First Post! Haha! My Mini-ITX build log

Here's a little build log for those that like to read this stuff. I apologize for the crappy photos, as they were taken with my iPod touch. This'll be my gaming rig for the years to come, but I still might upgrade the stuff, like the GPU and CPU Cooler and maybe add an SSD.

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz @ 4.2Ghz
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120V w/ Noctua NF-F12
MOBO: MSI Z77IA-E53 LGA 1155 Intel Z77
SSD: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB
HDD: Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB
PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO550W w/ Noctua NF-F12
RAM: Kingston HyperX Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3
GPU: Sapphire Dual-X HD 7950 3GB
CASE: Fractal Design Node 304 FD-CA-NODE-304-BL Black

Two big boxes came in the mail today!


Unboxed Again!:

Here's the motherboard. Nice and blue. Except for that stupid usb 2 header.

Installing the i5 into the motherboard. Easy. Only slots in one way.

Fully installed CPU:

Pretty Kingston HyperX Black RAM!

Ram installed. The MSI board is weird, having only one side with a latch.

Here's how far we are now :3

Popped on the stock Intel CPU Cooler.

Time to prep up the Node 304:

Panels off:

HDD Bays out:

I almost forgot the stupid Mobo I/O Shield.

Put in the standoffs and screwed in the mobo. The I/O shield pressed really hard against the I/O on the mobo. I had to bend some of the spring things and push the mobo in. I couldnt put the mobo in without taking off the rear case fan. Super tight area.

Mounted the full size ATX psu. Easy.

Here's a crappy image. GTS 250 slotted in and mounted. HD 7950 upgrade came in the later months.

Mounted the HDD. I'm not too sure how tight to tighten these things, so I just went a little bit tighter than the "beginning of the rubber", if you know what I mean.

Connected the fans to the included fan controller.

Pretty much it. Wired it up all nice and tidy. I have an OCD for wiring lol. Took me almost 2.5 hours for wiring.

I did run into another hiccup. The poor machine wouldn't POST, and I ended up testing the ram sticks. I switched them and then the computer worked :wtf:

With that out of the way, here are the rest of the pics while I set up Win7:

A couple months later:

Liquid Cooling Upgrade! Seidon 120V.

Cooler Master Seidon 120V

Makes little ticking noises from the pump. This pump undervolts pretty well - all the way down to 5v. This makes it much quieter and doesn't seem to affect temperatures.

GPU, SSD Upgrade.

Clusterf of wiring!

Dat 7950

Still too loud - NF F12s incoming!

RIP power supply warranty.

Integrated WiFi sucks. Intel 7260 received and installed, as well as 2x 9dbi antennas.

And that's it for now!


Did changing the fan in your power supply really help with sound that much? I've seen it done before but I've never seen anyone put a noctua in. And why did you decide to go with a 7950? Its great card, but I would have figured a newer 280 or something would have been used in place, did you buy it used or something?

This build log is actually a little bit old.

Noctua fan in the power supply helped a little bit. Only during intense loads did the power supply fan really make a lot of noise. It turns out that my GPU fans are actually the loudest in my PC at the moment. Looking back, I probably would have left the power supply the way it was.

As for the GPU, I bought it on 11/14/2013 - a little over a year ago. I snatched it up for around $210 after a mail in rebate. This was when the R9 series just came out, and at the time most of the 7950s and R9 280s were $280. I couldn't pass up a deal like that. I also needed a new GPU since the GTS 250 was only intended to be temporary.


They weren't lying. :D