Description

I had decided to build a gaming desktop that was as small form factor as possible, as powerful as possible, and that did not look like a gaming desktop (no leds, no eye candy). It was meant to replace an old gaming laptop: a Samsung 7 Gamer Series. Bear in mind that this is my first custom build ever. I named it "Minion".

I was not concerned much about noise and temperatures as I was not considering overclocking anything. My budget was 3,000 USD but managed to spend no more than 2,500 USD. Considering the lifespan I intend to give to this build (at least five years), it means it should represent ~40 USD spent per month (provided that nothing burns down before five years... I'm an optimistic).

For the case, I went with the Fractal Design Node 202. I got the one that comes without the power supply because I needed a modular power supply to make cable management less complicated (also freeing room for ventilation). I chose the Corsair SF600 to make sure I had enough power for all the components.

I went with a blower card GPU so I didn't contaminate the CPU environment with additional hot air. I chose the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080Ti.

For RAM, I chose two sticks of 8GB each... Corsair Vengeance LPX. I got the 3000 because it was on sale and priced only a few bucks higher than the 2400. Anyway... it's just RAM. Although I am testing the RAMDisk app from MSI to speed up web browsing...

I removed the bracket for the SSD so to free up space for cable management and ventilation. Instead of bulky SSD/s, I opted for a Samsung Pro 960 M.2. nvme to make room for additional space and ventilation, still getting top performance and 1Tb of storage space.

To cool down the i7 7700K, I chose the Cryorig C7.

To cool down the video card, I chose a pair of Corsair ML 120 which supposedly deliver good static pressure while keeping quiet because of the magnetic levitation system.

As of this writing, I have yet to take note of temperatures. Needless to say, it runs relatively cool and silent. No throttling noticed at first glance. I live in Miami and my A/C is noisier. Yet sometimes it does makes some weird constant clicking noise, which I think comes from the fan in the power supply (I will diagnose soon).

Also, I have yet to try it with a good gaming monitor. At this time, it powers three old 60hz Samsungs S27D590, but I see flickering green dots with one of the monitors when the GPU is working hard or temps are high. I tried different cables, display ports and HDMI ports, and it seems to be a random occurrence regardless of the monitor. I am confident this should not be an issue when I switch to a ultra wide gaming monitor sometime in the future. I'd also love to understand why Nvidia surround gives me trouble with the Windows taskbar after each reboot...

Anyway... All games I play run with FPS above 100 with ultra settings. I am happy with the build overall. I will need to check on that occasional fan noise and occasional flickering dots when using Nvidia surround.

Comments

  • 28 months ago
  • 3 points

amazing that a 1080 can fit in there just looking at it from the outside. I think its funny that looking at this PC, most people would probably mistake it for a modem or router that is missing its status lights. Little do they know it probably blows their PC out of the water though. I think that understated-ness is charming and a good idea. Its why in my own current build in a fractal r5, I don't have any windows or anything. All there is is that mysterious black box... Who knows treasures it may contain!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Indeed! Probably the most minimalistic mITX case? It's kind of portable too... It fits in my old laptop's carrying case...

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Just the fact that the 1080 takes up half the case is hilarious, nice job.

  • 28 months ago
  • 2 points

It does! It sits loosely on top of the fans (i had to remove the card support that comes with the case in order to fit the fans). I should probably add some filler between the card and the fan edges to improve support.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow very compact nice job!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I've seen similar builds but not with these components together... A 1080 ti, an i7-7700k, a Samsung 960 Pro... These are supposed to produce a lot of heat. So far so good, tho.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Didnt they make a 1080 ti mini?

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

There's a 1070 that's half size, I think. There's a very slim 1080ti but it's integrated in laptops (e.g. in the new Asus Zephyrus).

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Funny enough, 2D Surround isn't yet (fully) supported with the 1080ti. It is with the 1080 though. As for the Taskbar, it happens because when you revert from the forced upscaled resolution (Tricks Windows into thinking it is one monitor) back to the per monitor recognition, it will try to re-allocate everything and after a reboot the display settings are defaulted causing it to repick primary monitor, confusing the taskbar if not set to show desktop on a single monitor only instead of extended displays. Can cause it to not function properly. Hope this helps, had this issue on a client running surround for 3D modelling.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! That explains it. Thumbs up.

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Very Nice!

  • 28 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow, gaming power per liter is off the charts! I'm stunned that CPU temps are fine. Silicon lottery must have been good to you. I have stepped down components from you (7600k and blower 1070) and those guys can get pretty loud (though I don't notice as much when gaming). As things stand, my monitor is more than my GPU can handle (1440p, 144Hz, G-Sync) so I'm pining for Volta to drop to either upgrade to that or wait for 1080Tis to drop. Your cable management is just about the best I've seen in that case and everything about your setup belies the absolute behemoth under the hood.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

I have been running games on ultra without need to overclock. There is not much increase in noise level. The rig is the quietest I ever had so far, and the previous ones were Samsung and Dell gaming laptop and desktop (respectively). :)

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

Voltage/temps/clock on the 7700k with the c7?

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

No overclocking (not needed). Temps have been normal. It's been a year now. The C7 works like a charm on the CPU.