small minty pc
When my 2015 MacBook Pro from my tech jobs of yesteryears stopped being able to hold a video call and a note taking app, I looked into a computer upgrade. Custom PCs intrigued me.
When considering options, I wrote a list of non-goals and goals. My friends who were experts in building PCs helped source parts. I fell in love with the Mini ITX form factor (shocker!) and the idea I could custom powder coat the case to my desired color.
It is especially important for SFFPCs (Small Form Factor PCs) that all the parts fit in the case. No space left unaccounted for.
- CPU. AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor
- CPU Cooler. Corsair H100i RGB PLATINUM SE 63 CFM Liquid
- Motherboard. Asus ROG STRIX B550-I GAMING Mini ITX AM4
- Memory. Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 CL16
- Storage. Samsung 970 Evo 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME
- Storage. Samsung 860 QVO 1 TB 2.5"
- Video Card. NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6 GB Founders Edition
- Power Supply. Silverstone 700 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular
- Case. Nouvolo Steck - base + stack bundle
- Custom Finish. Seafoam Pearl Powder Coat
- Custom Cables. White, Mint, & Pink Cables with Brass combs
prepare for trial & error
I ended up taking apart my PC 4 times. First, I managed to build it backwards! I flipped the PSU and CPU. Because everything is created to be modular and play well with as many other brands on the market, this is easy to do.
The second time, I had to debug a CPU error. I could not say for sure it was dog hair, but I'm sure it was dog hair because it worked after I plugged it back in.
The third time, my custom cables had arrived and I started to fit them in. It was only through trial and error I discovered, the specific Silverstone PSU had its ports upside down from the norm. Luckily, the customer service at pslate was excellent. Got it sorted.
Fourth time was the charm.
helpful tools for building
- Thermal Paste. For SFFPC builds, you may find yourself taking things apart to get it to fit perfectly. Extra paste brings peace of mind.
- iFixit Mako Driver Kit. Helpful to have on hand, for PC builds as well as mechanical keyboard builds.
- Stripped Screw Extractor. Very easy in haste to strip one of the many screws in the process. Big oofs.
The PC is purposefully themed. The extras in my case, aside from the Magic Girl matched custom cables, is a Saiko Soda Leafeon, a gashapon win from my 2019 Japan trip. (You can probably find these on eBay.) Then, there are two crystals from Paxton Gate.
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