Description

Goal for this build was to see if it was possible to fit an i9 and 2080 Ti in a small form factor case while keeping it properly cooled. Started with the Noctua L9i, which was fine for normal desktop loads but would thermal throttle in about 10s on Prime95 small FFTx16 and also into a few minutes playing B5 on Ultra 4K. Next, tried the Noctua 25mm fan on top of the L9i. It fit so snug it was touching the side panel of the A4, which I thought would help in pulling in cool air. Testing showed only a few deg C improvement and it would still thermal throttle.

In the meantime, the Alpenfohn Black Ridge cooler was released, which was designed for the Dan A4. I decided to give that a shot and I just put it on. Much better cooling capacity. Can play B5 indefinitely on Ultra 4K without thermal throttling. Hovers around 90C. Prime95 will run for about a minute before hitting thermal capacity but that’s an unusual synthetic load. Idling at ~43C on very quiet fan profile because it's in my bedroom (PWM set to 30% up to 45C).

Passmark benchmark results: https://www.passmark.com/baselines/V9/display.php?id=112335027777

Haven't overclocked anything at all. Don't think I have any thermal capacity to do so in the current case/fan situation. Memory is running on XMP Profile 1 and is Samsung B-die (Corsair v4.31 - all of Amazon's current stock seems to be the 4.31 aka the one you want especially for Ryzen builds). I was looking into getting the Asetek 545 but they no longer make it and others on this forum have had a hard time fitting it in the A4 anyway.

Overall, really happy with the build and the Dan A4 is easy on the eyes. Never have I ever spent anything close to that on a case. I usually purchase the least expensive case possible but wanted something different this time.

Bios fan profile: 30% at 45C 50% at 60C 70% at 70C 100% at 80C+

Fan rpm during idle is 1200 and that’s right below the audible level to my ears.

Max power draw from the socket was 395W using a Kill-a-watt meter (P4400).

Also, 0 RGB...

UPDATE: 12-16-18

Houston we have a problem. So it turns out that the initial batch of Alpenfohn Black Ridge coolers were defective and didn't have the heat pipes properly soldered to the heat sink - Dan made a post about it and I've attached a thermal image where you can easily see that only half the heat pipes are warming up on mine: https://hardforum.com/threads/dan-hslp-48-a-powerful-sub-50mm-heatsink.1925480/page-39#post-1043957125

OcUK was very nice about it and refunded the payment despite the fact that it wasn't their fault. I decided to bite the bullet and go with the Asetek 545lc and ordered one from OcUK. Installed it this afternoon along with a Noctua A9-14 fan pulling air through the radiator into the case, and after a couple hours of "cable management" was able to close the case. Big difference in temps once you switch to water cooling, even with one as small as the 545lc. I ran CPUz stress on the Black Ridge and it hit 103C in 1 min. With the 545lc, it hits 80C in 1 min. and hit 103C after 7.5 minutes! Maybe the gap would be narrower if the Black Ridge were operating at full capacity but I still think there would be a gap in favor of the 545lc. Multi-thread score was 5700.

Order of install: 1. GPU + power cables (route one of these through the bottom crevice left between radiator and backplate) 2. Remove 2.5" drive carrier and install Asetek 545LC with fan already mounted (orient the tubes toward the front of the case) 3. Attach all cables to power supply and roll power supply in 4. Install Asetek retention kit to motherboard and mount motherboard (feed it in with ports tilted down) 5. Attach motherboard power cables 6. Apply compound and mount cold plate to CPU 7. Spend 2 hours trying to close the case

-H

Comments

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice little space heater you got there. +1

  • 10 months ago
  • 5 points

Lol. Perfect for this time of year.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Holy $%#@ Batman! Does she glow red during P95? LOL

All joking aside, nice clean build! Looks like a fun project to me, an expensive one but fun lol...

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Deeply impressive, and I love that cooler. It's hard to say whether this is really a practical build, but it had to be done! Excellent.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Hoping to do something similar and was looking for adequate cooling. Wanted to go the noctua route but I saw you mention the black ridge cooler and was interested. Where did you purchase yours? I can’t find one ): Might just go with the noctua for now and check the temps. Thanks in advance!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, I got the cooler from ocuk: https://www.overclockers.co.uk/alpenfohn-black-ridge-low-profile-cpu-cooler-120mm-hs-05g-al.html

I just checked and it says out of stock but they ship pretty fast when they get it.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks pal appreciate the help :)

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi! I noticed we have some kind of a similar config here (case, cpu, cooler, mobo). Im getting almost 100C on a stress test for 10 min... Is this normal with the black ridge? Could you recommend something to make the cooling better?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, flip the fan. I'm at work right now but will explain when I get home.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Ok, here's the longer answer. The Black Ridge comes stock with the fan in a push configuration (i.e. sucking warm air from inside the case and pushing it through the fins and out of the case). This is incongruent with the A4's design philosophy, which is to pull in cool air from the sides and channel it up and out in the natural heat flow direction. So what I did and others have done is to flip the fan to a pull configuration (i.e. pull in cool air from the side panels and through the radiator). User mirgus from Hardforum did some testing and here are the results: https://hardforum.com/attachments/pti3uxg-png.120905/ https://hardforum.com/attachments/ptn69wa-png.120906/

The pull configuration works much better for cooling the CPU, but does deposit some heat to the M/B and GPU. It all depends on where your thermal bottlenecks are. For me it was the CPU as both the GPU and M/B stayed within normal operating temps.

