on it but I'll test to be sure :) In the second to last photo I show the brackets going left-right, I hit the wifi module when I tried to place this so ended up going up/down instead.
Impressive and unique little motherboard. A quick note on cpu coolers - I had to place this up/down so as to avoid the built in wireless module on the mobo.
My previous dislike of Windows 10 updates is gone now thanks to this blog from NZXT showing how to turn them off = http://blog.nzxt.com/2015/11/4-easy-hacks-to-improve-windows-10-performance-on-your-pc/
The one I used was orange and comes with a little switch on wire to turn off/on the LED. I was going to forgo have this but sadly the switch needed to be connected for the led to work so I tucked it neatly in the back panel (photo showing cable management - it's the little white thing up top)