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[Build Log] SG08, Intel DH77DF, Gigabyte GTX 670

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Overview

I guess this is technically more of a build post-mortem than a log, since i'm writing all of this stuff up after completing the build. I hope the pics will help those looking to use the Silverstone SG07 or SG08 get ideas about how to route cabling and avoid some common mistakes in part selection. My goal for this particular build was reliable stock components and settings over aggressively optimizing performance, and so the parts selection list reflected that. I received all the components for this build around beginning of September and had all the components hooked up (but not fully installed in the chassis) on the 17th. Got a bit lazy after that and left the entire setup partially assembled until I finally set some time aside a couple days ago to tackle the chore of cable routing and finishing the build up. Before I begin, I should note that my research about the SG08 (and its precursors) here on overclock.net helped immensely. In particular I got a lot of info about potential dimensional conflicts and such from these three build logs:

[Build Log]:::SG08, ASRock Z77E-ITX, i5 3570k - *PIC HEAVY* by Petehmb
Silverstone SG08 Mini ITX Build by Craker
SFF ITX Build: Silverstone SG07, i5 760, AXP-140, GTX460, 8GB RAM (No 56K) by RagingInferno

Although I put together my first PC fifteen years ago, the last box I built was in 2002. At the time I built two machines around Shuttle SFF kits (case, custom mobo and PSU). The reliability seemed to be pretty crappy, as both units failed in one of the bundled components, either the mobo or PSU. After that I switched to operating on notebooks exclusively. Lately with the release of some much anticipated PC titles (Diablo III, Borderlands 2, XCOM, etc), I felt the urge to build a box for some serious gaming again. As before, I really wanted something that could fit in comfortably on the desktop. Luckily in the past decade the mini ITX form factor has really taken off in the consumer space, so there are plenty of cheap high-quality options to choose from for cases and mobos. As with most builds with a special form factor, I had to choose the case first and then select the components around that. I had two basic requirements for the case: it had to support a double-height 16x PCI-e graphics card and it had to have sufficient cooling capacity for a serious gaming rig while providing filtering on all airflow intakes. Ideally the box would also have a clean understated design and all the amenities of a modern computer chassis (e.g. screwless easy access sides, screwless hdd rails, etc) Some of the boxes on the shortlist included the Lian Li PC-Q08 and Fractal Design Node 304. At the time I was speccing this box, the 304 was still slated to be released 3 months away. The Lian Li seemed promising and was a serious candidate. However, in the end I went with the Silverstone SG08 based in its significantly smaller size and clever cooling strategies (which were all fully filterable).

Component List

- Chassis: Silverstone SG08 w/ bundled 600W PSU
- Mobo: Intel DH77DF mini ITX
- CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 2x8GB DDR3 1600MHz low profile kit
- GPU: Nvidia GTX 660 Ti stock, later changed to Gigabyte GTX 670 OC
- Storage: Intel Series 330 SSD, 160GB
- Optical: Some random Matsu****a BD-RE drive from Amazon

Build Details

The first thing to note from looking at my components list is I didn't specify an aftermarket cooler. Despite Craker's comprehensive analysis of mounting the Noctua NH-C12P in the SG08 as well as other posts around the net about using the AXP-140, I decided to go with the stock cooler included in the retail 3570K package. I found that the CPU socket placement on the DH77DF is identical to the "reference configuration" which others have noted causes the AXP-140 and other wide and short coolers to place dangerously close to or into the area of the PCI-e socket. Since I don't plan on overclocking the CPU, I felt this was an acceptable solution for the time being.

With the optical and hdd cages out, the machine booted cleanly and ran quite coolly. At idle and load the loudest component was certainly the GTX 660 Ti with its reference blower type cooler. This particular card was a Nvidia manufactured reference unit (I believe Foxconn contracted), and the fan is definitely not as optimized as some partner cards. When I was testing the build semi-assembled, I noticed the first dimensional problem. The 660 Ti is a short card, and its ATX connectors point upward (perpendicular to the long axis of the card). Unfortunately, the SG08's huge air penetrator fan when fully mounted sits literally right on top of the PCI-e card with zero clearance (2-3mm if you remove the foam strip, which ill get to later). If the GPU card is long enough and the ATX power connectors are far back, they would not block the air penetrator fan, but in this case they did, and unfortunately short of hacking off a significant portion of the fan structure, it was just not going to dimensionally fit. Instead, I decided to kill two birds with one stone (the loud blower fan and the dimensional fit) and upgrade to a GTX 670, which typically comes in a longer card. The Gigabyte design uses traditional blade fans and is well regarded for relative quietness, so I put in an order on Amazon. Upon installing it, I was relieved to see that it would solve my ATX connector problem, but now the active portion of the PCB backside extended into the area next to the PSU. Silverstone seems to have anticipated potential shorts here and taped a plastic sheet against the side of the PSU close to the GPU. Just to be doubly safe, I applied two layers of Scotch Super 88 electrical tape over the plastic sheet and over the areas the plastic sheet doesn't cover. Finally, you'll notice that Gigabyte added a bit of metal protective shielding on the top edge of the GTX 670. If your GPU also has this type of augmentation, you'll notice that when you try to install the air penetrator fan it will butt up against the GPU top edge. Simply remove the dense foam strip from the underside of the fan housing and that will afford enough clearance to avoid crushing the GPU.

