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Fractal define nano s - dual radiator custom loop. I5 6600k, gtx1080

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is the third, and hopefully final, iteration of my htpc in the last two years.

I started off with my 4k60hz passive build in the Streacom FC10 case. That build was good, and silent, but I couldn't get enough GPU power in there to get much out of MadVR upscaling, or really any gaming beyond steam in-home streaming.

I got an MSI gtx1080 aero this month, and it was impossible for the FC10 to accommodate this GPU, so I got a Silverstone FTZ 01. Unfortunately the gtx1080 sounded like a jet engine and downclocked itself to 1750-1800mhz when playing witcher 3, which started me down the path of custom loop water cooling.

v1.0 Silverstone FTZ01 Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
RTu2Bnn.png
This build worked, and was very quiet, but after an hour of 4k gaming I measured the water temperature at just under 55C, which was way too close to the operating limit of my pump for my own comfort. The case just couldn't move enough air to keep everything cool.


v2.0 Fractal Design Define Nano S
Goals for the build
* Ability to do NNEDI64 upscaling in MadVR with a low enough noise profile for quiet movie watching

* 60fps Witcher 3 in 4k, ultra settings, hairworks off

Parts List Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Z170I PRO GAMING Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard ($159.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($34.49 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial MX100 512GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($200.00)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Video Card ($649.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Fractal Design Define Nano S Mini ITX Desktop Case ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($83.89 @ OutletPC)
Case Fan: Noctua NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm Fan ($18.88 @ OutletPC)
Case Fan: Noctua NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm Fan ($18.88 @ OutletPC)
Case Fan: Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 12 (White) 56.0 CFM 120mm Fan ($19.97 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 12 (White) 56.0 CFM 120mm Fan ($19.97 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 12 (White) 56.0 CFM 120mm Fan ($19.97 @ Amazon)
Other: Corsair SF600 ($119.00)
Other: XSPC Raystorm V3 CPU block ($50.00)
Other: Bitspower Water Tank Z-Multi 40 - Full Clear Acrylic ($27.00)
Other: Black Ice Nemesis 240GTS® Ultra Stealth U-Flow Low Profile Radiator - White ($49.00)
Other: XSPC EX280 Dual Fan Low Profile / High Performance Radiator - ($63.00)
Other: EK-FC1080 GTX- Copper Water Block with Plexi Top for Nvidia GTX 1080 ($115.00)
Other: Swiftech MCP35X-BK 12 VDC Pump ($100.00)
Other: Bitspower Premium Magic-Cube Type DDC MOD TOP G1/4" (Acrylic Version) ($30.00)
Other: PrimoFlex Advanced LRT 10ft Tubing - 3/8in. ID X 5/8in. OD - Elegant White ($27.00)
Other: 10 pieces - XSPC G1/4" to (10mm) 3/8" Barb Fitting - Chrome Finish ($20.00)
Other: 12 pieces - Reuseable Clamps - For 5/8" O.D. Tubing - Natural ($11.00)
Other: 3 pieces - Alphacool 10mm (3/8") Barbed Fitting 90° revolvable G1/4 with O-Ring - Chrome ($18.00)
Total: $2150.01
"Other" part prices are from performance pcs
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-07-17 15:40 EDT-0400

Build Pics Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
This build wasn't easy, but it wasn't nearly as hard as cramming everything into the FTZ01.

We start off by mounting the Noctua fans to the outside of the front of the case, they'll sit inside the channel behind the front panel. I did this mounting to save some space internally, probably at the cost of some airflow.
gfey0uy.jpg

Next, the XSPC EX280 radiator goes in. Fractal Design had a picture on their site showing max dimensions for water cooling which stated 321mm maximum radiator height up front. Unfortunately this is a typo and its actually 312mm, which didn't bode well for my 320mm EX280. With some careful angling and positioning of front I/O panel cables it barely fits.
dl4GKSF.jpg

There is more or less only one configuration for mounting the fans which exposes enough screw holes to get the radiator mounted to the case as well.
zYy8aUh.jpg
e3wL6LM.jpg

Back inside the case I mount my pump on the sled mount on bottom. The nemesis 240gts radiator goes in at top as well. This has 2 of the prolimatech 120mm slimline fans attached to it at top. Finally, I have also put the EK waterlbock on my gtx1080 and have it mounted on my motherboard with CPU waterblock installed. At this point I'm starting to think about cable routing. Unfortunately the Corsair SF600 PSU cables are too short to route in the channel behind the case...
JkaJaad.jpg

A look around back has me thankful for the cable routing channel, and for the fact that a cover will be hiding this mess. The SSD gets strapped to the case by some sweet included Velcro
yPC6nIu.jpg

Mounted the reservoir with the included mounting straps and here is everything put together. The rear exhaust fan is another prolimatech 120mm slimline fan. I'd like to get an NF12 back there but was concerned there wouldn't be enough room so I went with the slimline fan.
j9h8b8x.jpg

The Define Nano S has a neat "moduvent" on top, which is basically a removable cover. It allows you to keep closed for a nice sleek look, or remove it entirely to expose the top vent at the cost of a cheese grater look. I took some old metal feet I had from an old case and put them under the clips on the removable panel, partially preserving the smooth look, but also allowing airflow into the top of the case.
6BaulDM.jpg

