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Silverstone SG08 Mini ITX Build

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
About to finalise component choices on a new mini ITX gaming build and would like to run it by you all here to get your input and thoughts.

This machine will be solely be used for gaming and of course email/web surfing, perhaps the odd use of Photoshop but not enough to warrant the hyper threading of an i7. So the goal is to create as powerful machine as possible in the ITX space and within budget.

ITX format was chosen in order to save space and for aesthetics but mainly as the completed build will either be accompanying me on a plane or being shipped to its final destination for use, so the ITX form will keep these costs down a little.

It is important to note that NO over clocking of any sort will be taken out on this machine.


Parts
Case: Silverstone SG08 (using inc 600w power supply)
CPU: Intel Core i5 3550 3.3GHz (Ivy Bridge)
Motherboard: ASUS P8H77-I Mini ITX
Memory: G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) F3-1600C10D-16AGAO
SSD: Crucial M4 128GB x2 (1x OS - 1x Games drive)
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2TB (Data)
GPU: MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozer III
CPU Cooler: Thermalright AXP-140
Optical: Sony Slim DVD AD7740H01
OS: MS Windows 7 64bit Home Premium

Updated Parts
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-I DELUXE
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C12P SE14

Notes
I would have liked to use Corsair memory but could not find a suitable 2x8GB kit that would fit with the CPU cooler. Some may say 16GB is over kill however at how cheap memory is I would prefer to have the extra headroom and not need it than not have it and need it.

2x 128GB SSDs were chosen as it's slightly cheaper than one 256GB and I like to keep the games on a separate drive so they will be unaffected if a system reinstall is required. Yes I could partition on a 256GB but not keen on doing that. Plus having 2x 128GB will be a slight performance increase while running games.

From everything I have found, the AXP-140 is the best cooler for this application fitting nicely on this board and case allowing just enough space for the use of the GPU. It will also have no troubles running passive (no fan) which I intend to do having it sit just below the Silverstone AP181 180mm Air Penetrator that is included with the SG08. This means it will be the only fan (intake) on the machine apart from those on the GPU.


Questions
I am sure the memory I have selected will work just fine, however I could not find it on the supported list to work with the chosen motherboard either on the ASUS or G.Skill site. There should be no issues here, correct?

On Thermalright's site they specify the AXP-140 works with 1156 sockets only, no mention of 1155. I know I have seen it used with 1155 sockets so it must work. However the question is will the included bracket with the cooler work with 1155 or will there be something extra required?

This is where the AXP-140 will be purchased from where it also only states 1156 not 1155.

Anything else I have missed?


Thanks


Build Pictures

Parts Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
the_z_machine_parts.jpg
All parts have arrived



silverstone_sg08.jpg
Case: Silverstone SG08 (using inc 600w power supply)



asus_p8z77_i.jpg
motherboard.jpg
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-I DELUXE



gskill_ares_memory.jpg
Memory: G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) F3-1600C10D-16AGAO



crucial_m4.jpg
SSD: Crucial M4 128GB x2 (1x OS - 1x Games drive)



msi_570gtx.jpg
GPU: MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozer III



noctua_nh_c12p_se14.jpg
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C12P SE14



sony_slimline_dvd.jpg
Optical: Sony Slim DVD AD7740H01


P8Z77-I and NH-C12P SE14 Compatibly Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I know many who have been considering this board or any other M-ITX board for that matter have had concerns about after market coolers fitting on the board itself and not interfering with other components.

While I know this has been covered briefly before elsewhere I thought I would try to shed some more light on the topic with more pics and angles in the hope that my efforts will at least help someone else in making an easy decision in parts they may choose for their build.


Before setting out I already knew which way I would be mounting the NH-C12P on my board as I had done ample research before choosing each part so was 99% sure there would be no issues in the direction I intended to mount it in. However I still tried it in every other way, just to see.

