I wanted to build what is to be primarily a gaming computer with additional multi-tasking and remote workstation functionality. I decided what I wanted was a 'Silent Performance' build with a smaller footprint but still have room to grow.. The Phanteks Enthoo Pro M SE really caught my eye. I love the black and white aesthetic. The cooling potential was fantastic with 140mm fans to move a lot of air at lower RPMs.
I always loved these MSI Pro Carbon boards when I was looking at AMD. When I decided to go to Intel it just seemed to fit that the MSI Z390 MPG Gaming Pro Carbon had all the features I was looking for in mid-tier boards. I wanted to eventually build a three monitor setup so Freesync and EyeFinity support seemed like a good idea, so I went with an MSI Vega 64 AB 8G OC. Yeah I know I could have OC'd a 56 but I got a good deal on this under $400 with free games. (Keep in mind this was 6 months ago now) Now I have been happy with MSI products so far so I began figuring this into the theme of my build.
I have to admit that I was going to do a dual AIO set-up for cooling, but it would have required some modding for the Vega 64. However, I decided that I am wanted to take a swing at a custom cooling loop this time. By accident I wound up with (2x) HWLabs Black Ice Nemesis 280GTS XFLOW Black Carbon Radiators (instead of the (1) I intended to order). The Crossflow radiators turned out to be great help in keeping tubing runs to a minimum.
I also successfully turned my Push only top mounted radiator into a full Push/Pull configuration by mounting two thin Prolimatech 140mm Ultra Sleek Vortex High Performance Fan fans up in the space above the radiator bracket. This case now has NINE 140mm fans: 4x Push/Pull on front in Intake / 4x Push/Pull on top on exhaust / 1x Intake on Rear. And the top radiator bracket can still be removed for service. .
All fans are running on the same curve with a net overall effect of the case being slightly over pressure. I filled in the space around the top mounted slim fans with foam insulation to better direct the airflow. The rest of the case was then sealed up where possible. I am using an Aquaero LT 6 controller to control the fans based on the temp diff between the average water temp and ambient. I hope to add a flow sensor soon.
I did some neat stuff with Acrylic involving my lighting. I always liked to sue diffused lighting where possible as I never really liked raw LEDs searing your eyes. I had to play around with different thicknesses and opacity to get the effect I wanted. I had to bend the PSU cover twice. Buy a sampling pack from the manufacturer before committing to a whole sheet.
Currently running on two monitors only. Picture is fantastic, watched GOT 8.3 and adjusted resolution to see battle really well. Planning on getting the third in a month or two.
Overall I am extremely happy with the end result. The white and black inside the case allows me to use the RGB for a very nice effect. I find the lighting very therapeutic and relaxing. No unicorn vomit. The MSI Mystic Light on the Pro Carbon board allows me a lot of control with one header for 5v RGB and two headers for 12v RGB. I also have an unused Corsair RGB header. I can control the RAM and Mobo separately from the headers.
The power in this case is amazing. I can't wait until I have time to start benchmarking and playing around with the OC. I hate to admit it but I am just learning how to game with a keyboard. I was used to a really old game pad that Win 10 does not even recognize. I have not really been able to 'stretch out my legs' with some good games.
Now I just gotta make some time to PLAY on it and see what this C8r is really capable of...
Awesome board to work with. SO MANY HEADERS. If I didn't already have the Aquaero I could have easily handled all nine of my fans through the board. I had two USB 3.0 headers and one USB 3.1 type C on the board which was in addition to the same number of USB channels on the back I/O. 2 USB 2.0 headers for your 'other' devices. Four RGB headers. There's no real problem with sizing for the I/O shield as my 140mm fan was right next to it.
First board I had worked at first but died after I had a working leak free loop. ARGH! However, MSI came through on the RMA and I had a new board in two weeks. Very easy to work with.