Log HTPC/lounge gaming - Sliger CL530 Conswole build

Mr Whippy

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jul 29, 2020
The parts have started arriving!

The Sliger case has just flown in from the USA and is arriving today.

Asus Strix B550 i ITX
(run one in another computer, no issues, stick to what you know I suppose?)
AMD 5600X
(plenty for lounge PC/gaming)
Corsair SF750
(runs without fan in my 3950X and 1070GTX Streacom DA2 case, so perfect for a very quiet HTPC with a similar total power load expected)
1TB 980 Pro SSD
(have a server to store media and all that stuff, so 1TB should be plenty for OS install and games etc)
Corsair 16GB (2x8GB) 3600Mhz RAM
(plenty for gaming or HTPC use)
Alpenfohn Black Rock
(with Noctua back-plate, leaves room for 27mm of fan on top, might try push that to 30mm with spacers on the lid!)

Next steps are to measure up the exact space/clearance for the CPU cooler fan (might try squeeze a Phanteks T30 in, or stick to a Noctua AF12x25) and the GPU/fans space available.

I'm fairly sure I want to run a 3070FE GPU due to the fans config and efficiency. It'll hit 4k at 60hz fine for a big OLED TV on most games, but can undervolt to about 180W and run pretty quietly.
Also going to figure out how much space there is behind the GPU for fans/air management too, and space generally for ducting. Intend to quite heavily manage airflow intake, internal flow, and exhaust.

I've seen quite a few builds throwing loads of watts into one of these, but not much done at a more moderate level and a focus on making it very quiet, so I'll really try keep a lot of details/benchmark information for people to follow.

Mr Whippy

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jul 29, 2020
Initially I'd not wanted to pay for Sliger direct, or wait over a month for Density.sk, so went for a used one on eBay.
The expected delivery date had come and gone, with no word from the seller, so I messaged them to say not to bother posting as I had no idea when it'd be sent if ever, and decided to go for the USA import from Sliger direct.
Randomly, the seller decided a few days later to post it, so it was interesting to see how the Density.sk box which it turned up in, looked in comparison.

The case from Sliger USA arrived in a nice quality box. 440mm x 440mm x 190mm.

A bit of damage to the box, but fortunately the thick skin and inner skin protected it.

And inside, very nicely supported. The foam blocks underneath and above keep the case suspended centrally.

The vertical orientation plate is packed in to the left of the case.

Case removed from the box. Very nicely wrapped.
I've had a few Streacom bits over the years and they are at another level on the unpacking/packaging 'experience', but all considered the Sliger feel when I got this was that they cared about the product and cared about me as a customer. No frills, but not cheap. Just very well done.
I'm not some kind of tart who thinks this type of stuff is really important, but the Sliger experience is one of reassurance that a real human packaged all this just for me after my order, and made sure it all went into the box well! Top marks!

Full of scrunched up paper... lets hope there are no mice living in there!

No mice, just the black handle and screws and all that stuff.

All as you'd expect. I went with the plain front panel because I just can't see me ever using the IO. It'll be an HTPC to a TV. It'll be hardwired on the network. It'll use Bluetooth for controllers, and a FLIRc will still work around the back for a remote controller interface if preferred. Also the black looked cleaner to me, and I like the idea of buying/swapping the colour for a red LED.
I had hoped to order black with IO, and silver without IO, but the cost was about £30 more on top of the panel. I think because of the box would have had to be bigger, or a separate box, so shipping was really expensive.

Riser cable. The first I've had my hands on. This seemed really stiff to me, but I see people bending them quite a bit to fit around bends, and also to expose the rear lower fan, so I'll have to see how it goes. They must be tougher than they look.

Interestingly, the case that turned up from the eBay seller was in the Density.sk box, and that box was about 2cm smaller in each dimension than the Sliger one. It's probably sufficient, but it's nice to see that when you order from Sliger, you get a better quality package.

Also worth noting that when you buy from Sliger you get more options, such as different face plates etc. However as noted, the postage costs can just get really out of hand importing from the USA.

Fingers crossed for a UK supplier at some point.

On the matter of imports. The total costs for me were:

$199 for the case with vertical stand and a black handle. No fans. No IO.
$84.83 FedEx International Priority postage.

$283.83 total invoice from Sliger ~ £215 at the time USD > GBP.

FedEx then charged me:

£41.86 VAT
£12.56 Disbursement fee

£54.42 total invoice from FedEx.

The total cost for buying the case from Sliger direct was:
£215 + £54.52 = £269.52

It was ordered on the Friday, shipped on the Monday, and in my hands on Wednesday lunch time. So a very quick process.

I think if you ordered on a Monday morning, you might have it by the Friday of that week.
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Mr Whippy

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jul 29, 2020
A few more parts arrived today.

