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  #1  
Old 09-06-2015, 03:04 AM
Nec_V20 Nec_V20 is offline
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Default Corsair Obsidian Series 250D build

I've recently put together a Mini ITX system for someone.

I listened to what the person wanted and then decided how best to go about picking the parts.

I looked at a number of potential cases for the system and I found my "perfect" case for the build in the Corsair Obsidian Series 250D. The main reason was the fact that I could fit a 200mm fan into the front.

This was important to me, because of the small size of an mITX case it needs a large volume of air going through it to keep the system components cool from a limited amount of fans. I couldn't achieve this with a 120mm or 140mm fan spinning like mad and creating a lot of noise compared with a 200mm fan running silently even at full whack.

I like the Corsair AIO watercoolers I didn't see how I could justify it it the build I was planning. I did not want any dead pockets where heat could build up. With the overpressure from the 200mm fan in the front and the Noctua circulating the air around inside the case I think that was the better solution.

I am not someone who would look to AMD as my first choice of CPU (or in this case APU); however for his requirements (yes he wanted WiFi and was ecstatic when I told him it had Bluetooth as well) and for the price, Intel just has nothing to offer.

All my builds start with the PSU and I told him that unless I could budget for a good PSU it would be a deal-breaker.

I had some RAM to recycle so I decided to give him that for free because he has done me some favours in the past:

Case: Corsair 250D £74.99
PSU: Super Flower Leadex 650W £88.75
Mobo: GigaByte GA-F2A88XN-WIFI £71.97
CPU:AMD A10-7870K Black Edition £106.32
Cooler: Noctua NH-L12 £41.00
SSD :Crucial MX200 250GB £76.98
RAM (Normally £78) Free

The total cost was £460.01, including shipping (I had a spare 200mm fan). Of course I wouldn't charge him for building it because he is a friend.

Having built it, installed it and set it up, I didn't want to let him have it. I said to him, "You realise this is much too good for you" (and I was only half joking when I said it).

For the foreseeable future (four or five years) what I put together for him will more than satisfy his needs.

Yes he did whinge about the colour of the Noctua fans (which you can see through the top window) and I told him that I couldn't care less - it was a case of mind over matter, I didn't mind and he didn't matter.

Even putting your ear to the case you just cannot tell whether the system is running or not.

I chose the components to harmonise and I am not wedded to Intel. Intel for this build did not offer an alternative, where I could justify the price for the performance.

There has been some feedback. A "good friend who knows about computers" told him that he, "could have got it a lot cheaper from PCWorld".

That is until he invited him over to actually see the system and use it and then the guy's mouth was shut. As I learned the day before yesterday, the guy wants to bring his system around to see if I can suggest anything for him.
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  #2  
Old 09-06-2015, 03:59 AM
jammyb jammyb is offline
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I would've bought a 3rd gen i3 off eBay for £45-50 and spent the rest on a motherboard with WiFi.

What have you got on the 200mm fan to make it run slowly?
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  #3  
Old 09-06-2015, 06:44 AM
Nec_V20 Nec_V20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jammyb View Post
I would've bought a 3rd gen i3 off eBay for £45-50 and spent the rest on a motherboard with WiFi.

What have you got on the 200mm fan to make it run slowly?
I had a spare CoolerMaster Megaflow 200mm fan which shunts 110 CFM at 700 RPM at 19 dBA. To put that into perspective the 140mm fan which comes with the case as standard only moves 52CFM at 1500RPM at 25 dBA

The thing with the i3 is that I would then have had to buy a dedicated graphics card for it, because, let's face it, to call the i3's graphics performance pathetic would be praising it.

To get the equivalent graphics performance that I have in the AMD APU I would have had to buy something like an R7 240 with the i3, that and an equivalent motherboard would have meant a total price of around about £280 as opposed to less than £180 for the AMD solution.

The motherboard I got for him does have onboard WiFi and Bluetooth.

I have a Corsair Voyager Air WiFi harddrive and running a movie from it I can get up, go six paces, turn left, go another four paces and then turn right and go another six paces and put the drive on the window sill there and still not lose connectivity.

My Samsung Galaxy Note8 tablet loses WiFi connectivity after the first left turn.

I am not by any stretch of the imagination a fan of AMD and AMD would not normally have been a first choice (or second or third) for me.

It is just that in this case, for what the person is wanting to use the computer for I could create an almost silent PC for him for under £500.

You have to remember that he was getting along reasonably well with his Pentium 4 2.8GHz CPU that he had. Thing is that he had bought a video camera (that cost twice as much as the PC) and he could not edit any videos on the machine he had.

He is 62 and has never done any gaming, is not interested in any gaming and will not want to do any gaming in future. This is why I said at the beginning of the post that I listened to what he wanted.

He has been using it now for about five weeks and he is not only happy about it, he is ecstatic about it. Seriously, he thinks the sun shines out of my backside.

The one thing that he wanted to do is burn his videos to a disk. I have loaned him my Samsung SE-506VBB USB2 Blu-Ray Writer and he doesn't want to give it back.

I have ordered him the newer version (the CB) which I managed to get for £49.

I have personally gone off having a dedicated Optical Drive and my new system doesn't have one and will never have one.

I also let him borrow my spare Samsung 1080p 27 inch monitor, which he now also doesn't want to give back. He had a 19 inch no-name crapolla monitor.

He is very conscientious with his own stuff and doubly so with mine, so I am not bothered about that. There are other people I know who I would not loan the sweat off my socks to, never mind anything even remotely computer related.

