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

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Original poster
Apr 1, 2016
3,411
2,431
My god...MSI has just announced ATX MB B550 Unify with 4 m.2 slots!!



Perfect companion for Cerberus-X?..:D
 

thefireofwisdom

Chassis Packer
Sep 21, 2020
16
1
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Return of the king : Noctua C14S
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well I will surely feel ashamed in the below lines...but let's say, only people that are doing nothing do not make mistakes..:D

After pretty positive experience with Cryorig C7 (and behaviour of turbo boost of R7 3800X), I decided to test again Noctua C14S, this time in full intake mode, like 3 years ago when I start playing with Cerberus-X...:D

Now was perfect timing to test again Noctua C14S as
  • Proper protocol of testing CPU
  • Proper & recent benchmarks results based on comparable parameters
  • Similar weather conditions

For installation I tried to install Noctua C14S with heatpipes orientated towards top of the case



However, heatsink was slightly touching top fan (NF-A12x15)...so I was forced to stick to traditional orientation..;)



Here is fan setup :
  • Noctua C14S :
    • Top : NF-A12x25 intake, put on side bracket
    • Bottom NF-A14 intake
  • Top & Rear : NF-A12x15 & NF-A9 exhaust

Benchmarks : Well i will complete my previous list. All screenshots will be at the end of this post.
  • Overclocked R7 3800X 4.3Ghz @1.3125v RAM @ 3800MTS (Noctua C14S Push/Pull Intake) :
    • IBT 2.54 Very High : 915.80sec
    • Cinebench R20 (multi) : 5120
    • Max temperature : 73.9°C
    • Max CPU Package Power : 119.23W
  • Stock R7 3800X (Noctua C14S Push/Pull Intake) :
    • IBT 2.54 Very High : 950.25sec
    • Max temperature : 75.1°C
    • Max CPU Package Power : 122.362W
  • Stock R7 3800X (Noctua C14S Push/Pull Intake) (vcore -0.1v) :
    • IBT 2.54 Very High : 946.00sec
    • Max temperature : 69.9°C
    • Max CPU Package Power : 107.640W
  • Stock R7 3800X (C7 Graphene coating+NF A9x14 2500rpm) :
    • IBT 2.54 Very High : 978.25sec
    • Max temperature : 89.3°C
    • Max CPU Package Power : 115.962W
  • Stock R7 3800X (C7 Graphene coating+NF A9x14 2500rpm) (vcore -0.1v) :
    • IBT 2.54 Very High : 976.72sec
    • Max temperature : 82.6°C
    • Max CPU Package Power : 107.170W
  • Overclocked R7 3800X 4.3Ghz @1.3125v RAM @ 3800MTS (customed 92mm watercooling, push/pull) :
    • IBT 2.54 Very High : 917.12sec
    • Max temperature : 79.5°C
    • Max CPU Package Power : 118.33W

Conclusion time :
  • Noctua C14S Push/Pull (intake) is beating by 5°C my customed 92mm watercooling. My previous results with C14S (full exhaust) were simply detoriated by hot ambiant temperature. I did my former C14S during heatwave, important detail I forgot (my bad).
  • At stock settings, vcore offset of -0.1v proved again to be very useful on R7 3800X
  • I still need to check behaviour of Noctua C14S intake on GPU temperature. After months of testing I can say there is NO significant impact on GPU temperature using Noctua C14S with side intake.
  • Zen 2 boost likes bigger heatsinks as it allows higher boost clocks (Noctua C14S is beating Crorig C7+ by 3% at stock settings)
  • Cryorig C7+ remains impressive for its size. No issue at all to manage R7 3800X at stock or slightly undervolted. Undervolting on Zen 2 is really easy as boost is automatically it

Benchmarks screenshots :



Since you configured the NH-C14S push/pull fans as intake, have you tested these other fan configurations? (still intake, of course):
1. Top: NF-A14 (side bracket). Bottom: NF-A14.
2. Top: NF-A14 (side bracket). Bottom: NF-A12x25.
3. Top: NF-A12x25 (side bracket). Bottom: NF-A12x25.
(One could further test the more powerful, industrial Noctua fans, but they are so loud, and at present I'm more curious how the above standard models perform).

From what I have gleaned online, the 2 push/pull fans need to be 'in sync' for maximum, efficient airflow, even going so far as connecting both fans to the same header for equal, synchronized power. Along with your current setup [Top: NF-A12x25 (side bracket). Bottom: NF-A14.], I'm curious which of these total four possibilities performs the best (and perhaps is the quietest).
 

