I know I've had a few threads pop up here and there other the last couple months, as I was trying to make up my mind about what my final build would look like. I'd been stuck using hand-me-down machines for almost a decade, so my original plan was to go completely overboard and throw a ton of cash at Newegg. Fortunately, wiser minds among the Gerbils counseled against that. I still spent quite a bit, with more to go (Big Maxwell + 1440p display), but it could have been worse
I was also in the position of needing to buy everything
, whereas you might usually have hard drives / PSU's / etc around to carry over from build-to-build.
Anyway, on to the pictures!Pile of Parts
I ended up going with the Node 304, hosting a ASUS Maximus VI Impact + 4770k. I opted for the 140mm Corsair H90 to keep the CPU frosty. I was surprised at the size of those fans! My last tower (Athlon 3000+) had maaaybe 92mm fans. Maybe. Probably were 80mm. I went with a push/pull config, and ordered an additional Fractal Design Silent 140 to match the default case fans. This thing is so quiet
! My dying laptop could be heard clearly over the box fan in the window, from the other side of the room. The node is practically inaudible during "everyday" use from two feet away.Tiny, Tiny Motherboard
I am amazed at how small everything is. I mean, I knew that mITX boards are small, I could see
the measurements. But holding the motherboard in the palm of your hand? Crazy.This might be snug
While everything fit just right
in the case, the edge of the AIO seems veeeery close to the PCIe slot. I don't think it'll be a problem, though.Push/Pull
I'm particularly proud of how I routed the power cables for these fans, it just looks nice (to me, anyway)
In case you wondered, at stock speeds, the H90 keeps the 4770k at about 25-28C at idle, and about 40-45C at full load. I accidentally had the motherboard software OC it to 4.2GHz, which still barely broke the 52C barrier. The ASUS software is nice, but there doesn't seem to be an easy way to go back to stock speeds once you've run the "optimization". I'll get around to OC'ing more, but for now 8 threads @ 3.9-4.2GHz is waaaay faster than 1 @ 2GHz.Waiting for Maxwell
I didn't really bother properly routing any other cables, as I didn't want to have to be cutting zip ties once I'm ready to shove a big GPU in there. You can see the M.2 SSD sticking out just above the PCIe slot, though. It's the Crucial M550 512GB, which was (surprisingly) only $5 more than the 2.5" version. Having that as my boot drive lets me use all the SATA ports for mechanical storage (I could fit 4 drives, but for now 2 x 4TB will do). First Boot
Once I got it all together & plugged in, I was nervous. It'd been yeears
since I'd done a full build, not to mention I totally
fumbled the CPU and dropped it on the floor
I was sure it wouldn't boot, but it did
Good thing we have carpet.
Anyway, thanks for reading, thanks for your advice, and thanks for being part of a great community.