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TL:DR - should I get a Sliger S620 or S610 if I want to do an airline carry-on SFF build with a non-blower GPU, and I primarily care about thermals under sustained CPU/GPU loads? Can the S610, with support for only 128mm tall CPU coolers be up for the task? Or would I stand to get a lot of benefit from the full size CPU coolers that I can mount in the S620?




I'm currently a grad student and will likely have to fly across the country as COVID eases up, and I'd really like to make a small form factor build that I could take as carry on luggage. I currently have an old i7 4770k build that is in desperate need of upgrading. I currently have two SATA 2.5" SSDs, a 256gb nNVME m.2 drive, and an EVGA 1080ti FTW3 which I plan on donating to this system. The core requirements for this build will be to fit in an airliner in some form of carry-on case (be it a bag, pelican case, etc. This is TBD but leading candidate is a Pelican 1510 or 1535), and to run sustained GPU loads for potentially days (training machine learning models). This won't be happening often, but I need to make sure that I do have the ability to do this without melting the computer and throttling like crazy (also I don't care for overclocking).


My GPU imposes a few constraints on my build. Specifically, I know for super tight ITX builds, people like to use blower cards to reduce GPU exhaust in the case but given that buying a GPU is out of the question these days, I'll have to work with what I got! This likely means that sandwich style cases ( < 10L ), while super appetizing, are out of the question. This leaves me in the 13-18L zone for cases. This isn't too big of a deal for me - my priorities are thermals, and fitting in an airline carry-on. I'm not realistically looking to carry it around in a backpack or anything. I'll outline the cases I've been considering and my thoughts below.


Budget (including currency): 

~$1500CAD ish, wiggle room available





Games, programs or workloads that it will be used for: 

Machine learning, simulations. Some gaming but this is secondary; any gaming needs I'd want will be met if my main goals are met.


Available parts (existing parts lists, whether any peripherals are needed, what you're upgrading from, when you're going to buy, what resolution and refresh rate you want to play at, etc): 

EVGA 1080ti FTW3

2x 2.5" SSD

1x 256gb nVME

Noctua nh u14s (hah, for an ITX build? relevant later...)


Main Build

I'm looking for a Ryzen build, so I'm pretty much set on the following (happy to take suggestions though):

  • Ryzen 7 5800x
  • X570 Aorus Pro ITX WIFI
  • Corsair Vengence LPX 32GB RAM
  • Corsair SF 600W 80+ Gold

CPU cooler, and case cooling, will depend on the choice of case.


Candidate Cases

Onto the most important bit. I've looked at a few options, and I'll first mention my requirements; the maximum carry-on size for Air Canada is 550 x 400 x 230 x mm. For convenience, I've listed all dimensions in descending order (so not L/W/H or something). The appropriate Pelican case for this is one of:

  • Pelican air 1535
    • Interior (L X W X D): 518 x 284 x 183 mm
    • Exterior (L X W X D): 558 x 355 x 228 mm

  • Pelican 1510
    • Interior (L×W×D) 502 x 279 x 193 mm

    • Exterior (L×W×D) 559 x 351 x 229 mm

This isn't ironed out yet, I can look at other flight cases. Now regarding cases, I think my best options for this build are:

The S620 is a super cool case; its around 17L but it can fit up to 165mm cpu coolers. This means my Noctua nh u14s will fit (bonus money saving points!), and it would also help a lot with thermals. More room in the case also means more fans and hopefully more airflow, helping the thermal situation a bit. The downside is that this technically is a few mm too big for the pelican 1535, which is nicer and lighter than the 1510. It's just overall a bit bulkier.


The S610 is also very similar to the S620, but only supports cpu coolers up to 128mm tall, so something like a Noctua nh u9s. I'm not sure how much hotter my CPU will run under ustained load and I'm a bit worried that I'll throttle/overhead. Are there any other coolers or cooling solutions that people would recommend to mitigate some of these issues? I don't really want to go with an AIO - I'd be a bit concerned with taking one on a flight.


Also this should be obvious, but I'm getting the regular vented side panel.


Rejected cases:

  • InWin A1 Plus (357 x 273 x 224 mm) - too big

  • Cooler Master NR200 (376 x 292 x 185 mm) - too big

  •  Lian Li TU150 ( 375 x 312 x 199 mm) - too big

  • Dan Cases A4-SFX, Formd T1, Ncase M1 - all beautiful cases but given my open-air GPU and thermal constraints, are unfortunately not an option I think

  • Sliger SM580 (357 x 287 x 155 mm) SM560 (335 x 208 x 159 mm) SM550 (335 x 208 x 139 mm) - same issue re: thermals



Final Notes


I'm open to any suggestions or feedback people have to part/case selection, or cooling configurations to potentially make this build work! The only thing I can't really be flexible with is my GPU, I'm sorta stuck with the 1080ti FTW3. I'd probably also toss in another bigger m.2 SATA drive so I can have my main Linux install on that, and then have Windows on my smaller nvme and 2x 2.5" SSDs for the odd games and whatnot. If anybody has any experience with a similar situation (carrying on a workstation build) and has suggestions on the actual carry-on case (eg. other than pelican) or any other tips, I'd also love to hear them!


Thanks a ton!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Either case is an excellent choice, but if you think you'll travel with the case frequently I'd go with the smaller of the two.  I own the Sliger S610 and use the Noctua NH-C14S cooler with an i9 9900K.  Thermals are reasonable with that combination.

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