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Mini ITX build with Noctua-D15 Performance Gaming PC

neyurt
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In the quest for smaller and better cooling, I've got an idea to utilize 2X Noctua d15 air coolers for both the GPU & CPU. I have seen a few vids on CPU air coolers being used on GPU with great success. I believe it's just not that popular because it doesn't look very good and you end up not being able to use any of the adjacent PCIE slots.

But there's none of that limitations with ITX builds!

 

I dub this the "Noctua Tower" builds. Here's a 3D render of them.

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V1: Double NH-D15 stacked. Would be the tallest

V2: Using the CH-C14s for the CPU would compromise a bit of performance but should still be plenty to cool the CPU 

V3: Hybrid Air-Liquid build.  A smaller 120/140mm AIO can be sandwitch in between the D15 heatsink towers.  This further reduces to overall height.  Down side is possible extra noise from pump, plus side is can use full size ATX PSU since there are extra space cause by the length of the long fullsize GPU.

 

 

Possible Enclosure/Case:

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Depending on how I end up building the enclosure around, but the inside mini requirement is 6.7"x6.7"x15"  or 13 if it's V2, and ~11" tall if it's V3

Couple things that can be costly here, 2x noctua d15 coolers (~$90/each), long pcie riser (~$60), a few power extension (24pin, 8-pin cpu, ~$20). But adding this together can still be cheaper than 2x 240/280 AIOs.

The best part about these builds is that since the headsink/fan pretty much cover the entire mobo, there's no need for extra intake/exhasust. The air will just pass thorugh very efficiently from front to back, and both cpu and gpu arguably would have their own cooling channels (top/bottom). Maybe an extra small fan to blast into the GPU VRMs (like they do in G12 aio mods).

 

 

Objecttives:
0) (Noise == Performance ) > Size > Aesthetics
1) Very compact build that compact all the components together.
2) No performance compromise
3) Minimal use of fans to make this a silent built
4) 6.7x6.7" base, height is variable base on final design.

I figure since I'll start building and testing various components to work out the quirks I'd move the info here to the building logs.

Specs:
i7-8086K
RTX 2080 TI
Asus Z370-i
512GB 960 Pro Nvme
480GB Adata XPG Nvme
RipJaws 16gb 3200Mhz RAM

 

 

---------------------------

 

Progress Album:

https://imgur.com/a/bAClNN4

 

Google Alternative:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/uoJL7DwtJ3BTUgBh9

 

---------------------------

 

Update 1 : Starting build log. So far have tested GPU with Noctua d15 mounted. Very good results, GPU running at 50C under load

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Update 2:
Conduct test for V3 concept with radiator sandwich in between the D15 heatsink plates. Very good results still. 2 140mm fan is used for push-pull running through both the radiator & D15 heatsink. Both GPU & CPU running around ~50C under load. Under OC, 2080 ti can go to 2100Mhz @ ~60C. Great results! I am liking V3 so far for how compact it is and cheaper to put together. (smaller AIO are cheap, shorter pcie riser, etcs). And full size ATX PSU are quieter and run cooler also.
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Update 3:
Added concept for enclosure design. Thinking front/top/bottom could be wood. Sides can be tempered glass, and the back can be a full metal mesh. With a full metal mesh back, I might not have to add more vent holes on the sides. That would keep the complexity down.  

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Update 4:
600mm pcie riser came today so I got to test the GPU in up-right mounting position. I was mostly interested in testing V3, due to it being the smallest size. However, I find it hard to place the GPu due to limited spacing near the bottom and that's also where the displayport/hdmi are. A lot of space is needed down there if I were to add any extension adapter to route those outputs out.

Ended up testing more for V2 (using a C14s at the bottom). I think this build is looking to be the most promising in term of ease for placement of the GPU.

The yellow box represents where the C14s will be and the radiator will be replaced by a fan. The PCIE riser is working perfectly fine in this configuration. But I find the TT riser to be still when it comes to folding. MIght need to look for a more fold-able riser.

