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Messages - Ari Altman

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So liquid cooled is categorically better? I noticed the corsair has room to mount fans on the top (or in my case on the side). How do modern get their liquid tubed to look so perfect in the case?

But yeah mainly I was asking which is the best of the bunch... 2 seahawks? What would be the pros/cons vs the strix or evga?

Liquid cooled will run cooler, period. Is that better? In the sense that GPUs will run at their maximum possible clock rates, yes it is. All else being equal (i.e., overclocking luck of the draw), liquid-cooled Pascal GPUs will run around two bins higher than any other GPU, translating to around 25MHz. That simply due to temperature thresholds built into the GPU's logic. It must be below 60C to run at full speed, and no air-cooled 1080 Ti can run that cool.

But liquid-cooled video cards are much louder than a good air cooler, and are a pain to install. You have thick coolant tubes that you need to route through your case, and you have two parts to install, rather than one, both of which are heavy and will want to drop on your motherboard while you're working on them.

If you're not experienced with liquid cooling, I'd recommend you get air-cooled models, especially for an HTPC.

12 and 16 cores!!!!???!!! Holy crap.

Edit: According to this it won't be geared for gaming:

In any case, yes I'll keep checking back (and saving more money as I go) until August.

With regards to cooling, you mentioned this model coming soon:

How would that compare in theory to something like the Asus  Strix:

The strix also is a lot bigger...will two fit on the Dream machine motherboard in the Corsair 540 case we decided on?

You'll have no trouble mounting two Asus GTX 1080 Ti Strix models in the Corsair Carbide 540, although you might also consider the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti FTW3. The Sea Hawk will be even better, although mounting them will take more work.

12 and 16 cores!!!!???!!! Holy crap.

Edit: According to this it won't be geared for gaming:

In any case, yes I'll keep checking back (and saving more money as I go) until August.

With regards to cooling, you mentioned this model coming soon:

How would that compare in theory to something like the Asus  Strix:

The strix also is a lot bigger...will two fit on the Dream machine motherboard in the Corsair 540 case we decided on?

You'll have no trouble mounting two Asus GTX 1080 Ti Strix models in the Corsair Carbide 540, although you might also consider the EVGA GeForce GTX 1

Hard to say exactly what will be here by August. Rumor has it that Intel's running scared at the Ryzen assault at the low-end and mid-range, which means Intel might do the sensible thing and release a six-core CPU on a mainstream platform. There are also rumors of an Intel 12-core CPU to combat AMD's pending 16-core CPU release.

In any event, if you're not buying anything until August, you can just check back then and see what's current! And yes, you should get liquid-cooled GTX 1080 Ti cards if they exist, which they probably will by August. They do not today.

So if i wanted to run all of the fans from the mother board where would i connect them all on the asus z270e? Also the fan in the back of the case connects to the cha_fan right?

The Asus Z270E actually has a lot of fan headers: six! That's very uncommon in its price range. But as with most modern motherboard, the Z270E is marketed to appeal to users of liquid cooling, so some of these fan headers are given "special" names. Here they are:

1 x CPU Fan connector(s)
1 x CPU OPT Fan connector(s)
2 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
1 x High AMP Fan header (4-pin)
1 x AIO PUMP Header

In past generations, these would simply be labeled as CPU_Fan and CHA_FAN 1 through 5, but now even the names are "tricked out"! The good news is you can use any of these for your case fans. If you have a liquid cooler, go ahead and use the AIO header for the pump power lead (the big difference with this header is that it can't be set to zero RPM, which is important for pump use). You can use CPU OPT for the rear fan, and the Chassis Fan and High AMP Fan headers for the front fans.

I ended up going with the pm01 case after all, just got an external optical drive. i have everything set up except i'm a little confused by where to plug in the fan hub on the case that consolidates the 3 fans in the front of the case. should they just be connected to the psu and not to the motherboard? there is currently a cable from 3 pin to molex so that leads me to believe that is the intent, but then there is no control over fan speed and that isn't optimal correct?

You've got that all correct. There is no fan control if you use the hub, so in the SilverStone PM01 chassis that TBG uses for its ultra-high-end benchmarking system, all fans are run through the motherboard.

