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Build

First Build in 10 Years! Fractal Design Define Mini C & i3 7100

by x3thelast

24
42 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

Feb. 20, 2017

Date Built

Feb. 8, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

3.9 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

34.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

52.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

2.164 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

4.406 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

37.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

51.0° C

Description

I bought all the parts using money I had raised thru eBaying stuff I had laying around the house. I also waited for sales and rebates, along with buying refurbished parts to maximize my budget. I used eBay, Newegg, Microcenter, Amazon Warehouse to get these parts for these prices.

This computer is now my main workstation / gaming PC. This after being a Mac person for the past 10 years. Ill be using it for Video Editing and some gaming. The build is PLENTY fast for what I want it to do, and boots in a matter of seconds which is an absolute MUST HAVE for me.

UPDATE1: Ive cut the bottom plate to accommodate 3 120mm fans in the front while keeping that lid closed.

UPDATE2: Added NZXT HUE+ Leds. (POWER LEVEL OVER 9000!)

UPDATE3: Switched out the AF120 LED fans with ML120 fans x2! (Hoping to swap all fans to these in the future).

UPDATE4: Well that didnt take long at all...Upgraded to the EVGA 1070 FTW.

UPDATE5: Damn it?! EVGA 1070 FTW evolved into the HYBRID version!!!

Part Reviews

CPU

Its ok for gaming, and VERY light video editing using Davinci Resolve.

CPU Cooler

Great little CPU cooler. Way better than the stock one that intel give you. If you don't plan on overclocking your CPU this is the way to go!

Motherboard

This MOBO is great and all, if you dont plan on using ANY of the PCE x1 slots. If you run a GPU it will be blocked. I am having to run my WIFI card on the second PCIE slot, which will have to go once I get another GPU to cross fire...

Memory

Cheap, fast and matches my over all color scheme.

Storage

GREAT price for this MUST HAVE part of ANY build. I just think that SSD's should be a standard in any computer these days. Atleast run your OS on a small one like mine (128GB), and enjoy the fast boot times.

Storage

Another MUST have in conjunction with OS SSD drive. I just can stand having a slow HDD bottleneck on my builds. You save up your hard earned money to buy the fastest CPU and fastest GPU but then cheap out on your storage? NO MORE! Get a small SSD along with 1TB of SSHD!

Video Card

Awesome GPU! Cost a little less than an outright GTX 1080 AND its a HYBRID. I was able to overclock the GPU to 2167mhz max using a curve instead of the traditional slider bar. The radiator/pump is super quiet, I cant even hear it. I did replace the EVGA radiator fan with a quieter (BETTER?) Corsair ML120. So far the IDLE is about 32-35C (depending on ambient temps), and Maxes out at 50-51C. Couldnt be happier!

Power Supply

This PSU is a BEAST! Got it super cheap, what more is there to say?

Wireless Network Adapter

This Wifi card would have been perfect if I could install it where it should go. Yet lacking any pictures online, there is a metal cube thing that protrudes on the top side of the unit, making contact with my GPU fan if its installed in the PCE slot. :(

Case Fan

Replaced the AF120 LED fans with these to get even more airflow and improve GPU cooling. Well, they do an AMAZING job at cooling all while using less electricity. The only downside I have with these is that they recommend 4 pin fan controllers with these, otherwise they make a weird pulsing sounds during lower rpms <1000 RPMS. Maxed out >2400 RPMS they're VERY loud. So I have the fan curve max out at 80% which doesnt reach its max RPMs. Oh all my fans are controlled via CAM software using the NZXT Grid + V2.

Other

Picked it up on SALE as usual. This thing REALLY makes the build pop and come to life! Loving the customization and audio visualization.

Comments Sorted by:

Koichi-kun 2 points 26 months ago

I love this so much for some reason

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Why thank you. A budget PC doesnt have to look like turd :)

Koichi-kun 1 point 26 months ago

If you could tell me, because I'm trying ur build but with slight variation, where did you get that power supply for $70? Just wondering, if it's no longer available I was going to go with an $80 Gold PSU

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Yea it bought it at a MicroCenter, I physically went to get it because I didnt want to chance it going to someone else in the internet. Manufacture Refurbished.

RedRageTNT 4 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Clean build. Nice going on GPU, that's a excellent price.

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Thanks :)

DubiousDeeds 1 Build 2 points 26 months ago

Very clean, +1 for having the same case as me =D

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Thanks. This case is VERY roomy for what I want it to do. I love it.

FACUNDO 13 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Although it's an lp cpu cooler, it's one of my fav

uberlizard 1 Build 1 point 26 months ago

That's a really nice looking build! the color scheme is fantastic, and it just looks great! Well done!

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Thank you! Im looking into adding some LED strips later on to match my keyboard.

AbsoluteBread 1 Build 1 point 26 months ago

I'm obviously shopping in the wrong places if you're able to get a $200 power supply for $70. Haha Great looking build.

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

LOL. Yea you just gotta shop around and wait for sales. I drove an hour just to pick up the very last one MICRO CENTER had on hand. Well worth it IMO.

