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Build

Node 202 - Portable Gaming and Productivity PC

by richardjr77

122
116 Comments

Details

Date Published

Aug. 4, 2016

Date Built

June 1, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

3.4GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

25.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

71.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.59GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.01GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

31.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C

Description

Inspiration

The purpose of this build using the Node 202 was to make a portable, slim PC in which you can pack as much power into as possible. Wanted to make a portable PC that I could take to and from the office because the PCs at the office just weren’t snappy enough for me, and from time to time when I get the chance, do some gaming … at home. Since using an i7 together with an SSD, I couldn’t go back to using for long periods of time something less powerful like an AMD A10 with just a HDD which is what they had at the office. And once you use something so speedy and snappy and powerful, you can’t go back. Well, for me anyway.

So I started looking into mITX cases. First one that caught my attention was the Thermaltake Core V1 as I thought having a boxy case like that would make things portable. But then I watched Awesomesauce’s attempt to put an AIO liquid cooler into the Node 202, and as soon as I saw the Node 202, I knew that would be the one to go with as it was slim and potentially portable and could also find a travel bag for it like what Kyle from Awesomesauce did. And it just looked really aesthetically pleasing to me – clean and simple - compared to other slim cases such as the Raven RVZ01 and RVZ02. So I went with the Node 202!

Building:

This was my second time building a PC. First time was in May 2014. So I did not realize the level of difficulty there was in building in such a small confined space, especially when it comes to cable management. Challenging, but it was actually really fun to build in. Many times I pulled components out and put them back in again just to figure out how to route the cables.

Initially I only had my old Gigabyte GTX 770 in the case with the stock Integra 450W PSU that came with the Node 202. Then I ordered the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1070 when it was on sale as pre-order from Mike’s Computer Shop. The GTX 1070 worked fine with the stock PSU but I decided to switch out the PSU with the Corsair SF600 600W PSU because the stock PSU had a quite audible coil whine when under load.

Cable Management:

Cable management is a pain! But is possible! Good to have not overly large hands when building in the Node 202. You really need a lot of patience when building in the Node 202 and also lots and lots of CABLE TIES! Those cable ties do wonders for making everything look nice and tidy! What inspired me to make it tidy was the build of bluebrandon – “Quantum – Console Sized Gaming PC”, so neat! Good job mate!

I probably pulled the system apart 7 times before I got it to look as it does now. As you can see in the pictures, I used cable ties wherever I could so that the cables wouldn’t move and would be much tidier looking as bunched together. Just a tip for those planning to build in this, try to route as much as you can behind the GPU riser card and also under the GPU between the fans and the middle wall for a nice clean look :)

I also had to make sure that the cables in the motherboard chamber were as low as possible as I decided to add a 140mm fan on the case where there’s not meant to be a 140mm fan! (Still had a good couple of mm between the 140mm fan and the CPU cooler fan) Just thought I’d try it to lower the CPU temps as I was hitting past 85 degrees Celsius on Prime 95 stress testing using “small FTTs” with just the Noctua CPU cooler. Couldn’t hurt to try and glad that I did.

Temperatures:

With the 140mm fan installed in the motherboard chamber and the two 120mm fans in the GPU chamber, my temps became mid-70s Celsius on Prime 95 stress testing while doing Furmark stress test at the same time, with the GPU temp maxing out at 68 Celsius. Testing done with ambient temp of 20-21 degrees Celsius.

Tip – don’t set the GPU chamber fans to exhaust as it fights with the GPU fans for air and raises the temps. Tried having one 120mm fan exhaust and the other to intake, and temps went up over 85 degrees during game play of Doom (2016). With both fans set to intake, shaved off a good 20 degrees.

Did not do any overclocking and don’t have any plans to as I have the i7 6700 non-“K” version.

Noise:

All the fans especially the GPU fans can get really noisy if under load…if you let it. For me I don’t mind the noise. I prefer having the noise and knowing that the components are staying at a nice safe temp. Noise can be solved by using headphones or nice loud speakers anyway.

But during web browsing, word processing, watching videos on Youtube and VLC from the network HDD, the Node 202 is pretty silent. Fans stay at low RPMs. The GPU fan turns completely off as that’s the trend with new GPUs nowadays.

The Corsair SF600 PSU also is very silent. Also has the fan-off feature when there is only a light load.

You can set fan profiles of the case and the GPU to silent so that you don’t get much noise during load, you’ll just have to deal with the fact that the temps will be higher. I’m more comfortable with a bit of noise than high temps.

Gaming:

Gaming on this PC is an absolutely great experience. With the GTX 1070 and i7 6700 and m.2 SSD combo, everything is just snappy and smooth. Add to that the 144hz monitor too for more buttery smoothness! No screen tearing anymore! Temps are a lot better during gaming than stress testing temps.

