Description

UPDATE 3/14/2019

This build has long since been decommissioned.

~~~

Inspired by the need for both portability and flexible power, this build was spec'd out for capturing video content (use of 1080p webcams and screen capture) as well as being my daily gaming rig.

I dislike the look of nearly every other ITX case out there, but was drawn to the sleek, understated look of the Fractal Node 202.

The Cryorig C7 gets very loud under load, but until better coolers can be adapted, this is the only option I have. I think that's really the only gripe that I have with it.

5/15/2017 UPDATE:

I've taken the stock fan off the C7 and loose-fitted a Noctua NF-P14s redux fan since there was enough room between the C7 heatsink, ram DIMM's, and the side panel of the case. Temperatures have stayed the same (idling at 55-60c) but noise volumes have dropped dramatically. Photos of this cheap "mod" will eventually be uploaded.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

I'm actually not terribly impressed with this cooler. There are much better options available for the ITX market- in particular, if you can get your hands on a Noctua NH-L9a or L9i and the newly-released AM4 mounting kit, I would highly suggest taking that route instead of getting the C7.

This heatsink and fan combination is particularly small as well as being unnecessarily loud, and load temperatures are barely under 80c when running a heavy CPU workload.

Until recently, this was the only option for AM4 users trying to use low-clearance cases like Fractal's Node 202.

Motherboard

Surprisingly solid performer for its price and for being the first ITX AM4 motherboard.

The UEFI/BIOS is about as clear as mud to navigate and use, but once it's set up properly, it's rock solid. Overclocking isn't quite as intuitive due to the BIOS, but performance is there despite using a 4-pin CPU power connector instead of the standard fare 8-pin.

Memory compatibility is decent and will be improving with further bios updates.

Storage

This is probably the best value for an NVMe SSD that one could purchase. Its price-to-size ratio is quite good, and unless you're constantly transferring massive files, you won't notice or miss the extra speed from faster, more expensive drives.

Case

Amazing use of the terrifically small volume this case fills. That said, it's also not very intuitive to build in at all, so definitely READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL FIRST. The instructions are very clear on how to build in this case.

Airflow is obviously not quite up to par with other cases- even other ITX cases- but actually still better than one would expect, especially if you can get a larger-diameter down-firing CPU cooler to pull air through the 140mm vent over the CPU chamber. There's also room for a pair of 120mm fans on the GPU side of the case- I highly suggest putting a pair of static pressure fans to go in on that side.

Comments

  • 24 months ago
  • 3 points

Inside photos would have been nice to see any compatibility issues or not for the cpu

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

I wouldn't have had a complete rig to take photos of if there was a compatibility issue.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

I just saw your other responses. Thanks for the info.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi, did you bend case panel for fitting C7 back part? I found this user has problem with same parts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yeae5O0zivI

  • 24 months ago
  • 3 points

I normally never comment but I have a Node202/R7 1700/Cryorig C7 system. It all fits great, typing on it right now. Discard that video completely and don't take that kid seriously, he has absolutely no business building mITX and should stick to ATX. I'll post photos of mine at some point but you do not need to bend or cut anything to get it to fit at all.

As Selicos noted, the instructions for the C7 state you don't have to use the backplate if you can't or don't want to. It is recommended. I used it. It's plastic, not electrically conductive.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

I think you can also resolve this issue by not using the back plate and using mounting risers that Cryorig would send out if requested. Makes me wonder if they still offer them as a workaround with amd cpus.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

The C7 comes with a set of nylon washers that can be used in place of the back plate. Users often report a few *C higher temps with the washers but on most sub 80 watt CPU's this is barely noticeable.

I have a few C7's. On my main PC and I think on the NAS as well I have the back plate. the EVGA Z97 Stinger wifi motherboard it works ok while on my Asus B150I the back plate almost conflicts with the rear M.2 port and does have a lot of flex in the plastic. The motherboard itself is fine.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

The C7 currently comes with Nylon washers that can be used as offsets for the nuts instead of the back plate. It works well.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

After watching the video, the predominant problem is that user was an idiot and tried to install the motherboard into the case before he installed the CPU and cooler into the motherboard. If you put the RAM, CPU and cooler onto the board (which you should always do before installing into the case anyway, because it's easier to troubleshoot problems with any of those parts before they go into the case) then you don't have to access the back plate at all with any tools.

No discernable bend in the case. The AM4 bracket that came from Cryorig was a little difficult to install but once it went in, there weren't any issues other than the C7 being loud as hell.

[comment deleted]
  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey when i go to build this i will be using the Big Shuriken 2 like a lot of people have suggested. just have to remove the dust filter. Might be a good option for you too

  • 24 months ago
  • 3 points

It doesn't look like there's an AM4 mounting kit for the Big Shuriken yet. I would use any cooler other than the C7 if mounting options were available at this point. I actually had a Noctua NH-L9a that I was going to install until I read that Noctua was still in the process of figuring out a working mounting bracket for AM4.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

ahh very true. didnt notice at first the AMD. Well hopefully they get a fix on that soon!

[comment deleted]
  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Is the moba a good one?

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

There are some quirks that I've had to get used to. It's the only AM4 ITX board available at the moment, so it's something others and I will have to bear until Asrock or Gigabyte release theirs. Even then, I probably won't switch because there haven't been any real deal-breaker issues going on.

First world problems, right?

