Description

Hello there,

I have just managed to build and set up my very first desktop PC.

The build started out as an idea in March, and for this I want to thank everyone who helped me in the build planning.

I have always been using laptops all my life, but as my Asus NV56 started having issues to run newer gaming titles (i7-3360QM + NVIDIA GT 650M), I decided to start looking for something new. At first I was looking at MSI laptops, but then the idea of building a PC just made more sense. The trouble was to find something that I could move between Italy and the UK on flights easily (hence the Node 202). After learning day-by-day about hardware, I settled down with this.

Building was quite easy, it took longer than expected but just because of newbie mistakes and distraction (e.g. forgetting about some screws etc.). The first real problem I encountered was that the Sapphire RX 580 was too large and didn't fit the chassis of the Node 202. As you can see in the pictures, I had to cut it off.

Cable management was not too hard, the cables were quite stiff and hard to fit between the PSU and the drive cage, but I managed to do this in a few minutes.

While gaming and streaming, the CPU once peaked 79C, but usually hovers around 70C (might have been a misreading from HwMonitor). But the CPU usually stays at 60C* while gaming (no streaming).

This build scored (at stock clocks) 11,752 in FireStrike 1.1 (FutureMark):
Graphics Score: 13,808 - Physics Score: 14,987 - Combined Score: 4,816

Update September 2017: I have found a trolley-bag to bring the PC with. I fitted its sides with foam rubber to minimise damage (added photos). I have added a fan (Corsair SP120) below the GPU to keep the card running at stock settings, without it I had to underclock and undervolt the component. I didn't get two fans in order to keep the GPU support in place for extra-security while travelling. The fan reduced the GPU temperature by about 10C*.

Update December 2017: Added a picture of the setup while in UK. The monitor there is an AOC G2460PF instead of the ViewSonic (I only travel with the PC and peripherals). Upgraded the keyboard to a Corsair K63 with Cherry MX Red... Extremely nice keyboard for travelling as it is tenkeyless and shorter.

Update January 2018: Replaced the Biostar X370GTN motherboard with an Asus Strix X370-i. Loving the BIOS! Added an RGB strip to go along with the motherboard integrated LEDs (will add pictures at some point). Replaced the Cryorig C7 with a modded Wraith Spire and Noctua 92mm slim fan for better temps and slight overclocking headroom. Overclocked the CPU to a modest 3.6GHz, without having to touch the voltage too much from stock.

Update June 2018: Returned the Asus X370-i and the G.Skill RAM due to continuous blue screens. Got an Asus B350-i (cheaper and same board) and another pair of G.Skill Trident Z RAM. No issues so far.

Update April 2019: The RX 580 started flickering on desktop and in-game. Luckily I had 1 month of warranty left. However, I decided to upgrade to a EVGA XC Gaming RTX 2070 regardless and use the 580 in a build for my brother. The 2070 runs super cool compared to the RX 580. It is bottlenecked by the Ryzen 5 1600 at 1080p, but I might upgrade to Zen 2 once it comes out.

Part Reviews

CPU

6c/12t - Best CPU you can get for the price in my opinion.

Motherboard

Amazing board. Definitely the best Mini ITX AM4 motherboard on the market right now, but you pay a price premium for that. Excellent VRMs and MOSFETs. Good use of vertical space to surpass the 10x10cm limitations of ITX boards. And, last but not least, RGB!

Memory

Fast RAM. Perfect match with Ryzen as its performance seems to be highly linked to RAM speed. Low timings as well for being a 3200MHz.

Storage

Never had a SSD before, and boy, is it fast. One of the best SSDs in terms of GB/price.

Video Card

High idle temperatures (49C), but does not spike that much under load (75C - which is okay in my small ITX case). Had to add one fan to keep it running at stock without getting temperatures near to thermal throttle. Excellent card for anything else.

Note: This review is from a small ITX case, temperatures reported here do not apply to bigger mATX/ATX cases.

Case

God bless ITX cases that fit full-sized GPUs. Love the case, elegant and can host a powerful rig for its size. However, lookout for GPU width, my Sapphire RX 580 was apparently too large and didn't fit part of the case which had to be cut off (unless I did something wrong). Not too bothered as it was only 5mm. You can check my build pics to see what I mean.

EDIT: Removed one star (from 5 to 4) because of how complicated cleaning filters is with this case.

Power Supply

Modular, black flat cables, good reputation.

Case Fan

Reduced my GPU temperature by a good 10C*.

Monitor

144Hz, 1ms, awesome colours, FreeSync! I would buy it again.

