Advice Seeking Ncase Cooling Advice - Air vs Liquid

rdwiz

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
New User
Feb 20, 2020
3
0
Good day folks,

Old time gamer with an 8yr old mid tower i3 having GPU issue, bought an EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 last Oct but turns out to be MB instead. Bought Ncase M1 which arrived Jan and have finally decided to build her out. Yes, I’m going to use this GPU as I’m not gaming on a regular basis ... getting old ... but will look at options later. The i5 CPU was only picked for cost perspective and have looked at going i7, again I’m not gaming much.

My struggle is deciding to cool the CPU with Air or Water and reaching out to get advice on which way to go. I’ve picked a few options for Air and Water to get feedback on the fit with case and MB.
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-10400 2.9 GHz 6-Core Processor
  • CPU Cooler - Air:
    • Noctua NH-C14
    • Noctua NH-U9S 46.44 CFM
    • Noctua NH-L12S 55.44 CFM
  • CPU Cooler - Liquid:
    • Corsair iCUE H100i RGB PRO XT 75 CFM Liquid
    • NZXT Kraken X53 73.11 CFM Liquid
  • Motherboard: MSI MEG Z490I UNIFY Mini ITX LGA1200
  • Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16
  • Storage: Samsung 970 Evo 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER 6 GB SC ULTRA GAMING
  • Case: NCASE M1 Mini ITX Tower Case
  • Power Supply: Corsair SF 600 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular SFX
  • Bottom Case Fans: (2) Noctua NF-A12x25 PWM 60.1 CFM 120 mm
 

karaju

Efficiency Noob
Jun 11, 2020
5
5
I have just put in an order for the ncase m1 and have been researching for components since April.
I plan on going with the Kraken X53, just so there is enough headroom if I end up overclocking.
I also plan on using noctua fans instead of the ones bundled with the Kraken to make it a wee bit quieter.
Based on reviews, I believe the Crosair is a little louder than the Kraken. But again, I am not sure if this would make a difference if I were to replace the bundled fans.

But for quieter builds and if you do want the tempered glass side panel, the U9S would be best. Just have to replace the stock Noctuas with the chromax variety.
This is my first time building a SFF and also my first time with an AIO, so my choices may not be the best.
 

Remy17

Chassis Packer
Jun 19, 2020
19
4
I am still messing around with an Ncase build for the first time and cooling situation can be a bit confusing. I am not using the same CPU as you, but the Ryzen chip I used has a TDP of 65 watts and I have done test runs using a Noctua NH-L9a low profile cooler running the chip at stock and eco mode with good results considering it is the middle of summer. ( I have tested with the air conditioning in my apartment on and off). You have to check the thermal profile of the i5 and using an AIO cooler seems to hinge on whether you are planning to overclock in some cases. I do have a 240 mm cooler that I tried to hook up in the case but, I did not like how crammed it looked and was worried about the overall airflow. If you do go with an AIO I would suggest getting slim fans to mount on the radiator to give the system some more breathing room and to make mounting the pump block easier.
 

Blubbie21

Caliper Novice
Feb 3, 2020
25
13
Originally I wanted to do a dual radiator (2x 240) custom loop. But i hat to switch to an air cooled solution because my GPU (Gainward RTX 2070Super) was too wide with the waterblock for the Ncase. 😭

Yesterday i've finalized my air-only Ncase build - and honestly I don't see any big benefits of switching back to liquid cooling.

Keep in mind - its not about silence - you can do a complete air cooled build with nearly zero noise!

The only reason I will go back to watercooling (with the next GPU generation) would be overclocking CPU/GPU. But without overclocking the components can run stable and silent.

This is my current configuration:
CPU: Ryzen 3700X (set to 65W PPT)
GPU: Geforce RTX 2070 Super (undervolted to 0,875V)
RAM: 32 GB DDR4-3600
2x M.2 Drives
2x SATA SSD Drives

Cooling:
CPU Fans: Noctua NH-C14S - with a NF-A12x25 Fan instead of the NF-A14 Fan because of clearances. Fan is exhausting.
GPU Fans: Removed the 3 Stock 90mm fans, and added 2x NF-A12x25 at the bottom for exhausting hot air
Case Fans: More Noctuas: Side Bracket: 2x NF-A12x15 (slim) exhausting, and 1x NF-A9x15 blowing in cool air.





