SENTRY: Console-sized gaming PC case project

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by SaperPL, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. NuclearLemons

    NuclearLemons [H]Lite

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    thats a good point, guess i havent really considered it since the vrams aren't going to heat up much. i could try ziptying my old 92mm noctua in there, though im unsure of what effect it would have.
     
  2. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    Alright guys, time to start compiling a list of which RTX 20 series gpu's will fit.

    Sad to see the reference design is no longer a blower, nor do I trust third parties make a good vapor chamber based blower. But I get it, these are powerful gpu's and a blower probably couldn't reach both the performance and acoustic parameters Nvidia wanted.

    The reference design should fit fine in Sentry though. I wish Nvidia went with longitudinal fins rather than lateral, that way some of the exhaust would be ejected out the back i/o. Beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

    Definitely planning on cramming a 2080 Ti in Sentry.
     
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  3. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    newegg has dimensions listed...
     
  4. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    Looks like the EVGA "XC Gaming" will definitely fit. A lot of the others are 3 fan cards that are 2.5-3 slots in thickness.
    I actually like the reference, founders edition. It looks like it'll perform well enough, plus its a vapor chamber under all those fins, Nvidia really impressed me with what a difference a vapor chamber makes with the GTX-1080 FE. So far only Best Buy and Nvidia themselves have the FE cards listed for sale.
    Hopefully Amazon will have the FE cards, I've been saving my Amazon rewards for over a year and I'm trying to get 5% cash back from Amazon, on $1200, that adds up.

    Looks like a few AIB blower 2080Ti's are showing up now. I sincerely hope they have vapor chambers or they're going to thermal throttle badly.
     
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  5. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    I wouldn't jump on the RTX bandwagon until we have the performance in both current gen games and ray tracing games for them.

    Yes, this is a groundbreaking tech, but as such I'd treat this as prototype until there are actual games using this.

    What might give it a boost in current games performance is concurrent FP/INT execution in SM, but I'm not sure how much of a difference will that make.

    I will wait for the release of BF5 to see if RTX support will actually be there or if it was just a demo and hopefully with RTX on there'll be a better framerate because a lot of shading will be offloaded from SM to RT cores. If not - I'd recommend waiting till that happens.
     
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  6. AgShield

    AgShield n00b

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    I bit the bullet and pre-ordered the RTX 2080 FE. I'm usually very cautious and calculating but this time I did it simply because I promised myself last September that I'd pre-order this one; i.e. I'm going in all blind.

    I think that it would probably fit the Sentry but I'm concerned about the power draw and heat dissipation but some people on this thread have installed more power hungry cards (i.e. GTX 1080Ti and Vega) so it should be doable. We'll see in a month.

    That's what I was hoping for as well.

    Even without ray tracing and the tensor cores, it still has more CUDA cores than the 10-series and uses GDDR6 so that should somewhat increase performance.
     
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  7. 4884

    4884 Limp Gawd

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    The heatsink has openings on both the top and bottom, means that a big part of the hot exhaust is going to the CPU/motherboard region.
    Don't think it's very desirable for our cases.
    I may get an Asus Turbo 2080 (Gotta wait for the benchmarks). Definitely not Ti for me...that shit is too expensive:confused:
     
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  8. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    It will fit. The FE has the same dimensions as previous FE cards.

    Refined SMs with more Cuda cores at that. More L2 cache and a few other tweaks mean a slight bump in IPC per SM. These will be beasts with or without any ray tracing.

    For those that already have a 1080ti, yeah it probably doesn't make sense. For those of us that sold our gpu's for profit during the mining frenzy, yeah, I'll be getting one these RTX cards.
     
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  9. TudorAdrian

    TudorAdrian n00b

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    After a long wait, I finally managed to get *most* of my Sentry & desk done. Build notes here



    Sentry unit #576 reporting for duty :)
     
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  10. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    So I'm once again perusing the thread for assistance, so hopefully my issue has already been conquered.

    Here's my build, which is running in horizontal orientation:
    i7-8700K (throttled to run like an i5-8400 for TDP purposes)
    1080 Ti FE
    16GB RAM (Corsair Vengeance LPX 3600)
    Asrock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming ITX
    2x WD 2TB notebook spinners
    1TB 860 EVO M.2
    Corsair 600W Gold SFX
    Noctua NH-L9i e/w NF-B9 Redux Fan

    I get that I'm well above TDP on the video card, but at least it's a blower. I have ordered taller feet so that it can breathe better, but that's in progress.

