Description

Updates to come.

Update 9/17/18 - Two new photos added. Water cooled GTX 1080 with NZXT Kraken G10 + Corsair H55. Added temps under load playing League of Legends via CAM software.

Backstory:

This is my first venture into the ITX world.

I was coming from a NZXT Phantom EATX Full Tower build. 3770K with video cards that rotated as time went on, fans in every slot for a consistent air flow stream, H100i, etc. It was big. It was beefy. It always won convincingly each time my toe decided to knock up against it. It's held up against the test of time; aside from minor issues with my motherboard (Z68XP-UD3; PoS board IMO), it still works solid, and honestly, still plays the games that I need it to (I mainly play esports games; LoL, Fortnite, OW, SFV). It's been 6 years since, and I think it's time Old Faithful take a well deserved rest.

A New Challenger Appears:

It started as me coming across a 1080 on craigslist locally for a really good deal. Two days later, I bought a new monitor to accompany it. Then I started to go down the rabbit hole; a combination of lurking on r/buildapcsales every day along with Labor Day sales at Micro Center and I was ready to put everything together all day Sunday.

A close friend who build a similar build with the H200i told me to set alot of time aside, and I'm glad that I did. I contribute alot of the time due to lack of experience with ITX/SFF builds in general. There is only a handful of combinations you can put everything together in order to get the proper clearance for everything.

The goal for the build was to be as silent as possible, while still maintaining a good air flow. Aesthetics didn't matter as much, but price did, hence why I opted for the be quiet! pure wings 2 versus Noctua. Aside from that, everything was chosen due to the deals that were available over the weekend. The Cooler Master AIO runs a little loud for my taste, so that might be switched out to something less quiet as I continue to do more research.

Purpose:

This machine essentially is the daily driver; it will be used for mainly internet browsing, esports games and music/video streaming. It's completely overkill for what I need it to do, but I like future proofing for a couple of years.

Parts & Pricing:

Alot of the pricing that has a flat dollar amount meant that I bought it second hand; the GPU, monitor & Schiit stack. The headphones were bought off Massdrop.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

A little on the loud side IMO, but for $50 you really can't beat the price for an entry level AIO.

Storage

Kinda ridiculous that it only takes three seconds from power button to Windows desktop.

Power Supply

Only drawback is that the cables are a little on the short side for the NZXT H200i. I barely made them fit.

Case Fan

Does what I need to do. It's very quiet, but is still able to adequately move air though the case. Can be ramped up if necessary. Great value for the price!

Keyboard

Great keyboard; well made, feels sturdy, base is on the heavy side so it doesn't slide anywhere. Even though I won't ever be disconnecting/reconnecting it, I love that it's USB-A and I won't have to worry about the cable losing connectivity over time like with Micro USB.

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks absolutely amazing so far. Can’t wait for updates

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you! I'll try and add better pictures and be more thorough with the explanation and build.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome. You didn’t pick the red theme though? You said aesthetics weren’t important.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

They aren't. The red/black H200i was $10 cheaper compared to the white/black/blue variant. I could have saved more money ($30ish) and went H200 and forego the LEDs completely, but I wanted to have the LEDs in case I ever felt the itch to go RGB. I just got lucky in the sense that the RGBs and shades of RGB match.

Right now they're all disabled. The only thing that stays on is the Duke LED but that's because MSI settings don't save when rebooting.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Well I don’t usually like red themes, but I’ll tell you this. It looks good

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you thank you! :)

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build and I really like the case.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

How do you like it? I just bought a similar setup with the H200. I'm a newbie builder, so is the case easy to build in and figure out?

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

I really love the case. I love how compact everything is. Minimally invasive space wise.

Looking back now, the case really isn't that hard to figure out once you know the steps of how to install things, but during the whole build process, because this was my first ITX build, there was alot of screwing and unscrewing.

The biggest thing you wanna do is to make sure all your measurements are correct. Take note of the video card you want to use, and make sure it is within clearance of your radiator, assuming you're going to be using an AIO. Almost everyone's build I saw ran either a reference style or a two fan cooler aftermarket card that is within reference dimensions; I think I'm the only special snowflake that had a three fan cooler for their card. Which forced me into using a 120mm for my AIO. Take note of peoples' AIOs as well; lot of people were able to force fit the piping/fitting next to the ram where it's touching. I didn't want to do that, hence why my Cooler Master logo is offset 90°. Last thing you're gonna wanna make sure of is your PSU cables are long enough. Mine barely had enough length. I used a Corsair SF600, which gave me 300mm for the 24pin and 400mm for the 8 pin and they barely had enough length. I plan to go back and use extension cables for them so I can have alot of slack and clean up the cabling.