Choice of PC Parts:

Case – Node 202. Just fell in love with it and thought it was the perfect case for me and my needs :)

CPU – Chose the i7 6700 non-“K” as I did not plan on overclocking but still wanted the power to do gaming, video editing and image editing at times. I would expect overclocking in a case like this would yield much heat.

CPU Cooler – Just thought I’d try the Noctua CPU cooler as I was seeing it everywhere and heard good things about it. As I found, for my setup for some reason, it wasn’t cooling my CPU enough hence the need to add that 140mm case fan above it. Maybe I didn’t install the CPU cooler properly or applied the proper amount of thermal paste… I don’t know, but can’t be bothered to check, re-seat, clean off the thermal compound and apply it again. Maybe someone with more experience has an answer to this?

Mobo – Just went with Asus as that’s what I was comfortable with and never had a problem with Asus in my first build in 2014.

RAM – RAM is RAM and 16gb of DD4 2133mhz was enough for my needs.

PSU – Corsair SF600 was bought a little later as I didn’t like the coil whine of the stock PSU.

GPU – I wanted an upgrade from my GTX 770 so I went and bought the GTX 1070 as I would only be playing whenever I got the chance to. GTX 1080 would be overkill for me, and TOO EXPENSIVE, as I knew that I’d only be gaming at 1080p at 144hz for a constant 120 fps in games like Doom (2016). I am hoping that this GPU will probably last for the next 5 years or so, and I don’t plan to go up to 4k gaming any time soon as I don’t have the budget for that kind of a monitor or that kind of gaming setup.

The GPU has a bit of sag and touches the 120mm fans underneath it if the case is set to horizontal orientation. So as you can see in the picture, I took one of the USB 3.0 cables to prop up and separate the GPU from the 120mm fan closest the front I/O ports. In vertical orientation, which is how I position it, GPU sag shouldn’t be a problem, but good to have those tiny millimetres of space between the GPU and the 120mm fans.

Storage – Got the A-Data SSD 240GB for the OS and programs and the Sandisk X400 m.2 SSD for storage and game installations. Just to note – the m.2 SSD under the mobo does get hot during load (48 degrees Celsius in my case) so just watch out for that. Don’t really know the safe/max operating temp of the m.2 SSD.

Case fans – Chose to go with Noctua for a little bit more silent operation. They also have good static pressure ratings which is beneficial for the Node 202’s confined, tight spaces. Go for static pressure rather than air flow! Had to take off the dust filter above the CPU to install the 140mm fan. After a while, I started to grow a liking to the look of the fans as others have stated that they’re not that pretty to look at :)

Other things to do/buy:

I plan to add dust filters to the vents where the 140mm fan sits and also the side vents on the mobo chamber side. Already ordered a 10 pack of 140mm dust filters from Amazon that should be coming in this week or maybe next.

Have a Logitech Z623 2.1 speaker system just laying around, so might connect and add it to my setup down the road.

If I really want to get my game on, maybe I’ll plan on buying a good mechanical gaming keyboard and better gaming mouse.

Update

I received my 140mm dust filters in the mail and installed them on the vent above the CPU and the side vents on the mobo chamber side. I just cut the dust filters to right size and slipped them into the side vents to place them. Looks really good! And that should help keep the dust out! Check out the pictures! :)

CONCLUSION:

I’m really happy with this build and it’s just really REALLY AWESOME! I can’t recommend building in the Node 202 enough if you want a challenge and something slim and simple and looking into building a mini ITX machine. Performance, size, looks, and noise are where I want them to be. Does what I need it to do and fulfils its purpose.

Happy building everyone!

Comments Sorted by:

TechyinAZ 13 Builds 3 points 6 months ago

Nice!!! I always love seeing a high performing ITX system this tiny!

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you! Well, as the saying goes, "good things come in small packages..." or something like that :)

gunit1111 2 Builds 0 points 6 months ago

Same here. I built one last year using my old 3570K and a GTX 960 and it works beautifully.

timmy007 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Great build! Cable management looks amazing totally understand how long it took you. I have the i7 6700 and m.2 SSD combo and I don't think i will eve turn back. I bet your computer starts up in under ten seconds?

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you timmy007. Was a lot of hard work. After doing cable management in this case my fingers would hurt especially handling the Corsair Sf600's cables as they were quite stiff. Getting cable ties on took some effort too.

Start up is pretty quick. I don't think mine is as fast as yours though, turning on in under ten seconds. Nice! Depends on when you start counting :D Probably from the time I press power button, I'll get to the desktop in just under 20 seconds more or less.

rumz 2 points 6 months ago

Very nice-- tight, tight space you had to work with there! Cable management can be a beast on cases with tons more room than that... very nicely done.

