So my previous computer was built using used parts (that were a few generations behind even then!) in 2008/09, it performed everything quite nicely until either the motherboard decided to die and/or the PSU decided to go wonky and take the mobo with it.
For ~5 years I dealt with it (in all honestly pre-hardware failure it performed quite nicely for me, Skyrim, Metro 2033 and a few other intensive games could easily be played at medium+ settings with my GTX 285 @ 1080P) until I started looking around for a new system earlier this year. THIS may have something to do with my hastily made decision.
I originally wasn't going to go with a SFF build, but over the years I have been wanting to build one for quite some time. I went from on the edge about building this rig to purchasing parts for it within a week, I'm quite an impatient bastard.
I bought the Cooler Master Elite 100 mITX case first, essentially locking me into mITX at that point. Then I searched around for a decent motherboard STILL having not decided on AMD or Intel. In the end due to performance and future (or immediate; more on this in a few) upgradeability I decided to go with Intel and the 1155 socket.
My first thoughts were to go with a lower TDP i5 and make everything under 300w and keep it fairly cheap, so I went in search of an i5 3350P. No one had those in stock so I decided to go with an i5 3340S instead at $20 more. I went ahead and ordered it and was about to order the Antec earthwatts 380 when I said 'screw it' and decided to just step it up a notch and go for a modular PSU, which was of course more expensive. After that I then started looking up GPUs.
I came to the realization that basically every low profile video card is a gimped version of an already low end card when you're looking for a budget card. So... why go for a budget card at all? Why build a new system that I'll just have to upgrade next year to play any new games? So I went in search for the most powerful video card that is under 8 inches long, which I found out was harder to search for than I had imagined. So nearly $300 later I am now the proud owner of a GTX 760 low profile GPU.
Also I figured if I'm going to save up a bit more and step into the next tier of graphics I may as well get the best CPU I can as well.
So, I returned the 3340s and exchanged it for a 3570, which surprisingly was only approximately $30 more in the long run anyways. Whats a difference of 65w vs 77w really going to matter?
I dont ever run stock heatsinks anyways, so of course I spent hours and hours researching the best one that would fit in the limited space of this SFF box. In the long run I'm going with a Cooler Master GeminII M4, which uses a low profile 15mm and just run a full size 120 on it. Probably going to slap my Yate Loon D12SH-12 on it if it will fit.
Still have to decide on getting a new SSD or not and maybe a new 3-4TB hard drive, but other than that everything is ready to be built.
This will be the thread with build pics, some sort of textual adventure through my build process and more of my general asshatery and shenanigans.
Edited by Andrewr05, 08 March 2014 - 08:23 AM.