Description

I did my previous gaming-oriented build in an NCASE M1 a couple of years ago, but ended up selling most of it some time ago. The system sported a 4670K, a GTX 980, and Noctua fans all around. At that time I also built a NAS in a Fractal Design Node 304, but ended up putting parts of it on sale as well. As to what kind of system I had before that, I don't really even remember, other than the case being a Fractal Design Define R2 or something. Anyways, the point of all this was to emphasize that I have some history in small form factor builds prior to this one and that I intended to continue the trend.

The build is meant primarily for gaming and secondarily for programming.

Case

I already kind of knew some of the parts I wanted to go with - like the GPU and the CPU - but didn't really have a clue as to what was on the market in terms of ITX cases. Although I liked (or even loved) the NCASE M1 when I had it, I didn't feel like building in it again, having already experienced it once before. I then did what I've always done and checked what Fractal Design had to offer and did in fact find something interesting in the form of the windowed Define Nano S. I even almost went ahead and called it a day and ordered it on the spot, but decided to still skim through alternatives in the end. And oh my was I glad I decided to do that. The NZXT H200i looked much like the Define Nano S, but even sleeker. Getting an ITX case of its size was also a welcomed change after having built in the M1, where extra space is at bare minimum. In retrospect, finding a suitable case wasn't hard at all.

Monitor

Figuring out what monitor to buy was probably the biggest question mark for me. The monitor I paired my M1 build with was the 27" Asus PG279Q, which had pretty noticeable backlight bleed and looked very gamery. I basically never really liked the monitor that much, but appreciated it for competitive gaming and I believe it was pretty much the best you could get (for gaming) at the time. I think it's a shame that monitors with good refresh rates and response times still almost invariably have this old-fashioned gaming design language with red accents and quite literally zero taste. After having gone through a sea of 27-or-so inch gaming monitors from the big brands like Asus and Acer, I stumbled upon the ultrawide category which apparently nowadays also includes relevant options for gaming as well. The one that really caught my eye in this category was the 34" AW3418DW from Alienware. I was then curious to see what kind of competition it had and to me it looked like the only relevant competitor was the 34" Acer X34P. Where I live, the Alienware monitor was out of stock everywhere, but I ended up ordering one anyways. While I was waiting for the monitor to arrive - which by the way only took some 2 weeks after all - I tried out the X34P. I liked almost everything about it, but there were still some minor things that I managed to nitpick on, like the hideous Predator logo, the glossy back panel, and the external power brick. Not to mention it was also almost 200 euros more expensive than the Alienware. Having now used the AW3418DW for a bit, I can safely say that it is either as good or superior in every possible way when compared to the X34P. The monitor is probably my favorite thing about this build as it not only is great for gaming, but is also a fantastic monitor for programming due to the "extra" horizontal space.

PSU

Simply picked a tier-1 80 Plus Platinum SeaSonic PSU with enough wattage for my parts from this post on the LTT forums and called it a day.

Motherboard

For the motherboard I wanted to go with a reasonably high-end and well-rated board. I debated between the Gigabyte Z370N and the Asus Z370-I for a while, of which the latter was more expensive, but was included in an Asus promotion so I ended up getting it for the same prize as I would've paid for the Gigabyte one.

CPU

I think the 8700K was a no-brainer, although I could've probably also gone with an 8600K.

CPU Cooler

I had already previously used the NH-D15 from Noctua and saw that it was still relevant after all these years, so I decided to give the NH-D15S a shot in this build. The cooler itself fits OK inside the case with enough clearance between itself and the GPU, but it was the fans I had the most problems with. There is quite literally no space to manoeuvre the fan clips onto the heat sink on the top panel's side and it took me a good amount of time, sweat, and ninja-like moves with a screwdriver to lock the fans in, but after enough tries I finally got both down. Once the fans were installed, adding the Chromax covers wasn't too big of a deal, although the left cover did require some brute force.

Memory

I basically just wanted enough of non-flashy non-RGB-y memory and the Kingston FURYs seemed to have a pretty good reputation.

