Question Motherboard change - ATX to ITX build

Oct 23, 2019
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Hello all,

I currently have the ASUS B360 Plus gaming Mobo and i7 9700k on it but would like to build a SFF with the Asrock Z390 phantom gaming ITX/ac Mobo and the same CPU. my OS (win 10) is currently on a 2.5 SSD but i have also bought an intel M.2 SSD and would like to build the new system with the OS on the M.2 SSD. also have a 3.5 HDD which just has data/media on it. i will keep all the other components the same.

what would be the best way to do this?

Should i backup my windows on a USB, then build the new ITX with only the m.2 (formatted) and installed, then boot from the USB, install windows on the m.2, then add the other drives later? and when the 2.5 SSD is added i should format it immediately as it would still have the old OS on it?

are there any other things i need to do in advance before i start the build; like get all software CD keys, download drivers etc???

i would appreciate any help as i am new to building and even windows installing, i am just going on what ive picked up from reading on the web!

thanks in advance
Mercman
 
Just go to Microsoft’s website and use the media creation tool to make a bootable USB of windows 10. Only plug in the m.2 drive when you start and install windows. After windows is installed, plug in any other drives and make sure the m.2 is set to boot and disable any others. Format the SSD or keep it as is, won’t matter if it’s not on boot list. You’ll need another USB if you want to pre download drivers, which I would advise. You want to get the latest ones off of the website.

On another note, i personally don’t recommend doing itx with a high end CPU as you are gonna put a lot of heat in a small area. Hope it works out like you want.
 
Oct 23, 2019
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Thanks bmockeg and USAFret for the quick response... seems simple enough! so after i have done all my back ups of drivers and keys and made the 2 USB backups, i can disassemble my PC, then start building the other? i ask because currently the 1TB 3.5 inch HDD is partitioned in 2 - will this have any effect when i plug it into the new setup?


i understand the point about ITX and heat and have done research on a decent CPU cooler (Noctua NH-D9L) as well as the case, and going with the cougar QBX (which isnt super small), and quite a few fans to help out there. i was looking at a 120mm AIO CPU cooler for the CPU but wasnt sure whch one to go for... currently the situation is worse as the case and CPU cooler that was used when i asked a guy to build the ATX for me are not so great.


Just go to Microsoft’s website and use the media creation tool to make a bootable USB of windows 10. Only plug in the m.2 drive when you start and install windows. After windows is installed, plug in any other drives and make sure the m.2 is set to boot and disable any others. Format the SSD or keep it as is, won’t matter if it’s not on boot list. You’ll need another USB if you want to pre download drivers, which I would advise. You want to get the latest ones off of the website.

On another note, i personally don’t recommend doing itx with a high end CPU as you are gonna put a lot of heat in a small area. Hope it works out like you want.
 

mortemas

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I have the Cougar QBX with an 8700k + H55 120mm AIO and a 2080 ti 2.5 slot card. I really liked the case but I was concerned about temps and I did a lot of modding, just part of which was to open up most of the fan vents out of concern for airflow, especially with a 2080 ti in there. My airflow configuration is not typical, either. And the bottom filter totally restricted airflow, so I tossed it.

Not sure if a 120mm AIO will be enough for the 9900k, though. My 8700k is not overclocked, but I can OC my GPU to 2000MHz and it hits 79c max in a 24-25c ambient room. The CPU hits 65-70c while gaming. The mobo reaches 52-54c. I had lots of problems with a Silverstone SX800-LTI that I originally installed in there 2 years ago and I've lost faith in the brand. Should have replaced it much sooner, but the Corsair SF750 I just swapped it with is working well so far (it's still on probation though). It pained me to shell out for another PSU like that, but I had no choice. However, you will appreciate the extra room with a tiny psu like the SF750. It's a SFX, whereas the Silverstone was an SFX-L. Any questions feel free to ask. Some pics:

A look inside


The other side


New PSU (SFX) compared to the old one (SFX-L)
 

USAFRet

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Thanks bmockeg and USAFret for the quick response... seems simple enough! so after i have done all my back ups of drivers and keys and made the 2 USB backups, i can disassemble my PC, then start building the other? i ask because currently the 1TB 3.5 inch HDD is partitioned in 2 - will this have any effect when i plug it into the new setup?
To be clear, you're doing a full wipe and reinstall.
 
Oct 23, 2019
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To be clear, you're doing a full wipe and reinstall.
Yes, but only a full wipe of the M.2 SSD right? the other hard drives i can just unplug and then install later on the new system when windows is installed on the M.2SSD (and make sure the boot drive is set to the M.2 SSD?

is this correct?

Thanks again man!
 
