Description

UPDATE - Removed H100i liquid cooling and installed stock Intel cooler as I didn't really need to OC. Fans are now a front intake 110mm and three 80mm rear exhaust. Simple, quiet. plenty of room.

There are many cheaper ways to build this but this is my way. I rarely throw out hardware (witness my nvidia GPUs pic) and I don't mind spending on components that will last.

This is a replacement for my rusty old Shuttle XPC SP35P2 Pro SFF flight simulator box. My goal was to put together a nice baseline for a series of planned upgrades that will hopefully end with something quiet and capable of 2160p (UHD) @ 60 fps.

Core Decision Points

  • Case - The Corsair 250D has the same look as my old Monolith a Shuttle XPC SFF. The 250D has good build quality and is capable of plenty of quiet airflow when properly configured. The Corsair Graphite 380T came in a close second. I really dig the yellow 380T and all I could think was my son asking to play with "Bumblebee". Might be a 380T build for me in the future. I also have to say that I like the totally impractical Inwin D-frame Mini but it was never really in the running.
  • Airflow - The only installed fans are the two stock H100i radiator fans (exhaust) and a front panel 200mm fan (intake). The PSU is mounted "upside down" so that it intakes air from bottom (w/ filter) and exhausts out back without interacting with air inside the 250D. Side filter on radiator side of case is removed as this vent is an exhaust. I removed the 5.25 drive cage to improve airflow. I ran for a while with all stock fans found that a 200mm front intake fan is absolutely essential for maintaining positive pressure and maintaining a cooler GPU under load. Shame that Corsair does not supply a 200mm fan instead of the 140mm with this case.
  • Motherboard - The ASUS Maximus Impact Mini-ITX boards are of excellent quality and include everything one could possibly need from a performance and feature perspective. No decision here.
  • Storage - Removed included SSD trays and installed Icy Dock 2.5 adapters that allow two SSDs per adapter which is very useful for small case builds and more than your average number of SSDs. I am not a fan of standard hard drives in a SFF build due to heat considerations. Samsung EVO 850 currently gives you the best performance bang for the buck. No decision here.
  • PSU - The 850W PSU is serious overkill but not sure what GPU upgrade possibilities will exist in the future. Also I wanted a minimum of at least 80+ Gold. Seasonic has always built the highest quality PSUs out there and they are an OEM for many other vendors. No decision here. I do need to source or build some shorter modular PSU cables so that cable management is no longer an issue. The 24-pin cable in particular is hard to route in Mini-ITX cases.

Benchmark Corsair vs Shuttle

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

internal pics?;3

That's a beefy box!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Will be posting some internal pics after I get the shorter modular PSU cables and do some basic wire management.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

awesome man, good luck!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

When you post pics, could you specifically get some of how the H100i is mounted in the box and any mods you had to make? Thanks! Some comments point out that the stock fans are not all that great.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok I posted one. Sorry as a former avionics specialist I have issues showing zero cable management. :) I am also running with the GPU filter and radiator filter removed as they are very restrictive and my environment is not so dusty that a can of air can't handle.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Just imagine... right now, you are cool because you have those old cards (260 and 9800)... In the future, you'll be cool for having the old GTX 980. It's weird how fast technology advances.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

You are so right! BTW this config is currently running this GTX 970 SSC ACX2.0 (Best Buy only SKU 04G-P4-3979-KB). Never had the coil whine issues and wasn't worried about the 3.5 memory or SLI etc. The 970 is still good bang for the buck and outruns 91% of systems tested in 3Dmark. That being said I want to push towards 4K@60fps as much as possible on a single GPU. On the upgrade short list right now is a liquid cooled 980 or 980 Ti using the new version of the Corsair HG10 that was announced at Computex 2015.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a rich friend that just upgraded his 970 to a Titan X and is offering me a good price on the 970 so I'll probably be upgrading to a 970 soon.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

You cant go wrong with a 970. Only issue that I have seen is if you are limited on space with a case then you need to be careful with the non-reference cooler versions not fitting into your current box. That is the beautiful thing about sites like this is that you can match your specific choice of GPU to completed builds and get peace of mind that everything will fit.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm pretty sure I'll be fine... coming from an 11'' AMD Radeon card

  • 55 months ago
  • 0 points

PC tech grows so slow compared to phone tech.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Currently building a rig with i7-4790K. The memory specs indicate that is supports DDR3 1600, so does that mean that I would waste money on DDR3-1866?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

For future proofing I wanted 2x8G DDR3 that runs at the stock 4790K voltage of 1.5V and a decent CAS9 even though I don't intend to overclock much at the moment. The price/performance sweet spot is still DDR3-1866 since the step up to DDR3-2133 at the same spec almost doubles the cost.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Good points. I do like that price point for 1866. I will get what you have here. Thanks!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I considered that Gskill but wanted to stay with 1.5V since SFF builds can be heat sensitive. Definitely looks pretty cool though!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Makes me want to get out all my old Voodoos and line them up. But I would have to take apart a few machines.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Hahaha! My pair of 3dfx Voodoo 2's went to the bitbucket in the sky quiet a few moves ago. Shame that they didn't make the family portrait.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I should have laying around somewhere a pair of voodoo2 8mb, a voodoo2 12mb, voodoo3 2000, voodoo3 3000, and I have the holy grail, a voodoo 5 5500.

I bought that voodoo5 on ebay to 'restore' an old system. Dell Poweredge 4200 w/ dual pentium II 266 (333 overclock) 256MB of ECC DIMMs (actually 512, but I can't get it to register, or take a new BIOS. Also has a fully loaded Soundblaster AWE 32 with Midi daughter board.

Used to run a UT server off of it.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

That project sounds like fun! Those were the days. My Intel 440BX 2motherboard saw tons of action in Quake and QuakeWorld TF. I still rate it as the best piece of hardware that I ever bought and kept it alive well after Slot 1 became obsolete. Shame that Intel doesn't do awesome motherboards like that anymore. They were so good at it. Man those ECC DIMMS were seriously expensive kit back then.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol cool! Reminds me of my old 8800 GTS that's laying around my office. :D

Whoa, what's with all the SSD's?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Heh! re: the SSDs... Most of my sims take up very large amounts of space with texture packs, scenery packs, etc. Also my Steam account is 11+ years old and I take a good long while to complete games.

The SSDs are setup like this:
1. Samsung 850 EVO 250GB - OS drive
2. Samsung 850 EVO 500GB - Program Files drive
3. Samsung 850 EVO 500GB - Steam drive
4. Intel 180Gb - Temp/Scratch drive

Only 53Gb left on the Steam drive so that will be moving to a 1TB SSD when the price point drops a bit more.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

NICE!!!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I r8 the cable management 8/8 m8 zer0 h8 and no b8.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Intel, Corsair, Samsung, and Asus. You have exceptional taste and my +1. Also, those side-by-side shots make that miniITX looks downright huge. I laughed a little.

  • 55 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the +1. Your comment inspired me to rewrite the build description in a "Decision Point" format to explain why certain choices were made. Also I had left out a few points regarding to airflow.

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Last I checked cable management is a thing

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Is cable management a thing if your handle is Cableless? :)

I wasn't planning on posting any interior shots until I acquire or craft some short PSU cables but a commenter asked that I post one to clarify the use of stock fans and radiator placement in the case.

It would be fun to do a proper custom waxed lacing tape harness. Haven't practiced that art in more than 20 years.

Thanks for your comment

[comment deleted by staff]