So I bought a Node 202 with the 450W SFX Integra PSU and paired it (for now) with an inexpensive HTPC / light gaming build which consists of:
AMD A10-7860K (default clocks)
Noctua NH-L9A low profile cooler
8 GB G.Skill 2400 MHz DDR3
250 GB Sandisk SSD Plus (Windows) and a 1TB WD Blue 2.5" drive for mass storage
...and an Asus Strix R9 380 4GB.
So, before anyone asks why I have an APU paired with the discrete GPU, my plan isn't to stay on this platform forever, it was just something I threw together to serve its intended purpose for a period of time, after which I will shuttle the mobo, APU and RAM off to a family members PC. At that point, the APU will come in handy since I won't have to worry about a GPU for the non-gamers in my life.
I love the looks of the case. It fits in perfectly with my other consoles and stereo equipment. It has sufficient ventilation (not stored in a hot box.)
My question is, does anyone recommend I dump the Node 202 for a larger case? I am able to stream on it just fine, but any serious gaming whatsoever and the APU is thermal throttling. By serious gaming, I mean AAA stuff from the past two to three years. Something like Rocket League, DIRT 3, Diablo 3 or Hearthstone is child's play on this rig. It eats it up and stays nice and cool (relative to what's possible in this chassis.)
Tried Overwatch last night and the case heated up like it was burning rocket fuel. With the APU thermal throttling, the frame rates made the game unplayable at 1080p.
The stock cooler isn't so bad, but it doesn't fit when the lid is installed on the chassis, so it's really no good at all for the Node 202. I am going to try a 1" (25mm) standard 92mm fan with the cooler, since it ships with a 15mm fan and it seems to be both a bit louder than I would like and, well, the cooling performance.
The GPU stays relatively cool, at least, it isn't thermal throttling at all. I could throw a fan in that compartment, but I don't see it as being much help for the motherboard / APU compartment.
Would anyone recommend a slightly larger Mini ITX chassis for this, assuming I don't cut my "losses" and drop an Intel Core i5 and associated components in the Node 202 in a few months?
Edited by mypickaxe - 6/16/16 at 9:34pm