Description

How can I put this? THIS build was...interesting.

Okay, I'll start at the beginning - there once was a little boy who dreamed of working with small form factor cases. First, the Cooler Master Elite 130. Then, he decided to go down in size to an Elite 110 (liquid cooled, too!) But then, one day, the allure of tempered glass and RGB hit him so he then made a build using the Corsair Crystal 460X RGB. Things were fine until Phanteks had to go and make the Evolv Shift. Once again, the little boy's lust for all things buildable could not be sated. You'd think he'd have stopped there, but OH NO!

So, AMD decides to make another line of APUs - the Ryzen 3 2200G and the Ryzen 5 2400G. I'm pretty sure you all can guess where I'm going with this...

The APU (AMD Ryzen 5 2400G) - having owned the previous generation A6-6400K and A10-7890K, I have this kinda sordid love affair with APUs and ITX builds. The 2400G is basically the 4-core/8 thread version of the Ryzen 5 1600 I have in my Evolv Shift build, running at stock 3.6 GHz speed, which I couldn't be more pleased with. I have yet to test it in gaming benchmarks, but for AutoCAD/REVIT 3D modeling (curse of being in engineering...you oftentimes bring work home) the entire package is magnificent! Now, I'll admit - it DOES get a little hot in my case, and the included Wraith Stealth is running at 100%, but the noise is not so obtrusive that I want to tear my hair out.

The Motherboard (Gigabyte AB350N - Gaming WiFi ITX) - the App store software is a bit buggy, and some people will say the 24-pin power connector is in the wrong location (depending upon the case) but outside of that, it works very well. Even got it pre-loaded from the manufacturer with the updated BIOS for AMD's 2000-Series APUs. That was a nice bonus that meant a drop-in solution without worrying about how I was going to update the BIOS for the new APU without having to acquire an older Ryzen CPU.

The RAM (G.Skill Aegis DDR4 3000 MHz) - Despite not being able to clock it past 2400 MHz without issues, it works remarkably well...like my kids when I ask them to clean their rooms. They're not the fastest at doing so, but they do a damn good job so I guess I cannot complain.

The Storage solution (Samsung 960 EVO 250GB M.2 SSD) - Read speed of over 3000, write speed of over 2000, Windows 10 loads in 7 seconds. It took me five times that length of time to type this sentence out.

The Power Supply (Streacom 160w Pico PSU with 160w power adapter) - Okay, okay...so I'm powering my desktop with what is basically a glorified laptop power brick and an interface that looks like someone grafted a chip to the top of a 24-pin connector. But considering that the hardware I have only consumes 119w at full chat (and I never get it that high) it's absolutely brilliant. Plus, I have the added benefit of no noise, except that from my CPU fan...which brings me to -

The Case (Streacom F1CWS EVO all-aluminum ITX case) - Small would be an understatement. I'll go with the bad first - with the cover plate on, my temps got up to 72 degrees Celsius under normal operation. While not incredibly dangerous, I do feel some holes in the top plate could alleviate that as the case got warm to the touch. HOWEVER, once I removed the top plate and just used the mesh cover, which is reserved for SSD mounting, my temps dropped to 43 degrees. So, I may have to modify the top plate a bit depending on some long term testing to see if it doesn't go above 72. If it doesn't, then top plate back on and call it a day.

I'm going to be testing this thing out for a while, but I cannot lie - I had so much fun building this! I love small form factor PCs but this without a doubt, for the few headaches it has, was a joy to build.

3/3/18 Update: Per the additional two photos at the end, I've decided to keep the cover plate off as case thermals now hover around 43-46 degrees Celsius through most workloads and a lot of streaming. Plus, I don't think it looks bad at all, considering the cover for the top is not the SSD tray...

Part Reviews

CPU

Excellent Speed and capability for the price!

Motherboard

Came pre-loaded with updated BIOS

Case

Gets hot with top plate installed...so I don't use it. I just use the drive cage.

Comments

  • 20 months ago
  • 3 points

That is a slick little build!

The APU (AMD Ryzen 5 2400G) - having owned the previous generation A6-6400K and A10-7890K, I have this kinda sordid love affair with APUs and ITX builds.

