Tech Buyer's Guru Forum

The PC Builder's Guides - Small Form Factor => The Gaming/HTPC Mini-ITX Build => Topic started by: Ari Altman on June 15, 2016, 10:55:53 AM

Title: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on June 15, 2016, 10:55:53 AM
Have questions about TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build (http://techbuyersguru.com/1200-slim-gaming-mini-itx-pc-build)? Post them here!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: hariscordelli on June 25, 2016, 07:39:16 AM
Hi,
I'm looking to build this exact PC, but over here in the UK the SilverStone RVZ01B-E isn't available unless I order from the USA on Amazon (which can take several weeks, and I need to build it within a week or two).
Is there any places in the UK that anyone knows of that sells this particular case?
If not, what other mini atx cases do you recommend that would fit every component listed in the $1200 slim gaming rig? (I know the PSU listed is an ATX fit, so for a case that doesn't support this which SFX PSU should I get instead of the ATX one listed?)
Many Thanks!!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on June 25, 2016, 05:18:05 PM
Hi,
I'm looking to build this exact PC, but over here in the UK the SilverStone RVZ01B-E isn't available unless I order from the USA on Amazon (which can take several weeks, and I need to build it within a week or two).
Is there any places in the UK that anyone knows of that sells this particular case?
If not, what other mini atx cases do you recommend that would fit every component listed in the $1200 slim gaming rig? (I know the PSU listed is an ATX fit, so for a case that doesn't support this which SFX PSU should I get instead of the ATX one listed?)
Many Thanks!!

Welcome to the TBG Forum, hariscordelli!

The Slim Gaming PC is brand-new this month, but in fact there have been many other ITX builds on TBG over the past few years that are just as slim, using similar SilverStone cases. I'd strongly urge you to check out the original SilverStone RVZ01 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00HVKLV0U/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00HVKLV0U&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-21), which has been available in the UK for quite some time. Its major limitation is that it requires an SFX or SFX-L power supply, and I recommend that you choose either the Corsair SF450 Power Supply (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01CR5XJR6/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B01CR5XJR6&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-21) if using a video card like the GTX 970, or the Corsair SF600 (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01CR1XGTG/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B01CR1XGTG&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-21) if you'd like to drop in an ultra-high-end video card. While SilverStone makes its own SFX units, they aren't as good, and its stellar new SX700-LPT (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GCSCM1S/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B01GCSCM1S&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-21) SFX-L unit, which was just reviewed (http://techbuyersguru.com/silverstone-sx700-lpt-sfx-l-power-supply-review?page=0) on The Tech Buyer's Guru, isn't yet available in the UK it seems.

The original RVZ01 will fit every other component listed in the Slim Gaming PC buyer's guide, and can even use a slot-loading optical drive (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00ENU1PGQ/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B00ENU1PGQ&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-21), if that interests you.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: michaelsammler on July 02, 2016, 05:30:09 AM
How much clearance is needed around this case for proper air flow?
I'm thinking of a shelf under the tv lying it down. It's a pretty spacious shelf.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 02, 2016, 09:18:29 AM
How much clearance is needed around this case for proper air flow?
I'm thinking of a shelf under the tv lying it down. It's a pretty spacious shelf.

Good question! Because this case has plenty of interior space for airflow, it can handle itself pretty well even in low-airflow environments. If you lay it down, one side will obviously be against a shelf and get little airflow. I would make that the CPU side. The video card intake will be on the other side, and I'd suggest at least 1" of clearance above that intake to allow air to be pulled in and exhausted adequately.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: greyhail on July 08, 2016, 02:52:13 AM
Hello,
Thank you for the amazing and informative guide.
I'm looking to build something like this in Ireland!
This is what I have come up with so far: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/HR6r7h (http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/HR6r7h)

My only worry is that the new MSI GTX 1070 will not fit into the case.
Another thing, is this probably the best case or the only case around this size?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 08, 2016, 05:00:20 AM
Hello,
Thank you for the amazing and informative guide.
I'm looking to build something like this in Ireland!
This is what I have come up with so far: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/HR6r7h (http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/HR6r7h)

My only worry is that the new MSI GTX 1070 will not fit into the case.
Another thing, is this probably the best case or the only case around this size?

Hello greyhail from Ireland!

You'll have no problem fitting the GTX 1070 on this case, however rather than the extra-tall MSI model you're looking at, I'd strongly suggest the EVGA GTX 1070 SC (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GVHNWUK/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B01GVHNWUK&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-21), which is smaller, faster, and the same price (but out of stock right now). I'm currently testing this card in preparation for a review, and it's great!

Note that you have the RVZ01 on your list, rather than the newer RVZ01-E, which is in short supply. Both are the same size, with the "E" model updated for use with standard ATX power slots supplies.

There is no other case this size that can perform at this level.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: jpd511 on July 12, 2016, 11:47:31 PM
Hi everyone,
I finished my build yesterday. Besides the SSD, I did not change anything from the recommended setup and even got a RVZ01-E. Additionally I installed some red LED stripes :)
The wiring and the CPU cooler setup can be a bit tricky, but overall there were no major problems. The PC boots and the BIOS system information (temperatures and frequencies) looks good. By the end of this week I will have Windows and Linux installed and tested and then I can deliver some benchmarks if desired.
Have fun building this Mini-ITX :)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 13, 2016, 05:27:30 AM
Hi everyone,
I finished my build yesterday. Besides the SSD, I did not change anything from the recommended setup and even got a RVZ01-E. Additionally I installed some red LED stripes :)
The wiring and the CPU cooler setup can be a bit tricky, but overall there were no major problems. The PC boots and the BIOS system information (temperatures and frequencies) looks good. By the end of this week I will have Windows and Linux installed and tested and then I can deliver some benchmarks if desired.
Have fun building this Mini-ITX :)

This is great feedback, jpd511. Which SSD did you go with?

Was the issue with the cooler related to its large size or the mounting mechanism?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: jpd511 on July 14, 2016, 09:34:05 AM
First of all I want to say thank you for the build proposal! :) It was fun to build and I really like the small size, my 8-year old gaming PC was twice the size.

I installed two SSDs: Samsung 850 EVO 1TB and Crucial MX300 750GB, the Samsung was already installed in my old PC. I just bought the Crucial, since it was on offer in a shop nearby.

The issues were mostly related to the small size. The mounting mechanism of the cooler is fine. You just have to get your wiring clean and get all the wires out of the way. The PC cooler was the last thing I installed (before the graphics card) and it was not so easy to install the final mounting bracket of the cooler. But finally I did it somehow :)

I have another question: in the BIOS, my RAM is set at 2199MHz instead of 3000MHz. In the article you said this can be easily fixed in the BIOS, however, the value is greyed-out (read-only). Does anybody of you know how I can fix this?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 14, 2016, 09:54:42 AM
First of all I want to say thank you for the build proposal! :) It was fun to build and I really like the small size, my 8-year old gaming PC was twice the size.

I installed two SSDs: Samsung 850 EVO 1TB and Crucial MX300 750GB, the Samsung was already installed in my old PC. I just bought the Crucial, since it was on offer in a shop nearby.

The issues were mostly related to the small size. The mounting mechanism of the cooler is fine. You just have to get your wiring clean and get all the wires out of the way. The PC cooler was the last thing I installed (before the graphics card) and it was not so easy to install the final mounting bracket of the cooler. But finally I did it somehow :)

I have another question: in the BIOS, my RAM is set at 2199MHz instead of 3000MHz. In the article you said this can be easily fixed in the BIOS, however, the value is greyed-out (read-only). Does anybody of you know how I can fix this?

Ah yes, installing the cooler when the motherboard is in the case would not be easy, but I'm glad you figured out a way to do it! I've done this in my Raven case when I've switched coolers, and it's very tight indeed.

Your RAM is likely defaulting to 2133MHz, which is the standard for Skylake processors. To enable the XMP profile on your RAM (which is 3000MHz if you chose the RAM recommended in the guide), you need to go into the Gigabyte M.I.T. menu in the UEFI, and near the bottom of the list you'll see an option for the Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.), which you can enable (it is disabled by default). If you have 3000MHz-rated RAM, enabling it will simply set it at 3000MHz, there is no other option for you to select for XMP. You can adjust speeds manually, but I do not recommend this approach.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: jpd511 on July 16, 2016, 04:30:45 AM
Quote
Your RAM is likely defaulting to 2133MHz, which is the standard for Skylake processors. To enable the XMP profile on your RAM (which is 3000MHz if you chose the RAM recommended in the guide), you need to go into the Gigabyte M.I.T. menu in the UEFI, and near the bottom of the list you'll see an option for the Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.), which you can enable (it is disabled by default). If you have 3000MHz-rated RAM, enabling it will simply set it at 3000MHz, there is no other option for you to select for XMP. You can adjust speeds manually, but I do not recommend this approach.

Thank you, that did the trick. I had to set it from "Default" to "Profile 1". The task manager now shows 3000MHz. I think the next step would be to increase the CPU multiplicator about 20% and test the result with Prime95.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 16, 2016, 07:19:37 AM
Quote
Your RAM is likely defaulting to 2133MHz, which is the standard for Skylake processors. To enable the XMP profile on your RAM (which is 3000MHz if you chose the RAM recommended in the guide), you need to go into the Gigabyte M.I.T. menu in the UEFI, and near the bottom of the list you'll see an option for the Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.), which you can enable (it is disabled by default). If you have 3000MHz-rated RAM, enabling it will simply set it at 3000MHz, there is no other option for you to select for XMP. You can adjust speeds manually, but I do not recommend this approach.

Thank you, that did the trick. I had to set it from "Default" to "Profile 1". The task manager now shows 3000MHz. I think the next step would be to increase the CPU multiplicator about 20% and test the result with Prime95.

Good to hear that worked out.

20% on the processor would take you to 4.3GHz or so. The motherboard will automatically increase voltage to compensate, but if it's unstable, you may need to start tweaking voltage. On my test sample, 4.4GHz was the limit before manual tweaking became necessary.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Reyort on July 16, 2016, 11:57:38 AM
Would there be any issues dropping in a 6700k  instead of a 6600k?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 16, 2016, 12:43:40 PM
Would there be any issues dropping in a 6700k  instead of a 6600k?

No, you can definitely use a 6700K, but keep in mind that at equal clocks, the 6700K runs hotter than the 6600K, so you have to be careful about extreme overclocking, given the low-profile cooler required for this case.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: JARUNIT on July 21, 2016, 11:21:36 PM
Hi,

Great resource you have put together here. I am considering selling my PS4 and building one of these instead.

However I am on a tighter budget. Do you know what would you look at removing/reducing from this bundle first to save some cash?

Thank you for such a great site
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 22, 2016, 05:14:32 AM
Hi,

Great resource you have put together here. I am considering selling my PS4 and building one of these instead.

However I am on a tighter budget. Do you know what would you look at removing/reducing from this bundle first to save some cash?

Thank you for such a great site

Glad you enjoyed the guide!

As a matter of fact, there's another build that might be exactly what you're looking for. You can knock $200 off the price by following TBG's HTPC ITX guide (http://techbuyersguru.com/750-high-end-home-theater-mini-itx-pc-build), and simply adding the GTX 970 to it. It will perform almost identically!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 20, 2016, 06:24:45 PM
First of all thank you very much for putting together this guide (saves me a lot of time researching)! :)

A couple of questions:

1. How much does the rig weigh - I added up all the weight of the components based off of Amazon specs and I got about 18.5 pounds. My goal is to build an ultra portable rig that will serve primarily as my HTPC/gaming rig at home but that I can easily bring on trips and LAN parties.  Do you think this will be light enough to carry around on occasion in a backpack? I see the Nuc option which would super portable but I don't think I can get enough gaming power out of it.

2. Can i substitute the Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K 4.00 GHz 8M Processor into this setup (the one you suggest for the ultra performance rig) - or is there not enough power/cooling with the other components? If so, do you think the increased performance will be worth the money

3. I saw above that the GTX 1070 can be substituted into the build.  If you had to pick would you spend the extra money on upgrading the graphics card (from 1060 to 1070) or upgrading the CPU like i mentioned above (from i5 6600K to i7-6700K)?

Thanks!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 20, 2016, 09:12:59 PM
First of all thank you very much for putting together this guide (saves me a lot of time researching)! :)

A couple of questions:

1. How much does the rig weigh - I added up all the weight of the components based off of Amazon specs and I got about 18.5 pounds. My goal is to build an ultra portable rig that will serve primarily as my HTPC/gaming rig at home but that I can easily bring on trips and LAN parties.  Do you think this will be light enough to carry around on occasion in a backpack? I see the Nuc option which would super portable but I don't think I can get enough gaming power out of it.

2. Can i substitute the Intel Boxed Core I7-6700K 4.00 GHz 8M Processor into this setup (the one you suggest for the ultra performance rig) - or is there not enough power/cooling with the other components? If so, do you think the increased performance will be worth the money

3. I saw above that the GTX 1070 can be substituted into the build.  If you had to pick would you spend the extra money on upgrading the graphics card (from 1060 to 1070) or upgrading the CPU like i mentioned above (from i5 6600K to i7-6700K)?

Thanks!

Welcome to The TBG Forum, bigred13!

Glad you found the guide helpful. I'll actually be putting together a step-by-step assembly guide for this build very soon, using the RVZ01, NT06-Pro, a 6600K, and a GTX 1070. Look for it in the next month or so.

In the meantime, here's what I can tell you:

1. Weight: I don't have this info in front of me right now, but I'd estimate it's about 15 lb. It's a bit hard to go by Amazon specs, because that likely includes the boxes and accessories. 18 pounds definitely sounds too high.

2. You can absolutely substitute in a Core i7-6700K (http://amzn.to/2bD9P24). While it adds slightly to power consumption (around 20-30W), it's all well within the limits of the system's other components.

3. Upgrading the CPU and GPU are both options for this build, but there's no question that if your primary use is home theater and gaming, you want the GTX 1070. One of the best models out there that will fit in the case is the MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X (http://amzn.to/2b9aas5). I also really like EVGA's models (http://amzn.to/2bmug5m), but they've been selling out regularly.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 21, 2016, 10:15:34 AM
Thanks Ari!

One more question - I've read that some people have experienced CPU throttling issues with the Gigabyte mobo under high loads. Did you experience any problems with this?

I'm considering swapping out the Gigabyte for an equivalent Asus board (which seems to be generally well regarded): https://www.amazon.com/DisplayPort-Motherboard-Z170I-PRO-GAMING/dp/B015FY4HLS/ref=sr_1_3?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1471799269&sr=1-3&keywords=asus+pro+gaming+z170 (http://amzn.to/2btHSey)

Any thoughts?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 21, 2016, 10:34:38 AM
Thanks Ari!

One more question - I've read that some people have experienced CPU throttling issues with the Gigabyte mobo under high loads. Did you experience any problems with this?

I'm considering swapping out the Gigabyte for an equivalent Asus board (which seems to be generally well regarded): https://www.amazon.com/DisplayPort-Motherboard-Z170I-PRO-GAMING/dp/B015FY4HLS/ref=sr_1_3?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1471799269&sr=1-3&keywords=asus+pro+gaming+z170 (http://amzn.to/2btHSey)

Any thoughts?

I did not have any issues with CPU throttling on the Gigabyte Z170N-Gaming 5 (http://amzn.to/2btHxbI), and based on my experience, throttling issues are not caused by the motherboard. If people are having issues, they're caused by something else.

That being said, the Asus Z170I Pro (http://amzn.to/2btHSey) is what I used in the High-End ITX Assembly Guide (http://techbuyersguru.com/pc-builders-guides-assembling-high-end-mini-itx-pc), and will be featured again in the Slim Gaming PC assembly guide using the RVZ01-E case (http://amzn.to/2bnCryo). In my opinion, it's the best ITX board on the market. It won't perform better than the Gigabyte, as I stated above, but it has a better layout and a better UEFI interface.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 21, 2016, 11:39:30 AM
Thanks!

Last question - do you have any opinion on the NCase M1: https://www.ncases.com/

Here is a review of it: https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NCASE/M1/

It appears to be smaller and weigh less than the SilverStone case you recommend (which would work great for me given my goal of ultra portability).

Do you think the components you recommend for this build will fit in this case?



Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 21, 2016, 12:17:23 PM
Thanks!

Last question - do you have any opinion on the NCase M1: https://www.ncases.com/

Here is a review of it: https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NCASE/M1/

It appears to be smaller and weigh less than the SilverStone case you recommend (which would work great for me given my goal of ultra portability).

Do you think the components you recommend for this build will fit in this case?

There's another reader on the forum who bought the NCase M1, and I've had ongoing discussions with him in multiple threads about setting it up. Here's one of them (http://techbuyersguru.com/forum/index.php?topic=208.msg2322#msg2322).

If extreme portability is your primary concern, the M1 wins, but it loses on everything else. It's massively overpriced, it's very hard to build in, and it has limited cooling options, requiring extreme attention not just to specs but in terms of interoperability with various other components. In other words, chose one large component like a full-size video card, and many other component options are limited.

Because of its low level of component compatibility, I won't include an Ncase M1 in TBG's guides. I simply can't be responsible for readers making substitutions that don't work with it. That being said, it's a cool concept, and certainly the smallest case that can hold a high-end CPU, power supply, liquid cooler, and video card. The problem is that it can't hold them all, only certain combinations.

Because I have not built up a system in this case, I cannot tell you if the components for the Slim Gaming PC will work. I believe they will, but I'd really have to go through the build list one component at a time and review detailed photos of the NCase to decide if everything will fit.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 21, 2016, 02:33:14 PM
Thanks Ari - I checked out the threads and asked Jury for his impressions but ultimately it doesn't seem worth the headache. I'm guessing in a few years there will be plenty of options for full power PCs at that form factor but for now settling for a console sized PC will be sufficient. Thanks again for the insight.

And apologies but I have one more question for you. I've settled on the GTX 1070 and i'm leaning towards the EVGA models. Which model do you think would work best for a small form factor PC (i'm not familiar with the differences between models of the same graphics card):

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1266081-REG/evga_08g_p4_6274_kr_geforce_gtx_1070_gaming.html

ACX 3.0
FTW DT GAMING
FTW GAMING
Founders Edition
SC GAMING

Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 21, 2016, 04:03:22 PM
I ended up ordering the SC Gaming version - it was slightly cheaper and available for free expedited shipping.

Ari you may want to advise others to check out B & H Photo and other online vendors (aside from Amazon) that offer free shipping and no tax. I think I was able to save about 100 because B&H does not charge sales tax.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 21, 2016, 04:57:17 PM
Glad you got it all figured out. I actually recommend B&H quite a bit, but Amazon has had better stock until a few days ago. Glad you found what you wanted there.

By the way, you can see my review of the EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1262834-REG/evga_08g_p4_6173_kr_geforce_gtx_1070_sc.html/BI/20077/KBID/13837/kw/EVG1070SCA38/DFF/d10-v21-t1-x744540) here (http://techbuyersguru.com/evga-geforce-gtx-1070-sc-8gb-review-0).
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 22, 2016, 10:11:53 AM
Thanks Ari - great review of the card - i'm really excited to put it all together.

My build ends up being a cross between your $1200 and $2000 build (and cost me about $1450):

Intel Core i7-6700K
Asus Z170I Pro Gaming
EVGA Geforce GTX 1070 SC
Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 Black
OCZ Trion 150 480GB
Silverstone Raven RVZ01B
Corsair SF450
Corsair Hydro H100i v2 Liquid Cooler

Based on what I've seen on the forums I think I should be ok power-wise, space-wise and heat-wise but I will report back.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 22, 2016, 10:25:18 AM
Thanks Ari - great review of the card - i'm really excited to put it all together.

My build ends up being a cross between your $1200 and $2000 build (and cost me about $1450):

Intel Core i7-6700K
Asus Z170I Pro Gaming
EVGA Geforce GTX 1070 SC
Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 Black
OCZ Trion 150 480GB
Silverstone Raven RVZ01B
Corsair SF450
Corsair Hydro H100i v2 Liquid Cooler

Based on what I've seen on the forums I think I should be ok power-wise, space-wise and heat-wise but I will report back.

This is going to be a great build, but there's just one problem: you can't use a liquid cooler in the RVZ01 case!!! I see you pulled the H100i v2 from the $2,000 build, but the NZXT Manta (http://amzn.to/2bHlk8K) case used in that build is much, much larger than the RVZ01 (definitely not backpack-able!).

I'd suggest you get the SilverStone NT06-Pro (http://amzn.to/2bHkSqS) from Amazon. I did check B&H Photo, but it's a special order item there and would take 7-14 days to arrive. This is one of the limitations with slim cases that will fit in a backpack. Tower-style and liquid coolers typically won't work. I know the NCase M1 offers some liquid cooler compatibility, at the expense of ease of use. And don't worry - you don't actually need a liquid cooler. It's more of a "luxury" item in a system like this!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 22, 2016, 11:00:13 AM
Ah thanks very much for the heads up Ari! While I've built many computers in my life I've never once used liquid cooling so I wasn't aware that it was bigger (doh!)

Would've been very disappointing to get everything at the end of the week and not be able to start building... Fortunately I can get free same day delivery through Amazon Prime - i'll just have to bite the bullet on the $5 Sales Tax :)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 25, 2016, 10:03:05 AM
 Hey Ari,

Should be getting everything delivered tomorrow and hoping to build during the day in time for a LAN party in the evening :)

Question - i checked your build guide and see that you recommended the RVZ02 case over the RVZ01:

http://techbuyersguru.com/pc-builders-guides-assembling-high-end-mini-itx-pc
https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Mini-ITX-Computer-RVZ02B-W/dp/B0161UXXN8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1449710187&sr=8-2&keywords=rvz02&linkCode=sl1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=637e468bc0d232aa2a6ad207272b7af5
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I3EKXDE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00I3EKXDE&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=XLUJ7QNRP2GPH2VZ

Any reason why you're recommending the RVZ01 in the buyer's guide instead? Would it be better to switch to the RVZ02?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 25, 2016, 10:11:24 AM
Hey Ari,

Should be getting everything delivered tomorrow and hoping to build during the day in time for a LAN party in the evening :)

Question - i checked your build guide and see that you recommended the RVZ02 case over the RVZ01:

http://techbuyersguru.com/pc-builders-guides-assembling-high-end-mini-itx-pc
https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Mini-ITX-Computer-RVZ02B-W/dp/B0161UXXN8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1449710187&sr=8-2&keywords=rvz02&linkCode=sl1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=637e468bc0d232aa2a6ad207272b7af5
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I3EKXDE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00I3EKXDE&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=XLUJ7QNRP2GPH2VZ

Any reason why you're recommending the RVZ01 in the buyer's guide instead? Would it be better to switch to the RVZ02?

I actually still recommend a RVZ02-based case in the $750 High-End ITX Home Theater PC Buyer's Guide (http://techbuyersguru.com/750-high-end-home-theater-mini-itx-pc-build). The RVZ02 (http://amzn.to/2bRSZMW) and ML08  (http://amzn.to/2bjurhA)used in that guide are identical other than their exteriors.

The RVZ01  (http://amzn.to/2bA76c1)is a much better choice for users who want to do serious overclocking, due to its much greater clearance for high-end CPU coolers. I have tried significant overclocking in the RVZ02, and it's very tricky to manage.

I'm actually in the process of writing a brand-new assembly guide featuring the RVZ01, targeted at gamers, which should be out within the next month or so.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 25, 2016, 12:05:00 PM
I don't plan on doing much overclocking - I think getting i7 6700K and the GTX 1070 will let me play games at max settings for good while without the need for OC.

Is the RVZ02 much thinner/lighter than the RVZ01?

I would probably need to buy a different PSU and Cooling fan if i wanted to go with the 02, right?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 25, 2016, 12:19:47 PM
I don't plan on doing much overclocking - I think getting i7 6700K and the GTX 1070 will let me play games at max settings for good while without the need for OC.

Is the RVZ02 much thinner/lighter than the RVZ01?

I would probably need to buy a different PSU and Cooling fan if i wanted to go with the 02, right?

The RVZ02 is about 20% thinner, but actually a bit deeper. I don't think it's a lot better for a backpack. And yes, you'd need another cooler that's lower profile.

If you wanted anything smaller, I'd look at the Silverstone SG13 (http://amzn.to/2bSiIVt), as it will just barely fit the EVGA GTX 1070 SC (but no other custom 1070 models). I believe you could actually use the NT06 cooler you have paired with an SFX power supply, although you might want to check if others have done this. That would be a highly "optimized" build, i.e. filled to the brim!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 25, 2016, 12:34:39 PM
Thanks - I think I'll give my current build a try and see how I like it. Will keep you posted and take some pics tomorrow.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 29, 2016, 09:53:51 AM
Unfortunately the build did not work out.

Two main issues:

1. The computer would not boot with 2 RAM sticks or one RAM stick in the second DIMM slot (the one further from the CPU). Computer would boot fine with just one RAM stick in the first DIMM slot (one closer to the CPU).

There are several explanations i can think of:
1. The second DIMM slot is defective
2. The RAM sticks are defective (unlikely because both worked as long as they were in the first DIMM slot)
3. The RAM and Mobo are incompatible (apparently people have had problems with this RAM/mobo combo before: http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=154206)
4. I messed up when attaching the CPU (i put on way too much thermal paste but i think this is not the issue because i also reseated the CPU and fan with a lot less thermal paste the second time around)

Note i tried resetting CMOS and playing around with the RAM settings in BIOS to no avail.

2. My EVGA GTX 1070 would not fit in the case area where the PCI-E adaptor is. Specifically the opening in the plastic where the cards PCI-E connectors fit through to fit into the case's PCI-E adaptor is too narrow (i guess it was designed for cards with smaller PCI-E connector profiles?). This is less of an issue because i could saw through the plastic that gets in the way of the card but its still annoying (and I can't fathom why they would make the opening so small for no apparent reason).

I'm thinking of returning a lot of the components and trying again with a slightly different build (taken from your build guide http://techbuyersguru.com/pc-builders-guides-assembling-high-end-mini-itx-pc):

RVZ02 case (since i don't intend to OC, i found the RVZ01 slightly too big to fit into a backpack and the issue of compatibility with the EVGA GTX 1070 SC)
SilverStone 500W SFX-L PSU (to fit the smaller case)
SilverStone AR06 CPU Fan (to fit the smaller case)
Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI (to avoid potential issue of RAM compatibility - though i'm open to suggestions - maybe i should stick with the the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming and get different RAM, is there a different Mini-ITX Mobo you'd recommend?)
Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 (sticking with it but maybe not?)
Intel i7 6700K (sticking with it)
EVGA GTX 1070 SC (sticking with it)

Ari any thoughts on my issue with the RAM and on the modified build?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 29, 2016, 10:39:32 AM
Unfortunately the build did not work out.

Two main issues:

1. The computer would not boot with 2 RAM sticks or one RAM stick in the second DIMM slot (the one further from the CPU). Computer would boot fine with just one RAM stick in the first DIMM slot (one closer to the CPU).

There are several explanations i can think of:
1. The second DIMM slot is defective
2. The RAM sticks are defective (unlikely because both worked as long as they were in the first DIMM slot)
3. The RAM and Mobo are incompatible (apparently people have had problems with this RAM/mobo combo before: http://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=154206)
4. I messed up when attaching the CPU (i put on way too much thermal paste but i think this is not the issue because i also reseated the CPU and fan with a lot less thermal paste the second time around)

Note i tried resetting CMOS and playing around with the RAM settings in BIOS to no avail.

2. My EVGA GTX 1070 would not fit in the case area where the PCI-E adaptor is. Specifically the opening in the plastic where the cards PCI-E connectors fit through to fit into the case's PCI-E adaptor is too narrow (i guess it was designed for cards with smaller PCI-E connector profiles?). This is less of an issue because i could saw through the plastic that gets in the way of the card but its still annoying (and I can't fathom why they would make the opening so small for no apparent reason).

I'm thinking of returning a lot of the components and trying again with a slightly different build (taken from your build guide http://techbuyersguru.com/pc-builders-guides-assembling-high-end-mini-itx-pc):

RVZ02 case (since i don't intend to OC, i found the RVZ01 slightly too big to fit into a backpack and the issue of compatibility with the EVGA GTX 1070 SC)
SilverStone 500W SFX-L PSU (to fit the smaller case)
SilverStone AR06 CPU Fan (to fit the smaller case)
Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI (to avoid potential issue of RAM compatibility - though i'm open to suggestions - maybe i should stick with the the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming and get different RAM, is there a different Mini-ITX Mobo you'd recommend?)
Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 (sticking with it but maybe not?)
Intel i7 6700K (sticking with it)
EVGA GTX 1070 SC (sticking with it)

Ari any thoughts on my issue with the RAM and on the modified build?

Well, this is discouraging to say the least. I'm going to take a close look at my EVGA GTX 1070 SC and RVZ01 chassis to see if I can identify the spacing issue you mentioned.

As for the memory, I highly doubt that there's an incompatibility. While I'm not going to actually join that Corsair forum to tell the user what he did wrong, the answer was setting the FCLK at 1000. In my experience that leads to an immediate failure to boot. And that's why you shouldn't worry too much about overly-long anecdotal tales of "component incompatibility." ;)

That's not to say you don't have something wrong with your components. Remember, however, that RAM will always default to DDR4-2133, and any Z170 board can run DDR4-2133 memory. In other words, every single stick of DDR4 RAM is "compatible" with every Z170 motherboard. Issues with compatibility will only arise if the motherboard can't push the full-rated XMP speed.

So, the first thing I'll ask is whether the failure of the 2nd RAM stick occurred with speed set to default DDR4-2133, or with the XMP Profile of DDR4-3200 enabled. I run my Asus Z170I with DDR4-3000, and admittedly haven't actually tried it with DDR4-3200, so I can't rule out an issue there.

Now, if you can't run both sticks at DDR4-2133, and you made absolutely certain that both sticks were fully inserted, it sounds like you may have a motherboard issue. We can rule out a RAM issue if both work individually in at least one RAM slot, as you mentioned they do.

As for a backpack-friendly PC, I can guarantee that if you don't like the RVZ01, you won't like the RVZ02. As you can see below, I have both cases sitting side-by-side in front of me right now, and the RVZ02 simply isn't going to fit any better in a backpack, because it actually has a larger overall length x depth measurement, and is only smaller in width.

(http://techbuyersguru.com/sites/default/files/pictures/Cases/CaseReviews/SilverStoneRVZ01E/RVZ01vsRVZ02.jpg)

If you really want a case that will fit in a backpack, you're going to have to reset your form factor goal a bit and go for the SilverStone SG13 (http://amzn.to/2bwU7J8), which will just barely fit the GTX 1070 SC.

(http://techbuyersguru.com/sites/default/files/pictures/Cases/SilverstoneSG13promo.jpg) (http://amzn.to/2bwU7J8)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on August 29, 2016, 01:25:09 PM
Thanks Ari - understood re the case. Do you think the components I identified for my modified build would fit in the SilverStone SG 13? And if I decided not to get the Asus mobo which would you recommend?

SilverStone SG13
SilverStone 500W SFX-L PSU
SilverStone AR06 CPU Fan
Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI
Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200
Intel i7 6700K
EVGA GTX 1070 SC
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 29, 2016, 02:06:16 PM
Thanks Ari - understood re the case. Do you think the components I identified for my modified build would fit in the SilverStone SG 13? And if I decided not to get the Asus mobo which would you recommend?

SilverStone SG13 (http://amzn.to/2cmRta4)
SilverStone 500W SFX-L PSU (http://amzn.to/2bMX4WL)
SilverStone AR06 CPU Fan (http://amzn.to/2c59l59)
Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI  (http://amzn.to/2bMWjvc)
Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200 (http://amzn.to/2cmQuad)
Intel i7 6700K (http://amzn.to/2bvthlS)
EVGA GTX 1070 SC (http://amzn.to/2bxh6UJ)

All of those components will work, but I'd recommend you substitute the superior Gigabyte GA-Z170N-Gaming 5 (http://amzn.to/2c9S6CM) for the Z170N-WIFI board, as it's about the same price at this point. And this comes with the disclaimer that I've used both the Gaming 5 and the Asus Z170I you have and I believe the Asus Z170I (http://amzn.to/2bMXsmi) to be superior. You may have a defective board, but I'm not yet convinced that this is the issue.

Just keep in mind that the SG13 is actually a much more challenging case to build in than the RVZ01, so I'd recommend you set a good amount of time during your build session to get familiar with how the case works.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: pakmon22 on August 31, 2016, 05:32:03 PM
Just did this build, only changes I made were the motherboard and the ssd. I will say cable management is a huge factor. Not having built a PC in years it was a little time consuming. Also the directions for the cpu radiator were confusing and not very well written. I suggest watching the youtube video prior to getting to that point of the installation.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 31, 2016, 05:45:36 PM
Just did this build, only changes I made were the motherboard and the ssd. I will say cable management is a huge factor. Not having built a PC in years it was a little time consuming. Also the directions for the cpu radiator were confusing and not very well written. I suggest watching the youtube video prior to getting to that point of the installation.

Thanks for the feedback, pakmon22!

I'm actually working on a step-by-step assembly guide for this build at this very moment. Cable management is indeed going to be an issue in a build this compact, and I'll be providing a special focus on cooler options and potential challenges builders may face related to coolers.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Parachute on September 05, 2016, 03:24:27 PM
Hello!

Thanks for your great guide! This is exactly the computer I'm looking for...

I have a few questions:

1. VIDEO CARD: You suggest Gigabyte GTX1060. Can other brands be used? I din't find Gigabyte version in my local store and a friend recommends EVGA. I don't have any personal preferences. Any advantage of one over the other?

2. I'm also tempted with GTX1070, but I'm not such a heavy gamer, so maybe it doesn't worh the investment... do you think it makes a big difference?

