Fitting an ATI Radeon 4870 in a Silverstone SG05 miniITX chassis.

I recently got hold of a Silverstone SG05 mini ITX chassis to build a small and portable gaming PC. The aim was to build a small, yet powerful machine that would be easy to haul around.

Anyway, the specifcations consist of the following:

Zotac GeForce 9300-ITX WiFi (miniITX motherboard)
Intel E5400 (2.7GHz) Pentium Dual core CPU. (Overclocked to 3.2 GHz)
2GB OCZ DDR800 RAM
Silverstone SG05 miniITX chassis with 300w PSU
Seagate 500GB 7200rpm Hard disk.

To start I left the machine running with just its onboard discrete graphics card (Geforce 9300). The motherboard has a full 16x PCI Express slot, but I am still deciding which graphics card will be best. (I am leaning towards an ATI 5770 for it’s low power consumption, good size and decent speed). However I saw quite a few people asking around as to what kind of cards will actually fit into the SG05 chassis and whether or not they would be able to run on the 300w PSU.

I have this Sapphire ATI 4870 512MB graphics card running in my main gaming PC. It is running a custom bios that I flashed to it a while ago, upping the default GPU core speed from 725MHz to 795MHz and the default memory speed of 900MHz to 1100MHz (4400MHz effective). It therefore uses slightly more juice than a stock 4870. I wanted to see if this card would fit or not and how it would handle running on the 300w PSU of the SG05. Well the answer is yes, it fits! Barely. It took quite a bit of manouvering to get it in there and a fair bit of time to wiggle the auxillary power connectors into the 6 pin power sockets on the end of the PCB. Here are some photos for those interested:

The motherboard to start:

The card resting on the chassis to size it up.

Finally in!

Here is a short video of the card running 3D Mark 2005.

E8400 Gaming rig build

This is an old post from my other site. I thought as it was IT relevant I would clone the small write up I did across to this blog…

I recently bought myself a new rig, consisting of a Coolermaster CM-690 and the following hardware:

Asus P5Q P45 Pro motherboard
Intel E8400 overclocked to 3.6GHz 24/7
OCZ 2GB ATI Heatspreader RAM DDR800 4-4-4-12
Sapphire ATI HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 Graphics card
OCZ GameXstream 600w Power supply
Western Digital 750GB SATAII Hard drive
Logitech G15 Keyboard (orange backlight model)
Logitech MX518 (5 year old mouse that has travelled the world with me!)

For display I chose a 24″ Dell LCD with a native resolution of 1920×1200 and 6ms response time.

My ultimate goal was to build a faster, cooler and quieter PC than the previous one I had in S.A.

Right, so in my last rig I had the pre-built CM-690 L-shaped window panel. This came with the chassis when I bought it, so I was pretty lazy and didn’t change anything. I also had a Coolermaster Aquagate watercooling unit that fitted in 2 x optical drive bays, which had the pump, radiator and everything incorporated, cooling my E8200 on the old rig. Temperatures were not much better than the Zalman 9700LED that I used to have on it and it was quite messy. I also didn’t enjoy the tiny tubing that this unit used, hence my custom kit choice with 1/2″ diameter tubing for this project. I had never built myself a custom watercooling system, so this will be my first. It will also be the first batch of modding I have done in about 10 years! (The last mod I did was on an AMD K6-2 333MHz in an AT case many, many years ago)! That is barring some odd LED, and minor case mods here and there.

Anyway, here is an image of the final product (Case cut, window installed, hardware assembled and modded to fit the watercooling gear. Cables neatened and basically everything finished, barring the watercooling of the graphics card.

final-1

night-shot

I cut a rough pattern out of the top with my jigsaw, this is where the radiator is to be fit:

case-cut

I cabled-sleeved most of the loose / visible wiring throughout the chassis:

cable-sleeving

Next to be cut was the side panel – Masked off the area to be cut, and used the jigsaw once again:

perspex

This is the box of goodies (watercooling hardware) I ordered from Specialtech:

goodies

The waterblock for cooling the CPU:

cpu-block

Shortly after finishing the water components, and tubing, I started the system up for leak testing…

test-run

A few weeks later the graphics card was ready to be added to the watercooling system. This is a Sapphire ATI HD 4870 512MB (GDDR4) card. I had to remove the stock air cooler, and re-apply some new thermal compound. I used Zalman STG-1 thermal paste for this.

4870-air

Here the card is naked, with the old thermal compound applied to the GPU. The card still needed to be cleaned with some pure alcohol to remove the old thermal paste.

4870-naked

Everything installed, Feser one non-conductive cooling fluid in the loop with the system up and running :

final-2

A small update on this build.

Since the original work was finished, I have now upgraded the RAM. I added another 2GB OCZ RAM to give a total of 4GB. I also pushed my original overclock a bit further, and now run the FSB at 445MHz with a CPU multiplier of 9x giving me a total of 4.0GHz on the E8400. The RAM is running a multiplier of 2x overclocking the four modules to 890MHz each, with timings of 4-4-4-12. My Vcore setting for the processor is on around about 1.375 volts, and my RAM is sitting at 2.2 volts which is what I consider a safe 24/7 setting for RAM modules cooled by passive heatsinks. The FSB is set to 1.16 volts for the increase FSB speed to hold stable. I also flashed the 4870’s bios with a custom image, that sets the card’s default core speed to 795mhz (from a default of 750mhz) and the memory to 1100mhz (from a default of 900mhz). I then use Catalyst Control Centre to up the core speed to a further 830mhz for gaming. The PC now runs at these speeds 24/7 and has no stability issues.