Average Stuffer
Original poster
Jan 25, 2020
Hi there!

I'm happy to share with you my first SFF build. Well, maybe not so SFF if we compare it with these super small cases we see nowadays. But it's SFF if I compare it with the last Gozilla I built (CM HAF 932 + AIO 280mm + Intel Xeon + RAID5 + SLI).

I want the post to be a build log. A place to share my opinions about the build, the reasons for my choices and also the tweaks and future enhancements or mods.

It's supposed to be a budget build. Choices pivoted on 3 axes: compatibility/price/power consumption. Power consumption was important to me because I didn't plan to mount AIO or a CLC. This is not an FPS rig build. The games I play most are MMOs and I have learnt, after many years, that 1080p high quality is all I need.

Ophion R[yzen] 3600 A[ir] C[ooled]

If you are not familiar with this case, check out the following links. OptimumTech, Andydjangoo, НЕТ ПРОБЕЛА and Snickerrick. The last one was very useful to me. Snickerrick and I have the same cooling set-up. I got news for him since he's planning to move to a Gigabyte Mobo.

Installing Big Shuriken 3 is just simple. It's compatible with RAM and the Aorus heatsinks. Separators in the side panels make 120x25mm fans compatible, so I mounted a Noctua NF-A12 PWM.
Even 25mm tall fans leave clearance enough between the fan the tempered glass for the build to breathe. There will be more when I tweak this part of the case.

Fans like Noctua have rubber corners. If you can remove these, the fan will fit perfectly within the case frames. Noctua rubbers are at the limit of compatibility with the frame. I didn't remove them for aesthetics tho.

Note: Unfortunately, I choose the wrong model. I got the 5V one and the mobo (12V jumper) is making the fan go crazy and noisy even in idle. Fortunately, I have a handful of Nidec Servo Gentle Typhoon 3pins for emergencies. I will replace the Noctua 5V with a 12V one in the next days.

Remember to screw the drive (by the tail) before mounting the cooler. I didn't ...

Do it before installing the mobo in the case

Here one disappointing thing. The Aorus IO Panel doesn't fit with the gap of the case for it. The panel have two little metal tabs that make the Panel not to fit correctly. I tried several ways, but no luck. Finally, I decided that screwing and fixing the mobo to the case was more important atm.

Gigabyte doesn't tell you but 1 jumper (of the 3) is taken by the chipset's cooler which also cools the main M.2 SSD drive. It left us with only 2 jumpers. One for the CPU and the SYS_FAN_1 for cooling the case.

In other words, add a Fan Hub or a Y-Cable like this or this to the shopping list. I use the linked fan hub because all 4 connectors are 4 pins.
Make sure the wire is at least 20cm so you can connect and hide wires behind the case frames without stressing the wires. Either the fan hub or the Y-cable one of the connectors is meant to be for the CPU and is the one notifying the RPMs to the mobo. Plug fans of the same or similar RPMs because all of them will spin at the max RPM of the slower one if the slower one is connected to the 1st socket. If all of them are of the same RPM then doesn't matter. If you go with Y-Cable 4 pin, note that only 1 of the connectors is 4 pins Others use to be 3 pins. That's fairly common, the fan connected to the 4 pins will condition the others. If they all are the same model, then it's like replicating 1 fan N times.

Evga GTX 1650 Super is small enough to leave a lot of space on that side of the case for one or two SSD drives or, as I plan, to plug a 4th fan blowing air to the mobo and PSU section. At this point, I have noticed why the quality of the case is considered "regular" and it's because of the details. For example, the holes of the GPU I/O panel, those to fix the GPU to the case, almost doesn't match in size and position with the case ones. Don't know why. I had to force it a little bit.

Ophion is a sandwich case, which comes to say that it's split into 2 sections: 1 for the mobo + PSU and 1 for the GPU (mainly). In this kind of case, PCIe risers are needed. The riser of this case is already installed and it has only one possible position. The wire is protected and it's a little bit rigid. If you want to install the top 2 fans for exhaust, you will have to bend the wire a little because it almost touches the top of the case.

You will see it later in pics. I installed the PSU with the fan towards the inner of the case to show the logo. Not sure if that was smart but there's enough clearance for the PSU to breathe. Anyways, since it's SFX and it's held by the adapter, I can reinstall it without too much pain. No need to say that SFX PSU should be a must in your build.
For a while, I considered an HDPlex 400W set up, but I was unsure about its adequacy and I'm not familiar with that sort of setup, so I didn't run the risk, However, I could end up mounting one in the future, just for clearance and wire management.

to be continued...
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