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It looked better in my head. Danilo's Build - Define Nano S

by dyemc16


[Logs] 3/4/2016 - Updated with AIO Liquid cooled GPU 2/26/16 - Original Descriptions with tips and rants

[UPDATE] I have Liquid cooled my GPU with the added bracket and now fits snugly on its place with 67C under 100% load!

This is my first build and I didn't expect any problems that had occurred during my PC part picking. The PC performance is way better than I expected, It's just that the complications and restrictions of my Case is where I lacked the research. And now if my GPU overheats, I may need to apply water cooling on it.

Please do read the TIPS I have included specially for the ones who are planning to build a pc using the Fractal Design Define Nano S

CPU I chose the i5 6600K because I am mainly using this for gaming and I will be very satisfied with this (To be OC-ed just need to know How.)

CPU Cooler Note: The cooler that I have is the Thermalright Macho X2 I chose the Thermalright Macho X2 because of the cooling capability of this cooler with silent fans at 12V. Since the fans on this cooler is hitting my LPX Corsair ram, I had to improvise and instead put the FD-GP12 to the heatsink and the two included fans to the front of the case.FAIL No.1

Tip If you want to use this or any other Tower cooler with No clearance Issues, Please do check if you motherboard has at least 4.4mm of space between the ram and the CPU perimeter. See this >http://www.thermalright.com/images/faq/macho/asus_maximus_vi_extreme_en.jpg

Thermal Paste Nothing special, I heard that this is a legit thermal paste.

Motherboard The Asus Z170i motherboard is what I chose due to the cable manageability of it. Specifically the SATA cables are outstide the RAM slots.

Tip This does not have the 4.4mm space that is required for my Macho X2. I have Improvised. I kinda have to.

Memory I chose the Corsair LPX (Red) purely because I am fairly sure that this RAM stick is will have no clearance issues for my CPU cooler. But it did. Performance wise: No complaints. Why red? See below.

Storage All I need is a boot device and 500Gb is enough for me to play my games. I usually delete them when I am completely done with the game.

GPU This is where my build messed up. I chose the MSI r9 390 because this is fully capable of running the games that I want to play with the Monitor I have purchase. Because I forgot to measure the THICKNESS of this GPU, I had to Improvise and remove the other fan , the red cover and install the PSU with the fan facing the GPU. IT WAS PAINFUL I may need to watercool this GPU just to keep it.

Tip If you are looking to build in this case, Please take note of the Thickness of the GPU. Do not buy more than 2-slot GPU. Any more than that is a red-flag. A good GPU equivalent for r9 390 is:


Case I love this case no matter what I have experienced for this build. It has everything that I need. Small form factor, Clean slick look, Sound dampening material, No drive bay or drive cage (for cleaner look). It totally delivered for me. Do see full reviews on their website or reviews on the Youtube.

PSU I went with the Silverstone Strider 750w because per recommendation of the reviewers and website on the PSU dimension,

160mm is applicable, but shorter is recommended. So I went with the shortest one I could find which is 140mm! and the fan DOES NOT spin when under low load.

Tip Please do note that the higher wattage available for 140mm variant is 750w. If you want to go a higher wattage, Which I recommend for AMD GPU users, is to go with 850W or above. 750w is fine too.


Case Fan I was going to get this for my exhaust and two HF-14 Venturi fans for the intake, but the CPU cooler fan restriction thing messed up and I ended up putting the CPU fans as intake fans. and this one is still an exhaust. See Pics.

Monitor I chose the AOC G2770PF 27" because of the freesync feature, 144Hz and 1080p resolution which was all that I needed for my gaming. Tip For it to be able to use the 144Hz capability, you need to download the driver in the European website and download the beta driver which will ask your driver to enable the unsigned WQHD Driver. It works perfeclty fine for me. Instructions on the read-me section of the driver file.

Q&A Q: Why red? A: If i had a better choice on the motherboard's cable manageability, It wouldn't be red.

Q: Will you change your CPU cooler? A: I am still not sure, It works perfectly fine. If I need to change I will change it to an AIO cooler, I have two choices: 1) Swiftech perstige. Whichever fits at the TOP of my case. (NB-E LOOP BABY <3) 2) Silverstone TD-02E: I love their radiator's design.

