The world's smallest gaming HTPC?
Weighing in at 4.2L
with an Intel i5 CPU and an nVIdia GTX 970 GPU,
Little Mac want to be the HTPC Gaming FPS / Liter champion!
Like this, but want smaller? Qnix has the H2O Micro
. Custom case water cooled
Full Imgur Gallery
I am a Software Developer / Analyst. This is my second build log. The first was the 2013 Torch GP
, a twin (CPU/GPU) AIO watercooled gaming HTPC.
Why this case?
Bragging rights mostly, Could we go this small? But, on a more practical note, I had recently moved and upgraded from a DLP TV to a flat panel. I switched out my first build and upgraded to an Intel NUC and a soundbar. In the process, I ditched the entertainment center and mounted everything behind the HDTV. I loved the look. Very clean. No wires. But the NUC wasn't strong enough for gaming. A new build was needed. One that could fit behind the TV, without compromises..
I had three goals.
enough to fit behind a wall-mounted television (sub 100m height for me),
enough for general HTPC use
enough for gaming.
In November 2014, two things happened in the market that allowed this build to take off. First, Gigabyte released the world's first stubby GTX 970 card. It fit into a mITX motherboard, the GV-N970IXOC-4GD
. Second, Logic Supply released the MC600 and I stumbled upon this Reddit PC build thread
using a it
. I contacted the thread's author - who is also one of the engineers/designers of the case - and he turned out to be an all-around classy dude. I told him I was inspired, and he offered up one of Logic Supply's MC600 to be part of this build and I was determined to make it work. But industrial PC chassis' aren't meant to cool the consumer parts used in gaming PCs.
Case design and modifications
In order to fit everything inside, an unconventional layout is being used. It involves laying the GPU down next to the motherboard and using a flexible PCIe riser ribbon in order to connect the two. This is sometimes referred to as a Steam Machine layout, because of Valve's popularization of the design with it's prototype Steam Machines. Another trick used to reduce the footprint, is electing to use a DC power board instead of a traditional ATX Power Supply. This allowed most of the PSU to live in an external power brick similar to a laptop or Xbox One. (Props to Sony for not needing this!) The last hurdle was thermals. The stock airflow pattern of the Logic Supply MC600 was not engineered with the intention of dissipating 150 Watts worth enthusiast grade GPU heat. To fix this, I sketched out a crude CAD drawing and took it to a local CNC place. I had them cut two 120mm holes into the top panel. One above CPU and another above the GPU. Two fans were mounted there and blow cool air onto the components. Since the GPU side generates twice the heat, it gets two assistance of two additional 60mm exhaust fans.
PC Part Picker List
Case - Logic Supply MC600
Mobo - Asus H97I Plus
CPU - Intel i5 4690K
GPU - Gigabyte Mini-ITX GTX 970
PSU - HDPLEX 250W + Voodoo Firebird 350w Power brick
RAM - 8GB Crucial Ballistix Very Low Profile DDR3
SSD - Transcend MTS800 256GB
CPU Cooling - Noctua L9i Heatsink (with 120mm Cougar Vortex)
GPU Cooling - Stock Gigabyte heatsink + 120mm Yate Loon D12SM-12C
Case Exhuast - 2x 60mm Evercool
Additional Items: LiHeat 250mm PCIe Gen 3.0 Shielded riser. Silverstone mesh grill covers.