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Phoenix Rising

by TheCloudX



Date Published

Feb. 13, 2018

Date Built

Feb. 12, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3.7 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

33.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

67.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.556 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

11 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

35.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

70.0° C


Dubbed this build the Phoenix as my last build needed to be replaced. I liked the case, Define R5, so much that I went for the new R6. Also, I was fortunate to build this as GPU's were hard to snag. I was almost prepared to go with NZXT's BLD service. If they would have had a 1080Ti in stock, I would have. Just so I can get back up and running.

The primary goal with this build was to be as silent and cool as possible. Right off the bat, I know I bought more cooler than I needed. But, I had hoped to turn the fans down low while maintaining a cool running system. As you can see, I was fairly successful.

So far, I have only pushed it for about 1-2 hours and even then not hard. I'll update as I go with any new findings.

I also haven't completed cable management as I wanted to give the build a good week to ensure no returns or changes before I zip it all down.

EDIT I have edited the build to reflect a new cooler, the Noctua NH-U14S. I highly recommend this cooler over an AIO or at least the EVGA CLC 280. The temp management of the EVGA was great, but if you're like me and you hate hearing your machine, then you'll be disappointed and spending more than you need to. I also adjusted prices as I used a Newegg gift card for the Noctua and then Newegg price matched the CPU while having it on a flash sale. Thanks Newegg!

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

I originally had the EVGA CLC 280 installed. Temps were fine on it, but the fans were way to loud. The AIO regret was real.

Swapped to the NH-U14S because I wanted a trusted cooler but not something to big that it dwarfs my case. This seemed to be the perfect compromise. Wish I would have started the build off with it. The comp is sitting about two feet from me when using and about 1 foot away while using my work PC (L shaped desk). I can't hear it on idle. Temps on idle hover between 33-35c per HWMonitor. MSI Command Center shows it to be in the low 20s. On load, using Prime95. The highest I saw it go was in the mid 70s, this was before I adjusted my fan curve and was just using default settings in MSI CC. Adjusted it some, and max temp I saw was 67c.

Installation was a breeze and very straight forward. This isn't my first Noctua, and it most definitely won't be my last. I highly, highly recommend this over an AIO.


Giving it 3 stars for a big miss in my opinion. The onboard audio. It's downright horrible. The Nahimic software is a joke that barely made a difference. I came from an Asus Maximus VII Hero with Supremefx. Not the best audio in the world, but good enough for me and my Logitech X-540s. Youtube videos sounded flat and ingame positional was so bad that if you're not directly facing the NPC you can't hear anything. Other games where I knew there was dialogue, I can only hear a mumble. This was after messing with Nahimic, before then I couldn't even hear that. The killer was listening to a podcast. It sounded like the guy was recording it underwater. No changes to Nahimic helped. Loaded up the podcast on my work computer and it was crystal clear. Went back to this comp, changed from 5.1 to stereo and everything sounded better albeit weak.

Bought an Asus Xonar DGX for $30 and solved the problem. I was tempted to sell the mobo and go with the Maximus X, that's how bad the onboard is. But, the other pros kept the mobo for me. Especially the bios, fan controls, and temp. Which, lets be honest, that's why we invest in a good mobo and not the cheap ones. The Asus loaded the same podcast above and had no issues. Ingame seems fine. Hard to believe a mobo that advertises its audio quality has such a miss, but oh well.

I would recommend this mobo but you will need a sound card.


I have had G.Skill in every build I've ever done. Not once have they ever given me an issue. These are no exception. They worked out of the box and my the speeds were recognized by my motherboard. What more can you ask?

Video Card

This is the first time I went all out on a GPU and even though my 970 it replaced was still a solid card, the details in games that I was playing was immediately noticeable. I can't wait to continue to push the card. It's pricey, admittedly, but I hope to get years of max settings with it.

Fans have a horrible whine to them at 1100-1200rpm, any higher or lower is fine (have noticed a slight whine at 2200-2300, but fans rarely kick onto that). EVGA advised it needs to be RMA'd but that they don't have the inventory at the moment. So, I am holding onto it for the time being. I adjusted the fan curve to avoid those speeds and haven't had an issue. Gaming in a 75-78f room for a few hours has a stable temp of 75-77c and is silent for the most part (fans spinning at about 1400-1700rpm), well below threshold so I'm happy. Once inventory clears up, I'll probably RMA it for peace of mind. EVGA support is amazing, so no concerns there.


My previous build was in a R5. The Fractal brand has been a pleasure to build in. I appreciated the already placed ATX stand offs as well as the offerings to modify the case to your needs. I went with a m.2 complete build this go around, so I removed all drive bays to maximize my airflow. Compared to the R5, I like the top and how that dissembles. Only issue I ran into was that he HD Audio cable was unplugged at the top. I had to get a pair of tweezers to help plug it back in since it's so narrow.

Power Supply

I went with the G3 over the G2 due to it being newer and the reviews solid. I had a G2 in my previous build. The G3 is smaller but fully modular and just as easy to work with. I haven't heard the fan at all. Only thing I don't like, and this is an issue I've seen with Corsair and my previous G2, is that if facing the fan down, the logo is backwards. Looks strange in a build. Wont deduct a star for nitpicking though.

