I'm a huge fan of small form factor and ITX builds. A couple of years ago I built a Node 202 gaming PC but still thought there was too much wasted space. After selling the Node build, I tried to simplify my setup by adding a video card to my unRAID NAS and going virtualized (think Linus Tech Tips 2-gamers-1-PC) but I never felt the virtual performance matched a bare metal setup. Then I found the S4 Mini from Not From Concentrate!
The S4 Mini is a well-thought out unique design, allowing enough space for a powerful, small-footprint ITX gaming rig. For components, you can fit an ITX board, ITX graphics card, DC-to-DC converter, and optional two 2.5" drives. Straight away, assembling everything into the case felt like a three dimensional silicon and aluminum puzzle as there was a strict order of assembly. At the end, it became apparent how much power was densely packed into this little aircraft-grade aluminum chassis the size of a ream of paper.
When deciding whether to go with Skylake or something newer, I managed to pick up the Coffee Lake Intel i5-8400 on Newegg while it was in stock for approximately 15 minutes. Glad I did because 6 cores in a 65w package is killer. The S4 Mini was developed for a 65w CPU, as is the Noctua L9i. Overall, this build is super quiet, as there are only two fans: the CPU and GPU (which turns off at idle!) and the entire thing is easily powered by a chunky 330W Dell AC adapter.
The S4 Mini originally came with a wenge wood 3D front bezel that has a cutout for longer graphics cards. After deciding to powder coat the side panels midnight blue wrinkle from Prismatic Powders, I ordered a wraparound silver brushed aluminum front bezel. I also sourced some awesome torx screws to hold the size panels on. Overall, I'm extremely happy with how everything turned out and it's now uniquely mine!
I built this strictly to play games and be a portable beast. Forza 7, Wolfenstein 2, and Star Wars Battlefront II are the 2017 games this rig will handle at 1440p.
Seriously fast and efficient! Hovers around 31C while idle and has 6 cores to kick ***. Passmark CPU score yielded 12,864.
A premium, low-noise cooler with a low price tag. Much quieter than the stock Intel HSF. I've owned this same cooler across multiple LGA-115x builds, so I've really gotten my money's worth on this kit! Currently cooling an i5-8400 to 31C idle in a super compact ITX case.
I always go for ASRock motherboards as they always seem to cater to my needs. Great board, but at the time of writing (11/2/2017) the Z-series boards are the only option for a Coffee Lake ITX build with no specs or release dates for the cheaper B and H series boards. Nice amenities here though! 2xLAN, Wifi/Bluetooth, 6x SATA, M.2 PCIe for super fast storage.
It's low profile, it's fast, and it's white. That's what I wanted. While I can't utilize the full DDR4-3200 speed with my i5-8400, this RAM should carry me through a couple future builds.
Easy to install and incredible speed. Don't forget to install the proper drivers to get the full speed out of the drive!
How'd they stuff a 1070 in an ITX form factor?! Who cares, it's compact and fast. It fit like a glove in an NFC S4 Mini ITX case. I had a full size 1070 before this and there is no noticeable performance difference.
It's a fine 1440p IPS 60hz 4ms thin-bezel monitor. Bought refurbished with zero blemishes on fleabay for $179 from Acer. No height adjustability, lack of VESA, and a really crappy OSD menu prevents me from giving this 5 stars. Input switching is terrible; it cycles through every input before deciding to find a working one or going into power save mode. There's no ability to select an input manually!