DAN A4-SFX v4.1

Dawelio

Awesomeness
SFFn Staff
Dec 17, 2017
524
439
Thanks for the link to the adapter, i'll definitely buy one. As this is more of a low budget build i don't know if i'll add custom cables, but it is nice to know that this option exists.
I can highly vouch and recommend the PSlate customs cables that @rfarmer posted above. I've used them in every SFF build I've done; A4 SFX, Meshlicious, NCASE M1, NR200P and FormD T1. It makes an massive amount of difference, especially in the A4 SFX. After purchasing and installing them, I was mad at myself for not getting them earlier. Much nicer aesthetic overall and less cable mess. You'll have an considerable amount of space in the case empty if going with those cables. Just an FYI here for you :)
 
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ZTylerDurden

Average Stuffer
May 31, 2020
57
25
Thanks for the link to the adapter, i'll definitely buy one. As this is more of a low budget build i don't know if i'll add custom cables, but it is nice to know that this option exists.

Here's the budget version I used and it's been working for years. You'll have a lot of breathing room back in your case by avoiding that stock motherboard cable.


The seller takes custom orders via the site's messaging system. You'll want:
1x24p-160mm - unsleeved, clear

Total cost snail mail will cost around $12-15, maybe less. I got a bundle for $27 so I'm guesstimating.
 

axtran

Average Stuffer
Feb 13, 2017
77
70
I just rebuilt my Dan A4 SFX with a Ryzen 5900 and an ASRock X570 PG ITX TB3. The TB3 functionality to connect to the same TB dock that I connect my work laptop to is really the nicest interface I’ve dealt with. If you can find an OEM 5900, it is very manageable in this case due to it being fairly easy to cool and the core count pretty darn dense!

SF450 and my ol’ 1080Ti round off the rest of the major parts.
 
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Spunkie

Case Bender
New User
Dec 27, 2020
2
0
Years ago, I built 3 ITX computers(1x Dan A4, 2x FormD T1) at the same time. At the time I remember having to play round robin with the motherboards because it turned out only 1 of the 3 I bought fit in the dan A4 with a cooler.

My friend who was getting the Dan A4 ended up with a "ASRock B550M-ITX/AC" which turned out to be an absolutely awful board, constantly plagued by issues and wouldn't even save bios settings. Now their motherboard has just completely died so I'm looking for sage wisdom on a replacement. My friend is running a AMD 5700g with an Nvidia 2070 super right now.

Can anyone offer advice on the best AM4 board that will fit with a Alpenfohn Black Ridge cooler? Or alternatively is there a better AM4 motherboard + CPU cooler combo I'm not aware of for the Dan A4? Maybe something with a noctua?
 

ZTylerDurden

Average Stuffer
May 31, 2020
57
25
Years ago, I built 3 ITX computers(1x Dan A4, 2x FormD T1) at the same time. At the time I remember having to play round robin with the motherboards because it turned out only 1 of the 3 I bought fit in the dan A4 with a cooler.

My friend who was getting the Dan A4 ended up with a "ASRock B550M-ITX/AC" which turned out to be an absolutely awful board, constantly plagued by issues and wouldn't even save bios settings. Now their motherboard has just completely died so I'm looking for sage wisdom on a replacement. My friend is running a AMD 5700g with an Nvidia 2070 super right now.

Can anyone offer advice on the best AM4 board that will fit with a Alpenfohn Black Ridge cooler? Or alternatively is there a better AM4 motherboard + CPU cooler combo I'm not aware of for the Dan A4? Maybe something with a noctua?

Sounds like you're concerned about the black ridge cooler and options for the mobo. Given the AMD processor is 65W tdp (pls double check this), you shouldn't have to rely on Black Ridge. BR is neat and all, but you're not gonna use it for 120mm which is its secret sauce that ended up being a pain in the ass to configure.

Anyway. At 65W, get one of these and you'll probably be able to use whichever motherboard gets highest reviews for mini-itx on pcpartpicker.com:
Noctua NH-L9a AM4, Premium Low-Profile CPU Cooler for AMD AM4 (Brown)


Then get these fan ducts to suppress noise turbulence from side panel closeness.
Noctua NA-FD1, Fan Duct Kit for NH-L9i and NH-L9a Series CPU Coolers (Black)

edited the parts
 
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Bonusround

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jun 26, 2018
220
242
1. The PCI riser cable was bent in such a way that it was impossible to put the NF-A9x14 underneath. I read that you could bend the cable with a hairdryer, but i didn't want to risk damaging it and don't really know how hard you can bend it before it breaks. I decided to not install the fan.
I don’t think the v4.1 cases were deigned to accommodate fans under the motherboard; that feature only came in later versions.
 