Yawacool from LiHeat has offered to send me a sample pcie riser of my choosing, so I'd def take him up on his offer once I figure out what orientation I'd need (straight vs angle, and length)
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Update #5

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NH-C14s came in today so I tested the V2 concept. Amazing temps still all fans running at~30-40%

So far, this is the easiest to put together. Everything just fits like a puzzle . The sfx PSU will sit on top of the stack and there's still be plenty of riom to route wires

 

 

Update 6: Testing PSU wiring on V2 build
 
Wiring was a breeze, all the crevasses was enough to run all the wires, and everything except for the 24 pins was stock sfx length, I needed an extension for the 24 pin.
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Update #7:
Some people are requesting for a mock for a gtx 1080 ti mini build so here it is:
[IMG]

Update #8 : The "Dark Tower" build

The Dark Rock Pro 4 & TF combo came today so I'd put it together for testing. I call this the "Dark Tower".

With this combo, there's no change in temp performance, if anything the GPU now runs 1C lower! But thats within margin of error so I'd deem the performance the same as the noctua d15 & c14s combo.

But the biggest difference here is obviously the "dark look", it's probably more appealing to most people. AND I was able to shave some about 1L in volume (~1 inch shorter stack and some side space)
 
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Update #9.

I made some effort toward case design today as performance testing is paused until I get Li-Heat PCIE riser that he's gracefully offered.

For simplicity, here's a first draft of the case design:
[IMG]
Here is a "frame design", the internal skeleton of the case. The red plate is what the GPU will be mounted directly to, it can have various mounting holes for different type of GPU models. I will need to work that out when testing different card. The mounting bracket then will be screw and attached to the frame.

Also, not included in the above pic, I think the top part of the front (opposite the PSU) is a good place to mount a few SSD or 1 HD if that is ever needed. That's one of the few "dead space" inside the tightly fitted rig.

I haven't gone too far with with the external panels yet, I will continue to work on various design of panels that can be attached to this skeleton/framework to form a finished case.

Update #10
[IMG]

I've got some old parts from a friend ( Foxconn H67s + i7-2600k + DDR3 RAMs) so I figure I'd use this spare system to test the V3 concept with a GTX 1080 ti Mini. The mini's length is perfect to house a full NH-D15 with the 2 fans mounted at the opposite ends.

I don't have a spare pcie riser set so the GPU is mounted normally in it's regular pcie slot. Here you can see a full stack of the D15 mounted on the GTX 1080 TI and a 120MM AIO sandwiched right in between.

Holy moly the temps! The GTX 1080 TI Mini never got above 40C and it dles around 21C with fan speed around ~30%... Insane temp! (Now I'm questioning why I'm going to a RTX 2080 Ti lol!)

The i7-2600k runs around ~55C under gaming load, but it's on a much lower process and I'm using only a slim 120mm aio, I suspect a 140mm would give it better result, and if u're using a modern CPU it would even be better.

Will try a full stack once I've got another PCIE riser soon.
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Love the idea, followed!

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R CPU Cooler: NZXT HAVIK 140 RAM: Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 (1x2GB), Crucial DDR3-1600 (2x4GB), Crucial Ballistix Sport DDR3-1600 (1x4GB) GPU: ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II 2GB SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 2.5" 1TB HDDs: WD Green 3.5" 1TB, WD Blue 3.5" 1TB PSU: Corsair AX860i & CableMod ModFlex Cables Case: Fractal Design Meshify C TG (White) Fans: 2x Dynamic X2 GP-12 Monitors: LG 24GL600F, Samsung S24D390 Keyboard: Logitech G710+ Mouse: Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Mouse Pad: Steelseries QcK Audio: Bose SoundSport In-Ear Headphones

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13 minutes ago, neyurt said:

Possible Enclosure/Case:

The idea has merit, but the wood needs work, looks too much like plywood (and this might simply be the image)

So rise up, all ye lost ones, as one, we'll claw the clouds

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1 minute ago, Radium_Angel said:

The idea has merit, but the wood needs work, looks too much like plywood (and this might simply be the image)

Yeah, wood material/texture is limited to what the 3d rendering software that I use have as a model.  It's not hard to get some quality wood from the hobby shop and stain/finish them with just about anything.  That's trivial.

