Description

Update

This is a refresh of my previous LOUQE AIO build. I was not fully satisfied with the Thermaltake case fans, AIO, and air-cooled GPU so I finally took the plunge and installed a custom loop.

Challenge

How to (tastefully) RGB an overclocked small form factor (SFF) case with parts future-proofed for the next 4-5 years.

This build must meet these requirements:

  • Near highest-end gaming parts at time of purchase
  • Overclocked for performance at reasonable temperatures
  • Small form factor; it must fit into a small shelf
  • Aesthetically pleasing inside and out

Planning

Despite the 6 month wait for my case, the Ghost S1 is the best SFF case (in my opinion) that best meet these requirements. I considered the DAN-A4 but it does not fit a 240mm AIO. Raijintek Ophion EVO was another contender but there were cooling concerns. Sliger's SM570/580 is still in development.

One advantage of waiting, I saw other S1 builds and planned my build on what I visually liked and disliked. I religiously read the S1 spec sheets and took my best guess on fitting each part. For SFF builds in general your use case will determine your chassis, what parts to fit in, cooling (active/passive), and cable management.

Building

The build was completed as planned but the building was mostly trial and error. Without going into detail, I assembled my case in the following order:

  • Motherboard (be sure to support the case spine to prevent bending)
  • RAM
  • CPU pump, block, and heatsink
  • Bottom fans and radiator
  • Top fans and radiator
  • Fittings and soft tubing
  • GPU and wiring
  • RGB adapter and wiring
  • PSU and wiring
  • Case fan cable management

Having gone through several rounds of cable management in the previous build, assembly was easier than anticipated. On the GPU block the low-profile fittings must point down. This was unexpected and I altered the length and orientation of the tubes as a result.

Final Thoughts

The Ghost S1 is not a novice build, though with planning and patience you can finish with an extremely rewarding showpiece. I am happy to have switched to the Riing Trio fans which gave the case a brighter, cleaner look. For now, the case will remain open, but I will install glass side panels once they are available.

Overall I'm pleased as I met each requirement without sacrifice or compromise. I learned a lot on this build, and will graduate to custom water cooling in my next build.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 3 points

I'm a big fan of this build. I like the boldness of the cable color. If I was going to make an aio build I would use this case. GREAT TASTE! +1

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! If you’re looking for ways to AIO using this case feel free to look at the previous iteration of this build that I linked in the write-up above.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

HA! Guess I'm not the only one who appreciates this build. Congrats on the feature!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Effort was well worth the ROI.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

I smell a feature

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

I guess we’ll see!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Senses were correct

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I guess so! Do you know how builds get featured in terms of selection process?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point
  1. Lots of upvotes (30 seems to be the minimum) 2.Then staff decide really- I guess its mostly on creativity/technicality of a build
  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

My senses seem to be tingling too. The smell of that feature.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

clean build. I like the tophats added on to it

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Tophats are a must for any liquid cooling build.

  • 2 months ago
  • -2 points

no they aren't

  • 2 months ago
  • -1 points

Where will you put the radiator then?

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

The mounting bracket for the radiator comes with the case, not with the top hat. You can mount one 240mm radiator securely to the top of the case without a tophat (my build is setup like this, at least until a new stock of top hats come in) At least one is necessary if you have dual 240mm radiators.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice I love liquid cooled itx builds

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build! +100 ps. wait you have an instant pot?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Who doesn’t have an Instant Pot these days lol

  • 2 months ago
  • 0 points

my family has two lol

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Not sure how I missed this one but late to the show. Awesome build. With SFF's like this I appreciate the effort you gave. You must have spent hours planning and thinking. Trying to hide those PSU cables only to find out it is impossible. With builds like this I often wish that the pins were on the other side of the motherboard with it being elevated slightly (an inch or so of room underneath) so cables can go under and pop up on other side. Irrespective, the build is spectacular.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the feedback! A tremendous amount of trial and error. There is a way to wrap the PSU cables that make it look uniform but I elected to buy custom cables before the case even showed up.

I’ve seen another build where the PSU was turned 90 degrees so the 24 pin pointed right at the motherboard slot. GPU cables tucked underneath the PSU and to the GPU. That required a custom mount but that was probably the cleanest wire setup I saw.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

looks stunning

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

High performance packed into such a small case and for some reason it just doesnt look cramped to me.

