Description

AKA: Phanteks Convection SmartOven, Tommy Boy, Mount Doom

This was my first PC build, and I think I hit all the usual points of building a PC except cutting my hand which almost happened. Currently I use this PC for gaming and school, but eventually I want to add a home theater quality screen and sound system and fix the cooling problem. I absolutely could not have gotten this to work without PCPartPicker, so thank you all so much for everything. In an attempt to pay it forward, I took a ton of pictures of my build experience. Hopefully someone will find it as useful as I did.

The Budget

Because I wanted plenty of overhead for games, I started with a broad budget of $1000 to $1500, which as you all probably know was always going to be slightly over $1500. I tried to be smart and buy during Black Friday, which helped a lot. What got me was the GPU price explosion when RTX suddenly dropped in October. I also invested a little more in some quality fans which I don't regret.

CPU and Motherboard

After some obvious but effective advice from the forum, I started the plan with reading manufacturer reviews for motherboards. "Figure out what you want and find what has it." Obvious, but surprisingly effective. I finally settled on the Asus Z370-I, but it went out of stock. Rather than put off building and risk running out the return window, I spent a little more and bought the Asus ROG STRIX Z390-I. I went with the Intel Core i5-8600K for user-friendliness, versatility, and good value for performance. I could've saved a little by going with AMD, but as a first-time builder, I went with what I could find more information about.

GPU

I was tired of watching prices climb higher and higher, so I picked the Asus GeForce RTX 2070 purely for its cooling abilities which Asus claims, "improves cooling for Multi-Card configurations and for toaster ovens with limited airflow" (my emphasis). It gets hot while live-streaming but hasn't throttled yet.

Cooling

Because I chose to build in a tiny box, my options for CPU coolers were severely limited. After calling or emailing most of the small-form-factor cooler manufacturers, I bought the Cryorig C7. I waited a few months before posting the build to see how it handled. It works adequately for now. The real problem is heat buildup in the case. With the GPU venting its heat out and two Noctua NF-A14s helping circulation, it should be fine, but I might experiment with the Noctua NF-FC1 controller or an AIO set to outtake in the future.

Memory and Storage

I went for realistic and reliable for RAM and storage. Black Friday gave me a good deal on both the beautiful Corsair Vengeance RGB 2 x 8 GB DDR4-3000 and the space-saving Western Digital Blue 1 TB M.2 SSD.

Case and Power Supply

Believe it or not, the plan began with a ATX-mid tower that supported all the cooling I could ever need. I switched to an ITX because I kept blowing the budget with overpowered components. How I forced myself to think small was to literally build small. And, it worked initially. The Phanteks ENTHOO EVOLV SHIFT Mini ITX Tower is stunningly beautiful, but it has some problems. Fortunately, I have small hands, good tools, and an unofficial background in cable management, so building in the tight space wasn't difficult. However, the case is tightly packed and limits airflow. When I add a second screen capable of using this GPU's power, I predict the heat buildup will only get worse. Like CPU coolers, there are only a few power supplies that fit this case. The Corsair SF 600 W 80+ Gold Certified SFX turned out to be my only DOA component, but I was able to RMA quickly.

Build Process

I psyched myself out researching every little thing that could go wrong when building a PC. My advice for a first-time builder is to read your manuals and watch some videos on YouTube of speed building. My favorites are Gamers Nexus and JayzTwoCents. You won't be building as fast as they can, but it'll boost your confidence and help you realize that you don't need kid gloves or gram measurements of thermal paste. After getting over the fear of messing up, and an RMA, and fighting with GPU cables, watching everything power up was magic.

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Comments

  • 12 months ago
  • 4 points

Interesting build - regarding the cooler, I ran a C7 on my i5 7500. It was fine for that (non OC) but I wouldn’t recommend it for a 8600k. Can’t you fit a AIO so you can overclock the CPU? And your monitor is only 1080p, surely the 2070 can handle 1440p or even 4K?

  • 12 months ago
  • 3 points

That case does support 120mm rads however be careful when purchasing one because I'm not sure about clearance for the included rez or thickness of the rad.

And, yea the 2070 should be able to handle 4k relatively easily in most games however those monitors are expensive and honestly ultra wide is better in my humble opinion if you are trying to choose between that and 4k. If you dont have the money for that going for a >120hz 1440p monitor is probably the best option.

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

Right on both points. When I talked with Corsair and (I think the other AIO I looked at was) CoolerMaster (?), they didn't appear significantly better than the C7 which I'm hoping also helps with airflow. It's still something I'd like to try.

And the monitor is temporary due to my living situation. Also planning an upgrade.

  • 12 months ago
  • 3 points

Holy cow, that case is tall!

  • 12 months ago
  • 1 point

It is!

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

That case is so interesting.

+1

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Lightweight

COUGH

  • 12 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi! Great job on this build! I would like to ask you something, since I have the same case, and am considering an upgrade to that same GPU, from a STRIX 1070 oc. How hot and loud does it get? Does the intake fan on the GPU have good clearance?

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

I hate to say it, but I've been so busy lately the only time the GPU gets a workout is when I stream for my scheduled de-stress time/raider hunting. Streaming + gaming is the only time it gets worryingly hot. I usually pop the lid when I stream. I've forgotten a couple times, and it's never throttled.

The fans are quiet. The C7 is the loudest fan. The case fans are PWM, and I doubt they've ever reached top RPM. I don't think I can hear the GPU fan over the C7. This case unfortunately is made of poor clearance, but it seems to be working. I doubt there'll be much difference in clearance space from your current GPU.

And thank you!

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Congratulations on a successful first build! And, nice choice in case, I'm partial to the "weird" ITX ones.

Did you do something special to sleeve the motherboard power cable? It doesn't look like the usual PSU wrapping... but it looks nice and subtle.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

Nope, it's the standard cable that came with the Corsair SF 600. I'd love some softer cables. These were a PITA!

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

Can you comment on how hot your CPU gets under heavy load? I recently upgraded to a RTX2080ti (AIO) in my Evolv Shift and it's choking for air when mounted to the front....

I'm wondering if replacing the CPU AIO with an air cooler would be ok? This would let me mount the GPU rad to the bottom and give it a lot more air to cool.

  • 11 months ago
  • 2 points

I haven't stress tested it yet, but I plan to after finals. I'll let you know how it goes.

  • 10 months ago
  • 2 points

I have the same case and I suggest to put the top front fan face the same direction as ur bottom front. That involves taking out the motherboard, so it takes some work. I did that along with some cable management and I'm satisfied with the result. I have a bottom fan that blows upwards so It's more like a chimney now lol.

Edit: the reason behind it is the heat may be recycled thru the front panel

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Would that be all three fans set to intake? Or the bottom fan intake, two front panel fans to exhaust? I see what you mean by recycled hot air.

That mobo's really in there isn't it?

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

A 120mm fan doesn't need to take out the mobo, but 140 does. I set all three fans to be intake so the whole case just act like a chimney. Well that's the best config for me, that doesn't mean it'll work best for you. Try playing around with the config so you'll find the best solution for you.