Author Topic: THE $1,500 ULTRA-COMPACT MINI-ITX GAMING PC. Zen 2 viable?  (Read 375 times)

Xanto

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THE $1,500 ULTRA-COMPACT MINI-ITX GAMING PC. Zen 2 viable?
« on: July 18, 2019, 10:32:49 AM »
Hiiii,

I've been looking at your guides and they are great. I fell in love with the July mini compact itx build with a Silverstone SG13 case.

My finger has been very close to the "buy" button for a few weeks, but there are some lingering doubts that prevent me from taking a pounce, and is related to new components that just appeared:

Do you think there's some mix of components that'll make it so the Ryzen 3700x cpu (or another Zen2) will make it into this build soon?
I know about the stock cooler height problem. I guess the way to make it fit is to substitute the cooler that comes with the cpu for the Noctua NH-L12S, and then it'd work. Would that be viable?

In terms of motherboards, at least for now, I'm assuming that one has to go with a previous gen motherboard and upgrade the bios to use Zen 2 chips, due to the newer boards seemingly having more height, correct?.

And lastly, I noticed the compact version of the new RTX 2070 Super is just a very slightly tiny bit bigger than the 10.6" you insist on this build. Is the difference enough to make the Super not a viable option?

Thank you very much!,

Xanto.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 01:14:14 PM by Xanto »

Ari Altman

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Re: THE $1,500 ULTRA-COMPACT MINI-ITX GAMING PC. Zen 2 viable?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2019, 03:48:44 PM »
Hiiii,

I've been looking at your guides and they are great. I fell in love with the July mini compact itx build with a Silverstone SG13 case.

My finger has been very close to the "buy" button for a few weeks, but there are some lingering doubts that prevent me from taking a pounce, and is related to new components that just appeared:

Do you think there's some mix of components that'll make it so the Ryzen 3700x cpu (or another Zen2) will make it into this build soon?
I know about the stock cooler height problem. I guess the way to make it fit is to substitute the cooler that comes with the cpu for the Noctua NH-L12S, and then it'd work. Would that be viable?

In terms of motherboards, at least for now, I'm assuming that one has to go with a previous gen motherboard and upgrade the bios to use Zen 2 chips, due to the newer boards seemingly having more height, correct?.

And lastly, I noticed the compact version of the new RTX 2070 Super is just a very slightly tiny bit bigger than the 10.6" you insist on this build. Is the difference enough to make the Super not a viable option?

Thank you very much!,

Xanto.

Welcome to the TBG Forum, Xanto!

So, I have put a ton of thought into using Ryzen in an ITX build. In fact, my latest assembly guide uses the 2700X in SilverStone's newest LD03 chassis. With that said, there are a few issues that keep me from recommending the 3700X in the SG13. Here they are:

(1) X570 ITX boards likely won't arrive before September, and if they do, they will be EXTREMELY expensive. It may not even be possible to properly cool the chipset on an ITX board. We will find out eventually, but like I said, not before September. All existing AM4 ITX boards will be incompatible out of the box due to older firmware. Therefore I can't recommend them in the guides, but users willing to buy an old Ryzen chip to flash the firmware can of course feel free to do so and then swap in the Ryzen 3000 series chip.

(2) The SG13 when combined with the PSU adapter "hack" I recommend leaves enough room for an 83mm-tall cooler. The 3700X comes with a 95mm-tall cooler, so you are right that you'd have to swap it out for the NH-L12S, which is actually more powerful. The 9700K needs a cooler too, of course, but some people may not like the concept of buying a 3700X and not using the nice cooler it comes with.

(3) For pure gaming purposes, the 9700K is better than the 3700X.

(4) In terms of GPUs, you must stick to a 10.6" card. If you're referring to the EVGA RTX 2070 Super XC, however, it will work fine. At 10.62", it will make the cut but just barely.

Ultimately, the real sticking point here is the ITX board availability, which is why I'd suggest you just go ahead with 9700K. You could go with the 3700X, once it arrives in quantity (a number of people ordered them through TBG's links, but all the orders were cancelled), but the motherboards will be an issue.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 08:36:52 AM by Ari Altman »

Xanto

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Re: THE $1,500 ULTRA-COMPACT MINI-ITX GAMING PC. Zen 2 viable?
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2019, 02:31:22 AM »
Woah thanks for the detailed reply, you solved all my questions :D

If I decide to go this way in the end, I'll try and get as many components as possible from your affiliate links.

I wonder, if I buy the same product from a different amazon listing because it's cheaper, can I add your referral code to it and it'll also work, or does it have to be the ones you listed?

Thanks.

Ari Altman

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Re: THE $1,500 ULTRA-COMPACT MINI-ITX GAMING PC. Zen 2 viable?
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2019, 08:39:01 AM »
Woah thanks for the detailed reply, you solved all my questions :D

If I decide to go this way in the end, I'll try and get as many components as possible from your affiliate links.

I wonder, if I buy the same product from a different amazon listing because it's cheaper, can I add your referral code to it and it'll also work, or does it have to be the ones you listed?

Thanks.

