Description

Hey Guys,

i am proud to tell you that i have finally managed to (nearly) finish my first ever computer build.

When i first decided to build a PC, I knew i wanted it to be handsome and as small as possible, without compromising too much in terms of performance. After a lot of research online, I came up with the following parts.

Case: The build is all around the Hadron Air Mini ITX Case from Evga. It has an integrated gold rated 500w power supply and as you can see in the pictures is really small and really pretty. I had a lot of fun working with it, but a challenge too, as there is literally no room for errors. Screwing the mainboard into place and plugging the power cables in were tasks that may sound simple but are in this case something you really need to focus to accomplish. The only criticism about the case i have is that firstly the drive cage is not removable without heavy modding (not everyone needs a drive cage anymore today especially when you just use SSDs) and the PSUs fan is rather loud.

Mainboard: I chose the Asus Maximus impact VII Z97 Board, because it gave me great overclocking possibilites as well as some great features such as a dedicated sound card and wifi/bluetooth. The build quality of this mainboard is astonishing and even though its not cheap I would always recommend it. A great extra feature is the antenna, which is magnetic and will stick to the case. You can also flick it around and put it on top of the case, if you really want a better connection.

Cooler and Fans: For the CPU cooler i went for a Noctua NH-U9B. I'm really happy with it as it produced some astonishing cooling results and is really quiet. The NH-U9B is however as big as it can get for a case this small. Because it is so big, there is not a lot of space left to work with, when installing all the components. For the case fans I chose some Noctua NF-F12 I mounted them with the anti vibration mounts they came with, to replace the standard fans the case comes with, which felt really low quality. When the temperature is under 40° I let the fans run at 650 RPM and at that speed they are close to silent.

CPU, Ram and Storage: I went with the 4690K, as this is the "go-to" processor at the moment, if hyper threading is not needed. I do use Cinema 4d from time to time, but my usage wouldnt have justified the i7, so i went with the i5. For ram i just went with some standard 2*8GB 1600mhz sticks, which I bought at a local PC store. Storage is a 500 GB SSD. I didnt go for a smaller SSD + a HDD, because I have broken so many harddrives in my life, that I have sworn myself never to buy any again.

Graphics Card: I you looked at the pictures you might wonder, where my graphics card is. Fact is I havent bought it yet. With a case this small choosing the right VGA is not that simple. Most people would say that a 970 with custom cooler would be the right solution, but im my case (haha) i need a blower style cooling solution. The Nvidia refecence cooler would bring me excactly what i am looking for, but 970s with reference cooler are pretty hard to come by and not much cheaper than the 980, so i will probably order a 980 with reference cooler next week.

For the looks I custom sleeved nearly all the cables inside the case with paracord and installed an LED strip in UV. I think it looks fantastic and the white cables compliment the clean black case.

I hope you liked my build and im happy to answer any questions you might have :)

PS. I will update this post with benchmark results, as soon as I have installed my VGA.

Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 5 points

I really want to build a rig with that case. Am I the only one who thinks it's absolutely adorable? Great build, btw. I'd love to see you fit a closed loop water cooler in there to match with the cables. I think it would look slick.

  • 59 months ago
  • 3 points

Yes.

  • 59 months ago
  • 3 points

Oh, not into the cute stuff, huh?

  • 59 months ago
  • 3 points

No no, I meant yes it would look slick, sorry. :)

  • 59 months ago
  • 3 points

No worries, just assumed you were answering the question. I'll probably end up doing it myself, but it'll be some time before I can afford yet another computer. :(

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

I was thinking about putting in watercooling, but the only way to fit in a decently sized radiator, is by taking out the drive cage, which is bolted to the case and I really didn't want to use brute force. There is a special version of this case though the Evga Hadron Hydro, which is made especially for watercooling it is however a bit taller than the air and doesn't look as elegant.

This was my first ever build so I thought it would be enough at first to "just build a normal pc" and not overextend myself with custom watercooling :)

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Absolutely, great job.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Sweet case, I'm looking forward to get my own mini ITX gaming build :P

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Wholy Crap thats tiny Good job dude +1 and also nice camera

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Bravo, I did a double-take when I saw the build compared to the basketball. It looked so tiny. I am excited to see how it looks with the GPU included.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow, awesome mini ITX build! Great job keeping the cables neat with limited space.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! At first i was a bit overwhelmed with all the cables coming out of the psu that i wanted to sleeve, but once I got the hang of it i managed to do them very quickly and I always tried to bind them together in small bundles, as soon as I had finished sleeving them.

Another thing i cant stress enough, is that whith a build that small you should plan your cable management before starting to put components in, because then you will just not have the space to do anything.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I hear that. I'm working with a CM Elite 130, which boasts a lot of space for ITX, but the PSU cables still need careful planning.

