GPU SFF 1060 Mini Help needed

ianuk2005

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 7, 2016
11
6
Hi,

I'm considering building a new SFF gaming PC to replace what I currently have. It's been years since I've actually built one and I've never attempted one with major size constraints to consider. I was hoping your guys could help point me in the right direction.

The Goal:
A small living room PC dual booted with openelec (Kodi) and windows for gaming. The PC will be an always on machine for media playback that can also be booted to windows for heavy gaming. The PC should be quiet while playing media as it is not resource intensive but obviously might kick up to audible levels when gaming. This is to replace my current Alienware Alpha.

Ideal specs and limitations:
Medium/High performance Nvidia GPU - 1060 GTX Mini currently looks like the best choice
Medium Ram - 8GB/16GB ram
Medium CPU: i3/i5, prefereable skylake
Medium Budget - £400-£600 ideal range
And last but not least the size constraints, the area it's going is 32x27x32 cm (WxHXD) front and sides closed off with an extra 5cm open clearence at the back. Ideally I'd like to be able to fit my router in the same space and perhaps a PS4 (but not required).

The best case to fit the limitations I could find is the Lian-Li PC-Q21 (15x26x23 cm). The problem is I'm not sure that it's going to fit the 1060 Mini, the max length for the case is 170mm, which is exactly the same as the card, also the power connector on the 1060 mini appears to be facing directly where the side panel of the case is and I'm not 100% sure if this will be an issue.

You can see some shots of the case here with an R9 380 Compact, I think this is the exact same size as the 1060 Mini but with the power connector facing the front of the case instead:
http://www.hardwareslave.com/reviews/hardware/chassis/lian-li-pc-q21-mini-tower-chassis-review/3/

Also a shot of the 1060 Mini:
https://www.zotac.com/download/file...cards/zt-p10600a-10l_image5.jpg?itok=pNVFK6Aa

Is this likely to fit without issues?

Also any recommendations for alternative cases and opinions on whether the Q21 is going to be sufficiently cooled in the size constraints would be massively appreciated.

Thanks,
Ian
 

Aibohphobia

Jessica. Wayward SFF.n Founder
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,962
4,757
Welcome to the forum!

That 170mm spec must be pretty conservative. Quickly checking some pics of the case it looks like there's ~200mm of space, though I'm not sure if the front 2.5" mount will interfere.

The width will be close, I think if you have a PCIe power cable that's flexible, like SilverStone's it will just clear the side panel with that Zotac 1060.
 

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
KMPKT
Feb 1, 2016
3,382
5,932
I'd personally go with the EVGA 1060 SC Mini over the Zotac if you still have a choice. It has a better cooling solution than either the EVGA non-SC mini and the Zotac and with the most recent BIOS patch has a much better fan profile for semi-fanless operation (ie. less noise). For the fit of the card, I'm pretty sure the Lian-Li will take a 170mm card with space to spare. If you look at the build out in the article you linked, there looks to be at least 2-3cm in excess of the length of the mITX motherboard which is also 170mm. The one dimension you'll have problems with, if any, is the width of the case as the card in the build photos BARELY has room for a PEG connector between the top of the card and the side of the case. Considering neither the Zotac nor the EVGA have a recessed 6-pin, there is no advantage to either model here.
 

ianuk2005

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 7, 2016
11
6
Welcome to the forum!

That 170mm spec must be pretty conservative. Quickly checking some pics of the case it looks like there's ~200mm of space, though I'm not sure if the front 2.5" mount will interfere.

The width will be close, I think if you have a PCIe power cable that's flexible, like SilverStone's it will just clear the side panel with that Zotac 1060.

Thanks, I thought I was missing something such as the card pictured being shorter or something had to fit there that's not pictured. Perhaps 170mm is quoted for compatibility with 3.5 drives being mounted?

Do you have any links to the cable? It's not something I'm used to researching. I've been trying to gauge how much space is going to be available from the awkwardly positioned pictures but it looks to be about 1cm.

I'd personally go with the EVGA 1060 SC Mini over the Zotac if you still have a choice. It has a better cooling solution than either the EVGA non-SC mini and the Zotac and with the most recent BIOS patch has a much better fan profile for semi-fanless operation (ie. less noise). For the fit of the card, I'm pretty sure the Lian-Li will take a 170mm card with space to spare. If you look at the build out in the article you linked, there looks to be at least 2-3cm in excess of the length of the mITX motherboard which is also 170mm. The one dimension you'll have problems with, if any, is the width of the case as the card in the build photos BARELY has room for a PEG connector between the top of the card and the side of the case. Considering neither the Zotac nor the EVGA have a recessed 6-pin, there is no advantage to either model here.