    The issue is that I'm cooking "Drive 2". I haven't traced the cables to see which wound up being spinner #2, but it's hitting 80C during gaming. Everything else is fine, and I could push the CPU harder.. though the GPU could use some undervolt tweaks. I started looping the new Forza Horizon 4 Demo to examine temps and such when I discovered this. Thoughts?

    4pGmL9kl.jpg

    Man I really need to take a black marker to those WD drives.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  11. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    why didn't you just get lower spec'd parts if you have to underclock them?! and youre still having temp issues...
     
  12. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    You could try mounting the hdd below the GPU near the blower inlet - it actually works magic for the drive temp, at least with GTX 970 we've tested. 1080 TI is really power hungry and hot so it will give off that heat to drives especially in horizontal position. It should be a lot better on vertical stand for such config.
     
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  13. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    Because I owned the parts before I owned the case.

    And honestly, I've done another SFF build in an InWin Chopin case since this one. The damn low TDP parts non-K or T series were more expensive in my neck of the woods than K parts. Go figure.

    Actually the CPU is delidded and clocked 1 notch across the board (clocked per core) higher than i5-8400. I still have thermal headroom there for sure, and the GPU hasn't received any special attention yet either. It's just the lone spinner that's an issue. If I fix the spinner drive and undervolt the GPU I think I can push everything higher. The taller feet will help too, even if it doesn't get me to vertical orientation temps.

    Thank you for that suggestion. I'll have to figure out which drive is hot and revisit the build to see if that helps. I'll wait until the new, taller feet arrive. I won't go vertical b/c it's in a home theater setup and it would be unsightly.

    I have a 2080 Ti coming too, which I'll tinker with.. but I hold no hope that I can make that fly with this build unless I go vertical. Even then I have doubts.

    I also have an i7-8086K that I'll also be subbing in here once it's delidded and I'm done with it in another machine. It achieves more clock with less voltage than my 8700K, which should help a bit.

    I've even pondered putting the 2080 Ti into an external Thunderbolt 3 enclosure just for science. I'm interested to see how that would would fare against the 1080 Ti with thermal constraints. I'm pretty sure the TB3 bandwidth penalty would be too hefty but it'd be interesting to try, and if I had better 4k results with that config I actually have a place I could hide the eGPU from view with the right TB cable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  14. 4884

    4884 Limp Gawd

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    I bet the problem is with the CPU. (And the drive nearer to it)
    I hope you already know that, even your CPU cooler can get rid of the heat from the CPU itself quick enough, the heat still need somewhere to go outside the cooler.
    The hot air from the CPU cooler is going to be trapped under the harddrive.
    And you still want to push it harder...:confused:
    You could try flipping the fan on the CPU cooler so it pulls air from the heatsink.
    It's not going to perform as good because the cooler is not designed to work like that, but at least you're not trapping hot exhaust with the harddrive
    I guess ultimately you have to either further reduce TDP of the CPU or relocate the harddrive.

    edit: btw I don't think the graphics card is a problem to the drives because it's a blower. I had a vega 64 in the sentry and my drives were fine.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  15. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    I do have a pretty solid understanding of heat transfer and such, was just looking for suggestions. Of course I want to push it harder.. just want to reconfigure and modify. It’s been a while since I did the build so relocating the drive to that spot isn’t something I would immediately thought of.

    The image is old and I hadn’t even looked at it recently until I decided to poet it here and examine the issue.
     
  16. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    I don't know if anyone else is interested in trying them, but I bought some of the taller feet for the case and just received them from China. (Post 5805)

    It looks like I have 5 sets, so if anyone wants some for the price of shipping let me know. I don't have time this week, but could probably mail them next week. It's prob just as cheap to buy them direct but it's slow.
     
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  17. AgShield

    AgShield n00b

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    Unit no. 0837 update.

    I received and installed my RTX 2080 a few weeks ago but I didn't have time to post because I started my new job.

