Author Topic: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build  (Read 72660 times)

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #60 on: February 24, 2016, 04:49:44 AM »
Some pictures...

This weekend I hope to install the Intel i7-6700K CPU and Thermalright Silver Arrow ITX heatsink cooler to finish the hardware part of this build. I will remove the GPU while doing this so I can get my hands in there to position the mounting bracket over the base to screw down even and gently until I feel both screws stop. I'm assuming you don't want much torque. I was playing with the mounting hardware and the bracket that holds down the cooler does have plenty of room to slide over the base to position it not to touch the first TridentZ module. I'd like 1 mm of clearance if possible so I don't scratch the RAM aluminum heat spreader.



« Last Edit: February 24, 2016, 05:16:25 AM by Steve N. Mavronis »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #61 on: February 24, 2016, 05:36:45 AM »
That looks awesome! Love the big Classified lettering and the TridentZ heatsink!

But one tip: attempting to install a huge cooling tower while the motherboard is mounted will be an exercise in frustration. I couldn't even install the Thermalright Macho in a full ATX system with the motherboard installed. The issue was the fan clip. Can't get hands in to secure it. Maybe the Silver Arrow is better in that regard, but don't count on it.

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #62 on: February 24, 2016, 05:51:08 AM »
That looks awesome! Love the big Classified lettering and the TridentZ heatsink! But one tip: attempting to install a huge cooling tower while the motherboard is mounted will be an exercise in frustration. I couldn't even install the Thermalright Macho in a full ATX system with the motherboard installed. The issue was the fan clip. Can't get hands in to secure it. Maybe the Silver Arrow is better in that regard, but don't count on it.

I know but either way is a challenge. It would also be near impossible to plug into the CPU fan header or to plug-in the CPU power cable. The pointed edges of the cooler fins are like razor blades. If I get it mounted this way then I'll try to clip the top of the fan first since the'll be more hand room at the bottom with the GPU removed. I may have to remove the roof which is a pain because there are so many screws and you have to loosen the front panel at the top too. I'm debating on removing the top radiator rack and just leave it off. There's a screw tab location right behind the CPU power connector that drags across the power cable when sliding it out.
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #63 on: February 25, 2016, 04:25:11 PM »
I redid some of my cabling: 1) Used the farther EVGA G2 split end CPU power connector to avoid bunching up 2 cable sections. 2) Moved the ATX motherboard power cable to the upper grommet which makes more sense.
 

 
One of these days if the EVGA G2 red individually sleeved PSU cable set ever goes on sale I'll be buying it. I guess the stock black PSU cables look okay I suppose for now.
 
I also just realized there was protective film over the 'Pro Gaming' ASUS chipset heatsink so I removed it, LOL.

I also removed this GPU screw down slot bracket or whatever it's called. It's the only part of the Evolv ITX case that feels cheap. It's purely cosmetic anyway but my EVGA 980 Ti Classified as a set of vents on the raised back end and it felt weird to cover it:


 
This is the slowest build log sorry. It's my first complete build and I'm taking my time here and there working mainly on the weekends. I'm waiting for a final small 'optional' piece anyway due within a week. At the end of this I'll either crash and burn or it will all be worth it. ;)
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 04:31:38 PM by Steve N. Mavronis »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #64 on: February 25, 2016, 04:50:32 PM »
This looks great - fantastic photos, and good step-by-step review for other readers of the forum.

I agree on the VGA bracket cover - with the extra-tall EVGA GTX 980 Ti Classified heatsink shroud, you don't need or want it.

I'm a little bit surprised at how much EVGA sells its colored G2 cable sets for... they're practically as much as the entire units!

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #65 on: February 25, 2016, 05:02:47 PM »
This looks great - fantastic photos, and good step-by-step review for other readers of the forum. I agree on the VGA bracket cover - with the extra-tall EVGA GTX 980 Ti Classified heatsink shroud, you don't need or want it. I'm a little bit surprised at how much EVGA sells its colored G2 cable sets for... they're practically as much as the entire units!

