Hey All!

I know this is all old tech but I still get 60+FPS on most games with very high to ultra settings. Most people that build ITX builds complain of one of two things. Either it's too hot or it's too loud. Hopefully, I can help people tackle both.

First off, the case. Most people aren't great fans of the Cougar QBX and I am not even able to find it on PC Part Picker. For me, however, it was an ideal case for my mini-ITX build. Has it can be a pain to build it but all mesh sides definitely help with getting rid of the hot air. For the PSU I chose a Fractal Integra 450w semi-modular.

Let's get the main components out the way, shall we? I managed to get an excellent i7-4770K for £80 on eBay. It's overclockable and way cheaper than a 4790K. It also still holds its own against modern CPUs. For the motherboard, I went for a Gigabyte Phoenix with a B85 chipset. Not the best chipset I know but at the time it was what I could afford. While a lot of B85's didn't support overclocking, GB must have done an update as I was able to OC the CPU from 3.6GHz to 4.3GHz (Anything higher got me a BSOD). I have pretty standard 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD and a GTX1070 for the GPU.

Now that that's all out the way let's talk about heating and noise. So both the CPU and GPU I have run notoriously hot and before upgrading my cooling both parts were running at 80deg. I decided to go all air cooling purely for personal preference and watching vids on how water cooling is more aesthetic than better cooling. I placed a be quiet 80mm fan in the front for intake and a 90mm fan in the rear for exhaust. To help with the GPU cooling I chose 2 Akasa slim 120mm fans (Standard Size fans were touching the GPU and almost caused it to melt!). I originally placed both 120mm fans at the bottom as intakes but swapped layout to be 1 intake at the bottom and another at the top as an exhaust. As for my CPU, I went for the Arctic Freezer 12 which has the largest heatsink that will fit in that case.

I have both the top and bottom fans hooked up via a splitter to the MB as well as the CPU Cooler of course. To minimise noise I have set them both to only turn on when either the CPU temp or Case Temp hits 40. This means that for everyday usage my little beast runs at only 28db. Now under load is a different story. With the fans all at full speed, the noise levels increase to around 45db. While it is noticeable, this only happens when I am playing games when I have either my 5.1 speakers or my headphones on meaning the noise doesn't bother me.

So there you go folks, I quiet cool ITX build with GPU temps only ever reaching 67deg and CPU temps rarely over 60. The only things I am going to change to reduce noise even further replace the Akasa and Arctic fans with Noctua ones which are said to still be super quiet under load.

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