Description

UPDATE

I moved the CPU heatsink to a different orientation, and it works at stock settings without rattle and noise! Will take more pictures of PC and peripherals after I do another round of cable management.

I built this PC out of the need for a new computer / development machine. Since I didn't really think the money for a Mac Mini 2018 was worth it, I eventually settled on building a PC; I got excited by the idea of having a machine that could dual boot Windows and potentially MacOS.

Miscellaneous

This build is certainly overkill for the time being, but I wanted something that would last me a good amount of time. Eventually, I would love to invest in a better graphics card and monitor with a higher refresh rate. I'm still feeling out the performance and thermals of my machine but will hopefully log more information on that in the future.

I've only overclocked the RAM to it's factory recommended speed of 3200MHz, but someday I'll try overclocking the CPU and GPU if I feel like I need more performance.

I initially went with the Core V21 chassis for experimenting and learning how to build a PC, but I quickly swapped out that case for the DA2 once I was confident my parts would fit in a mini-ITX enclosure.

I ordered most parts from Amazon because the return process for parts was really useful if something didn't work out for me. For example, I tried using the Dark Rock TF CPU air cooler, but it didn't fit on my motherboard unfortunately.

Purchases

I tried to get some deals where possible on new parts and really started the build once I saw the 9900k on sale on Amazon for $504.99. I agree the i9-9900k probably isn't the best use of your money, but I'm hoping it'll last long and be more than enough for my needs for a long time.

I went with Intel over AMD because of the better chance I had of making MacOS work on it.

I regrettably switched out the really good M.2. WiFi / BT 5.0 chip the Asrock Phantom MoBo comes with in order to get WiFi / BT working natively on MacOS. However, the performance differences aren't really noticeable yet so I'm content.

Airflow

If I did this properly, I have a Noctua 92mm fan being used for intake while the AIO fans, GPU, and PSU exhaust out of the left side, right side, and bottom of the case.

Struggles and Woes

  • Screwing in or moving around certain components in a mini-itx enclosure can be a real pain, especially if you can't access the internals from the top or bottom of the case.
  • Fitting the tubing for the 240mm AIO wasn't easy, but I eventually realized I could place excess tubing above the radiator and fans.
  • The AIO pump makes a weird rattling noise that I'm still trying to fix or get Corsair to replace.
  • Cable management could certainly be better, but I'll likely invest in custom sleeved cables and redo the wiring at a later date
  • The graphics card makes audible noise especially if it's on your desk, but this doesn't bother me too much since I normally wear headphones or have sound playing that drowns out the noise.

Overall, this was an awesome experience, and I wish I had built something sooner!

Comments

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool small pc!

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much!

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome build, don’t get to see many tiny cases +1

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Right? I haven't seen lots of builds like this except for 2 or 3 videos on YouTube :/

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Ye same here

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build!

How was the build experience?

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Build experience was relatively quick! It took me around 4 hours to disassemble my parts from my old case, and load everything into the DA2.

Not having access to the inside from the top or bottom made screwing in the motherboard and plugging in headers a little bit harder, but it was by no means impossible or extremely difficult!

I really like the universal brackets, it helped ensure that I could move the tubing for the AIO around where needed.

Cable management is pretty difficult since you need to do it before placing the AIO, and need to take off the AIO if you need to adjust the cables. So I can see the appeal of having shorter cables.

But that being said, since the AIO mounts to the universal brackets which you can take off, it was much much easier to take it off without having to redo all the AIO screws.

I'd say things that really helped for this were good lighting, and a nice magnetic screw driver.

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey mate regarding, the pump there are a few things you can try to eliminate the rattle, there may be air still settling in the loop you can try tilting the case and try to move the air pockets so they settle in a position where it won't run through the pump itself. Second is connect the pump to the mb and use the Corsair software change pump profile to quite performance, this lowers the rpm of the pump and some undesirable noise. Third, I ended up RMA my Corsair pump and the difference was night and day with the rattle. Try these first though Corsair honour their returns but it's still a hassle at the end of the day. Cool build +1

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks mate! Changing the pump to quiet definitely makes a difference, and I'll try moving around the air pockets. I'd love to be able to fix it myself!

But it's also reassuring to know that the RMA actually fixes the problem if I need to go down that avenue. I appreciate the help!

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Let it settle for a week but it shouldn't really be "ticking" go check some videos on and/bubbles in the line Vs ticking. I run my pumps of the PSU 12v 3pin then save the settings of the pump like RGB and pump speed to the bios on the pump. Good luck

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice little case. +1

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi. I also fell into the same mistake of buying the Dark Rock TF with this motherboard, thank goodness I could return it. I already told BeQuiet that he has to modify his compatibility list.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Right? It was very misleading and frustrating when I first put this build together. I was really hoping I could use that cooler though :(

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Excellent build, I’m looking to do a killer itx build like yours too. Please can I ask if you managed to get thunderbolt working in MacOS?

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Haven't been on in a while! Thanks so much for the like <3

Unfortunately, I've asked around in forums and have tried to tackle this personally, but I wasn't able to get thunderbolt working yet. I THINK part of the issue is video output is going to the Graphics Card instead of thunderbolt, but I'll need to test this out once I figure out how to disable my graphics card on OSX.