I'd been considering the A12x25 to run on my Alpenfohn Black Ridge. It leaves 2mm clearance, and is a pretty nice fan. It's still louder than I'd like at 1000rpm+, but under that point it seems to really quieten down and yet still cool a heatsink really well.

I'd also had a brainwave with an A15x25. I might be able to use the fan elsewhere any way, but I thought this fan was worth a punt. I *think* with the right clips, it might work ok on the Black Ridge.
There are pros and cons to the fan overlapping the edges of a tight finned cooler like this, and the big fan does give a bit less pressure and a bit more noise than the A12, but with a whole load more air flow!

This image shows the area of the Black Ridge covered by the fans.

The 140mm fan covers 60% more of the cooler, so I'd say give and take, 60% more of the Black Ridge's small surface area is going to have cool air flowing over it.
120mm is making 1,700rpm, 84.5m.3 of flow, 18.8dB, and 1.6mm water pressure.
140mm is making 1,200rpm, 115.5m.3 of flow, 19.2dB, and 1.51mm water pressure.

On balance, I think the 60% larger area of the Black Ridge exposed to 35% more air flow, at just 5% less pressure, is likely to be the superior option, at a similar 'noise equalised' spec.
I have both a 120mm and 140mm (A14) in my Streacom DA2, and both fans fall as good as silent at lower speeds which is how I have them running. It's hard to know if the A12 improves the slower it goes over the A14/15.
However I do know that the A12 is quite noisy over a heatsink, while the A14 are more pleasant over a densely packed heatsink like my de-shrounded GPU, where they are stunningly capable at keeping a 170W GPU as good as silent under load and under 60degC!

Also the by-pass while using the A15 will give some nice airflow to the VRM and chipset on the motherboard,

In any case, I'll be testing both these options thoroughly and will report back.


Mr Whippy

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jul 29, 2020
Well the NF A15 fits ok!

With those clips it's probably just touching the case ceiling... though I intend to fit some kind of squishy ducting to give the fan a great seal to the intake perforations to get any chance of recirculation of case air down to near zero.

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Mr Whippy

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jul 29, 2020
Onward with the project!

I've been a bit busy with work, but managed to get the computer up and running and Windows installed so I could tinker with it.

Last weekend I picked up a spare GPU just to get me by until I could figure out what I needed and waiting for prices to drop.
Quadro 410. A beast.
It was a bit noisy so I gave it a really good clean out and then reseated the cooler with Noctua NTH2 paste. Much nicer now but still annoying.

Ryzen 5600X fitted and cooler built up ready to go. This is a real faff to fit vs "normal" coolers (everything I've ever fitted before)

Following Noctua's guidance.

Ooops, nearly forgot, better fit the M.2 now!
980 Pro 1TB.

Hmmm, these don't seem to be lining up in the vertical space too nicely. Tolerances eh.

All done any way, just went to a gentle finger tight on the screw-driver. I think the tension is applied via the metal springiness on the bars that attach to the heatsink proper.
I also checked with a rule for motherboard distortion and it appeared to be flat, so it seems well worth spending the £10 for a Noctua back-plate.

Lol, RAM.

Back off it comes. Cool pattern once the suction finally gave up!

Ram refitted, didn't bother re-pasting as it'd been on about 1 minute and appeared well spread.
Just a note about these coolers. They're a real pain to work with. It's a motherboard out job to just do anything. It'd be far nicer with a built-up mount and then screw the cooler down onto that.

Tolerance is very close at this side.

Plenty of space for RAM.

Lots of clearance over M.2 (with no fan underneath the cooler)

Note the bent M.2 drive. I've heard this will level out as the pad heat cycles and the board can settle into it a bit.

Finally. What a pain.

Cables too long! Also plugging in those power and led headers (without adding even more cables with the Asus link thing seen to the right of the image) was a pain. Interestingly Asus don't even have a diagram with the headers in their manual.
They're marked on the motherboard feintly, kinda making sense. I had to check their link cable to determine what went where for certain.
I might modify the link cable to be really short.

Fan alignment isn't great on the top panel perforations. The Alpenfohn Black Ridge is quite extended to the PCI-e slot end of the motherboard, so the fan is quite a bit out if centred on the cooler.
Also, it was almost instantly obvious that having the Black Ridge with a 25mm fan on top, despite fitting just nicely in the case, causes a horrible racket with turbulent flow.

