Building a PC in 2017


A4 is smaller than the NCase by a notable margin, the difference pretty much down to the fact that the NCase uses the traditional 90° GPU<->Mobo and has space for a non-low profile CPU cooler while the A4 uses a riser to rotate the GPU and leaves no space for a larger cooler.

Both probably are good choices.

Size comparison of a ton of ITX cases I found


Well let’s see, smallest mini-itx cases that support a full size(ish) GPU:

ncase M1
240 x 160 x 328 mm = 12.6 L

205 x 112 x 327mm = 7.5 L

RVZ02 / ML08
380 x 87 x 370mm = 12.2 L

Antec ISK300-150 (does not support full size GPU, shown for comparison)
96 x 222 x 328mm = 6.9 L

so on volume, you’re right – though it depends if any particular dimension is a problem…


It’s actually dm^3, or L, for that measurement, FYI.


There’s also this thing, same rough volume of 7L (Liters, sorry… I measure things in stones and cubits usually)


I’m pretty sure at least Alienware cases are custom. It seems like getting custom cases is not too much a problem. It’s actually getting custom PCB that is the expensive thing.

I misspoke calling it Skull Candy i believe it’s called Skull Canyon. Skull something anyway. Gamers like skulls i guess. Maybe “Dragon Skull: Headshot Experience” will be the next gen product’s name!

Actually the smaller and more power efficient the more it interests me…at times. There is this silly thing over at IndieGogo. The Ockel Sirius B, which is just a string of nouns and nonsense branding, but is apparently a phone sized Windows 10 desktop box. I mean, it’s tempting for brief moments, before i come to my senses.


Yes they do with Alienware, and I even mentioned it above. It’s not that it’s super unusual so much as it’s not like they have perfect cases that are smaller, light or better than everything else. A lot of them are more about looks… like do you really want and need a curve? The idea that they have cases smaller than all others seems… unlikely, do they have one that looks like a storm trooper helmet… sure.


True, but then i’m really only interested in the marginal Alienware stuff. There’s no reason to get one of those ugly Alienware desktops vs. an XPS desktop… but then there’s not reason to get an XPS desktop when you can just build one yourself. The Alienware Alpha otoh, at least at release, was a unique sized product. There are a few more “smaller” cases but i don’t think they’re quite that small, not if they have user replaceable graphics anyway, but i haven’t looked all that closely in a couple years.

There is this Lenovo IdeaCentre AIO Y910 that is an all-in-one with user replaceable graphics. That’s… cool. Does something unique there. May be interesting if it weren’t so hideously ugly and you don’t mind getting stuck with the screen it has.


I mind being stuck with the screen as much as I mind the ugliness. I think the available cases out there is huge, so I still question the idea that there isn’t something like it out there… i mean by the argument xbox and ps4 are unique pc cases… which I guess is true but can you make something of similar size… sure.


Then go to the Skull Canyon topic… absolutely no beating that for combination of small size and low power usage with the most GPU grunt. It is the pinnacle right now.


Man I really want this case now.

Super dumb to put a 2.2 Ghz Xeon CPU in there. Yeah yeah 22 cores of crazily expensive $4k wankery, but horrible gaming perf relative to a 4.4 - 4.8 Ghz quad core kaby lake. Which would also be a ton cheaper.

I don’t think quad channel memory really does much for you, either.


That’s a great case, I love fractal design, but it isn’t a small case.


It’s a water buffalo compared to the tiny ITX cases we were just discussing in this thread.


Consider the deal withdrawn.


Here’s a fun little website to play with.[AM4]=on


Hi everyone…just got this email from PCMag. If you don’t have it yet, it’s a promotion for a Dell XPS i7 system. Use the link, then add the code XPS619 to bring the price to $619.

I know, Dell, right? But I was tooling around with PCPartsPicker and I couldn’t quite beat the price. I’m not going to do it since I’ll probably do a full custom build a little later in the year, but the price was reasonable enough that I considered it. You could do worse than to start with this and add an SSD and swap out the video card later. Just FYI.


I would not purchase or build a computer right now-- wait for Ryzen reviews in 2 days.


If you intend to use it for gaming, you should plan to swap out the video card immediately. You may need to upgrade the PSU too.


Buying something with the OS on an SSD already is surely a big simplifier.


I first built my current PC in early 2012. It’s an i5 2500 with 8gb of ram on P67 chipset.

Since I built it I’ve upgraded the SSD at least twice and the video card twice…from a Radeon 5750 to a Geforce 750TI to a Geforce GTX 960. My most recent upgrade has been to a 2560x1440 WQHD monitor. Amazingly, I’m able to run the few 3d games I’ve tried (Witcher, FO4) at 1440p with reasonable framerates.

I’m starting to think that it might be time for an upgrade though and I’m definitely keeping an eye out for the benchmarks and value calculations to see if the new Ryzens hit a sweet spot somehow.

As a sidenote, I just upgraded two of our household PCs this past week with SSDs. My kids PC was feeling really slow and I popped an SSD in it and it’s like a brand new machine. Same with our low end Acer Laptop…put an SSD in that and it’s much much faster.

It’s so true that over the last 5 years GPU and SSD upgrades can completely swamp any change in CPU and memory.


There’s some serious power in this for 1/2 the cost of the TitanX