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Build

SFF Gaming PC (Fractal Node 202)

by mellowz

190
104 Comments

Details

Date Published

Jan. 9, 2017

Date Built

Jan. 8, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.2GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

38.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.81GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

4.01GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

38.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

81.0° C

Description

Decided to build to this PC for gaming in my lounge room and occasionally taking it to a friends place.

Being my first time building into such a small case I knew I had to be very selective on the parts I bought.

I'll just highlight why I selected some of the parts:

  • MSI GTX 1070 FE: Considering I'm be connecting this PC to a 4K TV I felt the 1070 was the minimum card to use and in a SFF case the best type of cooler would be blower style to help exhaust the heat from inside the case. (Ideally I would of preferred a 1080 FE but that was out of my budget for this build)

  • Scythe BIG Shuriken CPU Cooler: After doing some research I believe this is the biggest air cooler that will fit in the case without having to modify anything. I plan on doing some slight OC so I needed the best cooling I can get without diving into water cooling.

  • Fractal Node 202: I was choosing between this case and the Silverstone RVZ/ML08 with a Handle. I preferred the ML08 because of the carry handle and it was slightly cheaper but the main reason why I decided the Node 202 was because of the additional support for 2x case fans and its a nicer looking case IMO.

  • Corsair ML120: A compromise between air flow and static pressure fans. (Was also considering Noctua fans)

Overall quite a fun build. It wasn't too difficult to build in this case but some order of fitting the cables and parts had to be considered. I also enjoyed the process of selecting the parts that would work in this case.

NOTE to anyone building in this case: Try to fit the GPU riser card before fitting the air cooling heat sink as the three screws that hold the card are hard to access.

Comments Sorted by:

Wolfemane 4 Builds 13 points 7 months ago

Another great node 202 build. +1

Btw, the whole section that holds the graphics riser is completely removable by three very easy to access screws. You can even leave the graphics card attached for quick removal.

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 5 points 7 months ago

Ah cools.. I just checked the manual and didn't see that.. thanks for the tip !

Wolfemane 4 Builds 6 points 7 months ago

AWESOME!!!! A NODE 202 FEATURE!! WOOOOOOT!!!

Congrats!

z0d14c 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

how do you remove the riser ? i see the three removable screws but then there are a few extra which hold the supposedly removable section to the chassis.

Wolfemane 4 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

I think this is what you are looking for? Just go in reverse order.

z0d14c 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Figured it out, thanks so much -- btw I'm really at a loss as to how to orient my case fans. I have Noctua industrialppc-2000 x 2 and idk whether they should be facing towards or away my reference design style GPU.

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

Set the fans to intake

thetortuga747 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Can you install a third fan above the CPU cooler? If so, what size?

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 2 points 5 months ago

No, you won't be able to fit any fans above the cooler. The Scythe BIG Shuriken CPU Cooler touches the dust filter housing but works with disrupting the fan blades

leviathan102 1 point 2 months ago

If you use the Noctua L9i, which is 21mm short, could you install a fan?

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Possibly a slim fan will work and to be safe. Any reason for the L9i over the Scythe BIG Shuriken?

leviathan102 1 point 2 months ago

Just out of curiosity.

Eltech 15 Builds 7 points 7 months ago

That is one tightly packed, gaming rig. It looks clean and awesome. Plus one and congrats for feature.

Khaosix 19 Builds 3 points 7 months ago

Oh that's tight! Pun absolutely intended.

Congrats on the feature. Well deserved!

imakepcsdealwithit 2 points 7 months ago

I think only the 70s and early 80s kids will get it.

Chewy9141 2 points 7 months ago

Nice build. How does the cooler do with the i5 6600K

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 3 points 7 months ago

Literally just finished putting the PC together last night so I haven't installed windows yet. Let u know in a few days

Wolfemane 4 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

Very much looking forward to your temp numbers. I've got the same board and cpu now cooled with a "custom" Cryorig C7. I'm considering a new cooler. I like the C7 but temps are a little high for my liking.

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

Sorry took me a while to reply but I've have been using the PC for a while now. Idles around 30-35° C and under load it sits around 55-60° C while overclocked to 4.2GHz

Wolfemane 4 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

That oc temp is great. I was hitting 80c pretty consistently under load with a similar oc. Very cool though, nice build!

nafs_asp 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

I have a 6600K and Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B in a Node 202, it does a great job keeping things cool. Idle temp is in the mid-20s overclocked to 4.0GHz, and so far I haven't seen temps much higher than 50 during benchmarks (passmark/3dmark)

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

Could you tell me what your voltage is set to? I would be aiming for around 4.0GHz as well

nafs_asp 1 Build 4 points 7 months ago

Okay, so after a lot of testing I ended up coming to the conclusion that for mild overclocks in this case using a dynamic voltage is better in terms of temperature than setting a fixed voltage.

