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Starfield Inspired Build - Streacom DA6 Open Frame ITX Case

As the gaming world eagerly anticipates the unfolding of "Starfield", I've decided to make a cool new build to accompany it and to set it up in such a way that you can play it at 1440p at high quality settings.



I handpicked some cool components, starting with the Streacom DA6 Open Frame ITX Case. It's not your typical case; it's more like a versatile frame where you can easily slot in your gear. Streacom's known for their awesome open-air test benches that are super efficient and flexible, so the DA6 seemed like a no-brainer.


Now, since "Starfield" seems to groove better with AMD stuff right now, we went with the Ryzen 7 7800X3D for that sweet spot between cost and performance. Toss in an MSI Edge Wi-Fi B650i board (it's an ITX case, so we need keep it small), and some Kingston RAM for good measure. We're even planning to throw in three different GPU sizes to see how this case handles them.


But here's the twist – instead of sticking with the usual small air-cooled setup for this case, I decided to go a bit wild. I'm slapping on an Asus ROG Ryujin III 240mm cooler. It's total overkill, not the most budget-friendly choice, but hey, it's going to look darn cool in that open case design. Picture this case as a desk showpiece – that's the vibe we're aiming for.


Surprisingly, this case supports all sorts of power supplies, from ATX to ITX and ITXL. We'll roll with a smaller power supply to free up some space because why not? This project is all about having a blast and making your setup pop.


The case itself is constructed from a blend of aluminium and steel. What really catches my eye about this case is that sleek anodized black finish. It's immaculate, and I'm genuinely excited to start building in it!


This MSI B650I Gaming Edge Wi-Fi motherboard is solidly mid-range but more than capable of handling our 8-core chip. What sets it apart are a few standout features. Firstly, it's primed for the latest AMD Ryzen™ 7000 Series Desktop Processors, thanks to the AMD B650 chipset and Socket AM5, promising stellar gaming performance. The support for DDR5 memory with overclocked speeds of up to a whopping 7200+ MHz ensures lightning-quick data access.


It also offers a flexible storage setup, featuring M.2 slots and SATA ports with RAID support. Plus, it boasts a PCIe x16 slot to cater to high-speed graphics cards and a variety of USB options for seamless peripheral connections.


Now, let's talk about the mounting options for the system, which are rather unique. You can orient it upwards or downwards, giving you the freedom to have the motherboard either suspended from the top or inverted with it pointing downward. It all depends on your preference for cable routing – whether you want them to exit from the bottom or run along the top and back. This flexibility is a real plus point for this system.


I do need to point out a minor but noteworthy issue I encountered while mounting the motherboard. On one side, screwing in the screws was a breeze, but on the right-hand side column, there was a slight tolerance issue – it was off by about a millimetre. As a result, I had to apply a bit of force to get the screw in. While the board is holding up fine and feels sturdy, it's just a tad out of my comfort zone. So, keep that in mind as you proceed with your build.


Working with this case requires some careful pre-planning. While its flexibility is fantastic, it introduces a few complexities. When you start populating it with various components, you don't have a clear picture of where everything will fit unless you've mapped it out on paper or in CAD.


That's why we made the decision to remove a couple of universal brackets and position the power supply above the motherboard, slightly off to the side. Our choice here is an SFX power supply, so it's not too bulky. It's important to note that this isn't its final placement, but the beauty of this case is that you can easily adjust it to your liking by simply loosening the bolts. You can loosen two on one side to adjust vertically, and the other two to make horizontal adjustments. There's plenty of flexibility to work with.

The next step involves installing the PC riser. It's worth mentioning that this case doesn't come with a PC riser by default. Streacom's reasoning is that different users might want Gen 3, Gen 4, or even Gen 5 risers, and some might already have one. So, you have the option to purchase the one you need separately along with the case.


There are two methods for mounting it. The first involves installing it directly into the PC slot. If you've positioned it correctly beforehand, you can wrap it around the motherboard, thread it behind, wrap it around a column, and bring it out to leave it in place. I've chosen the easier route with just bending in place, even though it might not look as sleek, as I'm a bit hesitant to go through the entire mounting process again.


A key thing to keep in mind is that if you plan to install an M.2 slot at the back, it's best to do it now. Once the riser is in place, it will cover that area, and you won't have much room for a large one with a substantial heat sink.


Let's talk about the compatibility of different GPUs with this case. Here are the tolerances for some of the GPUs that I currently have available.


First up, we have the Strix RTX 3080, which feels very tight in there. However, it should fit just fine if you remove the connector first. If you're leaning towards a smaller card or considering an Nvidia option, we can also explore fitting the RTX 4070. As you can see, it leaves a substantial amount of space for other components.


But for this specific build, we'll give the AMD Radeon 6900 XT a try. It's a medium-sized card that delivers strong performance, and given that it's from the previous generation, it's actually competitively priced right now. It slots into this case without any issues.


Obviously, with the newer cards, if they're not too thick, it's best to leave a bit of a gap between the motherboard because a lot of them are using a flow-through design, and having that gap allows for efficient airflow and heat dissipation. Even though it's an open case, overcrowding can still lead to overheating.


What adds an intriguing dimension to this case is its modularity. This particular one has a power button and a USB Type-C port, which actually ends up as a USB 3 connector. Streacom offers a variety of additional modules that you can purchase separately from their website, providing customization options.


One more noteworthy detail is the inclusion of these small washers that come with the case. They come in handy when mounting different devices to the brackets. While for some devices, you can simply use screws to secure them to the pole, using these washers provides an extra level of stability. They effectively clamp down on the device, ensuring a secure fit. It's a small but useful touch.


After tinkering around with it for a while, we've finally got the finished product, and I have to say, it looks quite robust, quirky, and oddly intriguing. I've assembled all these components and still have plenty of leftover parts, highlighting the universal nature of this setup. You can really let your creativity run wild with it. If you opt for a different configuration, you could even fit numerous drives and more into it. Regarding the power supply, in hindsight, I might consider flipping it upside down next time. I initially kept it this way because the included cable made it more convenient to mount and plug in. If the power supply were inverted, I'd have to loop the cable around, which isn't as aesthetically pleasing.


Apart from that, most of the cables are neatly tucked between the GPU and the motherboard, creating a sandwich-like arrangement. With the system powered up, it takes on the appearance of something you might encounter in a game as a hidden treasure chest, or perhaps an intergalactic device for mining.


So, there you have it! I genuinely enjoyed putting together this open case from Streacom and I managed to hit my target of setting up a 1440p station for a Starfield-themed frame. It does come with some quirks and can be a bit finicky, but if you're into a bit of DIY and enjoy experimenting, it's actually a whole lot of fun. It's almost like building a Lego PC in some respects.


I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for sticking around until the end, and I'll catch you in the next article!



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