Oct 23, 2019
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10
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I have the Cougar QBX with an 8700k + H55 120mm AIO and a 2080 ti 2.5 slot card. I really liked the case but I was concerned about temps and I did a lot of modding, just part of which was to open up most of the fan vents out of concern for airflow, especially with a 2080 ti in there. My airflow configuration is not typical, either. And the bottom filter totally restricted airflow, so I tossed it.

Not sure if a 120mm AIO will be enough for the 9900k, though. My 8700k is not overclocked, but I can OC my GPU to 2000MHz and it hits 79c max in a 24-25c ambient room. The CPU hits 65-70c while gaming. The mobo reaches 52-54c. I had lots of problems with a Silverstone SX800-LTI that I originally installed in there 2 years ago and I've lost faith in the brand. Should have replaced it much sooner, but the Corsair SF750 I just swapped it with is working well so far (it's still on probation though). It pained me to shell out for another PSU like that, but I had no choice. However, you will appreciate the extra room with a tiny psu like the SF750. It's a SFX, whereas the Silverstone was an SFX-L. Any questions feel free to ask. Some pics:

A look inside


The other side


New PSU (SFX) compared to the old one (SFX-L)
thats a really cool build and yeah im getting a Corsair SFX. Great to know that setup and the temps.... i am going for a normal air cooler tower as i have a 3.5 HDD i want to put in that mounting bracket (where you hav the AIO rad). what did you use to connect all those fans? a normal fan hub?
and whats the foam under the GPU?
 

mortemas

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thats a really cool build and yeah im getting a Corsair SFX. Great to know that setup and the temps.... i am going for a normal air cooler tower as i have a 3.5 HDD i want to put in that mounting bracket (where you hav the AIO rad). what did you use to connect all those fans? a normal fan hub?
and whats the foam under the GPU?
Thanks! Yes, I used this SATA powered fan hub for most of the fans: https://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=526&area=en
You can barely make it out if you look real close in the above picture - it's between the GPU and the front fan there on the right side of the pic with those GPU power cables hiding it a bit. I chose the middle sized fan in my build (92mm) as my master fan and the hub is hooked up to the mobo's case fan header. The AIO fan is hooked up to the CPU header and the pump to the pump header.

The foam was my obsession with lowering temps, but in reality I think it only shaves off a couple of degrees or so. It's a gasket I made to prevent recycling of warm air exhausting from the side of the GPU back down into the GPU fans just below. In this way, the GPU intake fans are directly linked to the bottom opening in the case.

What I found is that with enough positive pressure in the case the air will have a good tendency to flow out the highly permeable side cover grills, and this lines up well with where the GPU exhausts are already oriented on the non-blower style card. The two fans you see on the swing-out bracket are both exhausts (the slim Noctua and the AIO fan). So considering the positive pressure from the intake fans at the top, rear, front, and the 3 GPU fans also acting as intakes, the 2 side exhaust fans align with the tendency of the air to flow away from the open sides of the case. If you look at the opposite side of the case, there are some strategic openings there which assist in exhausting hot GPU air on the mobo side. I used to have a SATA SSD mounted there, but I realized it was only working against that goal. After removing that drive, I actually considered cutting away some of the metal to improve GPU exhaust there, but I'll leave it as-is for now. I would have done it while I had the whole thing apart when swapping the psu recently, but I couldn't for the life of me find where I put my nibbling tool!

Yeah, if the AIO ever starts to give me problems I'll switch to a Noctua. One thing I realized/learned from your choice of the NH-D9L is that the 9700k, and even the 9900k (which I mistakenly thought you were using), are actually easier to cool than the 8700k according to Noctua's ratings. I think it's because the 8700k uses paste under the heat spreader and Intel switched to solder for the newer and faster CPUs out of criticism/necessity. I might go with the NH-C14S though, since the downward facing fan would keep air moving on the mobo. It would definitely require rearranging the airflow once again. Right now I'd like to get liquid metal under my 8700k heat spreader to try and lower CPU temps by 5 or 10c (realistic?) so I can OC it with the AIO currently being used.

I had intended to blog the build and took many pics a couple of years ago during the modding process, but I never bothered after I actually started to game with the rig :p

I cut out most of the stock fan grills. I replaced them with wire-style grills, the kind with concentric circles.


I enlarged the stock holes in the top, couldn't install wire grills there without losing the decorative plastic cover (original holes on the left). According to my notes, the left side is 44% open and the right side is 62% open. Wire grills are 68% open, by my math.


I cut the foam gasket mostly using a cutter I made with nichrome wire and a 12v laptop psu. The bevels for fan clearance were actually easier to cut with a sharp razor blade.


It fits in a large camera bag! It's an Ape Case ACPRO1600.
 
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