This is my ever first build! I am using it with my OLED tv in my living room. It plays games in 4K easily at 45-60 fps. I absolutely love it.
02/01/2018 build tips for supporting long graphic cards
This node202 case doesn't support long graphic card well. My 1080ti tended to move downwards due to there is no support part other than the three screws near the rear half part of the card. I find a solution for this. The Notcua Fan comes with metal screws. The fan above CPU is fixed to case through rubber clips. I used two of those spare metal screws in the middle of the two case fans as support of my graphic card. This supports it perfectly. It is rock solid in both horizontal and vertical position.
Another tip is that I don't find the rubber clips are any better than the metal screws to fix those two case fans below graphic card in terms of noise. The metal screws are much easier to fit and remove and keeps the fan in position very well.
02/01/2018 correct parts
The three case fan actually are Noctua A12x15 fans. It is because:
This MSI card is 51mm thick, F12 is too thick to fit.
For the fan above CPU, 25mm fan such as A14, F12, is fine with low profile ram but not with RGB ram. Although the case can still be closed, it will stress the ram a little bit. I tried A14, S12, A9 and A12. It turns out A12 gives best result for both cooling performance and noise level. It is 15mm thick, perfect for this case.
01/01/2018 It is quiet, cool but still powerful now!
Finally I achieved my target on thermal and noise management! CPU under 80C in stress tests but still be quiet. GPU under 75C at full load and be just slightly noisy.
I have to put thermal and noise together here. These two have to be put together all the time. If it is too noisy, you don't want to stay in that room even if the CPU is under 80 C. If it is quiet but it is at 90 C above, you will worry about the life of the CPU.
My initial result cannot achieve neither. CPU goes 90C quickly in prime95 default test. When I tried Aida64, it goes 90 above in 2 mintures. As for GPU, it is around 76-78 C under full load, even with the quietest 1080ti MSI gaming X, it is noisy. People definitely don't want to stay in that room. Headphone has to be used. Although most of games won't stress it to full load. See the first and second benchmark screenshots I posted.
This is my latest result: CPU under Aida64 is 78 under 40 minutes test. Core temperatures gives max value 84 in 40 minutes test. Prime95 default test is much easier to handle I even don't bother to run it. During that, I can hear some noise but it is very low, I have no problem to stay next to it.
GPU under full load is 72-74. I am surprised it is so quiet than before. I have not problem to play my games rather than looking for my bluetooth wireless earphone. It won't be slient apparently, but that noisely level is very acceptable.
CPU results are show on 3rd, 4th and 5th benchmark pictures. GPU result are show on 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th pictures.
So, what changes have I made?
It is long story. I tried a few things, reapply thermal paste, tried different CPU cooller: Scythe - BIG Shuriken 2 Rev and Zalman. None of these show significant improvement. Scythe gives slightly better result, but still the temperature can go 95 C after a while. It just takes a few more minutes than my initial setup. Zalman gives similar result but not slient even at idle.
One day I notice that my 8700 uses package power 120-130w while other older CPUs uses around 80-90w at most. I put 80w limit in bios, the temperature drops below 80C but Cenbench multicore score drops from 1350 to 1150. I put 95w after that. The temperature is around 80C, and gives 1250 for multicore and 190 for single core result, compared to 1350 and 200 I got previously. It is not as powerful as before but it is still an 8700, similar multi-core performance as 1600x but much better single core performance than 1600x. All cores can run to 4.3GHz. I am happy with the performance.
After that I looked for solution for noise. I found the fan over CPU is most noisy part. I added low noise adaptor. It is quiter and still keep the CPU cool as before. The two fans in GPU bay is controlled by CPU temperature, which is very unreasonable for this case. Under stress test, GPU is under 30C, but CPU is at 75, those two fan give lots of noise. They are there for GPU really. Then I found SpeedFan. It tooks me a few hours to setup and test. The result is excellent. It is worth the time! Now I use SpeedFan to control my CPU fan, the case fan above CPU fan, and the two case fan in GPU bay. The two case fan are controlled by GPU temperature and runs at 70% at most only when GPU is above 70 C. This change gives me good temperature for both CPU and GPU, keep the noise level minimum. I am really happy with my result!
I also tried to limit the GPU power to 93%, it can drop the temprature by around 2C. Later I find the GPU is well under 75 even if I don't do that. The 75 limit is very important to me as the graphic card fan will runs above 70% and gives unpleasant noise.
Added RGB lights to the case, it looks fantanstic!
14/12/2017 Initial result
Initially I ran prime95 to stress test it. However, I find it is more important to use games to test. This build plays GTA V at 4Kp60 most time easily. CPU and GPU stay cool and almost no noise. The most challenging and demanding games I tested so far are Shadow of war and The witches 3. The witches 3 pushes the CPU to 80 C and GPU to 76 at max. Most time, CPU stays around 55 and GPUs stays at 74.
The first 2 screenshots from HWinfo64 is taken after half hours gaming. (20 mins the Witches 3 and 10 mins the Shadow of War
It is really a powerful CPU! It can run up to 4.7GHz. I had trouble to decide between this and AMD CPUs. 1600x with mobo costs me around 280. It will cost me 70 more to use 1700, or same price as this if I use 1800x. Given Node202 is such a small case, lower TDP is better. Overall 8700 gives me better performance, lower TDP, stable platform. Plus, I like the mobo has 8 USB ports at rear. I need use a couple of external HDD, USB drive, wireless keyboard, wireless mouse. 8700k is overpriced at the moment, without overclocking, there is really no difference to 8700.
Without extra fan over it, the CPU can reach 100 under stress! Others are bigger and louder, probably there is not better option at moment.
Works, 8 USB ports at rear! CPU reaches to 4.7Ghz, and ram runs 300MHz! BIOS is easy to use. Bluetooth, WIFI all works as expected.
Run at 3000Mhz without any problem. I am not a fan of RGB lights. However it really looks nice without those RBG light on. Note this RAM is 44mm tall, it gives me lots of trouble to fit the case fan over CPU, which I didn't notice.
A bit hot under load.
Nice looking, powerful and silent when temp under 73. Max temp is 76 in such a small case when playing game. It is a 250W TDP, what I can ask for more. I am really pleased with my choice.
Nice case but the USB cable head is rubbish, too big!
Very high quality! no issue with it!
I don't know if other fan is better than this or not. Under load, the noise is still high.
Good fan, I have hoped it is complete silent, but it is not.