Yeah, I actually paid less than the cable set for my 650 G2 after sale price and $20 MIR rebate! The dumb thing is EVGA was nice enough to send me an up to 30% off digital coupon for a power supply or up to 50% off on a mouse after I registered my 980 Ti Classified. Problem is I already bought the 650 G2 PSU and a Corsair M45 mouse so its of no use to me. I wish it was a general coupon for any EVGA product! Those cables are expensive. I sort of really only need a ATX power, CPU power, and 2 GPU power cables because they're the ones that show but they don't sell separate cables or let you bundle only what you need. And I would have to use their G2 compatible cables because the ATX power cable is split into 2 sections at the PSU end.
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #66 on: February 25, 2016, 05:53:33 PM »
This looks great - fantastic photos, and good step-by-step review for other readers of the forum. I agree on the VGA bracket cover - with the extra-tall EVGA GTX 980 Ti Classified heatsink shroud, you don't need or want it. I'm a little bit surprised at how much EVGA sells its colored G2 cable sets for... they're practically as much as the entire units!

Yeah, I actually paid less than the cable set for my 650 G2 after sale price and $20 MIR rebate! The dumb thing is EVGA was nice enough to send me an up to 30% off digital coupon for a power supply or up to 50% off on a mouse after I registered my 980 Ti Classified. Problem is I already bought the 650 G2 PSU and a Corsair M45 mouse so its of no use to me. I wish it was a general coupon for any EVGA product! Those cables are expensive. I sort of really only need a ATX power, CPU power, and 2 GPU power cables because they're the ones that show but they don't sell separate cables or let you bundle only what you need. And I would have to use their G2 compatible cables because the ATX power cable is split into 2 sections at the PSU end.

Don't feel too bad... EVGA mice really aren't quite as nice as the Corsair mouse - I know because I've tested them!

Also, right now EVGA's shipping charges for power supplies are through the roof - $15-$20 a piece. You probably got the same price on your Supernova 650 G2 after rebate and free shipping as EVGA would ship it to you for after coupon. In fact, if you felt the need to score a really good deal, you'd get the Supernova 550 G2 for $60AR from Newegg right now!

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #67 on: February 28, 2016, 10:14:17 AM »
Phanteks Evolv ITX - ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming motherboard and the Thermalright Silver Arrow ITX heatsink cooler question:

While test fitting the Thermalright mounting system the top ring shaped bracket that gets bolted down to the 4 barrel nuts seems like it will be a very close fit, possibly close to touching my G.Skill TridentZ inner RAM heatsink and/or the rearward motherboard VRM heatsink. I measured the frame and it is 95mm across which is the CPU pocket maximum spec. The orientation is as pictured below to hold down the dual tower heatsink. It could just barely clear them but If this bracket does in fact end up touching the RAM and/or motherboard heatsink is that bad? They are just heatsinks after all and not any electrical contact there. My last resort would be to file down the left and right edges of the bracket, maybe 1/32" for more clearance but I want to avoid that if it isn't a big deal.

« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 10:36:42 AM by Steve N. Mavronis »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #68 on: February 28, 2016, 10:19:31 AM »
Phanteks Evolv ITX - ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming motherboard and air cooling the CPU using the Thermalright Silver Arrow ITX heatsink cooler question:

While test fitting the Thermalright mounting system the top ring shaped frame that gets bolted down to the 4 barrel nuts seems like it will be a very close fit, possibly close to touching my G.Skill TridentZ inner RAM heatsink and/or the rearward motherboard VRM heatsink. I measured the frame and it is 95mm across which is the CPU pocket maximum spec. The orientation is as pictured below to hold down the dual tower heatsink. It could just barely clear them but If this frame does in fact end up touching the RAM and/or motherboard heatsink is that bad? They are just heatsinks after all and not any electrical contact there. My last resort would be to file down the left and right edges of the frame maybe 1/32" for more clearance but I want to avoid that if it isn't a big deal.