3. HARD DRIVE: I want to add a 2TB HD, but I would like it to be 7200RPM. I don't seem to find an alternative in 2.5"... can this case support 3.5" drives? Do you have any advice on what to choose?

4. I found the cooler but it's called "Silverstone SST-NT06-PRO Nitrogon CPU Cooler"... is it the same? (Yours doesn't say SST).

5. Any advice for a monitor?

SUGGESTION: I think you should put something like "Similar Alternatives" for each item so people can choose another possiblity in case they don't find the first option you suggest =).

Thank you very much for your help!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 05, 2016, 04:25:36 PM
Hello!

Thanks for your great guide! This is exactly the computer I'm looking for...

I have a few questions:

1. VIDEO CARD: You suggest Gigabyte GTX1060. Can other brands be used? I din't find Gigabyte version in my local store and a friend recommends EVGA. I don't have any personal preferences. Any advantage of one over the other?

2. I'm also tempted with GTX1070, but I'm not such a heavy gamer, so maybe it doesn't worh the investment... do you think it makes a big difference?

3. HARD DRIVE: I want to add a 2TB HD, but I would like it to be 7200RPM. I don't seem to find an alternative in 2.5"... can this case support 3.5" drives? Do you have any advice on what to choose?

4. I found the cooler but it's called "Silverstone SST-NT06-PRO Nitrogon CPU Cooler"... is it the same? (Yours doesn't say SST).

5. Any advice for a monitor?

SUGGESTION: I think you should put something like "Similar Alternatives" for each item so people can choose another possiblity in case they don't find the first option you suggest =).

Thank you very much for your help!

Welcome to The TBG Forum, Parachute!

Let me answer your questions one by one:

1. The GTX 1060 is in extremely high demand, which means picking a certain manufacturer is hard to do. The Gigabyte model offers great features for the price, including a metal backplate, a big factory overclock, and a powerful cooler. Right now, EVGA is focusing on small form factor GTX 1060 cards at lower prices. They are also a good value, but will not perform quite as well. Among the GTX 1060 cards under $300, I'd focus on the MSI Gaming, the Gigabyte G1, or the Zotac AMP!.

2. The GTX 1070 is much faster than the GTX 1060, on the order of 40%. That makes a big difference, but if you're not a big gamer, or more importantly will not be playing at a resolution over 1920x1080, it's not going to make a difference, because the 1060 will be fast enough.

3. You cannot use a 3.5" hard drive in this system. That is one of the limitations of going with a slim case. If you'd like to use a 7200RPM drive, which frankly is not relevant in the era of solid-state drives, you will have to go for something 1TB or smaller. The largest 2.5" 7200RPM drive I could find after a quick search is this HGST Travelstar 1TB (http://amzn.to/2bPeWjo). But let me be clear: spending extra money to get a 7200RPM hard drive really isn't worthwhile when your OS and most of your apps are on an SSD. So I'd instead suggest the Seagate 2.5" 2TB 5400RPM drive (http://amzn.to/2c157KE). Hard drives should be purchased for their bulk storage capacity, not performance, because they simply do not perform nearly as well as an SSD.

4. Yes, the cooler is the same, you found it!

5. Monitors run from $100 to over $1,000, and from 22" to 34". You'll need to consider what you're looking to do with the monitor, how much space you have and how close you'll be to it, and what your budget is. Then read through the TBG Monitor Buyer's Guide (http://techbuyersguru.com/monitor-buyers-guide) and you'll probably find one that will work for you!

And by the way, thanks for the suggestion on offering alternatives. This is often done with cases, and sometimes with video cards as well, but I'll consider adding it elsewhere too.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on September 06, 2016, 09:59:25 AM
Hey Ari,

Happy to report that the build in the Silverstone SG13 case worked (i.e. i was able to boot, install windows and use the computer)

SilverStone SG13
SilverStone 500W SFX-L PSU
SilverStone AR06 CPU Fan
Gigabyte GA-Z170N-GAMING
Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200
Intel i7 6700K
EVGA GTX 1070 SC

However two remaining issues:
1. The AR06 Fan (the copper pipes which stick out at the bottom of the heat sink) blocked the USB connector on the Gigabyte GA-Z170N-GAMING mobo.  Pretty sure this would not have been a problem on the Asus mobo because the USB connector is in a different location. As for the Gigabyte mobo I'm not 100% sure if this unavoidable - the AR06 pipes cannot be oriented east or west because they would run into stuff soldered on the mobo. If they are oriented south they block the USB connector as i described. If they are oriented north i believe that they would block the mobo-PSU connector (the large one) but i'm not 100% sure - i will check if i end up having to reseat my CPU.

2. Heat under load seems to be a problem. The CPU idles at ~43C and goes up to 78-83C under load. This seems (and feels) too hot.  Do you think that this combination of high end components is too much for this case or is there a way for me to install a case fan to alleviate the problem?

Any advice would be much appreciated! :)


Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 06, 2016, 11:29:42 AM
Hey Ari,

Happy to report that the build in the Silverstone SG13 case worked (i.e. i was able to boot, install windows and use the computer)

SilverStone SG13
SilverStone 500W SFX-L PSU
SilverStone AR06 CPU Fan
Gigabyte GA-Z170N-GAMING
Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3200
Intel i7 6700K
EVGA GTX 1070 SC

However two remaining issues:
1. The AR06 Fan (the copper pipes which stick out at the bottom of the heat sink) blocked the USB connector on the Gigabyte GA-Z170N-GAMING mobo.  Pretty sure this would not have been a problem on the Asus mobo because the USB connector is in a different location. As for the Gigabyte mobo I'm not 100% sure if this unavoidable - the AR06 pipes cannot be oriented east or west because they would run into stuff soldered on the mobo. If they are oriented south they block the USB connector as i described. If they are oriented north i believe that they would block the mobo-PSU connector (the large one) but i'm not 100% sure - i will check if i end up having to reseat my CPU.

2. Heat under load seems to be a problem. The CPU idles at ~43C and goes up to 78-83C under load. This seems (and feels) too hot.  Do you think that this combination of high end components is too much for this case or is there a way for me to install a case fan to alleviate the problem?

Any advice would be much appreciated! :)

I was hoping to hear good news from you bigred13!

But alas, you've run into the very problem I identified with the Gigabyte GA-Z170N-GAMING 5 (http://amzn.to/2cyoz2P) in TBG's Extreme ITX hands-on build guide (http://techbuyersguru.com/pc-builders-guides-assembling-extreme-gaming-itx-pc): the USB 3.0 header is simply in the wrong location. The Asus Z170I Pro Gaming (http://amzn.to/2bRt7Ex) is a superior board, and this is one of the many reasons. You can see below that the tower cooler installed in the Extreme ITX system is actually sitting on the USB 3.0 plug:

(http://techbuyersguru.com/sites/default/files/resize/pictures/TBGbuilds/TBGCore500ExtremeBuild/PSUinstalled-600x341.jpg)

I don't think you'll be able to get around this issue unfortunately.

As for the heat, well, that is just a bit hot, but not surprising given the constricted environment of the SilverStone SG13 case (http://amzn.to/2caGK0G). The case doesn't come with a front fan, which it really should. When it was previously listed in one of TBG build guides, a third-party fan was included in the build list, specifically the Arctic F12 120mm case fan (http://amzn.to/2c52acp). I recommend you buy one and install it in the front of the case. This will decrease temperatures dramatically. Ideally load temperatures would be around 70C.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on September 06, 2016, 12:11:41 PM
Ari - thank you for the suggestion. 

First off I should mention that I got the SG13 version with the aluminum front panel (not the mesh front panel) because the latter is currently sold out on Amazon.  I figured this might bring up the heat a little bit but now i'm worried whether this is making a big difference and whether I need to switch it out.

Second, the configuration of my case is different then the one pictured below. I have the PSU mounted directly above the motherboard with the PSU fan facing up towards the vent on top of the case. I'm not sure how one would fit a GPU (let alone the full sized 1070 GTX) with the PSU mounted side by side with the mobo or how you would plug the power cable into the PSU unless you left the case cover off - though perhaps the point of that picture was merely illustrative.

In any case, while I don't have my PC in front of me right now i'm having a hard time envisioning where I would mount the case fan other than to the top of the case next to where my PSU is mounted (by the top vent closer to the front of the case - or, in other words, directly above where the PSU is mounted in the picture from your last post).  Is this what you meant by putting a fan at the front of the case?

As i mentioned I don't have the mesh for the front of the case so i'm not sure if mounting a  fan to the front side of the case is an option or would help me any.

Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 06, 2016, 12:41:56 PM
Ari - thank you for the suggestion. 

First off I should mention that I got the SG13 version with the aluminum front panel (not the mesh front panel) because the latter is currently sold out on Amazon.  I figured this might bring up the heat a little bit but now i'm worried whether this is making a big difference and whether I need to switch it out.

Second, the configuration of my case is different then the one pictured below. I have the PSU mounted directly above the motherboard with the PSU fan facing up towards the vent on top of the case. I'm not sure how one would fit a GPU (let alone the full sized 1070 GTX) with the PSU mounted side by side with the mobo or how you would plug the power cable into the PSU unless you left the case cover off - though perhaps the point of that picture was merely illustrative.

In any case, while I don't have my PC in front of me right now i'm having a hard time envisioning where I would mount the case fan other than to the top of the case next to where my PSU is mounted (by the top vent closer to the front of the case - or, in other words, directly above where the PSU is mounted in the picture from your last post).  Is this what you meant by putting a fan at the front of the case?

As i mentioned I don't have the mesh for the front of the case so i'm not sure if mounting a  fan to the front side of the case is an option or would help me any.

bigred13 - the case pictured above is completely different from yours. It's a Fractal Design Core 500 (http://amzn.to/2bVbuos). I was just illustrating the issue I had with the Gigabyte motherboard you are using.

In the photo below, you can see your case, the SG13B-Q (http://amzn.to/2bW2zAd). What you'll see as you look through the empty case to the front is the fan mount area. That's where the fan will go. The fact that you got the solid-front version of the SG13 isn't a major issue. The lack of a case fan is, and this will take care of it!

(http://www.silverstonetek.com/images/products/sg13/sg13-back.jpg)

Note that you cannot mount a fan next to the PSU in your case.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on September 06, 2016, 01:01:14 PM
Understood. Thank you for explaining!

I will try mounting the case fan and report back :)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on September 06, 2016, 01:25:34 PM
One last quick question. The fan you suggested is not available for Prime Delivery and I'd like to get something asap so I don't fry my new hardware :)

I'm seeing that there are case fans for Static Pressure (SP) and Air Flow (AF).  People seem to recommend SP fans for areas where there is no much airspace and AF fans for areas where there is more airspace for maximum air moving... My situation seems to be somewhat in between - there's going to be nothing directly in front of the fan (i.e. a hard drive cage) but its a tiny case so air space in general is relatively small.

What would you suggest - for example out of these fans:

SP:
https://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-JetFlo-R4-JFDP-20PB-R1-Performance/dp/B00E20SSZ8/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00650P2ZC/

AF:
https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-AF120-Performance-Twin-Pack/dp/B007RESGD0
https://www.amazon.com/Anti-Stall-Bearing-PWM-Cooling-NF-S12A/dp/B00BEZZBFO/
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 06, 2016, 02:44:48 PM
One last quick question. The fan you suggested is not available for Prime Delivery and I'd like to get something asap so I don't fry my new hardware :)

I'm seeing that there are case fans for Static Pressure (SP) and Air Flow (AF).  People seem to recommend SP fans for areas where there is no much airspace and AF fans for areas where there is more airspace for maximum air moving... My situation seems to be somewhat in between - there's going to be nothing directly in front of the fan (i.e. a hard drive cage) but its a tiny case so air space in general is relatively small.

What would you suggest - for example out of these fans:

SP:
https://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-JetFlo-R4-JFDP-20PB-R1-Performance/dp/B00E20SSZ8/
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00650P2ZC/

AF:
https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-AF120-Performance-Twin-Pack/dp/B007RESGD0
https://www.amazon.com/Anti-Stall-Bearing-PWM-Cooling-NF-S12A/dp/B00BEZZBFO/

Static pressure fans are used for heatsinks and radiators. They essentially trade airflow for air pressure, because lots of airflow without a lot "torque" to back it up will stall when it encounters a fin array.

For your purposes, an Airflow fan is the right choice. I'd go with the Noctua NF-S12A PWM (http://amzn.to/2cyUu64). It's a high-end case fan that uses PWM for control. You'll plug in into the CPU_OPT header on your Gigabyte motherboard.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: pakmon22 on September 06, 2016, 03:38:44 PM
BigRed13

I used the recommended case with the ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Impact. I would highly recommend that mobo if you're thinking about swapping out. After digging into the research on the MOBO listed in the part list, I shied away. Apparently it has CPU issues in terms of performance (if memory serves me correctly).

Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Parachute on September 09, 2016, 05:19:47 AM
Hello Ari,

Thank you very much for your quick response!! After a lot of thinking, I finally bought all the components for the PC. I can't wait for the components to arrive and start building! Hehe...

I decided to take the Gigabyte GTX1060 as graphic card.

I still need to buy the monitor. I have seen the monitor guide and it's really interesting. Still I wanted to ask you a few recommendations for this specific build... considering the i5 with the Gigabyte GTX1060... Do you think I can easily run games in 1440p? or should I go with 1080p? I want games to run as smooth as possible, but I also work a lot with graphic and design applications, so any extra resolution is very welcome.

I have also read about gSync... but it seems to me a very specific feature that costs a lot... do you think it worths paying?

One last question... is there a tutorial or a guide that you recommend to see for the assembly? I'm good at these things but this will be my first computer assembled from scratch hehe...

Thanks!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 09, 2016, 10:04:12 AM
Hello Ari,

Thank you very much for your quick response!! After a lot of thinking, I finally bought all the components for the PC. I can't wait for the components to arrive and start building! Hehe...

I decided to take the Gigabyte GTX1060 as graphic card.

I still need to buy the monitor. I have seen the monitor guide and it's really interesting. Still I wanted to ask you a few recommendations for this specific build... considering the i5 with the Gigabyte GTX1060... Do you think I can easily run games in 1440p? or should I go with 1080p? I want games to run as smooth as possible, but I also work a lot with graphic and design applications, so any extra resolution is very welcome.

I have also read about gSync... but it seems to me a very specific feature that costs a lot... do you think it worths paying?

One last question... is there a tutorial or a guide that you recommend to see for the assembly? I'm good at these things but this will be my first computer assembled from scratch hehe...

Thanks!

I'm actually typing this message from TBG's RVZ01-E build right now, in preparation for publishing a full review. There are a few quirks related to building in this case, as the space inside is very tight.

(http://techbuyersguru.com/sites/default/files/pictures/Cases/CaseReviews/SilverStoneRVZ01E/RVZ01-E%20Build%20Scratch.JPG)

A few tips:

(1) there's an SSD mount/support bracket pre-installed right in front of the PSU cables. In my opinion, it's basically impossible to use if you have a modular power supply. It blocks the modular power outputs. I had to take it out, which makes the video card mounting a bit less stable.
(2) routing the front panel cables is very tricky - you'll want to lay these out around the edges of the case prior and connect them to your motherboard before installing the video card tray.
(3) This case is much better used in a vertical position. I would not recommend it for horizontal placement, both due to tension on the video card and due to how this will negatively impact cooling.

Take your time and be thoughtful about the build, however, and it will work great!

For your purposes (gaming and graphic design), you definitely want a 2560x1440 monitor, and it should use an IPS-type panel. If you are a big gamer, then yes, G-Sync is worth it, especially with a GTX 1060, which will work well on G-Sync at 1440p but will be a bit less smooth without G-Sync at 1440p, depending on the game. That means your two best options are the Asus PB278Q (http://amzn.to/28NhhzI) at around $400 or the Acer XB271HU (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0173PEX20/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0173PEX20&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=ZZSD5Z5BQCNEA5GN) at around. For design work, they are equally good, for gaming, the XB271HU is vastly better.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on September 13, 2016, 07:38:00 PM
Quote
Static pressure fans are used for heatsinks and radiators. They essentially trade airflow for air pressure, because lots of airflow without a lot "torque" to back it up will stall when it encounters a fin array.

For your purposes, an Airflow fan is the right choice. I'd go with the Noctua NF-S12A PWM. It's a high-end case fan that uses PWM for control. You'll plug in into the CPU_OPT header on your Gigabyte motherboard.

Hey Ari - finally getting around to installing that case fan.

Stupid question but which way do I orient the fan?  The part with the label and where the cable comes from is the exhaust side...do I want that facing the CPU or the outside of the case. In other words am I trying to blow cold air in or hot air out? I'm thinking its the latter but I wanted to make sure.

Also the Gigabyte mobo does not have a CPU_OPT header.  The only ones i see are CPU_FAN and SYS_FAN. I'm thinking i plug this fan into the SYS_FAN header (my CPU fan is already plugged into CPU_FAN).
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 13, 2016, 09:17:36 PM
Quote
Static pressure fans are used for heatsinks and radiators. They essentially trade airflow for air pressure, because lots of airflow without a lot "torque" to back it up will stall when it encounters a fin array.

For your purposes, an Airflow fan is the right choice. I'd go with the Noctua NF-S12A PWM. It's a high-end case fan that uses PWM for control. You'll plug in into the CPU_OPT header on your Gigabyte motherboard.

Hey Ari - finally getting around to installing that case fan.

Stupid question but which way do I orient the fan?  The part with the label and where the cable comes from is the exhaust side...do I want that facing the CPU or the outside of the case. In other words am I trying to blow cold air in or hot air out? I'm thinking its the latter but I wanted to make sure.

Also the Gigabyte mobo does not have a CPU_OPT header.  The only ones i see are CPU_FAN and SYS_FAN. I'm thinking i plug this fan into the SYS_FAN header (my CPU fan is already plugged into CPU_FAN).

Hey again, bigred13!

Actually, you want cool air being drawn into the case and pushed back through the rear of the case. That means you want the frame of the fan facing inwards. That's the exhaust side of any fan. The un-framed side is the intake. If you set the fan up as an exhaust, it would have little chance of pulling air out from the CPU area, which is at the back of the case.

By the way, you are correct: you don't have a CPU_OPT, so you'll be using the SYS_FAN header. I was thrown off because Gigabyte chose to place this header right next to the CPU_FAN header, and typically this is where the CPU_OPT goes.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on September 19, 2016, 10:11:00 AM
Thanks Ari - since I will need to tweak my build I'm considering just biting the bullet and swapping out the mobo once again so that I get full use out of my front USBs.

Would you still recommend the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming or has anything new and better come out in the interim? I saw someone recommended the ASUS ROG Maximus VII Impact but it seems a bit pricey and is not available for Prime Delivery on Amazon.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 19, 2016, 10:51:17 AM
Thanks Ari - since I will need to tweak my build I'm considering just biting the bullet and swapping out the mobo once again so that I get full use out of my front USBs.

Would you still recommend the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming or has anything new and better come out in the interim? I saw someone recommended the ASUS ROG Maximus VII Impact but it seems a bit pricey and is not available for Prime Delivery on Amazon.

I believe you're referring to the Asus ROG Maximus VIII Impact (http://amzn.to/2cNHbLs), which is available for $238.99 with Prime Delivery. It will allow you to use your front-mounted USB 3.0 ports, but I'm afraid you'll run into a clearance problem between the AR06 (http://amzn.to/2cCGOp5) cooler's heatpipes and the Impact's audio board. The odd, non-conforming layout of the Impact is why I do not recommend it in any of my guides, although I know readers still buy it, as it's the "best" ITX board on the market. For extreme overclockers, it may hold some promise, but it's not the right choice for a build in the SilverStone SG13 case (http://amzn.to/2cyrBDK).

I would still recommend the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming (http://amzn.to/2dbox1m), but if you want another alternative, I'd look at the MSI Z170I Gaming Pro AC (http://amzn.to/2d6dsTi). At the moment, it does not appear to be in stock, but is typically available for around $190.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: pakmon22 on September 19, 2016, 03:31:34 PM
Thanks Ari - since I will need to tweak my build I'm considering just biting the bullet and swapping out the mobo once again so that I get full use out of my front USBs.

Would you still recommend the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming or has anything new and better come out in the interim? I saw someone recommended the ASUS ROG Maximus VII Impact but it seems a bit pricey and is not available for Prime Delivery on Amazon.

Not sure where your mobo mounts are in the case you're using, but I used the Silverstone NT06-Pro with the Maximus VIII mobo. I can confirm it works and the audio segment of the mobo doesn't interfere. It isn't fun to deal with though, quite the opposite.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Parachute on September 19, 2016, 04:57:50 PM
Hello Ari,

I finally finished assembling my PC but I'm having a lot of problems =S...

The VIDEO CARD: If I connect a TV to the HDMI port of the Geforce 1060 (My monitor still haven't arrived), it loads windows and Ubuntu fine, but it can't show the BIOS (it seems it's a common problem with TVs). Therefore I borrowed an LG monitor from my office and tried that... but it shows a lot of horizontal lines and flickering on the monitor... BUT I can access the BIOS:

(http://i63.tinypic.com/2lmwj0h.jpg)

I thought maybe installing windows I could manage refresh rate and resolution to make the monitor work fine, so I installed windows... Still same problem in Windows (lines and flickering) while connected to the nVidia card. If I connect it to the MOBO it works fine with the monitor but it gives a lot of Blue Screens (this is while connected to the MOBO):

(http://i65.tinypic.com/28imc1g.jpg)

It seems it also has issues with the Hard Drives because it gives problems while writing or reading things. Actually it's been impossible to update drivers because it keeps giving blue screens every time I unzip a file or start a Setup...

PLEASE HELP!! Should I send any components back?? I hope I don't have to disassemble the full PC =S...



Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 19, 2016, 06:22:15 PM
Parachute, because there was a lot of back-and-forth on component picks previously, can you list out all the components you eventually purchased?

And as a first step, I'd remove the GeForce card from the system and run off of motherboard video only.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Parachute on September 19, 2016, 11:01:37 PM
Parachute, because there was a lot of back-and-forth on component picks previously, can you list out all the components you eventually purchased?

And as a first step, I'd remove the GeForce card from the system and run off of motherboard video only.

Hello Ari,

Here is my list of components:

Gigabyte GA-Z170N-WIFI Scheda Madre Intel Z170 i7/i5/i3/Celeron/Pentium, 2xDDR4

Gigabyte GTX1060 Gaming Scheda Grafica da 6 GB, VGA, Nero

Silverstone RVZ01B-E telecamera - Case per PC

Corsair CS550M, CP-9020076-EU Alimentatore ATX/EPS Serie CSM da 550 Watt, Semi Modulare con Certificazione 80 Plus, Gold

SanDisk X400 SSD Interno da 512 GB

Western Digital Wd10Jplx 1024Gb Esata Hard Disk

Intel Core i5 Processore, 6600K, 3,5 GHz

SilverStone NT06-PRO Dissipatore CPU Nitrogon 06, Nero

Corsair CMK16GX4M2B3000C15W Vengeance LPX Memoria DDR4 da 16GB, Set 2x8GB, 3000Mhz, XMP 2.0, Bianco

Another thing i've discovered is that I flickering and lines almost dissapear when lowering the resolution to 720p in windows...  This though a non-solution because the monitor is Full HD... =P

Also note that I'm using HDMI connector.

Thanks  :'(
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 20, 2016, 06:47:38 AM
The graphical corruption you see could in fact be due to using an old HDMI cable. I would still do all testing at this point without the video card until you get the system stable. I realize that removing the card from the RVZ01 case is difficult, but it's the best thing to do.

I am more concerned about the Blue screen errors. That shouldn't happen on a new system. As a reminder, your first step should be to install the motherboard drivers. Remember that all components should be at stock speed at this point
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Parachute on September 21, 2016, 12:12:32 AM
I changed monitor to the Dell UP2516D and at least the video works... Still I'm not convinced the video card is working fine...

Beside this I still get blue screens all the time. If I start in safe mode it seems I manage not to get them. Some of the errors I get are:

- "Kernel security check failure"

- "Bad Pool Header"

- "Critical structure corruption"

- "Driver overran stack buffer"

- "IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL"

I don't get to install the Motherboard drivers. I don't have an optical drive in the computer so I can't use the CD of the motherboard... If I try downloading them I get blue screen or they get corrupted. I tried copying the Motherboard DVD to a USB Pendrive and it gives an error saying this is not a CD...

I'm a bit stuck here =S...

Help me Ari Wan Kenobi... you're my only hope!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 21, 2016, 06:27:17 AM
Download the drivers onto a flash drive using another computer. Don't copy them from the DVD, go directly to the motherboard website.

You are clearly having errors caused by drivers. The only question is whether you have a hardware problem or it's just because you haven't installed the drivers.

And again, I recommend you remove the video card to conduct this testing. Leaving it in will only complicate the identification of problems.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Parachute on September 23, 2016, 01:44:44 AM
Hello Ari,

Good News! A few big steps forwad... We're almost there, but still not 100%...

Between the drivers of the motherboard I noticed these: Intel SATA Preinstall driver (For AHCI / RAID Mode)


The word "PREINSTALL" called my attention. During Windows Installation, in the moment it asks in which drive you want to install there was an option to install some drivers. I went there and I selected those "PREINSTALL" drivers... I tried installing other drivers but those were the only ones that worked.

AND YES... it worked... I managed to install windows and also download and install al the other drivers without any blue screens.

It seems to me that not having installed these SATA drivers would make the hard drives work wrong and corrupt the windows installation and downloaded files eventually giving Blue Screen... So I guess it would be good to advice people installing these drivers before installing windows.

--------------

After that I tried changing the setting for the XMP RAM... It continued to work fine for some time, but then I got Blue Screen again (anyway, much less frequent)... I SUPPOSED an incompatibility with the RAM. I went back to 2133 MHZ and it seems to work (I have try it for a bit longer). Do you think I could have some problem with my settings in the BIOS or something?

--------------

About the monitor problem... it continues to have the same problem with that monitor. I bought a new HDMI cable to try and it's still the same. It's strange because the monitor works well with other computers, or even when connected to the motherboard of that computer, and the computer works well with other monitors.

Do you think it can be a problem of the video card? I wouldn't want to keep a faulty card.

Thanks again for your patience...
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 23, 2016, 05:22:27 AM
Parachute,

Glad to hear you're making progress! A few thoughts:

(1) the pre-install AHCI drivers a are actually for older operating systems that may not have had their own AHCI drivers. Windows 10 doesn't need them. My guess is that if you got this working after installing some drivers, it was one of the other drivers that did it, or perhaps that Windows did a reinstall that corrected a problem with the original install.

(2) leave the RAM at stock settings for a week or so to ensure that the system is entirely stable before using the XMP setting. The history of bluescreens you've had makes blaming the RAM speed a bit difficult. You should use a stress test at this point, and I recommend CPU-Z. It's a small, safe program that will put a full load on the system to check for stability.

(3) It definitely sounds like you have a video card problem... But, there's another possibility. Due to the complex PCIe riser system used in the RVZ01 case, it's possible that there's a bad connection with the card. Do you have access to another video card to test, even a very inexpensive one? Returning the new video card sounds like the right approach, but if it's a problem with the riser or how you've installed it, a new card won't help the problem. By the way, just to confirm, you need to attach a power cable to the video card.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bigred13 on September 23, 2016, 11:39:54 AM
Hey Ari,

Wanted to share some good news with you.

Yesterday I fully rebuilt my mini-ITX build with the ASUS Pro Gaming Mobo and the Noctuna fan oriented in the correct direction. Fortunately this time there were no issues booting up with 2 RAM sticks and I was able to boost the RAM frequency to 3200 without issue. And with the better design layout on the Asus board (as compared to Gigabyte) I was able to reach the USB headers and utilize my front USB ports on my SG-13 case.

I initially ran into some issues during stress testing with Prime95 (on the mixed setting). The CPU instantly shot up to 90-100 degrees Celsius and stayed there. I kept this going for about 5 minutes and there were no crashes or noticeable performance deterioration.  I then did some research and lowered the CPU Voltage in the BIOS from 1.25 to 1.2. This caused the temperature to dip into the mid 80s during Prime95 stress testing.

I then played a game (Heros of the Storm) for several hours and noted that the temperature fluctuated in the mid 60's range. This was the same game that was causing me to be in 80's when I had the system running without a case fan and using the old Gigabyte mobo.

All in all I think that CPU temps in the 60's (approachings peaks of 70) is acceptable for about the maximum kind of load i expect to put this computer through. I might play some more intense games occasionally but I doubt this would cause the temperature to go beyond the low 70s.

Thanks again for all your help in getting this put together. Any final thoughts from you?

I will make another post listing all my final components and thoughts on the build.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 23, 2016, 01:24:09 PM
Hey Ari,

Wanted to share some good news with you.

Yesterday I fully rebuilt my mini-ITX build with the ASUS Pro Gaming Mobo and the Noctuna fan oriented in the correct direction. Fortunately this time there were no issues booting up with 2 RAM sticks and I was able to boost the RAM frequency to 3200 without issue. And with the better design layout on the Asus board (as compared to Gigabyte) I was able to reach the USB headers and utilize my front USB ports on my SG-13 case.

I initially ran into some issues during stress testing with Prime95 (on the mixed setting). The CPU instantly shot up to 90-100 degrees Celsius and stayed there. I kept this going for about 5 minutes and there were no crashes or noticeable performance deterioration.  I then did some research and lowered the CPU Voltage in the BIOS from 1.25 to 1.2. This caused the temperature to dip into the mid 80s during Prime95 stress testing.

I then played a game (Heros of the Storm) for several hours and noted that the temperature fluctuated in the mid 60's range. This was the same game that was causing me to be in 80's when I had the system running without a case fan and using the old Gigabyte mobo.

All in all I think that CPU temps in the 60's (approachings peaks of 70) is acceptable for about the maximum kind of load i expect to put this computer through. I might play some more intense games occasionally but I doubt this would cause the temperature to go beyond the low 70s.

Thanks again for all your help in getting this put together. Any final thoughts from you?

I will make another post listing all my final components and thoughts on the build.

bigred13,

This is all great news. Were you running a CPU overclock when you ran Prime95? A 1.25V indicates that somehow overclocking in engaged, as 1.12-1.18V should be the default at stock settings. Lowering it down to 1.2V was a good move, although if you're not overclocking (and in a small case like the SilverStone SG13 (http://amzn.to/2crjqIs) you might not want to), even lower would probably be stable, and definitely cooler.

By the way, the temps you're hitting are perfect for gaming, not a problem at all. Sure, a big air cooler would drop them more, but then again, a big air cooler would be practically the same size as your entire case! It's great to hear that the case fan helped. I'm a bit surprised SilverStone didn't include one, as it's practically essential for the SG13.

At this very moment, I'm actually going through bench testing of nine different low-profile CPU coolers, including the SilverStone AR06 (http://amzn.to/2cNuYbX), each mounted on the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming (http://amzn.to/2crj1FG). Stay tuned for more on that next week!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on September 23, 2016, 05:34:59 PM
I know a number of TBG readers are following this thread, so I thought I'd throw a teaser out to you all on the latest product roundup happening here at TBG: the low-profile cooler shootout! Here are all the contenders:

(http://techbuyersguru.com/sites/default/files/resize/pictures/CPUCoolers/CoolerReviews/TheLPShootout/TheLPCoolers-600x480.jpg)

As many of you have probably discovered already, I'm trying to make TBG the ultimate ITX resource on the 'net. Rounding up this many products for a single review wasn't easy, but TBG has won the trust of a number of manufacturers in the ITX space, and they've agreed to allow TBG to do a comprehensive analysis of their products, with the full knowledge that not every product will be declared a "winner." This is an exciting opportunity, and while it's going to take a whole lot of time to complete, hopefully you'll all learn a lot from it in the end!

Cheers,

Ari
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: greyhail on October 09, 2016, 11:11:16 AM
Hi again,

I've finalized all my parts into this: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/yaanmengk/saved/#view=9hzMpg
I'm thinking of waiting till black friday to get them off amazon UK.
Do you think there will be huge price difference if I bought it then or should i just go for it now.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on October 09, 2016, 01:07:28 PM
Hi again,

I've finalized all my parts into this: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/yaanmengk/saved/#view=9hzMpg
I'm thinking of waiting till black friday to get them off amazon UK.
Do you think there will be huge price difference if I bought it then or should i just go for it now.

There are actually a few issues with that build, greyhail. Some are critical, others are just a matter of preference. Here they are:

(1) you can't use a 3.5" hard drive in this build. It's either a video card OR the 3.5" drive. You can, however, use a 2.5" laptop-style hard drive.
(2) While I've run M.2 SSDs in the RVZ02 case, and it's actually feasible, unlike in most ITX cases, I don't actually recommend it. The video card's exhaust heat will soak the SSD, causing it to heat up to 55C or higher. That's really not good when it comes to SSD lifespan.
(3) You can't run DDR4-2400 RAM on an H170 board. It will drop down to the H170 limit, DDR4-2133.
(4) The SilverStone power supply is outdated. Don't buy it. Despite being gold-rated, it's loud due to its tiny fan.

If you haven't checked it out recently, visit the Slim Gaming PC Buyer's Guide (http://techbuyersguru.com/1200-slim-gaming-mini-itx-pc-build), which was just updated for October. It has what I believe are the best component picks for the RVZ02, and includes Amazon UK links for each one. You've downgraded the CPU and RAM and upgraded the GPU, which is OK if you're aware of the potential bottlenecking that may cause. For more information on that, see TBG's Gaming CPU Shootout (http://techbuyersguru.com/intels-core-i5-6600k-vs-i7-6700k-vs-i7-6900k-games), including the 6600K and 6700K. The 6600 you chose is equivalent to a stock 6600K, which is in the benchmarks.

