S4 Mini Vanilla Ice Build

Discussion in 'PC Build Logs' started by Borat, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Borat

    Borat Member

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    Hey all. SFF fan here, have been for a few years now, and since the release of the new Skyreach 4 mini Case I'm now able to build my ideal setup, with options to upgrade hardware down the track. I really like the idea of a compact, console sized PC with enough grunt to handle 1080p minimum on very high/ultra settings with very good frame rates. I think I've got the right combo.

    Still a build in progress, I would say about 80% complete. hopefully finished by Christmas all going well. Here goes (most of this is copypasta from my SFF forum thread).

    The idea behind this build had been in the back of my mind since joining SFF forums and seeing the original S4M-C case, and before the MSI Trident 3 Arctic was released (which I love). Because I had always wanted to build from the ground up, it was time to dive in and start collecting the bits & pieces. Build is aptly named due to its colour scheme, as you'll see in the photo gallery.

    Main Specs
    Case: NFC Skyreach 4 Mini, custom white semi-gloss powder coated
    CPU: i7 8700 non-k / 65w (RockitCool delidded, Liquid Ultra, relidded with RockitCool custom copperIHS)
    Motherboard: Asus Z370-I Strix
    GPU: MSI GTX1070 Aero ITX OC
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 2 x 8GB 3000/CL15 DDR4
    PSU: G-Unique 450w ArchDaemon L/E with SSD/HDD upgrade kit & PCB motherboard tray + 450w "ultimate" brick
    Button: Black / green LED ring from Modivio.com
    Heatsink: Thermolabs LP53
    Heatsink Fan: Thermalright slim fan from AXP-100 (the black & white colour suits the build scheme).
    Boot drive: Samsung 960EVO 250gb
    Gaming drive: Micron 2TB SSD (MTFDDAK2T0TBN-1AR1ZABYY, ordered from eBay)
    Other/Media drive: 1tb WD black 7200rpm paired with an existing Samsung Evo 850 500gb with Intel RST (currently in use, I will be switching the 1tb WD black out for a 2tb Seagate barracuda or firecuda to use with the 850Evo on SRT, as the custom motherboard SSD tray allows up to 3 x SSDs)

    Secondary Specs
    Keyboard: Cougar Puri TKL cherry red
    Mouse: SteelSeries Rival 300 white
    Headphones: SteelSeries Arctis 7 white
    Monitor: Just using a shitty generic K-Mart one which was just used for my boys to play Wii-U on. Surprisingly does 60Hz / 1080p which is OK for now. New 27: 144Hz G-Sync is planned for Christmas.

    Additional info
    My SFF thread goes into more detail about delidding and effects of liquid metal on the pure copper lids, with links to a couple of youtube vids. I've bought a couple more copper CPU blocks from RockitCool and sent them to a place in Brissy that does electroplating. I had 2 RockitCool lids and another from eBay (which is done by a mob in Poland, purporting 20% more surface area coverage than standard intel lid) electroplated with nickel, to bring it back to the same appearance and surface material as the Intel lid for the sake of consistency, and less chance of gallium bonding / staining under the copper lid (from what I can understand, the staining is from gallium in the liquid metal paste "bonding" with the copper, not actual full corrosion - I'm no expert though and there's probably more educated users with a ton more experience than the half hour I spent delidding my first ever CPU - surprisingly easy though). No testing done yet, but once the coated lids get back to me and my build is complete, I'll probably do some more comprehensive testing / reporting, might even offload some on For Sale forums as I won't need all 3. I know it's only a non-K cpu but anything to help with lower temps is a plus in this small console case, and I'm not an overclocker (is that blasphemy mentioning that here?!?)

    Progress Gallery
    Imgur
    The Noctua cpu cooler fan in the gallery has since been replaced with the Thermalright 100mm fan.
    Can the Imgur gallery be embedded with code here on OCAU forums?
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  2. Tazor

    Tazor Member

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    Man I love a good SFF build and the S4M is such a well designed case.
    Love the slight underglow you get from the Motherboard edge lighting haha.

    How does the G-Unique unit compare to something like the HD-Plex 400W?
    They're releasing their internal 400W adapter soon which has been designed with the S4M in mind and allows you to go brickless.

    Reckon in the future you might go down the brickless route?
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    Borat

    Borat Member

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    Yeah me too! Once I get the case feet on, this should help more with some clearance for ventilation. I love the colour green but just quietly the varying RGB glow is growing on me...

    I haven't had a chance to purchase the HDPlex variant as yet. I've been holding off as there was some small issues with version 1.4. Now that their latest version is out (1.6 I think, 1.4 issues rectified) I will definitely look at purchasing and pairing with their internal 400w AC-DC adapter for a brickless low-powered HTPC/Plex build. That build will probably eventuate once Zen 2 is released Q2 next year. That said, the 8C16T Ryzen 2700e is looking appealing, just can't see any single retail chips available yet. I'm also keen to see what sort of performance & power consumption the 2060/2050 cards will produce once they're released.

    Most definitely!
     
