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

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
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Apr 1, 2016
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Based on my last experiments with my R7 3800X with Cryorig C7, I was confident, that even R9 3950X could be cooled by small cpu cooler..:)

Here is proof :

Zen 2 cpu are able to adapt themselves to cooling solution (reducing clock speeds).
What is impressive ? That a nh-l9a is able to achieve a full blender render just 5% slower than 240mm radiator...:D
 

Allhopeforhumanity

Master of Cramming
May 1, 2017
485
480
Based on my last experiments with my R7 3800X with Cryorig C7, I was confident, that even R9 3950X could be cooled by small cpu cooler..:)

Here is proof :

Zen 2 cpu are able to adapt themselves to cooling solution (reducing clock speeds).
What is impressive ? That a nh-l9a is able to achieve a full blender render just 5% slower than 240mm radiator...:D
But I want to ram 200W+ into it for that sweet 200 Mhz boost and make it impossible to cool by anything less than a 360mm rad! /s
 
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MarcParis

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I swapped my 2700X for a 3900X. I using the scythe fuma I can get stable OC to ~4.2 GHz and leave the fans on "normal" speed. For silent settings I can leave the OC a 4.0Ghz
Thanks for sharing your experience with R9 3900X..:)
Definitely Zen 2 cpu are easy to tame for my point of view..;)
 

MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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I'm a bit moved today : my Cerberus-X build thread has exceeded 100k views in 3 years...:D



I still find Cerberus-X as best suited case for me, mainly due to its almost perfect balance between versability, flexibility, compactness (for ATX MB), efficiency and ease to operate inside..:D
 

MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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Well, well, global lock down was apparently good time to step back and think of various stuff.

One of the main output was simple : I'm playing way more on my HTPC (Sliger SM550) than on my Cerberus-X, despite it is more capable (4K monitor with GSync powered by GTX1080ti instead of 1080p GTX 1070)

I realized(reminded) that main key driver of any computer setup remains its outputs : Monitor & speakers.

Right now 4K monitors market is boring....however 4K TV market is way more interesting, especially with hdmi 2.1 and LG Oled series, bringing Gsync, HDR, low input lag (all parts of hdmi 2.1). (without speaking of eARC)
HDMI 2.1, since, maybe its creation, was always behind displayport (especially on high refresh rate, bandwidth), but I think HDMI 2.1 is a game changer..;)

Simply at the end, current (May 2020) best 4K gaming/multimedia monitor is actually a LG Oled TV (let's say LG OLED CX series) : OLED up to 4K/120Hz (with full hdmi 2.1), HDR10, GSync, low input lag, (no noisy fan..:))

HDMI 2.1 will arrive with next gen consoles (well mostly 4K30 capable) but also next gen GPU (ampere and rdna2) and it's making 4K mature resolution now. (Rumors on future ampere gpu refers to 4K performance uplift by 70%...let's see)

Thus I decided to upgrade my Sony KDL-40X2000 (bought for PS3 in 2006..:)) to LG OLED55CX. Most probably an ampere GPU will arrive also later...but my main question will be : How will I play/use my computers in the coming months?

  • Put Ampere GPU in SM550 (hdmi 2.1 and true 4K performer), making SM550 my main gaming setup
  • Put Ampere GPU in Cerberus-X and move Cerberus-X as HTPC and keeping SM550 as secondary setup (pretty capable in 4Kas it will have GTX1080ti..:))

What will be your advice? What is your experience? What are your thoughts?
 

Uruk

Caliper Novice
Feb 1, 2019
27
30
3 slot beefy and "noise friendly" Ampere GPU in the Cerberus is the way to go. So much room to play with.
 
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MarcParis

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3 slot beefy and "noise friendly" Ampere GPU in the Cerberus is the way to go. So much room to play with.
ahah..:)
I also forgot to mention that wireless keyboards & mice are great nowadays.
Wireless headsets are still behind from my tests
 
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MarcParis

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Testing atm the logitech G305 and Im in love with this thing.
Yes fully agreed on « lightspeed » of Logitech...simply great.

In fact I just realised that I’ll need headset only for competitive games that are far from being demanding on graphics card..:)
In that case r7 1700x and gtx 1080ti will be way enough for years...even in 4K..:)

I suppose that I could swap r7 1700x to Cerberus-X and r7 3800x to SM550..:)
I also need to double how to split ssd.