For what it's worth, I'm typing this message on TBG's RVZ02 build, which includes a 6600K and GTX 1070 Founders Edition. It's an excellent system. You can use open-air 1070 models, but they won't run as cool as you might they will given benchmarks you see testing them in open benches. It's important to understand that open-air cards only work better when the heat they dump can be moved quickly out of the card's thermal envelope. Given that the RVZ02 does not use case fans, that's just not likely. I just checked Amazon UK and the Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 SC (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01G5DXPKW/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B01G5DXPKW&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-21) is an especially good price. I'd seriously recommend it for this build.

As for deals on Black Friday, I don't track the UK deals that closely, but if they're anything like the ones in the US, only two components have any chance of being on sale for Black Friday: the CPU and the SSD. Typically you'll see older CPUs discounted by about 10%, while SSDs may be discounted up to 20%. Everything else, including the video cards, will not be discounted. That's due to a combination of factors, primarily being that hot-selling products like video cards don't need to be discounted, niche products like ITX products aren't worth discounting (retailers have to put time into the marketing of such discounts), and finally, it's actually the manufacturers who decide what gets discounted, and only big ones like Intel will bother doing Black Friday promotions. A company like SilverStone just can't afford to spend a lot of time doing this kind of thing for a single day of sales.

To learn more about how things worked out during Black Friday 2015, check out the TBG Blog Post "Are Black Friday Sales Still the Real Deal?" (http://techbuyersguru.com/hotdealsblog/tbg-commentary-the-end-of-black-friday-as-we-know-it/), which I published shortly after the sales were over.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on October 09, 2016, 01:14:56 PM
In case followers of this thread missed it, the TBG Low-Profile Cooler Shootout (http://techbuyersguru.com/low-profile-cpu-cooler-shootout-striking-balance) went live last week. The two winners, based on extensive testing on an ITX motherboard, were the SilverStone AR06 (http://amzn.to/2e5xNrS) for slim cases like the SilverStone RVZ02 (http://amzn.to/2dEnQP8):

(http://techbuyersguru.com/sites/default/files/resize/pictures/CPUCoolers/CoolerReviews/TheLPShootout/SilverStoneAR06-395x400.JPG)

and the Noctua NH-L12 (http://amzn.to/2d17gv6) for larger cases like the Corsair Carbide Air 240 (http://amzn.to/2egQyI7):

(http://techbuyersguru.com/sites/default/files/resize/pictures/CPUCoolers/CoolerReviews/TheLPShootout/NoctuaNHL12-384x400.JPG)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on October 09, 2016, 02:01:25 PM
Thanks so much for your reply, if i wasnt looking to overclock my PC, would you still recommend getting the 6600K anyway?
i'll probably follow most of the parts off the other guide, but I wanna save where I can as I'm not going for an overclocking PC.

Should i move my posts to the other thread instead?

If you're not interested in overclocking, the Core i5-6600 is actually a good choice, just make sure not to pay extra for DDR4-2400 memory. If it's the same price or cheaper than DDR4-2133, there's no problem, as it will run just like DDR4-2133 on an H170 board. You can also split the difference and get an overclocking motherboard and a non-overclocking CPU, which will allow you to use memory overclocks. Something like DDR4-3000 will provide a significant performance boost without jeopardizing stability. For example, you could use the motherboard and memory listed in the Slim Gaming PC Buyer's Guide (http://techbuyersguru.com/1200-slim-gaming-mini-itx-pc-build), but stick with the Core i5-6600 as the CPU, which has the added benefit of coming with a cooler, which the 6600K does not. I think that setup is great for people looking to maximize performance while saving a bit of cash and avoiding instability.

No problem with keeping your posts here - as long as you're using a slim chassis like the RVZ02, this discussion will definitely help others.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: greyhail on October 09, 2016, 02:01:50 PM
I was posting on the other thread but I guess it makes more sense to continue our discussion, or more of you teaching me how this works haha.
So i've taken your advice and changed around my parts: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/yaanmengk/saved/#view=9hzMpg
I'm not looking to overclock my pc so I'm just wondering whether going for the 6600K processor is overkill?
Once again thank you so much for your time

edit: okay, i'm quite lost between all the tabs i have open. sorry
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on October 09, 2016, 02:25:01 PM
I was posting on the other thread but I guess it makes more sense to continue our discussion, or more of you teaching me how this works haha.
So i've taken your advice and changed around my parts: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/user/yaanmengk/saved/#view=9hzMpg
I'm not looking to overclock my pc so I'm just wondering whether going for the 6600K processor is overkill?
Once again thank you so much for your time

edit: okay, i'm quite lost between all the tabs i have open. sorry

Ha, ha, no problem!

That build list looks great, the only change I would make would be to use the faster, cheaper Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 kit (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0134EW7G8/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1634&creative=6738&creativeASIN=B0134EW7G8&linkCode=as2&tag=thtebusgu-21).

By the way, you should know that PCPP is not giving you the best prices on all that gear. I'm not sure how it does its filtering, but it could be by preferred vendors. To the extent you find the best prices on Amazon UK, definitely consider starting your shopping from The TBG Slim Gaming PC Guide (http://techbuyersguru.com/1200-slim-gaming-mini-itx-pc-build), which helps support regular updates to the guide. Thanks!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: greyhail on October 28, 2016, 06:27:46 AM
Hello,
I just wanted to say that i'm done building my Mini-ITX and it works like a champ!
I'm just missing a screen to go with it... going to wait till the prices come down for the 1440 monitors.
Thank you so much for all your help and input, you saved me loads of time with regards to research and such.
its also the first computer i've built by myself.

thanks again!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on October 28, 2016, 08:29:27 AM
Hello,
I just wanted to say that i'm done building my Mini-ITX and it works like a champ!
I'm just missing a screen to go with it... going to wait till the prices come down for the 1440 monitors.
Thank you so much for all your help and input, you saved me loads of time with regards to research and such.
its also the first computer i've built by myself.

thanks again!

This is great news, greyhail. Congratulations on your first build! Hopefully you'll find a 1440p monitor to go with it soon. One of the less expensive high-quality ones is the Asus PB278Q (http://amzn.to/2eZoZiU), but if you wanted G-Sync functionality, you'll need to spend quite a bit more.

By the way, perhaps you'd like to take some photos of your build and pass them along. It could then be added to the TBG Gallery (http://techbuyersguru.com/gallery).
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: wolf on December 12, 2016, 07:59:28 AM
Hi Ari,

i want to build your December Slim Gaming Mini-ITX PC build but I would like to exchange the processor with an i7-6700k.. Do I have to change some other parts of the build too?

So far I diddnエt overclock a CPU so I donエt know if I will do it which is leading me to an other question. You never recommend in your guids the i7-6700. Is there a reason you always add the k-version to your builds. Is it slower than the k version or is the only difference that you can overclock it? So even if I donエt want to overclock should I buy the i7-6700k?

Do you have a good guide for overclocking or maybe you are so familiar with this parts and this build that you can tell me some values for some easy overclocking which will work.
And I would change the case to the RVZ02B with the dustfilters just because i like the look more. Will the temperature in the case be a problem?

My main tasks with this PC will be editing pictures and videos, gaming and as an htpc and I want to keep it for a long time (maybe change the GPU after some years). Will this system be quite in htpc use even if overclocked?

Thanks for the help!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on December 12, 2016, 08:30:09 AM
Wolf,

Good questions there.  You can certainly use the 6700K, and got can even use the meshed RVZ02, but I would caution you that overclocking this combination will not be quiet. Just leave the 6700K at stock,  it's already highly clocked, much higher than the 6700 non-k. The 6700 non-k is good in some circumstances, but if you want quiet, you'll want the upgraded cooler in this guide,  rather than the Intel model that comes with the 6700 non-k.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: mrwhite47 on January 09, 2017, 09:43:50 PM
Hey Ari

First of all, congrads on setting up a specific site on ITX builds. As I travel around a lot, I had to leave my previous mid tower PC behind as it was just getting to lumpy to drag around. It was also in need of upgrading, so instead I decided to go for ITX. I知 in the process of putting together an order for this type of build. However, I had some questions I would like your opinion on.

First a small question on RAM compatibility. I can稚 find the Corsair suggested in the list of compatible memory of the Asrock motherboard. However, there is a very similar one on the list. Is this an oversight on Asrock? Should this be a worry?

Second larger question on the case. What is your view on the Fractal Design Node 202? Could this be a suitable alternative to the RVZ02B? It seems as though all the parts are compatible, except the CPU fan, which I would replace by the Noctua NH-L9i.
Additionally, the Node has the option to come with an integrated 450 PSU. However, I知 wondering if this unit may be too loud vs the Corsair one you suggest in the build. The main reason I would change the case is for aesthetics only, however I知 not willing to compromise on performance/noise/cooling. So if the node would present too many issues, I would still go for the Silverstone.

I also upgraded to a 1070 card as I intend to use this build for gaming mostly. You can find the proposed build here: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/46kJNN (https://pcpartpicker.com/list/46kJNN)

Happy to hear your thoughts

thanks
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on January 10, 2017, 11:12:12 AM
Hey Ari

First of all, congrads on setting up a specific site on ITX builds. As I travel around a lot, I had to leave my previous mid tower PC behind as it was just getting to lumpy to drag around. It was also in need of upgrading, so instead I decided to go for ITX. I知 in the process of putting together an order for this type of build. However, I had some questions I would like your opinion on.

First a small question on RAM compatibility. I can稚 find the Corsair suggested in the list of compatible memory of the Asrock motherboard. However, there is a very similar one on the list. Is this an oversight on Asrock? Should this be a worry?

Second larger question on the case. What is your view on the Fractal Design Node 202? Could this be a suitable alternative to the RVZ02B? It seems as though all the parts are compatible, except the CPU fan, which I would replace by the Noctua NH-L9i.
Additionally, the Node has the option to come with an integrated 450 PSU. However, I知 wondering if this unit may be too loud vs the Corsair one you suggest in the build. The main reason I would change the case is for aesthetics only, however I知 not willing to compromise on performance/noise/cooling. So if the node would present too many issues, I would still go for the Silverstone.

I also upgraded to a 1070 card as I intend to use this build for gaming mostly. You can find the proposed build here: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/46kJNN (https://pcpartpicker.com/list/46kJNN)

Happy to hear your thoughts

thanks

Welcome to the TBG Forum, mrwhite47. Lots of good questions here!

I'll break the answers into categories, as follows:

(1) RAM: You'll be OK with any DDR4-3000. Motherboard manufacturers don't actually test every model of memory, but in my experience, DDR4-3000 from a reputable manufacturer like Corsair is sure to work (it's what I use).

(2) Case: I previously recommended the Fractal Design Node 202 (http://amzn.to/2ia9lah) for the High-End ITX HTPC Guide, but it just didn't sell well. I do like that the 450W SFX power supply is custom-designed for a small case, meaning it has short cables. Unfortunately, they aren't modular, so that somewhat negates the advantage, and yes, its 80mm fan will be much, much louder than 92mm models like the Corsair SFX 450W Gold (http://amzn.to/2jrml7M). Furthermore, as you've realized, the SilverStone AR06 cooler will not fit, which is unfortunate, because it's leagues ahead of the Noctua  NH-L9i, which I no longer recommend in any guide - it's just not any better than Intel's stock cooler in terms of performance. Finally, the Node is at the limits of how small a case can be and still fit decent components. First of all, it does not have room for an optical drive, unlike the RVZ02 (http://amzn.to/2iafQdg)/ML08 (http://amzn.to/2jAbEUD). But second of all, it has even more limited venting, which just isn't great for a serious gaming machine. And that brings me to the next topic...

(3) Video Card: I don't believe the MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X (http://amzn.to/2jrta9j) will work well in the Node, for two reasons: (1) it's at the absolute limits of the case's size constraints, meaning installation and cabling will be quite difficult, and (2) it's going to be unable to exhaust sufficient air out of the case. The Node doesn't even have a vent at the bottom of the case, where most of the heat will be directed, which is a shocking oversight. The RVZ02 does have such a vent.

If you'd like to go with the Node, please use an externally-exhausting GTX 1070. I realize that these aren't very popular among "enthusiasts," but enthusiasts haven't actually tried running these cards in compact cases. I personally run a Titan X Pascal in an RVZ02, and it's barely passable. When I tested a GTX 1070 Founders Edition, however, it was wonderful, in that it was quiet and ran cool.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: mrwhite47 on January 10, 2017, 09:54:07 PM
Thanks Ari for this comprehensive response. I think, taking into account the issues you highlight, I will go for the Silverstone (even if it looks a bit plasticy :) ). I want things to run as cool and quiet as possible.

A quick follow up on the 1070. Would you recommend getting an externally-exhausting also in the Silverstone case? or am I more free to put any card in there, considering that the graphics card is in its own separated space? What would be your recommendation (the EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC of the 1500 build)?

thanks
Ian

 
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on January 10, 2017, 10:14:40 PM
Thanks Ari for this comprehensive response. I think, taking into account the issues you highlight, I will go for the Silverstone (even if it looks a bit plasticy :) ). I want things to run as cool and quiet as possible.

A quick follow up on the 1070. Would you recommend getting an externally-exhausting also in the Silverstone case? or am I more free to put any card in there, considering that the graphics card is in its own separated space? What would be your recommendation (the EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC of the 1500 build)?

thanks
Ian 

I think the SilverStone Raven is the right choice for a high-performance slim PC. You could even consider the RVZ01 (http://amzn.to/2jta6aE) or FTZ01 (http://amzn.to/2ibLSFK), which are a bit wider, but have better cooling. And the FTZ01 is most definitely not plasticky looking, especially the silver model (http://amzn.to/2jtfVF7), given that it's made entirely of aluminum!

I built up the newer RVZ01-E case with the EVGA GTX 1070 ACX, and it worked perfectly. You can read all about that combo in my full review (http://techbuyersguru.com/silverstone-raven-rvz01-e-itx-case-review). Note that I didn't particularly care for the RVZ01-E's reworking of the interior to fit ATX PSUs - they barely fit, and cause a cable management mess. But this doesn't apply to the original RVZ01 or FTZ01, which use SFX units.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: mrwhite47 on January 12, 2017, 03:07:29 AM
Hey Ari,

Thanks again for the tips. However, the plot seems to thicken. I visited a couple of local vendors who are stocking the Silverstone case and they were telling me the CPU i5 6600 is no longer stocked, but they are already selling the 7th gen i5 7600. I also see that you've updated some of the the January builds with the new Kaby lake CPUs, however, I can't seem to find an ITX mobo recommendation. The sellers were proposing me gigabyte H170N (however I'm wondering if is really compatible) or the MSI Z270I gaming pro carbon. The first vendor seemed quite adamant that getting the K version of the i5 7600 and the Z270 motherboard would not result in a big difference that would be noticeable if one doesn't overclock and that overclocking in the SFF case would not be advisable.
It seems I'm shooting at a moving target here.

Additionally on Graphics card, the same guy warned that when installing a graphics card wider than 4,78 inches, the graphics card holder needs to be removed. This would make transport a bit more delicate. Instead he proposed the Asus GTX 1070 Turbo, a blower type as you previously also suggested. What is your take on this?

thx again for all the help and tips.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on January 12, 2017, 05:42:40 AM
Your guy is partly correct.  The reason the guides haven't been updated to Kaby Lake is the lack of Z270 motherboards.  I expect them to arrive in quantity by the end of the month, but yes, the ultra expensive MSI Z270 Carbon is the first model I've seen available.  Unless your salesperson is willing to install a new 7th gen CPU in the Z170 motherboard and prove it boots, do not buy it.  Firmware updates for these boards arrived in November, and if his units have been on the shelf for a while, they will not support the 7000-series chips.

As for the video card, I recommended the EVGA ACX model because it fits. Tall cards like the Asus Strix do require removal of internal braces in the RVZ02, and I wouldn't bother with them. Due to the zero airflow of the RVZ02, all open air cards will perform similarly. The Asus Turbo will work, but is input recommend that card if it's a lot cheaper than the EVGA, as it's the Asus budget model.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on January 12, 2017, 01:06:07 PM
Update: This guide (http://techbuyersguru.com/1200-slim-gaming-mini-itx-pc-build) has now been updated with the latest Intel Kaby Lake components. While supply of Z270 ITX motherboards is extremely tight, I've located a good model for this system.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: mrwhite47 on January 12, 2017, 11:28:48 PM
Hey Ari

Thanks for your response and I saw you updated the guide. I'll be following the new advice. Hopefully they will get the mobo here soon. Will let you know how it goes.

Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: zaptor99 on January 17, 2017, 10:04:34 AM
I noticed some new Z270 motherborads have a new usb 3.1 header to use for front usb 3.1 ports.   Are are any new cases announced at CES that have front USB 3.1 ports?  Hopefully this can be included in future builds.
Thanks.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on January 17, 2017, 10:56:08 AM
I noticed some new Z270 motherborads have a new usb 3.1 header to use for front usb 3.1 ports.   Are are any new cases announced at CES that have front USB 3.1 ports?  Hopefully this can be included in future builds.
Thanks.

This is a great question, zaptor99, but unfortunately the answer is no, and the answer will continue to be no for quite some time in the ITX market, which is what I assume you're interested in given that you've posted in the Slim Gaming PC Thread.

Thermaltake's highest-end new case, the Tower 900 (http://ttpremium.com/product/the-tower-900/), doesn't have it, Corsair's newest case the Crystal 570X (http://www.corsair.com/en-us/crystal-series-570x-rgb-atx-mid-tower-case) doesn't have it, and none of SilverStone's newest cases have it either. In fact, SilverStone released its RL05 (http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=659&area=en) last year with USB 3.0 Type-C (not USB 3.1 Type-C), but didn't include any Type-C in its 2017 cases. And in what I consider a bad sign, CoolerMaster's brand-new Mastercase Maker 5t (http://www.coolermaster.com/case/mid-tower/mastercase-maker-5t/) dropped the single USB 3.0 Type-C connector that the original Maker 5 had, replacing it with USB 3.0 Type-A. As far as  I know, the only new case announced at CES with USB 3.1 Type-C is the $900 Phanteks Enthoo Elite, which isn't even available yet, and of course is targeted at cost-is-no-object buyers! This is likely an indication of where we'll be seeing USB 3.1 Type-C entering the market.

This is really a "chicken or the egg problem", which happens quite a lot in the PC industry. I discussed this with SilverStone, and even including just two USB 3.0 Type-A connectors and one USB 3.0 Type-C connector on its mid-priced RL05 required the use of a motherboard with dual USB 3.0 headers, which most boards didn't have in 2016. So you can imagine that this confused consumers and led to some pushback. Hence no Type-C at all on newer cases. Eventually of course all USB will be Type-C, and I think we'll be seeing many manufacturers switch to a single USB 3.0 Type-A and a single USB 3.0 Type-C later this year, as that should work off one USB 3.0 header. It will be several years, however, before USB 3.1 Type-C becomes close to mainstream, i.e., the point at which you'd see it in the <$100 cases used for the $1,200 Slim Gaming PC Guide.

And let's look again at motherboards. The cheapest ATX board I've found with a USB 3.1 header is the Asus Z270E (http://amzn.to/2jVJj7c), which is $200. And yet the brand-new Asus/NZXT Noctis 450 ROG Case (https://www.nzxt.com/products/noctis-450-rog) doesn't have USB 3.1 Type-C either, so what Asus thinks you're going to use that header for today is beyond me.

Not surprisingly, there isn't a single ITX board I've seen with the USB 3.1 Type-C header. And this makes sense: the USB 3.1 header is not backwards compatible with USB 3.0, let alone USB 2.0, so given how few cases can use USB 3.1 Type-C (one $900 supertower so far!), board manufacturers are going to put the USB 3.0 header on their boards before USB 3.1, especially in the ITX format.

The one piece of good news is that do-it-yourself PC builders will have a much better chance of keeping up with these changes than buyers of OEM systems, because over time you can replace a motherboard or case to gain these added features.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: zaptor99 on January 21, 2017, 04:30:53 PM
Thanks for the detailed answer.  I was surprised as well, I've always read that kaby lake/chipset will support native 3.1 so I assumed this is the year for them to be popular.  I saw the new Asus Z270I (https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/ROG-Strix-Z270I-Gaming/).  It has a USB 3.1 front panel connector but not sure if this is for USB-C type ports.  They put this header in the back of the board which seems odd.

Anyways, we shall wait and see.

Thanks again.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on January 21, 2017, 09:15:11 PM
Thanks for the detailed answer.  I was surprised as well, I've always read that kaby lake/chipset will support native 3.1 so I assumed this is the year for them to be popular.  I saw the new Asus Z270I (https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/ROG-Strix-Z270I-Gaming/).  It has a USB 3.1 front panel connector but not sure if this is for USB-C type ports.  They put this header in the back of the board which seems odd.

Anyways, we shall wait and see.

Thanks again.

Great catch on the new Asus Z270I. As you may know, I strongly recommended the Asus Z170I (http://amzn.to/2iPYm6j) on this site since the day it arrived on the market. It was by far the best all-around ITX board in the Skylake generation. The Z270I looks poised to take up that mantle, and several TBG readers have already mentioned on this forum that it's a board they're looking forward to. I must admit I had missed that it had a front panel USB 3.1 header, but that's in part because it's not a production board at this point; it's still in the pre-release stage. Like the Z170I, it looks like Asus is going to be last out of the gate with its ITX boards this generation. That's a bit odd, given that Asus was the first out of the gate with top-to-bottom Z270 ATX solutions, but maybe there really is something special about this ITX board that made it harder to get out quickly. The other great design element is the placement of the M.2 socket, at least in theory. We'll see it works in practice. You can see the discussion in this thread (http://techbuyersguru.com/forum/index.php?topic=324.msg3369#msg3369) on this forum.

In any event, Asus is still in a bind with its USB 3.1 connector given that not a single ITX case has been announced that can use it, and this may be why the company decided to locate it near the I/O panel, where no other header would ever be. For very compact ITX cases with short cables, this could be a significant issue, as it's about as far away from the front panel as it could be (the lower-left would be even worse). Cases are typically designed for USB headers to be located on the right edge of the board, so if case designers are doing their jobs, they're going to keep excess USB cabling to a minimum, as it tends to be very thick and hard to manage.

Again, thanks for bringing up this very interesting subject - I'm sure other readers will stumble upon this thread and learn something new!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: slai50 on March 16, 2017, 03:32:42 PM
I really like the case of this build. Is it possible to put in an i7-7700k processor and a GTX 1080 graphics card instead? If yes, would I need to change out any other components of this build?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on March 16, 2017, 06:18:46 PM
I really like the case of this build. Is it possible to put in an i7-7700k processor and a GTX 1080 graphics card instead? If yes, would I need to change out any other components of this build?

I am actually running a system like this in the slim RVZ02 case (http://amzn.to/2mV2L8C), and it works, but there are a few things to keep in mind. First, overclocking the 7700K (http://amzn.to/2nftLk7) is out of the question.  It will run far too hot. Second, the GTX 1080 will produce a lot of heat, and you're better off getting a GTX 1080 Founders Edition (http://amzn.to/2m7DQzL) with its blower cooler.

I know lots of folks say all sorts of bad things about blower coolers, which is why TBG actually tests this stuff.  I currently have three GTX 1080 cards (two open-air and one Founders Edition) being put through a cooling test in ATX and ITX cases, single and SLI, to demonstrate the true outcomes of blowers versus open air coolers.  Look for that next week!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: vorno on April 03, 2017, 05:36:19 PM
Hey guys,
Just saw the April 17 update to this guide - curious as to the details behind the changes. So there's a different motherboard and a different SSD.

Is the ASRock Z270M-ITX/ac much better? Or was this change based on price?
I was keen on the Gigabyte GA-Z270N-WiFi as it looks like I can get a hackintosh working on it.

Same for the SSD change. Is the Samsung drive faster somehow? It's more expensive and slightly smaller capacity.

Thanks!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on April 03, 2017, 08:35:22 PM
Hey guys,
Just saw the April 17 update to this guide - curious as to the details behind the changes. So there's a different motherboard and a different SSD.

Is the ASRock Z270M-ITX/ac much better? Or was this change based on price?
I was keen on the Gigabyte GA-Z270N-WiFi as it looks like I can get a hackintosh working on it.

Same for the SSD change. Is the Samsung drive faster somehow? It's more expensive and slightly smaller capacity.

Thanks!

All good questions, vorno!

The AsRock Z270 board (http://amzn.to/2nyGKJF) only recently became available, and it's a better price than the Gigabyte (http://amzn.to/2oTxDo1), and I do prefer its layout significantly for this particular system. Front-mounted SSD slot, better USB 3.0 placement.

You got everything right on the SSD selection. The Samsung 850 Evo (http://amzn.to/2n680Eh) is faster, more expensive, and lower capacity, making the Crucial MX300 (http://amzn.to/2oDxBS0) an equally good substitute.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: slai50 on April 13, 2017, 05:04:51 AM
if I was to use a ryzen 5 1600 cpu and gtx 1070 graphics card with this build, what other changes to the other components of this build would you recommend, if any?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on April 13, 2017, 07:26:05 AM
if I was to use a ryzen 5 1600 cpu and gtx 1070 graphics card with this build, what other changes to the other components of this build would you recommend, if any?

You'd need to change the motherboard and RAM, and would use the stock cooler, not an aftermarket model. TBG will consider moving this build to Ryzen next month, but for now cannot recommend this move as AM4 ITX boards are not yet available.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: PoisonViolet on April 13, 2017, 12:05:25 PM
Hey there  :) really enjoyed reading and learning a lot from this and other build's posted on the site, and from your reply's to others.

I have a few questions:
1-From what I could figure out, the RVZ02B model with the plastic windows (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0161UXXN8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_8?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A5MX45VH1BGD3) has no dust filters, and the other one which is all black (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0161UXX9W/ref=ox_sc_act_title_8?ie=UTF8&smid=A5MX45VH1BGD3&th=1) does have dust filters,is there a difference in air flow between the two ?
2- after some more research I saw some people recommend the Cryorig C7 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0177GTV9U/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2ZKSOM6XK2G3G), is there actual difference? or is it just personal preferences?
3- Oh, and another small thing, I'm not much of a gamer but sure like the option to play something if I all of a sudden feel like it and not stress about it,kind of already thought of the 3GB model due to lower budget. Does it still have reasonable performance or should I try and stick with the 6GB?
are there maybe other downgrade options you have in mind, or from the options available today the GeForce GTX 1060 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KQUDE2Y/ref=ox_sc_act_title_4?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER) is a pretty safe and reasonably priced item?

Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on April 13, 2017, 12:22:00 PM
Hey there  :) really enjoyed reading and learning a lot from this and other build's posted on the site, and from your reply's to others.

I have a few questions:
1-From what I could figure out, the RVZ02B model with the plastic windows (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0161UXXN8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_8?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A5MX45VH1BGD3) has no dust filters, and the other one which is all black (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0161UXX9W/ref=ox_sc_act_title_8?ie=UTF8&smid=A5MX45VH1BGD3&th=1) does have dust filters,is there a difference in air flow between the two ?
2- after some more research I saw some people recommend the Cryorig C7 (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0177GTV9U/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2ZKSOM6XK2G3G), is there actual difference? or is it just personal preferences?

Welcome to the forum, PoisonViolet!

Two good questions there.  As to the RVZ02, yes the all-black model (http://amzn.to/2orILJC) has a smaller vent with a mesh filter, while the acrylic version (http://amzn.to/2ocqWNg) has a much larger vent and no filter. In my experience, filters are only necessary when used with a case fan directly behind them. They otherwise catch very little dust, as little dust is drawn in from general negative pressure in cases. I therefore strongly recommend the acrylic RVZ02. The case attracts very little dust, but certainly needs all the airflow it can get.

The Cryorig C7 (http://amzn.to/2orGLB9) is a good alternative, but not one I've tested yet. I did, however, publish a review of the tower-style H7, and it was fantastic, so i expect nothing less from the C7. My only concern would be ITX case and motherboard compatibility, which you cannot take for granted. I believe, however, that Cryorig designed the cooler with this specific use in mind. Just note that it's much smaller than necessary for this build and I highly doubt it will perform as well as the larger Silverstone AR06 (http://amzn.to/2orCpKD).
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: PoisonViolet on April 13, 2017, 12:28:15 PM
Thanks for the super fast reply! 8)
I was a bit late, but I remembered another question I had, and I added it to my original post. sure like your opinion on it too please .
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on April 13, 2017, 08:55:54 PM
Thanks for the super fast reply! 8)
I was a bit late, but I remembered another question I had, and I added it to my original post. sure like your opinion on it too please .

Totally understand the desire to save a bit of money on the video card if gaming isn't a priority. As it turns out, I'm really not a big fan of the GTX 1060 3GB (http://amzn.to/2p28ED3). The truth is that it should never have been called a GTX 1060, because it's actually a significantly slower GPU. In other words, Nvidia's naming scheme is misleading. It doesn't help that 3GB is the bare minimum to support 1080p gaming today, and will be insufficient within a year or so.

I would either stick with the GTX 1060 6GB (http://amzn.to/2p28L1I), or if you'd like to save a bit of money, go with the Radeon RX 480 4GB (http://amzn.to/2nL4Ohj).
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: vorno on May 03, 2017, 04:00:57 AM
Hi Ari,

So I followed your guide (Feb 2017) and built a nice new PC. I bought the Silverstone ML08B-H Case for a more subtle look.
Also managed to install Mac OS and Windows on the M.2 drive. Very happy with it all.

One question for you. In Windows device manager, I have one component that is seemingly without a driver - the PCI Simple Comms Controller (see screenshot here http://imgur.com/a/dxvkL )

Should I find the driver for this? Is it a big deal? I'm a little reluctant to install a bunch of Intel software to fill up my system tray with not much benefit. Do you know which driver is best (GA-Z270N-Wifi board.)

Also, given I haven't built/installed Windows since Win2000 days (I had dual Celeron CPUs on an Abit BP6 mobo!), are there any performance tweaks I need to make to take full advantage of the hardware? Or is Win 10 pretty good out-of-the-box? I've got latest Nvidia driver installed, but I guess that's about it.

Thanks for wonderful guide!

Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on May 03, 2017, 09:16:42 AM
Hi Ari,

So I followed your guide (Feb 2017) and built a nice new PC. I bought the Silverstone ML08B-H Case for a more subtle look.
Also managed to install Mac OS and Windows on the M.2 drive. Very happy with it all.

One question for you. In Windows device manager, I have one component that is seemingly without a driver - the PCI Simple Comms Controller (see screenshot here http://imgur.com/a/dxvkL )

Should I find the driver for this? Is it a big deal? I'm a little reluctant to install a bunch of Intel software to fill up my system tray with not much benefit. Do you know which driver is best (GA-Z270N-Wifi board.)

Also, given I haven't built/installed Windows since Win2000 days (I had dual Celeron CPUs on an Abit BP6 mobo!), are there any performance tweaks I need to make to take full advantage of the hardware? Or is Win 10 pretty good out-of-the-box? I've got latest Nvidia driver installed, but I guess that's about it.

Thanks for wonderful guide!

Glad you like the build, vorno!

I totally understand your hesitation to install tons of poorly-described motherboard software, but it turns out that the error you're encountering would be fixed simply by installing the Intel Management Engine driver. You can read about the error here (http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/desktop-boards/000005754.html).

IME is always provided by motherboard manufacturers, including Gigabyte. Here's the download location (http://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-Z270N-WIFI-rev-10#support-dl) for your motherboard. You'll find IME in the chipset category. I'd strongly recommend you also install the audio and LAN drivers, as these will ensure an error-free experience.

In terms of tweaks, you really don't have to do too much, but make sure you've enabled the XMP profile for your high-end memory (assuming you purchased the DDR4-3000 kit in the guide). Also, given that you have an overclockable processor, you can always try adding a bit of speed to your system. Something like a 42x multiplier on the Core i5-7600K would be easy and trouble-free, with the board taking care of any additional voltage necessary. It will improve performance by about 10%.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: vorno on May 03, 2017, 08:09:12 PM
Thanks Ari,
I'll try installing the drivers in the next day or two.
Quick q about overclocking. What program(s) do you use to test the stability when you overclock?
Thanks again
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on May 04, 2017, 10:20:10 AM
Thanks Ari,
I'll try installing the drivers in the next day or two.
Quick q about overclocking. What program(s) do you use to test the stability when you overclock?
Thanks again

Keeping in mind that this system is not designed for extreme overclocking due to its limited cooling, I would recommend the following two applications:
(1) CPU-z (http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html), which allows you to monitor clock speed and voltage, and has a benchmarking program with a moderate stress test. I find this very good for determining if an overclock has actually taken effect and whether voltages are safe (I never, ever want to see anything above 1.35V for the CPU Vcore, and honestly for your system 1.25V would be the limit).
(2) Intel Burn Test (http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/Benchmarks/IntelBurnTest.shtml#download), which will immediately push any CPU cooler to 100% capacity and can easily cause CPUs to throttle by pushing them over 100C. It will report minor crashes and will lock up your system with a major crash. Sound scary? Just get a feel for it by using it at stock settings. It may be too much for the system even at that level.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: pixelsguy on June 02, 2017, 10:31:23 AM
Have you tried using the i7-7700k processor and the Asus ROG Strix Z270I Gaming motherboard (mostly b/c I need an optical audio out), as is used in the $1500 micro itx build, but in this case? I'm also thinking the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 8GB card would be a worthwhile upgrade. The i7's threading capabilities would be a boon for some of the games I'd look to play, which tend to be more CPU bottlenecked than GPU.

