Description

UPDATE - as of August 2015 I have removed the 970 and installed an MSI GTX 980Ti Gaming 6g into the Noctua build...its insanity

Obligatory Zelda reference for the title...

I've built quite a few systems in my time, but this one has definitely been the most interesting.

I started out wanting a small form factor gaming PC to replace my semi-aging ARC MIDI tower build. I feel that its finally perfected. This build in particular was originally completely without any Noctua items, but when I finished the original I felt I could do better.

CPU - Wanted the 4790K, it was the only choice for this particular build. Originally I had it mounted to a Zalman CNPS8900 Quiet, which is an entirely functional and downright exceptional cooler. Its also half the price of the Noctua NH-L12 I mounted afterwards. During the brainstorming phase I decided to mount an H100i but due to awful mounting which caused a system killing short, I decided to go back to my trusted air cooling. The NH-L12 provides exceptional cooling for its size, idling at 25c and during Prime 95 testing, only went to 75c. Very happy with those numbers in regards to the size of this machine.

GPU - MSI's 970 Gaming 4g is an amazing card, for an equally amazing price. I will probably upgrade to a 980ti in the near future, but until then the 970 handles everything extremely well.

Mem - Kingston's HyperX Fury series are incredibly reliable, but its hard to go wrong with memory these days. I originally had 8GB of the blue version, same clock speed. Upgraded to the white 16GB version recently, also same clock speed.

Hard Drive - I'll never go back to physical disk drives...at least not in this form factor. Transcends 512 has been very reliable for this build. Now that the Samsung 500 is a bit cheaper I would go with that if I had to buy another.

Case - Corsair's 250d is fantastic. I originally had the 380t to use for this build, but decided with a "Simplicity is beauty" mentality in the end, it provides great management and space to work with. No complaints whatsoever.

PSU - I always go overkill with my PSU's, its such a core component for the entire system that I never skimp on this one. Seasonic, what can be said that hasn't been said already, they make incredible PSU's.

Case Fans - ALL NOCTUA, in the classic Khaki and Brown. These are the soul of the build.... I always hear people complaining about the color, but its uniqueness makes me love it...These fans are amazing. I especially like the 2 80mm fans that exhaust at the rear. All in all these fans cool the case exceedingly well.

Motherboard - The ASUS z97i Plus is the best LGA 1150 mini-itx board out there right now in my opinion. Incredible IO placement, three four-pin fan connectors, great BIOS....amazing.

I hope you like my build, I really feel its a great machine. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

-JonnyAvacado

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Comments

  • 57 months ago
  • 3 points

That thing is packed tight like sardines. +1 for the Noctuas.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

It definitely is! Thanks man!

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Hottttt! I mean cool!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, thanks!

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

i thought that was a league reference :/

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

so did I!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I am unaware of this reference! I will investigate further...

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Riddle me this: what is brown and makes no sound? I think you at least know the answer ;)

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Im just asking, are you aiming for a quiet build?

Edit: Oh yeah, nice choice of parts

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man, the answer to that is no but with a caveat. Before the front 140 mm fan that you see in the pics was installed I had another Industrial Noctua 140 mm fan in its place. It was a fantastic fan, but it was also the loudest fan I've ever heard. After swapping to the current one, its extremely quiet.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Which industrial 140 fan model was so noisy? I was thinking of using the Noctua NF-A14 industrialPPC-2000 PWM 107.4 CFM 140mm Fan model.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Noctua SSO2 Bearing Fan Retail Cooling NF-A14 iPPC-3000 PWM is the one I used originally in my build. The only difference between yours and mine is just 1000rpm higher threshold. Let me say though, this is the loudest single fan I have ever heard in all my years of PC building. I am curious though to hook it back up to my build and test varying levels of RPM to possibly find a sweet spot for noise, and then force the motherboard to run the fan at a specific RPM. Because these model fans move some serious air man. Just be prepared for the decibel level, because I wasn't. Haha. Hope that helps!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

