Downsize time! 8700K/1080Ti in 5.5L

heckinwoofer

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Dec 14, 2017
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I've already had a relatively small case but couldn't resist the urge to downsize, especially since I'll be travelling more frequently. Not sure if it will turn out well but heck I'm trying it anyway! I'll be limiting myself in terms of OC headroom and quietness, but portability is the priority right now.

Previous case: CustomMod SFX AIO 9.9L (batch 12)

Current spec:
- Case: ZS-A4S
- PSU: Modded Delta DPS-500AB-5B (500W 80+Plat)
- CPU: i7-8700K Delidded
- Cooler: NH-L9i
- MB: Gigabyte Z370N WiFi
- GPU: EVGA 1080Ti SC Black
- RAM: TridentZ 16GB 3600/C16
- SSD: 500GB 850 EVO m.2

I've just received all the parts and will update with finished build photos and mini review of the cases very soon.

 
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tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
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I am a little scared when I see the i7 8700K is going to be cooled by a NH-L9i.
I imagine the thermals will not be pretty.
Look forward to your report.
 

heckinwoofer

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Dec 14, 2017
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Update 1: Such compact. Much wow.

Getting all the parts in and I have to say, this is the most difficult case I have built in, in terms of DFA (design for assembly). A lot of screws are not directly accessible. For example to access a screw, a panel needs to be removed, which requires another screw to be accessed, which requires another frame to be removed, and so on and on. Definitely requires much more planning ahead than most cases. Oh and there is no manual.

The CustomMod SFX AIO is much easier to build in since you basically only need to remove 4 panels to assemble everything else. That is saying something since that case is already rather difficult to build in compared to off the shelf mini cases like Define Nano and even SG13. However, fit and finish are notably better on the ZS-A4S which is surprising considering the price.



Snug fit for the GPU. Still quite impressed with how compact it is.

 
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heckinwoofer

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Dec 14, 2017
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Update 2: Build done and been running a game to see what the temps are like.

Idle: CPU: 39C (Stock Fan Curve), GPU: 60C (Idle Fan Curve)
Monster Hunter World @3440*1440: CPU: 68C (Stock Fan Curve), GPU: 80C (50% fan speed at 80C)

Quite hot but manageable. I will probably try a stress test, but worried about some issues with the PSU. It makes crackling noises when plugged in to the wall while PC is off. Once the PC is on the noises disappear. Definitely not coil whine. Trying to contact the seller now.

 
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ignsvn

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Quite hot but manageable. I will probably try a stress test, but worried about some issues with the PSU. It makes crackling noises when plugged in to the wall while PC is off. Once the PC is on the noises disappear. Definitely not coil whine. Trying to contact the seller now.

I had this problem with my Silverstone Strider 600W PSU (included with my SG08 case).

The general consensus is that don't take risk with broken/spoilt PSUs. If I were you I will straight away unplug it from the wall.
 

heckinwoofer

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Dec 14, 2017
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Update 3:

Managed to undervolt the CPU by -0.075V offset. Clock remains at stock with MCE disabled and LLC at standard setting. Gigabyte's LLC seems very aggressive as changing the setting up by 1 level increases the voltage under load quite significantly. Prime95 blend tops out at 82C which I think is quite good. Cinebench R15 score is 1419, which is consistent with my results at stock voltage.

Will be trying GPU undervolting next and see what's the CPU/GPU temps when running more games.

As for the PSU problem, the Taobao agent has reached out to the seller but they has not replied. Still on CNY holidays I presume.
 

heckinwoofer

SFF Lingo Aficionado
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Dec 14, 2017
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Update 4: Compliled thermals & benchmarks

Stock:
- P95 Blend: CPU>95C
- Monster Hunter World: CPU 68C, GPU 80C
- Idle: CPU 40C, GPU 60C
- Cinebench R15 multicore: 1427
- Superposition (1440UW Medium): 11148

CPU Undervolt (-0.075V Offset, MCE Disabled, Standard LLC), GPU Undervolt (-0.05V Offset):
- P95 Blend: CPU 82C
- Monster Hunter World: CPU 61C, GPU 72C
- Idle: CPU 40C, GPU 56C
- Cinebench R15 multicore: 1423
- Superposition (1440UW Medium): 11144
 
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AURMEND

Destroyer of PCs
A&M Solutions and Design LLC
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Jul 30, 2018
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I'm glad to see more flex PSUs used in designs
 

heckinwoofer

SFF Lingo Aficionado
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Dec 14, 2017
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I'm glad to see more flex PSUs used in designs
Yeah it's definitely a nice idea to make the case smaller. Looking at this case, I am really curious if it's possible to go even smaller with the same/even more powerful spec while still having an internal PSU. Sticking with 1080Ti, the Zotac Mini is the obvious option but the width of the ITX Mobo + Flex PSU is still longer than that card so the reduction in volume is minimal. 2080Ti don't come in sizes smaller than reference. With some undervolt I'm pretty sure the 500W Plat PSU can handle them, but I will be waiting for a more significant jump in performance and efficiency from the 1080Ti.

Then again, most people looking at SFF would be content with something the size around Dan A4 to Ncase M1. Save for one-off projects, such case probably won't exist.
 

heckinwoofer

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Dec 14, 2017
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142
Mini reviews of the cases:

1. CustomMod SFX AIO 9.9L (Batch 12)

+ Compact for the CPU cooling power it allows
+ Sleek looks
+ Front panel USB 3.0
+ Ordering process is simple and seller is quite responsive to messages
+ Sturdy
- Poor fit. Some panels don't align well. Requires some force to fit the MB into the tray.
- Got sent the wrong vent pattern. Asked for replacements, and the new ones fit way worse (screw holes alignment way off, can't be screwed in)
- Long wait times, delays
- Poor quality case feet. The glue wears off quickly, displacing the feet

2. ZS-A4s 5.5L
+ The most compact case I am aware of that fits reference length GPU and internal PSU
+ Sleek looks, nice and smooth paint finish
+ Great fit, for the most part*
+ Sturdy
+ Power button with LED
+ Product was finished and shipped on time. Around 1 month waiting time.
+ Screwed-in metal case feet with O rings so they don't get displaced over time
+ Relatively cheap
- *The 2 slide in panels (top and bottom) are slightly too thin, making slight noise when I tapped my fingers on it. This is not visible, nor it is heard when the case is stationary and untouched so it is not a big issue, but worth mentioning. I made the edge of the sliding panels thicker by adding a few layers of tape and it now fits snugly.
- Difficult to build in. Requires a lot of planning for disassembly, routing and reassembly.
- Tedious ordering process. International buyers most likely requires an agent.
- No front panel USB. There is some space around the power button for 1 or 2 ports.
- Hex screws on the outside, philips on the inside, likely for aesthetic purpose. Just nitpicking, but I would prefer a just a single type.
 
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