Description

My first build after keeping my ancient laptop alive on life-support for years. I had a lot of fun learning the process and doing the build, and payed close attention to cable management. So far it can run everything on ultra at >144fps without any temps exceeding 62 celcius. Haven't set up overclocking for anything other than the RAM yet, but I'm confident that it will perform decently.

2019/10/24 - UPDATE: - I highly recommend this GPU, its performance per value is quite optimal. I've managed an overclock of 140/900 on it, though it may accommodate higher if I up the voltage. Its temperature will not exceed 60 Celcius if you use a more aggressive fan curve than the stock. - In terms of RAM, while 16gb is more than enough for my purposes, you may need 32+ if creating content, and will need 64+ if using it in a high-power workstation. A friend of mine is a nanotechnology engineer and wishes they had 128gb on their Titan build. - For the PSU, I am glad I went with the Titanium-rated version, as it is silent and runs very cool. I do wish I had gone for higher wattage for when I upgrade some components in a few years, 1200W instead of 850W would have been nice, although currently I am well below my limits. - As mentioned in my reply to a comment, this cooler looms over M2 Slot 1, and is essentially entombed by it, the GPU, the RAM, and the back of the case. It is inaccessible, and so I will move my M2 boot drive to Slot 2 (near PCle Slot 2) whenever I next disassemble things for upgrades. - Coolermaster RGB strips are ******** and refuse to do anything other than nauseating pulsing in the motherboard RGB slots (I've since unplugged them), so I will need a very specific cable to get them into the Corsair hub. - The motherboard's RGB is pathetic; I've turned it off, as the fans, RAM, and keyboard are plenty. - For the Corsair LL fans, if you want to reproduce white, be sure to set the fans to emit a vaguely peachish colour instead, as pure white shows as unmistakable pale blue.

The next day I was able to finally coerce the Cooler Master RGB LED strips into functioning. If you use these, make sure to remove one adapter from the included cable so that you can plug it into a motherboard RGB header; you do not need to hunt around for a proprietary cable or run it through the Corsair node. For programing it, always use the software of the motherboard manufacturers. I had been trying Cooler Master's and Corsair's software, but Dragon Center with Mystic Lighting did the trick for my MSI board.

Part Reviews

CPU

If you're only running this thing at 3.6 GHz then you're wasting its potential.

CPU Cooler

Cannot express my adoration for this thing enough. CPU has yet to exceed 65 celsius and it's so gorgeous with its plates <3

Thermal Compound

Slight improvement over their original formula.

Memory

Quite finicky for how it sits in its little slot. Do not be afraid to push it in harder. May upgrade to a 32 GB 4x8 GB 3200-3600 kit within the next half-year, as chrome is bloated.

Storage

Speedy boot drive, runs at a rather toasty 50 celsius sometimes though.

Storage

Misreports its temperature as 10 celsius below actual, not like an SSD is likely to overheat, but it IS odd. FAST.

Storage

Occasionally gets rather clicky, but does what it's supposed to.

Video Card

Only becomes heckin loud once it reaches 90% RPM, but it has yet to exceed 65 celsius. Can run Ultra graphics at my monitor's refresh rate with room to spare, it was great value as well compared to the other cards, even the offbrands. May trade up to an Ampere 3080 Ti when that comes out next year. Or an intel! Who knows.

Case

The best micro ATX case I've ever seen, and it's an airflow champion. Space in the back is enough if you take the time to manage your cables properly. Extremely large PSUs probably won't fit in here, as space under the shroud is precious, and needed for the drive bays and power cables. My 850W fits, and a 1000W might fit (check some dimensions first), but I doubt bricks like the 1200W units could fit. The inverted design helps the GPU get fresh airflow directly from the top fans (orient this case for positive air pressure), which is then forced out of the back by the front fans and rear exhaust fan. I used a heck huge cooler, and in hindsight the NH-U12A would have been sufficient, but its fans are too new to have a chromax option just yet and I wanted to preserve the aesthetical theme I had chosen.

Case Fan

Quite the racket if allowed to reach its full speed (dear god, imagine the 3000 RPM version), but inaudible below 70%. Evacuates my case and pulls from the CPU cooler.

