Just finished my first ever build in January, which was a major upgrade from the Gateway I bought at Best Buy who knows how many years ago. I planned to put the old computer down in the basement where I was going to hook it up to a small TV I had and use it to stream music and videos while I work out. I like to watch PluralSight while I do cardio because Im a nerd. Anyways...apparently the old computer didnt appreciate being replaced. Maybe it was just in comparison to my new machine, but it literally feels like it takes 20 minutes to boot up and get the web browser up. Well I certainly dont have to deal with that, I just build another!!!
I had a lot of fun on my first build and with an excuse for a second I set out to complete a low budget build. One of my favorite things about building is ending up with something that is nice and interesting to look at. So having nice looking components was a constraint but I feel like I did pretty well with the budget.
So I decided to go with a copper theme based on the motherboard and cooler I picked out. Not many other components that match that theme so I picked up a can of spray paint. I ended up painting parts of the heat spreaders on the memory, the disk sleds and thumb screws for the case, the motherboard I/O shield, and the I/O shield and previously orange accent on the video card. I would have thought spray painting would be a bit easier. There is definitely some skill involved that I do not have. I mean the pieces dont look terrible from a distance but they are far from perfect. Ill have to practice so I can have a nicer result in the future.
Feel free to let me know your thoughts and opinions!
Case: I wanted to go ITX for the small form factor and have a windowed panel and the Core V1 was one of the cheaper options and I like the looks a lot. Its probably not one of the smaller cases but it was a breeze to work in.
Video Card: Not much to say here. This was one of the cheapest video cards I could find looked halfway decent. I didnt have any major requirements here besides using a larger monitor and maybe some light gaming so I figured this would work fine.
Motherboard: This was one of the cheaper options available with wifi. At first I wasnt big on the copper heat sinks but then I decided to work with that as the color in my build.
Memory: This was one of the cheaper option available. I wanted 2x4 to fill up both sockets for looks and something with heat spreaders that I could paint copper to go with my color scheme. I actually liked these because they have a 4 piece heat spreader and I just painted the top part for a black/copper look instead of just big copper blobs.
CPU Cooler: This is probably the piece that made me decide to go with the copper theme. Thought it would look good with the copper heatsinks on the MB. Could have just used the stock cooler with the processor for my needs but like I said, I wanted something that looks nice. The stock fan on this looks gross in my opinion so I replaced it with a Be Quiet 80mm and think it looks much nicer now.
CPU: Not much to say here, a cheaper CPU to fit the socket on my MB. I could have gone cheaper here but its hard not to upgrade a bit when its only 5-10 bucks to get a faster CPU. Thought this looked like a good compromise between performance and price.
Power Supply: Probably spent to much here. Went fully modular because I planned on getting some sleeved cables. Decided not to spend the extra money. The cables that came with this arent too bad. At least they are all black. Maybe in the future Ill get some nicer cables. Would love to learn to make individually sleeved cables myself. I hate having such long cables in a ITX build where they only need to be a few inches.
Storage: Budget storage...1TB HHD.
Fans: A few 80mm Be Quiet Pure Wings. Not much selection at 80mm but I think these are nice looking fans at a decent price.