So in 2015 I upgraded my case from the Corsair Obsidian 250D to the Corsair Air 240. Reason being was that the temperatures of the ITX case were just not to my liking: with idle temperatures of around 50c for CPU and 46c for the GPU and load peaks of 75c and 80c respectively.
After moving to the Air 240 case I was getting idle temps of 40c for both CPU and GPU so I guess the extra airflow from the front of the case and having the cables isolated to its own chamber helped cool the GFX card better. However, peak temperatures were again unfavourable and this is all due to having a open air GFX card fan in a small case instead of a blower fan to extract air from the case.
So this time around, I have decided on going back to a Tower build for better airflow as I did love the temps I had on the Corsair Obsidian 650D back in the day!.
I did a minor upgrade whilst I went from the 250D to the 240 Air – I changed the motherboard to the ASUS Maximus GENE VII Z97 which is an MATX form factor and I removed the Samsung 840 250GB SSD and replace it with an m.2 Samsung 256GB drive.
This time around for the switch from the Air 240 to the Enthoo EVOLV I have kept everything the same except the case fans. Yes… an MATX MB in an ATX sized case!
Cable management was a breeze with this case, although I would have probably made better management of the fan cables if I had gotten some extensions. Some fan cables were just not long enough to reach the fan hub if I had neatly guided them through the straps.
I bought some cablemod cable combs for the front
But the GFX card I have isn’t long enough for the case grommet to be inline with the power cables so they aren’t straight.
Here’s the final product! minus the Tempered glass window as it reflects too much light for photos…
I am really pleased on how it turned out.
Idle temps of 35c CPU and 29c GPU
Load temps of 59c CPU and 69c GPU
I had noticed from looking at MSI afterburner that my GPU was set to 80c as target temp, this means my GPU was most likely thermal throttling all this time in small form factor cases! But now with a max of 69c I have noticed a fair few extra frames in Overwatch. After some testing with the GFX fan curve, the Gigabyte Windforce maxes out at 50% fan speed on auto which is around the 2000rpm area – it is possible to make it go to 4300rpm! but it sounds like a lawnmower and so I’ve allowed it to hit 2300rpm as I have earphones in anyway when gaming.
I think my next upgrade will be a new GFX card, one with 0db fans for idle as the loudest thing in this build is the GFX card fans! I’ve played around with all the fan curves and so the case and radiator fans are silent as a mouse at idle.
If I find that I get back into games a lot more in future, I may end up doing a full custom water cooled build in this case when the time comes.