To help explain each position I tried the cooler in and how I have referenced them, I have included a diagram below.


orientations.jpg
NH-C12P SE14 orientations in relation to motherboard




Position A
Heat pipes facing PCI-E slot

The cooler fits on the board in this direction offering plenty of clearance for GPUs using the PCI-E slot and other components with no interference. However there is some over hang out the left hand side above the DIGI+ VRM module which would probably be ok in some larger cases but as can been seen in the pictures once the cover of the SG08 goes on it makes contact with the pointy end of the heat pipes.


heatsink_pos_a_top.jpg
Position A - Top



heatsink_pos_a_left.jpg
Position A - Left



heatsink_pos_a_right.jpg
Position A - Right



heatsink_pos_a_back.jpg
Position A - Back



heatsink_pos_a_front.jpg
Position A - Front



heatsink_pos_a_front_gpu.jpg
Position A - Front with GPU



heatsink_pos_a_case_top.jpg
Position A - Top, mounted inside SG08
Looks like it would fit from this pic but it does in fact protrude



heatsink_pos_a_case_left.jpg
Position A - Left, mounted inside SG08



heatsink_pos_a_case_outside.jpg
Position A - Left, mounted inside SG08. With cover panel on
You can see the cooler makes contact with the case




Position B
Heat pipes facing DIGI+ VRM module

In this position the heat pipes make contact with the DIGI+ VRM module making the cooler unusable in this position.


heatsink_pos_b.jpg
Position B - Back




Position C
Heat pipes facing memory

Little to no issues in this position. Heaps of clearance on all sides.


heatsink_pos_c_top.jpg
Position C - Top



heatsink_pos_c_top_detail.jpg
Position C Top, detail
Pipes finish just short of end of the board allowing plenty of clearance



heatsink_pos_c_left.jpg
Position C - Left



heatsink_pos_c_right.jpg
Position C - Right



heatsink_pos_d_back.jpg
Position C - Back



heatsink_pos_d_front.jpg
Position C - Front




Position D
Heat pipes facing board I/O

This is the position I have chosen to mount my cooler in with this board. As in position C there is heaps of clearance on all sides so just comes down to personal preference really.

One advantage Position D has over C is you will get ever so slightly more room inside the SG08 for cable connectors coming out of the 3.5 HDD bay.


heatsink_pos_d_top.jpg
Position D - Top



heatsink_pos_d_top_detail.jpg
Position D - Top, detail
Here is the main reason why I went with this combo of board and cooler over the AXP-140. Heaps of clearance for the GPU



heatsink_pos_d_left.jpg
Position D - Left



heatsink_pos_d_right.jpg
Position D - Right



heatsink_pos_d_right_detail.jpg
Position D - Right, detail
Plenty of clearance for the memory, provided you are using the low profile type. Many models will not fit



heatsink_pos_d_back.jpg
Position D - Back



heatsink_pos_d_front.jpg
Position D - Front



heatsink_pos_d_front_gpu.jpg
Position D - Front with GPU
No need for electrical here




NH-C12P SE14 Mounting Bracket

No issues with the mounting bracket on the top side of the board. They ride high over all components offering plenty of clearance.

heatsink_mount_top.jpg
heatsink_mount_right.jpg


Work Log Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Being a M-ITX build it is not with out its issues, like any build I guess. Here is one of the first I have encountered.

The compatibly chart on Noctua's website says that this cooler will work with this board no issues. So when I found that the soft pads on the base of the mounting bracket for the back of the board were coming in contact with some very small components I thought to my self, "well it's meant to be compatible, should I just chance it?". But after giving it some thought, I decided on just timing small amounts of the pads to give clearance to the small components. I think it worked well and saved me from having to use washers (which I didn't want t o have to do) like this person did.


backplate_component.jpg
It may have been ok, those pads are soft. But didn't want to risk it



backplate.jpg
Backplate bracket before trimming



backplate_cut.jpg
Backplate bracket after trimming



backplate_component_cut.jpg
And the final result. Is a little hard to see in this pic as these components are so small but nothing touches now

Edited by Craker - 7/1/12 at 8:30am
Prometheus
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Prometheus
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post #2 of 33
Ram is fine... but you can choose something else around 8gb is all you need. 16 gb especially dual 8gb ones are waste of money.

yes 1155 = 1156 bracket. no overclocking of any sort... then why waste money on the cpu cooler?

if no overclocking at all...just grab a h61 itx board.

with all money saved....actually aim for a gtx 580, 670 or even the 680. that get u the best performance in games.
Edited by mcc21 - 6/14/12 at 3:32am
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post #3 of 33
I agree about the memory. If you don't need an i7 and hyper threading then you also don't need 16GB.

But that CPU cooler running passive? Have you looked if the stock cooler does better than it with no fan? Part of the draw of the down draft cooler is the draft. It cools the rams too. Just something to check.
 
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post #4 of 33
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input.

Valid points on the memory, especially the reasoning given by Kip69, " If you don't need an i7 and hyper threading then you also don't need 16GB" I knew the amount of memory would come up, I did say some may think it's overkill.

