Description

Backstory: I fell in love with this case last January (2019) and started buying parts, one month at a time. I'm glad I got the case before the tariff hikes, since you can no longer purchase just the case in the US. It is CNC aluminum construction and feels so nice. The prices in the link include tax and shipping paid. I tried to hunt for deals, parting it out to save money.

I had no need for a case this small.... just a strong desire for an awesome case that could fit comfortably on the small desk I built for myself.

CPU peaked at 79 C running the Heaven benchmark. It's running PBO +200 auto. I couldn't find a voltage and frequency that could beat the auto settings. Keeping things cool is the Alpenfohn Black Ridge with a slim Noctua 120 underneath. The voltage gets pretty high, but the cooler is keeping up. If it becomes a problem during the summer, I'll try harder at manually tuning it.

GPU stayed under 70 overclocked during the benchmark, but that was with max fans. During normal operations, I have the GPU top out at 1950 MHz at 943 mV. Keeps things much quieter that way. Also, I get some satisfaction knowing that the mini 2070 is still the most powerful GPU that would fit in my case (<180mm).

RAM: the partpicker reference is wrong. These are purple ADATA VLP DDR4 2666 unregistered 16 GB kit from China. With some fine tuning, I have them running at 3333 cl 16 19 18 38. Very low profile memory was required with the 120 fan under the heatsink fins.

Motherboard: I'm using the Gigabyte X570 ITX since it is the only board that is compatible with the Black Ridge. I had to remove the chipset/NVME heatsink to fit the 120mm slim fan, but it gets plenty of airflow. I watched the temps for the first few days, but it stays under 60 C. Yes, I could have used a B450 board.... I wanted the confidence to upgrade the CPU when the time comes. My last build lasted me 5 years on a single motherboard, so future proofing is important to me. Note with the IO shield connected with the motherboard, I couldn't get it to perfectly align with the back of the case.

PSU: the Corsair SF series is great. I went with Gold since I knew I was going to get custom cables. The 600 W Gold would have been better for future proofing the build, but the early 600 W production models had some issues with fan noise. I bought the PSU months before the actual build date; I had no way to check the fan and didn't want to RMA.

NVME: the case has space for 2 2.5 in drives on the bottom; I just didn't want to deal with the cables for that. So one big NVME drive, with another slot on the board if I ever run out of space. I went with PCIE gen 3 for the price; gen 4 would have cost twice as much for the same space.

P.S. The monitor is the final upgrade that really needs to happen.

Part Reviews

CPU

I got this for the original retail price of the 3600, but with Borderlands 3. A great deal

Motherboard

Great board with the best compatibility out of the current X570 ITX boards. It was my first time using Gigabyte's Bios, and it isn't the most intuitive.

Storage

Fast, reliable, and reasonably priced.

Power Supply

For most SFF builds (less than 10L), this will be enough.

Case Fan

Amazing, quiet, reliable.... but I purchased this before the blacked out version was available. I would have gone with Black.

HOWEVER, when showing off my build, the Noctua was immediately called out and complimented. There is something about having such a strong brand recognition.

Mouse

Wireless is finally here (for gaming) and affordable. I love this mouse.

Headphones

It's not really surround sound. It's a nice, affordable stereo headset with some surround sound gimmicks if you install the software. I uninstalled the software and have had no issues.

These are also compatible with consoles, which is a plus for me.

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Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

You left out everything but the monitor which I believe is a 60htz. I had that before or at least its similar. The ITX is a nice touch, detailed list. :)

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes. It's a 1080p60. I want a high refresh 1440p ultra wide, but need to save for a couple months.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I here you on that!