Some advice for first time pc builder

Placinta

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
New User
Mar 1, 2020
3
0
Hi,

I'm researching on how to build a DanCase v4.1-based PC, no experience in assembling PCs.
Looked through many builds on pcpartpicker and some threads in this forum, and came up with the following components:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor (€303.99 @ Mindfactory)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 33.84 CFM CPU Cooler (€41.10 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 I AORUS PRO WIFI Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard (€217.00 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory (€159.99 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (€177.79 @ Mindfactory)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8 GB XC GAMING Video Card (€555.99 @ Alternate)
Case: DAN Cases A4-SFXv4.1 Mini ITX Desktop Case (€219.90)
Power Supply: Corsair SF 600 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply (€126.89 @ Alternate)

I would appreciate if somebody could provide some feedback on the parts, and the following questions:
1) Do I need to get any additional case coolers? I notice some builds have them, and some don't.

2) The compatibility section on PPC says "Gigabyte X570 I AORUS PRO WIFI Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard has an onboard USB 3.0 header, but the DAN Cases A4-SFXv4.1 Mini ITX Desktop Case does not have front panel USB 3.0 ports." Does that mean I need to buy and use one the adapters here listed on this page? https://geizhals.de/?cat=WL-1317302

3) Would it be better to switch to a blower radial style cooler GPU, instead of axial?

4) How can I figure out how many 2.5" drives I can fit?

5) I guess I need to buy and apply thermal paste when installing the CPU on the motherboard?

Sorry if any of the questions are dumb, and thanks.
 

Frenzy

Chassis Packer
Feb 14, 2020
18
7
Hiya. I have a very similar build. V4 built in August'19. My 2c.
No worries, the questions are quite understandable. If its really your first build ever, this case is quite a challenge. Challenge has mainly to do with space and the sequence of installation. I would suggest you 'bread board' everything before installing into the case.



1). "Need of a case fans?", I would say not a must. I've put one under the mobo because i could, i dont think its strictly necessary. I used the space underneath the PSU for a 2.5" harddrive. If you have M.2 on the back of the mobo, i guess its more necessary to have some airflow there.

2).Edit: Clarified later in the thread its different V4 vs V4.1. Removed the info applicable to V4.
From DAN's website, revision log v4.1:
we add USB 3.2 gen2 type-C front panel support with the new internal Key-A connector


3).On paper probably blowers are 'better'. But blowers are louder and far less choice on the market. Most just go with radial style coolers. DAN A4 has actually pretty good thermals for radial style compared to other SFF cases. Due to the orientation of the GPU a lot does get vented out the top of the case. For the air than is expelled radially out to the bottom, i made a small cardboard cutout to divert the hot air from the hardrive I have underneath the PSU. But in short, I'm fine with the radial style i have (Gigabyte 1080)

4. You can fit one 9mm 2.5inch drive behind the front panel. Without an AIO cooler, you can put up to two 15mm 2.5" drives on the bottom underneath the PSU. There is a harddrive bracket provided with the case.
I have one 9mm SSD behind front panel, and one 15mm under PSU on the hard drive bracket. Adding another would be really challenging however with all the cable management.

5). Buy thermal paste, no not necessary. The Noctua cooler comes with decent thermal paste. You do need to apply it yourself :)

Additional info/remarks
- Do you strictly need the X570? Most builds suffice with B450, and 'soon' the B550 will be out. Only problem with B450 is that you need to flash the bios to work with Zen2.

- I added a 9mm shroud to the noctua L9a cooler. Got a good reduction in CPU temps ~8 degC. (Didnt have it at the time i made the picture). I also have a DEMCIflex filter there, it makes a snug fit between case panel and shroud.

Hope this helped. Happy building! :)
 
Last edited:

Placinta

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
New User
Mar 1, 2020
3
0
Hiya. I have a very similar build. V4 built in August'19. My 2c.
Hi, thanks a bunch for the detailed response!
Nice picture of the build : )

Indeed it's my first build, but the DANcase website has a manual, so I'm hoping that will provide enough guidance for me to figure out what goes where and in what order, and worst case scenario, I can probably find some youtube video.

1) Could you clarify where is your fan located under the motherboard? I'm having trouble imagining where that is location wise, given that the motherboard is positioned vertically, and I assume it snuggly touched the bottom of the case, so there isn't really much space for a fan there?

2) Ok, I see. When I get all the pieces, i'll come back and confirm.

3) I'll stick with the chosen radial-fan GPU then.

4) So do I understand correctly: one 2.5" drive behind the front panel, and two 2.5" underneath the PSU. And in addition to that, two M.2 SSD slots (1 front of the motherboard, one on the back)?


I chose the X570 due to possibility to expand to 64GB of RAM.
And waiting for B550 seems like playing with fire, now that people say that production is slowed due to the virus outbreak.


Is this shroud something different from the "FAN Duct 3D Print" listed in DAN cases FAQ? Also, does material matter for the print (complete newbie regarding 3d printing)?

Thanks a lot again.
 

awakenpanda

Minimal Tinkerer
New User
Mar 2, 2020
3
2
for 2) the v4.1 you will need those adapters since it was changed from the USB 3.0 header to the Type A header :( Given the orientation of the motherboard, you will need both the extension cable and the adapter since the usb 3.0 header faces towards the PSU.

Also, most B450 boards that are shipped now are Ryzen 3000 ready. So I would look at the additional features that the X570 board gives and see if that is worth the extra $$$.
 

Frenzy

Chassis Packer
Feb 14, 2020
18
7
Hi, thanks a bunch for the detailed response!
Nice picture of the build : )

Indeed it's my first build, but the DANcase website has a manual, so I'm hoping that will provide enough guidance for me to figure out what goes where and in what order, and worst case scenario, I can probably find some youtube video.

