Description

This is my first home PC build, completed in the middle of March 2016. Phanteks' Enthoo Evolv ITX windowed chassis is a very sexy looking mini-ITX case. It's not too small yet not too big. It has plenty of room for both tall custom graphics cards and CPU coolers. It also has some very nice features found in more expensive cases being very well made and looks fantastic. I decided to improve case airflow out of the box by adding a rear 140mm exhaust fan and replaced the stock 200mm intake fan with dual 140mm fans. I was worried the front panel might have to be modified with extra air vents, but found it wasn't an issue for me at all.

I like an air-cooled system using a large performance CPU heatsink cooler that doesn't block tall RAM modules. Thermalright's Silver Arrow ITX was a perfect fit in this regard. Its universal mounting system allows for 3-5mm of horizontal wiggle room next to installed RAM. It's also been ASUS ROG certified, originally designed for their premium Maximus Impact series of ITX motherboards. I had no issues mounting this to my beautiful ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming motherboard, although it's a shame the cooler hides most of it, except for the pretty heat spreader fins of my stylish G.Skill TridentZ DDR4 memory modules rising up tall and proud.

By request Thermalright sent me their new LGA1151 CPU Support Spacer (and 4 Special Mounting Nut Washers) free of charge. They're being proactive after reports of Intel's thinner Skylake processor PCB bending at the corners due to cooler mounting pressure. Thermalright recommends their support spacer for its coolers weighing over 500g. Their beefy Silver Arrow ITX cooler weighs in at 700g and includes a red 'ROG' style TY-149 fan weighing 170g.

Product case badges are cool but I didn't want to use them as normal stickers on my case. Instead I came up with the idea to make movable magnetic case badges. A roll of 1" wide magnetic tape cut to size did the trick. Right now they occupy the rather empty space next to the rubber cable grommets. I also removed the unused mid-plate Phanteks logo (gently peeled away using a plastic bread bag clip) and made a magnetic case badge out of it too!

To avoid heavy GPU sag, I planned ahead and made a DIY standoff by cutting down a stiff 2.1mm power connector strain relief cone. I inserted it through one of the PSU shroud holes where acts as a sturdy support column between the PSU and GPU. My massive EVGA GeForce 980 Ti Classified graphics card sits perfectly level and will never sag.

I'll be using my new PC for FPS gaming, multimedia, and productivity purposes. I manually XMP overclocked my i7-6700K to 4.5 GHz at 1.28V, Core/Cache Limit Max to 255.50, Min/Max Cache Ratios to 41, LLC to Level 5, and enabled Core Voltage Adaptive Mode. The XMP profile in the ASUS Z170i UEFI BIOS clocked my G.Skill DDR4 TridentZ memory to its rated 3200 MHz speed. After much Maxon CineBench benchmarking and ASUS RealBench stress testing, the 12% CPU performance increase is a good 24/7 overclock using adaptive voltage so I'm happy with it.

The ASUS Z170-based Pro Gaming series motherboards are really great and could be thought of as a 'Pseudo-ROG' (Republic of Gamers) board due to it's high end feature set, overclocking performance, and beautiful styling - but at a much lower cost. Their Z170i Pro Gaming version doesn't disappoint with its 4-Phase power delivery and VRM heatsinks, making it great for overclocking.

To finish I added some PC lighting bling with a BitFenix Alchemy 2.0 Red Magnetic LED Strip. It really sets it off and looks better in person than in my photographs.

Oh and want to cut down on dust sticking to the inside of your case window? Wipe it off with some Monster ScreenClean! It's a great safe non-alcohol display LCD cleaner you can find online or wherever big screen TV's are sold.

Your comments and questions are welcome.

  • Steve

ASUS RealBench Benchmark scores: Image Editing: 198532 Time: 25.628, Encoding: 180939 Time: 52.99, OpenCL: 100032 KSamples/sec: 2612, Heavy Multitasking: 184933 Time: 52.884, System Score: 146102 (CPUID HWMonitor: 4.5 GHz @ 1.28V, 88.43W, 71c Max Load)

CineBench CPU score: 997cb

ASUS RealBench 15min StressTest: Passed (CPUID HWMonitor: 4.5 GHz @ 1.28V, 83.73W, 79c Max Load)

3DMark Fire Strike: 16,723 - http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/12429780

3DMark 11: 20809 - http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/11321018

Comments

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Jealous. I feel though that for the price you could have done a little better on the power supply, maybe like an 850w/1000w to future proof but it is a mini ITX build so I guess you dont intend to get a second card? +1 though for the fact that its a mini ITX. Love those kind of builds.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Yeah it's a 1 GPU system being mITX so the EVGA Supernova G2 650W PSU (got a Newegg discount plus a $20 EVGA rebate) is more than enough I feel, plus the higher wattage power supplies tend to be longer and would leave no room for the modular cables to fit in the gap next to the HDD cage frame. Also most of my parts were on sale including Newegg discount codes well below normal retail, plus I claimed $70 in manufacturer mail-in rebates factored into the total cost. That also enabled me to go high-end with the EVGA 980 Ti Classified at the last minute, instead of my original pick of the MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, and yeah true when it comes to the higher wattage psu's.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

