This build started out about a year ago as a moderately priced Skylake ITX build with a GTX 970 in a Thermaltake F1 Suppressor case. I upgraded to the GTX 1070 about 6 months ago and then when the DAN Cases A4-SFX was (briefly) available for retail last week decided to grab one and have a go at shrinking it down.
I primarily use it for gaming (Witcher 3, Fallout 4, Elite Dangerous, Cities Skylines) on an LG 34" 2560x1080 ultra widescreen. The 1070 is a bit of overkill at this resolution, especially as the LG maxes out at 60hz. But it basically means I can run any current games on ultra settings smoothly at the max display refresh rate - which is awesome.
In the future, I'd be keen to try out a 1440p screen and maybe VR and am confident that this machine would handle it fine.
I'm not interested in overclocking, so decided against a high-end chipset and coolers which kept costs for the build pretty reasonable. It also means temps are fine even in this little case.
The case isn't cheap - and if I was just trying to max out performance the money would be better spent on more CPU/GPU power. But it's so tiny! Still finding it incredible that you can pack so much machine into a case the size of a shoebox.
It's not the quietest system, especially under load as the relatively small fans on the CPU, graphics card and power supply all have to run at pretty high RPM to keep temps reasonable. I've also noticed a little coil whine on the 1070 if you put your ear close. The case doesn't offer any acoustic dampening at all, as it's very open for airflow. For me that's fine as I wear headphones when gaming, and at idle or handling basic browsing, there's no noticeable noise.
Aesthetically the build is pretty stealthy with mostly black components and just a few white or silver accents. The case doesn't have any lights (not even a power indicator), so with the light on the graphics card disabled the system is completely dark. Internally the main area I want to improve is the PSU cabling - the stock cables are much longer than needed and so create a messy tangle. I'm going to have a stab at building my own custom cables to make it neater.
Update: Built some custom cables to try and clean up the cable tangle under the PSU. It was my first custom cabling project so took me much longer (and resulted in more blisters) than I had bargained for, but very happy with the outcome.
Awesome gaming processor for the price. These days I'd probably get a i5-7500 as it's same price and has a higher clock speed, but unless you're gaming at 4k I don't think you need anything more powerful than this.
Small, efficient and pretty quiet. What's not to like :) There are only a few coolers that fit in this case, and I've been very happy with Cryorig gear in the past so this was an easy decision. Certainly much better than the stock Intel cooler.
I was a bit nervous about getting such a basic motherboard, but it was definitely the right call. If you're not overclocking there's no reason to get a Z series chipset. And in an ITX board the additional PCIe lanes that the pricier H and B series chipsets offer are useless as you've only got the one PCIe connector and you're using that for graphics. So H110 is the winner!
I wanted an M.2 slot to keep cabling to a minimum, and while the one on this board only runs at 20Gb/s Gen2 x 4 speeds not the full 32Gb/s that Gen3 x 4 offers, it's still waaaaay faster than a SATA connected SSD.
And while USB 3.1 Gen 2 or Thunderbolt 3 and wifi would be nice to have, I don't think I would have used them and haven't really missed it.
All in all for less than AU$100 this board is incredible value. Plus it's black. And there's no ******* RGB anything on it.
They run at the max speed of my motherboard, and I've had no problems. Got them for a good price in the US. And they're black.
Not as fast as the latest gen NVMe drives, but way faster than a SATA SSD. More than fast enough for a gaming machine. Boot and game loads are really quick. Got mine pretty cheap on eBay.
Went for a blower card as I knew I'd be using it in pretty small cases. I think this was the right call, but it is a little hot and noisy under load. Doesn't thermal throttle, but when the fan spins up to high revs it's an audible buzz. I've also noticed a little coil whine - not particularly loud or annoying though. I think it's only started since I switched to the SF450 PSU as I never noticed it when using a RM450 in my previous case.
Performance wise it's great. More than enough horsepower for the resolution I game at (2560x1080). And I like the look of it too - not too gaudy.
This is my perfect case. Love it.
It's a pleasure to build in - even though it's tiny, the unique design with the graphics card back-to-back with the motherboard means you can easily get to components from the sides or top. Fitting a full-size GTX 1070 was really straightforward compared with other cases I've worked with.
And it's soooooooo small! About the size of a shoebox. I don's see how you could make a more compact gaming case (i.e. that allows for a normal motherboard, PSU and full-size graphics card).
Cooling wise it performs as well as my previous case (Thermaltake Suppressor F1) which is pretty incredible given there are no case fans and it's about a third of the volume.
Build quality is great. Feels very solid with a sleek minimalist anodised brush aluminium exterior.
If I had to nitpick - the power button feels a little dinky. And the plastic feet on the bottom aren't very grippy so it slides around on my desk a little.
The real problem is getting one - it's kickstarter-funded project out of Germany. The first production run has finished with most of the units going to the kickstarter funders. A few excess units went to overclockers.co.uk and caseking.de for retail and I was lucky enough to snag one in the ~30mins or so it took for them to sell out.
Apparently there's another production run scheduled for mid-2017 though so if you're keen keep an eye on the website.
Only been using this a few days, but so far so good. It's tiny and quiet.
I have noticed some coil whine on the graphics card that I don't think was present when using my previous PSU (Corsair RM450). But it's not too bad.
I don't like the bundled cables much for a small form factor build. They are ribbon cables, but quite stiff and with a messy pinout on the ATX cable that makes it hard to cable manage. And although they are shorter than the cables usually supplied with an ATX PSU, they're still way too long for my build.
Corsair sell a "short" braided cable kit for this PSU, but it's only slightly shorter than the standard cables. Would be good if they had an even shorter option.
I'm going to have a go at building my own custom cables instead.