Description

Hello! This is the first build of my lovely girlfriend! It is a tiny Mini ITX PC which is a replacement of her old laptop. I finally convinced her to join the PC master race! I intended to use the Raijintek Metis case for myself, however she really liked it and... you cannot say no to that. I can proudly confirm that she completed the assembly on her own! The main application of the computer apart from being white and beautiful.......is for writing essays, playing CSGO, youtube and general browsing. The main goal of the build was to get as much performance within a certain budget and to keep the PC as tiny and as quite as possible.

CPU and Motherboard: The two potential candidates were i3 and unlocked Pentium. I decided to get a slightly more expensive z97 motherboard and the cheaper but unlocked Pentium. This will give me a lot of headroom for overclocking the CPU, rather then cheaper chipset mobo with an i3. Also the z97 board is a good investment because any high end i5 or i7 could be fitted later on. The Pentium chip is amazing for its price. It runs at 3.2 GHz stock and I managed to bench it at 4.7GHz. I will probably dial it down for every day tasks.

PSU: I bought the Seasonic on an amazing deal from Ebay auction. The unit was brand new in original packaging for only 40 pounds with delivery. The only drawback is that the cables are not modular however because of the short itx gpu card there is plenty of room for cables in the case. Although that it's rated power is way above the 250W consumption of the system, this means that it will run at about 50% load which results in highest efficiency.

GPU: The main reason for the GPU is because she liked it is the white shroud... also this MSI model has one of the largest heatsinks among the mini itx cards. It is driving a small resolution screen at the moment. Later on it is intended to push a 1080p, so given the workload it will suffice for the time being.

CPU cooler: After I setup my watercooled mini x99, I gave her the Scythe cooler. This cooler outperforms the stock Intel unit and because of the larger thermal capacity the fan can be kept at low RPM for low demanding loads. At the moment the CPU cooler takes air through the fan filter on the back of the case and exhausts the PSU. It is not ideal but the temperature of the CPU is in the 70C range even at 1.35v overclocked to 4.7GHz.

STORAGE: We added a Samsung 850 EVO recently. This was my old SSD which I had no use for after I purchased a Samsung SM951 256GB NVME M.2 for myself. The HDD is in the end of its life and it is mainly used as a slow archive drive.

LEDs: There are a couple of RGB strips with an IR receiver, of course they are fixed at pink or white mode always :|

Part Reviews

CPU

Excellent CPU for £50! I OCed it to 4.7GHz stable at 1.35v on air cooling!

CPU Cooler

It is probably one of the best SFF coolers. However the mounting brackets are not perfect. It mounts easily on LGA2011(-3) however the LGA115* mounting kit is horrible. You have to be very patient and calm persona!

Motherboard

Excellent quality motherboard! Everything runs perfectly only two drawbacks: 1. There are only 2 fan headers. 2. The UEFI/BIOS is not my cuppa. I would personally prefer the layout of EVGA, ASUS even Gigabyte motherboards.

Comments

  • 47 months ago
  • 3 points

what a beautiful little machine you have there :3 i was planning to get this case for my cousin's pc since she needs an upgrade, hope you don't mind if i let myself inspire me by your replaced acrylic side panel ? great job +1

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you dax_olesa! But be careful because they are now trying to convince me to get the aluminium powder coated in poisonous pink...

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome work! Very smart component selection for your budget and the end result looks fantastic. That Raijintek Metis case is a real value for such a great looking enclosure and seems to handle overclocking the GPU and CPU without issue. Best of luck to you and your girlfriend.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you, spitonastranger.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Lovely done here! Great parts and reasoning. I'm certain your girlfriend had enjoyed building her very own computer and doing it's intended purpose with impressive results. It's a great build! +1

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you, Eltech!

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow, very attractive and functional build!

It's one thing to make a great looking PCs inside and out with unlimited (or seemingly unlimited) budgets, but it's so much better to see it on low (at least relatively low) budget builds, and without sacrificing performance!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I am glad you like it! The price target was the same as a midrange laptop. I am willing to spend extra cash for my own build, however for now she will probably not notice the difference between a Pentium and 4790k anyway :)

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

I LOVE that case! Very nice work!