Yeah, I am right there with ya. I started with the 7850k, received my preorder two weeks before actual release date. Don't know why, but I didn't complain. Wound up being my wife's first custom pc, and she built it herself. Since then I've been hooked to small form factor and have more than I can count on my fingers.

Your PC is pretty rad. And a type I've been wanting to build since AMD announced the 2400g. Nice job!

+1

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep more info on the cost and parts req for the power solution. V nice case .Good build all told. No rgb nonsense polluting the PC.

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Wait - you guys can't see the parts list? If not, there must be a setting I didn't use. Please advise, and I will do what I need to for parts list upload. I can see it on the public build page.

  • 19 months ago
  • 2 points

Nope you have nt added in the cost of the streacom PSu unit .. I know those things can run to £100+ when you add both parts ...

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Basically, take my tally and add $120 to it.

  • 20 months ago
  • 3 points

How can you build when the case is smaller than your hand? +1 That is awesome.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! That was part of the challenge, and part of the fun! I'm an engineer/designer and often I have to bring work home. I also do some graphic design and I have also connected this to my XP Pen digital drawing tablet display. I also travel. So I needed something that could travel with me - that I could pack in a bag with my drawing monitor, some bluetooth headphones and just go. This fits the bill.

  • 20 months ago
  • 3 points

This is almost exactly the same as the build i'm currently working on and i've learned a lot from having it made by someone else first lol love the build...there was another guy who used this case and said the temps weren't so good so he drilled some holes in the top plate and it helped massively while still keeping the look of the awesome case, perhaps worth thinking about?

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Your friend is correct. I decided that when I have the chance, I'm going to lay out a nice pattern on the top plate and drill holes in it. As long as my thermals are okay, I'll be alright.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Now this is super interesting! I love the look of it on the desk, super sleek. It looks to me like this would be the kind of build I'd sleeve my own cables for - primarily for length, there's a lot of extra cabling in there just dangling. I suppose that's expected. I wonder if there would be a way to go completely fanless too? A completely silent version of this build could be incredible. Perhaps as a future upgrade? :p

Have you figure out why you couldn't get your ram to clock higher? I'd be curious to hear about that.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the supportive comment. I'd like to address if I may.

1) "It looks to me like this would be the kind of build I'd sleeve my own cables for - primarily for length, there's a lot of extra cabling in there just dangling." - considering the length of the cables that came with the packaged pico power supply, sleeving them yourself would be a much better, much neater way to do it. The only thing is that you'd have to solder the new length wires to the pico connector, as it is a proprietary connection.

2) "I wonder if there would be a way to go completely fanless too?" - Streacom actually has several fanless cases where the CPU is connected directly to a copper plate with integrated heatsinks that bolts to the aluminum chassis itself...which has aluminum fins on the sides to dissipate the heat, so yes - it is VERY possible.

3) "Have you figure out why you couldn't get your ram to clock higher? I'd be curious to hear about that." - I'm thinking it may have something to do with the motherboard and the G.Skill Aegis RAM, but I'm still playing with it. Last night, I managed to get it successfully to 2400 MHz. It blue screened on me when I went to 2667, so I backed off. I'm still researching it myself but if I am successful or find any relevant information, I'll do my best to pass it on to you guys.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

I've done a little research and I'm inclined to agree. The APU SHOULD be able to go up to 2933, but since this is a first issue BIOS, I'm sure it'll better sort out in the future. Just part of being an early adopter, I guess...

  • 19 months ago
  • 2 points

Mine works great at 3ghz flat, same apu and mb too ..? XMP profile

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Isn't that strange? The specs of the 2400G are saying 2667.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Nicely done. I wasn't aware AMD had new processors out with integrated graphics. I will have to try a build like this out. Well written.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Try manually entering the timings & speed instead of using the XMP profile. That often helps a bunch. If not, I'd just give the sticks & maybe the VSOC a little more juice. At 1.4V on the former I imagine you should have much better luck at hitting the full 2933MHz, but if not at least 2800 or 2666MHz. With ram speed as important as it is to APU performance, and effects of 1.4V on DDR4 being pretty much negligible (as well as a few steps on the VSOC if needed), IMO there's no reason not to at least try that route. Heck, as long as you didn't buy garbage ram, even 1.45V is generally a'ok.

