Nanook's build log (9900K / Asrock Z390 / RTX 2080Ti)

Valantar

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
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Update:
This may be the first time I built a PC around an air cooler. The release of the Noctua NH-U12A gave me an excuse to get a case that accommodates a 160mm tall cooler. This led me to pick Phanteks’ Metallic Gear Neo ITX for this build. Yes, this case is much larger than most SFF cases designed, discussed, and featured on this forum. I’ve even seen this case made fun of in the Space Inefficiency thread.

However, I still really like how it looks. And even though it’s similar in size to Fractal Design’s Nano S, by locating the PSU to the top, the Neo doesn’t choke the graphics card like the Nano does.

Here are some quick snaps:






I realized that I didn’t get a good picture of the fans below the graphics card. (I will later) Here are my parts:
  • i9-9900K
  • Noctua NH-U12A
  • Asrock Z390 Phantom ITX
  • 32gb VLP Crucial 2666 ram
  • EVGA RTX 2080Ti XC
  • Corsair SF750 Platinum
  • Corsair Commander Pro

Cooling setup with the Corsair Commander Pro:
  • 2x Corsair ML140 fans behind front panel (on quiet mode, based on motherboard temperature)
  • 2x Noctua A12x15 fans below GPU, no real mounting holes, just secure using a few flat head fan screws m. This does prevent me from using the bottom filter though (default mode, based on GPU temps)
  • 1x Noctua A12x25 mounted on CPu heatsink (performance mode, based on CPU temps)
  • 1x Noctua A12x25 mounted on rear exhaust (performance mode, based on CPU temps)
Very brief tests:
  • 9900K overclocked to 5ghz all cores, -3AVX, 215 watts power limit, no time limit for boosts
  • RTX 2080 Ti no OC
  • Prime95 small FFT: CPU 89-90c
  • Furmark: GPU 68c
  • Gaming (120hz 3440x1440 on Division2): cpu 60s, gpu 70s
Overall impression... I love it. Air cooling and fan speeds can be further optimized. I may try opening up that plastic cover next to the motherboard and installing more intake fans as this case can be quite restrictive in terms of air flow. However, it is quiet and almost maintenance-free. I need to find some other way to secure the bottom fans, so that I can install the bottom filter.
Wait, that's too much free space. How about fitting a secondary STX-based system in the front? :D
 
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Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
@Nanook So much information in this thread! Thank you for all of your testing, this is quite the treasure trove.

Are you planning on snagging Sliger's 570/580 case for testing when it comes out, curious is all.
Maybe the 570... The larger size for a 240mm rad is interesting, but I’m actually less of a fan of using PCIe riser / extension cable as of late. I would really like to get a tiny case that houses a 160mm tall air cooler, no riser cable, and fans for the GPU. Maybe one of those older Rajintek Thetis / Métis case?
 

Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
Wait, that's too much free space. How about fitting a secondary STX-based system in the front? :D
It is very spacious. My PC has been sitting behind my left 27” monitor lately, so the Neo actually is hidden from sight. If my case is front and center, I’ll probably go back to the M1 (for the tenth time)...
 

junaidx7

Efficiency Noob
Feb 8, 2019
7
1
@Nanook

Please help me out kind sir,

I've read your post about the ghost s1 and it seems so promising and encouraging.

I'm planning to get A ghost s1/nouvolo steck

which the steck has 70mm cpu clearance any suggestions how I may be able to use the A12x25 noctua fans on the l12s or l12, it seems hard to find very low profile rams with high frequencies and supposedly ddr4, only the Adata 2666mhz from China

Would there be other comparable heatsink that I can pair with a12x25 fans (I believe they are the best fans right now static and airflow wise) and the overall heatsink height would remain under 66mm/70mm

As I'm planning to get a 9700k or 8700k and don't wanna mess with any settings just build the pc and run it. Would the temperatures fare same as ur locked 95w 9900k?

I'm afraid to mess with settings to lock my tdp.

Please suggest me thank you! as I will be buyin parts soon after I get the temperature issue resolved. The s1 ghost case will be mainly used for gaming, 3d modelling, AutoCAD and rendering (not so often)


I have been looking at
axp 100 , cryorig c7 cu but I'm unsure how they actually are.
 

Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
@Nanook

Please help me out kind sir,

I've read your post about the ghost s1 and it seems so promising and encouraging.

