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The Fame Monster

by mekberg



Date Published

Feb. 6, 2018

Date Built

Jan. 31, 2018

CPU Clock Rate


CPU Temperature While Idle

28.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

75.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate


GPU Temperature While Idle

26.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

59.0° C


3/3/18 Update

I've added the EVGA FTW3 Hybrid kit. In this build everything was virtually silent except the graphics card. Furthermore, temps were in excess of 80C in some games. Removing the side panels had little effect. I even wedged the Noctua A15 that came with the D15S between the power supply and the shroud to supply even more fresh air through the shroud to the GPU. I noticed no change in temps. This combined with JayzTwoCents video of GPU thermals in this case led me to believe it was just the card.

I installed the kit with Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (because why not?). Temps now are in the upper 40s using RealBench stress test (LuxMark). I'm using a Noctua F12 chromax on the radiator controlled through CAM. The stock EVGA fan was incredibly loud. I bundled up the 2 pin fan wire from the graphics card and left it inside the shroud since I knew I wasn't going to be using it. Now there is a slight hum from the pump but the system only gets marginally louder under full load.

Since I knew the GPU fan would be replaced I took the opportunity to swap to a full sized ATX power supply. This gives me a bit more headroom while placing me in the optimal part of the efficiency curve under load.

Added a 1TB Samsung 860 EVO because I'm quickly amassing a game collection.

The Fame Monster

The build gets its name from the Gaga poster my girlfriend has in our office. I am admittedly also a Gaga fan and wanted to play off the black and white color scheme.


This build began life in early January as a couch gaming rig in a Fractal Design Node 202 with an EVGA GTX 1060 6GB card. I managed to snag the 1080 Ti via an EVGA in-stock alert a few weeks ago which necessitated the move to a larger case. Around the same time I scooped up the Alienware 34" ultrawide monitor through Dell with a nice discount through my employer.

A bit of inspiration was borrowed from Vincanti's and Rdoxey's H200i builds.

Currently overclocked to 5.0 GHz @ 1.31 volts and a -2 AVX offset.

NZXT H200i

A big fan of the aesthetics of this case. I was also cross shopping the Fractal Define Nano S (window) but ultimately decided against it due to lack of TG. I am not a fan of the durability of acrylic.

The Smart Device on the NZXT case didn't matter much to me but I gave it a chance. After several attempts (NZXT servers were down) I finally got the adaptive calibration process to complete. Unfortunately I was not happy with its results and manually configured the fan curves myself. This took me 5 whole minutes as opposed to the ~2 hours I spent fiddling with the calibration process. Do yourself a favor and bypass that feature.

One benefit of the NZXT Smart Device is the 3 individually controlled PWM fan channels as opposed to the 2 (CHA + AIO) on my motherboard. The CAM software allows you to key off the GPU or CPU temp for the fan curve. This allows me to run the lower front tied to the GPU with a more aggressive curve than that of the top fan. The rear is set for the CPU but again a more aggressive curve as it is a smaller fan.

As a whole the CAM software seems half baked. The in-game overlay doesn't work, the remote app on Android wouldn't work for days on end (same server problem?), and the system monitor features are no better than HWInfo but seem to utilize more of the CPU. I still have it installed in case I want to mess with the RGB but prefer HWInfo for system info.


At the time of my build the 8700K was out of stock. Since this rig was intended to be a gaming machine I wasn't too bummed to miss out on hyperthreading.

Noctua NH-D15S

Due to the length of the GPU I knew I couldn't run a Kraken, thus my second (serendipitous?) choice was a Noctua cooler. This thing just barely fits. Clearance to the top of the case is a bit tight. I had to use a long, flat screwdriver to push the fan clips up and over the top of the heatsink. The Noctua covers require some coaxing. Overall I think this cooler was the correct choice over the regular D15.


Not much to say here. One of the best 1080 Tis out there. After a week of trying to get any reasonable 1080 Ti I just happened to get lucky via EVGA's website (had my billing and shipping info prefilled for fast checkout).

