New gaming rig build

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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by FlyingPenguin »

Because I am a magnanimous, charitable and humble person, and I have so many extra frames, I award each and every one of you on the forum, ONE of my extra frames. Ownership for said frame will be assigned via a Non-Fungible Token. :P
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by FlyingPenguin »

One more change. Since enabling the frame cap, Valheim and Flight Simulator are the only games that allow the GPU to hit 100% because neither of those will get anywhere near 100 FPS. Temps get mighty mighty high sometimes, so after doing some reading, I installed the 3rd fan in the front.

I used to think those cases with a wall of fans in the front were just for show, but it seems like modern cases are actually designed for it, in order to create a massive amount of positive pressure in the case. It does work. My GPU temperature dropped 7 degrees, and that's nothing to sneeze at. Also dropped the CPU temp a couple of degrees.

Also, a 2 TB SATA HDD (spinning rust) drive arrived in the mail today, which I installed in the CD-Rom bay up top, and I'm using as a backup drive for image files, drivers, game backups, etc. It replaces a portable external 1TB drive I was using for that purpose.

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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by Losbot »

FlyingPenguin wrote:My GPU temperature dropped 7 degrees, and that's nothing to sneeze at.
Take that!!!
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Err
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by Err »

If your CPU is still not as cool as you like it, you may want to consider a Noctua NH-D15. This sucker is giant though and it may be too tall for your case.

https://www.amazon.com/Noctua-NH-D15-he ... B00L7UZMAK
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by FlyingPenguin »

Same height as mine, but that's a beast. Thx, I'll keep that as an option. So far temps seem to be staying reasonable now with the 3rd front fan. I'm just going to start monitoring clock speeds to see if the thermal limiters are kicking in during heavy gaming.
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by Pugsley »

That looks similar to the coolermaster V8 that I have been running forever... except with an extra fan for some reason.
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Re: New gaming rig build

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I am annoyed that the fad in newer case designs is to eliminate the HDD LED, and this case is one of those.

I really like having a HDD indicator for basic diagnostics: If it's not booting into Windows, or the desktop is unresponsive, but the light is flashing, that tells me something. If the machine locks up and needs to be restarted, I'd like to know if the drive is being accessed and try not interrupt any writes to avoid registry corruption.

So I ended up running my own drive light. I've got a few spare harnesses on the shelf and I cannibalized one. I mounted the light behind the front panel's air intake so I can see it flickering through the filter. Does the job.

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Also the headphone adapter came in. I ordered this one which doesn't look as cheap as some of the others. There are some reviews that say it breaks easy, but I suspect it's someone who walked away with their headset on and yanked it. Looks rugged enough, but yeah it's more likely to break than the plastic-ey looking moulded ones. I put a strain releif on it to prevent it from getting yanked. For 7 bucks, if it breaks it breaks.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I3A47I4/

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Additional cooling

Post by FlyingPenguin »

So overall the gaming PC has been running great, and temps are within spec in all games EXCEPT Control and Metro Exodus, both of which are running DX12 with RTX ray tracing and I just started playing again. The CPU is the problem. The GPU temps never come close to max (love those EVGA coolers).

Control in particular uses a LOT more CPU than most games (I've seen it run as high as 40%) and with the RTX 3080 maxed out and dumping a lot of heat into the case, the CPU temp on the 5800x easily gets up to thermal throttle at 91C in short order. The throttling isn't bad, maybe 700 MHz, and it doesn't dramatically affect gameplay, but I'm leaving performance on the table, and running things needlessly hot.

If I had to do this build all over again, I would probably use the pricier and beefier Noctua NH-D15 CPU cooler that Err recommended, but I'd hate to pull the mobo and change coolers at this point. It's not that the Cooler Master Hyper 212 isn't adequate. I can run Prime95 all day and the CPU won't go over 85C, but with the added heat dump from the RTX 3080, that drives the temps even higher. It's possible even that monster NH-D15 cooler would have the same issue: just too much heat rising from the GPU.

So, step one: I needed a reliable way to test temperatures so I could compare any changes I made. I chose 15 minutes running Prime95 at the same time as the Unigine Heaven benchmark. This puts both the CPU and the GPU at 100% load, and very quickly reaches a stable temperature. Now this is a totally unrealistic test - no game will ever run the GPU & CPU both at 100%, but it is the worst case scenario, and easy to reproduce.

Step two: I added a pull fan on the back of the CPU cooler, which I didn't expect to do much from what I've read. It did help a bit as it did take longer for the CPU to hit max. Maybe realistically it knocks off a degree, but I'll take that.

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As an experiment I left the front panel off, and sure enough, the system ran extremely cool. The CPU never hit max under full load. Not very practical maybe, and certainly not pretty, but I wouldn't totally rule it out as the PC sits under my desk out of sight. However this did convince me that for my next build, I will look at cases with whole front intake vents instead of intake vents just on the side of the front panel. I've noticed a trend towards those type of cases lately with these monster space heaters we call gaming PCs, and away from blank or glass fronted cases.