I'm planning to get A ghost s1/nouvolo steck

which the steck has 70mm cpu clearance any suggestions how I may be able to use the A12x25 noctua fans on the l12s or l12, it seems hard to find very low profile rams with high frequencies and supposedly ddr4, only the Adata 2666mhz from China

Would there be other comparable heatsink that I can pair with a12x25 fans (I believe they are the best fans right now static and airflow wise) and the overall heatsink height would remain under 66mm/70mm

As I'm planning to get a 9700k or 8700k and don't wanna mess with any settings just build the pc and run it. Would the temperatures fare same as ur locked 95w 9900k?

I'm afraid to mess with settings to lock my tdp.

Please suggest me thank you! as I will be buyin parts soon after I get the temperature issue resolved. The s1 ghost case will be mainly used for gaming, 3d modelling, AutoCAD and rendering (not so often)


I have been looking at
axp 100 , cryorig c7 cu but I'm unsure how they actually are.
Hi! If you’re looking to run everything stock, you might want to stay away from unlocked K cpus, and stay away from Z390 chipsets. That way you ask actually cool the cpu adequately with a NH-L9i, and definitely an NH-L12 with the 92mm fan, or stock NH-L12S. VLP ram is so expensive that I don’t think it’s worth it for the slight temp improvement. The C7 is slightly better than the NH-L9i, but it sounds annoying. The AXP-100 is a decent cooler, somewhere in between the L9i and L12.
 

junaidx7

Efficiency Noob
Feb 8, 2019
7
1
Y
Hi! If you’re looking to run everything stock, you might want to stay away from unlocked K cpus, and stay away from Z390 chipsets. That way you ask actually cool the cpu adequately with a NH-L9i, and definitely an NH-L12 with the 92mm fan, or stock NH-L12S. VLP ram is so expensive that I don’t think it’s worth it for the slight temp improvement. The C7 is slightly better than the NH-L9i, but it sounds annoying. The AXP-100 is a decent cooler, somewhere in between the L9i and L12.

Hi, thanks for the reply!

I do plan to overclock, just not immediately after purchase maybe after an year or 2. I just want to find alternate way to keep it thermal wise in my sffpc, ghost s1 perhaps with an L12.

So I thought maybe I could run similar to yr locked 95w tdp, as the thermals seems fair. Would it be possible with 9700k and LH12/s with an A12x25 with VLp ram? If so what would be the estimated temps ?
( Adata vlp odesnt seem to ezpensive here only like 100 usd? but only speed is limited 2666mhz)

Any specific things I should do that does not void warranty and helps with temps in Ghost S1?
 

Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
Y


Hi, thanks for the reply!

I do plan to overclock, just not immediately after purchase maybe after an year or 2. I just want to find alternate way to keep it thermal wise in my sffpc, ghost s1 perhaps with an L12.

So I thought maybe I could run similar to yr locked 95w tdp, as the thermals seems fair. Would it be possible with 9700k and LH12/s with an A12x25 with VLp ram? If so what would be the estimated temps ?
( Adata vlp odesnt seem to ezpensive here only like 100 usd? but only speed is limited 2666mhz)

Any specific things I should do that does not void warranty and helps with temps in Ghost S1?
Gotcha. If your get the 9700k and a higher end Z390 motherboard (Asus Strix Z390 or Asrock Z390 Phantom Gaming) you will have to go into the UEFI settings, and dial the settings back to “Intel stock”, the default for those motherboards are to run MCE. It takes more effort to bring settings back to stock. I guess XTU is simpler to use. Note the Asus Z390i vrm heatsink is massive, and will interfere with many cpu coolers.
 

junaidx7

Efficiency Noob
Feb 8, 2019
7
1
Does Intel XTU void warrant for tweaking settings ?

is there a simple button for setting the tdp or undervolting the cpu for proper temps?

I just really like the portability factor of the ghost - but don't wanna sacrifice the power of 9700k as I want it to 3dmodelling , rendering sometimes and AutoCAD and of course gaming.

Thanks @Nanook
 

Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
Does Intel XTU void warrant for tweaking settings ?

is there a simple button for setting the tdp or undervolting the cpu for proper temps?

I just really like the portability factor of the ghost - but don't wanna sacrifice the power of 9700k as I want it to 3dmodelling , rendering sometimes and AutoCAD and of course gaming.

Thanks @Nanook
I’m not sure if XTU will void warranty. It is made by Intel though, so it might worth it for you to read through their fine print in XTU and their cpu.

