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Building small ITX system for portable gaming, work, minor encoding, etc

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Hey guys, so I have my home desktop of course but lately gaming laptops just are not doing it for me as with work and stuff I have had to travel a bunch. Currently my laptop is just not doing it for me unfortunately as I am spoiled by 144hz and really its hard to play games like Apex, BF V, or similar at lower frame rates now. I had been looking into getting a better one with that feature but after looking at pricing and realizing I rarely use my gaming laptops as actual laptops and mostly just set them up like a work station and the price for laptops that I want (Not to mention I am tired of trying to upgrade them) I thought it would be more worthwhile to just build a very compact and small portable gaming rig and to either bring my monitor along or buy a new 1080p 144-165hz monitor. So here is after the research I have been doing what I have come up with:

Case: https://www.newegg.com/black-fractal-design-node-202-integra-sfx-450w-psu-mini-itx/p/N82E16811352059?Item=N82E16811352059
CPU: https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-5-3600/p/N82E16819113569?Item=N82E16819113569
Motherboard: https://www.newegg.com/asrock-fatal1ty-x470-gaming-itx-ac/p/N82E16813157837R?Item=N82E16813157837R
Ram: https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820232476?Item=N82E16820232476
Storage (Just for now): https://www.newegg.com/samsung-970-evo-plus-500gb/p/N82E16820147742?Item=N82E16820147742
TL:DR Specs: Ryzen 5 3600, 16gb DDR4 3200 Gskill, Asrock X470 ITX, FractalDesign Node 202 with 450w PSU (SFX), Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500gb, RTX 2060 Super.

Basically I am wanting to hear what yall think not to mention if anyone has better case recommendations for something this size. I know I didn't link my GPU because I am thinking of getting a used ebay one or still deciding as I have a GTX 970 at home for now for testing and a bit of early gaming (Not to mention I am contemplating moving GPU's around). Also if someone has done something tiny with this CPU or similar and what the temp results were as I am going to use the stock for now and if it cant handle it well I will go ahead and get something like a Noctua low profile cooler or similar. My total budget for this is going to be around $1000 just for the machine itself.

Thanks for the help!
 
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i dont know much about the fractal node 202, but from what i can see the listed specs with the 450w psu, might not have enough juice
you might also want to get a slightly bigger case for better airflow if you want this pc for gaming. https://www.techpowerup.com/review/ncase-m1/5.html
Heres the thing even though its small and compact, with all the parts built in, it actually weighs quite a bit and after you might get fed up lugging it around for work and gaming.
 
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Ive built in the node before... that case design for ITX gaming is not my favorite. It ends up ok, but you have to use a shorter card if you want the 120mm aio (and you have to mod the case a bit with a little tin snipping to get the block through). It is also pretty tall and not great looking to normal people. It just looks like a minimal version of one of the sff dells that every school/library had a few years back.

Try looking at the A series designs:


1573761657881.png


about the same liters and roughly the same footprint (a bit chubbier), but allows for easier cooling and a 240mm aio (which means you will never have to worry about cooling).

if you have the space and like the Corsair one look take a look at the phanteks shift.


this is getting into the "chubby itx" territory but the footprint is small and it looks like something apple made, which means it's ok to leave out in plain sight.



^ this is good too.
 
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Unless you're under certain restrictions like I am, you'll want to put that 3600 under water if the case doesn't allow 115-125mm tall coolers. Don't be fooled by the 65w TDP; it won't ever exceed 65w by much if you leave it at stock settings, but Ryzen 3000 is boost-happy, so if you don't have a cooler with plenty of cooling overhead and a really quiet fan, you'll be hearing that boost all the time.

The Node 202 doesn't fit the L9x65, which is chunky and not a particularly stellar performer even in the SG08 with direct airflow from a 120mm. The "standard" sized L9a doesn't even deserve a mention, it sucks ass. Much like with a Wraith Prism, load temperatures on the L9x65 won't be an issue thanks to the 3600's boost algorithms, but your idle temps will probably be unpredictable and pretty high.

The 2060 Super is a good choice for SFF builders. The FE is a pretty short ~9in card, and the Zotac Mini even shorter. I don't like the thermals of the Mini, but it's certainly servicable and a reasonable tradeoff for its size.
 