Q: When will you change your hardware/Upgrade? A: For now Im just eyeing on a few things which are really not that important but helps for audibility, performance and aesthetics:

1) Change all CASE+Radiator Fans to Fractal Design Venturi fans or Arctic Cooling Fans. (as loong as it has FDB and this one is the one I REALLY want) 2)PSU cabel extensions - to which I still dont know what color to pick. Maybe white most likely. 3)Water cooling my CPU.

Let me know what you guys think!

Thanks to https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc for giving me advice on almost every part to take for this PC!

Comments Sorted by:

tomtomj2 9 Builds 2 points 36 months ago

I think the case was designed more toward the use of a reference card, that probably why its blocked like that. You do have a few options :

  1. Get a fan and mount it for intake on the bottom to increase airflow to the card.
  2. Get a reference card or cooler.
  3. You could try an SFX PSU.
  4. New case maybe.
  5. Or just leave it and see what happens.
dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

My solution is the Corsair HG10 A1 to convert my GPU.

mlach 4 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

water cooling your gpu and placing the radiator on the bottom is a great option with the case.

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Exactly. The only thing that I'm concerned is what 120mm rad am I going to use. What would you suggest? I'm not a fan of push/pull config btw

mlach 4 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

You'd be able to get away with just about any cooler as long as it fits a 120mm fan. Unless I'm wrong thinking that a 140 won't fit.

But I'd suggest looking at some of these: Corsair H60 or H75 NZXT Kraken X31

Phillip.Phillip 2 points 36 months ago

Yea well it would look better on my desk. +1

Swaaha 2 Builds 2 points 36 months ago

Little did you know that MSI's R9 390 serie cards are technically 3 slots because of their huge shrouds :3

I miss my old Fractal Design Define R4 sometimes, my Noctis sounds like a jet propelled helicopter compared to that case, hope this Nano S is giving you the similar joy of silence :3~


dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

yeah. Lesson freaking learned. I am looking for several solutions on reducing the slot space even more. just to keep it cool like Corsair's HG10 A1 + H60 or NZXT G10 + Kraken X31. I feel like my PSU or the paint of the PSU is melting as we speak.

McFungster 2 points 36 months ago

be careful about those aftermarket solutions, I think the msi cards use a non-reference pcb

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 0 points 36 months ago

Thanks for the concern man! I just got the solution right here. As I have verified that MSI r9 390 has a different PCB that the 290, I opt out with the G10. Click this link for the guy who fitted the Kraken G10 for the MSI R9 390.


hooie969 1 Build 2 points 35 months ago

Nice build and creative use of the case. I also appreciate the lessons learned info!

Eduard 1 Build 2 points 35 months ago

Also did a build with same case. Same power supply. But went with 2xH105 for cooling. I like the choice of your red G10 bracket. Do you have the windowed version?

Inferno331 1 point 36 months ago

I think a blower (reference card would have been a much better idea here. Jest my thoughts

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Yes that's what I thought too. but I can replace this one now. I'm eye-ing on the Corsair HG10 A1 to convert my GPU to a blower type Hybrid kind of thing

Matthewtina2015 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Sweet build! Sorry to hear about those complications.

Het, what do you think of that mobo? I'm thinking of using it with the Node 202

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

It's fine. It works. I't just that most of the time the BIOS wont let me click on what I want. I need a few clicks to enter a command.

Matthewtina2015 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Ok, so would you recommend it?

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Yes. I would.

Matthewtina2015 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Cool. Thanks a bunch. Sorry for annoying you but would you recommend a first time builder to build in the Node 202

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

No worries. Yes as long as you really want the case. you'll find a way to fit everything you need in there. make sure your components are clear from any obstruction issues. like the ram,CPU cooler, GPU, etc. It's a great case. If I were to choose for a slim case, I would pick that too. It's a great choice!

thegamerboss 1 point 36 months ago

is your os working fine because i have heard people say that it will fail after a month so how is it going for you cause i am going to be making my first build soon

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

I just bought this last night. So I don't know yet.

thegamerboss 1 point 36 months ago

oh ok didn't know lol

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago


I found a solution for my GPU = CLC/AIO Cooling.

