Description

The computer I was aiming to build was one that was compact, quiet, and didn't draw too much power. The case that interested me was the Silverstone ML08B-H model that had a slim design, but also had the option to have a carrying handle. I also considered the Corsair Graphite 380t, but ultimately went with the silverstone because of the pricing difference.

Since the computer was primarily for gaming, and not quite so much encoding, I chose the intel i5, since I wouldn't really benefit from hyperthreading. Skylake had just come out, so I wanted to future proof the system so I chose to use a 6th gen intel i5 processor. I fortunately live near a MicroCenter, and the i5-6600k was prices at a great value there. I considered just using the I5-6500 since i was not planning to overclock the processor, and just using a more affordable I170 chipset. There was a great deal for the Gigabyte Z170n-gaming 5 motherboard at the time that brought its total just around 5 dollars more than the I170 version, so i decided to splurge a little bit. I paid around $113 for the motherboard because Newegg had a promotional offer, combined with a special discount for veterans. The sales pricing was a major deciding factor on the brand of motherboard. The features on the motherboard also seemed great, and it included some features like USB 3.1, along with an optical jack for sound.

I chose the "Zalman CNPS8900 quiet" because I've had good experiences with other Zalman heatsinks. It turned out meeting the requirement that i wanted a quiet computer, and i felt that its design would help cool the motherboard components with the way that it blew air down and across the motherboard. The ML08B doesn't have any case fans, so this seemed like a good feature for the CPU cooler to come with. The bottom of the heatsink was actually not very flat though, so it was filed to be more level. Technically it exceeds the maximum measurements for the ML08B case, but it fit with a tiny bit of room to spare, and it was also able to clear the G.Skill Trident V RAM.

I wanted to stick to one video card, and originally i was going to go with a GTX 970, but saw a special ad on an EVGA GTX 980 FTW ACX 2.0 that was fairly comparable to the price of the GTX 970's. It was available as a refurbished unit on NewEgg and it currently runs great. The reason why I chose an EVGA is because forums seemed to have recommended the cooler they used for this particular case. The GPU seems to typically run at 70 degrees C while under load which seems okay. The fan monitor showed it was typically running around 30-40% of maximum speed.

For hard drives, I wanted to choose an M.2 because it would eliminate some cable clutter. The Samsung 950 pro seemed like it was one of the best performers so I chose to go with it. I also considered a Crucial MX200 because of its lower pricing, and from what reviews were saying, its resilience.

Since this was going to be a gaming PC, I was really interested in a G Sync monitor. I found an advertisement on the local craigslist for an Acer 27" monitor for $300. The monitor was in great condition, and still had its protective plastic on it, so out of circumstances I chose to go with it. It was also available new at the microcenter for around $400. The seller mentioned that the amount of light bleeding through the edges wasn't as bad as some other gaming monitors. At higher brightness it definitely is noticeable if I look for it, but typically I won't run a monitor that bright. The monitor is incredibly bright and i run it at 3/100 brightness.

Powering the computer didn't leave that many options. The two major considerations were Silverstone PSU's. The 500w and 600w units. I ended up going with the 500w unit because it had the 120mm fan, and since i wanted a quieter system, it seemed like a better option with the amount of power the PC would be drawing. The PSU is typically silent, but it makes a really quiet trotting sound when the fan is at its lowest RPM, otherwise it is either not running and completely silent, or the PSU is loaded and since its spinning faster then its lowest RPM, it doesn't create the trotting sound.

Something that i noticed is, since the case is made of metal, the build quality is great but, it also transfers quite a bit of heat from the graphics card. The top graphics card bay actually gets fairly warm to the touch and it could be a concern for some. There seems to be enough room to install 80mm fans in the top if I feel like modifying the case. It's possible I may install 2 exhaust fans up top by creating some vents. Or maybe possibly remove one 2.5 bay, and install a fan and create a duct to blow air onto the base of the GPU to help remove some of the hot air around the GPU. The area with the CPU, Motherboard, and PSU seem to be keeping fairly cool with this setup though.