  • 22 months ago
  • 1 point

Asrock ran into some snags, Gigabyte will most likely release their ITX after they see how Biostar rides out the storm. They're a bit nervous right now.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Loose fitted the fan to the case or to the cooler?

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Both. There's just enough clearance to sandwich it between the cooler and the side/top panel of the case. With the ghetto mod in place, I get idle temps of about 45c now that I've dialed the fan profile in a bit. Load temps are 65ish now, but at a much more bearable noise level/pitch.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

great build & thank you for putting this here. Since this is similar to what I have in mind, could you also please say what the temps are under load? Many thanks in adavce! Shervin

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't checked any real-world load temps, but my CPU temperature equalized at 75c after about 20 minutes of Prime95.

The GPU compartment is almost completely isolated from the rest of the case, so it really comes down to what card you put in- as always.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you very much for the info!

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

How's the mobo? Is biostar reliable?

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

No problems thus far. I'm only one customer, however- particularly one who isn't running an OC.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

How's the Corsair LPX RAM doing with Ryzen? I'm still deciding between https://it.pcpartpicker.com/product/9v7CmG/gskill-flare-x-16gb-2-x-8gb-ddr4-2400-memory-f4-2400c15d-16gfx and https://it.pcpartpicker.com/product/6ntWGX/corsair-vengeance-lpx-16gb-2-x-8gb-ddr4-3000-memory-cmk16gx4m2b3000c15w. the Flare X are built for Ryzen but weirldy enough are not on the QVL for the Biostar X370GTN, but I suppose they work anyway. The Corsair LPX though are reported to have some issues.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't tried to clock up to 2800mhz like mine are rated for- I just set XMP for 2666 and called it good. I'm waiting for the next AGESA bios update to hit so that I can check out whether the board will even post @2800mhz.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Doesn't look as bad as I thought then, ppl reported Corsair ram to behave badly with this mobo but I guess it gets better with updates. I'm sold!

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Did you ever get around to taking a picture of your C7 fan mod? I would be very interested to see it.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I actually did a dummy move and started mining with this build, which has been running 24/7 since, so I haven't gotten a chance yet. I might shut it down and clean it later today, in the which case I will snap a photo for you. It's really not 'modded' as much as it's got the NF P14-s gorilla taped to the inside of the case just over the heatsink.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

do i need the am4 upgrade kit to install the c7 on a ryzen cpu?

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

As of when I purchased a month ago, yes.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Sweet pc, looking to build something very similiar as more ITX motherboards become available. Will be waiting for more pictures of the inside and the Noctua fan mod you did. Nice!

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

I realized I had completely forgotten to upload my pics and update the build. They're up now, and while it's not the most spectacular way of mounting a fan, it works without any problems.

At some point, I may ask my cousin to fire up his 3D printer and make a mounting bracket, but until then, it works well enough.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! The mod is nothing spectacular, it's literally just duct-taped in.

My schedule this week and next week is kind of crazy, so it will be a while before I can open the case up and snap photos of everything.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

What was the clockspeed you were running on the ram? I heard ryzen was having issues with that.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I bought 2800mhz ram, but the motherboard doesn't have an XMP profile for it (2666/2933. I haven't had any issues with it running at 266mhz though.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Could you tell me how many fan headers are there in this mobo? Just bought it and want to stick 3 fans into my mobo to configure them in the BIOS

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

There's only two. I used a splitter for the two fans on the GPU side.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

I might be using that video card, how has it done for you so far?

Nice build BTW :)

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

It hasn't let us down yet. As this build has become my wife's, it hasn't really gotten pushed hard. I did try Rocket League on it and it got 144 frames stable with a occasional dips into the 110's.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome, thanks :)

  • 17 months ago
  • 2 points

Would you consider this case with a 1700X and its TDP of 95W? Im looking for the most invisible Comuter case with the most power (as everyone i guess) ;)

  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

I honestly don't think the 1700x is worth the extra price over the 1700 given that you're only getting .1 ghz, maybe .2 extra from overclocking. If you already have it and want to put it into this case, then there's no reason not to, but if you're buying stuff, I'd just get the 1700, overclock it, and call it a day.

The stock fan on the C7 already runs pretty loud and even with the 140mm Noctua fan mod I did with it, it's still kind of loud- and that's with only 65w of CPU to cool. I can't imagine 95w.

The Wraith Spire LED cooler usually sells for about $20-25 shipped on /r/hardwareswap, so you could add that towards your savings if you choose the 1700 over the 1700x.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a C7 on an i5-7500, i5-3470S (both 65 watts) and a Xeon E3-1246 v3 (81 Watts). Having messed with the back plate or washers on each system and fan curves for them all (no overclocking but the Xeon sees a lot of stress from Plex, the 7500 from games, and the 3470s because it is a terribly hot CPU) I'd recommend checking the cooler to make sure it is installed right (simple installation really). From there check your fan curves and see if a silent/quiet profile keeps temps within reason or if you really need it to ramp up under load. I have my 7500 on a silent curve and it rarely breaks 60C while the Xeon runs pretty high speeds all the time and usually sits about 55C under load.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

The problem for me is more how loud the C7's fan is. As it is now with the C7 heatsink and the Noctua NF-P14S Redux, it stays very quiet and only gets up to 65c under load.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

What GPU do you have? If it's anything more powerful than an RX 570 or has a reference cooler, that's why.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 17 months ago
  • 1 point

Sounds about right for a blower fan, although tbh a blower is quieter/better than a dual fan in this case (have directed airflow instead of an enclosed space with no really directed ventilation).