Description

UPDATE1 : See GPU

UPDATE2 : Added a 140mm Noctua fan in the bottom of the desk cabinet for intake. Also replaced stock feet with 2 inch riser feet, for better intake from the bottom facing graphics card fans.

Now that I have a few years of system building under my belt, I decided to build my own daily driver. My original personal build (The-Apparition) was a great build, but a bit unpractical for my daily needs. I wanted something more compact, but also powerful enough to run any game with no problems. Here I will go down the list of my parts to explain my rationale for each.

Name - This build was under the original code name of "Project Osmium". I chose this name because Osmium is the densest element known to man. It was fitting, since my goal was to pack as much as possible into a small form factor. After some thermal testing, I joked that the system was going "super critical". I decided to just go with the thermonuclear theme overall.

CPU - I went with a 7700 instead of a 7700k. The reason for this was thermals. The limited TDP of the non-unlocked version appealed to me more, due to the fact that there would be minimal cooling options. No headroom for overclocking anyway, so no loss here.

Motherboard - I wanted the cream of the crop for Z270 ITX boards. Great on-board options.

RAM - Switched to the RGB Trident RAM after noticing how visible it was from the filter cutout in the case.

Storage - Wanted NVME speeds for my programs. Added 4TB SSHD for my files, via an external drive enclosure.

GPU - Had to downgrade to a Founder's Edition card, due to the insane heat that was being dumped into the case by the open air card. This blower style ensures all hot air is sent out the back and exhausted by my cabinet fans. Currently Overclocked with +150 clock / +400 memory.

Case - Fractal makes such beautiful and sophisticated cases. This case looks great in my desk cabinet. Love the filtering.

PSU - 600W is enough for this build. Modular cables are a huge help too, based on the limited space.

Fans - I went Noctua all the way in the case. Superior quality and silence all around. The questionable brown coloring doesn't matter in a closed case like this. The 2 Corsair fans were vital for exhaust. I wanted them to be detachable through USB, so I found a great little up-converter on Amazon by a brand named KUNCAN. This has a switch on it with the options for 9V or 12V, which allows me to retain some control over the fan speed. I also attached some of Noctua's silent adapters, to further reduce noise. Dropped my temps by 10C.

Monitor - Before you light up my comment section with complaints about a Freesync monitor on a Nvidia GPU, understand that I never dip below my frame rate. With the 1080 Ti, I am able to maintain 75hz or higher. This renders any "sync" technology useless to me. Butter smooth, all day. I love this monitor.

Lighting - Since my system will be in a glass cabinet, I decided to spruce up the cabinet instead. Didn't want the motherboard's RGB capability to go to waste. I think the lighting accent looks amazing behind the sliding glass door. Looks like something really special to guests who turn it on.

Everything else is pretty self explanatory. I am in love with my build. This is the first time I have really felt that my system "fits in" with its surroundings. I can now take a break from building systems and just sit back and appreciate my work for once. Hopefully this inspires ideas for someone else in the PCMR looking to move to an HTPC build. Long live Critical-Mass!

Comments

  • 25 months ago
  • 3 points

That's an impressive setup +1

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you! It means a lot to see my hard work complimented.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

well deserved for the time put in

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I completely agree, where can I get a desk like that???

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

love the name. game too long, and BOOM! +1

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, yeah. Before the exhaust fans, I would have burned my condo down.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Impressive build, I like the personal touch! Welcome to the Node 202 faction :) +1

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. I appreciate it.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

More people need to see this. So freaking cool.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I greatly appreciate that. Thanks!

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

What more could a gamer want? Beautiful view, mini-itx, 1080Ti + 7700k, and RGB.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you so much! Oh and it's a 7700, not the K model. Unfortunately, thermals got way too high for an unlocked K CPU.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

So....not question the build per se, but if you had planned to have the system in the glass enclosure, why didn't you just build the PC directly into the cabinet itself?

I imagine that would be easier to maintain (with the exception of possibly dust buildup, and it would've been far easier to work on. Not to mention you could see that RAM better.

Regardless, it's a nice, clean build...you've earned my +1.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Meh, not really a good way to do that. Unless he wanted to do a full custom desk PC thing like LTT did that one time.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

So why then? It is simply because it would be easier to take out when it becomes obsolete? less heat buildup in the more confined space of the case? Grounding issues? Semi-waterproofing or moisture issues? Genuinely curious as I've wondered why this doesn't happen more often, especially if it has a home there permanently.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

All of the above. :D its just freaking hard to get it to run safe, and maintenance free.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

The dust is the exact reason. You hit it right on the nose. This Fractal case was super cheap, and had full filter options and looked great. But there were a few more reasons I did this.

