Sometimes the case is the most alluring part of a computer build, but that shouldn't stop you from packing it full of the best components. That's what we have in mind when we take on BitFenix's Portal case, which draws inspiration from Valve's iconic 2007 video game of the same name. This Mini-ITX tower has some challenges for high-end parts, namely its compact size and slide mechanism, but it looks really classy and we aim to give it some components to match during a live build.
We push the limits of this case in terms of heat and power for its size, choosing an Intel Core i7-7700K CPU and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition graphics card as cornerstone pieces. To compensate, we pick some other components that make the build a tight fit, as you'll see in the video below once we begin installing the CPU cooler. We take some shortcuts to keep the build moving along, and there are some good lessons about certain parts to avoid in more compact Mini-ITX cases. That said, most are workable if you persist and the end result, particularly the graphics card window, is pretty satisfying.
Check out the (live and uncut!) video to see how it progresses and what the final outcome is. It might need some tweaks, but a truly powerful (if not especially budget-conscious) build in a case of this size is definitely possible. The full parts list with the best deals and where to find them is listed below, if you'd like to recreate some or all of the build yourself.
Case: BitFenix Portal
Processor: Intel Core i7-7700K
Motherboard: ECS Durathon 2 Z270H4-I ($109.99 at Newegg)
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) 3000MHz
Cooler: SilverStone Nitrogon NT06-Pro
SSD: SanDisk Ultra 3D NAND 1TB
HDD: Seagate Desktop HDD 4TB
PSU: SilverStone SX800-LTI 800W