Description

Well, first of all I should say this was quite a project (only my second build-it-yourself PC and I also had to order 4 different components from Amazon - PSU, DVD writer, PC case and a slimline adapter); I bought all the essential parts first: CPU, PSU, RAM, SSD, etc.. then 2 weeks later I got the GPU and then one month later I got the DVD writer.

A small anecdote: Originally, I had bought an r9 nano (sapphire) but the one I got (like many others apparently) had absolutely unbearable coil whine, and the fan was also extremely loud to boot. Luckily, that was the last one the retailer that I bought it from had and so I was given a full refund. Eventually I settled for a weaker GPU as you can see in my parts list (will expand on that in a jiffy).

The idea for this build was to have a tiny and silent PC (for general-use and some gaming) on my desk right next to my monitor which would make certain things more convenient such as cleaning the PC itself, cleaning the floor underneath my desk and also saving some space in my room.

Now let me share my experience with building and, more importantly, using this PC:

CPU: Nothing too interesting here. works flawlessly although I couldn't overclock it much (4.2 stable) but I guess that was to be expected considering there are no case fans and only a low-profile CPU cooler.

CPU Cooler: This one is literally mute at low to medium load. Super-easy installation as well. very satisfied.

MOBO: Well, here I can't really say much other than "It works" since I don't care about most of it's features. Do note that some motherboards could have compatibility issues because of the USB cable and the PSU being right in-front of it's socket on the mobo (see gigabyte h170n, z170 and z170 gaming).

RAM: Cheapest ddr4 I could find. does it's job and does it well (looks nice too though you probably won't see it with all the cable clutter :) ). fits perfectly with the l9i cooler.

SSD: Moved from an old HDD. ahh the good life :D. Note: This PSU has a sata cable which has reversed connections but I was still able to attach the SSD to the front of the case. It looks a bit crooked but it feels OK I think. I'm afraid to try and unplug it, however :0.

GPU: For a mid-tier GPU this one is quite powerful. It runs The Witcher 3 at 1440p, 30-40 FPS with a customized med-high settings. An important note: The lian li pc-q21 has a huge problem in terms of GPU compatibility due to it's width. the only 970 mini model that might fit in this case, without the PCI-E cables preventing the case's side panel from closing, is the one from inno3d (asus and gigabyte 970 mini are too wide for this case). Thankfully AMD has small GPUs with the PCI-E at the front, like the one I ended up getting. I'm pretty worried about future upgrades because of this :(.

CASE: One of the smallest in the business that can house a "fat" GPU. It looks VERY small when you see it in person. Cooling isn't very good however - the CPU reaches 70c-80c while gaming and the GPU can't be overclocked without having it's fan go beyond 55% speed(around 2500 rpm) which is too noisy (for me at least). Honestly, building inside this case isn't as hard as it might look. Note: Clean it with 70% alcohol to remove fingerprints!

PSU: A very high quality PSU. fairly silent at load. very short cables (great in this case). Note: The cables are very stiff and VERY hard to plug\unplug. Also see the note under "SSD".

DVD: Just got it today. The adapter I got allows me to spare the damnable molex cable and use one of the sata cables included with the mobo :D.

To summarize: I'm very satisfied with the "general-use" aspect but if you're looking to build a gaming PC with maximum performance, you should probably avoid building something like this (heat and noise will be thy worst enemies).

Comments

  • 44 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice build! I'll chime in too on the demand for more pics.

You made some excellent part choices. The Motherboard PSU, and SSD are first in their class, Lian Li's cases are BEAUTIFUL, and that card was an excellent compromise - tho it may be better suited for 1080p. :(

If you're looking to improve your cpu temps while maintaining silence, you might consider the Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/low-profile-heat-sink-mini-itx,3639-19.html

While I don't know if it bests the C7, the CNPS8900 should outperform the NH-L9i considerably. For reference, the NH-L9i performs about on par with intel's stock coolers (a few degrees better):

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/noctua-nh-l9i-mini-itx-air-cooler,3967.html.

Also, it looks like you don't have any case fans installed. An intake or two on the bottom could improve your temps dramatically. If you have 25mm to spare under that GPU, I suggest Twister Pressures: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/enermax-case-fan-uctp12p. They came up as the most noise-effective case fans in this huge roundup:

http://us.hardware.info/reviews/5770/7/103-12cm-case-fans-review-test-results-highest-efficiency

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm going to take your advice with the fan on this one, I'll look into buying it also.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 cool parts and good descriptions

Post some more pics! Would love to see more of the build

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

New pics added.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

What kind of Temps are you getting under full load in say, the witcher 3?

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

cpu - as written in the description (70c-80c), GPU - 85c-90c at default clock speeds. Note that I force the fan to lower speeds than default to reduce noise. At default fan speed you should see GPU temps below 80c.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point
May we have some more photos? Pretty please with a cherry on top? I love the parts and the description so that is much appreciated. +1
  • 44 months ago
  • 3 points

New pics added.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point
Awesome, thank you very much!
  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

but I guess that was to be expected considering there are no case fans and only a low-profile CPU cooler.

This is a nice build, but i think you made the wrong choice with the cpu cooler NH-L9i. The NH-L9i is meant to cool cpus with a tdp up to 65 watts and the 6600k has a tdp of 91 watts.

Noctua states that using it with a higher tdp cpu only in a case with good ventilation which is not your situation. The Lian-Li PC-Q21 case has a cpu clearance of 60mm so you can definitely get a better cooler. Even the cryorig C7 which is rated for cpus up to 100 watts and is even cheaper would be a better choice.

Anyways nice build!!!

As others mentioned

PLease more pictures!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

The reason I got the l9i is because it's the shortest cooler I could find. Something taller might suffocate the PSU fan which worries me more than high CPU temps, but who knows maybe you're right :)

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

VERY NICE !

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Add a pic where you compare the size with your books. ^

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Good to see Corsair finally made some SFX PSU's. I'm liking the NH L9i, very nice small form-factor build.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, love the cable management as well.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Very Nice! Love the small form factor!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

I love the case!

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build friend, would love to see more pics to really SEE how small this thing really is

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

hi talrave! just wondering, do you know if the slot load optical drive has to be 9.5mm thick like the LG one you picked, or do you think a 12.7mm drive might fit too? thanks in advance :)

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  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

no place for case fans in this case unless I remove the gpu.