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The Minish Box
by Nostalgic_Link
Permalink:   (40 comments)
Description

I built this for traveling back and fourth to see friends and family cross-country. I figured it'd be better to have a dedicated rig vs. a laptop that wouldn't be nearly as powerful as this for the same price. I wanted it to be small enough to fit in a carry-on-able backpack, because there's no way I would let this go under the plane in checked baggage. (Have you ever seen how they just toss everything?!)

I had some minor setbacks when putting this together. Most notably, the GTX680 Classified is NOT 10.5" long as it is stated to be on EVGA's, Newegg's, and Amazon's websites. It's actually 11" and extends beyond even the plastic shell of the Silverstone SG05 case. (I planned on dremeling out the inner metal to fit a 10.5" card, but it would have still been too long, so I ordered a second card and will be selling the Classified to a friend.)

Other issues I came across... Asus not including the necessary screws for mounting the motherboard. (Luckily, I had some thin ones lying around.)

My fans didn't come with screws, just rubber mounting... things. They'd be great for mounting to a case, but I needed to mount the fans to the H50 radiator; so, for now, I'm only using two screws to hold each fan into the radiator... Amazon Prime shipment of the needed 6/32 x 1.25" screws (eight in all) should be here in a couple of days.

Also, if you decide to build in this case, make sure to slot the GPU card in next after you've mounted the motherboard and connected the front panel audio, indicators, and switches... I got all the way to the end of the build and figured out the card would not just fit in (at 10" long); I needed to remove everything in the way and shimmy it in there.

Last but not least... please don't buy a Logitech G700 like I did... the battery life is crap; it ends up being plugged in more than wireless and the cable isn't braided, it's just a normal rubbery cable... so it kind of sticks to my wooden desk - hindering movement. And, the SetPoint software is crap... there's supposed to be a working option to have your profiles automatically change depending on which program you're running, but the "detection" doesn't work. This forces me to use the manual profile change button... I have like 300 Steam games; switching between three profiles is all I can do like this. If I want to play a different game, which I don't currently have mapped to the profile switch, I need to go into the software and switch it out on top of manually switching to the profile with the mouse button (which also gets rid of a potential keystroke).

The build posted, but it's 0200 now and I gotta be up in a few hours for work, so I won't be showing any test results. Great case; I would like to make some changes to it myself and I've heard that the PSU fan can get loud, but it didn't seem any louder than my screaming Dell projector so I won't bother changing it out like others have. (Not yet, at least.) And, for goodness sake... don't believe anyone online when they tell you a GPU bigger than 10" will fit in this case. Don't spend $700 on a card like I did just to find out it wouldn't fit.

Hope y'all like it. :)

Update - Added photos of it in my backpack (It's a very expensive Mystery Ranch model named the Crewcab, if you're wondering). I forgot to fasten the buckles in one of the pictures, so if you're worried it might fall out of the sides, fret not. ;-9

Update 2 - I added CPU and GPU temps recorded averages while running Prime 95 and Unigine Valley Benchmark 10. Also, after many attempts to get the Kingston RAM I'd purchased to run at the rated XMP Profile speed of 2400mhz, I've given up. The RAM will successfully clock to 2133mhz utilizing XMP Profile # 2, but it will not post with Profile # 1. I'm happy with 2133mhz, as I believe the problem might be due to my CPU being a low-power-consumption variant. Windows 7 64-bit Experience Index rated my system at 7.8, where the 7.8 comes from the CPU; everything else was rated to be 7.9. Both the RAID 0 of the two Samsung 840 Pro SSDs and the RAID 1 of the two WD Caviar Black (7200rpm) HDDs were also surprising rated at 7.9. I figured the two 7200rpm drives would have been rated lower. BTW; the RAID 0 is ******* insane. I thought one SSD was nice... this is just crazy. Anyone who thinks the extra few seconds it takes for the RAID driver to startup after post isn't worth using two SSDs is mental. Besides, I have a password on my system, so it has to wait for me to enter the key anyways... it's SO fast that once the driver has loaded, the Windows logo appears and disappears so quickly that my monitor actually shuts off for a second and then comes back on believing there was no image being outputted. Everything is snappy and immediately responsive; I mean, EVERYTHING. Finally, I haven't heard any sort of odd noise from the PSU... it's no where near as loud as my Dell projector, and it's quieter than my ceiling fan, so, on top of never being bothered by fan noise in the first place, I'm quite satisfied.

