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Old 04-02-21, 02:36 AM
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First Scratch ITX & Desk Build

So I've been absent for quite a while - Various personal circumstances that've stopped me indulging in my favourite hobbies. But I've recently secured my dream job, and everything is on the up!

A bit of background on myself, I was a systems builder for several years before I started university, which I've now graduated with a Master's degree in 3D printing based tech, and recently landed a job that means I get paid to play with all the crazy 3D printing technology and write papers on it!

After building hundreds of systems for other people, friends and business alike, it kinda drained my enthusiasm for building - but now I think it's time for a proper showcase build for myself

I've since gained a lot of experience and qualifications in Fusion 360 and various Autodesk software, so it's going to be as much a CAD learning experience for myself as it will (hopefully) be a pretty system!

So, the plan is a full ground-up scratch Mini-ITX system, full custom case, water-cooling loop with all the trimmings in as small a package as I can manage; I fancy a challenge essentially!

As you know, buying components is an utter barstool at the moment, so my parts list so far is:
  • AMD Ryzen 5 5600X *Yet to be delivered*
  • Kingston HyperX Fury RGB 16GB (2x8GB ) 3600MHz *Yet to be delivered*
  • Aorus X570 I Pro WiFi motherboard *Have*
  • Corsair SF600 Platinum SFX PSU *Have*
  • WD Black 1TB Gen.4 NvMe SSD (M.2) *Have*

Parts TBD:
  • GPU - Decided on an RTX3070, but buying one is currently impossible, and I need to ensure it's a non FE card with waterblock support! Any suggestions? STRIX seems like the only choice to me?
  • Watercooling hardware
  • Radiator/s
  • AM4 CPU Block

The *small* pile of parts has started to arrive!

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Old 04-02-21, 02:56 AM
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Question

After thinking on the theme of the build for a while, and watching un-godly amounts of YT content for inspiration, I've settled on a colour scheme for the custom wiring - of course all MDPC-X XTC:

Titanium Grey Mk2 for the base colour:

Vanilla Sands accent:

Haze grey accent:


Playing around with a couple of online configurators, I've settled on this for my pattern:



Picture these against a background of sandblasted aluminium, with frosted acrylic and wooden accents and feature pieces Like Bit-Tech's Ensyis, but maybe 10% as competent

All the above has been ordered, along with some nice 16AWG silver plated copper wire, and the appropriate Molex Crimps for the PSU cables - Which were an absolute PITA to track down!! For those who didn't know, standard Molex "ATX" crimps are only spec'd up to 18AWG wire, and these custom modding supply shops don't exactly go around sharing the Molex part numbers for the "extra special 16AWG ATX crimps". For future reference, it's RS stock number "6706331"

My crimpers unfortunately do not go beyond 18AWG, and I can't stomach the MDPC-X crimp tool pricing! So I've sent off for a good quality SN-48BM crimp tool on prime, should be here tomorrow!

In the mean time whilst components are arriving, I've begun to measure and CAD up my components. PSU is done tonight, all the important details and mounting locations are accurate - I'm not going for photorealism here, just perfect fit and form!



I'm imaging the chassis as being semi-open, so the cables will be an integral part of the design.

I've now moved onto the CAD for the motherboard, however I'm struggling to find any concrete specifications for the ITX "Standard" form factor! Considering it's supposed to be a certified standard, every single source of documentation has differences in vital measurements! Formfactors.org no longer seems to have useful information - Does anyone have a source of reliable, proven dimensions for the Mini-ITX form factor before I spend days measuring and modelling everything from scratch?
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Old 04-02-21, 11:23 PM
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Wiring tools arrived!

My shiny new crimpers arrived, and wow what a difference!


I went for the SN-48B, and the nice steel jaws make a huge difference to the crimps - Here's a pic of the SN-28 crimp (Bottom) versus the SN-48B crimp (Top):


MUCH more confident in using these! Now I just need my MDPC-X to arrive along with the 5600X and RAM from Overclockers, who're frustratingly taking days to even ship my order

I've also been looking at water-cooling options today, I'm not yet 100% decided between hardline or soft-tubing (Sucker for neoprene tubing), but I've decided on the copper EK-Quantum Velocity in black to match the motherboard, so this will get ordered at the end of the month - I'm in less of a rush for the water components as a lack of GPU is going to hold back progress, as I need to get a 3070 that also has a waterblock available!



