It has been a very long time since I was looking for a compact and silent, yet powerful gaming rig. I have looked at plenty of ITX cases and couldn't find any that is small enough and could handle a full sized GPU.
Recently Fractal Design has released the Node 202 slim-desktop case and as soon as it hit the shelves in Russia I bought it (apparently only 10 were sold since the release). My BitFenix Prodigy was build as a NAS right away so I could build Node 202 the way I want, but unfortunately my GPU has died and I have to wait for a refund to get another one.
Case: Fractal Design Node 202
CPU: Intel Core i7 3770
CPU cooler: Intel Stock Cooler
Motherboard: Gigabyte H67N-USB3-B3
RAM: Kingston Low Profile 1333MHz 8GBx2
GPU (Temporary) : PowerColor HD4890
PSU: Zalman ZM-450FX
SSD: SanDisk Ultra 120GB
HDD: External Western Digital My Passport Ultra 1TB
OS: Windows 7 Professional
Exhaust Fan: Noctua NF-S12b Redux-700
As soon as I have booted the system and checked the temperatures of the GPU, I knew I had to do something otherwise it would overheat (over 70C idle and 105C under load in games), it was time I put the super-silent Noctua fan for exhaust. Temperatures are now at 60C idle and little bit under 90 when gaming (fan at 60-65% on GPU which makes it quite loud).
My next steps would be to install an intake fan in gpu slot (silent one too), replace the CPU fan, put some dust filters on the top of the case and above the cpu, replace the GPU. Quite possibly if the PSU fan would prove to be loud under load, I will replace it too.
Parts I will be getting:
Intake fan: Noctua NF-S12b redux PWM with Noctua NA-SYC1 accessory to connect it to CPU fan connector.
CPU fan: Noctua NH-L9i (probably to replace the fan with Noctua NF-B9 PWM, more airflow and more silent).
GPU: XFX Double Dissipation R9 380 2048MB or Zotac ZT-90101-10P GTX970 (depending the money I will be willing to spend).
My goal is to make it the PC as silent as possible while maintaining acceptable temperatures for computer parts. I will later post more images of the build process and keep updated on how the temperatures have changed.