Right now my CPU is set to 4.2GHz (multiplier at 42, did not mess with BCLK or FCLK), with dynamic VCORE with a +0.005 offset. I have all power saving features (EIST/C-states) and turbo enabled. Turbo is set to 4.4GHz single core, 4.3GHz dual core, and 4.2GHz for 3/4 cores (note... this doesn't appear to be working properly because all four cores turbo to 4.3GHz at the moment, though only one is hitting 4.4GHz at a time. I believe this is due to a turbo feature on the gigabyte motherboard that I haven't figured out how to change yet). My cache is also clocked up to 4.2GHz, though I haven't seen any improvement in performance or increase in temperatures at this speed.

With these settings I'm getting idle temps in the high-20s (27-29C) and max of around 66C after a few hours of x264. In Aida64 I'm not seeing temps over 61C, and running Skyrim on max settings in 1440p didn't even get my CPU up past 40C (though maybe a more modern game would).

RDowns 2 points 7 months ago

Is it quiet?

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

Idles at 29dB which is dead quiet. I've also ramped up the fans to FULL speeds at 61dB which you can hear but under normal loads I don't notice the noise at all and when playing games the GPU fans run at approx 50% give or take.

Bodom0511 5 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

Great build.

EncryptedCurse 2 points 7 months ago

This is a really solid build. Good job!

AwesomeBuilderXE1901 3 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

Awesome build.

SR91 1 Build 2 points 7 months ago

Your cable management is fantastic! Very impressive, considering this was your first itx build, and you picked one of the smallest itx cases out there and managed to tidy everything up like that. +1 from me and I hope you get a lot of uses out of it.

Solution 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

A node 202 build is a feat, congrats and nice job looks clean.

darkus_f 1 point 7 months ago

Gotta love a good itx build! <3

Iceman320 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

MMMMMMmmmmmm SFF +1

Gooberdad 7 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

Clean build with good pictures. Congrats on the featured spot.

Miniitx 1 Build 0 points 7 months ago

It could be cleaner ;). But it's still nice.

Gooberdad 7 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

I was being polite and congratulating the builder on getting the featured spot for an otherwise normal build. Nothing really here to shout about.

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Gooberdad 7 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

Dude, I'm from Memphis, TN. That crap will get your *** beat. Lol.

You know Hood pictures

Yeah I changed it before it cemented. Thanks;)

SilverWolf149 1 point 7 months ago

mITX builds are always a nice small treat. Glad you made this and it's working out. +1.

SwiggityDerpy 4 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

Might as well unscrew the GPU backplate, if you're using it in a closed case where it doesn't contribute to aesthetics then it's just preventing PCB ventilation and creating hotspots.

Otherwise, great build, love to see what people can do with small cases.

Wolfemane 4 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

I actually did this with my EVGA 1080. Temps were no difference with it on or off. So I put it back on.

BABatron22 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

What are the actual dimensions of the case?

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

Case dimensions - Horizontal (WxHxD): 377 x 82 x 330 mm

Case dimensions - Horizontal, with feet/protrusions/screws (WxHxD): 377 x 88 x 332 mm

Case dimensions - Vertical, with feet/protrusions/screws (WxHxD): 125 x 385 x 332 mm

nafs_asp 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

I'm feeling a little jealous of your 1070, I built nearly the same build as you over the weekend, but opted for a GTX 1060 6GB, Intel 600p 512GB M.2 SSD, and Fractal Design Venturi HP-12's for the case fans. I think if I change anything in mine it will be getting a better PSU (I'm using the one that came bundled with the case and it's a bit loud) and the case fans. The Venturi are a bit loud and I haven't really had any issues with temperature, so I could sacrifice a bit of cooling for a quieter build.

ChinChest 1 point 7 months ago

Why did you choose the founders edition card? There are better cards for considerably cheaper.

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thetortuga747 1 Build 2 points 7 months ago

^^ Blower-style cards are magnitudes better for SFF cases like the Node 202. It's worth the extra $$

AlecAnderson 1 point 5 months ago

Thanks

anandmd 1 point 7 months ago

Congrats! Glad to see HTPC build being featured. I've been wanting to go for something similar and observed that you were able to fit the Scythe CPU cooler in Node 202. For some reason it shows as non compatible on PCPP parts list.

Someone suggested removing the GPU backplate for better ventilation. Would be interesting to see what kind of gains one would get by doing so.

Jerome54 1 point 7 months ago

Check Wolfemane's earlier comment about removing the backplate of the GPU in a Node 202.

