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post #2001 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travee View Post

I have looked everywhere for that Asetek AiO cooler, but they dont sell them anymore. The difference in temps wasnt big enough I guess.

I have both FT03 & FT03 mini and both are constantly moved from one place to another. That's why I don't want to start with custom water cooling just yet.
Wut? There are plenty of asetek units readly avaliable on the market such as the H55, H75, Thermaltake and NZXT AIO coolers, and many more. I also believe you can purchase directly from asetek if you ask them by email
post #2002 of 2749
I think we are having some confusion here.

Asetek as an OEM makes most of the round style coolers(as vicyo mentions) like the Antec 620/920 ThermalTake Water series(or at least the older units) NZXT's own kraken all in ones and some of the Zalman line like the LQ310.

The LQ310 is what I have. Now it is mounted with one of the Sigma_Cool mounts that are not on the market any more, but you can drill the stock bracket with the cooler or use something like GPU COOL

You can even use that bracket with other coolers like the H80i and other Coolit units among others.
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post #2003 of 2749
Hi all,

I've been lamenting over purchase decisions for at least a few months now and I've decided I need to just take the plunge. I'm upgrading from a E8400 / HD6850 so this is quite a large leap for me. I'm probably not the most experienced builder, so I would appreciate any constructive and well referenced feedback. I'm hoping I can resolve some of my concerns / gain some new insight and get to making a purchase.

My final build considerations are 4 builds in descending order of preference at this time: silverstone ft03 mini, silverstone rvz01, corsair graphite 380t, silverstone ft03.

I intend to use this build mostly for gaming, but will also be using it for streaming/encoding, light image editing, light development work, and general web-browsing.


Games:

KSP
Heroes of the Storm
Star Citizen
Planetside 2


The requirements for this build are (not in any particular order):

1) Balance between Silence & Heat Management
2) Performance
3) Asthetics & Internal Management (incl. cable management)
4) Reliability & Quality
5) Cost: Aim between $1000-$1500 range


Currently I am considering the following parts:

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i 57.5 CFM (concerns)
Motherboard: Asus Z97I-PLUS Mini ITX LGA1150
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Elite 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" SSD
Western Digital BLACK SERIES 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB (04G-P4-1972-KR - I think this is a rear-exhaust design?)
Case: Silverstone FT03S-MINI Mini ITX Tower
Power Supply: Silverstone 600W SFX12V (concerns)
Optical Drive: Silverstone SST-SOB02 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer (optional - this doesn't seem well reviewed... anyone use it?)


Probably the biggest issue I have in deciding a build is consideration to thermals. I'm concerned that the ft03 mini cannot be sufficiently air cooled, but am a bit reticent to utilize water cooling until CLCs are a bit more mature. I'd like to keep temperatures relatively near ambient at idle (35C-ish), and not exceeding 60C (CPU) at load. As I've shared, I've kept my previous build for over five years now, and I'd like to keep this next build for at least another three. The significant time cost for replacing parts due to a leak is unacceptable to me, so unless someone can find hard statistics to lure me to the water cooling side, I am not considering to trying water cooling until my next build (when the technology has had a chance to mature another cycle).

I like the look of the FT03 Mini because it's not too wide, not too tall, has a sturdy base, and has a clean finish. I honestly dislike the RVZ01's looks, but like the internal layout and thermal management properties. I have some concerns with how cable management w/ the FT03 is going to look, and how it might impact thermals. The 380t is kind of a weird beast, and all I can say is that I like the handle, sharp looks, and easier time I will probably have not having to worry about everything I worry about for the ft03-mini :/.


Additional Considerations:

Anyone have thoughts about Broadwell? It's an intel tick, but doesn't seem all that significant to my purchasing decisions as there is no significant performance increase (especially since I don't plan on using integrated graphics)

Will having a fan blowing over my cpu / motherboard components significantly interrupt airflow / counteract the air penetrator at the bottom? I don't think I have room for a side-blower like the CM212, although if there are reliable & silent alternatives I would love to be pleasantly surprised.

Are there additional mount points for fans that would be accessible for this build in the ft03-mini?

Are there any clearance issues that people ran into during their builds that might be relevant?

