P8Z77-I and NH-C12P SE14 Compatibly
I know many who have been considering this board or any other M-ITX board for that matter have had concerns about after market coolers fitting on the board itself and not interfering with other components.
While I know this has been covered briefly before elsewhere I thought I would try to shed some more light on the topic with more pics and angles in the hope that my efforts will at least help someone else in making an easy decision in parts they may choose for their build.
Before setting out I already knew which way I would be mounting the NH-C12P on my board as I had done ample research before choosing each part so was 99% sure there would be no issues in the direction I intended to mount it in. However I still tried it in every other way, just to see.
To help explain each position I tried the cooler in and how I have referenced them, I have included a diagram below.
NH-C12P SE14 orientations in relation to motherboard
Heat pipes facing PCI-E slot
The cooler fits on the board in this direction offering plenty of clearance for GPUs using the PCI-E slot and other components with no interference. However there is some over hang out the left hand side above the DIGI+ VRM module which would probably be ok in some larger cases but as can been seen in the pictures once the cover of the SG08 goes on it makes contact with the pointy end of the heat pipes.
Position A - Top
Position A - Left
Position A - Right
Position A - Back
Position A - Front
Position A - Front with GPU
Position A - Top, mounted inside SG08
Looks like it would fit from this pic but it does in fact protrude
Position A - Left, mounted inside SG08
Position A - Left, mounted inside SG08. With cover panel on
You can see the cooler makes contact with the case
Heat pipes facing DIGI+ VRM module
In this position the heat pipes make contact with the DIGI+ VRM module making the cooler unusable in this position.
Position B - Back
Heat pipes facing memory
Little to no issues in this position. Heaps of clearance on all sides.
Position C - Top
Position C Top, detail
Pipes finish just short of end of the board allowing plenty of clearance
Position C - Left
Position C - Right
Position C - Back
Position C - Front
Heat pipes facing board I/O
This is the position I have chosen to mount my cooler in with this board. As in position C there is heaps of clearance on all sides so just comes down to personal preference really.
One advantage Position D has over C is you will get ever so slightly more room inside the SG08 for cable connectors coming out of the 3.5 HDD bay.
Position D - Top
Position D - Top, detail
Here is the main reason why I went with this combo of board and cooler over the AXP-140. Heaps of clearance for the GPU
Position D - Left
Position D - Right
Position D - Right, detail
Plenty of clearance for the memory, provided you are using the low profile type. Many models will not fit
Position D - Back
Position D - Front
NH-C12P SE14 Mounting Bracket
Position D - Front with GPU
No need for electrical here
No issues with the mounting bracket on the top side of the board. They ride high over all components offering plenty of clearance.
Being a M-ITX build it is not with out its issues, like any build I guess. Here is one of the first I have encountered.
The compatibly chart on Noctua's website says that this cooler will work with this board no issues. So when I found that the soft pads on the base of the mounting bracket for the back of the board were coming in contact with some very small components I thought to my self, "well it's meant to be compatible, should I just chance it?". But after giving it some thought, I decided on just timing small amounts of the pads to give clearance to the small components. I think it worked well and saved me from having to use washers (which I didn't want t o have to do) like this person did.
It may have been ok, those pads are soft. But didn't want to risk it
Backplate bracket before trimming
Backplate bracket after trimming
And the final result. Is a little hard to see in this pic as these components are so small but nothing touches now
Currently have the system up and running on the test bench stressing it with prime 95 to ensure all parts are good and in working order before loading it all in to the SG08. Will be back with plenty more pics of it all going in after the stress test is done.