MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

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pir
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Massachusetts

MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Sun Jun 14, 2015 10:04 am

Hi Everyone,

I'm looking to build a small(ish) system around the MSI A88XI AC V2, an A10-7850K APU (with stock cooler), an SSD and one 3.5" drive. Other than memory, a blu-ray drive, and a PSU and a case fan or three, that's everything.

I'd like to use either the SeaSonic SS-300TGW or the SeaSonic TFX 350, both of which are 80+ GOLD TFX supplies.

Only problem is that cases that take TFX supplies seem rare as hen's teeth. There are a few out there (InWin makes a few) but they all seem to come with low-quality power supplies built-in, and I'd prefer not to buy a case with a power supply, only to swap it out immediately.

One idea would be to just buy a case like the Node 304 or maybe an SS SG05BB-LITE (after making detailed measurements) and make a bracket to hold the power supply -- though I'm not sure how well that would work.

I guess I could just use a picoPSU, instead of the seasonic, but I'm not sure I trust the power bricks available to power a system that could peak at well over 100W, even though it will probably spend most of its lifetime well under 40W -- perhaps my concern isunfounded, I which case I may go that route, even though it'd cost a bit more, which will then mean finding the smallest case I can find that will cool everything sufficiently under occasional extended load and be nearly silent at idle.

I'd be curious about any experiences with the A88XI as well.

Anyway, thanks for reading my post and for any advice.

-pir

Pappnaas
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Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by Pappnaas » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:13 pm

AFAIK there's the Chieftec Flyer, but it also comes with a PSU supplied.

If you would use SFX, there are some nice cases from Rosewill/Cooltek/Jonsbo

And stock cooler on the CPU could be a bad idea, so be prepared to swap that for a decent one

pir
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:58 pm

Pappnaas,

Yeah, I saw the Chieftec too, and the Winsis, and the Foxconn RM233, all of which come with crappy PSUs that I'd never use. I'd get an SFX, or even a full ATX supply, but there don't seem to be any 80+ GOLD SFX units out there with a peak efficiency south of around 250 watts (the seasonic 650W in the x-series for example) -- it just seems ridiculous to pair a system that will draw < 40W at idle with a 600W PSU. I know it would work just fine, I'd just like to see the peak power efficiency a bit closer to the idle draw. I may end up going with the 160W picoPSU to get there...

I'll keep in mind what you say about the stock cooler and prepare to have to replace it if it's too loud at low loads. I've currently got a 6-year-old 5050e with the stock cooler still attached and it's nearly inaudible in my antec p150 most of the time.

Thanks,

-pir

Deer87
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Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by Deer87 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:54 am

If you want an optical drive/Blue-ray, forget about the Fractal Design Node 304.
It's a lovely case, but there is no room for an optical drive, which means you will need an external drive.
It's not a bug - it's a feature!!!
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 >>> Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S
Mobo/CPU: Asus Z97i-PLUS / i5 4690k >>> PSU: XFX XTS 460 Fanless Platinum
GPU: Asus Strix-GTX960-DC2OC-4GD5

pir
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:30 am

Ah, I see that now. Thanks for the heads up about that. I've been looking at so many cases, I missed that. I'm now considering using the Streacom ST-FC8 and a picopsu -- which is pricy, but has the advantage of being completely fanless. Still not sure though. So many options!

Mats
Posts: 3044
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Location: Sweden

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by Mats » Mon Jun 15, 2015 1:34 pm

About your CPU choice, do you prefer AMD or do you want that extra GPU performance? If it's the former then I won't say anything about that.
Otherwise, Intel currently has the best integrated graphics but they cost a lot compared to the 7850K. If you're prepared to wait for Intels upcoming Skylake processors you'll have much cooler running CPU's to choose from that still has decent graphics.

Picking a CPU that uses less power allows using fewer fans and a picoPSU, which in turn lets you use a smaller case.

I'd pick a Mini ITX board and a Streacom case and PSU (picoPSU-like), but since you need a BD drive (do you?) then I guess it would become too expensive with a slim drive.

I bought a Seasonic SS-300TGW last week, I'm very happy with it. When running Handbrake on all 8 threads the fan started occationally, but I couldn't hear it unless I put my ear next to it, and the stock 2600K fan is noisier anyway.

pir
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:35 pm

I do prefer AMD -- I know intel has it all over everyone else in the performance per watt race. I've been building with AMD for 15 years now, and am unlikely to stop anytime soon.

If I were going intel, and had the chops to pull it off, I'd *love* to do something like what this guy did:

http://translate.google.com/translate?h ... rev=search

He's got a Haswell system pulling only 4 watts at idle. It's astounding really.

It's mostly low idle power consumption I'm interested in but still want to have the horsepower there when I need it (e.g. handbrake). I only need modest GPU performance, so Kaveri is actually overkill, but the price is right. I'd actually like to wait for the desktop version of Carrizo -- but my current system is getting long in the tooth.

I think I've changed my mind and am now planning on going with the 160W picopsu -- though I did just find this little guy:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 41K1ED0098

It's like the picopsu, but provides up to 250W -- kinda pricy though.

I just found out about Streamcom yesterday, from this page:

https://community.amd.com/community/amd ... rm-factors

They're running essentially the same board and APU I'm looking at on a picopsu-like supply -- so I think it will work.