Good luck getting that GPU in there!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nicely done. I love these small builds!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

That's really cool that you made a mini powerhouse! Good job!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

That's a very beautiful build. Congrats on owning such a fine rig for yourself.

I really wanted to build a LAN party rig for myself with this case, but after hearing about how often people have trouble with its built in power supply with this case, I decided to go for a different route. Do you have any high pitch noise or heat issues with the power supply?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I have neither got heat issues nor is the pitch high. The only thing I am not too happy about is, that it is a bit louder than my fancy noctua coolers and thus increases the noise factor of the whole system. The PSU is not loud. I could be a bit more quiet though. I found a post on overclock.net once, where someone replaced the PSU's fan with a custom one and nearly eliminated the noise. For me that was however a bit too much modding, so i just sticked with the vanilla one.

PS. You will not hear the build I have on a Lan party. It is more quiet than most builds i have seen.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

looks like it packs quite a punch! nice build.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Well done. The LEDs look really awesome, well placed. My only complaint is the mass of white cables visible from the window kind of detracts from the elegance of the rest of the system. Maybe black/purple/brown sleeves?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

The pictures don't really show the uv light off that well. The cables are much more sublte that it looks like on the photos. Under the UV light they have tone very similar to the noctua fans and are much less noticable. :)

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm considering a Hadron build similar to this so maybe you can help with a few questions:

  • I've seen alot of complaints about tower CPU coolers blocking a DIMM slot. Was that an issue with the NH-U9B SE2?

  • Have you installed your GPU yet, and if so did you have to remove the lower CPU cooler fan?

  • How easy/hard was it to sleeve the PSU cables? This will be my first build so all of this will be new to me but those multicolored PSU cables are just God awful ugly

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi stephen,

  • the NH-U9B is the biggest cooler that comfortably fits into the hadron air without any mods. I didn't want to do any mods, so i was worried at first. For low profile RAMs you wont have to do anything to fit them in (e.g. Ballistix Sport). For RAMs with a bit of a higher profile, like my G.Skill Ares, the only thing you have to do is to bend the little wire, that holds the fans to the heatsink a tiny bit. That may sound violent, but is really no big deal and easily reversible. I am at my family's at the moment, but I will upload a picture once I'm home.

  • I haven't installed installed the GPU yet, but I will do so next week, once I am at home I will do so immediately. I heard though that it is important that some of the hot air can go out through the back, which is why I at first wanted to get a card with reference cooler but in the end settled for the ASUS Strix 970, which has an opening out through the back through which air can travel and is the most quiet GPU of the 970 Series. I don't expect too much of a temperature increase though, because maxwells are extremely power efficient.

  • Sleeving is relatively simple, although you will require quite a bit of equipment. The Hadron's PSU is non modular, which means that you will not be able to sleeve the cables all the way through, but rather just from the connector to the hole in the PSU. I don't find this a problem, as you will not see the difference and it makes the whole thing much easier as you don't have to cut the sleeves at the perfect size. Things you will need: Sleeve (either Paracord, which I had or some "real" cable sleeve from MDPC-X), heatshrink (buy some good one, bad one is really annoying) a heatgun (or your girlfriend's hairdryer) and a connector removal tool (such as the Lamptron Modding Tool MT-1, which i can only recommend). Look for some of Lutro0's videos on youtube. He explains the process of sleeving really well.

Overall I'm really happy with my PC and i think it looks awesome.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

So, did you replace the screws on the CPU Power Daughter card heat sinks with longer screws to mount it to the case? Or do you only need to use the two free mounting holes?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

i just left them as they were and installed the completely assembled mainboard (including daughterboards) straight in the case.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello, Nice build. I decided to set up my own pc to be exact the same as your build. All components fit, but the graphics card is too big for the case. How did you fir the card?

  • 54 months ago
  • 1 point

it is tough to fit in, but possible by slightly bending the little metal decoration piece on the end :)

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

How's the case? I'm thinking about putting a 980 in here, but might be able to justify a 980 ti.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Case is good. I have now removed the Drive Cage, cos I found it annoying and it took too much space. If I were you I would get either of these cards in reference design to optimize airflow.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you explain in depth how you sleeved the cables?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

as the power supply is non modular, you can only sleeve the ends of the cable that are free. Use a molex tool to take off the plastic adapters at the end and make sure you take note of the order in which the cables first went into the adapter. Put a sleeve over the cables and use heat shrink to fix it at the ends; then plug back into the adapter. Just serarch for "sleeve modular power supply" and you will probably find a more detailed explanation.

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