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I'm curious, how do you plan to cool the RAM and VRMs?

Router:  Quotom-Q555G6-S05 running pfSense WiFi: Zyxel NWA210AX (~940Mbit peak)

Switches: Netgear MS510TXUP, Netgear MS510TXPP, Netgear GS110EMX
ISPs: Zen VDSL (~74Mbit) + VOXI 4G [Vodafone] (~120Mbit) + Three 5G (~500Mbit average)

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1 minute ago, Alex Atkin UK said:

I'm curious, how do you plan to cool the RAM and VRMs?

Similar to how the G12 bracket works, I'll have a 92mm fan blowing air directly on top of it, I thinking i'd need a squeeze in a 60mm fan on the left side as well. Comparing to the gtx 80ti the rtx 2080 ti also has VRM on the left side of the die.  Im also open to adding small heatsinks on those component in addition to fans running on top.

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Update 5:

 

http://imgur.com/a/vIo0Ipg

 

NH-C14s came in today so I tested the V2 concept. Amazing temps still all fans running at~30-40%

So far, this is the easiest to put together. Everything just fits like a puzzle . The sfx PSU will sit on top of the stack and there's still be plenty of riom to route wires

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11 hours ago, neyurt said:

Update 5:

 

http://imgur.com/a/vIo0Ipg

 

NH-C14s came in today so I tested the V2 concept. Amazing temps still all fans running at~30-40%

So far, this is the easiest to put together. Everything just fits like a puzzle . The sfx PSU will sit on top of the stack and there's still be plenty of riom to route wires

Man, imgur is blocked in my country, please post image files instead and spoiler them than post a link which not all people can enter to the link, by doing that more people will can see your build as some of them following this build log.

 

I'm following this but if I can't see the documentation pics because inaccessible link, then I follow for only incomplete story telling, while picture tells thousands of story.. ?

My system specs:

Spoiler

CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K, 5GHz Delidded LM || CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C14S w/ NF-A15 & NF-A14 Chromax fans in push-pull cofiguration || Motherboard: MSI Z370i Gaming Pro Carbon AC || RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2x8Gb 2666 || GPU: EVGA GTX 1060 6Gb FTW2+ DT || Storage: Samsung 860 Evo M.2 SATA SSD 250Gb, 2x 2.5" HDDs 1Tb & 500Gb || ODD: 9mm Slim DVD RW || PSU: Corsair SF600 80+ Platinum || Case: Cougar QBX + 1x Noctua NF-R8 front intake + 2x Noctua NF-F12 iPPC top exhaust + Cougar stock 92mm DC fan rear exhaust || Monitor: ASUS VG248QE || Keyboard: Ducky One 2 Mini Cherry MX Red || Mouse: Logitech G703 || Audio: Corsair HS70 Wireless || Other: XBox One S Controler

My build logs:

 

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3 hours ago, _Hustler_One_ said:

Man, imgur is blocked in my country, please post image files instead and spoiler them than post a link which not all people can enter to the link, by doing that more people will can see your build as some of them following this build log.

 

I'm following this but if I can't see the documentation pics because inaccessible link, then I follow for only incomplete story telling, while picture tells thousands of story.. ?

I've added the same album under Google photos instead, the link is posted under procession album in the original post, can you see it?

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/uoJL7DwtJ3BTUgBh9

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13 minutes ago, neyurt said:

I've added the same album under Google photos instead, the link is posted under procession album in the original post, can you see it?

 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/uoJL7DwtJ3BTUgBh9

?

GLORIOUS..!!! I can see it now.. Awesome build! ?