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from what i can see the listed specs with the 450w psu, might not have enough juice
Based on? I have a 3700x and a 2070, so a bit beefier CPU and basically the same GPU. I have yet to break 400W when gaming. I think I peaked at 420W when doing power virus for the CPU and GPU simultaneously. :)
I'm personally biased for cube cases in the mITX range. I don't like risers and the flat, large footprint cases like the Node 202. If I were to do a mini ITX build where money is not too much of an issue, I'd get a Dan A4 case for the tinyness of it. Or a Silverstone Sugo05/06. I just really enjoy the bulky look of those things (still around 10l like the Node 202) and the compactness means the weight is nicely distributed. You might even be able to put a handle on top if you'd like for easy one handed transport. It's really an aesthetics thing, and an ease of building in it, but that only happens once and then you are good for several years (maybe). :D

Don't be fooled by the 65w TDP; it won't ever exceed 65w by much if you leave it at stock settings, but Ryzen 3000 is very happy to boost whenever.
And the performance delta between stock cooler and an AIO will be how much? Negligible if the techsport 3900x Wraith Prism vs 360mm AIO is to be believed. There is no need to watercool a 6 core Ryzen processor, what are you talking about? Who cares about idle temps that spike? Such is the nature of Zen 2.
 
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And the performance delta between stock cooler and an AIO will be how much? Negligible if the techsport 3900x Wraith Prism vs 360mm AIO is to be believed. There is no need to watercool a 6 core Ryzen processor, what are you talking about? Who cares about idle temps that spike? Such is the nature of Zen 2.
Node 202 doesn't support a 65mm tall L9x65, let alone a 80-95mm Wraith. Neither does the DAN A4. "Who cares about idle temps that spike?" Clearly someone hasn't built any SFF lately with 92mm fans. Don't try to apply the experience you've gleaned from using a Dark Rock Pro 3 to top down 92mm coolers and fans.

Nobody asked about 360mm AIOs, and no one inferred the "necessity" of watercooling. But SFF builders have collectively found over the years that a 92mm or 120mm AIO is a good way to circumvent the CPU cooler height restriction common in these "split" layout types of cases.

If you're dragging the techspot article into a thread asking for "small ITX" suggestions, you should already know that any thermals test conducted in a large mid-tower or open-air bench is largely irrelevant. Take a L9x65, put it on a test bench, and it'll tame 4.5GHz load on a 8700K. Now try and attain anything close to that kind of performance in either the 202 or the A4 that you've suggested - it just won't be happening.
 
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Unless you're under certain restrictions like I am, you'll want to put that 3600 under water if the case doesn't allow 115-125mm tall coolers. Don't be fooled by the 65w TDP; it won't ever exceed 65w by much if you leave it at stock settings, but Ryzen 3000 is boost-happy, so if you don't have a cooler with plenty of cooling overhead and a really quiet fan, you'll be hearing that boost all the time.

The Node 202 doesn't fit the L9x65, which is chunky and not a particularly stellar performer even in the SG08 with direct airflow from a 120mm. The "standard" sized L9a doesn't even deserve a mention, it sucks ass. Much like with a Wraith Prism, load temperatures on the L9x65 won't be an issue thanks to the 3600's boost algorithms, but your idle temps will probably be unpredictable and pretty high.

The 2060 Super is a good choice for SFF builders. The FE is a pretty short ~9in card, and the Zotac Mini even shorter. I don't like the thermals of the Mini, but it's certainly servicable and a reasonable tradeoff for its size.
Ok good to know, I am just trying to get some case that's pretty compact as much as possible as I don't want something that takes up a lot of room. I just liked that this could still fit a pretty long GPU plus its price mixed with the PSU it comes with was not bad.

That might be an issue as a little noise wont bug me but I may need to look into. I have not looked much into the Noctua low profile coolers but I have seen the l9x65 but was looking at the smaller ones. So they really are not worth it?