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Definitely several rounds of trial and error. There is actually a fair bit of space between the radiator and sides to tuck wires. I compromised laying the TT Sync on top of the fan versus tucking it between the PSU and spine as wiring was way too cramped otherwise.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice! Where did you get the cables from?

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

A fellow builder who was cabling on the side. Unfortunately he's no longer making cables but pslate is still going on strong.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Good to know. Pslate's work looks awesome and I've been considering buying some for my case. I've also considered building some myself. Seems pretty time intensive but worth it.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Unless you plan on making multiple sets of cables for different purposes it's probably easier to just buy from pslate. As I plan on using this case and just replacing parts the cables will be with me for a long time.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Really Nice Cable Management! A really clean description too! Are you planning on upgrading to an i9 any time soon?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

At the time of purchase (2018) the performance gains to price were marginal, thus the 9700K and 2080. I’ll wait a couple of years before I switch out components.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Are you considering upgrading any other parts sometime soon?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I mulled selling the 2080 FE card for a 2080 Super, but still marginal gains. The ratio of effort vs. performance gains is a tough argument to win, especially when I spent 20 hours putting this case together which did not include clean up time.

I also think about scenarios like 3 slot GPUs becoming the norm and PCI-E going away, things that would significantly change the entire build. If that happens I'm looking at an entire new build.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I can understand. Good Build!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

This looks phenomenal! Great work getting all that custom loop goodness into such a small case. +1

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you! In some ways the smaller size made it easier. Just takes a lot of planning!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

congrats, you got featured!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Not sure how that’s done but grateful to see all the support.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the photography. I am still amazed by how much you fit in that case.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I’d say the key is the GPU block. Once that space opened up it was significantly easier to build around.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome job! I'm really digging your build!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm digging the custom feet. How did you go about doing that?

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

20x10mm stereo feet. They oddly enough didn't come with any M4 nuts but a quick trip to the hardware store fixed that.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks great man. What are your temps like?

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

CPU idles at ~40 degrees, GPU idles ~32-35 degrees. Since changing from the RYUO 240 AIO I've lost the ability to monitor while gaming so I'm looking at smaller LCD solutions to run CAM.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice job. You made flexible tubing look sexy.

Thumbs up and congrats on the featured spot.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks Gorgeous and helps answer some of my novice Custom Liquid Build questions I have and reservations. Nice Build Mate.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Happy to share knowledge if you have any questions! I had to do a lot of reading.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I would not use this CPU for this build. I am having major issues with my i7-9700k and all forums online say that it's just the processor that has issues. I've even talked to intel support and they couldn't help. The CPU sits at 20% usage on the desktop and if you OC it then it sits at 25%. I have no clue why. I went back to using my 7700k over this CPU.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Perhaps I am fortunate then. My idle load (according to CAM) hovers ~1-3% and periodically spikes to ~20-25% when browsing. Keep in mind I've OC'ed to 4.8 GHz.

I don't have anything for or against this processor. At the time it was (for me personally) the right purchase at an acceptable price point. It's performed well for me so far.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't know then. Intel support said it was working as intended and never helped me beyond that. All I see are people having problems with it. I'm glad yours works, but it has been hell on a lot of people.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

So aesthetically pleasing, im gonna dream about this tonight tbh

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks and sweet dreams lol

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Bye Bye feature.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Fun while it lasted!

  • 12 hours ago
  • 1 point

I love everything about this build it a shame about the long wait for the case :( I want to start this build now.

Any advice on your process in getting the kit? Is there another case I could go for before purchasing Ghost S1

  • 2 months ago
  • 0 points

Guess you had to live off of takeout while making the build, judging by the pile of dishes in the sink

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Two mixing bowls and a cup is a little sparse for the dishwasher, no?

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Just a lot of planning beforehand and knowing this will last a long time!

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Hope this gives inspiration for others to make their own crazy build :)

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm estimating an extra $700 USD, of which some I can recover by selling the AIO. In all honesty I didn't have a budget but estimated a ballpark figure. Since I purchased the majority of the initial parts last year the cost was easier to stomach.

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

The previous iteration of this build used an AIO. No matter how I routed the cables I wasn't satisfied with cable management, and thus the change to full custom loop.

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