̶N̶o̶d̶e̶ ̶2̶0̶2̶ ̶v̶s̶ Evolv Shift - build advice

mihau

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Nov 16, 2019
6
1
Hello to SFF community :)

Recently I got bitten by the SFF bug, and since I would like to build a new system I'm thinking of going small. I really like vertical enclosures, but I have zero experience with SFF.

What I'd like to put inside:
CPU: i5 9600k or i7 9700k
MOBO: MSI MPG Z390I Gaming Edge AC
GPU: EVGA GEFORCE RTX 2070 SUPER
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V 2x8 GB 3200MHz, CL16
SSD :CORSAIR MP510 960GB

Now to the cases:
Node 202
I really like the design and dimensions but I am worried of temps. I don't want to boli the interior, so i'm thinking of water cooling.
Is it wise to build custom loop in Node 202 out of 240mm radiator and good CPU and GPU blocks (maybe with integrated pumps like in AIOs)? That is why I'd like to get EVGA card, so the warranty will be valid despite removing stock cooling. I have no experience with water cooling, but I like to tinker, and I'm confident that I will be able to manage it. Could you recommend some decent parts (preferrably Alphacool, since they are not as expensive as EK).

Now to the Evolv Shift
I am aware that there are mesh panels available, but that glass panels are mindblowing. Air cooling - like in the case of Node 202, not smart. Since Evolv Shift can house 2x120mm rads I was thinking of getting 1 AIO for CPU and EVGA XC HYBRID (card or upgrade kit) or Kraken G12 and other AIO for GPU. Or maybe I should build custom loop with 2 120mm rads?

Feel free to criticise, discuss and advice.
 

neilhart

Cable-Tie Ninja
Apr 18, 2017
149
270
This is my opinion: I have experience with both cases. I am not a fan of of the 202 and cut my copy up and used the pieces in various projects. The Evolve Shift is also one that I initially liked the design and then I grew cold on it and put it aside.

However check out the latter portion of this thread where I built an air cooled i9-9900K system into the modded Evolve Shift.
https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/phase-1-neilhart’s-i9-9900k-air-cooled-abs-prototype-mini-itx-case.10495/#post-148848

I am still happy with this hack and may move it to use as my main workstation.

Anyway I suggest that you configure and build your system on the bench, install your target OS and load your favorite apps. Run the system and see if it meets your goals. Then using throw away materials, mockup your target case and see if the system will run in that configuration.

Good luck with your project.
Neil
 
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mihau

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Nov 16, 2019
6
1
Thank you Neil for pointing me to your project. Tremendous amount of work!

Unfortunately I don't think that I want to mod the case so heavily, nor I have time to do it. Currently I'm in the "neglect SFF" phase after reading so many complaints on the Evolv Shift (ES) thermals. I really like its design, but temperatures above 75 degrees are too distressing for me. I'd like some OOTB case, that I can fit custom water loop, or AIOs or just air and achieve good thermals. I'd like the PC to take as little space as possible, but right now I'm thinking of getting Fractal Design Define C as my case. Not as small as the ES, but way easier to cool (and even watercool).

Michal
 

axtran

Average Stuffer
Feb 13, 2017
63
60
I have a Node 202 that I use for my "portable" build when I go visit family (I hate trying to game on laptops). Custom loop in a 202 is probably going to be a waste of time. There's some videos on YT from a few people trying to do it, but with the limited space and rarity of the parts that would fit such a build, it'll be difficult to actually pull off these days.

If you can find a Scythe Big Shuriken 2 Rev. B, it'll fit the LGA1151 CPU mounting hole. I have a damaged one (damaged in transit since I bought it from someone on eBay who literally packed a bunch of stuff in a box with grocery bags...) but I use it anyway. I bent the fan mounting brackets so that a Noctua slim 120mm would fit, and it is handling my 7700T adequately.
 

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Apr 1, 2016
3,410
2,431
Thank you Neil for pointing me to your project. Tremendous amount of work!

Unfortunately I don't think that I want to mod the case so heavily, nor I have time to do it. Currently I'm in the "neglect SFF" phase after reading so many complaints on the Evolv Shift (ES) thermals. I really like its design, but temperatures above 75 degrees are too distressing for me. I'd like some OOTB case, that I can fit custom water loop, or AIOs or just air and achieve good thermals. I'd like the PC to take as little space as possible, but right now I'm thinking of getting Fractal Design Define C as my case. Not as small as the ES, but way easier to cool (and even watercool).

Michal
In that case you need to go for Cerberus-X..;)
A little bit bigger than but small SFF with very little compromise on components and cooling.

People tends to forgot that SSF like node 202 or smaller are not meant/designed to host power hungry components (especially cpu) like 95W cpu. Only exception would come from 92mm AIO (Asetek 645LT) that could improve cpu thermal noticeably versus C7/L9 air coolers.
 

CaptainBigleux

Caliper Novice
Sep 9, 2019
28
14
got the same SFF bug few weeks ago mate ;)
I initially looked at the same cases like you did, but I turned them down.

Sure, they are prettry "cheap" to buy and easily available.
But not sure they really are SFF case to consider in late 2019. Many other choices more interesting in my opinion.

Node 202... the idea of console shape seems interesting at first... but at the end not so much. Also not easy to cool, very low clearance. You can try to fit a small AIO at the rear of the GPU... but then you need a small GPU that doesnt exist in RTX2070 super range.

Evolv shift, looks nice and original. But is it really a SFF at the end ? Also I read the design is not great for the GPU cooling.

