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Compact Gaming Workstation on a Budget

by mbmumford



Date Published

Oct. 12, 2017

Date Built

Aug. 30, 2017

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

50.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C


I build this for a friend of mine who was looking to upgrade his second hand, 10 year old, failing computer. After spending 6+ months watching prices, and changing the configuration to their requirements, I was able to find what I believe was the best "bang-for-your-buck" build for under $1500 CAD plus shipping (the monitor was purchased after the build was complete).

The purpose of this build was accomodate heavy gaming on medium settings, along with workstation tasks such as video editing.

All the components were chosen so that they would last the life of the computer, with the exception of the GPU which will be upgraded as required.

Although the Node 202 was a great case to work with, my only regret is that I didn't find the Silverstone RVZ01B first. One of the requests was for an internal optical drive which I wasn't able to provide with this case, and ended up needing to purchase an external optical drive.

When installing the CPU cooler, I discovered that the heatsink for the M.2 slot actually encroaches on the space for the CPU cooler. I was able to mount it, however, I had to remount the fan to reposition the fan leads as the cooler's orientation made them too short.

Comments Sorted by:

SubNauticaWaterWorld47 1 point 9 months ago

Nice job.

mbmumford submitter 2 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

Thanks! I tried to keep things clean, but there is only so much free space.

Colonel_Beast 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

I love the Node 202. I wish I had seen it before I did my system. Good job, looks like solid build!

mbmumford submitter 2 Builds 2 points 9 months ago

Thanks! The Node 202 is a fantastic case, I just wish it had a optical drive.

Colonel_Beast 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

Yeah, same here. That would make it perfect.

Ripper137 1 point 9 months ago

Love everything about it! Great job!

Shauarr 1 point 9 months ago

Hey, I'm thinking about building a similar system in the same case. Do you have any issues with heat? I'm considering additional case fans but was thinking of giving it a shot without first.

mbmumford submitter 2 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

When benchmark testing I was able to get the CPU to 50°C, and the GPU to 60°C. It should be noted though that these were separate tests. I never did run simultaneous testing on both CPU and GPU to get a "worst case scenario" temperature value.

Shauarr 1 point 9 months ago

Not bad thanks, still considering fans as I'm maybe going to put a bigger card and CPU in. :)

mbmumford submitter 2 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

The only thing to remember is that with a GPU, the Node 202 really only has space for two 15mm thick 120mm fans, rather than the standard 25mm thick fans.

Shauarr 1 point 9 months ago

Aye I've got two picked out and I'm going with positive pressure to try and keep the 1060 6GB cool. At least thats my current plan.


What are your comments? I know the CPU is needless overkill :s

mbmumford submitter 2 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

I am a big fan of M.2 drives, and for the difference of £20 I would go for the Samsung 960 EVO M.2 drive.

If you only plan to ever use 8GB of RAM, go with the Corsair - Vengance LPX 2x4GB. If you plan to another 8GB stick later, then you are fine.

If you are concerned about cooling the GPU, go for a full length card for the additional cooling.

Personally I would use a Noctua CPU cooler and fans, but that is a personal preference rather than performanced based.

For an extra £60 I would make those changes (plus an extra bit for a decent UPS) but every build has a purpose, and budget.


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SubNauticaWaterWorld47 2 points 9 months ago

Stock cooler doesn't fit in that case and some video editing program do work better with single threaded performance. I do admit it would have been much better to see what the 8th gen had to offer but if you keep waiting for the next generation you won't buy anything.

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SubNauticaWaterWorld47 1 point 9 months ago

Glad to see competition finally come up in the cpu market.

AhodShralpy 7 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

What is your deal? He will be fine with that video card, obviously he would get more performance in line with that CPU out of something like a 1080 Ti, but that is a given... there will be no problems with the 1050 Ti and it's A LOT cheaper. A boatloat cheaper.

You just showed up to spout the same garbage that you see all over the forums. His CPU will do a great job for all the stuff he is describing, and the height of the CPU cooler on that Ryzen you're stroking yourself over is probably too tall to fit in this case anyway. Settle down.

+1 for being an overly critical internet warrior. Edit: This guy HAS to be a troll account...

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mbmumford submitter 2 Builds 1 point 9 months ago

I decided not to use a 7700K as it would mean needing a Z270 board to overclock it. Both of these upgraded components would be additional costs that would not fit into the budget. Additionally, as the individual whom I built this for is not tech-savvy, they wouldn't understand how to overclock CPU. I discussed these points with them and they agreeded that it was not needed.

As I stated above, this was a budget build meant to replace an aged, and failing system. The GPU will be upgraded as required, however, a solution was required immediatly and the 1050Ti fit the bill (literally).

As for the suggestion of Ryzen, I have never done an AMD build before, nor have I researched it enough to understand all of its pros/cons in each situation. As this is only my second full build, I decided to stick with Intel. I hope to expand in the future to include AMD in my portfolio. If I encounter a build for this application again, I will look into Ryzen.

I'm not certain about AMD's stock coolers, however, I know Intel's coolers are loud. An additional requirement of this build was that it had to be as quiet as possible. I have used Noctua products in my server build, along with replacing fans in small UPS' with Noctua products, and I knew immediatly that I would use the Noctua cooler. Except under intense GPU load, this build is incredibly quiet. The GPU is only loud at high temps due to an aggressive fan curve, which can be adjusted if requested.

SubNauticaWaterWorld47 1 point 9 months ago

I think all of your part choices were great.

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