  4. Tazor

    Tazor Member

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    If you can't find one of those, there is always the 8700T, which I picked up an Engineering Sample of for $170 from SuperBuy.
    2 cores and 4 threads fewer but the retail chip is pretty much the same clocks.

    Although if you manage to find the 2700e lemme know where and for how much, cos it's an interesting chip and would be cool to see how it performs compared to the 8700T.
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    Borat

    Borat Member

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    True, I had considered that 8700T when speccing out - good buy there! Reason for the 8core preference is that I may eventually allow my family members to use my Plex library and watch media remotely, so any extra oomph on the CPU side could help... and moreso a future-proofing exercise than anything, with a pinch of OCD! Definitely keeping any eye on the 2700e though, you'll be the first to know if I eventually find one :leet:
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Borat

    Borat Member

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    Tazor I reached out to AMD on facebook, here is the convo:


    Click to view full size!


    Not looking good for standalone, at least not in the near future :(



    On another note, I had 3 x RockitCool copper lids electroplated with Nickel. Once I polish them up I will remove my non-coated RockitCool lid from my system and replace with one of the coated ones. Even though the liquid metal paste is designed to 'bond' with the pure copper (not exactly 'corrode'), I think the nickel coating could help against any ugly discoloration from that bonding process, as if it were a stock Intel nickel-coated copper lid. We'll see how this goes, more updates soon. Guryhwa tells me my PSU kit will be here by Xmas so maybe no updates until then :\
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
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  7. OP
    OP
    Borat

    Borat Member

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    Nickel-electroplating done, back from the electroplaters yesterday. Kinda looks more 'brushed' than 'dipped' so some lapping required by the looks.... still, not unhappy with the finish:

    [​IMG]
    Click to view full size!


    [​IMG]
    Click to view full size!



    Also just got these pics sent to me from Guryhwa, this is the SSD tray which sits atop the GPU, allowing for 3 x SSDs. You might also notice that power is supplied directly to the custom PCB from the jack... so cool, saves unnecessary cable clutter, especially inside the small S4 Mini... just a couple of shorter SATA cables required. He is currently fine-tuning my 450w brick. Can't wait 'til this damn thing is finished now!

    [​IMG]
    Click to view full size!


    [​IMG]
    Click to view full size![/URL/]

    [​IMG]
    Click to view full size!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
  8. OP
    OP
    Borat

    Borat Member

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    OK so the custom PSU showed up, all installed no worries (forgot to install the springs underneath the mobo tray, but this doesn't impede function or performance, so will undo and redo when I have lapped the custom nickel-plated cpu block). One issue - the fans don't work. Kinda took away a bit of my excitement, but whilst the brick gets quite hot, there is no evidence of shutdown or overloading (my hardware isn't too crazy), and given the nature of the brick in its first iteration as passive & no fans, I'm not overly concerned. I'm talking with Gury to work out a solution - it will probably be cheaper to buy another brick (have asked for a good discount given what's happened!) than to send back. I'm happy enough to use as a passive brick in the interim. On the hotter days (QLD in summer) I might use a silent usb-powered fan over the brick which should keep it cool. More to follow.
     
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  9. OP
    OP
    Borat

    Borat Member

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    Update - Gury has offered to offload another brick at a good discounted price, so have taken him up on the offer. It's a different, slightly-smaller brick but has the same capacity, only one fan, and all black which I don't mind.

    [​IMG]

    I'm also sussing out a dark frosted front panel for the NFC case. Unlike the stock bezel, the aftermarket one has vents which will help exhaust some of the hot air from the GPU.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  10. OP
    OP
    Borat

    Borat Member

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    Brick has now officially died on me :( sending back to Gury for examination & replacement.
    So for now, back to a prior iteration of G-Unique PSU until this issue is sorted. I'm not expecting a quick turnaround, which gives me time to save some dollars for my 2tb SSD and the dark frosted front panel for the S4 mini.
     
  11. Tazor

    Tazor Member

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    Ah that sucks, at least you have a working PSU to keep you up and running in the meantime.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Borat

    Borat Member

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    Update - new hardware (Ryzen 5 3600, EVGA RTX 2060, 32GB DDR4 3600, 3TB M.2 NVME SSDs, HDPlex 2.x PSU all internal), frosted front panel, look at this, isn't it gorgeous?

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Elmf

    Elmf Member

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    Looks awesome man. So thin.
     
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  14. OP
    OP
    Borat

    Borat Member

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    Hehehe thanks!

    Got the upgrade bug already though, with the recent release of the 3060ti, 5600x and HDPlex 3.0.... such an expensive hobby!
     
  15. Elmf

    Elmf Member

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    Borat you're nuts haha. I would love to build an SFF rig, but it's so damn expensive that I can't justify it over my Corsair One Pro 7700k/GTX1080. The price to performance difference between GTX1080 and the other cards just ain't worth it for me yet.

    Plus building something that can fit on my small desk behind my monitor is hard.

    Keep up the neat work man :D
     
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  16. OP
    OP
    Borat

    Borat Member

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    Yeah I hear ya m8, you got plenty more grunt in that hardware yet! :thumbup: :thumbup:
     
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