Update 1 (11/16/2015): So I noticed that the graphics card will clock itself down to 1278mhz because it reaches 80C. I tried attaching 2 case fans to the outside of the case, and it didn't really assist with lowering the temperature because the EVGA ACX 2.0 GPU cooler did a more then ample job of drawing air in through the intake. The problem seemed to be getting the hot air out of the case because of the top exhaust vent being on the wrong side. When i remove the GPU case cover, the graphics card immediately clocks itself to 1410mhz, and also operates 5 degree's C cooler, while maintaining a 30% fan speed. There is enough room inside the case to install 3 80x15mm case fans over the GPU. Once some parts come in, i'll try using a circle saw to cut a 3x3" holes along the top, and attaching 3 80x15mm fans to the top so that the hot air can be exhausted out of the case. Will update with more pictures once I'm able to accomplish this.

Update 2 (11/18/2015): So 3 vents were added up top using evercool 80x15mm fans. I had to remove the tiny optical drive clip to fit that third fan in. Now when running games, it runs 1C hotter than removing the cover entirely, but it fixed the problem where the graphics card would get too hot and have to throttle down. Also, it runs quieter while gaming, but louder when idle. Maybe a third project will be to add a thermal switch to the graphics card to turn the fan on and of depending on a preset temperature. Photos have been added of the vents on top. They were cut using a circle saw, and the holes were either drilled, or filed to attach the fans and vent covers.

Update 3 (2/11/2016): A thermal switch was added in series with the 3 vent fans on top. Its a normally open switch that closes when it reaches 45 degree's, and it was insulated in shrink tubing, and placed so that it touches the back of the GPU where the chip would be. The fans now stay off until the GPU reaches a higher temperature, so it keeps the PC significantly quieter when just browsing the web, watching movies, etc.

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Comments

  • 51 months ago
  • 4 points

Hi, why did you choose the Zalman CPU Cooler instead of Noctua NH-L9i? Just curious which one is able to perform battle in this super-slim case. Noctua is very well known, but I felt that NH-L9i is just to slim and unable to perform the top quality in its class compared to D14, which is top in its' class.

  • 51 months ago
  • 4 points

It was just i've used Zalman before and i've had good experiences with them. I'm sure the noctua NH-L9i works great too, but i just wanted to go with something that was familiar. Toms Hardware also had very good reviews about the Zalman CNPS8900 quiet model so it tipped the scale slightly in its favor.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-cpu-coolers,4181.html

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Amazing build and the name made me laugh so you're winning on both fronts! Definite +1 from me!

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Digging through builds I missed atm, this is a BAMF. +1 The 80mm fan mod is EPIC!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. I'm definitely happy with how it turned out so far.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

I like the mod on the case, I'm thinking of doing the same

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Amazes me how much hardware people can CRAM into a Rig..

Thanks for Sharing !!

  • 51 months ago
  • 4 points

Thanks, its my first PC build in years and, the hard drives now impressed me the most. I remember the Western Digital raptors being basically a 3.5 inch brick, and now 4 of those have been contained into something that looks like a stick of gum, lol.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

It's still good to have 1 or 2 HDD's.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you elaborate on this one? I probably forgot to take something into consideration.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd say he was talking about the overall storage of the system. Hdds still usually have higher capacities and are good for some larger applications.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh yeah, I guess the typical user definitely wants more room, so that 1TB 2.5" drive would definitely be a good addition.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Is that Samsung 950 PRO honestly like 4 times faster than a standard SSD ??

Keep hearing they are MUCH Faster than a traditional SSD and that makes me want one..

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

They are so fast that they have thermal throttling.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Wonder if there are any Aftermarket Cooling Solutions for them..