Straander

Chassis Packer
Nov 19, 2020
14
11
Noise turbulences because of close distance to the side panel? Plz share us nice pictures :)
Hello. I just ugraded my A4-SFX with a Zotac Twin-edge 4070 and thought I'd share my experience.

Fit - height and length is no problem at all. But width, there is only a couple mm of distance to the side panel from the top of the fans.

"Fan turbulence due to proximity of side panel" - Yes. This unfortunately may be an issue. Before any gaming I ran several 3dmark timespy bench's. During the benchmark the GPU temperature was regularly pushed in to the upper 70's°C and the fan whining became intolerable. During the benchmark I popped the side panel off and on a couple times and the fan noise subsided to a barely audible range while keeping at the same RPM. If it always ran like that when gaming, I would have no choice but to add a side panel spacer to the case.
HOWEVER
Actual gaming experience seems to diverge heavily from benchmarking. I ran Baldur's gate 3 for a half hour and a couple hours of VRChat and GPU temperatures rarely pushed above 65°C, and this is after a modest overclock using MSI afterburner (+120Mhz core, +600Mhz memory). At that temperature and resulting RPM, the noise is completely tolerable. I do not understand why the GPU is so underutilized when running these games, there is no framerate cap enabled and the GPU is not CPU limited as I'm currently running the best cpu for gaming (7800x3D), but unless something changes, I do not need to make any further changes to the case.

However the narrow physical margins by which this 200Watt Card fits is kinda pushing me to look for a new case upgrade sometime in the future. The A4-sfx can support the best CPU for gaming, and can support the PSU wattage and thermal dissipating capacity for up to a 320watt GPU (I recall someone here ran a 3080ti without problems) but that's all for naught if GPU manufacturers have just abandoned making 2-slot cards out of laziness. It would be a real waste to build a system with top-flight components, and then only put a 4060ti in it because that's' the most powerful current-gen card with a problem-free fit. (I do know about the inno3d 4070ti, but that is not available in north America without going through special exporting retailers).

System:
MSI AM5 motherboard
Ryzen 7800x3D CPU
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Cooler
32gig DDR5-6000 G-Skill RAM
2TB NVME Hard Drive
Zotac 4070 TWin Edge OC GPU
Noctua case exhaust fans beneath both the Motherboard and PSU.
 
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rfarmer

Spatial Philosopher
Jul 7, 2017
2,645
2,766
Hello. I just ugraded my A4-SFX with a Zotac Twin-edge 4070 and thought I'd share my experience.

Fit - height and length is no problem at all. But width, there is only a couple mm of distance to the side panel from the top of the fans.

"Fan turbulence due to proximity of side panel" - Yes. This unfortunately may be an issue. Before any gaming I ran several 3dmark timespy bench's. During the benchmark the GPU temperature was regularly pushed in to the upper 70's°C and the fan whining became intolerable. During the benchmark I popped the side panel off and on a couple times and the fan noise subsided to a barely audible range while keeping at the same RPM. If it always ran like that when gaming, I would have no choice but to add a side panel spacer to the case.
HOWEVER
Actual gaming experience seems to diverge heavily from benchmarking. I ran Baldur's gate 3 for a half hour and a couple hours of VRChat and GPU temperatures rarely pushed above 55°C, and this is after a modest overclock using MSI afterburner (+120Mhz core, +600Mhz memory). At that temperature and resulting RPM, the noise is completely tolerable. I do not understand why the GPU is so underutilized when running these games, there is no framerate cap enabled and the GPU is not CPU limited as I'm currently running the best cpu for gaming (7800x3D), but unless something changes, I do not need to make any further changes to the case.

However the narrow physical margins by which this 200Watt Card fits is kinda pushing me to look for a new case upgrade sometime in the future. The A4-sfx can support the best CPU for gaming, and can support the PSU wattage and thermal dissipating capacity for up to a 320watt GPU (I recall someone here ran a 3080ti without problems) but that's all for naught if GPU manufacturers have just abandoned making 2-slot cards out of laziness. It would be a real waste to build a system with top-flight components, and then only put a 4060ti in it because that's' the most powerful current-gen card with a problem-free fit. (I do know about the inno3d 4070ti, but that is not available in north America without going through special exporting retailers).

System:
MSI AM5 motherboard
Ryzen 7800x3D CPU

Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Cooler
32gig DDR5-6000 G-Skill RAM
2TB NVME Hard Drive
Zotac 4070 TWin Edge OC GPU
Noctua case exhaust fans beneath both the Motherboard and PSU.
I ordered the Inno3d 4070 Ti from Overclockers UK and had it delivered 4days later, wasn't much involved. I am on the West coast US
 

Straander

Chassis Packer
Nov 19, 2020
14
11
I ordered the Inno3d 4070 Ti from Overclockers UK and had it delivered 4days later, wasn't much involved. I am on the West coast US
Yeah thats an option if I wanted to pay a premium over MSRP, rather then get a 4070ti locally on sale below msrp. And also deal with a potential major headache if the card needs to be returned for whatever reason. I still think that card's too pricey for only have 12gigs vram when I know I need 16 for my gaming, the 7800XT or 7900GRE were the cards I really wanted this generation but none of those ended up being compatible.