Corsair SF600

Recommended minimum spec for this card. As originally stated this build started as a couch gaming rig with a 1060. I had planned a little headroom for upgrading, but I didn't think I would end up at a 280 watt card. With the overclock and all of the other estimates via PCPartPicker I'm somewhere in the mid 400s for utilization. If I upgrade in the future I'd look at something SFX from SilverStone (if Corsair doesn't come out with something > 600w).

Corsair Vengeance LPX

Originally picked this due to its low profile nature for Big Shuriken compatibility in the Node 202. I've always been a fan of Corsair memory.

Asus ROG Strix Z370-I

Usually stick with Asus for motherboards and this was the only one available for Coffee Lake. Does everything I need. Built in wireless is nice.

Samsung 960 EVOs

250 GB is set up as OS drive with the 500 GB for games. I typically only play a couple of games at a time so this shouldn't be an issue. If I need more space I have room for 3 2.5" drives that I'll fill in as needed.


Based on a couple reviews I've seen of this case with an SFX power supply I knew the stock cables wouldn't work (also had the premium cables in the Node 202). Although spendy I think the white cables go well with the build.

Noctua case fans because they're the best.

Comments Sorted by:

pepeo 3 points 1 month ago

Amazing build, the chromax noctua rocks.

jk184 11 Builds 2 points 1 month ago

Came here to look at computers. Found Gaga. It's going to be a good day. +1

Pera1996 2 points 1 month ago

do you think that air cooler will fit in the h200i with an am4 motherboard? Anyway excellent buil man!

Zakipoo 2 points 1 month ago

it does, I have it in my build. you just have to buy the separate am4 bracket for the cpu cooler or get it through noctua for free but it takes like a month.

Pera1996 1 point 1 month ago

TY! Which motherboard ad RAM do you have?

Zakipoo 1 point 25 days ago

The gigabyte b350 itx one and g.skill tridentz 3200

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

That's a good question! I would email NZXT and ask them.

hbseawell 2 points 23 days ago

great cable management, looks great!

StealthDestro121 2 points 19 days ago

This build is awesome. You should really have a picture of it FRAMED (bah doom tish).

I am sorry you had to experience that. Nice build tho.

ORACLEpcb 5 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Simple and Clean

AAABattary 1 point 1 month ago

What monitor is that? It's huuuuuuge.

mekberg submitter 1 Build 2 points 1 month ago

Alienware AW3418DW - it's 34" ultrawide @ 1440p.

AAABattary 2 points 1 month ago

Thanks! The Alienware monitors look really sleek.

Otterman366 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Where did you get those covers for the cooler?

Otterman366 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Thanks! These really make this cooler look so much better

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Ah I should have included these in the build in the custom section. Thanks for pointing that out.

Wolf88 4 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Looks amazing +1

theMFNmaster 1 point 1 month ago

If this build was any cleaner you'd have to rename it "Mr. Clean" Really nice. I love the simplicity.... +1

DeadCarrot 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

What a beauty! You sir just built your way into my favorite computers on PCPP list. Truly a masterpiece, I absolutely love the look of this build!


OfficialP90 1 point 1 month ago

B&W For The Win! +1 This rig has an exceptional selection of components all thrown together into a sleek & classy build. I love the overall simplicity of the build that beholds such immense power without anyone really knowing it without a closer look. I mean the cpu cooler is sort of a dead give away that something incredible is going on with this build, but that would be easier for a fellow builder rather than the common eye. All in all, well done with this build! I Love the theme and I'm loving that monitor!

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago


Radox-0 5 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Wow, a very nice clean build. In part as that Noctua covers everything lol, but looks extremely well done. Easy +1

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Haha yeah it does cover everything - but there's nothing to see anyway! Just some boring, black RAM and a couple of connectors.

The CPU cooler was the last thing to go in before cables were managed.

GergelyF 1 point 1 month ago

Very clean build! +1 What about the noise level (at full load) and temps?

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

I can make a couple of videos tonight for noise.

