Description

My main priorities for this build were:

  • Futureproofness, I want this computer to be able to play the most demanding games at high settings for many years to come.

  • Silence, which is why I went for all noctua fans and no spinning hard drives.

  • Sleekness, I made sure to have as few RGBs as possible, this ties into the futureproof idea because I believe an all black build will age much better than a RGB rainbow build.

  • Compactness, I've had a giant computer tower for far too long and its really annoying to move it anywhere, plus I wanted something that could sit on my desk and look good.

Case Mods:

I wanted a bit of a unique look for my build and I also wanted the build to be as black as possible, the problem was that I didn't want to wait another few months for the black version of the Noctua NF-A12x25, and I also didn't want to settle for a lower performance fan.
So I had to find a way to make the Noctua fans black, I thought about spray painting them but it feels wrong to spray paint a Noctua fan, and I was worried about somehow messing it up and making the fan off balance or voiding the warranty.

Eventually I came up with the idea of just making a type of covering for the exposed edge of the fan, so I thought about having my brother 3D print a part for it but I figured it would be too fragile because of the nature of 3D printing and I had the idea of using aluminum because its cheap, easy to bend and it would take a coating like paint or vinyl well.

I settled on the idea of using carbon fiber pattern vinyl wrap because its really cheap and I love the look of carbon fiber, plus it would look way more unique than just black spray paint, and it turns out its incredibly easy to use. So I got a piece of sheet aluminum from my local hardware store and cut out a slice with a jigsaw, then I sanded it down to remove all the burrs and get it close to the final width, and after waiting a few days for the vinyl to arrive I just cut out a piece and stuck it on there, easy peasy.

Then, during assembly of the build I just stuck the carbon fiber aluminum part onto the fans with a few bits of double stick tape, super easy and really good looking.

Vinyl Wrapping The Cable Management Bar:

Since I had a lot of the vinyl left over I figured I'd continue the theme of carbon accents, so naturally I chose to wrap the cable management bar too, this was very easy because NZXT expects that people might want to mod that bar and so they made it really easy to remove with only 3 screws holding it in.

I wanted the part to look totally smooth except for the NZXT logo, so I chose to fill in the water cooling reservoir mounting slot and whatever that square slot is at the top of the bar, so I just used simple wood filler and a bit of sanding to make those slots unified with the surrounding material. And so after a few minutes with a pair of scissors and a hairdryer, bing bang boom, you got a carbon fiber cable management bar.

Finally, the last mod I did:

The bare white exposed edge of the PCB on the graphics card was annoying me and messing up my black theme so I did a quick scribble with a sharpie to make it black, and it worked shockingly well, I was afraid it turn out purple since the ink for the black sharpie is actually a dark purple, but luckily it worked perfectly.

Part Reviews

CPU

This processor is Incredibly fast, it handles an all core 5ghz overclock with no problem. Don't believe those reviews that say this processor gets super hot, it only gets hot with synthetic benchmarks, during real world usage and with a 240mm AIO water cooler it only gets to about 40c - 50c.

CPU Cooler

Works great now that all the bubbles are 'settled', I had a bit of a problem getting it working initially because there were a lot of bubbles in the pump, but after a few restarts and a bit of jostling the bubbles have found their way out of the pump and now it works fine. As for the cooling performance, it works great, its able to keep my 9900k at 70c during a benchmark and 45c - 50c during gaming with an all core 5ghz overclock.

Another thing I should mention is that I haven't had any problems with NZXT's CAM software, at the time of writing this (10/13/2019) it seems that they've worked out most of the bugs with their software, the only thing I can gripe about is that it uses a weirdly large amount of RAM, about 400MB.

Motherboard

This is a very solid and well built Mini-ITX board, it came with all the ports I could've wanted, plus it was able to overclock the 9900k to 5ghz on all cores with no problem, I would definitely recommend this board to anyone looking to build a high end Mini-ITX pc, just make sure to rip off that stupid looking ROG sticker on the large heatsink, luckily its easy to do so.

Memory

This is some good looking low profile non RGB ram, and it runs at the advertised speed, no complaints here.

Storage

Probably one of the cheapest dollar to gigabyte NVME SSDs you can get, not the fastest transfer speeds ever but still way faster than a sata drive. After migrating my windows install from my sata SSD to this NVME I'm getting boot times of about 22 seconds, when it used to be about 30 seconds with my old sata SSD.

Storage

Fantastic SSD, pretty fast and really large capacity, definitely worth replacing your spinning hard drives with one of these.

Video Card

This is the best looking double slot RTX 2080 Ti you can get at the moment (in my opinion) and it'll run anything you can throw at it, the only bad thing is it runs pretty warm out of the box, but that can be easily fixed with an undervolt, mine used to run at 80c but after I did an undervolt it runs at 65c in 1440p games and 75c in 4k games, plus the clock rate is higher after the undervolt.