Video Cards / Re: gtx 1080ti FE fake?
« on: April 26, 2017, 06:49:28 AM »
i just received a new gtx 1080ti fe from amazon and the upc on the back of the card looks like it has been scored with a razor blade in an x, anyone else come across this? i have a pic but i can't seem to figure out how to attach it.

Relax! This is done specifically so the serial number can't be removed and the card can't be faked!

Just plug it in and you'll know it's real.  ;)

By the way, TBG's full review of the 1080 Ti will be appearing on the home page tomorrow.

Hello Ari,

I have a cpu cooler clearance question for you. I'm looking to upgrade the cpu + cpu cooler, motherboard, and ram in my current PC (, which is based on The $750 Budget Gaming PC from September 2016, to this new setup ( I guess the question I have is: Am I going to have any clearance issues with the cpu cooler/case (like the cooler hitting the side panel)? Your first-hand knowledge would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you, and have a great day!,

Welcome to the TBG Froum, Morthoseth1!

The Noctua NH-U14S, which is my absolute favorite cooler based on dozens I've reviewed, will just barely fit in the SilverStone RL05, which is a great case by the way.

But here's the thing: your proposed upgrade is not one that I would recommend. Going from a Core i5-6500 to a Core i5-7600K just isn't a big enough jump to justify the time and expense. At stock speeds, you'll see at most a 20% improvement in CPU-limited scenarios, and while the 7600K can obviously overclock, there are a lot of situations where it just won't scale that well beyond 4GHz.

If you're serious about taking the time to upgrade, I'd strongly recommend you go with a Core i7-6700K. Yes, I realize there's a Core i7-7700K, but the two processors are virtually identical, which I know because I've reviewed both of them right here on TBG. And right now Amazon is running a fantastic special on the 6700K, making it just $55 more than a 7600K. That's a no-brainer in my opinion. It's a great processor, and having 8 threads is really critical to getting the most out of the Intel design.

To help you stick to your budget, go with a less expensive motherboard. There's nothing special about the Asus Z270A. The MSI Z270 SLI Plus is just as good and costs $40 less after rebate.

The HTPC Build / Re: HTPC/Server for my house
« on: April 23, 2017, 07:16:25 PM »
The Noctua NH-L12 is a great cooler, and won the low-profile cooler shootout on TBG, as you may have seen. But at 93mm tall, it's too tall to use in that case with an optical drive. And no, I would not use it in "low-profile" mode without the top 120mm fan, as it will perform like a $30 cooler despite costing $60!

The DVD drive doesn't produce any heat, so that's not an issue. The issue is airflow. You could get an AR08 and have the fan pull air through, but where will it pull air from? There are no air intakes in the front of the case, and the fans at the side of the case will be blowing across the tower, not through it. In other words, the various fans just aren't going to be working in unison.

I think you'll be fine with the L9x65. Set it up so the fins are perpendicular to the sides of the case, allowing air to blow through them from the side fans (which of course should be set up as intakes, not exhaust). You are setting up an HTPC, not a gaming rig, so just leave the 7700K at stock and the L9x65 will be OK. Yes, you should use an AVX offset, which you can set up in the UEFI. Give it a -4 offset and it will run fine during heavy AVX video loads.

Leaning towards the Maker 5t now. I plan to purchase an EVGA 1080 FTW Hybrid and a Hybrid Kit for my current EVGA 1080 FTW ACX 3.0. I had it shipped to EVGA to install thermal pads after my cousin's caught on fire in SLI. I haven't checked it's temperature since, but the BIOS update to increase fan speeds lowered temperature a good bit prior to RMA for thermal pads. I need a midsize case for lack of space and to be able to transport it easier.

If mid-sized is what you're after, the Maker 5t is a great choice. It's not small, but it's not oversized either, and it even has a carry handle. I wouldn't go much smaller for running dual GPUs, especially with all that radiator equipment you're talking about.

If you're looking at the RVE, you are obviously going with a high-end system. Let me be honest here: the Evolv is all about style. It is not a high-performance case due to its very minimal airflow. I've run SLI in it. It doesn't work at all. In fact I've retired it completely from TBG's benchmarking systems, because I need the option to run SLI in all of them during GPU benchmarking. This is a shame because the craftsmanship and materials are beyond compare.

