My Dan A4 Build

Hello SFF.N,


I'm Paul from Germany and I will be building a computer using the Dan A4. Until 2018, I had a large tower, which I sold, because of the space it took. For two years I only used my laptop, which was fine for the time. Now I want to leverage performance again to a full pc, but with a much smaller form factor. I think, the Dan A4 is the ideal case for small builds, as it really is smaller than other cases in all dimensions, but still allows the use of standard hardware (I consider m-itx and sfx as standard).

When I started looking for components, the Dan A4 was in stock in March, I think. But soon it was sold out, so I needed to wait till now to get one delivered. Next week, hopefully, it will be here.

The main usage will be gaming and coding, especially playing around with AI. For the moment, the hardware line up will be:

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6x 3.60GHz
Gigabyte B550 I AORUS PRO AX AM4
32GB Corsair Vengeance LPX black DDR4-3600 DIMM CL18 Dual Kit
1000GB Samsung 970 Evo M.2 2280 PCIe 3.0
600 Watt Corsair SF Series SF600 Modular 80+ Gold
Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 chromax.black
Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM 92x92x14mm

... and the Dan A4 4.1 of course.

One point you might be missing is the graphics card. At the moment, I put up the hardware as an open build with an older XFX Radeon HD 7970 3GB GDDR5. This will be upgraded after all the releases (Nvidia/AMD) are fully finished. The we know more about Dan A4 compatibility and performance. As noise is also a matter to me, the buying decision will also rely on the noise level.

I am happy to share some insights about the build.

Greetings,
Paul
 
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crackerlegs

Trash Compacter
Sep 19, 2020
41
76
Hello! Good luck with your build. Are you getting an under PSU fan or going for the asetek liquid cooler? The NF-A9x25 works well under there.
 

paule89

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 11, 2020
10
5
Hello,

finally I can post a picture of my build. I'm trying to keep it black/gray and white/silver in general. The cpu fan is a Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 chromax.black. The standard fan curve of the B550 board was a little loud and I was not sure, if I'd consider a liquid cooler. After changing the fan curve to the recomondation (30 % up to 50° C, 70 % up to 65°C, 100% from 70°C) it runs silent and I'm very happy with the L9a. The Noctua case fan below the motherboard has the Noctua color of course. At the moment, the air flow is directed into the case. I need to investigate this a little further, but I read, that changing the direction of the air flow to out of the case might be better.



I'm still missing a "new" graphics card, which will be bought, when the releases by Nvidia/AMD are completed. Noise will be a criterium for the purchase. Also, the cable management will be improved.

So far I'm very happy with the case. It has a great size, very nice quality and looks great.

Cheers
 
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paule89

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 11, 2020
10
5
I would say, if you already built a pc, it's very well doable. Of course its a bit more challenging than building a regular atx pc. There is a specific order for the components, you need to follow, but there is a instruction manual to help. Unfortunately, the case fan is not discribed in this manuel, so I had remove the motherboard again, before installing it. But those are minor problems.

In general the case has a very high quality and everything fits well, but tight in the end. If you take your time, the build will be done in about an hour or two, depending on the degree of preparation (e.g. if you already mountet cpu, cooler and ram to the motherboard).

The most challenging part for me was to pick the right components, as you need some special parts like an optional 14 mm case fan or a sfx psu. If you follow recommondations from the forum, you will end up well. The final challenge is the new graphics card, which I will pich after the nvidia and amd gpu releases this fall. The problem with the new nvidia cards is the air exhaust on the bottom of the cards, so the hot air will exhaust into the case and will only have a very little space to leave the gap between graphics card and the backside of the psu and the divider between motherboard compartment and gpu compartment. So I will wait for some tests. First tests of the Nvidia 3080 Founders Edition, which fits geomatrically, were not 100 % promising. It will be louder and warmer inside the case due to the cooler layout of the gpu.
 

paule89

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 11, 2020
10
5
Hello,

it arrived :)



So finally my DAN A4 Build is complete!



Now I'm testing the best setup for performance vs. heat. Adding the stand-offs that came with the case did not work, because the card collided with the frame/case at the rear. Now I will look for other stand-offs to add some room on the backside of the card, because the gap between the card and the middle part of the case is very slim (maybe 2 mm) and there is the backside heat output of course.

Running benchmarks brings great results for me, compared to the card before. Temps rise to 81° C for the GPU, which is more than I expected and you can hear the card well in load situations. But it is still below the "annoying threshold".

I'm very happy to be one of the lucky, who were able to get the card.

I think, the founders edition cards of the new RTX-3000 series are all suitable for the DAN A4, except of course the 3090. But there will remain a struggle with temps for all of them, so a little bit of tweaking will be necessary.

I will tell you again, after I got the new stand-offs and a bit of tweaking how it turns out to use a RTX 3060 Ti FE in the DAN A4.
 
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