Description

Hello all,

TL;DR: First build. Dual AIO is the way to go in this case and the Noctua NF-A12x15 fans will give you a much cleaner look. Set the bottom fans to intake air and the top fan to exhaust, though YMMV.

Introducing Kakarot:

I wanted to share my first ever PC build. I have been researching and geeking out over tons of amazing SFF and custom builds for a few years but finally decided to pull the trigger on my own build after I saw this Phanteks case.

For context, this build went through several iterations to get to its current state. Originally, I had purchased 3 Corsair HD120's along with a Commander pro to control the fans and manage the RGBs, I was planning on going with a single AIO build with an air cooled Gigabyte 1080 mini from the gaming box I was using with my Asus laptop. However, thermals were atrocious and the cooler on the GPU was no match for the restricted airflow in the Evolv Shift. I was hitting >88C(!) and getting almost immediate throttling running any AAA game. I normally game at 1440p, but my monitor is 4k@60hz overclocked to 70hz, so I'd prefer native resolution when possible. After many hours of research I decided to purchase a hybrid GPU, the MSI RTX 2080 SEA HAWK. I also got frustrated with having 2 RGB apps installed(Corsair iCUE and Asus Aura). So instead of having a cable crowded rainbow unicorn build, I wanted to create a clean, simple, and balanced system. In this case, Dual AIO is the best approach. I upgraded my SF600 from the gold version to the platinum which comes with sleeved cables, making cable management in this case infinitely better. I also swapped my 2x16gb 3200 g.skill tridents memory for 2x32gb 3000 g.skill tridents. I plan on using this PC as an jack of all trades so I preferred the higher capacity. I also upgraded this CPU from a 2700 to an 2700x to leverage the PBO. Thankfully the deals I found at my local Microcenter kept the cost differences low. Once I committed to purchasing the Sea Hawk, I also purchased 3 Noctua NF-A12x15. I did not like the look of 25mm fans crowding the bottom of the case. To mount these I purchased 8 M4 20mm screws. After installing them, I realized 16mm would actually work much better, but YMMV. I set the radiator fans to intake air into the case while the third fan exhausts air out of the case. I placed a fan grille on the exhaust fans to protect any cables from the motherboard or gpu interfering with the blades. It also helped the build retain a clean look.

This setup has worked like magic. It runs very quiet. The fans hide perfectly into the bezels leaving only the radiators visible and keeping a clean asthetic. The temps are fantastic at idle and load. The CPU temp is a bit high at ~40c idle, but I think that is due to the voltage on the CPU w/PBO. The thermal paste that came with the Deepcool Captain could be slightly affecting temps, so I may replace it to see if there is a difference. I may also do some undervolting to get better temps. The GPU however, is sitting at 28c idle. There will be plenty of OC experiments to come to increase GPU preformance.

I am a true believer in Noctua fans after the quality and performance they have delivered in my system. The packaging, extras, and  quality blew my mind. For fans, these are the best you can get. The slims do a fantastic job of hiding into the case while, creating optimal airflow. They are light years ahead of the HD120s I had originally installed.

Originally I crammed in a commander pro with an RGB module. Along with the plastic cables of the SF600 Gold, it was very frustrating to organize the rats nest of cables that came with it. I am really glad I scrapped the fan gear and upgraded the PSU. Cable management with the new setup was tight, but very manageable, especially with sleeved cables and extensions. Routing wires around the  exhaust fan can be tricky, it is the reason I went with a 120mm exhaust fan instead of 140mm. The 140mm is too large to channel cables and an LED strip around the fan on that side of the case.

Overall, I am very happy with my builds balance of performance and aesthetics. What was originally meant to be a gaming HTPC has "evolv'd" into my primary workhorse. The Ryzen 9 3900X is very tempting to me, upgrade TBD (Though, I do have a GTX 1080 that I can put into a new build...). I may swap out the CPU cooler due to clearance issues, but so far I have not had any issues with operation and am very satisfied with the result.

I posted pics of the original configuration and the final form to further show my build journey. This system has ignited my passion for PC building and I cannot wait to do another one in the future!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy my build.

Part Reviews

CPU

Runs a bit hot, overall I am happy with the perfromance.

CPU Cooler

Clearance is an issue with the motherboard in this case. the glass tube is right on the glass. It cools decently, though I think adding new thermal paste will improve performance.

Motherboard

Really happy with this board. Some quirks when placed in the Phanteks shift case, but overall a solid board. I did not see a reason to get the higher end itx board from asus.

Memory

RAM overkill yes. But I got a decent deal for them. I plan on using this system for video editing, photography, and some web development so the extra headroom won't hurt.

Video Card

This card is a workhorse! I do 4k@60 gaming and it cuts through most games like butter. in my shift case under load the most i hit was 83c. and it idles @ 28c. Very pleased with this card in a very air restricted case.

Case

I love the look, as most people do. This case is a true PITA to work with. If you plan carefully and manage your wiring appropriately you will end up with a GEM of a system.

Power Supply

sleeved cables and better efficiency. Got this shortly after getting the gold version. Could not be more happy with it. the cable was MUCH easier to manage in my chosen case.

Monitor

Great monitor from LG, love the slim bezels on all sides. I do wish the refresh rate was higher for gaming but I can still manage since color accuracy was something I also wanted. This was a good compromise.

Comments

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm in love with this build! Very nicely done :D

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

I appreciate that!

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Wonderful build, but I am wondering why you do not choose a 25mm fan for the CPU radiator. The bottom part of the case have enough space for it. It may give you a better temperature.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I just bought them as a set, I do plan on putting in a 25mm on the bottom so that should help.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a similar build with you, the extra 15 mm fan can be mounted on the top cover, as long as you use some L shape connector