Description

Purpose: I wanted to build a SFF Mobile RoR Dev Workstation that would be somewhat light & portable, while being able to have an expandable platform that I could not obtain from a laptop system. Cord & Power management needed to be kept to a minimum as I had to be able to setup at a Cowork Site, Clients Office, Home, etc. Originally this was to be a Hackintosh Build. However, now that Windows Subsytem for Linux is out of beta and no longer super wonky, I have been able to have all my Dev Tools in one box, without using VMs.

Case: I am a fan of Clean, Minimalist cases. Streacom is a brand I keep coming back too. When I was looking for a SFF case for this Mini-ITX Mobo, I had to use the F1CWS. Although more of a HTPC case, it fit my needs perfectly. There were only a few hiccups. Depth in this case is almost existent, as you can see in a few of the photos. I had to mount my LED Push Button switch on a washer, to add clearance for my wiring terminals. Ventilation was also a worry... so much so that I bought a 3D Printed Case to add additional vents on the top. STL File can be found here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1928417 Once these two things were address, this case was great to use.

Mobo: I am a big fan of Gigabyte Mini-ITX Mobos. Rock solid, easy to setup. I was happy that this came with two HDMI Ports, as I wanted to utilize a dual screen setup for IDE & Browser previews. Two M.2 Slots is hand's down one of the best features on this board. I have the expandability for a build, without adding any extra space.

CPU: Wooh boy! 6-Core i5 at 65W?!?!?! I am still amazed such a small build can have this much power. I also left room to run with getting the 8400. Might upgrade and overclock in the future, but for now this is more than plenty.

PSU: There are a few Fanless, Low Watt PSU on the market and I was able to get a deal on this guy. My only beef is that the power plug on the ATX connector board left me hardly any room for my initial RAM sticks. Had to buy a low profile set to fix this. Still not a fan of the plug connector orientation, but whatever.

CPU Cooler & Fan: I like Noctua coolers. I could probably get away with a little bit taller cooler but for now this suits the build fine. One of the things people had mentioned about the case was the lack of room for fans. I don't know how much the tiny 40mm fan I added will help, but it gives me a little more piece of mind.

RAM: Corsair RAM that met my height restrictions and was at a decent price.

Monitors: Man, these are cool monitors. I bought two of them. I literally can carry both of them in my old MacBook Pro sleeve together. USB 3.0 powered so now worry about plugging both into a power strip.

Keyboard & Mouse: Decent keyboard & mouse combo using 1 USB dongle. Small enough to fit in backpack.

PC Case: This was a totally random find. I wanted to have a case to protect the PC during transport. I have used Casemates before for other items and found this is a perfect fit for the Streacom. I'll try to post additional pics of it fitting later.

Recap: Definitely a unique build tat meets my dev box needs. I get questions about this setup all the time. If anyone has any questions I'd be happy to try to answer them.

Comments

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

This is awesome what you did in such a space space.

TAKE MY +1 JUST TAKE IT

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I'm very happy with it.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Really liked how you brought yourself to make something as luggable and fitting for you as it could get.

Is the Streacom case good quality? Wondering whether I could put a Ryzen APU in there but want a sturdy enclosure.

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Case is very good quality. The outer parameter is one piece of aluminum. I had it in a backpack without the caseling case for a few weeks by itself and I never worried about it. It is aluminum so it will scratch, but other than that is is solid.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Great setup! How exactly do you deal with the power supply in this type of ultra small form factor build? I've seen a few different ways and I wouldn't know, I've built a lot of PCs, and a good few SFF builds but, all came with a fairly regular PSU (inwin Chopin), or could hold an sfx psu. If you can tell me your findings I'd certainly appreciate it. Also, just a tip, take this as you will but, in this specific build, I'd personally have that NF-A4x10 set to exhaust because the cpu fan will be blowing hot air and it should be exhausted. Great build!

  • 15 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the tip! So my idea was to have the 40mm as an intake to drawl in air to hit the cooler fins (fins run left to right) and have the cooler fan continue moving the air across the fins as a pass thru and thru the top lid. I have yet to have a heat pictures to confirm my idea, but I will be doing one soon. As far as the PSU, the board sits right in the ATX connector, and is powered by a laptop brick size DC adapter. The kit I got had the brick included: https://www.coolerguys.com/products/streacom-power

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome mini-itx build! Very clean! Have you checked Realan cases. They have some new ones that are really good, newegg sells them and they ship from China.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep, I almost got the E-W44 before I picked up the Streacom.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

That's a really cool sff portable build, I think the portable monitors are the icing on the cake.

Absolutely well done, +1.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome! Did you consider the amd APU for this build or was more cores desired? Thanks for posting the link for the 3d printed top at a geuss I'd say it would fit my realan case, does the top just fit in snugly or is it fixed some how? +1

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

At the time I started putting the parts together I had a Hackintosh build in mind, so AMD was out of the picture. The lid fits snugly inside the lip, but I had to file down the sides very slightly to get it to fit. Also make sure to clean up the slag in the lid holes, so they don't come loose and fall inside the case. That's why I installed the filter on the lid. Also, just realized what builds you had. Your AMD SFF build was saved as inspiration for this build! All those vinyl cut-ins on that mobo back plate!!

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! your the first person to comment/notice the Vinyl on the IO shield.

I did end up modding the top for better intake and it worked out great with about 20, 10mm holes in a honey comb pattern milled out the top.

Also while I have you, do you have a link for the bag? looks like a camera bag if Im not wrong.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Not a camera bag, a cordless drill case!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y182KJ8?ref=yo_pop_ma_swf

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Gotta say that 40mm Noctua fan is just adorable! Great build!!!

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

I have to say you have built a very nice power station that is more mobile than a laptop!! And the transport case is lovely too.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 14 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 - nice build. i want to configure a similar office system. do you think i5-8400 consumes more than 120W in full-load? Thanks.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 from me, I was thinking of building some sort of laptop made out of cheaper PC parts but this put the icing on the cake that I should just build a portable sff build with a portable monitor! The laptop idea would have been so big too.

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi there. I saw the top you used has holes in it. How did you get a lid like that? I've been hearing some issues about the thermals with this case and I'll be using a 6600k (95W TDP!), so I'm a bit concerned about the thermals.

Any idea on how to get one of those lids like that?

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

I had the top lid 3D printed from Make XYZ. The STL file is linked in the build info. I had to file down one of the edges to get a good fit. I would have not done this build without a good vented lid.