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[Sponsored] MODZERO JUICE - NFC SYSTEMS S4 MINI #80 (COMPLETED 13.12.17)

post #1 of 49
Thread Starter 
gzmCgHQ.jpg
UPDATE 0

I've been looking forward to this one for a while now. Unlike some of my previous builds this one should be pretty much stress free (fingers crossed). It's not a competition entry with a deadline, it's not a buddy build, nor a personal rig upgrade leaving me living off a test bench until complete. This one is a goody, a new LAN rig, in a chassis I'm super excited to build in. With no end date *cough* i60 LAN in April *cough*, so come along and enjoy the journey.

This is a sponsored project, for which I'm hugely grateful! Massive thanks go out to NFC Systems for their support, E22 for once again showing their faith in my work and indeed Gigabyte for taking the risk and hooking me up. thumb.gif


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SPECS:
  • INTEL CORE i5 - 6600K CPU
  • HYPERX FURY DDR4 2400MHZ 16GB (2X8GB) RAM
  • GIGABYTE GA-Z170N GAMING 5 MOBO
  • GIGABYTE GTX 1060 ITX OC 6G GPU
  • SAMSUNG 960 EVO M.2-2280 250GB NVMe SSD
  • HDPLEX Hi-Fi 250W DC-ATX PSU
  • NOCTUA NH-L9i COOLER
  • 2X SCYTHE KAZE JYUNI SLIM 2000RPM
  • NFC SYSTEMS S4 MINI CUSTOM CHASSIS

After my beloved Parvum Veer (MODZERO FOUR) took a savage thieving (of it's mod cubes) in order to complete my Thermaltake UK modders trophy 2016 entry I was left without my LAN buddy. That was back in late April. I'm pretty sure I'd seen the NFC PURIEL build someplace and went in search of more information. That took me to YouTube and there I met the S4 Mini.

Once MODZERO OCTO was finished I kept coming back to that S4 Mini I'd seen. At that time the GTX970 was about as powerful a GPU you could fit in the little monster (although couple folks over on the SFF forums had got the AMD Fury Nano running pretty stable too..) but the 10 series was coming soon and with it I was sure one of the board partners would put out a great ITX card.

I'd contacted Josh at NFC about sending me the S4 Mini with the panels bare. At the time, very day I was driving past a BMW garage and had found a liking for some of their blues. A M4 in ESTORIL BLUE to be exact. The more I saw of it the more I liked it. From the chromed trim accents to the deep red of the rear light housing, I liked how the black of the grill contrasts against the blue metallic paint work. The actual paint work was done by B-Negative and he nailed it! Thanks buddy!I left the panels to truly harden then went about giving it a cut and polish. I had the color I wanted, so that was it, I'd base my S4 Mini around the aspects of the BMW M4 I liked.

THE NFC SYSTEMS S4 MINI

Many may already be aware of this chassis or at least Josh and his years of great work in the modding community, for those that aren't, this is the NFC S4 Mini. A 4.3l air cooled ITX chassis designed by Josh, manufactured in small batches and sold direct from his NFC SYSTEMS website. You can find out a lot more about it over on his page but for now I'll just show a couple shots of mine.


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This way up?


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Or this way?

I think I'm leaning toward the second, there are vents under the Alu wrap-around and as we know, heat rises. With the GPU being that end of the case, I think I may see some performance gains in this rotation.


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You can just about make out the vents under the Alu panel.



As the build progresses I'll drive inside the chassis and show some of that, I may take a second pass at the cut and polish I think there are areas for improvement.

Outside of the custom paint work and sleeved cables I plan to make some modifications to how both the CPU & GPU are cooled and try my hand with some other materials to help make some of the internals really pop.

Thanks for check it out, hope you stick around and enjoy the log.

J.

