My Ultra Compact Gaming Desktop

• Computers

A tiny, 7.25L case sporting an i7 7700K and GTX 1080 Ti! Heaps of pictures too!

Parts List

All the boxes

Let’s start straight off with the spec sheet. I purchased most items back in February with eBay’s 20% off deals from Futu Online where possible. I found this a bit cheaper than the usual brick and mortar stores like MSY, Umart or IJK.

COMPONENT ITEM PRICE
CPU Intel 7700K (Delidded) 479.20
MOBO ASUS ROG STRIX Z270i 280.00
RAM Corsair Vengeance LED 32GB 3200Mhz C16 300.00
SSD1 (OS+APPS) Samsung 850 EVO 500GB 204.00
SSD2 (GAMES) Samsung 850 EVO 1TB 399.20
SSD3 (RECORD) Samsung 960 EVO 1TB 599.20
GPU Galax GTX 1080 Ti 0 (gift)
PSU Corsair SF600 162.00
CPU FAN Noctua NH-L9i 40.00
MONITOR Acer Predator XB1 XB271HU 863.20
CASE DAN A4 SFX 388.35
  TOTAL $3715.15

To sum up this build nicely as you can find reviews and benchmarks everywhere else:

CPU - Intel i7 7700K

The i7 7700K is the best Kaby Lake CPU to get. Good for gaming, video editing and virtualisation.

i7 Box

CPU Installed

Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix Z270i

Has pretty much every feature at the time under the sun including 2 M.2. slots…on an ITX board!

Motherboard

Motherboard with CPU and RAM

RAM: Corsair Vengeance LED 32GB 3200Mhz

Here’s the exact link to it: http://www.corsair.com/en-gb/vengeance-led-32gb-2-x-16gb-ddr4-dram-3200mhz-c16-memory-kit-red-led-cmu32gx4m2c3200c16r

The most RAM possible at the moment. While not the fastest memory around, anything above 3200Mhz isn’t worth the price from most benchmarks I’ve seen.

RAM modules

SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB, 1TB & 960 EVO 1TB

Three drives. One for the OS, one for Games and one for Recording Gameplay. I chose the 960 EVO for Recording Gameplay as the faster speeds are beneficial when moving large files around. They don’t make any difference in loading times.

RAM modules

GPU: Galax GTX 1080 Ti

A gift from my girlfriend. The 1080 Ti is the 2nd best graphics card to get from NVIDIA behind the Titan Xp which isn’t sold in Australia. Temps go from 28C to 81C in Winter.

PSU: Corsair SF600

The Corsair SF600 is a crazy good power supply. JonnyGURU gave it a 9.7/10. It’s THAT good.

CPU FAN: Noctua NH-L9i

The Noctua NH-L9i is best noise-to-performance ratio cooler than can currently fit in this case.

MONITOR: Acer XB271HU

The XB271HU is IPS, has G-Sync and goes up to 165hz. The only thing else it could do is 4K and HDR. I chose to go with 1440p as I doubt I could get stable frames from the latest AAA games I tend to play.

CASE: Dan A4-SFX

I waited a few years for this build, made possible with the Dan A4-SFX case. I’ve been following the [H]ardForum thread since Dan first posted it with a prototype from sheet metal. It’s come a long way since then with two Kickstarters for the Dan A4-SFX case.

What makes the case great is that’s the smallest gaming case in the world. It’s almost impossible (I tried) to find any case at the moment that can fit a full-size GPU and be less than 10L. I’m not sure there’s any other configuration to get it smaller without throttling.

The case is unique in that there are two sections. On the right-hand side, you put have your motherboard and power supply. From there, a PCI-e riser cable travels to the left-hand side of the case where the GPU is installed. This makes it so both the CPU and GPU have their own separate cooling; a common problem with small cases.

Installation and Test Bench

Before I had the case or a 1080 Ti, I threw everything on a test bench to use. I thought it would be funny to share. I had it like this for about a month before the case arrived.

First Boot

Test Bench

Here’s a demo of the boot times. Spoilers: 12.02 seconds. I was using a screwdriver to short the power button pins in lieu of a case.

Pictures

To wrap it up, here a few shots I took over the weekend.

Case Case Case Case Case Case Case

I used to have another GTX 1080 Ti…

Before the Galax 1080 Ti, I had a Gigabyte Gaming 1080 Ti (click the link for an image). It was horribly loud and hurt my ears with how loud its coil whine was. I was able to get a refund on it luckily.