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Tiny GTX 660 i7 Gamer

Discussion in 'PC Build Logs' started by Ratzz, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Finally got to read through your whole thread - nice work mate!

    Has the tray finally arrived yet? Keen to see what it looks like when it's all fitted together.

    I guess if it were me, I would've probably tried to stick a little more closely to your original dimensions and scrap the 3.5" drives, as you said all of your stuff is on your storage server, can't really see the need for 3.5" drives in gaming builds these days.

    I can totally understand where you were coming from each time you increased the size, but even when it's only 20mm here or there, it makes a difference in the end once it's all added up. Your final dimensions seem quite a bit larger than your original plan, and although this case is much cooler (in terms of coolness and in terms of temps :lol:) and much more accessible, it's not that much smaller than some commercially available cases, whereas the original design would've been.

    For instance, given that you've got ample space between the PSU and the CPU block, I would've probably got a new set of modular 6-pin connectors for your GPU, chopped one end off and soldered them directly to the back of the GPU PCB, that way you could've had the lid sitting directly on top of the GPU and saved quite a bit of height.

    For all that, it's still a great build, keep up the good work and I'll be keeping an eye out for updates! :Pirate:
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Thanks mate :)

    It looks like I still have room to change things, still getting dicked around with the mobo tray and on the verge of telling him not to bother and finding someone else. At least I got to pick his brains on design to make it easier for the machines I guess lol

    I cant take anything off the height so the GPU can stay unmolested.. the 140mm fans are the limiting factor. I'd like to leave the option of putting a better GPU in there too, so not keen on hardwiring too much. No good butchering the 660 if I decide not to use it in the end, and I have enough length to fit any twin slot GPU in there ( provided it's rear exhaust, thats not going to change).

    I could go back to 120's I guess but a test run with them before I got the 140's left me with no doubt.. they are too bloody loud, the 140's are almost inaudible at idle and even at full tilt are a lot quieter than the 120's with no load.

    I can get rid of the 3.5 drives though.. if I cancel the mobo tray then I can and probably will redesign to ditch them before I give the drawings to someone else. I'm in two minds there though, it would be nice to keep everything self contained, but even nicer to make the box smaller. Decisions, decisions.

    I've toyed with the idea of using a proper 140 rad instead of the 120 closed loop.. a nice thick one since I would then have 30mm regained by not needing the spacers... and using that empty spot for a pump and res.. its a thought, but probably wont happen. It cools pretty well even with the 120 rad, now that I have both fans working. Had the i7 up to 5.18 stable on Prime95 for about 6hrs on the weekend and didnt get over 65C.

    The problem with that as well is I still havent bought the Z77 ITX board for it, so benching with a Z77 mATX board without a case. The H61 ITX mule currently in the box doesnt offer a lot of OC options...

    If I dont go to a custom loop, I will look at removing the 3.5 drives.

    Delidding yet to happen but on the agenda, I am looking forward to seeing how far this chip can go :) Cant play with it too much yet, I need the i7 so cant leave it in this until the build is finished, so its just been going in for short periods and then getting put back into the other machine.
     
  3. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Yeah fair enough, again you make good points all round.

    Looking at closed loop vs full loop, considering I've never done a WC build before I think that I'd stick with closed loop, seems much simpler, especially since you don't need to WC the GPU - you've got it thermally isolated so there's no real point changing that.

    And besides, if you're 5 ghz + on the current rad with the 140's at ~65, you've probably still got a bit of headroom. I've gone instant on a bunch of random WC gear in the FS section which I'm hoping to pick up Friday so I can start having a play around with it. The bloke I bought it off said my 2600k was a 5ghz 24/7 chip for him on water, and I've had it happily at 4.5 in my old build on air so I'm hoping for ~5ghz in my build but it'll depend on what rads I end up going for and how much extra heat the GPU adds.

    Shame about your mobo tray, this kind of stuff often happens when dealing with mates or mates of mates rather than paying someone who'll agree to deliver in a specific time frame etc. I wanted to get one of my previous scratch-built cases machined professionally (see my other threads) but ended up cutting the mobo tray out of an existing case and using that, never looked back. Depending how handy you are with tools, there are a few LiLi cases with removable mobo trays that you might be able to modify to suit your design. (Actually might have one lying around at home somewhere if you want to try it out).

