Abee Acubic T20R + Asus P8Z77I-D Mini-ITX Build

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by tbooth, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. tbooth

    tbooth [H]Lite

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    i7-3770K
    Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe
    8GB Samsung 30nm
    128GB Crucial M4 SSD
    Corsair AX650
    Noctua NH-D14 w/ dual Thermalright TY-140s
    Abee Acubic T20R

    The Case
    I was looking for a mini-ITX case that had a very clean and minimal look and would accommodate a full size CPU cooler and full length GPU. I've used many large cases over the years (my last case was a Lian-Li V2100B) and wanted to downsize since I never fully utilize them. I always seemed to have plans to go SLI or add a bunch of hard drives and just never got around to it.

    I came across the Abee while looking for info on Windy cases that I had seen posted from time to time. The T20R had the exact layout and minimal styling that I was looking for. I checked several websites and was dismayed to see that these cases are really difficult to find outside of Japan. I found a number of buying services that would order the case locally in Japan and then ship to the US and ultimately settled on a site called Flutterscape. There is a user named Chuwa there who sells Abee cases. These cases are pretty expensive and shipping them is also expensive, but they arrive pretty quickly. Flutterscape works like this. You place your order on the website. The seller buys your item and ships it to Flutterscape. Flutterscape checks the item to make sure it is correct and then they ship it to you. The seller gets paid once Flutterscape sends the item. It took 7 days to receive the case from the day I ordered.

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    The Build
    I managed to get in on the Microcenter $289 deal for the i7-3770k when they placed it for order on the website accidentally on launch day. Although I had to wait a month before it was delivered, I was glad that Microcenter decided to honor the order.

    After reading a bunch of reviews I decided that I was going to use the Thermalright Silver Arrow. The newer SB-E version is slightly wider than the original model so I set out to find the original. I finally found an ebay seller listing a new SA and I jumped on it. When I finally received it, it was the SB-E version....crap. I was afraid the SB-E version might hit the bottom of the PSU or slightly cover the PCI-E slot so I sent it back. I ordered the Noctua NH-D14 to replace it and got two TY-140 PWM fans to replace the Noctuas. I read that they were quieter than the stock Noctuas and I wanted PWM fans.

    The Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe was one of the first mini-ITX boards I saw that had a layout that could take a large CPU cooler without blocking the PCI-E slot. That feature coupled with the DIGI+VRM daughterboard sold me on the P8Z77-I.

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    After a couple of weeks of testing the highest stable overclock I have gotten is 4.5Ghz. I'm pretty happy with this, my original goal was to try and get 4.7, but this chip isn't having it. I'm currently getting 4.5 stable with the following settings:

    i7-3770k SR0PL MALAY
    Offset = .095
    LLC = High

    With these settings the voltage bounces from 1.280 to 1.304 depending on load. Temps at peak (IBT and small FFT AVX in P95) range from 87-91C. 4.4 is stable with a .045 offset, so it's taking quite a bit more to jump to 4.5. This seems to be my wall.

    I'm planning to add a 680 or 670 next. I'm kind of leaning towards the 670 since I only use a single monitor.
     
  2. JoeUser

    JoeUser 2[H]4U

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    Is it possible for the heat sink to warp the motherboard considering its only attached at the corners?

    Other than that worry the build looks awesome so far! That heat sink makes the PC look super tiny!
     
  3. tbooth

    tbooth [H]Lite

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    Thanks, yeah the heatsink completely dwarfs the board :).

    I don't feel like the motherboard is flexing much at all it feels very solid. I guess because the board is so much smaller than a full-sized board it doesn't matter much that only the corners are secured.
     
  4. vipz

    vipz Gawd

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    How much did you actually end up spending on the case, including shipping, tax/custom, and any fees?
     
  5. tbooth

    tbooth [H]Lite

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    It was pretty pricey. It ended up being about $530 total.
     
  6. Necere

    Necere 2[H]4U

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    It's a bit mystifying we don't see this layout done in ITX cases more often. Though I think I might prefer dropping down to an SFX PSU and single 5.25" bay to shrink the case even further.
     
  7. LigTasm

    LigTasm [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is exactly the case I always wanted for an ITX build, but too pricey with overseas shipping. I wish a US manufacturer would make something like it. I hate x9000 cases with the PSU hanging over the board (lian li, silverstone, etc). This looks so clean and nice, although I don't like that huge heatsink. I had an H60 on my 3570k and I ran it at the same speeds/voltages that you are and had far better temps. The 3770k seems to clock better than the 3570k this time around so I'm surprised 4.5 is all yours would do.
     
