I often browse completed builds on this site when I have some extra time at work so I decided to upload my current setup. I've been meaning to upgrade my previous setup since this summer, but had to wait pretty much until December, because of the CPU release dates. I was deciding between Ryzen 9 3950X or i9 9900KS, but in the end I went along with Intel. The reason was the format I've chosen - mATX, which is pretty much a must for me as I've used it for years and grown used to it. Also Define Mini C case from Fractal Design is just the best case I've ever used, period. It's small, but wide enough to accommodate large air coolers, has decent airflow, but most importantly, with top closed, it is very resistant to dust buildup, which is important for me. As for mATX format, there was exactly one X570 motherboard available for me at the date of purchase and it was garbage. So basically I was deciding between Maximus XI Gene and Crosshair VIII Impact. Impact was not only 60€ more expensive than the Gene, but also it was an ITX format with two build-in fans for VRM and chipset, which I didn't like much. So when I caught a flash sale of 9900KS, it was a no brainer for me - got it for 560€, which was, at the time, the lowest price for 3900X.

As I got my CPU and motherboard, I've build the rest of the system to fit my mATX case and tried to max out both memory and storage. GPU was a bit of compromise, as spending 500€ more on STRIX 2080 Ti didn't seem like a good idea, with Ampere probably being released next year. So basically, I will most likely upgrade my GPU next year, for either best-in-slot Ampere or Big Navi, depending on their performance and price.

At the moment I've been running this build for couple of days, including several test. Due to the size of the case and choice of air cooling, I'm running both CPU and GPU in stock setting. Basically the only modifications to stock settings that I did were setting XMP to predefined 4000Mhz CL19 and enabling MCE.

I have to say that overclocking is pretty much out of the question, but stock temperatures are decent. Have to praise the STRIX 3-slot GPU cooler design, as the card runs very cool. After 10 mins into stress test stable at 67° C with fans barely audible at 50%. As for CPU, after 10 mins into stress test stable at 83° C with CPU cooler being audible, but not annoying. Given the size, Noctua NH-U12A performs admirably. Temperatures after one hour of playing Red Dead Redemption 2 were 62° C max for GPU and 66° C max for CPU. Idles are both around 30° C.

Overall, I'm quite satisfied with the way this turned out. Air cooling 9900KS in mATX is perfectly viable, been using Noctua fans and coolers for years and have yet to be let down, especially the NF-A12x25, hands down the best 120mm fans. As far as their colors go, not much to look at, so I decided not to go with tempered glass version of the case. Apart from upgrading GPU, I might look to swap all the coolers for their respective Chromax versions, if it ever comes out along with swapping to tempered glass version of the case, but it would depend on whether I can sell the current ones or find some other use for them.

One one last thing worth mentioning is that the GPU does emit coil whine during gaming. Intensity differs based on the game, loudest seems to be while playing The Witcher 3, during which it is quite audible, more so than the fans. But as I'm a headphone user, it doesn't bother me.

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  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! I'm thinking back to a time where 3TB of solid state storage would easily cost more than this entire build...

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 point

Any specific reason why you went with a Noctua NH-U12A? Do you think this motherboard would fit a Noctua NH-D15?