PCPartPicker

  • Log In
  • Register

Build

"Breath of the Machine" - MicroATX Z270 Build

by xlegendof

216
96 Comments

Details

Date Published

July 14, 2017

Date Built

July 13, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.2GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

56.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.57GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

11.1GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

58.0° C

Description

Update: Thank you for the feature! I am very glad that I get to share my passion for PC hardware with the community!

Another Update: By popular suggestion, as well as personal interest, I got BOTW running on this puppy! (Pics added)

Hello, Fellow PC Builders!

Have you ever looked at the new NZXT Kraken coolers and thought: "Hey, doesn't that cooler look like the eye of the Guardians from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?". Well I have! That is what inspired me to theme this build after my favorite video game franchise ever!

This is mostly a gaming PC, but I do delve into 3D modeling a little for 3D printing. I went with an mATX case on this build because I was really curious as to how much power can be crammed into small form factor cases nowadays, and boy does this one pack a punch. I know that small form (SF) PCs are not as popular on the market and have more limited parts and capabilities, but I wanted to change it up and support the niche. It is nice though to see that some SF PC components are emerging recently.

You know as they say, "With great smallness comes...great complications...in the building process...as well as high load temps...???". Yeah, I did run into some issues balancing the looks, size, and performance of this build. The Phanteks Evolv mATX TG was a must as the tempered glass looks amazing, however like its big bro it has quite restrictive airflow in both intake and exhaust. Sooo, I modded the case! I placed washers on the front panel mounts to increase the space between it and the case for better intake and I cut a hole on the top panel for better exhaust ventilation. This helped the top mounted 240mm radiator on the Kraken cooler drop my CPU temps down a few degrees, but there was still something else causing heat issues.

Smaller PC cases which have tighter spacing tend to cause components to heat up more because there is less air around and between them for the heat to saturate into. Aside from the poor airflow of the case, this was more of the underlying issue that made my 7700k and 1080Ti Strix (with stock cooler) get hot when gaming (~68C CPU/ ~80C GPU). This caused the case fans and GPU cooler fans to ramp up and produce loud noises. On top of that, this also turned the PC into a heater! My solution to this was to install the NZXT G12 on the GPU as it was the one producing the most heat and noise. I did consider doing a custom loop as I have done on a previous ATX build, but I more loved the idea of easy maintenance and swap-ability of parts (I also needed to keep the Kraken cooler for the build theme :D). I was hesitant on the G12 for its looks and if adding another AIO would even fit in the case, but after seeing a fellow PCPartPicker do the same to their 1080Ti Strix and after carefully measuring the length of the GPU to the front of the case, I went for it. It was a tight fit (giggity), but I was able to squeeze the GPU in with the front mounted rad with only millimeters to spare! I was surprisingly happy with the looks and the temps were now sitting at ~55C CPU and ~60C GPU when gaming.

First world problem: "I have nowhere to put my RGB Led strips in this case!". This was legitimately one of my problems LOL! Luckily, since the inside of case was more compact than others, the NZXT Aer RGB fans I chose for the build were enough to light up the interior and components. First world problem solved!

Overall, the build was fun! I achieved everything I planned for and couldn't be more satisfied.

Part Reviews

CPU

Best single core performance hands down for gaming and good performance for other applications, such as 3D modeling. Clocked mine at 4.8GHz at 1.25v. This was a really quick and simple OC, so I do plan to get that 5.0GHz when I get the time.

CPU Cooler

Great looks and great performance. Got it on push pull since the radiator is smaller than the X62. CAM software needs some work as the RGB lights would sometimes not turn on or change color when the PC boots up from off and sleep. Closing and restarting the application fixes the issue, but it is inconvenient.

Motherboard

Nice looking board with a great feature set. Aura Sync was a must to get that nice unified RGB control. I also just love Asus boards! They have never failed me yet!

Memory

Great performing memory, but I admit that I got it for that sweet RGB nectar. And yes, you buy it at a high price.

Video Card

Best GPU for a high end single setup. Asus hit it on the head with the looks for this card (even though I did remove the stock cooler, the backplate is still sexy). The stock air cooler would perform adequately in an ATX case, but in smaller cases it needed room for improvement :D

Keyboard

This keyboard (not the Claymore Core version which doesn't come with the number pad) was extremely hard to find. I was EXTREMELY lucky enough to buy one used but still in good condition off of Ebay for $200, which is a really good deal considering it retails for $269 if available at all. It has Cherry MX Red switches, which are my overall preferred switch. I got this of course for the detachable number pad, which is something I had always wished for on a full keyboard. I remove it for gaming as it gives me extra space to move my mouse around which has low sensitivity and I put it back on when I'm not gaming for the convenience of the numpad!

