Small and powerful gaming PC

I had a dream, a beautiful dream in which I built a small and powerful gaming computer. The current one I have is also not too big. I also built it myself and it still has the possibility of expansion. But I think it could be better, smaller, faster. So I started to looking for some parts in on-line stores and wholesalers. I spent few hours and I think I am happy about the results.

Motherboard

My plan is to build a small (not necessarily the smallest) desktop computer with high computing power. Allowing to play popular games with high graphic settings, which will also enable the use of this equipment to experiment with cracking hashes and passwords.

As the final amount is quite large, I will be buying components from month to month or less. Hence the plan is to collect all components in the coming year and at the end of the year reassemble the whole and test it.

Due to the time it can take to buy everything (unless I win the lottery) some components may change. I will try to keep this article up to date in order to keep you informed about changes and progress.

Components

The plan is to buy only new parts, but the alternative (where possible) I also give approximate amounts of used parts.

Below I present the components,specs and their approximate prices.

Case

A40 MINI-ITX CASE witch PCIe Riser (Li-Heat PCIe 16x Riser 300mm)

A40 MINI-ITX

Materials: Acrylic, Aluminium Frame
Color: White (White+Smokd)
Case Dimensions: 135 x 302 x 262mm (W x H x D)
Motherboard: Mini-ITX (17X17cm)
Drives: 2.5″ SSD/HDD X2
Front ports: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HD Audio, MIC
Expansion Slots: 2
Cooling System Top: 80mm fan x2 or 92mm fan x2 (Optional)
Bottom: 80mm fan x1 (Optional)
Power Supply Type: SFX

CPU Cooler Support up to 60mm height
GPU Support Dual Full Size GPU up to 230mm length
2.5” Drives:
Front drive maximum height: 15mm
Side drive maximum height: 9mm
Fans:
Top: 80mm fan x2 or 92mm fan x2
Button: 80mm fan x1
PSU Support SFX PSU up to 100mm length

Price: 94.90 USD

Power Supply

Corsair SF Series SF600 — 600 Watt 80 PLUS Gold Certified High Performance SFX PSU

Corsair SF600 PSU

ATX Connector 1
Ability to toggle singlemultiple 12V rails No
ATX12V Version v2.4
Continuous output rated temperature C 40°C
Continuous power W 600 Watts
Corsair Link Support No
MTBF hours 100,000 hours
Multi-GPU ready NO
Power 600 Watts
Warranty Seven years
80 PLUS Efficiency Gold
PSU Form Factor SFX
Zero RPM Mode Yes
Cable Type Low-Profile, All Black
C-Link Ready No
Dimensions 100mm x 63mm x 125mm
EPS Connector 1
PCI-E Connector 2
Plug Type NA
SATA Connector 4

Price: ~133 USD

Motherboard

ASUS ROG STRIX Z390-I GAMING

Rog Strix

CPU:
Intel Socket 1151 9th / 8th Gen Intel Core™, Pentium Gold and Celeron Processors Supports Intel 14 nm CPU, Supports Intel Turbo Boost Technology 2.0
Chipset:
Intel Z390
Memory:
2 x DIMM, Max. 64GB, DDR4 4500(O.C)/../2133 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory Dual Channel Memory Architecture Supports Intel Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)
Graphic:
Integrated Graphics ProcessorIntel HD Graphics support
Supports HDMI 2.0 with max. resolution 4096 x 2160 @ / 60 Hz
Supports DisplayPort with max. resolution 4096 x 2304 @ 60 Hz 1
Supports Intel InTru™ 3D, Quick Sync Video, Clear Video HD Technology, Insider™
Supports up to 3 displays simultaneously
Expansion Slots:
1 x PCIe 3.0 x16 (x16 mode)
Storage:
Intel Z390 Chipset:
2 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (both SATA & PCIE mode)2

