World's smallest mini-ITX gaming PC - 1,99L (Is it possible?)

buLL

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Mar 11, 2017
69
53
Hello guys! This is my first post on the forum. I'm an SFF lover, and have been following the forum for over an year. I decided making an account now and posting this thread because I think I might have had a cool idea (if it is possible to build, of course).

So, basically, is making the smallest viable mini-ITX gaming PC. For that to be possible, the critical points are: using picoPSU, using a low-profile GPU, and manufacturing a custom bracket (IO shield) for the motherboard and GPU (4,5cm bracket for the MB and 7cm bracket for the GPU).

I know 1,99L would be the best case scenario, which may not be achievable. So i remind you: the purpose of this post is hearing your opinions about it, as this is just an idea. If you guys think it may work (even if it has to be a little bigger), I might start a building log.

So, the hardware would be the following:
- Any Mini-ITX motherboard (17 x 17cm)
- Any CPU (preferable <65w, because picoPSU is not that powerful)
- Low profile CPU cooler (<45mm)
- Low profile RAM
- picoPSU 160w + AC-DC adapter
- Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti OC Low Profile 4G (Size: 16,7 x 6,9 x 3,7cm. Wattage: about 70w)
- One 2,5" SSD (10 x 7 x 0,7cm)
CASE SIZE: 17 x 24 x 4,9cm = 1,99L
*Total wattage: around 135w

In theory, reaching the 1,99L volume is possible. But in practice, I know it probably won't be, as I forgot to count some small important spaces, like the motherboard standoff, PCIe riser needed space, and some other safety distances.

Here are some scratches I made (dimensions are not 100% accurate), to make the design more clear to you guys:

TOP VIEW (without the GPU)

TOP VIEW (With SSD on the bottom + GPU on the top)

SIDE VIEW (from the back)


So, what do you guys think? How difficult is it to manufacture a custom bracket (IO shield) for the motherboard and GPU? What are your thoughts about the design?

Cheers!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Nocturnize

buLL

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Mar 11, 2017
69
53
Thanks for your answer Kmpkt.

Wow, indeed it is very similar to my design. I dont know how I missed that thread XD

Except that in my design I used a more powerful GPU, and picoPSU only option. And tried to shrink it to 1,99L.

The main problem is the GPU bracket. XFX provides low profile brackets in their website to buy, while Gigabyte doesnt.

Do you know if its hard to manufacture a custom bracket for the GPU and MB? I mean, shouldn't be too hard if all measurement are taken correctly, right? As it is the same material used to manufacture cases (Aluminum? Sheet metal?)
 

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
KMPKT
Feb 1, 2016
3,380
5,917
Honestly I would consider modelling your bracket and then getting it printed in aluminide or some other higher quality 3D printable via Shapeways. Considering the relatively small size it would likely be under twenty bucks.
 

buLL

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Mar 11, 2017
69
53
Sure.

Thanks man, you really helped. I haven't started the 3d modelling yet, cause I wanted first to know if this was a viable idea.

As you said it can be achievable, I think I will start doing the modelling this week, and then I will post here the results.

If you or anyone else have other thoughts about the project, feel free to respond this thread :D
 

Thehack

Spatial Philosopher
Creator
Bronze Supporter
Mar 6, 2016
2,725
3,479
J-hackcompany.com
A laser cut piece is likely to be a lil' bit cheaper and have better turn around times.

It'll probably clock around 2.5-3L when all is said and done.
 
Last edited:

Aibohphobia

aka James
Gold Supporter
Feb 22, 2015
4,956
4,717
Low profile CPU cooler (<45mm)

Keep in mind that the top of the CPU is about 8mm above the top of the motherboard for Intel at least.

In theory, reaching the 1,99L volume is possible. But in practice, I know it probably won't be, as I forgot to count some small important spaces, like the motherboard standoff, PCIe riser needed space, and some other safety distances.

I'd recommend reading this: https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/stx160-0-the-most-powerful-atx-unit-in-the-world.934/

But 2.0L isn't happening, like @Thehack says, 2.5L would be about the minimum possible and 3L would be more realistic.

Because you'll need around 1-2mm in each direction for the panel thickness, recommended is 6mm around the motherboard for clearance, 6.35mm for the standoff height, then if it's sheet metal there will be bend radius, and the list goes on.

How difficult is it to manufacture a custom bracket (IO shield) for the motherboard and GPU?

That's fairly trivial compared to the rest of the case, it's just a flat piece. Hardest part will be getting all the cutouts for the IO.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CC Ricers

buLL

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Mar 11, 2017
69
53
Yeah, I understand. You are both right.

And Aibohphobia, I had seen your STX thread a long time ago. You did an awesome job there mate, I learned a lot from you!

Anyway, I think I will start the proper moddeling next week, using proper measurements. Hope I can get sub 3L, we will see how that turns out. Thanks for your help :)
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
2,057
2,208
That's gonna be a very small and interesting case for sure. It's cool to see more designs for cases that are exclusive to using LP cards.

Keep in mind that the top of the CPU is about 8mm above the top of the motherboard for Intel at least.

And also add 8 more for the motherboard thickness and standoff height, for quarter inch tall standoffs. So I usually subtract 16 mm from the case interior to get the max height of the CPU cooler.

Yours will truly need custom I/O cutouts for the GPU AND motherboard if you are to keep the case within 50mm in height. That's how the NFC S3 Mini does it as well.
 

buLL

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Mar 11, 2017
69
53
Thanks for your reply CC Ricers.

Yup, I know it will need custom IO to reach at least near these measurements. But I'm willing to do it, as this is a personal project, not something I want to sell.

I didn't know S3 Mini did that too, I will check it out now.

Cheers