Project "Black Seas" - Another NCase under water

EndEffeKt

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 23, 2019
106
33
Good Day fellow enthusiasts!
After entertaining myself with a lot of the builds presented on SFFNetwork I decided to chip in with my own small build-log and some pictures of my own new rig. It will start today with some background information despite the fact that I am on vacation and some of the parts are still underway.

The proposed build is nothing but a reboot of the cooling setup @HottestVapes used with his 9900k and RTX 2080ti machine found [here]. Nevertheless I think every buildlog here provides some new features or just entertains the reader for a couple of minutes. Thanks again
to @HottestVapes for answering a good amonth of my questions regarding this build.

Lets start with the parts, shall we?


The Core
- Case: NCase M1 v6
- Mainboard: Asus Strix B450-i Gaming -used-
- CPU: Ryzen 7 3700x -refurbished-
- GPU: Asus RTX 2080 Turbo -used-
- RAM: 32 GB Ballistix Sport LT 3000 CL15
- M.2: 1 TB Samsung 970 Evo Plus
- SATA: 2 TB Crucial MX500 -recycled-
- PSU: Corsair SF600 Platinum

The Cooling
- GPU: EKWB Vector RTX 2080 RE Fullcover-Waterblock + Backplate
- CPU: EKWB Vector AM4 Waterblock
- Reservoir: Iceman Res-Pump NCase
- Pump: EKWB DDC 3.25 PMW
- Radiator: 1. XSPC TX240 (240x20 mm)
2. Alphacool Nexxos (240x30 mm)
- Fans: 1. 2x Silverstone FN 124 (120x15 mm)
2. 2x Noiseblocker ELoop black (120x25 mm)
- Tubing: EKWB ZMT black 10x16 mm
- Fittings: An asortment of Barrow fittings, angled adapters and extenders
- Coolant: EKWB Cryofuel Clear

The Extras
- Cables: Customcables by Cablemod
- Temp: Tempsensor by Barrow
- Mounting: 3D-printed Fan-adapter to mount the reservoir


Some rambling on the parts. As you noticed I got no problem with buying used parts if I get a decend deal on them. Especially
the blower 2080 came within warranty and for a good price. No A-chip, but I can live with that. The used Mainboard comes shipped with
an updated Bios which is a huge plus in my book, because I got no early Ryzen-chip to do it myself. Decided against x570 because I
dont need the pci-e 4.0 (yet) and the b450 Strix has all the features I need (high end audio chip, fan headers, pump header, temp sensor).
Lets hope the VRM hold up its part of the deal. For 130 Euro I am taking this one. The RAM is Micron E-Die and should overclock quite nicely
especially on an ITX board with short traces. Lets see how that turns out later on. The decision for Barrows fittings stem from the high
pricing on EK, Alphacool and bitspower. 250 Euros just for fittings and adapters is horrendous. I cut that in half by ordering Barrow via
Aliexpress. Quality should be as good as bitspower, because it seems those come from the same factory. They look absolutely identical.

The overall custom loop is pretty standard for an NCase. Using a slim bottom radiator with 15 mm fans and a sidemounted 30 mm radiator with
25 mm fans. I opted against Noctua here because the all-black optics were too appealing to me. The Noiseblockers got very good reviews and tests
so I think I will just be as satisfied by cooling and noise. The Silverstone fans are a wild card. Dont know much about them. My first very scientific
tests in mid-air were promissing. The Iceman-Reservoir and DDC-pump will get mounted externally at the back of the case. The Res has a surprisingly
high quality and is really heavy.

Next stops: GPU prep, Pump/Res and hopefully testing of the core parts on top of the box after my vacation :)
 
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EndEffeKt

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 23, 2019
106
33
Lets start with some preparation as long as a good chunk of the parts is still underway.

The Pump/Res is first. After paying a horrendous amonth for customs (40 euro), bringing up the maximum cost for the reservoir, shipping and customs to a whopping 100 € total, the product itself leaves nothing to be desired. Its mostly metal, feels really sturdy and looks absolutely awesome. Considering the fact that it will be incorporated into the outer shell of the machine it checks all the boxes. It took me 3 rounds to get the pump to seal up against the reservoir, but I think thats mostly my lacking experience with watercooling. Also mounted the 3d-printed bracket.


Next stop is fitting the GPU with a waterblock. The Asus Turbo is already tested in my air-cooled system. After undervolting, power limitation and fan-profile adjustments the card works nice and the noise is barable. The cooler is absolutely anaemic and not up for the task. The waterblock looks awesome in my opinion. The black and silver no-rgb style will continue through most of the build.

 
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HottestVapes

Average Stuffer
Oct 13, 2018
81
80
Off to a good start so far. I'm really jealous that your GPU is a true single slot with the block on it. That should give you the option to use 25mm fans with the TX240 on the bottom if you want to.
 
