Description

Started this build to aid in Unreal Engine 4 work, and generally speed things up for gaming and productivity, coming from my old 2600k + GTX 970 rig. I wanted the latest and greatest tech (within reason) for production and gaming on the side. Spent months researching the primary parts for this and pondering when I should pull the trigger. Here it is...

Things to note during the build.

1: The 6-pin CPU power cable was a REAL pain to get attached to the motherboard once everything was installed into the case and I went to do cable management. Highly recommend getting it in place before securing your main components.

2: The special fan controller included in this case was a waste for me, as with the Kraken X52 this motherboard doesn't have enough connections to support using both at the same time.

3: When using the Kraken X52 in this case in conjunction with a AIO cooler on the GPU and then attempting the installation of the 2080 Ti's radiator+fan in the rear exhaust position, it will seem like it's not going to fit. Install the radiator, then the fan and it will JUST barely fit.

4: The dust filter on the top exhaust fan isn't fun getting to it with all of the hardware installed. It's only 4 screws and taking off the side panel, but it's NOT a quick and easy solution like you would want. It also gets dusty quick being on the TOP of the case.

5: The main M.2 slot on the front of the motherboard is accessed fairly easily with all other components installed. I did have to remove the USB 2.0 cable the Kraken uses, as it was in the way. While the second M.2 is on the other side of the motherboard, and well... I'm gonna wait awhile before I install another 970 Evo Plus 1TB in there.

6: The NZXT H200 case only supports 2 slot graphics cards, while I did try a 2.5 slot (large fan/shroud) it did fit, but with air cooling, two things happened. One: is obvious, it was starved for air and thus unacceptably hot. Two: was the fans on the MSI Ventus 2080 Ti I had in here would scrape on the red reservoir bracket and make horrible noises. This wasn't due to bad initial clearance, but GPU sag over time.

Initially when I built this, I used my old GTX 970 for a little while. The primary parts were all bought from Micro Center locally and the video card was off Newegg. This specific GPU was one of the very few 2080 Ti's that can fit in this case, and stay nice and cool and quiet. The older 2.5" SSDs were a carry-over from my previous 2600k and GTX 970 rig and may get replaced someday with larger capacity faster solutions..

The memory being DDR4-3000 and not higher was due to price differences at time of purchase and availability locally.

Part Reviews

CPU

Absolute beast for gaming and even in production environments (using Unreal Engine 4 primarily, but some Maya, 7-Zip, Visual Studio, etc). Rendering out some Lighting in Lightmass for Unreal Engine made me laugh uncontrollably at how much faster it was than my 2600k I upgraded from.

CPU Cooler

Keeps the 9900k nice and cool, very quiet under load and the only reason it's not 5/5 stars is because the required USB connection to power the pump makes it so I can't use the fan controller built into my case.

Motherboard

Fantastic UEFI BIOS and overclocking. Decent layout overall for a compact ITX build. One star removed for having poor placement of different connections. This is probably not an issue in larger cases, but I suspect the more compact you get, the more this will become an issue. At 26 liters of volume the H200i is a large ITX case and it still had some issues with the connection locations on this motherboard.

Memory

Overclocked to advertised DDR4-3000 just fine. Can't complain at all. 1 star removed for being yellow in my black+red build. Someday I'll make them red.

Storage

Unbelievably fast. The difference in reads/writes on this over regular 2.5" SSDs is nuts. The first time I unzipped a large (30+GB) file on this drive, I was blown away in just simply how fast it was. I had to unzip it again on my 840 Evo just to feel the crazy difference. Worth every penny.

Video Card

Ray Tracing isn't big yet. But seeing it even in it's infancy inside of Unreal Engine 4 and Metro: Exodus really shows me this is the future. Back when HAVOK Physics started to get put into every game, I thought ragdoll was the next big thing. It really was. I'm banking on Real-Time Ray Tracing being exactly the same. Give it 5-10 years there will not be games without it. I'm hoping this card lasts me at least those 5 years. It's been a real powerhouse for Unreal Engine work, and destroys all games even at 3440x1440 with a 120hz monitor.

Case

My first venture into ITX cases and this has been a really great start. Cable management is very reasonable and the "extra" space you get in this LARGE mini-ITX case does ensure it feels somewhat like building in a mid-tower. Someday I'd like to go even smaller, as long as I can still get CPU/GPU water-cooling.

Monitor

One of the best monitors money can buy, and it shows. The switch from an OLD Dell D2405FPW I got for Christmas back in 2005, is just unbelievable. 60hz to 120hz means there is no going back to lower refresh rates. Side by side with the old Dell, the laggy response time of the old monitor is extremely apparent. Colors and brightness and viewing angles are top notch for IPS. I will note that it is sad to say that the old Dell had better blacks, as the D2405FPW was Dell's flagship monitor back in it's day. The backlight bleed on the AW3418DW is acceptable and you WON'T see it unless you're playing a dark game (Resident Evil 2 Remake), or watching a dark movie (Pitch Black?).

Keyboard

Extremely well designed and SIMPLE wireless gaming keyboard. I love the looks, feel and design. The star off is because it's not backlit RGB and that they used STICKERS to label the key caps. I understand backlit keys would drain the battery like crazy, but I would much prefer this keyboard to have them, and also have an option to be wired if you wanted to.