I added some screen captures of ASUS AI Suite 3 just to show the overclock increase detected. I only use it for its Fan Xpert app to adjust my custom fan profile curves. The CPU and motherboard temperatures are different between the 2 screens due to my ambient living room temperature ranging anywhere from 72f to 79f depending on the weather outside this Spring. I do not have central air conditioning, just a window A/C in my dining room 15 feet away from the PC which I haven't used yet this year so far.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Last night I 'enlisted' in the new Star Citizen​ MMO game. I didn't buy a basic starter ship package yet. My referral code for 5000 UEC (United Earth Credits) when joining is STAR-BDNJ-K2Q4 so may use that instead of the default 1000 UEC you get.

Note: "Currently buying with UEC is unwise, the game is limited in functionality and stats are not confirmed at all. Renting items with REC from playing arena commander is your best bet right now :) There is no persistence yet so you can't really discover or mine things yet. Plan is to have all this in game as it goes on in development."

My game handle is Sinorvam at the moment. You can change it for free the 1st time so I'll think about it. The game is currently in alpha live testing but get a jump on it. The graphics and details are amazing and should make full use of my new PC gaming rig capabilities.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Saw your thread over at linustechtips forums about reversing the SSD mount over to the visible side of the case. I was wondering if you ever tried this and if you did how did it turn out. I'm planning to use this case in my next build and i'm not fan of the metal plate thingy covering graphics card, but i would still like to get my SSD on display.

  • 33 months ago
  • 2 points

When I was planning my build last year that's what I was thinking of doing to show off my SSD through the window. But when I actually did the build I decided to mount it the normal way in the back. I ended up using the front motherboard tray wall for case badges that I made into magnets you can see in one of the photos I posted here. But you can reverse the SSD mounts if you want and screw them in through the other side I suppose. I seen someone else here do that. I'm with you on the mid-plate and didn't use it but I did reuse the Phanteks logo as a case badge from it. I didn't want to mount it because it would have hidden the red "Classified" logo on my GPU that I wanted to show off.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I just saw the thread too and am planning on putting the SSD on the visible side. You "suppose" it can work and have seen others do it. Did the other people have to modify it at all to work? Would you be willing to check for me on your own case?

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Well the mounting point screw holes are there. You should be able to remove them and mount on the visible side instead for a reverse SSD mount. I don't want to disassemble my working PC build to test fit it. Plus I ended up using the visible side to stick my little magnet product badges to the wall.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build. Have a question for you but first a little background. About 6 months ago I built my gaming rig and I went with the case and surprisingly not the same PSU. Here's my question, did you struggle fitting the modular cables of the super nova between the HDD cage? I ran into that problem and was barely able to fit them in, was almost considering going to a 550 super nova because smaller length. How did you navigate around this?

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

It was a tight fit with all the cables. I tried to pre-bend the power cables best I could near the connectors pointing them to the cable management side and holding them as slid the PSU into the case. Not much space between the PSU and HDD cage! I think the 650 G2 is the best largest PSU that will fit this case, unless EVGA has come out with a new model in the past year. I love the case though, quite "monolithic" for an ITX system. I even bought a HAL 9000 magnet and slapped it on the front cover LOL.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Purchased the Acer - XB241H bmipr 24.0" 1920x1080 180Hz Monitor to replace my failing old LG 60Hz widescreen monitor.

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

How is the monitor? I'm thinking about getting one.

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

I like the monitor. I'm using it at 144Hz instead of the overclock feature. At first I noticed the back lighting was uneven and brighter in the lower right corner. Now I don't notice that. I adjusted the default brightness to 25 and contrast 50 in the monitor setup. It was way too bright. Then in the Nvidia control panel enabled Nvidia settings: Brightness 40, Contrast 50, and Gamma +1.00.

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I would leave it at 144hz also and not bother with the overclock. 60hz and above is honestly great for me. The bottom right seems to be the issue for most people who I have read that have this monitor but as long as it's not too bad you won't even notice it while gaming. Thanks for the reply.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Bought a nice 55" wide computer desk from IKEA called the Malm, on sale for $149. Everything looks proper now. I uploaded a photo. My gaming PC build is still running strong! "Rip & Tear" on Doom 2016 and Quake Champions. \m/

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I added some new pics on my 55" Ikea Malm cable management desk setup with Corsair MM300 Extended Gaming Mouse Pad ($15.99 sale) and PreSonus Eris E3.5 Studio Monitor speakers.

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