Wish me luck!
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Old 07-02-21, 02:49 AM
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Spent a lot of time tonight measuring I'm not sure how these guys make the super detailed motherboard models on GrabCAD etc without source PCB files! But anyway, I have a *very* rudimentary model of the Motherboard, the important bits are the IO shield, beefy M.2 heatsink, general important port information and rear motherboard "Armour":



I'm planning on having a cut-out specifically to display a beefy Gen.4 M.2 drive in the rear, backlit with LEDs - so it was pretty crucial to get these M.2 slot and armour dimensions right.



And yes... it's the wrong socket, it was easy to find! All the important details are there.

I'm still finding it impossible to even get onto a pre-order list for an RTX 3070, never mind a waterblock compatible one If anyone's got any ideas, let me know!
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Old 07-02-21, 07:05 PM
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Small update;
CPU, Sleeving, RAM & pin removal tool arrived

The heatshrink is for the heatshrink-less sleeving method - it won't be in the build

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Old 09-02-21, 09:15 PM
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Cool CAD Test Parts! (Picture Heavy)

So I've finished the important CAD bits that I was struggling with!


Had a busy day today with the Glowforge Pro at work cutting some test mounts out of acrylic to see if all my designs are bang on for mounting the main components to my case design!

And the resulting parts:





These very colourful things actually worked!
SFX Mounting pattern:



GPU Mounting pattern:





Last but not least, Motherboard tray / IO Outline:



This is the only thing I'm slightly off on, which for a first try I think is pretty good! Just need to bring the top edge of the IO cut-out down 1mm!


And I'm reaaaally happy with this! M.2 show-off window cut-out thing! This is going to be backlit with LEDs and visible from the back


Now all the big components are done, I can move onto actual the actual case CAD

Experimenting with GPU placement now, I've had a few ideas, obviously I'm constrained by the PCIE riser cable not being able to twist(?):
Underneath - backplate front:

Underneath - Cooler/waterblock front:

Behind motherboard - back to back:

And an alternate view:

What do you think?

I want to have a compact case, but I also don't want to sacrifice visibility for the design features I'm adding in, or the cpu block! So I'm thinking a take on the "standard" vertical GPU mount, but moved further down so the 'top' of the card is level with the top of the PCIE slot. Giving me room for a cross-flow radiator on the behind the gpu and under the motherboard perhaps?

Lots of thinking to do! But I've now got the building blocks!
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Old 09-02-21, 09:47 PM
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Interesting. Configuration-wise I would base it on how long your PCIe riser card will be and what works best with that riser card spacially.
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Old 10-02-21, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WYP View Post
Interesting. Configuration-wise I would base it on how long your PCIe riser card will be and what works best with that riser card spacially.
With building up from scratch I could theoretically use any length I need Though I would like to keep it as short as possible to try and keep Gen.4 working!

I've only managed to find one riser card that's confirmed as Gen.4 capable - LINKUP on amazon - so I can work to the limits of the available lengths for this (5cm, 10cm, 20cm, 25cm). But they also offer Straight, Right angle, Left angle and single Reverse angle models, so it's pretty flexible!

I guess I won't really know which until I start putting pen to paper tonight - or Mouse to CAD I guess
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Old 12-02-21, 08:21 PM
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Snagged a 3070!

Quick update, managed to snag an MSI 3070 Ventus 3X OC!

Paid about 100 quid over the rrp, but from what retailers are telling me it's going to be at least 3-4 months before they get any more 3070s, thus the 3060Ti to pad demand? Not sure how true that is but two major retailers have told me the same story!

For me, £100 over 4 months is manageable - especially as it'd be 3-4 months before I get the chance to order one!

This is the one!


You're thinking what I did - it looks way too big for an ITX build. And you're absolutely right but I also managed to find a waterblock by Bykski - a company I'd never heard of but seem to get very positive reviews.


And looking at this PCB:


It looks like it'll shrink the card significantly by blocking it.

Should be here on Sunday! Stay tuned for updates
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Old 12-02-21, 09:37 PM
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Now you have to be sure it fits.
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