Mouse

Upgraded from the MX518 of yesteryear. Worthy successor, and now I hear they're bringing the MX518 back! I wouldn't go back to the MX518 now that I've used the G703 for so long. I love the option for RGB and wired or wireless operation. It's nearly a perfect mouse in my eyes. I would have liked to have seen the option to toggle regular scrolling and the infinite scroll some other Logitech mice have, as well as left and right buttons on the mouse wheel.

Headphones

Had the QC15's since ~2010 and they're still going strong. The ear cups and head band have worn out multiple times and back then they didn't have a microphone option. I eventually got a UFlyMike boom mic for them and it's still a great setup. Wanted to get into the modern times and upgraded to the QC35 II's and I couldn't be more pleased with them. The quality of life improvements from QC15 to QC35 II are many, and all worth the upgrade.

Speakers

Best cheap computer speakers money can buy. Previous setup was a Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1 system from 2003. The sub-woofer's amp died (surprise, it's the most common thing to die on that setup) and forced me to get a new computer setup. The old 5.1's speakers are still going 15+ years later and the newer 2.1 setup sounds damn good for the price. Knocking off a star because the cables on the 2.1 setup are NOT modular, in that the right speaker has permanently affixed wires for all the connections and the volume knob is just wide open, no way to indicate how loud it is set to, so repeatedly setting it to the EXACT same level is impossible.

Comments

  • 9 months ago
  • 3 points

DAT is the most overkill mini-itx build EVER!!!!!!

  • 9 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice! Very clean desk setup. You could have got the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q monitor. It is a 240hz refresh rate and not as expensive. Though it is NOT curved, I would have got that monitor.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Had a 24" at 1200p since 2005. It was time to up the standard. 1200p to 1440p Ultra-Wide, and 60hz up to 120hz. I had a friend pick up the AW3418DW and so once I saw it in person I knew I had to have it. The 120hz spoils you. So does the Ultra-Wide 1440p resolution.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Hi,

How is the Samsung 970 m.2 performance/reliability so far ? would you recommend it ?

  • 8 days ago
  • 1 point

Fantastic so far, it's my boot drive, and primary gaming drive. Unless you're talking PCIe Gen 4, it's the fastest drive I've seen.

  • 8 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow looks a little tight...Hows the spacing in there lmao

  • 5 months ago
  • 2 points

I went through alot the same issues as you did. Anyways nice build :)

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

I am working o a build very similar to yours, with the exact same case, CPU cooler and almost the same graphics card (mine is only Super). Would it be possible to use a pair of slim 120x15mm fans in fromt of the radiator to make the Kraken run push/pull?

  • 8 days ago
  • 1 point

Maybe, I haven't measured or anything, but the front radiator with the normal fans fits fine, but not a lot of extra room.

  • 12 days ago
  • 2 points

Hey mate tossing up between the XC and the FTW3 hybrids.

Seeing as the FTW3 is 1" longer and 1" wider (or there abouts) would you think it would be able to squeeze into the H200/210?

I'm not running a CPU AIO tho.

Build looks great

  • 8 days ago
  • 1 point

Length and width weren't an issue with a bigger 2080 Ti, I had an MSI in there before the EVGA and the MSI didn't work cause it was a 2.5 slot card.

  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

stop flexing on us

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Is it just me or does it not make sense to run AIO at the front of the case? You are just blowing hot air onto your gpu and (back onto) your cpu. Or are you running as exhaust?

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Have not tried the fans on the CPU's AIO as exhaust. In the initial build I messed up and had one fan backwards (top exhaust was actually taking in air) and so the temps were higher than they should have been. Upon switching that fan around, I saw a marked drop in temps all around. The GPU does run hotter than the CPU, by a few degrees C. This could be because it's only a 120mm radiator or a combination of that and the CPU's AIO blowing hot air through the case.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks like a great build! How's the pump noise on the 2080Ti XC Hybrid? I've been considering getting one but apparently it's an issue for a lot of people.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Pump noise is inaudible in the setup I have. Although I'm not a big stickler on noise, I almost always have a small fan running in my room anyways just to keep air moving. The room's ambient temp is around 21C.

  • 8 days ago
  • 1 point

Pump noise I got lucky on, barely noticeable.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

77 C under load for the CPU? What clocks are you running? And was that temp under stress testing or in gaming?

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Stress test, I settled in on a 4.9Ghz OC for the CPU for everyday use. But if I'm going to be doing CPU intensive stuff, 5.2Ghz is the most I've gotten stable. Usually max out around 61C now. The original 77C under load also was to do with I had one exhaust fan backwards and it was taking air in instead. With this corrected and a lowered clock on the CPU, the load temps came way down.

  • 8 days ago
  • 1 point

Clocks and Temps have changed a few times, 5.2 was the highest stable clock I got, but I found in certain benchmarks it wasn't stable, only gaming and some production stuff (Unreal Engine), but I did get high Temps with that and I wanted to bring those down. I found 5.0 stable in everything I've tried with decent Temps. The Temps and Clocks on here were out of date. I updated them.

[comment deleted]
  • 9 months ago
  • 1 point

Saved for months and months for it. Haven't built a computer since ~2011. Felt it was time.

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