Ive built in the node before... that case design for ITX gaming is not my favorite. It ends up ok, but you have to use a shorter card if you want the 120mm aio (and you have to mod the case a bit with a little tin snipping to get the block through). It is also pretty tall and not great looking to normal people. It just looks like a minimal version of one of the sff dells that every school/library had a few years back.

Try looking at the A series designs:


View attachment 136496

about the same liters and roughly the same footprint (a bit chubbier), but allows for easier cooling and a 240mm aio (which means you will never have to worry about cooling).

if you have the space and like the Corsair one look take a look at the phanteks shift.


this is getting into the "chubby itx" territory but the footprint is small and it looks like something apple made, which means it's ok to leave out in plain sight.



^ this is good too.
Not a bad looking case but I was hoping to go smaller than that as that might be a little harder to fit but I will check it out. Maybe better idea than what I am looking at currently.
 
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I have a Corsair SFX 750w I might make you a deal on. Brand new
 
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Ok good to know, I am just trying to get some case that's pretty compact as much as possible as I don't want something that takes up a lot of room. I just liked that this could still fit a pretty long GPU plus its price mixed with the PSU it comes with was not bad.

That might be an issue as a little noise wont bug me but I may need to look into. I have not looked much into the Noctua low profile coolers but I have seen the l9x65 but was looking at the smaller ones. So they really are not worth it?

Not a bad looking case but I was hoping to go smaller than that as that might be a little harder to fit but I will check it out. Maybe better idea than what I am looking at currently.
The fan noise is subjective and you'll just have to see for yourself. The A9 and A9x14 being loud is not an issue of them being loud fans, but on account of their 92mm size. The bigger you go, the slower you can keep the fan to get the same airflow, the quieter it is.

Whichever way you go, just don't buy a L9a. It's a terrible, overpriced cooler if it isn't your absolute only choice. In the SG05, a Ryzen 2600 barely manages in gaming, as any kind of decent benching takes it into the 90Cs immediately. And that's a 2600 that functions more traditionally in responding to load.

Pick a case and get a Corsair SF600 or SF750. The Silverstone cases with the bundled PSU option aren't particularly great value.
 
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The fan noise is subjective and you'll just have to see for yourself. The A9 and A9x14 being loud is not an issue of them being loud fans, but on account of their 92mm size. The bigger you go, the slower you can keep the fan to get the same airflow, the quieter it is.

Whichever way you go, just don't buy a L9a. It's a terrible, overpriced cooler if it isn't your absolute only choice. In the SG05, a Ryzen 2600 barely manages in gaming, as any kind of decent benching takes it into the 90Cs immediately. And that's a 2600 that functions more traditionally in responding to load.

Pick a case and get a Corsair SF600 or SF750. The Silverstone cases with the bundled PSU option aren't particularly great value.
Good to know on the L9a, I was going to just try the stock for a bit and see what happened then grab something else later if I really needed it to hold boost. But if its going to be like that I will look into the other coolers and go from there.

I was looking at the Silverstone cases but they seem to be quite expensive which was what was turning me off as since I was trying to keep to a budget. But I do like the design of them better in many cases (No pun intended).

I still have an interest in that case, I will look at it but the only thing that caught me off guard was I knew it was cramped for a CPU cooler in it but its even smaller than I was thinking after looking at the aftermarket coolers I can get. May have to check a few things before I decide.


Also I did change my GPU choice probably, I think for the value I am going for an AMD RX 5700XT now as its a bit more powerful and I can get them for a little better deal or similar to the RTX 2060 Super.
 
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Node 202 is fine and all, but it's still an HTPC chassis.
If you really want a portable system, you may wanna consider Silverstone Milo (ML08B-H). It has a handle, and can be carried like a briefcase. Azza also had a similar model, just can't remember the exact SKU. Noctua NH-L9i will fit, though if you wanna save some cash, you should definitely look for Deepcool HTPC-200. I used to have one, and it performed just as well with low-TPD CPUs (only 2-3C difference on my old i3-6100). Component-wise your rig looks good.
 
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Node 202 has a large footprint due to it being long and wider than it really is --it has a base that widens it out for stability when it's standing up, so anywhere you can fit a node 202 you could probably just as easily fit a compact atx or micro atx tower. Also its big enough to where carrying it is still a pain in the ass.

it's 3.23 in × 14.84 in tall × 12.99 long in with the base it's closer to 5x15x13 when standing up.

