This was another customer machine. Melanie is a photographer located in Italy who needed to replace her aging Sony all-in-one PC with something more modern. We started with a $1,300 budget, and needed all components except a keyboard and mouse.

To keep costs down with the inflated GPU market, I opted to forgo the GPU and focus funds into other aspects that would have a greater affect on performance while processing photos.

Part Reviews


This little gem is an excellent value. With Coffee-lake i5's matching or even besting the previous generation i7's, this is one heck of a CPU. I was able to comfortable overclock this chip to 4.9Ghz on all six cores at very low voltage which kept the heat down nicely. Even using a $20 Cryorg M9i, temps rarely peak above 73 degrees while running stress tests like Intel's XTU or Asus' RealBench.

CPU Cooler

This little cooler looks nicer than the EVO 212,, has a nice quiet fan, and is able to keep an i5-8600K nice and cool at 4.9Ghz. Can't ask for much more!


This is a pretty solid board that should feel familiar to anyone who's used other MSI boards. It offers some great features like dual M.2 slots and AC wifi on a compact mATX size. Very happy with this board.


I didn't do much testing with this memory, but enabling the XMP profile was a breeze and didn't lead to any unexpected surprises.


This case is beautifully simple. It was built to a much higher standard than I expected. Very rigid frame, heavy sound dampening material on all the panels, good airflow, easy access filters, and good options for cable management. My accessory box was missing the motherboard stand-offs, but I contacted Fractal about it and they had a new accessory box at my front door in just a couple days.


  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool build, very clean!

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

How did you manage to fit the USB 3.0 header in like that? I have the same case and motherboard and couldn't manage to do it.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

What do you mean? The I/O shield?

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

I've got the same question - the front usb 3.0 connector (which goes to JUSB4) - how did you manage to fit that in? I'm trying atm but not having much luck.

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