Description

DISCLAIMER!

I already did post this build over a week and a half ago but I think I made enough changes in that time justify reposting it. If this is against some sort of forum rules I will gladly take it down! But I felt the world needed to see the new king of CPU air coolers (w/ updated pictures)!

The Title:

I've installed the new Noctua NH-D15 in my build and twelve Noctua NF-A14 140mm PWM fans for complete motherboard control. Five are connected directly to the motherboard and the other seven to an 8 way PWM splitter powered via SATA connector.

Why didn't I go with water cooling?

This is my first PC build (technically, second if you count moving all my parts to a different case and returning the first case but that doesn't count). Since I'm new to the world of PC building I don't want to take on too much as I was already overwhelmed with the wealth of information I took in over the past month on just the basics. That being said, I hear custom water cooling is a hobby within itself and considering I have the PC building bug, it'll be something I will definitely get into in the years to come. So I decided to see how far I could get with air cooling. I clearly went overboard. I wonder how overboard you can get with water cooling.

Why build a PC?

Getting out of the military and starting school soon for photography but also an emphasize on video editing and a hint of gaming. I am an Apple fan and was considering the new Mac Pro but price and very little expansion meant a lot less bang for the $buck$ than I was comfortable with. Plus the research and struggling with my first build was actually so much more fun/rewarding that I ever thought.

CPU:

Intel Core i7-4770k: This appears to be one of the most popular CPUs out there and perfect for overclocking. Will definitely meet my needs for years to come.

Cooler:

Noctua NH-D15: I wanted the best CPU air cooler on the market and initially had a Cooler Master GTS V8 installed but the NH-D15 came out in places in Europe so I just had a friend ship it to me. You can look it up, it has stellar reviews.

Motherboard:

GA-Z87X-UD5TH: Thunderbolt and Hackintosh friendly along with built in AC wireless and bluetooth 4.0. I currently have no Thunderbolt peripherals so I haven’t tested it’s functionality and speed but eventually I will. Wireless AC and Bluetooth now work natively in OS X with some tinkering. And tinkering I mean the most frustrating part of my build.

Memory:

Corsair Vengeance Pro 32GB 1866MHz: Research taught me plenty of memory is helpful in video editing. I probably won't take advantage of it now but I'm sure I will in the future. And 1866MHz memory doesn’t cost much more than 1600MHz memory.

Storage:

Samsung SSDs: Larger one for OS X Mavericks. Smaller one for Windows 8.1. Same goes for the storage HDDs.

GPU:

See update at the bottom.

Case:

Nanoxia Deep Silence 6: Returned the Fractal Design Define XL for this. Bigger, more room for expansion, perfect balance between silence and cooling, and aesthetics (personally). I did spend a premium buying this case but I’d say totally worth it. It’s in-between a regular full ATX tower and an ultra tower like the 900D. The insides are covered in sound proofing material, two built in fan headers (doesn’t matter considering I’m using all PWM fans), and open or close chimney on top that I always leave open.

Power Supply:

Corsair RM 650W: Their power supplies seem to have a really good reputation and fully modular is always welcome. Definitely enough power for what I need including future expansion.

Optical Drive:

LG Blu-Ray reader: They’re cheap enough to the point where I was just why not?

Case Fans:

Twelve Noctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm. Three Noctua NF-A15 on the CPU cooler (two included). Grand total of fifteen. Point of diminishing return was probably several fans ago but everywhere on the internet Noctua is raved about and since color scheme doesn’t matter to me it seemed like a good fit. This computer is obviously a long-term investment so I wanted to invest in fans that would pay off in the long run (6 year warranty is a testament to that). Setup is eight intake fans and four exhaust fans. Positive air pressure because that's just how the case was built. I removed all unused hard drive trays for maximum airflow.

NH-D15 is listed in custom parts because it’s not on pcparkpicker yet.

Benchmarking:

In the pictures.

Overclocking:

Let me emphasize I’m new to all this so I don’t quite know what I’m doing 100% of the time so I referenced quite a number of overclocking guides and youtube videos. That being said here are my overclocking stats so far after two hours of AIDA64 on each setting. Also I know two hours isn't nearly enough time to determine stability but consider this a rough draft. Stress testing is done on the windows side, not OS X.

4.4GHz @ 1.15v

4.5GHz @ 1.18v

4.6GHz @ 1.2v

4.7GHz @ 1.27v

4.8GHz @ Coming soon! Test failed after an hour.

Also if someone can tell me what percentage my CPU falls into based on this so far?

Questions, comments, and constructive criticisms are all welcome! Just be gentle, I'm fragile.

Thanks for looking!

Update: May 12, 2014. Two new pics. Spent a couple hours prettying up my cable management.

Update (w/ pictures): May 15, 2014. Went ahead and returned the Gigabyte 770 4GB for a ASUS 780 TI 3GB DirectCU II. Now I'm pretty sure I went all out as much as I could, reasonably.......and unreasonably.