Any other recommendations for motherboards? mITX offerings seem to be scarce and honestly, they all look so similar in terms of features... I hear the ALC892 isn't bad. I've had a good experience w/ Gigabyte, but Asus is another reputable brand I would be willing to try.

Thanks in advance! smile.gif
Edited by PurpleBlurpL - 11/17/14 at 3:23pm
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post #2004 of 2749
Not going to say a lot of stuff, but only some suggestions/answer.

So first things first, is a i7 really necessary? A top end i5 usually does the trick for the things you are going to do (that is my emerging country civilian wallet and speaking biggrin.gif ) and they run at slightly lower temperatures

You don't really need mind both the RVZ01 and FT03 Mini cable management as you will almost never see them, just enough so the cables do not obstruct the airflow and you will be all set.

No need for dedicated fans/blowers for motherboard these days. You can run them passive with stock heatsinks without any problems

FT03 Mini have only 2 fan mounting spots, and both of them are in the bottom. One for the stock 140mm fan and one for a 120mm fan or radiator.

If you are going to use a 3.5 HDD on the FT03 mini, you will limit the cpu cooler choices to low profile ones and AIO with slim radiators as the ODD and HDD brackets will get in the way. I recommend using a external HDD or a 2.5 HDD

Other clearance issue you might encounter is the graphics card size, 980 and similar or cards wider than "standard" are a no-no without mods or some type of ninja arts. The GTX970s with reference size or shorter will fit nicely (forget the G1 970). And REMEMBER that blower type coolers are preferred

I have a MSI Z97i Gaming AC and I am very satisfied. Just that Killer Network and headphone "amplifier" nonsense got on my nerves, but easy to work around
Edited by vicyo - 11/17/14 at 6:57pm
post #2005 of 2749
Thanks for the reply!
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicyo View Post

No need for dedicated fans/blowers for motherboard these days. You can run them passive with stock heatsinks without any problems

Not sure what you mean here. I wasn't planning on getting any additional cooling for my motherboard / other components unless you meant my CPU HFC?
Quote:
FT03 Mini have only 2 fan mounting spots, and both of them are in the bottom. One for the stock 140mm fan and one for a 120mm fan or radiator.

If you are going to use a 3.5 HDD on the FT03 mini, you will limit the cpu cooler choices to low profile ones and AIO with slim radiators as the ODD and HDD brackets will get in the way. I recommend using a external HDD or a 2.5 HDD

The Noctua NH-L9i should be low profile. I thought the HDD bracket is lower in the case than the CPU? How much clearance would I have w/ a 3.5" HDD? I might have to consider getting a 2.5" HDD if this is a concern. One of my concerns is whether or not the Noctua fan's airflow will interfere with the Air Penetrator at the bottom. I'm also wondering if there is a way to install a shroud or perhaps an efficient passive cpu heatsink (i.e. NT-06) and the AP's incidental cooling at the bottom would work sufficiently? Ideally I'd like to find a miniature version of the CM212 Evo to take advantage of that stack effect cooling layout, but I don't know if such a product even exists.
Quote:
Other clearance issue you might encounter is the graphics card size, 980 and similar or cards wider than "standard" are a no-no without mods or some type of ninja arts. The GTX970s with reference size or shorter will fit nicely (forget the G1 970). And REMEMBER that blower type coolers are preferred

The 970 i listed is 9.5" / 241mm, is there additional clearance that I need? SS's website states that the ft03 mini supports cards up to 10" in length. What do you mean by "wider than standard"?
Edited by PurpleBlurpL - 11/17/14 at 11:30pm
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post #2006 of 2749
Thread Starter 
From the cases you list: only two are truly small under 18 litres, while the FT03 mATX version is a fair bit larger at 32 litres, and the 380T is massive relatively speaking at around 41 litres.

If you are coming from a regular tower case , only when you have the FT03-mini in your hands will you understand how compact it is. It's also lovely looking, with thick anodised aluminium panels.

Agree with Vicyo - avoid the 3.5" drive if you can, it blocks airflow and moreover blocks access to the place where the PSU's modular 24 pin goes.