The 9700k will power through CAD without any problems. 3D rendering (assuming CPU based rendering engine) will work the cpu the hardest, and require the most cooling.

I haven’t found an easy button for undervolting. Setting the power limit is what I’d consider the easy button. Asus strix has an easy button to OC to 5ghz, assuming you have the cooling for it.
 

Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
Minor update:
Wanted to remove all lighting...
  1. Front fans switched to 2x 140mm Noctua PPC 3000 fans. No, I don’t need 3000rpm, and the racket it makes, I had them laying around, and might as well use them instead of the white led ML140s. Definitely loud, so I set them to 40% until my cpu gets above 80.
  2. Added 2x A12x25 to the right column as intake, not sure if they’re doing anything...
  3. Shoehorned another fan between the U12A and the rear exhaust. No real difference in performance.
I might try a negative pressure configuration by using a rear and bottom intake, and the side/front fans as exhaust.

Hard to take a picture with the tempered glass reflecting my messy desk:

 

SickstySix

What's an ITX?
Apr 16, 2019
1
0
@Nanook: Thanks to the NCase M1 being out of stock, I stumbled across this thread and am now in love with that MG Neo. I really wanted something I could easily tuck into a bag for all the travel I do, but the Neo is already a third of the size of what I currently have which is plenty small enough for travel.

I was looking at the 9900K due to some single-thread applications that could benefit from it, but I have no intention of overclocking and I suppose the Passmark benchmarks show the 9700K and others as being comparable. I really do like the air cooling approach, but I'm curious what you would recommend for an AIO setup? I'd really like to work at keeping the cables clean, but the tubes running between the CPU and the Resevoir seem like they are stuck draped between points.

I know it's only been a week, but are you resisting the urge to go back to the M1 so far?

Thanks again for all the hard work and details!
 
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Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
@Nanook: Thanks to the NCase M1 being out of stock, I stumbled across this thread and am now in love with that MG Neo. I really wanted something I could easily tuck into a bag for all the travel I do, but the Neo is already a third of the size of what I currently have which is plenty small enough for travel.

I was looking at the 9900K due to some single-thread applications that could benefit from it, but I have no intention of overclocking and I suppose the Passmark benchmarks show the 9700K and others as being comparable. I really do like the air cooling approach, but I'm curious what you would recommend for an AIO setup? I'd really like to work at keeping the cables clean, but the tubes running between the CPU and the Resevoir seem like they are stuck draped between points.

I know it's only been a week, but are you resisting the urge to go back to the M1 so far?

Thanks again for all the hard work and details!
Thanks!
For travel, I’d recommend staying away from TG. Not worth the hassle with being careful, and the utter mess when/if the glass break. Just IMHO.

Size-wise, this case is quite large overall in the main area area, but the space behind the motherboard is super tight, cable management by hiding cables behind the back wall is challenging, and even managing fan extensions can be challenging.

For AIO, the front radiator spot will allow for a 280 or 240. The side radiator is limited to 240. I think the side location is more open if your cables are routed around the side fans, and not blocking the airflow. The front spot might give you a cleaner soft tubing “run”. If you use a 240, you might be able to try out the front and side locations to see which fits better. The side location might have better airflow.

For custom loop, I was thinking that a 280mm reservoir / distributor plate / manifold might be cool for this case. Especially since the front fans are so limited in airflow. The side location would be where the 240 radiator goes. Although the side location would really show off the distro plate. Also maybe add a rear 120 radiator if needed...

Funny you asked, I’m thinking about either going back a smaller case with no OC on the CPU to allow for smaller coolers, maybe a brick-less build? or switching my other machine (portable workstation) from its current Dancase A4-SFX to something else. Not sure yet :)
 
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bawjaws

Cable Smoosher
Jul 15, 2017
12
6
Hey @Nanook , do you mind if I pick your brains for a minute, please?

I'm running a 6700K in my M1 and am planning to upgrade my GPU to an EVGA 2070 XC, which is a standard sized 2-slot, 2-fan open cooler design. I'm thinking that I will probably want to have a 120mm fan or two underneath the GPU to help keep things cool, and I'm looking to prioritise quietness over raw cooling ability. Would you think I'd be better off with standard 25mm fans on the case floor, or slim 15mm ones? I'm a bit concerned that although 25mm fans will fit just fine, there's only a few mm of clearance so they might not be as effective as slim fans, but at the same time I'm slightly concerned about turbulence regardless of which thickness of fans I go for. If I was using 25mm thick fans on the case floor, is the Noctua NF-A12 a better bet than the NF-S12A?

