Description

Like my previous build, I just love the simplicity of AIO. I botched a custom paint job on my Meshify C so had to get another case so this is a mild upgrade. I am still really interested in the compact cases but wanted something that is slightly bigger than Meshify C's as the length of Meshify C was problematic with any GPU longer than 280mm...I was debating between the white and black version but settled for the black since the white's aluminum plate is silver, kinda killed the color coordination...

At the same time, my Kraken X41 was having trouble staying silent when cooling the 1080 Ti. When the sound level is at a reasonable 40~ish dba, the GPU is reaching 70 deg C...and also I wanted to do a vertical GPU so X41 pump head does not really look the part either. Went and got a X62. Now this thing has some serious cooling power. The GPU stayed at 55 deg C running 2088 MHz (2100 seems slightly unstable for some reason, silicon lottery I guess) and the X62 is running both fans at only 700 rpm!

Right now both top and bottom fans and AIOs are setup as intake and side as exhaust. For cooling, I always set them up so that GPU and CPU gets priority cooling and other components can get whatever leftover lol (those components are not that temp sensitive anyways.) If in doubt, GPU always comes first. CPU is fine long as it stays under 95 deg C and don't cook my AIO liquid temp above 60 deg C (that's why I always only get AIO that has liquid temp monitoring & control). However I'm getting the feeling that if I upgrade my CPU then I'll need to move to either a X52 or a X72. X42 is struggling a bit when OC to 4.3 GHz. I gave the case a lot more cooling power than I gave the Meshify C, which only has 2 radiator fans doing double duty as intake fans as well and only 1 exhaust. This one has 2 pure intake fans, 3 exhaust, and additional radiator fans as well. If you ask why I have 2 Fractal 3 pin fans on the bottom...well they are what I can find in my parts bin...Salvaged from the Meshify C...They are ugly so they can stay at the bottom. They are kinda weak but fine for providing additional cooling for the VRM and chipset. Maybe I'll get some more AER RGB fans later (or if Noctua decided to release a non poop colored A12x25). I have an interesting cooling strategy in mind and will update when I get my new fan controller in mail. NZXT fans are actually pretty good.

PC-O11 Dynamic has 2 really interesting characteristics: dual chamber and side fan mounts instead of front. Dual chamber is really interesting as it provides a lot more flexibility while staying at a relatively compact size. Side fan mounts eliminated a huge gripe that I have with those larger cases like H500M and alike. Those huge traditional cases always have a big gap between motherboard and front fan that will only gets filled up by really thick radiators and reservoirs, which I never use. So when I use those cases there are always this huge void that I don't know how to fill, and everything seems lost in the space (H700 gets the issue solved right too with the use of colored cable bar to make things more interesting, but I kinda wanted a non traditional case which I can mount fans on 3 sides instead of 2). When the front fans are moved to the side, the void is gone and nothing obstructs the viewing from the front as well. The cooling is about the same as traditional cases.

There are also a few small quirks with the case, most related to size as well .Claiming that it fits a 280 on top is a bit of a stretch...There is barely any space for the fan cable to squeeze past the radiator to the cable cutout! Trying to fit a radiator on the floor is very difficult too with the vertical GPU mount. Those can be easily rectified by extending the width and the height of the case slightly but oh well...It fits my components for now so guess that will do. Also I don't quite get why the primary top grommet has to be so high up. It is partially blocked by the radiator/fan combo. It would have been much better if it is moved down a bit more (there are still space between it and the hard drive cage on the back. ). I had to remount the radiator a few times to get some more cable through. But I guess they are not really dealbreakers.

Now some say the bottom of the case will also fit 280, and I will say this is very much a stretch. You can only fit those if you don't use or have any connectors that are perpendicular to the motherboard. I think I have only heard of some motherboards have 90 degree USB 3 connections but that's about it. I tried with mine and even a 140 mm fan will interfere with the connector. The only location that a 140mm fan or radiator will fit is where I mounted my X42. Also mounting like this will interfere with the cooling as the mesh below is only 120mm wide so right now a portion of the X42 radiator is blocked. I may move to a X52 eventually but my CPU does not produce that much heat at the moment so it is still fine for now.

Appearently I put too much stuff in the case...cable management took me quite a while...I can't believe I almost used up all the cable space even with an extremely short PSU (140mm).

The vertical GPU mount is very interesting. It actually has 3 mounting positions since the case has 8 PCIE slot and it only takes 6. I used the middle position to fit the fans and radiator on the bottom (X42 makes a excellent GPU anti-sag support too lol). Also it can be moved in or out as there are 4 vertical slots on the mount. However the stiff riser cable makes utilizing the inside position difficult and I did not want to bother rearranging the cable too much so I just left it on the outermost position.

And yes. The Hue+ is on the roof upside down...