The CPU cooler is shown as incompatible because the height of the cooler is greater than the max height written in the case's manual (even though it fits).

anandmd 1 point 7 months ago

Oh right. Thanks for pointing out Wolfemane's comment.

For the CPU cooler, I just checked on the Fractal Design website and under specifications it says: CPU coolers up to 56 mm in height while the Scythe BIG Shuriken stands 2 mm taller at 58 mm. Interestingly the 56mm height limit isn't visible on PCPP page for Node 202 and yet PCPP correctly shows the incompatibility warning.

Jerome54 1 point 7 months ago

No problem! You're welcome.

The CPU height is never written on the product page.
Take a similar ITX case: the Silverstone ML08B. The max CPU cooler height is 58mm (taken from the manual). But it's not written on the PCPP product page.
But when you choose the case you won't be able to use any CPU cooler taller than 58mm.

xalelax 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Great build! It's very similar to the one I'm planning!

Quick question: do you have any good source that says that blower style cards are better in such a small case? Couldn't open air coolers be as efficient, or even more efficient?

anandmd 2 points 7 months ago

Don't have personal experience on this but here's one source that claims blower style coolers are better than open air ones in restricted airflow scenarios. Personally I find the guy in the vid quite convincing and his explanation does make sense to me.

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

Awesome share. I've watched some of his videos. It does make sense what he says and that confirms the reason why I choose the blower style cooler

Jerome54 1 point 7 months ago

You could check all the builds made with the Node 202.
That would give you the real world experience from users and their temperatures depending on their GPUs.

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

To be honest I don't have any good source that has done any testing over which cooler style is better. There are plenty of debates online on which style is better. I did see Jay2cents mention on youtube about using blower style coolers on his Node 202 build video even tho he didn't have one at the time. There are a few open air GPU coolers builds on this site as Jerome54 mentioned that you could check out. In my mind I just picked the GPU cooler that would work better in theory. Either way both styles will work so just pick the one that you prefer

Makian 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Such power into a small case like node 202.. AWESOME!

popadopalis 1 point 7 months ago

You mentioned that you may take this build on the road or to a friend's place. I'm curious what you do(or will do) to easily mobilize not only the machine, but all peripherals and cables. Thanks, and nice build!

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

I plan on getting the ROCCAT TUSKO monitor bag to carry all my stuff around. I haven't got it yet so I can't comment on how good it is

adaverso 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

How many grams does it weigh

NickDVL 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Oh, that's nice! +1

Miniitx 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Love it to see it featured. Love Node 202.

tadashi 1 point 7 months ago

Love the build, really nice.

ImperiousBattlestar 1 point 7 months ago

Always love the Node 202. +1 :)

ron.smith895 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Wow, I did not think it was possible to put together such a slim build with a 1070. Perfect for LAN parties and such. +1

Gentleman00 2 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

Holy crap this looks beautiful :D

rocketbosszach 1 point 7 months ago

I really wanted to use this case for my mini-itx build back in 2015, but FD was dragging their feet with releasing it, so I went elsewhere. I realized later that going bigger (Rosewill W1) was a better choice for my particular application, but I still absolutely love this case. Great write up, great machine.

DeltaForceGM01 1 point 7 months ago

looks good, i would of tried to fit a 120mm watercooler tho

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

With maybe just a touch of modding and a Mini-ITX GPU, you might have been able to get some water cooling in there. Regardless, +1! There's something about the Shuriken that just works.

iLLixer404 1 point 7 months ago

YOU CAN FIT FANS UNDER THE GPU?????????? nice build tho

Dawsoncody 1 point 7 months ago

Hey, if you could get the chance, can you measure from the bottom of the fans to the first PCI slot, as if there was no fans and had a single slot graphics card?i want to know if I could diy a 240mm rad

Drokovian 1 point 6 months ago

I HIGHLY doubt you'll be able to do a 240mm AIO cooler thing on this. There's YT guy named Bitwit who attempted watercooling a Node 202 and BARELY managed to do it. Go check him out yourself, but he did with like a 120mm AIO cooler.

Dawsoncody 1 point 6 months ago

Yea, I know its unlikly, but even if i went without the GPU, you dont think i could stuff in a aio

vanja123 1 point 7 months ago

really nice! i also made one, but my gfx card was too big to put any case fans: http://imgur.com/a/8nT1g

HTTPRO 3 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

I was thinking of doing a mod where the whole CPU side is tempered glass but then that removes ventilation for the CPU Cooler.

pedagogy 1 point 7 months ago

Does the cooler fit with the fan filter in place or do you have to remove it for the case to close properly? Only reason why I am asking is because I keep reading descriptions that it does close but no mention if it was done with filter being removed for it to be possible. Thanks.