So basically a node 202 footprint on my desk vs my ATX setup would be a little smaller but only by 3 inches in width and 2 inches in height. -- and that's vs a compact full ATX setup (see image) attached.

If you're looking for ease of travel then one of the A4 sammich layouts is what you want:
1573836816411.png
1573836925748.png


These are closer to the size of an egpu enclosure and much more compact for travel
 

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Node 202 has a large footprint due to it being long and wider than it really is --it has a base that widens it out for stability when it's standing up, so anywhere you can fit a node 202 you could probably just as easily fit a compact atx or micro atx tower. Also its big enough to where carrying it is still a pain in the ass.

it's 3.23 in × 14.84 in tall × 12.99 long in with the base it's closer to 5x15x13 when standing up.

So basically a node 202 footprint on my desk vs my ATX setup would be a little smaller but only by 3 inches in width and 2 inches in height. -- and that's vs a compact full ATX setup (see image) attached.

If you're looking for ease of travel then one of the A4 sammich layouts is what you want:
View attachment 136582View attachment 136583

These are closer to the size of an egpu enclosure and much more compact for travel
That's a really good looking case, I did look it up but I would like to spend a little less money on the case than this one is listed.


Node 202 is fine and all, but it's still an HTPC chassis.
If you really want a portable system, you may wanna consider Silverstone Milo (ML08B-H). It has a handle, and can be carried like a briefcase. Azza also had a similar model, just can't remember the exact SKU. Noctua NH-L9i will fit, though if you wanna save some cash, you should definitely look for Deepcool HTPC-200. I used to have one, and it performed just as well with low-TPD CPUs (only 2-3C difference on my old i3-6100). Component-wise your rig looks good.
I have been looking at Silverstone, they seem to be one of the most robust in terms of options for MITX builds. I was also looking at the in Win IW-BQ656t and another in WIN but they have weird PSU's in them that I am curious if can be replaced with a normal SFX PSU.
 
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I have been looking at Silverstone, they seem to be one of the most robust in terms of options for MITX builds. I was also looking at the in Win IW-BQ656t and another in WIN but they have weird PSU's in them that I am curious if can be replaced with a normal SFX PSU.
That's fair. A lot of the high profile SFF cases are limited volume runs and/or often carry a premium price tag. The problem with the BQ656T is the PSU; it reminds me a lot of the rackmount "proprietary" PSU included in the EVGA Hadron. Fortunately for Hadron owners, it seems relatively easy to rip it out and repurpose the HDD cage area in front of the board for a vertically mounted SFX PSU, as the Hadron is on the large side and wide enough to fit 92mm tower coolers and the width of an SFX. That's simply not the case for the BQ656T, it's also much too small for that.

The BQ656T is honestly much too small for anything, and only takes single slot and low profile cards. The entire case is not much bigger than the board itself, reminiscent of its external PSU-utilizing peers like the Antec ISK 110. The ISK 310 is about the same size as the BQ656T - they're all too restrictive for anything more than -S/-T Intel CPUs and low profile 750 Tis.

The SG05 and SG13 are solid options if you don't want to break the bank. They will accommodate SFX and ATX PSUs respectively, with the SG05 being a bit smaller and offering you a little more CPU clearance for a L9x65 or Wraith, while you will basically are confined to L9a or AIO in the SG13. GPU clearance is around 10" but for ease of use, you'll want to stick to 9" or less in the SG05 (and even then, the 2060 Super FE might be a tight fit due to the PCIe power placement). This is where a Zotac Mini 2060/2060S/2070/2070S would come in extremely handy.

It's hard to beat the SG05 in balancing value and portability (I've previously flown the SG05 in my Pelican 1510 with pluck foam, and my friend flies his SG13 thrown in his backpack). They're also very light cases. Again, just don't get the rare versions that come bundled with an overpriced, mediocre PSU.

Fun fact: the SG05 more or less matches the Node 202 on volume, but is of a much more convenient shape to handle.
 
