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Discussion Starter #1
Finally getting around to doing this. Streacom recently updated their passive chassis with better heatsinks/heatpipes (and more of them), and now officially support processors with a TDP of up to 95w, putting an undervolted 3570k well below that spec, so I ordered that instead of the Wesena ITX5 I'd originally planned on. The only concern I have is the video card, and I may have some ventilation cut into the left side to give it some air... will do testing first though.

A few skeptics in my original thread regarding running this off a pico-psu, so it will be interesting seeing the numbers after all is said and done.

Here's the list of parts

Case: Streacom FC8WS EVO $186.75 - Delivered
PSU: PicoPSU 160XT + 192w Adapter $86.59 - Delivered
CPU: Intel Core-i5 3570k $199 - Delivered
MB: ASRock Z77E-ITX $149.99 - Delivered
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage Series - 8GB DDR3 $40.79 - Delivered
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 1GB $121.67 - Delivered
Storage: OCZ Agility 3 - 60GB - owned / OCZ Solid 3 - 60GB - owned

Total: $815.78

Group shot:


Streacom FC8WS EVO Front:


Streacom FC8WS EVO Interior:


Streacom FC8WS EVO Interior with drive bay removed:


Misc extras for the case, including four copper heat pipes, and mounts for both AMD and Intel:


160w Pico-PSU and 196w power adapter:


3570k:


Low voltage (1.25v) DDR3:


6" round SATA cables


Z77E-ITX:


SSDs:


Testing fitment:


Lookin' good!

Benchmarks:
Something is weird here... should be hitting speeds 3x this. I can only assume it's because the drive is now 90% full (damn games...)
2012-10-22 20:57:39 - TESV
Frames: 1730 - Time: 61448ms - Avg: 28.154 - Min: 13 - Max: 46
2012-10-22 21:01:14 - TESV
Frames: 1110 - Time: 48314ms - Avg: 22.975 - Min: 19 - Max: 30
2012-10-22 21:30:34 - JustCause2
Frames: 3387 - Time: 120323ms - Avg: 28.149 - Min: 20 - Max: 52
2012-10-22 21:45:19 - medieval2
Frames: 8705 - Time: 377429ms - Avg: 23.064 - Min: 14 - Max: 38
2012-10-22 23:09:48 - CivilizationV_DX11
Frames: 43315 - Time: 706825ms - Avg: 61.281 - Min: 32 - Max: 338
2012-10-22 23:57:59 - crysis
Frames: 3789 - Time: 169776ms - Avg: 22.318 - Min: 10 - Max: 41
 

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Looking forward to this. Jealous about that 7750. I want one.
tongue.gif


There have been some reviews with the 7750 running next to the wall of a case with almost no ventilation and it was fine. Now that case probably had front to back airflow so I can't be sure.

This should be a good build.
biggrin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ordered the CPU today. Just happened to look on Amazon and it was down to $199, a $30 difference from NewEgg, and $20 down from the lowest I've seen it online so far. Came really close to ordering the motherboard as well, but I'm heading to the hills to go camping this weekend, so I thought better of it as it would bring my funds down pretty low... will take another look on Sunday night or Monday maybe. Ordered some Startech 6" round SATA cables as well.

I'm considering sleeving the PicoPSU and SATA cables. The cost of tools and materials will be high enough that I will likely have someone do it for me, who already has everything, and is experienced at doing it. The PicoPSU only has 14 wires total, and I don't plan on sleeving anything in the future at this point, so I think that would be the best route to take.

I've also been reading some threads about de-lidding Ivy Bridge processors to replace the stock TIM. Seems easy enough, with some big gains to be had in cooling performance, which is pretty critical in a passively cooled case, so I may consider doing this as well. Anyone know if it's best to replace the TIM on a video card as well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by She loved E View Post

pretty sweet. love that case (never seen it before)
Thanks! I forget how I came across them... just looking through lots and lots of Mini-ITX cases, trying to find something that'd actually look good in a living room. I have an nMediaPC 6000B case which is considered an HTPC case, but it's basically the size of a mid-tower laid down on it's side. It blends well with the rest of the home theater equipment, but it's still a giant, and not nearly as good looking as the Wesena/Streacom/Origen cases.
Quote:
Originally Posted by armourcore9brker View Post

Looking forward to this. Jealous about that 7750. I want one.
tongue.gif

There have been some reviews with the 7750 running next to the wall of a case with almost no ventilation and it was fine. Now that case probably had front to back airflow so I can't be sure.
This should be a good build.
biggrin.gif
That's good to hear. I've looked into other ways to help cool it, and found the Thermalright HR-11, but I wonder how effective it would really be in a passive case. Hell I don't know if I'd even have room in there for it...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So this week I've received almost everything, enough to start putting it together at any rate. The only part I'm still waiting on is the 7750, which I'll order tomorrow.

