Description

Goal: Create a Mini ITX LanBox powerful enough to play all eSports games as well as some AAA games under medium/high settings. (With RX570 I'm looking for high/ultra 1080p gaming now).

I chose the Lian Li TU100B case because it's one of the smallest "portable' Mini ITX cases with a handle + excellent quality paneling. It's well known that this case has alot of thermal issues due to only having 1x 120mm fan slot, and no bottom ventilation for the GPU. Surprisingly, with the Noctua 120mm fan as intake, the CPU doesn't go above 60c in extended gaming loads and only 71-72c during RealBench/Prime95. The GPU maxes out around 75c at stock, but after playing with the fan curve in MSI Afterburner it's a steady 70-72c in gaming loads (I even overclocked the GPU 150+ core // 200 mem with these temps).

I chose the B360I Mini ITX board from MSI because it was the cheapest B360 ITX board with dual m.2 slots. This allowed me to avoid having to have a traditional SSD and only use 1 2.5" HDD for media/game storage. I load all my esports games on the 256g m.2. I was also able to clock the Corsair LPX 2400 Mhz sticks to 2666 without any kind of real configuration.

For anyone interested in this case, I would stress getting the smallest GPU possible. The 1050ti Singlefan models seem to work perfectly, If it was any larger the shroud would block incoming airflow from the intake fan, trapping the hot air underneath.

There are plans in the work for modding this case by adding ventilation, and I will add my results + more pictures.

Userbench:

Tuned: RAM from 2400 > 2666

Tuned: 1050ti from stock > 150+ Core | 200+ Mem

http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/11358840


Update (11/29/2018)

Replaced the 1050ti with a Sapphire Pulse RX570 4G ITX card off ebay for $80. After repasting it's maxing at 75c and has allowed for playing 1080p ultra gaming. Slightly louder than the EVGA 1050ti, but overall a decent upgrade in fps.

Userbench with RX570: https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/12491008


Updated (12/22/2018)

Modded the bottom panel with a hand-drill to create 1/8" holes in a 92mm circle. This allowed for fresh air to be pulled into the case from the bottom. I added velcro + rubber feet to raise the case a few mm more off the ground. Temps dropped 4-5c and allow for a quieter fan curve on the GPU. Prolonged Witcher 3 session had the GPU peaking at 71c.

Undervolted the RX570: -120mv, +25% power, and 1244 core clock to 1300 mhz.

https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/13126450

Part Reviews

CPU

Great general use processor. 6 cores with high IPC, games similar to my 7700k and for half the price. My use-case is HTPC duties and mid-range gaming, so the i5-8400 shines in a Mini ITX scenario. Having a locked CPU allows for a cheaper motherboard and exceptional thermals in such a small form factor.

CPU Cooler

You really can't go wrong with Noctua coolers. This specific cooler is widely used in SFF builds. Whisper-quiet, extremely good build quality & packaging.

Highly recommended for it's tiny height and cooler capabilities.

Motherboard

It's a b360 board, so it's not the best in the world. For the price it has higher than average features:

  1. Wifi
  2. 2x M.2 NVME slots.
  3. Decent VRMs.

This is the only B360 Mini ITX board i could find that featured two full fledged NVME m.2 slots. A huge plus for a SSF builder.

Cons:

The RGB aspect sucks, for the life of me I cannot figure out why MSI can't do a normal RGB color cycle similar to G.Skills Trident Z RGB. Eitherway, I recommend turning off RGB unless you're into that kind of thing.

Memory

Too expensive for the speeds. It's good memory of course but gave me issues in my Ryzen rig (first gen IMC).

Was able to clock these to 2666 with stock voltage on the MSI B360i, a small gain but esssentially allows me to max out my memory speeds on the b360 chipset.

Storage

This is an old HDD pulled from a seagate external drive. Not the fastest drive ever but does the job for single-player 50-70g games.

Wouldn't recommend buying a new 5400 RPM HDD for SFF today due to how cheap 500g ssds have become. Soon 1TB SSDs will be sub $80 and much more affordable for general builders.

Video Card

Awesome card. It fits the TU100 perfectly. I ony had to lift the fan up abit to be able to successfully install it.

I got this used off ebay, so it had some usage (I think this was mined on). I repasted the GPU and it's within the 70-75c thermal range at full gaming load. Pulls about double the watts as the 1050ti, but the FPS gain is there.

Sapphire's fans are abit loud, but I think it's due to having received a heavily mined card.

Case

Great case, but one that requires specific components and the ability to deal with tiny spaces. This case has one major flaw: no bottom case ventilation.

I've read there are previous versions of this case that don't have perforation on the side panel, which probably turns this case more into an oven.

This is a widely modded case, I recommend checking out overclock forums as they have a TU100 owners thread.

Pros:

  1. Handle
  2. Can fit 3x 2.5" drives at stock
  3. Fairly easy to work in given the size constraints.
  4. Looks good, i've had people think it's part of a sound system. (subjective)

Cons:

  1. No bottom ventilation
  2. Only 1 intake
  3. When you install 2.5" drives at the bottom of the case it chokes the GPU even more than normal.

Power Supply

Not much to say. It's small, quiet and does the job. Not modular so it loses a point for that. SFX power supplies are expensive compared to their ATX counterparts. When I bought this the corsair SFX had just been expanded, so I hope these prices drop soon.

Mustard looking cables wrapped in a black mesh sleeve - to fit in this case you need to ziptie alot.

Case Fan

This fan carries the thermals for this case. Have it set as intake and can 100% say this is a 10/10 fan.

Extremely Quiet at decent rpms, looks great (subjective, fits the "Coffee Lake :)"). If you do SFF check out using either Vardars, BeQuiets or Noctua fans imo.

Comments

  • 14 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build!

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I wish I could get some clearer pictures but tbh there isn't much room in the case to take any!