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Build

Paladin - Have LAN, Will Travel

by SilkyZ

9
15 Comments

Details

Date Published

Dec. 27, 2014

Date Built

Dec. 20, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

4.6 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

38.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

62.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.193 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.753 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

34.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

76.0° C

Description

The idea behind this system was to build a mobile powerhouse of a PC that can do High-End Gaming, Video Editing, and Virtual Network/Machine simulation. It was my first build in a while, so there were some mistakes made during the build and part selection. Over all, it is a solid machine that will have its fair use for years to come.

CPU: A bit overpowered for just a gaming rig, but this chip will be useful in running simulations and in video editing. Odd are when I build a new system, this chip will migrate over.

CPU Cooler: Only cooler that will really fit with the RAM and the case layout. Noctua is never shabby on their coolers so its not a bad choice.

MoBo: It had all the features I really needed. Wifi, overclocking, and 2x 1Gb Ethernet ports for networking. First board had bent pins, so it needed an RMA, luckily I live near a Microcenter.

Memory: Another OP part, but for the Video editing and simulations, its just right.

Storage: The case doesn't support a 3.5" drive bay, and since I was traveling with it, I wanted to not have HDDs for fear of disks getting damaged in transit. Also dem boot times hon'.

Video card: This card fits in the case, reguardless of what PCPPr will say. The shroud has a large lip on the end that is utterly useless and is there for show. I had to really force back the case's USB cables to get the card in. Otherwise that card runs cool thanks to the 2 fans and no whine like other people have reported. When I upgrade, It will be in SLI with another 970.

Case: Ever since I saw the Colugo build from Tek Syndicate I knew it was my next case. Its small, fits everything, and stows nicely in overhead storage bins. I recommend this case to anyone looking for a ITX/LAN build. A few gripes are that the fan mount is great, but doesn't really support aftermarket fans very well; also the SSD placement is right under the GPU which restricts airflow a bit. Also cable management sucks with no easy way to manage it. I may mod it a bit and sleeve some cables, which should help.

PSU: You are limited in SFX PSUs, but Silverstone is a good company and they noiw have a 600w that would be great for OCing

OS: Its Win8.1 Pro

Fan: The JetFlo is a great addition to the rig. the high static pressure really helps keep a positive pressure in the case and helps the coolers breath. Its a loud fan, but coming from a laptop, its not bad. one thing is that the case's fan filter doesn't really work with the fan, so I will have to solve that soon.

Keyboard: Only wireless mechanical keyboard out there. Really solid build and I love the MX Browns. Wish it had light up keys, but its still great.

Mouse: First gaming mouse. Holy balls is it great. The side buttons really help for macros and the wheel can be set to free or ratchet, which helps in scrolling through large config files (firewall access-lists can be a pain sometimes).

Monitor: Not on PCPPr, but I hope they add it soon. If you need a travel screen, you can not go wrong with this. HDMI support, 1080p@60, touchscreen. While not for gaming, it can hold its own in high and ultra games just fine.

Future plans for the rig are to plasti-dip the case and keyboard white to match the screen. I also bought an extra set of cables, so I may try my hand at sleeving later. I also may move the SSDs and cut a vent in the bottom for better air to the GPU.

3D Mark FireStrike: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/5253429?

UPDATE 13JAN2015:

Cooling is an issue, as expected. GPU was hitting 80 - 85 when running games and benchmarks. Using Zotac's Firestorm app, I was able to adjust the fan and clock speeds to get it down under 80 as well as maintain 1080@60 (screen can't go higher then that :P). This increased the sound, bot not too much were it was an annoyance with good headphones. Overall very happy with the build so far.

UPDATE 2FEB2015

Re-Cable managed the case and moved the SSDs from the bottom to the 5.25" drive bay to give the GPU more breathing room. Also played with the fan settings a bit, seeing that the case fan wasn't pushing at full while under load. I have gotten the temperatures to a level that I am happy with. The CPU will spike above 85 on rare occasion while boosting, but it will typically drop back to the high 70s.

I am debating on replacing the fan on the cooler with a higher power fan, but I will do that later when I decide to do some case mods and cable sleaving

Also, I broke a pin on one of the side panels while trying to place it back on after moving the SSDs.

UPDATE 24FEB2015 Played with Overclocking and Undervolting the rig. i was able to get temperatures down and stable under load and performance up

Updated 3dMark: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/6014339?

Part Reviews

CPU

Solid CPU. Overclocks well (even with the low-profile cooler). If i was just gaming, I would have gone with the i5, but the multithreading is a great feature for video editing and some games

CPU Cooler

Cools well enough

Motherboard

Great ITX board. Has all the features you want, without all the excess. Main thing I love are the 2x 1Gbps ethernet ports, makes this great for a server, VM, workstation build

Memory

:D

So much speed... I can honestly say these are the best for whatever you are planning to do. Though i rarely go above 8GB of use, I can tell in heavy loads that these guys champ it out

Storage

Great, solid SSD. Plenty of speed for tasks, plenty of storage for key programs

Video Card

Great little card. Handles everything at 1080p@60fps like a champ

Case

Great case if you need a LAN/Travel rig. Really small so you need to plan your parts accordingly. 2.5" drives are in an odd place and somewhat restrict air to the GPU. The front fan is weak so you need to get a new one and set it up to exhaust to get decent temps with high end gear.