If you really want to go small, you can look into sandwich style layout. Such as Dan case, koling rocket, louque ghost, streacom DA2...
Each of them have diffent prox and cons.
If you don't mind bit bigger (even if steacom DA2 is already in the big range), but easier cooling : Ncase M1, Lian Li TU150, fractal nano S...
 

mihau

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Nov 16, 2019
6
1
Thank you all for your input to the thread.

As for now I have given up on Node 202. Too small

In that case you need to go for Cerberus-X..;)
A little bit bigger than but small SFF with very little compromise on components and cooling.

Cerberus-X, hmmm.... Looks nice, but the price is too high for me. I'd rather spend 100-150$ on case and the rest invest in better GPU or cooling.

f you really want to go small, you can look into sandwich style layout. Such as Dan case, koling rocket, louque ghost, streacom DA2...
Each of them have diffent prox and cons.
If you don't mind bit bigger (even if steacom DA2 is already in the big range), but easier cooling : Ncase M

The main problem with these cases (apart from being too expensive for me) is the fact that they are "cubes", like NAS devices. And I don't like that. I want my PC to be tower like. As it comes to Evolv Shift being a true SFF. I don't want to argue. For me sub-20L is just artificial fringe and there is more than raw volume that should be taken into account :)

Phanteks's Evolv Shift seems to be the sweet spot in terms of design (not thermal design) and price for me.

I have spent a lot reading about SFFPC's and I think that my wallet provided me with really good anti-SFF-venom vaccination.

Michal
 

mihau

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Nov 16, 2019
6
1
Do you mean price including importation fees aso please?
if this is the issue density is importing sliger cases to EU
https://www.density.sk/product/cerberus-x/#frame

Even without import taxes it is way over my case budget. And if I have to choose: raw performance or SFF, I'll go for the first. The more I search and read about SFF, the more expensive it gets in order to get good performance - nothing surprising after all.
sure, if you like the tower design, then the shift is a great choice, and pretty good price. Go for it ;)

:) I didn't expect that selecting a chassis will be so difficult. 10 years ago I spent like 20$ on a case, and I thought it was too expensive :D
Heaviliy hesitating between Evolv Shift (but those temperatures, even with dual 120mm AIOs :(), and going big for Fractal Design Define C

Michal
 

rfarmer

Shrink Way Wielder
Silver Supporter
Jul 7, 2017
2,167
2,192

Take a look at this video, shows how to get pretty decent temps with the Evolv Shift and dual AIOs.
 

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Apr 1, 2016
3,410
2,431
:) I didn't expect that selecting a chassis will be so difficult. 10 years ago I spent like 20$ on a case, and I thought it was too expensive :D
Heaviliy hesitating between Evolv Shift (but those temperatures, even with dual 120mm AIOs :(), and going big for Fractal Design Define C

Michal
Well i understand but case
:) I didn't expect that selecting a chassis will be so difficult. 10 years ago I spent like 20$ on a case, and I thought it was too expensive :D
Heaviliy hesitating between Evolv Shift (but those temperatures, even with dual 120mm AIOs :(), and going big for Fractal Design Define C

Michal
As standard case I appreciate a lot Fractal Meshify C, pretty compact ATX MB case with proper cooling.

After don't miss rajintek Thetis, most compact ATX case from "standard" company. it's well supported on SFForum also :
https://smallformfactor.net/forum/t...nother-small-atx-case.5556/page-7#post-173483

You have also Rajintek Ophion and Ophion M.

Check them also..;)
 

mihau

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Nov 16, 2019
6
1

Take a look at this video, shows how to get pretty decent temps with the Evolv Shift and dual AIOs.
Thank you for the link to the video. I have seen the "first" part but I failed to find the one after front panel mod.


As standard case I appreciate a lot Fractal Meshify C, pretty compact ATX MB case with proper cooling.

After don't miss rajintek Thetis, most compact ATX case from "standard" company. it's well supported on SFForum also :
https://smallformfactor.net/forum/t...nother-small-atx-case.5556/page-7#post-173483

You have also Rajintek Ophion and Ophion M.

Check them also..;)

Thank you for showing me another option :)

I am really thankful to all you for all the input you have done to help me. Unfortunately I am leaning towards Define C (main reason - sound dampening, but I dont know if it's worth going for).

Just found the NEO G MINI V2. Looks nice, and its pretty well priced.

Michal
 
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mihau

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Nov 16, 2019
6
1
Sorry to bump, but the SFF venom is stronger than I thought... :D

What do you think about getting some AIO for CPU, put it on the bottom of the Evolv Shift in push-pull, add 2 front 120 fans as intakes (all 4 fans high static pressure) and use an open air gpu like MSI RTX 2070 Super Gaming X Trio? Fans towards side panel (probalby longer riser required), maybe replace it for a mesh panel in the future (or remove TG for heavy gaming). Or maybe even drill some holes to ensure better airflow while keeping the looks of the original? Distance the front panel by a little so there is more space for the fans to intake fresh air?

If I had the opportunity to buy the EVGA RTX 2070 XC Hybrid, then I wouldn't be hesitating so long. Buying other GPU, stripping stock cooler away and then placing Kraken G12 and some AIO seems like not a great idea for me.

Or maybe go Jonsbo U4? Or are there any other cases (with the limit of 40 cm in depth, and 50 cm in height) that you can recommend?

Michal
 

rodarkone

Cable Smoosher
Nov 19, 2019
10
5
Just get a Evolv Shift Air - or the side pannel's kit from Phanteks ... is 19.99 :)

I have both Evolv Shift / Evolv Shift Air .. the difference is huge (15-20C in full load)