Description

Just built this system last night. Finally upgraded/downsized from an i7-4790K build inside a Define R4 case.

Update 12/7/2019:

Thanks for all the feedback. I've been testing with 2x NF-S12A (non Chromax) added as exhaust at the top of the case; this dropped GPU temps down by about 5-8C but had no effect on anything else. If you use the Gigabyte X570 I AORUS PRO WIFI board you will not be able to fit fans above the NH-D15 as the Gigabyte has the CPU socket placed higher than the Strix x570-I. Ryzen Master reported CPU temps between 75-80C during 30 minutes of AIDA64 stress test. The 2080 Ti reached 67-68C after about 35 minutes of OCCT. My front and rear NVMEs are usually within 3C of each other during GPU loads; the WD SN750 in the rear has a 2.0mm Thermal Grizzly Minus Pad 8 on top of it to sink heat into the back of the case. I guess you could say the thermal pad is really good or the front heatsink is really bad. Both NVMEs idle around 35C and can get up to 57C/60C when the 2080 Ti is warming up the case.

I am most disappointed by the temps of the x570 chipset itself. About 30 minutes after boot, it has warmed up to about 60C and will approach 80C during gaming. I am still debating whether to take everything apart just to try replacing the thermal pad on the x570 heatsink with either paste or a better thermal pad. On the bright side, I can't hear the chipset fan when the chipset is at the low 60s; fan rpm is about 3000 at those temps. When the chipset approaches 80C, I can make out the faint whine of the chipset fan over my other fans (chassis fans run fixed at just below 900rpm).

I was expecting a delivery of Chromax versions of the NF-S12A along with a GPU support today but neither have arrived yet. Will add newer pics when those things arrive.

Update 12/8/2019:

Got my Chromax fans today along with the GPU Support and added new pics. I also managed to straighten the SF750 mounting; for whatever reason the foam padding for the PSU mount was thicker on the bottom than the top so the SF750 looked like it angled upwards before.

Update 12/12/2019:

I have made some attempts at reducing the x570 chipset temperature by replacing the thermal pad used. My first attempt was just with the leftover 2.0mm Thermal Grizzly Minus Pad 8 that I used for my rear NVME. This pad was thicker than stock and ended up being maybe 1-2C warmer. I tried again just now with a 1.0mm FujiPoly 17w/mk thermal pad and this appears to be 3-5C cooler than the stock thermal pad so far. The standoffs for the heatsink are too high so it is not possible to use thermal paste instead of a thermal pad.

Update 12/14/2019:

Updated the gallery with the build's final form; also added a banna for scale. I returned the NF-S12A that was on the bottom and am just using the NF-A15 that came with the D15. I have spent more time tinkering with this build than simply enjoying it, now its time to just enjoy it.

Update 1/1/2020:

Happy New Year PCPartPicker! I am amazed it took me about 3 weeks of owning this system before realizing the top exhaust vents has mounting space for 2x 140mm fans. The Fractal Design site only mentions the the top spacing as being 1x 120mm/140mm. So of course I returned the 2x NF-S12A fans last week and replaced them with 2x NF-A14s. I thought I had planned this build pretty well but this is the fan arrangement I should've used from the start.

Part Reviews

Motherboard

There aren't many ITX x570 boards to choose from at present. There's this, the Impact, Aorus x570-I and the AsRock. According to Buildzoid, this has the superior VRM solution compared to the Aorus and is fully compatible with the Noctua NH-D15 if you prefer air coolers. I took off one star because of how lame the x570 cooling solution is. If you get this board I recommend swapping the thermal pad from the start to a 1.0mm Fujipoly Ultra Extreme pad. This will shave off a few degrees compared to stock.

EDIT: Taking off another star since there seems to be a few people who got this board without a thermal pad between the x570 chipset and the heatsink. So the quality control on this board seems to be questionable. See https://www.reddit.com/r/Amd/comments/ehfawr/no_thermal_interface_between_chipset_and_heatsink/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/sffpc/comments/eo5p5c/i_figured_out_why_chipset_was_hot/

Memory

I was able to enable DOCP using this kit with no issues. If you're wondering why this kit has such a massive premium over the F4-3600C16D-32GTZNC, it's because this kit uses Samsung B-Die.