Today I got around to taking pics of everything as well, so here they are...
Group shot:


Streacom FC8WS EVO Front:


Streacom FC8WS EVO Interior:


Streacom FC8WS EVO Interior with drive bay removed:


Misc extras for the case, including four copper heat pipes, and mounts for both AMD and Intel:


160w Pico-PSU and 196w power adapter:


3570k:


Low voltage (1.25v) DDR3:


6" round SATA cables


Z77E-ITX:


Testing fitment:


Lookin' good!

I receive my Arctic Silver 5 tomorrow, and will be putting everything together on Saturday while at work, as long as there's no work to do *crosses fingers*
 

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That PSU looks fine to me, I'd say as long as you don't run LinX and furmark together or something you'll stay below 150W in terms of DC power draw. Ivy's 95W TDP is pessimistic anyway so I'd have no qualms running that build on a PSU I knew could deliver 150W.

Looks like an interesting build though, subbing because I'm curious about your power draw.
tongue.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the subs everyone
smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike-IRL View Post

That PSU looks fine to me, I'd say as long as you don't run LinX and furmark together or something you'll stay below 150W in terms of DC power draw. Ivy's 95W TDP is pessimistic anyway so I'd have no qualms running that build on a PSU I knew could deliver 150W.
Looks like an interesting build though, subbing because I'm curious about your power draw.
tongue.gif
Don't take my word for it, but armourcore9brker had mentioned that the 196w power supply would actually give the computer up to 196w of power, even with the '160w' Pico-PSU... I have no idea how that works, but even if it can only do the 160w, I'm sure I'll be well under that. I saw a review of the same 7750 the other day used with an 4.4GHz overclocked 2600k, and total system usage was well under 150w under load.

Speaking of the 7750, I ordered it this morning, and it'll be here Saturday. I love Amazon Prime
biggrin.gif


Ordered the Kill-a-watt as well, but it won't be here til Tuesday. I didn't feel the need to get that early
tongue.gif
 

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It's 192W btw.
tongue.gif


It works because the brick provides 192W of 12V power. The Pico-PSU only takes some of that and converts it to the various other voltages needed for the system. The 12V line just gets passed through the Pico with no extra regulation. I've always had a high power Pico-PSU but a close friend of mine was able to use a 200W Xbox brick with an 80W Pico to power a normal mITX board + a discrete GPU.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by armourcore9brker View Post

It's 192W btw.
tongue.gif

It works because the brick provides 192W of 12V power. The Pico-PSU only takes some of that and converts it to the various other voltages needed for the system. The 12V line just gets passed through the Pico with no extra regulation. I've always had a high power Pico-PSU but a close friend of mine was able to use a 200W Xbox brick with an 80W Pico to power a normal mITX board + a discrete GPU.
That is insane, LOL. I never would've thought that would work. Thanks for the explanation though
smile.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Soo.... it's built! Unfortunately I left my camera at home so I'm not able to upload pics at this time, but I do have some information to report, and some questions to be asked...

First, some observations: Silence is awesome... I almost didn't want to put the 7750 in because I knew that no matter how quiet it was, it was going to ruin the complete silence of when it was fanless, LOL. Also, Intel HD 4000 is surprisingly capable for light gaming. The two SSDs in RAID0 are insanely fast... I haven't had the opportunity to benchmark them yet to see if I'm getting ~1GB/sec speeds, but just clicking around Windows was almost fun just because everything was so fast it was messing with my brain. Note that this could probably be the same experience I would've had with just a single drive on SATA3. I had one of the SSD's on my 'old' build but only running at SATA1 speeds. Windows definitely boots incredibly fast, as has been reported by other ASRock Z77E-ITX users, although since I'm running in RAID, there are a few extra seconds during POST for the RAID controller. The heatsink side of the case only gets mildly warm to the touch even when gaming. I did not run anything for a long period of time though, so I will have to try again after a good gaming or benchmarking session.

Some performance pics I snapped with my phone. These were taken while running Half-Life 2: Lost Coast benchmark at max detail. I think resolution was 1600x900 in windowed mode. I ran Crysis at max detail in the same resolution and windowed, and the results were very similar. Also this is 'with' the 7750 installed. The system idles around 31c-35c and about 30w. Ambient temperature is 25c.



