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New build New problems/gpu sizing with AIO

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Mar 18, 2015
Ill give the long version that has all the gory details and a TL;DR at the bottom.

Last year before all the chip shortages hit I was pretty impressed with the news of new AMD gpus. I had been putting off a new build since my FX8350 and decided to start purchases piecemeal . I started with the case and psu, moved on to the motherboard and left CPU + GPU for last. I decided to go against my habits for used hardware and buy all new off the shelf items for this build. When the new year rolled around I had collected:

Case: Meshify C thanks to the review from here. I got a dandy sale price on a white model with tempered glass. I love it, but I am starting to think white was a bad idea, as it is already dirty. White is pretty but shows the grime pretty well.

PSU: 750W Superflower LeadexIII Bronze on a good sale. I would have preferred gold, but the sale was good, the wattage was more than enough, and the brand has good word of mouth. I am not an electrical guru, but I hope this unit will keep on ticking for the life of the rig

Motherboard: This pretty Asrock Pro4M was chosen just to compliment the white of the case. I like all the grey and black white with dark tempered glass. I could have gone with a lower chipset, but went X570 just in case. There really is small difference between the Pro4M in x570 and B550, but the price was about $10 different, so I got the upsale on this one.

All that shopping and work left me in the mood to get a good cpu. In January. 2021. This was not the ideal time. My idea had been to wait for the early adopters and reviewers to get thier chips and pick them up in the second wave. Well it seems that the tech market had other ideas about my plans. I waited months but finally got a 5800x as MSRP, only to have bios troubles. My board (which had no option for bios flashback) needed an update for the newest Ryzen. This was vaguely irritating because the manufacturer website simply lists Ryzen 5 as supported, not a need for a bios update. Thanks to a kind member here I got this all sorted out with a borrowed Ryzen 3 (thanks again). I will offer one small word of advice here for older guys who think they know how to flash a bios: there are instructions on the website: follow them. I initially updated the bios, saved the changes and went about my day, but my 58000x still did not work until I followed the update procedure to the letter. After I followed the instructions, I had no issues.

For cooling this beast I decided to go for an AIO. I have been a pretty staunch fan of air coolers up until now, but thought it would be interesting for the black/white/gray theme I had been running with. And here is where we get to the reason for the post. I went with an Artic Liquid Freezer 280mm to go with all the 140mm fans I had previously acquired. My case does not allow for top mount of this cooler, but will support for the front mount. However that leaves me with about 265-ish mm for a new GPU (which still has not been decided on). Fractal claims 315mm gpu clearance with front fans installed but the extra with of the rad is not accounted for. Here is the question: I think I may have to replace this cooler for any new gpu, but would avoid it if I could. Are there any tips or tricks, skinny fans, or other options that I am not thinking of? I have a bit of time for this because I am not buying GPU at scalper prices so I have plenty of time to shop for a) a new cooler or b) a small version of the 6800/6800xt or 2000 series Nvidia.

TL;DR I bought some new stuff , and my AIO is too big to allow a gpu bigger than 265mm. Should I get a new cooler, or is there a gpu that I haven't found that will fit?
Depends on the level of GPU you are looking for. I know some RTX 3060's are shorter than 265mm in length: Example.

I would recommend using the compare function on newegg to easily check the length of cards you are looking to buy and grab what fits. With that said GPU's at reasonable prices are still hard to come by it might be cheaper to replace the cooler and get a longer card if they come in stock at a good price.
Good find. I thought I had sifted through those. Now that I think harder it might have been Microcenter. When I sorted for length I was limited to a few Nvidia cards. I guess I just tricked myself into thinking I had searched on Newegg also.

I know I have seen small forum factor builds with top tier cards before, are there any partner cards in the future to be aware of/hold out for?

Edit : and yeah I'd say I'm an AMD guy, but a guy has to take what he can get in this day and age :D
I'm starting to think a new AIO is in my future so I can mount from the roof. I'll be looking hard at small cards in the meantime. Thanks for the suggestions