The GPU choice is perfect, just ordered one of those 04G-P4-1972-KR myself.

I have installed an NT06-Pro recently and would very much recommend that over the NH-L9i which I understand only works with low-TDP chips.

You mention "the AP's incidental cooling". Perhaps a misunderstanding about the case design. It's not incidental, it's vital: the bottom fan is only way fresh air is coming into the case. The air is then either expelled by pressure, or through the PSU.

In my experience (also with SG05 which has similar internal layout), the most efficient way to route the airflow is to reverse the NT06-Pro fan to blow away from the motherboard into the PSU. It might sound counter-intuitive to blow CPU exhaust into the PSU, but this way the PSU gets more airflow and in fact has a lower exhaust temperature than in the other orientation.
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post #2007 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicyo View Post

Wut? There are plenty of asetek units readly avaliable on the market such as the H55, H75, Thermaltake and NZXT AIO coolers, and many more. I also believe you can purchase directly from asetek if you ask them by email

Sorry if I was unclear earlier. I meant the Asetek 760GC is no longer made or for sale. There is the 740QC which connects to the 550QC, though I wish the 550QC had a thicker radiator. I suspect the reason why I find no mention of these two, is that they might be new, maybe.

I might try what Nukemaster has done.
Edited by Travee - 11/18/14 at 4:48am
post #2008 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travee View Post

Sorry if I was unclear earlier. I meant the Asetek 760GC is no longer made or for sale. There is the 740QC which connects to the 550QC, though I wish the 550QC had a thicker radiator. I suspect the reason why I find no mention of these two, is that they might be new, maybe.

I might try what Nukemaster has done.
you can aways make one yourself, but better xD
Buy 2 H55 and a copper 120 or 140mm radiator with a pair of 1/4 fittings and merge them for a badass AIO cooler (that's what i'm planing to do thumb.gif )

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleBlurpL View Post

Thanks for the reply!
Not sure what you mean here. I wasn't planning on getting any additional cooling for my motherboard / other components unless you meant my CPU HFC?
Oh, my mistake because i read that side blower cooler part (speed-reading tongue.gif )
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleBlurpL View Post

The Noctua NH-L9i should be low profile. I thought the HDD bracket is lower in the case than the CPU? How much clearance would I have w/ a 3.5" HDD? I might have to consider getting a 2.5" HDD if this is a concern. One of my concerns is whether or not the Noctua fan's airflow will interfere with the Air Penetrator at the bottom. I'm also wondering if there is a way to install a shroud or perhaps an efficient passive cpu heatsink (i.e. NT-06) and the AP's incidental cooling at the bottom would work sufficiently? Ideally I'd like to find a miniature version of the CM212 Evo to take advantage of that stack effect cooling layout, but I don't know if such a product even exists.
The brackets are located just bellow the psu, but not only they will limit you cooler choices directly, but also as a side effect because airflow and cable managemente will be a PIA as WiSK mentioned

[Original Image from Techpowerup]

That red square is where the 2.5 and 3.5 brackets go (note those 2 screw holes for the 3.5 bracket)


About the airflow, no need to worry about fans interfering because the case relies on positive pressure and hot air convection airflow than tunnel-like airflow. You will not have problems as long as the extra fan do not point downwards. But still, avoid graphics cards without closed or blower type coolers
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleBlurpL View Post

The 970 i listed is 9.5" / 241mm, is there additional clearance that I need? SS's website states that the ft03 mini supports cards up to 10" in length. What do you mean by "wider than standard"?
No, thats about it.
Wide cards like the Classified/Kingpin, Strix, AMP! Extreme, as the frame or the ODD/SSD brackets will get in the way while installing them
Edited by vicyo - 11/18/14 at 6:23am
post #2009 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by vicyo View Post

you can aways make one yourself, but better xD
Buy 2 H55 and a copper 120 or 140mm radiator with a pair of 1/4 fittings and merge them for a badass AIO cooler (that's what i'm planing to do thumb.gif )

Keep us updated about that wink.gif
post #2010 of 2749
Quote:
Originally Posted by WiSK View Post

From the cases you list: only two are truly small under 18 litres, while the FT03 mATX version is a fair bit larger at 32 litres, and the 380T is massive relatively speaking at around 41 litres.