Mouse

Just like its predecessor the Gladius this mouse feels great for my mostly palm grip style, but it does also feel great for claw and hybrid which I switch to from time to time. While the addition of RBG light was great, I did not like the addition of the sniper button. You can disable it in the Asus Armoury software, but I still mis-click it when playing games.

Comments Sorted by:

Karokiyu 2 Builds 8 points 2 months ago

When you have 2 Krakens in the same computer

Osengj0901 1 Build 2 points 2 months ago

This is just awesome. I love every bit of it. +1

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Thank you!

Vairfoley 11 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

Wow. G o r g e o u s. Awesome work. I love BOTW.

s.a.wood15 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

Sweet build. What did you use to cut out that square section in the top panel for the exhaust?

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

I used an angle grinder and a bunch of metal cutting disc. Cutting through 3mm of aluminum eats those things up!

INFLCT 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

I love the colour you chose. Works so well, what would be even better though is if you had one of those expensive rgb ssd's to show off in the front. but that is so impractical so I wont deduct points on you +1

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

Sigh* If only only I could RGB harder...

Thanks for the compliments! :)

INFLCT 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

I love that you kept consistent with the colour scheme all the way through to pc to even keyboard and mouse.

(Im a die hard fan of purples-light blues spectrum so your build really hit home hard)

mlach 4 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Any issues mounting the nzxt bracket on your gpu? I recall the older model not being compatible with several cards.

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

For the 1080Ti Strix, there are no problems mounting it. They made the mounting method for the G12 more simple and universal than the G10. Thats not to say there are no complications with other cards, just less. Only complications I've seen are usually caused by something the AIBs added on the card getting in the way of the AIO cooler. You just have to either do some research (look at Youtube videos, tech articles, other PCPartPicker builds, etc.) or just try it for yourself :)

Hope that helps!

mlach 4 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks for the advice. I've got a 1070 Strix and was wondering how it would possibly work. Good to know it can be done. Time to get started myself.

Wolklung 1 point 2 months ago

Superb build!... wish I could play Zelda BOTW on a PC...

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks! Me too...Lol.

videonery 1 point 2 months ago

actually, you can. /r/cemu

do some research, this is fascinating

maharg1@bell.net 1 point 2 months ago

SWEET GAME AND SWEET PC.

love the color scheme

Dave_6 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Very nice setup! The PC itself looks kind of like a mini version of mine. :)

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks! Yes it does. Phanteks cases are awesome!

Shodapop98 1 point 2 months ago

Holy crap this build is awesome, I was debating between purple or a green build, but this defiantly made up my mind. Also Kass is best birb :P

Sam_Flynn 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

That Mini Zen Feature doesn't stand a chance, I would die for this. Do you play BOTW on this?

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

Yeah! I got the game from the Steam Summer sale!

Lol jk

Sam_Flynn 1 Build 0 points 2 months ago

I meant like a emulation. I use Dolphin, and am curious if you have a Switch\Wii U one set up.

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

I didn't even know there were Switch emulators out there already. Thanks for the info! I am curious now. I just have an actual Switch that I play on :)

Sam_Flynn 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

I would get myself a switch, but the whole thing with not being able to back it up scares me so much.

wackazoa 1 point 2 months ago

The. Price. On. That. RAM...... Ouch.

Very pretty build. I love the asthetic and I dont even like RGB!

ClawMachine881 1 point 2 months ago

This just looks soooooooo cute. Bit of an asus fanboy? Anyway, really sweet micro-atx build. +1, and I hope this gets featured!

RationalThoughts 1 point 2 months ago

I love your theme and your build in general. Beautiful.

doubleOcinco 1 point 2 months ago

Soooo gooooood! So... did the blood moon rise once again in those last couple pics?

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Yes, it did! Glad somebody got the reference :D

doubleOcinco 1 point 2 months ago

Yeah I just wanna say this is probably the best build/setup I've seen on pcpartpicker. The aesthetic is just so cohesive. That red light is an awesome touch as well!

