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Micro ATX 1440p Gaming Build

by xTobyMc



Date Published

July 14, 2015

Date Built

July 14, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4.4 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

55.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.102 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

56.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

83.0° C


This PC is actually an upgrade to my old full tower system, although this time with portability in mind. Later this year I'll be heading off to University and wanted something a bit more portable for lugging around, and I also love how cute it looks on a desk!

I've built a number of PC's before, but this was the first micro-ATX one. It took about five total hours to piece together and I did run into some trouble squeezing things in. I was initially using two GTX 970's from my old system in SLI, but I found they were too tall for the side panel to fit on. I decided to sell my 970's and go for an EVGA 980Ti as its performance is roughly the same as my SLI config and having a single GPU gets rid of all the annoying scaling problems I had, as well as freeing up room in the small case.

I've been especially amazed at the 980Ti's performance which out of the box is running at 1316MHz. It's extremely close to the Titan X by about 1-5fps and its 6GB VRAM should be plenty for future proofing. However, it has been running a little hot at 83 celcius and the fans are slightly noisier on load than I expected.

The rest of the components pretty much speak for themselves. 4790K for high end games and a snappy speeds, water cooling for overclocking, an SSD for quick booting and loading, 750W gold PSU for decent efficiency, and the Corsair Air 240 for its beautiful two chamber design and great form factor.

Overall everything seems pretty good, although airflow is a bit of a struggle. With the front 240mm radiator a lot of intake air is blocked off by it and I think this is why the GPU is reaching 83 celcius, despite reviews online showing it to be running in the mid 70s. However, being micro-ATX this is expected, and 83 celcius is hot but not dangerous. I'd also like to maybe upgrade to 16GB RAM in the near future. I've noticed titles like Witcher 3 and GTA V are consuming a ton of RAM and I'll need extra RAM for using virtualisation software at Uni too.

I'm also aware of the messy cabling right now! Unfortunately there's no routing holes above or to the left of the motherboard because of the form factor, so all the cables have to be strewn across the motherboard and through the holes on the right. The LEDs also have an annoying and ugly red cable which I really hate. I'll probably be replacing them.

Anyway, hopefully by this point you aren't bored to death! If you have any questions feel free to ask away :)

Comments Sorted by:

confuzledandlost 40 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Stellar build, great component selection and balancing! Extra points for making it a white/purple Air 240 build!

+1 from me brother!

xTobyMc submitter 3 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Thanks man! Although I may actually be changing the LED colour soon, as well as getting some braided white cables to replace the default PSU ones.

xTobyMc submitter 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Edit: Just wanted to quickly add that my monitor is also overclocked to 110Hz. Some people would say a 980Ti is overkill for 1440p 60Hz, but I always aim for 110fps which I why I spent so much on the GPU :)

Value 0 points 42 months ago

As the owner of a 980 Ti and a 144Hz monitor. I couldn't agree more.

Crafted-louis 1 point 42 months ago

What 80mm fans are they ?

Oh nice build love that case


xTobyMc submitter 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

They're called the 'Arctic Cooling F8 TC' fans. They were very cheap however, I paid less than £10 for both because I was on such a budget. They do get the job done though, and they run silently.

tigerblood213 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

The reason the gpu is so hot is because of the radiator is blowing hot air to your gpu

James2276 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Nope not the reason i have the same layout, i thought the same too so i tried it as exhaust just made things worse. Because the gpu runs so hot you just end up pushing hot air through your radiator so heating up your cpu more and because you cant really move the hot air out of the case fast enough through the radiator you end up with a hotter gpu too.

xTobyMc submitter 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

If I place my hand in between the GPU and radiator I can actually feel cool air being blown from the radiator, I just don't think it's blowing at sufficient force because the radiator slows down a lot of the airflow as it passes through.

Even on load my CPU doesn't really get that hot and the radiator never lets out significant heat. It'd just be nice to have a way of blowing fresh, cool air straight onto the GPU without obstructions.

James2276 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Great build love the 240. I was thinking about putting three fans on my 100i too for extra cooling. Could you tell me if it makes any difference? Have you tried getting a extra fan on the top. I did it in my build it fits but its tight.

xTobyMc submitter 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Hi James,

In the past I've also used a 120mm radiator to cool my CPU and in that scenario having push-pull fans on it did help significantly. However, on the 240mm radiator I haven't noticed much difference by adding additional fans. In all honesty I didn't really record my temperatures before and after adding the third fan, but overall my temperatures still looked the same at a rough glance.

It would also depend entirely on your case. I'd say if you have the spare money and space then by all means get more fans for it and make airflow optimal. If you're tight for space or don't really have temperature issues then don't worry about it.

With regards to adding an extra fan on top I've been unable to do so. My H100i tubing is in the way unfortunately and it's too rigid to move aside.

James2276 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

Check my build mate. I got the same case. The tubing is flexible enough.

xTobyMc submitter 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Fair enough, I might give it another go then. Also, can I ask how you routed your CPU power cable and 80mm fan cables out of sight? For me there was no room to route them other then to the right of the motherboard.

James2276 1 Build 1 point 42 months ago

There is a hole top left behind your top fans or rubber grommet what ever they are called. I think you have to take out the hard drive bay at the back too. My 80mm fans are black sleeved so probs why you cant see them so much plus i have them plugged to the mobo pin headers.

Value 0 points 42 months ago

Great build! Nice purple lights, even though I am not a fan of LEDs. The cables behind the mobo though look a bit much and I can see from your post that your cooling is suffering a lot. That definitely needs to be fixed in my opinion. Also mega props for having a vertical monitor. I cannot live without one for reading!

xTobyMc submitter 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Yeah the cables are quite a mess in the back. Unfortunately with micro-ATX it's extremely difficult to cram everything in, even with mid-tower PC's it can be hard. If I place my hand around the back cables whilst the PC is running there doesn't seem to be much heat coming out of that area so I don't think that's the main problem (may be wrong though). I just think it's the radiator which is obstructing a lot of cool air from reaching the GPU.

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