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Baemax - A miniITX GTX 970 build

by georgacus



Date Published

Oct. 4, 2015

Date Built

Oct. 4, 2015

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

64.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

40.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C


A gaming PC on a budget which I built for my wife. Decided that an i3 would be suitable for my build according to these benchmarks http://www.techspot.com/review/972-intel-core-i3-vs-i5-vs-i7/ and it performs really well with a GTX 970.

The case is well thought out and allows for good cable management if you have a non-modular power supply. According to the spec you can have upto 2 extra 80mm case fans. I decided to skip these as they could get loud. Instead I opted to put a 120mm fan on the side grill where the grill holes are the same size as the fan screws! Running this on 5V for silence.

I've removed the dust filter from the front face as it severely restricts airflow. Since the PC is up on a table, dust is not an issue for me.

The 200mm fan that comes with the case is really silent at 5V.

I've also added some cheap LED strip lighting to the back of the case to provide some mood lighting at night. This is controlled by a toggle switch on the side of the case that's never really seen. Makes the case look like Bender's eyes at night.

Overall it's a great little case!

Comments Sorted by:

vekspec 5 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

wonderful build and part selection. a little worried about the i3 and the 970 but I'm sure they will work fine together. if you can save up a little more, adding a 128gb ssd would definitely help out :)


georgacus submitter 2 Builds 2 points 20 months ago

Most demanding game I have right now is The Witcher 3 and it plays it really well without problems. So it won't be a problem for a little while at least. :)

vekspec 5 Builds 2 points 20 months ago

that's awesome to hear! :)

leonccyiu 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

How did you get the 200mm fan to run at 5v?

georgacus submitter 2 Builds 2 points 20 months ago

You can connect the fan + terminal to the molex 5V directly from the PSU.

SR91 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

That's such a great idea mounting that fan on the perforated holes (side panel), I bet no one who has used that case for their builds had thought of it (until now). I heard that you can buy additional perforated or windowed side panels from thermaltake to either show off all of the parts in your case with all windowed side panels, or get the maximum airflow with all perforated side panels. +1 for creativity.

georgacus submitter 2 Builds 2 points 20 months ago

Thanks!. The holes are a perfect size for a few different screw mountings, like my toggle switch as well. Thermaltake probably didn't intend that but it's a nice little feature. The holes in the back of the case are smaller than the side panels so if you have things with slightly smaller screws, you can attach them there.

SR91 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

I'll definitely keep that in mind if i ever get around to building an ITX machine with a case that has similar side panels to make every bit of space count. Anyway, thanks for the reply it's much appreciated.

Geode1010 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Tons of people say the i3 bottlenecks the 970. Is this true?

Mariomash 1 Build 1 point 19 months ago

In most cases, probably not, though with a 980 it would

Kreuzer 2 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

Nice, I got the same case wrapped in carbon fiber vinyl !

BenHD 1 point 14 months ago

Does the 970 fit with the drive bays on?

georgacus submitter 2 Builds 1 point 14 months ago

The drive bays sit on the opposite side of the case so it's not an issue.

BenHD 1 point 14 months ago


ZeAtomicBomb 0 points 20 months ago

Dank build bud. Seriously though, Mini ITX builds aren't very common round here. But this is beautiful. Great choice with the i3 and GTX 970 STRIX combo.great cable management as well in the case, cos that was really hard to work in for me. 333/10 (illuminati confirmed).

georgacus submitter 2 Builds 1 point 20 months ago


The cable management is doable but it isn't easy if you have big hands like I do. But I managed to mostly keep all the cables out of the way of the fans.

But yeah, if you just need 1 PCIe slot and don't have too many drives, mini-ITX is the way to go!

ZeAtomicBomb 2 points 20 months ago

Actually already bought the case. Just saving up for the other parts then it's finished. Hopefully getting most of the parts for Christmas lol.

pretorama 1 point 16 months ago

...funny, i just bought mine today... :-) have you finished it?

Atomsk0192 0 points 20 months ago

Are you satisfied with your build?

georgacus submitter 2 Builds 0 points 20 months ago

Yeah it works really well. Pretty happy :)

If you're wondering about the i3, it hasn't bottlenecked any modern game that I've played yet (including the Witcher 3).

cheese.mac 0 points 19 months ago

i'm building a core V1 now, but can't figure out which mainboard screws / ? standoffs to use.

there is 4 varieties or so , along with 1cm high rubber gaskets , could you tell me which were used?


georgacus submitter 2 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

Sorry about the extremely late reply. I don't remember which ones I used but if you look at the instruction manual, it's pretty clear. Also each screw type has a different head which makes it easy to differentiate.

ROG2000_PCs -1 points 20 months ago

Why a GTX 970? An R9 390 would cost a bit less and have better overall performance.

I would not go with a 970 or a 980 as of right now.

Besides that, everything else is a +1 besides GPU and HDD (I have had bad WDs in the past, Seagate and Hitachi for me, but maybe you don't. : )

biggles5107 2 Builds 6 points 20 months ago

One big issue in a small case like this is heat output. The 390 puts out considerably more heat than the 970. Performance per watt would be a huge draw here (hehe, puns).

He also might be partial to NVIDIA like me.

georgacus submitter 2 Builds 2 points 20 months ago

I do like NVIDIA. I already have some experience with a GTX 970 in another build and it performs pretty decently at 1440p. This one was for a 1080p build so I knew it'd breeze through.

ROG2000_PCs -1 points 20 months ago

Probably the last line.

biggles5107 2 Builds 2 points 19 months ago

For sure. I personally don't mess with AMD since I run Linux and their drivers are for crap :P

I'm more than happy to use one of their CPUs though.

ROG2000_PCs 0 points 19 months ago

Hmm... Usually I have it the other way, I have been Intel/AMD (CPU/GPU) for >10 years (pretty much since I was born back in 2000).

However, I do have two friends with 860Ks and when I built them they did really well, better than any of the Pentiums and some of the lower i3s

Ropota 5 points 20 months ago

he probably doesnt want to deal with amd driver head aches :P

ROG2000_PCs -1 points 20 months ago

Don't have any

georgacus submitter 2 Builds 3 points 20 months ago

R9 390 would cost about the same here. And the 970 uses a lot less power than that according to some benchmarks.

Speaking of bad WDs, I think mine may be bad. The spinning is quite audible even when idling. So I'm gonna get that replaced. Have had WD Blues in the past but never this loud.

ROG2000_PCs 1 point 20 months ago

Same happened to me after half a year. I am Seagate and Hitachi all the way (for HDDs)

biggles5107 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

My Blue is kinda loud too. I've pretty much learned to ignore it. I don't think it's a huge issue.

ElJuego1977 7 Builds 3 points 20 months ago

FYI: the Core V1 does NOT like "thick and wide" cards like a 390, I had a Asus GTX 780 that would touch the corner of the case because it was a fat card. This caused my motherboard to bend/sag from the pressure and could have damaged it long term.

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georgacus submitter 2 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

There may be less heat but the cooling would be worse as well. And also I think ref coolers are louder. The fans on this don't kick in until 65 C, which is nice in terms of noise. The ref cooler is also ugly! :P

Also here in the UK, the ref cooler would be about £70 more.

HenryZhu 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

I believe these are the same cards whereby idling, the fans don't kick in until you start doing something intensive with the GPU. I love the Strix series because of this neat feature.

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