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A newb noob's ITX build

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Hey guys, this is going to be a new build from me (sort of)- going on concurrently as my primary build log(s) in a massive CaseLabs TX10-D. This won't be any massive build, in fact it will be a small HTPC build in the Corsair 380T:




I already have the case thanks to Corsair George and most of the components. My girlfriend liked the case so much, she wanted to do the actual build. While this is good in that a newbie gets into PC building, it also means I am on a very tight leash as far as any mods go :(


Oh well, here we go..


Update log


Coming soon


Final pictures


Coming soon

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I chose the Intel Pentium G3258 here. It was on a good deal via Microcenter and I want to play with this with LN2 in the future. At this point, it is more of a placeholder for a better Broadwell chip- possibly an i5 depending on power savings.








Ah that darned cooler again!












That definitely looks like it needs a polish!





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The case I got is the special launch yellow color so I went with a 2x4gb 1600MHz set from Adata. The XPG set was very reasonably priced, is slightly yellow and 8 gb is plenty enough- for now anyway!















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I saw the Gigabyte z97N-WiFi at an open box clearance deal and so jumped on it. It isn't the best ITX board for z97 but it has everything I need and a pretty good port layout.






The box includes, other than the board itself, 2 SATA data cables, a WiFi antenna, I/O shield and manuals/driver disks. Pretty barebones here. There are 6 SATA ports on the board but only 2 are located at the edge so even Gigabyte thinks consumers will only use those two! Here's a look at the board itself:




The chipset has an anodized aluminum heatsink. Nothing fancy but I bet it is more functional that the typical flashy heatsink on most higher end boards:




Funny enough, the core VRMs themselves have no heatsink:




Gigabyte said they have tested it extensively and used high quality components here. Reviews so far have agreed in that there has been no appreciable difference in overclocking an i5 unlocked chip compared to other boards so it should handle the Pentium/Broadwell i5 as well.


Speaking of overclocking, there is a single 4 pin EPS connector here:




Plenty enough for my purposes again, this isn't an LN2 board by any means.




There are 2 fan headers on the board. Good thing the Graphite 380T has a nice integrated fan controller as well! If using this board with no controller, the best option would be to go PWM with splitters and control off the CPU fan header or just power 3-pin fans direct from the PSU using low voltage adapters if need be.


The socket itself:








The aforementioned 2 SATA ports on the edge:




In fact, pretty much everything you can think of cable wise is on the edge of the board, including front panel connectors, USB 2 and USB 3 headers:




The board comes with Intel dual band wireless AC as standard which I think is actually useful in a HTPC/LAN build:




A look at the back I/O ports:




No displayport in there which is a shame but DVI and 2x HDMI will suit my purposes.


Now since I have the massive CaseLabs TX-10D case as well, I figured I should at the very least see how this tiny thing would work in there. First up, the removable HPTX motherboard tray:






That thing is just lost in there. You can see a yellow ring on the AF120 QE- one of the very few/subtle mods I was allowed to do. The board is actually so small, I can't even screw in the bottom right screw because it is smaller that the CPU cutout in the tray:




This is how it looks inside the TX10, bear in mind what you see is a small part of the actual case as I have it:




This really puts the 380T in perspective!

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The "newb" got her hands on the hardware for the first time last night and I was afraid she would break more than 1 thing! She managed to get the CPU installed, put the RAM in and put on the stock cooler. I don't have a picture of that exact configuration but here it is with the brand new EK Supremacy Evo on it:








It was hard fitting in the block on this motherboard. I have already heard from other testers that the backplate for the block isn't compatible with some of their m-ATX boards as well. Just a warning- not all CPU blocks will work with ITX/m-ATX boards.




I decided to use the BitFenix Fury 750G in here, as it is the only 160mm long PSU I have. I can actually make any PSU fit in the 380T if I... ooops, not yet!












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need a couple Corsair Neutron Ssd's Raided to compliment your build...;):


I am still looking for an SSD so I will definitely be keeping the Neutron and Force GS SSDs in mind. Hard to beat the Samsung Evo and Crucial M100 on price though!

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yes i must admit the Evo's are plenty fast and at a good price,in fact Ssd's was near the last item to buy in my build so money was an issue however once funds trickle in,Ill be getting 3 of the Neutron 256 giggers.Their both pretty well matched in performance.,the Crucial while nice in price in no way can compare in speed and performance of the Neutrons or Evo's,especially in a Raid.
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Good points throughout!


To be honest this isn't my main rig(s). I am working on 3 builds at the same time with 2 of them in a massive CaseLabs case. That particular build log doesn't have a lot of Corsair components so I didn't put it up in here.

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I helped get a quick test done on the CPU, board and RAM using my SSD from another rig. Other than the mouse/KB not working in Windows (despite me having universal USB 3 drivers as well as legacy USB support on), everything was ok. So now time to get this progressed.




I am going with a single 256gb Crucial M100 which I ended up getting for $80 after a combination of a good offer on Tigerdirect and Amex :D






You get a copy of Acronis True Image with this which is very appreciated indeed, it will come in handy for my primary rigs.






There is a nice silver dust finish on the exterior.




Thanks to Steam in-house streaming (Which works great by the way), I could have made do with the iGPU itself if I wanted to for my purposes. But I ended up going with a second hand GPU with plenty of warranty and decent performance, especially considering what I paid for it.










Ah MSI! No matter, I believe this isn't really going to be an issue anyway with them. I am going to get this under water sooner than later.




Not the best color choice for a PCB in my opinion but you do what you can!








That single 6 pin PCI-E connector on the side is one of the main reasons I went with this, it will help keep things tidy in the case.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Sorry about the lack of updates here, the motherboard has been really giving a ton of trouble. I am still trying to sort out the BIOS issues with Gigabyte support but so far pretty disappointed. Also, the SSD mount and SSD are also awaiting some re-construction soon. At least everything seems functional: http://valid.canardpc.com/vhw5km


Did I tell you how much I hate unsupervised kids? Well, let me tell show you why. I had a nice plan in mind for the GPU, beginning with disassembly:






Just 8 screws to get till here, including one "Warranty void if removed" sticker :rolleyes:






Teeny little die! What about the memory?




That's what I am talking about! The heatsink itself reminds me of a tiny radiator:








So with the shroud all removed, it was time to get this matched with the yellow color scheme going on (in case you didn't get it by now, the GF likes yellow a lot). But then...






Oh the humanity! A visiting relative's kid decided this was a coloring item and proceeded to use a permanent marker on the raised lettering that I had painstakingly masked off and removed after the shroud was painted and left to dry. I had plans to put in some stencil art in and around these parts. This apparently was endearing enough to the others and since this isn't my build per se, it was decided to keep this as is :(


There were also some nice fingerprints left behind which I managed to buff out. So here is the shroud/card as it will be:










Just goes to show looks are subjective, but now I am all the more motivated to get a custom loop going in here- maybe when I replace the pentium with a Broadwell chip.

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oh how i can relate to kids and their penmanship

my grand daughter was 3 years old and had used a marker to write her name on my brand new dresser drawer ,I caught her just as she finished and she looked up at me with eyes saying''look what i did,aren't you proud of me?''

that was 5 years ago and its became a permanent fixture on my dresser...

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