I wouldn't be including an optical drive, so there'd be more room for airflow, but it would be put into a spacious media cabinet with a mesh front, not truly open-air, but in a separate compartment from where other heat-producing components like an AVR are kept. I wonder if I should aim for using something more like the RVZ03 case, which has active cooling instead of passive?

Thanks for your insights and experience (and drive to share it)!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on June 02, 2017, 01:32:15 PM
Have you tried using the i7-7700k processor and the Asus ROG Strix Z270I Gaming motherboard (mostly b/c I need an optical audio out), as is used in the $1500 micro itx build, but in this case? I'm also thinking the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1070 G1 8GB card would be a worthwhile upgrade. The i7's threading capabilities would be a boon for some of the games I'd look to play, which tend to be more CPU bottlenecked than GPU.

I wouldn't be including an optical drive, so there'd be more room for airflow, but it would be put into a spacious media cabinet with a mesh front, not truly open-air, but in a separate compartment from where other heat-producing components like an AVR are kept. I wonder if I should aim for using something more like the RVZ03 case, which has active cooling instead of passive?

Thanks for your insights and experience (and drive to share it)!

Hey there pixelsguy!

Great questions there. I have indeed run the Asus Z270I (http://amzn.to/2rAKvE1) in the RVZ02 (http://amzn.to/2snkpmd) as well as the SG13 (http://amzn.to/2rAsO7J). It works without issue in either case.

I'm not a huge fan of the platform the RVZ03 is based on (the RVZ01-E), so I won't recommend it on the site. I've told SilverStone as much, even when they offered me a review sample of the RVZ03. I said no thanks.  ;)

In short, it's way too hard to build in, and the active cooling really doesn't make much of a difference as the CPU and GPU are right against the exterior panels in the RVZ02 anyway.

And yes, you can definitely go with the 7700K (http://amzn.to/2s2rLhs) and GTX 1070 G1 (http://amzn.to/2rkISd9). These are both excellent upgrades if you have the budget. The RVZ02 case can hold very long video cards, but has a harder time with tall cards, so the G1 is a very good match (it's long, but no taller than reference).
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: robs6 on June 15, 2017, 07:56:22 PM
Hi, Ari -

Many thanks for the wealth of info.   I'm planning on building your $1200.00 build based on the Asrock Z270-M-ITX/ac, but would prefer to deploy 32GB of RAM.   I noticed that there is a 2x16GB 3000 version of the Vengeance (CMK32GX4M2B3000 C15W) and was wondering whether there is any reason this could not be used.   Similarly, any reason (other than cost) why one could not upgrade to the 1TB version of the MX300 M.2 SSD that you can think of?

Best-
Rob
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on June 15, 2017, 08:27:19 PM
Hi, Ari -

Many thanks for the wealth of info.   I'm planning on building your $1200.00 build based on the Asrock Z270-M-ITX/ac, but would prefer to deploy 32GB of RAM.   I noticed that there is a 2x16GB 3000 version of the Vengeance (CMK32GX4M2B3000 C15W) and was wondering whether there is any reason this could not be used.   Similarly, any reason (other than cost) why one could not upgrade to the 1TB version of the MX300 M.2 SSD that you can think of?

Best-
Rob

Welcome to the TBG Forum, Rob!

You can absolutely go with the Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x16GB DDR4 3000 C15 Kit (http://amzn.to/2t7Z6oT). It's actually a surprisingly good deal right now, and I'd expect the price to go up on it soon, as it's less than the 4x8GB kit right now, which is unusual.

As for the Crucial MX300 1TB M.2 (http://amzn.to/2rmotC3), you can absolutely go with it as well.

One thing to note right now is that there's a run on the the supply of GTX 1060 video cards, as they're being scooped up for coin mining purposes. Just be aware that stock is going to get quite low and prices may continue to increase over the next few weeks.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: robs6 on June 15, 2017, 10:15:55 PM
Many thanks for the quick reply, Ari.

Incidentally, I was looking at the reviews for the Asrock Z270-M  motherboard on Newegg and saw that there were a couple of users who were not able to boot with 32GB unless a video card was plugged in.   A number of other reviewers listed 32GB as part of their configuration without noting any difficulties (don't remember whether they also listed a video card).  Asrock did reply to one of the users having problems to the effect that that the 2x16GB configuration should indeed work.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on June 15, 2017, 10:24:41 PM
Many thanks for the quick reply, Ari.

Incidentally, I was looking at the reviews for the Asrock Z270-M  motherboard on Newegg and saw that there were a couple of users who were not able to boot with 32GB unless a video card was plugged in.   A number of other reviewers listed 32GB as part of their configuration without noting any difficulties (don't remember whether they also listed a video card).  Asrock did reply to one of the users having problems to the effect that that the 2x16GB configuration should indeed work.

I checked out the user reviews you mentioned, and I really wouldn't worry too much about them. As indicated on AsRock's memory QVL (http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z270M-ITXac/index.asp#Memory), the Corsair CMK32GX4M2B3000C15 32GB kit (http://amzn.to/2t8DzMM) has been verified to work at its rated speed. If other users are having trouble, there's probably a bit of user error involved. A common issue is the failure to fully insert both RAM sticks, which can be unexpectedly tight with DDR4 modules for people not familiar with how they work differently from previous RAM types.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: robs6 on June 16, 2017, 05:12:46 PM
Hi, Ari -
The market for PC components is amazingly efficient!   I was planning to buy your recommended GTX 6GB 1060 Gaming board (EVGA 06G-P4-6161-KR) this afternoon, after having seen it on sale at Amazon and other places for around $240.00 this morning.  Two hours later, the board could not be found in stock anywhere (including local retailers such as Best Buy), and the price had risen to ~$300.00.   Wonder if it's all driven by Amazon's dynamic pricing algorithms.

I did find, however, a few places where you could buy the slightly more capable sister card, the EVGA 06G-P4-6163-KR, which has exactly the same memory, dimensions and max power dissipation figures as the 6161-KR.  The 6163-KR is also reputed to have a larger heatsink.  I found one at Newegg Business for the same price as what the 6161-KR had been earlier today.   Any reason this shouldn't work?  Thanks.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on June 16, 2017, 05:43:08 PM
That card will definitely work - it wasn't available when I posted a recommendation to you, and as I mentioned, the entire U.S. supply of GTX 1060 cards is under extreme pressure due to cryptocurrency mining.

You can actually pre-order it at Amazon (http://amzn.to/2rFApOT), for shipment in about a week. The price is quite good, so it's another option.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: robs6 on June 24, 2017, 12:06:05 AM
Hi, Ari -

Just finished putting together the $1200. Slim using your recommended components, except substituting a Crucial MX300 1TB M.2 SSD for the HDD.  Build went pretty smoothly - everything fit into the ML08 case with adequate clearance.

But here's the bad news.  I haven't tried installing Win10 as yet, but am noticing that the UEFI is not seeing the SSD in the M.2 slot either in the Advanced/Storage Configuration area (just says "Not Identified")  or in the Tools/System Browser interaction.   Similarly, it is not seeing the slim optical drive, though this latter is likely working, as it is making all the right noises at boot-up time.   Is this to be expected?  The installed UEFI has version 1.1.

Thanks as always - Rob

P.S.  Also don't see the Crucial listed among the qualified M.2 SATA devices for the Z240-M-ITX/AC on the Asrock site, though I gather that it should work.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on June 24, 2017, 07:24:03 AM
Rob,

One thing to note is that the M.2 slot shares resources with the SATA ports, specifically:

"If M2_1 is occupied by a SATA-type M.2 device, SATA3_0 will be disabled."

So I'd suggest you unplug the DVD drive for now to see whether the M.2 drive is seen in the UEFI. It should auto detect. If it doesn't, make sure the drive is fully seated in the slot.

Note that Asrock's support list is seriously out of date. It doesn't list most drives released in the past year. The truth is any M.2 drive will work, as long as it's the right length. Only up to 2280 lengths are supported.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: robs6 on June 24, 2017, 10:43:22 AM
Good catch!   I'd indeed used SATA_0 for the DVD drive - missed the note under M.2 in the install guide.  Have moved the drive to a different SATA port, and now that (though still not the M.2 SSD)  is reported by the UEFI and appears in the boot sequence.   Will see if the Windows installer does detect the SSD and report back - thanks so much.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: robs6 on June 24, 2017, 09:48:36 PM
Well, the Windows installer couldn't see the Crucial SSD either, so I removed it and replaced it with a Samsung PM961 M.2 1TB NVMe.   This latter was detected without problem, and the Windows install went through without a hitch.   

Given your comment that all 2280 M.2 SSD's should work, it seems likely that the Crucial is simply defective.  That doesn't surprise me too much because these M.2 boards are extremely thin, and so susceptible to hairline cracks in their traces if bent (mine was clearly warped in its packaging when I received it).

Incidentally, the Samsung PM961 M.2 1TB is an extremely good value now at $386.00 (www.mydigitaldiscount.com).  Also available on Amazon Prime from the same vendor for slightly more.   It is known to be an OEM near-equivalent to the Samsung 960 EVO, which has a street price of about $450.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on June 24, 2017, 10:11:40 PM
Well, the Windows installer couldn't see the Crucial SSD either, so I removed it and replaced it with a Samsung PM961 M.2 1TB NVMe.   This latter was detected without problem, and the Windows install went through without a hitch.   

Given your comment that all 2280 M.2 SSD's should work, it seems likely that the Crucial is simply defective.  That doesn't surprise me too much because these M.2 boards are extremely thin, and so susceptible to hairline cracks in their traces if bent (mine was clearly warped in its packaging when I received it).

Incidentally, the Samsung PM961 M.2 1TB is an extremely good value now at $386.00 (www.mydigitaldiscount.com).  Also available on Amazon Prime from the same vendor for slightly more.   It is known to be an OEM near-equivalent to the Samsung 960 EVO, which has a street price of about $450.

I wonder if Crucial is having a bad batch of these, because another TBG reader was posting on the forum today about his Crucial M.2 SSD not working. If a third reader mentions this, it might be three strikes and you're out, and I'll need to switch the buyer's guides.

The PM961 is a great drive. Did you just buy that as a replacement in the last day or so, or did you have it previously? I see Amazon has the PM961 1TB (http://amzn.to/2t8p0LW) for $400, which is a bit more than you paid but still a good deal versus the Samsung 960 Evo 1TB (http://amzn.to/2t8mG7T), which is strangely totally sold out at the moment, but was going for $450 recently. The big difference between OEM and retail is that you don't get a warranty, and you don't have Samsung Magician support. I personally use a number of Samsung drives, including an SM951, which is the equivalent of the 950 Pro. Runs great, benches great, just isn't recognized by Magician. So you lose some customization options. And a warranty, if that's important to you.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: robs6 on June 25, 2017, 12:55:19 AM
Interesting about the possibility of a bad batch --  ironically, I'm banging this out on a Win7 machine with two 500GB MX300's (SATA II) that I'd bought about seven years ago and never had any trouble with.

Bought the PM961 about a week ago for a different machine I'm building for myself (Asrock Z270 Gaming i7, i7-7700K, Fractal R5 case).   Am hoping that the current generation of SSDs fail either very early (as in the case of the Crucial, whose apparent death fortunately falls within the 30-day return period) or very late.  Do you have any opinions about this?  Am setting up a Synology NAS-based backup regime as insurance against data loss in any case.

The Z270-M is actually for my wife, who loves the idea of such a powerful machine in such a diminutive case -- she helped with the build  ;)

Incidentally, I think the Amazon listing you mentioned for the PM961 may be the one I was referring to, sold by MyDigitalDiscount.com. 



Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on June 25, 2017, 07:27:48 AM
Interesting about the possibility of a bad batch --  ironically, I'm banging this out on a Win7 machine with two 500GB MX300's (SATA II) that I'd bought about seven years ago and never had any trouble with.

Bought the PM961 about a week ago for a different machine I'm building for myself (Asrock Z270 Gaming i7, i7-7700K, Fractal R5 case).   Am hoping that the current generation of SSDs fail either very early (as in the case of the Crucial, whose apparent death fortunately falls within the 30-day return period) or very late.  Do you have any opinions about this?  Am setting up a Synology NAS-based backup regime as insurance against data loss in any case.

The Z270-M is actually for my wife, who loves the idea of such a powerful machine in such a diminutive case -- she helped with the build  ;)

Incidentally, I think the Amazon listing you mentioned for the PM961 may be the one I was referring to, sold by MyDigitalDiscount.com.

If you want something that has extreme longevity, you have to go with MLC NAND flash. And very few drives have that anymore, due to what's essentially been a race to the bottom on prices (not that you'd know it from current prices, which are caused by a supply shortage). So the reason your Crucial/Micron M300 drives (not MX300, which was just released last year, and what failed on you) worked so well was that it had a robust NAND design.

Here are the options I'd recommend for you:
(1) while it's expensive, the Samsung 960 Pro 512GB (http://amzn.to/2t9LBsh) is actually the ultimate drive in terms of performance and longevity, which is a nice combination. And it's actually on sale right now, down to $300 (its lowest price ever - it's usually at $330).

(2) Stepping down a notch in price, the older Samsung 850 Pro 512GB (http://amzn.to/2t8Y6nk) SATA drive also uses MLC NAND, but it's a total waste of money right now given its absurd price of $245, far more than it's been in years. If you want something in that price range, you'd go for the far superior $230 Plextor M8Pe 512GB M.2 PCIe (http://amzn.to/2sPJzdG), which uses MLC NAND. You could also go with the Toshiba OCZ RD400 512GB (http://amzn.to/2sFzaTt) at $240, which is a lot less than it debuted at ($400), but it's not the best client drive (more of a server-based design). By the way, Intel's 750 400GB drive (http://amzn.to/2t9tJNH) also uses MLC NAND, but isn't available in a standard M.2 format, and the price is terrible.

(3) One step below that is the MLC-based MyDigitalSSD BPX 480GB M.2 PCIe drive (http://amzn.to/2t9jjO6) at $200.

(4) Going down in price again, you must turn to older SATA-based drives to get MLC NAND. The best drive that you can still actually buy is the Mushkin Reactor 500GB 2.5" (http://amzn.to/2salFYo). It was never released in the M.2 format.

That's pretty much it. There are no other MLC-based drives available at this point at reasonable prices. I actually haven't gone through the exercise of listing those out before, and it's sad that's all that's left!

One thing I should make clear here, though, is that if your Crucial MX300 has indeed failed, it's not because TLC NAND is so bad it fails out of the box. It would still last many years. Something else must be wrong with it.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: PoisonViolet on June 25, 2017, 09:21:16 PM
Hello again!
I'm almost finished collecting all the components for this great build, but I have another small question.

I am not from the U.S, so i'm finding it a bit hard to get the ASRock (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N1MOFKZ/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_11?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER)
can you please recommend of any possible substitutions?

thanks for your help :)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on June 25, 2017, 11:03:53 PM
Hello again!
I'm almost finished collecting all the components for this great build, but I have another small question.

I am not from the U.S, so i'm finding it a bit hard to get the ASRock (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N1MOFKZ/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_11?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER)
can you please recommend of any possible substitutions?

thanks for your help :)

My favorite board is the Asus Z270I, but it's a lot more expensive. In the same price range as the Asrock the only option would be a Gigabyte Z270N-WiFi.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: sbi85 on October 09, 2017, 10:59:51 AM
Hey guys,

I love the upgrade of this system to the 8th gen now available.

The specs seem well adjusted. However I like the case of this one (https://techbuyersguru.com/1500-ultra-compact-mini-itx-pc-build) much better.
Do you see any issues if I would swap the cases? Should everything fit and work properly?

I was considering the i5-8600K CPU a bit but I would not overclock it and without that the difference seems marginal while the price gap is massive. Would you agree?

PS. I hope by the end of the month the ingredients will actually be available and not always out of stock (and in europe)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on October 09, 2017, 11:17:18 AM
Hey guys,

I love the upgrade of this system to the 8th gen now available.

The specs seem well adjusted. However I like the case of this one (https://techbuyersguru.com/1500-ultra-compact-mini-itx-pc-build) much better.
Do you see any issues if I would swap the cases? Should everything fit and work properly?

I was considering the i5-8600K CPU a bit but I would not overclock it and without that the difference seems marginal while the price gap is massive. Would you agree?

PS. I hope by the end of the month the ingredients will actually be available and not always out of stock (and in europe)

Welcome to the TBG Forum, sbi85!

You're not alone in hoping that these Intel parts actually become easier to buy. Even the Core i5-8400 is selling out here in the US, while the 8600K has not yet shipped, and the Core i7-8700K seems unlikely to even be released until November. A bit disappointing, but this is what companies do in the face of competition - they announce products early, before they are ready.

So, in terms of your interest in building the $1,200 system in the SilverStone SG13 (https://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Computer-Front-Panel-SG13B/dp/B00U8IS89E/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1507572806&sr=1-1&keywords=SilverStone+SG13&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=2d20a3155442684d477bad0bafaf2a38) case used in the $1,500 build, it can definitely be done, but you have to make a few adjustments. Because the SG13 has an ATX power supply mount, you need the SilverStone PP08 adapter (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Universal-Adapter-Bracket/dp/B01BYB33J8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1507572806&sr=1-2&keywords=SilverStone+SG13&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=ed39c8c7116bcad71436ffe5dfa30bdb) to use the smaller STX PSU standard. You also need to remember that you cannot use an optical drive in the SG13 case. As long as you're OK with these changes, the build will drop right in.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: sbi85 on October 09, 2017, 12:45:26 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome Ari :)

Yeah, I don't really need an optical drive nowadays. Very rarely would I use it, it would just be a waste of space and this little case looks so nicely compact.

I saw the Adapter and also the additional fan for the case itself. Awesome. It should be a nice upgrade to my Sandy Bridge PC.

Thanks for the help. I'll see if there is any sort of good deal I can actually snatch with Black Friday coming up and all.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: sbi85 on October 20, 2017, 04:26:00 AM
Hey guys,

I've seen that the build page changed to i7 7700 from the 8400. Understandable, but for my planning I'd stick to the 8400. I think parts will be available before Xmas when I am buying it (though you might have updated the build again by then).
Can you please list the parts that were with the 8400 processor? I think the change probably only affects the motherboard. Or CPU cooler also? Can't remember.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on October 20, 2017, 08:51:46 AM
Hey guys,

I've seen that the build page changed to i7 7700 from the 8400. Understandable, but for my planning I'd stick to the 8400. I think parts will be available before Xmas when I am buying it (though you might have updated the build again by then).
Can you please list the parts that were with the 8400 processor? I think the change probably only affects the motherboard. Or CPU cooler also? Can't remember.

Agreed that the Core i5-8400 will likely be available before Xmas, but it's unclear whether it will be here before the big Black Friday shopping week. As for the motherboard that was previously recommended, it's the ASRock Z370M-ItX/ac (http://www.anrdoezrs.net/links/7120282/type/dlg/https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157795), which is the only moderately-priced ITX board available. Remember, a chip like the 8400 cannot be overclocked, and should really be paired with an H-series motherboard, but Intel decided to only launch high-priced motherboards for this chip release.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: MaxmoDK on November 21, 2017, 04:03:54 AM
Hi Ari

I have been following this site for some month now and I'm finally ready to build my own mini-itx system, thanks to your amazing work. I'm trying to find some good offers on black friday and then get started.
I love the slim design of the Silverstone ML08B, but I my budget bigger than $1,200, therefor I wan't to upgrade some of the parts.
I play games like PUBG and battlefield 1 and the plan is to get a 144 MHz (2560x1440 resolution) monitor. I haven't been overclocking my computer, but maybe I would do so in the future, if the temperature would allow it in such a small case?
I have been looking to go with the following items based on your guides. Would you say that this build would be a great fit for the slim case?

Case: SilverStone ML08B (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Mini-ITX-Computer-ML08B-H/dp/B0161UXW9I/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1511286021&sr=8-1&keywords=silverstone+ml08bh&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=cf1fe9885ea8a4fa78a7e98acd5a10a6)
Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING (https://www.amazon.com/Z370-I-mini-ITX-Motherboard-Generation-Intel-Core-Processors/dp/B075RJ16BQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286040&sr=1-1&keywords=ASUS+ROG+STRIX+Z370-I+GAMING&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=0dcf8a7e9d71299802e68798cee1d984) (or MSI Z370I GAMING PRO CARBON AC (https://www.amazon.com/MSI-Z370I-GAMING-PRO-CARBON/dp/B0778N6CFK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286054&sr=1-1&keywords=MSI+Z370I+GAMING+PRO+CARBON+AC&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=8ddf38722f6a3a986dcb3788bfae9a7a))
CPU: i5-8600K (https://www.amazon.com/Intel-BX80684I58600K-Core-i5-8600K-Processor/dp/B0759FKH8K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286069&sr=1-1&keywords=i5-8600K&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=c62246fecfdd8a0877cdfccefa7e8e90)
RAM Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 Black (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-3000MHz-Desktop-Memory/dp/B0134EW7G8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286086&sr=1-3&keywords=Corsair+2x8GB+Vengeance+LPX+DDR4-3000+Black&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=0bf0a431c30c1638261978edc2daf4fc) (or DDR4-3200 (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-3200MHz-Desktop-Memory/dp/B01EI5ZRQY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286101&sr=1-3&keywords=Corsair+2x8GB+Vengeance+LPX+DDR4-3200+Black&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=feabb14cd06a72e57ea43bf2d72160ad) which is cheaper right now).
GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Mini 8GB (https://www.amazon.com/ZOTAC-Graphics-IceStorm-Backplate-ZT-P10710G-10P/dp/B076S4RT1J/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286128&sr=1-1&keywords=Zotac+GeForce+GTX+1070+Ti+Mini+8GB&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=d789febaa45ffbcf6e3b548349df16f6) (I own that already)
PSU: Corsair SF450 (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Factor-Modular-Certified-Warranty/dp/B01CGGOXWQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286143&sr=1-1&keywords=Corsair+SF450&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=b5b7ae8c3c133b4d347da940fbc78ee7) (or maybe the new SilverStone SST-SX500-G (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-SST-SX500-G-Improved-Capacitors/dp/B075M5FRQS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286185&sr=1-1&keywords=SilverStone+SST-SX500-G&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=a2e3a75aefdb19934a330fd688031d0c)?)
CPU cooler: SilverStone AR06 (https://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Low-Profile-Heatsink-LGA1155-AR06/dp/B00N4OBH92/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286158&sr=1-1&keywords=SilverStone+AR06&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=d889e213fc48e5601276883067e36323) (Can the new Noctua NH-L12S (https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NH-L12S-low-profile-cooler-quiet/dp/B075SF5QQ8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286171&sr=1-1&keywords=Noctua+NH-L12S&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=93c369b07fb0004865b815e4755fad43) be used instead?)
SSD: Samsung 960 EVO MZ-V6E500BW 500 GB (https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-EVO-Internal-MZ-V6E500BW/dp/B01M20VBU7/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286230&sr=1-1&keywords=Samsung+960+EVO+MZ-V6E500BW+500+GB&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=5acbc9137e1d25324cae177aebf2f9b3) (or WD Black PCIe WDS512G1X0C 512 GB (https://www.amazon.com/Black-512GB-Performance-SSD-WDS512G1X0C/dp/B01MR4VOBZ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286247&sr=1-1&keywords=WD+Black+PCIe+WDS512G1X0C+512+GB&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=f3bf504cf09a9ce61c0eb8b6ea6abcf6) or WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD WDS100T2B0B 1 TB (https://www.amazon.com/Blue-NAND-1TB-SSD-WDS100T2B0B/dp/B073SB2MXT/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286263&sr=1-1&keywords=WD+Blue+3D+NAND+SATA+SSD+WDS100T2B0B+1+TB&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=7a6293f2952ab20c79157092dbb232ef))
Second HDD: Seagate FireCuda 2TB Hybrid Hard Drive (https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-FireCuda-Gaming-2-5-Inch-ST2000LX001/dp/B01M1NHCZT/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286203&sr=1-4&keywords=Seagate+FireCuda+2TB+Hybrid+Hard+Drive&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=3314c49e8744dec722b4bdbc2badc84a) (alternative my old 512 GB Samsung evo SSD)

I took the ASUS ROG motherboard because it has 2 x M.2 and 7 USB ports. The ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac (https://www.amazon.com/ASRock-motherboard-Motherboards-Z370M-ITX-AC/dp/B07638L88W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286284&sr=1-1&keywords=ASRock+Z370M-ITX/ac&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=dc32ab18782ff724e79cac1b24405a62), don't have an optical output, so that is out of the question.
I'm in doubt about the SSD's, if I should go with lover speed and choose 1TB instead. I'm also skipping the dvd drive.

Thanks in advance
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on November 21, 2017, 10:04:11 AM
Hi Ari

I have been following this site for some month now and I'm finally ready to build my own mini-itx system, thanks to your amazing work. I'm trying to find some good offers on black friday and then get started.
I love the slim design of the Silverstone ML08B, but I my budget bigger than $1,200, therefor I wan't to upgrade some of the parts.
I play games like PUBG and battlefield 1 and the plan is to get a 144 MHz (2560x1440 resolution) monitor. I haven't been overclocking my computer, but maybe I would do so in the future, if the temperature would allow it in such a small case?
I have been looking to go with the following items based on your guides. Would you say that this build would be a great fit for the slim case?

Case: SilverStone ML08B (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Mini-ITX-Computer-ML08B-H/dp/B0161UXW9I/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1511286021&sr=8-1&keywords=silverstone+ml08bh&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=cf1fe9885ea8a4fa78a7e98acd5a10a6)
Motherboard: ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING (https://www.amazon.com/Z370-I-mini-ITX-Motherboard-Generation-Intel-Core-Processors/dp/B075RJ16BQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286040&sr=1-1&keywords=ASUS+ROG+STRIX+Z370-I+GAMING&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=0dcf8a7e9d71299802e68798cee1d984) (or MSI Z370I GAMING PRO CARBON AC (https://www.amazon.com/MSI-Z370I-GAMING-PRO-CARBON/dp/B0778N6CFK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286054&sr=1-1&keywords=MSI+Z370I+GAMING+PRO+CARBON+AC&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=8ddf38722f6a3a986dcb3788bfae9a7a))
CPU: i5-8600K (https://www.amazon.com/Intel-BX80684I58600K-Core-i5-8600K-Processor/dp/B0759FKH8K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286069&sr=1-1&keywords=i5-8600K&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=c62246fecfdd8a0877cdfccefa7e8e90)
RAM Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000 Black (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-3000MHz-Desktop-Memory/dp/B0134EW7G8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286086&sr=1-3&keywords=Corsair+2x8GB+Vengeance+LPX+DDR4-3000+Black&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=0bf0a431c30c1638261978edc2daf4fc) (or DDR4-3200 (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-3200MHz-Desktop-Memory/dp/B01EI5ZRQY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286101&sr=1-3&keywords=Corsair+2x8GB+Vengeance+LPX+DDR4-3200+Black&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=feabb14cd06a72e57ea43bf2d72160ad) which is cheaper right now).
GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 Ti Mini 8GB (https://www.amazon.com/ZOTAC-Graphics-IceStorm-Backplate-ZT-P10710G-10P/dp/B076S4RT1J/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286128&sr=1-1&keywords=Zotac+GeForce+GTX+1070+Ti+Mini+8GB&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=d789febaa45ffbcf6e3b548349df16f6) (I own that already)
PSU: Corsair SF450 (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Factor-Modular-Certified-Warranty/dp/B01CGGOXWQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286143&sr=1-1&keywords=Corsair+SF450&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=b5b7ae8c3c133b4d347da940fbc78ee7) (or maybe the new SilverStone SST-SX500-G (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-SST-SX500-G-Improved-Capacitors/dp/B075M5FRQS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286185&sr=1-1&keywords=SilverStone+SST-SX500-G&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=a2e3a75aefdb19934a330fd688031d0c)?)
CPU cooler: SilverStone AR06 (https://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Low-Profile-Heatsink-LGA1155-AR06/dp/B00N4OBH92/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286158&sr=1-1&keywords=SilverStone+AR06&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=d889e213fc48e5601276883067e36323) (Can the new Noctua NH-L12S (https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NH-L12S-low-profile-cooler-quiet/dp/B075SF5QQ8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286171&sr=1-1&keywords=Noctua+NH-L12S&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=93c369b07fb0004865b815e4755fad43) be used instead?)
SSD: Samsung 960 EVO MZ-V6E500BW 500 GB (https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-EVO-Internal-MZ-V6E500BW/dp/B01M20VBU7/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286230&sr=1-1&keywords=Samsung+960+EVO+MZ-V6E500BW+500+GB&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=5acbc9137e1d25324cae177aebf2f9b3) (or WD Black PCIe WDS512G1X0C 512 GB (https://www.amazon.com/Black-512GB-Performance-SSD-WDS512G1X0C/dp/B01MR4VOBZ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286247&sr=1-1&keywords=WD+Black+PCIe+WDS512G1X0C+512+GB&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=f3bf504cf09a9ce61c0eb8b6ea6abcf6) or WD Blue 3D NAND SATA SSD WDS100T2B0B 1 TB (https://www.amazon.com/Blue-NAND-1TB-SSD-WDS100T2B0B/dp/B073SB2MXT/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286263&sr=1-1&keywords=WD+Blue+3D+NAND+SATA+SSD+WDS100T2B0B+1+TB&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=7a6293f2952ab20c79157092dbb232ef))
Second HDD: Seagate FireCuda 2TB Hybrid Hard Drive (https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-FireCuda-Gaming-2-5-Inch-ST2000LX001/dp/B01M1NHCZT/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286203&sr=1-4&keywords=Seagate+FireCuda+2TB+Hybrid+Hard+Drive&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=3314c49e8744dec722b4bdbc2badc84a) (alternative my old 512 GB Samsung evo SSD)

I took the ASUS ROG motherboard because it has 2 x M.2 and 7 USB ports. The ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac (https://www.amazon.com/ASRock-motherboard-Motherboards-Z370M-ITX-AC/dp/B07638L88W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286284&sr=1-1&keywords=ASRock+Z370M-ITX/ac&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=dc32ab18782ff724e79cac1b24405a62), don't have an optical output, so that is out of the question.
I'm in doubt about the SSD's, if I should go with lover speed and choose 1TB instead. I'm also skipping the dvd drive.

Thanks in advance

Hello MaxmoDK, and welcome to the Forum? Can I assume you're in Denmark?!?

That's a very nice parts list you have there. A few thoughts for you:

(1) overclocking in this case is going to be quite limited, and no, the Noctua NH-L12S will not fit. I'd stick to stock speeds or a very small overclock (10%) with the Core i5-8600K. It won't help much for gaming paired with the 1070 Ti, which will be the limiting factor at 1440p in most games.
(2) The new SilverStone SX500-G has a bit more headroom than the SF450, and with your parts selections, I would recommend it.
(3) In the US, Corsair's DDR4-3000 is on Black Friday special, making it much cheaper than DDR4-3200 right now, but you should just get whatever is cheaper when you're ready to buy.
(4) Skip the WD Black PCIe drive. It's too slow. I'd go for the 960 Evo 500GB (https://aax-us-east.amazon-adsystem.com/x/c/QjLaXECiEi3zA1Gt6G9oTpoAAAFf3677RQEAAAFKAXL9X_E/https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-EVO-Internal-MZ-V6E500BW/dp/B01M20VBU7/ref=as_at/?creativeASIN=B01M20VBU7&imprToken=Ek4XMeLw3b8jEtSyXTOkIA&slotNum=11&s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286230&sr=1-1&keywords=Samsung+960+EVO+MZ-V6E500BW+500+GB&linkCode=w61&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=5acbc9137e1d25324cae177aebf2f9b3) paired with the FireCuda for a very nice combination of fast OS and games performance and a decent storage drive. I've tested the FireCuda 2TB, and it's pretty good with often-used applications that it keeps in cache. Alternatively, if you only wanted one drive and didn't need 2TB of capacity, then yes, I'd go with the WD Blue 3D 1TB (https://aax-us-east.amazon-adsystem.com/x/c/QjLaXECiEi3zA1Gt6G9oTpoAAAFf3677RQEAAAFKAXL9X_E/https://www.amazon.com/Blue-NAND-1TB-SSD-WDS100T2B0B/dp/B073SB2MXT/ref=as_at/?creativeASIN=B073SB2MXT&imprToken=Ek4XMeLw3b8jEtSyXTOkIA&slotNum=13&s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1511286263&sr=1-1&keywords=WD+Blue+3D+NAND+SATA+SSD+WDS100T2B0B+1+TB&linkCode=w61&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=7a6293f2952ab20c79157092dbb232ef). Most people really don't need more than 1TB of capacity, and having it all on a single fast SSD makes things simple and lag-free.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: MaxmoDK on November 21, 2017, 02:51:20 PM
Hi Ari

Thank you and yes I'm from and in Denmark.

I just have a few questions left.

1) I don't need to overclock. But would the i5-8600k still be the CPU to choose or should I pick the i7-8700?
2) I have a lot of data (2 TB on a second HDD right now), but the next step will be to buy the NAS Synologi DS218+, so I think I'm gonna pick the Samsung 960 EVO and buy the Seagate FireCuda until I'm ready and have a budget to try the NAS server.
3) I found out that I might have a problem with buying the SilverStone SST-SX500-G. It's not arrived to in Denmark yet, but maybe Amazon.co.uk is my friend. Is the SilverStone SST-SX500-G also quiet compared to the Corsair SF450?

Thank you for your fast reply and help. I will make sure to post some pictures when I'm building the case (probably mid december).
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on November 21, 2017, 02:59:26 PM
Hi Ari

Thank you and yes I'm from and in Denmark.

I just have a few questions left.