What about the temps?
Well, just before my NCASE M1 i had all these components in a BIG ATX Tower with THREE Rads. (420mm, 360mm, 280mm).
The funny thing is that the CPU Temps are nearly identical at full load with: 62 °C.

The only one who is really missing the liquid cooling is the GPU. With the three radiators my Geforce RTX 2070S was at 44°C with full load and full boost clock - ALL THE TIME!

With my current air-only-configuration the GPU gets significantly warmer with: 65°C and no longer boosts all the time. But 65°C is still a better temperature than the stock fans will do.

The point is - i am running most of the fans at 1000rpm (dead quiet) - only the GPU Fans at the bottom are audible because they are running at 1400 rpm (@full load).

Details on the perfect air cooled NCASe Build can be found on this post:
 

karaju

Efficiency Noob
Jun 11, 2020
5
5
Thanks!
I think I might have found your excel sheet in Reddit as well :)



Originally I wanted to do a dual radiator (2x 240) custom loop. But i hat to switch to an air cooled solution because my GPU (Gainward RTX 2070Super) was too wide with the waterblock for the Ncase. 😭

Yesterday i've finalized my air-only Ncase build - and honestly I don't see any big benefits of switching back to liquid cooling.

Keep in mind - its not about silence - you can do a complete air cooled build with nearly zero noise!

The only reason I will go back to watercooling (with the next GPU generation) would be overclocking CPU/GPU. But without overclocking the components can run stable and silent.

This is my current configuration:
CPU: Ryzen 3700X (set to 65W PPT)
GPU: Geforce RTX 2070 Super (undervolted to 0,875V)
RAM: 32 GB DDR4-3600
2x M.2 Drives
2x SATA SSD Drives

Cooling:
CPU Fans: Noctua NH-C14S - with a NF-A12x25 Fan instead of the NF-A14 Fan because of clearances. Fan is exhausting.
GPU Fans: Removed the 3 Stock 90mm fans, and added 2x NF-A12x25 at the bottom for exhausting hot air
Case Fans: More Noctuas: Side Bracket: 2x NF-A12x15 (slim) exhausting, and 1x NF-A9x15 blowing in cool air.





What about the temps?
Well, just before my NCASE M1 i had all these components in a BIG ATX Tower with THREE Rads. (420mm, 360mm, 280mm).
The funny thing is that the CPU Temps are nearly identical at full load with: 62 °C.

The only one who is really missing the liquid cooling is the GPU. With the three radiators my Geforce RTX 2070S was at 44°C with full load and full boost clock - ALL THE TIME!

With my current air-only-configuration the GPU gets significantly warmer with: 65°C and no longer boosts all the time. But 65°C is still a better temperature than the stock fans will do.

The point is - i am running most of the fans at 1000rpm (dead quiet) - only the GPU Fans at the bottom are audible because they are running at 1400 rpm (@full load).

Details on the perfect air cooled NCASe Build can be found on this post:
 
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Reactions: Blubbie21

rdwiz

Minimal Tinkerer
Original poster
New User
Feb 20, 2020
3
0
The MSI board I have has 3 fan slots: CPU, AIO, SYS.
My two on the bottom are sharing and plugged into the AIO, back fan is on SYS and of course CPU.
How are you powering all 4 fans and are you monitoring?
 

Blubbie21

Caliper Novice
Feb 3, 2020
25
13
@rdwiz A lot of solutions for your problem:
1. you can use Y-Cable adapters to put 2 fans on each of the 3 fan slots on the mainboard => 6 Fans.
2. of course you can also add more than 2 fans by using tripple-split-adapters for 3 fans (the mainboard should still deliver enough power)
3. best solution is also mentioned in this guide i've linked above The solution (i am also using this one) is simply to buy a VGA-Fan-PWM Adapter like this one. You will need it to connect your good noctua bottom fans below your graphics card with the graphics card. Again you should this adapter in addition to a Y-adapter so you can power both fans.
By doing so you will be able to control the bottom fans directly by GPU temperatur and not bei CPU temperature (like it would be on motherboard pwm conections)
 
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