I'm interested in hearing how transporting that little beast back and forth goes. Love how power packed it is for the size.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you rumz.

Transporting the Node 202 from home to office is alright so far. Since building it I've been bring it to the office 5 times a week.

I'm only using the original box and foam in transporting it for the time being. Everything in the node 202 has stayed pretty solid and in their places so far. I'd open it up from time to time to check to see if the guts are still alright :) My 13 month old son even pushed it over while it was in its box and it still worked perfectly :)

Still searching for the perfect bag like what Kyle from Awesomesauce found :)

AttackGatsby 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Nice build! I actually saw your post about your build's airflow on overlock.net and found it very informative.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks AttackGatsby. Glad I was able to share some information with you. Hope it helped!

Firewalp 15 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

Love this! +1!!!

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you Firewalp! :)

relco 5 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

This is my absolute favorite mini ITX build to date. Feature this please. So clean. The cables look perfectly channeled through the small gaps between components. Noctua fans are gorgeous. +1

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Thank you relco! :)

It took a lot of trial and error and pulling things out and then positioning them again to figure out which cable should go through first, which ones should overlap on top of one another. But end result was well worth it :)

I'm glad I bought a 100 pack of those black cable ties :D

shahin90 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

We have a similar system(check mine) :D Great job.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks Shahin90. I posted a comment on your build too :) +1

What are these +1 votes for anyway? Can someone enlighten me please?

[comment deleted]
richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you Geekazoid! :D Tis an honor to have you comment on my build and reply to my question.

So that's what the +1 is... well then ... +1s for everyone!!! :D

[comment deleted]
MafiatechTeam 1 point 6 months ago

when will you continue your youtube channel?

SwiftSeb 3 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

This Build probably has some of the neatest cable management i have seen in a small form-factor case. smart choice to opt out of the 'K' series for this build, unless number crunching is your thing, i would have done the same.

I look forward to any other future builds you have. Nice compatability of the parts. I hope it is not too heavy to transport...

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you SwiftSeb :)

Was so tempted to put in there the Skylake i7 "K" series as it had a higher stock clock frequency but I didn't see how I could exchange nice safer temps for a little bit more processing power. And the "K" series was $100.00 more than the non-"K" here in Canada, so it was a no brainer for me :D

Transportation isn't too bad. I only really have to carry it for a maximum of 1 minute each trip and setup at home and office only takes a minute too as I only have to plug in a max of 4-5 cables each time :)

Hehehe ... you're gonna be waiting a while for a next build! As this will probably last another 3-5 years for me :D but, who knows...?

Gooberdad 7 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

Bad ***. Thank you for posting and sharubg your testing of fsn positions. In glad to see all intake fans keeps this mini monster cool.

Thumbs up.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks Gooberdad.

Gooberdad 7 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

Wow I didnt proof read that post. I use my phone and it tries to help correct my terrible texts, but I still screw it up. Anyway, until this build I have not considered this case. I have been wondering what the temps would be and if someone would post a screenshot. Thanks again

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Hahahaha don't worry about it, I eventually figured out what you said :D

KrumpetPirate 2 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

That CPU intake fan is unfiltered isn't it?

I don't know, those CPU temps don't seem quite as low as they probably should be. I would personally pull the cooler and reapply some paste just to check. I don't know how the Noctua stock paste compares to something like my favorite Gelid Extreme paste but I would guess the Gelid would be more effective. I used that paste on my CPU and GPU and it lowered temps for both significantly.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Yes, the CPU intake fan is unfiltered ... for now :)

As I stated in my "Other things to do/buy:" portion of my description, I've already ordered some dust filters from, and still just waiting for its arrival. I'll be placing a dust filter where the CPU intake fan is and also on the side vents nearest the CPU/PSU side of the case. That should make managing dust build-up a lot better :)

I know those temps might not be as low as others may want it, but with the way I'm using my PC, it will probably only hit those temps at a maximum of 5 hours per week :) most of the time I'm doing office work, which makes, I know, this build a bit overkill! Hehehe ... just love knowing I have the power to do more :)

But probably down the road, due to wear and tear and time, if I see the temps increasing, then I'll probably get that Gelid Extreme paste and apply it to the CPU :) but for now, I'm pretty comfortable with my temps. Thanks for letting me know about that paste. Really have no idea with what's out there when it comes to thermal compounds.

KrumpetPirate 2 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

Ah I missed that in your description. I wonder if someone makes a filter that would sit perfectly between your input and the CPU fan, would make a nice shroud for your airflow, but it might get complicated to clean...

