I originally built this system to go incognito in my entertainment center and fit in with my filthy consoles. You might ask why anyone would do that, and I would respond that some games (racing, fighting, platformers, etc.) just play better with a controller and I would rather sit on the couch while playing, but also to play emulated arcade games. Thus I built this. It was recently torn down to be replace by the Shoebox build.
The case was the Fractal Node 202. I liked that it really fit in and looked like a console. What I didn't like is the fact that, in horizontal mode, it's an airflow nightmare. There's just no room for fans to pull in or push out air, and when gaming, the case eventually would just become heat soaked. This was only made worse by having it in an entertainment center. I eventually decided to move it to the top, and place it vertically, which defeated the purpose of the build, but it did resolve the airflow issues. I used one Corsair ML 120mm Pro for the case fan, initially as an exhaust fan, but after moving to a dual fan card, as an intake to not fight the GPU for airflow. I sleeved the cable using standard black MDPC-X sleeve.
The CPU I went with was originally the i3 6100 because this was being built on a budget and it was good enough for the GPU. I eventually upgraded the GPU and had to upgrade the CPU to the i5 6500 as the i3 would bottleneck the new GPU. I put it in a Gigabyte GA-H110n. Like I said... budget. Nothing says that more than an H series mobo. This became very apparent when I tried to run an i7 6700K in it, and it had power delivery issues, even though the 6700K was supported. I used 8GB of run of the mill Kingston HyperX for the RAM. Once again... budget.
Originally I used an EVGA GTX 1060 SC shorty, but coupled with the airflow issues and the single fan, it was always on and always loud. Once I finally decided on a card for my main rig at the time, I took the XFX RX 480 out of the main rig and put in it here. It was a lot cooler and a lot quieter. Then the mining craze hit and I was able to sell the RX 480 for almost the same price as an EVGA GTX 1070 SC. How could I pass that up.
The heat sink was a Noctua NH-L9i which was more than adequate for the i3 6100/i5 6500, and certainly more effective than the stock Intel cooler. I swapped out the slim fan for a full 25mm thick fan. This didn't improve cooling but was slightly more quiet. I also sleeved the heat sink fan in black MDPC-X and cut it to a custom length.
The power supply I used was the Corsair SF450. I mean, it seems like a pretty easy choice. The setup draws very little power and it's not like there are a plethora of SFX options, at least not at the time. Normally I would sleeve the cables... yes, even in a closed case with no window. However, budget, so I only made some of the cables custom length like the SATA power cable, and left them bare.
It started out with only a 480 GB Sandisk V400 SSD, but I ran out of space quick and had to add a 1 TB Seagate Barracuda 2.5" HDD. Later I decided to ditch the slow Sandisk SSD for a 512 GB Samsung PM961 m.2 NVMe SSD.
I tore this system down and parted it out November of 2018.