Part List
Details
Intel Core i7-3770S 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.1GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle30.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load50.0° C
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 4GB Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate1.02Ghz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate6.01Ghz
GPU Temperature While Idle35.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load55.0° C
Comments
When commenting on a completed build please keep your feedback polite and constructive, particularly if commenting on part choices and possible alternatives.
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Sorted by:
 
 
Black5Lion 2 points 15 months ago

NICE!! i really like the sugo 5 :) great work on the SSDs i never taught they'd fit there :O

 
 
lenoz [2 Builds] 2 points 15 months ago

Really good and informative description, love it. Parts list too (all the extras) has been done with proper care and attention. Thanks!

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 3 points 15 months ago

Thanks for the praise. I posted the finish on my Facebook and no one gave a ****. HAH! Makes it all worth it just to get a pat on the back sometimes. :D

 
 
Apach3 [1 Build] 2 points 15 months ago

wow, such a capable system in such a tiny form factor. awesome job with cable management, as well.

PCPartPicker reports that the RAM and the CPU aren't compatible because the RAM's voltage exceeds the maximum set by the processor. how exactly is that working out for you? are you able to run the RAM at its advertised voltages and speeds?

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 15 months ago

No problem at all. And, yes.

 
 
zypherstones [1 Build] 1 point 15 months ago

Ah man, that sucks about the 680 classified. At least you were able to sell it. Awesome on the go build, though! But, just a question; why a 4gb vRAM model?

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 4 points 15 months ago

I REALLY like Skyrim mods... and I have plenty of money because I don't own a car, smoke, drink, "club," etc... so what the heck, right? XD

 
 
zypherstones [1 Build] 1 point 15 months ago

Fair enough, good sir. xD

 
 
Nendo [2 Builds] 1 point 15 months ago

This is just too cool, love the mini ITX builds. Probably good thing you ditched the Classified, they have a lot of overclocking potential, it would get a bit toasty in there.

 
 
Spenlard 1 point 15 months ago

Beautiful. That card was giant! May wanna switch out the PSU in the near future..

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 15 months ago

If they make anything with more power in that small form, I may, but this one runs just fine... not pulling near 450.

 
 
niq [1 Build] 1 point 15 months ago

Backpack? Huh. Kidding? What is the net weight? Anyways this thing has good computing density ;-)

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 15 months ago

Yep; I'll post a photo of me carrying it in one.

Weight? Well... not sure without a scale, but it's no heavier than my rifle (about 12 pounds with a loaded mag, RCO, and PEQ15).

Edit Photos uploaded to show the rig in a backpack.

 
 
bbertelsen [1 Build] 1 point 15 months ago

Must have been a ***** to get the H50 in this case, bravo.

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 15 months ago

I've seen H80s in these tiny monsters; I can't imagine that... mine is stuffed.

 
 
noob_for_life 1 point 15 months ago

awesome build!!! is the creative soundblaster worth the 50 bucks??

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 15 months ago

It's an okay DAC/sound processor. Definitely better than my old laptop's on-board audio (which is when I bought it - five years ago). Really I just threw it on there because I wanted portable audio for when I travel. (I already owned it) Is it worth 50 bucks? Perhaps when paired with a good set of headphones, but, well... yeah about $50. :)

 
 
Black5Lion 1 point 14 months ago

Did you have any problems with PSU noise?

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 14 months ago

No; I don't.

 
 
Black5Lion 1 point 14 months ago

Good to know thanks for the quick reply :) I was just wondering, because I heard -read- horror stories about the PSU's fan, and many people were replacing it.

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 14 months ago

I've read the same thing, and it's really easy to replace if it happens to be the case. (the fan)

 
 
cdubbs [1 Build] 1 point 12 months ago

So, I just went through waffling for a month to make a plan, and it turns out you already did a very similar build. Kudos!

I was sick of buying high-end laptops for deployments and TDYs. Decided that rather than maintain two systems, I would just build a desktop I could take with me.

Can you give any feedback on that projector?

I am doing a 4670k and a 7950 with an H80 in the SG05 on the Asrock Z87. I plan to buy two Dell M110s and run them in crossfire for a nice FOV in DayZ. I will run dual stacked 21:9 monitors at home and the two Dell PJs on the road. Any advice on the build?