1) I don't need to overclock. But would the i5-8600k still be the CPU to choose or should I pick the i7-8700?
2) I have a lot of data (2 TB on a second HDD right now), but the next step will be to buy the NAS Synologi DS218+, so I think I'm gonna pick the Samsung 960 EVO and buy the Seagate FireCuda until I'm ready and have a budget to try the NAS server.
3) I found out that I might have a problem with buying the SilverStone SST-SX500-G. It's not arrived to in Denmark yet, but maybe Amazon.co.uk is my friend. Is the SilverStone SST-SX500-G also quiet compared to the Corsair SF450?

Thank you for your fast reply and help. I will make sure to post some pictures when I'm building the case (probably mid december).

The Core i7-8700 is a different class of processor than the Core i5-8600K. For gaming, I'd choose the 8600K, because even with mild overclocking it will outperform the 8700.

Sounds like your SSD choice has been made, makes sense given your heavy data storage needs.

The SilverStone SX500-G is actually louder than the Corsair SF450 at idle, but likely quieter at load, particularly because it has more overall capacity and the SF450 will be running pretty hard with the upgrades you're looking at.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: MaxmoDK on November 22, 2017, 01:02:28 AM
Hi Ari

Perfect, now everything is in place except the PSU. I just found out that it would be cheaper for me to buy the Corsair SF600 (around $10-15), since the SX500-G isn't available in Denmark yet. I guess it should be a no brainer to choose the SF600 instead? But I also don't mind spending $30-40 more on another PSU, if it would get me some lower temperatures and/or lower noise level.

Edit: I've seen on some forums and reviews that the SF600 is a bit loud. Have you had any problems with it? If that's the case, then I think that the SX500-G or even the SX650-G would be a better choise, if I can find some offers on Amazon.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: sbi85 on November 22, 2017, 06:45:11 AM
Hey guys,

I just wanted to check the RAM.
There is the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz in the guide. Which I can get for around 」165.58.
However things like a HyperX Predator 16GB (2x8GB) CL15 3000MHz DDR4 is available at 」109.99.

Is there such a difference in performance?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on November 22, 2017, 07:47:37 AM
Hey guys,

I just wanted to check the RAM.
There is the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz in the guide. Which I can get for around 」165.58.
However things like a HyperX Predator 16GB (2x8GB) CL15 3000MHz DDR4 is available at 」109.99.

Is there such a difference in performance?

Hey there sbi85, and welcome to the Forum!

Right now, RAM prices are increasing at a very fast pace, due to a massive chip shortage. The price you found for the Predator RAM seems very unlikely to be correct. Is it actually in stock at that price? If so, get it while you can. The Corsair RAM is closer to the worldwide average right now for DDR4-3000. The one thing I don't like about it for this build is that its extremely high profile, and will limit cooler upgrade options in the future, although the cooler recommended in the guide will work just fine.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on November 22, 2017, 07:53:00 AM
Hi Ari

Perfect, now everything is in place except the PSU. I just found out that it would be cheaper for me to buy the Corsair SF600 (around $10-15), since the SX500-G isn't available in Denmark yet. I guess it should be a no brainer to choose the SF600 instead? But I also don't mind spending $30-40 more on another PSU, if it would get me some lower temperatures and/or lower noise level.

Edit: I've seen on some forums and reviews that the SF600 is a bit loud. Have you had any problems with it? If that's the case, then I think that the SX500-G or even the SX650-G would be a better choise, if I can find some offers on Amazon.

MaxmoDK - I haven't personally used the SF600, but I do think it's pushing the limits for the cooling system Corsair is using. One of the issues is that Corsair uses a zero-fan mode, so it's silent at idle, but it can heat up during this time and then require a much faster fan once it hits high load. Keep in mind that these small PSUs do tend to be a bit louder at load than other models. I've tested a variety of SFX and SFX-L models, and if you'd like the ultimate setup, go with SilverStone's SFX-L unit (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Silent-Modular-SX700-LPT/dp/B01G26SMTQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1511365881&sr=8-2&keywords=silverstone+sfx-l&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=f0b9a3dfccbb2fd8006bde484cfd3458). This is a truly phenomenal PSU, and will fit fine in the slim gaming build. It's far over-spec'd for the build as set forth in the guide, but you're making some upgrades that make it worthwhile. And it is amazingly quiet. Far, far better than either the SX650-G or Corsair SF600. It's a truly premium PSU.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: MaxmoDK on November 22, 2017, 11:17:22 AM
Ari - The PSU looks great, but it also looks like it uses some kind of zero-fan mode, so would it also give me some problems?

But I think this PSU might be the right choise, even though I've seen that others had some problems with the fan controller.

I just hope that the temps won't get too high in this small case. You're sure that ML08 can handle it or should I find an alternative case with a bit more room in it? I still want's a slim like the ML08 or FTZ01, but I don't see many other alternatives.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on November 22, 2017, 12:51:58 PM
Ari - The PSU looks great, but it also looks like it uses some kind of zero-fan mode, so would it also give me some problems?

But I think this PSU might be the right choise, even though I've seen that others had some problems with the fan controller.

I just hope that the temps won't get too high in this small case. You're sure that ML08 can handle it or should I find an alternative case with a bit more room in it? I still want's a slim like the ML08 or FTZ01, but I don't see many other alternatives.

You won't find a better setup than this. Slim cases are always somewhat limited by design. The SX700 power supply is in a completely different class of products than the ones you've read about with zero fan issues.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: sbi85 on November 24, 2017, 02:50:59 AM
Hey guys,

I just wanted to check the RAM.
There is the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz in the guide. Which I can get for around 」165.58.
However things like a HyperX Predator 16GB (2x8GB) CL15 3000MHz DDR4 is available at 」109.99.

Is there such a difference in performance?


Hey there sbi85, and welcome to the Forum!

Right now, RAM prices are increasing at a very fast pace, due to a massive chip shortage. The price you found for the Predator RAM seems very unlikely to be correct. Is it actually in stock at that price? If so, get it while you can. The Corsair RAM is closer to the worldwide average right now for DDR4-3000. The one thing I don't like about it for this build is that its extremely high profile, and will limit cooler upgrade options in the future, although the cooler recommended in the guide will work just fine.

You might be right. The price is there but the item is unavailable: https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/hyperx-predator-16gb-2x8gb-cl15-3000mhz-ddr4-desktop-memory-black-a52wx
I hope to find a place where the Corsair one is discounted during Black friday.
So you DO recommend buying the RAM now regardless of discounts then?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on November 24, 2017, 06:03:41 AM
Hey guys,

I just wanted to check the RAM.
There is the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz in the guide. Which I can get for around 」165.58.
However things like a HyperX Predator 16GB (2x8GB) CL15 3000MHz DDR4 is available at 」109.99.

Is there such a difference in performance?


Hey there sbi85, and welcome to the Forum!

Right now, RAM prices are increasing at a very fast pace, due to a massive chip shortage. The price you found for the Predator RAM seems very unlikely to be correct. Is it actually in stock at that price? If so, get it while you can. The Corsair RAM is closer to the worldwide average right now for DDR4-3000. The one thing I don't like about it for this build is that its extremely high profile, and will limit cooler upgrade options in the future, although the cooler recommended in the guide will work just fine.

You might be right. The price is there but the item is unavailable: https://www.maplin.co.uk/p/hyperx-predator-16gb-2x8gb-cl15-3000mhz-ddr4-desktop-memory-black-a52wx
I hope to find a place where the Corsair one is discounted during Black friday.
So you DO recommend buying the RAM now regardless of discounts then?

You will not find many discounts on RAM for Black Friday. And since it's only going to get more expensive from now until mid-2018, well, you're kind of stuck. Yes, you should buy it now if you want to buy it at all.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: palbarta on December 01, 2017, 02:31:55 AM
Hi Ari,

I have been looking at your great guide for some time and I decided a few weeks ago that I am gonna build it for my xmas vacation. However I got totally confused over the last few weeks about the CPU situation. Most of my confusion probably comes from the i5 8400 shortage. I checked some tests and it seems to me that:
- i5 8400 has ~10% advantage over the Ryzen 1600x in FPS (gaming ofc)
- 65W vs 95W -> more power headroom for the other parts, great because of the somewhat limited 450W PU
- 65W vs 95W -> easier to keep it cool, great for the slim case
- Ryzen is better when heavy multithreading is needed -> but for games that's usually not the case
- 8400 includes a GPU -> for games that probably does not really matter, but still it makes it more versatile and flexible

So in the end I would say 8400 is better for this build if I don't plan to do any kind of heavy multithreading (like rendering). One could argue about the price, but Ryzen does not have a cooler while 8400 has a stock cooler and after some research I found that it's probably enough for gaming.

In Hungary currently:
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X + ASRock AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac + Noctua NH-L9a-AM4  = ~430 USD in local currency, which is exactly the price point for i5 8400 preorder + Z370 mATX preorder (should be arriving in 2 weeks). And i5-8400 currently has a huge premium on it because of the shortage and Z370 is an overkill for this build - and still if both configs would be both available right now then 8400 + Z370 would be the better choice because of its performance for the same price.

But I think about canceling my preorder and see what happens in the next few weeks, because I would say that either the suggested retail price won't be happening for 8400 anytime soon or AMD has to adjust its prices as well, and also the non-Z boards should be coming in January. Every way I look at it the suggested $182.00 - $187.00 for i5-8400 currently seems too good to be true at the moment, but if that will be the price when the shortage will be solved (which Intel promised by mid-dec, so it's 2 weeks away) then I think it's clearly the winner in my book for that price - actually even with a Z370. So I expect the prices to go lower significantly in the next 2 weeks. I know that it's a waiting game that never ends because a newer and better stuff is always coming but now I got totally excited about 8400 and it's realtively low suggested price, so I give it 2-3 weeks to see what's happening and maybe I can still grab one before xmas :)

Also it was quite interesting that in DX12 games Ryzen seemed to perform quite better than 8400. I don't know what it means for the future, but it's exciting as hell for sure :)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on December 01, 2017, 07:56:50 AM
Hi Ari,

I have been looking at your great guide for some time and I decided a few weeks ago that I am gonna build it for my xmas vacation. However I got totally confused over the last few weeks about the CPU situation. Most of my confusion probably comes from the i5 8400 shortage. I checked some tests and it seems to me that:
- i5 8400 has ~10% advantage over the Ryzen 1600x in FPS (gaming ofc)
- 65W vs 95W -> more power headroom for the other parts, great because of the somewhat limited 450W PU
- 65W vs 95W -> easier to keep it cool, great for the slim case
- Ryzen is better when heavy multithreading is needed -> but for games that's usually not the case
- 8400 includes a GPU -> for games that probably does not really matter, but still it makes it more versatile and flexible

So in the end I would say 8400 is better for this build if I don't plan to do any kind of heavy multithreading (like rendering). One could argue about the price, but Ryzen does not have a cooler while 8400 has a stock cooler and after some research I found that it's probably enough for gaming.

In Hungary currently:
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X + ASRock AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac + Noctua NH-L9a-AM4  = ~430 USD in local currency, which is exactly the price point for i5 8400 preorder + Z370 mATX preorder (should be arriving in 2 weeks). And i5-8400 currently has a huge premium on it because of the shortage and Z370 is an overkill for this build - and still if both configs would be both available right now then 8400 + Z370 would be the better choice because of its performance for the same price.

But I think about canceling my preorder and see what happens in the next few weeks, because I would say that either the suggested retail price won't be happening for 8400 anytime soon or AMD has to adjust its prices as well, and also the non-Z boards should be coming in January. Every way I look at it the suggested $182.00 - $187.00 for i5-8400 currently seems too good to be true at the moment, but if that will be the price when the shortage will be solved (which Intel promised by mid-dec, so it's 2 weeks away) then I think it's clearly the winner in my book for that price - actually even with a Z370. So I expect the prices to go lower significantly in the next 2 weeks. I know that it's a waiting game that never ends because a newer and better stuff is always coming but now I got totally excited about 8400 and it's realtively low suggested price, so I give it 2-3 weeks to see what's happening and maybe I can still grab one before xmas :)

Also it was quite interesting that in DX12 games Ryzen seemed to perform quite better than 8400. I don't know what it means for the future, but it's exciting as hell for sure :)

There's just one catch, palbarta...

The Core i5-8400 doesn't exist in the United States. Intel is allocating its extremely limited production capacity to the Core i7-8700K right now, which is the only Coffee Lake six-core you can reliably buy. If things are different where you live, go for the 8400, it's a very nice CPU.

And good luck getting non-Z boards in January. Intel may promise that, but board partners like Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI have been totally burned by Intel and its delayed product releases. They have a huge inventory of Z boards sitting around, even offering rebates on some of them.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: palbarta on December 01, 2017, 08:06:32 AM
I thought that in the US you have the same situation as here: very limited stock for an inflated (+20-25%) price. My point was that even with the inflated price and the Z board maybe it's still worth getting it. I wouldn't have thought that the 8400 is completely non-existent in the US at the moment.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on December 01, 2017, 08:11:13 AM
I thought that in the US you have the same situation as here: very limited stock for an inflated (+20-25%) price. My point was that even with the inflated price and the Z board maybe it's still worth getting it. I wouldn't have thought that the 8400 is completely non-existent in the US at the moment.

The Core i5-8400 cannot be purchased in the US.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: JARUNIT on December 02, 2017, 01:43:18 PM
Hi Ari thanks for such a great website. I am working through getting parts together almost exactly as per the parts you have recommended except for the GPU, I am planning to go for a G1 1070 which from your earlier comments is a good upgrade and fit for this case?

Secondly the nominated cooler is a bit difficult to come by here in Australia, I was wondering if there was a good alternative you might also recommend?

Thanks again
Jaime
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on December 02, 2017, 02:28:57 PM
Hi Ari thanks for such a great website. I am working through getting parts together almost exactly as per the parts you have recommended except for the GPU, I am planning to go for a G1 1070 which from your earlier comments is a good upgrade and fit for this case?

Secondly the nominated cooler is a bit difficult to come by here in Australia, I was wondering if there was a good alternative you might also recommend?

Thanks again
Jaime

Welcome to the Forum, Jaime!

The GTX 1070 is a great upgrade for this build, as would be the GTX 1070 Ti, which may be a better value at this point (it's 15% faster, and often just 5-10% more expensive in the US). Just note that you should avoid any models that are more than two slots wide, and you should also avoid models that are very tall. Length isn't an issue in this case, but these other dimensions are. A good choice is the EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 (https://www.amazon.com/EVGA-GeForce-GAMING-Support-08G-P4-5173-KR/dp/B01KVZBNY0/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1512253331&sr=1-1&keywords=EVGA+GeForce+GTX+1070&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=22b3309ccb9c95f9e11fd97c55a36605) or EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (http://EVGA GeForce GTX 1070) model.

In terms of a cooler, you need to make sure that any cooler you buy is 58mm tall or less, and has an AM4 bracket (if you're building the new AMD Ryzen-based system). There are very few low-profile coolers with that type of mount, but many have optional mounts that you can get for free or at a nominal cost from the manufacturer. Some options are the Cryorig C7 (https://www.amazon.com/Cryorig-CR-C7A-Flow-Heatsink-47mm/dp/B0177GTV9U/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1512253431&sr=1-1&keywords=cryorig+c7&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=1c099d5a837caa0c774d8624fb16df7d) and SilverStone AR06 (https://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-Low-Profile-Heatsink-LGA1155-AR06/dp/B00N4OBH92/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1512253554&sr=1-1&keywords=SilverStone+AR06&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=1170368b5fee92d06c9a62dc2720acb4). In theory the Scythe Big Shuriken Rev. B (https://www.amazon.com/Scythe-SCBSK-2100-Shuriken-Cooler-Socket/dp/B0069CQ7BE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1512253571&sr=1-1&keywords=big+shuriken+2+rev.+b&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=efcc3a00698629921b2f53e7bb74a9eb) would fit, but I don't believe Scythe has released an AM4 retrofit kit for this cooler.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: t3nshi on December 15, 2017, 09:21:34 PM
Hi, new to this forum and a total noob at PC building! I'm trying to make my first PC for the first time, and I was wondering if I could have some advice.

I'm find this build very interesting because it sounds like it would be good for digital art (Photoshop, Maya maybe?) as well as gaming.

The problem is, I live in Japan, and I can't find some of the components (mainly the Video card and the cooler).
I looked at November's build and its component for those parts (Cooler: SilverStone AR06, Video card:
Zotac GeForce GTX 1060 6GB Mini) and I found that I can get those here.
Would they still be compatible with the other parts? I suppose it wouldn't be a problem for the cooler, but I really have no experience on this.

In case not, can you recommend me a good graphic card? Keep in mind that I will go dual screen at some point, possibly hooking up a big cintiq to the PC.

I was also thinking of upping the RAM a bit, since I was thinking of doing some real-time art streamings from time to time, and I want to be sure to be able to do it without too much of a problem. Do you think it would be necessary to do so? And in that case, what component do you recommend?

Thank you in advance for your attention!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on December 15, 2017, 10:15:40 PM
Welcome, t3nshi!

Sounds like you have some very interesting uses for your PC. Great that you're looking to build a PC for your art creation.

This build now uses a Ryzen processor from AMD. That limits cooler choices somewhat.  You cannot use the Silverstone AR06, as there is no socket AM4 (Ryzen) adapter from Silverstone for this model. If the Noctua in the guide is unavailable, another option is the Cryorig C7 (http://www.cryorig.com/c7_us.php), which you can order an AM4 adapter for.

I can't imagine your art streaming will need more than 16GB, and with RAM prices at all time highs, now is not a good time to buy more than you need.

As for the video card, any of the smaller models will work, including the Zotac.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: t3nshi on December 16, 2017, 12:02:50 AM
Thank you very much!

My current machine is a Cintiq Companion, and it got very old very quickly. Even some game making programs that shouldn't be too taxing like Game Maker Studio 2 make it sweat, and I really need to step up my game-making game ;)

Also, since I don't know when I'll go away from Japan and move back to Italy, I'd rather make an SFF, so it's easier to take abroad!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: sbi85 on January 02, 2018, 01:38:13 AM
Hi Ari,

I have been looking at your great guide for some time and I decided a few weeks ago that I am gonna build it for my xmas vacation. However I got totally confused over the last few weeks about the CPU situation. Most of my confusion probably comes from the i5 8400 shortage. I checked some tests and it seems to me that:
- i5 8400 has ~10% advantage over the Ryzen 1600x in FPS (gaming ofc)
- 65W vs 95W -> more power headroom for the other parts, great because of the somewhat limited 450W PU
- 65W vs 95W -> easier to keep it cool, great for the slim case
- Ryzen is better when heavy multithreading is needed -> but for games that's usually not the case
- 8400 includes a GPU -> for games that probably does not really matter, but still it makes it more versatile and flexible

So in the end I would say 8400 is better for this build if I don't plan to do any kind of heavy multithreading (like rendering). One could argue about the price, but Ryzen does not have a cooler while 8400 has a stock cooler and after some research I found that it's probably enough for gaming.

In Hungary currently:
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X + ASRock AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac + Noctua NH-L9a-AM4  = ~430 USD in local currency, which is exactly the price point for i5 8400 preorder + Z370 mATX preorder (should be arriving in 2 weeks). And i5-8400 currently has a huge premium on it because of the shortage and Z370 is an overkill for this build - and still if both configs would be both available right now then 8400 + Z370 would be the better choice because of its performance for the same price.

But I think about canceling my preorder and see what happens in the next few weeks, because I would say that either the suggested retail price won't be happening for 8400 anytime soon or AMD has to adjust its prices as well, and also the non-Z boards should be coming in January. Every way I look at it the suggested $182.00 - $187.00 for i5-8400 currently seems too good to be true at the moment, but if that will be the price when the shortage will be solved (which Intel promised by mid-dec, so it's 2 weeks away) then I think it's clearly the winner in my book for that price - actually even with a Z370. So I expect the prices to go lower significantly in the next 2 weeks. I know that it's a waiting game that never ends because a newer and better stuff is always coming but now I got totally excited about 8400 and it's realtively low suggested price, so I give it 2-3 weeks to see what's happening and maybe I can still grab one before xmas :)

Also it was quite interesting that in DX12 games Ryzen seemed to perform quite better than 8400. I don't know what it means for the future, but it's exciting as hell for sure :)

Hey Pali,

Have you seen that price drop that you have mentioned around central europe?
I am still seeing the 8400 at a ~220 eur range. But maybe I am not looking at the right places.

(still no B montherboards, I hope at least they will make the Z ones cheaper because they have large stocks)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on January 02, 2018, 07:53:22 AM
Just FYI sbi85, palbarta, and other readers - as of January 2, 2018, the Core i5-8400 is finally available in the U.S., specifically from B&H Photo Video (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1356629-REG/intel_bx80684i58400_core_i5_8400_2_8_ghz.html/BI/20077/KBID/13837/kw/INC158400/DFF/d10-v21-t1-x850953) for $210. Even if you're in Europe, you may want to check them out, as they offer very good international shipping rates.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bensrichards on April 13, 2018, 11:39:07 AM
Hi Ari,

Would you mind taking a look at a part list and answering a few questions for me?  If you can make some affiliate links for the parts, I'd like to use them to support the site (though for budget reasons I'll probably acquire parts in stages).

Here's the parts list I'm considering:

Case: Silverstone FTZ01S (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-SST-FTZ01S-Aluminum-Computer/dp/B00WENHTNW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648017&sr=8-1&keywords=Silverstone+FTZ01S&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=89b539f7d57a1a18f103df33383872f9) (might already have a link for this from another forum post)
MOBO: ASUS mini-ITX Z370 (https://www.amazon.com/Z370-I-mini-ITX-Motherboard-Generation-Intel-Core-Processors/dp/B075RJ16BQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523647997&sr=8-3&keywords=ASUS+mini-ITX+Z370&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=62616b51eb38065470cb777a0ab9164a)
CPU: Intel 8600K (https://www.amazon.com/Intel-i5-8600K-Processor-Unlocked-BX80684i58600K/dp/B0759FKH8K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523647979&sr=8-1&keywords=8600k&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=2c727f77a105bbf807975ee88d8fcb23) (is there an AMD alternative I could use here?)
Cooler: Noctua NH-L12S (https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NH-L12S-low-profile-cooler-quiet/dp/B075SF5QQ8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648241&sr=8-3&keywords=Noctua+NH-L12S&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=fd93c2e657b83f87aba8d51cbc956bbe) OR be quiet! Shadow Rock LP (https://www.amazon.com/quiet-BK002-Shadow-Rock-Cooler/dp/B00VGDN6F6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648347&sr=8-1&keywords=be+quiet!+Shadow+Rock+LP&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=cdd5b0c37af9debfc183b52181f19635)
RAM: Corsair LPX 16GB 3000 (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-3000MHz-Desktop-Memory/dp/B0134EW7G8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648265&sr=8-1&keywords=Corsair+LPX+16GB+3000&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=7470e1dee10b43ca565b71392b70c80a) or 3200 (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-3000MHz-Desktop-Memory/dp/B0143UM4TC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648265&sr=8-1&keywords=Corsair+LPX+16GB+3000&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=1b76d0f00803fd0c7b6b788ef7d34d5a) (whichever is cheaper)
GPU: ??? (please help, more info below)
SSD: Samsung 960 EVO 500GB (https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-EVO-Internal-MZ-V6E500BW/dp/B01M20VBU7/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648297&sr=8-3&keywords=Samsung+960+EVO+500GB&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=05066cfcf08ee164fcf65e12e892fe11)
PSU: ??? (again, please help)
Optical Drive: Blu Ray/DVD player (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Loading-Blu-Ray-SST-TOB03/dp/B076KR1YQS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648319&sr=8-1&keywords=silverstone+slim+blu+ray&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=151c681e41b82a4d66483a78f86564c7)

I'd like to use this machine to play games in my living room on a 1080p tv.  I'd also like to be able to watch BDs and DVDs without being stuck with the region restrictions that are baked into my current BD player.

Can you give me some advice on the NH-L12S vs the Shadow Rock LP?

As for GPUs, given that I'm limited by my display to 1080p at 60Hz, do I stand to gain anything by going beyond a GTX 1060 6GB card?  Second, is a blower style card preferable for a small case like this one?

Finally, I hear great things about both Corsair and Silverstone's fully modular SFX PSUs.  How should I pick between the two companies?

Thanks in advance for all your help. The little STX machine I built from your guide is still going strong, and I've been wanting to do another build for living room gaming ever since.  You got me hooked!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on April 13, 2018, 01:00:21 PM
Hi Ari,

Would you mind taking a look at a part list and answering a few questions for me?  If you can make some affiliate links for the parts, I'd like to use them to support the site (though for budget reasons I'll probably acquire parts in stages).

Here's the parts list I'm considering:

Case: Silverstone FTZ01S (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-SST-FTZ01S-Aluminum-Computer/dp/B00WENHTNW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648017&sr=8-1&keywords=Silverstone+FTZ01S&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=89b539f7d57a1a18f103df33383872f9) (might already have a link for this from another forum post)
MOBO: ASUS mini-ITX Z370 (https://www.amazon.com/Z370-I-mini-ITX-Motherboard-Generation-Intel-Core-Processors/dp/B075RJ16BQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523647997&sr=8-3&keywords=ASUS+mini-ITX+Z370&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=62616b51eb38065470cb777a0ab9164a)
CPU: Intel 8600K (https://www.amazon.com/Intel-i5-8600K-Processor-Unlocked-BX80684i58600K/dp/B0759FKH8K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523647979&sr=8-1&keywords=8600k&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=2c727f77a105bbf807975ee88d8fcb23) (is there an AMD alternative I could use here?)
Cooler: Noctua NH-L12S (https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NH-L12S-low-profile-cooler-quiet/dp/B075SF5QQ8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648241&sr=8-3&keywords=Noctua+NH-L12S&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=fd93c2e657b83f87aba8d51cbc956bbe) OR be quiet! Shadow Rock LP (https://www.amazon.com/quiet-BK002-Shadow-Rock-Cooler/dp/B00VGDN6F6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648347&sr=8-1&keywords=be+quiet!+Shadow+Rock+LP&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=cdd5b0c37af9debfc183b52181f19635)
RAM: Corsair LPX 16GB 3000 (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-3000MHz-Desktop-Memory/dp/B0134EW7G8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648265&sr=8-1&keywords=Corsair+LPX+16GB+3000&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=7470e1dee10b43ca565b71392b70c80a) or 3200 (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-3000MHz-Desktop-Memory/dp/B0143UM4TC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648265&sr=8-1&keywords=Corsair+LPX+16GB+3000&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=1b76d0f00803fd0c7b6b788ef7d34d5a) (whichever is cheaper)
GPU: ??? (please help, more info below)
SSD: Samsung 960 EVO 500GB (https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-EVO-Internal-MZ-V6E500BW/dp/B01M20VBU7/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648297&sr=8-3&keywords=Samsung+960+EVO+500GB&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=05066cfcf08ee164fcf65e12e892fe11)
PSU: ??? (again, please help)
Optical Drive: Blu Ray/DVD player (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Loading-Blu-Ray-SST-TOB03/dp/B076KR1YQS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648319&sr=8-1&keywords=silverstone+slim+blu+ray&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=151c681e41b82a4d66483a78f86564c7)

I'd like to use this machine to play games in my living room on a 1080p tv.  I'd also like to be able to watch BDs and DVDs without being stuck with the region restrictions that are baked into my current BD player.

Can you give me some advice on the NH-L12S vs the Shadow Rock LP?

As for GPUs, given that I'm limited by my display to 1080p at 60Hz, do I stand to gain anything by going beyond a GTX 1060 6GB card?  Second, is a blower style card preferable for a small case like this one?

Finally, I hear great things about both Corsair and Silverstone's fully modular SFX PSUs.  How should I pick between the two companies?

Thanks in advance for all your help. The little STX machine I built from your guide is still going strong, and I've been wanting to do another build for living room gaming ever since.  You got me hooked!

Welcome back to the TBG Forum, bensrichards! Glad to hear your SFX experience has got you interested in building an ITX machine!

You've picked out some really good parts there. The SilverStone FTZ01S (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-SST-FTZ01S-Aluminum-Computer/dp/B00WENHTNW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648406&sr=8-1&keywords=ftz01s&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=88c0a3c8e31835f8799bac0cdab0bbf7) is a truly premium case option. You are going to really like it in terms of its fantastic aesthetics. I also think you're going in the right direction with the 960 Evo (https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-960-EVO-Internal-MZ-V6E500BW/dp/B01M20VBU7/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1523649651&sr=1-1&keywords=960+evo&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=5282f6e7ed30191562c1eb8f97f6f2e4), which has dropped in price recently, making it a serious bargain in terms of price/performance. As for RAM, Corsair's Vengeance 3000 (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Vengeance-3000MHz-Desktop-Memory/dp/B0134EW7G8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1523649680&sr=1-1&keywords=Corsair's+Vengeance+3000&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=262b3760fee40243e33a5865fa5c63e7) is typically $15 less for 16GB versus the 3200 kit, and I don't think there's a reason to spend extra on what's really a nominal performance difference (the tighter timings of the 3000MHz kit make it perform similarly).

Now, as for the coolers, I really like the L12S (https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NH-L12S-low-profile-cooler-quiet/dp/B075SF5QQ8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523648921&sr=8-1&keywords=l12s&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=617b927cf1641043768bae2e397a9b11), which happens to be sold out at the moment. It's a truly modern design, and I think it surpasses the be quiet! model. I like what be quiet! is doing, and spent a lot of time with them at CES 2018, but I do think they are sort of playing catchup with Noctua. Note that you can't mount either of these coolers with the case's side-mounted fan in place above the motherboard, but the Noctua is overall a better fit at 70mm versus 74mm for the be quiet!.

Now, you say you're gaming on a 1080p TV, but that may change. I definitely wouldn't go lower than a GTX 1060 6GB, even if it's slight overkill for 1080p/60hz. The best deal right now is this PNY XLR8 model (https://www.amazon.com/PNY-GeForce-1060-Graphics-VCGGTX10606PB/dp/B01L9K8X26/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1523649271&sr=1-8&keywords=gtx+1060+6gb&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=63ef23337449c8f8bf9ddeb2acc23dbc), which comes factory overclocked and offers a nice cooler.

The power supply is easy: go with the Corsair SF450 (https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-CP-9020104-NA-Modular-Certified-Warranty/dp/B01CGGOXWQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1523649519&sr=1-1&keywords=Corsair+SF450&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=f74ba8ca2621119a08854327d6c17af6). Unlike the SilverStone, it has silent operation at low wattage, which I think is very helpful for HTPC use. The SX500-G (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-SST-SX500-G-Improved-Capacitors/dp/B075M5FRQS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1523649563&sr=1-1&keywords=SX500-G&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=cffb061a36ef489467d6981196f0a25c) is better as a high-end gaming PSU.

Note that with this slim chassis, you need a slimline blu-ray drive, and SilverStone is one of the only vendors that offers one with its SST-TOB03 (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Loading-Blu-Ray-SST-TOB03/dp/B076KR1YQS/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523649084&sr=8-1&keywords=silverstone+slim+blu+ray&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=01e4a6bea9a46f889bdbb82507803536). It's a bit expensive, but you probably figured this out already. To get movie playback, you'll want to pick up PowerDVD 17 (https://www.amazon.com/Cyberlink-DVD-EH00-RPU0-00-PowerDVD-17-Ultra/dp/B071Y3KNMR/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523649147&sr=8-3&keywords=powerdvd++17&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=a6dbe5e0abbfce62e464f5c1125cb527). The issue is that it's still locked down by region, which is really a legal issue, not a technical issue. Not sure you can get around this, but I'll have to leave it to you to explore!

If you wanted to buy this part-by-part, my advice would be to get the case, CPU, motherboard, RAM, SSD, OS, and cooler, and hold off on the blu-ray and graphics card, which together represent 1/3 cost. You don't need either to get the system up and running, as the motherboard has built-in video. While AMD has some very impressive CPUs (including the latest Ryzen 2000-series processors, which I'm currently testing for the big April 19th release!), I like the Core i5-8600K (https://www.amazon.com/Intel-i5-8600K-Processor-Unlocked-BX80684i58600K/dp/B0759FKH8K/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1523649733&sr=1-1&keywords=8600k&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=7159b07d918f66ef636af68c67ad0af6) for this build.

As always, thanks for using the affiliate links here to buy the gear. You can find them all in this post, but if you need any others, please let me know.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bensrichards on April 16, 2018, 05:41:00 PM
Thanks for all of this, Ari!  I just pulled the trigger on the case and the 960 EVO.  I figured both of those are a little longer in the tooth than other components, and unlikely to have as many price fluctuations.  I'm really psyched for the case.  I know I paid a premium, but I really wanted it to feel substantial.  I'm also hoping I'll be able to use the case for a while even as other components get upgraded.

I will confess, I did not realize the ASUS Z370 ITX board had reached the $200 mark.  Do you think I would be losing a lot if I went for AsRock's cheaper Z370 board (not the Fatality one)?  I thought it was cool that the ASUS board has a heat sink for M.2 drives, but I'm not sure it's $50 (or more) worth of cool!

Thanks for your help!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on April 16, 2018, 08:16:18 PM
Thanks for all of this, Ari!  I just pulled the trigger on the case and the 960 EVO.  I figured both of those are a little longer in the tooth than other components, and unlikely to have as many price fluctuations.  I'm really psyched for the case.  I know I paid a premium, but I really wanted it to feel substantial.  I'm also hoping I'll be able to use the case for a while even as other components get upgraded.

I will confess, I did not realize the ASUS Z370 ITX board had reached the $200 mark.  Do you think I would be losing a lot if I went for AsRock's cheaper Z370 board (not the Fatality one)?  I thought it was cool that the ASUS board has a heat sink for M.2 drives, but I'm not sure it's $50 (or more) worth of cool!

