Hello again! This build is not my usual budget gamer, but rather a HTPC/emulation system for my living room. I have wanted to do a SFF system for quite some time and just couldn’t wait any longer. This being the smallest case I’ve ever built it was a challenge, but I really enjoyed it. I am running Ubuntu 13.10 and using XBMC for my home theater needs.
Goals for this build:
- Maintain quiet operation and fit in our media center
- Clean out my box of spare parts
- Perform video and emulation tasks efficiently
I wanted to keep this fairly low cost while still being able to handle the necessary tasks I needed. These types of things include: watching videos, playing emulated games, occasional extraction of zipped folders etc etc. After extensive testing of the i3 4130 during Ysera’s Demise I was certain that it would be more than adequate for my needs. It will also suit an upgrade for a GPU (750 Ti) in the future for PS2, Wii, and Gamecube emulation.
I already had this cooler. It had been taking up space and I just wanted to utilize it. The fans that came with it are in Rambo’s Final Cut serving as front intake, so I needed another fan. I grabbed the PWM variety, set it as intake through the top as well as cooling the CPU. It fit a little tighter than I had expected, but it works perfectly.
This board was chosen due to a couple of factors. First was socket alignment. I already had the cooler and needed a board that would fit it, while still allowing for a GPU to be added later. Second was mSATA. I didn’t really want to spend a ton on a board either, but this was the only board that fit the two above criteria and wasn’t H81 or ASRock.
Since this is not a primary gaming machine, I have no need for a lot of memory. I would like the ability to upgrade to 8GB later if needed. I did need something low profile to ensure compatibility with the cooler. I had never used this specific line from Corsair and thought, what the hay!
I was thrilled to try out mSATA! The thought of not having to route cables was glorious. It’s incredible that so much speed is packed into something so small and that these little guys will go up to 1TB. It boots to the Ubuntu desktop in about 6 seconds. I’m happy as can be!
For all the other storage I will be using my network storage.
I needed something to play PS2 and Gamecube emulators with. This tackles that task with ease. My only problem with the card is it runs the latest version of Project 64 too fast. First world problem, I know. Really impressed with the thermals and quiet operation of the card. For it's intent I'm rather thrilled.
I needed something small enough to fit in a media center, but with an internal layout suitable for the cooler I wanted to use. I was originally set on the Fractal Node 304. The Silverstone Sugo SG08-Lite made more sense due to the lack of needed HDDs, slightly smaller size, and no included fans. I also favored the top vent that the 304 lacked.
This is my first Silverstone case and I’m very happy with the build quality. Everything is metal and solid feeling, the front plate is very clean looking, and ventilation is at a premium. Dust filters are included and cover the top vent (intake) and the bottom for the PSU (intake). I oriented things to keep the pressure positive and prevent dust build up.
I wanted a PSU that would be quiet, efficient, small, and have as few cables as possible. This may be an unnecessary unit for a build like this, but I have my reasons. First of all I wanted short cables. This unit comes with a short cable set and is fully modular. I would have opted for buying a Silverstone short cable set anyway so buying a unit that came stock with them just made sense.
This system will likely be on most of the time and I like to conserve energy as much as possible. Gold efficiency is great and the low wattage amount used should keep it very quiet. I secured the PSU to the case using small circles of Velcro, aligning the fan over the vent. I originally wanted it facing the other direction, but the cables would have some ugly twists in them.
I was really happy to do a SFF build like this. Plus it’s nice to build another PC for myself. I haven’t used Ubuntu since version 10.10, so I’ve spent quite a bit of time playing around and tweaking it just right. I started with version 14.04, but had issues with Ethernet connectivity, which is apparently quite common.
It’s plenty fast for what I need it to do and XBMC has really streamlined my TV and movie needs. It’s small, quiet, and the girlfriend likes it. All is good.
Do you like how my descriptions are laid out?
Are there any specific pictures that you feel are missing?
In regards to the post, what would you change?
I didn't really run anything this time due to my unfamiliarity with Ubuntu benching utilities, but I can surely run something if anyone is interested.
Hope you enjoy!