P.S., I picked this for my Pelican 1510 hard case (their max carry-on size). The SG05 will fit taking less than half the case, leaving room for the 2 PJs, a power strip, Razer Tactical Keyboard and mouse.

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 11 months ago

The Dell M110 is alright... a bit loud and I had issues with it flickering between red, blue, and green for a month, but it randomly stopped and works fine now. I haven't used it since being back home, though. It also doesn't focus clearly in all spots at once. One corner will be fuzzy while another is crisp; it's unbalanced. I'm not sure how using two together would work, but that definitely would be cool to see. I'm guessing it'd be just like the newer 4k monitors that work by combining two images together to form one... really great idea actually. In hindsight, I feel like I wasted my money now that I'm getting out soon and probably won't ever need to use a mobile projector XD

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nikitaluger [1 Build] 1 point 5 months ago

just a quick question about the SFX PSU. Does the PSU fan blow cool air into the case or does it serve as an exhaust fan?

[comment deleted]
 
 
jmit6 1 point 2 months ago

Really love the build, I am currently in a very similar boat being a marine with the same idea of having a rig to travel cross country. I have the same case, same PSU and other like components that all fit into a Pelican Case "1510" that is approved for flying yet I am running an inexpensive air cooler for the CPU in fear that with a liquid cooling, airport baggage checkers will not let me board the plane because "liquid". My question is, have you tried boarding a plane with your build and have you ran into any problems with airport baggage people? My CPU temps are NOT IDEAL at all, idling at 40C with a DELIDED CPU, using REAL TEMP to test temp, therefore I am dying to use liquid cooling. Thanks for your input.

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Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 3 points 15 months ago

450watts @ 80+ Gold proficiency is the best we can do with what is commercially available, outside of making your own power supply in a SFX form factor...

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DUCKEMILIO -3 points 15 months ago

450w powersupply uh your PC might die! so don't -_- just dont

 
 
Black5Lion 2 points 15 months ago

i don't think so. 450w should be quite sufficient for his build. besides the case only accepts sfx psu and this one is -probably- the best. (why do people always go overkill on their psu wattage?)

 
 
iiLeGiT101 [1 Build] 1 point 15 months ago

I disagree. He would at least want a 600w-750w PSU or something around that just to be safe because he does have a lot of high tech parts running. Anyways, this build is really good!

 
 
Black5Lion 1 point 15 months ago

there are many people running similar setups with the 450w psu it's really solid. and i see absolutely no reason for a 600w+ psu, heck some people are running TITANS on 550w PSUs, and 690s on 650w.

 
 
DUCKEMILIO 0 points 15 months ago

Because people know they need that much dude i have a 1200w power supply and i think i need more watts i would know more then a litle kid he used 386w on his build and there is not enough for headroom

 
 
Black5Lion 1 point 15 months ago

that's my point. he is using 386w he doesn't need headroom, because even if he has that his case won't allow for much more.

 
 
DUCKEMILIO 1 point 15 months ago

i hope you know that other psu can fit in that case with more wattage

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 15 months ago

Errrmmmmmmmm... not according to a month's worth of research that I'd done. But, if you did find one that is better, congratulations! Mine is chuggin' along strong. ;-D

 
 
Black5Lion 1 point 15 months ago

I think he might be talking about the atx mod someone did in this case, where he fit an atx psu in this case. But anyway as long as you're happy with you machine, no one can complain ;)

(i have the bronze version also 450w running a core 2 quad q8200 and gtx 650 just fine)

 
 
cdubbs [1 Build] 1 point 11 months ago

Running a 4570k, gtx670 4gb overclocked, two scorpios on this PSU with no issues.

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 15 months ago

Runs just fine ;-)

 
 
DUCKEMILIO -2 points 15 months ago

good because im an enthusiastic person and i have a great build and not 1 month of research more like 7 years im a manger at asus company national in San Diego California.

 
 
Nostalgic_Link [Submitter] [1 Build] 5 points 15 months ago

Cool story, bro...

 
 
kirbyloveszoe -1 points 15 months ago

You really don't deserve the upvotes you have, pcpartpicker's built-in power calculator clocks this in at 386w. that is plenty of headroom if OP doesn't try to put a crazy overclock on the 680.