Case Fan

Good range of programmability, but I'm still annoyed that in order to pull off white, it must be set to a peachy orange, at which point it emits white. Its 'white' without doing this is rather blue and this continues to mystify me.

Case Fan

Good range of programmability, but I'm still annoyed that in order to pull off white, it must be set to a peachy orange, at which point it emits white. Its 'white' without doing this is rather blue and this continues to mystify me.

Case Fan

An excellent fan, just like all of Noctua's products. Save 100% fan RPM for emergencies, as around that point it becomes high pitched, but before 80% it's imperceptible.

Monitor

Good size, high refresh rate, IPS, 1440p; checks all of my boxes.

Keyboard

The programmable hotkeys can be a bit finicky with the iCUE software, which only lets you do so much. I wanted a single keystroke to open multiple programs, but it didn't allow for that. When I tied the hotkey to a batchfile I wrote for that purpose, it still wouldn't behave. Essentially, any and all issues which I have experienced with this board are attributable to iCUE (which is honestly still better than MSI Dragon Center/Mystic Light, which I also have to use for my LED strips). If I had the chance, I would however trade my Cherry Brown switches to Cherry Blues, as I like a bit more of a tactile feel.

Headphones

They're okay for gaming, but I am not impressed with how they perform with music. I listen to a lot of drone/ambient and drone/doom metal, which tends to sound a bit clipped or blown out on these in certain ranges. I'll be upgrading eventually to a stand mic, some audiophile headphones, and a DAC eventually.

EDIT: these things hurt my dumbo ears quite a bit after long sessions, so if you have a big head or ears then steer clear.

Custom

Overpriced but brilliantly gorgeous and easy to install.

Comments

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

I saw two pictures with different Cooler configuration. Which one did you end up using? Does the 8th picture layout interfere with PCie slot one?

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

All throughout these pictures I'm using the same CPU cooler config, although do keep in mind that I am using the NS-D15S, which is slightly offset to improve compatibility. I can also confirm that PCie Slot 1 is unobstructed and is currently occupied by the Nvidia RTX 2070 S. The RAM slots are accessible, and both my my sticks can be removed and reinstalled without difficulty, although if one was using 4 sticks instead of 2, there could be a challenge. What IS inaccessible, is M2 Slot 1, which is buried underneath the hulking Noctua cooler. Next time I open it for upgrades, one of the changes I will make will be to mount my M2 in the second slot, which is just above PCie Slot 2 (or below it if the motherboard is not inverted, mine is). This will require the removal and remounting of the NS-D15S, which will be a hassle, but I wouldn't mind a second swing at it, as screwing it in was one of the more difficult parts of the build.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Is the 5.2inch bay in the case removable? Most reviews say it is removable but I am not sure.

  • 1 month ago
  • 1 point

Although I haven't removed mine (I use the shelf it provides as a spot to spool some excess cable out of sight), I see that the screws which mount it are accessible from the back of the case, so it ought to be.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Well done! Looks great!

  • 12 days ago
  • 2 points

i have a theory on the white light with the light loop fans, LED's emit a lot more blue light on the spectrum (notice this with 5050 12v strips too), the peachy orange might just cancel it out enough to appear more white.

anyway very clean looking build! nice work!

  • 9 days ago
  • 1 point

That makes sense, odd though that to the cones of the human eye blue wavelengths ought to appear less visible, while green wavelengths are the most visible. It may be that in an effort to balance the perceived wavelength of the light (since white cannot be reproduced by just RGB combinations, much like strong violet and purple hues), they may have pumped up blues to compensate. Orange, being the opposite colour of blue on a wheel, as you say, likely improves the overall balance of the combination. Curious that on my IPS that it still registers as orange, but it's not much of a surprise that the colours on an LCD panel are more accurate than RGB LEDs. The one product that emits excellent whites are the Corsair Dominators. The price is gross, but I rather like the Chiclet look. I'll be adding two more sticks of the same RAM later this month, but I'm pretty much otherwise twiddling my thumbs and waiting to see what Intel brings to the GPU table, what Nvidia's Ampere looks like, and how close AMD can come to melting steel with their reference blowers.

Thank you so much! <3