Yet another iteration of my build.
I decided that I wanted to try out some tempered glass finally and a less plain case design along with some more lighting around the motherboard area. I also really didn't like how the AIO looked at the top of my previous case (Define C acrylic window). It's combined thickness of 55mm made it hang really low and blocked a good chunk of the motherboard. In addition, I know I wanted some rgb ram, which meant the AIO had to go as my GPU is too long for it to fit up front.
For the case I decided to stick with Fractal Design and their C family of cases. They have great build quality, cable management, looks, and are very compact. They really feel like premium cases. Ever since it was released I really liked the Meshify C's front end. It wasn't just a plain slab, which still looks very nice, but it added some extra style points while keeping it looking elegant I thought. The added airflow also wouldn't hurt. The dark tinted glass also looks beautiful. It gives all lighting inside of it a slick almost glowing look. Not the biggest fan of how the front panel comes on or off or how the mesh itself comes on or off, but that shouldn't be a regular thing I have to constantly be doing. I would also like it if they updated these cases to use the same type of TG side panel solution that they made for the Define R6. That's probably the best TG side panel in any case I've ever seen because it works and mounts pretty much like a non TG side panel would mount and doesn't have protruding side thumb screws.
I ended up with a hybrid case of sorts. Meshify C front, Define C top and right panel. Because I had the Define C already, I was able to salvage some parts from it that I don't understand why the Meshify C doesn't come with. Those parts being the moduvent sound dampening cover up top and the sound dampening right side panel. I feel like the main addition of the Meshify is the mesh front. Ariflow isn't really a huge deal in the behind the motherboard area of the case and not everyone will directly benefit or want a full open top regardless of the front. Given the very similar prices, it's a bit strange that these two, or at least the top moduvent cover, were not included. Noise levels aren't much louder than in the Define C, simply because how loud the GPU will get. It's a strix 1080 Ti OC version, That thing consumes a lot of power, generates a lot of heat, and is the main source of noise. I couldn't really notice a difference between the sound dampened or not right side panels or even between the front being mesh instead of the solid front of the Define C. The big difference is in the top cover. That was a large sound difference as a lot of the noise seems to escape towards the rear and top of the case, which makes sense given the airflow direction. Putting the top cover on/off made no difference in GPU temps. It did increase CPU temps by about 5C. Not too bad given the benefit of lower sound.
For ram I swapped out my trusty Corsair Vengeance LPX with some G.Skill Trident Z RGB. They look beautiful and add so much to the interior look of the case. This ram is too tall to fit a top radiator though, which was fine because I had already decided I didn't like that look.
That radiator was replaced by the Cryorig H7 Quad Lumi. It's compact, looks great, despite the white LED fan, which I am kind of baffled on who thought it was great to include a static always on white LED fan in an RGB product. Anyway, mounting it was easy and setting up the lighting was also easy. Not a fan of having to have NZXT's cam software installed, but I set it up once and turned off all of its other features and have had no issues. We need more Asus Aura Sync compatible hardware. One thing to note here is that the RGB aspect of this cooler seems to stay on even when the PC is asleep or off as the motherboard is still sending power to the usb devices even when its off. I don't mind it much and actually think it looks cool. However, I am seeing this through a dark tinted glass panel. If it were normal untinted glass, I'm sure that would get annoying fast. The ram also seems to refuse to turn itself off, but again, the tinted glass makes that look nice instead of annoying for me.
As for CPU temps, these actually went down by about 2C or at the very least stayed the same. The reason for this is air flow within the case. Before with the AIO up top, it was using the GPU's heat as intake to cool itself. Now, it's still mostly doing that and given that I don't have a big OC on this CPU as it's just not needed, it all worked out. The one thing that is noticeable is how much quieter the air cooler is. No pump noise. Fantastic.
The rest of the build stayed the same. I didn't get RGB fans as I want quiet fans and nothing beats silent wings 3s. It's in the name. Plus, in terms of aesthetics, I like the lighting to be localized to the motherboard and its components or to be an overall accent flood lighting (from my top rgb strip).