A30 - Journey to Budget/Beastly SFF

MMFC378

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Jul 18, 2018
11
1
May be a little long for most. And pics tomorrow and wednesday when parts come in.

It all started in 2016. I started lurking around [H] Hot Deals and just happened to stumble across an amazing opportunity at Best Buy. The 1080 was new and they mistakenly put the 1070 price on it ($449 at the time). I was still stuck on GTX 670’s. I could be set for years on the gpu side of things. I HAD to get this card. Rushed down to Best Buy just minutes before GMs started getting calls about the error. SCORE!! (I really hope that guy didn’t lose his job though)

Fast forward to today. Just like many of us in this small community, I had the itch to upgrade. Like a junky, I needed some new parts but my rig is still a beast. I start lurking forums again. “Ryzen 1700 $159.99”…FML. What the hell am I supposed to do with this thing now. I guess I could use a 1080p gaming/Plex rig and that shouldn’t be too expensive right? The journey to a budget SFF begins.

Reading the interwebs im realizing going small isn’t cheap and it has to start with the case. Indie case makers are pumping out some beautiful designs. Dan, Saber, NFC, N1, the ghost etc. But these are pretty expensive and not readily available to the masses. I see some have gone overseas to find something comparable but even those are close to the same price and who knows when they’ll ship. Then there’s Geeek. Never heard of em until someone mentioned something on reddit. Nice, simple cases with a clean design. Even with ridiculously fast 3 day shipping from Taiwan, you’re looking at around $80 with a psu cover. Its go time!

Now is where the patience had to come into play. Im not spending $1k on a plex rig that I might game on. Over the next 2 months, here is a list of what I managed to find using forums, reddit and ebay deals (they had one every 2 weeks it seemed!!)


CASE - Geeek A30 +PSU Shroud $78.23

CPU – Ryzen 1700 $159.99

RAM – 16GB G.Skill DDR4 3000 $65 Facebook Marketplace (New)

MOBO – ASRock AB350 GamingITX $89.99

PSU (used) – Athena Power FlexATX 350w $33.15 eBay

GPU (used) – EVGA 1060 6GB $171.75 eBay

M.2 – Toshiba XG5 256GB $60 eBay

HDD – (2) HGST HGST Travelstar 7K1000 $80 eBay


Total = $738.11


Sure, theres a few issues with this. I cant check to make sure these items aren’t DOA since I don’t have all the main parts. Luckily, the deals for the cpu and motherboard were from newegg so ill have the warranty. The 1060 was probably more than I needed but again, ebay had a sale knocking the price down to what I probably would have paid for a 1050ti. DDR4? Hell, I just got lucky checking facebook marketplace. It shipped today so we’ll see if I get a box of rocks or not (im covered by paypal if so) The PSU? Going this cheap, I can live if it were to fail on me. M.2? Probably not the best but it gets around 2GB/1GB and its cheaper than a comparable Samsung. Each item purchase I can verify if you need proof. IT CAN BE DONE!

Some items are still coming in and maybe I’ll post pics tomorrow but for those in the market for parts, planning and patience. Use these forums. Check em like Wilford Brimley checks his blood sugar!
 

MMFC378

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Jul 18, 2018
11
1

Cant believe how small these things can get
 

MMFC378

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Jul 18, 2018
11
1
Small update. Most parts come in tomorrow





Yea some edges arent perfectly aligned but nothing noticeable. Havent taken off the plastic so it may look a little dull. Wasnt shooting for black white and red but thats how its gonna turn out. The ram (at least what i say on the add) has big red heatshields soooo, yea. Easily the smallest build ive tried. Node 202 has nothing on this size.

More tomorrow
 

MMFC378

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Jul 18, 2018
11
1
So here was the marketplace ad...


And here they are. Brand spankin new for $65 shipped. I dont ask questions.
 
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MMFC378

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Jul 18, 2018
11
1
Obviously everything was going to be tight especially without a modular psu and ketchup and mustard cables. But its all in, with 2 80mm fans up top, ram at 3200, one hdd in front, the other hdd will be on the side on monday (cables ready to go). Shes tiny and shes quiet.

To do list if i feel the need to spend any more. Switch to an HDPlex 400 and a sleeved cable kit from amazon. They have some cheap ones that'll look just fine.




 

rfarmer

Shrink Way Wielder
Silver Supporter
Jul 7, 2017
2,113
2,132
That is a nice little build for what you spent, I still can't believe that deal you got on the ram. :thumb:
 

MMFC378

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Jul 18, 2018
11
1
Got lucky. It was up for 12 hours at the time. Shot that message over and offered 60 shipped, plus 5 for paypal fees. Then prayed.
 

icsta

Minimal Tinkerer
Jul 30, 2018
3
0
Great looking build! How are the temps with that cooler? I am looking to do pretty close to the same set up but with a 1700x I picked up for cheap. Also do you know how thick the 2.5" drives can be? Wondering if I can fit one of the thicker 5TB drives in there.

Thanks!
 

MMFC378

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Jul 18, 2018
11
1
Temps are fine. No overclocks and the 1060 fan doesn’t even spin most of the time. 30s idle, 60s with a quick stress test. I’m swapping the af9-14(?) for redux b9 just for the color but I heard it’s a little better as well.

I thought all 2.5s were the same thickness. Definitely cant do a 3.5 on either the side or front. If there’s a 2.5 that’s a little thicker than an ssd, it should work behind the front panel.
 

icsta

Minimal Tinkerer
Jul 30, 2018
3
0

MMFC378

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Jul 18, 2018
11
1
First one won’t fit. Second one is only 5400. Whats it gonna be used for? What’s your boot drive?