Thanks, I wasn't even aware they did an SC variant. Less noise as idle/low load is much more important to me than it having higher clocks as it will be used as a HTPC the majority of the time. Sounds like it will be worth the small extra cost.

At the moment everything is up for debate, GPU, case or even a pre-built system as I haven't bought anything yet. If alienware, zotac or someone released a sub 5L pre-built with the same performance for less than £1k I would buy it in a heartbeat.
 

Aibohphobia

Jessica. Wayward SFF.n Founder
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,962
4,757
Do you have any links to the cable? It's not something I'm used to researching. I've been trying to gauge how much space is going to be available from the awkwardly positioned pictures but it looks to be about 1cm.

All the newer modular SilverStone SFX/SFX-L power supplies come with really flexible cables:
  • SX600-G
  • SX500-LG
  • SX700-LPT
You can buy the same type of cables for the ST45SF-G or for the modular ATX units (which don't fit in the Q21 though): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H7Y3I4M/?tag=theminutiae-20

I'm estimating about 15mm of space with either the Zotac or EVGA 1060s which is just enough space. 10mm is not enough without modifying the PCIe power connector because that's basically how tall it is.
 

ianuk2005

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 7, 2016
11
6
All the newer modular SilverStone SFX/SFX-L power supplies come with really flexible cables:
  • SX600-G
  • SX500-LG
  • SX700-LPT
You can buy the same type of cables for the ST45SF-G or for the modular ATX units (which don't fit in the Q21 though): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H7Y3I4M/?tag=theminutiae-20

I'm estimating about 15mm of space with either the Zotac or EVGA 1060s which is just enough space. 10mm is not enough without modifying the PCIe power connector because that's basically how tall it is.

500w+ seems overkill for a 1060+skylake. Do they sell the cables seperate and would they be compatable with all SFX PSU's or just that line of silverstone ones? This is new territory for me =)
 

Aibohphobia

Jessica. Wayward SFF.n Founder
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,962
4,757
There isn't much R&D going into SFX units less than 450W.

SilverStone cables are mostly interchangeable between their units with a few exceptions. But In general, the cables for most modular power supplies are not interchangeable even within the same brand.

CableMod is supposed to start start offering flexible, unsleeved cables to their Configurator service in the near-ish future. I did a review on their custom sleeved cables for the Corsair SF600 here, but basically you pick from a list of supported PSUs, pick the cables you need, pick the lengths for each of those cables, and off you go. It's not super expensive but it's not cheap either though.
 
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ianuk2005

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 7, 2016
11
6
Bew case consideration, however I cannot find any reviews. Has anyone come across this case before or know anythong about it?

https://www.overclockers.co.uk/kolink-satellite-micro-atx-cube-case-black-ca-005-kk.html

Bit roomier at 26x19x28 cm but still small.
Rear fan, I'm assuming this will cool better than front/bottom as my setup has the front/sides boxed off?

I cannot find any proper reviews for the unit though. But the prebuilt option with an i3/8gb/1060/h110 mobo for less than £600 seems like a good deal.
 

adisega

Cable Smoosher
Aug 23, 2016
10
5
If it's not too late...

The Kolink case is the same as the Spire Powercube 712, http://www.spire-corp.com/computer-cases/powercube-712-spg712b-cer-2u3/.
I had the Spire case, it is very good. Really, really good, especially for the price (about 25-30 Euro in my country).
A few years ago, I modded a Coolermaster Elite 120, you can check it out here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=65093. As you can see, I am not a pro, but I was pleased with the results, and (as you can read in the last post) in the end the only way left to improve the case was to shorten it... The guys from Spire did exactly that, so I bought it without thinking twice. So, did I mention it already? It is really, really nice :)

Now, it's true I did say "I had the Spire case"... I sold it because I wanted something even smaller and better looking. Don't get me wrong, the Spire/Kolink is not big, but its width may bother the eye... And it is not ugly, but it was a little out of place near my TV, AVR and speakers.
So, I bought the Lian Li PC-Q21. Very pleased with it (I have previously had another two aluminium cases from other manufacturers... they could as well have been built by Gillette! - but thankfully no sharp edges with the Q21).
I must admit the cooling is superior in the Spire/Kolink, for many reasons: horizontal motherboard, perforated roof, 120mm exhaust fan, space for tower CPU cooler, space for longer GPU with better and quieter cooling, etc. At least when compared with the stock Q21, because I have already modified mine to partially get around this issue: http://www.overclock.net/t/1295533/official-lian-li-mini-q-case-owners-club/190#post_25283458.