Herein lies the problem with using air cooling in an ITX build. I too had problems fitting the Thermalright AXP-100 Muscle on the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming motherboard, for this and other reasons. In fact, the bracket clearance issue is a troubling one, and the fault may lie with Asus. In any event, it doesn't matter much - there's no electrical current going through the bracket, otherwise it would potentially short the motherboard out.

This is how it will look mounted:

« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 10:22:05 AM by Ari Altman »

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #69 on: February 28, 2016, 10:26:43 AM »
Herein lies the problem with using air cooling in an ITX build. I too had problems fitting the Thermalright AXP-100 Muscle on the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming motherboard, for this and other reasons. In fact, the bracket clearance issue is a troubling one, and the fault my lie with Asus. In any event, it doesn't matter much - there's no electrical current going through the bracket, otherwise it would potentially short the motherboard out. This is how it will look mounted:



I hand fitted it over the 4 mounting studs and it appeared to fit without any wiggle room. Is your motherboard VRM crooked? That does appear to be the same mounting bracket. The motherboard VRM seems to have a slot that it can fit into. Funny that a cooler made for ITX use wouldn't use a custom bracket. I agree it is ASUS fault and they push the 95x95mm to the limit. In any case if it does encroach on the right and let sides I do have my trusty metal file to make it compatible, LOL!
« Last Edit: February 28, 2016, 10:33:07 AM by Steve N. Mavronis »
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547

johnnc

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #70 on: March 02, 2016, 08:43:17 AM »
Hi, First of all, I love the site!  I am new to PC building and am leaning towards building this system with a few tweaks.  Here is what I am currently thinking:

Asus Z170I Pro Gaming
6700k
AIO 240mm Radiator (more on this later)
EVGA 980ti Hybrid
Samsung EVO 1TB
Cosair Vengance LPX 2x8GB 3000 Ram

I would like to go with the recommended H100i GTX for my AIO CPU cooler (mounted to the top) in combination with the EVGA 980ti Hybrid video card with its radiator and fan mounted in the back of the Evolv case.  From doing some research on builds, I know this setup works with the H105i AIO, but I am unsure if it will work with the H100i since it seems a bit larger.  Here are the measurements:

AIOs:
Corsair H105i            272.5mm x 120mm x 38mm
Corsair H100i gtx    275mm x 120mm x 27mm
Corsair H100i gtx v2    276mm x 125mm x 30mm

GPU Hybrid:
Height: 4.376in - 111.15mm (Tube Length = 15in - 381mm)
Length: 10.5in - 266.7mm
Width: Dual Slot
HYBRID RADIATOR
Height: 5.875in - 149.23mm
Length: 4.688in - 119.08mm
Width: 1.063in - 26.99mm

Any advice would be appreciated!

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #71 on: March 02, 2016, 08:55:06 AM »
Hi, First of all, I love the site!  I am new to PC building and am leaning towards building this system with a few tweaks.  Here is what I am currently thinking:

Asus Z170I Pro Gaming
6700k
AIO 240mm Radiator (more on this later)
EVGA 980ti Hybrid
Samsung EVO 1TB
Cosair Vengance LPX 2x8GB 3000 Ram

I would like to go with the recommended H100i GTX for my AIO CPU cooler (mounted to the top) in combination with the EVGA 980ti Hybrid video card with its radiator and fan mounted in the back of the Evolv case.  From doing some research on builds, I know this setup works with the H105i AIO, but I am unsure if it will work with the H100i since it seems a bit larger.  Here are the measurements:

AIOs:
Corsair H105i            272.5mm x 120mm x 38mm
Corsair H100i gtx    275mm x 120mm x 27mm
Corsair H100i gtx v2    276mm x 125mm x 30mm

GPU Hybrid:
Height: 4.376in - 111.15mm (Tube Length = 15in - 381mm)
Length: 10.5in - 266.7mm
Width: Dual Slot
HYBRID RADIATOR
Height: 5.875in - 149.23mm
Length: 4.688in - 119.08mm
Width: 1.063in - 26.99mm

Any advice would be appreciated!

