Description

EDIT 2: Put in a Collectors Edition Star Wars Titan XP that I modified with an EVGA 1080ti aftermarket GPU cooler. I was able to get most of the shroud back on by shaving down the only screw that interfered with the cooler, and the stock gpu fan takes care of cooling the VRAM. Switched all fans to intake except for the radiator and external fan, and I used HD120 Corsair fans for the radiator intake and side intake. Hooked up a cheap NAS with 2 x 2tb HDDs in Raid 0 using USB-C. Ran Witcher 3 from it without issues and have been playing Fallout 3 GOTY with extremely fast load times. I plan on upgrading to an i7-6700k and 32GB of RAM next, and filling the NAS with SSDs somewhere down the line. Performs well on the 1440p ROG Swift, running BF4 at 144hz on Ultra Settings maxed at standard resolution.

EDIT: I returned my Sapphire GPU and Monitor for some extra spending money on upgrading the gpu and monitor in a couple months, and did some novice case modding by drilling 120mm fan mounts and a makeshift fan grill. It isn’t the prettiest, so I ended up mounting an external Noctua fan leftover from the D15. I also added Noctua’s only 15mm fan between the d15 and rear case fan mount and it fits perfectly. All that’s left is to put in a new hybrid gpu (or RTX) and the build should be complete! Even with integrated graphics, the overclocked i5 is more than capable of simple games at good FPS on low settings, like BFBC2, so I am more than happy to wait for the new GPUs.

Original Post

I initially wanted to create my own case for this build, but ended up choosing to get a retail mini-itx case instead... after already purchasing /possessing a significant amount of the parts I had intended to use. Oh, and I shoved a Noctua D15 into it even though PC Part Picker told me I couldn't.

The Build

The build is simply a Corsair branded gaming machine with great speed, graphics, and RGB lighting. I have good overclocking head room, even though the case gets a little hot with the Sapphire Pulse running, I don't have any issues with temperatures getting out of control. My 6600k stays nice and cool at 4.5ghz OC with no voltage adjustment, and the D15 (with single fan securely mounted in a reversed bracket kinda deal because the brackets wouldn't fit normally) acts as the sole exhaust fan, pushing air through it's 2nd radiator and pulling fresh air from the side-intake and through the first. The Sapphire RX 580 gets to about 70-75 on full benchmark load, but stays considerably cooler in games like BF4 on Ultra settings and at 75hz. Two bottom mounted intake fans supply the GPU with fresh air to cycle through. All my RGB lighting and and fan curve speeds are controlled through a Commander Pro and LED hub mounted beneath the rear panel of the case.

Things to Consider:

CPU Cooler

The D15 was very hard to put into the case. I saw another user put a D15S in theirs and thought, "If he can do it..." The sheer size of the thing prevents me from mounting a more than one fan (which is all that's really necessary anyways), but that fan also has to be mounted by reversing the included brackets so that it is held by pushing against the radiators instead of pulling on the sides of one. It is, however, completely effective.

Airflow & Noise

The fans can be loud, but the PSU fan IS loud. All my ML Corsair fans can be on full blast air party mode, but they can also silently do their jobs within reason. The included PSU, however, has a fan that will be heard over all things quite easily, but replacing the PSU means losing offline wireless Qi charging as well as the compatibility of the matching PSU cover, which is really effective at hiding the cables once it has been mashed over the D15. As far as the airflow in the case itself, I wouldn't pack in anything too hot GPU wise. The case is mini-itx, and it sacrifices some dynamic cooling options to fit the form. However, none of my components throttle, and the only thing that truly bothers me when the heat cranks in is the PSU fan going psycho for no reason.

Lighting

Corsair iCUE has its bugs, but when it works, it can give you a silent and beautiful machine. Between the RGB fans and LED strips, the case is very vibrant and relaxing. I have my keyboard and mouse set to thermal sensitive colors to let me know how hot I'm running while I'm bench-marking, but I can coordinate all of my lights to work with each other in array- All except the case light. The case has an RGB light built into its underside, but the light requires a motherboard rgb 4 pin header to control.. Which my board doesn't have. I tried using my LED hub, but iCUE doesn't want anything to do with it. This is the one visual aspect of my case that I lament. I do like how the reflective surfaces of the D15 and Sapphire gpu/logo turned out in the case lights though.

Future Considerations

I would like to upgrade from a 1080p beast to a 1440p monster. I plan on switching out the Sapphire RX 580 for a 1080ti once their prices become a little more digestible, and concurrently switching my Viewsonic monitor for a larger Dell to take advantage of higher refresh rate, g-sync, and higher resolution. The idea is to take load off the CPU and put it on a tougher GPU, effectively minimizing a potential bottleneck even at 4.5ghz. I would like to add a slim fit fan between the exhaust hole and the D15 to better streamline air movement instead of letting the radiator mounted fan and positive air pressure do all the work of air movement. If I'm feeling really adventurous, I may aim to replace that god-awful psu fan. I'd also like to utilize my USB C and USB 3.1 ports for maybe some external storage options as well. I will be putting in Powerline Ethernet this weekend to try to take advantage of my built in Gigabyte Killer Ethernet.