Thanks for your help!

Glad to hear you've started picking up some of your components. In terms of motherboards, yes, the Asus Z370I (https://www.amazon.com/Z370-G-Wi-Fi-AC-Motherboard-Generation/dp/B075RJ16BQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523934552&sr=8-5&keywords=z370+itx&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=d42486ea4c4249f37e51a306082720ee) has jumped in price a bit lately. With the AsRock Z370M-ITX (https://www.amazon.com/ASRock-motherboard-Motherboards-Z370M-ITX-AC/dp/B07638L88W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523934552&sr=8-3&keywords=z370+itx&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=e23745d5123bcf0965cad17a6f7898dd), you lose out on USB 3.1 Type C, DisplayPort out, and the high-end ALC1220 audio. Why not split the difference and get the Gigabyte Z370N (https://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-Z370N-WIFI-Bifurcation-Motherboard/dp/B076VD4XV4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1523934552&sr=8-2&keywords=z370+itx&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=a424ebbf831d6b41b5a18ee803cd46d4)? It has the heatsink shield, USB Type-C, and ALC1220, along with DisplayPort. The only thing the Asus really has on it is a better UEFI interface.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bensrichards on April 26, 2018, 02:31:58 PM
Hey Ari,

Quick question about the SST-TOB03 optical drive: the pictures on Amazon show that as a tray loaded drive, but the FTZ01 looks like it requires a slot-loader.  Am I missing something?

Assuming I need a slot loader, am I right that the SST-SOB02, and the Panasonic UJ-265 and UJ-267 are pretty much my only options (pretty sure the SOB02 is actually a UJ-265 with some bundled accessories?

Thanks as always for your help!  Parts are trickling in now (the cooler and psu just came back in stock on Amazon and are on their way to me now).
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on April 26, 2018, 04:02:01 PM
Hey Ari,

Quick question about the SST-TOB03 optical drive: the pictures on Amazon show that as a tray loaded drive, but the FTZ01 looks like it requires a slot-loader.  Am I missing something?

Assuming I need a slot loader, am I right that the SST-SOB02, and the Panasonic UJ-265 and UJ-267 are pretty much my only options (pretty sure the SOB02 is actually a UJ-265 with some bundled accessories?

Thanks as always for your help!  Parts are trickling in now (the cooler and psu just came back in stock on Amazon and are on their way to me now).

Ben,

Yes, you are right - good catch. I forgot that before SilverStone switched to tray loaders with the RVZ02 series, they used slot loaders they used with the Z01 cases. That means you do need the SST-SOB02 (https://www.amazon.com/Silverstone-12-7mm-Interface-Blu-Ray-SOB02/dp/B00BY3LCLI/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=1f739fd517e3f697445067ad5a70d032), which may be discontinued, or alternatively the Panasonic UJ-267 (https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Internal-Blu-Ray-Unibody-MacBook/dp/B00BFU652G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1524783513&sr=1-2&keywords=Panasonic+UJ-265&dpID=41hPSN2w19L&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=40e9cd81177c0fa2f905b17d5da661f7). Now, one look at the prices should probably give you pause...

Depending on what you really want out of your AV setup, I'm going to toss a different idea out to you - rather than use your HTPC for discs, get a dedicated player. I know that means things won't be quite as well integrated, but I think you'll have a better overall user experience going with something like this Sony 4K UHD Player (https://www.amazon.com/Sony-UBP-X700-Ultra-Blu-ray-Player/dp/B078HXF9H2/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NJ9DXTSW86P1XKVNNMR9&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=ec5f2e4823918d8d56905e8e5c55e7b2). Not only will it integrate more easily with an AV receiver and not require additional software to run, but it will also support 4K discs, which you'll never be able to do with either a slot-loading or tray-loading model outside of a full-on 5.25" desktop drive (https://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-PIO-BDR-211UBK-MAIN-16374-Internal-Supporting/dp/B071DQFK9B/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1524783838&sr=1-3&keywords=4k+blu-ray+sata&dpID=41f7fRVw9yL&preST=_SX300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=32cba44cef85b1ef258bb46c393d51c7).
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bensrichards on April 30, 2018, 01:21:51 PM
Thanks for the confirmation, Ari.  I'm not quite sure what I'll do for an optical drive at the moment.  My plan right now is to go ahead and build the system without any optical drive, and then reevaluate what my needs/wants are.  I have a rarely used Sony BD player now (maybe 6-7 years old) that only gets pressed into service to watch a small collection of BDs that aren't available anywhere for streaming.  We stream pretty much everything else.  If I ditch the BD plan for the htpc, I'll stick a DVD drive in there instead though; the idea of having that slot on the case but no drive behind it doesn't sit well with me (just my personal neuroses  :o).

A couple more questions for you:

(1) Is there a way to power on my system with my Harmony Elite remote?  It looks like FLIRC and Inteset both make IR receivers for htpc use, albeit with very different installation methods.  I'm not looking for extensive control features.  I just want to make a "play PC" activity for the Harmony to turn on my TV and PC and choose the input on the TV.  Do you know if either FLIRC or Inteset or both can make that happen?

(2) Am I correct in thinking that there are no Z370 mini-ITX motherboards with TPM chips or TPM headers?  This is actually related to my OS choice between Windows 10 home vs pro.  The only reason I can see that I might want pro would be for the bitlocker function.  However, my research leads to me to believe bitlocker won't be a particularly elegant and effective encryption solution without a TPM.

As always, thanks for your help and the effort it takes to keep this forum up and running!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on April 30, 2018, 02:31:20 PM
Hey again, Ben.

I totally understand not wanting to leave that drive bay empty, but the most cost-effective solution to filing it is most definitely going with SilverStone's slot-loading DVD burner (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-SOD03-12-7mm-Component/dp/B01FM8I2AY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1525122954&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=SilverStone's+slot-loading+DVD+burner&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=79a50ca2003e250ba66e2059998fd885)! You get to experience that cool slot-loading functionality (where the disc disappears into the PC!) without having to spend a ton of money.

As for turning a system on via remote, the short answer is that it can't be done with FLIRC, as far as I know. But it can be done with another device: SilverStone's ES02-USB remote power switch (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Wireless-Interface-ES02-USB/dp/B01MQUANS8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1525123033&sr=1-1&keywords=silverstone+remote&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=5d4bce06b813da200db93b607f09e6de). It's incredibly cool, and I've tested it myself to confirm it works. The reason it's superior to every other solution is that it actually replicates the physical power button on your PC, plugging into the power button header on the motherboard. But it does end up causing some clearance problems on ITX motherboards. It requires a USB 2.0 header for power, and sticks up quite far, so it can get in the way of coolers or video cards, or even hit the top of a slim case. But I think in your build, it should be fine.... depending on which motherboard you go with...

Which brings us to the subject of TPM headers. I'm assuming you were looking mostly at the high-end gaming boards, which don't have the header. But many other ITX boards do.

For example, the AsRock Z370M-ITX/AC (https://www.amazon.com/ASRock-motherboard-Motherboards-Z370M-ITX-AC/dp/B07638L88W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1525123788&sr=1-1&keywords=asrock+Z370M-ITX/ac&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=fdb7ca0ad11e94c4e861388f1646b5ca) - here's what the spec sheet says:

Quote
1 x TPM Header

You could also go with the new Gigabyte H370N WiFi (https://www.amazon.com/GIGABYTE-H370N-WIFI-LGA1151-Motherboard/dp/B07BQCZNKB/ref=as_li_ss_tl?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1525123607&sr=1-1&keywords=h370n&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=1ba449cef7c146901b4cf0c899a6a534). Here's what the spec sheet says:

Quote
1 x Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header (2x6 pin, for the GC-TPM2.0_S module only)

You would lose overclocking with that board (of both the CPU and RAM), so the AsRock may be the better option.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bensrichards on May 05, 2018, 07:06:57 PM
Thanks for pointing out those other ITX boards with TPM headers.  You're absolutely right that I was looking at gaming boards like the ASUS ROG Z370I when I was looking for TPM headers.  I surveyed the landscape a bit more closely after reading your post, and I found out that the MSI Z370I Gaming Carbon Pro AC has a TPM header and most of the other features I'd like in a board (overclocking ability and USB 3.1 gen 2).  I'll have to mount my M2 drive on the back of the board, which wouldn't be my first choice, but it looks like I'll have to compromise somewhere on board features and that seems like a pretty minor compromise.

Anyway, could you make an affiliate link for the MSI board?  Once I have the board I will finally have enough parts to start building.

Thanks!
-Ben
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on May 05, 2018, 10:02:35 PM
Thanks for pointing out those other ITX boards with TPM headers.  You're absolutely right that I was looking at gaming boards like the ASUS ROG Z370I when I was looking for TPM headers.  I surveyed the landscape a bit more closely after reading your post, and I found out that the MSI Z370I Gaming Carbon Pro AC has a TPM header and most of the other features I'd like in a board (overclocking ability and USB 3.1 gen 2).  I'll have to mount my M2 drive on the back of the board, which wouldn't be my first choice, but it looks like I'll have to compromise somewhere on board features and that seems like a pretty minor compromise.

Anyway, could you make an affiliate link for the MSI board?  Once I have the board I will finally have enough parts to start building.

Thanks!
-Ben

Good catch on the MSI Z370I Gaming Pro AC (https://www.amazon.com/MSI-Z370I-GAMING-PRO-CARBON/dp/B0778N6CFK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&qid=1525582256&sr=8-1&keywords=MSI+Z370I+Gaming+Pro+AC&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=2081e2c2bb4634cad7cfb4069b330f47). There's your link!

It's a bit of a drawback that the M.2 slot is on the back, but if the board otherwise has the features you want, it's a fine tradeoff.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bensrichards on May 16, 2018, 07:47:02 AM
Hey Ari,

Just wanted to send you a big thank you for your help in talking through the parts for my living room gaming pc.  I got it up and running this past Sunday night without too much trouble.  The FTZ01S looks great, and has a great sturdy feel.  I will say that the instruction manual leaves a little to be desired.  For instance, the manual says very little about which screws to use where.  Not something I couldn't figure out, but it didn't help that the list of screws in the parts list didn't match up with the screws provided.  Strangely, there was also no explanation of how to connect the two part riser card.  It wasn't hard to figure out, but I thought it was an odd omission given that it's a specialty component for the case.  Anyway, none of these were insurmountable obstacles, but a slightly better manual would be a welcome addition to the case.  The only real installation problem was the support bracket for the gpu.  The screws are a bit too short, and thus it's very hard to get any engagement.  I did eventually get them to hold, but I'd guess I only have one or two threads of engagement.

I came away most impressed with Noctua.  The NH-L12S felt like the most premium component that I worked with, and their instructions and materials provided were excellent.  I ended up trying the heatsink in all 4 different orientations before settling on heat pipes towards the I/O shield.  The fan does touch the tops of the Corsair LPX memory, but only just barely, and since the pressure is straight down into memory sockets I figured it wouldn't be as big a deal (as opposed to having the heat pipes put lateral pressure on the DIMMs).

MSI did a nice job with the board, and their TPM chip (purchased separately) was a very easy solution to implement.  Almost plug and play (almost because you do need to enable the chip from the BIOS, but the option was easy to find).  I understand now why the M.2 drive goes on the back.  The TPM header is occupying the real estate on the board where most m-ITX boards put a top side M.2 drive.

I encountered a bizarre Amazon glitch with the Corsair PSU.  Amazon sent me a Corsair SF-450 box with a Silverstone 450watt SFX psu in it.  Not sure what happened on Amazon's end other than they sent me a botched product return from someone else.  With the right Corsair psu in hand now, I have no complaints.

Anyway, I'm loving the system so far.  I fired up a few games that I had been playing on my little STX system with the Intel HD 630 integrated graphics and it's so much more fun to be able to crank the settings all the way up (remember, my display is a 1080p TV, so 1080p at 60hz is the upper limit on what my gpu has to output).

The DVD/BD drive is still on hold.  Haven't quite decided what I want to do in that regard yet.

Thanks again for all your help, Ari!

-Ben
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on May 16, 2018, 09:00:22 AM
Hey Ari,

Just wanted to send you a big thank you for your help in talking through the parts for my living room gaming pc.  I got it up and running this past Sunday night without too much trouble.  The FTZ01S looks great, and has a great sturdy feel.  I will say that the instruction manual leaves a little to be desired.  For instance, the manual says very little about which screws to use where.  Not something I couldn't figure out, but it didn't help that the list of screws in the parts list didn't match up with the screws provided.  Strangely, there was also no explanation of how to connect the two part riser card.  It wasn't hard to figure out, but I thought it was an odd omission given that it's a specialty component for the case.  Anyway, none of these were insurmountable obstacles, but a slightly better manual would be a welcome addition to the case.  The only real installation problem was the support bracket for the gpu.  The screws are a bit too short, and thus it's very hard to get any engagement.  I did eventually get them to hold, but I'd guess I only have one or two threads of engagement.

I came away most impressed with Noctua.  The NH-L12S felt like the most premium component that I worked with, and their instructions and materials provided were excellent.  I ended up trying the heatsink in all 4 different orientations before settling on heat pipes towards the I/O shield.  The fan does touch the tops of the Corsair LPX memory, but only just barely, and since the pressure is straight down into memory sockets I figured it wouldn't be as big a deal (as opposed to having the heat pipes put lateral pressure on the DIMMs).

MSI did a nice job with the board, and their TPM chip (purchased separately) was a very easy solution to implement.  Almost plug and play (almost because you do need to enable the chip from the BIOS, but the option was easy to find).  I understand now why the M.2 drive goes on the back.  The TPM header is occupying the real estate on the board where most m-ITX boards put a top side M.2 drive.

I encountered a bizarre Amazon glitch with the Corsair PSU.  Amazon sent me a Corsair SF-450 box with a Silverstone 450watt SFX psu in it.  Not sure what happened on Amazon's end other than they sent me a botched product return from someone else.  With the right Corsair psu in hand now, I have no complaints.

Anyway, I'm loving the system so far.  I fired up a few games that I had been playing on my little STX system with the Intel HD 630 integrated graphics and it's so much more fun to be able to crank the settings all the way up (remember, my display is a 1080p TV, so 1080p at 60hz is the upper limit on what my gpu has to output).

The DVD/BD drive is still on hold.  Haven't quite decided what I want to do in that regard yet.

Thanks again for all your help, Ari!

-Ben

Ben, great to hear you got everything figured out. Too bad about that power supply mix up. Did you buy it from Amazon Warehouse? Those are indeed returned goods, but if this came as a new product, I may reach out to both SilverStone and Corsair to let them know this happened. It's not good for either of them.

As for the SilverStone and Noctua instructions, you are right on the money. I've talked to SilverStone before regarding its manuals, which are not very good. Noctua, on the other hand, justifies its high prices with simply amazing instructions and packaging. No one else is even close!

By the way, this writeup is so thorough that I'd like to add it to the TBG Gallery (https://techbuyersguru.com/gallery). While I no longer have time to write these entries myself, you've already done the hard work, so I can just paste it in. All I'd need would be three photos of your system - inside, outside, and on your desk/cabinet. You can e-mail them to theguru@techbuyersguru.com if you're interested.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: bensrichards on May 16, 2018, 10:00:19 AM
I did actually purchase it from Amazon proper, not Amazon Warehouse.  I double-checked my order just now to confirm as much.  Thus, I'm a bit miffed with Amazon since I certainly believed I was purchasing a new never-opened product.  Please do let Corsair and Silverstone know if you think they'd be interested.

I'll e-mail you some pictures of the system later this week for the gallery.  I was good about pictures at the start of the build (box shot, empty open case, motherboard assembly), but I put the camera down when I got to the latter half of the build because things were getting much more difficult as the case filled up.  I'll snap a couple of the full case and it's final placement on our entertainment center and send them along.

Next time you talk to Noctua let them know I'll gladly keep paying a premium for the better instructions and hardware!  I have zero problem with paying for that stuff because I think it really is value added.

-Ben
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on May 16, 2018, 11:42:14 AM
I did actually purchase it from Amazon proper, not Amazon Warehouse.  I double-checked my order just now to confirm as much.  Thus, I'm a bit miffed with Amazon since I certainly believed I was purchasing a new never-opened product.  Please do let Corsair and Silverstone know if you think they'd be interested.

I'll e-mail you some pictures of the system later this week for the gallery.  I was good about pictures at the start of the build (box shot, empty open case, motherboard assembly), but I put the camera down when I got to the latter half of the build because things were getting much more difficult as the case filled up.  I'll snap a couple of the full case and it's final placement on our entertainment center and send them along.

Next time you talk to Noctua let them know I'll gladly keep paying a premium for the better instructions and hardware!  I have zero problem with paying for that stuff because I think it really is value added.

-Ben

There's actually another Noctua product review being published on TBG in the next few days, and the quality of the product and manual are going to be a main topic of discussion. Noctua simply makes the best stuff. Not always at the best price/performance level, but the quality is amazing.

I look forward to seeing your PC build photos!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on May 20, 2018, 07:06:38 AM
For anyone interested, here's the Gallery profile (https://techbuyersguru.com/bens-living-room-gaming-pc) of bensrichards' awesome new Slim Gaming PC!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Reyort on October 02, 2018, 04:48:16 PM
Do you have to worry about the SSD overheating?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,200 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on October 02, 2018, 05:36:45 PM
Do you have to worry about the SSD overheating?

Under sustained writes, a PCIe drive can definitely experience thermal throttling in a compact case like the RVZ01 or RVZ02, with the RVZ01 and cases built on the platform more susceptible to it.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 15, 2019, 03:23:26 PM
Hey all,

I'm a first time builder and looking to do this exact build.  The only thing I'm really not crazy about is the aesthetic of the case.  I was looking at this one instead: https://www.newegg.com/white-nzxt-h200-mini-itx-tower/p/N82E16811146302?reviews=all&item=N82E16811146302&source=region&nm_mc=knc-googleadwords-pc&cm_mmc=knc-googleadwords-pc-_-pla-_-cases+%28computer+cases+-+atx+form%29-_-N82E16811146302&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlKiGhfC34wIVB5-fCh1vXwzpEAQYAyABEgK-O_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds (https://www.newegg.com/white-nzxt-h200-mini-itx-tower/p/N82E16811146302?reviews=all&item=N82E16811146302&source=region&nm_mc=knc-googleadwords-pc&cm_mmc=knc-googleadwords-pc-_-pla-_-cases+%28computer+cases+-+atx+form%29-_-N82E16811146302&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlKiGhfC34wIVB5-fCh1vXwzpEAQYAyABEgK-O_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds)

My basic question is would I have any issues with any of the parts for this build fitting into this case?  Overall, I imagine this case is somewhat larger, but it also appears to be more compartmentalized for each component.  I heard one reviewer say they couldn't fit a particular graphics card, for example. 

My secondary question is, would you recommend a water cooling system for this setup?  If so, what would you recommend?  I was leaning toward water A) for the aesthetic with the glass sliding cover, B) for the noise reduction, C) for the effectiveness.  My fear with the case was that due to its compartmentalization, certain sections may get hot, but I suppose I should trust in the design of the case that it's built to keep each section cool? 

All thoughts are welcome!  I'm debating pulling the trigger within the next 9 hours due to the sale window (which appears to be its all time lowest price.)

Thanks in advance! 
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 15, 2019, 03:31:18 PM
Hey all,

I'm a first time builder and looking to do this exact build.  The only thing I'm really not crazy about is the aesthetic of the case.  I was looking at this one instead: https://www.newegg.com/white-nzxt-h200-mini-itx-tower/p/N82E16811146302?reviews=all&item=N82E16811146302&source=region&nm_mc=knc-googleadwords-pc&cm_mmc=knc-googleadwords-pc-_-pla-_-cases+%28computer+cases+-+atx+form%29-_-N82E16811146302&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlKiGhfC34wIVB5-fCh1vXwzpEAQYAyABEgK-O_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds (https://www.newegg.com/white-nzxt-h200-mini-itx-tower/p/N82E16811146302?reviews=all&item=N82E16811146302&source=region&nm_mc=knc-googleadwords-pc&cm_mmc=knc-googleadwords-pc-_-pla-_-cases+%28computer+cases+-+atx+form%29-_-N82E16811146302&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlKiGhfC34wIVB5-fCh1vXwzpEAQYAyABEgK-O_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds)

My basic question is would I have any issues with any of the parts for this build fitting into this case?  Overall, I imagine this case is somewhat larger, but it also appears to be more compartmentalized for each component.  I heard one reviewer say they couldn't fit a particular graphics card, for example. 

My secondary question is, would you recommend a water cooling system for this setup?  If so, what would you recommend?  I was leaning toward water A) for the aesthetic with the glass sliding cover, B) for the noise reduction, C) for the effectiveness.  My fear with the case was that due to its compartmentalization, certain sections may get hot, but I suppose I should trust in the design of the case that it's built to keep each section cool? 

All thoughts are welcome!  I'm debating pulling the trigger within the next 9 hours due to the sale window (which appears to be its all time lowest price.)

Thanks in advance!

Yes, the case would work, and just so you know, it's cheaper at Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CC5KHPG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=7e17d8d8412d84c8ae16bab1d569cf09&language=en_US) - this is really an Amazon Prime day special that Newegg is trying to match.

Keep in mind that this case is twice the size of the slim case in this build, so you're talking about a very different product class. But if you don't mind that, it would be a good choice, and easier to build in as well. I really don't think you need any liquid cooling for the level of components spec'd in the build. The only reason I'd consider liquid cooling is if you were using an RTX 2080 Ti 11GB GPU, which costs as much as this entire build, so I'm assuming you're not making that upgrade.

Just so you know, liquid cooling is not actually quieter than air cooling when all things are equal. In fact, liquid is always much louder at idle than a high-end air cooler, and it will be louder at load too when used on a low-wattage CPU like the one in this system. If you were concerned about noise, I would strongly suggest you upgrade to the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B (https://www.amazon.com/Mugen-Rev-CPU-Cooler-Support/dp/B06ZYB8K77/ref=as_li_ss_tl?crid=2HWNS3UW25A9P&keywords=mugen+5+rev.+b&qid=1563229804&s=electronics&sprefix=mugen+rev+5,electronics,185&sr=1-2&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=d00bf9cfee0a4e46efcb335a7721b23c&language=en_US), which is currently on sale for $45 at Amazon and is among the quietest coolers I've ever tested.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 15, 2019, 05:48:30 PM
Hey all,

I'm a first time builder and looking to do this exact build.  The only thing I'm really not crazy about is the aesthetic of the case.  I was looking at https://www.newegg.com/white-nzxt-h200-mini-itx-tower/p/N82E16811146302?reviews=all&item=N82E16811146302&source=region&nm_mc=knc-googleadwords-pc&cm_mmc=knc-googleadwords-pc-_-pla-_-cases+%28computer+cases+-+atx+form%29-_-N82E16811146302&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlKiGhfC34wIVB5-fCh1vXwzpEAQYAyABEgK-O_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds]this one (https://www.newegg.com/white-nzxt-h200-mini-itx-tower/p/N82E16811146302?reviews=all&item=N82E16811146302&source=region&nm_mc=knc-googleadwords-pc&cm_mmc=knc-googleadwords-pc-_-pla-_-cases+%28computer+cases+-+atx+form%29-_-N82E16811146302&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlKiGhfC34wIVB5-fCh1vXwzpEAQYAyABEgK-O_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds) instead:

My basic question is would I have any issues with any of the parts for this build fitting into this case?  Overall, I imagine this case is somewhat larger, but it also appears to be more compartmentalized for each component.  I heard one reviewer say they couldn't fit a particular graphics card, for example. 

My secondary question is, would you recommend a water cooling system for this setup?  If so, what would you recommend?  I was leaning toward water A) for the aesthetic with the glass sliding cover, B) for the noise reduction, C) for the effectiveness.  My fear with the case was that due to its compartmentalization, certain sections may get hot, but I suppose I should trust in the design of the case that it's built to keep each section cool? 

All thoughts are welcome!  I'm debating pulling the trigger within the next 9 hours due to the sale window (which appears to be its all time lowest price.)

Thanks in advance!

Yes, the case would work, and just so you know, it's cheaper at Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CC5KHPG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=7e17d8d8412d84c8ae16bab1d569cf09&language=en_US) - this is really an Amazon Prime day special that Newegg is trying to match.

Keep in mind that this case is twice the size of the slim case in this build, so you're talking about a very different product class. But if you don't mind that, it would be a good choice, and easier to build in as well. I really don't think you need any liquid cooling for the level of components spec'd in the build. The only reason I'd consider liquid cooling is if you were using an RTX 2080 Ti 11GB GPU, which costs as much as this entire build, so I'm assuming you're not making that upgrade.

Just so you know, liquid cooling is not actually quieter than air cooling when all things are equal. In fact, liquid is always much louder at idle than a high-end air cooler, and it will be louder at load too when used on a low-wattage CPU like the one in this system. If you were concerned about noise, I would strongly suggest you upgrade to the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B (https://www.amazon.com/Mugen-Rev-CPU-Cooler-Support/dp/B06ZYB8K77/ref=as_li_ss_tl?crid=2HWNS3UW25A9P&keywords=mugen+5+rev.+b&qid=1563229804&s=electronics&sprefix=mugen+rev+5,electronics,185&sr=1-2&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=d00bf9cfee0a4e46efcb335a7721b23c&language=en_US), which is currently on sale for $45 at Amazon and is among the quietest coolers I've ever tested.

So much fantastic advice already!  Thank you so much. 

It looks like it's basically the same price on both Amazon and Newegg right now, and Newegg's deal lasts a little while longer, giving me more time to make my decision.  But since I'll be buying most everything else through Amazon, I might just go ahead and do that.  So thanks for the link!

Am I missing something with the dimensions?  The case I linked is 14.64 x 13.74 x 8.27 in = 1,750 cubic inches.  13 lbs.  The recommended case for this build is 5.7 x 18.2 x 13 in = 1,348 cubic inches.  So about a 22.4% increase in overall size.  I guess the big dimension is the increase in width, which is a 45% increase and might be an issue.  So little time to think about this..

Thanks for all of the advice about the cooling system.  Honestly, I've always dreamed of a liquid cooling system and a super visually cool build, but maybe that'll just be something for the future if I ever go all-out for a build.  I'll stick to the fans per your advice, and probably purchase that optional CPU cooler.

One last question now: while I'm not interested in absolute top of the line, I am wondering just how good of a gaming PC this will be, given the budget.  With the low wattage CPU, as you said, and this particular GPU, will it actually be able to play games at max settings for the coming few years?  I don't plan on streaming or recording or doing any heavy multitasking.  Just playing games (Guild Wars 2, Witcher 3 to start). 

I ask this last bit wondering if there would be any recommended affordable upgrades that would be a better given any increased room in my case. 

Thanks for everything!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 15, 2019, 06:06:47 PM
Hey all,

I'm a first time builder and looking to do this exact build.  The only thing I'm really not crazy about is the aesthetic of the case.  I was looking at https://www.newegg.com/white-nzxt-h200-mini-itx-tower/p/N82E16811146302?reviews=all&item=N82E16811146302&source=region&nm_mc=knc-googleadwords-pc&cm_mmc=knc-googleadwords-pc-_-pla-_-cases+%28computer+cases+-+atx+form%29-_-N82E16811146302&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlKiGhfC34wIVB5-fCh1vXwzpEAQYAyABEgK-O_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds]this one (https://www.newegg.com/white-nzxt-h200-mini-itx-tower/p/N82E16811146302?reviews=all&item=N82E16811146302&source=region&nm_mc=knc-googleadwords-pc&cm_mmc=knc-googleadwords-pc-_-pla-_-cases+%28computer+cases+-+atx+form%29-_-N82E16811146302&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlKiGhfC34wIVB5-fCh1vXwzpEAQYAyABEgK-O_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds) instead:

My basic question is would I have any issues with any of the parts for this build fitting into this case?  Overall, I imagine this case is somewhat larger, but it also appears to be more compartmentalized for each component.  I heard one reviewer say they couldn't fit a particular graphics card, for example. 

My secondary question is, would you recommend a water cooling system for this setup?  If so, what would you recommend?  I was leaning toward water A) for the aesthetic with the glass sliding cover, B) for the noise reduction, C) for the effectiveness.  My fear with the case was that due to its compartmentalization, certain sections may get hot, but I suppose I should trust in the design of the case that it's built to keep each section cool? 

All thoughts are welcome!  I'm debating pulling the trigger within the next 9 hours due to the sale window (which appears to be its all time lowest price.)

Thanks in advance!

Yes, the case would work, and just so you know, it's cheaper at Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CC5KHPG/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=7e17d8d8412d84c8ae16bab1d569cf09&language=en_US) - this is really an Amazon Prime day special that Newegg is trying to match.

Keep in mind that this case is twice the size of the slim case in this build, so you're talking about a very different product class. But if you don't mind that, it would be a good choice, and easier to build in as well. I really don't think you need any liquid cooling for the level of components spec'd in the build. The only reason I'd consider liquid cooling is if you were using an RTX 2080 Ti 11GB GPU, which costs as much as this entire build, so I'm assuming you're not making that upgrade.

Just so you know, liquid cooling is not actually quieter than air cooling when all things are equal. In fact, liquid is always much louder at idle than a high-end air cooler, and it will be louder at load too when used on a low-wattage CPU like the one in this system. If you were concerned about noise, I would strongly suggest you upgrade to the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B (https://www.amazon.com/Mugen-Rev-CPU-Cooler-Support/dp/B06ZYB8K77/ref=as_li_ss_tl?crid=2HWNS3UW25A9P&keywords=mugen+5+rev.+b&qid=1563229804&s=electronics&sprefix=mugen+rev+5,electronics,185&sr=1-2&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=d00bf9cfee0a4e46efcb335a7721b23c&language=en_US), which is currently on sale for $45 at Amazon and is among the quietest coolers I've ever tested.

So much fantastic advice already!  Thank you so much. 

It looks like it's basically the same price on both Amazon and Newegg right now, and Newegg's deal lasts a little while longer, giving me more time to make my decision.  But since I'll be buying most everything else through Amazon, I might just go ahead and do that.  So thanks for the link!

Am I missing something with the dimensions?  The case I linked is 14.64 x 13.74 x 8.27 in = 1,750 cubic inches.  13 lbs.  The recommended case for this build is 5.7 x 18.2 x 13 in = 1,348 cubic inches.  So about a 22.4% increase in overall size.  I guess the big dimension is the increase in width, which is a 45% increase and might be an issue.  So little time to think about this..

Thanks for all of the advice about the cooling system.  Honestly, I've always dreamed of a liquid cooling system and a super visually cool build, but maybe that'll just be something for the future if I ever go all-out for a build.  I'll stick to the fans per your advice, and probably purchase that optional CPU cooler.

One last question now: while I'm not interested in absolute top of the line, I am wondering just how good of a gaming PC this will be, given the budget.  With the low wattage CPU, as you said, and this particular GPU, will it actually be able to play games at max settings for the coming few years?  I don't plan on streaming or recording or doing any heavy multitasking.  Just playing games (Guild Wars 2, Witcher 3 to start). 

I ask this last bit wondering if there would be any recommended affordable upgrades that would be a better given any increased room in my case. 

Thanks for everything!

You are looking at the wrong dimensions. Those are for the shipping containers. The Fractal Node 202 is 11 liters, the NZXT H200 is 27 liters. Absolutely huge difference, not even close to the same product category.

As for the CPU and GPU, remember what you're trying to do - build a balanced system. The Core i7-8700 is a fantastic choice to be paired with the RX 5700 XT. It will max out that GPU. Do you need a Core i9-9900K for another $200? No, you'll get absolutely nothing out of it unless you also double your budget for the GPU. That's what balance is all about. So if you'd like an upgrade, let me know what your total budget is and I can suggest something, but randomly choosing one or the upgrade could end up netting you nothing at all in terms of performance.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 15, 2019, 06:25:12 PM

You are looking at the wrong dimensions. Those are for the shipping containers. The Fractal Node 202 is 11 liters, the NZXT H200 is 27 liters. Absolutely huge difference, not even close to the same product category.

As for the CPU and GPU, remember what you're trying to do - build a balanced system. The Core i7-8700 is a fantastic choice to be paired with the RX 5700 XT. It will max out that GPU. Do you need a Core i9-9900K for another $200? No, you'll get absolutely nothing out of it unless you also double your budget for the GPU. That's what balance is all about. So if you'd like an upgrade, let me know what your total budget is and I can suggest something, but randomly choosing one or the upgrade could end up netting you nothing at all in terms of performance.

Oh wow, where can I see the actual dimensions (HxLxW)?  Really good call then, and glad I asked. 

Noted on the other components.  I think maybe I'll just stick to the pure recommended build then, after all. 
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 15, 2019, 09:49:47 PM

You are looking at the wrong dimensions. Those are for the shipping containers. The Fractal Node 202 is 11 liters, the NZXT H200 is 27 liters. Absolutely huge difference, not even close to the same product category.

As for the CPU and GPU, remember what you're trying to do - build a balanced system. The Core i7-8700 is a fantastic choice to be paired with the RX 5700 XT. It will max out that GPU. Do you need a Core i9-9900K for another $200? No, you'll get absolutely nothing out of it unless you also double your budget for the GPU. That's what balance is all about. So if you'd like an upgrade, let me know what your total budget is and I can suggest something, but randomly choosing one or the upgrade could end up netting you nothing at all in terms of performance.

Oh wow, where can I see the actual dimensions (HxLxW)?  Really good call then, and glad I asked. 

Noted on the other components.  I think maybe I'll just stick to the pure recommended build then, after all.

