Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Getting ready for the SG13


There are two options when it comes to cases for my Mini-ITX potential rig: the Silverstone SG13 and the Ncase M1. The Ncase M1 is the better case - feature wise as it supports 240mm radiators or even two 120mm radiators with lmost the same footprint as the SG13. The two radiator support will be ideal for those planning to buy an AMD Fury card with the AIO water cooling solution,  with another AIO cooler for the CPU. 

The SG13 on the other hand will only support one 120mm AIO water cooler. However, the Ncase is very expensive. The case itself is $175 and I would have to order it online with a shipping cost of $35 and possible import taxes. Would come close to JPY 30, 000. On top of that, it "requires" a SFX power supply which results is a compulsory PSU change. The SG13 is only JPY6,500, and while it will work better with a SFX power supply unit due to extra breathing room for the components, it is not compulsory.

So SG13 it is. Sadly. I wish I could have the Ncase. I sure hope that going cheap will not cause other complications in the future. 

So which components can I reuse from my existing build? 

CPU: Yes

Motherboard: Yes (since last now have a Mini-ITX motherboard)

RAM: Yes

PSU: Yes, as the Silverstone SST-ST75F-GS is a 150mm long PSU, however this would prevent me from having two SSDs in the front drive bay. That's fine since I would have a hard drive in there and it goes sideways so should fit. However, I would probably switch to an SFX-L PSU when I get the chance because they come with a larger 120mm fan which is important as the PSU would have to assist with exhausting the warm air out of the case. The one I'm looking at is the Silverstone SST-SX500-LG.

SSD: Yes, but would have to be fitted on the floor if I'm using a supplementary hard drive. If I add more SSDs in the future they will have to go on top of the PSU (like Linus did in his 18-core CPU + Titan build in this case)  and will have to mount them using "thin" double sided tape.

HDD1: Yes, on the front drive Bay as mentioned before. 

HDD2: No, since the case supports only one HDD. However would make this a portable HDD or probably sell it and buy a proper portable HDD. Since this is the backup drive, it shouldn't have been installed inside the PC in the first place.

CPU cooler: The Antec Kuhler 620, the cooler that I'm currently using, has short tubes and should fit in the case without issues. However, since the cooling ability of it has dropped reasonably in the past few years, I might consider changing this to a newer model at a later date. I don't have a specific model in my mind however it has to have short tubes. H80i-GT probably has the best radiator but it is expensive and I'm worried that it cannot cool effectively with a single fan. This needs more research but it is not a pressing matter so it can wait.

Video Card: No, because the Gigabyte GTX 970 GAMING G1 that I'm currently using is too long. I was considering buying the GALAX GF PGTX970-OC/4GD5 MINI card which seems to come with a high boost clock and is quite short. However since I found out that the MSI GTX 970 Gaming card fits in there, I might opt for it for the sake of quietness. The GALAX card is quite loud at full load although it is no slouch in the performance department. I wish my original GTX 970 card didn't have coil whine. Had it been a defect less, I wouldn't have had to change the graphics card in the first place. 

To summarize, as a bear minimum, I'll have to change the video card. Of course I'll have to get the case too but that's obvious. Getting a portable hard drive case for one of the HDDs or replacing it with a portable hard drive would have to come next. Then it would be the time to change the PSU to one with an SFX-L form factor. Finally I might or might change the CPU cooler but it will be a low priority.

As of  writing this article, Amazon has listed the case as "imminent arrival of stock" with the lowest price I could find it at, so I placed an order. I have a couple of days before I can cancel the order though. 

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