First, I move A LOT, and internationally, with my job. I don't think I would feel good about moving a system built into the desk. Also, I have a 2 year old son who loves to get into everything lately. The case adds an extra layer of integrity, should he find himself in my office.

Thanks for the like, btw! I appreciate it, and definitely am interested in any criticisms.

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  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

You can actually see it in this case. There is a grated filter just above the RAM and CPU. I explained it in my description.

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  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

You have quite the grammar skills for someone illiterate, lol. But yeah, if you were interested in getting the case yourself, RGB RAM looks great in it FYI.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Very cool. Node 202 build!! Welcome to the club!

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you sir!

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Which city is in the 2nd to last picture?

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm currently in Daegu, South Korea. It's about 250km south of the capital, Seoul.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Very nice sight. :)

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

I love the thought and effort that went into this build, great job!

+1

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Glad my idea wasn't just appealing to me.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Love the DBZ you got going on

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Your build has reached critical mass

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi, I have the same processor/case/cpu cooler, power supply, as you. What are your temperatures while playing games?. Also, your CPU is hitting 4.2GHz while gaming or just 4.0GHz?. My CPU doesn't pass 4.0GHz, I don't know why.

My build: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/rqpG3C

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey there. My CPU is in the low 80s while gaming, and rarely jumps up over 4.0ghz. I believe the reason for this is thermal throttling. Turbo does not kick in if the temps are too high. I may end up modding the case for water cooling in the near future to remedy this. But my CPU temps are high because of the graphics card that I'm using. It's open air style, so it dumps the heat into the case. I noticed your build has a blower style graphics card, so this shouldn't be an issue for you. I can only do this because the cabinet my case is in has 2 exhaust fans on it.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi, My temps are high too, that's why I'm asking you about your temps to see if it's only me with this temp problem. I have 70-75-80C while playing games. We all know that Kaby Lake is hotter than others so, maybe I will delidding the CPU to decrease temps and to see if the CPU can jump to 4.2GHz. I had an Asus H270F with a Cryorig H7 and I saw 4.2GHz while playing games but now, I see just 4.0GHz.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm actually going to mod the case and put a water cooler on it soon.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome setup! Can you describe the noise levels from the computer during gaming, without the cabinet? If you were to have the computer up on your desk...

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! As for noise, the system is silent when idle or doing light tasks. The Noctua fans don't ever make any noise. The only time it gets loud is when the GPU fans ramp up. It's not too bad, but still quite noticeable.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

a job very well done! As I'm planning on doing a similar build and being worried about the temps and wondering how to add a watercooling solution to it while using a 1080 ti, PLEASE make sure you update with pics once you mod your build and add the watercooling :D

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

I was planning on putting a slim radiator under the GPU and use the GPU fans to pull air through it.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

ah ok, got it. Any brand/model in mind?

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Silverstone TD02-Slim

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Pic 16/17 is the best position and best image you could ever see

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Dude... Amazing setup. It also works very well with the room

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much!

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build. Just out of interest, what is your job? You don't have to answer if you don't want I'm just curious as to why you have to move around a lot. If only I could do more than +1. So nice!

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Cyber security for the US Department of Defense

  • 25 months ago
  • 3 points

Damn, that's awesome, thank you sir for keeping my browser history safe from them Chinese.

  • 25 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool. Great PC

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice! How does the noctua adapter cable help with noise? Saw it on the parts list and interest peaked

Gorgeous rig

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! I'm currently using it for the 2 Corsair exhaust fans mounted on the back of the cabinet. They are life savers for me. These particular fans are super loud at full speed. Since I don't have them attached to the motherboard, they run at full speed by default. The noise adapter, in conjunction with my USB voltage switch, brings the RPM down to an inaudible rate. Can't hear them at all now.

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  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Question for ya, how does the RGB ram work without the ASUS color software? Looking at it myself and was wondering.

Nice stuff tho, +1

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

It currently defaults to rainbow effect, until MSI's control app supports it. I adopted early, but GSkill is beta testing their own software that will allow control from any motherboard. I'm waiting for final build.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome, thanks for the update!

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  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! As far as bottlenecks, my monitor is 75hz. My card is currently overclocked at +150 core clock / +400 memory, so every game hits 75hz without a problem. The only game I play that would probably benefit from a stronger CPU is GTA V. Other than that, I have no complaints.

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