Description

Upgrading from an x99 system to an x299.

Overall, this was an easy build. One issue I encountered came with fitting the radiator/fans without blocking access to the second CPU power input (the screw heads sticking out of one of the fans don't allow clearance for the CPU power input because of its clips (see more in my case review below). This isn't a design issue with the mobo, cooler, or PSU. It's just that when you put these four parts together in this particular case, the lack of clearance is created (there are two work arounds: (1) snap the clips off the CPU power input or (2) reverse the fans and radiator. I went with the latter). NOTE: See pics for an illustration of this problem and how I dealt with it initially (snipping the clips off the second CPU power input). NOTE 2: The second CPU input is not required to run the system. It's there for OCing. That said, if it's there, then I generally want to use it. Just saying.

This small issue aside, the system went together without a hitch. Boot up was successful the first time I pushed the power button, temps are solid (see pic), performance is solid (see pic), and I'm up and running.

Part Reviews

CPU

Well, it works just fine at stock speeds. No immediate plans to overclock. No complaints.

CPU Cooler

Product quality rivals Corsair coolers I've worked with in the past (see other builds). Works well to keep i9-9900x cool in a less than ideal case for cooling. The stock EVGA fans are a little loud, so I replaced them with a pair Noctua NF-F12 PWM chromax fans. This was a huge improvement in the amount of noise (hardly any) my system produced and CPU temps (Idle around 30/load around 50-55).

Be aware that, depending on how you place the heatsink onto the CPU, you're likely to have limited access to the USB input. That is, I had not plugged in the USB cable when I seated the CPU heatsink. When I went to plug in the USB cable to the side of the CPU heatsink (see pic), I could not do so because the MOBO heatsink was in the way. Luckily for me, one of EVGA's revisions on the Micro2 was the inclusion of a small fan in the middle of the MOBO heatsink. This fan was right where I needed more space, so I was able to remove it, plug the USB cable in the CPU heatsink, and then return the MOBO heatsink fan. All good.

Motherboard

Like the CPU, this little board works as advertised. Stable.

Memory

Popped them in, booted up, mobo auto-detected optimal settings, and all has been well.

Storage

Again, works as advertised. I have 2Tb of primary hard-drive space that let's me read and write to it. Thank you Intel.

Video Card

Streamlined and elegant, in my opinion. Looks aside, this card does what a 2080 Ti is supposed to do: let's you run games way above what they would normally be acceptable at in terms of FPS and eye-candy and gives me the false-security that I'm somewhat future-proof.

Case

Ok, I do have something to say here, but nothing that I wasn't aware of when I bought this case. It's pretty, it's spacious, and it's super easy to work with, but that comes with an airflow price. Again, I knew this going in and got a good enough deal to give it a shot. I'm sure CPU, GPU, and general system temps would be lower in a box that did not have glass at the top and the front with such a small space for air intake. That said, my temps are stable and within acceptable specs, so I'm feeling good to go.

The case comes with two Corsair 120x25mm fans, one at the top of the case and one at the front. I moved the one from the top to the front of the case to make room for the radiator, arranging the one on top to push air out of the system and the one at the bottom to pull air into the system, since it sits right in front of the GPU. NOTE: I've since put both fans in the intake position thanks to the advice of one of the commenters below.

The following is not criteria that I hold against the case design but it's worth noting. The radiator/fans for the cooler, when combined with the layout of the x299 Micro2, make it impossible to utilize the second CPU power input without removing the clips (see pics). The screw-head sticks out just enough from the fan that I had to clip the clips, so to speak, to get the second CPU power input seated (note that the second is only recommended if you plan to OC, but I wanted it in place just to make me feel good).

I did all that clipping before I decided to flip the radiator and fan configuration so that the fans were pulling in air on top of the radiator rather than pulling in air from the bottom of the radiator. This was my solution to trying to get more air flowing into the fans from the small space between the top of the case and glass panel. It worked, reducing my overall CPU and system temps 2-3 degrees, but if I had made this decision initially I would not have had to remove the clips from the second CPU power cord. Note:Once I swapped the EVGA fans for the Noctua fans, I no longer had clearance to keep the fans on top unless I wanted for forgo using the dampners that came with the Noctua fans (yes, the how tight things are at the top of the motherboard). I decided to use the dampners and placed the fans back on the bottom of the radiator. Temps are still stable and the system is way more quiet then it was with the EVGA stock fans.

Either way, I'm giving this box five stars. It's not trying to offer premium air flow over looks in any of its advertising, so I'm not going to hold the design against it, especially since I knew the deal going into this build. The bottom line is that the case itself is good looking, simple to work with, and sturdy.

Power Supply

This thing came well-packaged, works as advertised, and is, indeed, fully modular. Nothing to complain about.

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Comments

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Super clean build. Just curious why did you choose the 9900x over the 9900k? Was there something beneficial about x299? I'm not questioning you I just want to know!

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man. I stuck with the 9900x just because I wanted to keep with the 299X mobo. I cannot justify this in any other than way than to say I was over-indulging. The 9900K and LGA1151 should serve you just fine and save you some dough.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh did you already have an x299 board? I understand that

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

No, but I have an x99 (https://pcpartpicker.com/b/KyD8TW) build that has been rock-solid and I just kept with the upgraded platform. Again, the LGA 1151 platform is excellent and provides everything most gamers need. I just stuck with the x299 and spent a little more dough.

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey man, friendly computer guy here, just to say that your second front panel fan is on exhaust, just blasting into the front of the case. Unfortunately thats not going to be very efficient as most of the air is going back towards the fan blades as 'blowback'. This is probably going to result in a less effective fan system as the air pressure inside the case is now going to be negative, with one intake and three exhaust, instead of a balanced and neutral pressure with 2 intake and 2 exhaust. Im guessing here that the two rad fans are in exhaust.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man. I appreciate the guidance. This Corsair box is tricky to work with since there is no room for an actual rear exhaust fan. As a work around, I set the bottom front to intake so it would blow on the GPU. I thought I would play around with putting the top front fan on exhaust to supplement the lack of options at the rear of the case and didn't think about the negative pressure situation I was creating.

All that said, the stock EVGA fans are loud and I have a couple of Noctua NF-F12 PWM chromax fans coming today. I'm going to swap them out and play around with intake/exhaust options, including flipping the top front fan to intake.

Here's my question for you: Just for clarification, an ideal set up would be all-intake from the front and then relying completely on the rad fans for exhaust out the top? Doesn't this create a neutral pressure situation (2 120s as intake and 2 120s as exhaust) or do the intake fans on the GPU push me into positive territory.

  • 8 months ago
  • 1 point

I like it. I am a bit of an EVGA fan myself. Other than they do not do 14 flavors of Blinky Lights for every chip set, which I hate looking at and paying for, what is not to like? I need (want) to build a monster compute machine soon and I am waffling between x299 and z390.