To be honest your temps are fine unless you are doing rendering or synthetic benchmarks like the small FTT prime95 load you'll likely never even get that high. Totally within the range of safety, the enthusiast in me wants lower temps and higher performance :)

As for the paste, most thermal interface materials (TIMs) are little understood by the community. I do not claim to be an expert in the area as there are so many variables between the solutions out there that you can't always be 100% best in class in every scenario. I just like that Gelid Extreme and have really good experience using it so I recommend it to others. I doubt a company like Noctua would have used an inferior paste on their product, so I doubt you have much to worry about.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Well, it's good to know that there are some good TIMs out there to watch out for as they perform better in some scenarios and in the experience of others such as yourself. I'll keep that in mind when time comes to reapply the TIM :D Thanks again!

hbergberg 2 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

I love it! So nice and clean and compact. Love the cable management

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Thank you hbergberg!

I think my "OCD-ness" just came out when I kept opening up the case and saw all those cables :D

death9251 2 points 6 months ago

I now dub thee PlayStation 4.75. jkjk but it is awesome as all get out. Honestly though I want to set it up right infront of my 65" 4K TV and hook in a XBOX controller and start gaming. lol +1

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Hehehe ... that's the beauty about this build, can easily move it to the 55" TV (tho only Full HD) downstairs and connect my two wireless xbox 360 controllers to it and start gaming! So versatile! :)

jk184 9 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

I've got a similar build In a Silverstone case. My solution for cooling the CPU was the same as yours. There isn't really a good air exhaust path so the CPU cooler just sort of sits in its own hot air without the additional fan. Removing the case and exposing the cooler to open air gave me same effect as adding the fan. Additionally, since you have to use such a small cooler, you will have higher temperatures. There's nothing you can do about that. I'd say your temps are perfectly fine with this case. Nice build! I love me some ugly Noctua fans! +1

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Go the mini ITX builds! FTW! :D

Yeh, you just gotta figure out ways to get around the challenges of small builds like ours and do what you gotta do! :) Happy with my temps right now.

Yes, go get you some "ugly" Noctua fans... tho once you start appreciating what they do and how they do it, they start becoming "prettier and prettier." Hehehe +1

ryanp83 23 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

looks great but I would recommend a GPU with the reference blower cooler for a case this small; otherwise a super clean build!

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Yes, that's what I read in many different posts and builds of mini ITX cases. But at the time of building, the only blower style GPU of the GTX 1070 was the Founder's Edition which I chose to opt out of due to the difference in price, noise, and temperatures compared to non-reference versions.

Getting a non-reference version like the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1070 would allow me to be a bit more flexible in the future if I did want to go bigger in PC case size. It was also a lot cheaper when it was at pre-order sale price at that time. And temps aren't too bad in the Node 202 - just by adding those two 120mm fans, brought into control the temps, maxing at 68 degrees Celsius for Furmark stress tests and lower temps during normal gameplay loads. Problem solved! :)

With other builds of the Node 202 I saw wherein people used a blower style GPU, their temps haven't been that great either and sometimes a bit higher than mine. So I'm quite happy with the choice I made :)

odwillia 2 points 6 months ago

Nice job! Cable management is great.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you odwillia! :)

murad1985 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Beautiful build! I am quite amazed with cable management. Very neat

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks murad, just gotta take your time with these things :)

UdiNi 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Nicely done!!! Well thought out build especially going with the 6700 non K cpu for a case this size. As you stated I imagine the heat would've been a factor. +1

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks UdiNi! :D

Scrounger 4 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

I'm disappointed you didn't get featured. This is a really good build with a lot of attention to detail. The photos should even satisfy Phillip. I guess it was bad luck that the D.Va build went up the same day yours did.

pegotico 2 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

Easy... this was posted yesterday. Featured builds are not changed on a daily basis.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you Scrounger! :)

I didn't even know that there was a "featured" feature :) hehe ... Oh well, I just posted my build up because just wanted to share with everyone here my hard work, and I hope everyone is enjoying it so far! :D

HarryDickDickerson 2 points 6 months ago

I bet your cable management could make Fractal Josh pop a chub. Beautifully-simple build +1

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks HarryDickDickeron. After seeing others build a Node 202 and their attempt to cable manage, I thought I'd give it a shot :)

HarryDickDickerson 1 point 6 months ago

Well you nailed it brother. It's so fresh and so clean.

pegotico 2 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

Great cable management!!!

Another noctua fanboy!!

I AM ONE....