Here's a link to the forum discussion: https://hardforum.com/threads/dan-hslp-48-a-powerful-sub-50mm-heatsink.1925480/page-38

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

"Can play B5 indefinitely on Ultra 4K without thermal throttling. Hovers around 90C." I'm assuming that's the CPU? What's the GPU running at? I wanted to do this exact build, but decided to go with the r7 2700x because of the thermals. I did snag a Asetek 545lc on ebay, but it did cost me 160 :(. Looking at your temps I don't know if it would cool it that much more. Also, went with ASUS 2080Ti Turbo to blow the heat out the back, but I like the look of founders edition better. I want my temps under 80, 90 is to hot for me.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I switched to the Asetek this weekend. Much better performance - on the order of 15C on timed stress tests - although I think part of my high temps were due to the defective Black Ridge cooler. Wonder how it would perform if all 6 heat pipes were conducting.

The GPU never went above 80C and was averaging 75-76C on B5 Ultra 4k. CPU was averaging right at 90C with the Black Ridge. GPU idle was 45C.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

How long did it take SFF Labs to ship once you placed the order?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

They shipped in about a week and I received it the week after.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

I appreciate your detailed description.

I have a question however. I'm wondering about the Alpenfohn Black cooler and the Noctua L9i cooler. Is it possible to mount them such that the fins are parallel to the RAM slots?

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

The L9i can be mounted such that the fins are parallel or perpendicular to the ram (I had it parallel).

The Alpenfohn cannot. It only fits in one orientation and it has the fins perpendicular to the ram.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

What are the temps with the 545LC?

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

CPU/System temp/GPU/FPS

Long term idle: 43C/45C/41C/na Diablo 3 Max all for 3 hours: 67C/64C/72C/130fps B5 Ultra 4K for 1 hour: 85C/65C/76C/81fps

Ambient 72F for all tests.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice, thank you. I'm stuck between getting the A4 or the circle pro D: But the Asetek 545LC is discontinued, so no 92mm AIO for the A4 anymore..

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Where did you purchase your Asetek 545LC from? :O

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

From OCUK as a bundle but I think they're sold out everywhere now. I saw some floating around on ebay a while back.

-H

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for such a detailed story. I wonder if you had a chance to measure CPU temperature without GPU. I heard people complaining about SSD frying between the motherboard and the GPU if the SSD is mounted on the back of the motherboard. If that is true, I guess the GPU can also affect CPU temperatures. I wonder by how much.

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I'm not using the M2 slot on the back. It's very tight and seems like a bad spot for heat dissipation as you say. I'm using the one on the front of the Asrock (it has 2 M2 slots) that's got a stock heatsink on it. I also installed a thin profile (70mm by 10mm) fan on top of it to help with airflow.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Natty build - Might LZ7 improve cooling ?

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

In the midst of building a similar setup. I have the Dan Case A4 V4 on pre-order and already got my Asetek 645LT which I am paring with a delided i7 8700K and EVGA RTX 2080 Ti BE for a gaming only build.

Now I see that Alpenfohn Black Ridge has come out with revision 2 and I have purchased it just so I can have the best air and water coolers available for this small niche case.

I really don't want to put in the 645LT is seems like such a pain in the butt cable management wise even with the new design. I am thinking of just installing the Black Ridge and as long as CPU temps are sub 80 degrees I'll keep it on.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey what did you end up going for as cooling setup?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Rev 2 Black Ridge but sold that PC and revised my Cerberus to a custom loop for the X399M 2950X

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Is SF600 plenty for this build?

I'm aiming for a similar build as well, but I have an extra 92mm fan below the mobo, a 40mm fan mounted on the interior of casing for the M.2 SSD, and an additional SSD at the front. Other than that it's all the same, with the AIO being 645LT instead of 545LC.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes more than plenty. Max draw from the socket I’ve measured with a watt-meter was 440W, which is perfect because these PS’s are most efficient at 75-80% draw. Fans are not a load (2-3W).

-H

  • 23 days ago
  • 1 point

could you tell me what the water temps are in 30 minutes? noise levels under serious load?

  • 10 months ago
  • -1 points

And it hasn't burst into flames yet. Nice. Great build btw.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha thanks. It almost did with the L9!

-H

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