Case

I feel this case is extremely underrated. It's been on the market since 2016 and of course there are much more premium ITX cases such as the NCASE M1, Dan A4, and Ghost S1. However the Define Nano S is well under $100 (I've even purchased one from Amazon for $39.99) and by pairing it with an SFX PSU, you can easily fit a 2.5+ slot GPU and have a massive air cooler like the NH-D15.

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Comments

  • 5 months ago
  • 19 points

Thats a mini destroyer! very nice. Noctua fans have come a long way from the cookies and cream. About the gpu sag, I just cut down a chopstick and sprayed it black, does the job perfectly and is barely noticable. +1

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Ya know I might actually try that. thank you for the advice kind internet stranger!

Take my upvote!

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Thats not a bad idea. I just used some black legos and minifigure to hold up my GPU. Worked like a charm!

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  • 5 months ago
  • 6 points

love the blue accents! +1

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

Thank you, blue is my favorite color :)

  • 5 months ago
  • 4 points

Really nice! I love those Chromax fans! Looks like you have a GPU sag problem though... +1

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

yea, its unfortunate. not sure what I can do about it practically, I have seen those gpu supports on Amazon though...

  • 5 months ago
  • 4 points

Easy, put lego there or a figurine to hold the gpu up.

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

Looks to me like you have a windowless case, so aesthetics be damned you could just tie some fishing line from the top of the case to the GPU. That or prop up the end underneath the GPU.

  • 5 months ago
  • 4 points

This is badass. So much punch packed in this little guy

  • 5 months ago
  • 4 points

I love that CPU cooler. It's a wee bit T H I C C, with the three fans, but i gather your CPU is nice and cozy underneath there. All around amazing build. +1

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

How did you fit the Trident Ram under the Noctua D15? Usually all the builds say they cant fit both fans on the radiators! Really lovin the black and blue theme, I hope to do the same within the month.

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

The Trident Z fits right under the little cutout/identation of fins on the NH-D15 with ample room to spare. The problem is with the front fan hitting your USB 3.0 header/ATX 24 pin power; I had to replace the front fan with an NF-A12 (120mm), the NH-D15 is supposed to have 2x NF-A15s (the fan you see in the middle).

  • 5 months ago
  • 3 points

Introducing the ultra fresh build. With a few thousand dollars, you can make and pc dreams true.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Great aesthetic on this build! Makes me want Noctua chromax fans more and more!

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow ! That's astounding ! Look forward to finding out how it runs for temps etc. May yet consider upgrading my itx to this 16 core brute (or even the 64 core monster) together with next gen GPU - (may have to rob a few banks first mind ;) - uptick from me.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Simple, powerful and good looking. I love it!

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

lovely build!

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

What a beautiful system! I love ITX builds with a passion.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Personally I would've gone for a case with a side panel so I could show of that beauty. Still a cracking build though👌👌👌

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Isn't thermal paste essential?

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

First Picture: Damn! That GPU sag.

Second Picture: Ah, corrected. :)

Nice build in a small package. +1

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Are you thinking about doing anything for the gpu sag?

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Yes I ended up buying https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079HSVSLR/ to fix it. It's in the picture #2-4

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

oh ok

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Glorious build!

For best temps - just run the three NF-S12A intake fans (front and bottom) at their max 1200 RPM, because they are silent anyway, and leave the rest 3 fans at 900 RPM.

I have set my CPU cooler's Noctua NF-F12 fan to run constantly at its max 1500 RPM and can barely hear it.

Cheers.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Have you thought of modifying the top lid so that it covers all the area outside the (2) 120 fans or getting a custom dust filter to cover the top? If you run your computer 24/7 the positive air pressure should prevent any dust from entering from the top but if you ever put it to sleep or turn it off, the dust could just fall right in.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the reminder - I forgot about the custom fan filters I found for the top: https://www.demcifilter.com/demciflex-magnetic-dust-filter-for-fractal-design-nano-s-top-filter. But yea I might try getting one depending on how the dust looks after a few weeks.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Great build! Congrats on the feature! +10

PS- How the 9th gen Ryzen working?

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Its pretty amazing, I even have enough threads for every tab of Chrome :P But really though, it was a nice upgrade from my old 4790K system.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Protip: If you want to check temps under max system load, run the PSU test in OCCT. It turns everything it possibly can to 100 and cranks heat. I'd say if you have 90*C all around its well cooled, if more it needs more cooling.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

This is so pretty. I bet your thermals are super low!

