=== 11/2/2018 ===
This build was replaced by her first desktop with Windows: Shinpuru
This computer is called Tanjunna. I built this for my grandma E. who had no clue that I made her very first computer. Of course, she knows by now. To clarify any confusion, this is my father’s mother. Since I already built grandma A’s desktop. The real estimate cost of the build was $300.86 if I include my past purchases.
The purpose of this build is extremely basic: Netflix and surfing the internet. That is truly it. However, it will translate between English and Japanese when she uses it. I will also teach her on how to use her computer. Ever since she saw me build two computers from last year, I somehow piqued her interest to learn and have me build her a computer.
Even though she kept asking how much money to give but I told her to not worry about it. My family does not need to give me any money when I build them computers. I only need time. You can just view the first 22 photos for the final result.
I did reuse my Corsair RAM from 2014, which was used temporarily to run builds but now it has a home. The Celeron processor from 2015 was used for 3 months and will stay in this PC. Lastly, I had a leftover 6 inch SATA cable from 2014. I normally stock myself with extra computer parts for emergencies or something was saved because it was not needed from a previous build.
Here is my two cents:
Intel Celeron G1840 2.8GHz Dual-Core
- This processor is perfect for its intended purpose. Do not underestimate this little guy, he packs a wallop as a basic PC. Not ideal for major gaming terms but definitely good enough for Solitaire, Minesweeper and Sudoku. This is plenty of power for the basic everyday computer. Happy to have it working and good enough for Netflix.
Rosewill RCX-Z775-LP 33.5 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
- Now this was a must have for this build. The height is under 2 inches tall. If you try to use the Intel Stockfan with the Mini-Box case it will be an extremely tight fit. In my case it was pushing against the 2.5” bracket. I was happy to have this extra RCX-Z775-LP on my shelf if I ever had a problem with a build. It works great and sounds better than the Intel Stockfan.
Motherboard - UPDATED @ 06/20/2016
ASRock H97M-ITX/AC Mini ITX LGA1150
This motherboard feels a bit sturdier and looks awfully pretty. The layout for the front panel is very tight with the Mini-Box case but I cannot complain too much about that. The WiFi was easy to secure in with two 3/8 wrenches but again it was a tight hold inside the case while I am turning the other nut to secure the WiFi completely in the I/O shield.
I got this motherboard with a rebate of $20, in check. Very happy with the savings! Despite the tight spacing in a Mini-Box, this Motherboard is pretty impressive. I would recommend it for an easy navigation of the BIOS and plenty of features. No issues whatsoever when booting and loading Linux with this Motherboard.
Corsair XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600
- Almost 2 years later, this RAM has a home. This type of RAM does not overclock automatically so it was preset at 1333MHz. Since all Celerons and most Pentiums can read these speeds so it works out well. No issues at all when paired with this MOBO and it is the perfect amount. I am using 512MB System Memory for the integrated graphics, so about 3.3GB remains in Ubuntu but about 880MB~950MB between 1.3GB~1.7GB is used in Ubuntu 16.04.
A-Data Premier SP550 120GB
- Yes, I am quite addicted of purchasing these. This boots Ubuntu in 3~5 seconds and takes about 1~2 seconds to load up Ubuntu. So far it had required 5.9GB for Ubuntu to be installed. 5GB~ is currently used space with the updates included. Sure I have a major amount of GB remaining when using Ubuntu but I was willing to spend the additional seven dollars to grab the 120GB vs a 60GB SSD.
Mini-Box M350 HTPC Case
- This case is so adorable to work in! OK I know I am getting a bit excited over a case that cost more than the average basic case. The size is ideal though and for what it’s being used for, it is perfect. There are additional two USBs within the front mesh of the case. As it was recommended to do, you can add in a WiFi adapter or something else but it will not be needed for this build.
- One could install an additional 40mm case fan if you think you need more intake. Again, it is not a need for what this computer does. Nor does it have any room for it either.
Mini-Box PicoPSU-90 12V DC Input 90 Watt Output + 60W Adapter Power Kit Cyncronix Rating
- I had to buy the PicoPSU 90w & the Adapter but thankful it came as a combo kit. It did not come with the Mini-Box case. I made sure this was compatible for certain.
- The PicoPSU is kind of easy to install but with only enough force. It is more difficult to uninstall due to its small size. I have no issues whatsoever with the amount of wattage needed. The most wattage I saw pulling out of the outlet was 35 watts. However, it consistently stays between 27~33 watts.
- Yes, I did some black paracord sleeving and it is not my best but I wanted to try it for the first time. All I really wanted was the yellow and red wires to be mostly hidden. I would have done more with this attempt but since the case is closed, it will be OK.
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (64 Bit)
Ubuntu is something I been wanting to try for quite some time but I never knew when until now. I have been enjoying it so far. Google Chrome is used to play Netflix. I have Firefox displaying English and Japanese text. Since the needs for this computer is very simple and no intention to game even though it could play simple games.
I did have one major issue from Ubuntu 14.04: Netflix stopped working in Google Chrome after the updates were completed in May. So I thought it did not hurt to clean install 16.04 at this point since Netflix was not displaying video content anymore. When I installed 16.04, I ran into another problem: the WiFi would disconnect every time I tried to install Ubuntu’s updates. For some reason when I ✓ Pre-released updates (xenial-proposed) it kept the WiFi connected and allowed the updates to go through. This solved it for me but maybe not for everyone.
System Settings > Software Updates > Developer Options > ✓ Pre-released updates (xenial-proposed)
In conclusion, I am happy on how it turned out. I also enjoyed troubleshooting with Ubuntu even though it did not take too long to figure it out after some researching. I will try to improve my paracording with more practice, buying more resources and another tool with PSU crimps. I had one bad crimp with the yellow ATX wire from the PicoPSU. It makes it difficult to fix a bad crimp when I do not have the right tool and therefor it changed my first plan on how to paracord the wires in the first place.
Thank you for taking your time to read this. Please feel free to leave any feedback, constructive criticism and questions. I will update anything for errors or if I forgot to mention something.