[SFFn] Silverstone's VT02 - An STX Upgrade

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
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Comments on the ASRock DeskMini (non-GTX) line have been clear, the stock case that comes with the DeskMini line is pretty average - from the cheap plastic fascia to the mediocre tray style build. The plastic rails and hard-mounted front panel config just leaves a lot of room for that dreaded cables-stuck-in-fan situation.

Read more here.
 

rfarmer

SFF Guru
Silver Supporter
Jul 7, 2017
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Thanks @confusis I didn't even know this case existed, I just ordered one for my DeskMini 110. Great little computer but I was never thrilled by the case. Also finally ordered a Noctua NH-L9i so I can get rid of the stock Intel one.
 
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confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
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I'll nag them again at Computex for one :)
 
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Boil

King of Cable Management
Nov 11, 2015
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That would be perfect for SFFLab's upcoming ASRock Z390M-STX MXM
Interesting...!

So, I see SFFLabs plans to offer both the A300M-STX motherboard and the Z390M-STX MXM motherboard...!

That is exciting, but I wonder at the pricing, I guess I need to go look for some threads on these new offerings...?

The big question is where to get MXM GPUs at a fair price...?
 
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rfarmer

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Interesting...!

So, I see SFFLabs plans to offer both the A300M-STX motherboard and the Z390M-STX MXM motherboard...!

That is exciting, but I wonder at the pricing, I guess I need to go look for some threads on these new offerings...?

The big question is where to get MXM GPUs at a fair price...?
That is exactly what I was wondering, if you can't get the MXM GPUs the motherboard is pretty pointless.
 

Boil

King of Cable Management
Nov 11, 2015
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Personally, if SFFLabs is ordering in quantity, they really should push for a X300 (X500?) version of the AMD board, and include the mods folks here want (replace DC power with internal 4-pin for internal HDPlex use, no VGA port, fully unlocked BIOS, higher capacity VRMs)...

Something that is future-proofed for more powerful AMD APUs...!!!
 

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
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The problem is ordering in quantity and then ordering in quantity - i.e. retail qty vs OEM qty - there's a big difference :/
 

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
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Feb 1, 2016
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Personally, if SFFLabs is ordering in quantity, they really should push for a X300 (X500?) version of the AMD board, and include the mods folks here want (replace DC power with internal 4-pin for internal HDPlex use, no VGA port, fully unlocked BIOS, higher capacity VRMs)...

Something that is future-proofed for more powerful AMD APUs...!!!
I've looked into the quantity required to get a custom board done in this form factor. You're looking an MoQ that will cost WELL into six figures. I don't think anyone in these parts has that kind of cake lying around.
 
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nix

Trash Compacter
Jan 5, 2017
39
39
Bit off topic but I like your ruler. I was a backer for the v2, and its made by a fellow kiwi.
 

TheOfficialCzex

Trash Compacter
Mar 6, 2017
37
30
What a great little case! Quite tame in the aesthetics department, just as they should be.

Thank you for the review! I always look forward to these.
 
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Quango

Caliper Novice
Apr 6, 2019
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My month old Silverstone/Asus STX setup behind the stand of my Philips 27" 4k monitor. I had a Deskmini H110 for almost two years, but sudden freezes became a daily occurrence after I bought that 4k monitor and connected it to the Display Port for [email protected] Hz. I had sudden freezes before (even in BIOS setup!), but they were rather rare with Full HD. Freezes which require a restart are a known problem with the Asrock H110M-STX. My impression is they occur when there is load on the hardware acceleration by the GPU (like with Chrome while zooming around in Google Maps).

Also the unused Realtek audio chip simply died and disappeared from my W10pro device manager - while electric noise was always present with the Asrock board. Because of the typical freezes a new Asrock H110M-STX mainboard was out of question - and they are no longer avaialbe individualy.

Now I moved my Core i3-7100, Noctua cooler, 16 GB Crucial DDR4-2400 1.2 V RAM, an Intel AC 8265 WiFi card, two dual band antennas, a Samsung 960 Evo NVMe, a 860 Evo SSD and the Asrock supplied 120 W power brick onto an Asus H110S1/CSM Mini-STX board.

Since Asus uses regular 2.5" drive cabling and there is no way in the Asrock case tray to route the SSD cables under the board, I needed a new case, too. The Silverstone VT02 was essentially the only cheaply available and visually acceptable case.

Everything fits nicely, although I regard the Silverstone as flimsy compared to the sturdy Asrock case. Also, the open bore holes on the underside mean dirt can enter from the table easily. There is no shielding between the mainboard and the drives under it. The LED lights are too bright on the table in front of me. But the routing of the cables, especially the WiFi antenna cables, is much easier.

The Asus H110S1/CSM still has BIOS support, no useless analog video output but two HDMIs and a DP instead. Unfortunately it has no on board USB headers.

What did I gain compared to the Asrock Deskmini H110?

- stability! No more freezes with Asus
- no electric component noise from the board any more
- regained an on board sound chip (but I use USB-DACs anyway)
- better cable management

What did I lose?

- M.2 NVMe with only Gen. 2 x 4 instead of Gen. 3 x 4 on the Asrock, since Asus routes everything through the H110 chipset
- two USB 2.0 ports less because of the lack of a on board header. And there are no known fitting extra USB ports for this case
- case sturdiness is reduced
- case LEDs are too bright now

The Noctua is kept at constant 800 rpm up untill the mid 50s °C, like it was in the Asrock - silence :)

All USB 3.0 ports are connected to hubs, while the USB 2.0 is reserved for the USB-DAC. One of the HDMI ports is connected to an AV-receiver for digital sound output.
 
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rfarmer

SFF Guru
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Jul 7, 2017
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Case arrived today, looks really good. I bought my DeskMini used and as you can see the case was a bit weathered, got a good deal so I can't complain. Also got the Noctua which is a big improvement over the stock Intel one.

One thing to note if you are using a motherboard from a DeskMini. The 2.5 mounting position for the Silverstone only allows you to mount the drives in one orientation, only one of the SATA cables is long enough to reach. I just used some double sided tape and rotated the drives 90 degrees.
 
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SFF EOL

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Dec 9, 2018
126
30
Bit off topic but I like your ruler. I was a backer for the v2, and its made by a fellow kiwi.
You can get a similar ruler from (tries to find name), anyway link. As you see it is for a Raspberry Pi, which I find useful as I can't remember the GIPO pin-out because I use to many different SBC and end up using the wrong ones for the wrong boards.

 

SFF EOL

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Dec 9, 2018
126
30
The only SFX cases I’ve found in the UK are this and its brother. I’m now on my third 300/310 and I have taken to painting them, that costs me about £18 so not a massive saving. However, it does make the As-Rock case look, well, less problematic and I don’t find these Silverstone cases different enough to justify the price (£28 plus shipping). I’d still probably want to paint those so the cost would go up.

I should be starting the next A300 next week (well I should be doing it this week but new treatment beckons) so I will try and remember to take a few photos so people can make up their own minds- just don’t blame me for the colours as they are the choice of the customer not me.

I haven't forgotten the A300 M.2 PCIe thing, just I haven't had time as I am in demand from both my oncologist and customers at the moment, which is actually nice. I that stuff from NZ doesn't arrive this week I may try and do both at once.
 

AMv8-1day

Cable-Tie Ninja
Feb 13, 2017
145
115
I'm really coming around to this case as a potential PS2 and earlier emulator box with something like the G5620.
This case seems like it would lend itself well to a custom NES themed paint job.