Looking longer term, the fact there's only a single mid or high end card thats truly 2-slots this generation doesn't bode well for there being any next generation.
 

wertzius

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Sep 13, 2022
102
70
You can always undervolt and lower the power target a bit. With my RX6800 there is a significant jump in loudness with the 1450rpm mark - so i created a fancurve that just ends below that at below 85C - i barely touch 79C during Cyberpunk - so i am safe and can game in peace now.
With -15% power target i losse less than 5% of performance but the difference in power draw and temps make this possible.
 

ZTylerDurden

Average Stuffer
May 31, 2020
57
25
Hello. I just ugraded my A4-SFX with a Zotac Twin-edge 4070 and thought I'd share my experience.

Fit - height and length is no problem at all. But width, there is only a couple mm of distance to the side panel from the top of the fans.

"Fan turbulence due to proximity of side panel" - Yes. This unfortunately may be an issue. Before any gaming I ran several 3dmark timespy bench's. During the benchmark the GPU temperature was regularly pushed in to the upper 70's°C and the fan whining became intolerable. During the benchmark I popped the side panel off and on a couple times and the fan noise subsided to a barely audible range while keeping at the same RPM. If it always ran like that when gaming, I would have no choice but to add a side panel spacer to the case.
HOWEVER
Actual gaming experience seems to diverge heavily from benchmarking. I ran Baldur's gate 3 for a half hour and a couple hours of VRChat and GPU temperatures rarely pushed above 65°C, and this is after a modest overclock using MSI afterburner (+120Mhz core, +600Mhz memory). At that temperature and resulting RPM, the noise is completely tolerable. I do not understand why the GPU is so underutilized when running these games, there is no framerate cap enabled and the GPU is not CPU limited as I'm currently running the best cpu for gaming (7800x3D), but unless something changes, I do not need to make any further changes to the case.

However the narrow physical margins by which this 200Watt Card fits is kinda pushing me to look for a new case upgrade sometime in the future. The A4-sfx can support the best CPU for gaming, and can support the PSU wattage and thermal dissipating capacity for up to a 320watt GPU (I recall someone here ran a 3080ti without problems) but that's all for naught if GPU manufacturers have just abandoned making 2-slot cards out of laziness. It would be a real waste to build a system with top-flight components, and then only put a 4060ti in it because that's' the most powerful current-gen card with a problem-free fit. (I do know about the inno3d 4070ti, but that is not available in north America without going through special exporting retailers).

System:
MSI AM5 motherboard
Ryzen 7800x3D CPU
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 Cooler
32gig DDR5-6000 G-Skill RAM
2TB NVME Hard Drive
Zotac 4070 TWin Edge OC GPU
Noctua case exhaust fans beneath both the Motherboard and PSU.

Would you recommend this card to others who are interested in the twin edge 4070 for their a4 sfx? I have the same card and recorded borderlands 3 benchmarks with informal audio recording to show the folks here. I'm not a benchmark enthusiast and prefer gaming. At the same I'm wondering if that's deceiving folks with more stringent test scenarios.
 

Straander

Chassis Packer
Nov 19, 2020
14
11
Would you recommend this card to others who are interested in the twin edge 4070 for their a4 sfx? I have the same card and recorded borderlands 3 benchmarks with informal audio recording to show the folks here. I'm not a benchmark enthusiast and prefer gaming. At the same I'm wondering if that's deceiving folks with more stringent test scenarios.
With how the card is currently behaving, yes I can.
But highs of 65°C doesnt seem normal for a fully utilized GPU. Maybe I'm going to find a game that actually pushes this card in to the upper 70's regularly, and then I'm going to need to look in to undervolting or a spacer for it to work out.
I should finally install cyberpunk and see how that pushes the card.
 

ZTylerDurden

Average Stuffer
May 31, 2020
57
25

With upcoming 14th gen intel, can I get away with a 14600 based on the 65/154w power levels if I want to forget about BIOS?

If if it's unavoidable with above (ie power limit) then what's your choice of tweaking these 3 options without losing a chunk of performance? I'm just thinking if I limit 14700F performance I'm basically paying extra for a 14600 if that makes sense (with single thread focus).
Cooling: Black Ridge 92mm with noctua.
 
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wertzius

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Sep 13, 2022
102
70
For Gaming and single clock? Sure? You won't notiv´ce any difference in single core speed between all of these, so just pick the cheapest one if that is your only criteria.
All Core loads? Nope.