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Build

Sapphire- tiny itx build

by casheesed

125
110 Comments

Details

Date Published

Oct. 18, 2015

Date Built

Sept. 12, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.7GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

28.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

72.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.21GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

5.6GHz

GPU Temperature Under Load

56.0° C

Description

This build was a birthday present for my daughter. Wanted it to be light and easily portable because it's going to see a lot of traveling. My first build was really fun, but it felt too easy so I wanted something a little more challenging so I went with an itx build. This case is known for running hot so I did a few mods. Reinverted the inverted mobo, made a blowhole in the bottom of the case and added a 120mm fan which took care of the gpu getting too hot. The cpu is still a little hotter than I'd like, but this particular i3 achieves it's high clock speeds by completely sacrificing temps. I'm still going to try a few more things to get the temp down on it. I also added the chrome feet and handle which gave it a little pop, but also serves a purpose. More storage is on the way, but I'm hoping to find some great deals on ssd come black friday. I think some custom cabling would look great on this build so I've been studying up on it and may attempt it soon.
Peripherals- since they're not listed on this site I figured I'd mention them on here. Cheap, Nothing fancy about this mouse/keyboard set from Corn, weird name but you won't forget it. They run on AAA batteries if I remember correctly, only been using a month so I'm not sure how long the battery life in them will be. No backlights. They're small, but not too small. Wireless range is at least decent because I was using them from my sofa and PC was about 15ft away. They also make a pink set and a white set.

OS- windows 10. I'm only mentioning this because there are some reviews, even fairly recent ones, that say windows 10 doesn't work with this mobo, but for me it worked perfect.

Comments Sorted by:

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 13 points 32 months ago

Oh wow! I didn't even know "featured build" was a thing because I always get on here with my phone and never see the homepage. That's a real honor and that really just made my day.

piemancoder 1 point 32 months ago

I personally use the full site on my phone, not a gigantic fan of mobile sites in general, even though PCPP has a very good one.

tiny_voices 2 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

+1. This is my favorite 750ti!

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Yes!!! I've been really impressed with this lil card. I'll probably go with zotac on my next build as well.

tiny_voices 2 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

I'm a big Zotac fan.

Iceman320 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

And I'm a big Zotac heat sink :D

tiny_voices 2 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

Lol good one.

Eltech 19 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

How sweet of a father that you are. I'm glad your daughter is loving it to death once she got it running. I love the colors, parts and it's so beautiful! Great work on the modifications too. And lastly, congrats for being featured! You have touched my heart about a father and daughter moment together.

Great work sir, and thank you for showing this lovely build. You have my one. :)

  • May your additional parts be a plenty experience.
casheesed submitter 5 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

Wow, that's really nice. Thanks a lot. I had no idea my day was going to turn out this way when I posted this build , but having all you smart people say such kind things about it has really made my day...but it's only going to fuel my build addiction.

Eltech 19 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Well, because it's true on what you did. It's a great build! And um... I don't know if I can be considered smart, but I can think of other people this way for certain and you. You deserve that pat on the back for what you did. I'm certain your daughter appreciates it and is happy the most which is the most important person you want to be.

...but it's only going to fuel my build addiction.

Oh my, I'm sorry about that. It cannot be helped good sir, cannot be helped. I am addicted to building too. Ever since I made my grandma's desktop. I couldn't stop either but I had to slow down on part purchases.

Though someday... we could both go to I Love Building Custom Computers Addiction Rehab Center in the future.

Vergere 7 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

So Smol, So Good. +1

rhali8 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

YAY! I love stuffing PC components into a box.

+1

HTTPRO 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Nice mod, its been a long time since I saw another Raijintek Metis build. I've always wanted to build on this case, whats the temps on it? I wanted to see if I can cool a locked haswell i5 and then a gtx 970 turbo.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

The blow hole mod helped the GPU a lot, it's in the mid 50s under 100% load. The CPU I chose tends to run hot no matter what case you put it in so mine might be a bad example to use, but it hits 72 under 100% load.

boofheadfred 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

72 C under 100% load isn't really that bad. It's not great, but not awful either.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Yeah that's kind of the way I feel about it. I might try some brand name thermal paste or maybe better case fans, because I really just want to get it in the 60s, even if its the high 60's.

