Description

Update November 2018. Upgraded my graphic card to Zotac Mini 1070ti and added another 16GB RAM. Video editing main reason (Davinci Resolve) and let me move old 1060 to another computer... Works very well. Also added a second Dell 25" monitor with a cheap dual monitor mount from Amazon. Double monitor is awesome! Not directly computer parts but also previously added Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Audio-Technica ATH-M30x Professional Monitor Headphones and Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone , Black...

Update April 2018. Changed my configuration slightly. Included a 1TB SSD (blue) and relegated the 2TB slow drive to a back up. All fits in the case although it was a tight fit for cables. Of interest, I had been plagued with strange access errors for the 2TB drive since installation (Photoshop in particular). Could not trace the fault. When I installed the new SSD the computer would not boot. Turns out that Windows 10 had installed some critical files on the HDD along with the NVME drive. This made things tricky and I had to reinstall Windows with all other drives disconnected. Everything works perfectly now.


Decided to build a machine to replace my MacBook Pro which is now getting pretty old. Lot of Photoshop and Lightroom with some very minor gaming. Found this site to be fantastic and also used Tech Deals on YouTube on his 1600 build which was also great, in particular for getting the system up and running.

The build itself went pretty well, only a couple of heart-stopping moments (!). I had decided on a micro ATX build mainly for size and had initially been looking at the Intel i5 but decided in the end that the Ryzen 1600 would be better for photo editing. I am not using 4K, having previously purchased a Dell Ultrasharp U2515H which runs at 250x1440 and I find plenty of resolution for what I am doing.

So I had the monitor, then bought a keyboard, mouse and speakers as phase one - and try and work them on the Mac. Corsair K70 LUX RGB keyboard with MX Cherry RGB Brown has been an excellent win and I really enjoy typing on it. Keys are firm and there is a click which is not too annoying. The mouse was a steelseries 100 which connects directly to the USB port on the keyboard. It works well. I use a Wacom tablet for most of my editing so not that concerned about it. I'll mention software at the end.

I wanted a case with a window and so went with the Fractal Design Focus G Mini Tower. There were a load of choices here, even from Fractal, and I switched back and forward. Was started to regret this choice compared to some others but once I opened the box I was delighted - it looks great, and for a beginner there is plenty of space. The non removable disc drive space in the top right is my one regret on this, would have been cleaner if I could have taken it out. But that aside happy days.

I didn't too anything very clever or very stupid with the build (I think!). Basically followed the manuals and YouTube videos. I put the power unit in first - seems a well built thing - along with some of the main cables, which I then removed and put back several times as I tried to figure out the cabling! The motherboard went well which was a big relief. Samsung M2 960 EVO screwed in easily and more importantly worked without problem. Ryzen 1600 literally dropped in and the stock cooler, with paste preattached, screwed on fairly easily (didn't expect the spring-loaded screws). The Corsair RAM plugged straight in and overclocked to 2966 without any problems (so far).

The Fractal case came with all the standoffs and screws and everything connected easily. The motherboard IO shield went in after I realised what I was doing and the motherboard screwed in without a hitch. The case has various header cables including a USB3 etc. The motherboard manual was very good and clear on how to connect. I also connected a Seagate 2GB hard drive in the bay and then connected the GTX 1060 along with the wireless card.

The cabling was a bit of a game, mainly from my own inexperience. Can't complain about the case or cables, just took a bit of thinking. Doubt if I have done a brilliant job but quite happy looking through the window.

I was really amazed when it all booted up first time. The BIOS was a bit confusing but I got it updated from the website and then put in Windows 10 Pro - that was probably the most annoying part as the key wouldn't activate but the Microsoft online help was really fantastic. After that, it was pretty straightforward updating and installing drivers etc. Corsair has great stuff for lights and stuff on the keyboard and the RAM.

So, first build. I am delighted with all the components and they all went together without any major issues. Websites for all the manufacturers were easy to follow and useful. The only thing I have not done yet is overclock the Ryzen.

Part Reviews

CPU

Fantastic little chip. Easy to install and works really well for Photoshop and Lightroom.

Motherboard

Great board. Let me overclock my Corsair RAM without any problem and accepted the Samsung 960EVO straight away. Plugs are easy. Manual straightforward.

Storage

Wow! Speed is just as stated. Booting up to windows in less than 10 seconds. Very simple to install.

Case

A great little case for my first build. Sure there are other nice ones on the market but plenty of space and no difficulties getting everything sorted. Two LED fans at the front are a nice touch. Easy to remove side panels pleasure to work with.

Power Supply

Fitted into my Fractal Design Focus G Mini case easily. Fully modular was a real pleasure to work with. No issues.

Wireless Network Adapter

Worked straight out the box. Windows 10 Pro on installation immediately recognised it and it has worked fine.

Keyboard

With MX Cherry Brown keys. Love it. Pleasure to type on. Software for light control is amazing.

Mouse

Great basic mouse. Software also allows for colour control. No issues.

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Comments

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

Beautiful machine! I'm building something very similar and I'm so glad to see everything came together so well.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, it has been great. The only other thing I added on was Bitfenix Magnetic LED strip which I ran along the top and really enhances the lighting.

  • 31 months ago
  • 2 points

I think the RAM you have in the part list is not the RAM you have in the build, That part list RAM does not have LED lighting and yours does, nice build though!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you - my mistake, I have updated the part list!

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Good job on building this build! I'm also looking to build a new pc, because my laptop overheats way too much ;p

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! My laptop was starting to fail and I thought this build both cheaper and more interesting than replacing it - delighted with the result.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Have you encountered any issue or problem regarding in compatibility of your cpu, mobo and RAM ? Planning to copy your build if there's no any problem

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the question. No the system has worked perfectly and I remain delighted with it. I have overclocked the CPU to 3.5 without any noticeable effect on heat. The NVME is amazing.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Was the software for configuring the ram rgb a pain? Am looking into getting these to fit the white theme of my build? Are you running any other rgb software for components?

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

No, the RAM is white so there was no configuration to be done...

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh I see. I thought it was the RGB model not the LED model

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

This seems pretty cool. I plan on building a similar system for myself later down the line though, is there anything you would recommend, or any advice you could give me? Also, do you have any airflow problem in your case due to no exhaust?

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! System has been running for a few months now and it has worked perfectly! There has been no problem with airflow. There are lots of things I wonder if I should upgrade or change but the system works just as I want it to - the NVME 960 EVO is absolutely the star of the show, make the machine run unbelievably fast. Good luck!