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EndEffeKt

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 23, 2019
106
33
Off to a good start so far. I'm really jealous that your GPU is a true single slot with the block on it. That should give you the option to use 25mm fans with the TX240 on the bottom if you want to.
Thats a good topic for rule of thumb estimations. Whats better:
- Slim Rad and slim fans, because there is more breathing room.
- 30 mm Rad and slim fans, because the surface area is bigger.
- Slim Rad and normal fans, because the static pressure is higher.

Fun story, but at the moment all the parts are paid for, so slim rad and slim fans for now.
 
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HottestVapes

Average Stuffer
Oct 13, 2018
81
80
Thats a good topic for rule of thumb estimations. Whats better:
- Slim Rad and slim fans, because there is more breathing room.
- 30 mm Rad and slim fans, because the surface area is bigger.
- Slim Rad and normal fans, because the static pressure is higher.

Fun story, but at the moment all the parts are paid for, so slim rad and slim fans for now.
Realistically, I think the only real difference between slim and standard fans would be accoustics and not performance.

I’ve heard of one person that changed out a 30mm rad and slim fans for the TX240 and standard fans, they reported identical performance.


But hey, options are always good. You
 

EndEffeKt

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Mar 23, 2019
106
33
Ok Guys round 2!

Breedboarding
All my parts have finally arrived and mentally rested out of my vacation I began tinkering. So far the system performs admirably. It is my first ITX-system and it is absolutely astonishing how small that board and the psu are. My used mainboard came packaged as new with all the accessories and embraced my R7 3700x right out of the box. So far the 130 Euro are well spent. That stock-cooler is a little finicky to get latched on, but I was prepared for that and even found a small bit of thermal paste in a drawer. As my 2080 is already well equipped for watercooling, I decided to slap my monstrous MSI 1070 GamingX onto the innocent ITX-board. It had a bit more play then I deemed neccessary so I supported the GPU with some more packaging material. Rock solid german engineering. What could possibly go wrong!
It posted like a charm and everything is going according to plan actually.

RAM-Overclocking
After my initial success with getting the system to work bone stock, I laid hands on my next chunk of work. Memory overclocking...
After using XMP and be done with it like the most Intel users of the past I personally am an absolute novice in RAM-Overclocking. Unfortunately you get quite an armament of useful tools and programs on the internet, but most people that claim to be memory overclockers just seem to follow the ruling of "just try it out". I could not find one in depth step-by-step guide on memory overclocking that was worth reading. I read some, but the essential was: "up the clocks, tighten the primaries and then you might need more voltage" Ok, thats the kind of knowledgebase even I had.

What are we working with? 2x16GB Ballistix Sport LT 3000 CL15 for 140 € total. So lets say a really budget friendly kit. No Samsung B-die, No fancy-pants naming, no-RG-fucking-B. The price was nice, I took it twice :) I read a lot about these specific Micron E-dies and a lot of "overclocking-pros" seemed to get quite astonishing results. With that premisse I began a night of try-and-error.

Some of the possibly embarassing problems I encountered:
- my beloved Asus Bios uses hexadecimal-numbers! But all guides and even DRAM-Calculator use decimal. Took me just a couple of hours to figure out why the timings I put in are never the ones Ryzen Master shows after boot -.-"
- Your Bios and the source you use for inspiration (DRAM-calculator, settings of other forum-users, guides etc.) might use different abreviations for the same setting or the setting you want to change doesnt show under the same name in your Bios. Very annoying.
- Ryzen Master is evil. Before I figured out my hexadecimal-error I switched over to Ryzen Master instead of punching my numbers in the Bios. It looked quite conveniantly and for the first time my timings seemed to translate to my PC. BUT...Ryzen Master is known to do some finicky stuff with voltages and does not bother telling you that. I had 2 occasions were I my PC stopped posting and I needed to switch up the RAM and clear CMOS to get it back to live. I stopped using Ryzen Master for more than monitoring after that second time.

After a long learning process, reading of hundreds of forum-posts and guides, watching Buildzoids RAM-guides and a lot of try and error I finally managed to get some results. My cheapo-RAM runs with the following: 3800 MHz Cl 16-19-16-36 @ 1.45v (Infinity fabric overclocked to 1900 Mhz accordingly). Aida64 shows some really significant improvements over my 3600 Mhz settings, so I keep these. I will do some stability testing and try to reduce the voltage a bit, but I am freaking impressed :-)

TLDR: If you are into tinkering arround for hours and hours, you do not need TridentZ-RAM for 400 Euro.

Preparations
Awaiting the arrival of my NCase tomorrow I did a leak-test of just my Pump/Res over night. Simply plugged it and filled it with tab-water. Just wanted to see if the connection between reservoir and pump is sealed. It holds. Furthermore I flushed my Radiators with tab-water and some vinegar-water mix to get rid of any eventual debris. Did this pretty quick'n'dirty in the kitchen-sink.

I wish you guys a great week and hear you soon!