Description

Sorry in advance for the rainbows but my four year old son loves it and won't let me change it.

This project ended up causing some arguments with me and my wife. Her generous intention of letting me spend money for a new system ended up with me going over budget by too much. Thankfully, I am still with my wife, but I know I spent too much time and money on this. What I ended up with is a powerful system that can overclock well, but still perform quietly for nighttime gaming when the kids are asleep.

The system went through many revisions for the first three months after building (new motherboard, SSD, case, cooler, fans). The cooler has changed the most (sorry Amazon) because I really needed to find the sweet spot for noise to performance. After going through so many different coolers and fans, I'm truly surprised that the H100i RGB Platinum really does the job well. The absolute best cooler that I have tried so far was the NZXT Kraken X72, however it was slightly too large for my motherboard with all of the DIMM slots filled. I also prefer to use iCUE for everything, especially now that I have a Corsair Commander Pro (it came with the Obsidian 500D RGB SE case). I ended up giving the X72 Kraken (didn't purchase that one from Amazon) to my brother so that he could use it in his build.

The system itself is great and my 9900k managed to reach a stable 5.1GHz across all cores at 1.35v. Unfortunately, due to noise and thermals, I can only enjoy the system at stock speed while gaming at night. As for the H100i RGB Platinum, I am impressed that a 240mm AIO can keep the 9900k cooled at stock at just 50% fan speed. It can keep the CPU cooled at 5.1GHz under full synthetic load, but I have to max the fans at 100% which can get pretty noisy. I've thought about going full custom loop, I even spent dozens of hours watching tutorials and finished builds for ideas. In the end though, I don't think I can justify the cost, especially if I can take that money and buy my wife a nice laptop or even help my brother upgrade his system.

Really loving the Obsidian 500D RGB SE from Corsair. I think it is perhaps my favorite case. I love having hinged panels for easy access to the system and dust filters, and the tinted glass does a perfect job in keeping the brightness down yet still showing off the colorful lighting. The fact that it comes with a set of LL RGB fans and a Commander Pro is the cherry on top for me. For me, iCUE has become such an integral part of controlling my system, from the lighting to the fans and the pump.

Just to add some captions to a few of the pics:

pic 4 - this is back when I had the H150i Pro with push/pull fan config and 2 LL140 RGB fans up top - this was not an ideal setup for me as there were too many fans and the temps weren't even all that great

pic 5 - current setup with H100i RGB Platinum (returned both the H150i Pro and 140mm fans), also added custom PSU cables from cablemod

pic 8 - wanted to show cables without the cable bar on in case someone wants an idea of how to manage them underneath (and actually close the damned thing, it can be difficult if you don't properly secure everything down first) - also, if you want to see some great cable management, check out chidy's build as I pretty much did the same thing with this build

Time Spy: https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/37023209

Fire Strike: https://www.3dmark.com/3dm/37023121

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Beautiful and cools well due to excellent fans. A bit noisy above 1600 RPM, but gets the job done. Will definitely do a good job of cooling any stock CPU with fans set to 50% max which is very quiet. Much better than Corsair's bigger AIOs (both 280 and 360) due to the included fans.

Storage

970 Evo but $100 cheaper. I wish I had two of these and an extra $100 in my pocket instead of one and the 970 Evo. Oh well.

Case

I love the hinges on the tinted glass panels and the easily accessible dust filters. Comes with a 3 pack of LL120 RGB fans and a Commander Pro! When comparing the case (currently $250) compared to the standard 500D ($150) and buying a separate 3 pack of LL120 fans ($100) and Commander Pro ($60), it's like getting the Commander Pro for free! Definitely worth it if you love RGB. Also, tinted glass panels are a must IMO if you plan to have a ton of RGB inside the case. The colors stand out while it tones down the brightness (much better than simply lowering the brightness in iCUE).

Comments

  • 5 months ago
  • 4 points

I'm so glad you didn't have to sacrifice your wife for this PC. Some people are not as lucky as you when it comes to introducing a shiny color show to the family. Great build looks cool! :)

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

Build looks great but those are some expensive dummy sticks!

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Awesome & I know it looks even better in real life. And the cable management! A lot of work there, my hats off to you sir. I’m sure you enjoyed every moment so far with more to come. Sweet!

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, yeah pictures don't really do it justice. Definitely had a lot of fun putting it together.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Insane build, what games do you like to play?

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. I mostly enjoy RPGs, though I do play the occasional shooter or adventure game. Recently finished Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Assassin's Creed Origins. Currently playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Metro Exodus. Still have Deus Ex Mankind Divided and Watch Dogs 2 next (picked up most of these games on sale, Metro free with my video card). Looking forward to Vampire Bloodlines 2 and Cyberpunk 2077. What games do you enjoy?

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Well I recently built my first PC a couple months ago and I have only played Rainbow6, Red dead 2, and CS. I want to try some new games though.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

What are some of your favorites that you think I should try?

