Description

Hi!

Since I needed a new computer (gave my laptop to my wife), I decided to do my first build ever, as a hobby / challenge to myself. Or was it the other way around?! OK, I’ll rephrase it: I wanted a new computer and also a challenge so I decided to do my first computer build ever and gave my laptop to my wife :)

Had some initial constrains on choosing parts, since I had to respect some self-imposed conditions: a “future proof” computer (hopefully for at least the next 4 years) in the smallest computer case possible (obviously, that I liked).

Started by choosing the case since this influences the motherboard form factor (and vice versa), so after browsing through the major brands and much indecision (contemplated the possibility of an ITX form factor), I ended up choosing the Corsair Air 240 for being able to house a mATX motherboard (gaining additional PCIe availability / flexibility for the future, if needed).

With the computer case decided, choosing the motherboard was a straightforward decision: picked the ASUS Maximus VIII Gene. The remaining parts were also fairly easy to choose (with the valuable help of PCPartPicker!), considering my goals, although I was a bit concerned with the size of EVGA GTX 1080 FTW (to actually install it and also to close the case – more about these below).

Decided to order all parts from Amazon EU (Germany) except what they did not have available as sellers themselves at that time, so the Intel i7 6700K and the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW were ordered on Amazon USA. From personal experience, I can only praise Amazon for their excellent customer service.

With all parts ordered and still some time until they arrive (ordered all on 30 August 2016 and the last parts arrived on 14 September, due to a 3 days holiday pegged with a weekend here in Dubai), I took some time to plan cable management (the sketch shows in red the cables that are routed between the motherboard and the motherboard tray).

The only part that required some extra work was the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW...

To install it, I had to bend the case’s metal lip a bit with pliers (and then easily bend it back to the original form) to allow the card to be in the correct position to place it into the PCIe slot on the motherboard. In 5 minutes the beautiful EVGA GTX 1080 FTW was in its place. Regarding my second concern, closing the case, as soon as the card was installed, it became obvious that I would not be able to close the case. The total clearance from the top of the card to the side panel is not more than 10mm. With the Corsair sleeved power cables plugged in, the space required is around 25mm…

In order to have the side panel installed without having the PCIe power cables pushing against it, I had to do two things: forget the Corsair PCIe sleeved cables and use the PCIe cables that came with the Corsair AX760 since these are more flexible. And I had to modify its plastic male PCIe connectors that plug into the video card.

I un-pined the PCIe male connectors from the Corsair AX760 power cables (a relatively slow process but not that hard – I used staples to release the pins as shown in a tutorial at linustechtips.com) and then cut the top part of new 8 pin male PCIe plastic connectors (I used for guidance the picture of the “special low profile 8 pin” extension cable that moddiy.com has for sale) having them now a total length of 13mm. I then realized that I did not need to cut that much, considering the total length of the metal pins that go inside the connector is 15mm and therefore there was no reason to have the pins partially “exposed” (around 3mm of the metal pins were not “surrounded” by the plastic connector).

So, I cut again new 8 pin male PCIe plastic connectors, only the necessary to have a total length of 16mm (this allows for the 15mm of the metal pins plus 1mm since the metal pins do not start flush with the plastic connector). This way, the metal pins are fully inside the plastic male PCIe connectors. You can see the picture with 2 different lengths of the connectors: one untouched connector and the final two with a total length of 16mm. Of this total length, 9mm are going in the EVGA GTX 1080 FTW itself, so there are 3mm available for the power cables to pass between the end of the plastic male PCIe connector and the side panel.

Although some cables are touching the side panel, the space available is sufficient to not have the side panel being pushed (you can see in the picture the points where it is touching).

With this small modification I was able to close the Corsair Air 240 and consider my build complete! I confess I was a bit concerned. I felt really relieved when I powered on the computer for the first time and no sparkles or smoke came out of it :D

I’m really proud of the final outcome and had a lot of fun going through all the process :)

Cheers!

UPDATE 20/09/2016

To improve the airflow, added an additional fan on the top (extract) and another fan on the bottom (intake).

EVGA 1080 FTW temperature on full load stress tests stabilizes at 71C (before it was 81C), and Samsung 950 Pro at 57C (before it was 70C, where it is known to throttle).

Note that with a mATX motherboard in this case, the bottom 120mm fan is not fixed, but its dimension in that position makes it possible to be nicely tucked with no vibrations, between the side panel and the motherboard connectors. But I ended up replacing it for a Be Quiet Pure Wings 2 PWM 92mm since there was no increase in noise.

I also set a custom curve to the EVGA 1080 FTW: 30% fans speed until 50C, 50% fans between 50C and 60C, 60% to 90% for temps above 60C. The fans stabilize at 82% for 71C.

I have now a virtually silent computer for the everyday tasks and the top and bottom fans kick in higher rpm depending on PCH temperature while gaming.

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Comments

  • 43 months ago
  • 4 points

Nice build! Loved my edit rig in the Air 240, but I needed an optical drive so I moved it all to the DIY-PC Cuboid.

Just FYI EVGA has a product now that is a GPU power plug adapter that will alleviate your plug connector issue by relocating them to the side of the card. I had the same problem in my build with any GPU non-reference with top mount plugs.

  • 43 months ago
  • 3 points

Thanks! The EVGA Power Link is supposed to become available by the end of this month. I will order one, once its physical dimensions are known and I am sure it will fit :)

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build! Mine is very similar. Did you ever get the Power Link? After looking at pictures on the EVGA site, it seems like it's not short enough.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! EVGA is giving the PowerLink for free for those who have a 1080FTW and I did not receive mine yet so I am not sure but I agree it seems it will be too big...

