SMALLEST ATX CASE : CERBERUS-X (Complete build log)

paulesko

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Jul 31, 2019
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That´s a very nice setup! My 3700x is not stable at 4.3 even with ridiculous vcore, so it could be true that 3800x are better at overclocking
 
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MarcParis

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That´s a very nice setup! My 3700x is not stable at 4.3 even with ridiculous vcore, so it could be true that 3800x are better at overclocking
It's not obvious at first sight...but I was tricked 2 years ago with R7 1700X (vs R7 1800X)...I never reached stable & reasonible 4.0Ghz OC with my R7 1700X.
Tech Journalists have access to limited quantity of CPU and they assumed, too quickly, that OC is rather simple.
If you look at all reviews from R7 3800X, all journalists are stating clearly : avoid R7 3800X, get R7 3700X and you will be able to equal or surpasses R7 3800X with overclocking... (only very few highlight better OC potential of R7 3800X)

That's where Silicon Lottery data (website that sells pre sorted cpu) is very useful :

With those numbers you can see REAL average differences/gap between chips...;)
 

Uruk

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Feb 1, 2019
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Great overclock numbers, I bet you could improve them with better cooling. That 3800X is simply too much for the poor NH-C14S
 
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MarcParis

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Great overclock numbers, I bet you could improve them with better cooling. That 3800X is simply too much for the poor NH-C14S
Sure, with my 240mm customed watercooling loop, I experienced better CPU temperature on load (around 5-7°C better), but worse GPU temperature & noise (around 7-10°C) as it received exhaust air from cpu radiator.
On top of this, fan on my NH-C14S is in exhaust mode. I'll try to improve fresh air intake as my Cerberus-X is in horizontal stand.

My current setup is clearly oriented to maximize GPU cooling & performance...and I like it..;)

I will see if any improvment is possible..;)
 
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MarcParis

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Ill keep an eye on your tests, I have a NH-C14S lying somewhere from my previous build. Maybe is time to give it a chance
Indeed your corsair H100i pro is a bit overkill for R7 3700X..:)

it will be interesting to see if you find also any benefit on GPU cooling/noise while swithcing to NH-C14S with fan setup as exhaust.
 
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TheHig

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Oct 13, 2016
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Nice results Marc. 👍

Can confirm better gpu temps with C14s vs Aio in Cerberus X for me as well. Losing the rad makes for better air flow for sure.

I went to the C14s this weekend and noise temps are plenty good enough on the 3900x. No OC so far.
Cpu set to intake with CerbX vented panel.

I’ll have to post some results/pics in my thread but currently seeing 60s on cpu and mid 70s on gpu gaming for hours at 1440p. Been back on No Mans Sky since the Beyond update. Really like it.
 
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MarcParis

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Nice results Marc.

Can confirm better gpu temps with C14s vs Aio in Cerberus X for me as well. Losing the rad makes for better air flow for sure.

I went to the C14s this weekend and noise temps are plenty good enough on the 3900x. No OC so far.
Cpu set to intake with CerbX vented panel.

I’ll have to post some results/pics in my thread but currently seeing 60s on cpu and mid 70s on gpu gaming for hours at 1440p. Been back on No Mans Sky since the Beyond update. Really like it.
Thanks for feedback.
For cpu fan setup on nh-c14s, have you tried exhaust mode also?
Also are you using clip of noctua cooler or put fan on side bracket?
 
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TheHig

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Clipped to heatsink. Side bracket removed from the Cerberus. Haven’t tried exhaust but the fan flip will be very easy to do.

Lots of room to work using this cooler.

Edit: on mobile so pic may be wonky. Box vs Cerberus shot included for Lols.

 

MarcParis

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Clipped to heatsink. Side bracket removed from the Cerberus. Haven’t tried exhaust but the fan flip will be very easy to do.

Lots of room to work using this cooler.

Edit: on mobile so pic may be wonky. Box vs Cerberus shot included for Lols.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

In my case, i will try to put top fan (nf a12x15) as intake to provide fresh air directly to bottom of nh-c14s. Currently it’s still setup as exhaust, but it’s quite useless..:)
 

MarcParis

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Here are my findings after some trials :
  • 140mm fan put on NH-C14S used as fan clips (original : 140mm fan on side bracket as exhaust) + TOP nf a12x15 setup as intake (original, exhaust)
    • (140mm fan placed on Noctua NH-C14S is not facing vents on side panels)
    • On Intel Burn test (maximum preset), CPU Maximum temperature was reached and computer reboot....big failure!
  • 140mm fan on side bracket as exhaust (as original) + TOP nf a12x15 setup as intake (original, exhaust)
    • On Intel Burn test (maximum preset), it's reaching stable max temperature around 88-89°C (peak max temp shown is related to ramp up time of cpu fan)
Basically change of top fan setup (nf a12x15) from exhaust to intake is providing 2°C improvment on CPU temperature...not bad at all...:D
 