Stuart_Munto 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Sweet case!!

leonccyiu 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

+1 Great work and effort trying to bring the temps down. I want a case like this for it's smaller size over my core v1 but I have several concerns such as heat and convenience

TheGingerBeard 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

+1 for a great build, only suggestion I can make for decreasing temps is lowering the voltage applied to the processor, is this is possible on your H97 board - look up "undervolting" and that should set you on the right track, I've been trying it with my Broadwell i5 and it's great for lowering the temps!

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have to look into that.

pyrogab29 2 points 32 months ago

Great build! The mod made it look so cool

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks, this case was fun to build in.

piemancoder 2 points 32 months ago

You have one lucky daughter.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I was hoping she would get as excited about the hardware as I do, but she didn't. However, after it was all built she fell in love with it and now I can't keep her off the dang thing. She takes it everywhere she goes and now I'm just hoping it's durable enough for all that traveling...so far so good.

Culvey 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

I love the Comparison to a Bud Light Can!! haha. Congrats on being the Featured build, it looks like a great small form PC with lots of hard work put into keeping it cool. I also like the built in WiFi, makes the computer truly portable and very convenient to use. My only question is why did you run the power cable back through the computer rather than just running the cord under the case?

+1 for all the effort and hard work!

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

I like the idea of everything plugging into the back of the case and the case came with the internal power chord already installed like that so I went with that.

Bananabank 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

+1 beautiful build!

MattyC51237 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

I love this build. Fantastic work. Great way of handling some common issues with the case. You mention possibly doing custom cabling. Are you doing anything special with cable lengths or how did you manage the excess cables to this point?

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I made some cut outs on the mobo tray and was able to hide some behind mobo and the excess I tried to hide behind PSU. Front panel audio cable was too short so I couldn't hide it.

pickanddrop 2 points 32 months ago

Congrats on getting featured! +1 I like that CPU choice. Does your daughter play games? what kind? how's 750ti treating her?

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

She plays Minecraft and sims 3 and watches YouTube videos mostly. I push the hardware far more than she does when I'm running stess tests and that lil card handled the heavens benchmark tests really well and I increased the fps by 10% with a mild oc. It went from 49 to 54 fps, but that's at original heavens settings. Super tiny card that runs cool.

pickanddrop 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks! I'm still planning my build. Don't have the money to get it yet lol and i'd probably get the same card paired with a i3-4160. :D

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I think you'll really like it and it's a good pairing with an i3 IMO.

BingoFishy 1 point 32 months ago

How'd you manage to OC an i3? I've never found anything on it.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I didn't, I oc my GPU.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

This i3 comes with high clock speeds, but it also comes with higher temps too.

BingoFishy 1 point 32 months ago

Ahh, I see. That's my fault/misconception. Anyways, well done.

pegotico 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

nice build!!! +1

Have you tried putting the rear fan as an intake, and inverting the fan on the cooler so all the air exhausts through the PSU.. It would seem that the PSU and cpu fan are fighting for air..

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

That's the way most people with this case do it, and i originally thought id do it that way, but since I added the blow hole with the option to add a 120mm fan at the bottom it changes things a bit. I messed around with fan configuration and even tried leaving the bottom fan out and using the rear fan as intake. When i did that the CPU temp stayed exactly the same and GPU ran hotter, but still wasn't too hot, low 60s. I figured the PSU would also benefit from having that bottom mounted fan in there, but I have no way to test to give temp readings.

pegotico 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

if the rear and the bottom fan are intaking positive pressure will build up inside the case. You can monitor all the temps with HWmonitor unless you don't have access to the computer.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I probably didn't explain myself correctly. When I tried the rear case fan as intake I didn't have the bottom fan in at all. Now I have the bottom fan as intake and rear fan as exhaust and that seems to give me the best temps.

pegotico 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

yep i understood.... but did you try the bottom and rear fan intaking to have positive pressure?