Comments

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice work! I'm gradually working towards something like this for an HTPC. Are you overclocking? What speed is your RAM running at?

+1

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, I am not overclocking as I do not need the system to perform more than it is. Plus it's summer here and temperatures are already high without overclocks.

The only "overclock" is the RAM running at 3200MHz (it is advertised to run at that speed, but the system still sees it as an OC). Make sure to get that model or any other that is listed on the motherboard support list at the speed you want it to run, and you will be fine.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! I suggested almost the same build to one of my friends. Only SSD is m.2 version since the case is pretty small and ram is cheaper corsair 3000mhz due to prices of samsung b-die. Looking forward to put it together. I suggest you to downclock gpu to 480 levels and voltage a little bit for a small performance price, you will have much more cooler and quieter build. Dont be afraid if PC crashes during the procedure it is pretty normal while playing with voltages :) For CPU noise, I guess there is nothing to be done since the cooler is pretty limited unfortunately.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, thank you!

Just make sure that the RAM is supported in the motherboard compatibility list if you are going with Ryzen, or you will risk of being stuck at 2133MHz.

I was thinking of undervolting and downclocking, but I have never done it, and could not find any guide about it for 580s - so I am not very comfortable with it. I am fine with the noise levels, and as long as temperatures are below 80C* I am happy.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

it is excatly same as 480 since they are the same chips so if you can find a guide for 480, you can use that. For the ram compatibility, I am aware of the risks, I looked around it seems like those rams work generally at 2933mhz but sometimes 2666mhz. I think we can wait for bios updates for better ram compatibility considering the prices of rams nowadays.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Just tried following a RX 480 undervolting guide, undervolted less mV than they did (I did -50mV), got artefacts and then crashed). I think I just have bad silicon to be honest. :p

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

But you have a 580. 580 is actually overclocked 480 so if you dont try to downclock a little, it will crash. Pulse clock frequency is 1366 boost, 480 nitro is 1306 boost, if you downclock by 60 I am almost sure that you can downclock some. Of course maybe you are highly unlucky so you cannot downvolt :)

Also considering 580 are going for gtx 1070 prices in ebay thanks to miners, you can sell it for a higher price and get a 1070 instead :)

Look at the prices: https://www.ebay.de/sch/i.html?_odkw=rx+580+pulse&LH_PrefLoc=3&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xrx+580.TRS0&_nkw=rx+580&_sacat=0

here are the gtx 1070 prices: https://geizhals.de/asus-rog-strix-geforce-gtx-1070-90yv09n2-m0na00-a1466856.html?t=alle&plz=&va=b&vl=de&hloc=at&hloc=de&v=k#filterform

https://geizhals.de/asus-dual-geforce-gtx-1070-oc-90yv09t1-m0na00-a1477266.html?t=alle&plz=&va=b&vl=de&hloc=at&hloc=de&v=l#filterform

you can put 580 for 400 euros and make an instant buy option 460 euros and see if people buy it :)

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

In Europe they have always been around EUR270 before and after the mining craze. So I am not going to earn anything if I sell it. :P The mining craze is almost limited to the US, where everyone is used to low prices for electronics haha.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I have underclocked my card to 480 levels and managed a stable undervolt of -100mV (from 1150 to 1050). I might try something lower in the next days, but temps don't go over 70C now during benchmarks (before they were about 7C more).

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

since you said you move the pc a lot, what do you put it into to transport it?

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I was thinking of buying a messenger bag. In case I do not find one that is big enough, I will just use a backpack.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, thought of updating you since you asked this a while back.
I found a trolley-bag from Eastpak that was just the right size for the node + some added rubber foam. You can look at the pictures I've added of it if you want.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

hey thanks man, still one of the nicer node 202 builds.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey! I was wondering if you encounter any problems when using the 450 watts power supply instead of the recommended 500 watts for the RX 580. I was thinking to build a pretty similar build.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

No problems so far. PcPartPicker estimated a wattage of 350w for my system.

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow!!!! Such a beautiful beast.....i have a suggestion for you bro, if you are going to push your beast little bit, you can custom fit laptop exhaust fan (you can find it at gpu and cpu in laptop) in node 202 as there is no fan to blow the hot air outside....i think you can expect good temp decrease...

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! I will look into it, thanks for the tip.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet build. I was not lucky enough to get the motherboard last week, it is the last part of my build. Will upload as soon as I get the it.

  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Good luck with it :) Upgrading from the Biostar X370GTN was a HUGE deal for me. Loving the Asus board!