Case

The build quality and design of this case is fantastic. If you want a Mini-ITX case that's easy to build in (even if you have huge hands like me) and supports radiators and large heatsinks, all while looking really good, then this is the case for you. The construction is almost entirely steel with a thick and durable powder coat paint with a matte finish, and there's no sharp edges on any of the metal so don't worry about cutting yourself. there's a reason why this case is so popular.

Power Supply

Does what it says on the box, its super quiet and easy to work with, definitely a great power supply.

Case Fan

Initially I was worried after unboxing these for the first time, they feel kinda cheap at first but once you install one you'll be a believer, they're pretty much silent and they move an impressive amount of air, and you'll be able to run these at higher RPMs because they're so much more quiet than other 120mm fans.

Case Fan

Absolutely the best fan you can get at the moment, and totally worth the really large price tag, especially for radiators. These move a ton of air even in restricted applications like on a radiator with a dust filter behind the front panel of a case, and if that's not enough for you these fans can do all that whilst being almost silent, I only start to hear mine when they get close to 2000 rpm, truly impressive.

Comments

  • 10 days ago
  • 2 points

Nice work customizing your case! I thought about doing a carbon fiber wrap with my case, but I didn't know where to start or even where I would finish. Settled on just doing a basic paint job instead.

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man, I love any type of modding, it just makes the whole build way more fun and it gives it a lot of personality.

  • 10 days ago
  • 2 points

Did the wood filler stay alright in that slot in the NZXT bar? And why does that slot exist?

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

The filler in the small slot stayed but the filler in the big square slot fell out, so I just cut out a piece of card board and taped it in there.

I think that slot is meant for mounting water cooling reservoirs, seems impractical for such a small case tho.

  • 10 days ago
  • 2 points

Ah yes, for the enthusiast plumbers. Well that filler was a decent idea, it's the kind of thing I might attempt. It takes some work to stand apart from all those NZXT cases going around. Also thumbs up for your Sharpie operation.

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

I recommend using something like epoxy or resin instead, just something a lil harder than wood filler.

But yeah absolutely try some modding like that, it was surprisingly easy.

  • 10 days ago
  • 2 points

very nice and clean build, well done! also, how is your cpu temps under some hard load?

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

I haven’t been able to test the CPU with a dedicated benchmark yet, but I will update the info when I do.

  • 10 days ago
  • 2 points

ok, thanks.

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

This case has great thermals with an AIO!

  • 10 days ago
  • 2 points

Yeah so far I've been very impressed with the airflow in this case, you can feel a lot of air moving through the front vents.

  • 9 days ago
  • 1 point

wow, this is a great temps! I have ~78C with delided 8700K @ 4.9Ghz in prime, but I have D15s noctua and H200i case. in games, cpu never reach above 50C.

  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

Ok after a bit of testing, with a synthetic benchmark and all cores at 5ghz the temp was only 68c which is pretty good if you ask me. And the temp during gaming with the same 5ghz overclock was only 50c - 55c, pretty good for such a hot processor and such a small case.

  • 9 days ago
  • 2 points

Nice and clean Cable Management! Well done!

  • 9 days ago
  • 2 points

Thanks man, still a bit more messy than I intended but it gets the job done.

  • 8 days ago
  • 2 points

Pretty well done job

  • 7 days ago
  • 2 points

Clean and powerfull build. Great idea using the carbon fiber wrap.

  • 7 days ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man, it really came together exactly how I imagined it.

  • 8 days ago
  • 1 point

really nice build! I'm working on a similar build with H210 as well. Just want to make sure you put A12x25 in the front radiator and S12A in the back/top ?

  • 7 days ago
  • 2 points

Yeah that's correct, I have two A12x25s in front of the radiator and two chromax S12As set to exhaust from the top and the back. I would absolutely recommend this config because these fans are incredibly quiet and they move a ton of air and keep everything really nice and cool.

  • 21 hours ago
  • 1 point

I'm planning on working In this case, how much clearance is there for a hard drive with the radiator?

  • 14 hours ago
  • 1 point

It'll be a little difficult to fit it in there but it should work, my concern wouldn't be with the radiator, but rather all the power supply cables, if you're going for a smaller ATX power supply or an SFX one then it should be easier, but keep in mind that SFX length power cables wont be long enough for this case.

  • 14 hours ago
  • 1 point

Alright bud

  • 7 hours ago
  • 1 point

nice build buddy im also planning to build a nzxt case just want to ask you sth about the max GPU thickness because the max GPU thickness for this case stated on the website is like 44mm however the GPU you use is much thicker than that, how is that possible sorry if i make some mistakes, im pretty new

  • 1 hour ago
  • 1 point

The way I made sure my card would fit before I chose the parts is I made sure to choose a 2 slot card, not a 2.5 slot, as long as its a 2 slot that's not too thick then it should work, also I think this is pretty much the thinnest air cooled 2080 ti you can get right now.

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  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

I'm pretty surprised I scored that high, the cables are a bit crazier than I intended.

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  • 10 days ago
  • 1 point

True.