Now I have the bottom fan as intake and rear fan as exhaust and that seems to give me the best temps.

ok.. this means you already tried both fans as intake.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Oh sorry I misunderstood you. No I haven't tried both as intake. That's pretty much the only thing I didn't try.

ElJuego1977 7 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Nice build, I built something similar for my daughter in a Metis also. Haven't finish my write up on it though. +1

JohnnyC 2 points 32 months ago

10/10 would iPhone picture again. But all up solid build and will do you well for a while at least. Great use of space and cable management.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Yeah some pics were taken with my g/f's camera and some with my crappy zte phone.

mattmilti 2 points 32 months ago

Excellent use of the limited amount of space and a perfect example of itx done right

stephen.hila 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Nice build mate, +1 for matching the Bud Light colors :D

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

I thought about making a PSU shroud out of a bud light can, but since it's my daughter's I didn't.

Vengeance1871 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

I've looked at your build 4 different times now and every time I fall more and more in love with it. You did an incredible job! Keep it up! Keep us posted if you make anymore updates!

illiadin 2 points 32 months ago

its like a little tiny luchbox of awesomeness.

cool build dude :)

antoniojack 2 points 32 months ago

Good work managing that small space

TheMeezak 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

I love tiny builds and nice job on the mods!

Geode1010 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

SHINY!!!!

+1

ElJuego1977 7 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

You have inspired me complete my write up on my Metis build, Athank you and congrats on getting you build featured!

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks! I'm glad to hear there's more metis builds on the way because these are great little cases.

89ea3bde 2 points 32 months ago

My son and I are doing a build similar to your build. This is his third and my first. I never really cared for big black bulky cases and knew I wanted something small and blue. I found the Metis. Then I found your build which gave me a template to follow. +1 Because I'm not using it for gaming and I'm on a tight budget I'm not getting a cpu cooler and video card. I figure I can always add them later if the need arises.

I'm sure you're daughter will look back on this fondly in the years to come. Nice build and thanks for the inspiration.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Thanks, and I'm sure you'll be fine using a stock cooler as long as you use a chip that doesn't put out much heat. With the CPU I chose an aftermarket cooler was a necessity. If you're into a clean build you'll probably want to make a little cutout on the mobo tray and run your cables behind it. Hope you enjoy doing your first build.

89ea3bde 1 point 32 months ago

Being new to this I'm not certain what you mean by a "stock cooler." Are you saying just go with the bare cpu and let the fans cool it? I'm concerned now because my son actually picked the same cpu that you're using before I saw your build. Rereading your post I see you needed to have an aftermarket cooler. Maybe I need to add it back in. What do you think?

I like the mb you used over what he picked because his choice didn't have any pci slots. Your mb allowed us to add an internal wifi/bluetooth combo card. Before I saw it I was thinking we would need separate wifi and bluetooth usb dongles. With the usb ports on the top front the Metis would have looked like it had two antennas which I didn't like.

I'll keep the cutout in mind. It sounds like a much cleaner build. Do you have any pictures of what you did?

I'm afraid that I've caught the build bug and pcpartspicker is making it much too easy to indulge my new hobby which is both good and bad.

And congrats on being the featured build. It should spur more people to build with the Metis.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

By stock cooler I mean the cooler that comes with your CPU. I don't think the stock cooler that comes with this CPU will adequately cool this CPU inside this case. Even with my aftermarket cooler and some mods I'm running borderline hot. I'd get an i3 with a lower clock speed because it will run cooler. Are you getting the exact same i3 as mine? The i3-4170?

89ea3bde 1 point 32 months ago

Yes, the same one. It sounds like a good idea to add a cooler then. You saved us from building it and then waiting while one came in.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Glad I could help. You can find decent coolers for under $20. On my other build I have a raijintek aidos cooling my OCed fx-6300 and its doing a really good job. It cost me $16 on sale, but even full price I think it's $20.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I think you're really going to like this CPU. Yeah, it puts out some heat, but man is it zippy. My daughter thought it was funny that her computer was faster than mine. The integrated graphics aren't bad either.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Oh I just remembered something about my mobo, no place to hook up an onboard speaker....so no beeps in case you have a problem. Also it only has 2 fan headers, one for the CPU and one for case fan. Since the case has only one fan that shouldn't be a problem. I cut a hole and added a fan so I had to use a splitter.