Neon82UK 1 point 2 months ago

Very inspiring because I want to squeeze in an EVGA 1080Ti FTW3 & front mount a Corsair H100i v2 + Corsair Mag Lev fans. I used the spec sheets from your build components to work out that GPU+RAD+FAN dimensions are the same. Yours is 298+30+26, mine will be 299+30+25. So hopefully it should fit. That leaves the top and back for extraction fans. This will be my first build so I'm going crazy with research to get it right. I watched some radiator placement videos and tests found that, for open air GPU's, front mounting the rad is better for both CPU and GPU. Which makes sense to me. Am I wrong?

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Yes, in your case front mounting the rad for the AIO will be the best option for the CPU and GPU. This is because the heat generated by the CPU will be immediately cooled off by the intake of fresh air through the rad, resulting in a low max temp for the CPU. The GPU will receive the air being used to cool the CPU, but from what I have seen this barely (if at all) affects the GPU.

I say this is the better option because at least the CPU will be cooler than it would be if it was exhausting warm air from inside the case through the radiator. Open air GPUs will always be able to cool themselves to the capacity that air can dissipate heat. The only way to improve this is by water cooling the GPU.

Neon82UK 1 point 2 months ago

Awesome thank you for confirming my theory, excited to get building. My wife was just drooling over your set up, I got her a Switch and Zelda for her birthday and she has been totally addicted. Well played!

ItsPremiumPwnage 1 point 2 months ago

Hey, I love your build probably because I am a Zelda fan and I thing it looks great! +1 for purple.

Zerizum 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

I would love for you to write a guide as to how you modded the top of your case! I want to do a similar mod / near identical rad setup in my build but have no clue where to start. Also did you put heatsinks on the vrm of your card?

:)

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

I just might make a guide as many people have an issue with the airflow of the Enthoo Evolv ATX and mATX. I may post it on the Phanteks forums. I can link it to you when I write it up.

Yes, I did put additional heatsinks on the VRMs. They are attached via adhesive thermal tape. Just thought that I'd provide additional heat dissipation since there was space for it under the fan of the Kraken G12 bracket.

Sam_Flynn 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Congrats on the feature!!! I predicted this was to happen!

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

Thank you! Good eye ;)

Nick85er 1 point 2 months ago

gorgeous

Karsty5 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

That is the most beautiful thing i have ever seen. +∞

DominicBoccella 1 point 2 months ago

amazing

Jackdadog888 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

noiceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

DaRealChrispy 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

You better get that Breath of the wild emulator running on that

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Been hearing that a lot. So I did :)

Just added some pics.

ImperiousBattlestar 1 point 2 months ago

Great build xlegondof, love the name and the choice of components. Don't see those Asus peripherals much either. Definite +1! :)

Yahtadi 1 point 2 months ago

No wonder this build is featured

OllieManMan 6 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Did you have Zelda running on the PC!? Or just a nintendo into the monitor?

Great build. +1

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

Yes, I am running on BOTW on the Cemu emulator! Many suggestions came through and I looked into it. It was fairly easy to setup.

OllieManMan 6 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

thats amazing. can you send me a link or something. I really want to try this.

FcoEnriquePerez 1 point 2 months ago

This is beautiful, just like I want my build, Kraken AIO on CPU and GPU.

SirHalpin 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Simple, Well thought-out, and powerful; all you can ask for. +1

LongLogStudios 1 point 2 months ago

The best part is that the CEMU emulator can almost run BOTW flawlessly.

TeamTripleZero 1 point 2 months ago

Did replacing the stock fans for the karaken X52 with the RBG ones cause any heating problems. I'm going to be using the karaken X62 but can't decide if i should switch out the fans it comes with.

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

If you are replacing the stock fans which are static pressure optimized with fans that are airflow optimized like NZXT Aer RGB fans, then you may see a slight increase in temps. Contrary to popular belief airflow fans on a radiator do perform to an acceptable degree. Not the best, but still good. You may just need to run them a little faster than SP fans if you want similar performance, but this will produce more noise.

I actually have my Kraken X52 setup in push and pull (Aer RGBs pushing and stock fans pulling) and I do not have any heat problems. I did at one time run only the Aer RGBs in push, but temps were only slightly higher.

hambone_Jones 1 point 2 months ago

Man this is a nice beautiful build good job m8! +1

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

Thank you!

Lager11B 3 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Beautiful and clean looking build with power to spare. Nice to see a feature that isnt an RGB rainbow explosion.

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 2 points 2 months ago

Thank you! Yeah, my liking for RGB isn't about blasting the rainbow/ multiple colors at once. Its more for the static color combos you can create to theme the build.

Chuck2001 1 point 2 months ago

Great build ! Almost same configuration here but in ATX form.

