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[Scratch Build] The Golden Box - Small Mini-ITX PC

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
The Golden Box

Welcome to my latest build log. This latest build will be a small scratch case build like my last one, but I will go even smaller. The purpose for this build is to have a Steam Machine-like gaming/entertainment computer that can fit in my living room setup as with gaming consoles (though I don't own any consoles right now). It is not meant to be super powerful, but still good enough to run most games in at least medium settings. Small size, low cost and power consumption will take priority over maximum performance. With that said, I will overclock a Pentium G3258 to see how far I can push it with this setup.

The name of the build "Slim Box" came after first thinking of "Golden Box" because my initial plan was to make the case dimensions with the golden ratio in mind. But I'm still undecided. This build is named "The Golden Box" not because of the color, but because the case width and height are going to be based on the golden ratio.
Parts List
  • Motherboard: Asrock Z87E-ITX OR Asus H97I-PLUS
  • Processor: Intel G3258 (already bought)
  • Memory: 8GB DDR3-1600 (perhaps Kingston HyperX Fury)
  • Graphics: EVGA GTX 750 Ti Superclocked (already bought)
  • Storage: 2.5" 1 TB hard drive, 120GB SSD for the OS
  • Power: 160 watt PicoPSU
  • Optical Drive: Panasonic UJ265 6X Blu-Ray burner (already bought)
  • CPU Cooler: Not sure yet, definitely going to be ~40mm low profile though

The design will be mostly inspired by the Steam Machine, PS4 an the SEED MU-380 case. As with the other parts, I will want to keep costs of building this to a minimum, while still kicking aesthetic butt. Edit: Before making a decision on the layout, I have made the two main layouts in Sketchup, and here's how they look:



The Golden Box's layout is on the left. Approximate dimensions are 305mm x 188mm x 67mm (12 in. x 7.4 in x 2.63 in).

So far I have already bought the CPU, graphics card and optical drive. I already owned the last two for a couple of months now, but the CPU was bought specifically for the build this week at Microcenter through the $100 bundle. Now I got an extra new motherboard I can re-sell! That will go towards the Mini ITX board, and then I will be able to plan the case layout better. I also have a 2U 90 degree PCIe riser, and have ordered an extender. The extender will attach to the riser to move the GPU farther away from the motherboard, without having the bracket run into it. Pictures of the first parts are soon to follow!
Edited by ccRicers - 8/8/14 at 12:36pm
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
- Reserved -
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have decided to go with the shorter layout on the left, even if it means increasing the case thickness from 2 to at least 2 1/2 inches. So The Golden Box it is!

Here is some progress of the case design. Since the laptop I'm on doesn't have my sketchup designs, I am just going to draw some front profiles in Photoshop:



These drawings are done to scale. Width and height of both profiles are 12 in. by 2.63 in. I moved on to the 2nd profile to make the case more "console-like". The top left will be where the GPU sits, and there will be vent holes on the left side and overhang. Bottom right will have the optical drive, and the motherboard directly above it. Motherboard will be mounted either on long standoffs, or placed on top of metal rods to move it up. Updated Sketchup pics to follow.

This case could be built easily with some aluminum bars or L-profiles, and with sheets of acrylic for the middle strip. The acrylic will be lined on the inside of the case.
Edited by ccRicers - 8/7/14 at 2:01pm
post #4 of 8
Wow, 3.8L! That gets you into uSFF territory! Hope it goes well biggrin.gif
post #5 of 8
For the CPU cooler, are we going to see a Noctua NH-L9i? Subbed
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thepoopscooper View Post

For the CPU cooler, are we going to see a Noctua NH-L9i? Subbed

It is possible. I'm considering that cooler, along with a few Dynatron fans. I won't know for sure what will fit, but I'll have a better idea once I get all the necessary parts to test fit them in the space I'm looking to achieve. In the meantime I will have to do with Sketchup, and try to make the case around them.

Here is the progress of the case design.



Motherboard and GPU fit on top, with the optical drive and hard drives below. This makes it possible to have a smaller base which gives the case a more interesting shape. I am a bit concerned with the hard drives blocking some of the airflow, but I've pushed GTX 750 Ti's in cramped spaces before with no problems. For now I'm sticking with this minimal look even though it does look a bit like iBuyPower's case.



Mine, however will have a mostly metal exterior. Each metal strip is 3/4 inches (19mm) wide and 1/8 inches (3mm) thick. The top, bottom and rear sides will also be metal at 0.09" inches (2.3mm) thick. Those will be cut from sheets of 6061 aluminum. I can buy the strips at Home Depot- don't know what aluminum they use, but probably 6063 aluminum.
Edited by ccRicers - 8/9/14 at 6:19pm
post #7 of 8
Subbed wubsmiley.gif
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4770k Evga z87 Stinger mITX Evga gtx 980 sc acx Crucial Ballstix Ellite 2x8gb 1866mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 850 pro 512gb Nice joke bruh Corsair h100i gtx Windows 10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus vs228 Poker 2 mx red SilverStone SX600-G Compact Splash #55 
MouseMouse Pad
Nixeus Revel black Steelseries Qck M 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4770k Evga z87 Stinger mITX Evga gtx 980 sc acx Crucial Ballstix Ellite 2x8gb 1866mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 850 pro 512gb Nice joke bruh Corsair h100i gtx Windows 10 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus vs228 Poker 2 mx red SilverStone SX600-G Compact Splash #55 
MouseMouse Pad
Nixeus Revel black Steelseries Qck M 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by catbuster View Post

Subbed wubsmiley.gif

Thanks. But I'm sorry to say that this project will be put on hold for now. But the good news is it's because I have gotten plans for a different SFF case build, and it will be just different enough to merit its own build log.

I may come back to this one if interest remains, but the other build log should be interesting as well. Hold tight!
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