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Just add a passive heatsink

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

I sort of jumped directly from a clunky old 3.5" hard drive to this SSD so i don't have another SSD experience i can compare it to. I can tell you its really fast but, for practicality, i don't think i'm doing anything that really demands that much bandwidth. I also don't really do large file transfers, so in practicality, i'm assuming a standard SSD and a 950 pro will be close enough to not matter.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

That is a really neat little build. Are you planning to add any more storage to it? Seems like you could probably squeeze a few games on the 250gb drive, but its going to be tight.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

My previous computer only used around 250GB of 1TB and had quite a few games I stopped playing so it will probably be okay for a bit. But since there are two 2.5" bays on the computer, along with an optical drive bay that can be converted, it's something I'll most definitely end up doing down the line.

The motherboard comes with SATA express so i'm curious if hardware manufacturers will ever adopt the technology too.

I guess I'm currently just waiting to see what new hard drives come out for now. And I'm probably going to have to add more space down the line.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

So surprised you cleared the ram with the 8900. Lovely to see pics of that cooler in there as I wasn't sure it would fit.

I can't decide if I want this case or the sg13.. Tricky.

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

The RAM was definitely a tight fit. I made the mistake of putting the CPU cooler on first before installing the ram, and had to take it off again, lol. The Zalman heatsink actually recommends the heat pipes are horizontal if i'm using it for a tower type setup, but the ram wouldn't allow it in this case. The CPU seems to be running without any problems though.

I guess the sg13 would definitely run cooler, and you could use water cooling. I thought about the Dan A4 case too, but its not out yet, and it looks like its pretty expensive.

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Could you tell me what sorts of temperatures you're getting with that zalman cooler? I'm looking on using it in the same case on the 6700k (which is not the same, I know) but idle/load temps?

  • 51 months ago
  • 3 points

Hi, when i'm gaming, the cooler seems to reach around the low 50C at most, but when i run a prime 95 torture test (Very impractical compared to real world applications), the highest i've seen the CPU get using a temperature monitor was 72C in one of the cores, while the others stayed below 70C. The core actually idles somewhere around room temperature. Usually 26C, so it runs pretty cool in my opinion.

I remember reading about how intel no longer uses solder on the lid of the CPU, so depending on how well they applied their own thermal interface material, supposedly that can make a big difference.

  • 51 months ago
  • 3 points

This is great then. WIll go ahead with it on my own build

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

If you wanted to, would it be potentially possible to cram an H50 into this thing??

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't think there's a place to put the radiator fan.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I honestly don't know if it would fit. The only space I could see it fitting would be where the CPU cooler goes, and on this motherboard, I think one if the ram slots would have to be empty, and the front panel usb3.0 connector would need to be disconnected. But in all honesty I don't know. The RAM barely cleared the zalman heatsink as is

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

Huh, better not to try it them. I want to do something similar to this build so I can take it to college but I don't want it to be running super hot. I think I'll use the Silverstone AR06 for the CPU Cooler.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

if you really want cooling, you can always zip tie some fans on the front of the gpu case on the outside. not sure if this makes sense. But you will see noticeable temps

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the tip, I'm honestly considering it since i have some 120mm fans lying around.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

If you do try it, lemme know if they work xD

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

From what it seems like, the EVGA actually moves quite a lot of air so, I'm wondering if installing some shims to redirect some of the hot air to the vents on top would work better than trying to install more fans. I'm not sure why the vents on the top don't go all the way across but, when Silverstone releases the case covers for sale, I'm considering getting the windowed version to replace the top cover since the vents go all the way across, while keeping the standard version on the bottom so my CPU cooler has plenty of room. I may toy around with the idea of using a hole saw to drill a set of 3" holes on the top for a set of 80x10mm case fans to suck the air up and out.

But I'm also feeling lazy so there's a chance i'll do nothing at all since everything seems to be working great at the moment.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

So, i tried attaching 2x120mm fans on the outside and it does nothing, lol. the EVGA ACX 2.0 GPU cooler does an amazing job of pulling air into the case by itself. Its just, getting that hot air out of the case seems to be where the case isn't doing so great.

