For years now we've had the ability to take a compact Micro ATX motherboard along with a high-end GPU and squeeze them into a custom case not much bigger than a shoe box. We did it back in 2010 with the Lian Li Mini Q PC-V354, which became home to a Phenom II X6 1075T along the Gigabyte 880GMA-USB3 motherboard and the monstrous Radeon HD 5970 graphics card. The case also made room for seven 3.5 hard drives and could support long power supplies.
The following year we tried out the less subtle Thermaltake Armor A30 which was outfitted with similar hardware. That review was best known for our apparently controversial decision to use a 2L coke bottle for a size comparison.
However before either of those reviews were published I got my first real taste of serious small form factor gaming back in 2009 with the Silverstone SG04. Arguably the best case of them all, the SG04 was aimed squarely at the gaming community. Complete with a handle on top and the ability to support the latest hardware, the Sugo SG04 was 25 liters of gaming goodness.
Since then I havent laid eyes on another Silverstone SFF case, until now.
Recently Silverstone sent us their latest Sugo case. Known as the SG10, this latest version is actually slightly smaller than the SG04 with a 23 liter capacity. However, like the earlier model, it supports all of the latest and greatest hardware in a MicroATX form factor.
Giving a product like the Sugo SG10 real purpose are motherboards such as the new Asrock Z87M Extreme. These MicroATX motherboards provide all the features found on larger standard ATX boards. The Z87M Extreme4 is a Haswell motherboard, so we tested one of the new Core i5 processors (i5-4430).
Rounding our SFF project, renown CPU cooler maker Thermalright sent us their AXP-100, a cooler designed specifically for SFF computing.
By bringing all this small form factor hardware together we hope to build an enthusiast-worthy gaming system that you can easily transport, use as a a small workstation or fit comfortably along your living room equipment for HTPC purposes. Lets get things started by taking a closer look at the Asrock Z87M Extreme4...