Headaches will come for sure...lol
 

Taswegian

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Oct 1, 2017
89
76
Right now 4K monitors market is boring....however 4K TV market is way more interesting, especially with hdmi 2.1 and LG Oled series, bringing Gsync, HDR, low input lag (all parts of hdmi 2.1). (without speaking of eARC)
HDMI 2.1, since, maybe its creation, was always behind displayport (especially on high refresh rate, bandwidth), but I think HDMI 2.1 is a game changer..;)

Simply at the end, current (May 2020) best 4K gaming/multimedia monitor is actually a LG Oled TV (let's say LG OLED CX series) : OLED up to 4K/120Hz (with full hdmi 2.1), HDR10, GSync, low input lag, (no noisy fan..:))

HDMI 2.1 will arrive with next gen consoles (well mostly 4K30 capable) but also next gen GPU (ampere and rdna2) and it's making 4K mature resolution now. (Rumors on future ampere gpu refers to 4K performance uplift by 70%...let's see)

Thus I decided to upgrade my Sony KDL-40X2000 (bought for PS3 in 2006..:)) to LG OLED55CX. Most probably an ampere GPU will arrive also later...but my main question will be : How will I play/use my computers in the coming months?

  • Put Ampere GPU in SM550 (hdmi 2.1 and true 4K performer), making SM550 my main gaming setup
  • Put Ampere GPU in Cerberus-X and move Cerberus-X as HTPC and keeping SM550 as secondary setup (pretty capable in 4Kas it will have GTX1080ti..:))

What will be your advice? What is your experience? What are your thoughts?
I've been through the same thought process about displays.

I have a 32" 4K Gsync IPS and figured I'd just have to accept 60Hz & no HDR for a long time yet as this unit is the best compromise for my needs.

Then I bought an LG C9 during the black friday sales and I have to say, very rarely have I ever been so pleased with a purchase.

The picture quality is beautiful.
Gaming seems even better than you might expect from 'only' 120Hz as the near-instant pixel response on OLED means zero smearing. Input lag is fantastic too at 6.6ms @ 1440p / 120 that I'm mostly using until I can move to 4K / 120 with next gen GPUs.
Really good on all the miscellaneous details too, good web interface, remote etc etc.

Did you buy the CX yet?

Depending on your use the 2019 model C9 may actually be slightly better than the 2020 CX model. For example the old model can decode DTS but the new can't so you can not even pass DTS MA through eARC. Depending on your AV receiver etc that might matter to you.

Also the old models can do the full bandwidth 48Gbs HDMI 2.1 but the new model only 40Gbs. Not a big deal unless you're really picky about doing 4k/120 HDR in full 4/4/4 chroma.

Lastly and most importantly; As the outgoing model the C9 should be found at much lower prices.

Of course the CX has its strengths too as the newer model. Motion processing is a bit improved and the BFI seems like it actually works nicely for some situations (C9 BFI is unusable flicker mess).

Strongly recommended. Even 6 months later I often find myself just amazed at the picture quality whenever I good source media.
 
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MarcParis

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I've been through the same thought process about displays.

I have a 32" 4K Gsync IPS and figured I'd just have to accept 60Hz & no HDR for a long time yet as this unit is the best compromise for my needs.

Then I bought an LG C9 during the black friday sales and I have to say, very rarely have I ever been so pleased with a purchase.

The picture quality is beautiful.
Gaming seems even better than you might expect from 'only' 120Hz as the near-instant pixel response on OLED means zero smearing. Input lag is fantastic too at 6.6ms @ 1440p / 120 that I'm mostly using until I can move to 4K / 120 with next gen GPUs.
Really good on all the miscellaneous details too, good web interface, remote etc etc.

Did you buy the CX yet?

Depending on your use the 2019 model C9 may actually be slightly better than the 2020 CX model. For example the old model can decode DTS but the new can't so you can not even pass DTS MA through eARC. Depending on your AV receiver etc that might matter to you.

Also the old models can do the full bandwidth 48Gbs HDMI 2.1 but the new model only 40Gbs. Not a big deal unless you're really picky about doing 4k/120 HDR in full 4/4/4 chroma.

Lastly and most importantly; As the outgoing model the C9 should be found at much lower prices.

Of course the CX has its strengths too as the newer model. Motion processing is a bit improved and the BFI seems like it actually works nicely for some situations (C9 BFI is unusable flicker mess).

Strongly recommended. Even 6 months later I often find myself just amazed at the picture quality whenever I good source media.
Yes CX is arrived since one week and I love it.
I already moved my gtx 1080ti from Cerberus-X to SM550...:)
https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/sliger-sm550-compact-quiet-gaming-htpc.11928/post-201767

Main issue was to synchronise 4 devices : tv box (4K hdr), marantz sr6007, SM550 and my good old ps3..:)

Right now I’m trying GTX 1080ti both connected to av receiver and tv in hdmi (2 ports on my card).
 