    I guess there's no real urgency on the ITX board anyway given that you'll need the tray to mount it on :lol:
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Yeah I have a couple ITX boards lying around, a H77 and a H61, so using the H61 with a G2020 as a mule until its basically all finished, then I will just swap the good stuff in in its place. Atcually buying the board will probably be about the last thing I do, no hurry. There are limited options in ITX Z77 so you never know, a new board might appear in the meantime :).

    Only trouble is I cant really bench the i7 on my existing ITX boards, I have to hook it all up to an mATX Z77 for now, the only one I have. The others wont OC as needed.

    Shame you are in Melbourne, or I would take you up on the mobo tray offer lol.. I have a few cases lying around of course, I will investigate what I can get from them. Maybe a part of one of those.. fibreglassed. I dunno lol

    Since I am giving up on him, at least for now, I will change the design again and flick the 3.5 drives. I'm thinking I may still be able to squeeze one in there somewhere, but without the extra width and that large empty space.

    Thats going to make the whole case pretty similar in size to a 10 pack of soft drink, so its still pretty small.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Just messing around with Sketchup :) Damn I love this program !!

    Say if I were to go full custom loop?



    280mm Black Ice, 4x Spectre 140mm PWM

    HD7970 with EK water block

    2x 120G Samsung 840 Pro + 2x SSHD hybrid 1TB

    Silverstone 450w modular SFX PSU



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  6. walker_2003

    walker_2003 Member

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    Do you have to build every component in the software or does it have a library?
     
  7. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Looks good! Glad to see you're still working on this :thumbup:
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    There are various online libraries with a reasonable assortment of components. They come in handy if you want to save some time, but of course you cant get everything you need.

    Thats why this model has a 7970.. probably more inclined to go Titan if I were to buy something, or even stick a block on my current 660 to save cash, but for getting an idea of size and space, the 7970 model saves me an hour or so over creating my own model.

    Of course, the 7970 or a Titan are probably not possible anyway, its only a 450W PSU and no better PSU will fit in there. The 660 with a water block should be ok though I think. People tend to overkill on PSU in my opinion.. quality is nice of course but modern systems just dont need as much power as many older ones.

    On a single mid range GPU ( the GTX 660 ) setup like this, with a 77W CPU, 450W is plenty I think.

    Thats not quite the res/pump I want either, but similar dimensions.

    The mobo I made myself, it features in all my ITX models as its the board I am most likely to use. The rad and fans are also my models.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  9. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Yeah still messing with it. Got a few quotes coming for the mobo tray, I have given up on the original guy. All could still change yet, looking at this custom loop quite seriously.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Concept :)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  11. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    So I havent given up on the custom case at all, but fuck what a drama getting a simple piece of metal made is turning out to be !!

    In the meantime, I'm bored with my cardboard case. Picked up a Coolermaster RC120A from Umart, $51 (no PSU). I'm going to make this a permanent rig, with the G2020 and the GTX660. The i7 will still get built in the custom case, but I am now planning a full loop, so a different GPU will be in order anyway.


    [​IMG]


    Still want watercooling but the case isnt really set up for it. Single 120mm fan at the front, no room for a rad. 80mm fan at the side, and space for a full size ATX PSU, so the PSU will be an extractor fan too.


    [​IMG]


    Hmm bet I can get a H55 120mm rad in there if I move the drive cage over a little. A H55 is more than enough for this G2020.

    Drill out 7 rivets and remove the cage. Dont much like that 80mm side fan either, flick it.


    [​IMG]


    Replacing the original front fan with a nice PWM.


    [​IMG]


    Test it all for fit.


    [​IMG]


    Yep, it fits. Drive cage is moved over about 30mm. Just need to rivet it back down (after painting the now exposed unpainted bits). Still plenty of airflow for the cooler through the drive cage.


    [​IMG]


    GPU fits nicely.


    [​IMG]


    More tomorrow :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  12. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    I had it up and running, but it was idling about 10C hotter than previously. Of course, its gone from a double thick 120mm H70 with a pair of 140mm Spectres, to a thin 120mm H55 with just one 120mm Spectre, so you would expect it to maybe be a little hotter, but that seemed excessive. I decided that the holes on the side of the drive cage were too close to the rad and not big enough, so I figured it needed more airflow.

