Description

Straight-forward mini ITX build except for the CPU cooler which required quite a bit of planning before installing. If I ever want to unplug anything from the motherboard I'll need to uninstall the cooler which is annoying. The mounting bracket also doesn't fit snugly on the back of the motherboard regardless of orientation.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Decent CPU cooler for the price and it looks pretty good too. Keeps the CPU around 35°C at idle and just under 85°C at full load using Prime95. Maximum temperature recorded was 87°C. Being a low-profile cooler, I had to trust that everything plugged into the motherboard would work first time because unplugging the power supply cables, SATA cables, front panel connectors, USB and fan headers, and of course RAM, will require uninstalling the fan and heatsink to get at the motherboard.

Which brings me to where this loses a five, and even a four-star rating. The nightmare installation. I needed my girlfriend to hold the heatsink while lowering it onto the CPU to line up the screws and not smear thermal paste everywhere. Once this was finished, getting the fan attached to the heatsink itself was the worst part. The wire clips don't appear to be designed to reach the upper side of the fan housing on both sides regardless of the orientation. I have one clip only reaching the lower set of clip holes while the other fits very snugly into the upper set of clip holes. Just attaching the fan took our two sets of hands about half an hour.

Motherboard

Pretty decent little board, if a bit pricey. Temperature zone 3 reports a temperature of 111°C though doesn't feel hot anywhere. This seems to be a common issue among a lot of different boards. I'll try to update this if I figure out the problem.

According to Kitguru, it appears that the system fan 1 and 2 controls are shared on this board meaning both headers will maintain the same RPM. In addition, the RPM reporting alternates between each so the given value may jump around.

Memory

Good-looking, cheap RAM. Seems to do the job.

Case Fan

Good-looking, quiet, and effective air-flow. They're just a bit pricey, that's all.

Case Fan

Good-looking, quiet, and effective air-flow. They're just a bit pricey, that's all.

Case Fan

Good-looking, quiet, and effective air-flow. They're just a bit pricey, that's all.

Case Fan

Quiet, and effective air-flow. They're just a bit pricey, that's all.

Mouse

Upgraded from a Razer Mamba 2012 Elite Wireless and the differences are amazing. This mouse has much better battery life, no noticeable wake-up lag and no stupid charging dock. I do prefer the aesthetics of the Razer and the feel of its scroll-wheel when scrolling but I often use infinite scroll now and am willing to put up with the stupid looks for a brilliantly performing wireless mouse.

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