Author Topic: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build  (Read 13931 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2018, 08:47:38 PM »
Hello, Ari,

      Thank you for your informative reply.  I spent some time on this situation, and learned the following:

(a) The USB drive in question was not recognized by the BIOS, no matter what USB port I used;
(b) 4 other USB drives I had on hand-all containing data so they couldn't be used to load Windows 10-were recognized as bootable drives by the BIOS on all the USB ports.

I purchased a different brand of drive and used it to load my operating system with no problems.
The original drive is now recognized in Windows File explorer, but still not by the BIOS.
I purchased another USB drive of the specific brand in question and tried everything again, and the drive was again recognized by Windows File Explorer but not the BIOS. The drive was returned to the vendor for a refund.

I have a feeling that there is a code glitch in either the BIOS or the USB drive software that precludes the drive being recognized as a bootable drive in this combination; I've never run across this situation before, and was a bit frustrated until I was able to obtain a different brand of drive.

Glad you figured it out. What brand of flash drive did you use? It sounds like it may have a flaw in its design that prevents it from being used as a boot drive.

mm0047

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2018, 07:30:08 PM »
Ari,

     The drive brand in question is PNY.  I purchased it at Staples.  First (and last) time I will be buying this brand of drive.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2018, 07:42:45 PM »
Ari,

     The drive brand in question is PNY.  I purchased it at Staples.  First (and last) time I will be buying this brand of drive.

Interesting. While PNY isn't the top-rated flash drive manufacturer, they've been around a long time. My go-to brand is actually SanDisk - it really can't be beat.

JackH

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #33 on: March 27, 2018, 02:32:57 PM »
I just finished putting together this Micro ATX build. (Almost built the previous version of this build with the AMD processor.)

Thanks for the article and putting it all together. No problems with the build. This is a fast and super quiet computer. The only thing I did differently was the graphics card. I used the EVGA GTX 960 from my old system since the price/availability on cards are so unstable. Still fast enough for my needs. I also added the rear 120mm fan.

I am not much for overclocking so I left everything at default settings. 

Thanks again for the information and excellent build article.

--Jack

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #34 on: March 27, 2018, 03:06:27 PM »
I just finished putting together this Micro ATX build. (Almost built the previous version of this build with the AMD processor.)

Thanks for the article and putting it all together. No problems with the build. This is a fast and super quiet computer. The only thing I did differently was the graphics card. I used the EVGA GTX 960 from my old system since the price/availability on cards are so unstable. Still fast enough for my needs. I also added the rear 120mm fan.

I am not much for overclocking so I left everything at default settings. 

Thanks again for the information and excellent build article.

--Jack

Welcome to the TBG Forum, JackH! Glad you had a positive experience building the $1,400 Micro ATX PC. It's really pretty ideal for just about everyone - most people don't realize that compact cases can hold everything you need!

Shinrouen

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #35 on: August 13, 2018, 12:36:48 PM »
Love the look of the new Silverstone LD01's. When will a review be out?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #36 on: August 13, 2018, 01:09:08 PM »
Love the look of the new Silverstone LD01's. When will a review be out?

Actually, SilverStone offered TBG a sample of this case as soon as it hit the market, but we've held off because we no longer have nay mATX test boards on hand. Testing with an ITX board is always possible, but it won't quite show off the potential of the case.

To help decide whether to go ahead with reviewing the case, it would be great to know what you would like to learn more about in an LD01 review.

Shinrouen

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #37 on: August 13, 2018, 04:44:53 PM »
Ari,

With the migration towards ITX do you still see there being much of an enthusiast space for mATX? It almost seems like no-man's land for this segment. I love the looks and without any decent viable mATX boards supporting the Ryzen 200 series I wonder if it makes sense to use an ITX module? But then it seems overkill in terms of storage and space.

The 3-sided glass panels look outstanding but I wonder how airflow would be affected along with temperatures and acousics.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #38 on: August 13, 2018, 05:24:45 PM »
Ari,

With the migration towards ITX do you still see there being much of an enthusiast space for mATX? It almost seems like no-man's land for this segment. I love the looks and without any decent viable mATX boards supporting the Ryzen 200 series I wonder if it makes sense to use an ITX module? But then it seems overkill in terms of storage and space.

The 3-sided glass panels look outstanding but I wonder how airflow would be affected along with temperatures and acousics.

