Since now that I have to travel often to China to work, I figure instead of working on the my 13' MBP (which I plan to upgrade [downgrade?] to a Macbook after summer for traveling), I decided to build a machine.
My goal for this build is to get a system that’s as small as possible but yet powerful enough to convert videos, run Xcode projects and some basic photoshop functions. Because of the size concern, I decided not the use the graphic card, since I probably won’t be playing any graphic intensive games on this build, I rather give up the graphic card for space. And I will try to pick parts that have good performance and yet reasonable priced.
I bought the monitor 2 months prior to this build as external monitor for my MBP, so the total price of this build should be some where around 700 USD without the monitor. The price is not exact is because I purchased two items that are probably not sold in the US, I bought them on Taobao, which is the Ebay equivalent of China.
CPU: With the official support (up coming) from Apple, I decided to use Kaby-Lake chip, I do not plan to overclock the CPU so it’s down to either i7-7700 or i5-7600. with this tiny build, I don’t think I will need the power of i7, so i5 is my final pick.
MOTHERBOARD: Because I will not be overclocking the CPU, so I go with H series MOBO instead of Z, and this board is one of the most compatible board for Hackingtosh.
MEMORY: I pick 16GB becauseI need to convert video, run some XCODE projects, and the clock speed matches with MOBO highest speed so I get the best performance without overlocking ? (not sure if this is true, but seems reasonable)
STORAGE: I choose 960 EVO M.2 SSD for my storage, because it has great performance value at 2/3 the price of the PRO.
FAN Given the size of this case, I needed a cpu cooler that’s less than 37mm, this is probably one of the very few choices I had, that actually looks clean with all metal and no plastic. However, it’s not as quiet as I would expect but not noisy and as most review said, it makes a whistle sound. The heat from the CPU is blown straight up to the top of the case, so the case does get quit warm. I plan to install two fans on the size (40mm) to see if that can reduce the heat on top of the case, plus when I do install a 2.5’ SSD drive, I want to make sure the heat from the CPU doesn’t go straight cooking the SSD all the time.
CASE: e-Mini H60 ( $25 USD ), this is the smallest case that I could find, the other alternative is STREACOM F1C EVO WS, which cost ( $120 USD ) and takes 2 weeks to order, instead going top of line, I think this is better value.
POWER: Given the size of the case, I had to choose nanoPSU, again, the alternative is from STREACOM, but I also found a nice power supply seller from Taobao ( $26 USD ). The problem with nanoPSU is that although the power supply is really tiny inside the case, but the adaptor is GIGANTIC! It’s about half the size of the case it self, so I will put the adaptor on the floor to save desktop space.
That’s pretty much my build, and I was able to get Sierra up and running! Now I need to go back to make the tiny details to work on the Mac!
Looks good and very low profile. Not as quiet as I expected, has whistle sound when powered on.
Very nice built board with high quality part materials
Nice screen, thin bezel, good price