Optical Drive

I've only used the drive for about 20 minutes in testing a bluray, however it worked out of the box without issue. It is louder than my old Asus DVD drive during use, however not terribly so. However, unlike my previous drive, it doesn't spin up or make any noise on boot which I like.

Comments Sorted by:

DaMysteryMan 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

Noice build.

TheCloudX submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago


aakins 2 points 8 months ago

Dope! I am working on a similar build (same GPU/MoBo) and it nice to see them together in your rig! +1

TheCloudX submitter 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Thanks! I'm enjoying the build. No complaints

ScottieBK 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

I was having the same issue with the onboard audio until recently. I had it apart to clean and install my new 1070ti and once I put it back together it didn’t initially recognize my headset. I unplugged then plugged back in and had a new program pop up. I want to say it was Realtek related but can’t be sure. After messing around for a bit I can say that it has greatly improved the sound quality for me at least. Play a lot PUBG and it’s a night/day difference. For once I’ve had to actually turn the volume down on my headset

wazagaduu 1 point 12 months ago

lucky you

TheCloudX submitter 1 Build 2 points 12 months ago

Yeah, Newegg had it for a fair price. They bundled it with a $50 gift card as well, making it MSRP. I used the below to find one. Since I wanted a 1080Ti, I watched those. Had Amazon and Newegg up and ready so when I clicked the link I wouldn't need to sign in. I lost out on the card twice while selecting shipping options.


wazagaduu 1 point 12 months ago

you got a 1080 ti under 1000$

ImightbeaPineapple 1 point 12 months ago

y no custom backplate for gpu xD

Nice bulid either way, did you buy that card during the GPU apoculopyse

TheCloudX submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

I did! Bought it last week. Newegg was great, though. They had it for $849, MSRP being $799. But, they bundled in a free $50 gift card with the purchase. Used that on my next item, so essentially I got it for MSRP. The hard part was snagging it of course, but I posted on how I did that on another comment above.

MichealJoeden 1 point 12 months ago

Luckily I built my computer before this pc market went out of proportion. I got my 1080 ti when there was low stock from them just launching, now there are hardly any from the bitcoin mining, crazy. And now I am building computers for my friends and with low budgets it is impossible.

TheCloudX submitter 1 Build 1 point 12 months ago

Agreed. My GF plays at 1080 and is using an old GTX 645. I wanted to buy her a 1060 or 1070 depending on deals, but that's out the window for the time being. Wish I would have done it around Christmas.

R3N3G8 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

Picked up a Gigabyte Windforce 1060 6gb recently, for some reason it dropped $100... maybe it wasn't a popular model because there are no LED's and it's pretty basic looking, but it's dual fan. Deals are out there, just have to wait and keep looking I guess.

Gazdadude 1 point 11 months ago

How are you finding the cooling planning on using the noctua on my new build

TheCloudX submitter 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

I've been very happy with it. On idle, I've seen high twenties at the lowest. I'm on another computer beside it at the moment, and can see the active temp monitoring. It's currently sitting at 32c in a 75f room, only Steam and HWMonitor up. In use, on load, after 4-5 hours of gaming, it has hit upwards to about 70-72c. However, that's in a 78-80f room (my SO games besides me on her comp, and we have two dogs that have to be near us for reasons :) ). Prime95, highest I saw was 65c with a room temp of about 73f (ran for 30 minutes). All in all, for an air cooler that I can't hear, I am very, very happy with it. Keep in mind this is also with a Define R6 with the metal side, non-glass. I also have a fan cooled GPU (idle 32c, load as high as 80c). The card is in the first PCI slot due to the nature of my mobo, so the fans push the warm air right onto the Noctua. My case set up is 2 140mm intake fans up front and 1 140mm exhaust fan in the back. Behind the mobo attached to the case, near the CPU are two SSD drives. However these don't get over 45c and I doubt play much of a role, if any, in impacting CPU temps. The PSU is fan positioned facing down, and is in its own little compartment in the case, thus it's all but its own little eco-system and doesn't play much of a factor.

Hope this helps in your build planning.

Gazdadude 1 point 11 months ago

thank you going for 3 intake 3 exhaust also using the top pci port so hoping that will help cool it down

R3N3G8 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

You're comparing a sub $200 board to a Sub $300 board, of course the sound is better on the Maximus.

Other than that, any other issues? is it OC'ing ok? any VRM Heat or LLC issues?

Thinking of picking this up for a new build, was going with the AC originally but I already have a Gigabyte Wireless/4.2BT card, might as well save that $50.

TheCloudX submitter 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

Eh, I'd figure a 3 year old board with older tech wouldn't be a thing for onboard. Especially as most reviewers will tell people that Realtek ALC1220 is plenty for ~90% of users. Guess I'm a 10%er haha.

Other than audio, I haven't had any issues. Bios is easy to navigate and my ram was recognized immediately after hitting XMP on the home screen. I did update Bios prior to installing Windows. Haven't overclocked it, yet. Stock everything else works great. Very happy with the build.