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Custom Build or NUC

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor' started by cawill, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. cawill

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 1, 2007

    Posts: 126

    I'm considering either building a Mini-STX or Mini-ITX (Thin) or purchasing an Intel NUC for classic / retro gaming (either old PC games or PS2 / Gamecube level emulation) and web use.

    It appears that I'd get better value for money with a custom build (however I'll happily be corrected).

    I'd either use a Mini-STX build consisting of:
    1) Silverstone VT02, ASRock H110M-STX, External PSU
    2) AS Rock Desk Mini 110

    Or a Mini Thin ITX build with Silverstone Petit PT13B, Asus H11T, External PSU.

    Either of the above would use Intel Pentium CPU and a custom CPU fan:
    1) G4400
    2) G4560 / G4600

    I've left of the RAM / SSD as they're similar on both setups.

    The builds above appear marginally cheaper than the NUC i3 6100U / 7100U, at the expense of a slightly bigger case.

    I'd welcome anyone's thoughts on the above including:
    1) Does the use of Pentium CPUs achieve better results than the i3 NUC, especially with the integrated graphics?
    2) Which setup would be less noisy?
    2) Should I just give in and get an NUC at the expense / fun of building it from scratch?

    Thanks!
     
  2. samcat

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 8, 2002

    Posts: 2,608

    Location: Near Bristol, Uk

    I have a NUC (much older i7 version, used for VM work/lab for a while before becoming my 'garage' computer), its in an akasa silent/passive case which does exactly what it says on the tin. Silence. No moving parts. It gets warm but not hot.

    I really rate the NUC, quality bit of kit. Have built many ITX pcs over the years and never managed to get close to the NUC on size.
     
  3. cawill

    Gangster

    Joined: Jun 1, 2007

    Posts: 126

    Thanks, I agree, I can see why they're so popular. I was wondering if people had started using Mini STX builds (as it's relatively new) as alternative to NUC as for the same price you can get a G4600 CPU vs 7100u.
     
  4. Steveocee

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 5, 2011

    Posts: 3,707

    Location: Derbyshire

    I have a PT13 build with an older H77 board, Ivy i7 and 16GB ram. It packs a punch for what I use it for (home desktop) I picked up all the parts bar the case and ram second hand so it was cheap in comparison to an equal NUC.

    If you like to tinker then custom is always the way.
     
  5. Bugbait

    Associate

    Joined: Jan 13, 2018

    Posts: 68

    Location: London

    If you want compact size, can't beat a NUC. I grabbed a recent i5 model for my wife's business since compact and silent were the key requirements. If you don't mind something (relatively a lot) larger then go custom. Can't beat custom for maintenance (no or less proprietary parts) and power. Depends on your priorities. Do note that the current i7 based Intel NUCs can get quite audible under load.
     
  6. samcat

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 8, 2002

    Posts: 2,608

    Location: Near Bristol, Uk

    I7 Nuc in an akasa case in use here, cant beat it.. Totally silent and tiny. :)
     
  7. Steveocee

    Mobster

    Joined: Nov 5, 2011

    Posts: 3,707

    Location: Derbyshire

    NUC's you get the mobile processors though, at least with a custom build you can get a "real" desktop processor in and some real horsepower.
     


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