Description

This is my first time attempting a Mini-ITX build and I really enjoyed it! I had promised my nephew that he could join in the process of building it, and it was about the least problematic build I have ever completed. It was a few hours of careful work, loads of explanation, and some creative problem solving that payed off well. We wrapped up the build by playing a Lego game. It was great to get to show him that process from parts pile to play'able. Definitely could see the gears turn in a young mind.

I pieced together this build looking to make a portable 4K HTPC that could handle some light gaming. It's also going to have to function as a temporary intermediate PC for a very aging dual CPU Xeon rig. I have been reading reviews for the Ryzen APUs and they were being reviewed as being surprisingly capable as integrated graphics solutions. I was intrigued, and started spec'ing out several potential options with the help of this site. I found the Realan H80S and could see that as a great option to move forward with. Once decided, I just had to generate the funds and look for sales on the parts while doing so.

The largest issues for this build was Amazon sending a 120W power adapter when I ordered a 240W version, and the RGEEKS PSU not being designed to clear RAM. I was able to get about 1mm of clearance between the heat-spreader on the RAM and the PSU's incoming power line connector after trimming off the snap-in clip and trimming back some additional excess plastic from the connector. I then used some electrical tape to hold the connector in place. For the accessory connector, I was able to bend the cables back enough to keep from contacting. Cable management was a little tricky given the space, but was able to make use of some space above the fans and clean up strays with some hook and loop ties.

Haven't dug too deep into thermals yet. The small PWM fans seem to be getting enough heat out of the case for some cooling though. Set them to silent mode in the BIOS, but they're still audible. I don't think they'll be noticeable when audio is playing. Might end up testing how things work with the case fans out of the system at some point, though.

I've used older XBOX 360 wired controllers for the tiny bit of gaming, and grabbed the Pepper Jobs W10 remote for HTPC use. The remote requires a slight bit of a learning curve, but works great! I am thinking to look into wireless XBOX One controllers for the future.

The ASRock motherboard has been working great for me so far! I was able to get my RAM speeds up to 3200 MHz fairly easily in the BIOS. I just needed to set the RAM speed and then enable the XMP profile, the board really took care of all the rest of the settings from there. I had made the decision to go with this mobo based off price / CPU compatibility out of the box / and audio outputs. I am fairly sure this was the only Mini-ITX board in the B450/X470 range with an optical audio output.

The only thing I wish I could change at this point is the mounting direction of the Noctua cooler. Unfortunately there are only 2 options available for mounting given the mounting setup. I could rotate it 180 degrees, but not 90 or 270.

I did run through a benchmark with Cinebench R20 just in case anyone was curious. The system returned a score of 1810 (the 11 year old dual Xeon system scored 1071). Given the use of the system I really don't expect I will try any overclocking beyond getting the RAM up to it's advertised speeds to better the Vega graphics.

I'll have to get more pictures posted as I am able.

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Comments

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey great build, some advice would be to leave the fans in as exhaust I have the same case just shorter than yours and it will throttle otherwise. If your really curious try it with the fans as intake and flip the cpu fan. Your nephew is a lucky lad, all the best +1

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, ApocPony! Yeah, if I do get curious I might just try that. At some point I might also grab some noctua fans to try to fit there. The 60mm fit, but they are a little large for the actual opening. a 40mm x 10mm might be enough to do the job, which is the best I was able to find from Noctua at the time.

And, yeah, was really hoping this helps push my nephew into learning more about computers. Maybe the exposure to it all will help him to realize it's all within his capabilities should he want to pursue it later.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

what is that blue cable

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

USB 3.0 header connector.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Beat me to it! :)

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

thanks, ApocPony

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build. Great CPU with super integrated videocard.

I was about to made my build with it, but I ended up going with intel, because I got the motherboad at a price too cheap to miss it.

I love these small cases. You did a really eficient cable management.

What temperatures are in idle and playing 4k videos?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, b0by!

Cable management was definitely something I had to think about through the entire process. I ended up adding a couple additional 40x40x10mm Noctua fans to the opposite side of the case to help with airflow. There were no mounting points, but double-sided permanent foam tape in minimal quantities have them set nicely in place. Definitely added to the cable management process!

I haven't been able to test 4k videos at this point. It is ready for it, but my 32" TV is old and, while it can handle 1080p, it cuts off the boarder at the resolution and I've got it set to just a bit above 720p. Maybe I'll find a surprise present in the near future and be able to update with that information. As for idle temps, I recently used the Asrock fan utility to calibrate the fans and things seem to like sitting around 43ºC if I remember correctly.

I still might replace the 60mm case fans at some point. They are both slightly noisy and not really great at pushing air around. Still thinking through options on that front. Wished Noctua had some 50x50x10mm or even 50x50x15mm options.