I built this little PC as a proof of concept. I have been wanting to build in a Louqe Ghost S1 but was having a hard time finding one in silver. In the end, I decided to build my own PC case. At first, I was planning on a sandwich style layout with dimensions similar to a Dan case. I wanted to be able to use a more robust air cooling solution or the stock Ryzen cooler so I went with this layout for more clearance.
I decided to try a Ryzen build since the 3rd gen chips came out. When I was at micro center looking for a 3700 or 3800X, I came across this bundled package sale with a 2700x processor, Gigabyte B450i and 16 GB of DDR$-3000 for $299. That is a deal I could not turn down. The ram it came with was blue. Not the color scheme I was going for, but I went with it. I wanted to use a Dark Rock TF for the cooler, but it only allowed for a single mounting orientation with the ends of the heat pipes over the ram. I eventually went with a Noctua C14s so I could have the heat pipes facing up and it gave me room for exhaust fans. I basically mocked up the parts, took measurements and then built a case around it.
The case frame is made out of 1 cm square aluminum T-slot beams from Maker Beam. The rear panel and mother board tray are made from solid carbon fiber plate from Arris. All the other panels are made from carbon fiber plates with wire mesh laminated between 2 plates. The carbon fiber plates are from Composite Envision. Cut the beams to size, tap the ends for screws and used corner cubes to put it together. As far as side panels, you can use aluminum, acrylic, wood or what ever you want. Dimensions are 6in wide, 8.5 in tall and 11.5 in long. The dimensions of the case was really determined by the GPU. In my quest to make this as small as I could, I kind of overlooked some important things. One was a spot to put the PSU plug receptacle and the other was clearance for the PCE-I power cables for the GPU. For the plug, I had to go with a pig tale. For the GPU, I had to get creative with the connectors. I chambered the GPU to separate it from the rest of the case so that the hot air does not dump into the rest of the case. The GPU pulls cool air from the top and blows it out the sides. I also installed 2 GELID silent 7 70mm fans for exhaust. They perform well and are extremely quiet.
I replaced the Noctua fan for a 140mm Silverstone FW 142 RGB fan on the cooler. Performance not as good as noctua but a pretty good performer and really quiet. I had to have some sort of RGB in there :). I ran test with both fans and they were within 2 degrees of each other. I also tried running the fan with pulling air in thru the cooler and pushing air up and out the cooler with the rear fans as intake. Pulling air in and rear fans as exhaust proved to be the better cooling solution. The GPU stock under load runs at 61C and idles at 32C. The 2700x stock with XMP enabled runs at 64C under full load and 33C idle. Not sure if this is a Ryzen thing, but I was pretty impressed with these numbers in a 9.6 liter case. I have always built with intel and running AIDA 64 cpu and fpu test would normally get pretty toasty on air.
As far as cable management, I made my own cables and sleeved them with paracord. I wanted them to be neat and clean even though you will not be able to see them when the side panels are on. In this really small form factor builds, space gets pretty tight pretty quick. When I was making and routing the 24 pin, I was beginning to regret my decision. But I got it to work and I think it looks pretty good. The cables for the GPU proved a little challenging due the clearance. They look a little odd, but it works.
So this is my second scratch build and my first Ryzen build. My other scratch build was a HTPC made from aluminum, wood, acrylic and glass. It was much more complicated. This one was pretty easy. Did not require any specialty tools and probably would have came in under $60 if I had used aluminum instead of carbon fiber. The carbon fiber brought it up to almost $200. About as much as I would have spent on a Ghost S1. But, you are not gonna get a Noctua C14s in one either. As far as use for this thing, It is a good all a round PC. Not really needed for gaming. I have a 9900k with a 2080ti for that. I think my older 6700k with a 1080 is faster in games. I will have to play with overclocking some later. All in all, it was a very fun build and easy to do. A PC case made specifically for the components inside it. A great DIY project to take on. I hope all of you like it.