Description

I had never put together a computer from parts before, so I decided to build one for my daughter for her seventh birthday. I liked the look of the Raijintek Metis cases. She wanted the red one.

Because she would mainly be using it to watch Youtube videos about Kinder eggs, I decided to see how cheap I could go. But I also wanted it to run quiet and cool. I obsessed on the combination of components for many weeks and if you're bored enough, you can read my rationale for each choice below.

I couldn't have done this without pcpartpicker.com because I really don't even understand how computers work. So thanks to all you people out there who post your builds and comments.

Some things were learned by me in this process. You can't boot from an ISO file (it has to be extracted duh).

Also, more light is good. If I ever put together another computer, I am going to have a strong work light over the table. That would have helped my pictures, too.

This case was a tight squeeze but I wanted a small one, so I can't complain.

The monitor is one I had. The system (Linux Mint) is on the Kingston SSD, and I stuck a spare HDD in there too and filled it with family pictures.

This is my first time using Mint (with the Cinnamon desktop). I have a little experience with Linux Debian, and Mint is easier. No problems there.

The keyboard is also one I already had, a Unicomp Model M. Unicomp is a Kentucky company. They are still making these keyboards with the buckling spring mechanism that was used in the IBM Selectric typewriters. The keyboard is heavy, solid, and loud, a pleasure to use--well worth the $84 plus shipping to order from them online.

Part Reviews

CPU

It's inexpensive, I did not need a separate graphics card, and it's powerful enough for Netflix. The stock fan seems a little dinky. It is probably sufficient but I might look into an aftermarket fan later.

Motherboard

There were not a lot of choices among mini-ITX motherboards, and this was the only one with a USB 3.0 header. The manual told me what I needed to know.

Storage

This took a long time to arrive from Amazon. It works.

Case

I like this case a lot. Waiting for it to become available in the US was my biggest holdup. The Metis Plus has a vent in the top, which the original Metis did not have, so I wanted this one. It's small, but all the sides and the top can be removed simply. I got a deal on this one (even at the full price of $60 or so it is cheap), but the quality is good. Some have noted that when you install the side panels, you are screwing into aluminum, so you have to be careful not to strip the threads. But those are just the side panels, and the frame inside is steel, so you're able to tighten the main screws down pretty well.

It's dumb, but I admired the box this came in. It has detailed drawings of the case on the outside.

Power Supply

I had an idea that the power supply was not a good component to skimp on. I also wanted it to be efficient and quiet, so I sprung for the Gold Certified one. It's bulky and solid as a brick. Glad I went with the semi-modular power supply, too--there would have been no place to hide extra cables.

This was also nicely packaged. The extra cables were in a drawstring bag, like a Crown Royal bag only not velvet.

Comments

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build and quality photos! I've been following this case for a while now, want to get one to house my next PC. I notice there's a 2.5" drive mount behind the power supply. Never seen that before, even on the Raijintek website. How strange!

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I eventually got myself a Metis classic (the older model without the fan mount up top) and it also has this extra 2.5" drive mount. Perhaps it's a new version.

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool little case!

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, I like it. Comes in green too, though not in the US.

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

As always, I love seeing Linux users. Should be a nice little build for your daughter :)

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

She's happy with it!

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

What camera did you use to take the photos?

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

It's an old Canon 5D with a 50 mm fixed lens. I shot with a tripod because of the low light. I had to use the self-timer so as not to bounce the camera and blur the whole picture when I pressed the shutter release.

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Perfect for a beginning computer user. :) If you're not gaming, AMD APUs are plenty good enough for the job; and Linux fits that bill. Mint is also a good choice since it's very newbie friendly. Personally I use Deepin for newbie distros; but either works great!

I do find it funny though that the keyboard is most expensive component. They are very nice though.

Your daughter must be very happy! Now you just need to find her some cute wallpaper. :D

+1

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Yes, I will never go back to cheap keyboards. Never heard of Deepin--will check it out.

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Deepin is a Debian based Linux distro with a custom GUI and some unique apps. I know a lot of people don't want to try it due to Chinese developers, but I personally haven't had any issues.

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=deepin

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I will give it a look.