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Well, I definitely recommend the two latest Assassin's Creed games (Origins and Odyssey). I wasn't a huge fan of the series, but these two recent games are definitely worth it. They feel a lot like adventure/RPGs. They are also on sale on the Ubisoft store for 50-60% off. Those would be my strongest recommendations for now. If you like shooters, I enjoyed Battlefield 5, but make sure you get it on sale.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Looks great! Glad I could help

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much! Still in awe of your build. I think I need to shift the bulk of the fan cables to go inside the cable bar. Was pressed for time but maybe fix it this weekend. What do you think of Corsair's Hydro X series? Think you'll ever go custom loop? I'm still not 100% sure, and I'd definitely have to wait until next year anyway.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

nah probably won't go custom loop. Don't have the time to deal with the headaches that comes with it (cleaning the loop, leaks etc) plus its expensive.

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build, dude! :)

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much :)

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello sir! So a quick question...it says that it's the h100i but it looks like a 360 mm rad. Just curious as to which rad you're using and whether it's worth it to even use a rad AND if so which one haha. Thank you so much! Hoping to buy a rad in the future and am trying to do my research

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry, the first picture with the 360mm rad (H150i Pro) is just to show one of the many revisions my system underwent. I found the H150i Pro to be underwhelming due to the fans included with the unit. The H100i RGB Platinum comes with much better fans and way better RGB on the pump, so I use it in the current build (it's in all of the other pictures). These AIOs are worth using if you plan on overclocking the 9900k. Anything less and you can get away with a HSF or air tower cooler.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

AH! Okay, that makes so much more sense! I'm currently running a Ryzen 2700x which I'm hoping to overclock at some point (nothing as hot/big as a 9900k) and I just need that little bit extra cooling. Sorry, one more question! I saw that you installed three fans on both sides of the rad and I just wanted to know why or what that does, or I guess what the pros are for it?

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, well the 2700X can get hot too if you are overclocking. I guess I meant just Intel as far as "anything less" (meant anything less than 8 core 16 thread). As for fans on both sides of the rad, that's also known as having a push/pull setup (fans on one side pushing air through the rad, fans on other side pulling air through the rad; you can also just go for pull or push by having fans on only one side - there are slight differences to each configuration). For the push/pull, you just get slightly better temps than having fans on one side. And by slight, I'm talking maybe a 10% difference, or maybe 5-7C. The stronger the fans, the more noticeable the difference, but in the case of the stock ML120 fans that come with the H150i Pro (they have a max RPM of just 1600, very quiet but low static pressure), they barely make any difference. In my case, I didn't have to purchase any extra fans since the case came with 3 fans in front and the H150i Pro comes with 3 fans, but in general, I would never recommend a push/pull setup for a 360mm AIO as it's unnecessary and not worth the extra money (if you need to purchase extra fans). Hope that helps.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Dude, thank you so much. I've been wondering what that configuration was on the AIOs FOREVER! I guess if it's 5-7 degrees cooler that's kinda worth it...plus it makes your case look even cooler (pun not intended). What fans would you recommend for the best coolness factor/peformance factor?

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, the 5-7C difference is really only important if it's putting you under a certain threshold like 80C. If you are normally 65C under load, 60C isn't really worth purchasing an extra set of fans. Of course, if this lets you push an extra 100MHz out of your overclock, it's not bad, but only as long as your chip can handle it.

Anyway, which fan I would recommend really depends on what you are going for. If you want RGB and great cooling performance, the white LL120 RGB are good because they spin up to 2200 RPM and have reasonable noise levels (quiet under 1600 RPM). They are expensive though and if you don't have a white build theme, they might stick out too much. Also, the ML120 RGB fans that come with the H100i RGB Platinum are great as they spin up to 2400 RPM with good static pressure, but these versions of the ML120 RGB aren't available to purchase separately (the ones you can buy separately only spin up to 1600 RPM). Fractal and Cooler Master also have some pretty decent RGB static pressure fans that are much cheaper than Corsair. I just prefer Corsair because I like to use iCUE with the Commander Pro and control everything from there.

If you don't need the RGB or if this is for your pull config fans (for front mounted rads only since those are less likely to be seen), you could go with Noctua iPPC, but those can also be quite expensive (also loud if you run them at max RPM). Silent Wings fans from be quiet are also good, but I only recommend the non high speed, non PWM version. NZXT's Aer P fans are also quite good and much cheaper.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

So, what were the temps with the H150i? You said they weren't that great and your temps look good with the H100i, but that push/pull config with the H150i seems like it would have some impressive temps and it is what I wanted to do. I would, of course, upgrade the fans on the H150i to the LL120s though. Should I just stick with the smaller H100i?