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Comments

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

I love when I see people use the GPU water-cooling brackets. Seems like a great alternative to stock air cooling or the expense, effort, and maintenance of custom water-cooling. Nice job with this one.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

: ) Me too. They are pretty cost effective as well. My entire setup is only about half of what it would cost me to do a custom. Not to mention that every time a new GPU I would need a new water block too plus the hassle of needing to redo the tubes, drain & fill, bla bla bla...

I think there should be more manufacturers doing GPU hybrid brackets. NZXT ones are pretty good in terms of adapting to most of Asetek units. Since the NZXT ones are the prettiest so no point going with cheaper alternatives. I don't think the 6th gen Corsair Pro series fit tho as they don't appear to have the locking teeth mechanism...and they look lame too. I would be very interested if AIB partners started to manufacture cards with just the AIO mount & adapters, and we can use our own coolers to go with them.

Another thing that I don't get is why stock hybrid cooling GPUs only comes with 120mm radiators. My 140mm is barely keeping the unit cool and staying quiet at the same time. If the water cooling can't do both at the same time then we might as well just use the AIB custom air cooling...I really think they should be 240mm at least. It does not make sense to spend more on a card just to get mediocre improvements.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

All good points. Maybe on the cards with built-in 120's they're concerned about compatibility with case layouts? But I agree...if I'm going to shell out for a water-cooled card, I would expect it to perform notably better than a custom air-cooled version.

I would definitely go with an approach like this if I was on an Intel platform with a higher end GPU. My Ryzen 1600 is OC'd to 3.9 GHz and stays pretty cool with a $35 air cooler, and for my 1050 Ti I'd be much better off spending money on a better card than an improved cooling solution. I'm not a huge gamer and use my PC mostly for work, so for my purposes the 1050 Ti is adequate, but if I had a 1070 or above, this is a cool way to do it.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

I also think compatibility may be the reason too. That's why I think instead of doing a stock hybrid cooler, it's better to just ship it with a AIO adapter. In that way I think both custom water guys and AIO guys will be happy as the adapter is pretty cheap and it will be more or less an bare bone PCB card.

But like you said, it's definitely not worth the money or trouble to go with water cooling if there is no high power components in the case. The AIO plus the adapter is almost as much as a 1050Ti, and I would definitely think twice about buying a cooling solution that costs almost as much as the card itself...I only went water cooling CPU when I actually saw the size of a Noctua D15, and went water cooling GPU after my card start howling like a jet engine when playing games...

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

I wouldn't say it is half the price of a custom loop, they are getting a bit more affordable these days

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

That really depends on what you pick tho... I'd rather go with AIO if I have to compromise with cheaper custom loop...I did an estimate with EKWB's custom configuration tool with similarly sized 140mm and 280mm (SE series) rad for just CPU and GPU, and it came to almost 1000 CAD excluding shipping (I would imagine it will be more or less the same for other reputable brands). My 140+280 AIO setup only costed me 350 CAD, GPU bracket included. Custom loop only performs marginally better than AIO with similarly sized radiators. A custom loop has a few more downsides compared with AIO: - Tedious drain/reconfigure/fill every time I want to change my CPU/GPU. - I may have to get a new GPU block with every new GPU I change too... - Additional risk of leaking with every fitting added. This is more for hard lines which I wanted to do if I ever go that route. It's not that much of an issue with soft tubes. AIO do stop working too but all it take is to take it off, throw it in the trash, and get another one from my local shop...Won't take me more than an hour to do but it's a completely different story with custom loop.

And subjectively speaking, I actually prefer NZXT pump block look over any water blocks so...considering the additional cost, hassle, and only marginal performance improvement, it does not seem worth it to go with custom loop at all...

I would only consider a custom loop with a overclocked HPDT CPU and multi GPU setup, where mounting that many AIOs is unrealistic, and that much heat will max out AIO capacity so custom loop is the only proper option. But not really worth it with single mainstream CPU and single GPU setup.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

EK has their fluid gaming line that will perform just as well as an AIO if not better for around the same amount. I'm not sure how you managed to get a 1000 dollar loop with a 280 and 140 rad, considering I was able to build a loop with two 360s for around 300 (albeit I didn't buy from EK). The only point where I do agree with you is building a loop requires more time and effort, but personally, I think that's part of the fun.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

It's good for you that you enjoy building a loop. It's just that I have different priorities. Sure I can put a low cost loop together, but at that point, I might as well just stick with AIO...which is even cheaper and way less hassle for very similar performance like you say. Also I'm more concerned about the hassle of having to take it apart to change stuff tho. Having to drain/disassemble/assemble/fill every couple of weeks gets old really fast...not to mention the risk of leaking increases as the number of reassembly increases. AIO is way safer for frequent reassembly.