1) Could you clarify where is your fan located under the motherboard? I'm having trouble imagining where that is location wise, given that the motherboard is positioned vertically, and I assume it snuggly touched the bottom of the case, so there isn't really much space for a fan there?

2) Ok, I see. When I get all the pieces, i'll come back and confirm.

3) I'll stick with the chosen radial-fan GPU then.

4) So do I understand correctly: one 2.5" drive behind the front panel, and two 2.5" underneath the PSU. And in addition to that, two M.2 SSD slots (1 front of the motherboard, one on the back)?


I chose the X570 due to possibility to expand to 64GB of RAM.
And waiting for B550 seems like playing with fire, now that people say that production is slowed due to the virus outbreak.


Is this shroud something different from the "FAN Duct 3D Print" listed in DAN cases FAQ? Also, does material matter for the print (complete newbie regarding 3d printing)?

Thanks a lot again.
1) I'll show my build from the other side. You see the fan more clear. One of the revisions for V4 was specifically to be able to accommodate a 90x15mm fan here. Also you can see my 2.5" x 15mm harddrive partly under the GPU, on the top side of the drive cage. Underneath the cage I use for cable routing, but it could be used for another drive.


2). I see this was specifically changed v4 to v4.1. So internally it terminates in 3.1gen2 "Key-A". The manual also highlights the difference i just noticed.

4) Yes, you can also browse the digital manual from DAN A4 V4&4.1. Its page 11/12 well illustrated.
M.2 amount and location depends on the motherboard chosen. The Gigabyte page doesnt show a picture from the back. I believe the X570 has 2x m.2. Atleast one on the front underneath the M.2 thermal guard. I guess the other one can be mounted on the back.

- FYI. I've installed Corsair 2x16GB, DDR4, 3200MHz, CL16, Vengeance , for my use case a bit overkill. Games don't even come near filling it.

- Ah yeah, you're right about the B550 likely to be delayed. Also the B550 wont be that cheap either so the delta in price to the X570 not that significant to warrant waiting months for it.

- The shrouds are not the same. I'm not quite sure about the history of the shroud mentioned in the FAQ. Both likely would work, I see the FAQ shroud is 10mm thick. The FAQ shroud uses more material as per its design, so will be more expensive. The shroud from thingiverse, cost me 18 euro's to make at a 3d printing company. PLA material is commonly used. Printing is quite slow, so you pay more for the time used than actual material used in the print. The thingiverse shroud took 1.5 hours to print.
 

Placinta

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
New User
Mar 1, 2020
3
0
1) Thanks, I see now there's enough space for the fan.
2) A bit scared about this, but people on r/sffpc seem to handle it somehow with an extender cable + adapter, so I hopefully I can too.

Regarding memory, i agree 32GB is overkill for gaming, but there's never enough RAM when doing development / compiling big C++ projects.

Thanks for the shroud info. I'll try to find a a 3d printing company to print it for me.

Thanks everyone for all your feedback!
 

dondan

SFF Guru
DAN Cases
Feb 23, 2015
1,099
3,652
For the USB adapter question. Please check out my FAQ page: https://dan-cases.com/dana4_faq.html

One note to your hardware configuration: I would use the much cheaper Gigabyte B450 I Aorus Pro WIFI, because there will be no benifit of having a PCIe gen4 board in the next years.
 

Frenzy

Chassis Packer
Feb 14, 2020
18
7
..

Thanks for the shroud info. I'll try to find a a 3d printing company to print it for me.
Just to note that with the shroud the original screws are not long enough to secure the fan on the heatsink. With the Noctua fan you get additional screws for a 25mm thick fan. I've cut these to ~16mm length and secured everything.
 
Last edited:

x111

Average Stuffer
Aug 5, 2019
61
8
Hi,

I'm researching on how to build a DanCase v4.1-based PC, no experience in assembling PCs.
Looked through many builds on pcpartpicker and some threads in this forum, and came up with the following components:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor (€303.99 @ Mindfactory)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9a-AM4 33.84 CFM CPU Cooler (€41.10 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 I AORUS PRO WIFI Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard (€217.00 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory (€159.99 @ Amazon Deutschland)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (€177.79 @ Mindfactory)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER 8 GB XC GAMING Video Card (€555.99 @ Alternate)
Case: DAN Cases A4-SFXv4.1 Mini ITX Desktop Case (€219.90)
Power Supply: Corsair SF 600 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply (€126.89 @ Alternate)

I would appreciate if somebody could provide some feedback on the parts, and the following questions:
1) Do I need to get any additional case coolers? I notice some builds have them, and some don't.

2) The compatibility section on PPC says "Gigabyte X570 I AORUS PRO WIFI Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard has an onboard USB 3.0 header, but the DAN Cases A4-SFXv4.1 Mini ITX Desktop Case does not have front panel USB 3.0 ports." Does that mean I need to buy and use one the adapters here listed on this page? https://geizhals.de/?cat=WL-1317302

3) Would it be better to switch to a blower radial style cooler GPU, instead of axial?

4) How can I figure out how many 2.5" drives I can fit?

5) I guess I need to buy and apply thermal paste when installing the CPU on the motherboard?

Sorry if any of the questions are dumb, and thanks.
here check my build:


For the USB adapter question. Please check out my FAQ page: https://dan-cases.com/dana4_faq.html

One note to your hardware configuration: I would use the much cheaper Gigabyte B450 I Aorus Pro WIFI, because there will be no benifit of having a PCIe gen4 board in the next years.
so you are saying that my
"PowerColor Red Dragon Radeon Rx 5700 Xt"
gains no benefits from pcie 4 ?
:(

.