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Node 304 Gaming Build: Core i5-4570K + Gigabyte Windforce R9-290X

Poll Results: Which cooling option to try first

Poll expired: Feb 4, 2014  
  • 66% (2)
    1: new 92mm fans
  • 0% (0)
    2: new 120mm fans
  • 0% (0)
    3: case mod with 120mm
  • 33% (1)
    4: case mod with 140mm
3 Total Votes  
post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My last small form factor gaming build was an old Athlon XP 2400+ + Radeon 9700 Pro build in an antec micro-ATX chassis. That thing experienced epic heat problems. So my next build was a full tower i7-930+5850x2 in a Antec 300 chassis. It ran very well, but it was huge and struggled to play games fluidly at 2560x1600. For my current build I wanted maximum power in a small-ish form factor while recognizing that heat could be an issue.

Components:

Fractal Design Node 304
SILVERSTONE ST65F-G 650W PSU
Silverstone PP05 short cable kit
ASUS MAXIMUS VI IMPACT
Intel Core i5-4670K
Corsair Hydro H80i
Samsung 840 Evo 256GB SSD
Samsung 1.5TB hard drive
16GB G.Skill Sniper DDR3
Gigabyte Windforce R9-290X
Windows 8.1 Pro

Build Pics:

Having built probably 3 or 4 small form-factor systems, I'd say that this one probably involved the least amount of swearing:

Installing the Hydro H80i was a bit tricky, a third arm would come in very handy to allow you to support the radiator, fans, align, and turn the screw driver, but such as life.

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(Yes I realize cleaning up some of this cable mess would help the airflow, I'll do it when I've settled on my final cooling solution)
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The Radeon 5850 was used as a placeholder while I waited for the R9-290 non-reference cards to be released:
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Basically finished:
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One of my concerns after reading reviews was that the power supply wouldn't have enough oomph to power everything. That fear was misplaced. Windows 8.1 installed like a champ. Everything was quickly recognized and running well.

I don't have frame rate data to substantiate, but BF4 @ 2560x1600 Ultra Detail Preset is smooth as butter.

Now to the challenges. The Hydro H80i is doing a very effective job cooling the CPU. It idles at ~28 C and gets up to about 38 C under load (WPrime Burn-in). The factory overclocked GPU OTOH is dissipating a lot of heat. It idles at around 45 C but under furmark it peaks at ~93 C. The GPU fan speed is pegged at 100%. The thing sounds like the offspring of a hair dryer and a jet engine. The Node 304 has a grill adjacent to the GPU, you could probably cook a steak on the grill if you turned the case sideways.

Under a more normal workload like BF4 it hovers at 83-84 C, which I'm not worried about from a longevity standpoint, but from a noise standpoint, its still too loud.

With the case off, Furmark temps drop by about 11 C, which is a good sign that the case doesn't have sufficient airflow given the heat load.

Now the question is how to boost the airflow of the case. I am debating three options of varying ease and effectiveness.

1) Replacing the two factory 92mm fans with more powerful fans (and possibly playing with their orientation)

2) Replacing the two stock 120mm fans on the Hydro H80i with more powerful fans (and possibly playing with their orientation).

3) Using a knockout hole punch to mount a 120 or 140mm case fan on top of the case.

I think option 3 would be the most effective but most hassle. I think option 1 would be the easiest, but I'd like to hear if anyone has done something similar before me before I waste $40 on fans that aren't up to the job.

Thanks,
atek3

PS Running BF4 off the SSD, best move ever. Multi-player load times are a fraction of what they were on my old machine.

PPS Others before me have mentioned the importance of the SilverStone PP05 short cable kit... I'm glad I heeded their suggestion... without that, this build would have been a disaster.
Edited by atek3 - 1/28/14 at 4:32pm

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 6
Scythe makes a Gentle Typhoon 92mm, although they seem to be sold out everywhere I look. These would likely be good replacements for the two 92mm intakes. 80mm is also compatible so if you can find a better fan at that size, that could be considered, too.

Even with the PP05 short cable kit, it looks like there's a lot of clutter above the PSU, which is likely contributing to restricting airflow. Silverstone makes a flat short cable kit that might help with that. Might be worth the $25-30 if it will help clear up above the PSU so that the air can flow into the case with less restriction and dispersing?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Good idea. The kit is the PP05-E. I'll order one as soon as I can get the 92mm fans.
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by atek3 View Post

Good idea. The kit is the PP05-E. I'll order one as soon as I can get the 92mm fans.

Having just done custom cables for my node 304 monster high build, I'd say to just buy the crimpers for like $30, buy the pins, and cut them the length you want. If you don't do individual wire sleeving it is REALLY easy to shorten the cables. After I measured all of mine and cut them the length I wanted I wanna say it took me about 1.5 hrs to strip and crimp pins onto 24 pin, 8 pin 12v mobo connector, 2 X 8 pin PCIE, and a 4 pin molex. Had I just sleeved every cable in one big bundle, I'd say I could have done the whole PSU in under 4 hours.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyne View Post

Scythe makes a Gentle Typhoon 92mm, although they seem to be sold out everywhere I look. These would likely be good replacements for the two 92mm intakes. 80mm is also compatible so if you can find a better fan at that size, that could be considered, too.

They actually haven't made them for a couple years. I was lucky to buy 4 when they came out, sold 2 and had 2 left when I happened to buy this case. For 92mm though I would look at server fans, I got some Nidec T92T12MHA7-57 in my media server which are pretty good.
 
Media Server
(12 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 4770K MSI Z97S Krait XFX RX 480 Black Edition XFX RX 480 Black Edition 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
G.Skill Trident X 2666mhz Intel 530 Sandisk Extreme Pro LG WH14NS40 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG WH16NS40 Noctua NH-D14 Win 10 64-Bit BenQ XL2730Z 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G710+ Seasonic Platinum 1000w Fractal Design R5 Zowie FK1+ 
Mouse PadOtherOther
XTrac Ripper XXL  4 x Vardar F-4 120mm (2x NH-D14, 2x Bottom Intake) 3 x Vardar F-3 140mm Intake (two front, one side) 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron J1800 QNAP Proprietary  Intel HD Graphics Crucial 8GB Kit 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
4TB Western Digital Red Pro 4TB Western Digital Red Pro 4TB Western Digital Red Pro 4TB Western Digital Red Pro 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Stock Embedded Linux External, 96 W, 100-240 V TS-451 
  hide details  
Reply
 
Media Server
(12 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 4770K MSI Z97S Krait XFX RX 480 Black Edition XFX RX 480 Black Edition 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
G.Skill Trident X 2666mhz Intel 530 Sandisk Extreme Pro LG WH14NS40 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG WH16NS40 Noctua NH-D14 Win 10 64-Bit BenQ XL2730Z 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G710+ Seasonic Platinum 1000w Fractal Design R5 Zowie FK1+ 
Mouse PadOtherOther
XTrac Ripper XXL  4 x Vardar F-4 120mm (2x NH-D14, 2x Bottom Intake) 3 x Vardar F-3 140mm Intake (two front, one side) 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Celeron J1800 QNAP Proprietary  Intel HD Graphics Crucial 8GB Kit 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
4TB Western Digital Red Pro 4TB Western Digital Red Pro 4TB Western Digital Red Pro 4TB Western Digital Red Pro 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Stock Embedded Linux External, 96 W, 100-240 V TS-451 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 6
Awesome build. I am going to have something similar with 4770K + H90 and R9 290 Wf3. How would you rate the fit for H90. H80i has plenty of room between PCB and rad?
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