Author Topic: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build  (Read 13259 times)

rabarrett

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #45 on: June 18, 2015, 03:22:49 PM »
Hi Ari,

Now that I've been using my system for 7 months, I thought I'd report back my thoughts:

It's outstanding.  I've had no problems and it is still running very fast.  I'm glad I stuck with arch linux for my operating system.    I run the computer pretty much 24-7 unless I'm going to be away for a few days.  It's always running cool. 

I'm thinking about adding the second stick of RAM.  It's still not _necessary_ but I do sometimes have 30-50 tabs open when doing research online and if one of the pages has buggy code, sometimes there is a memory leak that slows things down a lot until I figure out which tab it is and close it.   Would I still get this one?  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A14ZTWE?ref_=pd_ys_iyr140

If you have another recommendation (or would prefer I use your link), please just post a link and I'll buy it from there.  Also, I'm pretty sure this system is no problem to just add 1 stick of ram on top of my current 1 stick of 8GB (the link above is to what I bought before); but let me ask "Is it simple?  I just power down, put the new stick of ram in, and reboot?"

Best,

Richard

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #46 on: June 18, 2015, 07:44:22 PM »
Hi Ari,

Now that I've been using my system for 7 months, I thought I'd report back my thoughts:

It's outstanding.  I've had no problems and it is still running very fast.  I'm glad I stuck with arch linux for my operating system.    I run the computer pretty much 24-7 unless I'm going to be away for a few days.  It's always running cool. 

I'm thinking about adding the second stick of RAM.  It's still not _necessary_ but I do sometimes have 30-50 tabs open when doing research online and if one of the pages has buggy code, sometimes there is a memory leak that slows things down a lot until I figure out which tab it is and close it.   Would I still get this one?  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A14ZTWE?ref_=pd_ys_iyr140

If you have another recommendation (or would prefer I use your link), please just post a link and I'll buy it from there.  Also, I'm pretty sure this system is no problem to just add 1 stick of ram on top of my current 1 stick of 8GB (the link above is to what I bought before); but let me ask "Is it simple?  I just power down, put the new stick of ram in, and reboot?"

Best,

Richard

Wow, this is just fantastic news! It's great to hear that you're enjoying your system so much!

So, to confirm, yes, you can just add another stick of Crucial's low-profile 8GB DDR3-1600. It will be as simple as installing the first stick was - no additional setup is necessary. Just make sure you line up the notch in the right place and that it locks in all the way.

If there's any question as to whether the system is reading it, you can always go into the UEFI BIOS to confirm that it's being reported. You'll have have the advantage not just of double the RAM, but also dual-channel operation, which will make all CPU-intensive tasks slightly faster.

rfbarrett

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #47 on: October 05, 2015, 10:23:05 AM »
Hi Ari,
I just joined your forum yesterday. My son (rabarrett) told me about your great website. He built this system and as he said in his post loves it.

I am going to build the same system with some options and I would appreciate it if you would take a look and tell me what you think. With the number of upgrades I have made if you feel another system would better accomplish what I am trying to do, please suggest that too. I will order components using your links to Amazon. If you think the components will work well together, please send me additional links and I will order everything from them.
Thanks,
Dick

Intel i5-4460 LGA 1150 CPU
Gigabyte GA-H97N-WiFi Board
Crucial Ballistix 16GB Kit Memory
Crucial BX 100 500GB Drive
Antec ISK 300-150 Case
Samsung SN-208FB Slimline DVD Burner
Slimline SATA Adapter
Noctua NH-L9i Cooler

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #48 on: October 05, 2015, 02:28:01 PM »
Hi Ari,
I just joined your forum yesterday. My son (rabarrett) told me about your great website. He built this system and as he said in his post loves it.

I am going to build the same system with some options and I would appreciate it if you would take a look and tell me what you think. With the number of upgrades I have made if you feel another system would better accomplish what I am trying to do, please suggest that too. I will order components using your links to Amazon. If you think the components will work well together, please send me additional links and I will order everything from them.
Thanks,
Dick

Intel i5-4460 LGA 1150 CPU
Gigabyte GA-H97N-WiFi Board
Crucial Ballistix 16GB Kit Memory
Crucial BX 100 500GB Drive
Antec ISK 300-150 Case
Samsung SN-208FB Slimline DVD Burner
Slimline SATA Adapter
Noctua NH-L9i Cooler

Hello rfbarrett - so good to hear from you! I thought the name sounded familiar!

