Description

  • Total price (w/ P&P): £1,193.63
  • Cost of tower: £821.65
  • All parts bought on Black Friday (24/11/2017)
  • My first build.

There's not a lot to say about this, so I'll just list a few things it would've been nice to know in advance:

ASUS VX24AH:
Don't trust "What is my screen resolution" websites. They all incorrectly tell me it's 2048x1152 instead of the expected 2560x1440. If in doubt, take a screenshot, paste it into Paint and look at the size of the image.

Similarly, be careful with online "Dead-pixel tester" sites on some browsers. The rightmost column of pixels in MS Edge doesn't change when you hit F11 and instead stays mostly white, while on IE11 it's the bottom row of pixels that remains white in fullscreen. Paint seems to be the answer again, or maybe use a functioning browser or standalone tool, but try a few different tests because those pixels might be working fine.

The bezel is so thin that a good centimetre of the screen is covered up by the webcam. Didn't see that coming.

Fractal Design - Define Mini-C:
To remove the shroud plate, the front fan needs to be temporarily removed if it's in the lower position.
To remove the HDD cage, the two drive bays in the cage need to be removed first.

Asrock AB350M Pro4:
One of the standoff holes is located underneath the lower-right M.2 slot, so screw the board into the case before inserting the SSD.

Other notes:
1. Load temps were tested with OCCT, FurMark and HWinfo, on default fan curves.
2. The GPU temp was taken after 10 mins, because ..., at which point the fans were only at 50%.
3. I'm not planning to OC any component, partly because nothing I do atm needs the extra computing power. If anything, I'll undervolt and fiddle with the fan curves to get this PC even quieter.
4. RAM is expensive.
5. This thing in particular.
8. Lists are hard.

EDIT 9/12: I'm not 100% sure, but it seems like the case fan header near the CPU (CHA_FAN1) is a 4-pin that can do both 4-pin PWM and 3-pin DC control, while the 3-pin header at the bottom-right of the mobo (CHA_FAN2) isn't at all variable (no option in the BIOS). Because of this, the front case fan spins at full speed and it's kinda noisy to sit next to because the front vents are on the sides of the case. I solved this by buying a 3-pin extension cable and a 3-pin Y-splitter, and connected both fans to the 4-pin header, with the cables connecting up behind the back panel. This syncs the speeds of the two case fans, and I can set a quiet fan curve in the BIOS.

Part Reviews

Motherboard

Does everything I want it to do, with a little extra for future-proofing.

Do take into consideration the chassis fan headers on this thing; one is a 4-pin that does both 4-pin PWM and 3-pin DC control, while the other is a 3-pin that seems to have no control at all and runs its fan at full speed 24/7.

Video Card

This beefy card is very cool and very quiet, and with a backplate, fan-stop feature and RGB it's well worth the money.

Case

This is a great case with a smart, refined feel; none of that fancy RGB, just a sensible black exterior that would look good in any office.

Building is easy, save for some difficulty with the drive cage (see build), and cable-management is painless. Alas, no tempered glass.

Monitor

Cheapest 1440p I could find, and it's awesome. The bezel is super thin, the colours are good and there's plenty of features in the menu; I just wish I knew what most of them did because the manual sure doesn't say.

Do note that there's no DisplayPort on the back; HDMI and VGA only.

Keyboard

Well-built and robust; the switches are all reasonably similar in terms of sound and actuation force, and the addition of a wrist-rest makes the keyboard considerably more comfortable to use.

The markings on the keycaps are more grey than white, and I find myself wishing they'd stand out a little more.

Headphones

Light, cool, compact. Great soundstage, much less distortion at high volumes and intense chords than the HyperX Clouds.

The sound from the mic is muffled and fairly low-quality, as expected. Buy a Modmic if you need a headset.

Comments

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you remove the HDD Cage entirely? Where are your drives currently or are you just using the NVME storage? I have an extra long PSU but also two HD in the cage currently. I know you can remove the cage and mount a HD there without it.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, I removed the cage completely. I’m using a single SATA M.2 SSD (hidden under the GPU), and if I need more storage the mobo has another M.2 slot.

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Also there's a spot for a 3.5" drive in the basement even if you remove the drive cage. I like Jeff btw, I got the Mini C in the mail yesterday.