INCEPTION Derezzer v2 will handle demanding 4K digital content using a small form-factor, air-cooled design. The system will support multi-sandbox software development, video/photo editing, folding and gaming. The goal is to deliver a powerful 4K rig that remains quiet while maintaining good temperatures, a reliable system that requires very little maintenance once built. Although this is a no-frills build with totally stock components, there is a build video! HARDWARE Open-bench inspired, the Cooler Master HAF XB EVO case provides excellent air-cooling characteristics. The build focuses on delivering 4K rendering capability within a 7680 x 2160 desktop. Highlights include two nVidia GTX 1080 gaming cards paired with LG 27" 4K monitors. Cooler Master HAF XB EVO case ASUS P9X79 Ivy Bridge X79 LGA2011 ATX mainboard EVGA SuperNOVA 1200W Platinum modular power supply Intel i7-4960X Extreme Edition 6-Core Ivy Bridge CPU @ 3.6GHz, 4GHz Turbo Boost, 15MB Cache Eight 8GB Kingston HyperX FURY DDR3 memory, 64GB, HX316C10FB/8 Two ZOTAC GTX 1080 AMP Extreme gaming cards, SLI HB, ZT-P10800B-10P Two LG 27UD88-W 27" 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 monitors, 7680 x 2160 desktop Boot -1TB SAMSUNG 850 EVO SATA III Solid State Drive, MZ-75E1T0B/AM Scratch - 512GB SAMSUNG 830 Series SATA III Solid State Drive, MZ-75E1T0B/AM Data - Two 2TB Western Digital RE4 SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" 7200 RPM disk drives (hot-swap bays) Two Pioneer BDR-207DBKS Blu-ray burners Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler Two Noctua NF-A14 FLX 140mm fans (front intake) Noctua NF-A14 FLX 140mm fan (top intake) Noctua NF-S12A 120mm Fan (upper-rear exhaust) Two Noctua NF-A8 ULN 80mm Fan (lower-rear exhaust) SOFTWARE The host operating system is Windows 10 Professional 64-bit. Adobe Master Collection is utilized for digital content creation. BOINC Manger folds several projects, including Seti@Home. VMWare Workstation hosts multiple sandbox CentOS UNIX virtual machines running the following software: Web Services: VM with several RESTful microservices Web Applications: VM for Apache, Tomcat and other web servers with several deployed websites Persistence: Multiple VMs for MongoDB, Hadoop, Cassandra, Oracle and MySQL persistence storage Several highly addictive games are also on the menu: Crysis Metro Battlefield Doom DESIGN PHILOSOPHY Simplicity over complexity: Air cooled configurations are built quickly and simply, do not leak water on costly components and require nearly zero maintenance. Function over form: Noctua fans may look ugly and the NH-D15 is a behemoth, but they deliver excellent performance with nearly silent operation. CONFIGURATION Everything possible will be optimized for air cooling in this small form factor rig. The XB EVO is designed to maximize air flow, an ideal platform for air cooled configurations. The Cooler Master HAF series acronym stands for "High Air Flow". Noctua fans will replace all stock Cooler Master hardware for even better cooling performance and quieter operation. Three 140 mm intake case fans bring in cool air and quickly direct it through the system's hottest components. Three additional fans exhaust hot air out the back of the case. This configuration is simple and effective. ZOTAC GORILLA CHALLENGE The ZOTAC GTX 1080 AMP Extreme is an 800-pound gorilla. Having two gorillas living within the tight confines of the HAF XB EVO presents a big design challenge. Clearances between each GPU, the Noctua NH-D15 and the front of the case are minimal. It is essential to reduce the amount of heat generated inside the case where possible, intake a large amount of cool air and exhaust the hot air quickly. There is no doubt the cramped spacing represents a serious cooling challenge. Therefore, the following steps will be taken: Configure fans to produce positive overall pressure, with 21% more intake airflow (292.6 m³/h) than exhaust (231 m³/h) Mount a 140 mm intake fan in the top position to push cool air down between the gorillas Avoid overclocking the 4960X since the system's workload is not CPU-bound Maintain the room temperature at 20C TARGETED TEMPERATURES Based on some research before entering this build, estimated i7-4960X temperature targets mated with the Noctua NH-D15 will be approximately 30C at idle, 45C during normal workload, 55C under heavy load and below 70C when pegged at 100% utilization. The question to be determined is how much improvement can be attained using the HAF XB EVO with Noctua case fans. There are two important GPU thermal thresholds to consider. First, the ZOTAC IceStorm triple-slot cooler remains passive (fans don't spin, totally silent) up to 60C. Second, the GTX 1080 will start to throttle back at 83C. ZOTAC GTX 1080 temperatures generally hover around 35C at idle, 50C during normal workload and below 75C under heavy gaming load. With significantly obstructed airflow, temperatures are difficult to estimate for the restricted gaming card, but temperatures will certainly be higher. It will be interesting to see whether both cards remain passive during normal workloads inside the HAF XB chassis. The critical measurement is whether the restricted gaming card reaches the GTX 1080 thermal throttle point during stress tests and heavy 4K gaming.