Description

Build list is located here: pcpartpicker

Not included in the build list is a Seagate FireCuda ST2000LXB01 2.5" SSHD that I had bought last August for a laptop that eventually died. It was $90.49 at the time. I also used Cooler Master MasterGel Maker (leftover tube from previous projects) instead of the Noctua NT-H1 thermal pasted included with the cooler. Mastergel has a higher thermal conductivity but is still electrically nonconductive.

I purchased all of the major components on Black Friday (2018) and at the time, Newegg had $20 rebates on the EVGA GTX 1050 TI and the ASRock X470 Mini-ITX motherboard, so those were purchased at Newegg. Everything else came from Amazon, which met or beat the prices from other sources, but in a couple of instances (e.g., the SG13 case) I had to check double check the price since pcpartpicker would not grab Amazon prices for some of the components even when that was the lowest price when considering free Prime shipping. Total price of components purchased from Amazon with free Prime shipping and sales tax was $667.55. Total price for the motherboard and video card from Newegg was 326.18, including tax and also with free shipping. Including the 2.5" drive but not including the thermal paste, the total price to my door was $1084.22.

The pcpartpicker flags the Noctua NH-L12S cooler as being an incompatible part for this build, but with the SFX power supply, it fits almost like it was made for this case and motherboard combination. I did not use the AMD Wraith Spire fan included with the CPU. I was concerned that cooling could be marginal in such a small case, so I went with the improved heat rejection offered by the Noctua cooler. The brackets shipped with the Noctua NH-L12S allow two different positions for mounting the cooler onto the CPU and the brackets attach directly to the backside brace shipped with the motherboard. I selected the position with the heatpipes oriented towards the rear panel, which provided additional clearance to the right-side case cover and also allowed the fan to pull air directly over the RAM heat spreaders. I left the fan on the Noctua cooler in the default bottom position blowing up through the cooler towards the PSU. Clearance is tight between the top of the Corsair LPX RAM heat spreaders and the bottom of the CPU fan. It fits as-is with 5 mm of clearance, however I did not want to have to remove the cooler for RAM access. After prefitting and checking for clearance between the components, I very carefully slightly "tweaked" the heat pipes to provide a couple of mm of additional clearance above the RAM slots so that the memory can be removed and installed with the cooler in place. Keep in mind that this may void the cooler warranty. I mounted the SFX PSU upside-down so that its fan draws air off of the CPU cooler and exhausts it out of the back of the case. The Silverstone 500W SFX PSU ships with a SFX to ATX adapter bracket, so no separate purchase of a PP08B bracket was needed. The included bracket differs somewhat from the PP08B bracket. It does not have vent holes and the mounting position in the case is slightly lower but it still positions the PSU with about 1 cm clearance above the Noctua NH-L12S cooler.

I did not follow the build order from the SG13 instructions. Instead, I installed the case fan in the case, then partially built out the motherboard with the M.2 SSD (fits on the bottom of the mother board), CPU, RAM, and cooler before installing it in the case. After the motherboard was installed, I added the 2.5" hard drive in the position on the floor of the case. There is also an additional bracket for mounting a second 2.5" hard drive that can be installed in multiple positions hanging downward on either side of the case. I'm considering adding a second identical 2.5" drive and configuring the motherboard to run the drives as RAID 1.

After installing the hard drive, I added the video card, routed the cables, and installed the PSU as the final step. With the SFX PSU and the very short length EVGA GTX1050 Ti video card, there is decent sized gap between the case fan and the other components for airflow and cable routing. The case has mounting holes for both 120 mm and 140 mm front case fans, however there were only three mounting holes that lined up with the Noctua NF-A14 PWM 140 mm front case fan used for this build. The fourth hole (lower left) is over an opening in the case. I installed all 4 anti-vibration pads and installed three screws through the available holes and left one fan mount "floating" over the open space. I haven't noticed any vibration issues whatsoever during initial testing, but I may fabricate a small bracket to add a fourth mounting point at some later point. The fan on the EVGA video card pulls air directly from vent holes on the side of the case and exhausts out of the rear of the case. I am considering adding a coarse filter cover to cut down on dust intrusion similar to the dust cover used on the front of the case. Idle temperatures were 35C for the GPU and 40C for the CPU using default motherboard speed, voltage and latency settings. I had to jumper the CMOS pins to reset the CMOS in order to gain access to the UEFI bios. Without the CMOS reset, the UEFI bios would not respond to keyboard or mouse input.

