DAN A4-SFX v3 with 120mm aio!!

n13L5

Trash Compacter
Aug 20, 2017
51
10
What was your reason for installing the AIO?

I could never find any self contained liquid cooling unit, that would improve temps enough to bother with additional potential points of failure...


I can see one good purpose for them: If you move your system around a lot and you don't want a heavy cooler causing shocks to your CPU/Mainboard connection if the computer gets jostled...

I forgot what the CPU cooler clearance is in Dan's case, but I think to remember it had a decent amount of room - enough for an
Noctua NH-C14S or
Noctua NH-L12 or
Noctua NH-L12S at least?

It also seems, that the AIO is severely curtailing the length of GPU you can install...


So I presume, that you have a really good reason for doing this, I'd love to know :)
 

rfarmer

Shrink Way Wielder
Silver Supporter
Jul 7, 2017
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2,192
What was your reason for installing the AIO?

I could never find any self contained liquid cooling unit, that would improve temps enough to bother with additional potential points of failure...


I can see one good purpose for them: If you move your system around a lot and you don't want a heavy cooler causing shocks to your CPU/Mainboard connection if the computer gets jostled...

I forgot what the CPU cooler clearance is in Dan's case, but I think to remember it had a decent amount of room - enough for an
Noctua NH-C14S or
Noctua NH-L12 or
Noctua NH-L12S at least?

It also seems, that the AIO is severely curtailing the length of GPU you can install...


So I presume, that you have a really good reason for doing this, I'd love to know :)

If the coolers you listed fit in the Dan you wouldn't be seeing many AIOs. Max cooler clearance is 48mm so you are limited to Noctua NH-L9i or similar size coolers.
 
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Thehack

Spatial Philosopher
Creator
Bronze Supporter
Mar 6, 2016
2,737
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J-hackcompany.com
Here's my AIO setup



ONE2 Distro Board (similar to dynamo 360) and external 250W Meanwell Brick (400W unit rated for 250W passive).

I think SFX is starting to becoming a limiting factor in our builds. I feel like 400W is the sweet spot for tiny single GPU single CPU build and hope there is a modular FLEX ATX unit in the future.
 

Tr15

Caliper Novice
Original poster
Nov 26, 2017
23
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@n13L5 I agree that this is kind of a niche way to set up the A4, and its driven by the use of the 120mm AIO. (Since that leads to the shorter GPU and the power supply).

The reason for it is that I am running the high overclock (5.0Ghz) on the CPU which a noctua nhl9i really struggles with, but the AIO keeps the temps below 65C.
 
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n13L5

Trash Compacter
Aug 20, 2017
51
10
If the coolers you listed fit in the Dan you wouldn't be seeing many AIOs. Max cooler clearance is 48mm so you are limited to Noctua NH-L9i or similar size coolers.

Ohh that explains it somewhat... I thought DAN's case had more clearance than the S4 Mini... I guess an AIO will keep your CPU cooler than an LP53 with a Noctua fan would.

And I guess if you need no GPU, but you want massive CPU power.. Threadrippers and such, then the AIO is clearly the ticket.



I feel the A4's design is optimized for builds with GTX 1080s and - you know - whatever the Intel i7 flavor of the month is....

But obviously, you found a way to configure it for massive CPU power by utilizing that space. If you used no dedicated GPU card, you could probably fit a dual AIO and really run like 32 Cores in that little box :D



Given the builds I see and the various compromises the different cases require, it seems the NCase M1 still holds the sweet spot in flexibility with NO drawbacks in cooling. Mine is dead silent, because all the fans are spinning at absolutely lazy speeds. Even when I'm gaming.


I'm having second thoughts on building in the S4 Skyreach, cause it'll be hot and noisy by comparison...
 
Last edited:

n13L5

Trash Compacter
Aug 20, 2017
51
10
@n13L5 I agree that this is kind of a niche way to set up the A4, and its driven by the use of the 120mm AIO. (Since that leads to the shorter GPU and the power supply).

The reason for it is that I am running the high overclock (5.0Ghz) on the CPU which a noctua nhl9i really struggles with, but the AIO keeps the temps below 65C.

Yeah, people also told me, that the A4 has less cooler clearance than I thought, so yeah, if CPU power is what you need more than GPU power - absolutely! And its still tiny and with the AIO probably way quieter than you could get an S4 to run.


I'm actually mucking about with an HDPLEX H1 SODD fanless case - for total silence, cause its for audio recording.

But it isn't giving me much joy either - their own tiny 160W AC-DC PSU is all of 2 millimeters too tall to fit under the optical drive. And there's no pre-done mounting holes that would fit it, even if you didn't have an ODD.

Its not that I can't drill holes in the bottom of the case and mount the innards of the AC-DC directly to the chassis, maybe with a perforated aluminum hood, which isn't hard to make with the stuff from the local 'Home Depot' equivalent...


I was just hoping I could plug it all together and not have my workshop full of metal shavings...

Given that they're building the case and the 160W AC-DC + 160W DC-ATX combo, you'd think they wouldn't let the build fail for 2mm that the PSU needed to be flatter. I'd hate to stick a Dell Laptop brick with their shitty plastic housing in the front... I guess I could put that in an alu box, so the heat can get out.


If only I could do all that as fast as I can type it
into a forum post :D