I had planned to update my old ATX sized PC for a while. I did like the quietness and performance I was getting, but I wanted to put the case to my desk and therefore I ended up searching for Mini ITX cases. I really liked the design on some of the cases and fell in love with the idea of a small but powerful rig.
I don't know why my GoPro footages are so dull, but I like to edit them with Premiere. I also like to edit my pics with Lightroom. I like to play games such as Dota 2, Battlefield x, Rocket League and Minecraft. I use IRC. I would like to update my screen to a 4K one in a near future. I would like to buy VR goggles once there is a good option available.
I didn't have any target budget so I went with the best choices I could find. I'm really happy with the outcome. The case is awesome with the modifications. The PC is almost silent and it's fast for my needs.
Case: Lian-Li PC-TU100A
Most of the cases were not providing the small form factor I was looking for. I went trough dozens of cases and my final top three was SilverStone Fortress FT03-MINI, NCASE M1 and Lian-Li PC-TU100A. From what I read it was quite obvious that none of these cases were meant for 4K gaming build (excl. NCASE maybe), so I started to think. I like to build things by myself. I like Legos. I like to drill stuff. So the case modifications were the way to go. FT03-Mini was the first one to drop from the game. The wind tunnel design wasn't meant for some more holes. NCASE M1 had long delivery times to Europe and maybe it don't need the drill, so I started to look on the Lian-Li. I had originally dropped it out because it had only one 120mm fan support, but since I decided to use the drill it ended up being the perfect match for me. The case is sub 11 liters with 25x25x17cm, but somehow Lian-Li has decided to use ~2cm on the front for basically nothing - that leaves you to have 9.8 liters. I am a fan of their design and I tried to keep the modifications classy.
Modifications: - Removed the original case fan (a bulky 120mm). - Removed the SSD mounting plate. - Used the original case fan installation screws to attach AIO liquid cooler radiator & fan. Originally the case fan on the front was blowing air in. I choosed to blow warm air out from the liquid cooler. - Drilled a bottom hole for the 120mm case fan. This ensures the best airflow to the partly blower cooled GPU. - Drilled a side hole for the 140mm case fan. This keeps the case pressure on positive side and brings fresh air to the AIO liquid cooling fan. The holes for the PSU air intake were quite well placed, but I adjusted the 140mm side fan position so that it would provide air for it too.
My rating: 7/5.
Mobo: Asus Z170I Pro Gaming Mini ITX
Read good reviews and it had the best specs for my needs. The supplied software help with adjusting the case fan speeds and make the OC easy.
My rating: 5/5.
CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K
I want to play some dotes and edit images. I want to export my GoPro videos with speed. I want that my CPU doesn't eat much power so that it will keep cool. Answer: 6700K.
My rating: 5/5.
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB DDR4-3000
DDR4 is quite cheap and I wanted to max out the ram just to be sure there will be enough of it. I have a OC XMP profile in use and these run at 4000 MHz at the moment.
My rating: 5/5.
Storage: Samsung 950 PRO M.2
I was really glad to find out that my mobo supports the PCI Express M.2 SSDs. Make no mistake; this is not your typical SATA SSD. It mounts to the back of the mobo and doesn't need any space from the case. It's fast - read or write. Check my results: Imgur
My rating: wow/5.
GPU: Gigabyte GTX 1070 OC Mini ITX
I had quite a trouble installing the GPU to this case. I had to remove the PSU to have any chance of fitting it in, and even with that I had to bend things more than I was comfortable with. It's now installed, but I'm not sure if I could remove it without breaking anything.
The card is completely silent during Rocket League sessions, and it seems to be fast.
My rating: $£€/5.
PSU: Corsair SD 600W
Yes there's plenty of power. It's small. It's modular.
My rating: 5/5.
CPU cooler: Silverstone TD03-SLIM
The case had only 60mm space for the CPU cooler. If I were to use any topdown blower, the warm air would have stayed in the case. I found a slim AIO liquid cooler which provided me with adequate cooling power in a really tidy space. It keeps the CPU under 30 celcius even without the fan running. Anyway, the pump could be more quiet; it's the only moving part during idle or browser usage. I had some troubles with the installation since the motherboard is not providing a separate CPU pump header. After some investigating I decided to connect the CPU pump to CPU FAN header. That left the actual CPU fan to be connected to CASE FAN 1 header. One of the reasons for this was that the CPU FAN header is strictly analyzed for any RPM dropdown. If the pump fails the system will shut down to prevent damage.
My rating: 4/5.
I used two extra case fans. I had to take the slim models and it was the right decision; any thicker and I would have had just holes on the case. If I were to choose again I would take smaller RPM fans. They're quieter.
I also used the fan grill that was supplied with the case, and one extra from Cooltek.
I have a separate NAS which hosts my videos and files.
I am a little bit paranoid of Chrome killing my SSD. I made a 2GB ramdisk with Softperfect RAM Disk software and moved the Chrome installation to it. Problem solved. Remove the tin foil hat. Result: Imgur
I bought a storage SSD and installed that to the slim DVD drive slot. I selected 1000GB SanDisk X400 for it's cheap price. I also managed to tidy up the cabling a bit by running them from the spare space in the drive slot.