Also I should say that my ideal custom loop setup costs way more than my ideal AIO setup, and it does not provide me with enough additional performance gain to make me feel worth while at the moment. If I were to build a loop, from EK a RGB CPU block is about 85 (well gotta have the RGB, my AIOs have pretty RGB pump heads and I would not settle for less lol~), a RGB GPU block is about 150, a RGB pump+reservoir is about 180, 140+280 rad is about 100 bucks together (this is more for AIO comparison sake. I'll probably go with dual 360 in reality), plus 3 140 fans, that's about 600 USD already, which is about 800 CAD. Then add on the fittings, tubes, fluid that's about 750 USD (or 1000 CAD) easy. Thermaltake's stuff is about the same price too so I don't really see how the price can be any lower.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

That's a pritty slick idea... Vertical mount the gpu using the nzxt cooler. Love the look! +1

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

When I'm being cheap I can have some quirky ideas lol~ I bought the X42 last Christmas for the CPU and I did not want to get another one of a similar caliber just for fitment reason if I can keep using the old one...Moving one size up in radiator size does not seem worth it unless there is some other significant improvements such as RGB lol~ The 2 size up jump from X41 to X62 is definitely worth it tho. Improvement is very noticeable even if we disregard the upgrade in the look department.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Beware of air locking the water system when you install AIO radiator on the bottom guys. I rattled my radiator too much when trying to fit it on the floor and it air locked the system last night when first booting it up...had to get the radiator back out and shake it to get the liquid back into the pump. However it is fine during normal system operation even if I leave the system shut down for long periods, as long as the system is not frequently moved around.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Great work, I like this case!

Is the gpu vertical mount come with the case? I order the case, but it back order now. Wanna know if I need to buy one myself. There is not much option on the market. If you bought it somewhere else may I have the link?

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

No the case does not come with vertical mount and you'll have to buy it separately. I think it's available from newegg.com but that's about it. I bought it straight from Lian Li. Reach out to Baron (baron@mail.lian-li.com) and he should be able to hook you up. Super fast shipping straight from Taiwan. I got mine in a week.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

bigger rad for gpu than cpu??

anyways, great looking build! +1

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

My CPU is only a 6600k...I know some say that CPU needs better cooling than GPU, but that really ultimately depends how much heat each unit actually puts out. Plus the Pascal GPU is very temperature sensitive so it makes sense to give as much cooling power as I can. CPU temp really does not affect performance unless I'm hitting thermal limit, and my chip is way below thermal limit at the moment. Unless my CPU power draw is pretty close to or more than the GPU (something like a overclocked HPDT chip), I would not consider CPU requires more cooling power...also my numbers don't lie. My previous build has 2 140mm AIO in it, with CPU at 4.3 GHz and GPU at 2088 MHz, drawing about 80W from the CPU and 290W from the GPU (checked from HWINFO64). The liquid temp in CPU cooler was only about 40~ish deg C and the liquid temp in GPU was at almost 60 deg C. The CPU was only hitting 50 deg C and GPU chip at 70 deg C. Additionally the fan on the GPU unit was running 20% faster, making a hell lot more noise. That was the primary reason I upgraded my cooling for the GPU. So the more power drawn by the unit, the more heat it will put out and the better cooling it needs. Temp numbers and power draw numbers added up. Hope that's some useful info.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Wouldn’t the i5 bottleneck the 1080ti?

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Not really on 1440p resolution and above. Games don't really utilize hyperthreading that well so there is really only single digit fps differences between a top i5 and a top i7 even if both are running at stock speed, and that's only at 1440p. When both running 4k there is no difference in FPS at all between a i5 and i7. I would say if both are running at the same clock speed then i7 has almost no advantage at all even at 1440p. On 1080p the fps is more CPU limited but using a 1080Ti for 1080p resolution is kinda of a waste of money...I would rather get a 1060 or 1070Ti and spend the extra money on RGB lol~

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build, really looks great! I just bought the g12 and am planning on doing 2 NZXTAIO's in the Lian Li 011 as well. May I ask how you connected both AIO's? Can you control both AIO's fans/pump independently?

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Each AIO has a USB2.0 connector and a 3 pin pump power. As long as you have a spot for each of the connector then you will be fine. CAM will show 2 Krakens but it won't identify which is which so you need to play with the fan speed to tell. Remember to set the pump header to max voltage and then you can use CAM to control the pump speed.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol thanks~ I think the first pic made it look a bit worse than it actually is due to the camera angle. The vertical GPU mount has some wiggle room at where the card slot tabs are inserted on the bottom (donno if that makes sense, but that's one of the culprit of the GPU sag when mounted horizontally. I think the upcoming Phanteks Enthoo Evo case has a new securing mounting mechanism to eliminate that, but I digress...) so the card actually can tilt up and down a bit. If nothing is supporting it the card will just tilt down slightly instead...Con of not having the riser cable mounted on the floor but not a big deal.