You know what, I somehow garbled my recommendation to you have have edited my response. I think my original conclusion made it sound like I was recommending the 3700X, but honestly, that's not what I meant. I think right now the 9700K is the better option, unless you are willing to mess with the firmware flash issue on a B450 board like the Gigabyte B450 I Aorus that I used in my 2700X testing.

If you go with the 9700K currently recommended in the guide, you can just click on a link in the article and purchase from any of the sellers listed on the product page. It doesn't have to be from Amazon as the seller.

Xanto

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Re: THE $1,500 ULTRA-COMPACT MINI-ITX GAMING PC. Zen 2 viable?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2019, 08:27:28 AM »
On the context of brainstorming to target the 65 w Ryzen 3700x, leaving aside the motherboard+cpu availability issue for the sake of exploring options (thinking of flashing an older motherboard or getting the expensive X570 I AORUS PRO WIFI), a friend is commenting on some ideas specific to the small case choice, and wondering if you tried and experienced problems with those before:

1. Fitting a 1U server PSU that targets less than the 650 W small factor SSF mentioned in the build, as the system takes around 300 W, and to make it less cramped.
2. He is also asking about a smaller cooler that doesn't get on top of the RAM (the Noctua NH-L9a (for amd)), thinking that the lower 65 W of the 3700x will compensate for the difference in airflow of the smaller cooler.

Do you think that'd actually be viable, or is there some space / build / cooling problem with that approach? (For example, he is mentioning that maybe it'd prevent proper airflow into the cpu cooler or the ssd)

Thank you again for taking the time so far :)

Ari Altman

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Re: THE $1,500 ULTRA-COMPACT MINI-ITX GAMING PC. Zen 2 viable?
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2019, 10:12:03 AM »
On the context of brainstorming to target the 65 w Ryzen 3700x, leaving aside the motherboard+cpu availability issue for the sake of exploring options (thinking of flashing an older motherboard or getting the expensive X570 I AORUS PRO WIFI), a friend is commenting on some ideas specific to the small case choice, and wondering if you tried and experienced problems with those before:

1. Fitting a 1U server PSU that targets less than the 650 W small factor SSF mentioned in the build, as the system takes around 300 W, and to make it less cramped.
2. He is also asking about a smaller cooler that doesn't get on top of the RAM (the Noctua NH-L9a (for amd)), thinking that the lower 65 W of the 3700x will compensate for the difference in airflow of the smaller cooler.

Do you think that'd actually be viable, or is there some space / build / cooling problem with that approach? (For example, he is mentioning that maybe it'd prevent proper airflow into the cpu cooler or the ssd)

Thank you again for taking the time so far :)

You do not want a 1U PSU in a gaming PC. That would be pretty silly. There isn't actually a true space problem in this case when set up as shown in the guide. With 83mm of clearance, you can fit a cooler plenty large for the 3700X, and a server-style PSU couldn't even be mounted in this system, it would be extremely loud, and honestly, it's not powerful enough once you add a graphics card. So unfortunately, that's just a non-starter.

You can use an NH-L9a, but again, I have to ask why your friend would point you in that direction. You'd immediately cut the performance of the 3700X and there's plenty of space for the vastly superior NH-L12S. Sitting above the RAM isn't an issue as long as you use low-profile RAM sticks.

If you're interested in the 3700X, then you can certainly wait for the very expensive X570 boards to arrive (note that the Gigabyte board you mentioned can't actually be purchased right now, and it's the only one even listed for sale, while everything else is either pre-order or unannounced). The other issues you're addressing aren't actually issues at all. And again, I do have to reiterate that for pure gaming, the 9700K is and will continue to be superior.

Xanto

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Re: THE $1,500 ULTRA-COMPACT MINI-ITX GAMING PC. Zen 2 viable?
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2019, 10:37:42 AM »
Thank you again!

It is my mistake that I didn't specify that, while the build is explicitly saying "Gaming", I'm actually thinking more about game dev. , scraping and some film render with it, in which as far as I understand AMD would be a sexier option. It's just that this build is so compact and well done that I feel I'm further along the path of knowing what to build by following it and tweaking it than by going blindly.

On the reasons for his prompts, he says he was thinking of space for comfort of building, possible upgrades, airflow, wattage and, in the case of the RAM bit, to have more choice than low-profile.

Your guide did convince him too that this case and the general setup is smart for his PC as well, and pointed him in the right direction.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 10:40:43 AM by Xanto »

Ari Altman

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Re: THE $1,500 ULTRA-COMPACT MINI-ITX GAMING PC. Zen 2 viable?
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2019, 11:25:23 AM »
Oh, in that case definitely 3700X, but he'd be much better off going with low profile RAM and the NH-L12s than the other way around, namely high profile RAM and a tiny cooler, which will do nothing but hurt performance. Taller RAM does not perform better, it's just for looks. And come to think of it, server PSUs aren't actually smaller than SFX PSUs, they are just a different shape. They fit in server racks but the tradeoff is terrible airflow and tremendous noise, which doesn't matter in servers. There's a reason they aren't used in consumer PCs.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2019, 07:47:34 PM by Ari Altman »