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QBX The Cheap ITX

by Dem0nflare



Date Published

March 8, 2018

Date Built

March 7, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3.8 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.655 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.408 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

40.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

65.0° C


-Downgrade 11/28: So i decided i like the ITX over my Sli editing rig and decided to do a new build but have it be a better ITX. So i decided to take the VGA,RAM,Motherboard,CPU cooler and fans from this rig and make it a actual cheap under 1000 ITX build. Got the same motherboard, added a R5 1600, added 2400 ram, added a 1060 3gb, added the stock cooler and removed two bottom fans. Good thing black Friday was this week so i got them all for under 300 to replace the parts. I had a extra PM961 laying around that i was using as a external storage. Will use this as a HTPC pc since its perfect for that on the tv; does surprisingly well since 1080p scales to the 4k tv. -Update 9/30: http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/11162986 -Upgrades: GTX 1070 GPU, Flare X 3200 RAM, 500gb SSD, NF-A9 fan, 4x NF-A12x15 fan, - -Got the Gpu to oc to a good speed but asus tweak kinda only go's to +88 mhz which really isn't much though it coil whines alot and don't plan on pushing. I did get my cpu to 3.75, both the r7 1700 and r5 1600 sit at 3.7 with 1.2819v. May have too much thermal paste on the r5 but its hitting 1.38 to stay at 3.8 and that gives me 80c which is not good since i have to have fans max and negative air pressure. I worked it up from 3.7 to 3.75 at a 1 to 2 ratio increment increase giving me better performance with out massive thermal gain. I don't know why but after testing it and id leave CPB on my cpu was hitting 4 ghz on all cores when it could and sometimes boosting 2 cores higher. I put my 3200 ram into my r5 for gaming boost and luckily gskill got that kit to 3466 so i just took there timings of 16-16-16-36, but probably could do better. So after dumping a grand into this computer i feel like maybe i should of spent the a extra 50 on the case for a better one and maybe another 50 on the motherboard. It was suppose to be a budget build because i had the motherboard left over from another build. I just love the form factor though and it definitely isn't better for heavy workloads compared to my r7. But it runs at the same speed with 6 cores and has a single 1070 that is better then my sli 970's so......
- -Update 4/29: http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/8519969 Broke the wraith spire making it my 5th AMD stock cooler to have its fan brake, just not made for full speed. So i got the Noctua NH-U9S with AM4 bracket and was very easy to install. Including CPU and GPU there are 10 fans in this tiny case. I may have to add another cpu fan and one more side fan just to get max cooling; plus i can lower the rpm for quieter operation. Beside for maybe getting a 1070 for it in the future or trying out liquid metal thermal grease. This build is basically done so time to build a new one.
-Update 4/9/17: http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/8225127 This build has replaced my main computer instead of being downgraded to a apu with no gpu, but gets a upgrade to a 1070 when prices are cheaper. Added a SSD as well as several NF-A12x15 fans because the 970 puts out heat and puts the psu under load so it gets hot. Adding 2 fans on bottom and top was necessary. I put a lunch tray upside down to get it off the floor because it was collecting most of the dust on the floor. I also bought half inch rubber nubs for the bottom so it could draw air from the sides of the case and not just the tiny whole in the back.

- -Original Post:
--I had to send out my other motherboard with SLI and the big case was pointless, but i also wanted a ITX setup for playing single player games on the big screen with out a big computer next to it. So i decided to make a new computer in ITX form as cheap as i could but still preform well. I also possibly wanted to get a APU in the future and the ITX would be perfect for that. -The case: $50 QBX is the only non cube or slim rectangle case for cheap i could find. Wanting to upgrade to a APU with overclocking head room its support of bigger coolers was a great benefit. -The cpu: $170 Ryzen 5 1600 is really the best value for the performance. -The board: $108 ASRock AB350 ITX with M.2, integrated wifi, and being cheap for a ITX was good. Has a ton of extras i will never touch like RGB. -The ram: $170 Flare X 2400, ram is expensive and having had luck with G.skill i just bought there cheap version -The storage: $98 PM961 the cheap evo?
-The vga: $200 MSI 970, You can get used 970 for around 200 and its pretty good deal. With not really noticeable performance difference from the 1060 6g at half the price. -The psu: $40 EVGA 500w BQ was the only evga psu with under 140mm L and semi-mod. Unfortunately its not QBX compatible so the cord does stop you from being able to install the OOD slim cd drive, but it your don't want a cd drive you should be fine. -The fan: $15 NF-A8 is quiet and powerful $850 total cost before upgrades. -

Part Reviews


I wish i got a APU just to test, but they where not released when i got this, might be smart to wait if you can for the zen+ 2020 might be even different ones.