Have you considered delidding the 7700k ? I plan to keep my NH-D14 on it but delid it to help with the temp. I run 4.7 at stock voltage (78 in gaming), but would try 5Ghz but have to up the voltage and the temps go crazy. I'm waiting for my 1080Ti, but my Strix 1070 is around 58-60C. Things will go hotter with the Ti I guess....!

If temps are not well controlled after delid and the arrival of the Ti, I might go for an EKWB kit for the CPU only (L360/P360 or X360)...

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

Facepalm* I completely forgot to mention I delidded my 7700k. I used the Rockit 88 delidding tool and Coollaboratory Liquid Pro.

Chuck2001 1 point 2 months ago

So what are your temps ? In the list it says 56 load, but in your description you said it's at 68 gaming with the 1080Ti.

As I'll be in the same boat as you (same case but ATX so airflow is not fantastic), I want to know if delid is enough when gaming as you have better cooler than me (AIO).

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 2 months ago

68C was the load temp I got for the CPU before I installed the Kraken G12 on my 1080Ti Strix. 56C is the load temp I get now with the current setup. These temps were recorded post-delid and only while gaming.

Delidding a 7700k will get you around a 10-15C drop in load temps regardless if you were air-cooling or water-cooling. So whatever load temps you get now, you should see a decrease of around that amount. Idle temps for stock and delid don't vary much since the chip doesn't get that hot.

Chuck2001 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks, so in conclusion I'll delid and stay air for now, but the 1080Ti vs the 1070 will probably get me back near temps I'm having pre-delid w/1070 !

Appreciate your time ;-)

Cloudsith 1 point 1 month ago

Hmm, I havent delidded my 7700k and I idle on 30-34c on air. @ 4.8ghz OC with 1.245V on the Vcore. No more than 70c at 100% load for air cooling.

Cloudsith 1 point 1 month ago

Have you tried lowering the VCCPLL OC voltage on your mobo? I used a lazer sensor gun for monitoring temps as some people said this just causes the cpu sensor to read that it is cooler. I was getting odd jumps in temps like a spike from 45c (idling before) to 85c just from opening a browser. I lowered my VCCPLL OC voltage from 1.250 to 1.110V and it went from a 45-48c idle to a 32-34c idle and a load temp of 85c to 72c max on air. My 7700k is not delidded. My 7700k is running at 4.8ghz at 1.245V

Chuck2001 1 point 28 days ago

No, thanks. I'll try to play with this VCCPLL.

In the meantime, I got my 7700k delidded and it's freaking awesome. I'm in the low 60 when gaming BF1 with my 1080Ti (so about full system real life application load in term of heat).

Before I was in the high 70 like 75-78 with my 1070.

I kept my NH-D14. It's kind of crazy to see that much of a drop.

I can go 5Ghz without any worries regarding heat now, even with higher voltage. I tried 1.38v without issues (not running daily at 1.38 don't worry).

[comment deleted]
FenrisGaming 1 point 2 months ago

Two words... Freaking Awesome.

jjosephsanders@gmail.com 1 point 1 month ago

Freaking love this build, man! I was under the impression that the AER RGB fans required the NZXT hue+ to function. However, if there is one in your case, I am having a hard time spotting it. Is it just very well hidden, or have some well meaning youtubers misinformed me? Also, what desk is that? I like it. You sir, have fantastic taste! Great work!

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Thank you for the compliments! The AER RGB fans do require the HUE+ to work the lighting. I just hid mine in a seemingly wasted pocket of space between the front of the case and the hard drive cage. I also didn't want to occupy a useful hard drive bay that can be used for storage expansion.

The desk top is the Ikea KARLBY birch counter top mounted on a height adjustable desk stand(https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AUYOF9W/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1).

jjosephsanders@gmail.com 1 point 1 month ago

Very nice. Thanks for the info good sir.

Insomniax 1 point 1 month ago

How's the backlight bleed on your monitor. I recently bought the pg279q. It's beautiful but I do have a little blb on the bottom left corner and an itty bitty bit on the right corner.

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

My backlight bleed is not bad at all. I did read reviews before purchasing mine that the PG279Q had issues with some units having bad backlight bleed, but its only by chance that you will get one with the issue. I was lucky enough to get one without it on the first try.

If your's has significant backlight bleed and you purchased just recently, I would suggest returning it and getting a new one. I know it's a hassle and you would just wish that ASUS could get their s**t together on quality checking their monitors, but once you get a fine unit it is definitely a beautiful monitor.