I'll post data later, but it was immediately clear that the fan sucking out over the heatsink (blowing out the top) gave much better noise characteristics, better thermals (especially VRM, chipset, M.2), and makes more sense working with all the perforations around that end of the case.
Also I offset the fan on the heatsink so it sits as far over as possible to maximise coverage of the heatsink but also the exhaust perforations (as per rendered image further down)

I'd imagined running a Founders Edition 30 series GPU so I could manage the hot air effectively, having half dumped out the back, and half sucked right out from underneath the GPU exhaust.
However, with the CPU and motherboard wanting to blow warm air out the top to be happiest (and quiet), I decided to flip my approach.

The Asus Strix 30 series have a cooler that'll fit two 120mm fans nicely. I'll probably have to use the pig tail power socket, but I might be able to retain the fixed socket. I don't have sufficiently accurate info for the Strix card to model it accurately enough.
I've checked the clearances and I'm almost certain that without the shroud the fans should sit cleanly over the heatsink in suck mode. With pressure gaskets on both sides, it should just seal nicely against the heatsink and the top panel.
The only issue is the small tabs on the heatsink which may just touch the fans in this orientation... that is the only thing that might cause headaches and see me chopping at the heatsink... that wasn't too bad on a £250 GPU in my other computer, but a £650-£750 GPU... hmmmm.

But with that card aligned where it is, with 120mm fans, the top panel exhaust alignment is perfect.

I'd have a three fan system, with all the ambient air required being drawn in under the GPU. I know Sliger don't recommend this configuration, but it makes absolute sense from testing so far to run this way round, and it makes complete sense to run all the hot air off the top surface of the case.
I believe Sliger only designed it the other way around so the GPU could have it's hot side up and suck in air with it's fans... once you ditch the GPU 'blow' default, going to 'suck' and exhausting all your air out of the top is the best way to go I think.

For now I'm waiting on GPU availability/pricing to level out. Prices seem to be improving. I've seen the Strix 3070 Ti OC on offer for a reasonable amount so I think it's just a matter of time now.

With a bit of an undervolt, the NFA12x25 fans in suck, and some custom PSU cables and stuff to really optimise the intake flow from the perforations, I'm expecting a near silent gaming setup that can do DLSS 4k at 60fps to my TV... and a dead silent system for TV/movie duties.

I've been doing a lot of tinkering with the 5600X (I'll detail later), but it's an amazing CPU for the money. It's overclocked, undervolted and everything right away.
With my A14 fan at 45%/770rpm, it'll keep the CPU at 60degC single core 1.2v @ 4,750mhz, or 75degC all core 1.07v @ 4,400mhz, with a PPT limit of 83W.

The thermal, noise, performance and cost balance seems to be all positives. It really is impressive as I don't feel there has been one compromise here... very impressive considering it's all squished into a 90mm deep case!
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Mr Whippy

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Jul 29, 2020
I'd kinda wobbled on the front panel choice because the silver button didn't go too well with black.
But then the silver front is a bit marmite.
Black panel with silver button.

Some new buttons ordered to try out. All momentary switches. Feel very similar to the Sliger button. The LED ones feel similarly mushy, the non LED feels a bit more positive and clicky. About £12 posted first class so very reasonable.
Non-LED, black finish.
LED Red, black finish.
LED Green, black finish.

Side by side.
The part I'm struggling to find is a 4 core cable with one end already with 2 pin sockets, then I can just trim the other end to an appropriate length and solder/shrink wrap up.
I've got all the gear for this, just no gear for the pins/socket end.
I might just chop up the Sliger cable, it's needlessly long but nice quality, and then I can maybe fit spade connectors at the switch end to make swapping easier in future.

Top view. Pretty much identical.

The black finish isn't quite as sweet looking as the pure metal. I don't think you can anodise brushed metal and get the same appearance?

Oh, the front panel dropped. I'd read it was glued on previously. This is a nice surprise!
It's a 19mm spanner to release the 16mm switch.

8mm at the other end.

Easy to remove. Nice.
I've been considering doing my own thing for the front panel. Ie, rubbing down the powder coating to a mirror finish and then lacquering it to a mirror finish too.
The standard powdercoat is functional, and a great default, but for HTPC it's a bit basic looking vs usual HiFi components which often have high quality finishes.

A naked Sliger CL530.

Holding the front panel up to my DA2 power switch. Nice.
You can buy these power switches and the USB 3.2 IO for about £30 or so... If I don't find myself happy with the anti-vandal switches I've bought I'm very tempted to go for a DA2 switch mod... though it'd probably need some modifying of the internal front panel so the switch is flush up against the back of the outer front panel.
I removed the DA2 switch earlier and it's just a square of glass about 18-20mm across, so plenty of space to cover the 16mm hole on the Sliger.
Or possibly even use the entire Streacom DA2 button block, mount into a new cut-out on the Sliger internal front-panel, and benefit from this nice stepped inset look.

Looks ok (test fitted) for now.

Or a photoshopped Streacom DA2 button?