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

I've left the CPU dust filter in place. It does fit and there isn't any obstruction with the fan blades. Maybe the dust filter and CPU fan housing could be leaning against each other, which is quite hard to visually see, but I haven't had any issues. I've added another photo to the collection showing the CPU fan opening on the side panel for reference.

PCBuildMan 1 point 7 months ago

Just a thought, but I am pretty sure the 450 watt PSU would not let the parts go to their full capability. I paired an rx 480 and a i3-6100 to a 500 watt 80+ and it works good, but the power needed for a i5 6600k and a 1070 I believe would need around 650 watts. Could someone justify why or why not I am right?

Drokovian 1 point 6 months ago

I usually check the wattage by (CPU TDP+GPU TDP)*1.4 [A friend of mine told me this was how I should do it] so where was your math to figure out a 650 W was necessary.

cmbarba 1 point 7 months ago

Nice build! I have a Node 202 (and ASUS Z170I) as well and was looking to get better cooling, but I want to keep the dust filters. Is the BIG Shuriken 2 short enough to allow the CPU dust filter? I've seen builds with coolers that had to remove it because they were just too tall or were pushing up against it making the case bulge out.

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

Hi cmbarba. Please read the reply I made to pedagogy. The dust filter does fit with the Shuriken 2 and there is no obstruction with the fan blades.

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 7 months ago

No I didn't use any fan splitters. The motherboard comes with enough fan headers

Scuttles 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

ah ok. thanks

Drokovian 1 point 6 months ago

So the 1070 does fit with the 120mm fans...however on Fractal's support site they said that it with a GPU width of 50mm, a 10mm fan is doable, and with a GPU width of 35mm a 25mm is doable.

Because your 1070 is 38.1 mm width, I'm surprised you could even fit the 120 mm fans inside. Could you take more straight on pictures of the 1070 and ML fan sandwich so I can see how much air space is between them? I'm concerned with my own part list that I need to have at least some breathing space between the blower style GPU/case fans (which is why I went down to a 1060 ASUS Turbo which was 28 mm width.)

gwoodtamu 1 Build 1 point 6 months ago

Has the SF450 been sufficient? I'm not sure if I should go with that or the 600.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/gQbgpb

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

I've overclocked the CPU and GPU and haven't had any issues. My build current draw is 322W as specified on PCCG parts list while yours is 296W. I think you should be fine with 450W PSU but it doesn't hurt to have a higher one for more head room.

chanmeister 1 point 6 months ago

Wouldn't 450 watts be a little insufficient for overclocking the I5 and powering the 1070?

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 6 months ago

It's enough. You have to remember this system is air cooled as well so you can't expect massive overclocks and the 10 series GPU are very power efficient. If I had chosen the i7 and a 1080 I would of got the 600W PSU. Like I said in the comment above it doesn't hurt having a higher Wattage PSU for that extra head room but my system hasn't had any issues while OC with the 450W PSU.

grav3serker 1 point 6 months ago

Do you have both of the fans under the GPU set to intake?

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

Yup, both are set to intake

HP1992 1 point 3 months ago

Nice build. I'm struggling to fit the same case fans as you. How much can i bend the cables before they break? The USB 3 cables seem especially squeezed.

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

Zoom in on photo 7 and see how much I bent it. Its hard to describe how far they will bend before you cause issues with the cable.

Tuliptown 1 point 3 months ago

There is a gpu holder that you left out because of the case fans. Any issues with portability because if leaving it out or did you mod in somehow?

mellowz submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Nah I just left it out. I have seen some people install a custom bracket. Hence saying that I haven't had any issues so far

Jalley15 1 Build 1 point 10 days ago

any thoughts / problems / fixes on this mobo as i have one myself and have encountered a few problems

MTHD -1 points 7 months ago

Confused as to why this was given featured build...

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Eltech 15 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

It's OK to question but it's not OK to insult.

I'm not saying anyone did at the moment. ;)

MTHD 1 point 7 months ago

Haha

Adrew24 1 Build 0 points 7 months ago

I think it's because you wouldn't expect a serious gaming build like this stuffed into a tiny little htpc case. It's a sleeper build of sorts.

Marcseli -3 points 7 months ago

Literally anything gets features nowadays... No hate thought, I love your build.

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nafs_asp 1 Build 3 points 7 months ago

You could take a peak at mine, but you would have to pay me to open the case again.

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nafs_asp 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Okay fine I'll give you a free one.

(Actually, I ended up needing to open up the case to move the dust filter to the outside, the two HP-12s created enough suction to pull the mesh into the fans, so I got some pics and will be posting soon.)

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Manu_Tech 3 points 7 months ago

wtf is this, reddit?

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Eltech 15 Builds 2 points 7 months ago