I recently built a system almost identical to the one you're looking at - you can see what I have to say about it in the Antec vs. In-Win ITX case shootout.

The one thing I will say about the Antec ISK-300-150 case is that it will produce some fan noise due to the built-in case fan (which you can control or even unplug) and the built-in power supply fan (which you cannot control at all). That is the necessary trade-off for a case that can support a separate video card. If you don't think you'll be using one, definitely have a look at the In-Win BQS656 case showcased in the shootout. It uses an external laptop-style power supply that doesn't require a fan. It also has the advantage of including the proper slimline power connectors (no adapters necessary!).

Otherwise, your build is really fantastic - you're packing in tons of power and functionality - maxing out the RAM, equipping it with a very large and fast SSD, and using one of the most powerful CPUs that will work with that system.

One tip, though - the Noctua cooler is fantastic, but if you're not pushing your system really hard (i.e., just using it for office tasks), you can tune the stock Intel fan to run just as quiet. In a system with no other cooling, however, it doesn't have the headroom for sustained 100% load (say if you're doing a lot of HD video processing).

Any other questions, just ask!

rfbarrett

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #49 on: October 12, 2015, 07:30:03 AM »
Hi Ari,
Thank you for all the additional information you provided. I have decided to go with all the components I listed on my original post. I do have one question on the Windows 10 operating system. I did the free upgrade from Windows 8.1. I understand that I cannot use the media tool to do a clean install to a new computer. You list the OEM version of Windows 10 which I understand Microsoft does not provide "support" for. Is there any reason to opt. for the Retail version in order to have "support" from Microsoft.

Thanks,
rfbarrett

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #50 on: October 12, 2015, 07:47:11 AM »
Hi Ari,
Thank you for all the additional information you provided. I have decided to go with all the components I listed on my original post. I do have one question on the Windows 10 operating system. I did the free upgrade from Windows 8.1. I understand that I cannot use the media tool to do a clean install to a new computer. You list the OEM version of Windows 10 which I understand Microsoft does not provide "support" for. Is there any reason to opt. for the Retail version in order to have "support" from Microsoft.

Thanks,
rfbarrett

If you still have your Windows 8.1 DVD, you can try installing it on this new system, and then upgrading from there. You cannot install Windows 10 directly using the OS image you downloaded from Microsoft, as you do not have a license key for it.

I don't think you'll ever need support from Microsoft for Windows, but there is one reason to go with the retail version (which comes on a USB stick): you are allowed to move it over to a different computer in the future. OEM versions record the motherboard model in use upon initial installation, and will not allow use of the OS on a different motherboard. The only exception is if the motherboard fails and you contact Microsoft to indicate that.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2015, 07:49:11 AM by Ari Altman »

rfbarrett

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #51 on: October 12, 2015, 08:10:36 AM »
Thanks Ari for your incredibly quick response. That answers my question. After the build I will let you know my experiences building and using your great "Mini".

rfbarrett

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #52 on: October 16, 2015, 03:40:35 PM »
Hi Ari,
I have all my components installed. Almost all the wiring is completed but I have a question about the connections for the optical drive and the solid-state drive. I have the adapter cable from the optical drive connected to the power supply cable and the data part (flat red) connected to flat black cable coming from the front panel of the case. First, is this correct, and second, I have a parallel power cable coming from the same connector running power to the optical drive, connected to the solid-state drive. If this is correct, where do I connect the data connection on the back of the Solid-state drive to, and with what cable?
I hope I have made this clear enough to understand.
Thanks,
rfbarrett

Intel i5-4460 LGA 1150 CPU
Gigabyte GA-H97N-WiFi Board
Crucial Ballistix 16GB Kit Memory
Crucial BX 100 500GB Drive
Antec ISK 300-150 Case
Samsung SN-208FB Slimline DVD Burner
Slimline SATA Adapter
Noctua NH-L9i Cooler

rfbarrett

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #53 on: October 16, 2015, 04:55:21 PM »
Hi Ari,
I found the cables. They came with the motherboard (but of course, you knew that).  I now know that the flat cable from the front panel goes to the same place on the motherboard.

rfbarrett

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #54 on: October 16, 2015, 10:04:32 PM »
Hi Ari,
I found the cables. They came with the motherboard (but of course, you knew that).  I now know that the flat cable from the front panel goes to the same place on the motherboard.

rfbarrett

You got that right. The SATA data cables always come with the motherboard, and you likely got two in the box, enough for the SSD and DVD burner.

