Description

This has been an ongoing project for a few months now. It started out as an mITX powerhouse with the 9900K + 2080 Ti, but as I ended up with an NH-D9L due to space constraints in the Corsair 250D case I had from an old HTPC, CPU temps were... not ideal to say the least (hit 110° at one point running Prime95). So I decided to move to mATX, which allowed me to squeeze an NH-D15S to cool the 8 power-hungry cores. Although interestingly enough the package power recorded by HWMonitor actually went down... a lot (220W to "just" 180W). As a result, load temps on P95 now sit around 85°, so much more manageable.

As for the GPU, it's an NVIDIA 2080 Ti FE. I considered a lot of the aftermarket cards, which certainly can hit higher clock speeds and run at lower temps, but I just didn't look the look of any of them. The Founders Edition cards just look so darn good without any unnecessary garnish I picked one up, and thankfully they're a little cheaper than most of the alternatives. Boost clocks still hit ~1800MHz, and 4K performance has been perfectly fine, so no complaints here.

The sound card is in there to pipe 5.1 audio to my Logitech Z-5500 surround system over a single optical audio cable. Since the on-board audio sadly doesn't support Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect, I was forced to dig out my old Creative Zx card and pop it in there (another benefit of having moved to mATX).

Uses are primary 4K gaming and photo editing. Lightroom will pretty much eat up whatever resources you through its way (seriously, Chrome is nothing compared to anything made by Adobe).

Sleeved cables were made by Ensourced.net, and I couldn't be happier with them. Took a bit of work to get them to installed just right, but the end result was easily worth the effort.

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Comments

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

Fine looking build. Your efforts on cable management were well worth it. Excellent photography tops off the presentation. Good job all around - good luck with it!

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Photography is another big hobby of mine, so obviously had to go all in with the build photos.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

Well that's damn near perfect. I'm considering getting a Founders Edition 2080ti for the exact same reason, it just looks so clean. Most reviews I've seen where people say the Founders Edition is "quiet" they have it next to a noisy AIO with the radiator fans running at 2000 rpm, and/or they constantly run their case fans at 100%, so it's tough to get an objective informed answer.
So, in a build where everything else is tuned to be quiet, how loud is that Founders Edition?

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

I hear the front 140mm Noctua fans over the GPU, but that’s because I have them ramp up to full RPM when the GPU heats up. Even at “normal” RPMs they seem to drown out the GPU though. I just disabled the case fans to do a noise test though. If I mute whatever game I’m playing it’s certainly not silent, but not exactly what I’d call loud either, and I have it sitting 3 feet from my head (on my desk, not below it). With the game unmuted, it certainly wouldn’t be loud enough to be distracting to me at all, though obviously some people are more sensitive to noise than others. I think part of the noise is the CPU cooler too, which isn’t controlled through the Corsair hub, so I can’t just turn it off without either unplugging it or going into the BIOS. There’s no getting around the fact that smaller fans are likely going to be louder though, so I’m guessing some aftermarket cards would be quieter simply by virtue of using larger fans.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, that's exactly the info I was looking for.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

Started testing out some over locking and found out the fan is capped at something like 60% by default. Raise that cap and it definitely gets pretty noisy, but it seems to make a fair bit of difference in the temps when overclocked.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

Definitely in my top ten. Like the clean industrial look, a little tasteful bling done right. Those chromax covers add a lot especially for the price. Haven’t seen those before so thumbs up for that. Great job!

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, I really like them, and they’re super easy to install. There’s a little magnetic piece you slide into the fins, then the covers attach magnetically to them. Also means they just pop off if needed.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

I have one question: Why didn’t you just get a 1440p 144hz monitor? Is a 4K monitor a necessity?

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

It’s used for photo editing in addition to gaming, and it’s nice having 4K for that. Certainly not a necessity by any means, but it makes spotting imperfections easier without zooming in.

I guess “relevant username” though haha

  • 6 months ago
  • 0 points

Lol

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Just asking but is the hdd cage in the define c mini removable?

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes, I removed it to make fitting all the PSU cables much easier. There's room for 3 2.5" SSDs behind the motherboard tray (I have one mounted so far), and all my big 3.5" drives are in my NAS.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Im not sure if you can answer this but the fans that came with the case. Were they 3 pin or 4 pin.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I think they were 3-pin (the spec lists this fan). I didn't keep them though as they'd just take space I don't have.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you install NH-D15s by having it shift up away from the PCIe slot? I wonder if my NH-D15 will work on this motherboard.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, the D15s is oriented to give the PCIe slots more room. By my eye, there is around 1cm of clearance between the bottom of the D15s fins and the GPU. The fan sticks down a little more, but I think that's because it drooped a little.

The standard NH-D15 sits (by my math) 8mm lower, so it may have fit, but it'd have been tight. The D15s gives the GPU a little more room to dissipate heat. It also aligns the fan with the rear 120mm exhaust fan on my case a little better, which I figure can't hurt. Does mean I can't (easily) use the top 2x120mm fan mounts though. I think they'd technically fit, but it'd be a really tight fit, and probably wouldn't do much as the one fan wouldn't have any airflow.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the info. I guess it comes down to the thickness of my GPU backplate.