Atron 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

Nice to see some basic case modding, it looks good. Also that GPU looks at home in that case

erickdiaz84 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Classy little build, I like how the peripherals match pretty well too. Nice budget too!

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks. I should probably mention the peripherals in the description since they're not on this site.

PDXDewd 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

Oh, I like what you've done with the case. I have two Metis cases now but I never thought about flipping the motherboard around...or using an SFX so I could move the hard drives to the front. I run an i5-4690k with an R9 270X but I've not OC'd either of them yet. Temps are okay from what I remember. I was thinking of upgrading a bit and was looking at other cases but I might just have to mimic this setup. Thanks for posting! I looked around forever to find a case that fit a tall cooler that wasn't huge. Looks like the Metis is still a great option for me. Now...to pick a color....

Iceman320 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

Next project: Ultra portable Screen and other peripherals.

Because it seems silly to have a tiny pc when your screen is much larger and more awkward to move around than it :) (Unless you have already thought of something)

But all up love this PC, the feet are my personal favourite little detail and they add a whole new look to this case. +1

Question: are the legs from an old chair?

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

She just carries it around with an HDMI cable and uses people's TV as a monitor. As long as they have WiFi she's good to go. She shoves it all into a gym bag and takes it everywhere. The feet are actually cabinet handles that I got at Menards for like $1.50 each.

Iceman320 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

Ah that makes sense (forgot everyone has a TV)

Yup this case is 1'000 times cooler because it has handles for feet :D

johngerges582 1 point 32 months ago

The case reminds me alot of the Bitfenix Prodigy.

Megasteel32 1 point 32 months ago

That build is tinny af. +1 for shoving it in that thing! The parts look good for now but land a harddirve or another ssd, and the psu isnt going to last you forever. But add more fans and you have a place in the ITX case squad.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Yeah more ssd is on the way. I'm hoping to find a cheap brand 500gb for $100 on black Friday.

Megasteel32 1 point 32 months ago

ok kewl

MisterNoisy 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Sharp little build! Do you have any concerns about stressing the top of the case when the handle is used to pick it up?

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Yes that was a concern. My original plan was to reinforce it with some thin sheet metal, but I just went with washers instead. I'm hoping they will disperse the weight enough. The rig is pretty light which helps. I really need to weigh it, because it's as light as it is small.

MisterNoisy 2 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

If you're still worried about that, you can probably fabricate a simple brace from a wide strip of thin aluminum or steel from Home Depot or similar - just cut the strip to length and drill holes and with the washers you're already using, you'd be good to go.

TREVOR5858 1 Build 1 point 32 months ago

sorry

Isaacm42 1 point 32 months ago

Does the rear exhaust support a 120mm radiator+Fan?

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I remember reading about some guys adding AIOs. One guy was successful, but the other guy's pump/block was too high on the mobo and was higher than the rad so it wouldn't cycle. He also said some rads would fit and others wouldn't.

HLGFrenchToast 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Great build! I see you even flipped the case to be a regular layout, I plan on doing that too when I finally cant resist the urge to build another PC again :) Do you know if it's possible to mount the PSU from the top of the case in this standard orientation to allow for a larger GPU? I'm very interested.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 30 months ago

I believe so with some modding, but I'll measure to make sure the next time I'm around that PC.

HLGFrenchToast 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Awesome, thank you!

Rejex 1 point 29 months ago

Man you named it sapphire you could have gone with a sapphire card

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

I know, I almost named it something else because of that, but I kept coming back to sapphire so I went with it. My other rig has a sapphire 380 so it could end up with a sapphire card someday if I upgrade the card in my rig.

SimonPDX 1 point 29 months ago

How did you get it upside down like that? Where did you get the handle and how hard was it to attach?