  1. Corsair HG10 A1 + H60 or
  2. NZXT Kraken x31 + G10.

Any other suggestions?

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Dang it looks like you needed this reference style gpu to pull air from the end and out of the case.


Hind site sucks. You could modify your case to reposition your psu to another spot in the case. Like move your two front fans to the bottom of the case and hang the psu at the top front inside with the intake from the front of the case and the psu exhausting into the case and the power plug simply snaking out a new hole in the bottom of the case. I hate your havibg problems. Still it's a nice build.+1

Gooberdad 10 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

Wait a minute. You put the psu intake fan facing the gpu? The heat sink of your gpu is still in place and the exposed fan is still there right? Dude, you may not have to do anything other than pull that psu back out, open it up and replace the fan with a high CFM fan like


This may move enough air across your gpu heat sink and into yous psu to keep you stuff cool.

eeem1214 1 Build 1 point 36 months ago

The nano S is made for water cooling strangely enough so getting a liquid cpu cooler would probably fix most problems

It still looks beautiful

rasesh 1 point 36 months ago

@dyemc16 - Hey, great build! I had 2 big question's for you & I would love it if you can answer them for me.

My build will also include the exact same motherboard as yours.

1) I looked at your cpu cooler dimensions/specs & it is 162mm in height and with the 2 fans is 152mm in depth (if using 25mm fans x 2). The 152mm depth almost hit the back of the case as seen your pictures, so my question is: can this case fit a Noctua NH-D15 cpu cooler? A) It has 165mm height (3mm more then your cpu cooler) including fans B) It's 161mm in depth (9mm more then yours).

Noctua NH-D15: http://noctua.at/en/products/cpu-cooler-retail/nh-d15.html

Macho X2: http://www.thermalright.com/html/products/cpu_cooler/machox2.html

2) If i use just the 2 front fans like you did can you fit a 3.5" hdd using the bottom tray provided at the back of the case where the pump is suppose to go? I'm just worried a 3.5" hdd would hit the fans at the front if installed in the pump location.

I would literally be SO HAPPY & GRATEFUL if you can please measure out a nh-d15 being able to fit in this case or not as my build will completely depend on your answer. Thanks!

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago


To answer your questions: 1.A I doubt that NH-D15 will fit in this case. According to a video(which I forgot who did it and the link) that even though you can technically make the fans just stick out of the rad towers by 2mm(making it 162mm), you'll still need some RAM space for the front that will elevate your fans, hitting the CPU cooler height limit of the case. And that sound dampening foam is thick so the limit is really 162mm or even only 163mm if you're brave enough. If you change the fans will get away with the height clearance issue.

1.B If you were able verify that the NH-D15 was able to clear the height clearance(which i doubt that will happen without CHANGING THE FANS), The depth will be clear BUT you will have no exhaust fan. your exhaust fan will be your fans on the NH-D15.

*Please refer to the picture that I provided for you: http://imgur.com/a/ZV2Bs

  1. Yes you can fit 3.5" HDD using the Bottom tray that is provided for the pump to mount it at the back of the case with x2 140mm fans installed at the front of the case.

Quick question, Why would you use the bottom tray instead of the included tray at the back for 3.5"HDD? Refer to the last image that I have provided.

Feel free to ask me questions. I also have struggled to find answers with the compatibility of the case. I am willing to help

rasesh 1 point 36 months ago

Man you're awesome. For the 3.5" hdd, I'm already using the one at the back, i was talking about using the tray at the bottom of the case & putting it in front of the tray that's at the back so basically you can see it next to the motherboard on the right. http://media.bestofmicro.com/T/Q/553166/gallery/942344d0-6cf0-4a96-b993-233c867324cc_w_600.jpg So place another 3.5" hdd where the reservoir picture is shows using the pump tray at the bottom.

As for the NH-D15, i think it has cut outs to fit low profile ram's. What scares me is not having an exhaust fan.

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

for the 3.5" HDD concern: https://youtu.be/aVTuZYJ1wZo?t=230 According to that video, If you really want to utilize it as you stated, It's better if its closer to the rubber grommets ti hide cables.

Yes I am aware of that. But you have to consider the distance of that cutout from the center or edge of the CPU for accurate verification of clearance. And it's not indicated on Noctua's website.

