Description

First, Pictures!
Old Setup
New Setup

My old PC had an i7-4770k and a GTX 770, both of which were brand new at the time. When the 770 died, I upgraded to a 1070 Ti, which served me well, until my motherboard crapped out and I decided it was finally time for an upgrade. I figured I'd go ITX, since really the ATX form factor is just a waste of space, and if I get a "big" ITX case like I did, airflow wouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately it seems dust is getting in, despite the fact that I have two noctua 140mm fans drawing in from the filtered intake on the front, so I guess I'm not pulling positive air pressure. Or dust is just settling through the top at night.

But I digress. The performance I'm getting is INSANE. I used to play Apex at about 80-100 FPS, and now I get almost rock solid 165 FPS, on better graphical settings to boot. The NVME SSD was a bit of a splurge, but it's definitely worth these blazing fast boot times. Basically everything about this PC was intended to be a bit overkill, but not completely maxed-out. (i7 instead of i9, 2080 super instead of 2080 ti, etc) I haven't dipped my toes into overclocking yet, but I have a lot of temperature headroom on the CPU with this massive cooler. I can't say the same for the GPU, which brushes up against 80C a bit too much for my liking, so I'll probably leave it alone.

Speaking of the CPU cooler, it made this build a massive pain in the *** to put together. In following what I think is generally considered best practices, I installed the CPU cooler first, before putting in the motherboard. I quickly realized two things: Firstly, the pre-installed fans at the top and rear of the case had to be removed. Secondly, I can't fit my hands around it to plug in the CPU power, CPU fan header, or screw in the top left screw on the motherboard. In hindsight, it would've been less of a hassle just to remove the cooler, do that stuff, then screw it back in, but what's done is done. Anyway, my solution for the screw was to put the magnet attachment on the extender on my iFixit screwdriver to sort of jam the screw in, then come back in with the philips head attachment to screw it in. In my first attempt, I dropped the screw and lost it somewhere in the I/O section of the mobo. I had to drop everything and shake the whole build around until it fell out. On my second try, I got it. For the CPU power cable, I threaded it through the slot in the top, lined it up with the socket by sticking an allen wrench through to manipulate it, then I stuck the allen wrench through the back and used the right-angle side to pull the cable through until it clicked. The end product was worth it, but the headache was significant.

FAQ:

Why is the power supply so overkill and why is it ATX sized?
It's left over from the previous build (but it was overkill there, too. I got it cause it was on sale.)

Why is the monitor so high up?
I have chronic neck and back pain that basically means I need to have extremely good posture at all times, so I have it at exactly head height. Conventional wisdom seems to be to line up the top of the monitor with your eyes, but I've had greater comfort setting the center of the monitor to my eye height.

Why aren't both fans installed on the cooler?
I couldn't get the second one to fit, despite the fact that I've seen people fit it in this case. The main problem is the motherboard power cable. I guess I need to get an aftermarket right-angle cable or something?

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Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

SilverStone Technology makes magnetic dust filters in various sizes for your case ~ $10-12USD on Amazon. Perhaps you can clip a second fan onto the front of that massive cooler to push more air through the fins?

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm looking to do a similar build at this. How's the clearance between the Noctua CPU cooler fan and the RAM? My first choice is the Vengeance RGB, but I'm concerned with it hitting the fan, LPX would be my next choice

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

There's like, an inch and a half of extra clearance with my LPX, no problems here

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

how did you test your cpu/gpu temps under load? Your temps look really good and I'm wondering if spending extra money on good fans like you did can help compensate for the small form factor being bad at cooling.