I wrote an update but i'm going to try cutting 3 vent holes on top, and using 3 80x15mm fans to exhaust the hot air out.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Better hope someone doesnt slam a door or a gust of wind comes in from a window that tower would fall right over. :P

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Impressive build, for ants.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

proof that size doesn't matter. nice build

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

No, its a gaming PC I wish I could have. +1

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

thatcoolerdoe

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

nice build, i'm eying this case but am also considering the ncase M1 and the lian li pc-tu100B. Along with some others like the dan case A4 (NOT OUT YET!!). but the reason why the lian li and this silverstone are top of my list is because of the built in handles. i know it sounds kinda ridiculous, but i feel like ALL cases this small should have handles built in to them so that they can be transported easily.

i plan to take my build around the place a lot, so the lian li's dimensions seem to be the best combination of compactness in all three dimensions with a relatively low overall volume. apart from the obvious fact that you can use a full size GPU in this silverstone case, any reason why i shouldn't go for the lian li. (keeping in mind i'm looking at a 90-120W GPU like the GTX 950 or 960).

can you post some pics of the ml-08h-b with common stuff around for size comparison?? i think it's just too tall and thin for me vs the relatively short and fat pc-tu100b. thanks.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually I kind of completely understand the handle thing, lol. I specifically looked at cases with handles. If it didn't have one, i was thinking of putting one on.

I uploaded a photo comparing the size of the PC with US currency, hope that helps.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm getting the 950 Pro for my first build but I don't know what motherboards are compatible. I was thing of getting an ASrock Extreme6+ because I am almost positive it is compatible. I really like the Asus boards; will they work?

  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

From my understanding the motherboard needs an M.2 slot that supports the 2280 size (22mm wide, 80mm long).

If you're talking about this motherboard http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z170%20Extreme6+/ it does have that m.2 slot so it should work but, It doesn't seem like the SSD is on the list of supported devices. The 950 pro was not listed as supported for my Gigabyte motherboard and it works perfectly fine right now so its entirely possible the hard drive is new enough that the motherboard manufacturers haven't updated the lists yet.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

How did you fine the SSD as i am thinking of buying one?

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Its my first experience using an SSD so I don't really have another SSD to compare it to, but it is really fast. It definitely helps with load times. I'm not sure if i'll notice the difference between this one and a different SSD though.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Great write-up. You changed my mind on the selection of case and heatsink, and I might adopt your fan mod for the case if the 970 I use ends up running too hot. Thanks!

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey i have same motherboard as you do and getting 950 Pro. But concerning a cooling issue. Hows your 950 doing with heat?

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

The 950 pro runs without any temperature problems. I remember a site ran some stress tests and unless they were transferring obscenely large files, they couldn't get the hard drive to start thermally throttling, so for most users its probably a non issue.

  • 50 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome Build! I love cases that come with handles!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Where you able to do some CPU overclock? If so what speed, temp and settings where you stable at?

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't tried overclocking the CPU

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Saw this over on the OCN forums. Looks great and the ingenuity in your build belies your creativity.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Question, did you cut all 6 holes in the case for the small fans on the top and bottom or just the top ones?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the late response. The 6 holes are only on the top. The bottom, i just used a file because the vent holes were in the way.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

that's okay :D , was considering this for a friend and wasn't sure how much modification was needed on the case to support all those fans lol

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Amazing build! I'm torn between this case and the RVZ02. Unfortunately I went the MATX route because I wanted to SLI, but portability is a good trade off. :)

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

could I get a link to the fans you used, can't seem to find many 80x80x15 fans only 80x80x25?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

http://amzn.com/B000B5HSM2 It looks like Amazon sells the ones i used. I used the ones that were from Evercool because they had Ball bearing fans.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

i see, thanks I had found some via a google search but it's good to see the ones you used :D

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you please tell me how did you connect the thermal switch? I am planing to build a same kinda system in the RVZ02 and i live in a very hot place. If you could just give me a circuit diagram it would be really helpful. Anyways very nice build +1.