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you pegotico! Yah, I've become a Noctua fan boy now... I think :D +1

Well I'd definitely buy Noctua again for sure!

pegotico 2 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

:)

cgprats 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Great build, but why a gpu with Axial fans over a blower?

With a blower, the gpu doesn't spread hot air around the case, while having the gpu running slightly hotter.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Thanks cgprats :)

About the blower style GPU, as I explained to ryanp83 above ...

Quoted

Yes, that's what I read in many different posts and builds of mini ITX cases. But at the time of building, the only blower style GPU of the GTX 1070 was the Founder's Edition which I chose to opt out of due to the difference in price, noise, and temperatures compared to non-reference versions.

Getting a non-reference version like the Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 1070 would allow me to be a bit more flexible in the future if I did want to go bigger in PC case size. It was also a lot cheaper when it was at pre-order sale price at that time. And temps aren't too bad in the Node 202 - just by adding those two 120mm fans, brought into control the temps, maxing at 68 degrees Celsius for Furmark stress tests and lower temps during normal gameplay loads. Problem solved! :)

With other builds of the Node 202 I saw wherein people used a blower style GPU, their temps haven't been that great either and sometimes a bit higher than mine. So I'm quite happy with the choice I made :)

Also, by the time my non-reference GTX 1070 came, only then did I start seeing non-reference blower style cards from Asus and MSI start to come out. But by then, I was already extremely happy and in love with my GTX 1070 :D

Thanks again!

cgprats 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

you're welcome

eli_harper13 7 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

This is magnificent. Your cable management is expert level! I think this is my new favorite build and I want to copy it lol. This should be featured!

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you eli_harper :)

Expert level?! Wow, thanks, you're too kind :) I need to look at more other builds to see the different levels of cable management.

Yeah, sure, why not, copy it all you like, you won't be disappointed! :D

You'll have lots of fun!

Urishima 2 points 6 months ago

VERY clean.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Ohhhhhhh ... the OCD in me ...

Thanks :D

unicykle 3 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

A lot of love has gone in to this, especially the cable management. I know the pain of the constant cycle of installing the same components just to tweak something 'just right'.. Patience is a virtue! ha!

Nice build mate :)

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you unicykle! :D

Much love did go into building it and it will be given much more love in the time to come!

unicykle 3 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

Awesome :)

Mine is done and done. I've had my fun with the little case.. BUT, I'm happy to leave it be for awhile. haha

What's your thoughts on the 202 now it's sitting complete? It certainty looks neat in the pictures. I've always looked at it and kinda wished I built in that one.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Love your nice little HTPC build. Good work with the cabling in it too! +1

Now that my Node 202 is sitting complete, I just can't help but stare at it and admire its beauty :-) Would do it all again! This build will really last me a while to come. Probably hand it down to my son once he's 7 years old, the same age I started using a PC which was a 486! Hehehe...

It's a little work horse and I enjoy every minute of using it at the office. I really do not mind bringing it to the office everyday! Always look forward to using it and thus I am more productive! :D

It also satisfies my gaming cravings that I get from time to time and runs every game so far on ultra settings at 1080p with 120+ fps on a 144hz monitor, so there's nothing I can complain about :)

unicykle 3 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks mate, it serves the purpose. Yep, I spent ages battling the cables too!

Well, that's a high tech super rig for him to learn on.. ha. I think I was the same era as you - 386 on an uncles's computer, but I would have been 13ish.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Hehehe my son just turned 1 last June. So by the time he's 7 years old, this system would most probably be not as high tech anymore :D

With the speedy advancement of technology today, who knows what we'll have by the time he turns 7!!! :O :D

TedTheOperator 2 points 6 months ago

I can't live without dust filters, I keep my room super clean and dust once every week, yet dust still gets in my system. #HardLife. +1

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Hehe, I like your "dusty" OCD-ness :D

Don't worry Ted, my dust filters have arrived in the mail today! And I'll install them on the Node 202 as soon as I get the chance to do so :)

Let's just hope it'll keep dust in the system to a minimal! Don't like dust too, gives me allergies.

Xizt 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Great build :-) +1

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you Xizt! :D

Miniitx 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Wow nice cable management. I also have the node 202 but my cable management is not good as this one. I gonna redo that when my gpu is arrived.

Very nice system. +1 for you

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thank you Miniitx! :D

You have a great Node 202 system there yourself too! Can't wait for you to get the GTX 1060 to put into there! +1 Have fun with it! :D

gunit1111 2 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

Mini ITX for the win!

Laren3 2 points 6 months ago

Hey there Richard! Awesome build! +1

I am planning a similar build and you already helped a lot. A few questions i hope you can help me with.

The node 202's manual seems to limit the gpu width to 35mm if 25mm width fans are in use. Yet it seems everyone uses them in their builds. Any clearance issues with the gpu and the fans?

