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by KojiMurasame



Date Published

July 23, 2015

Date Built

March 20, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

60.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.266 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

50.0° C


I've been building computers for family, friends, and myself for over a decade now. This is my latest build, my daily driver, Tomoe. This build was started in March of this year and I just put the finishing touches on it mid July. Going in to this build I knew I wanted to make a super compact build for gaming.

Notes of interest:

  • I pulled the A-Data SSD, monitors, and peripherals from my previous build, but the prices listed are from when I originally bought them.

  • I modified the internal power supply mount on my Node 304. Even with the short Silverstone power supply I was still not comfortable with the clearance on the cables coming out of the power supply and touching the back of the graphics card. I completely removed the internal power supply mounting bracket, drilled new mounting holes 8mm further from the graphics card, removed some metal from the bracket to allow it to fit in it's new position. It is not a noticeable mod, but it makes this case more functional for me.

  • Originally I was going to air cool the CPU with a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, but when I received the CPU cooler I realized that the VRMs on my motherboard did not allow enough clearance for mounting the cooler with the fan pointing out of the back of the case. After that I opted to go for the Corsair H90 since I saw it successfully used in a similar build.

Comments Sorted by:

marc.dantoni 2 points 45 months ago

I also just built my new system in the Node 304. Not quite as clean as yours, but I had a blast building in it. It was tricky fitting everything in there, but what a compact beast!

KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Yeah, the tiny case was definitively a challenge. It was a lot of fun though.

jeffreymays44 5 Builds 2 points 45 months ago

that sir is a very nice Rig, I see you have windows 10, I am waiting on my upgrade on the 29th, have you done any gaming on it yet? if so how is the direct x 11, that is the windows 10 direct x right!?

KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 3 points 45 months ago

Gaming is good. Windows 10 has a lot less overhead than 7 which was my previous OS. I don't know of anything that implements Direct X 11 yet, so I can't speak to that.

KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Sorry, yeah DX12.

auldae 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

I just assumed you were being too nice to correct the OP. Nice, compact PC there BTW. Must have been a fun build.

ArvindFTW 2 points 45 months ago

Expensive build ya got there. Pretty badass though

vikingXcore 4 Builds 2 points 45 months ago

I've only gotten hang ups on the monitor choices given the horsepower you have (GTX 980 would decimate 60Hz, and would be great with a 144Hz panel). If you got two because, hey, two 60Hz panels for the price of one 144Hz panels, then it's totally understandable. Any who with that said. Wow man/lady. That rig is is amazing! You really did a fantastic job with parts, pics, and setup.

KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

That will be my next upgrade. The monitors are from my last build.

vikingXcore 4 Builds 2 points 45 months ago

Ahhh ok! Still great monitors I hope they get re appropriated elsewhere's.

SR91 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

That's some really nice cable management despite having so little room to work in. +1

KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks! It took some work to get it where I liked it.

SR91 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

You're welcome and thanks for taking the time to reply, it's much appreciated. Enjoy the Pc it's a really nice one.

themadtux 2 points 45 months ago

Man very nice build!!! Love the small size and the clean innards :)

Grats on Feature Build!

Busy_Schedule 2 points 45 months ago

You know what this build needs to finish it off? Cable extensions! +1

KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

I had considered it, but ultimately I thought the extra cabling would clutter up the case. Eventually I may custom sleeve my cables so that I can keep them short/out of the way.

XxD34THxX 2 points 45 months ago

I'll lease it for a penny a month. :D That's all I can afford. Nice build.

Allane176 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Question: do you need to keep the side panel right next to the video card detached during normal use? Given that the cooler vents hot air into the case, and the fans only having maybe an inch or two of clearance between that last panel, I would almost think it's necessary.

I've considered making an ITX build, but getting adequate cooling for a video card has always been my biggest concern. Either way, well done on this build.

KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

There is a mesh panel on the side directly next to the video card that allows the card to vent exhaust out of the case. I haven't had any issues with temps. The video card tops out around 60°C under intense load, but usually stays around 50°C during normal gaming. I could probably drop the temps further with a more aggressive fan curve, but I prefer to keep it quiet since my temps aren't bad.

keenangood 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Just a question, why Tomoe? Great build by the way, very clean.

KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Story time/nerd out: I have a history of giving my personal computers Japanese names. I had done some research awhile ago on the Shinto deity Hachiman and found that one of the symbols associated with him is the tomoe (see my user icon). I really dig that symbol and want to do a decal or paint a stencil of a tomoe on the case. So that's what I chose as the name.

joeltremblay8 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Love the build! I have the same case, was fun building in! Wondering what bolts you have? they aren't stock ones am I right?

KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

They're anodized aluminum thumb screws. I don't recall where I got them. I've used them on every personal build since my first build.

Padlock248 2 Builds 2 points 45 months ago

I didn't read the comments but do you have a monitor upgrade coming?