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was also looking at the in Win IW-BQ656t and another in WIN but they have weird PSU's in them that I am curious if can be replaced with a normal SFX PSU.
Oh, fuck me... That's a rebranded gamemax ST102, only with a different faceplate. I had 4 boxes of those a few years ago.
ST102 only costs $35 and it's functionally better(mine was an old revision w/ card reader and temp sensor), but it's still garbage. Silverstone has balls to sell this crap for >$100$75? :banghead:
Stock PSU is a TFX, but with quirks that make it non-standard but you can still stick a regular TFX in it. Plus, you can't install GPU in that chassis, so definitely not an option.
Cable management is a nightmare, especially if you want to use slim ODD caddy for secondary HDD or SSD...
I used all of mine for cheap ITX office rigs mostly.
 
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That's fair. A lot of the high profile SFF cases are limited volume runs and/or often carry a premium price tag. The problem with the BQ656T is the PSU; it reminds me a lot of the rackmount "proprietary" PSU included in the EVGA Hadron. Fortunately for Hadron owners, it seems relatively easy to rip it out and repurpose the HDD cage area in front of the board for a vertically mounted SFX PSU, as the Hadron is on the large side and wide enough to fit 92mm tower coolers and the width of an SFX. That's simply not the case for the BQ656T, it's also much too small for that.

The BQ656T is honestly much too small for anything, and only takes single slot and low profile cards. The entire case is not much bigger than the board itself, reminiscent of its external PSU-utilizing peers like the Antec ISK 110. The ISK 310 is about the same size as the BQ656T - they're all too restrictive for anything more than -S/-T Intel CPUs and low profile 750 Tis.

The SG05 and SG13 are solid options if you don't want to break the bank. They will accommodate SFX and ATX PSUs respectively, with the SG05 being a bit smaller and offering you a little more CPU clearance for a L9x65 or Wraith, while you will basically are confined to L9a or AIO in the SG13. GPU clearance is around 10" but for ease of use, you'll want to stick to 9" or less in the SG05 (and even then, the 2060 Super FE might be a tight fit due to the PCIe power placement). This is where a Zotac Mini 2060/2060S/2070/2070S would come in extremely handy.

It's hard to beat the SG05 in balancing value and portability (I've previously flown the SG05 in my Pelican 1510 with pluck foam, and my friend flies his SG13 thrown in his backpack). They're also very light cases. Again, just don't get the rare versions that come bundled with an overpriced, mediocre PSU.

Fun fact: the SG05 more or less matches the Node 202 on volume, but is of a much more convenient shape to handle.
Oh, fuck me... That's a rebranded gamemax ST102, only with a different faceplate. I had 4 boxes of those a few years ago.
ST102 only costs $35 and it's functionally better(mine was an old revision w/ card reader and temp sensor), but it's still garbage. Silverstone has balls to sell this crap for >$100$75? :banghead:
Stock PSU is a TFX, but with quirks that make it non-standard but you can still stick a regular TFX in it. Plus, you can't install GPU in that chassis, so definitely not an option.
Cable management is a nightmare, especially if you want to use slim ODD caddy for secondary HDD or SSD...
I used all of mine for cheap ITX office rigs mostly.
Thanks for pointing that out, did not realize the dimensions for the GPU until you said something.

I am looking now at the SG05 and the SG13, they are not bad a little more cuboid than I was wanting but with the size they look pretty decent and are great prices which is making me interested (Especially the 13).

Weird question, I know this one is a bit quirky looking but any ideas? Cant seem to find the max CPU cooler height and GPU length but seems like it can fit quite a bunch, Just saw it and started trying to research it because I do like things that look funny plus it in the videos looks cool the way its setup.