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

I noticed the 4.7GHz in your Ryzen Master CCD0 & CCD1 ?! What settings do you have in UEFI / Ryzen Master please? :)

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Sorry my setup is stock for now - I think Ryzen Master just shows 4.7 because its the max boost clock of the 3950x. Lol I wish it was really at 4.7

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I was like wow that's some crazy good 3950x :D

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Love the color consistancy. Thank god for chromax fans. noctua brown would have been something else entirely

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey, I remember seeing you on reddit before. Great Build btw.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

T R I A L V E R S I O N

dank build man

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Well done. Noctua, black, and blue all look well together.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

Motherboard is nowhere to be seen.. :)

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

An epyc (pun intended) PC build for sure and a lot of power too! I love the fact that you just went with blue accents and not an RGB throwup PC.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

@Humajum: Had a question on this - how are you able to fit the NH-D15 in there given that the radiator height is 165mm, but the case max height is 162mm? Is there actually space there or did you have to do something specific to get it to fit? I'm trying to do a similar build and PCPP is complaining about incompatibility.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Fractal lists the CPU cooler max height as 162mm but in reality there is a little more space than that. The padding of the side panel is just barely touching the top of the Chromax covers. Without the covers, there is plenty of clearance for the twin fin stacks. Keep in mind I'm not using the front fan that comes with the D15 since it would not fit in the case because of my USB 3.0 header and 24 ATX power cable.

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

T H I C C C O O L E R

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

I have a very similar build and was also very disappointed with the temperatures I was getting with the X570 chipset. My gear is in an Ncase M1 and I can't seem to get enough air to the chipset. Idle temps are in the low 70s and in the high 80s and sometimes 90s under load. According to ASUS support, these temps are "normal". They still make me very nervous.

Have you done any tinkering with your chipet fan/heatsync/thermal-pad beyond the 1.0mm FujiPoly 17w/mk? I'm really interested in getting my chipset temp lower. If I go down the pad replacement, I think I'll also throw some Noctua 40mm fans in to replace the stock ones. There's only so much a 40mm fan can do, though.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

I question whether you even have a thermal pad between the x570 and heatsink; you wouldn't be the first person to not have one. Have you tried taking it apart yet? My friend has a custom loop M1 w/ Aorus x570-i and the side radiator fans (pull config) above his x570 keep his temps under 47C at all times according to him. While he says he was able to use paste rather than pad, I believe the drastic temp difference is simply due to his radiator fan being right over the x570.

In addition to the 1.0mm FujiPoly, I have adjusted my CPU fan curve to idle a little bit higher so there's more air flowing around the x570 from the NH-D15 fans. A while back I did briefly test holding up an NF-A4x20 to the back of the I/O shield vents right next to the audio jacks - that's where the fan for the x570 heatsink is. I did see the temps slowly go down while holding it there but decided I didn't have a practial way to secure it there. Maybe if I had a 3d printer I could rig up a mount to hang the fan off the WiFi antenna connectors.

If you find that you don't even have a thermal pad, please post to r/sffpc or r/AMD so we can all put ASUS on blast :)

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

I'll have to take it apart and look. I have switched from a Gigabyte 5700 to the ASUS STRIX 5700 thinking maybe the bigger fans and open shroud would help. I've also added a 92mm exhaust fan at the rear. I'm now seeing high 70s as idle temps and high 80s under load.

Still warmer than I would hope for. I'll have to take it apart and see if I find a thermal pad or not.

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

An update: mine is missing a thermal pad all together just like u/Darky57

My post

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

I really like this in terms of performance, form factor, and aesthetic. Good job there and enjoy the system!

Btw, how did you manage to install NH-D15 within Nano S? What is the highest point of the cooler? Can you close the side panel with that cooler + Chromax lid?

I checked that the height of NH-D15 will not fit inside the Nano S, just for few mm though.

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

There's nothing special involved, there's just more actual clearance than what Fractal lists on their website. The NH-D15 + Chromax covers barely touch the lining on the side panel.

  • 4 months ago
  • 2 points

Love the blue & black. Looks very nice!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Gorgeous build, excellent work on this. I'll definitely take a few cues from you on this.

I'm really considering this case for another, smaller build for alternate use and portability. (The Fractal Define R6 is a lot bigger than I realized, and not exactly the coolest case unless you leave the front door open and fill it to capacity with fans.)

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you. I recommend looking at reddit.com/r/sffpc if you are truly looking for something portable.

