Description

This is a build I completed, with financing from the whole family, for my dad's Christmas Present. Requirements: Good graphics (gamer, but nothing too heavy), non-flashy (he's not into flashy, and I wanted to blend in with his ham-radio gear in his office), and short (his office is set up with bookcases, and I wanted it to fit in underneath one of the shelves. I had a 10.5" clearance to work with!). Dad (and many in our family) are also union brothers. We are always on the lookout for made in USA options, and managed to get a case, travel box, and RAM made in the USA.

I built this, with some tweaking by my son-in-law, in one day. Nothing like Christmas pressure, eh? The case is the gorgeous, but small production, Sliger SM550. It was sloooooowwww coming in. (They got it to me in time, but I had to -gasp- call and talk to them personally. This is quite a feat for the socially anxious, but very worth it). I got this Friday afternoon (Dec 20th) and stayed up until 2 am building it. It required MANY undo-redo steps to fit things in, but I got it. I did NOT install the operating system at 2am, though. I figured if anything went wrong I'd just be miserable and stupid about fixing it, so I just powered it up and confirmed post, and went to bed.

Early the next morning (21st), I loaded it up with Windows and started in on the BIOS tweaking. First build I've not forgotten to hook something up. It worked! And then I walked away and started working on all other things for Christmas, including picking up kids from the airport. Son-in-law came in and saved the day: in my multiple rebuilds I managed to not seat one of the RAM sticks. He saw it right off, just knowing I would have set up more than 8GB of ram in this thing. He finished up tweaking the software, and speeding up the ram.

As there is not a place for me to review the Sliger case below, here's my review: amazing case, everything worked much more easily than I expected. In the future, I might get another, but would go one step wider with the 560, or get custom psu cables. There was simply too much cabling to fit nicely in this skinnier case. The case took a bit over 2 weeks to come in - I have a feeling this is unusual and was due to a Christmastime backlog. I ended up calling them and they worked with me for different options, and got it to me in time (over-nighted) for me to work on at home (almost had it shipped to our Christmas gathering place, but that would have been an extra-stressful way to do it, heh.) Case is a BRICK fully loaded. I'll see if I can weigh it sometime. It is small enough to lift with one hand, but not recommended due to weight!

Not pictured: Dad's always been a working man, with a nice collection of tools. I packaged the whole set up (including monitor) in a DeWALT 63 gallon rolling tool box as it's "wrapping paper." This is why we went with the yellow touches on the case fans, and the yellow sticker.) Really useful as we had to load up the whole rig for the Christmas gathering and travel several states away, on the 22nd). We didn't touch it again (even though I planned to "make it pretty" and take some of the travel stuffing out before then, we just got busy, you know, Christmas stuff ;). Again, booted up perfectly when opened and set up on the 24th :) Dad was so tickled! I hadn't realized, but his computer was showing signs of dying for the last few months, and he was beginning to look at options. Our timing was awesome!

Part Reviews

CPU

I chose this cpu for low power draw + temps + pricing + good enough for gaming. Works perfectly.

CPU Cooler

Short, fit perfectly in tiny SFF case and astoundingly quiet.

Motherboard

no issues, did what it was supposed to, wifi works, BIOS easy to fiddle with and speed up RAM. Turned off lighting to not interfere with the aesthetics.

Memory

Only pushed speed to 3200 - 3400 was probably possible, but ran out of time to fiddle with it before gifting. Will take a look at it later when I go visit. Aesthetics fit perfectly in the no-RGB build; nice low clearance.

Storage

Good stuff. Came in a cute little case - included it in the gift to Dad as I am so impressed how far storage has come, and I could show him how small this thing is (as it is completely hidden in the actual build).

Video Card

Got this as an EVGA B-stock. Looking at it, I don't have any idea why it was B-stock, it is pristine and works perfectly. Running Red Dead Redemption beautifully. Will get fps next time I visit the rig.

Power Supply

I can't imagine trying this SFF build with anything other than the flexible sleeved cables on Corsair's platinum line. As it was, I still had challenges with TOO MUCH length on the cabling. Shorter mods recommended, but I made this work. There are loops of cabling under the GPU / over the fans that are not well-secured enough. I have a feeling I'll be manually pushing up those cables occasionally.

Due to the small build, I kept the power draw low, so I could try to keep the temps low-ish. 450 was plenty.

Case Fan

The yellow corners are bright yellow, and didn't quite match the warm/orange yellow of my DeWalt color sticker and travel packaging, but it was better than the standard Noctua beige / brown. In retrospect, I should have gone with straight up blacks.

Monitor

Dad already has a monitor, but I wanted something he could play with until he went home after the Christmas gathering. This one had good reviews, small and >60 Hz. And cheap! So I grabbed it, thinking it would be a "make do" kinda thing. I was wrong. This thing is AMAZING. I have a feeling Dad will be replacing his large monitor with this one. I really like small monitors, and am a little jealous of this one over my own 25" monitor.

Keyboard

Works. Small. Blues are loud; really loud.

Mouse

Had skipping issues on my blue USB ports - perhaps due to being too close to other USB connections? tried it on a red USB port and it was fine.

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Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Build looks great! Never got why corsair would put platinum on a 450w

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

SFF probably needs high efficiency PSU's more than ordinary ATX builds - you want as little waste heat as possible in cramped quarters. Makes perfect sense to me.

Nice parts list, interesting case, never heard of them before.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks all! and yeah, the 450 was restrictive with a big gpu, but do-able. There are some SFF builds that skip the gpu, and it is perfectly reasonable!