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MarcParis

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By curiosity I test a stupid combo : Why not replacing NF A14 fan by a NF A12x25 on top of NH-C14S ???...:D

It was supposed to be a stupid trial as all theorical data (flow, pressure) are better on NF A14 than on NF A12x25!
I just transfer bottom front intake fan (pretty useless without watercooling radiator exhausted air to cool down) to side bracket.

@KSliger : This picture illustrates some bugs of infinite vents as I cannot mount my 120mm fan on bottom vents using 4 screws...but 2 screws are completely fine!

Here is the result after my standard Intel Burn Test (maximum preset) :

I was pretty surprised as temperature with NF A12x25 was slightly lower (-0,5°C) compared to NF A14! (withtout saying that noise on max load was also a tiny little bit lower...:))

Motivated with this great (and surprising) result, I decided to mount NF-A14 at the bottom on NH-C14S (still as exhaust), using fan clips. I plugged it to CPU_OPT fan plug from Asus Crosshair VI Hero. This plug is using same PWM curve as CPU one, but it allows to monitor fan speed directly.




ET VOILA!
Result from Intel Burn Test is, without any doubt, best in class..:)

From original setup to this final one, CPU lost 4°C (from 93°C to 89°C for Tctl, and from 88°C to 84°C for CPU package)

Also addition of NF A14 at bottom of NH-C14S allows to decrease temperature from RAM stick by 2,5°C/3°C! (compared with test with only NF A12x25)

To sum up on my experiments on NH-C14S inside Cerberus-X :
  • Switching top fan from Exhaust to Intake : CPU max temperature reduced by 1,9°C (from 93°C to 91,1°C)
  • Replacing top fan of NH-C14S from NF-A14 to NF-A12x25 : CPU max temperature reduced by 0,5°C (from 91,1°C to 90,6°C)
  • Adding a bottom NF-A14 fan on NH-C14S :
    • CPU max temperature reduced by 1,6°C (from 90,6°C to 89,0°C)
    • RAM sticks temperature dropped by 3,0°C (from 45,5°C to 42,5°C)
    • Noise level on max load is still on same range as with only one fan (remains quiet on load, silent on idle)
I hope this will help..;)
 
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MarcParis

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Do you have a 12x15 mounted above the C14s? How much room do you have there if yes?
Yes I still have a NF a12x15 mounted on top bracket (made for handle).
Distance edge to edge between NH-C14S heatsink and NF-A12x15 is 2,5cm.
 

Chromavoid

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Jun 12, 2019
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Yes I still have a NF a12x15 mounted on top bracket (made for handle).
Distance edge to edge between NH-C14S heatsink and NF-A12x15 is 2,5cm.
Ahh, I forgot you have a Cerberus X, so likely a different motherboard and more room than I do. I have an Asrock m-itx in a Cerberus and have not much room above the C14S
 

MarcParis

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Ahh, I forgot you have a Cerberus X, so likely a different motherboard and more room than I do. I have an Asrock m-itx in a Cerberus and have not much room above the C14S
Sure. Mini itx Board are pretty tight for cpu cooler...:)
 

MarcParis

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I've just tested my setup with H264 encoding (Davinc Resolve 16, 4K H264, 100mbps) in terms of temperature.
CPU is loaded at around 90% during this work.

My Ryzen 7 3800X overclocked to 4.3 Ghz all cores @1.31v reached a temperature around 77-78°C with my PWM setup (my fans are aiming to reach 100% only at 85°C).

I'm pretty impressed with this result..;)
 
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MarcParis

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Small update on my build with better cable management (bottom fans, cpu fan extension) and addition of front usb 3.0 cable (as no radiator is blocking its plug on motherboard..;))



 

MarcParis

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Today I'm proposing you some off topic about my node 202 build (existing since late 2016)....I guess I never posted it before, surely because I was focused on my main rig with Cerberus-X.

Anyway, as I upgraded my node 202 this week-end, I found it was worth to share with you (like @Nanook thread..;)).