Thanks for reading!

Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 3 points

i recommend this acer monitor: https://pcpartpicker.com/product/7HFXsY/acer-predator-xb241yu-238-2560x1440-165hz-monitor-xb241yu-bmiprz. You can adjust the monitor height. if you don't like the color of the legs, you can spray paint them. Its got g-sync. anyway, nice build!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

I think your pc build looks great.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

My A1 also has a loud PSU fan. I'm wondering if I couldn't replace the fan inside the PSU. Obviously warranty would be void, but it certainly isn't a very good PSU to begin with.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Well shucks, if you fit a Noctua D15 in there, why not a 1080 Ti? You must be able to jam it in there and still be able to handle the extra heat. The PSU, on the other hand, may be in a bit more trouble if it's already throttling up the fan with an RX 580. I'm running a 7600K + GTX 1080 (not Ti) on the 24" version of the 1440p Dell monitor you alluded to. I don't hit 144 fps all day every day but I am happy with the combo for what I paid for it. The only thing is now that I'm getting into more multi-tasking things (and even as games are showing gains with >4 cores), I'm starting to wonder if the 6600K's/7600K's days are numbered.

At first, I didn't understand your build title. Now, I love it.

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the input! I actually am planning on putting a 1080ti hybrid in there and modding the case for another 120mm fan/rad slot on the front. I am waiting to see if the prices drop more in November after the 20 series cards are out and about, and if it’s a better idea to upgrade to one of those if the specs actually end up panning out. I really hope our CPU’s can last a bit longer, even if it means stepping up the screen resolution and shelling out for a monster graphics card.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, we've pretty much got to milk the i5's for all they're worth since upgrading pretty much means upgrading motherboard and everything along with it. Other than the possibility of more multi-threaded stuff, I'm pretty happily stable with my setup. That said, I did just pick up Assassin's Creed: Origins on sale so we'll see what kind of performance I get with that monster.

Curious to see how well you do with those mods and how performance pans out if you do end up with the hybrid.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey! Looks great! Have a question for you & hoping you could me help out. Usually manufacturers go down a couple mm when they put up their "cpu heatsink compatibility max".

Many manufacturers like Fractal Design do this as I currently have the fractal nano s in which fractal says "162mm" max & I have my 165mm tall Noctua D15 + 1mm black accessory kit on it = 166mm tall in there perfect.

For this case Inwin says 160mm cpu heatsink is max. I'm wondering if the new "bequiet dark rock pro 4" at 163mm tall can fit.

You mind measuring what the max possible cpu height, width & length can fit in this case? The Bequiet dark rock pro 4 is LxWxH [145.7mm x 136mm x 162.8mm]. It's length/depth is ~10mm more than the NHD15S.

Thanks!

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

I won’t have access to my computer until Monday again, and even then there’s not much space for measurements now that it’s completed (I’ll upload pictures later), but looking at the D15 specs (135,150,160), there’s a good chance that the Bequiet! Will fit as well. I felt that I only had concern for the cheap QI charger mounted on top of the case getting in the way, where the D15 with 1 fan mounted would otherwise have fit without any concern at all. The best way to find out is to order the parts and see if they fit in person, and if they dont, just return them and get a refund and go another route (super easy to do if you’re getting parts through amazon).

In my set up, the cables aren’t too tight between the d15 and psu, but there’s no room for anything but those cables so another fan is out of the question. I installed a 14mmx120mm notchua fan on the fan slot next to the d15 without issue. The Corsair ml140 I have in place of the d15 stock fan protrudes higher than the cooler but does not impede me from putting the glass cover back on, so I think the height the be quiet is the least of your worries.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello,

First time builder here, how did you install the cooler/motherboard in the case so that the PSU shroud could still slide in?

I am about to start my build with the A1 and have a Dark Rock 4 CPU cooler. It seems that the height of the cooler will prevent me from sliding back the PSU cover. I don't know if I should mount the cooler into the motherboard before placing the motherboard into the case, and if I should do this with the PSU cover on. I also plan to mount all 4 fans in the case. Could you give me some insight on how you handled the big cooler in your case?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh man it was a stressful day shoving the motherboard and cooler in there for the first time. I found that I was able to put them in one at a time or at the same time as long as I gave the board and cooler just the right angle going in. You may encounter some difficulty at first, so don’t be afraid to force it in as long as you know you won’t be damaging the motherboard.

I took the PSU shroud OFF before putting the mobo and cooler in. It may seem like it isn’t willing to go back in with a huge cooler in there, but it is just a piece of plastic and I was not afraid to shove it into place just enough until I could screw it down again. Your biggest enemy with the pSU shroud isn’t so much the cooler as it is the cables and having them running in a way that doesn’t interfere with the shroud going back into place.

I think what helped me the most when building this thing was to not be afraid of damaging things or altering them to make them fit / look good as long as no functional electronics were damaged in the process. Don’t be afraid to get a little rough with some of the aspects of your case if it means making it work for you!

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the info! I really appreciate it. I was playing around with the PSU shroud today and it seems that it can be slidden from below too, not only from the side, so that might help. I still need to get case fans before I start building, but I'll report back how it goes!

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