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My little friend that punches upward -- watercooled node 202.

by Melluuu



Date Published

Feb. 21, 2018

Date Built

Feb. 16, 2018

CPU Clock Rate

3.95 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

71.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

2.05 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

11.016 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

30.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

74.0° C


Hi all!

Who needs more than 11L of space, puh.

So I built myself a watercooled Node 202 to upgrade from my laptop. I looked at a lot of peepz on the internet on how to do it, and kept the best ideas from all of them. First I made the hole between the two compartiments for the cables just big enough to fit the pump of the aio through. Then I made a square gap in the plastic of the case, behind the fan and the radiator. This way it pushes out air more easily. Since the metal that's over that plastic normally does not have a gap on that spot, i decided to go to a steelshop, and buy myself a perforated slab of 1mm thick stainless steel. It looks pretty awesome, but I still have to find a way to secure it. Another thing is that the gpu heatsink is 1mm too big for the fan to be fixed onto the radiator with screws. It sits there perfectly fine though for now, secured by the 8pin powercable of the gpu. A possible solution I'm thinking about is two rubber bands under the rad and over the fan to force it onto the rad, so that it can't move away from the rad. I have a feeling it does that slightly.

The cable management is now done, and yes, I did install the I/O shield eventually. This is actually my first ever build, and I thought like 4 months about everything before I pulled the trigger. But I forgot to install the I/O shield. Must be a classic.

  • Overclocked the cpu to 3.95ghz on 1.36v. Runs cool as hell, only in prime95 it hits 70 degrees, and only when I'm stressing the gpu aswell. (Since the gpu and the radiator are in the same compartment...) I tried to post it on 4.1ghz on 1.45 for ***** and giggles, and it actually ran. I ran one cinebench test, and it got me 1853 on multicore, but when I stress tested it in p95 with small fft, it freezed almost immediately. This could very well be the vrm temps, and I was going to get the asus x370 board at first to get such speeds, but ah well, got a good deal on this board so i took it. 3.95ghz is really decent anyways. Haven't checked whether it was the vrm temp or not, since I do not want to run my chip at 1.45v on a 3phase anyways.

  • The gpu was a toaster at the start, always going to 80 degrees C and not sustaining boost mhz. I swapped out the thermal compound for the coolermaster maker, and it gained me 9-10 degrees C. I eventually removed the gpu shroud altogether, and placed the noctua ppc 2000rpm pwm fan in front of it, to force fresh air over the open heatsink. My theory is that it keeps on recycling the air in the case with the stock fan and shroud. If I need the warranty I can always swap the stock fan back on. I also flashed a gtx 1080 founders edition bios on this thing, to increase the powerlimit. Since I was sitting around 64C, I thought why not get real overclocked gtx 1080 performance, so that happened. It runs around 74-75C in furmark, 70C in games. The boost clock it now maintains is around 2050mhz. Overclocked on stock bios the tdp stays maxes out on 189W. My powerdraw now stays around 200W.

  • I downclocked the ram to 3200mhz, xmp profile did run, but it didn't post or run stable with any tighter timings on 3600mhz. I'm now running the stilts "fast" timings for 3200mhz, and gained around 5% in framerates over the xmp 3600mhz profile.

  • The ssd is on the back of the mobo, so it hits 80C under load really fast and starts to throttle. I haven't actually found a solution for this yet so help me out on this. I'd reckon there is about 3 to 4 mm space behind the mobo for a heatsink, but alas, can't find any. I don't use it that intensly anyways atm. The case is made from metal though, so maybe some thermal glue on the ssd -> heatsink on thermal glue -> thermal paste/pads on the heatsink so it touches the case? Would that even improve temps?

  • Just something about this mouse. There's alot of bad press about it, but it actually suits fingertip really nicely for me. (19 by 8.5 cm hands) The sensor is insanely good! There's only two flaws, and that would be the too little glide feet -- but I already changed them out. And the cable is quite a disaster. I might change that for a paracord later on, but I debraided it, and it is kinda decent this way. Does void warranty though :/

Couple of benchmarks: - Cinebench r15: Multi: 1766, Single: 165 - FFXV bench -- 8300-8400ish every run (1080p high) - Witcher 3 -- 1440p, everything on ultra, hairworks on, 8x, hbao+: 65-70 fps - Timespy: 7896

Edit: New photos posted. :)

Comments Sorted by:

PokeCatz 2 Builds 3 points 13 months ago

Very nice. Deserves an upvote. +1

Melluuu submitter 1 Build 1 point 13 months ago


Jerome54 2 points 13 months ago

+1 for the nice build!

