Description

My old Ivy Bridge I5 PC was showing it's age, so I decided to upgrade to something faster, smaller, simpler and most of all quieter. I think I went way overboard on cooling the old computer. It sounded like a taxiing 747.

So I started reading and researching. I stumbled across PC Part Picker which has been an invaluable resource.

I wanted more speed as usual, but I'm not a gamer. My biggest technical need is for some light CAD work.

After much pondering, I decided I didn't really need a dedicated optical drive or card reader. I use those so rarely, however the occasional need does occur, so I added that capability as external USB attached devices.

This let me shrink the build to a mITX board and small form factor case.

I chose the Node 202 case for its size, and clean simple appearance. I really don't want something on my desk that looks like it's ready to attack the Death Star.

I usually go for mid-range components for my builds, as I find they usually offer the most bang for the buck. The I5-8400 fit that description as a starting point. I went with the EVGA GTX 1060 3GB SC graphics card. Thought about a CAD specific workstation graphics card, but finally went for something for more all round use. I went with a 500GB WD Blue M2 SSD (of course the WD Black NVME unit wound up available for only a few bucks more on Prime day) and added a heat sink after reading of some elevated temperature throttling issues. I try to make the cooling system design of my PC's robust, so that I never have to worry about them. (See above 747 comment.) I first tried a ID Cooling IS 60 CPU cooler. Took about 2 weeks, shipped from China. It is supposed to be compatible with the ASUS ITX board and a 31mm RAM height. It will fit in the non-preferred heat pipe vertical orientation, if you remove the plastic rear panel IO cover. (see pic) Orienting it in a preferred heat pipe horizontal manner caused issues with RAM clearance. So, after finding some other Node 202 hacks, I bought a Scythe Big Shuriken 2. It shouldn't fit in the Node 202, and PC Part Picker's configuration tool warned me of that. The trick was to remove the stock Fractal case dust filter above the CPU, which buys you an additional 5 mm of clearance. Then the cooler fan (which I switched out with a Noctua unit) just touches the case, with a mm or two of clearance to the fan blades. For dust control, I added a DEMCiflex external magnetic 160 mm filter, as well as one of their filters for the case side vent, which Fractal chose not to filter.

Anyway, the completed machine is doing all I could ask of it. Now I need to save my pennies for a new monitor, to really make the system shine.

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Your heat sync isn't even touching the CPU it looks like, I mean you took really great pictures but... what the hell man?

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

I think those pictures demonstrate the clearance issues he had with the first cooler he tried.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

That is correct. Those shots illustrate the issues I had with the ID cooler. Picture #2 shows the installed Scythe cooler.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

"Something that's ready to attack the death star" That's perfect. Absolutely perfect. But, just saying, the case looks like the "wing?" of a TIE fighter, doesn't it?