Description

So what's the logical thing to do when you get a performance bonus at work? Pay rent? Save? Nope. Build the most kick-*** tiny computer you can to fit in a tiny desk you bought off of Ikea's website without checking the product dimensions..

and so Zephyr was born

The Case - Antek ISK310-150 This case is really, really small. My dual 660Ti's in my other build, Cypress, are bigger than this whole case and consume about double the power too. For $100, it was an impulse buy so the whole build is designed around making full use of the space available. It came with a 150W PSU built in (sadly proprietary) but gave me enough wiggle room to get an 8700 in there with a dGPU.

The case is definitley built to a budget as there are some rough edges, misaligned brackets and unpainted interior but hey, $100. Also, I'm pretty sure some of these scratches and dings are caused from Canada Post's amazing way of handling packages labeled fragile.

CPU - Intel Core i7-8700 I'm honestly amazed at how efficient and powerful this chip is. 12 threads at 3.5ish GHz in 45W TDP (25W normally) is pretty damn impressive. For the first time in a year, Cypress has sat idle for more than a week because I can get everything done on this bad boy.

GPU - AMD Radeon Pro WX4100 The long and the short of it is this is the most powerful Single Slot, Low Profile GPU I could find, and I definitely paid the premium for it. It runs pretty quietly, and looks pretty good as well so I really can't complain. Plus it works with my FreeSync Monitor for the occasional time I play some video games.

The Build Did I mention this case is really small? I honestly thought it wouldn't be big enough for everything, nor be able to supply enough juice to keep everything happy inside (hehehe). Building basically required a complete teardown of the case to the bare frame. Then connecting up everything to the motherboard, then with help, put everything in at the same time. There is literally no way to get the PSU in with the amount of stuff crammed in there if you don't lower everything in at the same time.

The icing on the cake really is the fact that I can get a case this small with an ODD (slimlines are shockingly expensive), because I still live in the stone ages and have a collection of CDs (Creedence Clearwater anyone?).

The Desk Because I'm an idiot and don't read product dimensions before impulsively clicking BUY, I had to pick up an AmazonBasics monitor arm to give me a couple extra inches on the desk. I ended up picking up the Microsoft Designer Keyboard and Mouse combo because they look great, are wireless, and I really don't like noisy mechanical keyboards- if anyone has any recommendations on something quiet, let me know.

Part Reviews

CPU

Cool running, has a super low-profile cooler (doesn't help cooling much but was the only one that could fit in my case) and with 12 threads, is generally a beast at anything I throw at it.

Motherboard

Pretty much everything you need, nothing you don't (that includes RGB). Dual NICs is a great feature and they support teaming. The included wifi solution is blazing fast for when you can't plug in.

M.2 NVMe support is a great touch especially for size-conscious ITX builds.

A little on the pricey size, for an H chipset but whatever

Memory

It's RAM, it works at it's rated speed, no issues and looks clean. 12/10

Storage

Not the fastest but definitley the cheapest SSD I could find from a reputable brand. Two in RAID-0 works like a charm.

Storage

Great little boot drive, boot times are insane. For the price, you can't go wrong

Video Card

4 DP outputs. Half Height. Single Slot. Look no further because it's the only one. And keep looking, it's very pretty.

As with all pretty things, it's expensive... and hot (running)- but you already knew that.

Case

Small case, very cheap and includes a decent power supply. Blends in in a professional environment or in a media room seamlessly.

Optical Drive

It's a DVD drive. It reads and writes DVDs and CDs. It works. No complaints.

Operating System

Yeaaaaa I didn't pay $164.75 for it but in reality, they should be paying me for the amount of data they're collecting on me.

Monitor

Great ultrawide monitor on the cheap. Colours are sharp and accurate, and is a real stunner on a monitor arm.

Keyboard

Super Expensive, Super Pretty. Kind of like Apple, except our computers aren't toys for the rich.

Speakers

Super Expensive, Super sound. The Apple of speakers.

Comments

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

Congrats for the AMD Radeon Pro WX 4100 4GB!

Using only 50W is impressive for a performance workstation GPU.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Honestly no regrets in picking the WX vs a slim 1050- the performance I get, especially at this TDP is amazing

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

First off, the build looks great!

Which DVD drive did you get? I noticed that the one in the parts list is slot-loading, but clearly the drive in your pictures has a tray.

I have the same case, and I had a bit of trouble with the DVD drive that I purchased. I got a Dell DVD drive which is apparently a replacement for the drive on their laptops. I figured it would be fine since "they're pretty standard". Well actually, the drive I got is way too slim! There's a like 5 or 6 mm of clearance, height-wise, I stuck some slim pieces of wood under the drive to keep in from moving around. Also, only one of the screw holes on the case lines up with the holes on the drive, so it's only screwed in at one place.

Not a big deal since I don't plan on moving the case at all. But I'm curious how well the drive you got fits?

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!

I found the closest one in PCPP honestly. This is the one I bought (Canadian Rupees mind you - http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=3_62&item_id=102139). None of the screw holes line up so i jammed screws in there as compression then used some hot glue around the edges to lock it in place.

Be careful with the alignment if its not perfectly straight it will hit against the front fascia and you won't be able to get any discs in.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

I see, thanks for the info. I guess the drives aren't as standard as I thought!

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Gorgeous. What kind of workloads do you use the machine for?

Also, some of your pictures aren't in the correct orientation. I had to tilt my head, ahaha.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Whoops... You can never trust a BlackBerry to take decent pictures I guess :)

I use it mainly for CAD and financial analysis, basically whatever the company has me do that day. I've been dabbling with Audio Production too and Zephyr has more than handled the heat

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Interesting use of technology, though CCR sounds best on vinyl so far as I remember. Oh well, good luck fitting a turntable tray in there...