Description

I wanted to create a cool and quiet power-user PC that can handle 1080p video editing and some casual gaming but it had to come in a small form factor. That's not too much to ask, right?

I obsessed over finding the right case. Something that is compact and attractive enough to put on a desktop. I had narrowed it down to the Ncase M1, Fractal Design Nano S, and the Phanteks Enthoo EVOLV. Ncase was very nice, but no window and I wanted to be able to enjoy the view of my labor. Fractal Design didn't have a Nano S in white with a window, so finally it came down to the Phanteks.

The Phanteks case was quite a pleasure to work with. It felt almost like working with a mid tower especially since I wasn't planning on multiple hard drives and optical drives.

I had never done any water cooling so I figured I'd get my "feet wet" with an AIO system for the CPU and video card.

The X99 motherboard has a "2011 Narrow" socket for the CPU so I had to purchase the Asetek Liquid Cooler Retention Ring Kit from Ebay. $5 and it was super easy to remove the existing retention ring from the Corsair H100 and twist in the Asetek Ring. Then it was just 4 screws to attach the cooler to the CPU bracket. It looked tricky at first but it was extremely easy. Contact me if you need help with this.

The radiator and fan assembly has plenty of room once it slides in so it doesn't encroach on the RAM or anything else.

MSI Video Card was a breeze to install however I'm not happy yet with the orientation of the radiator/fan assembly. I'm still exploring rotating it so the pipes run along the bottom, against the video card or perhaps on the far side along the motherboard. I'm just afraid of kinking the tubes.

Finally I used Corsair Vengeance LED RAM which looks very nice, but was not necessary because the ram is not visible due to the CPU radiator/fan assembly.

This was a very satisfying build, especially because once everything was plugged in, and I pressed the power switch, the system booted on the first try without issues!!! Please contact me if you have any questions about this build.

Part Reviews

CPU

Screaming fast and cool!

CPU Cooler

Silent. Easy install. First time doing water cooling so I was a little apprehensive but it was easier than I thought. I did have to get a 2011-Narrow retention ring to mount on my x99 ITX motherboard.

Motherboard

Very high quality components. Manual was about 95% clear and to the point about installing all the components.

Storage

Silent and Fast. Check, check.

Storage

Quick drive and fairly quiet for an HDD.

Video Card

Great performance. Very silent. Extremely easy to install!

Case

Superb case. Quality build. Very roomy for an ITX. Had no trouble fitting CPU and GPU water cooling!

Power Supply

The power supply comes in a cloth bag! I was blown away. Then they give you a nice storage bag for extra cables. Amazing first impression. Fully modular. Installation was fun and easy. Very quiet. This PSU oozes quality!

Operating System

Easy install and everything working as expected.

Monitor

Beautiful monitor with lots of screen real estate.

Comments

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

Super nice build, looks awesome!

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you so much!

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

I just wanted to jump on here and say sweet jesus!

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks a lot. It was a fun build.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 sweet set up!

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks Spad3r. It was a blast making this rig.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

I know what you mean man! Just built my first one! And i already want to build another! LOL

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

good **** material

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Why exactly the 6800K at this point? If you're video editing, a 1700 would have been cheaper and better.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

The costs were similar at time of purchase and the 6800 seems to be recommended over the 7700 for video editing with the greater amount of cores. But you're right at this point the 7700 is definitely cheaper and the performance is probably close enough.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

R7 1700, not i7 7700.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

Dizzlepop12, my apologies. To be honest I hadn't considered AMD much. Although the Ryzen gets stellar reviews and performance, I've been scared by other We'll reviews AMD processers in the past when it came to long term reliability. So it's more of just a personal choice.

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

I love this case... Have have the mid tower one and did a build for someone using this case.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

How do you find the sea hawk? my radiator fan is really loud :(