Overall I love the case, but a few nit-picky things make it not the best

Power Supply

its a 450w, Gold rated SFX PSU... what could go wrong?

Case Fan

Great, Great fan. I am in love with the JetFlo series now. High airflow and low noise, I have to be focusing on it to notice it with headphones on. Great as a Rad or exhaust fan

Keyboard

Hey! You are looking for a wireless mechanical keyboard? How did I know, because its the only one right now...

Doesn't make it bad, not in the least. In-fact, its one of the best keyboards I've owned. My only complaint is that because its wireless, it eats commands on the very rare occasion. Other then that, solid build and great choice for a wireless option

Mouse

Good mouse, but would not buy again. I went with the Logitech as I have always used their wireless mouses before and praise them for their reliability, ease of use, and battery life. None of those are really true for this one.

Battery dies after a day of idle and about half a day for gaming. Its not bad, I just find myself leaving it plugged in most of the time.

software is clunky, doesn't recolonize different game profiles, and macro-buttons have to be bound to existing keys, not just their own.

I also have a pad falling off the bottom, causing it to drag when moved. The wheel gets stuck sometimes when locked.

I can't recommend this mouse, but it is still a good choice dispirit these issues.

Comments Sorted by:

pepoxx 2 points 46 months ago

i loved you build! its so awesome and so compact!

SilkyZ submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

That was the plan.

It is a tight fit for most of it, but it wasn't too bad. If you are doing a SFF build like this one, you are going to have to keep a plan of attack in mind when you start building. You won't be able to access some pins on the MoBo with the PSU in, so you have to think it through.

greendouglash 6 Builds 2 points 46 months ago

Yay, another build inspired by the Colugo, that's where I got the ideas to build mine also. Soon I'll be upgrading to a 4770 (non-K) and hopefully the Asus GTX 970 DirectCU mini. Great looking build man!

SilkyZ submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

yeah, i would suggest getting the asus 970 as it has a blower fan, which should get better temps

lars5 1 Build 2 points 46 months ago

Great build! I've been looking into that cpu cooler for my itx. i'm surprised by your temps. noctua actually suggests against cpus greater than 64w without good ventilation. I plan on doing some video editing, so i was wondering, how much stress did you put on to get that 75C temp? how many rpms are you running that intake fan?

SilkyZ submitter 1 Build 1 point 46 months ago

The CPU cooler handles it like a champ. That temp was from a CPU benchmark i ran and was the highest temp recorded, the average temp was about 70.

I have tweaked the fan settings to be always on to get better airflow, and now hovers in the high-60's while gaming. The GPU is a different story.

Oow 1 point 45 months ago

Really nice build! May I ask how you undervolted the GPU? My GTX 970 is overheating in my own TU100, so I need to try lower the temperature somehow.

SilkyZ submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

I am using MSI Afterburner. I then lowered the power limit to 98% and it has been working just fine.

Zenkotsu 1 point 37 months ago

I have to ask, is it physically possible to fit the Zotac GTX 970 measuring in at 8.03" roughly when the case only accepts 7.59" card lengths. Did you mod the case to fit that in or is it snug, just barely fitting in? Thanks, great build, I love it!

SilkyZ submitter 1 Build 1 point 37 months ago

I saw other builds with larger then recommended cards in that case, so I figured it would have fit. the main reason the card is that big is the shroud that hangs over the edge of the cooler.

I didn't have to modify anything, but the front panel cables are right there so they had to be pushed back and up to get the card in, and removing it is a pain. Their are now better cards then the Zotac 970, so I would suggest them then the card I used (either an ITX 970 or a R9 Nano).

Zenkotsu 1 point 37 months ago

Oh gotcha, thanks for the info on that.

Good, I do want to mod but haven't set foot in that department yet. Yeah I've been seeing GTX 970 "Mini-ITX" cards and the R9 Nano/Fury X cards that are SFF for compact builds.

Just curious, would it be possible to fit an ATX PSU in this case? Would the screw holes fit and align? I have a SILVERSTONE Strider Plus ST50F-P 500W ATX. It's 130mm depth, not as small but certainly not a large PSU for ATX either. PCPartPicker says not compatible when I try to include it.

If you happen to know, thanks. Otherwise, much appreciated for all the information. I may just consider getting the new Lian Li PCQ10 or the big brother PC-TU200B

Hobert 1 point 27 months ago

Can you overclock with that cooler?

SilkyZ submitter 1 Build 1 point 27 months ago

no, but it works better then stock

kennytripp1738 1 point 22 months ago

Where did you get the keyboard?

SilkyZ submitter 1 Build 1 point 22 months ago

It was on this site before, though i don't know if they still make it