DAN C4-SFX - Update 15.03.2021

threestripevida

Airflow Optimizer
Gold Supporter
Mar 28, 2017
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They did an impressive job on the Loque Raw S1 recently, so they might have started to understand basics like "check if your GPU and CPU cooler are compatible".
I’ll admit that I didn’t bother watching that video. Partly caused I knew I’d get annoyed if they did something stupid and also because I don’t care about the Raw S1. I’ll check it out though and see if my criticism still stands.
 
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MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Apr 1, 2016
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Hoping to see a full waterloop by OT 😀
Well I'm a bit bored of full watercooling showcase...I would rather prefer performance video using passthrough GPU (as FE or even some customed are moving to this design) in full air cooling..;)
Dmitri from HardwareCanucks made also a video how cumbersome could be full watercooling loop.
Noctua D15S (or any dual tower 120/140 cooler) cannot be ashamed by 280 AIO..:)
 
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Valantar

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
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Well I'm a bit bored of full watercooling showcase...I would rather prefer performance video using passthrough GPU (as FE or even some customed are moving to this design) in full air cooling..;)
Dmitri from HardwareCanucks made also a video how cumbersome could be full watercooling loop.
Noctua D15S (or any dual tower 120/140 cooler) cannot be ashamed by 280 AIO..:)
Water loops are definitely cumbersome. They're nice if you can stomach the cost of (and have space for) QDCs, but without those it's a major hassle. Air coolers are big, take lots of room, might stress your motherboard, and don't deliver quite as much cooling, but in terms of practicality they win out 100% of the time. And that matters quite a lot. AIOs split the difference pretty well - practical in some ways, not in others, and cooling is in the middle. If I was doing a scratch build these days I would quite strongly be considering going full air - but having invested quite a bit of money in water cooling components that by itself is an argument to keep going that direction at least for now. (And of course I just bought QDCs, so suddenly I have a modular and practical water loop - hooray!)

Also agree that the (especially hardline) water cooled showcase SFF builds are getting a bit old. Performance, practicality, accessibility and ease of building/maintenance are far too undercommunicated. But I guess that's the nature of a scene driven by YouTube and Reddit.
 

MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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Water loops are definitely cumbersome. They're nice if you can stomach the cost of (and have space for) QDCs, but without those it's a major hassle. Air coolers are big, take lots of room, might stress your motherboard, and don't deliver quite as much cooling, but in terms of practicality they win out 100% of the time. And that matters quite a lot. AIOs split the difference pretty well - practical in some ways, not in others, and cooling is in the middle. If I was doing a scratch build these days I would quite strongly be considering going full air - but having invested quite a bit of money in water cooling components that by itself is an argument to keep going that direction at least for now. (And of course I just bought QDCs, so suddenly I have a modular and practical water loop - hooray!)

Also agree that the (especially hardline) water cooled showcase SFF builds are getting a bit old. Performance, practicality, accessibility and ease of building/maintenance are far too undercommunicated. But I guess that's the nature of a scene driven by YouTube and Reddit.
I was in the same case (having full watercooling and lot of related components). However due to "accidents" I lost (or nearly) too many pieces. On top of that, watercooling CPU & especially GPU are almost useless nowadays (very low performance or noise benefits vs full air). I won't consider full/partial WC again.

As I still owned material I did some customed AIO (swiftech, alphacool) trials (till 2020)...with some failures again (no damage hopefully).
From now, as you mentionned, I stick to AIO only and put full priority on air coolers..;)
 
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Valantar

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
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I was in the same case (having full watercooling and lot of related components). However due to "accidents" I lost (or nearly) too many pieces. On top of that, watercooling CPU & especially GPU are almost useless nowadays (very low performance or noise benefits vs full air). I won't consider full/partial WC again.

As I still owned material I did some customed AIO (swiftech, alphacool) trials (till 2020)...with some failures again (no damage hopefully).
From now, as you mentionned, I stick to AIO only and put full priority on air coolers..;)
Yeah, given that I have an Aquanaut I'm not going AIO any time soon, though if I was starting now I'd either go air or an EK or Arctic AIO - those perform so well that custom is kind of pointless. The main benefit is of course the option for a single consolidated loop, which QDCs makes feasible, but the cost when starting from scratch? Nah. I'd just get a case that can fit 3-slot GPUs, and possibly deshroud it. It's taken me four years to get to a point where I feel I have all the fittings and components I need for an easily maintained and upgraded loop, and ... I don't want to think about how much money. I went for the cheapest QDCs I could find, and even those were about €100 for the five sets i needed. Luckily I haven't had any leaks or spills (the EK leak testing kit is cheap insurance against that! Though when I pulled apart my loop to clean it (first time, after four years, still nearly spotless!) recently I did find that my EK GPU block had a ton of loose screws. Very, very impressed that it hadn't leaked, as there was pretty much no pressure on the gasket between the cold plate and the acetal front plate 😨 I actually suspect that coil whine from the GPU has vibrated them loose over the years, as it can get pretty bad in menus with uncapped fps and the like. If that isn't terrifying, I dont know what is 😬

We'll see if I end up getting a water block for my upcoming GPU upgrade - if I ever get it, that is - or if I just keep using the water loop as an AIO-esque setup.
 

