After much research and thought, I decided to build a much more portable gaming rig. I shot for the moon on this one and ended up with lint in my pockets and a smile on my face. The RVZ03B case wasn't too difficult to build in, but the build did take quite a lot of time; I'd say around 7 hours from start to finish.
The case has just enough space in which to cram all of these parts and accompanying cables. Had I pre-planned the build a bit more, I might have been able to shave a couple of hours off my build time, but I enjoy figuring things out as I go. Here's the build order that I used for this:
- Remove original case fans
- Install Noctua case fans in the GPU compartment
- Install RAM and storage on motherboard
- Secure motherboard into case
- Attach required (CPU, ATX) power cables to motherboard
- Run case power supply cable around the "front" inside of the case
- Flip PSU power switch to "ON" position and secure PSU to case
- Run case fan cables to motherboard connector (sandwiched between PSU and MB) and attach RGB header to MB.
- Run header wires around two intake fans in GPU compartment
- Cram excess CPU power cable behind the power supply (take care not to accidentally turn off the PSU)
- Attach CPU power, MB power, and PCIE power cables to PSU
- Cram MB power cable in the small space between the PSU and the graphics card compartment
- Attach necessary SATA cables to the MB and SATA power cables to PSU
- Run Front Panel USB 3.0 cables and PCIE power cables through the small cutout in the center support bracket (easiest way to do this is to remove the bracket, put the cables in position, THEN reinstall the bracket).
- Install CPU
- Install extra 2.5" SSDs on top of GPU support bracket
- Install GPU into support bracket (the SilverStone Raven RVZ03 (Mini ITX) Review by AV Techy on YouTube provides a good overview of this process starting at 18:19)
- Move fan to the top position on the NH-L12S oriented as an intake fan (blowing towards the CPU) and install on CPU
- Attach PCIE power cable to GPU and run excess cable around the two intake fans in the GPU compartment
- Carefully install the GPU support bracket into the case
- Attach SATA cables and power to the 2.5" SATA drives on the GPU support bracket
- Cram the excess cable where space permits
- Put the case cover on and attach rubber feet
The above list of steps looks fairly straightforward, but there were plenty of frustrating delays when figuring out how to run cables and which order to install the components. However, the experience was well worth the trouble.
Edit 01: To prevent any thermal issues with the CPU, I decided to limit the max power draw to 95W and TjMax to 80C. I haven't noticed any perceptible reduction in performance, but I'm sure benchmarks would show some. In fact, Ian Cutress from AnandTech recently published an article about power limiting the 9900K: The Intel Core i9-9900K: Fixing The Power for SFF. It's worth a look through if you are interested in powerful SFF build like this.