Description

Mini ITX build in Node 304 case designed to be a mid range 1080p gaming machine with room for expansion. Priorities were - small, quiet, upgradeable. No overclock needed. Future upgrades will be 2-3 Tb HDD, Fast 500Mb m.2 NVMe SSD for the boot disk, i7 processor.

i3 7100 processor was released the same week that I bought it - had planned on the i3 6100, but the new one was only $10 more. Had an issue that I needed to load a new BIOS on the motherboard to recognise the CPU, but I couldn't do that because I didn't have a CPU that the motherboard would accept. Lucky PB Tech flashed the board with the latest BIOS while I waited free of charge :)

I bought 2x8Gb of memory because there are only 2 memory slots on the motherboard and couldn't be cheaply upgraded later to more memory if I used both slots with 2x4Gb now.

After being burnt with dodgy power suppliers in the past, I now overcompensate and the 550W Platinum power supply will be plenty for anything I can put in the small case. Also bought an extra set of short modular cables that made the build much easier because I was able to chose cables to fit and there is less extra cable in the case than there might have been. The fan in the power supply only turns on when the GPU gets busy, otherwise it is completely silent.

The SSD was one I had as a second drive in my old laptop - perfect for a boot drive until I get something faster and more roomy.

The RX 480 was the last purchase and the hardest to make. I wanted to be able to play high settings on any current game at 60+ FPS and this will definitely do that. Looks like better value than the Nvidia cards as well. Can run silent with no fans until it is loaded up.

Runs the Witcher and Skyrim on highest settings without any drama - so the build is a success.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

The be quiet! CPU cooler is small and super quiet - It runs at 50% most of the time and keeps idle temps at around 25 Celsius. It looks great too and the price is fantastic. Max temp I have measured so far is 62 Celsius under full load on my i3 7100.

Motherboard

This B150 motherboard has great features for the price and suits me because I don't need to overclock. USB 3.1, high speed Wifi, Bluetooth 4.2 and M.2 SSD capable.

Video Card

Solid video card. Runs really quiet with no drama for every game I've tried. Only running at 1080p but with ultra settings.

Case

Node 304 is a great case with lots of room for full size components if you choose carefully. 3 quality case fans are a bonus. Case would be even better if the motherboard was raised a little for routing cables underneath.

Power Supply

This PSU is probably more than I needed, but I wanted to be sure that the PSU fan would be off most of the time. System draw is probably about 330W maximum, so the 550W platinum PSU is right in it's most efficient range (about 92%). I still haven't seen the fan spin up after about a weeks use. I like the modular cables as well so I don't have extra dead end cables inside my case messing things up.

Comments

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

Why is it called Dwarf Fortress? Do you play DF?

If so, it's nice to see another cult member.

If not, I'm disappointed. :(

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Built for my daughter, who is a DF fanatic :) Personally I'm too old for that kind of effort.

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

tell your daughter to hmu

Thats awesome, that is the game for true nerds.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice budget box, good luck with the upgrades siren the road. Could've possibly saved a bit of money by going with a Kaby Pentium. They've got Hyper-threading, so they're pretty much just mini i3 CPUs.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

That's the G4560, right?

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, that's the G4560.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet, thanks!

I'm relatively new to the whole PC realm, and i'm trying to set up something decent but fairly cheap

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

G4560 + RX 460 or GTX 1050 will be good if you're on a budget. The RX 460 is a little behind the GTX 1050 in stock configuration, but you can actually flash them to unlock extra cores, which allows it to pull ahead.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I enjoyed the build. Happy with the i3, never really considered the pentium. I guess it's because I feel that the pentium chips were replaced by the i3/5/7 processors. I had a pentium back in the early 90's and the brand just seems old to me now :)

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Interesting comparison here... http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Pentium-G4560-vs-Intel-Core-i3-7100/3892vs3891 i3 7100 gives 10% more power for 70% more money. G4560 is very good value

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep. The G4560 is quite excellent.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey bro, I like your setup and deciding going your path. But i'm not sure about Mobo since i get these option from MSY:

Gigabyte B250M-HD3/B250M-D3H/GAMING B8

Which one would you recommend? Thanks.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

The list of features that I wanted on my mobo included ITX, USB Type-C and good Wireless/Bluetooth built in. Also wanted a high speed M2 SSD slot for later upgrade. Then I just picked the one that had all those things and didn't cost too much.

A nice to have that I didn't end up getting on the mobo was a high quality DAC for really good audio - but it wasn't on my must have list.

I suggest you write your list of requirements and choose that way - all those boards look good (but none are ITX or have wireless and only one has USB type-c so they wouldn't have been on my list)

I didn't want to overclock or have RGB lighting so I wasn't worried about that.

Also, I ended up running the case fans off the motherboard fan headers, so it was good that there were enough for that - but I didn't plan it as the case has a fan hub built in (which I removed in the end).

The Gaming B8 is closest to matching what I was looking for.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Alright, can you please help me out choosing a good mobo. I would like all the options you mentioned above ( wifi, bluetooth, high speed M2, USB type-c and ITX) but without flashing the BIOS. I mean i would like something which is ready for Intel Core i3-7100 3.9GHz.

Thanks.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Search this site for MSI Z270I GAMING PRO CARBON AC It is a good one that is Kaby Lake ready

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

have you tried the ambient led settings from the gigabyte app center ?? if so, have you tried the bead mode settings for the leds ?? .. i have this same board and i can't figure out whether this beat mode setting is working or not supported for this board !

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you get the thermal paste with the cpu cooler ?

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Thermal paste was already applied to the cooler.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the name

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Had no issues whatsoever, after I got the BIOS upgraded so my new i3 7100 would boot. It's a great motherboard with all the features I wanted.