Also what dust filters did you use for the side vents? Was it easy to install them? Are they firmly attached to the vents when in vertical position?

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 2 points 6 months ago

Thanks Laren3! :)

My GPU is 41mm according to Gigabyte's website and I'm using 25mm fans in the GPU bay and I still have a couple of millimeters of gap between the GPU and the fans which don't seem to be causing any issues. The fans are static pressure fans which are recommended for these conditions. They help in bringing cool air from the outside to cool down the GPU, so you don't really need them running at high RPMs.

The dust filters I bought were "BQLZR 140mm PVC Black PC Cooler Fan Dust Filter" from Amazon and they were very easy to cut to the right size and slide into the side vents. And yes, they do attach very firmly to the vents even in vertical position. But I recommend, if you can, find "finer" dust filters like the fine-ness of the dust filters that come with the Node 202, because I noticed that the dust filters I bought from Amazon caused my CPU temps to rise. This is probably because the dust filters from Amazon are thicker and let less air to be sucked in by the case fan and less hot air out through the top vent.

I decided to remove them because I wasn't comfortable with the rise in temps I saw. So I'll just clean the inside and blast the dust away from time to time, which I prefer rather than a rise in temps. :D

Hope this helps.

tadashi 2 points 6 months ago

This build is amazing! I'm loving it and thinking of copying it. I have some questions though. Hope you can answer them. 1) The 2 120mm fans. How did you get them connected to the motherboard? Asus has a GPU with 2 4-pin fan headers but it's a bit pricier than other 1070's and I'm wondering if it's worth it for the easiness of routing the fan cables.

2) The 140mm fan. I have some questions about it. How does the system run without it(is it that important to have)? Is there a way to remove the mesh from the dust filter you removed and fit it somehow? Or cut the plastic grid while keeping the plastic frame? The smaller mounting size of the fan helps? It says it has 125x125mm and 105x105mm screw spacing on the fan website.

3) How is the dust with the current configuration?

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Thanks tadashi! :D

1. With the 2 120mm fans, I used the fan header splitter and routed it behind the GPU riser card then connected it to the nearest fan header on the motherboard. The Asus GPU WILL make it a lot easier for you in routing the fan cables if it really does have 2 4-pin fan headers and this will allow you to adjust the 2 case fan's speed according to the temp of the GPU instead of the CPU temps - if you've got the money why not!? Can't really tell you anything more about the performance of the Asus compared to other brands or cheaper versions, but people usually say that they all cards of the same model perform similarly well in frames despite the brand. Differences in brand are subjective in noise, temps, overclocking ability. Really up to your preference and wants. But I've heard many times people say here that a blower style GPU is most suitable in these mini ITX builds as they will blow the hot air out instead of blowing it around in the case as what non-blower style GPUs do.

2. Without the 140mm fan, the i7 CPU and motherboard will run a little hotter but not that much hotter to be alarming - depending on what temps you think are alarming though - I just like knowing that my system is running a little cooler :) When I stress tested my CPU without the 140mm fan, I didn't like the temps I was seeing so I tried adding that 140mm fan and it did help quite a bit. But I believe if you go with an i5 it will run a lot cooler. Removing the mesh from the dust filter above the CPU will prove to be a tricky task because it's like a grid, you'll cut them out into squares and I don't think it's worth the bother doing that. But who knows, maybe you'll think of something more efficient! Share if you do! :D

The smaller mounting size of the fan helps? It says it has 125x125mm and 105x105mm screw spacing on the fan website.

Not too sure what you mean by this....

3. Dust has not really built up yet despite the environments I've had the PC in (Home and Office and Car). I've also removed the dust filters that I bought from Amazon because they increased my CPU temps which I was uncomfortable with. But I've have yet to use my compressed air to clear out dust over the 3 months I've had this PC. I think having that fan above the CPU helps in keeping the dust out and blowing it away as I can feel the air gushing out of the top vent when placed in vertical orientation.

Hope my answers help you! :D

tadashi 2 points 6 months ago

Here is the software that allows you to control case fans depending on GPU temps. No real need for the Asus board then except for cable management.

tadashi 2 points 6 months ago

Oh . I think I forgot to post the link. Here it is http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1OkBRELqEgM

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

This is great! Thanks for opening my mind to this! Never crossed my mind to think of controlling the fans through software but using the temps of the GPU, just didn't think it was possible hehehe. Thanks again! :D

tadashi 1 point 6 months ago

Welcome, hope it can help lower your GPU temps

tadashi 1 point 6 months ago

I see thanks. I'm not interested into spending more than I need. I don't really care about which 1070 I get performance wise since they are too close to each other, as long as it got a good cooler. I will check if the fans can be controlled via software depending on GPU temps before choosing GPU brand. With your stress testing temps on the GPU I doubt there is any need for a blower style cooler. They look reasonable.