Actually, there are now some great mATX boards for the Ryzen 2000 series - they've literally hit the market over the past week. I think that's a great use case for a micro ATX case. But yes, generally there has been a trend towards ITX as the importance of expansion slots lessens. What mATX gives you, however, that ITX really can't, is ease of use in with a lower footprint than any ATX case. ITX cases always require a bit more work to build in.

From my preview of the LD01 case at CES earlier this year, I'm pretty confident that thermals will be more than adequate, but that's something that could definitely be examined if a TBG review goes forward.

There are a few other reviews in the works right now, but if TBG does another case review in the near future, it will probably be the LD01.

bensrichards

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2019, 06:32:03 PM »
Hey Ari,

I was looking over your supreme dream machine build and wondering what the smallest system I could make with a discrete gpu and an optane 905 would be.  Would it be possible to do with just two slots on an m-atx board?  If so, what's the smallest case that would likely work with such a configuration?

Best.
Ben

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2019, 08:08:23 PM »
Hey Ari,

I was looking over your supreme dream machine build and wondering what the smallest system I could make with a discrete gpu and an optane 905 would be.  Would it be possible to do with just two slots on an m-atx board?  If so, what's the smallest case that would likely work with such a configuration?

Best.
Ben

Ben,

Great question. As you may have noticed, the micro ATX build isn't featured in the DIY PC guides anymore. I've found that the selection and availability of mATX motherboards has been decreasing with each of the past few chipset releases, especially at the high end. Today's Asus Z390 Gene, which has always been their highest-end mATX board, doesn't even support SLI, but to keep the price really high, Asus instead included silly "dual-height RAM" compatibility, which is doubly-stupid due to Asus dropping two of the four slots found on every other mATX board. So that's a non-starter.

In any event, the Optane drive is one of the few remaining good uses of a PCIe x4 slot, so if that's what you want, you do need something bigger than ITX. The best Z390 mATX board on the market today is the MSI Gaming Edge, but it has one drawback: it actually supports SLI, which means to use the second x16 slot, you must use a double-slot video card. I'm not sure if you're re-purposing an old card or had another one in mind, but you have to watch out for that. If you are using a triple-slot card, you'll want to go with the Gigabyte Z390M Gaming, which isn't quite as high end and doesn't support SLI, but does have a PCIe x4 slot in the 4th position, which is ideal for Optane. You also lose built-in WiFi and ALC1220 audio (it drops down to ALC892), but otherwise it's quite comparable to the MSI Gaming Edge board.

By the way, which case are you thinking about? I personally believe the best-looking, highest-quality mATX case on the market today is the Phanteks Evolv mATX featured in the $1,500 Stock Trading Build, but it's not particularly small, nor is it ideal for ultra-high-end gaming PCs due to restricted airflow. But boy does it look good.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 08:43:11 PM by Ari Altman »

bensrichards

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2019, 08:02:47 PM »
Hey Ari,

I was looking over your supreme dream machine build and wondering what the smallest system I could make with a discrete gpu and an optane 905 would be.  Would it be possible to do with just two slots on an m-atx board?  If so, what's the smallest case that would likely work with such a configuration?

Best.
Ben

Ben,

Great question. As you may have noticed, the micro ATX build isn't featured in the DIY PC guides anymore. I've found that the selection and availability of mATX motherboards has been decreasing with each of the past few chipset releases, especially at the high end. Today's Asus Z390 Gene, which has always been there highest-end mATX board, doesn't even support SLI, but to keep the price really high, Asus instead included silly "dual-height RAM" compatibility, which is doubly-stupid due to Asus dropping two of the four slots found on every other mATX board. So that's a non-starter.

In any event, the Optane drive is one of the few remaining good uses of a PCIe x4 slot, so if that's what you want, you do need something bigger than ITX. The best Z390 mATX board on the market today is the MSI Gaming Edge, but it has one drawback: it actually supports SLI, which means to use the second x16 slot, you must use a double-slot video card. I'm not sure if you're re-purposing an old card or had another one in mind, but you have to watch out for that. If you are using a triple-slot card, you'll want to go with the Gigabyte Z390M Gaming, which isn't quite as high end and doesn't support SLI, but does have a PCIe x4 slot in the 4th position, which is ideal for Optane. You also lose built-in WiFi and ALC1220 audio (it drops down to ALC892), but otherwise it's quite comparable to the MSI Gaming Edge board.