I chosed Node 202 for several reasons, back to 2016...and I guess those reasons are completely still valid :
  • Efficient horizontal stand (cooling & noise)
  • Compatible with 2.5 slots and full length GPU...with 2x120 fans intake
  • SFX PSU (not SFX-L) (I guess my experience with external psu on S4 mini is the reason..:))
  • Decent cpu cooler clearance (58mm with dust filters and 65mm without)
  • Sober style & Affordable
  • 10.2 liters volume
Here are my components (recycling most of my former/current gaming rigs) :
  • CPU : Intel core i7 4770K (underclocked to 3.5Ghz all cores @0.92v, around 65w on load)
  • MB : Asrock Z97e ITX/AC
  • GPU : MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X (2 slots, 140mm tall, 279mm long, 1x8pins + 1x6pins)
  • SSD :
    • Samsung 840 pro 240Go
    • OCZ Vertex 3 120Go (faulty and corrupt data - RIP)
    • Crucial MX500 M.2 1To Sata in a Startech box 2.5" to m.2
  • PSU :
    • Corsair SFX SF600 Gold (removed as too noisy on load with hot ambiant air)
    • Corsair SFX SF450 Gold
  • Cooling :

Node 202, as most SFF, is not a case to begin to build PC..:D We need to cram a lot of components in a small area. All components must be selected with care and airflow needs to be studied..;) Aim for 65w TDP CPU and 150W GPU. Above, it's unbalanced and too hot for the case...leading to either cooling, noise or/and throttle issues.

Let's start with some photos of my previous Node 202 build.
I recycled my ID-cooling IS-VC45 heatsink from my S4 mini. It was doing a correct job to cool an undervolted 6700K but my core i7 4770K, even underclocked/undervolted was very hard for it to keep it cool. (as far as I read, core i7 4770K has ram controller integrated that creates hot spot. This weakness was corrected on core i7 4790K)

I tried to put Noctua NF-A9x14 or NF-A9 PWM like that :


However it was always recycling its own hot air during, not so long, gaming session...(cpu cooler was too short to reach top cover).
Thus I attached directly a Noctua NF-F12 PPC 2000 PWM on top of the cover to exhaust hot air and cool cpu...and it works...at least decently...on stress test (cpu test from 3D mark time spy) I was reaching 100°C on cores...not great...but for gaming it was plenty enough!

I removed top fins on RAM sticks to fit 120mm fan.


This cpu cooling setup teached/reminded me that exhuast hot air from SSF/Case is a critical point (I guess you understand my trials/success with NH-C14S in exhaust mode in Cerberus-X)

However I was not completely satisfied as my IS-VC45 was too short by around 1cm (gap between heatsink and top fan), and of course, it's not compatible with AM4..:D


Thus I looked for cpu cooler replacement.
My requirements were quite simple :
  • Easy to fit mini ITX MB (keep 95mm square size, avoid 120mm cooler)
  • Intel LGA 115x & AM4 compatible (bye bye Samuel 17 or big shuriken 2 or AMD Wraith Spire)
  • Tall enough to reach top cover (bye Cryorig C7 or Noctua nh L9i)
  • Short enough to avoid any ugly mod on node 202 (adding spacer on cover. By NH-L12)
At the end of the day I was quite desperate, till I undersood clearly cpu cooler clearance on Node 202.
  • Node 202 cpu cooler height : 58mm with dust filters and 65mm without
I don't know WHY fractal design is not communicating on this...keeping only 58mm on their website.
With some additional search I found only 1 example of node 202 + Noctua NH-L9x65..in russian.

After all data compiled, physical checks/measurements on my node 202, I decided to order Noctua NH-L9x65.
My plan was to use NH-L9x65, as intended with NF-A9x14 in exhaust (65mm tall) mode OR to put a NF-a12x25 on top cover with heatsink alone (around 66mm tall)...if clearance allows it.

Without too much suspense, here is answer, Noctua NH-L9x65 is fitting just barely to Node 202 without top dust filter (CPU cooler needs to face also top grid).




Thermals are definitely WAY better. I jumped directly to Intel Burn Test v2.54...and it was succesful and reached temperature were around 75-80°C...It's more than 20°C improvements as I never tested Intel burn Test (just cpu test from 3D mark time spy).

I didn't even try to put an NF-A12x15 with NH-L9x65 heatsink...but additionnal 1mm height is too much. However I can look for other slim 120/140 pwm fan with thickness of 14mm or less..:D But this will be for another day..:D

PS : Most difficult part of assemblying a node 202 is to handle passthrough just near 2.5" disk bracket. With patience, patience and again patience it's all good..:D
PS 2 : My MB is getting older...I've lost chassis fan header..I don't know from how long as I'm not monitoring stuff on this setup. Hopefully cpu fan header is still working properlly.
 
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