    Since I'm opening my Sentry for the first time since February, here's a preview of how much dust has gathered...
    DSC_0778b.jpg
    I live in a dusty place but that's no excuse...

    After doing some cleaning, I've installed my new GPU... No issues with my PCIe riser cable.
    DSC_0785b.jpg
    My build is technically complete but I still haven't implemented my other plans: flexible sleeved cables, Samsung 860 EVO M.2 (on its way), etc...

    DSC_0784b.jpg
    For those curious, there's around 10-12 mm clearance near the NVLink.

    DSC_0787b.jpg
    It's a small detail but I really, REALLY LOVE the black GPU expansion slot plate...

    My Sentry is pretty cool and quiet despite having an i7-8700k and a RTX 2080. However, to be fair, I don't really do anything demanding - no benchmarks, no overclocking - so you're experience may vary.
     
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  18. klatox

    klatox [H]Lite

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    Looks good man. That cooler is ok with the 8700k @ stock speeds?
     
  19. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    GPU temps? Cpu temps? Super curious. I'm looking to get a 2080ti whenever they're back in stock. Not sure if it'll be possible in Sentry due to heat.
     
  20. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    no excuse for what? that looks fine to me.
     
  21. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm a dumbass. My "drive 2" temperature issue is actually the second temperature sensor on my M.2 SSD (960 EVO) that's mounted under the MB. It seems this is a common thing, as it's apparently the memory controller.

    I misread it as one of my spinners, which are actually fine once I dug into it.
     
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  22. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    So I wound up putting a 2080 Ti FE in the Sentry, horizontal mode with the taller feet. I've by no means put it thru the paces for an extended time, but I looped the Forza Horizon 4 demo 10 straight times or so. The GPU temp slowly climbed to the low 80C range and the card throttled down from 1900's to bouncing between high 1700's and low 1800's.

    I need to put more time into it, and no doubt it'd be better vertical but I'm pretty impressed. My 1080 Ti FE would go straight to 83-84C very quickly and the card would drop back to sub 1500 clocks on extended runs. That was with the smaller (stock) feet.

    But it's dinner time..
     
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  23. Neapolitan6th

    Neapolitan6th Gawd

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    I'd be curious what your other system temperatures would be like with the 2080ti's non-blower FE cooler.
     
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  24. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    I’ll find out eventually. I didn’t have any more time today but CPU was fine. Anxious to find out myself.

    I was waiting for the family to get ready for dinner, got some Forza loops in and just watched the GPU and CPU stats using Afterburner OSD.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  25. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    One of the backers sent us info about his build that is pretty interesting because of the CPU cooling:

    Sentry06.jpg
    Sentry07.jpg
    Sentry02.jpg
    Sentry04.jpg

     
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  26. 4884

    4884 Limp Gawd

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    Does anyone know of a superior replacement of the pcie riser?
    Preferably more flexible and reliable than the one we have?


    Today I was randomly looking at hwinfo, and found out my graphics card was running at x4 3.0 speed. (It could've been running that all this time:eek:)
    During a LOT of unplugging and resitting, the speed sometimes became x8, sometimes even drop to x2.
    Then I decided to dig everything out (almost a chore in our cases:() and plug it directly to the motherboard. I got x16 speed immediately. So the culprit must be the riser card, which is not surprising at all considering the tension it's giving to the motherboard slot due to it's toughness.
     
  27. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    A few people have had connectivity issues with their risers. Given the unique clamp/pressure mounting mechanism in this case, I don't think you'll find many replacements that fit correctly. It's a minor drawback to this otherwise great case, but they went with it because it's a stronger solution than other risers could provide iirc. SaperPL and ZombiPL have been quite responsive in dealing with these issues in the past, I'm sure they'll chime in shortly or contact you directly.


    Edit: I stand corrected, the riser should be quite replaceable. See below.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
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  28. SaperPL

    SaperPL [H]ard|Gawd

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    Did you check this with GPU-Z ? It shows this real time also you can toggle PCI-E test to make sure it jumps into PCI-E x16 3.0 when on load. My card for example goes from x16 1.1 on idle to x16 3.0 when loaded, but I'm not entirely sure every motherboard/gpu will handle scaling the same way. I'd assume though scaling by the number of lanes is not something normal.

