Description

The Task: My sister just graduated high school and she'll be going to college as an advertising major. At first, my sister wanted a new laptop as her graduation gift from our parents, but being a big hardware nerd, I told her she could get a desktop/Chromebook combo that would perform three times as well for the same price. She agreed that if I could build a better desktop and get her a Chromebook to take to classes while staying under budget, she would be all for it. Asking my father about the total budget (he would be paying for it as her graduation gift), I was told $800. Now most people would crumble at this point, thinking "There's no way you can build a nice desktop and buy a good, reliable Chromebook for under $800! Just Windows 10 and a monitor alone are going to run me $250+!" But oh, those people are so, so satisfyingly wrong, and this build will prove that ;)

The Parts: The final parts list used for this PC was refined over about a duration of 2 weeks, taking into account fluctuating prices and part compatibility. I cycled through plenty of preliminary builds before deciding that the new Ryzen 2 APU's were the way to go due to their insane performance per dollar value. For the aesthetics, I went directly to my sister to show her some cases and find out what kind of looks she likes in terms of cases/color schemes/etc. Unfortunately for me, she immediately fell in love with the small form factor Core V1 Snow Edition, a mini ITX case that not only costs quite a bit for a super budget build, but also limits us to 100+dollar motherboards, since there are no Ryzen mini ITX boards on the market right now for less than that. But this is her grad gift, and I want to make sure it's the perfect computer for her. So essentially every other part on this list was found during the Newegg memorial day sale, where a combination of rebates (20 off PSU and 10 off the Mobo), coupon codes ($10 off a 2200g?!? Score!), and sales in general ($85 for a matching Dual Channel RAM kit! And it's a fast 3000MHz kit, important for Ryzen APU's) helped me to optimize my build to the budget while maintaining the white/red/black/ color scheme I had in mind. I ended up deciding to spend some of my own money on spray paint, sleeved cables, and RGB lighting to spruce up her PC. While this was not part of the $800 provided by my dad, I've still included it in the build pricing. All pricing shown includes shipping prices and tax by the way. Also, the Chromebook I decided on was the 2018 Acer Chromebook 14, rocking a solid FHD display with decent specs for $260, putting the maximum budget for the desktop at $540.

The Build: After all the parts arrived, I put everything together outside of the case first to ensure all the parts were working, and sure enough it POST'ed on the first attempt. Looking at it all together outside of the case, I wasn't happy with how it was looking aesthetically, which is what made me want to do the custom paint job on the interior of the case and some of the parts. I ended up painting the inside of the side panels, the rim of the stock AMD Wraith Stealth cooler, the PCI-E expansion slots, and the hard drive bay an apple red. Building in the Core V1 is an absolute breeze, to the point where I almost wish the case was smaller because of how much unused space there was inside. I guess the case is a bit larger as an ITX case for people doing fancier hardline loop builds (Someday I'll build one! Probably for myself lol), but either way, it offers plenty of airflow and was very convenient to build in.

The Result: Honestly, I love the way this build turned out. At first I was apprehensive, but after the paint job on the inside, the computer really became something I'd be proud to say I built. Ideally (though my sister is not a gamer) I would throw an entry-level video card in, but given their current state of GPU's and the rapidly approaching next-gen Nvidia cards, I decided to leave it as an upgrade path for this build. I still haven't shown my sister the computer (she needs to get registered at her university so I can use her account to get her Windows 10 for free!), but I'm sure she'll love it. My dad who I also built a computer for saw it and thought it looked even nicer than the desktop I built for his home business. More pictures, temps, and benchmark values to come once I get Windows 10 on this thing!

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 7 points

Wow this looks like a feature!

  • 12 months ago
  • 5 points

And it did get one! Hope the builder finds out soon

  • 12 months ago
  • 4 points

Haha wow didn't expect to actually get a feature on my third build. Thanks for all the support guys <3

  • 12 months ago
  • 4 points

Nice mini ITX build. parts are very powerful indeed except for that there no graphics card. but with the integrated Vega graphics it should handle games just fine

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

If she was a gamer I would have advised against the ITX form factor and went with a cheaper MicroATX + 1050 build, but alas, she has not been touched by the master race yet, so I left the GPU as an upgrade path ;)

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

oh ok

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh come on! The Vega graphics can play GTA 5 with medium - High settings.

  • 12 months ago
  • 5 points

Not at a smooth 60fps, because what the Ryzen iGPU does is it uses system memory as it's VRAM. Since GTA V already takes up a lot of RAM, it will only leave about 3-4 GB of VRAM for the iGPU.

  • 12 months ago
  • 3 points

Everything about this build makes me smile. Well-planned, with beautiful implementation, in the context of a family that appreciates each member.