I always suggest going to the manufacturer's website, but dimensions are also listed for all builds on TBG's main DIY PC page (https://techbuyersguru.com/tbg-diy-pc-buyers-guides). That wouldn't help you with the H200i, as it's not currently among the recommended cases, but it's been on my mind for a while as a possible substitute in an existing buyer's guide, so I happened to know the volume off the top of my head. ;)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 16, 2019, 01:44:34 PM
I always suggest going to the manufacturer's website, but dimensions are also listed for all builds on TBG's main DIY PC page (https://techbuyersguru.com/tbg-diy-pc-buyers-guides). That wouldn't help you with the H200i, as it's not currently among the recommended cases, but it's been on my mind for a while as a possible substitute in an existing buyer's guide, so I happened to know the volume off the top of my head. ;)

Gotcha, must be nice to have that wealth of knowledge stored in there ;)

So I just placed orders for all of these parts, including the CPU cooler you recommended in your other post.  We'll see how it goes!  I do have a few general prep questions:

1) Is there a type of twist-tie you recommend I purchase (from maybe a hardware store?) before my parts come in to help tie loose chords and keep them organized?  Will anything do? 

2) Will all of the cables be long enough to reach the power supply & MOBO, or will I potentially need any extensions? 

3) Installing the Windows OS: will it be as simple as plugging the flash drive into any USB port before booting for the first time?  This is literally my first go at a build completely from scratch.  I've upgraded individual parts before, but that's about it.

Thank you again so much for the assistance and feedback!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 16, 2019, 02:49:48 PM
I always suggest going to the manufacturer's website, but dimensions are also listed for all builds on TBG's main DIY PC page (https://techbuyersguru.com/tbg-diy-pc-buyers-guides). That wouldn't help you with the H200i, as it's not currently among the recommended cases, but it's been on my mind for a while as a possible substitute in an existing buyer's guide, so I happened to know the volume off the top of my head. ;)

Gotcha, must be nice to have that wealth of knowledge stored in there ;)

So I just placed orders for all of these parts, including the CPU cooler you recommended in your other post.  We'll see how it goes!  I do have a few general prep questions:

1) Is there a type of twist-tie you recommend I purchase (from maybe a hardware store?) before my parts come in to help tie loose chords and keep them organized?  Will anything do? 

2) Will all of the cables be long enough to reach the power supply & MOBO, or will I potentially need any extensions? 

3) Installing the Windows OS: will it be as simple as plugging the flash drive into any USB port before booting for the first time?  This is literally my first go at a build completely from scratch.  I've upgraded individual parts before, but that's about it.

Thank you again so much for the assistance and feedback!

Congrats on the PC purchase - you'll enjoy building it! And your experience upgrading parts in the past means you at least know what each of the components is that you're looking at and where they generally go in the PC. That's a great start!

In terms of ties, I'd use plastic zip ties - they're tighter and not conductive. All your cables will be long enough - in fact you may decide they're too long, but that's the nature of building a mini-ITX system - everything is very close together!

Windows should begin loading as soon as you plug the USB stick in and power on the system, but if you have any issues with that, I can help you trouble-shoot them.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 16, 2019, 02:58:18 PM
I always suggest going to the manufacturer's website, but dimensions are also listed for all builds on TBG's main DIY PC page (https://techbuyersguru.com/tbg-diy-pc-buyers-guides). That wouldn't help you with the H200i, as it's not currently among the recommended cases, but it's been on my mind for a while as a possible substitute in an existing buyer's guide, so I happened to know the volume off the top of my head. ;)

Gotcha, must be nice to have that wealth of knowledge stored in there ;)

So I just placed orders for all of these parts, including the CPU cooler you recommended in your other post.  We'll see how it goes!  I do have a few general prep questions:

...

Uh, oh, hold on a minute - you purchased the Scythe Mugen cooler? That is a great option, but it won't fit in the slim case - it was an upgrade option for the NZXT H200 case, which is much larger. In the Fractal Node 202 case, your only option is the Noctua NH-L9i (https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-Low-Profile-Cooler-Retail-Cooling/dp/B009VCAJ7W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=Noctua+NH-L9i&qid=1563314232&s=gateway&sr=8-3&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=aac6d62ce54aa314ed703f946537108d&language=en_US). Sorry for any confusion!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 16, 2019, 05:36:41 PM
I always suggest going to the manufacturer's website, but dimensions are also listed for all builds on TBG's main DIY PC page (https://techbuyersguru.com/tbg-diy-pc-buyers-guides). That wouldn't help you with the H200i, as it's not currently among the recommended cases, but it's been on my mind for a while as a possible substitute in an existing buyer's guide, so I happened to know the volume off the top of my head. ;)

Gotcha, must be nice to have that wealth of knowledge stored in there ;)

So I just placed orders for all of these parts, including the CPU cooler you recommended in your other post.  We'll see how it goes!  I do have a few general prep questions:

...

Uh, oh, hold on a minute - you purchased the Scythe Mugen cooler? That is a great option, but it won't fit in the slim case - it was an upgrade option for the NZXT H200 case, which is much larger. In the Fractal Node 202 case, your only option is the Noctua NH-L9i (https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-Low-Profile-Cooler-Retail-Cooling/dp/B009VCAJ7W/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=Noctua+NH-L9i&qid=1563314232&s=gateway&sr=8-3&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=aac6d62ce54aa314ed703f946537108d&language=en_US). Sorry for any confusion!

You know what?  I was so close to asking you to confirm that would fit before purchasing for exactly this reason.  Oh well, I'll have to see if I can return it or resell it (or cancel the order if it's not too late.)  I'll go ahead and purchase the other one included in this guide. 

Man, I'd truly have been lost with trying to find the right parts to fit this case on my own, and I am in need of an extremely tiny case at the moment (sharing a desk with my girlfriend in a relatively tiny 1BR apartment in a big city).  So I'm extremely grateful to have found your all inclusive guide!  Thanks so much again!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Stan Hope on July 17, 2019, 06:39:47 AM
First time PC builder here, I'm looking at building something along the lines of the $1000 e-sports build (or at least, that price range, mainly for gaming, with occasional productivity) and I have a couple of questions:

1. My first question is about the GPU - the July update is the first one I've noticed to use the blower type card, and you mention this is better for the SFF case. Have you done some testing on this for any similar cases? Most reviews seem to suggest that blowers cooled GPUs are hotter and louder, which makes sense looking at the tiny slots they're trying to blow the air out of the back. I'm wondering if it's worth holding off until August when the AiB twin fan versions of the RX 5700 come out. (I'm also using the Silverstone FTZ01 case, which I bought almost on impulse when I saw it for 」50, if this makes any difference cooling-wise, with its larger dimensions and case fans).

2. CPU - I'm considering getting a replacement cooler for the CPU if it will make a significant difference to temperature and noise. But I've also heard that AMDs stock coolers are pretty good - in which case I could go for the Ryzen 5 2600X, which is about the same at the i5-9400f on Amazon right now, and save myself the cost of the cooler.

3. Would there be any benefit to going to a more efficient PSU (e.g. the gold/platinum Corsair 450W model) in terms of system noise, or do you not really notice them with all the other fans going?

4. I wasn't going to get an internal optical drive, but my case has a slot. As much to catch any disk that an unsuspecting friend/family member might post in, do you have any recommendations here? Doesn't need to be anything special, I'll only use it for copying CDs, and very occasional DVD watching.

Many thanks!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 17, 2019, 09:48:33 AM
First time PC builder here, I'm looking at building something along the lines of the $1000 e-sports build (or at least, that price range, mainly for gaming, with occasional productivity) and I have a couple of questions:

1. My first question is about the GPU - the July update is the first one I've noticed to use the blower type card, and you mention this is better for the SFF case. Have you done some testing on this for any similar cases? Most reviews seem to suggest that blowers cooled GPUs are hotter and louder, which makes sense looking at the tiny slots they're trying to blow the air out of the back. I'm wondering if it's worth holding off until August when the AiB twin fan versions of the RX 5700 come out. (I'm also using the Silverstone FTZ01 case, which I bought almost on impulse when I saw it for 」50, if this makes any difference cooling-wise, with its larger dimensions and case fans).

2. CPU - I'm considering getting a replacement cooler for the CPU if it will make a significant difference to temperature and noise. But I've also heard that AMDs stock coolers are pretty good - in which case I could go for the Ryzen 5 2600X, which is about the same at the i5-9400f on Amazon right now, and save myself the cost of the cooler.

3. Would there be any benefit to going to a more efficient PSU (e.g. the gold/platinum Corsair 450W model) in terms of system noise, or do you not really notice them with all the other fans going?

4. I wasn't going to get an internal optical drive, but my case has a slot. As much to catch any disk that an unsuspecting friend/family member might post in, do you have any recommendations here? Doesn't need to be anything special, I'll only use it for copying CDs, and very occasional DVD watching.

Many thanks!

Welcome to the Forum, Stan Hope!

You're off to a good start with the SilverStone FTZ01 (http://SilverStone FTZ01), that's a beautiful case! Let me get to your questions straight away:

(1) GPU - I actually did do this testing, and you can see it right here (https://techbuyersguru.com/founders-edition-vs-open-air-video-card-coolers-definitive-analysis)! I can almost guarantee you that's the only published review in the entire world that actually tested open-air versus blower-style GPUs in this case! The other concern I have about open-air coolers is that almost all models are now 2.5 slots wide, which wouldn't work in the RVZ02 (but would in the FTZ01). So it's a combination of factors, really, and by the way, the chances of open-air RX 5700 models hitting the market in August is slim to none. Much more likely September.

(2) Coolers - Be careful about dimensions - you suggested the 2600X, which uses a 72mm-tall cooler that wouldn't fit in the RVZ02, but would in the FTZ01. So it's a good choice for you, but not for others who might be following this thread and using the RVZ02! By the way, if you have the budget for it, yes, get an aftermarket cooler. The Wraith Spire cooler that comes with the 2600X is very effective, but it's still not what I'd call quiet. I'd drop a 70mm-tall Noctua NH-L12S (https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NH-L12S-Low-Profile-Cooler-Quiet/dp/B075SF5QQ8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=Noctua+NH-L12S&qid=1563381458&s=gateway&sr=8-3&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=b68bd7c99c028e3c0d75dc05b5ed2f63&language=en_US) in there for absolute silence. Again, this is only an option in the FTZ01, not the RVZ02. And it's totally optional with either the 9400F or 2600X, as they both come with coolers.

(3) PSU - you'll definitely notice more heat and fan noise from a cheaper PSU, and you'll be using about 10% more electricity too. Also, modular cables are a huge benefit in small cases, and the lower-end SFX PSUs don't have them. So again, if you have the budget for it, grab one of the models recommended in TBG's higher-end ITX buyer's guides. Typically Corsair or SilverStone, but EVGA is attempting to steal market share away from both of them with its new Supernova 550 GM (https://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Supernova-Modular-Warranty-123-GM-0650-Y1/dp/B07JFLGGQ6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=EVGA+Supernova+650+GM&qid=1563381647&s=gateway&sr=8-1&th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=b6dcced8a0f5939aec2ffff962463e97&language=en_US), which offers more power for less money (at least in the US).

(4) Optical drive - you'll need to go with an expensive slot-loading model, unfortunately, but if you're willing to stick with a DVD rather than Blu-Ray drive, at least it won't cost a fortune. Here's SilverStone's SOD04 for 」61 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B071KZKLFD/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thtebusgu-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=B071KZKLFD&linkId=8de20e27230555ab153b10c866f9bd4a), more than you paid for the case, but that's only because you found such a hot deal on the FTZ01!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Stan Hope on July 18, 2019, 06:21:13 AM
Perfect, thank you. That GPU cooler review is just what I was looking for. So as I read it, the open air coolers are better, even in a sff case like the RV02 (and by extension the better cooled FTZ01) if you're not oveclocking (unless I missed something about CPU temps). Given the reported noise of the RX5700, I'd be better spending my 」40 of cooler money on a Nvidia RTX 2060 super to get a marginal performance improvement and much quieter operation. I can't see any on Amazon UK, but if you can benefit from links elsewhere, ebuyer has a good deal: https://www.ebuyer.com/900783-msi-geforce-rtx-2060-super-ventus-oc-8gb-graphics-card-rtx-2060-super-ventus-oc

That Silverstone drive is pretty expensive, would this one work? LG GS40N 9.5 mm Slim Slot Loading Internal DVD-W for Notebooks https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00Z7HPQ50/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_9fhmDb0B9ZKAV (https://amzn.to/2Lz5UbR)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 18, 2019, 08:16:30 AM
Perfect, thank you. That GPU cooler review is just what I was looking for. So as I read it, the open air coolers are better, even in a sff case like the RV02 (and by extension the better cooled FTZ01) if you're not oveclocking (unless I missed something about CPU temps). Given the reported noise of the RX5700, I'd be better spending my 」40 of cooler money on a Nvidia RTX 2060 super to get a marginal performance improvement and much quieter operation. I can't see any on Amazon UK, but if you can benefit from links elsewhere, ebuyer has a good deal: https://www.ebuyer.com/900783-msi-geforce-rtx-2060-super-ventus-oc-8gb-graphics-card-rtx-2060-super-ventus-oc

That Silverstone drive is pretty expensive, would this one work? LG GS40N 9.5 mm Slim Slot Loading Internal DVD-W for Notebooks https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00Z7HPQ50/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_9fhmDb0B9ZKAV (https://amzn.to/2Lz5UbR)

The issue with an open-air cooler in a slim case is that once you start pushing it, it affects everything else in the system. That's what the TBG testing shows. So people can talk about how great an open-air cooler is because all they're monitoring is the GPU, but they aren't considering what's going on in an actual slim system.

Luckily, the RTX 2060 Super is a bit more efficient than the GTX 1080 that was tested. The RTX 2060 Super was paper-launched at the beginning of July, and the MSI Armor version you found just hit stores in the past few days. It's the only RTX 2060 Super available on Amazon.com, and I see it's not on Amazon UK yet. You can go ahead and buy it from ebuyer, I've confirmed that it isn't too large to fit in the SilverStone case. I don't have an affiliate link, but go ahead and grab it there if you'd like. I may switch the guides to this card in August, assuming availability picks up.

And yes, you can use the LG drive (https://amzn.to/2Lz5UbR), although it seems availability is quite limited (optical drive production has essentially ceased, especially for these specialty drives). You can use the link here (https://amzn.to/2Lz5UbR) if you'd like to buy it from Amazon UK.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Stan Hope on July 18, 2019, 03:31:35 PM
That's great, thank you, I'll let you know how I get on!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 20, 2019, 04:32:28 PM
Hey Ari,

I have one additional question.  I just realized this build didn't list any fans to purchase.  Did I miss something, or are fans not required because of the case's compartmentalized style + the blower-style graphics card? 

Thanks!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 20, 2019, 04:53:22 PM
Hey Ari,

I have one additional question.  I just realized this build didn't list any fans to purchase.  Did I miss something, or are fans not required because of the case's compartmentalized style + the blower-style graphics card? 

Thanks!

Not only are they not required, they can't be used as there would be nowhere to mount them!

The system will stay cool using intake from the cpu, gpu, and psu fans, which all pull directly from outside the case.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 21, 2019, 07:47:37 AM
Hey Ari,

I have one additional question.  I just realized this build didn't list any fans to purchase.  Did I miss something, or are fans not required because of the case's compartmentalized style + the blower-style graphics card? 

Thanks!

Not only are they not required, they can't be used as there would be nowhere to mount them!

The system will stay cool using intake from the cpu, gpu, and psu fans, which all pull directly from outside the case.

Gotcha. 

I only asked because I saw this build video (https://youtu.be/OoWzSp6SS5c) using this case, which used 2 fans to create a "positive pressure" chamber in the GPU section (he talks about them around the 8:00 mark.)  Also, the GPU he used was of the dual external fan variety, rather than the "blower type".  If this is the same case, it looks like you can remove one of the screen filter panels to install 2 fans there instead. 

But if I don't need to add any fans, all the better!

Thanks :)
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 21, 2019, 10:02:43 AM
Hey Ari,

I have one additional question.  I just realized this build didn't list any fans to purchase.  Did I miss something, or are fans not required because of the case's compartmentalized style + the blower-style graphics card? 

Thanks!

Not only are they not required, they can't be used as there would be nowhere to mount them!

The system will stay cool using intake from the cpu, gpu, and psu fans, which all pull directly from outside the case.

Gotcha. 

I only asked because I saw this build video (https://youtu.be/OoWzSp6SS5c) using this case, which used 2 fans to create a "positive pressure" chamber in the GPU section (he talks about them around the 8:00 mark.)  Also, the GPU he used was of the dual external fan variety, rather than the "blower type".  If this is the same case, it looks like you can remove one of the screen filter panels to install 2 fans there instead. 

But if I don't need to add any fans, all the better!

Thanks :)

When using a blower-style RX 5700 XT, one of those fans would blow directly into a solid plastic wall (the shroud of the GPU, so it really wouldn't help at all. The other would blow into the GPU's own fan, which might help, but honestly it could just cause back-pressure and disrupt airflow to the fan. I hear Jayz2Cents talking a lot about positive pressure, which is a real concept, but in this case, it really doesn't apply. The air will simply get jammed up against other objects in the case. It's more relevant to larger cases.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 21, 2019, 05:26:42 PM


When using a blower-style RX 5700 XT, one of those fans would blow directly into a solid plastic wall (the shroud of the GPU, so it really wouldn't help at all. The other would blow into the GPU's own fan, which might help, but honestly it could just cause back-pressure and disrupt airflow to the fan. I hear Jayz2Cents talking a lot about positive pressure, which is a real concept, but in this case, it really doesn't apply. The air will simply get jammed up against other objects in the case. It's more relevant to larger cases.

Weird, okay. 

Just realized I have another question.  It's been a LONG time since I've had a desktop PC (12+ years.)  I've just been using laptops in my tiny spaces, so I realized I've taken it for granted that I will always have wireless access to the internet.  I only JUST realized this might be an issue.  Will my desktop be able to get wireless internet, or will it be absolutely required that I directly connect via ethernet?   I'm genuinely not sure the latter will be possible in our current space.  The internet port is on the complete opposite side of our apartment in a small closet. 

Edit: I just checked the Q&A section for the MOBO in this build, and a few people answered that it has built in WIFI.  But feel free to confirm :)

Phew.

Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 21, 2019, 07:37:22 PM


When using a blower-style RX 5700 XT, one of those fans would blow directly into a solid plastic wall (the shroud of the GPU, so it really wouldn't help at all. The other would blow into the GPU's own fan, which might help, but honestly it could just cause back-pressure and disrupt airflow to the fan. I hear Jayz2Cents talking a lot about positive pressure, which is a real concept, but in this case, it really doesn't apply. The air will simply get jammed up against other objects in the case. It's more relevant to larger cases.

Weird, okay. 

Just realized I have another question.  It's been a LONG time since I've had a desktop PC (12+ years.)  I've just been using laptops in my tiny spaces, so I realized I've taken it for granted that I will always have wireless access to the internet.  I only JUST realized this might be an issue.  Will my desktop be able to get wireless internet, or will it be absolutely required that I directly connect via ethernet?   I'm genuinely not sure the latter will be possible in our current space.  The internet port is on the complete opposite side of our apartment in a small closet. 

Edit: I just checked the Q&A section for the MOBO in this build, and a few people answered that it has built in WIFI.  But feel free to confirm :)

Phew.

Actually all midrange and up ($100+) ITX boards have it. Just a standard feature, which is nice given limited slots and ports.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Stan Hope on July 23, 2019, 02:13:36 AM
...

(2) Coolers - Be careful about dimensions - you suggested the 2600X, which uses a 72mm-tall cooler that wouldn't fit in the RVZ02, but would in the FTZ01. So it's a good choice for you, but not for others who might be following this thread and using the RVZ02! By the way, if you have the budget for it, yes, get an aftermarket cooler. The Wraith Spire cooler that comes with the 2600X is very effective, but it's still not what I'd call quiet. I'd drop a 70mm-tall Noctua NH-L12S (https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NH-L12S-Low-Profile-Cooler-Quiet/dp/B075SF5QQ8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=Noctua+NH-L12S&qid=1563381458&s=gateway&sr=8-3&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=b68bd7c99c028e3c0d75dc05b5ed2f63&language=en_US) in there for absolute silence. Again, this is only an option in the FTZ01, not the RVZ02. And it's totally optional with either the 9400F or 2600X, as they both come with coolers.
...

Parts beginning to arrive now (though a nervous wait to see if the RTX 2060 Super actually comes given its general lack of availability on the internet!) and I'm beginning to think about putting it all together. On the cooler, I see the fan can be placed above or below the fins, and blowing upward or downwards to match the case airflow direction. I assume it has to be below the fins to fit the case, but which direction should the airflow be for the FT01? I would guess downwards, sucking air in from outside, which would match the case fans, but can't really tell what's best.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 23, 2019, 04:20:48 AM
...

(2) Coolers - Be careful about dimensions - you suggested the 2600X, which uses a 72mm-tall cooler that wouldn't fit in the RVZ02, but would in the FTZ01. So it's a good choice for you, but not for others who might be following this thread and using the RVZ02! By the way, if you have the budget for it, yes, get an aftermarket cooler. The Wraith Spire cooler that comes with the 2600X is very effective, but it's still not what I'd call quiet. I'd drop a 70mm-tall Noctua NH-L12S (https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NH-L12S-Low-Profile-Cooler-Quiet/dp/B075SF5QQ8/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=Noctua+NH-L12S&qid=1563381458&s=gateway&sr=8-3&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=b68bd7c99c028e3c0d75dc05b5ed2f63&language=en_US) in there for absolute silence. Again, this is only an option in the FTZ01, not the RVZ02. And it's totally optional with either the 9400F or 2600X, as they both come with coolers.
...

Parts beginning to arrive now (though a nervous wait to see if the RTX 2060 Super actually comes given its general lack of availability on the internet!) and I'm beginning to think about putting it all together. On the cooler, I see the fan can be placed above or below the fins, and blowing upward or downwards to match the case airflow direction. I assume it has to be below the fins to fit the case, but which direction should the airflow be for the FT01? I would guess downwards, sucking air in from outside, which would match the case fans, but can't really tell what's best.

Actually, there's just one right way: fan mounted underneath blowing up and out of the heatsink. Fans are very ineffective when tasked with pulling air through constricted surfaces like a heatsink, but better at pushing through them. And at 70mm tall with a 15mm-thick fan, the NH- L12S would be a bit too high to fit in the FTZ01, which had 83mm of clearance.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Stan Hope on July 23, 2019, 05:10:26 AM
Thank you, good to know! I probably would have done it the other way, and assumed poor cooling was down to the SFF case!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 30, 2019, 10:27:53 PM
Hello again,

So I finally got all my parts and attempted to put this bad boy together!  I can't quite get the machine running, however.  I am able to power it on, but I'm met with an error on screen stating "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key."  I have my windwos 10 flash drive plugged into a USB port.  I honestly don't know if I plugged the correct cords into the correct USB ports on the MOBO, though.  My keyboard appears to be receiving power, however, and the screen responds to a key press (it just refreshes and gives the same error prompt.) 

Things to note:

1) I was left with a few extra cables from my power supply: a 2nd "VGA" cable (which I think would be used for a 2nd graphics card), a "periph" cable (which I believe would be for any fans, if I were using them, which I'm not), and a SATA cable (which I gather would be for a hard drive, but am I correct in stating this particular SSD, which attaches directly to the MOBO, laying down flat, does not require any direct power from the PSU?)  I couldn't find a single place on the MOBO to attach the SATA cable if needed.  Nor could I find any information on Crucial's manual or website regarding the necessity of a SATA cable for this particular SSD. 

2) My monitor won't get a DP signal through the GPU port, but will get a signal through the MOBO port.  Idk if that is normal for a brand new build until device drivers are installed. 

I think that's all I've got as far as details go right now.  Please help!

Thanks in advance!


Edit: got the computer to boot and windows to install! Have no idea about anything else, but I need to head to bed. I値l check on the GPU tomorrow.

I did, however, hear the CPU fan kick in temporarily (the recommended replacement fan), and my god was it loud. Like something seriously sounded off about it, like it was running up against something. No chords should be against it. What else would cause that? I知 using this case vertically, but I壇 assume a good fan would be totally ok with that. Any suggestions?
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Stan Hope on July 31, 2019, 01:14:50 AM
Brand new PC up and running! Did a quick UserBenchMark:

UserBenchmarks: Game 112%, Desk 106%, Work 69% (https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/18884531)
CPU: Intel Core i5-9400F (https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/699058/IntelR-CoreTM-i5-9400F-CPU---290GHz) - 82.2%
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060-Super (https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Nvidia-RTX-2060-Super/Rating/4049) - 131.8%
SSD: Crucial P1 3D NVMe PCIe M.2 1TB (https://ssd.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/607339/CT1000P1SSD8) - 221%
RAM: Crucial BLS8G4D26BFSBK.8FD 2x8GB (https://ram.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/464578/Crucial-BLS8G4D26BFSBK8FD-2x8GB) - 87.3%
MBD: Asrock H370M-ITX/ac (https://www.userbenchmark.com/System/Asrock-H370M-ITXac/85147)

Also in my build:
Case: FTZ-01
PSU: EVGA 550W Gold SFX
CPU Fan: Noctua NH-L12S
Optical Drive: LG Internal Slim Slot Loading DVD

So all in all pretty pleased with the results. It's night and day compared to my 6-year old Dell Inspiron laptop. I only have a 1080p monitor, so haven't really stretched it. Planning to go to 1440p 144Hz some time in the next year, so will see what it's really capable of then.

Some observations from a newbie builder:
1. A magnetic screwdriver literally makes this possible. Jeweller's screwdriver set was also useful, and not just for the M2 drive - I regularly found myself using them to push cables into place.

2. I installed the cooler before putting the motherboard in the case, and then put the mobo in before connecting the cables. With hindsight I should have put the mobo in fist, connected the cables and then add the cooler. Once the cooler is in place some ports are inaccessible, and others very difficult to reach.

3. When pushing things into place it's hard to get the pressure just right. I was over cautious with the M2 SSD, and hadn't clicked it in (even though I managed to get the screw in place). I only noticed when doing something else, and saw it wasn't quite straight, so fortunate to avoid some pain there. Connecting the case usb cable in, I was pushing quite hard, expecting to feel a click and didn't, and then realised I was putting quite a lot of pressure on the motherboard. I decided that would be best just to leave, and come back to if the ports didn't work (they do).

4. Cables! True to my civil engineering background, I physically put the components in place and thought I'd done most of the work! I'd read that cabling was tricking in a SFF, but sort of assumed I'd be ok! Aside from the trouble connecting everything around the CPU cooler, there are a lot of cables to fit in. In the end it felt a little like stuffing a suitcase for going on holiday getting the lid back on. Not quite how I'd imagined it, but it's hidden and functional, so that works for me.

5. Switching on was magic, I couldn't believe it worked first time! My regular HD TV complained that it didn't support the resolution, so had to switch to a monitor for set up, but then it was fine. One of the case fans didn't work (I'd connected it to the water cooler case fan port - I don't know if this was wrong, but now I've used the splitter and connected to the other case fan port.

6. RGB etc. My GPU is quite nice looking (RTX 2060 super founders edition in the end), and has a pleasing green glow. When I started out, I thought RGB was an unnecessary vanity, and I wouldn't really want it. But having put the effort in, and seen what a nice GPU looks like, I'd be tempted to go for a case with a window in future.

7. A big thank you to Tech Buyer's Guru! I really enjoyed this project from start to finish, and am delighted with my new PC. As I was building, I looked at the array of components and wires I had, and couldn't quite believe that I had all the right pieces. It's been a long held ambition of mine to build a PC, and I couldn't have done it without your help!

tl;dr
Building my first PC, and starting in a SFF case was challenging, but worthwhile, and a big thank you to TBG for making it possible for me!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 31, 2019, 07:52:18 AM
Hello again,

So I finally got all my parts and attempted to put this bad boy together!  I can't quite get the machine running, however.  I am able to power it on, but I'm met with an error on screen stating "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key."  I have my windwos 10 flash drive plugged into a USB port.  I honestly don't know if I plugged the correct cords into the correct USB ports on the MOBO, though.  My keyboard appears to be receiving power, however, and the screen responds to a key press (it just refreshes and gives the same error prompt.) 

Things to note:

1) I was left with a few extra cables from my power supply: a 2nd "VGA" cable (which I think would be used for a 2nd graphics card), a "periph" cable (which I believe would be for any fans, if I were using them, which I'm not), and a SATA cable (which I gather would be for a hard drive, but am I correct in stating this particular SSD, which attaches directly to the MOBO, laying down flat, does not require any direct power from the PSU?)  I couldn't find a single place on the MOBO to attach the SATA cable if needed.  Nor could I find any information on Crucial's manual or website regarding the necessity of a SATA cable for this particular SSD. 

2) My monitor won't get a DP signal through the GPU port, but will get a signal through the MOBO port.  Idk if that is normal for a brand new build until device drivers are installed. 

I think that's all I've got as far as details go right now.  Please help!

Thanks in advance!


Edit: got the computer to boot and windows to install! Have no idea about anything else, but I need to head to bed. I値l check on the GPU tomorrow.

I did, however, hear the CPU fan kick in temporarily (the recommended replacement fan), and my god was it loud. Like something seriously sounded off about it, like it was running up against something. No chords should be against it. What else would cause that? I知 using this case vertically, but I壇 assume a good fan would be totally ok with that. Any suggestions?

Homitu - so glad you got it working. You are right that the M.2 SSD you are using requires no cables - that's the beauty of it (in addition to its speed!).

Now, as for the noise you are hearing, can you confirm which cooler you are using? Is it the optional SilverStone AR06? It has a maximum speed of 2500RPM, which would be pretty loud. It will indeed spin up to full speed at bootup. As long as they quiet down after this initial sequence, it's fine. But if it's loud during use, then we'll have to take a closer look.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 31, 2019, 08:18:56 AM
Hello again,

So I finally got all my parts and attempted to put this bad boy together!  I can't quite get the machine running, however.  I am able to power it on, but I'm met with an error on screen stating "Reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key."  I have my windwos 10 flash drive plugged into a USB port.  I honestly don't know if I plugged the correct cords into the correct USB ports on the MOBO, though.  My keyboard appears to be receiving power, however, and the screen responds to a key press (it just refreshes and gives the same error prompt.) 

Things to note:

1) I was left with a few extra cables from my power supply: a 2nd "VGA" cable (which I think would be used for a 2nd graphics card), a "periph" cable (which I believe would be for any fans, if I were using them, which I'm not), and a SATA cable (which I gather would be for a hard drive, but am I correct in stating this particular SSD, which attaches directly to the MOBO, laying down flat, does not require any direct power from the PSU?)  I couldn't find a single place on the MOBO to attach the SATA cable if needed.  Nor could I find any information on Crucial's manual or website regarding the necessity of a SATA cable for this particular SSD. 

2) My monitor won't get a DP signal through the GPU port, but will get a signal through the MOBO port.  Idk if that is normal for a brand new build until device drivers are installed. 

I think that's all I've got as far as details go right now.  Please help!

Thanks in advance!


Edit: got the computer to boot and windows to install! Have no idea about anything else, but I need to head to bed. I値l check on the GPU tomorrow.

I did, however, hear the CPU fan kick in temporarily (the recommended replacement fan), and my god was it loud. Like something seriously sounded off about it, like it was running up against something. No chords should be against it. What else would cause that? I知 using this case vertically, but I壇 assume a good fan would be totally ok with that. Any suggestions?

Homitu - so glad you got it working. You are right that the M.2 SSD you are using requires no cables - that's the beauty of it (in addition to its speed!).

Now, as for the noise you are hearing, can you confirm which cooler you are using? Is it the optional SilverStone AR06? It has a maximum speed of 2500RPM, which would be pretty loud. It will indeed spin up to full speed at bootup. As long as they quiet down after this initial sequence, it's fine. But if it's loud during use, then we'll have to take a closer look.

Hey Ari,

The optional CPU cooler I got wasn't the SilverSone AR06, but rather the Noctua NH-L9i.  Was this part part of the build recently updated?  We discussed coolers in an earlier post.  You had recommended a different cooler for a different case (which I accidentally purchased, but cancelled the order on time), but informed me that for the Node 202, I needed to stick with the Noctua NH-L9i because the other one wouldn't fit. 

Hoping I have the right fan! 

I can inspect more closely when I try to continue my setup process at home later, but it seriously sounded like the fan was scraping up against something.  It wasn't just normal loud fan noises of blowing air.  It was a roar and a grind.  During the moments of silence, the fan simply didn't blow at all, which I thought was unusual.  I thought the fans always blew at least lightly, but maybe I'm wrong about that? 
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 31, 2019, 09:11:15 AM
Brand new PC up and running! Did a quick UserBenchMark:

UserBenchmarks: Game 112%, Desk 106%, Work 69% (https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/18884531)
CPU: Intel Core i5-9400F (https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/699058/IntelR-CoreTM-i5-9400F-CPU---290GHz) - 82.2%
GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060-Super (https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Nvidia-RTX-2060-Super/Rating/4049) - 131.8%
SSD: Crucial P1 3D NVMe PCIe M.2 1TB (https://ssd.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/607339/CT1000P1SSD8) - 221%
RAM: Crucial BLS8G4D26BFSBK.8FD 2x8GB (https://ram.userbenchmark.com/SpeedTest/464578/Crucial-BLS8G4D26BFSBK8FD-2x8GB) - 87.3%
MBD: Asrock H370M-ITX/ac (https://www.userbenchmark.com/System/Asrock-H370M-ITXac/85147)

Also in my build:
Case: FTZ-01
PSU: EVGA 550W Gold SFX
CPU Fan: Noctua NH-L12S
Optical Drive: LG Internal Slim Slot Loading DVD

So all in all pretty pleased with the results. It's night and day compared to my 6-year old Dell Inspiron laptop. I only have a 1080p monitor, so haven't really stretched it. Planning to go to 1440p 144Hz some time in the next year, so will see what it's really capable of then.