  • 46 months ago
  • 2 points

The fans are just regular fans that are connected in parallel, and it gets power from the power supply. I just stripped the positive line for the fan, and put a thermal switch in series so that, the line only connects when the switch is closed.

The switch is normally open, so it only closes when the temperature reaches 45C. I have the switch sit on the back of the graphics card chip, and since the card only gets hot when it is used for games, the fans only turn on during this time.

I just clipped the positive line connected to the fans, and soldiered a thermal switch to it, and used shrink tubing to clean up the wires.

Its about he same concept as this, except the switch is a normally open thermal switch, and the light bulb would be the fan. http://www.ruander.com/2009/07/proper-way-to-wire-light-switch.html

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much. This helped me a lot :).

  • 46 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet job.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 for that fan mod, nice work.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a really attractive build man! Could you tell me what the weight of the system is? Does it feel like that handle is sufficient to carry it around or do you have any concerns with the weight of it?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the late reply, i'm guessing i'm too late. The handle did kind of worry me at first but it does seem to be strong enough to lug the PC around as long as i'm gentle. Its mostly the middle of the handle has a little flex to it, and its held on by 4 screws.

I don't have the CD drive or the two internal 2.5 drives filled up so my case isn't fully weighted down either.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

This case comes with the PCI riser correct?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

sorry for the late response. It does come with a PCI riser. Its split into 2 seperate pieces that sort of just stick together like Lego's so its pretty easy to install.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

The USB 3.0 cable looks bent when you installed the cooler, any problems with that does it work fine?

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Love your solution for cooling the GPU area. Hope you dont mind if i "borrow" the idea for my build! (gave you credit for it on my build page)

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey man, nice job on the case mods. I'm getting that case soon and I reckon I might do something similar (and link to this build) cause that is a great idea. I'm getting an EVGA 1070 and probably putting two fans on top above the graphics card.

Also what 80mm fans did you use? I can only find 80x25mm fans

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol funny name and great build +2

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

just a question, do you think that an 80x80x25mm cooler or would the extra 10mm make it too thick?

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello, I'd like to know where did you buy the heatsink, anywhere I search is either out of stock or no longer available... I really want to get one of these rather than the noctua.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

I remember i had a lot of trouble finding this particular heatsink too. I found one for sale on E-bay and had to have it shipped.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey man, nice build. Mine is very, very similar. Quick question (if you even see this) did you notice if installing the 3 vent fans also helped lower CPU temps? At 100% load, my CPU reaches 72* C. I'd like to get that a little lower if possible.

Would also love to know what thermal switch you used for reference. Thanks! Great job!

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

The switches i got were normally open bimetal thermister thermal switches on E-bay. The ones i used were set to close at 45C. I used shrink tubing to insulate it electrically, then just placed on the back of the graphics card right around where the GPU chip would be located. When the GPU was under load it would warm up, the thermal switch would close, and it would turn on the fans.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Does this case come with a pcie extension cable? How does the graphics card go sideways?

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks more like a super computer for ants to me

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

You are a god among insects. Thank you very much for this build.

  • 33 months ago
  • 1 point

What do you think abour the case you just buy for you pc.... it is worth it? Does getbto much dirt to the case? And if runs cool your cpu and gpu?

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Dohoooope

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Have you had problems with dust after removing the filter?

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't really get much of a dust problem in the PC, but at the same time, there wasn't all too much airflow going through the case either. When i removed the screens, i did get the dust ring that i'd wash off every so often, but the screens worked really well for keeping a lot of the dust outside of the PC.

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  • 51 months ago
  • 2 points

https://youtu.be/NQ-8IuUkJJc LOL, this would probably help it make more sense. "What is this? A center for ants?!"