    There are few things to check first:

    1) If your board has pci-e slot with this new fancy metal reinforcement, you should check if the riser pins align properly when putting into the slot. I remember already two people had issue with that. Those new slots have tighter gaps which may misalign the connector and the tooling for risers preceeds these new types of slots that are step by step preparing for compliance with PCI-E 4.0. If that's the case you should get some sharp knife and shave of a bit of plastic from the riser connector PCB to make sure the connector is properly aligned.

    2) There is a rivet in the middle of each PCB side of the riser. It shouldn't touch the metal body of the case and any other conductive thing. We have inspected that and it looks to be connecting few grounds for pci-e lanes. First of all make sure your riser is properly installed in the mounting gap - we've seen people misaligning it with the notches resulting in riser PCB being bent in a way this rivet touches top of the gap. Check if riser works outside the case to make sure it's not the case.

    3) If you have played a lot with your build you might have simply damaged the riser. Sadly those aren't indestructible. You should always pull out the riser from the slot by the PCB to prevent any damage. It is protects the ribbon welds from bends and not from pulling. Check how it looks around the ends of PCB. If you have damaged the riser then you can simply buy another one from sintech here: http://eshop.sintech.cn/pcie-express-x16-riser-card-with-high-speed-flex-cable-p-1084.html

    4) Check if your bios doesn't have some power efficiency settings connected with a pci-e slot with options that indicate some kind of riser support. It's not usual but I've seen that on some workstation boards.

    Actually the way our riser mount is made this way is exactly in order to be able to mount various ribbon risers. You should be able to mount anything that has a ribbon and the same orientation of connectors on PCB and has 5 or maybe even 4 cm ribbon. Also the cutout in the middle of rail mount for 2.5"/upper surface for riser mount is made in order to handle multiple different variants of pci-e slot latches (not all, because there are few weird ones usually not on the risers, but worst case scenario those weird ones can be detached from the slot).
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
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  29. 4884

    4884 Limp Gawd

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    Yes I have checked that too. As well as every settings in OS and BIOS I could try. Afaik that power saving feature reduces "gen", like from 3.0 to 1.1 as you said, but doesn't reduce the lane. Most importantly, plugging the gpu directly to the motherboard gave me x16 reliably, which proved the riser to be at fault.
    I am sure the problem was just a bad contact, because after many attempts (sometimes x2, x4, x8) I was able to get x16 with the riser now. I don't swap card often so my riser could just be a lemon.
    I may just buy another riser as a spare in case the card moved away from the current sweetspot. Thanks for the help!
     
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  30. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

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    4884 let us know what replacement you go with.

    I haven't had any issues but it'll be nice to know a source of viable replacements that others have had success with.

    Idk if I mentioned this in the past but, in addition to the rivet on the pcb, I noticed on my riser there was what appeared to be conformal coating on the solder points/pins where the female socket meets the pcb on the gpu side of the riser. It didn't look like a very thick coating, so to avoid any chance of contacting the case I put a coating of liquid electrical tape on mine. It maybe worth doing the same on what ever replacement you settle on just to be on the safe side. Idk if it really helps, it can't hurt, I mean I haven had any issues yet. Maybe just placebo effect haha

    I stand corrected. I edited my post above.
     
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  31. AgShield

    AgShield n00b

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    Sorry for the radio silence. I've been busy.

    I installed my Samsung 860 EVO 1 TB M.2 SSD and put my 850 EVO 500 GB 2.5" SSD inside my PS4.

    How do you do that? Do you have any suggested programs/benchmarks?

    If that's true, then thanks. I just thought that the dust was a bit thick inside the Sentry... I don't do a lot of dusting so it's my fault it got that bad.
     
  32. lhindir

    lhindir n00b

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    Shockingly, I'm just now getting around to building in my case from the crowdfunding run. I've been following this thread for a long time, and some questions have arisen as a result.

    Ej24, are the 40mm fans you use 10mm wide or 20mm? [Update: 10mm.] I'm planning on a 2070 and those might help with exhaust on an open-air cooler since the only blower cards are the cheapo models that AIB partners offer.