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Original poster
Apr 1, 2016
3,411
2,431
Since you configured the NH-C14S push/pull fans as intake, have you tested these other fan configurations? (still intake, of course):
1. Top: NF-A14 (side bracket). Bottom: NF-A14.
2. Top: NF-A14 (side bracket). Bottom: NF-A12x25.
3. Top: NF-A12x25 (side bracket). Bottom: NF-A12x25.
(One could further test the more powerful, industrial Noctua fans, but they are so loud, and at present I'm more curious how the above standard models perform).

From what I have gleaned online, the 2 push/pull fans need to be 'in sync' for maximum, efficient airflow, even going so far as connecting both fans to the same header for equal, synchronized power. Along with your current setup [Top: NF-A12x25 (side bracket). Bottom: NF-A14.], I'm curious which of these total four possibilities performs the best (and perhaps is the quietest).
Well I can’t test dual nf a14 as I just have one. Initially I had c14s with dual noctua ppc 140 fan as intake. Based on my experience having same fan on top and bottom is not a game changer.

After I’ll most probably upgrade for upcoming noctua sterrox 140mm fans that should be released for 2021.
 
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thefireofwisdom

Chassis Packer
Sep 21, 2020
16
1
Well I can’t test dual nf a14 as I just have one. Initially I had c14s with dual noctua ppc 140 fan as intake. Based on my experience having same fan on top and bottom is not a game changer.

After I’ll most probably upgrade for upcoming noctua sterrox 140mm fans that should be released for 2021.
Fyi, I have 3 main comments below:

I didn't even know about Sterrox, so thanks for enlightening me. I now know why the NF-A12x25 (utilizing Sterrox) is a superior fan. I'm definitely interested in getting a 140mm Sterrox fan when it releases (the clear colored prototype looks pretty sweet too).

I also researched probably 20 dust filters, and the DustEnd G2 appears to have some of the best reviews. They also have G1 (strong airflow, weak filtration) and G3 (strong filtration, weak airflow), but G2 is in the middle (good filtration, good airflow). It may be a non-tasteful white foam slapped onto the case, but hey, if it works. All the other mesh (PVC, aluminum, fabric, etc.) filter reviews claimed to either have weak filtration or heavy resistant airflow, with one exception being perhaps Silverstone, who apparently makes some of the next best filters.

Due to Cerberus X space and design constraints (and the fact that liquid cooling is overall more cumbersome and expensive), I'm leaning toward air cooling with the NH-C14S, which has received good reviews everywhere I look, and Noctua claims it can effectively cool a moderately overclocked i9-10900K @ suggested 205W (especially w/ push/pull fans).
I do have an area of concern: With the front-top SF750 configuration and a NH-C14S push/pull setup crammed in there beside it, heat may build in the small space between the NH-C14S (heat from top of heat pipes) and SF750 (heat from its backside) and above the RAM (which also generate heat). The exhaust fan on handle mount would be directly above the NH-C14S, so it may not as effectively exhaust heat from the small space I mentioned.
If this is a problem (or if I just want better thermals in the upper Cerberus X), here are some ideas I've considered:

1. Install two NF-A12x25 fans on the side hinge as intake. Such would put a fan and push some cool air over the small space in question, though now a single push fan on top of the NH-C14S would become 2 side-by-side push fans, half of each pushing cool air into the fin stack, which may work alright.
2. Keep the single push fan directly on top of the NH-C14S, but then install 1-2 40mm or 60mm Noctua fans on the side bracket directly above the small space in question, if they can fit.
3. Opt for the dual fan top bracket mount (forgoing a handle), which would allow an exhaust fan directly above the small space in question.
4. Maybe I don't even need to be concerned, particularly if the right fan on the 3070 moves air (though warm air) into the small space in question.

Lastly, I'm slowly but surely acquiring components. I just received my Asus ProArt Creator mobo today, so beautiful, and it'll be nice to actually start testing when I receive my Cerberus X next week.
 

Uruk

Trash Compacter
Feb 1, 2019
45
47
If you don't really (really) need the handle, go for the Top Mount Bracket and 2 NF-A12x15, it works great and is not that difficult to install. At the end of the day all the heat from the GPU, RAM, VRMs and CPU will end in the top of the case, and every fan you can cram up there will help tremendously to move the hot air out quickly.
 
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MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Original poster
Apr 1, 2016
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2,431
Fyi, I have 3 main comments below:

I didn't even know about Sterrox, so thanks for enlightening me. I now know why the NF-A12x25 (utilizing Sterrox) is a superior fan. I'm definitely interested in getting a 140mm Sterrox fan when it releases (the clear colored prototype looks pretty sweet too).

