I promised that I would keep everyone up to date on the changes made to my machines CAPSUPREME and FARPOINT. Well here’s a big update to one of those systems.
CAPSUPREME has it’s history dating back to early 2014 and has gone through many revisions. In fact it is now at it’s 1.6X revision. Yes. For everything today one must include either an X or an i (lower case of course) or a Z in the name. In this case there is sort of a reason for it as I have moved the system to an ITX form factor.
I wanted an experience with building ITX to decide whether I want to go ITX for my Zen build next year or stick with ATX.
So I picked up a Gigabyte F2A88XN-WIFI motherboard, a pair of 8GB G.Skill 1866MHz memory, a Corsair CX650M power supply, and a Rosewill Neutron case.
I am an Asus guy for the most part but sadly Asus does not produce a FM2+ motherboard in the ITX form factor.That left AsRock, MSI and Gigabyte. I’m not particularly a fan of Gigabyte but the price was good compared to the MSI offering.
There are some differences from my A88X-PRO motherboard from Asus include 4 pin rather than 8 pin power connector for the CPU meaning there isn’t a lot of extra power for overclocking. This however isn’t a big deal as my A10-7890k is not a good overclocker so I’ll just be running it stock.
To top that off I was not able to mount my Corsair H80i in the case the way I wanted so I have been limited to using the standard AMD Wraith cooler. The Wraith cooler is a good performer but I am not a huge fan of overclocking on air. The Wraith is almost too big however as it leans pretty hard on the memory.
One benefit of the new motherboard is it’s integrated 802.11AC wifi. That is a nice feature to have even though I have ethernet readily available where the system will reside most of the time. The wifi will come in handy if I ever go to a lan party or to a friends house.
I had to swap out the memory in this build to retain the total 16GB. It’s sad to see the Avexir Blitz 1.1 sticks not being used but it doesn’t fit with the build and they would only amount to 8GB total memory. That to me is no longer enough for a gaming machine.
I had a 1000W semi modular Cooler Master power supply in my previous build but it was already overkill there. It was really overkill in an ITX build so I went ahead and ordered this power supply. 650W is still overkill but it was the right price.
Lastly I went with the Rosewill Neutron case. It’s actually a pretty large case as far as mini ITX cases go. What I liked about it was the extra room in the secondary section below the horizontal mounted motherboard to hide wiring. The drive cage while nice is not designed well. Especially for SSD’s. Other than that the case itself is about the same size as a small micro-ATX tower though a bit wider. It also has room for 6 fans, 5 of which can be 140mm and 1 that can only be 120mm. The case comes with 3 140mm fans though I swapped them out for 120mm Cooler Master Sickle Flow blue LED fans. The Sickle Flow fans while perform and look great they are quite loud in this case. I have the same fans but in red in FARPOINT and they aren’t nearly as loud.
Other than those few issues the case is really pretty decent for the 65 dollar price point. And actually the added magnetic filters are a real pleasure at this price point. My Fractal Design R5 doesn’t even have any of those.
All in all this rebuild not including another purchase of Windows came in at around 250 bucks CAD. The biggest thing I learned though this build is that I will not be building an ITX Zen system. It’s just too much fiddling around. As it stands now I still need to get a proper cooler for the system. I may go for a Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO or get a new 240mm or 280mm all in one liquid cooler.
Have you done a mini-ITX build? What was your experience?