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Build

Aqua Dream

by Starflare

24
10 Comments

Details

Date Published

Oct. 29, 2016

Date Built

Sept. 10, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

4.5GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

36.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

69.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.51GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.11GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

59.0° C

Description

Built completed on Sep, 2016

This is my 3rd build. After realizing that i have never been a SLI user and being a guy that has been using his PC as a HTPC , Gaming and web browsing device for years, i decided to go for a powerful mini itx build that i can move in my home whenever and wherever i want to.

A brief about me and why i am going this way.

  • I love playing games and watching movies with the best picture quality as posible.
  • I love sound of gaming, music and movies and like to hear the best posible clarity and fidelity from it.
  • I dont like FPS games, i dont need precise shooting or pointing.
  • I used to play online a lot, today not anymore.
  • I do like strategy games, RPGs, sports games. ( XCom, Witcher, Skyrim, Fallout, Dark souls, FF, NBA 2k, etc)
  • I like to play on the couch with a big screen and love the use of projectors, used to be desk gamer, not anymore.

I am playing at 1080p, but will upgrade to 4k when i feel there is a powerful single GPU can handle all gaming at 60fps with ultra settings, which i still think we are not there yet, when it happens, i will upgrade my display as well.

Based on my background i decided to go with this mini itx build using a NCase M1 that is small, easy to move, beautiful and practical wich cover all my hardware needs. I dont know how this case can handle so much hardware, terrific job by designers. I am using just 2 Intake Fans and all the case holes as exhausts for silent efficiency and is working wonderful.

And i complement this build with a

  • Lg 55" EC9300 OLED TV for size and picture quality needs, which i already have since a couple of years.
  • Peachtree SE65 Nova Integrated amp + Kef LS50 Speakers for sound clarity
  • JBS ODAC + Philips Fidelio X2 or HIFIMAN 400S when using headphones.
  • GSkill Keyboard & G602 Mouse for gaming or Logitech K830 for HTPC

I just love this mini build, hope you guys like it. Part validation file

My complications were, adding the 8TB HDD and cable management, there is no room for cable management in this case plus i left all the sata and PSU cables ready in order to add an optical drive later, causing to have a lot of cables inside the case, but does not have any interference with the fans.

Part Reviews

CPU

Terrific CPU cost/benefit. Runing at 4.4Ghz fully stable.

CPU Cooler

Due to size limitations, i decided this cooler, not the best, but good performance, better than air due noise level.

Motherboard

Best z170 mini itx board i found for my needs.

  • Wifi Check
  • M2 slot Check
  • USB 3.0, 3.1 Check
  • Z170 for overclock Check

Memory

Good Memory, 32gb at 2400, not the best, but pretty good for my needs, not buying high freq ram anymore, i prefer capacity.

Storage

Terrific M2 SSD drive, i use this one because i already have it.

If i have to buy a new one, i would go for the 950,960 SAMSUNG or the latest from OCZ

Storage

Good SATA SSD, still deciding in what to use it for. Pulled the trigger on it, due a deal.

Storage

Best SATA SSD in price-performance, and overkill for my needs, i am using it for my steam, origin library, just love those fast loadings.

Storage

Huge capacity but slow, but good enough for storage movies, music for my HTPC needs.

Video Card

Impressive piece of hardware, everything on ultra at 1080p, silent and efficient. ANd very high settings at 1440 resolution... Geez probably the best hardware on my build... so powerful and silent!.

Power Supply

Best SFX PSU i found with enough power for my needs. No issues, fully modular, working as intended, people should never go cheap on PSU.

Operating System

ehmmm ... OK... last OS from Microsoft.

Case Fan

I use them for Fan upgrade for the H60 and Seahawk GPU, these are great fans with PWM for noise control and really efficient, keeping good temperatures and silent!.

Keyboard

Great for my HTPC, batery last long, and has LED backlite.

Keyboard

Very good Mechanical Keyboard with RGB Led.

Mouse

Very good wireless Mouse

Headphones

There is not enough love words to describe this headphone, excelent clarity and sound, i attach a VModa Boom pro mic and i use it as a headset.

Comments Sorted by:

ybnrmalatall 2 points 8 months ago

ahahaha, paying for windows nice joke

mlach 4 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

Great build in a tiny package +1 But I'm curious to know what game is that in pic 20? Is that a Mass Effect mod of some sort?

Starflare submitter 1 Build 1 point 18 months ago

Thats actually XCOM 2 with mods (adding Mass Effect chars), 1 of my favorite games is Mass effect as XCOM too, so it was awesome to use these mods.

mlach 4 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

Noice!

heyitswin 1 point 17 months ago

How are the temps with the dual AIO? What configuration do you have on the fans as far as intake/exhaust? Any thoughts on rear/bottom fans? Doing a very similar build with an H75/Seahawk 1080.

Starflare submitter 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago

Hi sorry for my late reply, temps are pretty good on the GPU and really silent. On the CPU i am between 40-50C on idle-low workload, but i havent give any clean maintenance to the fans and my system in the last 6 months, should be in the high 30 in idle normally. i am not using any rear fans, i feel is not needed, all the case flow is working as exhaust and all fans as intake.

BladeRunner531 1 Build 1 point 16 months ago

how are those fans working for the cpu, im thinking about getting one for my cpu cooler as an upgrade.

Starflare submitter 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago

really good, really silent and efficient.

Joe_Wales 1 point 11 months ago

How did you get the radiator fan quiet on the graphics card? mine runs at 100%

Starflare submitter 1 Build 1 point 10 months ago

i replaced the radiator fan with a corsair ML120 and PWM to the motherboard. Customize the Fan profile and done.