I also researched probably 20 dust filters, and the DustEnd G2 appears to have some of the best reviews. They also have G1 (strong airflow, weak filtration) and G3 (strong filtration, weak airflow), but G2 is in the middle (good filtration, good airflow). It may be a non-tasteful white foam slapped onto the case, but hey, if it works. All the other mesh (PVC, aluminum, fabric, etc.) filter reviews claimed to either have weak filtration or heavy resistant airflow, with one exception being perhaps Silverstone, who apparently makes some of the next best filters.

Due to Cerberus X space and design constraints (and the fact that liquid cooling is overall more cumbersome and expensive), I'm leaning toward air cooling with the NH-C14S, which has received good reviews everywhere I look, and Noctua claims it can effectively cool a moderately overclocked i9-10900K @ suggested 205W (especially w/ push/pull fans).
I do have an area of concern: With the front-top SF750 configuration and a NH-C14S push/pull setup crammed in there beside it, heat may build in the small space between the NH-C14S (heat from top of heat pipes) and SF750 (heat from its backside) and above the RAM (which also generate heat). The exhaust fan on handle mount would be directly above the NH-C14S, so it may not as effectively exhaust heat from the small space I mentioned.
If this is a problem (or if I just want better thermals in the upper Cerberus X), here are some ideas I've considered:

1. Install two NF-A12x25 fans on the side hinge as intake. Such would put a fan and push some cool air over the small space in question, though now a single push fan on top of the NH-C14S would become 2 side-by-side push fans, half of each pushing cool air into the fin stack, which may work alright.
2. Keep the single push fan directly on top of the NH-C14S, but then install 1-2 40mm or 60mm Noctua fans on the side bracket directly above the small space in question, if they can fit.
3. Opt for the dual fan top bracket mount (forgoing a handle), which would allow an exhaust fan directly above the small space in question.
4. Maybe I don't even need to be concerned, particularly if the right fan on the 3070 moves air (though warm air) into the small space in question.

Lastly, I'm slowly but surely acquiring components. I just received my Asus ProArt Creator mobo today, so beautiful, and it'll be nice to actually start testing when I receive my Cerberus X next week.
Option 1&3 are not feasible as front PSU will prevent it.
Option 2 is useless

Stick to option 4, it's working just fine. My RAM were never hot despite heavy overvoltage (between 1.48 and 1.50v). If PSU is getting warmer...well its fan will cool it...:)
What is important is to have top exhaust fan (one coming with handle). Air between CPU cooler and PSU is not static at all due to nearby fans turbulences.

If you don't really (really) need the handle, go for the Top Mount Bracket and 2 NF-A12x15, it works great and is not that difficult to install. At the end of the day all the heat from the GPU, RAM, VRMs and CPU will end in the top of the case, and every fan you can cram up there will help tremendously to move the hot air out quickly.
Well not that difficult to put? For this 2-fans top cover is only while using PSU on rear panel. I tried to put it, but I broke it and slim fans were not even fitting with front PSU (extension cable was blocking fans).
 

NRG

Cable-Tie Ninja
Oct 30, 2015
213
245
I’ve been reading through your first page...my dude, you been at the Cerberus X game since before time itself :’) I get the feeling my build log will never hold a candle to the enchiridion that you’ve assembled over the years.

I only wonder...custom loop?
 

thefireofwisdom

Chassis Packer
Sep 21, 2020
16
1
Option 1&3 are not feasible as front PSU will prevent it.
Option 2 is useless

Stick to option 4, it's working just fine. My RAM were never hot despite heavy overvoltage (between 1.48 and 1.50v). If PSU is getting warmer...well its fan will cool it...:)
What is important is to have top exhaust fan (one coming with handle). Air between CPU cooler and PSU is not static at all due to nearby fans turbulences.


Well not that difficult to put? For this 2-fans top cover is only while using PSU on rear panel. I tried to put it, but I broke it and slim fans were not even fitting with front PSU (extension cable was blocking fans).
Right, I suppose one could alternatively use two 92mm fans on the side hinge (though such would be terrible for covering the NH-C14S) or two thin 92mm fans on the top mount (which may work alright, though additional brackets may be needed if not wide enough).
The 40-60mm fan option 2 was actually inspired by my Asus ProArt Creator board that comes with a tiny mount for a 40mm or 60mm fan that would cool the top left power header.
Asus mini fan mount
Yes, option 4 is probably best, but I may also install one 120mm intake fan (either 25mm or 15mm, depending on PSU cables space) on the front below the PSU.
 

Uruk

Trash Compacter
Feb 1, 2019
45
47
Well not that difficult to put? For this 2-fans top cover is only while using PSU on rear panel. I tried to put it, but I broke it and slim fans were not even fitting with front PSU (extension cable was blocking fans).
Idk, I put both fans without much trouble ?
 