Everything in action
CcMOHb9.jpg

Gaming and Media Benchmark results Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
At idle it's dead silent and, of course, temperatures are super low.
jodsL98.png

Running unigine Heaven and prime95 smallFFT for around 35 minutes (cpu @4.5ghz, GPU OC'd to 2125mhz core and 5300mhz vram) it's audible but still very quiet. With decently warm temperatures.
v8N8pvA.png

With all of the above installed, and overclocked. I actually get 60fps in Witcher 3 at 4k resolution on Ultra settings (hairworks off). Depending on the scene the fps range is around 52-61, with an average in the mid 50s. Outdoors with not much going on gets over 60fps.
6H6FtEw.png

Dirt Rally 4K ultra preset
Average 101fps
Minimum 86fps

3dmark time spy
Overall score 6920
Graphics score 7793
Cpu score 4234

3dmark Firestrike
Overall 17189
Graphics 24096
Physics 9530


MadVR performance is excellent as well. Playing my remux Bluray mkv files I get max render time of 18ms using:
Chroma scaling - superXBR 100
Image doubling - NNEDI3 64 neuron
Image scaling - Lanczos3 + AR

So what next?
Two things really. I saw on this page ( http://www.techspot.com/article/1171-ddr4-4000-mhz-performance/ ) that faster ddr4 actually can have an fps impact, so I'm getting come corsair low profile lpx 3600mhz ddr4 to replace my janky generic 2400mhz ram. Even a few fps improvement here could make the difference since I'm so close to a solid 60fps.

Also, I have some 140mm noctua fans on order. I think if I am pretty careful I can get the 140mm fans mounted inside the case, get the top rad mounted on the 120mm noctua, and MAYBE have enough room for a fullsize fan as exhaust. We'll see later this week.

Hope you all enjoyed this
post #2 of 15
Yep, you should be able to do it.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Yea it's working pretty well so far. My ram arrives today so hoping I have time tomorrow to try the 140mm noctua out and the new ram.
post #4 of 15
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crash4fun View Post

Is this what you ordered?
http://www.corsair.com/en-us/vengeance-lpx-16gb-2x8gb-ddr4-dram-3600mhz-c18-memory-kit-black-cmk16gx4m2b3600c18
If so, nice timings!
yes that's the one. According to the specs they are about .1" taller than the crucial ballistix I have in there now. It's going to be super close as to whether or not I will be able to get full size fans on the top radiator.

I'm also considering whether I could or should move the reservoir down under the gpu and next to the pump. With the 140mm noctua installed inside the front of the case I am going to have to move the res a fair amount over to the left anyway.

Unfortunately all these slight moves also mean I will need to cut some new tube lengths to avoid kinking or ugly looking angles. Oh well it's all in good fun smile.gif

I'll run the same benchmarks I quoted above once I get the new ddr4 in there
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdoo View Post

yes that's the one. According to the specs they are about .1" taller than the crucial ballistix I have in there now. It's going to be super close as to whether or not I will be able to get full size fans on the top radiator.

If necessary, you can probably get away with shaving the extra .1 inch off the radiator fan's edge with a dremel, make a clean cut and you wouldn't even notice it. Likely there would be plenty of room to spare near the fan screws to not be a problem. I did this to one of my fans before because the side panel fan was just meeting the edge of my radiator (stupid H80 jumbo block) fan so I couldn't close the case.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
No need for cutting but holy moly this is tight. The fans have to be inside the case in pull configuration on both radiators.

On top for ram clearance, and in front because the 280mm rad mounts don't really line up with the case mounts. I could have the front fans in a push instead, but the top 140mm noctua would be attached to the radiator by only 2 screws on its bottom side.

I doubt I'll get a full size exhaust fan in here

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

It fits!!! It's a bit of a weird pattern with the hoses, but I wouldn't say it looks bad smile.gif

Benchmarks of ddr3600 and 120mm vs 140mm fan temperature testing to come after the leak test

:edit: got the full size exhaust fan in also. There is basically maybe .5mm to spare between all the components that run along the top of the case.
Edited by jdoo - 7/23/16 at 10:08am
post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Looks like that faster ram actually does make a difference.

Dirt rally
Avg 108fps (+6.9%)
Min 91fps (+5.8%)

Time spy
Overall 7111 (+2.7%)
Graphics 7899 (+1.3%)
Cpu score 4544 (+7.3%)

Firestrike
Overall 17330 (+0.8%)
Graphics 24026 (-.3%)
Physics 9672 (+1.4%)

Witcher is hard to tell. I don't have the save of me standing in the same spot as before. Just based on feel I would say that the improvement, if any, is 1-2fps


The bigger fans and new fan layout made a big difference in cooling as well.
Running prime95 smallFFT and unigine heaven for ten minutes gets me
GPU 43c
CPU 45c
Edited by jdoo - 7/23/16 at 11:23am
post #10 of 15
there's just no way you'll hit steady 60 fps. 45-60fps in the 4K run I just did with 2GHz 1080 Ultra quality,HW off,SSAO. Avg. fps would be +50 fps but nowhere near 60.
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