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Thoughts about my new ITX Build?

Jamz

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Jun 28, 2007
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88
I just built an ITX PC for the first time and just wanted to see what everyone thinks.

Here's my setup:

CASE: Fractal Design Define Nano S (no window)
CPU: i5-9600k (stock)
CPU COOLER: Noctua L9i
MOBO: ASUS ROG STRIX B360-I
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB
GPU: MSI RTX 2060 SUPER Ventus OC
DRIVES:
- WD Blue SN550 1tb (system)
- Crucial MX100 512 gb 2.5 SSD
- Seagate 3TB 3.5 HDD
PSU: Corsair SF450 80+ Gold
FANS:
- 2 x Be Quiet Silent Wings 3 (front intake)
- 1 x Corsair SP120 (bottom intake)
- 1 x Corsair SP120 (rear exhaust)

See the attached picture for what it looks like internally.

My initial thoughts on the build:
- ITX is a pain in the butt to build trying to fit everything in nicely with my fat thumbs
- Corsair SF450 has super short cables and I literally was 1mm away from needing to buy replacement cables for the mobo and CPU power cables.
- I didn't use a SFX to ATX adapter for the PSU because I'm an idiot and didn't realize the SF450 didn't come with one. But also I don't think my 24pin power cable would have reached the mobo if I mounted the PSU with the adapter.
- I actually really love the case. It feels really solid and its got great sound dampening. With all the fans I installed running at 100% the PC is audible only as a gentle humming.



Some questions I need help with though...

1. I'm slightly worried about how I setup my 24 pin power cable. It's literally stretched to its limit and the the only way I could fit it was to basically squish it between the case wall and video card. You can kind of see it in the picture. The PC works fine but I'm wondering if it's safe long term to have that cable stretched to its max and slightly compressed?

2. I'm not sure if my temperatures are good. I know they're within limits but not sure what temperatures to expect from an ITX Build. They're definitely higher than what I'm used to from my previous PC which had great airflow and a 240 AIO cooler on the CPU.
I took a picture of the temperatures while running Time Spy (see the max temps in the attached picture). Any thoughts?
 

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JD

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You probably could have went with a bigger heatsink on the CPU as there seems to be a lot of space. I'd suggest expanding the temperature node under the 9600k section in HW Monitor as they'll be more accurate than the motherboard sensor.

Your rear fan also appears to be backwards? I believe it's blowing air into the case rather than exhausting, potentially creating a hot pocket of air around the CPU as there's no place for the air to escape really.
 

Jamz

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I got the cooler in the bundle and wanted to see how it performed before trying something else. I was initially going to buy a 240 AIO cooler and mount in on the front but decided to try the all air cooling setup first for a quieter build.

With regards to the extender.... I always thought extenders weren't the greatest of solutions because there's more chance of failure or power loss? I was going to buy a replacement 24 pin cable from cablemod if needed. But is it really not safe how I have it setup?

And yes my fan is backwards! Thanks for noticing. I built 2 rigs yesterday and was probably too tired to notice my mistake.
 

sswilson

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I got the cooler in the bundle and wanted to see how it performed before trying something else. I was initially going to buy a 240 AIO cooler and mount in on the front but decided to try the all air cooling setup first for a quieter build.

With regards to the extender.... I always thought extenders weren't the greatest of solutions because there's more chance of failure or power loss? I was going to buy a replacement 24 pin cable from cablemod if needed. But is it really not safe how I have it setup?

And yes my fan is backwards! Thanks for noticing. I built 2 rigs yesterday and was probably too tired to notice my mistake.
I've used one for 10 years across 4 or 5 different builds, never had a problem.

edit: I can't really see how it's currently set up, but if you are indeed putting stress on the motherboard's connector you should probably do something about it.
 

Jamz

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Jun 28, 2007
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Just fixed the rear fan and ran Time Spy again. Temps were about the same or slightly cooler with an ambient temperature about 2-3 degrees warmer. Are these okay temps for an ITX setup though? Should I be setting up the fans differently?



Also you're right about the atx cable. Better safe than sorry. Gonna try pick up a cable today. Problem is going to be finding a decent looking extender that's short enough for me to fit neatly in there.
 

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Vittra

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If you want to see a temperature drop, remove your front panel. Define series cases are excellent, but not the ideal choice where temperatures are concerned. This will help understand the push towards "airflow" mesh front panels vs "silent" or "fully blocked off" designs.

Further to that, this case is GIGANTIC for ITX - 26.7L. My Cerberus-X ATX case is 22.4L for comparison purposes, and the typical mass produced mid-tower ATX these days tries to aim for about 38-42L. This is not a slag, but a lead in to to the fact that the Define Nano S can fit tower coolers up to 160mm in height - that means the NH-D15 will fit. If you want to truly see what air cooling is capable of, that's the heat-sink to get. You probaly won't go back to an AIO.. unless you get the SFF bug. SFF stands for Small Form Factor, and is generally recognized as cases smaller than 20L, regardless of their actual motherboard form factor.
 

Jamz

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I actually tried running things without the front panel on the case but found it to be slightly more noisy and no real temperature difference.

I eventually would like to go smaller into SFF territory which is why I got the Corsair SF450 instead of a smaller ATX sized PSU.
 

JD

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Temperatures seem fine to me, Time Spy is not insanely CPU intensive, but if gaming is the primary purpose than the temperatures reflect that. If you run something like Prime95, you'll likely see much higher CPU temperatures.
 

Jamz

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Jun 28, 2007
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Yes I'll be doing mostly gaming and office productivity applications so nothing too CPU dependent. Nice to know things are looking okay with the temps.

Thanks for the help everyone!
 
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