4 x SATA 6Gb/s port(s)
Support Raid 0, 1, 5, 10
Intel Optane™ Memory Ready 3 LAN: Intel I219V, Anti-surge LANGuard, ROG GameFirst Technology Wireless Data Network: Intel Wireless-AC 9560, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Supports dual band frequency 2.4/5 GHz, Supports MU-MIMO, Bluetooth, Bluetooth 5.0 Audio: ROG SupremeFX 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A, Dual Headphone Amplifiers, Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs, Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking,High quality 120 dB SNR stereo playback output and 113 dB SNR recording input, SupremeFX Shielding Technology, Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback 4
Audio Feature:
SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology, Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel, Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals, Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity, Sonic Radar III, Sonic Studio III + Sonic Studio Link
USB Ports:
Intel Z390 Chipset: 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector port(s)
Intel Z390 Chipset: 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 port(s) (2 at back panel, red, Type-A)
Intel Z390 Chipset: 5 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s) (3 at back panel, blue, Type-A + USB Type-CTM, 2 at mid-board)
Intel Z390 Chipset: 4 x USB 2.0 port(s) (2 at back panel, black, 2 at mid-board)
Back I/O Ports:
1 x DisplayPort
1 x HDMI
1 x LAN (RJ45) port(s)
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A,
2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (blue) Type-A,
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (black) Type-C,
2 x USB 2.0
1 x Optical S/PDIF out
5 x Audio jack(s)
1 x ASUS Wi-Fi GO! module (Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth v4.2)
Internal I/O Ports:
1 x Aura Addressable Strip Header(s)
1 x AAFP connector
1 x Aura RGB Strip Header(s)
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1(up to 5Gbps) connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1 port(s)
1 x USB 2.0 connector(s) support(s) additional 2 USB 2.0 port(s)
2 x M.2 Socket 3 with M Key design, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (Supports both SATA & PCIE SSD)
4 x SATA 6Gb/s connector(s)
1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
1 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x AIO_PUMP connector
1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
1 x Internal speaker connector(s)
1 x System panel(s) (Chassis intrusion header is inbuilt)
1 x MemOK! II switch(es)
1 x Thermal sensor connector(s)
1 x Clear CMOS jumper(s)
1 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 front panel connector
Mini ITX Form Factor:
6.7 inch x 6.7 inch ( 17 cm x 17 cm)

Price: ~284 USD

Memory

G.Skill Trident Z RGB DDR4, 2x8GB, 4260 MHz

G.Skill Trident

Series: Trident Z RGB
Memory Type: DDR4
Capacity: 16GB (8GBx2)
Multi-Channel Kit: Dual Channel Kit
Tested Speed: 4260MHz
Tested Latency: 19-19-19-39
Tested Voltage: 1.40v
Registered/Unbuffered: Unbuffered
Error Checking: Non-ECC
SPD Speed: 2133MHz
SPD Voltage: 1.20v
Fan lncluded: No
Height: 44 mm / 1.73 inch
Features: Intel XMP 2.0 (Extreme Memory Profile) Ready

Price: ~371 USD

CPU

INTEL Core i7-8700

Intel i7

Product Collection: 8th Generation Intel Core i7 Processors
Code Name: Products formerly Coffee Lake
Lithography: 14 nm
Cores: 6
Threads: 12
Processor Base Frequency: 3.20 GHz
Max Turbo Frequency: 4.60 GHz
Cache: 12 MB SmartCache
Bus Speed: 8 GT/s DMI3
TDP: 65 W
Max Memory Size: 64 GB
Memory Types: DDR4-2666
Max of Memory Channels: 2
Max Memory Bandwidth: 41.6 GB/s
ECC Memory Supported: No
Processor Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630
Graphics Base Frequency: 350 MHz
Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency: 1.20 GHz
Graphics Video Max Memory: 64 GB
4K Support: Yes, at 60Hz
Max Resolution (HDMI 1.4): 4096x2304@24Hz
Max Resolution (DP): 4096x2304@60Hz
Max Resolution (eDP - Integrated Flat Panel): 4096x2304@60Hz
DirectX Support: 12
OpenGL Support: 4.5
Intel Quick Sync Video:Yes
Intel InTru™ 3D Technology: Yes
Intel Clear Video HD Technology: Yes
Intel Clear Video Technology: Yes
Displays Supported: 3
Scalability: 1S Only
PCI Express Revision: 3.0
PCI Express Configurations: Up to 1x16, 2x8, 1x8+2x4
Max of PCI Express Lanes: 16
Intel Optane™ Memory Supported: Yes
Intel Turbo Boost Technology: 2.0
Intel vPro™ Platform Eligibility: Yes
Intel Hyper-Threading Technology: Yes
Intel Virtualization Technology (VT-x): Yes
Intel Virtualization Technology for Directed I/O (VT-d): Yes
Intel VT-x with Extended Page Tables (EPT): Yes
Intel TSX-NI: Yes
Intel 64: Yes
Instruction Set: 64-bit
Instruction Set Extensions: Intel SSE4.1, Intel SSE4.2, Intel AVX2
Idle States: Yes
Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology: Yes
Thermal Monitoring Technologies: Yes
Intel Identity Protection Technology: Yes
Intel Stable Image Platform Program (SIPP): Yes
Intel AES New Instructions: Yes
Secure Key: Yes
Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX): Yes with Intel ME
Intel Memory Protection Extensions (Intel MPX): Yes
Intel OS Guard: Yes
Intel Trusted Execution Technology: Yes
Execute Disable Bit: Yes
Intel Boot Guard: Yes

