Build Advice

suspenceiskillinu

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Mar 30, 2016
7
0
I am new to the SFF forums and I am looking for advice on the following build:

NFC S4 Mini
Intel i7-6700T
Gigabyte Z170N-WIFI
Corsair LPX 32GB DDR4
Kingston 120GB SSD
Western Digital 2TB HDD
Noctua NH-L9I
Mini-box picoPSU-160-XT
Mini-box 120w Power Supply

I am most concerned about power, as all my previous builds have not been SFF. With that said, I would appreciate any suggestions that the expert in this forum would have. Is this build overkill?

I went with the m.2 connection for my ssd to avoid buying a splitter for the picopsu, as well as it would allow me to add another SATA drive later on since the s4 mini can support two. This build is to serve as a streaming PC (I sometimes have up to 5 streams going at once), and a lab box for work (I run multiple VMs (up to 8 small ones sometimes), which is why I opted for 32GB of RAM). Because I have family members streaming and it is literally on about 20 hours a day, I am trying to build something that consumes less power.
 

Ceros_X

King of Cable Management
Mar 8, 2016
746
656
Your memory kit is 4 x 8GB, but mITX only supports two ram slots, so that will be a no go.

I tend to opt for Samsung SSDs when possible.

Other than that, looks good. Sure Josh can add some input as he makes the cases :V
 

suspenceiskillinu

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Mar 30, 2016
7
0
Looks great. 120w is sufficient for such a build - combined, you're probably looking at a total of 95w max!

Does this mean I could do something like the picoPSU120? I may just leave it at the 160 in case I want to add a video card later... can't decide :)

Your memory kit is 4 x 8GB, but mITX only supports two ram slots, so that will be a no go.

I tend to opt for Samsung SSDs when possible.

Other than that, looks good. Sure Josh can add some input as he makes the cases :V

Strange, I thought the link was for a two 16GB kit. I'll make sure I select the correct option. I actually have a Samsung SSD in my full build now and have zero problems. I just wanted to use the m.2 on that mobo so that I have the option to add another 2.5" drive down the road if needed. I honestly haven't looked to see if there are differences in performance. I am planning on researching that this weekend. I'll see if there is an option with Samsung for that m.2 connection.

I am curious to see what Josh thinks! I wouldn't mind verifying that the SSD on the bottom of the mobo won't affect how things fit in the case.

What do you guys think about the Noctua NH-L9I vs. the Zalman CNPS2X? I would prefer to have this as quiet as possible. The Zalman looks to be more aesthetically pleasing :).
 

Ceros_X

King of Cable Management
Mar 8, 2016
746
656
Strange, I thought the link was for a two 16GB kit. I'll make sure I select the correct option. I actually have a Samsung SSD in my full build now and have zero problems. I just wanted to use the m.2 on that mobo so that I have the option to add another 2.5" drive down the road if needed. I honestly haven't looked to see if there are differences in performance. I am planning on researching that this weekend. I'll see if there is an option with Samsung for that m.2 connection.

I am curious to see what Josh thinks! I wouldn't mind verifying that the SSD on the bottom of the mobo won't affect how things fit in the case.

What do you guys think about the Noctua NH-L9I vs. the Zalman CNPS2X? I would prefer to have this as quiet as possible. The Zalman looks to be more aesthetically pleasing :).

AKAIK there are no 16gb memory modules for DDR4.

For the m.2, I can't speak to the Kingston drives in that form factor but I know some people don't regard them highly. I know you can fit an m.2 in the NFC S4 because Josh did a build using one, once upon a time. Shouldn't have any issues fitting it, but might need some gaffers tape to keep it from contacting the bottom of the case.

For the Zalman vs Noctua, Josh prefers the Zaman for looks and what not, but I personally would check reviews - I saw a number that reported the cooler didn't sit level across the processor when people tried to install it, and that it required lapping.
 

janas19

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 9, 2016
109
39
If you want discrete graphics then the S4 Mini is great, however you didn't list a graphics card for your streaming box. If you don't need one then consider this combo from 321-shortcircuit on Ebay. For $99 you get the M350 case, 150W PicoPSU, and 150W adapter. The M350 will fit two 2.5" drives, and with the amount of money saved you could spend quite a bit more on storage.
 