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Apr 1, 2016
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Yeah, given that I have an Aquanaut I'm not going AIO any time soon, though if I was starting now I'd either go air or an EK or Arctic AIO - those perform so well that custom is kind of pointless. The main benefit is of course the option for a single consolidated loop, which QDCs makes feasible, but the cost when starting from scratch? Nah. I'd just get a case that can fit 3-slot GPUs, and possibly deshroud it. It's taken me four years to get to a point where I feel I have all the fittings and components I need for an easily maintained and upgraded loop, and ... I don't want to think about how much money. I went for the cheapest QDCs I could find, and even those were about €100 for the five sets i needed. Luckily I haven't had any leaks or spills (the EK leak testing kit is cheap insurance against that! Though when I pulled apart my loop to clean it (first time, after four years, still nearly spotless!) recently I did find that my EK GPU block had a ton of loose screws. Very, very impressed that it hadn't leaked, as there was pretty much no pressure on the gasket between the cold plate and the acetal front plate 😨 I actually suspect that coil whine from the GPU has vibrated them loose over the years, as it can get pretty bad in menus with uncapped fps and the like. If that isn't terrifying, I dont know what is 😬

We'll see if I end up getting a water block for my upcoming GPU upgrade - if I ever get it, that is - or if I just keep using the water loop as an AIO-esque setup.
:):) Your GPU Coil whine is reminding my experience with R9 290X...under full watercooling, it was cool & noisy..thanks to coil whine lol..:D
Stay tuned for my next build review. It should be online by a couple of days...it will be cruel for watercooling..:D
 
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Valantar

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Jan 20, 2018
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:):) Your GPU Coil whine is reminding my experience with R9 290X...under full watercooling, it was cool & noisy..thanks to coil whine lol..:D
Stay tuned for my next build review. It should be online by a couple of days...it will be cruel for watercooling..:D
Yeah, whiny coils strapped to a massive copper block with little to no vibration dampening in between ... isn't nice at all. Luckily mine only whines noticeably at very high FPS (i.e. completely unrealistic FPS for any actual gaming). But things like Rocket League menus before I added a 120fps cap in the GPU driver? Oh man, that was terrible.

The great thing is, with SFF these days you have sufficient choice in cases that there's great options both for big(ish) air cooling as well as water cooling, and both types of cases are getting impressively optimized (beyond going very custom, of course). The C4 (especially with that proposed dual fan horizontal Noctua cooler) is a great example of this. Looking forward to seeing your build!
 
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Dr0ne

Efficiency Noob
Apr 22, 2021
6
5
I like both this design and the A4-H20. I am a bit puzzled as to why in a case already this large you didn't design it to support mATX? A4 for ITX, c4 for mATX? The only case I've seen in SFF that size is the ZZAW B3 but it is not setup for h20 at all imo. I may mod it but that's not the same as buying one that supports it out of the box...
 

Valantar

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Jan 20, 2018
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I like both this design and the A4-H20. I am a bit puzzled as to why in a case already this large you didn't design it to support mATX? A4 for ITX, c4 for mATX? The only case I've seen in SFF that size is the ZZAW B3 but it is not setup for h20 at all imo. I may mod it but that's not the same as buying one that supports it out of the box...
There aren't many mATX boards on the market in recent years though, and no premium ones that I can recall. Of course alongside that people's needs for expansion cards have shrunk dramatically over the past decade, particularly with multi GPU dying entirely. That means the market for premium mATX SFF cases is pretty tiny, and they'd need to increase the case size to properly support it (at least for a 4th expansion slot, but likely also some to fit a rotated PSU mount), making it larger for not much of a reason, as most users would probably go for a more premium ITX board anyhow. Especially now that most ITX boards have two m.2 slots and 2.5GbE there are very few reasons for people to go mATX.
 

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Apr 1, 2016
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There aren't many mATX boards on the market in recent years though, and no premium ones that I can recall. Of course alongside that people's needs for expansion cards have shrunk dramatically over the past decade, particularly with multi GPU dying entirely. That means the market for premium mATX SFF cases is pretty tiny, and they'd need to increase the case size to properly support it (at least for a 4th expansion slot, but likely also some to fit a rotated PSU mount), making it larger for not much of a reason, as most users would probably go for a more premium ITX board anyhow. Especially now that most ITX boards have two m.2 slots and 2.5GbE there are very few reasons for people to go mATX.
I will also add that expansion slots can be replaced by usb devices. Even right now you can find effective usb 3.2 gen 2 network cards at 2.5Gbps or even 10Gbps.

USB4 and Thunderbolt (all based on pci express, like expansion slots) should impact severely expansion cards market.
 

paloyki

Efficiency Noob
Oct 13, 2018
7
1
For me my focus is on the topics: Sandwich, Classic, Flip able, 280 AIO & Air cooling. If a reviewer is interested in doing a custom loop in a seperat video they can do it but this is not my focus.
Hi @dondan
I am an owner of A4 SFX v2 and of course I have a problem with fitting 3080 etc(which is ok, been very happy with my first build with 1080ti but it is time to get a new case). I have started looking for a bigger case, in order to be able to fit the latest high end GPUs. I am checking the C4 SFX, however from all the posts here, I am not sure if it has released or not? has it? are we going to see it in production? I am confused..
thanks :)