jbetts1790

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Oct 24, 2017
15
16
Hi! I'm new to the forum but spent some time reading about SFF builds before venturing down this path recently. There's not a lot of info about the Geeek A20 (or A10) case, so I thought I'd share my experience. My goal was to build a relatively small/portable dual-boot Hackintosh that I could play some games on, without spending a fortune. The main reason I chose the Geeek A20 is because it's the cheapest SFF case I could find that fits a graphics card. In short, the case is pretty nice and small, so I'd say it's a good deal, but it was a PITA to build and definitely has room for improvement.

Pros:
  • fits a real GPU (low profile)
  • pretty small - fits in a backpack
  • near silent (with the right setup)
  • fits aftermarket CPU cooler
  • unique design with black & white acrylic

Cons:

  • poor back panel design - can't easily fit left video output cable
  • ventilation isn't great, especially for CPU
  • too many screws showing on the outside
  • red power LED too bright
  • front panel USB 3 cable is waaay to long and thick, making it difficult to plug into mobo
  • no mounting options for alternative (non-Flex) PSU

When I received the case and computer parts, I began assembling the case based on the 2 videos I found online, as the Geeek instructions were almost useless. One challenge was getting the back panel (with motherboard attached) into the case while getting the I/O shield to stay on, which I figured out required removing the front panel USB 3 ports first. Because the USB 3 front panel cable is so long and relatively inflexible, I could not get it to reach and plug into my motherboard. I later solved that with a header extension cable, but it seems like poor design that I needed an extra cable. Mounting the SSDs was pretty easy, and I definitely recommend using really short cables to avoid clutter. I solved the really bright red LED issue by swapping the power and hdd LED plugs on the mobo, so the blue LED stays on with power, and red flashes with HDD activity. On my case, the top button was marked reset and the bottom power, and I also decided to swap those. I had to swap my motherboard's included WiFi/BT chip for one compatible with MacOS, and in the process needed to move the antennae from the motherboard panel. I was able to screw the antennae into the back of the case, and it was thoughtful of Geeek to have included those holes.

For power, I decided to go with the HDPlex ATX & AC combo because it's completely silent and doesn't require an external power brick. However, there's no way to mount the AC-DC adapter without drilling holes into the case, nor does the power socket screw securely into the case - I attached mine with just 1 screw until I figure something out. Another annoying issue was when I wanted to use the HDMI out on my video card, which is on the far left. No HDMI cable could fit into the card due to the fact that the case comes out to the edge of the left video card port, leaving no room for a cable to plug in. I was considering cutting a notch into the case to allow a cable to fit, but in the end I managed to find a super-thin HDMI cable that just barely fits.

After a couple weeks of playing games and running some benchmarks, I decided I wasn't happy with the thermals of the computer even after adding a top case fan. The CPU idled around 40-50C and got up to 80C under full load, not to mention the stock Intel fan whined and was pretty loud at full RPM. I had a friend use his CNC to drill ventilation holes into the side panel right above the CPU, but that only dropped the temps by about 5C. I took apart the whole computer to install a Scythe Big Shuriken rev B (which does fit, barely), and that made a drastic difference. Idle temps have been about 30-40C, but more importantly even with the fan on the lowest RPM, the full load temps maxed at 60C! With this setup, the computer is near silent even when playing a game maxing the CPU & GPU.


Computer specs:
  • Geeek A20
  • HDPLEX NanoATX 160w (w/ AC-DC adapter)
  • ASRock H270M-ITX/AC
  • Intel Pentium 3.5GHz G4560
  • Scythe Big Shuriken rev B
  • Ballistix Sport 8GB DDR4
  • MSI GT 1030 2GB (fanless)
  • Samsung 250GB & 500GB 850 EVO SSDs
  • mod-DIY USB 3 header extension
  • Noctua NF-A8 PWM
  • Dell DW1830 wifi/bt

Photos!




So many screws on the back panel!



Side panel with drilled holes (mug for size comparison)


Original build with stock cooler



Final build


Edge of case blocking HDMI access


Semi-installed HDPlex socket (no good way to mount)


CNC drilling holes in side panel
 
Last edited:

TheHig

King of Cable Management
Bronze Supporter
Oct 13, 2016
941
1,156
Looks good. Thanks for sharing!

I'm guessing it's nice and quiet with the CPU fan being the only one. Looks like the HD Plex 160 plug and nano psu is a nice fit for the A20 also.
 

jbetts1790

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Oct 24, 2017
15
16
Yes, it's virtually silent now even with the Noctua case fan! I have them both set to 'silent' mode in the mobo settings, so they never spool up much, but seem to provide good airflow. The HDPlex was a squeeze once the Scythe was installed, but just fits. I wish there was a better way to secure it though, and be able to screw in the power socket completely.


Looks good. Thanks for sharing!

I'm guessing it's nice and quiet with the CPU fan being the only one. Looks like the HD Plex 160 plug and nano psu is a nice fit for the A20 also.
 
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Clark Hope

Cable Smoosher
Jun 13, 2017
9
2
Nice! I also built my computer on this case a few months ago! I had similar problems with the HDMI ports of the GPU but so far I am quite happy with it. In order to handle temps when playing, I just take the top cover off (it's always unscrewed hahaha)
 

ignsvn

By Toutatis!
Moderator
Apr 4, 2016
1,422
1,259
Nice build!

If I recall correctly, HDPlex provide ATX (or SFX) adapter plate, perhaps you can suggest them (or Geek Case) to create a FlexATX adapter plate as well :)
 

jbetts1790

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Oct 24, 2017
15
16
Nice build!

If I recall correctly, HDPlex provide ATX (or SFX) adapter plate, perhaps you can suggest them (or Geek Case) to create a FlexATX adapter plate as well :)

Yes, I ordered the SFX plate with the HDPlex, but it doesn't fit in this case unfortunately. :confused:
 

ignsvn

By Toutatis!
Moderator
Apr 4, 2016
1,422
1,259
Yes, I ordered the SFX plate with the HDPlex, but it doesn't fit in this case unfortunately. :confused:

I knew it wouldn't fit.. After all it's SFX, not Flex :)

But since you have access to CNC machines, you should be able to cut the SFX plate to Flex size?

(or use any extra metal/acrylic plate you might have..)
 

RManakel

What's an ITX?
Mar 5, 2018
1
0
Nice build!
I'm wondering, maybe I could squeeze and am4 matx board into this case? There seems to be a lot of room if I don't plan using a GPU.
 

jbetts1790

Chassis Packer
Original poster
Oct 24, 2017
15
16
I just did a quick measurement and it might be possible to squeeze in a mATX board, but it would be a really tight fit even without a case fan and GPU. I can't image a SFX power supply would fit, but something like the PicoPSU would work, especially if you use an external power brick. The case would require some modification to mount the mobo probably (drilling holes at least). If you haven't already bought this case, I might be selling mine in the near future! I have too many computers now and want to combine them :p

Nice build!
I'm wondering, maybe I could squeeze and am4 matx board into this case? There seems to be a lot of room if I don't plan using a GPU.