But this got me thinking about airflow, and I've been watching WAY too many Jayz2Cents videos lately about air flow. The case has an unused DVD drive bay at the top. Normally a DVD drive would plug this hole, But on my case I just have a 3 1/2" HDD in there for image backups, and it's mostly open to the area in front of the three front intake fans, with a black plate plugging the face panel. That seemed to me to be a path that would allow hot air, at the top of the case, to be pulled back in via the front fans. So I taped over the DVD drive bay with some non-gooey blue painter's tape, and noticed a substantial improvement in temps. Still the CPU would eventually hit max with my test setup, but it took the full 15 minutes.

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I played Control for half an hour and it never exceeded 88C on the CPU, so it seemed to be the fix, but I wanted to see if I could improve airflow even more and keep the temps lower. What if I removed the blank plate in front of the DVD drive bay to allow it to suck more air in that way?

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This made a big improvement. I can feel a large amout of suction in that open hole, and temps are now a lot lower. Even my brutal 100% CPU & GPU load test won't drive the CPU up to more than 88C.

I ordered this filtered cover plate for the drive bay to make it look better, instead of just having an open hole, and to keep dust out: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017TM7S9W

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Losbot
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by Losbot »

Looks like you're getting the airflow hammered out.
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Err
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by Err »

Can you modify the front panel of the case to allow direct airflow to the fans? As for changing coolers, you may be able to access the back of the motherboard by removing the other panel. There should be a hole in the motherboard tray so you can access the backplate.

Have you tried a more powerful Exhaust fan?
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by Executioner »

So you did not go the water cooling route? My daughter's boyfriend went water cooling and I think he fried his CPU. I bought a new AMD 3600 to test his mobo and CPU. The mobo had a flashing light indicating an issue with the CPU; however, in order rule out the mobo I had to get another CPU to test. I told him to forget about water cooling unless you really want to overclock.

I think the last time I overclocked anything was 20 years ago with the Intel Celeron 300a that easily ran at 450Mhz.
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by FlyingPenguin »

Yeah, looking back through the photos here, this case is one that does give me access to the bottom mounting plate of the cooler (nice feature to see on newer cases), but I think I've got it licked with the extra air flow. It really is more an air flow problem than the CPU cooler. All that hot air was just getting sucked back in until I blocked the upper drive bay.

Thew exhaust is a very good 120mm, and the case won't allow for a 140mm. I don't think exhaust is an issue anyway. These modern cases are all about positive pressure from the front fans. I bet if I removed the rear fan it wouldn't change the temps much.

No way to mod the front panel for direct air flow, but opening up the drive bay panel really helped. Temps have been real good since I did that. I could also drill a few big holes on the bottom of the front panel to give it even more intake, and just cover them with filter material if I want a bit more cooling. Bought a second one of those 5 1/4" panel filters just for that reason.
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by Err »

If you attempt front panel modification and it doesn't turn out good, here's a link to buy a new panel. Corsair sells them for $15:

https://www.corsair.com/us/en/Categorie ... CC-8900422
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by FlyingPenguin »

Thx! Interesting. They sell a lot of spare parts.
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Re: New gaming rig build

Post by FlyingPenguin »

I was tired of the front fans howling with the very aggressive manual fan curve I setup, so I put all fans on normal and only set the CPU and rear fans to turbo curve (can hardly hear those).

CPU temps were okay, but not as good as I liked. Nothing I played was pushing to thermal limit, but in many games it was easily hitting 85C. In retrospect, I wish I had bought a high airflow case for it, like the Fractal on my workstation.

Since I did improve airflow by adding a couple of front intakes, I'm still convinced it's the Cooler Master 212 just not being able to cope with the hot air being dumped from the RTX 3080.

In the hopes I could knock a few degrees off of it, though I went ahead and ordered another of those bad-boy Noctual NH-D15 coolers, like I used in the workstation. I was pleasantly surprised to see it knock 5-6 C off the CPU temperature. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

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I replaced it while in the case. The Corsair case is a bit roomier in that area than the Fractal case, so it wasn't too bad at all, and it didn't hurt that I had already installed one of these so installation was a breeze. As with the workstation, I had to replace the front 140mm fan with a 120mm as the 140 wouldn't fit with the somewhat taller than normal Vengeance RAM sticks below it.

I've always used the old skool manual method of spreading heatsink compound with a credit card (old library card in my case), but after watching this video, I was convinced to use the "pea" method, with the spreading impressively demonstrated with a piece of plexiglass in the video:



The guys who swap heatsinks for testing all the time all use this method, and most of the DIY builders I watch on YouTube do it this way as well. The theory is that, using this method, you're not likely to get air bubbles trapped between the cooler and the CPU, as long as you put the cooler straight on the CPU without tilting it or twisting it.
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