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MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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Well well leaks from Ampere GPU are pretty interesting :
https://www.techspot.com/news/85564-nvidia-rtx-3090-ti-reportedly-features-24gb-gddr6x.html

But biggest news (and source of question) remains TBP : 320W...(RTX 2080 ti TDP is 250w-260W).
Don't know exactly gap between TDP and TBP, but it seems to be a big leap. GPU as main heater could be back..:D

I wonder what will be size & noise of those new ampere GPU...especially I want a quiet one...maybe Cerberus-X will strike back..:D

Let's see..;)
 
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Allhopeforhumanity

Master of Cramming
May 1, 2017
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Well well leaks from Ampere GPU are pretty interesting :
https://www.techspot.com/news/85564-nvidia-rtx-3090-ti-reportedly-features-24gb-gddr6x.html

But biggest news (and source of question) remains TBP : 320W...(RTX 2080 ti TDP is 250w-260W).
Don't know exactly gap between TDP and TBP, but it seems to be a big leap. GPU as main heater could be back..:D

I wonder what will be size & noise of those new ampere GPU...especially I want a quiet one...maybe Cerberus-X will strike back..:D

Let's see..;)
With the added fan on the backside, it would seem that a normal or console (non-sandwich) style layout might be the preferred one this GPU generation; at least for the founders addition.
 

MarcParis

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Apr 1, 2016
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With the added fan on the backside, it would seem that a normal or console (non-sandwich) style layout might be the preferred one this GPU generation; at least for the founders addition.
Generally I prefer avoiding reference model, mainly due to thermal/noise.
320W with FE cooler seems a lot..:D
 
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THUMPer

Average Stuffer
Feb 5, 2020
62
24
This may have been answered, but is there any room behind the mobo tray for wires?
 

BiRaitBec

Efficiency Noob
Jun 14, 2020
6
0
Hey mates, already been tracking your forum here for a year or so now. And just recently decided to finally switch from a 5 years old NZXT Phantom to this cerberus X small case, considering still didnt find any equivalent competitor, but price also didnt change as i expected unlucky. Anyhow i wanted to hear from you guys some suggestions on this transition.
My current pc is build with:
Gigabyte x99 gaming 5
16 gb ram
980 4gb vram
i7-5930k
CM radiator cooler for cpu, which is actually louder than the fans.
Fans are from NZXT phantom case, which includes 5 120mm fans and one 200mm fan.
PSU is an ATX but i ll switch to a sfx one for this build.
1ssd 3.5 250gb and 2tb hdd which both will be switched for this build with 2 proper 1tb ssd.

So far im not concern of upgrading my hardware, because even if its already passed 5 years with it i had no backdrop or any sign of it deteriorating. Completely satysfied in that regard. What im looking for other than a great compact pc and a new experience with sff cases, is trying to reduce the overall noise levels.
Now i have my case on the floor which is id say 50 cm away from my head and its constantly in my ears, i start to really realize this noise problem only in the past year of course. But with the next cerberus x case i plan to have in my desk and probably being there at lower than 50 cm. And am a bit afraid of noise levels in general.

That is why my main point of upgrade would be cooling and consequently also noise levels. I heard in main author posts that also the psu sf600, which is the one i planned on buying is a reason for bothering noise aswell but dont really feel confident on the silverstone one to be honest. And i dont really feel to mess with sfx fans or something, i want mainly at the moment something to just buy and build.

I've made a ton of researches in general, and i ll explain later my ideas, but my main point i still never understood is the bottom fans.
I know that sliger confirms that dual 140mm fans on bottom can be actually mounted, yet i always seen people using either dual 120mm fans or 1 140 mm fan in the bottom and i dont really understand why not going for dual 140mm fans in there for gpu thermals, maybe am i missing something i dont see?

Thats my main point, and then i wanted your opinion on the fans in general. I heard that Arctic p14 pwm for their price are the best 140 mm fans out there, and i planned actually to use those at the place of your suggested c14s bottom intake 140mm fan from noctua. While using the f14 pwm fans for the dual bottom fans if that was possible as i asked above, and one f14 pwm fan on the front panel down part.

I planned actually to go on arctic fans, even if i totally am aware of the noctuas quality and noises, but i plan to keep from noctua only the top fan on c14s and the 92mm one which in those regards they seem to do their job greatly.

An other thing i wanted to know is if in these latest months have you thought of better cooling solutions or something. I did some research on cpu coolers airflow and for the size we require on cerberus x indeed c14s seems still the top notch choice, i wanted to know if you also had in mind other compatible coolers that maybe recently were released or that you had in mind that could be better than c14s. For instance i was thinking of Dark Rock TF which should be actual compatible.

Anyway sorry for the english is not as perfect as yours, but i wanted to thank you for the dedication you put into this case in particular and also the others i have seen, but really what holds back people like me from using these cases is usually lack of popularity/suggestions, opinions, constant benchamrks and so on. And if design wise i was totally astonished already with it, i only now decide to buy it and partly also because of your trusted suggestions and because i also wanna dig into it and see thermals in general when using arctic fans mainly and possible dual 140mm fans on the bottom if possible.
 

Uruk

Caliper Novice
Feb 1, 2019
27
30
I can only speak for myself, but I use 120mm fans in the bottom because I had two NF-A12x25 Noctuas and they are better than any other fan, 140mm models included.

In terms of CPU cooling, NH-C14S is still your best bet. BeQuiet offering is almost as good, but I think the reason behind his low use in Cerberus builds is the crappy mounting system.