  • 43 months ago
  • 3 points

+1 Nicely done with the cables. I may go back and readjust mine in a similar fashion. Thank you!

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

You are welcome! The only reason I went into the detailed explanation is precisely to help :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 3 points

Very nice. Great cable management.

Thumbs up.

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 3 points

Nice cable work!

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!

  • 43 months ago
  • 3 points

such a nice build.

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice work! All that tinkering really paid off. Looks great :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks :)

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build +1! Check my build out.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

if i decided to go with Asus Z170I PRO GAMING Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard, what would i lose?

this is my dream build, i'll be building it soon. expect questions when i do :)

great job, i would only add red LED lights for dramatic effects ;)

  • 43 months ago
  • 2 points

I had the very same doubt myself! Ended up picking the M8G for the PCIe flexibility (I may add another Samsung 950 Pro with a PCIe adaptor in the future).

Feel free to ask away any doubts you may have along the way ;)

Thanks! I thought about some LEDs but then decided to keep it to the minimum when my wife mentioned that LEDs would increase the probability of our little kids wandering around the computer to check the lights! And to be honest, I am also not a big fan of LEDs everywhere :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

It's crazy how similar our builds are! Exact same mother, CPU, case, GPU, cooler, m.2 drive, and even the ram! I love my build more than anything! I also had to bend the case to get my 1080 in there (it's a massive ******* card, honestly the biggest card I've ever seen). Unfortunately, my h100i v2's pump came DOA :( gotta send it back and get a replacement. Getting a cheap cooler to get my PC up and running. Nice build man, love it!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :) It's normal to have similar builds, since these components are the current "last gen".. In one year (or less), there will be for sure someone with this very same build but with a Samsung 960 Pro, Asus Maximus IX Gene, Intel 7700k, and so on :)

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point
  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

How well did that bottom intake effect overall temperatures for you? I have the same case, MOBO, and a GTX1080 FE. Was trying to get a case fan underneath the GPU but couldn't seem to get it to fit due to the MOBO being a bit too low. Didn't even think to try just sitting it down in there without mounting.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

It helped a lot keeping the Samsung 950 pro cool and also helped on getting actual real fresh air in since the two intakes are mounted as pull on the Corsair H100i v2

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I managed 2 120mm pwm slimline fans, front intake rear exhaust. I cut the top mounting area away on the mother board side leaving 1-2mm from fan blade to motherboard. I dropped 16 degrees with my gpu (evga 1080 sc) from having one of each instead of both intake, but I only had 10mm from gc to radiator fans so it was a chamber of hot air in there

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

you sir are my hero! i'm building this same exact build, except for the white 240 case.

and i was worried about airflow, so thanks for the update. it's really helpful, now i'll make sure to order the 92mm fan too.

i'll shoot my questions your way when i get the parts :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Shoot at will :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Cool build :D, finally got some reference to build 6700k with gtx 1080 from EVGA. But after see your build, now I'm in a deep dilemma to build with mid-tower case or the micro ones lol. Ah, one more thing what type Sony TV you used as monitor ? somehow that monitor fits perfectly into your desk >.<b.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :) The TV is a 2 year old Sony 42" ref. 42W800B https://www.cnet.com/products/sony-kdl-w800b/review/

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build you got there.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

What length are those mod cables? I'm looking to mod my air 240 but don't know what length cables I need.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

These cables are Corsair's cable kit for the AX760 PSU. You can check them out here: http://www.corsair.com/en/professional-individually-sleeved-dc-cable-kit-type-3-generation-2-red

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh, they look a lot shorter in the pics...

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for sharing! That is very informative, helped me a lot too. Looks awesome as well. I have a similar build in this case: ASUS Z270G Mobo EVGA 1080TI SC2 (the FTW3 wont fit unfortunately) H100i v2

I'm looking into helping my GPU get lower temps. I have added a Noctua 92mm slim fan at the bottom (I wish I knew about the limits with the mobo before I bought it, otherwise I would buy a mITX one), and a 80mm fan at the back. The top single fan is the one that came with the case, same position as yours. I can't get my GPU beneath 82-84c. When I run the system with the side panel off, I'm getting much better temps, which would suggest I need better exhaust with my fans.

I was thinking of either adding another 80mm fan, or adding another 120mm at the top, just like you did.

How did you manage to fit the tubes of the cooler to not touch the side panel? With 2 120mm fans at the top, I have nowhere to tie them to, and they have a tendency to not do what I want them to do :) I don't like the idea of forcing the side panel on them when I close it.

Thanks!

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

I held mine in with cable ties to the tax power on mobo. I have 2 exhausts on top also so was a squeeze to get them in with the push pull h100i pro in the front

  • 10 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice! I have just put an i7 8700t, z370g and evga 1080 sc in the same case! I fit 4 ML120 fans as push pull on the front, 2 ML120 exhaust on top, 2 92mm fractalmsilent fans on the rear and I modified 2 low profile 120mm pwm fans (cut exterior shroud out of mobo side) on the bottom (one exhaust one intake) I originally had both as intake but saw a diff of 16 degrees (82-64) exhausting the bottom rear fan (my case sits psu down to fit in a printer tray in my desk. Cpu max temp is 51 and this thing is a beast with no noise. Great case, great design. Maybe you might find exhausting at the bottom may drop temps

JOHNATHON