These temps are acceptable to me... the problem lies in running Prime95, which hit 100c in seconds. Obviously there are limitations due to the passive nature of the case, but I'd like some insight on whether you all think this is just 'what it is' or if improvements can be made without adding fans into the mix (which would defeat the purpose). This was also my first time ever using Prime95... could it just be User Error? LOL

Also, the 4-pin Pico-PSU connector does not fit in the provided hole in the case. The single 'pin' connector fits fine, but my 192w adapter uses the 4-pin, so I'm at a loss on what to do. I figure I need to make the hole larger, as well as put in two holes for the mounting screws, but not sure if that's something easily done with just a dremel, or what.

One last thing, the Wi-Fi seems to be acting up. It appeared to be working fine while I was at work (where I put it together) but when I got home at first I was getting terrible download speeds (30-50kbps). I tried messing with the antennae a bit, and the situation reversed, download speeds went up (although not quite as high as they should be) and upload speeds went into the toilet. My guess is maybe the internal Wi-Fi connection is 'shorting' or something?... I'll have to look at it later.

Hoping to get some additional benchmarks done later tonight, and maybe some pics as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here's a few pics. After putting the top on the case, it seems to idle more around 45c-50c. I ran Prime95 again and it took longer to hit 100c this time. I thought it was stabilizing at 101c but then it went to 102, and 103, so I stopped the test. Media playback uses very little CPU, so temps stay in the 50's.

Everything installed:


With HDD tray:


All connected. Raspberry Pi on the left and standard 3.5" HDD on the right, for scale.


Ready to watch some movies


Mmm, RAID...


Prime95 Torture test:
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpyderMS View Post

I ran Prime95 again and it took longer to hit 100c this time. I thought it was stabilizing at 101c but then it went to 102, and 103, so I stopped the test.
Prime95 is a bit extreme test for a CPU that's passive cooled, but you could try it with one or two cores active instead of all 4. Also you could measure the temperature of the heatpipes and of the fins on the outside heatsink. Perhaps it can give you insight into how much heat is being removed.
 

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Glad to see it all put together.
biggrin.gif


Does the 7750 extend past the edge of the board at all? It doesn't look like it and from all the measurements I've seen of it, it shouldn't.

How are the temps on the 7750? Have you tried stress testing it with MSI Kombustor?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiSK View Post

Prime95 is a bit extreme test for a CPU that's passive cooled, but you could try it with one or two cores active instead of all 4. Also you could measure the temperature of the heatpipes and of the fins on the outside heatsink. Perhaps it can give you insight into how much heat is being removed.
How do you disable the cores? Measuring the heatpipe temp would be a good idea. I'll probably pick up one of these, seems decent enough.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthybox View Post

that is a sweet setup.
Thanks man, I kinda like it myself
biggrin.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by armourcore9brker View Post

Glad to see it all put together.
biggrin.gif

Does the 7750 extend past the edge of the board at all? It doesn't look like it and from all the measurements I've seen of it, it shouldn't.
How are the temps on the 7750? Have you tried stress testing it with MSI Kombustor?
I don't recall, but just looking at the pics it looks like if it does, it's definitely not by much, 10mm at the most? I haven't recorded the temps of the card while gaming yet... I need to get my Steam folder back on the drives. The games were originally tested on a spare 250GB laptop drive, as I'd forgotten to bring the SSDs to work when I built it
wackosmiley.gif


Thought I'd post a pic of my old rig in it's new home. I moved it in to the garage where it will serve to download torrents and stream them to the rest of the house
smile.gif
My apologies for the horrible cellphone-in-low-light picture quality. I meant to get a pic of it next to the Streacom case, but forgot
frown.gif
I'll be removing the monitor, keyboard and mouse from it, and it will just be a big black box in the garage. I have a Chrome extension in the new rig that sends torrents to it for downloading, and makes monitoring them easy.

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpyderMS View Post

How do you disable the cores?
Start Prime95, click away the first box about Gimps, choose just stress testing. Then it asks you if you want to run torture test. Before you click that, open windows task manager, find prime95.exe in the process list, right click it and choose set affinity. Then click off two cores, e.g. leaving CPU2 and CPU3 checked, and press okay. Then go back to Prime95 and where it asks number of torture test threads to run, type 2 instead of 4.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiSK View Post

Start Prime95, click away the first box about Gimps, choose just stress testing. Then it asks you if you want to run torture test. Before you click that, open windows task manager, find prime95.exe in the process list, right click it and choose set affinity. Then click off two cores, e.g. leaving CPU2 and CPU3 checked, and press okay. Then go back to Prime95 and where it asks number of torture test threads to run, type 2 instead of 4.
Ahh, thanks! Interesting that they don't just have an option in the software.
 
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