It's adorable and has all that extra stuff


Preforming better then i expected, got to run 2800 no problem, but i think i am going to mess this timings instead of getting 3000 since it messes with cpu oc.


I don't understand this drive, why Samsung? cheap and gives 237GB of space


after having issues with a evo drive i got this and could not be happier

Video Card

Get the 6GB version; I got one during the mining crises and this one on black Friday since it was 100 less then the 6gb one. They are basically 970's with faster 3gb ram then 3.5 and new features.

Power Supply

does not work, or certified for my case plug orientation. However this only blocks cd drive if your installing one. Great affordable semi mod that's 140mm L. The case i have as the psu right in the front top so you can easily hear it if you want to, but it very quiet compared to the cpu fan under load.

Case Fan

good for itx cpu cooler

Case Fan

So since building this i have replaced or added a noctua fan to every fan slot only to find that it was not the cougar fans i bought necessarily, but the AMD wraith spire fan that just sounds terrible at a constant 1700rpm or higher, so i should look into noctua cpu coolers or just throw some noctua fans on a hyper 212 evo.


I love this case for the single reason that it is not a cube or looks like a cable box. looks computer-ish and is not as expensive as a N1? or any other itx while supporting a atx psu and full size gpu. The main hurdle with this case is that the bottom fans pull air from a tiny gap in the back. Having it not be modular case is a good and bad thing. But with the 970 being super hot you need the two fans on the bottom and it still cant draw in enoughf cool air, so i got sum half inch rubber nubs for the bottom and if could pull air from all sides. Then put it on a upside-down lunch tray with front over the edge so air can go in the front because its blocked for some reason. With this it actually runs really cool compared to my full desktop 970.

Comments Sorted by:

LeMMingSlayeR 22 Builds 3 points 12 months ago

Great performance in a little package. I think you got a lot of bang for your buck here.

+1 for the cafeteria tray.

Dem0nflare submitter 6 Builds 1 point 12 months ago


chinamanch 6 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

I love ITX rigs...not going back to ATX ever. clean build, very much I like :)

Dem0nflare submitter 6 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

I have a h440 nzxt build with basically the same set up but my msi card for some reason can only be the bottom sli and i got 2, so i put another 970 in there and had this one for this. I have not used the sli build since i built the ITX

Orions 2 points 4 months ago

Great build I am planning to build something similar. I have one question I want to know if I can fit a noctua Nh-d15 its 165 mm. Your noctua Nh-u9s is 125mm. Do you have 4cm space between your cpu cooler and your case side pannels? Thank you

Dem0nflare submitter 6 Builds 2 points 4 months ago

I tried doing the full tower cpu but its off but like 1 cm, there is barely a 2 1/2 cm clearance with the side panel indent. The other issue is if it was any wider then 92mm it would not fit or interfere with cables. The case manual gives you 105mm cpu clearance but that is with the HDD bracket and radiator mount. So with out it there is about 140mm, but you could always leave the case off or mod the side panel. There is little intake and the case is not that good at positive airflow so its not really ideal for cooling

Orions 1 point 4 months ago

Thank you for your answer

Maple_Syrup 2 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

I love the satisfaction of it all tucking together perfectly! +1

Dem0nflare submitter 6 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

only using M.2 made it way easier

Maple_Syrup 2 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

I bet it did!

StoneSarge89 1 point 8 months ago

Awesome build! What fan hub did you use? Can't see it anywhere and I know that mobo doesn't hold that many fans by itself :)

Dem0nflare submitter 6 Builds 2 points 8 months ago

The supplied noctua splitter that i daisy chained. In picture 2 in the top right hand corner you can see it bunched together. You basically get one fan hub, a cpu hub, and cpu opt hub. So i daisy chained 3 out the of both the opt and the fan hub; 2 intakes and 1 exhaust.

zfenty 1 point 7 months ago

where did you find your qbx-kaze?

Dem0nflare submitter 6 Builds 2 points 7 months ago

When newegg sold it.

zfenty 1 point 7 months ago

i am trying to find one, but man...................... it is hard to find

Dem0nflare submitter 6 Builds 2 points 6 months ago

Yea it looks like all of cougars american retailers dropped the kaze version. Probably since the mesh actually had a solid backing making it useless in the front except for the 80mm fan slot.

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