As far as order goes, this is how I did it for my build (if I remembered correctly):

  • mobo/ram/m2 to case.

  • mount AIO to front panel with fans; leave heatsink off.

  • run all wiring; 8 pin, 24 pin, sata, and route to back of case.

  • mount cpu, thermal compound, mount heatsink.

  • connect all fans and case wiring to motherboard; double and triple check if necessary.

  • while front panel with AIO mounted off the case, carefully maneuver the GPU into the case and seat onto mobo.

  • mount front panel to case, ensuring clearance with gpu.*- mount psu. connect all cables and cable manage in the rear.

  • pray.

If this build taught me anything, it's patience. Slow and steady, and have a firm hand. Everything will fit. Feel free to reach out should you need some guidance. Good luck!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I seem to be yet another special snowflake then, I'm installing the 3-Fan 1070ti STRIX card. Yikes. Looks like I'm using that air cooler after all. Thanks for the advice though, and i don't think the PSU cables are going to be a problem, as I am using an ATX PSU and white cablemod extensions. Thanks again!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

How the hell did you get that SF600 Platinum? I have been waiting for that thing for ages that I was about to get the Gold version(did not) when I bought my MoBo 15 mins ago.

Is it really SF600 PLATINUM (CP-9020182-NA) or you meant the Gold version?

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I meant the gold version. Unfortunately the only model that came up for SF600 gave me that SKU. I didn’t realize they made a plat version. I’ll fix it.

Thanks!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Boo! You made me hopeful for nothing :(

How is the noise on that PSU? I play the type of games almost like yours(HotS, DotA 2, GW2, MH: W) and will be putting it in a much smaller case compared to yours so I wanna know if it is noisy, loud, "crackles" or "whines"—like what I saw on Newegg reviews—on those games.

Also, can you do a GPU and/or CPU benchmark to have it under heavy load and see if it does what those reviewers experienced? Thanks!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry! <3

At least to me, there wasn't any noise to report. I didn't get whining or crackling as the Newegg reviews report. I spectated a couple of League games and kept my ear to it and really didn't hear much at all. I did this when I installed my Kraken G10 + H55 for the 1080 and kept all the fan profiles in CAM to silent.

Hope that helps!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

How are your GPU temps? I have the Asus 1080 ROG Strix that looks similar to yours in size. I want to buy this case, but I'm afraid there isn't enough room for cooling the GPU because of the PSU shroud.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

My temps aren’t too bad even at full load. I’ll check when I get home later exact numbers, but I don’t remember being that high up there in temps at all. I was very surprised. But keep in mind I’m not playing anything super demanding; yeah I’m maxed out on League/Fortnite/SFV, but no Crysis or Metro or the likes.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I've almost completed a build using the all-black variant of the NZXT case, the same power supply, and [almost] the same MB. You mentioned you barely got the cables to fit...I could not get the main MB power cable bundle to reach, and ordered an extender.

I do have a question though - for your cooling radiator that mounts to the front of the case - did you orient the fans so that the airflow is sucked in from the front, or exhausted out from the inside? The former seems better to me, but I debated the decision. Also, I mounted the PSU with the fan pointing down, as this rig will sit on a flat surface.

I haven't been able to test any of it yet, due to the @#!%^ short PSU cable bundle.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I had the wrong link for PSU...mine is the "gold" not "platinum." Perhaps the latter came with longer cables?

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Perhaps. I didn't know there was a plat version of the PSU until someone mentioned it earlier. I barely got mine to fit, and that was some delicate force. I will probably end up getting extenders in the future, so that I can have slack.

I updated and added a picture of my airflow setup. Reds are radiators and blues are fans. Green arrows are directional airflow. I'll update the pic, but the pic with temps is a bit misleading. Temps are listed below. I think I can get better temps if the rad for the GPU isn't used an exhaust, but with limited placement, that was the only choice. Plus from what I've gathered, <60°C is still very good for the card, so I'm no longer worrying about it as much.

GPU full load: 57-59°C.

GPU idle: 38-40°C.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info! That picture greatly clarifies things.

FWIW this is the part I used to extend power to the MB:

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/jndFf7/silverstone-pp07-mbb-1181-sleeved-extension-power-supply-cable-1-x

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

How did you set up the AIO on the gpu?