My system specs:

Spoiler

CPU: Intel Core i7-8700K, 5GHz Delidded LM || CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C14S w/ NF-A15 & NF-A14 Chromax fans in push-pull cofiguration || Motherboard: MSI Z370i Gaming Pro Carbon AC || RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2x8Gb 2666 || GPU: EVGA GTX 1060 6Gb FTW2+ DT || Storage: Samsung 860 Evo M.2 SATA SSD 250Gb, 2x 2.5" HDDs 1Tb & 500Gb || ODD: 9mm Slim DVD RW || PSU: Corsair SF600 80+ Platinum || Case: Cougar QBX + 1x Noctua NF-R8 front intake + 2x Noctua NF-F12 iPPC top exhaust + Cougar stock 92mm DC fan rear exhaust || Monitor: ASUS VG248QE || Keyboard: Ducky One 2 Mini Cherry MX Red || Mouse: Logitech G703 || Audio: Corsair HS70 Wireless || Other: XBox One S Controler

My build logs:

 

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Update 6: Testing PSU wiring on V2 build
 
Wiring was a breeze, all the crevasses was enough to run all the wires, and everything except for the 24 pins was stock sfx length, I needed an extension for the 24 pin.
gV4HT4VIVzEtxaJNUZyHUJ0Xd2ijAuTn3n7ZZcpYxhXxvRAX7YGn382qFZ6XmutAp7HC_RNv6oSTk2bxgdXwXXyuYWKgotLMt4t9QYhfEDwZKC6bWwktySGXPhjJ9FpEEQRN8KYpulLrzTZvKs-QP-PxSQiX8Yq1EjH0w0_uOohx_MTEyput854ZkfSawGFxRjWas8JwOnQq5uIEK6HqtCkheJCe-pOAQr8EiX7qwnXyQJhF0NoUoSSoRwrfoL1jj-2PSDsxzcpn8LQvNVP_ZVDorrUeqXaqKn_veUIgOX-56RqCafNQOwWJ8Z-Rup10MLab5hUebliRSkmi3_vJy1mQGrw2zEmZ_iFi2YZZ4DdttDkJonDHt5nEgDeYgv_vhjyp-8dPxCIrBsl8_rVzUBSSZ3OQeESe8We8qF0iHA9-MmcvIAP2JBcbkEe3xyDANMl-icpy7XLfaJmJaqIl5sFNVHyVdZZPtemthopRj3QqH4fUZhAOO8tVa4j9UaxfeF_i6AQOxs6uOSvlL6ULvgjvWc6ZTM3r5lNyGSp_nSGwI50QI2r-Gq6_9nmatn5HmLspzVmd7U986IASOlMsb4kuDSA15KbHsR8-PZHQqvtT0tuu5BAFskrXUdbsBIjsH9pQ4FUT5YepVfnonQ0TC9Uzyg=w1084-h1444-no
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Added Update #7 to do a mock draft for a gtx 1080 ti mini build.

 

Added update #8 - The new "Dark Tower" build with Be Quiet! DRP4 & DRTF

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35 minutes ago, VegetableStu said:

