Goal for this build was to see if it was possible to fit an i9 and 2080 Ti in a small form factor case while keeping it properly cooled. Started with the Noctua L9i, which was fine for normal desktop loads but would thermal throttle in about 10s on Prime95 small FFTx16 and also into a few minutes playing B5 on Ultra 4K. Next, tried the Noctua 25mm fan on top of the L9i. It fit so snug it was touching the side panel of the A4, which I thought would help in pulling in cool air. Testing showed only a few deg C improvement and it would still thermal throttle.
In the meantime, the Alpenfohn Black Ridge cooler was released, which was designed for the Dan A4. I decided to give that a shot and I just put it on. Much better cooling capacity. Can play B5 indefinitely on Ultra 4K without thermal throttling. Hovers around 90C. Prime95 will run for about a minute before hitting thermal capacity but that’s an unusual synthetic load. Idling at ~43C on very quiet fan profile because it's in my bedroom (PWM set to 30% up to 45C).
Passmark benchmark results: https://www.passmark.com/baselines/V9/display.php?id=112335027777
Haven't overclocked anything at all. Don't think I have any thermal capacity to do so in the current case/fan situation. Memory is running on XMP Profile 1 and is Samsung B-die (Corsair v4.31 - all of Amazon's current stock seems to be the 4.31 aka the one you want especially for Ryzen builds). I was looking into getting the Asetek 545 but they no longer make it and others on this forum have had a hard time fitting it in the A4 anyway.
Overall, really happy with the build and the Dan A4 is easy on the eyes. Never have I ever spent anything close to that on a case. I usually purchase the least expensive case possible but wanted something different this time.
Bios fan profile: 30% at 45C 50% at 60C 70% at 70C 100% at 80C+
Fan rpm during idle is 1200 and that’s right below the audible level to my ears.
Max power draw from the socket was 395W using a Kill-a-watt meter (P4400).
Also, 0 RGB...
Houston we have a problem. So it turns out that the initial batch of Alpenfohn Black Ridge coolers were defective and didn't have the heat pipes properly soldered to the heat sink - Dan made a post about it and I've attached a thermal image where you can easily see that only half the heat pipes are warming up on mine: https://hardforum.com/threads/dan-hslp-48-a-powerful-sub-50mm-heatsink.1925480/page-39#post-1043957125
OcUK was very nice about it and refunded the payment despite the fact that it wasn't their fault. I decided to bite the bullet and go with the Asetek 545lc and ordered one from OcUK. Installed it this afternoon along with a Noctua A9-14 fan pulling air through the radiator into the case, and after a couple hours of "cable management" was able to close the case. Big difference in temps once you switch to water cooling, even with one as small as the 545lc. I ran CPUz stress on the Black Ridge and it hit 103C in 1 min. With the 545lc, it hits 80C in 1 min. and hit 103C after 7.5 minutes! Maybe the gap would be narrower if the Black Ridge were operating at full capacity but I still think there would be a gap in favor of the 545lc. Multi-thread score was 5700.
Order of install: 1. GPU + power cables (route one of these through the bottom crevice left between radiator and backplate) 2. Remove 2.5" drive carrier and install Asetek 545LC with fan already mounted (orient the tubes toward the front of the case) 3. Attach all cables to power supply and roll power supply in 4. Install Asetek retention kit to motherboard and mount motherboard (feed it in with ports tilted down) 5. Attach motherboard power cables 6. Apply compound and mount cold plate to CPU 7. Spend 2 hours trying to close the case