    Speaking of open-air vs. blower: I've bookmarked quite a few posts (Cabblake build, Cabblake sealing, Cabblake's open-air reasoning, kyjol's open-air use (no benchmarks), Cabblake's benchmarks, some testing/theories from Ej24, testing from Rysen (hot CPU)) along the course of this thread discussing the merits of both. The general consensus seems to be blower, but Cabblake appears to have had great success with his open-air card by sealing off the GPU chamber. Furthermore, he argues that a vapor chamber requires the card to heat up to work properly (see the reasoning post above). However, others have struggled with their open-air cards. Ej24, you are also planning to go with a 20-series GPU, specifically an FE variant. Personally, I don't think I can justify spending $50 - $100 more for the vapor chamber variant if I can find success with an AIB model. What do you guys think?

    Maybe GPU delidding could help?

    The 2070's that fit in the Sentry that use 8+6 pin power are all from Gigabyte, as far as I can tell. EVGA offers one but it's only 8 pin. Do you guys know if the SF600 has enough cables for a 8+6 pin GPU? It's hard to tell from the site. Gigabyte offers a $500 WINDFORCE model with their base cooler, which is probably not great since apparently margins are pretty tight for AIB partners at the $500 entry point. They also offer a $550 GAMING model with a cooler with four heat pipes instead of two. That model seems like the best option for me; if you click on the links and scroll down to the cooling section you can see the designs. I'm guessing it will be on par or better than the FE for $50 less. Again, looking for feedback on this. [Update: The Asus Turbo is a solid blower card for $500 using 8+6 pin power. Good video here on value with respect to 1070 options, and here on the Turbo vs. a $550 card.]

    I'm planning on getting the L9a for a 2700x (will undervolt) [Update: 2600. I decided the multicore performance wasn't worth the thermal characteristics and price.]. Ej24, you said here that the fins on the cooler should ideally be parallel to the RAM, which makes perfect sense. I could even add more 40mm fans to exhaust above the cooler. Unfortunately, from what I can tell, the L9i and L9a have fins pointing perpendicular to the ram. Can someone confirm if you can rotate the coolers? The L9a is longer so I'm afraid it will hit the RAM or something if I rotate it so the fins are parallel, but I would prefer to use it over the L9i with adapter since it is larger and designed for AM4.

    Also curious about portable monitors and that Pelican case. The Sentry is roughly 13.5" × 12.25" × 2.5", and the case's interior is listed as 18.87" × 13.12" × 3.81". Could I squeeze in this monitor or this monitor? Thoughts on which is better, or even better alternatives? The first looks better to me; unfortunately it requires both HDMI and USB-C rather than USB-C alone.

    Thanks for any info you can provide! This is my first-ever build so I'm going a little overboard on prep.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  33. brentsg

    brentsg [H]ard|Gawd

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    Planning vertical or horizontal orientation?
     
  34. rfarmer

    rfarmer [H]ard|Gawd

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    The SF600 has 2 X 6+2 for the GPU, so 8+6 pin is no problem.
     
  35. 4884

    4884 Limp Gawd

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    I am not Ej24 but I am using some 40mm fans at the top too. They are Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX so 10mm thick. I don't think a thicker model will fit because in my case only a thin gap is left between the fans and the graphics card.
    Mind you don't expect a lot from those tiny fans. They don't move a lot of air (especially through the holes of the case) so only very minor benefit would be seen.

    I am using Asus 2080 Turbo and it's great. Moderate overclock to 2GHz, 50% fan and it stays ~70C. I didn't bother to do any tweaking atm so it can definitely do better.
    If you consider getting blower card I'll suggest only the asus turbo. Just compare the exhaust grill to other brands and you'll see why.
    Imo Asus did put some effort into making a good blower card unlike other brands who are just providing the cheapest variant.
    Yes it does. But I strongly recommend getting some custom braided cables. The cables come with SF600 is ridiculously tough which could pose a challenge in our small cases.
    Yes I can turn my L9i to exhaust away from the ram.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  36. lhindir

    lhindir n00b

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    Vertical for sure.
    Perfect, I was pretty sure that was the case. Thanks for the confirmation!
    Yeah, I don't expect a ton but they should be fun to tinker with, anyway. Some people used them on the mobo with success too.
    I'll look into it. That's a surprise; I haven't heard great things about AIB blowers in the past. What made you change your mind from this post about poor blower performance, by the way?
    Corsair just released an 80+ Platinum variant with slightly shorter, braided cables, so that's my plan for now! Might go custom if they're still too big, but I've heard they're a vast improvement.
    That's good; are you using the AM4 adapter? I tried to check your post history for what CPU you're running but couldn't come up with anything. Regardless, I'm still wondering if the L9a will fit with parallel fins since it's larger. Update: Picture 3/10 for this PCPP build makes me pretty convinced that the L9a won't fit with fins parallel. Ej24, do you think the parallel fins are more beneficial than a slightly larger cooler? I'm inclined to think so.