    Out came the cage. For the moment, its just doublesided tape holding the drives in. I'll make a bracket for them to sit in, just a couple of uprights with no actual side and minimal effect on airflow.

    I ummm kind of need to do some cable management too :D , but this is just a crappy generic PSU, so I will pick up a better one when I get a Round Tuit and make some custom cables to suit. Its not too bad, quiet with a 120mm fan and it has the needed 6pin PCIE connector, but I will treat it to something a little better when I find some dough.


    [​IMG]

    Much more airflow now.

    Now temps are back to where they used to be at idle. That will change under load of course, I doubt this will cope with too much overclocking with this little rad !! Fortunately its a G2020 on a H61 board so overclocking isnt an option anyway :D

    [​IMG]

    Rear view. I dont much like the protruding PSU. There is plenty of room in the case to have it go all the way in, I dont understand why they felt the need to add the extra length to the case. The protruding frame is removable though, so it just needs some sort of flat adapter plate on the case and that is pretty easily solved.

    Theres a grommet in case you want to add external water.

    [​IMG]

    Front of the case has audio, 2x USB 2.0 and 1x USB 3.0 . Unfortunately this board has no internal USB 3.0 connector, so thats a dead port unless I get a different board.

    [​IMG]

    Its not a bad little case, I quite like it. Kind of wierd having an internal burner, I havent bothered fitting burners to builds for ages.

    I'll fix up the drive mounting, and add a better PSU and just leave this one at that. I am going for a full loop now with the other build, so I will be looking for a better GPU/water block solution anyway. This build can keep the GTX660.



    As for the other build, its still happening. Have the drawings in with a different metal guy now, and keeping my fingers crossed that something good might actually happen this time :D
     
  13. BigDave

    BigDave Member

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    Pretty good work mate :thumbup:

    Do you need the internal burner, I'd leave it out and the same for the drive bay also. Mount the Hdds in the optical by to free up some space/airflow maybe?
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    No, dont need the burner, I was just using it to fill a space really. I finished up replacing it with a combo usb/card reader/sata input panel, but still not what I really want of course.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  15. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    I've been looking closely at this Thermaltake 120A I currently have the PC in.

    It occurred to me that I have here the makings of my desired frame, without having to wait for some guy to get around to making it for me!
    The case was only $52, why not?

    So heres the base.. I've stripped the crap out of the case, and assembled board and cooler inside it.

    Switched from a H70 (120x50mm) with 140mm fans and adapters to a H90 (140 x25mm) with no adapters. Shouldnt be a lot of difference in cooling power, but takes less space with the adapters gone.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Now add the GPU, all looks good. Only one issue here, the 120A is designed for a full size PSU, and I intend to use a Silverstone SFX. Once I cut the top off the case, Ill have to make an adapter plate to fit the SFX PSU into.

    [​IMG]

    Space constraints mean I need to be a little creative mounting the single 3.5" HDD into here. There will also be an mSATA SSD drive under the board, since I have decided on the Asrock z77E-ITX, which has an mSATA connection on the underside of the board. This big 3TB data drive will need somewhere to live though.

    Just a mockup as yet, I will make nicer brackets, but by using just one (existing) screw hole on either side of the PSU, I can mount these angle brackets to the back of the PSU. Yes, they can swivel :) but not with a HDD sitting on them ! Doublesided tape will hold the HDD in place.

    [​IMG]

    HDD will sit here. A couple things to note.. the Samsung SSD will not be there, its being replaced by an mSATA SSD under the board. The PSU will sit further inside the case, I am not happy with it protruding out the back of the box. That will mean the cooler will also have to be moved further back, to allow clearance from the HDD.

    There is actually quite a lot of airflow under and over the HDD, but the cabling is going to need some work.... and keep in mind that the top of the PSU and cooler will be the highest points of the internals, the lid will clear these by only a few mm.

    [​IMG]

    So if you can imagine the PSU moving 35mm to the left in this photo, and the cooler doing the same, you can see the dimensions. Considerably smaller than the current (already quite compact) case !!

    [​IMG]


    That will mean this ugly protrusion holding the PSU will be gone, and the new height dimensions of the case will be approximately where the red lines are. The PSU will be wholly within the case.