Long story short, I prefer the Lian Li for my HTPC, and I am waiting for the EVGA 1060 SC to be available in my country, in order to complete my Q21 build. I am almost certain that the power connector will not be a problem, but I am ready to slightly modify it if required (you can always use an extension and work on that if you don't want to cut a small part from your PSU's connectors, for warranty reasons).


EDIT:
It just occurred to me you said the Kolink is 26x19x28 (from the technical details on the oc link), but the Spire is specified at 26.5 x 20.2 x 32, and I am absolutely sure I have measured it and they were correct (depth might have been 33cm, if I'm not wrong). So I don't think the dimensions are correct for the Kolink (since they appear to be pretty much the same case). Think about it this way: ITX board + space to PSU + PSU = 17 + at least 1 + 8.5 = 26.5. That would leave at best 1.5 cm for the front plastic side plus the GPU securing stuff at the back of the case - impossible.

And yes, there are a few small differences between the two cases, but the funny thing is that my case, even though it had the SPIRE logo on the front side and came in a Spire cardboard package, looked exactly like the Kolink - it had the same gold/champagne feet, unlike the Spire silver ones; it had the power plug in the same spot as the Kolink, not where it is displayed in the Spire photos. So I believe I might have owned a first version of the Spire case, which is the same as the Kolink one... but unfortunately the depth is 32-33 cm, which might be too much for your desired location.


EDIT 2:
Two more things:
1) Both the Zotac 1060 and the EVGA 1060 are 111.15 mm tall / wide, while the R9 380 Compact is 116.15 mm, so there is hope for the Q21.
2) Have you considered the Sugo SG13? I have, but still bought the Q21... Maybe you will decide differently...
 
Last edited:

ianuk2005

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 7, 2016
11
6
If it's not too late...

The Kolink case is the same as the Spire Powercube 712, http://www.spire-corp.com/computer-cases/powercube-712-spg712b-cer-2u3/.
I had the Spire case, it is very good. Really, really good, especially for the price (about 25-30 Euro in my country).
A few years ago, I modded a Coolermaster Elite 120, you can check it out here: http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=65093. As you can see, I am not a pro, but I was pleased with the results, and (as you can read in the last post) in the end the only way left to improve the case was to shorten it... The guys from Spire did exactly that, so I bought it without thinking twice. So, did I mention it already? It is really, really nice :)

Now, it's true I did say "I had the Spire case"... I sold it because I wanted something even smaller and better looking. Don't get me wrong, the Spire/Kolink is not big, but its width may bother the eye... And it is not ugly, but it was a little out of place near my TV, AVR and speakers.
So, I bought the Lian Li PC-Q21. Very pleased with it (I have previously had another two aluminium cases from other manufacturers... they could as well have been built by Gillette! - but thankfully no sharp edges with the Q21).
I must admit the cooling is superior in the Spire/Kolink, for many reasons: horizontal motherboard, perforated roof, 120mm exhaust fan, space for tower CPU cooler, space for longer GPU with better and quieter cooling, etc. At least when compared with the stock Q21, because I have already modified mine to partially get around this issue: http://www.overclock.net/t/1295533/official-lian-li-mini-q-case-owners-club/190#post_25283458.

Long story short, I prefer the Lian Li for my HTPC, and I am waiting for the EVGA 1060 SC to be available in my country, in order to complete my Q21 build. I am almost certain that the power connector will not be a problem, but I am ready to slightly modify it if required (you can always use an extension and work on that if you don't want to cut a small part from your PSU's connectors, for warranty reasons).


EDIT:
It just occurred to me you said the Kolink is 26x19x28 (from the technical details on the oc link), but the Spire is specified at 26.5 x 20.2 x 32, and I am absolutely sure I have measured it and they were correct (depth might have been 33cm, if I'm not wrong). So I don't think the dimensions are correct for the Kolink (since they appear to be pretty much the same case). Think about it this way: ITX board + space to PSU + PSU = 17 + at least 1 + 8.5 = 26.5. That would leave at best 1.5 cm for the front plastic side plus the GPU securing stuff at the back of the case - impossible.