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suspenceiskillinu

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Mar 30, 2016
7
0

Glad I am not crazy :)

If you want discrete graphics then the S4 Mini is great, however you didn't list a graphics card for your streaming box. If you don't need one then consider this combo from 321-shortcircuit on Ebay. For $99 you get the M350 case, 150W PicoPSU, and 150W adapter. The M350 will fit two 2.5" drives, and with the amount of money saved you could spend quite a bit more on storage.

Wow that is awesome. I am still trying to decide if I should add a video card or not. Thanks for the tip.
 

suspenceiskillinu

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Mar 30, 2016
7
0
Could you elaborate a bit on what you'd like to use this build for?

With my current PC, I have a HTPC setup that I have shared with multiple family members remotely. I have had up to 8 streams going at once, which seems to work fine (I have an i7-4770). I also use the computer for work, for which I run multiple VMs at once (I have 32GB of RAM) to simulate complex networking scenarios. The PC is great, but it is pretty large (Bitfenix Ghost case). It is also on 24/7 because anytime anyone accesses media, the computer wakes from sleep. I am really looking for a lower power comparative box that I can leave on all the time and not have to worry about the power bill getting so high.

I am considering using my existing i7 and RAM in the new build because I don't really need a second PC. If I was to just use this SFF build for an HTPC only and keep my existing PC for work, I would prob go with less RAM and possibly a smaller CPU, but I need to research that and how it relates to multiple streams at the same time. Not sure what to do at this point...
 

GuilleAcoustic

Chief Procrastination Officer
Moderator
LOSIAS
Jun 29, 2015
2,583
3,819
guilleacoustic.wordpress.com
I do not know your budget, but may I suggest a Xeon D based motherboard : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182963



Specifications: http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/D/X10SDV-F.cfm
  • 8 cores, 16 threads, 45W TDP
  • 4x DDR4 DIMM Slots (up to 128GB with Registered ECC, up to 64GB with ECC/non-ECC)
  • M.2 PCIe 3.0 4x M key 2242 and 2280
  • ATX or 12V power options
  • Dedicated IPMI Remote Management
  • Dual Intel i350-AM2 LAN
  • mini-ITX
Review: http://www.eteknix.com/supermicro-x10sdv-f-xeon-d-1540-soc-motherboard-review/
 
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iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
3,243
2,357
freilite.com
I do not know your budget, but may I suggest a Xeon D based motherboard : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813182963



Specifications: http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/D/X10SDV-F.cfm
  • 8 cores, 16 threads, 45W TDP
  • 4x DDR4 DIMM Slots (up to 128GB with Registered ECC, up to 64GB with ECC/non-ECC)
  • M.2 PCIe 3.0 4x M key 2242 and 2280
  • ATX or 12V power options
  • Dedicated IPMI Remote Management
  • Dual Intel i350-AM2 LAN
  • mini-ITX
Review: http://www.eteknix.com/supermicro-x10sdv-f-xeon-d-1540-soc-motherboard-review/

The cool thing about this is that you can heavily cut down on cabling by just using the 12V header instead of the ATX24pin one. Just 4 cables instead of 24 ones is pretty darn nice.
Also you can get 128GB of RAM for it and build an overkill-machine from hell, and you can use the onboard GPIO header for pretty much anything (LEDs, DC motors, you name it). It is quite expensive, though, and you'll probably have to figure something out regarding the cooling.
 
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suspenceiskillinu

Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Mar 30, 2016
7
0
It sure is expensive, but it is an 8C/16T CPU + server grade motherboard + heatsink and it can be ran from a recycled 12V power brick. all you need is an SSD + RAM.

That's true, and the build I was looking at was about $1200 anyway. I am assuming the heatsink wouldn't be adequate for cooling though, right? Shouldn't I get something else? Also AFAIK, that large of a CPU will require more RAM out of the gate, so I will have to factor that in as well...