If you are coming from a regular tower case , only when you have the FT03-mini in your hands will you understand how compact it is. It's also lovely looking, with thick anodised aluminium panels.

Yes, I agree. That's why the larger ones are farther down on my list smile.gif.
Quote:
Agree with Vicyo - avoid the 3.5" drive if you can, it blocks airflow and moreover blocks access to the place where the PSU's modular 24 pin goes.

Okay, this is really useful information, I'll see to getting a 2.5" drive instead.

edit: Looks like disk density for 2.5" are a lot lower (750GB range)... Would there be an airflow difference between a single 3.5" vs 2x 2.5"? Doesn't quite make sense to get 2.5" drives if it means that I just put two exactly where the 3.5" would have gone lol. Are the 2.5" drives hidden away for the most part? 2TB is a minimum requirement for local storage for me frown.gif.

Someone mentioned that the 3.5" drive will limit my cooling options / make cable management a PITA. Can someone tell exactly what components may be blocked? I don't plan on having a radiator-- is that the only compatibility concern? Also, is it not possible to run the cables along the frame, away from the central air channel?
Quote:
I have installed an NT06-Pro recently and would very much recommend that over the NH-L9i which I understand only works with low-TDP chips.

You're right, I'm reading a little bit more about the NH-L9i and it seems like they recommend it for a 65W TDP cap with Haswell chips. Would you recommend I use the NT06 in a passive or active configuration?

edit: I just realized the NT06 is taller than 76mm... is this going to be an issue? Silverstone's site states that the ft03 can only take up the 76mm cpu HFC?
Quote:
You mention "the AP's incidental cooling". Perhaps a misunderstanding about the case design. It's not incidental, it's vital: the bottom fan is only way fresh air is coming into the case. The air is then either expelled by pressure, or through the PSU.

What I meant about "incidental cooling" was a question more about whether or not the AP at the bottom would provide enough airflow through the case in which I could get by with a larger/more efficient cpu heatsink rather than a heatsink/fan combo. Airflow would be less constricted, there wouldn't be a cpu fan fighting the AP, and generally a more elegant design / quieter build. I.E. my AP would become my cpu fan indirectly. It's a long stretch with a 4790k, but I'm curious whether or not it could theoretically work smile.gif.
Quote:
In my experience (also with SG05 which has similar internal layout), the most efficient way to route the airflow is to reverse the NT06-Pro fan to blow away from the motherboard into the PSU. It might sound counter-intuitive to blow CPU exhaust into the PSU, but this way the PSU gets more airflow and in fact has a lower exhaust temperature than in the other orientation.

I've heard of people doing this, but I've also heard conflicting stories that this is less efficient and the benefits outweigh the consequences. In the normal configuration, the cpu blower blow directly down at the cpu heatsink and incidentally cools the motherboard, but in the opposite configuration, it's more difficult for the blower to have access to fresh air, results in higher resistance and stress on fan components, counteracts AP's airflow, and the motherboard benefits from less incidental cooling. I haven't been able to find any conclusive / reliable tests on this matter.

I think this could partially be solved with some sort of fan shroud/duct... does something like even exist for this case size lol?

If someone has time for an experiment... smile.gif

1) Is there a difference between a fan blowing towards a cpu or blowing away? I hypothesize that blowing towards is more efficient, if there is any difference at all.
2) Does a cpu blower configuration upset the AP's airflow to significantly impact thermals or does it not have a significantly impact at all? I hypothesize that there is slight to no significant difference, although some hard data would be nice.
3) Does adding a cpu shroud benefit thermals in this case?

Thanks for the reply!
Edited by PurpleBlurpL - 11/18/14 at 1:14pm
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Samsung 850 Pro WD Black SST-SOB02 Noctua NH-12 (120mm bottom fan) 
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i7 4790k Z97i-PLUS EVGA GTX 970 SC (04G-P4-1972-KR) Crucial Ballistix VLP 
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Samsung 850 Pro WD Black SST-SOB02 Noctua NH-12 (120mm bottom fan) 
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