On a related note, I built an i7-4770K system for another friend of mine who is renowned for breaking things (he managed to trash his laptop within a week of buying it, he broke his SONY Experia phone on the same day of buying it, and the 2TB external USB HD I got for him he dumped at his backside after a day of use and it was dead when he found it again, he borrowed a vacuum cleaner from his neighbour and managed to break that, he has also broken two electric kettles at my place - needless to say I let him nowhere near my systems) and last month it had its one year anniversary and is still up and running. YEAH!
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  #4  
Old 11-26-2015, 05:24 AM
Nec_V20 Nec_V20 is offline
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Update

I was asked to build a second machine identical to the one described above by the friend of the person I built the first machine for.

This one however has a slight change in that I got the Superflower Leadex Platinum 550W.

Yes this is the same "good friend who knows about computers" who told him that he, "could have got it a lot cheaper from PCWorld".

The good friend realised that specs does not equal quality (just as "compatible" doesn't mean that it will work).
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:44 AM
rik1254 rik1254 is offline
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If you don't mind me asking, why did you put a 650w OP PSU in a build that would barely pull 350w (likely under that)?

The money saved there, by choosing a lower output unit of say 450w would have been perfect to get an i5-4670k....which would have completely smashed that APU in every way apart from gaming.
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Old 11-26-2015, 05:16 PM
Nec_V20 Nec_V20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rik1254 View Post
If you don't mind me asking, why did you put a 650w OP PSU in a build that would barely pull 350w (likely under that)?

The money saved there, by choosing a lower output unit of say 450w would have been perfect to get an i5-4670k....which would have completely smashed that APU in every way apart from gaming.
That's a very fair question and I could answer with some blah blah about future proofing if they wanted to put in a graphics card later.

That however would not be true. In my personal opinion the PSU is the most important part of a build. Everything else is secondary by far.

Normally I would only consider a Seasonic built PSU (AX760 or 860) I could not however justify either of them in the two systems mentioned above. So I looked around to see what was available in the quality I demand under 760 Watts.

Corsair just doesn't give me that choice - not one that I would personally be confident in.

The main killer of computer components is PSU ripple and I want a power supply which has the lowest possible ripple. The Super Flower PSUs are the best quality that I could find (and I spent days researching) that I could feel confident enough in to put my name to a build.

If I could find a 450 Watt PSU that satisfied my personal quality criteria then I would have gone with that. They do not however exist.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:05 PM
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Corsair Dustin Corsair Dustin is offline
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Brand loyalty is not necessarily the sign of a strong builder. While the Super Flower Leadex 650W is a stellar PSU, sticking with Super Flower or Seasonic isn't essential.

An RM550x would've had equivalent or better ripple than the Leadex and been substantially less expensive. And don't play the CWT card: the PSUs CWT manufactures for us are platforms we co-develop with them and are manufactured under extremely tight quality control.
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2015, 06:00 AM
Nec_V20 Nec_V20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corsair Dustin View Post
Brand loyalty is not necessarily the sign of a strong builder. While the Super Flower Leadex 650W is a stellar PSU, sticking with Super Flower or Seasonic isn't essential.

An RM550x would've had equivalent or better ripple than the Leadex and been substantially less expensive. And don't play the CWT card: the PSUs CWT manufactures for us are platforms we co-develop with them and are manufactured under extremely tight quality control.
It's not a case of brand loyalty, it's what I feel comfortable putting my name to. The thing is that I refuse to build systems for strangers. I only build systems for friends.

I usually build higher end machines and then it is a no-brainer to go for a Corsair AX760/860. They are the best and I feel very comfortable with the AX analog series of PSUs and they have never let me down. It's just that for low power systems the AX series are overkill.

For the second build I used a Super Flower Leadex Platinum 550W. In comparing the prices to the Corsair RM 550x the price difference is less than £20. Personally I think it is worth the extra £20.

I have made no secret of the fact that I am autistic (Asperger's) and for me, being in my comfort zone means a lot.

The choice I made does not equate to slagging Corsair off.

My main point was that for building a silent system with a small footprint there is just nothing better out there than the Corsair 250D case (if you replace the 140mm fan with a 200mm fan).

I am so impressed with the case that I am building another system, identical to the second one I built, for myself as a backup PC because I have pretty much fallen in love with the 250D. Because it is my system I will be adding in the Corsair Commander Mini and the light kit (although it is really difficult to get here in the UK).
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2015, 09:10 AM
snapper69 snapper69 is offline
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"He is 62 and has never done any gaming,"

You say that as though the two are somehow related. I too am 62 and am currently addicted to playing Fallout 4, on a computer that I built myself, that I will be upgrading to Skylake after Christmas
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Old 12-02-2015, 06:48 PM
Nec_V20 Nec_V20 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapper69 View Post
"He is 62 and has never done any gaming,"

You say that as though the two are somehow related. I too am 62 and am currently addicted to playing Fallout 4, on a computer that I built myself, that I will be upgrading to Skylake after Christmas
I'm 56 and a firm believer in, "No matter what you think you bought the computer for you will end up playing games".

I was surprised that he has never done any gaming.

The reason why I mentioned it is because it made my choice for components a lot easier. It also offered the possibility of creating something which was, to all intents and purposes, completely silent.

Let's face it, without some kind of challenge building the machine would have been no fun at all.

Last edited by Nec_V20; 12-02-2015 at 07:01 PM.
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