One of the biggest design flaws of the SG08 is the cabling behind the front panel connectors. The hard drive caddy unfortunately clamps right up against the audio connector bundle and two USB cables. In order to alleviate strain and potential wire slicing issues, I rerouted the power cable to the space between the PSU and mobo (see pictures below) and then made an improvised strain relief for the audio wires using multiple layers of thick electrical tape. With this done, the rest was simply a matter of routing and bundling the cables in the most efficient manner possible. Unfortunately this wasn't without problems, as the DH77DF liberally sprinkles large connectors along the side opposite of the PCI-e slot. Using the ATX power and front USB cables as a rigid backbone, I routed everything in a bundle from the area to the side of the hdd cage around to the main patch of connectors on the mobo. The only stray wires that hovered above the CPU are the HD audio connector and SG08 reset switch.

Since the only current purpose of this box is to play games (ironically, I do software development on comparatively weak notebook computers), the sole installed storage is the SSD drive on a 3.5" adapter sled. I routed the slack for the HD audio cable and front USB cables into the empty space between the SSD sled and drive cage. The slack for the GPU ATX power cables were secured with a simple zip tie to the top of the drive cage, and there is just enough clearance between the drive cage and the optical drive cage for these cables to rest there. Wrapped the whole thing up by replacing the original outer chassis screws with thumbscrews and then attaching Silverstone's magnetic 140mm x 280mm air filters over the vents on the top and sides. Things seem to work quite well. In a cool evening, CPU and GPU idle at 33C and system temp idles at 28C. After running Borderlands 2 at high settings, my CPU was hovering around 48C, my GPU was at 61C, and system temp around 41C. Not too shabby for stock cooling in such a small case!

Images

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Edited by jashsu - 10/20/12 at 4:26am
post #2 of 2

Your build and cable management especially are exceptional. Great build.

Solitude R2.0
(16 items)
 
Klein
(12 items)
 
Lappy
(6 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 DiRT 3 Edition Corsair 16GB Vengeance Blue @ 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital 1TB Caviar Blue Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD LITE-ON iHAS 424-98 Corsair H80 + 2X Corsair 120MM Fans 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64-Bit Ultimate Samsung S27A350H 27" LED Backlit HDMI Monitor Cherry G80-3800 Cherry MX Blue Corsair 850W Professional Series Gold 
CaseMouseAudio
Cooler Master 690 II Advanced Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse Plantronics GameCom 367 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i3-2125 Asus P8H77-I Intel HD 3000 Samsung Green 30nm 2x4GB MV-3V4G3D/US 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 128GB  Asus DRW-24B1ST Intel Stock Cooler Windows 8 Pro 
KeyboardPowerCaseOther
Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 800 Corsair Builder Series CX500V2 Lian Li PC-Q11B TrendNet TEW-684UB 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-3210M Dell 04G65K Intel HD4000 Dell 2x4GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveOS
Samsung Spinpoint ST1000LM024 1TB 5400RPM HDD Windows 7 Home Premium 
  hide details  
Reply
Solitude R2.0
(16 items)
 
Klein
(12 items)
 
Lappy
(6 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3 Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 DiRT 3 Edition Corsair 16GB Vengeance Blue @ 1600MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital 1TB Caviar Blue Samsung 830 Series 128GB SSD LITE-ON iHAS 424-98 Corsair H80 + 2X Corsair 120MM Fans 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 64-Bit Ultimate Samsung S27A350H 27" LED Backlit HDMI Monitor Cherry G80-3800 Cherry MX Blue Corsair 850W Professional Series Gold 
CaseMouseAudio
Cooler Master 690 II Advanced Microsoft Basic Optical Mouse Plantronics GameCom 367 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i3-2125 Asus P8H77-I Intel HD 3000 Samsung Green 30nm 2x4GB MV-3V4G3D/US 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 128GB  Asus DRW-24B1ST Intel Stock Cooler Windows 8 Pro 
KeyboardPowerCaseOther
Microsoft Wireless Keyboard 800 Corsair Builder Series CX500V2 Lian Li PC-Q11B TrendNet TEW-684UB 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-3210M Dell 04G65K Intel HD4000 Dell 2x4GB 1600MHz 
Hard DriveOS
Samsung Spinpoint ST1000LM024 1TB 5400RPM HDD Windows 7 Home Premium 
  hide details  
Reply
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