I'm not very handy but I'd love to build something like this for myself.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

Flipping it was really easy. I tried to give an explanation in another comment , but I think I made it sound more complicated than it is. Once you look at it you'll see how easy it is. They even tapped a hole for you already in case you wanted to flip it. The handle I ordered off of amazon, I think it was listed as a guitar case handle. I just marked out the holes with a pencil and drilled them. I had to use shorter screws than the ones provided because there's hardly any clearance between the CPU cooler and the top of the case. I used large washers to disperse the weight and loctite to make sure the nuts stayed on. Its been picked up a lot by the handle and no buckling so far.

Colonel_Beast 1 Build 1 point 22 months ago

Hey there, I know its been quite a while since you posted this, but I was wondering how that Mobo has been holding up? Has the Wifi been alright for your daughter?

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Yeah they Mobo has been fine. The pc is used in a different room than the router and it's not a particularly great router but she always has strong signal that never drops out. One weird thing about it is the antennas aren't tight so they just hang down. There's no adjusting them to an ideal position, but it hasn't made a difference.

Colonel_Beast 1 Build 1 point 22 months ago

Awesome, thanks for the reply!

ALEXGAMINGPRO 1 point 21 months ago

Great pc overall but you should consider upgrading to the rx460 your i3 shouldn't bottleneck it. You'd get 5-10 more fps while gaming for alomst the same price

Gooberdad 8 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Very nice. I love that case. Glad the mother board tray is reversible so I can get the GPU at the bottom when I build my daughter's as well. I like the cabinet knobs giving that extra air clearance underneath. Is the psu outlet hot air getting recycled by that lower intake fan? Looks great

Thumbs up.

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Thanks. The PSU air is definitely getting circulated by the bottom intake fan and eventually getting expelled. Try every possible fan configuration with this case and see what works best for you, as you probably already know this case is tricky when it comes to temps.

Gooberdad 8 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Thank you for the answer. I'm thinking about reversing the psu fan and letting the psu exhaust into the case with the tray flipped so the case fan is closer to the top exhausting the hrat up there, but I think I'll just jave to add a top panel exhaust fan on the end.

Gooberdad 8 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Alright Im replacing the exhaust fan, flipping the motherboard tray, cutting a 4.5" hole at the bottom of the case and adding a filtered intake fan and opening the psu to flip over the cooling fan so it pulls cool air in the standard outlet and dumps it into the case to be exhausted out the back. I hope this works ;)

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Good luck. I'll be looking for it on here.

Gooberdad 8 Builds 2 points 20 months ago

Thanks painting parts blue and purple per mu daughter's request right now.

Gooberdad 8 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Done and posted. Didnt modify the feet, but worked out great.

http://pcpartpicker.com/b/T72RsY

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Nice! And your temps are excellent.

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casheesed submitter 5 Builds 6 points 32 months ago

I actually got my arm stuck in the case while hooking up the front panel connectors and I mean legit stuck. I had to finagle my other hand in there and unclasp my watch to get my arm out. Im not sure what you mean by featured?

Iceman320 1 Build 4 points 32 months ago

This sounds like a terrifying situation, especially in an isolated environment with no one to help.

Can imagine it in the news: "Man get's stuck for 3 days with hand inside computer, until found by unsuspecting bystander. The man was frail and dehydrated, here's what he has to say on the matter "I just wanted to make my daughter happy :(" He is happy he was able to get out of such a tight squeeze, back to the Studio"

(Sorry got carried away)

casheesed submitter 5 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

Haha for about 10 seconds I imagined having to walk around the rest of my life with a computer case as a hand.

Iceman320 1 Build 5 points 32 months ago

Now that's what I call portability :D its the sort of thing apple and Samsung wish they could achieve haha

gugu96 19 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

You're featured on the main page of the website. They like your build and your pictures!

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casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Looks mostly, but the front is also quite a bit thicker than all the other panels and I wouldn't have the right tools to cut it even if I wanted to.

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casheesed submitter 5 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks! First I lined up the handle by eyeball and marked the holes and drilled them. The screws were too long on the cooler side so I had to cut them in half. I then used fairly large flat washers to disperse the weight and I also used a locking washer and loctite to keep the nuts on.

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