  • 2 months ago
  • 1 point

Actually I pulled the trigger on the Fractal Design Meshify C Mini (Dark TG) last night. It's slightly larger in all dimensions than your case (and unfortunately more expensive), but I don't think it will disappoint. I just couldn't find an ITX board that did what I wanted at a low enough price, so I bought the MSI B450M Mortar last night to go along with the case (shipped from UK Amazon to the US).

Anyway, thanks for your response. Much appreciated!

  • 2 months ago
  • 2 points

Bumped into this while matching ram stick numbers for the Trident Samsung chips out of the QVL. While a wee bit smaller than where I am heading, I was instantly smiling to see someone else who shares my fondness for the Noctua, rainbow puke proof ascetic. Cheers mate, not only looks like a miniature Power House physically speaking but appears to be one metaphorically as well.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Whoa! Expensive parts that match in color! Lol

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Regarding chipset temps, you could always split the difference and use a graphite pad instead which is supposed to be comparable to something like stock thermal paste when fresh (though a pad has the obvious benefit of never degrading) - both Innovation Cooling and Thermal Grizzly make such a product (Innovation Cooling's is more foil-like while Thermal Grizzly's is more cloth-like).

You'd just have to keep in mind that graphite may need a decent amount of pressure (which I'm not sure the chipset heatsink can provide enough of - you may want to check before hand).

Also graphite is electrically conductive, so you'd want to cut it down to the necessary chipset die size and probably should insulate the area around the die with electrical tape just to make sure everything stays safe.

But graphite pads are also kind of slippery, and that combined with possibly minimal heatsink mounting pressure might actually mean it'd be better to cut the graphite pad to be considerably wider than necessasy so that it hangs off on the sides of the chipset die (with electrical tape under the graphite to insulate things of course), and then tape those hanging-off edges of the graphite onto the electrical tape you put onto the board itself so that everything is held in place

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet rig!

I have the "Coffee & Cream" Noctua on my rig, running mine at 5GHz on a 3930k X79 setup. At that time, the Noctua not only took care of my temps (MUCH better than an H100), but it perfectly matched the color of my Asus X79 Sabertooth board as well!

I also have the Define R4 case, which is SO quiet and up in value these days (I got mine for $75, new, back at the end of 2012) and noticed you removed the removable storage cages and places larger fans in the front instead. Again, nice work!

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

there is not enough room for that cooler

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

How much clearance do you have from the end of the GPU to the fans? I have the same case, but have a water cooler at the front. Trying to understand what I can fit for a GPU upgrade. By my calculations the ROG Strix should still fit, but with ~1mm clearance, so I'd like to get some real-world info rather than trust posted dimensions...

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

I measured 3/8" which is less than 10mm. On paper the Nano S has 315mm of clearance with fans in front and the ROG Strix 2080 Ti is 304.7mm, in this case the specs seem pretty accurate.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. That means it won't quite fit for me. Did some re-measuring and I miscalculated, looks like I have 289mm of space with cooler.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

WOW! Super nice build! Congratulations!! I can't believe you got all that to fit in that small case. I'm sure you are gaming w/ that $ GPU. What apps are you using all those cores for? +1 vote from me (wishing I could add 10). ;>D

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Can you take a photo of the case without the fans in the way that way I can see how you set up the thermal pads. Also a picture without the back plate. I like your build and I am thinking about building it

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Could you get NVME PCIe 4.0 to fit?

beautiful build.

  • 5 months ago
  • 1 point

Suggestion: Replaced the fans on the heatsink with the Noctua Industrial PWM 3000s. More airflow. They can get loud at full power but if you set the fan curve correctly you shouldn't need to get up to full power. Way more static pressure and flow than the normal chromax fans. You might consider swapping the front panel fans out to these as well the added static pressure will reduce your temps.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet build, very powerful. How many FPS does the banana add?

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow! Super build with modern high end components. Congratulations! What apps are you using all those cores for? I'm sporting an 8 core 2700x now, hoping to upgrade to one of these Black Friday 2021. Thumbs up from me. Enjoy! P.S. I would have gone w/ Blue and Black cables instead.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build! I'm putting mine together soon and I'm glad you brought up the chipset fan. Guess I'm going with the Strix B450-I instead.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

How's the CPU temp? You have the front 2 and bottom fan set for intake and the top 2 and back to exhaust?

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Epic build! I'm drooling!

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

any benchmarks? or do those occt and ryzen master readings transfer well into benchmarks?

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