Description

My workstation/light gaming PC, with parts carried over from a tiny Skylake build. My last case had severe issues with temps and noise, so I purchased a mid tower and a nice cooler in the H7. The system idles at 30°C, has great airflow, and is silent during normal operation. RGB on the Phanteks 350X is subdued, giving the case a bit of flair without a gaudy aesthetic.

Cables on the EVGA B3 are modular and braided, making it easy to clean up the internals. As an added bonus, the the 1050 Ti operates without a 6-pin connector due to its low power draw. The SSD is amazing when loading heavier applications like Visual Studio and is a massive improvement over my old HDD.

For productivity, the i3 and a cheap Amazon keyboard meet my needs. Dual monitors are extremely helpful for gaming, web development, and spreadsheets: the AOC is thin, stylish, and lightweight; the Dell can be turned vertically if needed and doubles as a USB hub.

Part Reviews

Motherboard

The motherboard is great, but the wifi antenna is terrible! When you screw the connectors into place, it puts stress on the little cables since you're literally twisting the rubber. They tore themselves apart after a few months, forcing me to replace them with a third-party product.

Video Card

The low profile is useful for niche builds involving tiny PCs. Sadly the fans get really loud when the GPU gets hot, which kind of defeats the purpose of building a small, unobtrusive PC.

Case

A smartly-designed case with no real cons. The exterior is classy with subdued RGB. Airflow is great at the top, front, and back. Cables are manageable using the mounting points, velcro straps, and cutouts. You get tempered glass, a PSU shroud, and support for an EATX system. 3.5" drive bays are behind the PSU shroud so they don't block airflow.

Note: You may need to buy a long SATA cable to connect a 3.5" HDD to a mini-ITX motherboard. I went with a 39" cable from Fry's.

Monitor

Affordable, lightweight, stylish, and incredibly thin. Love this monitor.

Monitor

It swivels into portrait mode, doubles as a USB hub (4 ports), and has height/tilt adjust. Very useful as a second monitor.

Mouse

Super helpful on my wrist after long periods of time writing code. Great for productivity, but difficult to game with.

Comments

  • 17 months ago
  • 3 points

Question on the wifi antenna: bc i'm nervous about this.

i have a build i'm looking to do with a wifi adapter. How does it connect to the MOBO? is it in a PCIE slot or something?

(new builder so don't hate me for any stupidity lol)

  • 17 months ago
  • 4 points

Hard to say which type of WiFi you might be referring to. If the MOBO comes with WiFi then it will likely be a Mini PCIe WiFi that may be already installed to the motherboard or sometimes have to install the Mini PCIe WiFi to the available M.2. slot that is designed for this. (Though these can be separate purchased too).

If it's a seperate WiFi adapter purchase then this is larger then your typical M.2. Mini PCIe WiFi. This would be installed to a PCIEx1.

I don't think you meant this version. There are the easy USB WiFis which you plug into a 2.0 or 3.0 USB port, preferably the motherboard's I/O ports.

(new builder so don't hate me for any stupidity lol)

No worries. All new builders, even experienced ones are welcomed to the PCPP community. We are here to help anyone in need and also share our builds together. :)

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

so to give you an idea, i'm looking to get this MOBO: MSI - B350M PRO-VD PLUS Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard

and attach this WIFI adapter: Gigabyte - GC-WB867D-I PCI-Express x1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Adapter

however now that you mentioned the USB WiFi port i might look into something like that instead. Because this wifi port adapter that i just mentioned is connected directly to the MOBO.

and btw thank you for the advice/help. Makes me feel more comfortable sharing my lack of knowledge on PCPP haha.

  • 17 months ago
  • 3 points

so to give you an idea, i'm looking to get this MOBO: MSI - B350M PRO-VD PLUS Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard

and attach this WIFI adapter: Gigabyte - GC-WB867D-I PCI-Express x1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Adapter

Makes more sense so thanks for the clarifications. And I have installed the WiFi that you mentioned. If you can afford that then you will not regret it's amazing performance and its long distance reception is great. I was 90 ft away from the router with 3 walls and it was freaky fast responses with the internet. I would recommend it more.

You would install this particular WiFi to PCI_E1 which is the very top slot of all 3 slots from your motherboard. You will also need to connect an internal USB cable to the WiFi and the motherboard and on your motherboard it's JUSB1 or JUSB2. And as OP mentions you will need to remove one PCI slot bracket from your case before you connect it to PCI_E1 and also one of the JUSBs.

The WiFi USBs do OK base on my past experiences (some did better than others, usually the 3.0 USB WiFis) but if you can afford the Gigabyte WiFi adapter then use that one instead. Plus the cool thing about it is the magnetic external WiFi antenna! If necessary to relocate for better internet connection.

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

this was super helpful thanks so much!

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

According to this article, you'll get a better connection over PCIe than USB.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/243226/the_desktop_wireless_adapter_difference_usb_vs_pci.html

It should be easy to install, just remove the PCI bracket and plug in.

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks fantastic for a mini itx in a midtower build... +1

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Pls I want to know how many fans can you put and how many fans were in the case can you when you bought it

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

It comes with a single 120mm fan, which I moved to exhaust at the back. Supports up to two 140/120mm fans at the top and front, so five total.

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks a lot bro that helps a lot thanks

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you change the case led to white?

  • 16 months ago
  • 2 points

Not by default, but you can sync the case and motherboard lighting scheme, provided the mobo has an RGB header.

Find the RGB connector in the case, connect to motherboard. Turn off the case LEDs by holding the RGB color mode button for 2 seconds. Doing this once disables the front, twice disables both the front and side.

You can now control the LEDs via software.

  • Color options: red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, dark blue, light blue, purple, pink
  • Lighting modes: static, rainbow, breathing, slow pulse, fast pulse
  • Cycling through colors while on rainbow mode unlocks: sunset, Mountain Dew, mixed blues, fire, blue + pink, blue + purple.
  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Is it compatible with the MSI Mystic lighting software.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point