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Original poster
Apr 1, 2016
3,411
2,431
I’ve been reading through your first page...my dude, you been at the Cerberus X game since before time itself :’) I get the feeling my build log will never hold a candle to the enchiridion that you’ve assembled over the years.

I only wonder...custom loop?
Thanks a lot. Yes got Pre production Cerberus-X, even before serial release..;)
Well my "AIO" (swiftech 240mm or alphacool/hardware labs 92mm) are all customed loops in fact.
To be honest, with current CPU or GPU, I don't understand watercooling, except for design/hobby. In terms of performance, it's bringing no noticeable benefit (GPU @50°C or @65°C is not bringing more FPS)

Right, I suppose one could alternatively use two 92mm fans on the side hinge (though such would be terrible for covering the NH-C14S) or two thin 92mm fans on the top mount (which may work alright, though additional brackets may be needed if not wide enough).
The 40-60mm fan option 2 was actually inspired by my Asus ProArt Creator board that comes with a tiny mount for a 40mm or 60mm fan that would cool the top left power header.
Asus mini fan mount
Yes, option 4 is probably best, but I may also install one 120mm intake fan (either 25mm or 15mm, depending on PSU cables space) on the front below the PSU.
In fact, just 140mm mounted on side bracket instead of Noctua C14S heatsink. Thus there is a small gap and not all fan air is going to fan but also to surrounding. Fan is pushing air at 45° approx.
You don't need to worry too much on this point.

Idk, I put both fans without much trouble ?
In my personal case, it was definitely impossible to mount 2xfans top...it could be because my Cerberus-X is coming from pre-production batch.
 
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brownelvis

Trash Compacter
Jun 5, 2019
41
12
Could you fit a 25mm fan above the NH-C14s as exhaust instead of the 15mm slim fan?

im debating which fans to pull the trigger on while i wait for my NH-C14s to arrive, im thinking of doing the following:
  • 2x NF-A14 on the NH-C14s as intake (i bought second hand and it comes with both fans)
  • 1x NF-A12x15 (or x25 if there is enough clearance) as top exhaust
  • 1x NF-A9 as rear exhaust
  • 2x NF-A12x25 bottom intake
  • 1x NF-A12x25 front intake ( I might also move one of the NF-A14 from the cooler to front intake instead)
Does that sound about right to max out the air cooling potential of this case?
 

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Original poster
Apr 1, 2016
3,411
2,431
Could you fit a 25mm fan above the NH-C14s as exhaust instead of the 15mm slim fan?

im debating which fans to pull the trigger on while i wait for my NH-C14s to arrive, im thinking of doing the following:
  • 2x NF-A14 on the NH-C14s as intake (i bought second hand and it comes with both fans)
  • 1x NF-A12x15 (or x25 if there is enough clearance) as top exhaust
  • 1x NF-A9 as rear exhaust
  • 2x NF-A12x25 bottom intake
  • 1x NF-A12x25 front intake ( I might also move one of the NF-A14 from the cooler to front intake instead)
Does that sound about right to max out the air cooling potential of this case?
Your fans setup seems fine!
No place for 25mm fan on top...only 15mm is possible...but as exhaust, it's perfectly fine!
 

MarcParis

Spatial Philosopher
Original poster
Apr 1, 2016
3,411
2,431
As hoped, AMD RX 6900XT presentation changed my mind for my next GPU upgrade...I'm going back to Red team...:)
However what was not anticipated was this "smart access memory" function allowing CPU to work directly with GPU GDDR6 for Ryzen 5000 CPU with B500/X570 boards...

Now I'm thinking to change full combo : Motherboard, CPU and GPU..:D

Let's wait for actual & independant reviews of those beefy GPU to see if CPU/MB upgrade is adequate/useful. My current plan is to wait Zen 4 with DDR5.
 

Allhopeforhumanity

Master of Cramming
May 1, 2017
523
514
As hoped, AMD RX 6900XT presentation changed my mind for my next GPU upgrade...I'm going back to Red team...:)
However what was not anticipated was this "smart access memory" function allowing CPU to work directly with GPU GDDR6 for Ryzen 5000 CPU with B500/X570 boards...

Now I'm thinking to change full combo : Motherboard, CPU and GPU..:D

Let's wait for actual & independant reviews of those beefy GPU to see if CPU/MB upgrade is adequate/useful. My current plan is to wait Zen 4 with DDR5.

I've seen some reports of the SAM functionality working independent of CPU in Linux. That's not to say that the 5xxx series doesn't look fantastic, but it may not be required.