Good luck! Hope you get the issue resolved.

Insomniax 1 point 1 month ago

I don't know if it's worth it or not. I mean I got it a week ago, and the blb isn't that bad but it doesn't have any dead pixels so I dunno

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Every monitor will have a little backlight bleed around the edges. If it doesn't bother you, keep it. It's a great monitor that will last up to the time 4K becomes easier to run.

Skybrander 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

You sir have now changed my perception of the Kraken cooler! +1! such a great looking build, and smart use of space / cooling setup. The theme is fantastic as well. Well done!

MikeWantsPCs 1 point 1 month ago

really a pleasing build to look at, you inspired me :)

Cloudsith 1 point 1 month ago

Did you leave the midplate on the gpu? I have a 1080 strix (non ti), I bought the g12 and a h55 aio for it. Wondering if you needed a copper shim or not to put between the gpu and the cooler?

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 28 days ago

No copper shim needed here my friend. The G12 bracket fits onto the Strix 1080 Ti with no issues. Yes, I was able to leave the midplate on as it did not interfere with the bracket. Your Strix 1080 lacks the midplate, so there should be no issues using it.

Cloudsith 1 point 9 hours ago

Yeah! Works great i out a corsair h55 on it

clockworking 1 point 1 month ago

Nice rig! Do you have the Kraken X62 at the front because I have the same case and I am thinking of adding the EK-CoolStream CE 280 to the front. It's 320 x 145 x 45 mm. Do you think it will fit?

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 28 days ago

I do have the Kraken X62 in the front. It is a tight fit in the front, so anything bigger than X62's radiator unfortunately may not fit.

skull_kid13 1 point 28 days ago

I LOVE YOUR DESK AND YOUR BUILD! AMAZING <3 did you build the desk? i really want somthing like this, could you point me in the direction of how you made it or what you used?

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 28 days ago

Thank you! The desk top is the Ikea KARLBY birch counter top mounted on a height adjustable desk: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AUYOF9W/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1.

skull_kid13 1 point 28 days ago

Thanks! im guessing you made the monitor stand ?

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 28 days ago

Yup! Out of some piece of wood from Home Depot and longboard wheels for legs :)

Chron 1 point 27 days ago

Sweet rig! Was thinking up something similar for the 8700k release. This tower can fit 280mm rads top and bottom right? Do you think two kraken x62's would fit?

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 27 days ago

Thanks! I would say two X62's might fit if you didn't install a rear fan and had the top rad pushed all the way to the back. It would be a tight fit, but it seems possible. I opted for the X52 as I wanted to install a rear fan.

Chron 1 point 26 days ago

Yeah if it's one or the other, I think rear fan with the 52 is the smarter choice. I may just start with an x42 (140mm) in the top front intake for CPU and leave the strix stock cooler on to start. I'm tempted to save up for a custom loop. Just love everything about the case though. Thanks for the reply!

crazyeyecarl 1 Build 1 point 26 days ago

Does the memory touch the GPU? It looks like its insanely close.

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 2 points 26 days ago

Fortunately it does not. There is just about a millimeter of space between the graphics card backplate and the 4 bottom DIMM slot retention tabs. I have read that some custom backplates, like ones you would install along with waterblocks like EKWBs, are thick enough to interfere and cause the card to tilt a little. So unless your using a custom backplate, most AIB card backplates won't touch.

crazyeyecarl 1 Build 1 point 26 days ago

Thanks. I was actually going to use the 1080 ti sc2 hydro copper. Since its not technically custom it should fit just fine. Helps a lot. Thanks.

InvaderGir 1 point 18 days ago

Very awesome build, love the color scheme, also love that case.

BTW how did you get BOTW on your PC? Did you just connect the dock to the display?

xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 1 point 18 days ago

Thank you! I was actually running BOTW on the Cemu emulator. I had to search it up myself as I had only heard about it from people commenting on this build and suggesting I try it out. Fairly easy to setup and I'd give it a go if you were interested :)

Lyrix -1 points 2 months ago

Not gonna lie all the things i would say how unpractial this and that is just by looks:

this one of the best looking builds ive seen on this site. i would say top 30 mabe 25. And that really means something!!! 1+!

[comment deleted by staff]
xlegendof submitter 2 Builds 12 points 2 months ago

Perhaps.

Whalachai 1 Build 3 points 2 months ago

I'm with you, love Asus and nzxt! Beautiful build, with I would have went with the Asus peripherals, but I got Corsair instead (altho I do love their mouse)

[comment deleted by staff]