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Lian LI Q25 Gamer Rig

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Okay I have gotten my Node build done, now it is time to move my other gaming rig from it's full tower build to an ITX as well. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have desk space or leg room again. I decided to go with a different case this time to have some fun. The choices were the Lian Li Q25 or the Prodigy and while I know there is a big love affair with the Prodigy on this forum I am just having some issues with the case. So that means the Lain Li.

The second gaming system I have is an A10 based system so that creates some issues since I have yet to find a good FM2 board for ITX. With that in mind I am going to build the same as I did the Mini Mopar and use the Gigabyte Z77N with an i5 3450 this time. I will still however push the speed up to 3.9GHz and enjoy a free speed boost. For video, this time I am going with a Sapphire HD 7950 Dual X and only 8 Gigs of Kingston HyperX RAM. I am going to use an SSD this time as well but this machine is limited to just a few games and so I can get by with a 120GB.

Because of this cases eternal construction I need to make some build adjustments. I could use a 140mm PSU and do okay but for this build I am going to go a little smaller and use a Silverstone ST45SF-G. This is a fully modular, short cable set PSU that is build on the SFX form factor, this means it is only 100mm deep and 65mm thing, making this much smaller than a small ATX PSU. It is 80Plus Gold rated and should have enough power for the build.

While the PSU size reduction will give me more room, I am still, by design, limited in cooler selection. The mild overclock I am doing does not require any voltage tweaking so I "could" get by with a stock cooler but it would be pushing it awful hard, especially in this closed in of a case. For this build I have ordered a Noctua NH-L9i cooler, it is very low profile and they actually designed it with an eye toward ITX builds.

The stock cooling on the Lian Li is okay but it is all 3 pin fan setup and I do not like being speed limited to single speeds on the fans. I want the system quiet when it is not gaming and the fans doing the job when I am. So when I ordered the L9i, I also order two PWM fans for the case to replace the stock fan, a Noctua NF-A15PWM and an NF-A12PWM. I plan to hook these to a PWM header splitter an then put them on the system fan header on the motherboard. It has full PWM control in the BIOS so I should be able to make everything RAMP up only as needed.

I am still debated on making a few changes in the cases basic design. I have considered modding the case and removing the HD bays, this would allow me room to put an H60 or H80 at the front intake. However I am concerned that the way the intake is setup the air flow would not be enough to provide support for the radiator worth the trouble. I am also debating removal of the bottom HD mount, okay actually that is happening if I keep the main bay in place, and putting in a 120mm fan for extra intake from the bottom. I am torn on this as the Dual X video cooler will draw a lot of air through the bottom vent on it's own, I am not sure it needs the extra draw.

Anyway that is the current plan and I will post pics once parts are here and I can start working. I would love to hear thoughts or ideas on this build. My goal is to make a system that will game well at 1080, stay cool enough to not be an issue and quiet enough that I am not needing a headset to sit next to it thumb.gif
post #2 of 4
Thread Starter 
Okay I had my PSU show up today for this build along with the case. Now this case is usually filler with a trational PSU in it. To show this I am showing a picture taken from the review of the Q25 the guys at Tweaktown did.

As you can see it fills it's side of the case. Now I put in the Silverstone SFX 450 I have and the difference is night and day.

The difference in size is not just on the front to back but on all sides. The full size PSU comes right up to and almost touches the top exhaust fan, this little brute leaves plenty of room.

I measure it and if the PSU mounting system is modded, it only has to come down about 5 mm to give enough room for a liquid cooler with one fan. As it sits now if you had a low profile 120mm fan that had high static pressure it would work as is.

As you may have noticed the PSU is 100% modular and the cables are SHORT! This means cable management for this should be a ton easier.

Still waiting on the few more parts to arrive... Will update when I can.
Edited by Mopar63 - 2/28/13 at 3:09pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
As I said I am not patient so last night and today I finished up the build using the stock intel cooler and the 120mm Noctua PWM fan I had available.

We begin with a view of the motherboard installed in the case. I really like the Gigabyte Z77N, it is the lowest priced Z77 ITX board and while it cannot push the heavy overclock of the Asus board it still can handle a mild overclock, taking a 3450 to 3.9 GHz with ease, I would think you could take a 3570 to 4.2 or 4.4 with no trouble.

Now I had hoped when I first looked at the PSU in the case that with a little modding we could fit an AIO at the chimney, that hope was dashed. It would take more than a little modding.

The fully modular cabling makes it really easy to get everything in place before putting in the PSU. I like the back plate on the HD bays as it actually cuts done the number of power cords I need. It has the option for a molex or SATA power hookup. Since I need a molex for the stock front fan I only needed to run the molex cable and no SATA power cable needed.

Of course the last step is putting in the PSU on this build and thanks to it's small size that is EASY! The short cables make routing easy as well and the whole build actually comes together pretty quick.

I put the system through it's paces this morning with a run of 3D Mark but first I let the Intel Extreme Tuning App take a crack at the CPU.

Those numbers really surprised me, the 3.9GHz overclock with stock cooling was actually very runnable. When I ran a 3D Mark loop for about 30 minutes the CPU stayed around 70C, the actually CPU stress tested peaked on core at 79C. Now this is obviously not as low as the Node thanks to the Water 2.0 Performer cooler (peaked at 64C under load) however it is still a solid job that makes the system perfectly usable for gaming as is.

Overall I am happy with this build, it does still have a little noise to it but not anything I cannot live with and to be fair it is running stock cooling. The size of this case is much smaller than a Prodigy and while it cannot do the fancy water cooling that a prodigy can I think it is just as capable for building a great gaming system at a greatly reduced foot print.
post #4 of 4
Did you get your Noctua cooler fitted in here? Got one of these cases, not sure what I'm going to put in it yet...
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