The Mini-STX Build Components

I'll cover the ECS motherboard and SilverStone case in more detail on this page, with a closer look at the cooler included with the build process on the next. We begin by opening up the motherboard, which is packed with a basic compliment of accessories.

Inside the box you will find a manual, driver disc, I/O backplate, and a SATA data/power cable. As with the thin mini-ITX form-factor there is no power supply included with these mini-STX motherboards, so you will have to find your own (I will discuss this in greater length on the last page, but I only ended up paying $10 for mine).

And now a look at mini-STX all of its splendor:

The ECS H110S-2P offers support for up to a 65W processor, two sticks of DDR4 SO-DIMM memory, and storage support via both M.2 and SATA.

Rear I/O is minimal, with a pair USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, full-size DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, and DC power in.

On the other side of the board we have the front I/O, which consists of one standard and one Type-C USB 3.0 port and a pair of 3.5 mm audio jacks (headphones, mic). 

There are two M.2 slots on the board, with a full-length slot for PCIe SSDs and another for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth cards.

Now we move on to the case, which is the SilverStone VT01. I received the silver color, and a black version is available as well.

The design is very simple and clean, and the case is heavily vented for better cooling, with vent holes on both sides and the top panel.

Here's a tour of the case exterior:

Update: It's worth pointing out that to the right of the I/O backplate cutout are a pair of punch-outs for external Wi-Fi/BT antennas. None of the mini-STX motherboards on the market include Wi-Fi solutions currently, but it would not be expensive to add to the build. As I mentioned in the comments:

It would add about $34 to the total build cost to implement a Wi-Fi/Bluetooth solution, including external antennas if you used an Intel 7265 M.2 card (~$24) and an antenna kit (~$10), for example.

The rubber feet on the base double as screws to hold the top half in place, and on the next page we will take a look at the interior of the VT01 – as well the full build process.

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