This build has a long story, It started as a used i5 2400 pc for me to use at my divorced dads house, and over time it has involved into the showcase gaming build it now is. Many hours were spent hunting deals on eBay and cutting vinyl (I also spent about 4 hours just building the thing because this is a pretty complex case to build in). In the end I think all the hours put in were worth it to end up with this awesome pc. Also, some might criticize me for spending extra on aesthetics in what is essentially a budget build, but for me a computer is as much the artful centerpiece of a room as it is a functional utilitarian tool for getting stuff done.
When I first set out to build this computer I instantly rejoiced in finding that I already had an R9 280x and 8 GB. of DDR4, so I didn't have to buy the two things that are ridiculously expensive right now. I knew I wanted this to be a pretty pc, and I had just the case in mind. I have always wanted to build an ITX pc and I have always wanted to build in one of Thermaltake open air core series cases, so using a Core P1 was killing two birds with one stone. After deciding on a parts list I cobbled together parts that I had lying around and from eBay filling the gaps with an excursion to micro center. Annoyingly, the only color neutral itx am4 mobos at Micro center were like $150, so that is where I got the Idea of using vinyl on places like the ram slots to change the color. I then realized that I could do a lot of cool things with vinyl and the rest is history.
The Building Experience
The trade off of the core P1's beauty is that it requires a bit more forethought and effort to build in. The case comes flat packed to allow you to assemble it modularly the way you want it. The cables are routed through a hole behind the motherboard rather than traditional rubber grommets, so you need to pre rout everything before mounting the motherboard. But as long as you plan carefully the ore is actually pretty nice and easy to build in, and the looks of it make any hassle worth it. The vinyl was also relatively simple, all you need is an exacto knife, a ruler, and time, lots and lots of time :D.
The r9 280x handles 1440p surprisingly well, Witcher 3 with ultra everything minus hairworks averages 36 FPS in Novigrad, and that number jumps to 51 at 1080p. Rise of the tomb raider at ultra averages 39 fps at 1440p and 55 at 1080p. Lighter esports gamer also run without a hitch. The R3 1200 is overclocked to 3.9 GHZ at 1.32V,and I might push it to 4 GHZ if i can get it stable at 1.35-1.36v ( I certainly have the thermal headroom with my cpu hitting a max of 45 C under load). The gpu is at 1160 mhz core and 1700 mhz memory, the ram has also been overclocked from 2133 mhz to 2666 mhz.
This has been a really fun experience and I am happy with the final product. I also want to thank the creators of the "Azend" and "White Metropolis" builds for inspiring this computer.