Price: ~455 USD

CPU Cooler

Noctua NH-L9i

Noctua Cooler

Socket compatibility: Intel LGA1150, LGA1151, LGA1155, LGA1156, AMD AM4 with NM-AM4-L9aL9i
Height (without fan) 23 mm
Width (without fan) 95 mm
Depth (without fan) 95 mm
Height (with fan) 37 mm
Width (with fan) 95 mm
Depth (with fan) 95 mm
Weight (without fan) 345 g
Weight (with fan/s) 420 g
Material Copper (base and heat-pipes), aluminium (cooling fins), soldered joints & nickel plating
Max. TDP see TDP guide
Fan compatibility 92x92x14mm, 92x92x25mm
Scope of delivery
NF-A9x14 PWM premium fan
Low-Noise Adaptor (L.N.A.)
NT-H1 high-grade thermal compound
SecuFirm2™ Mounting Kit
Screws for 92x92x25mm fans
Noctua Metal Case-Badge

Price: ~48 USD

Chassis Cooler

Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM

Noctua A9

Size: 92x92x14 mm
Mounting hole spacing: 82,5x82,5 mm
Connector: 4-pin PWM
Bearing: SSO2
Blade geometry: A-Series with Flow Acceleration Channels
Frame technology: AAO (Advanced Acoustic Optimisation)
Rotational speed: (+/- 10%) 2200 RPM
Rotational speed with L.N.A.: (+/- 10%) 1700 RPM
Min. rotational speed: (PWM, +/-20%) 500 RPM
Airflow: 50,5 m³/h
Airflow with L.N.A.: 38,1 m³/h
Acoustical noise: 19,9 dB(A)
Acoustical noise with L.N.A.: 13,5 dB(A)
Static pressure: 1,64 mm H₂O
Static pressure with L.N.A.: 0,92 mm H₂O
Max. input power: 1,32 W
Max. input current: 0,11 A
Operating voltage 12 V

Price: ~20 USD

Hard Drive

SSD WD Black M2 PCIe NVMe 500GB

WD Black

Capacity: 500GB
Interface: PCIe Gen3 8 Gb/s, up to 4 lanes
Form Factor: M.2 2280
Sequential Read/Write:
Up to 3,400 MB/s Read
Up to 2,500 MB/s Write
Random Read/Write:
Up to 410,000 IOPS Read
Up to 330,000 IOPS Write

Price: ~142 USD

Graphic Card

Zotac GeForce GTX 1070 Mini 8GB GDDR5

GTX 1070

GPU GeForce GTX 1070
CUDA cores 1920
Video Memory 8GB GDDR5
Memory Bus 256-bit
Engine Clock Base: 1518 MHz
Boost:1708 MHz
Memory Clock 8 GHz
PCI Express 3.0
Display Outputs 3 x DisplayPort 1.4
HDMI 2.0b
DL-DVI
HDCP Support Yes
Multi Display Capability Quad Display
Recommended Power Supply 500W
Power Consumption 150W
Power Input 8-pin
DirectX 12 API feature level 12_1
OpenGL 4.5
Cooling Twin Fan
Slot Size Dual Slot
SLI Yes, SLI HB Bridge Supported
Supported OS Windows 10 / 8 / 7
Card Length 210mm x 122mm
Accessories Dual 6-pin to 8-pin PCIe adapter

Price: ~530 USD (used ~320 USD)

Operating System

Windows 10 Home x64

Price - 134 USD

Linux Ubuntu

Price - Free

Total Price

About 2000 USD

Possibility of expansion

CPU: Intel i9-9900K 3.6 GHz 16MB - 642 USD

GPU: ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2070 OC MINI - 655 USD

HDD: SSD WD Black M2 PCIe NVMe 1TB - 276 USD

RAM: G.SKILL DDR4 TridentZ 2x16GB 4000MHz - 642 USD

Possible problems

With such a small case and components of this type, the space, temperature and noise will be a problem.

Space

The sizes given in the specification for all elements indicate that everything should fit. The processor cooling heatsink will not interfere with the memory. A possible obstacle may be hard wires of the power supply, which if they do not work well, they will have to be replaced with more flexible ones.

Temperature

All elements have their fans, which should cool the whole without any problems even during the most demanding tasks. Case allows the installation of additional chassis fan, top fans (80mm fan x2 or 92mm fan x2) and bottom: 80mm fan x1. CPU cooling system is sufficient for i7 processor. If we would like to upgrade CPU to i9 then some power restrictions should be adjusted in the BIOS (suggested maximum power limit: 130W) or replace the cooling. Unfortunately, I could not find the CPU cooling with a maximum height of 60 mm, which would support the i9 processor.

Anyway it can be hot inside.

Noise

Fans, fans, fans! Too many fans. Probably fans from GPU and CPU are not so noisy but if I will add optional chassis fans maybe starting to be loud. Depending on the temperature inside, a decision will be made whether to install chassis fan or not.

Price

It’s a bit much for my budget, especially since I’m not a big player. Nevertheless, I will try. I hope that in a year it will work, and if not a year, it will take a little longer :) if you would like to support the construction of this computer, you can contribute by sending a few bitcoins -> 1GQn5vd57uWZKLXNuUsgv7s3mWqZMB7ykW. Thanks!

If you have any comments or tips about the configuration please share with me in the comments. Maybe I omitted something or made a mistake somewhere. I will be grateful for hints and thoughts.