One of very, very few brave and creative men out there to make those Noctuas look good! Kudos, mate! If the RAMs where even visible, i would have wondered why you didn't get the black version...well, in fact i still do! =D

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Hahaha, thanks man! You are correct about the RAM not being visible...the NH-L12 completely covers both modules. Believe me, I went back and forth about the black versions...and now you've got me thinking I want to switch to the black!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha…sry for that, mate! :P

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Really clean but my god those fans ruin the look soooo much, damn it noctua please make some less ugly fans :'( i cri eri tim

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Redux?! Got 'em in my build…not visible tho… :) But right here, i'd say they're a nice visual highlight.

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

I agree! Thanks man!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I hear that all of the time about the "stock" Noctua fans...but honestly its the reason I like them so much (apart from their amazing build quality...)! The Redux versions Philphaser mentioned could definitely be an alternative, but I love the stock ones.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

i find it awesome that a mini ITX build like this can be air cooled, and not melt!

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

I also find it awesome, and yes it can be done. The 4790k is a hot processor by nature I believe, ive seen temps in various builds and its hot. My older 3770k in another of my builds is much much cooler by comparison with similar cooling. Thanks man!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem! i always enjoy seeing other's builds as i will be making my own soon

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Lovely mini build and great temps +1

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks very much!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Lovely build. It is nice to know I'm not the only one who thought of putting all Noctua fans into the same case.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Great minds think alike my friend! Thanks!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Holy tan fans batman!

Nice build dude.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Hahaha, I know...its staggering how many actually can fit in this case.
Thanks!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I really wish Noctua had a better color pallette

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

You arent alone in that thought man, the redux versions will provide that alternative color solution, but I still love the stock palette.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Damn O_O. I think you're responsible for making Noctua rich haha. Also, are the fans as good as they are praised? Like how much air does the front intake push in with it's very restricted panel.

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Hahaha, I know man. I'm expecting a call from Noctua any day now to solidify my sponsorship...one can only dream...

The fans are absolutely as excellent as praised. Its apparent before you even install them, the packaging is incredible, and the included splitters, extenders, and mounting accessories included are top notch. They perform equally as impressive, in its early stage the Nocturne build was actually fit with mostly Corsair Fans, some harvested from H100i and others that came with the 250D. Cooling is noticibly improved after the noctua installs. I would need to take more precise temp readings to be absolutely sure, so it would be wrong for me to outright confirm...but I'm very confident that would be conclusion.

The intake panel you mention is a good point, obviously removing both the solid front panel allows for more airflow, and even further removing the mesh panel also improves the airflow a bit as well. I did experiment with both completely enclosed and opening up all panels to see if there were a large difference. I noticed maybe a 2 to 3c fluxtuation between the two. Since every fan is controlled by the motherboard, the fans will compensate for any increase in heat output. So either way, I saw minimal difference in open to completely enclosed temps. Hope that helps!

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow. I'm really impressed then. Maybe when I buy a new case in the future I'll add a few fans.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I have Corsair Vengeance RAM (the non low profile kind) will the Noctua NH-L12 still fit in my Corsair 250D setup?

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Question:

Can you describe how you wired and power the 5 case fans with just 2 chassis fan connectors on the motherboard. I presume the cpu fan connector powers just the noctua cpu cooler. And I imagine you make creative use of the y fan cables for the case fans. Are the 80mm and 120mm fans all slaved together?

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

Sure thing, and you're description is correct. The two CPU fans are powered by the single CPU fan header. The remaining five fans are all connected with splitters. 2 (both 80mm rear fans) on the first chassis header, 3 (both side 120mm fans, and the up front single 140mm fan) on the second. Noctua provides an insane amount of connectors, adapters, and accessories when you purchase just a single fan, so I had plenty of splitters to slave all of the fans together. The motherboard simply sees them as a single fan and they run identically when used on a single fan header. For individual control I would have to get a proper controller, but at this point space is pretty limited. Hope that helps man!