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

I built my daughter a PC in a Metis, I think I will borrow the full window mod. It looks great! Nice job and build on!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Go for it mate. It is a fairly easy and looks good! I wanted the case for myself but they took it from me so now I am using Hadron Air.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow! When I actually see a rainbow pooping unicorn I have to give it a +1

Nice build!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I have to admit it does ligth up in the colours of the rainbow! :)

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

What cute name you got there!

even the colors! (❍ ͜ʖ❍)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I am glad you like it!

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

How are the temps? My wife and I are looking at the Metis ourselves. Great build, bud.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Temps are great mate. The CPU stays at 40 deg C at typical gaming load and at ambient temperature on idle. The GPU goes up to 55 which is also pretty good. Overall I am very satisfied with the build it is cool and inaudible.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow, I am pretty surprised the GPU stays that cool. What sort of stress do you and your girlfriend put on it? Thanks!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, the GTX 950 has only 90W TDP. This is why a lot of manufacturers have Mini ITX versions of it. This is the temperature under typical gaming load CSGO, Witcher 3 etc. of course if you do a harsh burn in test such as EVGA OCScanner it will go up to 70+ deg C. However, in the grand scheme of things she will not use it for anything heavier than 1080p gaming, so I am not as pedantic about performance and temps as I am for my own 980 Kingpin :)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Right, I feel you there. Thanks for your opinion! Do you have the 120mm fan set as exhaust still or intake? I have read some people flip it to intake and it helps temps? Thanks again, bud!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

To be honest I completely removed the fan which was mounted on the back of the case. There is a dust filter at the moment there. The CPU cooler fan pushes enough air through as long as there is intake area. It gets air from the filter and pushes it to the PSU. The PSU intakes air from the chassis and exhausts it at bottom of the case. Although it sounds weird it actually works fine. It also warms your hands while gaming in the cold winter nights. :P

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

This is a beautiful build, congratulations to you and your girlfriend. You've inspired me to pursue making the whole right panel of my own build into a window too, though then I'll need to tidy up the cables I stuffed up above the power supply.

Some other questions I had; is the 3.5" HDD attached to the screw holes in the bottom of the case? Could it be flipped the other way, so that the SATA cable is towards the PSU? Did the 120mm fan fit in there once the 3.5" HDD was in place, or was it too cramped? And finally, where did you put the 2.5" SSD? I tried to spot it in the photos but couldn't find it.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build smoothbit! Congrats on your featured build! This case does not have official 3.5" support. The HDD is a very close fit. However, if you decide to rotate so that the connectors face the PSU you should be able to "slide" it below the 120 fan at the back. In my case the the PSU is velcro taped to the bottom of the chassis. This way it can be easily removed, there is vibration damping and you do not have to drill holes into the case. The SSD is marked as "not yet purchased". This was because of budget limitations last month. However there is plenty of space for SSDs: 2 x can be stacked on top the HDD 3 x can be velcro taped on the side of the PSU facing the window n x can be mounted on the top panel above the GPU

This is one of the builds where I had to record an assembly sequence..i.e. the parts can fit in one order only :)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for all the information. If I had a 3.5" HDD I could have checked it myself but I didn't want to buy one only to find out there's no space.

However, while I'm going to use velcro for the Xbox dongle, I decided to get a 2TB 2.5" HDD instead of a 3.5" one, I want it to be securely attached for when I carry the computer from place to place.

One more funny question; is there a particular brand of velcro tape you'd recommend?

