After rekindling my interest in PC builds I've been keeping both eyes out for an ITX case that suits my requirements and tastes. Along came the EVGA Hadron Air and since then I've been waiting for the right tech at the right price to put something together. This desire was accelerated when my wife expressed a need and ever more practical requirement for having an actual home computer/HTPC as apposed to just using our laptops which had become the norm since they accompanied us on our intercontinental travels.
The main aims and restrictions of this build are the size of the case; as small as possible without compromising spec & PSU. Budget; its always good to have one and in my case I almost see them as a target of achievement when specifying & finding quality components at the cheapest possible price. And silence; the system needs to be unnoticeable in idle, and preferable also in load though due to the nature & size of the build I am expecting some compromise.
My build is listed here
but equally I'll list it out below.CPU
Intel Pentium G3258 K 3.2GHz (Intending to [email protected]
ASrock Z87E-ITX mITXMemory
G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage 1.25V 2x4GB DDR3-1600Storage
Plextor M5M 128GB mSATA SSD (OS)
Toshiba DT01ACA300 3TB 7200RPMVideo Card
EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB SuperclockedCase
EVGA Hadron Air Case + EVGA DVD optical driveCooling
Silverstone NT06-PRO + Scythe Slipstream Slim PWM Fan
Its important for this system to be power efficient and I'll be quite happy with the estimated draw of 184W.
I really liked the look of Airborn's EVGA Hadron
however I'm a bit of a neat freak and visible cables, no matter how nicely braided, are a pet hate. A lot of the time they can't be avoided but one area I can at least reduce my cabling is around the GPU Card. The GTX 750 Ti 2GB doesn't require any extra power other than that supplied from the PCIe slot, and with it being a short card at around 170mm long my SATA cables don't need to lay over it as they do on Airborn's GTX 670, and instead can hopefully track neatly along the back panel to the HDD cage.
I also think I can go one better and squeeze in the Silverstone NT06-PRO CPU cooler. This is an almighty beast at around 140mm square but from reading up on many, many
other builds and carefully scrutinizing photos I'm confident that coupled with the higher positioned CPU socket on the Z87E-ITX the cooler will sit centrally over the board and leave the PCIe slot clear for the GPU. However one area of concern was around the cooling fan. I wanted to maintain the visual treat of seeing the huge, finned cooler from the window as with Airborn's C12, but in a case this size I am not prepared to run it passively (even though the NT06-PRO is quoted as being able too do so) as airflow is compromised. So I have to position the fan on the underside pushing air up through the heatsink. The supplied 120x20mm fan is too thick to sit between the G.Skill Snipers heatsinks and the NT06-PRO, so my only option (not that it's a bad one) is to use the Scythe Slipstream Slim 120x12mm fans. These are supplied in 4 different fixed RPM models off the shelf. However as mentioned previously I'm a fussy bugger and keeping this build as quiet & efficient as possible requires me to use PWM fans. Now Scythe DO make a 120x12mm Slipstream Slim PWM fan but the crux is that they only sell it bundled in with their Big Shuriken Rev B CPU Cooler. Before trying to convince myself that buying the Big Shuriken to get my hands on the fan was worth it(?!) I dropped an email to Scythe. It turns out that they are extremely helpful (with the right measure of sucking up from me that is
) and the result is that they are sending 3 fans direct from the factory over to me this week. I ordered 3 fans as a precaution just incase the NT06-PRO fouls up with the top case fans as the C12 did in Airborn's build, and so I can swap them out for the 12mm PWM's.
So now its a waiting game as components arrive.