As far as the build itself goes; absolutely delicious!!! I've been dying to do a tiny mITX build much like this ever since Ryzen-G came out haha.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Clean build, I'm diggin' it. Looking into something like this for my console friend.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

SIR please teach me how you got the bios thing to fix it and stuff because I’m helping out a friend and he needs it to work when he buys to stuff

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

The Gigabyte motherboard I went with I was getting from my local MicroCenter. When they pulled it off the shelf, the clerk caught himself and asked me to wait. He took the box back and brought me another one - same motherboard, but it had a sticker on it that said 'RYZEN 2000 SERIES READY'. That meant that Gigabyte had already loaded the new BIOS update for the Raven Ridge APUs from the factory. It was a simple drop and play. If the motherboard doesn't have this sticker indicating that it has indeed been updated, AMD would have to send you an AM4 A6 APU for you to boot up and install the BIOS, and then put your new APU in. If you decide to go with a Gigabyte motherboard, make sure it has the RYZEN 2000 SERIES READY decal on the front.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

So in theory if I put your motherboard in my build it should work?

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

From PERSONAL experience, as long as it's 2000 series ready - yes...

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey man,

Can you tell me where the m.2 went?

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Underside of the motherboard. There's an M.2 NVME slot there.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

My god it's beautiful! Out of curiosity, are you running any design programs on it? If so.. which one's? Would love to build using the new Ryzen apu for no other reason than being a die hard AMD fan. I use Revit and Autocad and assume the 2400g can handle it to a point. Again.. Love the build thanks for taking the time and giving us so much detail.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Since I work as a designer and engineer for an Engineering firm here in Maryland, I use AutoCAD and REVIT in my occupation. I built this BECAUSE I occasionally have to bring work home and I wanted something that I could travel with. Currently on this build:

Autodesk AutoCAD 2018 Autodesk REVIT 2018 Autodesk Inventor 2016 SmithMicro ClipStudio Pro (for this, I have an XP-Pen Artist 15.6 digital graphics tablet) Windows Office Suite Cyberlink PowerDVD 17 (for this, I have an LG BE14NU40 Super Multi Blue External Blu-Ray drive)

The only issue I have had so far is that Cyberlink's software is having a little trouble playing Blu-Rays, and I think it may have to do with Ryzen 5 2400's DRM protocols through the integrated GPU. However, if I play a 1080p film from a digital file, I never have an issue, so I'm still trying to sort that out.

I do appreciate your compliments on this build and if there are any questions you have about anything concerning it, please let me know and I'll be more than happy to answer them if I can.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

I'd love to get a better understanding of how you are powering this little beauty. Read your description, but between it and the pics I'm still a touch confused.

My guess is you have that funky little adaptor, and run that out through the I/O somehow, to something that resembles a laptop charger, or is it a more conventional PSU?

I love the case and the build, but assuming it's setup in some way similar to what I described, does it not defeat the purpose somewhat? Having the PSU outside the case I mean.

Cheers, and +1 from me either way. Love SFF!

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks a lot. I'll try to clear it up if I can:

What I am using is called a "pico psu". What that basically is is a 24 pin ATX connector with the power supply circuitry built directly onto it. From there, you have some taps consisting of -

a) the 5mm connector (which goes to the back of the case and uses a 180w laptop power brick b) the 4 pin CPU connector c) a combo SATA + 4 pin MOLEX connector d) a 4 pin CPU power connector.

Since this motherboard uses an 8 pin for the CPU power, I used a Startech 4 pint to 8 pin adapter. On one side you have the 8 pin connector. On the other you have the female connectors for the 4 pin and a 4 pin MOLEX. That provides 8 pin power to the CPU.

Since the only drive is a Samsung 250gb M.2 NVME SSD, that runs off board power and by using an APU, I don't have to worry about a GPU power supply. I apologize if my prior description was a bit vague and I hope this grants any clarification.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for taking the time to explain in more detail - makes much more sense now. Great work again on the build!