Update: May 28, 2014. http://www.reddit.com/r/CableManagement/comments/26o6gk/maybe_a_bit_excessive/

Switched out the stock Direct CU II cooler for a MK26 VGA cooler. Matching CPU and GPU coolers.

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 69 months ago
  • 10 points

Sick build bro. 100% worth it

#noctuamasterrace

  • 69 months ago
  • 5 points

Thanks man. Glad someone else appreciates Noctua.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

You should have gotten the new noctua industrial fans with the new black look, but anyway great build dude. +Infinity

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

I mean I would've, if I knew like a month ago. Oh well. Thanks for the +Infinity.

  • 69 months ago
  • 5 points

I'm a fan.... oops accidental pun. :-) +1

How are you liking the monitor?

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Best one I've ever had. I will probably never have a multiple monitor setup again. I used to have three 27" monitors a while ago and got rid of it because my neck would get sore from turning so much. Although you don't get as much screen real estate as multiple monitors, without a bezel, it's so much more fluid and natural to use. I was use to it almost instantly. The only upgrade to this would be the new LG QHD 34" Ultrawide. But it's super pricy so I'm just waiting. I highly recommend an ultrawide monitor.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Q: Are you getting that resolution to play well in OSX?

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes it works exactly like it should. You just have to use a displayport cable for it to display correctly. I also think a dual link DVI cable should work too.

  • 69 months ago
  • 3 points

Not enough noctuas. I disappointed...lol

The rest of it is pretty awesome though. BUT, why that keyboard? Why not go for something mechanical?

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't do a crazy amount of gaming and I spend a majority of time in Mac OS X. So naturally I went something that would work well in OS X. I don't know much about mechanical keyboards but why do you recommend it?

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

mechanical keyboards feel very different from 'rubber dome' keyboards. From personal experience, they just 'feel' great to type on for everything, especially for work. It does take a couple weeks to get 100% used to, but totally worth. They have the added bonus of having crazy good durability. They come in different kinds of 'Cherry switches'. Brown is the most commonly used and is what I use.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Right now I'm using the apple keyboard because it's a hackintosh and an apple keyboard is almost kinda needed while using OS X. But for professional applications I'll definitely consider it.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Good job :) but dude, $250 on just the Noctua fans?!! That really is over kill lol I think this should last plenty in the future :) and PC > Mac

  • 69 months ago
  • 5 points

I prefer OS X over windows but having both on different SSDs is very nice.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

I LOVE that they have made RAM slot cut outs in the heatsink so it no longer blocks the first ram slot, that was such a simplistic yet brilliant design choice, I'm soooooo tempted to get one of those NH-D15's! great silence optimized build! easy +1

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man. Noctua definitely made this cooler compatible with all ranges of memory. My only issue is my high profile memory still forces the fan up a bit which probably affects cooling by a couple degrees but overall it's just nice knowing I have the best out there. And it's so much quieter than my last cooler.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Spend less on fans and update the GPU.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

He needs an OSX compatible GPU, keep that in mind.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

GTX 780 works well on max os x.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you know from experience? It was really annoying getting Mac OS X to work just right and everything is working perfect but I'm willing to trade in my 770 for a 780 for $100 more but only if it's up to moderately difficult getting it to work with OS X.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

http://www.tonymacx86.com/420-building-customac-buyer-s-guide-april-2014.html#gfx_cards

780-titan work, but require a specific driver to use open cl. I would stick to the ones linked in tonymac just to be safe.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Exactly. I am new to all this so I wanted native support without having to do anything.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Too bad the fan on the d15 sticks up like that.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree. The heatsink does have cutouts so it doesn't interfere with the first RAM slot but high profile memory still forces the fan up a bit. I'm hoping it doesn't make too much of a difference in cooling capability. Maybe a few degrees.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

try putting the forward fan in the back, so it's in a pull configuration. you won't lose any cooling performance, and you most likely won't have something sticking out in the end.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

I might just do that so the first fan isn't sticking out so much. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

you're welcome. it's what i had to do to keep my first flashy Tactical Tracer RAM stick from being covered up by the fan of a Hyper 212 EVO.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

someone's a Noctua FANboy XD

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Guilty. :)

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Any airflow problems? lol. That is a sick build dude, just awesome.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm pretty sure I maximized the airflow potential in this case. But that's just me.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow... brown beauty. Love the Noctua's.

As for your GPU, AMD reigns king in the UHD department, at least when it comes to games. For your resolution you're fine. My suggestion would be to wait for newer GPU's... they don't matter as much as your CPU when it comes to video editing anyway. More about software when it comes to amd/ nvidia.

As for your overclock, that's pretty dang good. From what I've read, very few people get to 4.7, much less 4.8, especially under 1.3. Overclocks can become unstable over time, though. Anyway, sorry for blabbing.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Since I'm new to this I have no loyalty to any company. NVIDIA is just so much more Hackintosh friendly. That was priority #1 when I was picking parts. Which PC parts with give me the least trouble (natively supported) and still be somewhat beastly for Mac OS X.

