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Slight upgrade to my mini-itx build

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MunkyTOS

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
Hey OCers!

I've been pretty inactive on the forums while I'm busy working but I have returned for some advice. I currently have a rig built in an EVGA Hadron Air and looking to make some upgrades to the system. At the top of my list is to increase memory from 8gb to 16gb and as with this form factor I'm limited to two sticks. Is there any real way to determine if I need low profile memory with (insert cpu cooler here, see below) without having to trial and error? Or if most coolers nowadays are designed with clearing memory in mind? I've used g.skill ripjaws in the past and have had no issues with them but open to any brands that offer better value. Preferably something with red orange or blue (ideal) heatspreaders. What is ideal frequency to use for strictly gaming? I've noticed even the 2133++ has come down in price. I'm also looking to replace the EVGA after market cooler as its a bit loud when it ramps up, which ATMInside noticed as well with theirs. Any advice on coolers would be greatly appreciated. If any noctua dh coolers are suggested, I would also prefer color other than brown as it just looks terrible and last I knew they had worked on getting out of the strictly brown fans. Maybe replacing my 120mm top fans as well

Other than that I'm not too sure what I would do to upgrade with the computer at this time. With my gtx 770 how long will that last me roughly gaming wise? I dont follow nvidia/amd close enough to know when what comes out and the difference between each release.


As always thanks for input! Also my rig is listed in my signature so anything you guys see and want to mention as possible changes please feel free.
 
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bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Gskill is arguably the best ram to get. Lifetime warranty, great specs (yeah I know most companies have good specs), awesome customer service, and competitive pricing. Great styles. Cant go wrong with G Skill!

As for coolers, the Noctua NH-U9B definitely fits and works.


For the 770, who knows. Youre definitely close enough to the next releases (pascal for nvidia, polaris for AMD) to be ok waiting. That said, a gtx 970 is unlikely to drop in price for a while, food for thought.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
I believe I currently use the Noctua NH-U9S, whatever I'm using is in my sig (I'm mobile or I would check). It's a much better cooler than the EVGA mITX cooler.

What resolution are you gaming at?

I would grab some G.SKILL Ares personally, great sticks for a bargain and low profile.
 
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MunkyTOS

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
Thanks for the replies guys :) Agreed, will most likely hold off on upgrading my GPU as I suck quite a bit into it when I purchased it so its cringeworthy to do again for small gains. I shall look into the U9S ATM, I really should just send my computer to you and have you replicate yours haha. In such a small form factor, what should I look for in fans for both CPU cooling and case cooling. Once I replace the cooler and hopefully get a really good contact with the CPU, I'll see how temps/sound is although from what you say I'm fairly certain the bulk is just the mitx cooler, which is somewhat disappointing given EVGAs quality that theyre achieving over these past years.
 
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MunkyTOS

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Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
Lookin good, ATM! Did you modify the fan cables or is that a Y that is connecting both into a single PWM connector? Also I'm guessing that these are plugged directly into the motherboard? How did the installation of the U9S go? I imagine it has a backplate to mount down to. As much as I enjoyed the intel-esque mounting of the evga mitx cooler, I feel like its one of those things you mount and never want to touch again haha. Also you still have all that nice room for another SSD HDD, you know your OCD will eventually take over and force you to populate it.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
There's a 3-way Y-Connector in use, it's simply tucked away in the end.
Yes, I plug the Y-Connector into the motherboard CPU_FAN header and then connect all three fans to it.

Installation of the U9S is a breeze. All of the Noctua mounting solutions are vastly superior to the push-pin mounting.

My OCD, before long, is going to force me to cut out the darn HDD/ODD cage and simply attach the SSD to the tray... LOL
 
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MunkyTOS

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
Awesome I will update later this evening when I do some more shopping around and looking at those products. That is a pretty great idea, do you know if theres enough room between the board and the front of the case to mount the ssd? That would be pretty nice although you'd end up with wires going across it haha. Also out of curiosity since I haven't looked in mine for a while, what kind of clearance is there below the front 120 where the start of the HDD cage is?
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Not sure where you're trying to mount the SSD, can you elaborate?

The cage basically runs up to where the fan pulls from.
 
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MunkyTOS

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
ATMedit.png

I was curious how much of a gap there is behind this front facing section of the cage mount. Wasn't sure if it would be any easier or more difficult for you to mount the SSD flat against the tray or in a similar facing orientation as the cage does but rotated 90°.
 
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MunkyTOS

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Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
Secondly, your thoughts on push/pull setup for the U9S? wasn't sure if it would be at all useful with the top 120mm fans so close but I dont have a strong understanding of air pressure when it comes to air flow.
 
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ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Oooooh, not sure if you could slide an SSD in there or not. Worth looking though.

I wouldn't bother with push/pull, if you have good top fans.
The two I use move so much air through the case as a whole I feel it would be useless to add the pull fan.
It would also be a decent squeeze to get the second fan in.
 
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MunkyTOS

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
That makes sense, I've almost forgotten how tight the areas are in the hadron haha. Looking forward to getting more memory because the game I've been playing (Ark:Survival Evolved) which hogs a ton of memory, basically whatever I could throw at it.
 
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MunkyTOS

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Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
Also if you and/or anyone else could give input on the quality of whatever thermal paste that comes with noctuas coolers that would be appreciate. I imagine they wouldn't give some no name garbage but good to get clarification.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
NT-H1 is one of the better pastes out there, I use it almost exclusively.

I think on my Z97 setup I was running Ares 2x8GB 2133 CL10, just for the record.
 
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MunkyTOS

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
That sounds great, I'm glad that companies dont cut corners to save a buck haha. Just to confirm, PWM is 4pin correct? Looking at the Y splitter cables and noticing there are both 3pin and 4pin. I assume that is is positive, negative, ground, and whatever controls the speed? Also do these anti-vibration mounts help? They look interesting but i'm entirely sure of their usefulness. Lastly you had mentioned to me about picking up o-rings for muffling the clicking on keyboard. Could you point me into the direction of which you would prefer?
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Lots of companies do, Noctua doesn't.

Yes, PWM fans are 4-pin. +12V, Ground, RPM Feedback, PWM Signal.

Yes, anti vibration mounts cut down on noise.

The ones I used are size 008, 60A hardness. Bought a 125 pack on Amazon.
 
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MunkyTOS

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
Ah okay, that is good to know as I have a pretty limited knowledge of wiring and power and.....a lot of things related to the mentioned haha. I was able to find 008 70 hardness, any idea what kind of difference that would make?
 
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MunkyTOS

Member
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Oct 16, 2011
Location
New England
Roger :) Thank you for catching that but also thank you as usual for all the input you give. I've pulled the trigger on the order so i am looking forward to posting some pictures next week in my build log.