GPU

I initially almost ordered the MSI Gaming X variant of the 1080 Ti due to its great acoustics, but then realised that there was most likely no way I would fit a 2.5-slot card in the case I had chosen, plus it had red accents, so it was a no-go in the end. I then started looking into 2-slot 1080 Tis and pretty much the only (relevant) options were the EVGA cards. I had only heard good things about EVGA's GPUs and thus decided to scan the local supply only to realise that the SC2 was on sale for a lot more than the FTW3, which was odd, not to mention it was also out of stock, unlike the FTW3. It was around this time that I discovered a certain build on PCPP that gave me all the inspiration I could've possible wanted. Kudos to mekberg for the inspiration in the form of The Fame Monster.

SSD

In the M1 build I had two 2.5" Samsung EVO SATA3 SSDs in RAID 0 and never had any problems with them, so decided to stick with the brand, only this time with a single M.2 NVMe one.

Fans

Noctua all the way, this time with the Chromax variants. Oddly enough the NF-A14's only included four rubber pads of each colour, which was annoying because I was unable to use black on both sides on them. I ended up using brown pads (that I happened to have from a previous build) for the sides that were hidden from the case window.

Accessories

As a minimalist I like the 60% keyboards and the Vortex POK3R that I've had for a few years still serves me fine, though I am thinking of perhaps getting an optionally-wireless one at some point. The mouse of choice is the Logitech G703 as it looks less all-over-the-place than e.g. the G903 while still being an exceptionally good wireless gaming mouse. The headphones I have are wireless and noise-canceling due to the nature of my work (programming), but seem to also serve me well when it comes to gaming, so I haven't at least yet seen reason to have separate headphones for that purpose.

Comments

  • 9 months ago
  • 4 points

How are the thermale for the GPU and it's noise?

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Its SO C L E A N !

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks amazing, any more pictures?

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Sure, I can always take more. Just wanted to quickly throw something in to get this past the moderators. Anything in particular you're interested in seeing?

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Just a few more angles on the pc I guess! :3

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Quick question, is the monitor curved or not? Your picture makes it look flat while the product picture makes it look curved.

btw A E S T H E T I C

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

It's curved (1900R). Perhaps I should take another picture that'd show off the curve a bit better.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Ahh, I see now, NICE

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Love the minimalist approach! Two minor comments, get a monitor stand to free additional desk space with your minimalist approach and get a full keyboard mouse pad instead of just a giant mouse pad. Otherwise love the part selection. +1

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Cheers, I appreciate the input. I'm actually probably going to get a monitor arm to do just that and to be able to move the display around a bit more freely. I just have no clue whatsoever what on the market is worth looking at, so feel free to suggest. And yeah the full keyboard mousepad has crossed my mind. The pad I have now is verrry old. We'll see.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Sure thing. This guy has your same monitor and uses a dataflex viewlite stand. Not sure where you buy them. https://pcpartpicker.com/b/r6mqqs

I would probably just buy something on Amazon like this, assuming your monitor is less than 22 lbs. https://www.amazon.com/Gibbon-Mounts-Monitor-100X100-Capacity/dp/B078WP31LS

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Thought you might be interested:

I've been using a monitor arm for a few days now and just added a few pics of it. Mostly liking it thus far, as it allows me to manoeuvre the monitor to the left so that I can game from my bed - which is right next to my desk on the left - which was my original plan. I'm not particularly impressed by the desk mount though, as it seems like it doesn't matter how tightly I install it, it will still move slightly when I move the (heavy) monitor to the left. The one I got is a Vogel's PFD 8543. The supply of monitor arms is pretty weird where I live and I didn't feel like ordering it from abroad, at least not yet. I'm keeping it for a while at least, but might return it if I cannot get it to stay put, we'll see.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice, looks much cleaner. That's too bad it moves a little. Do you think it is because it is not developing enough friction on the desk surface? If that is the case, maybe you could add something between the clamps and the desk, like a fine wire mesh that would create more friction.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, that’s probably it. Will have to try that out, thanks!