Using Asus Realbench I saw a CPU peak on one core around 75c with the average about 67c. GPU if I recall was maxed at 74c as well. Playing Destiny 2 CPU is around 50c with the GPU anywhere between 67-74c.

GergelyF 2 points 1 month ago

thx, vid would be appreciated ;)

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Sorry I haven't gotten around to this - been sick the last few days.

Related: Subnautica doesn't have an FPS cap and absolutely pummels my GPU even worse than the LuxMark bench. It tries to run, in this case, 3440x1440 @ 144 FPS on max settings. I'm seeing temps peaking at 80C with 100% utilization.

Luckily I found a console command work-around to cap the FPS at 60 which has me hanging around 68C.

Wootcore 1 point 1 month ago

i am also interested to see how much noise this guy makes.

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

I will see if I can get to this tonight.

Spieler40 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Hi, im planning a build very similar to this one i was wondering if you know what kind of FPS you get normally on games. Im also going for the Ultrawide thats why im asking.

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

I've really only played Destiny 2 since the build. I'm capped at 100 FPS @ 3440x1440 using GeForce Experience recommended settings which is almost maxed out. I haven't overclocked my display to 120 Hz yet.

friku 1 point 1 month ago

Hi Mekberg:

I´ve noticed that you placed the CPU cooler more towards the upper part of the case than the Vikandis build. Any problem you´ve came up with or would you be able to place the cooler the same way?

I´m asking because I´m looking forward to do a similar build myself but I was thinking about placing a 12mm fan on top of the case, is this possible or is it better to go without it?

Another thing I´ve noticed is that you used a second NF-A15 on the cooler but the one placed near the ram is slightly offset from the first one, a little more to the upper part of the case to clarify, any reason for that? Any problems with the ram? I like the idea of having another of this fans installed also that´s why I´m asking.

Sorry for so much questions. Really nice job. Congrats ;)

mekberg submitter 1 Build 2 points 1 month ago

The D15S is offset away from the first PCI Express slot compared to the regular D15. This isn't anything that is adjustable. I opted for this version because I have seen other photos of the D15 heat sink resting on or near the backplate of GPUs. With the size of the FTW3 card and its backplate I decided to play it safe.

With the D15S it is definitely not possible to run a top fan at the same time. With the regular D15 it might be possible if you run a slim fan like the Noctua A12x15.

The front fan is slightly shifted upward for no good reason at all. The metal fan clips can be bent a bit. It is likely The middle fan's clips are bent because I took the fan on and off several times for fitment. It does bother me somewhat, but due to the large pain in the *** of removing and reinstalling the fan with a screwdriver (due to my inability to get my fingers above the heatsink) I am unlikely to fiddle with it any longer. With the regular D15 this shouldn't be an issue.

Ram clearance is not a problem as the 2 DIMM slots on this motherboard are directly below the front heatsink. The height limiter in this case is actually the 24 pin connector. I had to press the cables down and toward the front.

Let me know if you would like any close up photos.

friku 1 point 1 month ago

Hi Mekberg:

Thanks for the reply ;).

Asked you about the D15S placement because the Vicantis build stated that he´s using the same cooler and in his build it looks nearer the GPU as you have indicated here so I was confused if it has something to do with different mounting options this cooler could have. I like the way it looks in your build, I think the way the white top color part of the case flows nice through the two white covers of the cooler without any spaces in between. Your indications about the upper fan helped me a lot, I´m going to buy another A15 fan for the cooler and go with no upper fan installed, as there is no space as you told me. Thanks for that.

I´ve got the same Trident Z Ram as you, only change is the red color trim mine has. Been thinking about repainting them white, don´t know if I´ve got time for that...

Thanks for the photo offer, I think it´s ok, I assume that there is a lot going on in the gap between the cooler and the Ram space, Ram itself and the cabling, seems to be tight. I´m going to have a bad time there for sure also... ;)

Thanks again sir, nice job.

Cheers, friku ;)

x300nukez 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

I will dedicate my money to replicate this in your honor. It will be my first pc build lol. I will be using an am4 motherboard, now I'm just waiting for my paycheck.