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

First of all thanks for the great feedback and the awesome build. I‘m currently planning exactly the same build but what‘s keeping me away is the cooling situation as I want to keep the initial lid installed.

Therefor I‘d like to throw out some ideas and would greatly appreciate your input:

  • I‘m planning to use the Noctua NH-L9a-M4 CPU cooler and a NF-A4x10 FLX case fan. Do you think the case fan would provide enough added cooling power to keep the system cold under the lid?
  • Would it be possible to install a second case fan of the aforementioned kind on the other side of the case? Judging from your pictures I‘d say no but that would create a nice air flow inside.
  • Would it be possible to install the lid while creating a small gap between the lid and the case allowing the CPU cooler to blow the heat out the top? I couldn‘t find a description of how the lid is put in place but I was thinking about installing some spacers.

Sorry for all those questions but I wasn‘t able to find a better place via Google to address them. Thanks for your time and have a nice Sunday.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

No sweat, Crash - never too many questions. This is a community, isn't it? And a community should support each other in whatever respective field we choose to migrate. So no worries, cousin!

1) Per Streacom (the case manufacturer, CPU fan heights are as follows: (With 3.5″ HDD Installed: 26mm) (With 2nd 2.5″ SSD Installed: 42mm) (With no 2nd 2.5″ SSD Installed: 54mm)

AMD's stock Wraith Stealth cooler (the one I'm using) is 50.2mm in height and I'm not using any 2.5" drives which is why I have 3.8 mm of clearance between the top of my CPU fan and the drive cage. I keep the drive cage in because it is actualy reinforcement for the start button circuit panel as well as the IR port. The key for thermal management from there is not the issue of fan height (for the most part) as much as it is the fact that the top panel has no ventilation whatsoever. Another commenter stated that drilling holes in the top panel should alleviate that issue and I'm going to do just that.

As far as your fan selection, that Noctua is only 37 mm or so high, so you shouldn't have any issues with clearance and cooling in that respect.

2) It does have a provisional rear mounting bracket for either a 40mm or 60 mm fan, so if you get a high flow, low noise unit, you should be fine.

3) The lid sits flush to the top of the case sides as there is a machined inset for it to rest into. It makes the exterior look unbelievably slick, but it is a nightmare and a half to get the screws back in (which have to be inserted from the bottom and are as long as a grown man's ring finger.

Again, as a part of the PC building community, I strive to give everyone the best information I can, or at least point them in the right direction. So you need not apologize for the questions - if it helps you make a better build that you are happy with, then it is my privilege to answer your questions. You have a great Sunday as well.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Hello, thank you very much for posting this build. I'm an engineer too and is very rare to find suggestions for build designed for Revit and similar software.

Does Revit run flawlessly with this bulid ? I mean complex models

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Good evening! So far, REVIT runs pretty well. I'm not doing anything massive as far as completely textured renders, as my particular discipline is MEP. I've not had any issues, though. I can only assume that the render quality is simply up to the capabilities of the Vega 11 GPU. For now, though, it is indeed serving it's purpose rather swimmingly.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

I just wanted to tell you guys that I'm really appreciative of your positive and supportive comments. As I have with my last two builds, I will do my best to answer any questions you may have. I'm no expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I do try to learn as much as I am able to. Again, thanks for your encouragement and support!

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build. I am planning to do the exact build with the 1700 processor. Down side is it does not have integrated graphics. I am eyeing a low profile graphics card MIS GT 1030 2G LP OC. Can you please please please tell me the distance between the center of PCI express slot to the edge of the case ? The thickness of the graphics card is 19 mm and I want to make sure it fits here. I will make a slot for the HDMI ports at the back of the case. Thanks for your help!

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi, can you tell me the voltage and amps of your powerbrick? I have similar build but I think my power brick is just weak to handle something like Warframe (screen goes black)

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

I apologize for the late reply. I'm using a Nanopower 150w PSU. Voltage range is 100-240v AC @ 50/60 Hz.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Hm, I’ve upgraded my power adapter (120w instead of 84w) and my pico psu is 150w and still system goes into reboot as soon as warframe starts loading. Guess I will have to go for 250w pico psu and 240w power adapter

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