And an assembly sequence sounds like a good idea, so far I've been tearing it all the way down each time I open it up.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, any velco brand will do. it is quite strong at the end of the day, this is the primary adhesive of choice on the International Space Station. The 3.5 hdd is additionally pressed down by the fan so it hardly ever moves. When it comes to PCs this small it is a good idea to use 2.5s only. For my own mini ITX (soon to be uploaded) build i am using 2.5 inch ssd and 2.5 inch WD Black Laptop HDD.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh by the way, get 1.5 or 2mm thick Acrylic sheet. I had a large sheet of 3mm available however it looks slightly larger than what it should be.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

I noticed I could see the edge rising above the case, thank you for the advice.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Epic PC, I am also looking into building in a Metis it is going to be a lot smaller than my current prodigy. But I keep telling my self size doesn't matter.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

The size does matter buddy! Don't believe what they tell you :D I am glad you like it. My current PC is in Hadron Air I will upload it in a couple of days, just had to change the pump and reservoir in the last minute.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Beautiful build! I also built in a metis and after seeing yours I want to do a full window. Pretty good temps too.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Could you be able to fit a full gpu in that case?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes up to 275mm long without modifications to the chassis. However for anything longer than 165mm you need SFX PSU.

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  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you have any trouble using the 3.5"drive bay? all the other builds seem to not have a HDD/SSD combo and i'm just curious because i'm planning on getting this case soon.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, there is no 3.5 inch drive bay in this case officially. However as you see you can fit 3.5 HDD between the PSU and fan on the back. There are also plenty of places for SSDs.

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you even do that with mechanical drives?

So the when it says there is 1 3.5" drive bay it is just non existent?

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, there is no "drive bay", there are holes in the bottom panel of chassis with rubber gromets. However the only reason for me to put the larger drive was because I already had a couple of them around. Have look at my personal build in the saved part list section - Helvetios. I am using a 2.5" HDD from a laptop + m.2 nvme for booting. If you are planning an ITX just get smaller drives and you will have more room. With some creativity you can stack 6 or 8 2.5" in the Metis.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! Where did you get the plexiglass and is it easy to drill the holes yourself? I'd like to mod my metis build with the same thing, thanks!

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Ebay just search for 2mm plexiglass sheet. It is easy to work with it.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

where did you get the case?

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome! Im going to put a 3.5" drive in my metis. Just wondering if your gf's is still working in that location 5 months on. Wondering if I should try to cram mine in there or stick it in the little drive bracket in the top.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi the system currently has a single standard 3.5" mounted on the bottom panel of the case in front of the PSU and a SSD stacked on top of it. Cheers.

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

can you give me some tips on the acrylic side panel? where did you buy it, what did you use to cut it?

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

I used a dremel tool to cut it, I bought the acrylic off ebay man. It was easy.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh man this is beautiful!

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey I recently completed a mod of my Metis build, yours was my main inspiration check it out here: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/ykTBD3

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

What LED lights are those?

  • 46 months ago
  • 0 points

White and beautiful? Racist

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  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

I work as thermal engineer testing Intel processors in severe conduction cooled military conditions. I do not think that it holds it so much. At least not to my knowledge for the software which this computer runs. I have tested the card on my 6700K and 5820K without noticing any significant delta in graphics performance. Thanks!

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  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

"Of" my girlfriend. I meant that she built it herself and I only assisted her with technical support :)

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  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes, the original panel has smaller window. However, I bolted a piece of clear acrylic using the same mounting holes.

  • 47 months ago
  • 2 points

Great idea, I loved the way it turned out!

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Where did you get it and how can I get my own? (Can you provide your measurements? Did you drill the screw holes yourself, how did you keep it from cracking?) Looks AMAZING great job.

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  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I am not sure what do you mean.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Would this spec play World of Warships / Tanks at full resolution at an fps of 40-50+ do you know? Cheers :)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Looking at the system requirements it will run it no probs. The minimum requirement for CPU is Intel Core 2 Duo (2.6GHz) (I had one back in 2008), and the recommended one is i3 2.4GHz+. The i3 and the G3258 are pretty much equivalent, so even without OC you will get decent performance. The minimum GPU requirement is nVidia GeForce 8800GT/9600GT which is again ancient 2007 card. The recommended GPU is Nvidia GeForce 460GTX. This does not look like a demanding game to be honest. You will easily get 60 fps+ on 1080p monitor.

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