By the way, which case are you thinking about? I personally believe the best-looking, highest-quality mATX case on the market today is the Phanteks Evolv mATX featured in the $1,500 Stock Trading Build, but it's not particularly small, nor is it ideal of ultra-high-end gaming PCs due to restricted airflow. But boy does it look good.

Thanks for the info. Totally agree that the Asus board is a nonstarter. In the picture it looks like it only has 1 PCIe slot too. Is that right? Not sure what the point is over an ITX board if thatís the case. [edit: I see the PCIe x4 slot now].

Based on the info you provided, Iíd probably go with the MSI board. I used an ITX board from MSI in my FTZ01 htpc and have no complaints. The lack of WiFi in the Gigabyte board is a deal breaker from my perspective.  Iím willing to shop carefully for a dual slot gpu to make it all work together.

Funny you should mention the Evolv. I agree itís the best looking mATX case Iíve come across. I looked through what Thermaltake, Cooler Master, Silverstone, and Fractal Design had to offer and I didnít see anything sleeker. I can probably deal with mediocre cooling as I donít think Iím that interested in big overclocks. I do wish the case was smaller though. For me, I am most interested in sff builds and seeing how small a package a full-featured system can fit in (hence my interest in downsizing a system with an optane drive). Iíll probably keep perusing the cases on the market, but I think it will be hard to top the Evolv.

As always, thanks for your thoughtful response. TBG has been a big part of getting me into diy pc building.

Best,
Ben
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 08:09:14 PM by bensrichards »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultra-Compact Micro ATX Build
« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2019, 09:04:35 PM »

Thanks for the info. Totally agree that the Asus board is a nonstarter. In the picture it looks like it only has 1 PCIe slot too. Is that right? Not sure what the point is over an ITX board if thatís the case. [edit: I see the PCIe x4 slot now].

Based on the info you provided, Iíd probably go with the MSI board. I used an ITX board from MSI in my FTZ01 htpc and have no complaints. The lack of WiFi in the Gigabyte board is a deal breaker from my perspective.  Iím willing to shop carefully for a dual slot gpu to make it all work together.

Funny you should mention the Evolv. I agree itís the best looking mATX case Iíve come across. I looked through what Thermaltake, Cooler Master, Silverstone, and Fractal Design had to offer and I didnít see anything sleeker. I can probably deal with mediocre cooling as I donít think Iím that interested in big overclocks. I do wish the case was smaller though. For me, I am most interested in sff builds and seeing how small a package a full-featured system can fit in (hence my interest in downsizing a system with an optane drive). Iíll probably keep perusing the cases on the market, but I think it will be hard to top the Evolv.

As always, thanks for your thoughtful response. TBG has been a big part of getting me into diy pc building.

Best,
Ben

Always happy to help a fellow DIY PC enthusiast, especially one that came to it through TBG!

I have two other case suggestions for you, just to give you some options:

(1) SilverStone LD01: featuring glass panels on three sides, along with a major offset in the front to allow cooling air in, this is the only case on the market that can lay claim to being a "glass box" and still offering enthusiast-level cooling. It's also just 37 liters (5 liters than the Evolv mATX). In terms of aesthetics, I personally like the Evolv more (and its swinging doors are particularly slick), but the LD01 may appeal to you if you want that glass look more than aluminum. It also uses a rotated motherboard facing the right panel, which may allow you to better show off your build better depending on which side of your desk the PC will sit. Note that it doesn't come with any fans, but it can fit dual 140mm fans up front, and I'd recommend starting with one Noctua NF-A14. I did a preview of it from the CES 2018 showfloor, which will give you an up-close view.

(2) In-Win 301c: as with most In-Win cases, this one is absolutely about form over function, but that does mean it's a very small 26 liters. The issue is that its cooling system is "creative" (i.e., pretty bad). There is no front air intake - all air must come in through the side vents. But it does look pretty cool, and has RGB lighting, USB Type-C Gen 2, and a glass panel all at a very good price. I also did a video preview of it from the CES 2018 showfloor, which will give you an idea of the size and layout. Note that it will also require the addition of at least one fan, and it will only fit 120mm models.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 09:06:26 PM by Ari Altman »