It's been a long time between computer builds. Actually, it's been the longest interval since I started building my own desktop computers in 2007. My now-previous computer, Tetrarch, was built in 2017, so it's a 6-year gap between that build and this new one.
Continuing with the number-themed names, I decided to name this build Pentium, as it's the fifth build that I've done. The 'Pentium' name has always resonated to me since our first Windows 95 computer was a first generation Pentium MMX. It's All About the Pentiums is also one of my favourite Weird Al songs 😁.
Speaking of CPUs, since my last build AMD has made up a lot of ground and even surpassed Intel, so I really wanted this Pentium build to contain a non-Intel processor, if only just for laughs.
However, my builds have always been about bang-for-buck, and unfortunately, at the moment Intel holds that title with their 13th-gen Core processors and the previous-gen B660 motherboards. I wanted a mini-ITX form factor for this build, and it just didn't make sense on AMD paying $500+ just for a decent AM5 ITX motherboard.
So yes, this is my first non-ATX build. For both of the past two builds, I've ever only used two sticks of RAM and just a single GPU in the PCI slots, so for Pentium I figured let's try a smaller form factor.
Here are the specs:
- Fractal Design Torrent Nano Black RGB case
- Corsair RM750X 750W power supply
- Asus ROG Strix B660-I motherboard
- Intel Core i5 13600KF CPU (6 performance cores (hyperthreaded), 8 efficiency cores)
- Be Quiet! Dark Rock 4 CPU Cooler
- 32GB (2x16GB) 5600MHz Corsair Vengeance DDR5 RAM
- Asus GeForce RTX 3060 Ti KO 8GB graphics card
- Samsung 1TB 980 PRO M.2 NVMe SSD
- Crucial 2TB BX500 SATA 2.5in SSD
As mentioned before, this is my first mini-ITX build, but although the case is for an ITX motherboard, the case isn't a teeny small form factor one. It fits an ATX power supply (saving some $$ over getting an SFX one), and the internal clearances for CPU coolers and a graphics card are relatively generous, too.
This is also my first build without a spinning HDD. SSDs are so cheap now, so it was a no-brainer to get a fast boot SSD (although buying something Samsung was an extremely painful decision), and a slower SATA 2TB SSD for storage.
This computer is extremely quiet too. I was a bit apprehensive about such an open front case, but the big 180 mm front fan can move a significant amount of air without much noise. It's probably the lack of a HDD, but this build is much quieter than my previous builds.