You already had the power cables correctly attached, by the way, and it sounds like you figured out that the front panel cable connects to the motherboard. These include usb leads, power button leads, and audio connector leads.

Any questions about all this, just post them here.

rabarrett

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #55 on: December 19, 2015, 12:56:34 PM »
Hi Ari,

I've had my system running for about 1.25 years now.  No real complaints, but about 2 months ago the Noctua fan started making a fair amount of noise.  A few weeks later it started changing speeds, audibly speeding up and down at times (seemed to change when the computer was doing more intensive tasks).

I watched it run open for a few hours.  The fan would slow down to barely moving, then speed up but it seemed to struggle as if it was having trouble doing so.  If I gently pressed on the center plastic part of the fan with a q-tip, it would speed up and stop making noise.  I emailed Noctua about it (it took forever to find an email address for them and I'm still not sure it was the best one).  It has been several weeks and they never responded.

Today, it seems to have quit entirely.  When I first turn on the CPU, the fan briefly tries to move and then stops altogether.  Thoughts?

I want to get my computer running again ASAP and I'm afraid to run it without a CPU fan.  I'm in range of Amazon now and could get 1 of 2 fans that look like they'll fit within a couple of hours from them.

Here would be my choices (limited because Amazon Now only has available whatever is already in the warehouses in your area):
Corsair Hydro H55
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Series-Edition-Liquid-CW-9060010-WW/dp/B009VV56TY

or
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-20PK-R2/dp/B005O65JXI/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1450558528&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=coller+master+hyper+212+evo

Too bad the Noctua didn't last longer (and that the company seems to be impossible to reach).

Best,

Rick

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #56 on: December 19, 2015, 01:07:22 PM »
Hi Ari,

I've had my system running for about 1.25 years now.  No real complaints, but about 2 months ago the Noctua fan started making a fair amount of noise.  A few weeks later it started changing speeds, audibly speeding up and down at times (seemed to change when the computer was doing more intensive tasks).

I watched it run open for a few hours.  The fan would slow down to barely moving, then speed up but it seemed to struggle as if it was having trouble doing so.  If I gently pressed on the center plastic part of the fan with a q-tip, it would speed up and stop making noise.  I emailed Noctua about it (it took forever to find an email address for them and I'm still not sure it was the best one).  It has been several weeks and they never responded.

Today, it seems to have quit entirely.  When I first turn on the CPU, the fan briefly tries to move and then stops altogether.  Thoughts?

I want to get my computer running again ASAP and I'm afraid to run it without a CPU fan.  I'm in range of Amazon now and could get 1 of 2 fans that look like they'll fit within a couple of hours from them.

Here would be my choices (limited because Amazon Now only has available whatever is already in the warehouses in your area):
Corsair Hydro H55
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Series-Edition-Liquid-CW-9060010-WW/dp/B009VV56TY

or
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-212-RR-212E-20PK-R2/dp/B005O65JXI/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1450558528&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=coller+master+hyper+212+evo

Too bad the Noctua didn't last longer (and that the company seems to be impossible to reach).

Best,

Rick

Rick,

First off, Noctua typically has great service, and I have a personal contact at Noctua in Austria - I'm going to get in touch with him to see if he can help resolve this issue. Noctua makes some of the best stuff in the business - they should back you up on this.

If I recall correctly, you're using a Noctua NH-L9i cooler in an Antec ISK-300 case, and you will be very limited in cooler choices. Neither of the ones you linked to will work. If you have another case, please let me know.

The fact is that the Intel cooler that came in the box with your CPU will be perfectly adequate, at least for the short term, to get your system running. I wouldn't recommend running the system without a fan, but nor would I recommend you pick up just any cooler you can get immediately. Just pull that heatsink out of the box (hopefully you kept it!) and enjoy a free fix for now!

rabarrett

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #57 on: December 19, 2015, 02:03:15 PM »
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. 

First, to be fair to Noctua:

I emailed them Dec 9.  I immediately got an automated reply.  And I now see that they sent me a full reply in under 24 hours.  I just somehow missed it in my mailbox (I think I got a ton of mail that day and it must have gotten marked "read" without me noticing it).

Here was their reply:
Quote
Dear Richard,

First of all many thanks for choosing a Noctua product.