As for the SSD, how would you feel about putting a heatsink on it (like this)? There might be some smaller ones available too.
You could also try and put a tiny fan (40mm?) next to the PSU, blowing air onto it and out of the infamous IO shield.

One last question about that Node 202: did you really pay $15 for it? :-O

Melluuu submitter 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago

+1 for the nice build!


As for the SSD, how would you feel about putting a heatsink on it (like this). You could also try and put a tiny fan (40mm?) next to the PSU, blowing air onto it and out of >the infamous IO shield.

I looked at that very EK heatsink, and am willing to buy and try. I'll keep it updated. I saw people use that fan, like buildzoid said in the pcbanalysis of the ab350. Dunno why I didn't go with it. I will also try that.

One last question about that Node 202: did you really pay $15 for it? :-O

Yes, got it second hand. Since I was gonna mod it anyways... Also the steel plate was 18$, so that makes it 33$. :)

Jerome54 1 point 13 months ago

Thanks for the reply!!

I'm so jealous of the price of the Node 202! :-O
Let me know if you find a solution to that overheating M.2 SSD.

Th3ArCh0n 6 Builds 2 points 13 months ago

Cant wait for additional pictures, this looks awesome!

Melluuu submitter 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago


Maybe this friday for the pictures. Probably saturday or sunday though!

XCMills 2 points 13 months ago

More pics please!

Otterman366 13 Builds 2 points 13 months ago

nice +1

octa-wow 2 points 13 months ago

This is so badass.

_Unphazed_ 2 Builds 2 points 13 months ago


axtonplayer 1 point 13 months ago

LOVE the name, love the way it looks like your building the case and definitely enjoy the build +1

Melluuu submitter 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago

Thank you <3

axtonplayer 1 point 13 months ago

np I'm jealous how it stomps mine into the ground lul

Melluuu submitter 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago

Ahw, but yea I have to admit.. I built something pretty cool, hehe. :)

Th3ArCh0n 6 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

Lovin it, brother! Looks super awesome. Hope you enjoy your new computer!!

Melluuu submitter 1 Build 2 points 13 months ago

Yuuus i do! Hehehe

ApocPony 4 Builds 1 point 13 months ago

Looks great with the metal grill glad you found a way to fix it on looks awesome! Might try that with my evolv shift +1

Ralula_Moseguph 1 point 11 months ago

Very nice build!

How did you flash the GPU's bios? Did you follow any guide on the internet?

And where did you get the FE bios from? (What exact bios version)

Sorry for asking, but I want to try the same with my Gigabyte 1080, because I think it doesn't run very stable with any OC applied. A higher powerlimit could possibly help.

Thank you very much!

Melluuu submitter 1 Build 3 points 10 months ago

Sorry for late reply!

I flashed following this guide.

The GPU was acting weird the last couple of weeks, so i flashed back just to be sure. Please make a back-up of your existing bios, and be aware that if you break anything, you're responsible, not anyone else. The one I used was the Gigabyte 1080 FE bios, I believe.

I'm not going to give you more to go on, since to flash a GPU bios, you really need to understand everything else yourself before you do it. Do your research!


Ralula_Moseguph 1 point 9 months ago

Thank you! Tbh, I didn't expected an answer this late, so I'm seriously surprised in a good way!

I will look into the guide. It's sad that your card acts weird after the flash, because I would really like to overclock mine, but it won't accept any increase in core or memory clock on the stock bios. So I thought a flash might be the way to go, but since you have problems with that too, I have to think about doing this again.

Thanks again for your answer!

Zambacan 1 point 4 months ago

Hi great build! I was wondering where you got the mesh for the panel from?

Melluuu submitter 1 Build 1 point 4 months ago

From a local steelshop; they specialize in making like those meshes for grippy steel stairs 'n stuff. I guess you know what i mean. I asked for the most open mesh they could give me on those specific dimensions for the node! ;)

Zambacan 1 point 4 months ago

ok thanks I will try to find something similar. Which country are you in?

[comment deleted by staff]
manirelli staff 8 Builds 0 points 13 months ago

Comments like this are not appropriate for this site.