[comment deleted]
x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

I also considered this PSU. They've got a great reputation and customer service. You can always flip it on eBay if you dont want it. lol

FrostGecko 1 point 26 months ago

OMG I litterally have the exact same specs in my build. I3 7100 and rx 480 4gb sapphire nitro D5 OC. How is the Video card working out for you because I am still debating Getting it over the more expensive nitro+

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

It's treating me very well. I've been able to OC it up to 1390 @ 150%, but it's very loud tho. So I'm just sticking to 1340 @ 110% which is much better at fan speeds all while keeping it around 65C under load.

1340 is also the clock on the more expensive NITRO+ version. So you can save some money and just get this one instead.

I'm planning on buying another one later in the year to run in crossfire.

FrostGecko 1 point 26 months ago

Thank you for the information. I'm goimg to get the rx 480 nitro non+ and just overclock it. May I ask how you overclocked it? Does the card come with the software?

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

I just use the Sapphire trixx software in conjunction with Global wattman.

FrostGecko 1 point 26 months ago

Ok thanks

garethccc 3 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Make sure you thoroughly benchmark your overclock settings - it's possible to get a perfectly stable overclock (e.g. 1360/1820) but actually see a drop in FPS. I have this same card. I'm not bothering to overclock. Fork out the extra for an 8GB model and get 2GHz memory clock and OC the core a bit.

garethccc 3 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

you're really not going to notice much of a difference between the nitro and nitro+ - maybe a few (3-4) FPS in modern titles at 1080p. The Nitro+ does have an RGB logo though :-)

henry.case 1 point 26 months ago

How's the Cryorig C7 working out for you temp and noise wise? I just bought the RX 480 pretty much because of your build, and thought about getting the cryorig to throw into my old build to reuse for an HTPC or something, and quiet would be nice.

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

It's SUPER quiet. I don't hear it at all. I can hear all 4 of my case fans more, and once the RX 480 ramps up to 80% you can forget about hearing anything else.

The cooler does it job VERY well keeping my idle temps around 23-26C ish, max I had it was 61C on load during benching.

I would highly recommend this cooler if you're not planning on overclocking your CPU. You get a lot of performance for not much money.

nhsiao 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

I noticed you installed a white fan on the front bottom part of the case. In all the pictures I've seen of the case, that plate above the hard drive cage sits flush to the frame and doesn't have enough room to allow the installation of a fan. Does another plate cover come included, or did you modify the plate yourself?

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 2 points 25 months ago

I modified the plate cover to fit the 120mm fan without having to remove it. IMO it keeps the system looking clean with out a big gaping hole exposing the cables and HD cage.

I just measured out the fan thickness and went to town with a Dremil.

Now its keeping EVERYTHING super cool even the lower portion is getting air, not to mention the added airflow for the GPU to suck up.

Gh0stBullet 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Hey I'm looking into building a PC for a friend that uses the same CPU. I wanted to know what your take on the CPU is, any issues you have with it, and what kind of games you play with this PC. Thanks!

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

HI! I haven't had any issues with this CPU yet. I do mild video editing with Davinci Resolve and currently playing The Division. This game uses about 98% max of the CPU and 100% of GPU (RX 480) and with everything MAXED out Im getting 60+FPS.

Gh0stBullet 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

That's awesome and just the answer I was looking for. Thank you!

garethccc 3 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Great looking build with lovely RGB, love the Cryorig fan... how did you get your parts so cheap?? That AX 750 you got for $69.99USD costs at least $260 here in Australia!!

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Thanks! I just wait around for sales or refurbished deals. If you do go with refurbished items make sure the seller has a REALLY good return policy just in case :)

Thracian 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

Very nice and clean build. I'm thinking to build a very similar pc. Do you think the dark rock TF will be compatible with a hybrid gpu with the radiator mounted as in your pc?

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Thanks! Yea you should be able to put a dark rock on there. The radiator WITH fan doesnt stick out that much. If anything it'll be very close to the Dark Rock tho.

Thracian 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

Thanx!

cjdarad 1 point 17 months ago

Nice computer, your CPU is bottlenecking your GPU though, upgrade to a i5 6600k and it will be like play on a whole ‘nother computer.

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

Thanks, friend! Check out my latest build! I actually upgraded this to an x99 system so i76800k with a 1080ti, so hopefully that's enough cores to remove the bottleneck.

LastSecondClutch -1 points 26 months ago

Why didn't ya go with a g4560 and an rx 470 or something?

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 3 points 26 months ago

Because I got the rx 480 for the same price as a 470, granted its only a 4gb version but I haven't had any issues.

LastSecondClutch 0 points 26 months ago

Yeah, I found one for 160 and decided why not pay the extra 10? :P

x3thelast submitter 2 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

why would I pay more for a lower card? 480 > 470. lol

LastSecondClutch 0 points 26 months ago

Because of the bottleneck.

garethccc 3 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

It's not guaranteed to bottleneck, depends on whether it's a CPU heavy title.