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Intel 13th Gen DDR5 ATX Build

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InWin A5 ATX Mid Tower Case $109
     - A5 at InWin's website

MSI Pro Z790-A WiFi DDR5 Intel ATX Motherboard $280

Intel Core i5-13600K Raptor Lake 14-Core CPU $320

Noctua NH-U12S 120mm CPU Cooler $80

Corsair Vengeance 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR5 5600 RAM $136

Samsung 980 PRO M.2 1TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD $120

Samsung 980 PRO M.2 2TB PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD w/heatsink $200

EVGA SuperNOVA 650 P6 Platinum 650-watt PSU $130

Microsoft Windows 10 Professional $47 (MrKeyShop)

Microsoft Office 2010 Professional Plus $43 (MrKeyShop)

Build total (without GPU): $1,468

Undecided GPU:

     MSI Mech Radeon RX 6650 XT PCIe 4.0 Video Card $295

     MSI Ventus GeForce RTX 3060 12GB PCIe 4.0 Video Card $370

I have built several rigs since the year 2000, and this is easily the best mid-ATX case I've used. While it's not perfect, I have few complaints. I absolutely love the compact size, while easily holding an ATX motherboard and related components. Despite the smaller compartment, I had no space-related problems getting everything in place and neatly connecting wiring. The overall build quality of the case is very good, especially at this price point.

I had a minor issue with mounting the EVGA SuperNOVA P6 power supply, which has a small "ECO" rocker switch, in addition to the power switch. If you look closely at the photo with the area circled in red (2nd to last photo), you'll see that the fitment is a bit tight for this PSU. The frame bent up a little where it catches above the edge of the rocker switch, but it's holding the PSU just fine. I would have trimmed it with my Dremel, but I did not want to risk voiding the case's warranty in case I had to send it back. It's a minor quibble, and most PSUs don't have that rocker switch anyway.

My only other quibble with the case is the power button, and it's minor as well. The button has very little travel, and requires a somewhat firm push. At one point I had to reset the computer, and holding down the button to restart the computer took a couple of efforts. A little more travel, with a softer actuation point would be helpful. On the positive side, you're less likely to accidentally trip the switch.

The single rear-mounted 120mm RGB exhaust fan was okay, but I'm not into RGB. I replaced it with 120mm non-RGB 3-pin Antec case fans that I found on sale on Amazon ($20-ish for a 5-pack), and I added two more fans as intake at the bottom. I'm sorry that I didn't include a photo of the new fan array, but there was plenty of room for all of them.

I did not bother with adding two more fans at the top, but it would have been easy enough had I chosen to do so. All fans are controlled by the motherboard, and so far it's been exceptionally quiet, even with the 120mm Noctua CPU cooler, as well as the 2 GPU fans. I'll hear the fans slightly ramp up on occasion, but it's never been excessive or attention getting.

The dark tinted tempered glass panel is nice, but I would have been just as happy if it was a solid metal panel. It will easily change out with the backside metal panel, if you prefer. Both panels are very easy to remove and reinstall, and they firmly hold in place.

Click the images for the full size photo:

Nice build, Scuzzy!

Interesting case layout with the front PSU and the bottom intakes.

Decided to use the ole GTX 960 for now? If you're just using it for standard acceleration and no gaming, extreme rendering, etc., it's just fine.

Glad to see you're still active on here one in a while.

Thanks, Cars. Obviously I don't spend much time here since Bill's passing. I keep the site going mostly for its archival value.

As far as the build is concerned, I'm still quite happy with it. I doubt I would change anything if I were building another today. The case has been awesome in everyday use. As for the GTX 960... yeah, what you said. Maybe someday I'll change it out for something better, but the GPU prices always make me think twice. The GTX 960 does what I need, so the motivation to upgrade it is quite low.

On a different note, I fell head-over-heels for Chrome OS. I hope to find a good deal on a Chromebook Plus laptop during the upcoming Black Friday time frame. The day will come that I will permanently kick Windows to the curb, and Chrome OS is the most likely contender.

As for Windows 11... uh-uh. No way, no how. Not in my home.

Yeah, I totally understand. May Bill rest in peace.

It's unfortunate that this forum died out. There's all of what, 3 "active" members these days?

Yeah, GPU prices are still WAY to high. My wife and I have RTX3070s. I bought mine new after "Winning" the option to buy it for $800 from Newegg back when the price bubble was peaking. However, I let it mine Ethereum to recoup the ridiculous cost until it became too low profit to do so. Then I got hers for $350 right around the time the 40 series released, which was great timing. I learned from the 20 series used price crash when the 30s came out. Even with these cards, there are multiple games we play that still are limited by GPU performance at 1440p. Cities Skyline 2 and Call of Duty are two great examples... I've considered the RX7900XT, but I really try to stick with GPUs that run at under 200 watts in most cases. Plus, the cheapest I've seen for the version I want is like $740+tax, so still more than I'd want to spend on it. Will probably just wait for Nvidia 50 series...

Chrome OS is very good in a lot of cases. Windows is still the most functional for me, and I finally took the plunge into Windows 11 a month or two ago. My Home computer, Work Computer, and Server are all now Windows 11. Overall, I like it, but there are still some quirks & bugs that need addressing.


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