This is my attempt to build in the Node 202 without compromising on the performance I've come to expect from full sized builds. Most parts were bought new but a few have carried over from previous builds, namely the CPU and GPU.
The Node 202 was the driving factor to get this started. The mobility of a small form factor case and the ability to fit a pretty large GPU were essential. Ended up being a fairly easy build considering the space you have to work with.
I went through a bit of trouble to get temperatures under control. The GPU has been run pretty hard since I bought it at launch, so it was torn down, thermal paste and pads were replaced, and all dust blown off. The CPU was running warm initially and GPU overclocking pushed it to uncomfortable numbers. As a result, it has been de-lidded, Conductonaut applied, and re-lidded. Turned off Intel's Turbo technology and set clock speeds to a constant 4.0GHz. Underclocked from there to bring temperatures down to the more reasonable level they're at now. The GPU got a slight overclock but with the two Noctua fans sitting up against it thermals haven't really been a problem for it.
Custom cabling was done by CableMods. My only regret at this point is that I could have cut a few of the cables 50mm shorter. Oh well. Hope you enjoy!
Bought this new several years ago and it's been through several build iterations. Overclocks well when given adequate cooling.
In a mini-ITX case like the Node 202 you're going to be limited on cooling options. The choice came down to this or the Noctua NH-L9i, and it honestly came down to aesthetics at that point. The C7 really struggled to keep up with the i7, bordering on being completely unacceptable. De-lidding the CPU and applying liquid metal made all the difference. Under artificial loads it can now keep the i7 under 80*C and gaming has never surpassed 70*C.
3200MHz with 14-14-14-34 timings, XMP worked perfectly. No complaints.
Surprisingly easy to build in given its size. An open layout with both halves of the case removed gives you plenty of room to jam your fingers in to route cables. The fan placement inside the GPU chamber does a great job keeping the GPU cool. It seems to me that the CPU chamber could use a little more ventilation. A big vent over the cooler does a good job supplying air, but I suspect that it's more difficult getting it out. All in all a really cool case.
Silent and it fits. Fairly certain it won't blow up, so I'm happy.