Edited by HackJoe - 1/15/17 at 8:15am
post #2 of 49
Good lord I cant get over that paint! As for orientation, I have mine in choice number 2 with the switch on the bottom wink.gif Cant wait for updates! thumb.gif
post #3 of 49
subbed for sure. thumb.gif
post #4 of 49
Sub smile.gif
post #5 of 49
That is a nifty little case there!
post #6 of 49
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LUXElbc View Post

Good lord I cant get over that paint! As for orientation, I have mine in choice number 2 with the switch on the bottom wink.gif Cant wait for updates! thumb.gif

The paint looks great, found my buffing compound now, so I'll have another crack at it soon. Yeah, GPU up top it is.. think I prefer it that way too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by p0Pe View Post

That is a nifty little case there!

Cute little thing isn't it. Should pack a fair punch considering the 250W PSU.

J.
post #7 of 49
Subbed smile.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  
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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 49
Thread Starter 
gzmCgHQ.jpg

UPDATE 1.0

Well, now Christmas and New Years is out the way things are coming together nicely. Pre-Christmas I was still two key components shy of a POST. The M2 drive and a power adapter. I'll share my tale of the 960 EVO another time, as for the power brick, well that made for quite the odd Christmas morning gift unwrap. Turned out, my other half had being sending cheeky emails to KustomPCs. Knowing what I needed, they sent the power adapter inside a Corsair VS450 box. She then wraps the VS PSU box and come Christmas morning I fain adulation as she watches me remove the wrapping paper with an expression of 'erm...this isn't right', just as I then get over excited at the sight of the Dell ADP-330AB B Power Adapter inside.. She* is a keeper.blushsmiley.gif I'd no idea she'd hooked that up, much impressed.
*the power adapter


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I've had the Gigabyte goodies out ready for a box bench test. The plan being, I'll test all hardware stock (as we all do... rolleyes.gif) outside the chassis first. Then run some stress benches with all the hardware test fitted in the S4 Mini before I start working on the cables. I'm running a 95W CPU and a GTX1060 + M2 SSD off a 250W PSU, I wanna be certain I'm not pushing my luck.


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It's a cracking little board, logical placement for SATA (yeah Impact... whats that all about!) and the 8PIN/24PIN are both where they should be.. surprising how many ITX boards are still getting this wrong.


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GIGABYTE GEFORCE GTX1060 ITX OC 6G - When they teased this and it's big brother the 1070 ITX OC a few months back I got really excited. I'd already been eyeing up the S4 Mini but none of the GPU offering at the time (under 8") were doing it for me.. back then it was a toss up between the Asus GTX970 ITX or AMD FURY NANO. Having just moved from the 980 to the 1070, the thought of buying a 970 gave me no pleasure. I'd have loved a FURY NANO but that 175 TDP wouldn't have left me much headroom.


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It's a chunky little monster with a beefy heatsink. It absolutely fills the S4 mini GPU space but seeing as the 1060 PCB is a little less tall then the its big 1070 brother I'm hoping I'll be able to mount the power socket without any further mods.


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I'm using the Noctua NH-L9i, I may or may not swap out the fan.. with such a small chassis, cooling is key. But I'm a sucker for aesthetics. Don't get me wrong, I like the signature Noctua fan color, however I prefer the nickel heatsink under it. Same with the GPU, so I'll at least try swapping out both 92mm fans for these Sythe 12mm 2000RPM 120mm beauts.


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The S4 Mini has those two 120mm mounting points, one over the CPU, with the other above the GPU. I'll run a suite of benches with the stock cooling options then repeat with the slims. See how we get on.

I'm working on a custom backplate for the 1060 with a matching plate for the chipset. Exploring a few different approaches with that. Once I have the designs I'll see what you guys think.

J.

Edited by HackJoe - 1/15/17 at 8:16am
post #9 of 49
Looking like a great build, cant wait to see more, love them Noctua coolers. smile.gif
post #10 of 49
Thread Starter 
gzmCgHQ.jpg

UPDATE 2.0

Over the last few days things have moved along nicely. These are simple phone shots and for some silly reason when resizing (I thought they looked cool at the time), I made them B&W. Won't be going that again..


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I'm really enjoying the S4 Mini chassis, it's the first independently produced small production run case I've bought. Josh over at NFC, clearly loves what he's doing. His enthusiasm comes through in everything. Already a world class modder and scratch builder (just check these out) he's also producing great content for his YouTube channel with the S4 Mini chassis clearly being a passion project for him. This is how the chassis looked when It turned up at my door. Before I sen it south to the mighty B NEG and his spray-gun of justice... (Not that you can really tell.. cos I made the bloody images B&W!! haha).