    Still looking for more feedback, here's my planned build if anyone's curious.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  37. 4884

    4884 Limp Gawd

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    Asus has a brand new cooler design for the 2000 series turbo card.
    Untitled.png
    Left is my old 1060 turbo, right is the new 2080 turbo
    The difference is pretty substantial, right?
    Sorry I'm using intel platform.
     
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  38. 4884

    4884 Limp Gawd

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    Oh I did not know about that.
    Seems like corsair did listen to their customers' feedback! I'm sure many people complained haha.
    Nice move with the braided cables!
     
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  39. lhindir

    lhindir n00b

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    Dec 25, 2016
    Wow, I should have looked into this more. This video in conjunction with the benchmarks from this video means I've settled on the Turbo!

    Well, I'll have to assume I can rotate it on the AM4 adapter then since it's a square cooler. Thanks!
     
  40. Ej24

    Ej24 Gawd

    Messages:
    577
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    My fans are the 40x10mm 12v fans from noctua. Make sure you don't get the 5v ones by mistake. I have them all connected to a single header on the motherboard with a lot of splitters I had lying around from Noctua. They are set up for exhaust out the side. There's no good way to mount them so I taped them all together with electrical tape and then mounted them as a single unit to the frame with even more tape. The goal one day is to make a small frame by 3d printer that holds the fans and somehow attach that to the side of the case. I'd say the fans helped peak temps a bit, maybe 2-3C, but the biggest difference was in how quickly the gpu cooled down when returning to low load or idle. Without the fans it took 15 minutes or more to go back to the 40s. With the fans it went back to 38C in maybe 3 minutes. So the fans kind of smooth out the spikes in temperature in the gpu chamber.

    I also mounted one 40mm fan on the cpu side also in exhaust. I never measured exactly what effect it has on cpu temps. Probably minimal. I do feel hot air being blown out. So I guess it helps get the hot air out so it can't hurt. It's hard to elegantly mount a 40mm fan on the cpu side though as that side of the case is also joined with the lid so fan cable management is a nightmare when opening and closing the lid.

    As for the cpu heatsink fins, it helps eject the hot air out if they're parallel to the ram because it's being accelerated towards the side vent. If you can't mount it parallel I'd recommend sealing the cpu fan to the case lid to maximize positive pressure, forcing hot air out. I've posted on it in the past. I can post pictures again if you're interested.

    I remember seeing a YouTube video a while ago where a guy tested the nh-l9i and nh-l9a on an AMD system because both are compatible with amd systems. IIRC the nh-l9a performed maybe 1-3C better than the nh-l9i due to its slightly larger fin stack. However that was probably an open air setup and not a confined case like sentry. I have a feeling in Sentry the difference between the L9i and L9a would be minimal.

    For gpu, I'm waiting to see more reviews comparing FE cards with AIB 2 slot cards. Soo many cards are 2.5-3 slot this generation. Other than FE reviews I haven't seen any reviews for 2 slot 2080 or 2080ti like the EVGA Gaming XC (not ultra). I'd be open to another blower, if it can keep a 2080ti below 80C. I have more doubts though. I'm looking for the best performance and temps possible. So I'll pay $50-100 more for that.

    As for portable monitors just make sure they have real hdmi, mini hdmi, Dp, or some other real video connections. Many portable monitors connect by USB for power and video. USB doesn't natively carry video. So they have a Display Link chip inside the monitor that works with your cpu to generate the image. In those types of monitors there's zero gpu acceleration. You won't be able to play games, at least not using your gpu to drive the screen. The two you linked seem to be usb for power but have hdmi for video which means they're real monitors and so shouldn't have this problem. I just thought you should be aware of this while you shop around.