I can push that same monitor with a gtx 970 g1 gaming card at around 98 fps in 1080p ultra.

I'm sure a lower card would handle two monitors.

But if you're planning like.... upgrading to a 4k panel, or two 1440 then your graphics card makes more sense.

ImperialPuma 1 point 45 months ago

Hey make the monitors the same ok, but overall well done

P.S. Id like the Lg not the Asus

paintboy131 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago


Whatfo 1 point 44 months ago

How did u install windows 10 on sm951?

theNeybor 1 point 43 months ago

AWESOME build! I look up to you! +1

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Tiny powerhouse. Nice.

Movie_Gamer1237 1 Build -1 points 45 months ago

That's a beastly little box! lol. I wanted to make mine small like this, but couldn't find anything within my budget. What I don't get is, that in a lot of sick build like this, people only put 8gb of Ram. Why?

Eschaton 6 Builds 4 points 45 months ago

When was the last time you used over 8gb of RAM, and what were you doing when you did?

Movie_Gamer1237 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

My HP has 8 [down from 10] and I ran out of memory on 2 separate attempts to export a video from Premiere Pro. It wasn't even a feature-length movie, either - just something short. typically it does just fine exporting a series of videos from the Media Encoder, but for some reason this time it didn't like the direct export from Premiere. I had let it run overnight too, so nothing else was running and I had made sure to close down everything [except AVG and the like].

Eschaton 6 Builds 2 points 45 months ago

OK, so let's review:

  1. It wasn't from gaming.
  2. It wasn't that often.
  3. It was with one particular program that probably suffered a memory leak.
  4. If the difference was between 8 and 10, then in neither case was the 8gb vastly less than was needed, let alone half of what was needed.

I run 12gb in my rig at home myself, but I know that's overkill and I regularly use up to 4gb of that for precaching, RAM Disks, etc., - basically just for fun.

In a gaming-centered build there is currently no good reason to have - or to suggest to someone that they should have - 16gb of RAM. It's ludicrous.

Movie_Gamer1237 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

To be fair, I didn't actually suggest they should have 16 - so no need to get so defensive. It was a genuine curiosity why more builds listed aren't going with 16gb when it's really not a ton more if you look hard enough. Second; why does it matter what the system was doing when it maxed out on memory? There's more to a computer's range than just games or Office.

So, let's review: 1. Was a question - not "suggesting they should have this". 2. Was often enough to make me consider the bumped specs if I'm going to put the time and money into a new machine. 3. One example of a program does not limit me to that type of work. i.e, I still play games. Often while having iTunes and/or Chrome open - both of which are memory hogs.

Can we chill?

Eschaton 6 Builds 1 point 45 months ago

Oh yes, we can chill (if we weren't chill before, I suppose). I've already said what I came here to say. It's a question of feature creep - people like to optimize (both to keep costs down and as a challenge), and yet in enthusiast communities there's always a trend toward "bigger and better" setting the new standard. Probably the most egregious example of this is the new trend toward 4K - this is being deliberately pushed on the consumer market in order to generate more revenue - it is the manufacture of demand. And there's nothing wrong with manufacturing demand, except when the perpetual stakes raising gets so out of touch with reality that people who really are cost-constrained come to believe that getting something even barely "standard" is out of their reach, even though the real system requirements might be far below that "standard."

So, in this chill discussion, I've just been pointing out for the sake of other, perhaps newer readers, that the idea 16gb should be included just to match the expense of the rest of the build doesn't really have any justification other than "why not?"

KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks! When I need more RAM I'll add another 8 gb. So far I haven't seen above ~60% usage.

Movie_Gamer1237 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Fair enough :)

Scrounger 4 Builds 2 points 45 months ago

You are obviously planning for the future since you got 1 8GB stick instead of 2 4GB sticks. Bravo! The only reason I put in 16, is that I didn't want to open it again and fight with the air cooler.

tiberiusisgame 5 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

I can appreciate the financial logic behind doubling your RAM with an upgrade but there are two factors to consider with modern DIMMs that 'may' matter to you; a single memory module will run at half the rated frequency, so in this case, 800MHz, and most modules come in pairs because they're tested for maximum stability when run as intended, as dual inline memory modules. What does BIOS tell you this memory is running at? If you upgrade this rig with a second stick of the same manufacture and model, I would memtest86 it for a day and pay close attention to the error reporting if Windows BSODs. O/Cing this memory is likely going to be a manual process as XMP profiles won't be stable.

I love a good, compact build and I admire the name! Well executed.

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Movie_Gamer1237 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Fair enough. But I still feel like the extra $30 or so is worth the "future-proof". Plus if you have a tight system you wouldn't have to potentially take the CPU cooler off to put in new ram.

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KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 4 points 45 months ago

Thanks! I certainly didn't expect it!

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KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 2 points 45 months ago

Yes, I would mind! D:

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KojiMurasame submitter 1 Build 1 point 45 months ago

Thanks, jipster!