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I loaded up all the hardware and got windows installed onto the M2 drive.. I was expecting that to be a headache but everything worked as it should, happy days! (first time using M2) As I'm replacing all the cables for the HDPLEX with custom made 18AWG wire based replacements I didn't bother installing the PSU and ran it as seen above.

The HDPLEX really is a great bit of kit! years of using overly power equipped PSUs left me worried a 250W DC-ATX PSU wouldn't get the job done. On a side note they've just replaced this a 300W model (yeah... :wallbash:) with a different layout for the connections ( better suited for the S4 Mini). However this one is going a great job, If I were to swap out the 1060 for say the 1070 then maybe I'll look at buying the 300W.


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My original intention had been to sleeve all the cables, but after I'd test fit the PSU.. and it left me with this...


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I quickly became skeptical. I'd read over on the SFF forums users pushing the HDPLEX had benefited from the larger gauge wire (stock being something like 19AWG). So that's the current plan. It's gonna be tight with just the larger diameter wire let alone trying to sleeve 24 cables in 4mm Teleios. I'll look at sleeving the accents.. fan wires, switch, the power connector cables. Maybe I'll sleeve a couple from the GPU/CPU, see if it looks good.


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I have a couple Parvum switches so thought I had this covered... turned out the S4 MINI uses a 16mm switch, oops. Not to worry, KUSTOM PC to the rescue. Again, room is super tight with the 24PIN mobo connection sitting right up in-front of the switch.


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This is the first project since moving house.. I've turned my office into a right state trying to find all my 'bits and bobs'. I'd convinced myself I had a stash of terminals, but could I find them... no. I'd convinced myself I had extra 22AWG fan wire, but could I find it... no. Luckily E22 hooked me up with a rapid resupply, thanks guys.



With everything loaded up stock the system pulled just shy of 245W from the wall. looping the Unigine Valley Benchmark the Noctua NH-L9i kept my 95W i5 6600K under 40'c and silent whilst the stock cooler on the Gigabyte GTX1060 ITX OC maxed out at 62'c with the fan at 40%. Granted it's winter, I live in North Wales (it's cold) and without the HDPLEX fitted in place both components see better airflow. I was surprised all the same. Even so, I wanted to try removing the 92mm fan/shroud on the GPU and mounting a 120/12mm fan over the GPU instead.


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I think that looks ace! a pair of thick copper heat pipes, with the heat sink making contact on the RAM and VRMs (nice work Gigabyte).


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With the slim 120mm Scythe fan in place, the GPU fit perfectly (lucky!). I'm a huge fan of SpeedFan I've used it for years, long before PWM became the norm and manufacturers included half decent fan control software with their motherboards. So the plan was simple enough. Install SpeedFan, control the RPM of the 3PIN chassis fan based on the GPU temp. Only for some unknown reason SpeedFan was unable to see fans (thought it did detect the correct controller). A quick search found others with Gigabyte Z170 based boards experiencing the same. When it's all done, I'll come back to it.. I'm sure I'll find a fix. For now I used another little app to do the same (arhh, I can't remember what is was called).

I ran the same loop of Valley and found the performance to be around the same. With one large difference. Whilst both solutions kept the GPU around 60'c, it took the Scythe running at 60% to pull it off. A touch too loud for my liking.

The Gigabyte Z170N Gaming 5 only has two fan headers too, and I'd intended to make use of some Dazmod ridged LED strips powered from a fan header (makes for simple dimming control). By using the chassis fan, I wont be able to do that.

That's it for now. Thanks for reading. What do you think, stick with the stock cooler or tweak the slim RPMs to reduce the noise and roll with it?

J.

Edited by HackJoe - 1/15/17 at 10:19am
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Overclock.net › Forums › Case Mods & Cases › Sponsored Builds & Case Mods › [Sponsored] MODZERO JUICE - NFC SYSTEMS S4 MINI #80 (COMPLETED 13.12.17)