gV4HT4VIVzEtxaJNUZyHUJ0Xd2ijAuTn3n7ZZcpYxhXxvRAX7YGn382qFZ6XmutAp7HC_RNv6oSTk2bxgdXwXXyuYWKgotLMt4t9QYhfEDwZKC6bWwktySGXPhjJ9FpEEQRN8KYpulLrzTZvKs-QP-PxSQiX8Yq1EjH0w0_uOohx_MTEyput854ZkfSawGFxRjWas8JwOnQq5uIEK6HqtCkheJCe-pOAQr8EiX7qwnXyQJhF0NoUoSSoRwrfoL1jj-2PSDsxzcpn8LQvNVP_ZVDorrUeqXaqKn_veUIgOX-56RqCafNQOwWJ8Z-Rup10MLab5hUebliRSkmi3_vJy1mQGrw2zEmZ_iFi2YZZ4DdttDkJonDHt5nEgDeYgv_vhjyp-8dPxCIrBsl8_rVzUBSSZ3OQeESe8We8qF0iHA9-MmcvIAP2JBcbkEe3xyDANMl-icpy7XLfaJmJaqIl5sFNVHyVdZZPtemthopRj3QqH4fUZhAOO8tVa4j9UaxfeF_i6AQOxs6uOSvlL6ULvgjvWc6ZTM3r5lNyGSp_nSGwI50QI2r-Gq6_9nmatn5HmLspzVmd7U986IASOlMsb4kuDSA15KbHsR8-PZHQqvtT0tuu5BAFskrXUdbsBIjsH9pQ4FUT5YepVfnonQ0TC9Uzyg=w1084-h1444-no9eB72aXLc1mkI8LgvfusCDdsALq5rdzEwFeFYZUAXh8YaHiCj-Rvi3jx1Y9I1w1JeiOV0TLT-ke3K6XRPSkQzgnKvcxER26NEUSuatCmXjYYSlhm0JH0Tc_GKhYN_TAzWSpGXj1cgMnKuSNumYuNDFXvv-lLRKlSG_HonT2d1LlSJOZTasvIaV5CYQqb7IYCV2-0maOczFtKwGGKKZi3f2Ed5guHFDwxz8QCguU9Nj_-wPvb2n_6ySlWXt5mX5k6SM7z7ShCt0LP-9LxAxbZbnTJlfke3ozWYeq6m7nOTVx8_bD9jtV49ZvggCdNgpffx2QiGXANeY9tV6UUskd0G8y5ar662r6OF1CMoRPaERY5Vg4--fhAz2wGLHq2u0nxPwO0_FNNhPJEzRfhqX2pMXuVO1huv835KNzlHjakyL_kwMw_EJSwHdPX9NSfYs1JZ19Z4Uk13oD4-XFfhczi8aDOsp4f_bzCaPiiUbm87edK_5p7NGTi_g5F-jN683yH7WPPJ93QUPDIwbH62erNWSHY4s0kGakUZbfVfDLDlmLgzwciOnrvoVu8Hw3HKVPPrFj1QSwD_90AjAsGAjgew9TWes-8bYPU6mhX0BaH91ZMkgT94kqvJlmxNchfEnFZYyb-Z4zCrprKlItbWKunYwaMub0QF3qM3FM2ak3ISOI7VmibHOqh4jF9-cmKggp9F3H8ON1PhdqBFxYW6b0=w1158-h1542-no

 

both looks so nice in their own right O_O

 

I know, right?? I'm a big fag of noctua so I was secretly hoping the beQuiet version wouldn't turn out as good. But it's worked out better than I have imagined.  The Dark Tower has a smaller footprint in volume, looks sleek, and has nice cable routing crevasses.

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It looks super cool... but why? Is it just a "I want to do it" type of thing?

Generally "small build in enclosed case" = not very quiet or thermal throttling. 

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5 minutes ago, corrado33 said:

It looks super cool... but why? Is it just a "I want to do it" type of thing?

Generally "small build in enclosed case" = not very quiet or thermal throttling. 

If you look at the design objective I sorta describe the motivation behind it.

 

If you pay attention to the design, the intake/exhaust fan will be placed very close to the edge of the case so airflow is literally in and out.  And because the high performance is achieved this way with very low RPM fans, there's practically no noise even without a case.  Because of this, the case could fully be meshed and it's still has no audible noise and plenty of space for hot air to escape without throttling.

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I apologize for the lack of updates as there aren't new photos to show.
 
At this point I'm fairly satisfied with my RTX 2080 TI (V2-B) and the altnerative V3 (Mini GTX 1080 ti) builds.
 
I am currently trying to come up with case designs to house them.  I get a lot of questions and request about commercializing my case design.
 
Building a case for myself is easy as I can vary the complexity base on my own patience and tolerance but building a commercial case means I have to consider my case to be compatible with different set of variation of parts (mainly GPU sizes).  So a lot more extra details would have to come into the design to satisfy those requirements.
 
But I am working on a case design that's hopefully can stir more interests.  From talking to a few experienced individuals, this venture only makes sense if a good amount of people are interested for the first batch as most manufacturer has a "minimum units" for ordering a mass production.
 
But please voice your interest so I'd know to keep working on something for public consumption! I'd appreciate the feedback.
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