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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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!