9 November 2012

Mini ITX Gaming PC Update

During the summer of 2012 I took the plunge into the Ivybridge market and grabbed a new CPU, motherboard and RAM to make what was once a media centre PC, into a personal rig.


- Intel Ivybridge i5 3570K CPU
- AsRock Z77 ITX Motherboard
- 2x4GB Dual channel Corsair Vengence 1866(CAS:9) RAM

I also decided to take the build and start using it as my main PC rather than a media centre for the living room... As a personal touch I opted to mod the inside a little and bit of housekeeping here and there with cables and the such.

I played around with various push-pull fan configurations but in the end I went with one 120mm push fan (Phobya Nano 2G) in front of the radiator. To make things quieter, I under volted the water pump and PSU fan to around 7V each. The system is now near silent under no load but PSU fan is still a bit distracting. I thought about replacing it, however it's one of those low profile 80mm fans that are awkward to find as after market...

Enough talk.. pictures!

This is the final bill of parts. Notice I haven't included the OS. That is because I got this copy with my first build years back and have carried the same one over whenever I've rebuilt my machine.

UPDATE! 21/11/2012

Recently decided to individually braid the PSU wires and add a window. Here is the result!

Then with all the serial bar code stickers removed...

The wire braid, perspex and rubber edging didn't cost more than £15 in total and I'm quite pleased with the result. Not bad for a few hours work!

I used a Dremel tool with grinding disk and sanding drum to cut the metal out. Was a quick process as the disk really gets though the thin metal quite fast. You just need a steady hand.

The cables were done by removing each pin and sleeving them one at a time in order to not mix up any conductors. I didn't want to shell out £10 for the ATX pin removal tool so used the leg of a TO-220 transistor to do it! After sleeving the wire I put a small piece of heat shrink tube at the bottom to stop the braid from coming apart. I left the top of the braid bare and just zip tied the entire bundle as it isn't visible. 

The perspex sheet is actually not attached to the removable cover. It sits snug between the PSU and rubber seal when the case is closed. I found that by sticking it to the cover, the entire thing was awkward to put back together. This solution seems okay for now.

UPDATE! 06/03/2013

Some sticky back felt fabric (red and black) has been added all around the inside of the case to cover the visible bare metal parts. You can see this on the previous two images above.

I've recently replaced the hard drive and previous 64GB SSD with a single 256GB Crucial M4 mSATA SSD. There is a lot more space inside now as well as a couple less cables!

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