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First Build / B&W miniITX

by pncdesign



Date Published

Feb. 22, 2019

Date Built

Feb. 20, 2019

CPU Clock Rate

3.7 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

28.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

44.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.41 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

14 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

28.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

72.0° C


I had been mulling over building a PC for a while and truly, visiting this site on a whim is what finally sparked me. Additionally, being able to dive into the details and create something I knew little about seemed like a great way to enter into my 31st year. Also, i really wanted to max out settings in Total War games.

I was immediately drawn to NZXT components as I am primarily a mac user, and I fell particularily hard for the kraken cooler and H200 case. I loved the idea of a small case and all the challenges it would bring and boy did it.

More details and pictures soon

Part Reviews


Does what I need too, efficient and easy to install

CPU Cooler

Pretty challenging to install in a miniITX case, especially on the z3901 board I chose. Anything I tried would not allow me to install it with the logo not on its side or with the connectors crunched up against something. This isn't really the fault of NXZT though. It looks incredible in there, and of all the components, this was the one I spent over what I probably should have on it. Happy with the decision though


It's a fine board, all things considered I guess. Although it seems like its just a bit short on things compared to other miniITX. The ram slots are especially close to CPU, so be sure to check for clearances on coolers, especially AIO's as the tubing on my Kraken X52 pressed up against the sticks and would have caused issues if I didn't re-orient.


They look great, 16gb in 2 sticks of 8gb...pretty good.


I was astounded by how fast this was for install, boot, you name it. The only concern I have, and I wonder if its been amended in the newer models, is that it's runs pretty hot. Now this could be due to my inexperience with the technology and the fact that its on a tight board in a smaller case...but I got a heatsink that helped regulate temps a little better. I would defer to more experienced builders on whether or not my criticism is warranted

Video Card

The card has been great so far, although I had a personal issue with it.The forced green lighting, although likely due to maintaining brand identity, is a pain. I hate it, and the only way to turn it off that I have had success with is using EVGA's X1 software. Other than turning it off, there are no other lighting options that I am aware of.

I went with this card after unfortunately being unable to really know how much vertical clearance I needed in my case for the GPU. I got one that ended up being comically too large and had to sell it on ebay due to Neweggs draconian return policy.

I decided on this one out of convenience and some sense of trust with the brand, time will tell if issues arise...but coming from an Apple background, I liked the idea of getting something with as few companies involved in its creation as possible.


I absolutely love the case so far. It was a primary catalyst for my build and even at its smaller form factor the cable management and airflow capabilities are impressive. This was my first buid, and although a pleasant challenge throughout, I am really glad that I went with this case.

If there was one criticism, it is that it almost feels like the option to have an ATX PSU seems like it's created more issues than it needed too. I went with an ATX power supply because it was a cost effective choice...but it the coming weeks, depending on how temps go, I might switch it out for a smaller unit.

Power Supply

A bit bigger than I should have got for my H200 case, but gets the job done well.


Solid price for a 1440p 144hz monitor...been great so far, I see why this model has been commonly recommended.


I wanted to keep lights pretty minimal but have a predominately black case with white accents, this helped achieve that...although the lack of 24pin cable was a bit annoying.


Solid price point and quiet as can be. I use this this primarily for older games or stuff I don't play as often.


i know opinions on these differ, but install was easy, it cleans up the look and help lower heat as the m.2 is surrounded by parts that limit airflow

Comments Sorted by:

Sam_Harrold 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Overall your build looks great! Loving the white sleeves from the Kraken AIO. That RAM really stands out too. Amazing job!

-parzival- 1 point 1 month ago

Looks really good. Not the biggest fan of the cooling tubes but to each their own

HehHehHehHeh 1 point 1 month ago


-parzival- 1 point 1 month ago

If I said something stupid oops. Noob here. I´m just not the biggest fan of the white sleeve/tube things

pncdesign submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

To each his own indeed, I was a big enough fan to shell out 25 bucks to get them in there! I know opinions differ of AIOs, but like I said...I fell hard for the NZXT stuff, so I had to tie it all together.