That dust filter is quite the trouble maker. Can you show me close up pictures if it's not too much of a trouble for you? I have an idea but I'm not sure of the dimensions. First forget about the fan mounting size, I had gotten confused. the screw hole 125x125 is he size for the 140mm fan and the 105x105 is for the 120mm fan. Back to my idea. If the mounting holes of the fan(either 140 or 120) align with the mesh of the dust filter and not the plastic. Maybe it's possible to make a whole through the mesh to mount the fan? The fan will end up being few millimeters lower but the NH-L9i is slim and maybe it will fit. I'm not sure of this though.

It's good to hear that dust isn't building up fast.

Oh, and do you remember the temps without the 140mm fan?

I intend to put an i5, not sure if it actually runs cooler though.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Oh, and do you remember the temps without the 140mm fan?

I think it was hitting past over the 80 degrees Celsius mark ...

I'll try and get those pictures for you of the filter.

If the mounting holes of the fan(either 140 or 120) align with the mesh of the dust filter and not the plastic. Maybe it's possible to make a whole through the mesh to mount the fan?

Good idea, but I think you might be limited to using a low-profile 120/140mm fan due to the thickness of the frame of the filter. On my PC with the 120/140mm fan (with a 25mm width) installed above the CPU cooler, there's only about 3mm between them that's why I had to remove the original case filter.

tadashi 1 point 6 months ago

Ah I see. Thanks a lot for your help.

You can forget about the pictures now. After looking around I think the Big Shiruken cooler would be a good idea, it gives similar temps to your setup but I can keep the dust filter. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I wish the Node 202 was a little bit higher, would help cooling the CPU.

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gare8ear 2 points 6 months ago

Nice, clean build! Can you fit a 3.5" hdd in there with a full or mini gpu?

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 5 months ago

Probably with a mini GPU. I've seen that done somewhere before.

SFX_MODz 8 Builds 2 points 3 months ago

+1 for the Node 202! That's a lot of fans! I just built in this case, check it out if you get a chance...

Crus4de 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

This is more of a question for your stress testing but was the prime95 killing Skylake chips fixed or does the non-k chip not run into that problem?

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Regarding the "prime95 killing Skylake chips" ... I am not too sure, and only heard about it when you mentioned it in your comment :)

I heard it's suppose to lock up the computer when doing a stress test using Prime95, but the amount of time as to when it occurs varies from system to system. While doing my quite short stress test, I didn't encounter any lock ups, so must just be lucky so far :)

I'll tell you if it ever occurs. Glad I got extended warranty on my CPU just in case anything happens. They'll replace it straight away at the shop I bought it from if it breaks :)

Crus4de 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

For me I have a 6700k and it never locked up but it would instantly jump my temps to 100+ with no hesitation whereas in games and aida64 it settled around 60-70.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

What version of Prime95 you using. I remember reading somewhere that using the latest version on Skylake CPUs gives unnecessary stress to the CPU due to VRX or something like. So it is recommended to use Prime95 v26.6 to stress test the newer CPUs like Skylake.

deXxterlab97 1 point 6 months ago

How is SanDisk m.2 performing? I wanted a Evo but it costs nearly double for the same capacity

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

It's performing great! Just like an SSD is suppose to :) quick and snappy! Sure it's not a Samsung 950 Pro but does what I need it to do :) I use it as storage because it's larger capacity than my non-m.2 SSD. Does get a bit hot when the CPU is under load though - around 45 degrees Celsius. But nothing I'm too concerned about.

deXxterlab97 2 points 6 months ago

thanks! I am planning to get myself one soon. Samsung EVO cost nearly double. jeez

Tesel 1 point 6 months ago

Do the fans actually fit even though Fractal Design's site suggests only using 60mm total GPU width + fan width? I am building a build with this case and the 1060 G1 Gaming and I was wondering what width of fan will work.

Tesel 1 point 6 months ago

Also, any issues with GPU temps?

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Just recycling my answer from the above post...

My GPU is 41mm according to Gigabyte's website and I'm using 25mm fans in the GPU bay and I still have a couple of millimeters of gap between the GPU and the fans which don't seem to be causing any issues. The fans are static pressure fans which are recommended for these conditions. They help in bringing cool air from the outside to cool down the GPU, so you don't really need them running at high RPMs.

If you go with slim profile fans, others have found that these cause more noise, and move less air. Others have reported that they don't make much difference in GPU temps much.