  8. jamaicanpi

    jamaicanpi Limp Gawd

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    What are your thoughts on the chassis? It looks amazing.
     
  9. Beriphent

    Beriphent n00bie

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    tbooth -- GJ! Kudos for posting about your beautiful abee build. Very nice cabling job too. :)
     
  10. voklskier4452

    voklskier4452 2[H]4U

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    Damn that is an awesome case. Pretty much the exact layout I would want if I could custom build a case. Kudos on a fantastic looking build.
     
  11. Gab

    Gab n00bie

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    This is still too big for me as a mini-ITX build, but the case is beautiful, and the Noctua with the two Thermalright fans looks amazing in it. Waiting to see what it looks like with a 680/670.
     
  12. Amzee

    Amzee Limp Gawd

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    Only thing I don't like about this case is how the graphics card will be stifled into the floor of the case. Other, than that, nice build!
     
  13. tbooth

    tbooth [H]Lite

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    It is very well constructed and it feels really solid. It lacks the "rattle" that my old Lian Li had. All of the pieces seem to be cut very precisely and everything slides in to place nicely.

    I didn't really have any issues working inside the case despite its size. I like that the top cover is removable and that it comes down on the sides to hide the PSU cables and whatever else I want to put in the 5.25" bays. I added the 2.5 ->5.25 Lian Li adapter to store the SSD since I took out the drive cage that hangs down in front of the case to improve air flow.

    One thing I would improve is the cable management. I was able to route the cables fairly well, but I think if the motherboard tray was extended all the way to the front of the case with some grommeted holes placed in it, it could have been even cleaner. I also would have liked a built-in place to attach zip ties (black zip ties were included with the case) on the back of the motherboard tray. These are really minor concerns though and I made do without them.

    The case also came with a 5.25" drive bay cover for an optical drive, which I likely won't ever use and a PSU extender to attach a longer PSU or to make more room for a longer optical drive.
     
  14. tbooth

    tbooth [H]Lite

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    Yeah, I was slightly dissapointed in not getting over 4.5. With more tweaking I may be able to squeeze out a few more Mhz. I can pass IBT standard @ 4.7, but it takes a lot of volts and I didn't really want to go too far over 1.3v. This system is an upgrade from a Xeon 3110/E8400 and I'm still trying to get used to the new overclocking options on this platform.

    I may reseat my heatsink this weekend just to make sure everything is good. The heatsink really doesn't get very warm at all. I can even reach my hand under and touch the heatpipes at the base of the Noctua under full load and it's barely warm.
     
  15. bare

    bare [H]Lite

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    I have this case as well and can vouch for its absolute splendor. Nice build!
     
  16. huguberhart

    huguberhart [H]Lite

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    They also have online store on chinese alibaba. There is no price listed and I havent asked them. I really wanted this case but its to expensive for me. There was also one similair case ITX T80 and mATX T180 which had PSU mounted like Lian Lis Q18. After T20 I would buy this but its sold out :( and too expensive.

    Anyway your build is great! I bet size made it easy to install everything. Have you considered bay leafs and using ODD?
     
  17. smack

    smack n00bie

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    Abee is no longer manufacturing this case, however they have the capability to.
    They can tool up and produce these again if someone orders a quantity of 50.

    There are some existing ones out there, like the ones offered by chuwa on flutterscape.

    I've been thinking about getting one of these but it's just damn hard to justify spending 500$ on a case. I'm hoping lian-li makes one with the same layout for <= 200$.

    This seems to be the only case that will hold a full tower heatsink on mini-itx.
     
  18. tbooth

    tbooth [H]Lite

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    Yep, very easy to install everything. I don't think I"m going to put an ODD in. I only use my Blu-Ray drive to rip movies occasionally. I'm just going to hook that up to my media smart server when needed.


    I don't understand why no one makes a mini-itx case that will take a large heatsink. Looks like the BitFenix Prodigy will though. Lian-Li gets close, but the PSU always seems to be in the way.
     
  19. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012
  20. MacLeod

    MacLeod [H]ardness Supreme

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    Sorry. My 2 year old got on my computer and [H]ardForum is my homepage. Mods, please delete these 2.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2012