All Articles

Balls to the Walls - Completed PC Build


completed build

I have been wanting a newer core series Intel processor ever since I read the words 6 cores. I would love to get my hands on the 8 or 12 cores but who has the money. I built this computer similarly to my most recent build in that it isn’t a fully new build. The shell of my computer is exactly the same. The new parts I bought for this build are the memory, motherboard and processor. In my previous build I upgraded twice since the original build. One upgrade was due to a very audible never stopping power supply fan which I replaced and is now silent because it turns off under low load. Later I upgraded that machine to a much speedier NVMe M.2 SSD. I retained those upgrades along with the case, the processor heatsink, one of the fans, and the graphics card.

Parts List

Here are the parts I used for my build thanks to PCPartPicker Part List

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-8700 3.2 GHz 6-Core Processor Purchased For $339.99
CPU Cooler Noctua NH-U9S 46.44 CFM CPU Cooler Purchased For $59.99
Motherboard ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming-ITX/ac Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard Purchased For $169.99
Memory G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory Purchased For $299.99
Storage Intel 600p Series 256 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive Purchased For $104.99
Storage Western Digital Red 5 TB 3.5” 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive Purchased For $225.94
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 960 4 GB FTW ACX 2.0+ Video Card Purchased For $229.99
Power Supply Corsair SF 600 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply Purchased For $119.99
Case Ncase M1 v3 Purchased For $215.00
Case Fan Noctua NF-R8 PWM 31.37 CFM 80 mm Fan Purchased For $16.65
Case Fan Noctua NF-P12 PWM 120 mm Fan Purchased For $19.95
Total $1802.47

Parts Explanation

new parts for this build

I choose the core i7 because I want to have those extra 6 threads you get with the i7 processors. It took a lot of research to decide between the i7 or the i5 but ultimately I decided I would hate to not have those threads if I’m: compiling a program (as a developer), encoding a video (as the occasional editor), or using illustrator/photoshop. Stock was also an issue for the processor because I bought when there was a shortage shortly after it came out. I went with the non-unlocked version because I (like my other builds) didn’t want to worry about overclocking. The motherboard was a little bit forced as I only had 4 options for intel 8th gen Mini-ITX boards. I went with ASRock because I was intrigued by the thunderbolt port all the other motherboards seemed otherwise similar. The memory was a struggle to get a decent deal. I patiently waited for the right Black Friday deal.

I choose to use the same graphics processor I’ve had for the last 2 years. I hem and haw about upgrading to a 1070 but with the shortage now I’m not even going to think about it. I re-purposed a 5TB Red drive that I had been using to store media files on my Mini Server Build of mine. The 1TB drive I was using previously was noisy and I kept filling it up with data.


side view of inside

When installing this computer I had little issue. The biggest struggle was learning how to clean off thermal paste from a processor and reapplying it. In my Xbox 360 repairing days I had the arctic cleaning supplies that are meant for cleaning off processors but I ended up using peroxide as a cleaner and a lot of paper towels.

I did have a couple issues when building this machine. First was my fan was not reacting to the bios the same way it did with my ASUS motherboard. It is the Flex version and I could not adjust the speed like I used to be able to do. Luckily I was able to switch out the new NF-12 PWM version of the same fan with the problem fan.

usb c port not seated properly

Another issue happened after I installed the GTX 960 graphics card and the 5TB hard drive. Upon boot m.2 windows MBR partition vanished and I could not restore windows. After about 24 hours of a headache I ended up completely reinstalling windows. The first thing I did after installing drivers was setting up a backup.

Final issue was at one point I noticed while trying to plug my Phone into the thunderbolt/USB-c port, the motherboard grill was partly pushed into the thunderbolt port. This was a real pain because I had to take the whole motherboard out.

Overall way beefier than I will ever need. I find myself remote desktop connecting to this machine when I’m on my laptop in another room. It’s quiet, fast, and mini-ITX, I quite enjoyed building it.

Date Build Completed: January 6, 2018