Log Project: Tiny watercooled MATX server


Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Sep 8, 2021
This journey began because my TinyMiniMicro Lenovo M920Q just wasn't cutting it anymore.
While it is absolutely tiny, it's just too noisy under heaver loads and I really needed more than 64G ram, and a bit more expandability.

Requirements were - fast, small, quiet under load, IPMI, expandable, and capable of running ESXi, Proxmox etc.

I wanted to keep things as small as possible, so I started looking at MITX and MATX enclosures to see how small they can be.
I very nearly went with an MITX system, but I had an Asrock Rack X470D4U and a 5600X on hand and I felt I could squeeze it into something pretty small.
It would be fun to build another even smaller system using the Asrock X570D4I-2T or ROMED4ID-2T :D
  • Case: ZZAW C2 - 13.8L and 12.83 x 6.34 x 10.31 inches
  • Mainboard: Asrock Rack X470D4U (MATX)
  • CPU: Ryzen 5600X ( 6C / 12T)
  • Cooler: Artic Liquid Freezer II 120mm AIO, top mounted exhaust
  • Case Fan: Noctua 120mm as bottom intake
  • Memory: 2 x 32GB UDIMMS
  • PSU: Corsair SF450 SFX (80+ Gold certified)
  • Boot drive: Sandisk USB (ESXi 6.7)
  • Storage: AOC-SLG3-2M2 PCIe Add-On card, with an Intel 660p 2TB NVME and ADATA SX8200 1TB NVME
  • Network: Mellanox CX3
To get it all to fit and have the AIO top mounted, I flipped the case upside down and added some new feet.
The power button ends up on the bottom, but that doesn't matter because we have full control through IPMI :)

Idle power consumption measured with a Kill-a-watt when fully booted with ESXi 6.7 and no VM's running is ~38W

You can go significantly smaller if you use a low profile air cooler, so I also ordered an SGPC K59 case which is only 7.95L and 10.08 x 3.67 x 13.15 inches! It does require a FlexATX PSU, which can be noisy, but it still fits an MATX motherboard and has 2 PCIe slots
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Efficiency Noob
Original poster
Sep 8, 2021
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Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
That's a nice little server! Love the (minimal) clearance between the AIO and AICs. It would be really interesting to see this downsized into that other case, given that there's still plenty of air here (which is frankly impressive for a 13l case). But nonetheless, nice build :)


Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Oct 4, 2021
did you end up getting the sgpc k59 i was trying to find out where to order from but the superbuy-tabao website shows as a pre-sale?