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Build

Critical-Mass

by ncw2727

42
53 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

May 12, 2017

Date Built

May 12, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

3.6GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

40.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

97.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.71GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

11.4GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

41.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

86.0° C

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 Sorted by:

mlach 4 Builds 3 points 12 months ago

That's an impressive setup +1

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

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

mlach 4 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

well deserved for the time put in

custardonmynipps 1 point 12 months ago

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

Kerazivel 2 points 12 months ago

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

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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

fisknougat 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

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

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

Thank you. I appreciate it.

Fleetleader101 2 points 12 months ago

More people need to see this. So freaking cool.

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

I greatly appreciate that. Thanks!

texasmayne 4 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

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

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

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.

OrangeJuleas 2 points 12 months ago

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.

Fleetleader101 2 points 12 months ago

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.

OrangeJuleas 2 points 12 months ago

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.

Fleetleader101 1 point 12 months ago

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

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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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ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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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ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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.

Wolfemane 7 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

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

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

Thank you sir!

bloodroses75 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

Which city is in the 2nd to last picture?

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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

bloodroses75 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

Very nice sight. :)

Pittzo 2 points 12 months ago

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

+1

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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

SebMonster1030 2 points 12 months ago

Love the DBZ you got going on

blockbuster4664 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

Your build has reached critical mass

RodoGodo19 8 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

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

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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.

RodoGodo19 8 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

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.

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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

hellberg 2 points 12 months ago

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...

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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.

Teddy270us 2 points 12 months ago

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

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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

Teddy270us 1 point 12 months ago

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

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

Silverstone TD02-Slim

Yahtadi 2 points 12 months ago

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

Vince_aviator 2 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

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

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

Thank you very much!

aprofile 3 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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!

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

Cyber security for the US Department of Defense

blockbuster4664 1 Build 3 points 12 months ago

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

aprofile 3 Builds 2 points 12 months ago

Cool. Great PC

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

Thank you

Tuliptown 1 point 12 months ago

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

Gorgeous rig

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 12 months ago

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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Nicker950_HD 1 point 11 months ago

When I see people like you I feel ashamed of being brazilian... Great build, and pretty neat the fans on your desk, definetly will help with airflow :)

btw Is there any bottlenecks with your i7-7700 and the 1080 Ti? I heard it bottlenecks even a i7-7700K at 5GHz.

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 1 point 11 months ago

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.

Vgy977 1 point 10 months ago

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

ncw2727 submitter 9 Builds 2 points 10 months ago

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.

Vgy977 1 point 10 months ago

Awesome, thanks for the update!

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