[comment deleted]
HehHehHehHeh 1 point 1 month ago

Nice build! The white sleeves fit the build.

dyzer123 1 point 1 month ago

wow, mini itx for a first build??!! You are brave my friend great job!

pncdesign submitter 1 Build 2 points 1 month ago

I liked the case too much not too. I also forced me to be super careful and plan ahead on everything. I'm a graphic designer by trade and also love miniature painting, so dealing with things that are super tiny is something I like challenging myself with

Mattieu_ 1 point 1 month ago

How did you get the (front) light (turns green) of on the Nvidia rtx 2080?

pncdesign submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Dude, this drove me nuts...I had all kinds of issues sorting out which graphics card to get, and I finally caved and got an Nvidia card...only to have it barely fit (like .5in from psu shroud) and to have this dumbass green light mess up my scheme. I searched all over and the only thing I found that works at this point is using the EVGA X1 app and turning off the GPU LED there. It turns back on on reset, but upon starting the X1 app it goes off again. Kind of a bootleg fix, but until Nvidia updates their own app, this is the only fix I've seen.

blacklagann 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Believe it or not that green light is in fact RGB jaystwocents did a video on it or at least its featured in one of his videos it is an absolute PAIN if i remember right to get it to actually go rgb though

pncdesign submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Yeah I was so bummed after going through the meticulous process of picking parts and colors only to have this goblin-green light mess it all up. All the forums and what not pointed to the RGB function being disabled along with The GeForce app having no lighting options for RTX cards...so stupid. I hope that gets amended soon...I just want it to be white!

diypartsjoy 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

I like how you turned off the LED on the video card. The green just wouldn't fit. +1

H2OBlown 1 point 1 month ago

Hey, I'm looking into building a PC just like this and I was wondering, do you have any temperature problems with your GPU? I've read countless forums saying to go for an SFX power supply as a normal one would choke the GPU. I want to know if it's worth it getting an SFX PSU over a normal ATX one. P.S. Nice build

pncdesign submitter 1 Build 2 points 1 month ago

Im absolutely no expert but i think it would be wise to go with an sfx, especially in this case. Temps have not got out of control though in my current set up, but i am considering getting sfx just to help airflow a bit more. I think another thing to really look into is how tall your gpu is...i initially got one that was way to big, but it said it was compatible on this site.

denialed 1 point 1 month ago

I have the same gpu, but mine hits 85 degrees when under load, what can I do to lower the temperature? Should I just crank up the fans? They are really loud when under high speed.

pncdesign submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Im learning as i go with this, i set my intake fans to go pretty high when the card gets to like 75c. Im usually using headphones so it doesnt bother me too much. I know most of the new NVidia cards run hot so i would just look at what other folks experiences are and figure out a solution that fits you best.

Half the fun in building a PC, for me at least, has been troubleshooting perceived temperature problems haha...best of luck to you!

Zelkron9 1 point 1 month ago

I'm going to be making a nearly identical build with the same gpu, was 72 your max temp? Thanks in advance!

pncdesign submitter 1 Build 2 points 1 month ago

I occasionally get an 81 degree warning in cam, but thats only if I'm deep into a Civilization game or running something else on very high/ultra settings. Additionally, I'm playing at 1440p at 144hz...so Im tossing a lot of frames around.

One thing I would recommend, and I might be doing myself, is getting an SFX PSU instead of the standard ATX size. The regular PSU is very tight in this case, and I imagine getting a smaller one would help with airflow.

Zelkron9 1 point 1 month ago

I'll look into it, thanks for the reply. My main concern is the temps, because like you I game at 1440p 144hz.

[comment deleted by staff]
pncdesign submitter 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Yes, that is an unfortunate byproduct of my very tight motherboard. You will see with other builds using the Z3901 have the same problem with the aio...I would have got a different one if I knew that

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