Compact 1080Ti gaming machine in a modded Node 202 case coated with custom car paint and cut to fit the Corsair H5 liquid cooler for overclocking capability.
Node 202 Case - This is a GREAT case. It might not show in pictures all too well, but it has such pleasing proportions and shapes to it. All edges have a really nice looking round over, which separates the plastic parts from the metal ones seamlessly. The vertical stand that comes with the case gives it a great amount of airflow with a minimal footprint making it perfect for small desks. It was very easy to paint on my own, the hand-skill being the masking part (little tricky to mask the beveled edges) but it came out great and was well worth the $22 at O’Reilly’s for a custom mix. The case comes with a really nice bridge for the graphics card as well as an adjustable stand to prevent GPU sag. Although once case fans are installed beneath the graphics card you lose this functionality. Comes with a removable 2.5” drive tray that straddles the center divider, which I removed in favor of cleaner cable management. M.2 SSD highly recommended for this case as I nearly broke the plastic Sata port in my Seagate drive due to the amount of torque and lack of space inside the case. Custom cables are also recommended so you can get custom lengths and do away with the clutter.
Only one major CON with the Node 202 - access to the dust filters. The case comes in 3 large pieces which all click together. The bottom portion of the case magnetically holds the dust filters which are squeezed between the carcass and outer frame. To remove these you must free the carcass from 9 individual plastic clips which can by quite the contortion act. Recommended plastic or wooden shims to hold parts of the case already unclipped from clipping back in as you work your way around.
Cablemod cables - For those of you who may want to know the ideal cable lengths for the Node 202 case, here they are:
24 Pin ATX - 250 mm (shortest they offer), 4+4 Pin EPS - 300 mm, Dual 6+2 PCI-E- 350mm, SATA Power - 200 mm with tray
GPU - Although a lot of builders frown on a blower-style cards, this time it was essential to prevent heating up the rest of the PC. So far it’s performed really well with frame rates in the upper 80’s-120’s in games like Vermintide, PubG, Subnautica and Fallout 4. All in 2k resolution, max settings. The only troubling thing about these founders cards is that they can’t wait to hit 85 and they stay at 85 under load. I prefer a cooler card myself, but as a few parts of this build have gone, SFFPC’s require compromise.
ASUS Z370-I Motherboard - This is a great board. Hands down the highest quality mini ITX board for coffee lake that’s on the market. Don’t cheap out on the motherboard! Buy this one!
SF600 PSU - So far this is a great little power supply. Besides the price tags which is nearly double what I typically pay for a 600W PSU, this thing has no apparent downsides. Most of the time the fan doesn’t spin and only quietly kicks on under heavy loads. I haven’t heard it turn on yet becaaaause...
H5 Cooler - This thing is loud. Not as loud as the computer area in the library circa 1998, but it is loud. It has an audible and consistent hum which comes from its blower style design. I haven’t yet tested turning the blower down, as its secondary function after blowing air through the thin radiator, is sucking air across the motherboard to cool components. With passive exhaust under the GPU providing positive pressure and airflow in the case, I’m sure I could get away with turning this fan down without risking damage to the motherboard or CPU. Either way, I use this PC with headphones, so it works perfectly for me and I don’t mind the hum at all.
970 EVO M.2 SSD - While I haven’t noticed any performance gains from a standard 850 EVO SSD, I can say I’m very pleased with this product so far. Requiring no cables, it’s neat and tidy and so incredibly small. I had no idea how small these things were. A good ballpark would be about the length of the average pinky and width of the average middle finger. Amazing.