Description

Built this mainly for gaming, CFD and CAD. Switched over from a dying Sager NP7330 and wanted to have a small for factor PC that I could upgrade with time. It was my first PC build, but was pretty easy going maybe 40 minutes to piece together, but 2 hours of cabling to get it all out of the way of the air flow from the front fans. Overclocked the CPU to 4.4Ghz and slightly increased the fan speed on the GPU haven’t overclocked it though. Running Furmark and PCMark simultaneously CPU tops out at 70C and the GPU at 69. You can see the rats nest of cables behind the PSU, but nothing is really in the way of the air flow from the fans other than the GPU's 6+2 connector.

Parts breakdown: CPU: i5 6600K - Went with the most powerful processor without hyperthreading. Most CFD software can’t use hyperthreading and it seemed to have a small effect in most games given the price difference. Also I don’t do video or photo editing so hyperthreading didn’t have much appeal. OCed to 4.4 GHz

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S - This thing is a monster. It fits perfectly with close tolerance to the top, ram height and the HDD cage mounting bar. Works very well and is incredibly quiet. Running PCmark for maximum CPU temperatures it maxes at 69C.

Mobo: Asus Z170I - A bit expensive, but I wanted lots of ports and solid overclock performance. With 2x 3.1 USB plugs and 4x3 USB plugs I was happy, no type c though. Also given how tight this case is having sata plugs are straight out of the board and not 90 degrees to the board is a huge plus as I'm not sure if you could fit a mobo with sata plugs that are at 90 degrees to the board.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB DDR4-2400 - Its works, setting the XMP profile works perfectly at 2400Hz and decently low CAS latency.

M.2 SSD: Samsung 850 Evo - Its absurdly fast. The Samsung performance power profile sends the CPU to max all the time though so you have to change that or return to a Windows standard profile. Took me a while to figure out why the CPU was always maxed that’s why I am mentioning it here.

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB: It pretty quiet and quick. Got a good deal on Amazon so went with it.

GPU: GTX 1070 Founders: Went with the Founders as I wanted to air cool the CPU and figured the combination of internal exhaust GPU and air cooled CPU would case issues so I wanted a card that vented out the back. Running PCMark and Furmark simultaneously will get the GPU to 69 and the CPU to 70. So there is a bit of heat convection still happening, but definitely happy I went with the Founders though as pushing all that hot air into the CPU might have required much higher fan speeds. It can get a touch load, but it is still quieter than my Hamilton air purifier of "Whisper clean" about 5 feet away from my desk.

Case: Fractal Node 304 - Great case, very clean design and air filters everywhere. Thumb screws are very tight so you have to have a screw driver for most of them. With a case this small cable management is a pain but you can get all of them out of the way of the air flow from the front intake fans, the only one obstructing airflow is the cable to the GPU. It does looks a bit like a microwave, but I like it. Also the HDD LED is very bright and white unlike the blue power LED. Ended up lightly sanding the LED and taking a dark blue permanent marker to it. Much dimmer now and nearly identical in color to the power LED.

Power Supply: Cooler Master V650- Small modular PSU. 20mm shorter than usual so modular works otherwise with this case you need a non or semi modular as space is tight. Even being that much shorter the gap between the GPU backplate and the end of the cable connector is a short one, but enough as the cables provided are flat and decently flexible. The click when turning off the computer is quite load, not sure if this is normal though as first build.

Fans: Noctua 2x NF-A9, NF A-14. Lots of air flow and quiet again running all the stress tests its audible, but never load similar sound level to the Founders card when stressed.

Mouse: Logitech Master - Nice mouse for people with medium-large hands who claw grip its very comfortable and my hand can now largely rest on the mouse. Battery life is not as good as I had hoped, but was using a Logitech marathon mouse before. The side scroll wheel is a nice addition. I turned off smart scroll as I never seemed to get used to the speed it engaged at even trying different speeds.

Monitor: Asus VE247H - It was on sale a few years ago. Not a bad display. I was unlucky to have one that now has a dead pixel about 2 inches from the center of the screen.

Keyboard: Das Keyboard Model S - I love this keyboard 1st mechanical keyboard, had it a bit over 3 years. Looks great, very professional, feels and sounds great with MX Brown switches.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

This thing is a monster. Works very well and is incredibly quiet.

Case

Great case, very clean design and air filters everywhere. Thumb screws are very tight so you have to have a screw driver for most of them. With a case this small cable management is a pain but you can get all of them out of the way of the air flow from the front intake fans, the only one obstructing airflow is the cable to the GPU. It does looks a bit like a microwave, but I like it. Also the HDD LED is very bright and white unlike the blue power LED. Ended up lightly sanding the LED and taking a dark blue permanent marker to it. Much dimmer now and nearly identical in color to the power LED.

Power Supply

Small modular PSU. 20mm shorter than usual. Got it for a SFF build. Cables provided are flat and decently flexible. The click when turning off the computer is quite load, not sure if this is normal though as first build. Never gets load enough to hear over the other fans so barely noticeable.

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Comments

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

It must not get that hot (compared to other ITX builds) with all those fans in there, eh?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah when not trying to get the CPU as hot as possible with PCMark it is very cool. With web browsing stays in the mid 30s, gaming so far maxes in the high 40s and running RealBench it never got above 59C. Very happy with the thermals.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice. I didn't even know that heatsink could fit in there.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm actually doing a similar build for a work computer for my wife. She primarily uses AutoCAD so I was wondering how's the gtx 1070 has been working for that. Right now I'm planning on getting her an AMD Nano, because I heard they play better with CAD than Nvidia does. I would really appreciate hearing about your experience.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I am haven't done anything particularly taxing yet. Using AutoCAD as teaching myself Thermal Desktop at the moment, but it seems to work very well. A Nvidia Quadro or an AMD GPU might play better with CAD, but so far I have had no issues. The 1070 is pretty powerful so even if AMD were better optimized I might not be able to notice any issues as the 1070 might just truck through any hiccups it encounters.

Edit: This link might be helpful, GTX 1070 is slightly closer in performance to the 1080 than the 980. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-geforce-gtx-1080-pascal,4572-9.html

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, that really helps a lot. I didn't especially want to overpay for the nano's small form factor when there are more powerful cards available at almost half the cost.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

With all those components do you feel like you have more than enough power because I have a similar build but with a 550 watt power supply and I'm worried it might not be enough when I build it

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I think I have more than enough power. I probably would have gone for a 550, but didnt find a gold rated unit that was the size I wanted so went with the psu I have now. I think PCPartPicker rated it as needing less than 400W to run with out an overclock so the 650 is probably a bit overkill.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok thnx really appreciate this hopefully my psu can handle this beast setup just like yours

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Is this 1070 loud? Do you increase the clock speed of the GPU? One of the better mini-itx builds I've see; nothing flashy, just classy.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I wanted the clean look when building this. I have not increased the clock speed of the GPU as of now I have a 60Hz 1080p screen so the base frequency is more than enough. The card can get loud it is always louder than the CPU fan when gaming, granted Noctua fans are very quiet. With that said it is not a high pitched fan noise and with in game sound on I dont notice it very much. The fan gets exponentially louder as the fan ramps though so right now I have the stock fan curve if I overclocked the GPU and boosted the fan then it would get much louder. With my current setup the fan never hits above 70% fan speed.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, nice build. I have a question: does changing all the case fans with noctuas, really improves airflow and temperatures?

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Honestly not sure. Never used the stock fans just put the noctuas in at the start. it is very quiet though and all the temps are with the noctuas.

  • 26 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok, thx for the answer!