 

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Hey guys, so I have my home desktop of course but lately gaming laptops just are not doing it for me as with work and stuff I have had to travel a bunch. Currently my laptop is just not doing it for me unfortunately as I am spoiled by 144hz and really its hard to play games like Apex, BF V, or similar at lower frame rates now. I had been looking into getting a better one with that feature but after looking at pricing and realizing I rarely use my gaming laptops as actual laptops and mostly just set them up like a work station and the price for laptops that I want (Not to mention I am tired of trying to upgrade them) I thought it would be more worthwhile to just build a very compact and small portable gaming rig and to either bring my monitor along or buy a new 1080p 144-165hz monitor. So here is after the research I have been doing what I have come up with:

Case: https://www.newegg.com/black-fractal-design-node-202-integra-sfx-450w-psu-mini-itx/p/N82E16811352059?Item=N82E16811352059
CPU: https://www.newegg.com/amd-ryzen-5-3600/p/N82E16819113569?Item=N82E16819113569
Motherboard: https://www.newegg.com/asrock-fatal1ty-x470-gaming-itx-ac/p/N82E16813157837R?Item=N82E16813157837R
Ram: https://www.newegg.com/g-skill-16gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820232476?Item=N82E16820232476
Storage (Just for now): https://www.newegg.com/samsung-970-evo-plus-500gb/p/N82E16820147742?Item=N82E16820147742
TL:DR Specs: Ryzen 5 3600, 16gb DDR4 3200 Gskill, Asrock X470 ITX, FractalDesign Node 202 with 450w PSU (SFX), Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500gb, RTX 2060 Super.

Basically I am wanting to hear what yall think not to mention if anyone has better case recommendations for something this size. I know I didn't link my GPU because I am thinking of getting a used ebay one or still deciding as I have a GTX 970 at home for now for testing and a bit of early gaming (Not to mention I am contemplating moving GPU's around). Also if someone has done something tiny with this CPU or similar and what the temp results were as I am going to use the stock for now and if it cant handle it well I will go ahead and get something like a Noctua low profile cooler or similar. My total budget for this is going to be around $1000 just for the machine itself.

Thanks for the help!
aside from case and PSU you're building a system really similar to my primary, if you want to ask some specific questions - i've just got a full height ITX case instead of the half height

Node 202 has a large footprint due to it being long and wider than it really is --it has a base that widens it out for stability when it's standing up, so anywhere you can fit a node 202 you could probably just as easily fit a compact atx or micro atx tower. Also its big enough to where carrying it is still a pain in the ass.

it's 3.23 in × 14.84 in tall × 12.99 long in with the base it's closer to 5x15x13 when standing up.

So basically a node 202 footprint on my desk vs my ATX setup would be a little smaller but only by 3 inches in width and 2 inches in height. -- and that's vs a compact full ATX setup (see image) attached.

If you're looking for ease of travel then one of the A4 sammich layouts is what you want:
View attachment 136582View attachment 136583

These are closer to the size of an egpu enclosure and much more compact for travel
oh my god that baby PC is beautiful
 
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Weird question, I know this one is a bit quirky looking but any ideas? Cant seem to find the max CPU cooler height and GPU length but seems like it can fit quite a bunch, Just saw it and started trying to research it because I do like things that look funny plus it in the videos looks cool the way its setup.
I always thought Cyberpower doesn't sell cases separately (probably refurb). Just by looking at pics, it fits an Intel box cooler, so you have at least 53mm of height to work with (probably more, cause it looks like older 60mm cooler and at least another 10mm spare space).
But the case itself is probably a hotbox. You have a layer upon layer over the top part (metal support+plastic sheet w/ vents), and barely any airflow around the GPU. Also, no case fans.
 
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OP can have a look at Silverstone RVZ02, if you like it, basically my build with updated CPU GPU and probably a better CPU cooler lol
 
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I have a Thermaltake Core V1. It's very flexible in regard to coolers and GPUs, and it takes a full size PSU. It is on the large side for mini-ITX, but you may save a bit by not having to be as choosy on the components. It's also really cheap.
 
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Thank you all for the replies and suggestions. I have purchased most of my components for the build and I have three cases I am deciding between.

16gb Corsair 3200 Memory
Ryzen 5 3600X (Got on sale for same price as the 3600)
Asrock X570 ITX (Bought for the thunderbolt port)
Two Samsung 512gb 840 and 850 Pro (Had them on shelf, going to use for now)
GTX 970 (Temporary, had on shelf as well)
Node 202 with PSU, Dan A4, and the Pnatheks EVOLV
I have a Corsair SFX 750w I might make you a deal on. Brand new
Oh really, might be interested!
 
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