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much for this!!! Nobody really says on the internet how they get this done.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Good question. My guess would be no, but if I were you I would compare the height difference between my memory and the vengeance memory to start. If the vengeance memory is significantly taller then no because my memory barely fits at the moment. Its nearly hugging the actual heatsink. In fact I had to move the bottom fan a bit to accommodate both modules. Hope that helps!

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the fans...and dig the PSU size. I'm in the same case, but with a 750w...nice to have the space to grow, right?

I'm also curious about the cooler and your thoughts on it: air flow, temps, and so on. Thanks!

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks man! Yeah I definitely tend to go overboard with my PSU choices, but your 750 will be perfect for the build.
Regarding the cooler, the NH-L12 does the job perfectly. My temps right after completion were about 25c at idle and around 70-75c at full load with Prime95. This has dropped though about 4c on both ends though since the thermal paste has had proper time to set. So the temps are extremely impressive for the amount of powerful hardware in the small case. Although if I were going to choose again, you could go even better than I did and spring for this : NH-C14 which is the bigger brother of the NH-L12. The only caveat is that you remove the 5.25 drive tray, which is on the upper part of the case. Thats it! Then you can install a much larger cooler if you desired. But I'm happy with the build right now, especially since I added the 980Ti...crazy man, crazy! Take care!

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome. That's great insight! I'll have to see about the cooler choice when it's time to cross that bridge. Decisions, decisions. ;)

  • 53 months ago
  • 1 point

Been looking at your build for quite a while now and now I'm going to build it with Black Friday prices are coming out. Would you say its best to ditch the 5.25" plate and get the bigger NH-C14 - especially with such a powerful gpu in this case?

I ask cause I do alot of physical media work, and while I dont hate external 5.25" drives I do much prefer internal aesthetically

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

curious how silent it is, :)? dBA while sitting next to it?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Good question, I haven't any proper tools to test actual dBA, but I can assure you that its extremely quiet. I did recently set a custom fan profile for the 980Ti through afterburner and even with the increased fan output its still very very quiet. It sits almost level with my head as well on my desk, and is extremely close to me, about a foot. Noise simply isnt an issue with this machine. Although I will say that if you were to put Industrial Noctua Fans instead of the current ones, the noise would increase substantially...they are extremely loud.

Hope that helps!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Such silence :).. I know it for myself now.

I wound up getting a bunch of redux's for my build (questioning that purchase inside.. I could have spent that 200 on a better processor lol, but probably I can use these fans when I upgrade down the line now).

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

I know that feeling all too well...haha.

That's true, you could have done that, but then again you can rest assured that your fans will last quite some time, and be exceptional to boot. Don't worry about going with the redux versions, I completely sympathize...although part of me wishes you would've buckled and join me on the brown/tan team. Hahaha.

Good luck with your build man!

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

what is the temp idle and load?

  • 55 months ago
  • 1 point

Idle temps are as follows:

CPU: 25C 980Ti: 35-40C

Load temps are as follows:

CPU: 75C (Prime 95) 980Ti: 80C (FurMark, pre custom fan profile)

The load temps are circumstantial though, the above load numbers are 100% torture tests, for gaming its understandably different. For instance with Metal Gear Solid V temps were 70C on the GPU with about 44% load. This was with the default fan profile, after creating a custom curve it never reaches 50C anymore. Although CPU temps are increased a bit (44-48C in MGS V) since the CPU is now processing the fan profile with a 1500 MS rate. Everything is at Ultra by the way, still 1080p though until I get my new monitor... I will say though that the 980Ti might be a bit much for this case...its simply too powerful a card and produces a lot of heat just being what it is...but with that said this build is still extremely cool for the amount of high power components within. A 970 is the sweet spot though in my opinion.

Take care man.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow this is amazing.

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  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!

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  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

I like where your mind is at my friend! I'm sure with a tiny bit of modification I could get two 120 fans up front instead of the single 140! Haha, thanks man!