I am the type of person who likes to run many many windows of chrome filled with just as many tabs, even while gaming so the extra memory always helps. I have had a 8GB system before and got uncomfortably close to the limit regularly. I am currently running 16GB on my main system and feel better about the extra headroom.

If I did decide to go 8GB (2x4GB) I could than go Corsair like I wanted but still not using the desired Dominator as it is still too tall for the cooler but could settle for some low profile Vengeance. However the savings would be minimal and not enough to enable upgrading the GPU as was suggested.


G.Skill Ares 16GB (2x8GB) $129
Corsair Low Profile Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) $69

Saving of $60


MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozer III $355
MSI GTX 580 Twin Frozer II $529

Increase of $174
After the saving on the memory it's still an increase of $114 and that does blow the budget

If I was going to spend the extra on the 580 I may as well go spend a little more again and grab the MSI GTX 670 at $546. But once again this is still outside of budget. Forget anything in the realm of GTX 680 as they are all $700+

Also the differences between the 570 and the 580 are slight and since the machine will only run on a 1920x1080 display I don't think the increase of $114 after the saving on the memory is justified or needed.


As for the motherboard I was under the impression that the H77s didn't over clock either. However I did have a quick look at some H61s as you suggested. All the ASRock boards only had 3x internal SATA and the ASUS had 4x but were all 3Gb/s. With 2 SSDs, 1 HDD and an optical drive I need at least 4x SATA two of which I would like to be 6Gb/s for the SDDs so this pretty much rules out H61. Would have only been a saving of about $34 anyway.


Not sure I like the idea of running a stock cooler with no fan. There will be plenty of down draft in the SG08 from the 180mm fan that sits just above where the cooler is. Adding an extra fan on the cooler just makes it somewhat redundant. I got the idea from psyclum.
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post #5 of 33
Oh. I meant the stock cooler with its fan vs the passive one you are doing. But if the case fan blows right down through it, that is great! Do that!

You have a hard decision with what card to get. Just make sure it vents air out the back, not front and back like some do now or into the case.
 
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post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
The MSI GPU is of the two fan design that does exhaust air from the front and back. However given the design of the SG08 it should be of little trouble. An example can be seen from RagingInferno in a similar build where they discuss about this exact issue, this is the same build to which I linked an example of the AXP-140 eariler.
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post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
So I have decided to make two small changes none of which are related to memory or GPU.

The idea of how close the AXP-140 will come to the mounted GPU in the PCI slot has been troubling me. Even though it is well documented that it will fit, but only just. Comments like "some electrical tape on the heat pipe to prevent accidental contact is recommended" worries me.


So with that in mind I have decided to switch from:

Motherboard: ASUS P8H77-I Mini ITX to ASUS P8Z77-I DELUXE
CPU Cooler: Thermalright AXP-140 to Noctua NH-C12P SE14


From my research I have found the AXP-140 will fit the H77 but not the Z77 and the C12P will fit the Z77 but not the H77. However by going to the Z77/C12P combo I will gain allot more clearance for the GPU. It will also fit nicly in the SG08 too. It is also worth mentioning that I still intend to run the Noctua cooler passive without a fan relying solely on the 180mm fan of the SG08 blowing right on to it.

This will work out well as I would have preferred to go with Noctua as I have used them before and am familiar with the product and know it to be rock solid. It was going to be difficult to get a hold of an AXP-140 anyway and using something I was not familiar with made me nervous.

I didn't go with this combo originally as I thought the Z77 had too many features that I didn't need at extra cost. However I have played with the cost and believe I can make it work and for the peace of mind of having that extra clearance on the GPU I think it will be worth it.

The extra bells and whistles of the Z77 may even come in handy, who knows? I just hope the add on DIGI+ VRM board does not prove to be nothing more than a gimmick and cause motherboard problems down the track.

So, thoughts on this? You got about a day to stop me if anyone sees any issues before I start ordering.
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post #8 of 33
Nice choice. Take a look at my video of Noctura at Computex this year. They have 2 new C type coolers coming. Don't wait for the new fan, its not out for a year or so.

Here:
 
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Folding for coinz
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post #9 of 33
Please post photos and temps for your build. Very curious to see how it looks and how it works!
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post #10 of 33
Curious why you went with the Asus board over the ASRock?

COMPARISON

You get like 1 more USB 2.0 and 1 more SATA 3gb/s connection, other than that I don't see much of a difference to justify the $50 extra considering you said you're not overclocking.
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