I wanted a compact, fast and silent build. These things contradict, but I am happy with the result :)
The video card is the 'older' Gigabyte Windforce RTX 2080 3X OC which is exactly 2 slots wide. My part list shows the non-OC variant, because the OC variant of the 2 slots version is not listed on this site.
All newer Windforce versions are approx. 2.5 slots wide, which will fit the case, but not the extra support bracket of the video card holder. I also wanted to make the distance between the case fans and video card fans as big as possible to prevent turbulence.
The 2070 Super would have been more reasonable and was my original pick, but was out of stock when ordering and after debating for so long I didn't want to wait any longer to start building ;). The only slightly more expensive 2080 Super variant didn't came in an exactly 2 slot variant. The Gigabyte Windforce was in general chosen because of good reviews regarding noise production. The even more silent MSI 2070 Super X Trio is more than 2 slots wide. Also many other RTX cards did not meet the size requirements.
I've also considered the Power Color Red Dragon 5700XT, but was hearing too much about AMD driver problems, so went for the safe option. Also the Red Dragon is quite high and most probably the extra support bracket of the gpu holder will not fit. Because it is a 2 fan model, it might not need the extra support, otherwise you'll need to create a custom solution for it.
Both video card facing case fans are on the system fan header using a fan splitter cable and pull air in from outside towards the video card.
The AMD 3700X was chosen because it was the fastest CPU with only 65W TDP. I've disabled core performance boost (CPB), because it caused cores to boost and temperatures to go up all the time, even when doing nothing (Windows desktop). The CPU is fast enough for my use without it, also maybe this will be fixed with a future BIOS update. Update: After updating to BIOS version F10, I've turned on CPB again. It is clocking cores all the time to 4.4 Ghz (without CPB the max. frequency is 3.6Ghz), but by setting the silent CPU profile and an interval of 0, the PC stays silent in idle. My theory is when the interval was higher (3), it doesn't ramp up the fans soon enough and they overshoot.
I use the Noctua cpu cooler with 2 fans. I flipped the bottom fan upside down (from its factory position), so the top case fan pulls air in from outside and pushes it towards the heat sink and the bottom fan pulls air from the heat sink. Both fans are on the cpu fan header using a splitter cable. The top fan is mounted to the case lid and still doesn't touch the heat sink (1 / 2 mm distance?). The heat pipes face the back of the mainboard. The Noctua cpu cooler comes with thermal paste, so you don't need to order that separately. Note: First remove the bottom cpu fan, then mount the heat sink to the mainboard/cpu, then place it back upside down, because the heat sink screws are not accessible when the fan is mounted upside down.
I've heard good things about Noctua and already use their CPU cooler and fan. When the black version of the NF A12x15 came out I immediately ordered 3 of them.
My Noctua case fans came without screws. They are listed as part of the package contents. After reporting this to Noctua they immediately sent me the screws free of charge. Great service! Noctua told me the screws should be included and a packaging error was made with only one box of 40 fans.
I've also considered the Prolimatech Ultra sleek Vortex 12 fans, but while they looked good on paper, I didn't like the fan noise I heard in the CoolingTechnique review. The thing with fan noise it is not only the sound level, but also the type of sound they make that matters and Noctua especially does that part right. Apart from noise, the Noctuas also performed better in the CoolingTechnique tests.
When set to the silent profile, the chipset fan is only audible under heavy load. It makes a bit of a high anonying wirr, but this is masked mostly by the other fans and normal ambient noise and is almost inaudible at some distance. It could be replaced with a small Noctua fan, because it has an accessible connector. You will however need to use a non-standard plug / converter, but the pinout is described in the mainboard manual. The fan didn't distract me so far, so I most probably keep it stock for now.
XMP Auto detect didn't work stable. After a cold boot, the BIOS was reset to safe defaults again. I took the values from the SPD as shown in the BIOS menu and configured them by hand. This works without problems. I didn't try the latest F10 firmware yet, it might improve things. The memory is in the compatibility list of the mainboard, but it is not clear to me if the 2x 16GB configuration was tested. Update: After updating to BIOS version F10 it seems to work stable. So only XMP profile 1 needs to be chosen.
The M.2 storage is in the top slot. This Kingston A2000 has excellent reviews, but starting HWInfo when the drive is writing causes a BSOD on stornvme.sys. A search on 'stornvme.sys A2000' reveals I am not the only one with problems with this drive, so I am considering to swap it for a Samsung. I've also experienced BSOD on stornvme.sys in combination with Gigabyte tools.
I have the RGB version of the case, connected to the rgb header on the mainboard. The software from Gigabyte to control RGB was slow and causing blue screens. I might look into it at a later stage and maybe develop something myself, for the fun of it.
In general I don't care about RGB, but only the RGB version of the case was in stock and I find the way its done on this case quite nice I have to admit.
For power supplies I always take the max. expected load (374W) times two (748W), hence 750W and never ever go cheap on them to prevent instability and fire hazzard. Also this supply runs without fan when 300W or less is consumed, so in practice it is off or
running at a very low, almost inaudible speed. Being a platinum supply it doesn't run too inefficient at low loads and most efficient at 50% load, and that's the max load for this system. And last but not least the 750W version is 140mm deep, higher wattages of the Planinum series and all supplies of the Titanium series are 150mm deep. Trust me you really need this extra 10mm...
I did have to remove the sleeve from the mainboard power supply cable, otherwise it was impossible to route it. This was quite a job. The cpu power cable is routed behind the power supply.
I didn't opt for an SFX power supply, because at least on paper, this full sized supply is more silent.
The build is silent. Very silent, almost inaudible when idle and a pleasant souding 'hum' when under load (gaming at ultra settings). When running a stress test it makes quite some noise however. With CPB enabled it stayed below 70C, so by adjusting the curves and allowing for a higher temperature it might run a bit warmer, but more silent, I have to play with this. If you don't need the max. performance the CPU can deliver, disable CPB and it runs a lot cooler and more quiet. With CPB disabled a stress test of a few minutes kept the CPU below 50C.
A good ear might hear the chipset fan under heavy load (see also above)
This all depends also on the fan curve settings, ambient temperature and is very personal.
Initial build made on October 19, 2019. Replaced the 2 included case fans with 3 Noctua NF A12x15 PWM chromax black case fans on November 30, 2019.