It's likely I'll buy one of their cases -- just not sure which one yet. I really like the idea of the build they did there, though I'm not sure I want to go fanless, though it's tempting. Only problem is that a few days a year, it reaches nearly 30C in my office... which I would imagine would be a problem for a fanless rig. I guess I could actually run the A/C and point a fan at it on hot days :)

I need an optical drive of some sort. It doesn't have to be BD, and I guess it could go in my secondary machine, rather than this one...

Thanks for your input.

pir
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:36 pm

Oh, I forgot to ask, what did you put your SeaSonic SS-300TGW into? I still haven't given up totally on that idea...

Mats
Posts: 3044
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 6:54 am
Location: Sweden

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by Mats » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:45 pm

I have plans for using the TFX PSU in a custom made case.

There are adapters available.
http://i00.i.aliimg.com/wsphoto/v0/7729 ... C-Atom.jpg

pir
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Location: Massachusetts

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:57 pm

Ah, ok, thanks! I knew that had to exist. More food for thought.

boost
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Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by boost » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:44 am

There are two Chenbro desktop cases that come close to what you're looking for. The PC713 and the PC722.
The PC713 is a little bigger and accepts a standard optical drive, the PC722 accepts only optical notebook drives. You can buy them without a PSU or with a Seasonic PSU preinstalled. You can usually find them at retailers that sell the server cases from Chenbro.
Lian Li V600, Asus P77Z-M Pro, i5-3570K 4.4GHz with Scythe Orochi, 140mm Slipstream 500RPM and Mugen2 115X Bolt through kit, Evga GTX 970 Superclocked, BeQuiet E9 580W CM

quest_for_silence
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Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by quest_for_silence » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:56 am

boost wrote:There are two Chenbro desktop cases that come close to what you're looking for. The PC713 and the PC722.
60mm fans? Can those be quiet? :?:
Regards,
Luca

Support SPCR, use these links when you buy: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg

pir
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:13 pm

Thanks Boost, those Chenbro cases would probably work for what I originally wanted to do, though I don't seem to be able to find any retailers for them in North America (I looked at all the ones from their website) -- good find though, I never saw those in all the searches that I did.

I think I've changed my mind anyway, and am going to use a picoPSU with a streamcom case, either that or use the seasonic 400W fanless ATX supply in a larger case. I'm still going back and forth on that.

pir
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:38 pm

After finding the Rosewill W1-B in a recent excellent SPCR update on the recommended cases page, I've finally gone back to my original desire to use the SS-300TGW and completed a build list:

ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+
AMD A10-7800
Rosewill Legacy W1-B-Window Black
SS-300TGW 300W
ADATA XPG V1.0 (2 x 8GB) DDR3 1600
Mushkin mSATA MKNSSDAT240GB-DX
Rosewill RBR-100 - Ultra-Slim Aluminum 6X BD USB3 Writer
WD Green WD40EZRX 4TB

The whole thing comes in just shy of $750, which is pretty amazing really, bang-for-buck wise, for a machine that will have (at least) twice the performance and half the power consumption of my current 6yr old rig.

I figure I'll make a bracket, or maybe even just a screen and a block for the TFX PSU. The bottom-mount for the PSU in the W1-B will make that pretty easy, I'm thinking. I'm thinking that the SS-300TGW will approach picopsu efficiency at about 1/3 the cost.

pir
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:06 am

Hi All,

Built the system -- and I love it. It's idling at around 20W from the wall -- you guys were right about the stock cooler though. It's lousy. Plenty of room for a (much) larger cooler in this case.

Thanks again for all your feedback!

pir
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:06 pm

Hmm, doing some research now and I have a conundrum -- it seems the fm2a88x-itx+ isn't compatible with many aftermarket coolers, because of components on the back side of the board. I'd like to use the Noctua NH-C14 or 12 -- but apparently that's not possible without some futzing, which I'd rather avoid. I've scanned the reviews and I don't see any that can work with the stock mounts. Are there not any, or am I just not looking in the right place?

pir
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:09 am
Location: Massachusetts

Re: MINI-ITX Kaveri system build

Post by pir » Fri Jul 17, 2015 7:24 am

Sorry to be having this little conversation with myself here... but maybe this will help someone else:

I installed a Kabuto II (which has clips for the stock AMD cooler mounts) and now the loudest thing in the system is my spinning drive, which isn't very loud. The damping mounts in the hard drive cage are good, but not perfect.

The CPU is idling 2-3C less than it was with the stock cooler with the Kabuto fan at a tad over 500RPM. Even at full blast, the Kabuto is quieter (or at least less annoying) than the stock cooler at it's slowest safe speed.

I was a little worried with the stock fan about the mSATA SSD temps (sometimes as high as 51 C) but now with the bigger top-down fan it's staying at more like 40C so that's a huge bonus.

One of the heat pipes from the Kabuto actually touches the heat spreader on the closest RAM module, but there's no pressure, so it's fine.

It's a tight squeeze in the W1-B -- there's less than a 1cm clearance to the rear case fan, but plenty of room up front. I wasn't able to install the Kabuto without removing the MB -- it looked theoretically possible, but it was hard to see well with the cooler in place.

The SS-300TGW is performing admirably, I don't think the fan has ever actually turned on, even under extended load. It does seem to get a little warm down there, since there's almost no airflow in the bottom compartment, though I'd imagine that it's fine that way.

This is the most powerful, most power-efficient and quietest computer I've ever owned or built, and I'm totally stoked.

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