Description

My criteria for this build: I wanted an AM4 system that could comfortably fit the Dark Rock TF that I paid way too much money for and a graphics card that I could remove the shroud from and use only bottom exhaust fans to cool. I wanted to avoid having to buy/put together an Arctic Accelero while reaping all the benefits.

Narrated album here!

Other thoughts: I didn't feel satisfied until the 1080 Ti was in there filling up all that extra space. Everything fits like a glove on a case that was surprisingly easy to work with due to its light weight and ability to take off ALL panels. My plan for GPU cooling worked out wonderfully and the thing is silent at idle and sounds...smooth? under load. However, CPU load causes some coil whine (??) near the CPU area, and the GPU has quite a bit of whine under load as well. Not as much as my R9 Nano, and every GPU I've ever owned has had coil whine, but I had my fingers crossed. I don't understand how these reviewers are claiming to hear no whine at all!

Part Reviews

CPU

Ryzen 7 1700; was on sale on Amazon for 269.99 and I couldn't pass it up. In retrospect I would have preferred a 1700X but I also needed the Spire cooler to tide me over while I waited for the Be Quiet! bracket to arrive (~2 weeks). Overclocked to 38.25x multiplier at 1.3625V; not really looking to go any higher since temperatures really spike up past 1.3625; difference between idling at 650 RPM and 900 RPM with the curve I set. Never goes above 75 under load with a really passive fan curve on the TF.

Motherboard

I knew of the horror stories surrounding this board's VRM temps and I went with it anyway because the cooler clearance on this thing is legendary. Due to the AM4 bracket shape and the power cable in the corner my Dark Rock TF only fits on one way, and there is less than a mm of space between the lower heatpipes and the RAM. I could have even gotten taller RAM (such as Samsung B-die, darn). The top fan of the TF is actually zip-tied to the side bracket for a cleaner shot at the VRM heatsinks and controlled by the VRM temp; dropped VRM temps by 10 degrees, but still hitting ~110 under Prime95.

Memory

SK Hynix Single-Rank running at 2933 14-18-18-18-34 after tweaking a bit. Will not boot at 3200 regardless of latency, but I don't know much about RAM overclocking. There have been 4 BIOS updates already since I got my board, so hopefully this bodes well for future compatibility.

Video Card

Originally an R9 Nano; still noisy at idle and made even worse by its new spot on my desk. Tried to mod the fan (terribly) which silenced it, but the NF-A9x14 spins at less than half the RPM and could not prevent throttling. Finally caved and bought the ASUS Strix 1080 Ti, which was my original plan for this build; the 2.5 slot design means that with the shroud removed, there is only 1-2 mm of space between the two Silent Wings 3 in exhaust right below it.

I knew for a fact that the Strix 1080 fit; I triple checked all over the place to make sure that the 1080 Ti was the same length and width, but I was still real anxious, especially with Newegg's replacement-only return policy. The rear side panel mounting clip is less than a millimeter away from the upper left corner of the PCB on this thing. Close shave.

Power Supply

SF600 was deemed the quietest and I didn't want to go SFX-L. Still modded the fan with an NF-A9x14; very easy mod to do and requires this adapter, although in hindsight I could have shocked myself poking around (and the warranty is probably shot). It is now even quieter, although again, the Noctua is pretty low RPM and I still don't know if that will be a problem. So far so good under heavy stress test for 12 hours.

Case Fan

I was also interested in the Strix for the FanConnect 4-pin headers, but I could not get GPU fan control software to change their fan curve. GPU Tweak would only adjust the PWM of the mini header used to control the original fans; fortunately, this adapter, that I was originally using with my R9 Nano mod, worked fine.

The two 120 MM Silent Wings (high-speed, model BL068) on the bottom are mounted in exhaust, each connected to a Noctua low-noise adapter, connected to a 2-way PWM splitter, to the VGA adapter, and finally to the card's mini fan header. In retrospect I should have gotten lower RPM fans. Right now even with the low-noise adapters they are running at 10% PWM at idle and 33% under load which keeps the 1080 Ti under 80 C in Furmark while staying soooooo quiet.

Comments

  • 24 months ago
  • 4 points

Would love some more pictures it sounds interesting.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

There's a link to the imgur album in the description!

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Woopsie lol +1

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Last few pics have elements of violence and nudity. Understandable that you didn't post it here.

  • 24 months ago
  • 3 points

Archaeologists will find this write-up about this computer and still be trying to understand the masterpiece of computing power (for our primitive times) that was crammed into a tiny box. I appreciated the comments in your narrated album and will be going through trying to understand all the tricks that went into this build. It helps that I have this same motherboard for an ongoing R3 build so I can follow along somewhat. I'm also intrigued about the "Accelero" effect. Was you primary goal to replace the stock Strix fans with higher airflow ones?

Regardless, very neat, uber-powerful build. Look forward to hearing/seeing more.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Accelero refers to the Arctic Accelero III aftermarket GPU cooler; a few people have replaced the coolers on stock PCB GPUs with the Accelero and instead of using the included fans, used two exhaust fans in the bottom instead. In addition, bottom exhaust had been cooler and quieter than intake from all the accounts I've seen. This works really well with the NCase because the bottom fans, although attached to the case, sit almost flush with the Accelero heatsink and draw air right through it and out. However, I didn't want to undergo the trouble of setting up an Accelero and I knew (estimated) that the Strix 1080 Ti would just barely fit, and that its heatsink would fulfill the same purpose.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh, okay, that's kind of what I thought (I think I saw a techtuber talk about the Accelero once). So, did you also follow a similar philosophy with your CPU heatsink? It's really amazing how much heatsink you managed to fit in there.

Really neat build and the time and attention you put into it and your write-up is stellar.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

The CPU cooler I actually impulse bought a while back for my S340. It's a decent cooler on its own but not the best for tower cases (that like to have front-to-back airflow), pretty ugly through a window, and also real expensive at the time. It just so happened that it's probably the largest/quietest CPU heatsink that fits in the NCase and ever since I learned that, I've had an itch to combine the two.

And thanks! I love talking about this stuff too much lol and the internet is where I figured people that actually care about this exist :)

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

I think you found the perfect application for that cooler. It wouldn't fit in my RVZ02 but that's just part of the pill I have to swallow. You mentioned that that nobody also has good cooler clearance and I'll definitely be looking at that. I judged it based on its wiring layout and thought that I would never be able to fit it in something like the RVZ02. I'm glad it works for you; for myself, I'll need to keep investigating.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi men!

I will buy a strix 1080ti for my ncase m1 and want to know if you undervolt it to get better temps when you remove the stock fans to use the be quiet ones.

And if you put at max rpm, how are your temps?

Thanks for your album!

Best regards

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

I don't have to undervolt. With fans at maximum it runs at 60 Celsius but I have very high RPM fans. I usually cap them to 40% to keep temps around 75 degrees under stress testing.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks men!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Great write up. I'm about to swap my Gigabyte 1080 for a 1080 Ti Strix and use a very similar setup. For the fans did you use something like the Gelid PWM Adaptor Cable for VGA Cooler? If so what position do you plug the 4 pin male end into the 6 pin female socket on the Strix?