And yes, there are a few small differences between the two cases, but the funny thing is that my case, even though it had the SPIRE logo on the front side and came in a Spire cardboard package, looked exactly like the Kolink - it had the same gold/champagne feet, unlike the Spire silver ones; it had the power plug in the same spot as the Kolink, not where it is displayed in the Spire photos. So I believe I might have owned a first version of the Spire case, which is the same as the Kolink one... but unfortunately the depth is 32-33 cm, which might be too much for your desired location.


EDIT 2:
Two more things:
1) Both the Zotac 1060 and the EVGA 1060 are 111.15 mm tall / wide, while the R9 380 Compact is 116.15 mm, so there is hope for the Q21.
2) Have you considered the Sugo SG13? I have, but still bought the Q21... Maybe you will decide differently...

Hey only just noticed this not been on the site for a while!

In the end I ended up going for the SG13, I was a little worried about the Q21 space wise and the SG13 is in between the Kolink and Q21 volume wise so it made a good compromise.

I'm happy with the choice but may attempt something smaller in the future. It's a little toasty but that's expected in the cupboard I have it in, the 140mm intake fan helps but a blower gpu or room for an exhaust fan would help bring it down. Currently between 40C-50C on CPU for HTPC duties and 70-75C with gaming load for CPU/GPU.

I'm going to post a build in the other forum section as well.
 

Smallform Gaming

Cable-Tie Ninja
Aug 10, 2016
154
163
Last edited:
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adisega

Cable Smoosher
Aug 23, 2016
10
5
By comparing these two pictures:
http://www.eplus.kiev.ua/image/cache/data/product/videocards/INNO3D-GTX1060-COMPACT-4-500x500.png
and
http://www.evga.com/products/images/gallery/06G-P4-6163-KR_XL_7.jpg
I am not so sure that the difference is so big. It seems to be more like 2-3 mm, but certainly not 13.15, at least in my opinion. Maybe Inno3D measures the card in a different way, or I have to go check my eyesight :)
On the other hand, even those 2-3 mm might be the decisive ones, so nice find.

Anyway, I have already ordered the EVGA 1060 SC 3GB. It should arrive next week, if I'm lucky. So I will let you know if and how it fits inside the Q21.
I have decided to go for the 3GB version because I am only going to run games at full HD, and it seems to be ok for that resolution. Since it is the SC version, it also means that (memory aside) it should be about as fast as the 6GB reference model.
And yes, maybe the EVGA 6GB SC version is usually 5-10% faster (and perhaps 20-25% faster when more than 3GB are needed), but it is also about 35-40% more expensive where I live. And it is still unavailable! So, I have gladly traded the 10% performance for 35% price and availability :)
 

adisega

Cable Smoosher
Aug 23, 2016
10
5
I don't know... the same way EVGA measures theirs... I don't know if there is a standard, but let's do it this way:
In a few days, when my EVGA arrives, I will measure 111.15 mm from the top side of the PCB and see where it ends :)
Maybe it's from side to side, maybe it doesn't take into account the connector... Anyway, I will post a picture and if it's not too much trouble, you could measure the same way, and see where the 98 mm end... It will be too late for me, but it might help someone else :)
 

adisega

Cable Smoosher
Aug 23, 2016
10
5
My card arrived today.
j0rd, thanks for the link, I have read that thread a few weeks ago, but then completely forgot about it.
I will follow the methodology (so no need for extra pictures) and post the results both here and there.

So, EVGA 1060 SuperClocked 3GB:
182mm x 111mm(111mm) x 35mm. PCB length is about 173mm.
 
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adisega

Cable Smoosher
Aug 23, 2016
10
5
Extra info:
The EVGA 1060 SC fits perfectly inside the Lian LI PC-Q21.
After plugging in the PSU PCIe into the card, there are about 5 mm left from the end of the plastic part of the connector, to the side panel. Not a lot, but enough to safely bend the cables so they don't press against (or even touch) the side panel.
 

ianuk2005

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Aug 7, 2016
11
6
Extra info:
The EVGA 1060 SC fits perfectly inside the Lian LI PC-Q21.
After plugging in the PSU PCIe into the card, there are about 5 mm left from the end of the plastic part of the connector, to the side panel. Not a lot, but enough to safely bend the cables so they don't press against (or even touch) the side panel.

That's great to hear, would love to see some pics and fan/thermal readings when you finish the build. Will you be posting it in the build log section?