This is a nice example of industrial design (the components) and personal artistry (your custom paint and sleeve choices) combined in a way that makes 1+1=3.

Attaboy!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

This is an amazing build. How'd you paint only the inside of the panel without it dripping through the lattice?

Also, is that phosphorescent spray paint and a black light inside?

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

nice build my friend congrats on the feature!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Great to see a budget build get featured, this is a great build

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

btw congratulations on the feature spot, very cool.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Amazing

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

I absolutely love this! I look at my Goliath of a computer and see this as the true masterpiece. Knowing what is actually needed and not trying to go overboard on parts she won't use allowed you to focus on what really mattered. I've been falling out of gaming, and if my rig sells I'll probably build something similar to this. It's the perfect box for the everyday tasks we do. Well done, sir!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

This PC looks reminds me why I became a PC builder in the first place!

Well done good sir.

+1 :)

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build. I have the same build with that case, ryzen 2200 and mobo. I built it for my daughter for less than $500. I wanted 16gb ram but it was just too expensive back in April. Now that it’s come down we can upgrade it. I tried to put an older 730 video card in it to salvage ram but found the integrated graphics seemed more vibrant and ran just as fast. My daughter loves it for games and all around computing. You did a great job on the build. I loved using that case-small and ez to build in. AMD made it so nice for budget builders in 2018. I also built a Ryzen 1600x in an NZXT s340 case that I love. Really need to add the rgb lighting strips and upload both builds. My old desktop was an AMD athlon iI x4 635 system. It still runs great for a 2010 cpu. AMD really has changed the game and I’m so glad they give the average person the means to make a great system

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

foe gods sake. take off the stickers !

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah... stickers usually look tacky.

The build looks attractive and clean, but red and black is not usually a color scheme that girls would choose. I cringe when I see a number of builds for the wife/girlfriend, and it looks like it belongs to a 13 year old boy.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Nicely done! I am planing build ITX build. Thanks for inspiration!!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

oh wow, love the painting job!

+10000

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

This build does look really nice :) And I agree with you. I'm sure the 2200G should be just fine for your sister; a GPU would only be needed if she is a heavy gamer.

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

That 2200G can handle Gears of War 4 with mixed settings (mainly high and medium) at 920p resolution for 21-31FPS. Anything lighter should definitely be taken care of by that little slugger.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I painted my wraith stealth from my 2400G! nice build!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow. This deserves to be feature as much as all the hardline builds that get the honour. Well done

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Impressive build OP, hope she likes it! +1

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

This is GLORIOUS! +1!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

LOVE IT. great budget and looks awesome. easy +1

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

That's a nice build. Love the idea and the cause of the cause of the build. +1

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

COOL

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

That's a tasty looking apple m8.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

nice build man, super clean and very sweet looking. was looking at getting this case for an htpc/controller based gaming unit for the living room(something to watch movies on and a decent gaming rig so my wife and son will leave my rig alone :) lol) anyway i thought the case looked pretty sweet but i was unsure about building in it but after seeing this im sold on it. you did an amazing job and at the same time helped me make up my mind for my next case :)

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Very Nice

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Best part about this build she will be able to upgrade the components later on to say a R5 and a decently powerful graphics card for more performance

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

You are a lovely brother! You gave your sister great advice and built a very nice one off machine for her. I built something similar for my son but not to this standard. Well done.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build, lucky sister. I really like this case and gives me great ideas for future build. The paint really makes it POP. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

How can people make such good looking builds for such a low price. It seems like its impossible for me.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Monitor aside, your build is strikingly similar in specs to my first Ryzen 3 build. Great job!

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Any tdr_video_failure BSOD's with your build?

I have almost the same build...

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/Nw3vZR

Just keeps bsod'ing randomly.

https://www.reddit.com/r/AMDHelp/comments/8zyoc3/video_tdr_failure_atikmpagsys_with_ryzen_apus/

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Fantastic job! What kind of paint did you use and how/where did you apply it on the inside? I just bought this case and want it to look as nice as yours does. And, those prices are ridiculous. I can't believe you did it that cheap which is frankly more impressive than the build itself. Unfortunately, my mini-itx build is over the 3K mark now ;-) so I'm truly impressed.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Did you have to update the BIOS, or did it support Raven Ridge out of the box?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Supported Raven Ridge right out of the box. Motherboards that are BIOS flashed to be compatible with raven ridge have a small sticker on the box stating that they are second generation Ryzen APU compatible

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks amazing! Surprised that there wasn't a graphics card. If your sister isn't a gamer than a GPU isn't necessary.

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

is this portable? I want to know if I can transport this between two houses.

  • 24 days ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful! I've heard mixed things about that motherboard (see the reviews on Amazon). Has your sister had any issues with it?

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

Dope, just dope. This will definitely keep the doctor away.

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