I have always had an infatuation with small form factor PC’s. I feel like there is no reason a PC has to be a gigantic, ugly, loud and immobile. It took me quite a bit of time and research to figure out the type of system I wanted to build. The key to doing a build like this, is finding the proper balance between power and size. If you are a hardcore gamer chasing high FPS, then a Mini-ITX build in a HTPC case is not going to work for you. Take your needs into account, then select your components.
Why I Decided To Make This Build
The components most responsible for large case size are the power supply and GPU. Power supplies, even SFX units are fairly large components. They also tend to be a consistent source of noise. I had learned a little about Pico PSU’s, but I always associated them with really low power Mini-ITX or NUC systems. After doing some research I found the combo of a 192W external power brick with a 160W-200W Pico PSU. This turned out to be the perfect set up for the components I was trying to run.
I must issue a warning to anyone thinking of doing a build like this. You really have to determine your systems power draw ahead of time. You do not want to overload or stress the Pico PSU. That is why I went with the i7-4790S instead of the i7-4790, or i7-4790K. Its 65W TDP helps keep the power draw in the range I need it to be. I also chose the Quadro K1200 for the same reasons, in addition to it being the most powerful GPU that could actually fit in the case. Check out the videos below if you want to learn more. Part one covers the initial build, while part two is all about the upgrades.
Intel Core i7-4790SFrom $289.00
Noctua NH-L9iFrom $39.95
Kingston HyperX RAM 2x8gbFrom $44.19
Asus H97I-PLUS MotherboardFrom $99.00
PNY NVIDIA Quadro K620From $160.00
Wesena ITX-5BFrom $90.00
Pico 160-XT PSUFrom $44.50
192W Power BrickFrom $49.95
PC Part Picker List
Part 2: Upgrades
Upgrade Part List
Samsung 850 EVO M.2From $69.94
Samsung 850 EVO SATAFrom $73.49
Nvidia Quadro K1200From $267.20
16GB EVGA DDR3 RAMFrom $80.00
Noctua NF-A8 FLXFrom $15.93
Dell U3415W MonitorFrom $742.76
Check back to this page periodically as I will be posting the ongoing upgrades and additions here. Next up I will be either building or buying a new case. Stay tuned.