Some observations from a newbie builder:
1. A magnetic screwdriver literally makes this possible. Jeweller's screwdriver set was also useful, and not just for the M2 drive - I regularly found myself using them to push cables into place.

2. I installed the cooler before putting the motherboard in the case, and then put the mobo in before connecting the cables. With hindsight I should have put the mobo in fist, connected the cables and then add the cooler. Once the cooler is in place some ports are inaccessible, and others very difficult to reach.

3. When pushing things into place it's hard to get the pressure just right. I was over cautious with the M2 SSD, and hadn't clicked it in (even though I managed to get the screw in place). I only noticed when doing something else, and saw it wasn't quite straight, so fortunate to avoid some pain there. Connecting the case usb cable in, I was pushing quite hard, expecting to feel a click and didn't, and then realised I was putting quite a lot of pressure on the motherboard. I decided that would be best just to leave, and come back to if the ports didn't work (they do).

4. Cables! True to my civil engineering background, I physically put the components in place and thought I'd done most of the work! I'd read that cabling was tricking in a SFF, but sort of assumed I'd be ok! Aside from the trouble connecting everything around the CPU cooler, there are a lot of cables to fit in. In the end it felt a little like stuffing a suitcase for going on holiday getting the lid back on. Not quite how I'd imagined it, but it's hidden and functional, so that works for me.

5. Switching on was magic, I couldn't believe it worked first time! My regular HD TV complained that it didn't support the resolution, so had to switch to a monitor for set up, but then it was fine. One of the case fans didn't work (I'd connected it to the water cooler case fan port - I don't know if this was wrong, but now I've used the splitter and connected to the other case fan port.

6. RGB etc. My GPU is quite nice looking (RTX 2060 super founders edition in the end), and has a pleasing green glow. When I started out, I thought RGB was an unnecessary vanity, and I wouldn't really want it. But having put the effort in, and seen what a nice GPU looks like, I'd be tempted to go for a case with a window in future.

7. A big thank you to Tech Buyer's Guru! I really enjoyed this project from start to finish, and am delighted with my new PC. As I was building, I looked at the array of components and wires I had, and couldn't quite believe that I had all the right pieces. It's been a long held ambition of mine to build a PC, and I couldn't have done it without your help!

tl;dr
Building my first PC, and starting in a SFF case was challenging, but worthwhile, and a big thank you to TBG for making it possible for me!

Welcome to the wonderful world of building your own PCs, Stan Hope! It sounds like you did a great job, especially given that it started up on the first try.

Now, a couple of thoughts on your feedback:

(1) In the FTZ01 case, you actually can't install the motherboard before installing the heatsink, as there is no access to the back of the board once it's installed. This is a pretty big annoyance, but it's true in a lot of ITX cases, including the SilverStone SG13 (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MNC3JCB/ref=as_li_ss_tl?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=e0f6c639ffe9a7c841e30f3e94fe055d&language=en_US), one of TBG's top picks and one that's extremely popular among TBG readers. So the only way you could get around the issue of cables being hard to install (particularly the 8-pin EPS power cable, which is nearly impossible), would be to install the cable and have it hanging off the motherboard, then install the cooler, then install the board in the case, and finally route the EPS cable back to the modular port on the motherboard.

(2) You are correct that the case's USB 3.0 cable doesn't click in, but it sure would be nice if there were some feedback to know it's attached. Unfortunately, the standard for USB 3.0 was a pretty terrible one, as the cable is stiff, the connector is huge, and it also tends to fall out. All in all, a fail on the part of the USB consortium, but the newer USB 3.1 Gen 2 standard is quite a bit better, it will just take time to be adopted.

(3) Yes, RGB is cool! It's a bit hard to add windows into ITX builds - you can read TBG's review of the SilverStone LD03 (https://techbuyersguru.com/silverstone-ld03-glass-mini-itx-case-review) to learn how the glass-enclosed case sacrifices some cooling potential in pursuit of the ultimate in aesthetics. Photo below:

(https://techbuyersguru.com/sites/default/files/resize/pictures/Cases/CaseReviews/SilverStoneLD03/SystemBuiltHP-349x500.jpg)

Perhaps a more successful approach is SilverStone's RVZ03-ARGB (https://www.amazon.com/SilverStone-Technology-Motherboards-Addressable-SST-RVZ03B-ARGB/dp/B07K5Z41CZ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=rvz03argb&pd_rd_i=B07K5Z41CZ&pd_rd_r=21e08b73-1ee7-41a8-af3b-60cd0ee95156&pd_rd_w=uJriw&pd_rd_wg=yS40r&pf_rd_p=a6d018ad-f20b-46c9-8920-433972c7d9b7&pf_rd_r=HF11ABN0GH99CH3H5H64&qid=1564588972&s=electronics&linkCode=ll1&tag=thtebusgu-20&linkId=ba1e5dc70f7308899afa658a3327d742&language=en_US), which simply adds ARGB to the front panel, rather than trying to give a view to the inside. Note that this is actually the same chassis as your FTZ01!

I think manufacturers are really still coming to terms with how to add RGB to small cases, and my take is that they will need to use mesh rather than glass, which isn't quite as sleek-looking, but much better for airflow. One of my favorite cases ever is the Corsair Carbide 500R (https://techbuyersguru.com/corsair-carbide-500r-atx-case-review), which used a coarse mesh front panel to allow its then-advanced white LEDs to shine through. Adding glass to the front may be all the rage, but it's a pretty bad solution for ITX cases. See below for a nostalgia photo from 2014 of the 500R in full effect!

(https://techbuyersguru.com/sites/default/files/pictures/Cases/CaseReviews/Corsair500R/Corsair500Rwithlightson.jpg)

tl;dr
Building PCs never gets old, so welcome to the fold!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 31, 2019, 09:32:13 AM

Hey Ari,

The optional CPU cooler I got wasn't the SilverSone AR06, but rather the Noctua NH-L9i.  Was this part part of the build recently updated?  We discussed coolers in an earlier post.  You had recommended a different cooler for a different case (which I accidentally purchased, but cancelled the order on time), but informed me that for the Node 202, I needed to stick with the Noctua NH-L9i because the other one wouldn't fit. 

Hoping I have the right fan! 

I can inspect more closely when I try to continue my setup process at home later, but it seriously sounded like the fan was scraping up against something.  It wasn't just normal loud fan noises of blowing air.  It was a roar and a grind.  During the moments of silence, the fan simply didn't blow at all, which I thought was unusual.  I thought the fans always blew at least lightly, but maybe I'm wrong about that?

Oh, yes, the build was completely reworked for August, you have the July build using the Fractal Design Node 202 case (now featured in the $1,000 Esports Build (https://techbuyersguru.com/1000-esports-gaming-mini-itx-pc-build)), which needed a shorter cooler (the Noctua NH-L9i). So no problem at all, you have the right gear.

The Noctua NH-L9i is a virtually silent fan. Even at full speed it doesn't roar. I would definitely take a look to make sure there isn't a cable that got caught in there when you were putting the case panel on.

It's also possible the sound you heard was the GPU ramping up its fans and then settling down. It will hit 100% for a brief period at boot up, and it will be loud.

As you and Stan Hope above are discovering, there's lots to juggle when building ITX PCs, but the result once everything is sorted is something really awesome!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 31, 2019, 10:05:56 AM

Hey Ari,

The optional CPU cooler I got wasn't the SilverSone AR06, but rather the Noctua NH-L9i.  Was this part part of the build recently updated?  We discussed coolers in an earlier post.  You had recommended a different cooler for a different case (which I accidentally purchased, but cancelled the order on time), but informed me that for the Node 202, I needed to stick with the Noctua NH-L9i because the other one wouldn't fit. 

Hoping I have the right fan! 

I can inspect more closely when I try to continue my setup process at home later, but it seriously sounded like the fan was scraping up against something.  It wasn't just normal loud fan noises of blowing air.  It was a roar and a grind.  During the moments of silence, the fan simply didn't blow at all, which I thought was unusual.  I thought the fans always blew at least lightly, but maybe I'm wrong about that?

Oh, yes, the build was completely reworked for August, you have the July build using the Fractal Design Node 202 case (now featured in the $1,000 Esports Build (https://techbuyersguru.com/1000-esports-gaming-mini-itx-pc-build)), which needed a shorter cooler (the Noctua NH-L9i). So no problem at all, you have the right gear.

The Noctua NH-L9i is a virtually silent fan. Even at full speed it doesn't roar. I would definitely take a look to make sure there isn't a cable that got caught in there when you were putting the case panel on.

It's also possible the sound you heard was the GPU ramping up its fans and then settling down. It will hit 100% for a brief period at boot up, and it will be loud.

As you and Stan Hope above are discovering, there's lots to juggle when building ITX PCs, but the result once everything is sorted is something really awesome!

Okay, I'll take a look inside when I get home. There were definitely some cables hanging around, but I thought they were tucked off to the side of the fan.  I can try to tie them down a bit more firmly. 

I'm pretty sure it was the CPU fan because I physically saw it through the case opening.  Then the sound died down once the fan completely stopped.  Again, is it typical for the fan to completely idle for periods of time? 

I'm still not sure my GPU is even connected properly and working.  What would my best way to test that be when I go home?  Like I said, my monitor won't display anything if I plug my DP chord directly into my GPU.  For now, I have to plug it into my MOBO ports.  Any guidance with this? 

Thanks for all your help so far!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 31, 2019, 10:16:12 AM

Okay, I'll take a look inside when I get home. There were definitely some cables hanging around, but I thought they were tucked off to the side of the fan.  I can try to tie them down a bit more firmly. 

I'm pretty sure it was the CPU fan because I physically saw it through the case opening.  Then the sound died down once the fan completely stopped.  Again, is it typical for the fan to completely idle for periods of time? 

I'm still not sure my GPU is even connected properly and working.  What would my best way to test that be when I go home?  Like I said, my monitor won't display anything if I plug my DP chord directly into my GPU.  For now, I have to plug it into my MOBO ports.  Any guidance with this? 

Thanks for all your help so far!

Sounds like you have a few issues. The CPU fan should actually continue to spin at all times. There is no "zero-fan mode" for CPUs, at least not officially, and it's nothing you'd want to do manually unless you had a huge heatsink (which you obviously can't have in a slim build). So make sure to clear all cables from that CPU fan, and test it with the side panel off so you can watch it carefully.

As for your video output problem, it does sound like you need to make some adjustments to get your video card working. Having the motherboard Displayport is a great thing for troubleshooting, but it won't allow you to actually play games using the GPU in your system. So go back and make sure of two things:

(1) the GPU is fully seated in the PCIe extension bracket, and that the bracket is properly connected to the motherboard.

(2) the power cable is attached to the GPU, with the other end properly attached to the power supply's modular "PCIe" socket.

Report back on how all this goes - hopefully we'll make some progress!

Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 31, 2019, 02:22:47 PM

Sounds like you have a few issues. The CPU fan should actually continue to spin at all times. There is no "zero-fan mode" for CPUs, at least not officially, and it's nothing you'd want to do manually unless you had a huge heatsink (which you obviously can't have in a slim build). So make sure to clear all cables from that CPU fan, and test it with the side panel off so you can watch it carefully.

As for your video output problem, it does sound like you need to make some adjustments to get your video card working. Having the motherboard Displayport is a great thing for troubleshooting, but it won't allow you to actually play games using the GPU in your system. So go back and make sure of two things:

(1) the GPU is fully seated in the PCIe extension bracket, and that the bracket is properly connected to the motherboard.

(2) the power cable is attached to the GPU, with the other end properly attached to the power supply's modular "PCIe" socket.

Report back on how all this goes - hopefully we'll make some progress!

Great, thanks for the quick feedback.  I'll definitely take a look when I get home. 

To preempt a GPU cable question, however, can you confirm how the cables provided with the EVGA Supernova 550 GM are supposed to attached between the PSU and GPU?  I found figuring out which cable connections to make to be by far the most confusing part of the build.  Naive me thought it would be much more intuitive. 

(https://i.imgur.com/d8UZKU6.png)

So this is the cable I determined connects the GPU to the PSU.  It's labeled "VGA", which, after some internet searching, I learned is not standard and confused a lot of other people as well.  It was 8 pronged (one end was 6+2), which I believe is what I put into the 8 prong part of the GPU (there's an 8 pin section right next to a 6 pin section), and the far other end was just a full 8 pin.  Question 1: does it matter which side goes into the GPU and which goes into the PSU?

Noob question 2, pertains to the image below:

(https://i.imgur.com/5EqAqG3.png)

Do you plug in both blue circled ends (one into the PSU, one into the GPU) or do you use one of the blue circled ends and the red circled end.  I think I used the 2 blues.  I couldn't quite understand why the chord was built the way it was.  Feel free to educate me :)

Thanks again!

Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 31, 2019, 03:17:44 PM
Homitu - the PCIe/VGA cable is indeed referred to different ways, and as I recall EVGA is seems to prefer VGA, which probably is more accurate, but is not the industry standard. So it's trying to do things right and confusing people in the process!

Now, as for the cable itself, modern PSUs will always have 6+2-pin connectors used for the GPU end, and a solid 8-pin connector for the PSU end. You would never plug one of the 6+2-pin ends into the PSU, so that could have been your issue. The reason there are two of those, by the way, is that many ultra-high-end GPUs require an 8-pin and a 6-pin or even two 8-pins, hence it's more convenient to have them both come off the same cable. And as to why it's a 6+2-pin rather than a solid 8-pin, well that's because the original PCIe/VGA standard was 6-pin, and as GPUs became more power-hungry, it grew to 8-pin. One 6-pin connector carries 75W, a 6+2-pin connector carries 150W. Back in the day (as in a few years ago), high-end GPUs used two 6-pin connectors, which was pretty inefficient from a space and cabling standpoint, and all modern cards from AMD and Nvidia have now moved to an 8-pin if they need the full 150W. There are no longer any cards built with two 6-pin connectors, but there are still some with a single 6-pin, or an 8-pin and a 6-pin, and hence, the split 6+2-pin standard definitely isn't going away anytime soon.

Hope that educates you sufficiently! ;)

While you're here, you might as well enter the TBG prize drawing (https://techbuyersguru.com/forum/index.php?topic=658.0), by the way!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 31, 2019, 05:24:11 PM
Homitu - the PCIe/VGA cable is indeed referred to different ways, and as I recall EVGA is seems to prefer VGA, which probably is more accurate, but is not the industry standard. So it's trying to do things right and confusing people in the process!

Now, as for the cable itself, modern PSUs will always have 6+2-pin connectors used for the GPU end, and a solid 8-pin connector for the PSU end. You would never plug one of the 6+2-pin ends into the PSU, so that could have been your issue. The reason there are two of those, by the way, is that many ultra-high-end GPUs require an 8-pin and a 6-pin or even two 8-pins, hence it's more convenient to have them both come off the same cable. And as to why it's a 6+2-pin rather than a solid 8-pin, well that's because the original PCIe/VGA standard was 6-pin, and as GPUs became more power-hungry, it grew to 8-pin. One 6-pin connector carries 75W, a 6+2-pin connector carries 150W. Back in the day (as in a few years ago), high-end GPUs used two 6-pin connectors, which was pretty inefficient from a space and cabling standpoint, and all modern cards from AMD and Nvidia have now moved to an 8-pin if they need the full 150W. There are no longer any cards built with two 6-pin connectors, but there are still some with a single 6-pin, or an 8-pin and a 6-pin, and hence, the split 6+2-pin standard definitely isn't going away anytime soon.

Hope that educates you sufficiently! ;)

While you're here, you might as well enter the TBG prize drawing (https://techbuyersguru.com/forum/index.php?topic=658.0), by the way!

That was definitely very educational, so thank you!  I'll also definitely sign up for the giveaway :)

Sooo, a couple new developments here:

First, I totally found what was wrong with my fan.  There was a huge Noctua metal badge inside the fan... See the pics in the below album.  No idea where it came from or where it belongs.  It has a sticker adhesive on one side.  Am I supposed to put that somewhere, or is it pure style/advertising points?  Anyway, removed that and now the fan is operating normally and quietly.  It does run well. 

Second, I switched the VGA cable around so the side that contains 6 prongs + 2 side prongs plugs into the graphics card, and the side that is a solid 8 prongs is into the power supply, but now when I boot, I can no longer get a signal at all on my monitor.  Neither through the GPU port nor through the MOBO like before. When I open the case, however, I do see the GPU appears to have power.  The radeon logo lights up. 

What do you think can be the issue?  PCIe onnections to the MOBO appear to be tight, but I'll triple check them. 

https://imgur.com/gallery/o0XjJGt

Edit/update: after pressing in all of my power cords more firmly into the MOBO, I was able to get a signal on my monitor and boot.  But once again only through the MOBO ports.  When I plug the HDMI or DP cable into the GPU directly, no signal is sent.  Again, the GPU appears to be connected firmly.  Everything has to get screwed into place via the riser card and PCIe port.  There doesn't feel like there's even room to have a loose connection.  I'm not sure how to trouble shoot without really removing the whole card and trying from scratch. 

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 31, 2019, 07:14:35 PM
Homitu - the PCIe/VGA cable is indeed referred to different ways, and as I recall EVGA is seems to prefer VGA, which probably is more accurate, but is not the industry standard. So it's trying to do things right and confusing people in the process!

Now, as for the cable itself, modern PSUs will always have 6+2-pin connectors used for the GPU end, and a solid 8-pin connector for the PSU end. You would never plug one of the 6+2-pin ends into the PSU, so that could have been your issue. The reason there are two of those, by the way, is that many ultra-high-end GPUs require an 8-pin and a 6-pin or even two 8-pins, hence it's more convenient to have them both come off the same cable. And as to why it's a 6+2-pin rather than a solid 8-pin, well that's because the original PCIe/VGA standard was 6-pin, and as GPUs became more power-hungry, it grew to 8-pin. One 6-pin connector carries 75W, a 6+2-pin connector carries 150W. Back in the day (as in a few years ago), high-end GPUs used two 6-pin connectors, which was pretty inefficient from a space and cabling standpoint, and all modern cards from AMD and Nvidia have now moved to an 8-pin if they need the full 150W. There are no longer any cards built with two 6-pin connectors, but there are still some with a single 6-pin, or an 8-pin and a 6-pin, and hence, the split 6+2-pin standard definitely isn't going away anytime soon.

Hope that educates you sufficiently! ;)

While you're here, you might as well enter the TBG prize drawing (https://techbuyersguru.com/forum/index.php?topic=658.0), by the way!

That was definitely very educational, so thank you!  I'll also definitely sign up for the giveaway :)

Sooo, a couple new developments here:

First, I totally found what was wrong with my fan.  There was a huge Noctua metal badge inside the fan... See the pics in the below album.  No idea where it came from or where it belongs.  It has a sticker adhesive on one side.  Am I supposed to put that somewhere, or is it pure style/advertising points?  Anyway, removed that and now the fan is operating normally and quietly.  It does run well. 

Second, I switched the VGA cable around so the side that contains 6 prongs + 2 side prongs plugs into the graphics card, and the side that is a solid 8 prongs is into the power supply, but now when I boot, I can no longer get a signal at all on my monitor.  Neither through the GPU port nor through the MOBO like before. When I open the case, however, I do see the GPU appears to have power.  The radeon logo lights up. 

What do you think can be the issue?  PCIe onnections to the MOBO appear to be tight, but I'll triple check them. 

https://imgur.com/gallery/o0XjJGt

Edit/update: after pressing in all of my power cords more firmly into the MOBO, I was able to get a signal on my monitor and boot.  But once again only through the MOBO ports.  When I plug the HDMI or DP cable into the GPU directly, no signal is sent.  Again, the GPU appears to be connected firmly.  Everything has to get screwed into place via the riser card and PCIe port.  There doesn't feel like there's even room to have a loose connection.  I'm not sure how to trouble shoot without really removing the whole card and trying from scratch. 

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Have you loaded windows yet? If not, I'd pull the video card out for now and proceed with onboard video. We can sort out the video output issue later.

As for the sticker that got stuck in your fan, that's a case badge. Some people like to decorate their systems with them, but you're probably fed up with it at this point!
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on July 31, 2019, 08:41:05 PM
That was definitely very educational, so thank you!  I'll also definitely sign up for the giveaway :)

Sooo, a couple new developments here:

First, I totally found what was wrong with my fan.  There was a huge Noctua metal badge inside the fan... See the pics in the below album.  No idea where it came from or where it belongs.  It has a sticker adhesive on one side.  Am I supposed to put that somewhere, or is it pure style/advertising points?  Anyway, removed that and now the fan is operating normally and quietly.  It does run well. 

Second, I switched the VGA cable around so the side that contains 6 prongs + 2 side prongs plugs into the graphics card, and the side that is a solid 8 prongs is into the power supply, but now when I boot, I can no longer get a signal at all on my monitor.  Neither through the GPU port nor through the MOBO like before. When I open the case, however, I do see the GPU appears to have power.  The radeon logo lights up. 

What do you think can be the issue?  PCIe onnections to the MOBO appear to be tight, but I'll triple check them. 

https://imgur.com/gallery/o0XjJGt

Edit/update: after pressing in all of my power cords more firmly into the MOBO, I was able to get a signal on my monitor and boot.  But once again only through the MOBO ports.  When I plug the HDMI or DP cable into the GPU directly, no signal is sent.  Again, the GPU appears to be connected firmly.  Everything has to get screwed into place via the riser card and PCIe port.  There doesn't feel like there's even room to have a loose connection.  I'm not sure how to trouble shoot without really removing the whole card and trying from scratch. 

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Have you loaded windows yet? If not, I'd pull the video card out for now and proceed with onboard video. We can sort out the video output issue later.

As for the sticker that got stuck in your fan, that's a case badge. Some people like to decorate their systems with them, but you're probably fed up with it at this point!

Yes, Windows is fully installed.  Even with the GPU plugged in, I've been able to load Windows and get the computer operational as normal.  Everything seems good except the video card right now. 

As an update to my earlier post, I did go ahead and completely remove the video card and reinstall it, from the riser card, to the connector, to the GPU; made sure each part was tight and locked.  Then slid the whole unit back in onto the MOBO and made sure it clicked into the PCIe port.  Rebooted and am still experiencing the same issue. 

Each time I do something like this, I am unable to get display at all, neither through the GPU nor the MOBO.  But just trying a few times, plugging the DP cable in and out, seems to eventually get the MOBO port to issue display.  Never any luck with the GPU though. 
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on July 31, 2019, 10:01:12 PM

Yes, Windows is fully installed.  Even with the GPU plugged in, I've been able to load Windows and get the computer operational as normal.  Everything seems good except the video card right now. 

As an update to my earlier post, I did go ahead and completely remove the video card and reinstall it, from the riser card, to the connector, to the GPU; made sure each part was tight and locked.  Then slid the whole unit back in onto the MOBO and made sure it clicked into the PCIe port.  Rebooted and am still experiencing the same issue. 

Each time I do something like this, I am unable to get display at all, neither through the GPU nor the MOBO.  But just trying a few times, plugging the DP cable in and out, seems to eventually get the MOBO port to issue display.  Never any luck with the GPU though.

All right, glad everything else is working and that the PC is running. I think there may be a GPU issue here, because you've clearly reseated all the connectors multiple times. The issue with the Displayport may be that the motherboard is attempting to send video through the video card, but upon failing, it defaults back to onboard video, which is why it takes a few tries to get output.

The first I would do is see if Windows recognizes the GPU. You showed that it's clearly getting power, since the Radeon light is on, so I want to know if the hardware is being recognized. Type "Device Manager" into the Windows search bar, and then look for Display Adapters. If it shows the RX 5700 XT, that at least means the card is communicating, and we can go into the motherboard UEFI to try to get it started.

If the Radeon does not show up in Windows, you'll need to do some hardware testing. Because of the PCIe riser card, there is an additional level of complexity here, as we don't know exactly where the "break" is in communication. You have a Fractal Design case, and I'm not sure what the failure rate is for the riser cards, but when I spoke to SilverStone about their riser cards used in the slim Raven cases, I was informed that it was about 1/2 of 1%, so quite low, but not 0.

Since you've become pretty handy with assembling and disassembling your system, one thing you could try is removing the video card and motherboard from the case, and then plugging the video card directly into the motherboard without the PCIe adapter to see if it can output a signal that way. This would of course be time-consuming, but it would give your GPU one more chance to show that it has some life in it. If this didn't work, we could then be fairly certain that it needs to be replaced. If you decide to conduct this test, make sure that you have all power connectors attached, including to the video card and motherboard, some of which you'll probably need to remove first to get everything out.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on August 01, 2019, 06:02:30 AM
All right, glad everything else is working and that the PC is running. I think there may be a GPU issue here, because you've clearly reseated all the connectors multiple times. The issue with the Displayport may be that the motherboard is attempting to send video through the video card, but upon failing, it defaults back to onboard video, which is why it takes a few tries to get output.

The first I would do is see if Windows recognizes the GPU. You showed that it's clearly getting power, since the Radeon light is on, so I want to know if the hardware is being recognized. Type "Device Manager" into the Windows search bar, and then look for Display Adapters. If it shows the RX 5700 XT, that at least means the card is communicating, and we can go into the motherboard UEFI to try to get it started.

If the Radeon does not show up in Windows, you'll need to do some hardware testing. Because of the PCIe riser card, there is an additional level of complexity here, as we don't know exactly where the "break" is in communication. You have a Fractal Design case, and I'm not sure what the failure rate is for the riser cards, but when I spoke to SilverStone about their riser cards used in the slim Raven cases, I was informed that it was about 1/2 of 1%, so quite low, but not 0.

Since you've become pretty handy with assembling and disassembling your system, one thing you could try is removing the video card and motherboard from the case, and then plugging the video card directly into the motherboard without the PCIe adapter to see if it can output a signal that way. This would of course be time-consuming, but it would give your GPU one more chance to show that it has some life in it. If this didn't work, we could then be fairly certain that it needs to be replaced. If you decide to conduct this test, make sure that you have all power connectors attached, including to the video card and motherboard, some of which you'll probably need to remove first to get everything out.

Thanks again so much for your continued prompt responses!  They really mean a lot since this is a problem that requires a lot of immediate back-and-forth. 

So, I'm back at work now, but I have actually already gone into the device manager to see if Windows recognizes the GPU.  It does not.  Only the integrated Intel graphics show up. 

I will definitely follow your suggestion to try to plug the graphics card directly into the MOBO later tonight, purely as a test.  I also have a friend who said he'd be willing to test the GPU in his PC, and I'd likewise be able to toss his GPU into mine to try to identify the problem.  But that likely wouldn't be until the weekend.  I'm a little worried about how fragile the system will be with the card just hanging out upright, unsecured to anything, perpendicular to the MOBO when I perform the test, but I guess I'll just be super careful.  I think I can do it without removing the MOBO itself, but we'll see. 
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 01, 2019, 06:32:19 AM
All right, glad everything else is working and that the PC is running. I think there may be a GPU issue here, because you've clearly reseated all the connectors multiple times. The issue with the Displayport may be that the motherboard is attempting to send video through the video card, but upon failing, it defaults back to onboard video, which is why it takes a few tries to get output.

The first I would do is see if Windows recognizes the GPU. You showed that it's clearly getting power, since the Radeon light is on, so I want to know if the hardware is being recognized. Type "Device Manager" into the Windows search bar, and then look for Display Adapters. If it shows the RX 5700 XT, that at least means the card is communicating, and we can go into the motherboard UEFI to try to get it started.

If the Radeon does not show up in Windows, you'll need to do some hardware testing. Because of the PCIe riser card, there is an additional level of complexity here, as we don't know exactly where the "break" is in communication. You have a Fractal Design case, and I'm not sure what the failure rate is for the riser cards, but when I spoke to SilverStone about their riser cards used in the slim Raven cases, I was informed that it was about 1/2 of 1%, so quite low, but not 0.

Since you've become pretty handy with assembling and disassembling your system, one thing you could try is removing the video card and motherboard from the case, and then plugging the video card directly into the motherboard without the PCIe adapter to see if it can output a signal that way. This would of course be time-consuming, but it would give your GPU one more chance to show that it has some life in it. If this didn't work, we could then be fairly certain that it needs to be replaced. If you decide to conduct this test, make sure that you have all power connectors attached, including to the video card and motherboard, some of which you'll probably need to remove first to get everything out.

Thanks again so much for your continued prompt responses!  They really mean a lot since this is a problem that requires a lot of immediate back-and-forth. 

So, I'm back at work now, but I have actually already gone into the device manager to see if Windows recognizes the GPU.  It does not.  Only the integrated Intel graphics show up. 

I will definitely follow your suggestion to try to plug the graphics card directly into the MOBO later tonight, purely as a test.  I also have a friend who said he'd be willing to test the GPU in his PC, and I'd likewise be able to toss his GPU into mine to try to identify the problem.  But that likely wouldn't be until the weekend.  I'm a little worried about how fragile the system will be with the card just hanging out upright, unsecured to anything, perpendicular to the MOBO when I perform the test, but I guess I'll just be super careful.  I think I can do it without removing the MOBO itself, but we'll see.

Sounds like you have a plan. Testing with your friend's GPU (and having him test yours) actually sounds like a better first step than disassembling the system. I don't believe you'll be able to insert the GPU directly into the motherboard unless you remove the board from the case, due to the support bracket running down the middle of it. Don't worry about plugging the GPU into the slot outside of the case. As long as you prop it up with something (like a shoebox), it will be fine. The worst thing that would happen if you didn't prop it up is the whole thing would tip over due to the weight, but it won't break anything.
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Homitu on August 22, 2019, 06:46:18 PM

Thanks again so much for your continued prompt responses!  They really mean a lot since this is a problem that requires a lot of immediate back-and-forth. 

So, I'm back at work now, but I have actually already gone into the device manager to see if Windows recognizes the GPU.  It does not.  Only the integrated Intel graphics show up. 

I will definitely follow your suggestion to try to plug the graphics card directly into the MOBO later tonight, purely as a test.  I also have a friend who said he'd be willing to test the GPU in his PC, and I'd likewise be able to toss his GPU into mine to try to identify the problem.  But that likely wouldn't be until the weekend.  I'm a little worried about how fragile the system will be with the card just hanging out upright, unsecured to anything, perpendicular to the MOBO when I perform the test, but I guess I'll just be super careful.  I think I can do it without removing the MOBO itself, but we'll see.

Sounds like you have a plan. Testing with your friend's GPU (and having him test yours) actually sounds like a better first step than disassembling the system. I don't believe you'll be able to insert the GPU directly into the motherboard unless you remove the board from the case, due to the support bracket running down the middle of it. Don't worry about plugging the GPU into the slot outside of the case. As long as you prop it up with something (like a shoebox), it will be fine. The worst thing that would happen if you didn't prop it up is the whole thing would tip over due to the weight, but it won't break anything.

Hey Ari,

I wanted to update you on my results!  So, before experimenting with swapping GPUs with my buddy, I had a mini lightbulb moment with the power cables.  I recalled my power supply seemed to come with several excess cables (which I asked you about in an earlier post.)  I realized I could plug in TWO power cables into the GPU: one 6+2 prong cable, and one 6 prong cable.  Immediately after plugging in the 2nd power cable and attempting to boot, I was able to get display to my monitor directly from my GPU!  It seemed to work perfectly. 

Does that sound right that it should require both power cables?  Your previous posts seemed to imply it should only require one 6+2 prong cord. 

Overall, everything seems to be pretty good.  I have crashed twice in the middle of games, though, which seems like that should never happen with a brand new computer.  Both times, they were hard freezes.  No alt+tabbing, no ctrl+alt+del.  Frozen mouse, screen, and buzzing sound, requiring a hard reboot.  Is there anything I can do to diagnose what might have caused the crashes?  Any kind of system monitoring software? 
Title: Re: TBG's $1,250 Slim Gaming Mini-ITX Build
Post by: Ari Altman on August 22, 2019, 09:30:28 PM

Hey Ari,

I wanted to update you on my results!  So, before experimenting with swapping GPUs with my buddy, I had a mini lightbulb moment with the power cables.  I recalled my power supply seemed to come with several excess cables (which I asked you about in an earlier post.)  I realized I could plug in TWO power cables into the GPU: one 6+2 prong cable, and one 6 prong cable.  Immediately after plugging in the 2nd power cable and attempting to boot, I was able to get display to my monitor directly from my GPU!  It seemed to work perfectly. 

Does that sound right that it should require both power cables?  Your previous posts seemed to imply it should only require one 6+2 prong cord. 

Overall, everything seems to be pretty good.  I have crashed twice in the middle of games, though, which seems like that should never happen with a brand new computer.  Both times, they were hard freezes.  No alt+tabbing, no ctrl+alt+del.  Frozen mouse, screen, and buzzing sound, requiring a hard reboot.  Is there anything I can do to diagnose what might have caused the crashes?  Any kind of system monitoring software?

Sounds like you figured it out! Yes, indeed, you need all the PCIe cables attached. In general, you want to fill all the power receptacles in a PC. There's just one exception, which makes things confusing: some motherboards have two similar receptacles, an 8-pin and a 4-pin or an 8-pin, sort of like your video card, and most of the time you do not need to plug a power cable into both. But yes, for your video card, you do.

As for those random crashes, can you tell me if you changed any settings in the UEFI, like the RAM profile, overclocking, or power management? It sounds like your system has an instability related to a hardware setting. By the way, because the $1,250 buyer's guide is always changing, if you are still having trouble and want additional guidance, also list all the components in your build.