The first test I ran was Memtest86 v7.5 to test the RAM. Note that the Memtest86+ v5.03 that is a boot option with many Linux distributions is not fully compatible with DDR4 memory. I initially set the RAM up to pull in the XMP 2.0 timing profile (3000 MHz, 15-17-17-35) in UEFI bios. The Corsair LPX C15 DDR4 RAM failed with 3 errors within the first two passes of Memtest86. I retested with UEFI default settings (2133 MHz - well below the rated 3000 MHz) and the memory still failed in the same manner. I then retested with one memory module at a time and isolated the error to a single memory module. I am currently running using the one memory module that passed Memtest86 (16GB) while awaiting the replacement RAM, which just shipped from Amazon. Amazon requires the RAM to be RMA'd as a pair despite only one module failing, but I plan to test both replacement modules individually once they arrive. I had been planning to stress test the CPU using Prime95 once the new RAM arrives, but I need to address some software issues first. I am using Linux Mint 19 for the OS and lm-sensors does not report proper CPU temperatures for some specific CPUs in the AMD 17h family of processors. This typically shows up as a significant offset reported within sensors for "k10temp-pci-00c3", which is the location where CPU temperature is reported. Once a bug-fix is available and I can accurately monitor CPU temperatures while booted into the OS, I will proceed with stress testing and report the results here. The UEFI Bios reports CPU temperature at 39-40C at idle. GPU temperature is properly reported when the OS is booted, and it shows 35C at idle. I have played some 1080p movies driving a 48" LCD TV and the GPU temperature only increased 1C over the idle temperature, but that really is not a significant stress level for this hardware. I have a fairly aggressive fan profile set up within UEFI bios, but so far the fans have barely spun above idle for any of the limited testing that I have completed.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

I'm using this to cool a Ryzen 5 2600 CPU rated at 65W TPD in a very compact case (SG13 mini-ITX). I had originally considered water cooling but after reading reviews of the NH-L 12S and looking at it's specification, it seemed simpler and easier to use this instead. The cooler is rated for processors up to 95W TPD and fits into surprisingly small space for the amount of cooling surface area. The 120mm fan can be mounted on either side of the cooler, but there is sufficient space for low-profile RAM with the fan mounted low and blowing up through the cooler (which is the default position when unboxed). Mounting hardware is included for multiple CPUs and at least a couple of different mounted positions. The fan is also very quiet.

Memory

Very high performance memory for the price. It is also relatively low profile RAM (33.5 mm), which really helps with mini-ITX builds. The XMP 2.0 profile was easy to import into UEFI/bios on my ASRock x470 mini-ITX/ac motherboard. Unfortunately, I docked 2 stars for one of the two modules failing Memtest86 v7.5 right out of the box. Amazon's RMA process is painless and new RAM is on the way.

Video Card

The Tardis of video cards. Excellent performance from a surprisingly small package, and a low enough power draw for bus power only (no need for an external power cable). This is a great option for mini-ITX builds with tight space contraints.

Case Fan

Price point, low noise level, and air volume are hard to beat. It really seems to be completely silent at idle and and low speed. I use is in a mini-ITX system that sees significant AV use, so the dB rating was an important factor in choosing this as the primary case fan.

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Update: I received the new RAM from Amazon to replace the previous RAM that failed Memtest86. It passed initial testing.

I ended up switching the Linux distribution from Mint 19 Cinnamon to Xubuntu 18.04 (Ubuntu with XFCE) to to cure both glitchy video playback and to fix the erroneous temperature offset reported from k10temp that was preventing me from getting accurate CPU temperature readings while booted into the OS. While both distributions are on the 4.15 kernel and Mint is built from Ubuntu packages, the kernels are not compiled the same between the two distributions and I could see the impact of the differences by booting the distributions back-to-back on separate USB sticks and running both video and sensors tests. I can't stand Ubuntu's Unity interface (one reason why I long ago switched to Mint), so I went with Xubuntu, which uses the XFCE UI. I run XFCE on a number of other machines and I like the fairly simple UI, so losing the Cinnamon interface was not much of an issue. I would recommend that anyone trying very newly released hardware with Linux should consider testing a couple of different distributions using live CDs or USB sticks, particularly if they notice any performance or operability issues.

With the CPU temperature working (and consistent with UEFI/bios reported values at idle), I started running stress tests of CPU and GPU using a combination of mprime and glmark2 simultaneously. CPU temperature under stress was 70C. GPU temperature under stress was 53C. I think the cooling system works fine :)

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello im going to pair my actual GTX 1050 Ti to a new Ryzen 5 2600, Right now i have a EVGA 430W 80+ PSU. You think that my PSU could handle this update?

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Probably, but it depends on the other components. Use partpicker to list out your build. Once you have all of the components entered, check the wattage estimate at the top of the build page. Add at least 150W to that for headroom and that should give a good estimate for PSU wattage.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Okay thanks for the advice i will check that.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool build! I'm looking to build most the exact same thing except I'm replacing cpu +gpu with a ryzen 5 2400g. I'm looking to build a media pc and only looking to play 4k video, home movies/pictures (minimal to no gaming). I anticipate adding a gpu down the road when the need arises. How is the motherboard holding up? It is one of the few AMD motherboards with SPDIF which is important for me to connect to my receiver (I may occasionally connect to another display but use audio to my receiver).

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/cppbHh

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

The motherboard and other components are holding up just fine and still run very cool. It went through about a month of constant gaming while my kids were home from college over the holidays and it streams movies and TV shows nearly every night. I'm still using Xubuntu 18.04 for the OS and it has been very stable. I also set up Steam Play for playing some of Steam's Windows titles on Linux. I'm very happy with the build. I considered going with a ryzen 5 2400g and upgrading the graphics later, but I use some engineering applications and I didn't want to drop from 6 cores/12 threads down to 4 cores/8 threads. The EVGA GTX1050 has gone up in price since the holidays, so holding off might make more sense now if you don't need the additional cores/threads.

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