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

In a room that is usually around 25C, my temps for gaming at 5.0GHz (1.32v) were usually around 65-70C. As for the fans, on the front, there were LL120s and on the back I had the stock ML120 fans. If you check Corsair's own site, the fans are nearly identical in terms of performance with the edge going to the stock ML120 fans as they have a slightly higher RPM and thus more static pressure (though in practice, it seems that the LL120 fans that I have run at the same 1600 RPM than the rated 1500 on the site). So I wouldn't call those fans an upgrade in anything other than RGB. In any case, for the 9900k at stock (in which I don't lose any gaming performance at 3440 x 1440 with ultra settings), temps stay at around 65-70C with the H100i RGB Platinum at 50% fan speed (much quieter than having 6 fans on the 360mm rad). Plus, I was able to return the LL140 fans that I had on top since I top mounted the H100i, so I saved quite a bit of money as well. Top mounting this 240mm rad also dropped my 2080 Ti by around 5C as well. In all, it was much more worthwhile for me to have returned the H150i Pro.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the VERY detailed statistics. That is much appreciated! One more question, is there room to top mount the H150i? Or can it only fit the H100i? And if there is room, would top mounting the H150i be a better option than the H100i? On paper, I would say yes... But from what you're telling me, it doesn't seem like that would be the case.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

If you mean for the current case that I'm using (500D RGB SE), no, there is only room for a 240 or 280mm rad on top. I didn't bother with the 280mm because the vent holes on top for the fan tray are meant for 120mm fans (the original LL140s that I had on top were pretty much wasted which is another part of why I returned them). In general, if you have the option of front or top mounting a rad, front mounting will always give better CPU temps at the cost of slightly warmer GPU temps and top mounting will leave you with warmer CPU temps but slightly cooler GPU temps (but it will vary from case to case). For me though, if I can't have the tubes coming out from the bottom of the rad (which is difficult for a 360mm rad as they aren't long enough or your video card will prevent it unless vertically mounted), I will top mount it. This is due to the possibility of air bubbles getting trapped in the rad if you have the tubes coming out of the top. This happened to me while I was using the NZXT X72 Kraken and I ended up sending it back (RMA) for a new one. It's possible to work the air bubbles out on your own, but it wouldn't work for me and that clicking noise was pretty loud and annoying. Also, it's more important for me to have slightly cooler GPU temps as gaming with my settings in always GPU bound (so I have slightly more room to overclock).

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, that's the case I meant. It's the case I'm getting in the next week and I wanted to be sure. That's strange though, because a review video I watched said there was room. I'm glad I asked you as well. Thank you for your consistently informational replies!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem. Technically there is room for the top to have a 360mm radiator, but the fan tray won't allow it. The front and top both use the exact same dimensions for the removable fan trays, but the layout for fan vents and screw holes are different. The front tray has room for a 360mm radiator or 280mm with the appropriate fan vents while the top allows for 240mm and 280mm radiators. You can swap the fan trays if you wish, but then the front glass panel will look rather empty with only two 120mm or 140mm fans. I'm not sure if Corsair sells an extra fan tray for this case, but I suppose if you found it, you could replace the top fan tray to allow the 360mm rad. So yes, technically it would fit, but Corsair doesn't give you the appropriate fan trays for it. I suppose they wanted to keep the pressure balanced for 3 front intake fans and 2 top exhaust and 1 rear exhaust. Having 3 top exhaust would make the pressure negative assuming you filled all the fan mounts and ran all fans at the same RPM.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

How do you like the MSI Ace Motherboard.

Looking for a reliable well built motherboard that will be used with a 9900K

I always worry about DOA and stuff or bad software so I'm worried to pull the trigger on the MSI

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

It's a solid board. Never had any issues with it. All of the features work as advertised and one of the problems I had with a previous board (Gigabyte Aorus Ultra Z390 wouldn't let me use my M.2 NVMe as a boot drive) was never a problem with this board. As far as overclocking, there is a physical knob on the board that automatically OCs the chip and works fine but slightly overvolts the CPU (totally stable as long as your cooler is up to it). Of course you can manually OC which I have as well, and so far after almost six months, I have never had any issues with it. Overall, I feel like this is one of the better Z390 boards that isn't totally overkill like those $500 boards. Also, I ilke MSI's UEFI/BIOS a lot more than Gigabyte's.

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 point

Nice build! Planning on building a cheaper version of this. One question, what is the use of the Node Pro (the thing next to the commander pro in picture 8)?

Would it be possible for me to connect 6 ll120 fans, and an LED strip to the commander pro, or will i need the other thing as well? I see you are using up 4 of the slots on it.

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much. That little box that connects all of the RGB cables from the fans isn't actually a Node Pro. It's the RGB hub that comes with a three pack of LL120 fans (also comes with the 500D RGB SE case since the three pack of fans is included). This RGB hub connects to the Commander Pro to control all of the RGB LEDs from the fans (each fan has both an RGB cable and the power cable). The Commander Pro will power and control the six fans and up to four LED strips. You can connect the LED strip directly to the Commander Pro, but again, the Commander Pro needs that RGB hub for the fans since it doesn't accept the individual RGB cables from the fans directly. Hope that helps answer your question. There are actually helpful diagrams on how the cables are connected properly on the Corsair forums which usually come up right away from a google search. Actually, I just realized that this RGB hub might now be outdated since there is a new device called the Lighting Node Core. I think this unit directly handles the RGB cables without need for the RGB hub. You might need to do a bit of research on this.

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 point

Thank you for the help! I understand now (kind of). So does the cable on the bottom of the RGB Hub on pic. 8 connect to the commander pro?

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 point

The bottom cable is a SATA power connector. The top cable is the LED cable which connects to the Commander Pro.

  • 19 days ago
  • 1 point

aha. I didnt see that. Thanks again

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