Reprisalgaming 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

How is the i7 6700 im building a pc but i don't really care about overclocking. The i7 6700k stock is 4.0 out the box and the i7 6700 stock is 3.4? Is it a huge difference?

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

The i7 6700 non-"K" serves my purposes well enough which is 70-80% office productivity 30% gaming, video & photo editing. So I'm happy with my non-"K" CPU. The Asus motherboard software with the "One Click 5-way Optimization" squeezes a little more juice out of my non-"K" - about 20% giving it a max boost clock speed of 4.1 Ghz and temps stay at nice comfortable levels.

If you use your computer 90% of the time for programs/games that require a lot of processing power, then you may want to go with the "K" CPU but just be wary of the increase in temps especially with the Node 202.

Can't really tell you if there is a huge difference from the "K" version at 4.0 out of the box since I've never used one before :)

tadashi 1 point 6 months ago

I noticed that your GPU intake dust filter is mounted from the outside. What is preventing you from placing it on the inside? Are they the brown noctua fan holders?

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

When I place the dust filter inside the case, the 2 Noctua fans suck it in and the filter starts rubbing against the fan blades causing a undesirable noise. The GPU intake dust filter is quite flimsy, it's not very dense, that's why they can easily be sucked in by the fans, so placed them outside of the case and this makes for easier cleaning too! :D

tadashi 1 point 6 months ago

Oh I see. I decided to get some Corsair fans. Wonder how those would play with the flimsy filter.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Yeah same thing, I had 2 Corsair SP120s Quiet Editions in there before the Noctuas and they did the same thing. Who knows, maybe you'll have better luck than me :)

tadashi 1 point 6 months ago

Guess it's gonna happen to me too. But I will let you know.

Dr_Pointblank 1 point 5 months ago

Heyo, I'm going to make a build very similar to this and I was wondering, how did you connect the 4 fans if there are only 3 fan headers total on that ASUS Mobo, I'm building with the same Mobo and was wondering if I should get a fan for the CPU chamber. Here is my build list if were wondering! http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Dr_Pointblank/saved/bw6XLk

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 2 points 5 months ago

The fans in the GPU chamber is sharing one fan header using a splitter. The other mobo fan two headers is taken up by the CPU fan and fan in the CPU chamber.

Stress test your CPU first with your chosen CPU Cooler and see if you're comfortable with the temps. Keep in mind though that those stress test temps are not temps you would usually see in everyday use if just using for office work, browsing and watching videos and occasional gaming. If you don't like what you see with your CPU temps then you can try adding that extra fan in the CPU chamber.

Dr_Pointblank 1 point 4 months ago

Could you send me a link to the splitter you used?

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

The fan splitter came with the 120mm Noctua Fans that I bought. I didn't buy them separately.

austonkite 1 point 4 months ago

IK this post is a month old, but if you have not found out yet, the CPU cool exhausts from 2 sides and by the pictures you have it oriented with objects blocking the exhaust portion. If you decide to try this method and see any difference in temps please tell me cause i'm interested cause i have the same cooler.

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 3 months ago

I did not know that. How do you know what side the exhaust portion is?

dustin4vn 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

I don't get why you spend so much money on the m.2 for the storage and game when it's the fastest of the two. I rather have the OS on it. Games and everything else should go on the ssd.

MongooseCrusader 1 point 2 months ago

Are you using a fan splitter for your two cpu fans? I can't tell.

Also, did you have to do anything/buy anything special to get the 140mm fan to fasten to the top where the cpu intake is at? It looks like you're using little nub things but again, I can't tell.

I'm asking because I'm thinking of getting the same fan and placing it in the same place. =)

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Yes I am using a fan splitter that came with the Noctua fans. And for the 140mm fan above the CPU I used the include rubber holders that come with the Noctua fans too :)

Hope that helps!

MongooseCrusader 1 point 2 months ago

Is the fan splitter one the one that makes it more quiet?

If so I'll just buy one off amazon

Ty!

richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

No, it's just a normal splitter that's included with the fan. The low-noise adaptor is a different cable that's also included with the fan.

MongooseCrusader 1 point 2 months ago

Ty.

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richardjr77 submitter 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

CPU Idle: Coolest core - 24 degrees Celsius min Average core temp - 25 degrees Celsius

CPU on load: Prime95 & Furmark stress testing Hottest core - 76 degrees Celsius max Average core temp - 71 degrees Celsius

CPU on load: Doom (2016) 20 minutes gameplay Ultra-Nightmare settings Hottest core - 66 degrees Celsius Average core temp - 54 degrees Celsius

All test done with ambient temp of 20-21 degrees Celsius.

NitroOG 2 points 6 months ago

Thanks