We are very sorry to hear that you are having issues with your NF-A9x14 fan.
Please send us a proof of purchase (screenshot, scanned invoice, etc.) for your CPU cooler as well as your full shipping address. We would like to send you a replacement fan as it is very likely that your fan is affected by a manufacturing defect.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
Alexander Dyszewski
Noctua support team


I just sent them a copy of the invoice, so it looks like they'll be taking care of that.

(It was very, very hard to find the right place to contact them. And the one I found was a page in German and it kept staying in German even when I clicked English, so that was annoying.)

You're right, I have the other fan around here somewhere.  But I have to remove the heatsink and redo the thermal paste too right?  (It would be so nice if the other fan happened to fit on top of this heatsink.)

Just so I learn something more:  Why would those 2 fans I pointed to not work?  Is it because they're too big for the Antec case?  (one of them goes on and on in the description about how it fits almost any case)

At least I have a temporary solution and now a final solution too.

-----

Another question entirely:
There's no problem adding another SSD drive to this system right?  I have a Samsung SSD 500 GB on it now.  I'm thinking about moving that on to my laptop and gettting a 1 TB SSD on this system.  But for a while I'll probably leave both installed on my desktop.  It looks like this ASROCK board as perhaps 6 ATA spots for drives.  Right now 1 is taken up with my current drive and 1 for the front port.  I seem to still have 1 black ATA 6G cable left too (or do new drives tend to come with their own cables anyway?).

The power supply to the new drive appears to be more of an issue, but I see one that piggy backs from the current drive, so that should work.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2015, 02:06:00 PM by rabarrett »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #58 on: December 19, 2015, 04:03:06 PM »
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. 

First, to be fair to Noctua:

I emailed them Dec 9.  I immediately got an automated reply.  And I now see that they sent me a full reply in under 24 hours.  I just somehow missed it in my mailbox (I think I got a ton of mail that day and it must have gotten marked "read" without me noticing it).

Here was their reply:
Quote
Dear Richard,

First of all many thanks for choosing a Noctua product.

We are very sorry to hear that you are having issues with your NF-A9x14 fan.
Please send us a proof of purchase (screenshot, scanned invoice, etc.) for your CPU cooler as well as your full shipping address. We would like to send you a replacement fan as it is very likely that your fan is affected by a manufacturing defect.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
Alexander Dyszewski
Noctua support team


I just sent them a copy of the invoice, so it looks like they'll be taking care of that.

(It was very, very hard to find the right place to contact them. And the one I found was a page in German and it kept staying in German even when I clicked English, so that was annoying.)

You're right, I have the other fan around here somewhere.  But I have to remove the heatsink and redo the thermal paste too right?  (It would be so nice if the other fan happened to fit on top of this heatsink.)

Just so I learn something more:  Why would those 2 fans I pointed to not work?  Is it because they're too big for the Antec case?  (one of them goes on and on in the description about how it fits almost any case)

At least I have a temporary solution and now a final solution too.

-----

Another question entirely:
There's no problem adding another SSD drive to this system right?  I have a Samsung SSD 500 GB on it now.  I'm thinking about moving that on to my laptop and gettting a 1 TB SSD on this system.  But for a while I'll probably leave both installed on my desktop.  It looks like this ASROCK board as perhaps 6 ATA spots for drives.  Right now 1 is taken up with my current drive and 1 for the front port.  I seem to still have 1 black ATA 6G cable left too (or do new drives tend to come with their own cables anyway?).

The power supply to the new drive appears to be more of an issue, but I see one that piggy backs from the current drive, so that should work.

Rick - glad you got it sorted it out. For future reference (and for other forum members), you can Noctua's English-language RMA form here. Their support is truly second to none.

Yes, you'll need to remove the Noctua cooler to use the Intel cooler, but the Intel cooler comes with paste pre-applied, so it's very easy to install. If you need to use your PC right away, I'm afraid that's your best option. The two coolers you listed are much larger than your Noctua, and are designed for full-tower ATX cases. You have an ultra-slim mini-ITX case.

As for 1TB drives, you can certainly add one to the Antec case. I recommend the Crucial MX200 1TB, which offers the best balance of performance, price, and high-quality fabrication. SSDs do not come with the SATA data cables you need, so do confirm that you have a SATA cable available. I believe you motherboard only came with two, so I'd be a bit surprised if you have a total of three available. That front cable is used for your DVD drive, by the way. And yes, the power connector piggy-backs off the existing cable.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Home Office Mini-ITX Build
« Reply #59 on: May 10, 2017, 06:39:32 AM »
This build guide has been completely revamped using the new STX form factor, so a new thread too discuss it has been created here.