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

that tiny keyboard and gigantic mouse pad... lol

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha, looks very balanced huh? The pad is from the competitive gaming days. Still prefer it for gaming doe. Works with the low sensitivity on my mouse.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah gaming... I only take my gaming peripherals out when I'm on battle, on daily basis I too prefer minimalistic approach.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

I am in love with this build. What kind of temps are you getting when you push it? Also where is that lighting coming from that’s reflecting of your Chromax covers?

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

The GPU hovers somewhere above 80c playing demanding games. The CPU won't really have any problems with that cooler. The temps are at stock clocks though, haven't had time to overclock yet. The H200i comes with some preinstalled LED strips, so that'd be what is causing the reflection.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Outstanding job, I think its perfect !

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  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

I love your gaming desk, any chance i could get some info on it? Homemade? Cost?

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome thank you. Looks like a hell of a desk.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Sick clean minimalistick build. I want to build something simular and I wonder could you put fan on top as well? or theres no chance fitting one.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

There’s absolutely no room for a top fan, not with that cooler. You could definitely use a less beefy cooler and add a top fan. I decided not to.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, good to know because I wanna go with exact same cooler and case :D

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Just be prepared to spend some time on getting those fans on that cooler in that case. See my description for more details. :)

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I red it all :D and I am more than willing to sacrifice some time for that little beast :D

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

awesome build and entire setup!. do you have enough space for top case fan? I also plan to buy D15s for my h200i and I would like to keep all fans :).

oh, now I see that D15s has asymmetrical design and I can choose between gpu or top case clearance... sorry for my english.

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Top case fan will not make a difference in thermals. :)

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, I know but this is my ocd :)

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm interested in thermals and noise once you have things overclocked and a custom fan curve. ;) If I cant fit my gpu heatsink on the new gpu's coming out, then I'm going back to ITX.

Does the glass panel screw all the way down near the front intake ?

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

love the build and set up! very similar to my upgrade i got planned

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

just looking at the space between the gpu and the front fans. I was hoping to fit the Kraken x52 in there with the same gpu as you, think there is enough room for it?

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

This look great. I've just ordered a similar build. Is this performing well so far?

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

So did you have the motherboard inside the case when putting the fans on? Wouldn’t have been easier to do it outside the case? This is a very clean build. I have a similar one I’ll post soon

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

How’s the monitor holding up? I’m thinking of getting it for my build!

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

What mount is that, It’s super dope

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

I too will be building a small-ER form factor PC as I have the S340(LOVE LOVE LOVE) but there is just so much under utilizated space within the S340. I do not currently have the ability to custom loop a water cooling system so I thoroughly enjoy seeing the simplicity of your build. It will likely be a major motivator for my next build. Question is do I wait till 9900k prices fall or jump the gun?

My largest curiosity is the "i" version of this case. It is prices quite a bit higher but have heard some not so wonderful thing. I've heard multiple rumors or the intelligent lighting pack being virtually useless due to the lack of necessary USB 2.0 headers existing on the ITX style mobo(If AIO is used...I suppose for RGB lighting?). How does this pan out with your build? I was debating on a AIO but feel it is a bit annoying considering the amount of tubes and cables. The X(52, 42, etc) series from NZXT in particular has 4 cables stemming from the pimp itself. Not ideal considering the desire of continuing a minimal style of build appearance.

So that begs my second question. How are your temperatures? I personally will not utilize this rig for much gaming but I will, however, be utilizing Adobe programs daily. More specifically Lightroom/PS. How do you feel your rig performs under loads? How is the noise?

Thanks so much for the inspiration on this build. Love how you have created this!

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Does the right fan on the cpu cooler touch the ram? I have the same cooler but different ram. I can't put the right fan on because my ram is too tall. Using TridentZ ram.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Big fan of minimal setups and MFDOOM, I'm and owner of a black h200 matt black case and they looks good. +1

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Any problems with the noctua touching or getting hear the mobo VRM heatsinks?

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I love it!

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Can you please give me the same mouse you have in your setup from amazon. P.s. Really nice build.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

whoa, +1

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

What arm are you using for your montior? I have the same montior and Im using an arm I got from amazon it seem a bit to much weight for it it gets lose when I move it to much