Great to hear the positive feedback, johnnc!

Your proposed build will work without issue. The Evolv ITX has space for a 280mm cooler, so any 240mm cooler will easily fit. And because the Evolv has headroom built into the top for such a cooler, it will not conflict with the 980 ti Hybrid's 120mm radiator attached to the rear. This makes the Evolv ITX rather big for an ITX case, but also means you can do things with it that would be impossible in smaller ITX cases... like run two radiators!

By the way, the Corsair H105 is an older model, and derived its cooling capability from an extra-thick radiator and high-RPM (loud) fans. The H100i v2  (which I have in for testing) achieves better cooling at lower noise levels due to a thinner, more efficient radiator and lower-RPM fans.

johnnc

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #72 on: March 02, 2016, 05:21:22 PM »
Thanks for all your help Ari.  I have narrowed down all of my components except for the GPU.  Here is what I have set in stone:

Evolv ITX
6700K
Asus  Z170I Pro Gaming
H100i GTX
Samsung EVO 1 TB SSD
Corsair Vengence LPX 2x8GB 3000 ram

The last decision I have to make is the GPU.  It is either going to be the MSI 980 ti that you recommend in your article, or the EVGA 980 ti Hybrid.  The price is close enough and not a factor.  If I go the MSI route, I would put an exhaust fan at the back of the case.  The Hybrid will probably overclock better eve.n though the MSI is faster out of the gate. 

Does anyone have any input here?



Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #73 on: March 02, 2016, 05:37:38 PM »
Thanks for all your help Ari.  I have narrowed down all of my components except for the GPU.  Here is what I have set in stone:

Evolv ITX
6700K
Asus  Z170I Pro Gaming
H100i GTX
Samsung EVO 1 TB SSD
Corsair Vengence LPX 2x8GB 3000 ram

The last decision I have to make is the GPU.  It is either going to be the MSI 980 ti that you recommend in your article, or the EVGA 980 ti Hybrid.  The price is close enough and not a factor.  If I go the MSI route, I would put an exhaust fan at the back of the case.  The Hybrid will probably overclock better eve.n though the MSI is faster out of the gate. 

Does anyone have any input here?

Steve who has posted photos above went through the same decision-making process. He might be able to shed some light on the issue.

I agree that adding an exhaust fan to the Evolv ITX is a good idea if using an air-cooled video card. For what it's worth, the recommended card for the March edition of the guide will be the EVGA Hybrid, based on the rear fan issue and the positive response to the Hybrid from readers who've used it in other TBG builds.

Steve N. Mavronis

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Re: The TBG Ultimate Gaming Mini-ITX PC Build
« Reply #74 on: March 02, 2016, 05:49:18 PM »
Steve who has posted photos above went through the same decision-making process. He might be able to shed some light on the issue.

I agree that adding an exhaust fan to the Evolv ITX is a good idea if using an air-cooled video card. For what it's worth, the recommended card for the March edition of the guide will be the EVGA Hybrid, based on the rear fan issue and the positive response to the Hybrid from readers who've used it in other TBG builds.

I agree with Ari on this. Personally I'm afraid of water cooling my own PC, although it is very popular these days. The MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G is a fine card. I love the looks especially the side curving heat pipes. The only reason I went with the bigger EVGA 980 Ti Classified is that Newegg had suddenly put it on sale for a net lower cost than the MSI at the time I purchased, so I went with the EVGA plus they give great warranty support and a trade-up program. But the GPU and water cooled or not is really a personal choice you have to weigh.
Evolv ITX Build w/3DMark 11/Fire Strike Scores:
PCPartPicker - https://pcpartpicker.com/b/96JV3C
EVGA Mod Rigs - www.modsrigs.com/detail.aspx?buildid=35547