I'll keep in touch!

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Awesome - good luck! I can't wait to see it.

Pera1996 1 point 1 month ago

Tell me if this cooler will fit!

x300nukez 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Will do!

Sharvard 1 point 1 month ago

Nice build! I was thinking about getting the same case (the white version) and I wanted to know how the little NZXT hub thing worked. Does it consolidate all your case fan cables into one usb connector? I pretty confused by how it works lol.

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Thanks! The Smart Device has 3 fan channels controlled via a USB 2.0 header. The first channel is supplied with a 3-way connector - so you can run a total of 5 fans from the Smart Device. I chose to remove the 3-way connector in order to set individual fan curves for my 3 case fans.

Just know that you are mostly tied to CAM if you choose to utilize the fan channels on the Smart Device. They do turn on without CAM installed but I do not know their default configuration (silent? fixed?)

If you want a close up photo of the Smart Device I can take one for you.

Sharvard 1 point 1 month ago

Yeah, a close up would be nice! I'm just interested in if the hub consolidates all the fans you plug into it into one fan connector to plug into my MoBo. If it doesn't I'll have to buy a splitter.

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

There are no PWM connections to the motherboard with the Smart Device - only the USB 2.0 header. The fans are controlled through CAM. If you want BIOS control of your fans your best bet is to take the 3-way splitter off the Smart Device and use it on your CHA header.

Sharvard 1 point 1 month ago

Sorry I'm sorta new to this so I don't really understand a lot of the terminology yet haha. So did I understand you correctly? The NZXT hub doesn't consolidate the fans plugged into it into one single USB connector that goes to the MoBo. That means I'll need to buy a splitter that connects to the MoBo through one of the fan headers and plug the case fans into the hub and the hub into the splitter?

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

The NZXT hub consolidates the fans into a single USB 2.0 connector on the motherboard. It does not utilize the motherboard's case fan header - which is normally how you control fans via the UEFI BIOS. This means you need the CAM software to do so.

sodom 2 Builds 1 point 27 days ago

awesome and clean build!

do you can tell me please how much space you have between gpu and front fan? I have 970 G1 (312mm long) and don't sure if I can fit my gpu with both front fans.


mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 27 days ago

9.5mm from the end of the FTW to the fan. You're out of luck unless you run a 15mm slim fan.

sodom 2 Builds 1 point 26 days ago

thank you very much for answer. I'm still very optimistic and I ordered h200i yesterday :)

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 26 days ago

Good luck! You may be able to run a 120mm intake fan mounted as low as possible - depending on the thickness of your card.

sodom 2 Builds 1 point 26 days ago

thanks mate! I think about that or maybe use 14cm low profile fan. case should be arrive on friday, so I will see then.

sorry for my english :)

sodom 2 Builds 1 point 21 days ago

hello again and sorry for spam :) I successfully finished my build two days ago and everything is great. this case is awesome! anyway, it was a mistake on a couple sites, my gpu is 300mm long, not 312 like they say on the net. thanks again mate and take care ;)

Brennen2009 1 point 13 days ago

This is an awesome build even as far as to say my dream build.

Brennen2009 1 point 12 days ago

May I ask why you got a custom water block for a 1080 ti evga when the evga 1080ti hybrid exists?

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 days ago

Well it's not really a "custom" water block - the kit is made by EVGA.

I originally purchased the standard FTW3 because it was the only 1080 Ti I could get my hands on in January. At that point in time I did not intend to go the hybrid route.

Have you seen the prices of graphics cards lately? If a hybrid 1080 Ti were available at a reasonable price I would gladly sell my regular card and purchase the hybrid.

Brennen2009 1 point 12 days ago

Yeah ik i was just wondering if the hybrid was availible to you. Thanks for responding

Design1stcode2nd 5 Builds 1 point 12 days ago

I love the whole build and I'm really liking the Chromax. Just to make sure my math is right you replaced the stock D15 fans with 2 from the Chromax line plus covers so $163.60 all together?

mekberg submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 days ago

That's correct.