June 2017 M-ITX Gaming and Coding Workstation


Jan 25, 2011
A friend ended up building a new computer thinking his mobo died. I paid him to send the old CPU/mobo/ram to me and got it running with a few bios resets and new memory.

Mobo: Z87I-Delux
CPU: i7-4770k
Memory: GSkill DDR3-2133 2x8GB
SSD: Dual 500GB WD Blue RAID1
GPU: Asus 1080 Ti Founders Edition with EK full cover block
PSU: EVGA 650 P2
Case: Fractal Define Nano S
Water Cooling: 1x120mm rear, 2x120 front, EK D5 pump top/res, EK 1080Ti block, Older 1366/939 Swiftech CPU block I made a mounting plate for to fit my i7-2600K years ago.

I had always wanted a m-itx build and I hadn't done water cooling since my SR-2 F@H rig multiple years ago, so I tried that again. I went with the Define Nano because it was small, but would let me also do water cooling. It is larger than I would have really liked but still smaller than the 800D it replaces. GPU temps are down from 85C to 48C on mining with a higher clock. CPU temps are bad, something is wrong there.
I am interested in learning some Cuda/ML programming and didn't have a nVidia card and wanted something that could also game, so I ended up with the 1080Ti. I went with a founders edition because it is single slot. In this build, the case would support a dual slot card, but this card will last longer than this computer and having a single slot card is nice when trying to use all the slots on a board. The FE is the only one to come with a single slot rear I/O configuration that I could find. The card clocks to 2025 boost on the core and 5600 on the ram. From what I could find, any 1080Ti is going to clock if it is cooled well. The board and specifically GPU VRM do not make much difference for air/water OCing. Also, having a blower cooler would let me put it into a rack mount if I ever wanted to. After getting the water cooling done, I think I scratched that bug for the next 5 years and in retrospect, should have gotten a good air cooler 1080 Ti model.

This is taking the place of an X9DAi with dual 2670s. I gave up additional local storage and network and processing speed, but I am looking to upgrade to something more powerful at the end of the year. I have another dual 2670 system at work and all my data is stored on a NAS.


Have the front off (but it does fit with enough air flow for normal room temps) and the fans blowing out. Both case sides are normally on. I measured once and then drilled the holes for the pump mount, I really want it over 1/2in to the left so I can get the fans inside the case. GPU temp is up to 50C with the side on (43C with it off for the picture), but the room is 90F(32C) as I write this.
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