    [​IMG]


    Time to get the dremel out of mothballs :)


    I've just tested it for heat with prime95, getting about the same results as I was with the H70, so all good there :) I've been tempted to go full custom loop, as the GPU does make more noise than anything else in the system when it ramps up, but decided to tolerate it. Its louder, but really not that loud, and I dont want to make the box any bigger.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2013
  16. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Looks good. Keen to see how this looks when you're done, and how big the final dimensions are :thumbup:
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Thanks mate :) I should have the outer case frame pretty much gone today, so the dimensions will become apparent. Very happy with the layout and the part of the case that will be the sliding frame, so this is now definitely the final draft.

    The only thing thats bothering me much now is cabling. I've found a 6" SATA data cable, thats a start, but the power cables are wayyyy too long and bulky.

    I am assuming that most modular cables will have similar fittings on them, but even so, I cant find short cables to suit. I also cant find any single purpose cables, they all have multiple connectors on them which is a waste of space and untidy when you dont need them at all.

    The only cables required will be a 24 pin ATX, 8 pin mobo connector, 6 pin GPU and a single SATA connector. The 6 pin GPU cable normally comes from the blue 8 pin socket on the PSU, and a sata connector will come from one of the black 6 pin sockets.

    Looks like I am about to learn about custom cable design and sleeving...
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
  18. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    Yeh I picked up a complete spare set of cables for my seasonic and chopping them all up to fit my exact length / connector requirements as I only need 24 pin, 8 pin, 2x 6-pin and one SATA :lol:

    Keep meaning to update my worklog but just haven't had time.

    Keep in mind that the mSATA slot on the AsRock is only SATA2 speeds - I had a 128gb Samsung 840 mSATA in mine for a while and went back to the Crucial M4 cos the port speed limitation meant the Crucial was quicker.
     
  19. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    It looks like the SSD will now be permanent, I'll just sit it on top of the HDD. Now that I realise the mSATA slot on the planned board is only SATA 2 grrrr!! Oh well, saves me $300+ for a 250G mSATA drive I guess.


    *********************************


    The case cut down.. please excuse jagged edges, lack of paint etc.. you have to do something down before you do it up :) It will improve, promise :)


    [​IMG]


    Cut a cradle for PSU and HDD out of the old external case cover.. forgot to take a pic until this point sorry..


    [​IMG]


    Some minor cable management..


    [​IMG]


    Left an inch or so on the end, in case I want to change something. Also means the thing still has feet for now, since I am still using this PC. Another inch and I would lose the feet on one end (which I will do eventually of course).


    [​IMG]

    Side view from the GPU side, with GPU removed to show just how tight this all is.. The PSU isnt screwed down at the bottom rear so its sitting badly.

    Note though, there is a 1/2" gap under the PSU for the PSU fan, so it cant be blocked, and the plate under it is just mesh, so plenty of flow there. The HDD also gets a little flow through that plate, and although it looks cluttered above the board, there is a surprising amount of space for airflow through there too...

    [​IMG]

    The assembled machine.

    Crap camera as usual, sorry. Obviously still plenty of work to go too, cleaning up.

    [​IMG]

    Remember, the object here is to have a completely self contained cradle that can be pulled, still running, from inside a fancy wooden sleeve. The feet will be removed from this frame, so they arent counted in the measurements.

    So, not counting the wooden sleeve it will all go into, final dimensions are:

    300 deep
    250 wide
    145 high

    Not bad for what will be, in its final form, a watercooled 5GHz i7 with GTX660 graphics, SSD and 3TB HDD, and 16GB RAM?
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    I know I said it has plenty of airflow, and it does.

    It just doesnt seem right though. Too cluttered, just asking for trouble.

    The solution is to remove the 3.5 drive and its cradle. Now I'm down to an SSD and external drives, or I could add a couple laptop drives later if I want of course.

    [​IMG]

    Now the whole system is 35mm shorter too. Bonus !!

    New dimensions = 265 deep, 250 wide, and 145 high.

    Pay no mind to my temporary front panel...

    [​IMG]

    Still a little cluttered ;) but definitely better than before.

    [​IMG]

    nice and compact :)

    [​IMG]

    dodgy rear panel :)

    [​IMG]
     

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