I Understand your love for the NH-D15, but have you considered any other cooler or even just the heatsink? Ex. NH-D14, x2NF-A15 with other tower radiator, Liquid Cooling Solution?(AIO)

rasesh 1 point 36 months ago

I can use the nh-d14, not a problem, but the only problem is that even if i use that i can't have my exhaust fan. I want my exhaust fan + heatsink which has 2 fans, so basically 3 fans.

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

I have a slim type fan as you may have seen on my build. My heatsink is 102mm and my fan is 15mm. In total i have a 117mm CPU cooler but it can squeeze in a 120mm CPU cooler+ fan and has an exhaust fan that is 25mm.

Asssuming that you will place a 25mm fan(regular size) at the front, that will leave you with 95mm. a heatsink that has 95mm width that has a FAN in the middle so it satisfies what you stated.

You can also see on my build that it has a small gap in it. I cannot take that in consideration YET because the orientation of the heatsink will depend on that. Here are your options with comments:

Phanteks PH-TC14S (add a fan) Silverstone Heligon HE01 (add a fan preferrably 120mm front) Deepcool Neptwin/Frostwin Series (The heatsink is perfect. you may want to change the fans)

if you take a look, almost all of these options have exceeded the 95mm heatsink dimension that i've mentioned. That's because my Thermalright heatsink is has an uneven orientation which is straight at the front and leaned back. While the ones that I've given are straight oriented heatsinks..

Note: if you're OK that the exhaust fan is very close to the second fan,meaning that there is no radiator in between, then you can put a hyper212-X with an additional fan.

if that's unclear to you, see my cooler, try imagining the radiator has another fan at the end of it.

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

also take note that if you consider on placing the HDD at the topmost part of the "reservwall"(from Kyle@awesomesoucenetwork), you will have a hard time on placing a 120mm fan at the top or a radiator even.

But if you place it at the lowermost part, GPU might or Will hit the HDD.

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 36 months ago

[Update] 3/5/16 - Added New pictures 3/4/16 - Updated with AIO Liquid cooled GPU 2/26/16 - Original Descriptions with tips and rants

madurham84 3 Builds 1 point 35 months ago

I'm glad I came across your build. I was about to buy this case and house my MSI r9 390 in it!

shubhambhavatu 1 point 35 months ago

Thanks for these tips! Very helpful. I’m planning on using the same case and mobo as you, but now wondering if my compatible parts are so compatible after all. Here’s my present plan. Do you think my Scythe Mugen 4 cooler will fit? The MSI gtx 960 4G? Bummer to do so much research finding just what I want only to learn that it won’t fit!

dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 2 points 34 months ago

All will fit. The Scythe Mugen 4 will definately fit height wise and width wise (refer to this to CM Hyper 212x - the one im using) though IF you are planning to do a push-pull config on that cooler you will have issues on installing an exhaust if you're planning on one.

with those ram sticks, you might need to adjust your fan upwards just a tinsy little bit if it hits the ram. this wouldn't any cooling performance.

your MSI GTX 960 4G will fit this case because this is only a 2 slot GPU (refere here: https://youtu.be/SWzP2QQf2Ro?list=PL-7Xasvhx-wRA_U2z8MX2ZqLHHcPpna1d&t=180). It will not choke from air do not worry.

That PSU will fit, just a head's up It will get a little bit messy just take a look at the other builds. getting a Semi or non modular PSU will make your build look a lot cleaner in the front. see my friend's build here: http://pcpartpicker.com/b/s2JV3C

shubhambhavatu 1 point 34 months ago

Thanks so much — your knowledge of this case / these parts just made my job much easier and much less anxiety-ridden! Going to check out the PSUs now. Much appreciated.

onlyabloke 2 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

Hmmmm, that G10 is right there....I know in the Manta it fits decently enough but this is making me second guess now. Trying to decide between the two cases.

Otherwise, it looks good!

DblCircles 1 point 25 months ago

Powerful Build, Great use of color scheme also what the **** is that black thing?

_Unphazed_ 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Hey man, do you have any photos before the liquid cooler was installed? Wanting to see if I can work with the same issue myself. Thanks in advance!

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dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago


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dyemc16 submitter 2 Builds 1 point 33 months ago