Thanks a lot for the suggestion. I was waiting for someone to answer it. As the 770 is more than enough for me right now, I don't mind waiting for the 800 series to come out. You wouldn't have to generally know when new GPUs get released do you?

As for overclocking I'm gonna leave it at 4.3GHz a majority of the time. Maybe 4.5GHz at most. I just wanted to see how far I could take it.

That wasn't blabbing man. I'm glad you read through the entire description and answered my questions. I welcome all the feedback!

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Well, technically, Maxwell is out already (see 750/ 750ti), but it's little Maxwell (which is more focused on power efficiency). Most are hoping big Maxwell will be out later this year (like anywhere from Sept. to Dec) but we'll see.

I am an Nvidia fan, but the truth is that AMD's cards perform better at the UHD and beyond res's, from what I've read it's in large part due to the increased vram.

Also, love the D15. I have the D14 on my i7-930 and it keeps it nice and cool, always below 65^ at 4.1 and 1.3V. Just wish it had the ram clearance yours does. Also also, that tower is beast.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

I love this Desk and your Build what would be the name of this desk?

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

My roommate moved out and gave it to me. I honestly have no idea. If I you really want to know I could message him and ask. Would you like me to?

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes if u could man love your build it is mad nice.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

He doesn't remember much. All he said was it was like $100 and he bought if off Amazon. Sorry for not being more specific.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

nice

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Where did you get the d15? I can't find it anywhere.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

I got it on quitepc.com, the British site, not the US or Canada based one. I had a friend in the military over there buy it and send it to me to avoid large shipping fees. But if you want to buy directly from them you'll pay a premium as shipping ain't cheap. Also I messaged Noctua like a week ago and said they just shipped to retailers around the world with good availability coming soon. So I'm thinking maybe two weeks max?

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

Honestly, I don't Noctua's color scheme but they are such good fans. I personally would never buy one but I really like your build and that case is so cool.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank man. I see that you built inside a 900D. That's intense.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

I think u need more fans, might overheat

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

You're right. I'll put in another 14 fans.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

if ur going to do any gaming, dump that keyboard and get a razer blackwidow

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

What's special about those keyboards?

  • 69 months ago
  • 0 points

1) they give a tactile feel

2) faster response time

3) better overall typing/ gaming experience

the apple keyboards get dirty too easily because of their color.

  • 69 months ago
  • 2 points

What an upgrade with that case. The R4 is great, but the differences between a $90 case and a $200+ case really are apparent.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah it's the few details that matter as you go up. This is just as quiet as the R4 but has far more cooling capabilities. I enjoy that I can have it both stupid quiet and stupid good cooling. I may not ever upgrade from this ever again, unless they update this specific version somehow.

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

I know retrospect is 20/20, but for about $20 more, you could have gotten the same 32GB RAM at 2400 http://pcpartpicker.com/part/corsair-memory-cmy16gx3m2a2400c11r

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I mean if this deal was available when I was building the computer this would be a no-brainer decision. Just goes to show that no matter how long you wait you will end up missing on some sort of deal.

  • 67 months ago
  • 2 points

So much Noctua 0.o

  • 64 months ago
  • 2 points

HOLY NOCTUA!!!

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

EARGASM

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

reminds me of my build, except more money spent and everybody seems to respect your admiration for Noctua! A lot of my comments were negative LOL. Must be cold as ice if you stick your hand in there when it is on.

  • 69 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I'm surprised not many people are bashing me for all the fans I bought. If I put all the fans I full blast I could actually cool off after a workout. That good.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't wanna be aggresive but, sometimes, number of fans doesn't necessarily mean good cooling.

Your case temperatures are definitely low because of the nice cable management, airflow and case model. However, I believe it is able to achieve equal or lower temperatures with less fans, which is cheaper and quieter.

I know Noctua fans are quiet but, even so, with about 6 or 7 fans it would be just as good and quieter.

If you even care, test the temperatures now and compare to the temperatures from the following layout: 2 front intakes, 1 bottom OR side intake, 1 rear outtake and 3 top outtakes. This way, you would be having a negative pressure (more air "movement" inside the case, lower temperatures, but more dust) and lower noise. Also, 100$ cheaper. Just as a side note, installing filters on every non-filtered fan hole works great. There are many magnetics ones.

Great rig, will be getting a similar one myself soon.

  • 64 months ago
  • 1 point

I like your set up. Great air cooling build.

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow man, great build, amazing work you did out there with this build! You also added great pictures, it helped me to decide something with my new build, not I know that the NH-D15 and The Corsair vengeance pro could get together. Nicely done there mate, very beautiful work.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

How's the Noctua nh-d15? Do you regret getting it? And is it THAT ugly like everybody says?

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

im surprised you can fit that huge ram with that HUGE Noctua cpu cooler lol

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 69 months ago
  • 13 points

They should just sponsor me.