Do not use the Evolv for a system of this caliber. Have a look at the Cooler Master Maker 5t if you want tempered glass and a closed front panel, but with proper ventilation. It will hold a 240mm-class cooler without issues, but cannot hold a 280mm cooler unless it's in a pull-only configuration.

If you really want a 280mm-class cooler, get a big case like the Corsair Obsidian 750D. I realize it's not quite as sleek looking, but it has the capacity and airflow for a high-end system.

And to use the links, yes, just click on them and add to your cart. You can also add other items that you're shopping for that aren't linked from this site and it will help support the forum.

General Discussion / Re: EVGA 1080Ti
« on: April 23, 2017, 02:34:24 PM »
Back in action over here. Somehow my Windows 10 installation had become corrupted, and specifically the DirectX files. It was causing extreme CPU usage in games that in turn throttled GPUs, including the 1080 Ti and 1080 I was benchmarking with. I'll have the 1080 Ti review up within a few days.

Almost certainly will not work. This is a case I've tested, and the spacing between the top of the case and the motherboard is insufficient to provide the necessary clearance. The big issue will be the RAM slots, which most builders and manufacturers just don't consider. 280mm coolers overhang the motherboard just like 240mm coolers, but being wider they sit closer to the back plane of the board, and often just over the RAM slots.

You need a taller case to use a 280mm cooler, regardless of what Phanteks says will fit in the Evolv. I personally really like the Thermatake View 31 Tempered Glass, another case I've reviewed, which has plenty of headroom for liquid coolers. It also has slightly better airflow than the Evolv.

The HTPC Build / Re: HTPC/Server for my house
« on: April 21, 2017, 01:56:49 PM »
Here you go: SilverStone GD09 shipped from B&H Photo Video. Same price as Amazon, ships out on Monday, will likely arrive by Thursday thanks to free expedited shipping. B&H is great about that.

Note that the GD09 comes with two fans, and that's likely all you'll need to start. When you buy a video card, you can add a third fan, and yes, the Arctic F12 PWM is great.

The HTPC Build / Re: HTPC/Server for my house
« on: April 21, 2017, 12:11:58 PM »
Thank you for the heads up and sharing your insight.   At this point GD09 is my first choice, but I would be fine in space on my TV stand with the GD10 and even GD08, especially if it helps with over flow and cooling options.

 I just called SilverStone before getting your reply to help me choose.  WIth the optical drive the tech support quoted 88mm left for pretty much any of these three case (GD 08, GD 09, GD 10).  JHe mentioned that the design of their Cooling Towers AR 07 and AR 08 fits.  He said that their design allows it.  I just wondered how much louder and trade off in cooling for TDP +65W it'd be.

Now that my CPU selection ironed out, is the SilverStone 550W Strider Platinum series PSU still your recommendation for the  Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon and i7-7700K CPU in a one of those Grandia Series case?
Anyhow, I trust that you have tinkered with this cpu tower enough that I'll order the Noctua NH-L9x65 and I could return it if there is a better (tower) cooler is found.

It is my day off work so I can finalize this.

Thank you a bunch again.

SilverStone has provided me samples of nearly all of its coolers, so I of course have tested the AR07 and AR08 in the GD09 case. They don't fit, and I provided my feedback to SilverStone on this. What they'd like you to do is mount the fan on the wrong side of the cooler so that it blows directly into the optical drive, rather than out of the case. That's bad system building, which is something I'll never endorse, and which I don't consider a legitimate use of the coolers. Here's a photo of my testing of this setup that I provided to SilverStone along with my critique of their specifications:

The Noctua NH-L9x65 is a perfect fit for this system, and you don't need to get the GD08 or GD10 - they are gigantic and really not something you'll want sitting on your AV console. The GD09 is the largest HTPC case that I recommend.

And yes, 550W is more than enough - in fact, it's exactly what's recommended for the $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Buyer's Guide, which uses a Core i7-7700K and GTX 1070 video card. Because I test all of this gear using a power meter, I know how much it actually draws. Online power supply calculators are very, very rough approximations, and they always overestimate how much power you need because they assume you'll be using a low-quality power supply, which the SilverStone Platinum most definitely is not!

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