Description

This is my second self-built PC. The previous machine had an i5 4690k overclocked to 4.5 on air-cooling and had a GTX 970 Strix OC. It was later upgraded with an gifted 1060 Strix OC, but in later games you could really feel the CPU holding the GPU back and was pretty much always maxed out at 100% usage. This was part of the motivation to build a new and more portable machine for gaming and content-consumption.

I used the motherboard box as a test-bench before installing everything in the case. I had at first problems with getting it to post but it was fixed by re-seating the memmory. apparently one of the 2 DDR4 modules hadnt seated properly and when i redid those, i could hear 2 clicks(one for each side) and after that, the system would post.

During the building process, i tried following Dr. Saber's online manual for steps but these were a bit difficult to follow because the steps were a bit out of order. The front power button and the rear power inlet were the first ones to get attached to the chassis using the included screws. I then had to fasten the power supply with the cables i needed to power the parts. This include 1x24pin, 1x8pin CPU and 1x8+8 for the GPU. This seems to work well now that i've had the computer running different games and none is starving for power because of the SF750 which works like a dream. Its quiet untill there's enough load to spin the fan. Second to install is the motherboard(with CPU, cooler and NVME SSD mounted on the back). The motherboard has a preinstalled IO-shield which makes the installation painless. The back-mounted SSD lives in a rather hot enviroment because i couldnt install it in the front, but it shouldnt make a difference to performance because the drive mount on the front dont get any airflow because of the orientation on the cooler's fins. The ITX-motherboard only needs 4 screws to mount and they are all easily accessable. I reccomend using a magnetised tip so you dont drop a crew onto the motherboard or worse, underneath it. The CPU cooler used in this build is about 47mm tall with fan and theres about 1-2mm of clearance to the chassi so i would only reccomend this cooler for a 9900 or stock 9900k if you want to run low profile. The extra heat from the pre-overclocked 9900KS is giving the cooler (even tho copper) a hard time to dissapate heat. The funny thing with this build is that when you game, the chassis works as a radiator meaning you dont need to have other heaters on! Last component to go in the case is the GPU. First I need to install the PCI-e riser-cards. The one included in the case is hard PCB's but you could buy a flexible one and still use the included mounting bracets to hold the slot in place. The PCI-e riser is mounted still to the case and helps stop GPU-sagging. There was very little space for the end of the GPU-power cable to stay so it had to be folded back a bit and rest onto the case.

When everything was connected, i tried to boot before closing it up and everything seemed to work as intended. I checked the fan profile in BIOS and installed Windows 10 from a USB-stick i had. After Windows was updated and happy, I started installing drivers for the motherboard and graphics-card. The motherboard drivers were easy as windows picked up that the motherboard had installers for ASUS Armory Crate on it. I installed Nvidia Geforce Experience for video drivers. I noticed that RGB was on by default on this motherboard(the entire right side of the motherboard lights up). This wasnt nessesary as it wasnt seen from the outside anyway so I turned those off pretty quick in BIOS. I wanted to undervolt the CPU and GPU but it seems there is little to no room for undervolting with this current setup. The 9900KS seems to be fed as little as nessesary by the motherboard so the system freeze when I try undervolting it. Theres also the problem that the cooler takes so little to get heat-soaked and therefore the headroom when stresstesting is very little. I should probably look into getting a ITX case that is still pretty portable, but can take a small water-cooler or a better air-cooler. I'm thinking something like a Big Shuriken 3 since i have low profile memmory.

The prices listed are including my country's tax on electronics and shipping.

Part Reviews

CPU

Easy Silicon Lottery winner ticket right here. You pay to win basically. No need to meddle in the BIOS to overclock the 9900K. It has higher TDP than the 9900K but if you put a half decent cooler on it, then everything will run fine.

CPU Cooler

The cooler was super easy to install. It has a tool included in the box to make the installation easier and the heat dissapation of the copper cooler has temps in check. The fan can spin enough to keep up with the heat being generated. This cooler is clearly not enough for the 9900KS but high temps and noise is what I pay to cram the components into such a slim and tiny case.

Motherboard

Motherboard layout is fine. the product feels premium and it has all the features I need. The pre-mounted IO-shield makes installation into a case even easier than before! The only problem I had with my sample was that the screws for the front M.2 cover was so stuck, I was forced to use the one on the back (not that it matters in my case). The M.2 cover would only help with sudden spikes in usage and heat generation by the SSD. The cover does not have any fins on it so air-flow dosnt seem to affect it.

Memory

My sample works as intended. the 2x16 GB of RAM is more than enough for my use, but the extra RAM makes the entire system feel more snappier in my experience. The CAS-latency of my kit is rather high and i could go with some G.Skill memmory but then I would have problem with clearance if I need to change my low profile cooler to something else. Good value none the less!

Storage

Amazing Read/Write speeds compared to my old Crucial SSD which had about 7 times slower performance. This SSD has more than enough space for the average person.

Video Card

Went from a GTX 1060 to a RTX 2080 Ti and the difference is massive. I can finally check all the graphics boxes and settings and enjoy higher framerates at the same time! My sample is pretty quiet under load too! (Yes, I checked if the fans spin haha)

Power Supply

This power-supply delivers an amazing amound of power for the size of the thing. The zero-fan-spin and the high output lets my system stay in the sweetspot for efficiency almost all the time! The included cables are just the right sizes for most ITX-cases and they feel premium to the touch. The cables are easy to train and have stayed in shape every since! Would reccomend.

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Comments

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

cool

  • 7 days ago
  • 1 point

Can you tell me what's your max power draw when gaming?