I'm also not sure whether intake or exhaust is the best option, although that's easy enough to experiment with. I currently have a U9S on my CPU with two 92mm fans, and an NF-S12A on the side panel as an intake, so air flows from the front of the case to the back. I'm wondering whether it would be better to reverse this so that air is drawn in from the back of the case and out of the side panel, in the interests of getting as much hot air out of the case as possible.

Any thoughts from you or any of the other experts here would be gratefully received. Cheers!
 

Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
Hey @Nanook , do you mind if I pick your brains for a minute, please?

I'm running a 6700K in my M1 and am planning to upgrade my GPU to an EVGA 2070 XC, which is a standard sized 2-slot, 2-fan open cooler design. I'm thinking that I will probably want to have a 120mm fan or two underneath the GPU to help keep things cool, and I'm looking to prioritise quietness over raw cooling ability. Would you think I'd be better off with standard 25mm fans on the case floor, or slim 15mm ones? I'm a bit concerned that although 25mm fans will fit just fine, there's only a few mm of clearance so they might not be as effective as slim fans, but at the same time I'm slightly concerned about turbulence regardless of which thickness of fans I go for. If I was using 25mm thick fans on the case floor, is the Noctua NF-A12 a better bet than the NF-S12A?

I'm also not sure whether intake or exhaust is the best option, although that's easy enough to experiment with. I currently have a U9S on my CPU with two 92mm fans, and an NF-S12A on the side panel as an intake, so air flows from the front of the case to the back. I'm wondering whether it would be better to reverse this so that air is drawn in from the back of the case and out of the side panel, in the interests of getting as much hot air out of the case as possible.

Any thoughts from you or any of the other experts here would be gratefully received. Cheers!
Having two 120mm 25mm thick fans will help with GPU temps. You could play around with fan speed to find a balance of quiet vs performance. I’ve only used 25mm fans under a 2 slot gpu. I’m sure 15mm helps with temps too, but I prefer the quietness of the A12x25. The only other fans I’ve tried below a gpu are the EK Vardar F4-ER White (louder as they do go to 2200rpm), and the grey Noctua 120mm redux 1700rpm. As you can see, I’ve mostly used static pressure fans, but if you already have some 120mm fans laying around (assuming you already have the S12A), it would be worth it to try them out.

It sounds like you have your U9S / side intake set up like most folks do. It works well. The rear intake actually works quite well. Combined with the two bottom intake fans, this ensures both the cpu and gpu get fresh air, and the side fan will expel hot air. It could come down to personal preference/ pc location whether the case is blowing warm air at your face. :)
 

bawjaws

Cable Smoosher
Jul 15, 2017
12
6
Having two 120mm 25mm thick fans will help with GPU temps. You could play around with fan speed to find a balance of quiet vs performance. I’ve only used 25mm fans under a 2 slot gpu. I’m sure 15mm helps with temps too, but I prefer the quietness of the A12x25. The only other fans I’ve tried below a gpu are the EK Vardar F4-ER White (louder as they do go to 2200rpm), and the grey Noctua 120mm redux 1700rpm. As you can see, I’ve mostly used static pressure fans, but if you already have some 120mm fans laying around (assuming you already have the S12A), it would be worth it to try them out.

It sounds like you have your U9S / side intake set up like most folks do. It works well. The rear intake actually works quite well. Combined with the two bottom intake fans, this ensures both the cpu and gpu get fresh air, and the side fan will expel hot air. It could come down to personal preference/ pc location whether the case is blowing warm air at your face. :)
Thanks for the reply :)

I think I'll grab a couple of NF-A12s and see how they go, and I'll experiment a bit with fan direction to see whether front-to-back or back-to-front works best. My case sits on the right hand side of the desk so if the side panel was an exhaust it would blow across the desk, but it's far enough in front of me to hopefully not be a problem. I might also consider looking for some taller case feet...

One more question, if I may: it feels like it would make sense for the speed of the bottom fans to be tied to GPU temperature rather than CPU, so do you have any suggestions for software (or hardware) to control fan speeds? I currently use the ASUS Fan Expert software which is fine, but doesn't allow temperature monitoring other than CPU. I've seen hardware solutions like the NZXT Grid+, but if there's a good way of doing everything via software then that would be preferable as my M1 is bad enough for cable spaghetti as it is!
 

Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
Thanks for the reply :)

I think I'll grab a couple of NF-A12s and see how they go, and I'll experiment a bit with fan direction to see whether front-to-back or back-to-front works best. My case sits on the right hand side of the desk so if the side panel was an exhaust it would blow across the desk, but it's far enough in front of me to hopefully not be a problem. I might also consider looking for some taller case feet...

One more question, if I may: it feels like it would make sense for the speed of the bottom fans to be tied to GPU temperature rather than CPU, so do you have any suggestions for software (or hardware) to control fan speeds? I currently use the ASUS Fan Expert software which is fine, but doesn't allow temperature monitoring other than CPU. I've seen hardware solutions like the NZXT Grid+, but if there's a good way of doing everything via software then that would be preferable as my M1 is bad enough for cable spaghetti as it is!
Folks told me that SpeedFan can control fans via GPU temps. I haven’t tried to figure that out. I’ve used Grid before, and it works ok. Currently I’m using Corsair Commander Pro, and it works great too. I think one of my earlier posts has a picture showing the Corsair Commander unit stuffed behind the PSU in the M1.
 

teodoro

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 8, 2018
108
76
speedfan can do it. it can take some poking around to get everything running properly as the program defaults don't always work, the interface is dated, and web resources are a little sparse (SPCR has a nice write up though). one issue with that route is the somewhat commonly used battlEye anti-cheat (pubg, r6 siege I think, others) began blocking speedfan last year. I've heard argus monitor has the same capabilities and enjoys continued support, though it costs money after a trial. ultimately I slaved my gpu-aimed fans to cpu temperatures (via bios) as a proxy; I don't do much cpu intensive, non-gaming tasks plus I keep those fans below my noise floor anyway
 
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bawjaws

Cable Smoosher
Jul 15, 2017
12
6
Cheers @Nanook and @teodoro . I had a look at Speedfan a few years back and it wasn't exactly the most user-friendly application. I've just installed the latest version and it doesn't look like it's changed! I'll have a look at that SPCR giveg and see if it clarifies matters. I'll also investigate Argus.
 
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Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
Cheers @Nanook and @teodoro . I had a look at Speedfan a few years back and it wasn't exactly the most user-friendly application. I've just installed the latest version and it doesn't look like it's changed! I'll have a look at that SPCR giveg and see if it clarifies matters. I'll also investigate Argus.
If the software controls are tricky, even running the fans at a fixed low rpm so that the bottom fans behave as glorified ducts will help with GPU, CPU, and internal case temps. Your other option is to set a custom fan curve based on the motherboard temps, e.g.: 40% fan while MB is <50c, and going up from there.
 

Nanook

King of Cable Management
Original poster
May 23, 2016
805
792
Teeny tiny update... moved into this teeny tiny case. For some reason, I was intrigued by the new spot for a fan below the motherboard on the Dancase A4-SFX v4. I had installed a 80x10 fan below the motherboard before, and got slightly improved temps, but somehow the 92mmx14 is doing even better.


Ok that’s a lot of fans. I have a problem.

Same components... I was worried about cooling the 9900K. Haven’t been able to get a 645c yet, but I’m trying out the Black Ridge v2. I’m using the 2600rpm version of the Noctua A9x14, from an L9i, to cool the Black Ridge. Even with VLP ram, I couldn’t get an A12x15 or a TY100 to fit with the Asrock Z390 Phantom Gaming ITX. The large VRM heatsink was in the way of anything larger than a 92mm fan.



Temps were somewhat in control (30s idle, 70s gaming, 91c in Prime95 small FFT, and 98 in Keyshot) when I set power limit to 95w/120w Short term boost. Boost is set to specific multipliers for # cores active: 50/50/48/48/47/47/47/47. AVX -5. And a level 5 (Least aggressive voltage setting) for CPU load-line calibration. Everything else is on auto.

Fan noise is OK with the Noctua fans. Actually more quiet overall than the Metallic Gear case for some reason - I had two 3000rpm 140s in the front of the Metallic Gear case screaming at me. Is that why? :p

Next I’m going to check on how cool I can get this machine to run Keyshot. Target is around 80c for extended renderings. Will look into undervolting.
 
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