Page 1:Our High-End Build Evolves
Page 2:Graphics, CPU, And Memory
Page 3:Motherboard, Case, And Power
Page 4:CPU And Motherboard Cooling
Page 5:An Alphabet Soup Of Storage: SSD, HDD, And ODD
Page 6:Hardware Installation
Page 8:Test Hardware And Benchmark Settings
Page 9:Results: 3DMark And PCMark
Page 10:Results: SiSoftware Sandra
Page 11:Results: Battlefield 4 And Far Cry 3
Page 12:Results: Grid 2 And Arma 3
Page 13:Results: Audio And Video Encoding
Page 14:Results: Adobe Creative Suite
Page 15:Results: Productivity
Page 16:Results: File Compression
Page 17:Power, Heat, And Efficiency
Page 18:A Gaming Build That Works Hard
My 2012 story Building With The NZXT Phantom 410 provides a general guideline for assembling today’s system, and 2013’s Installing Thermaltake’s Water 2.0 Extreme covers the cooler’s details. But this is my first system to combine those parts.
I installed the ASRock Z87 Extreme4 motherboard right away to check cooler clearance, but don’t recommend you following suit, since the motherboard's heat sinks block access to some fan screws.
The NZXT’s fan openings have bell-shaped extensions specifically designed to clear the coolant fittings of top-mounted radiators. Though the chassis appears to support a slim 280 mm (2 x 140 mm) radiator at its limit, Thermaltake’s thicker 240 mm (2 x 120 mm) system performed better in our ten-way comparison.
The 240 mm Water 2.0 Extreme radiator appears to be a particularly good choice, since it clears our optical drive in the top bay. A radiator this size can also be turned to place its fittings on the opposite side, while a 280 mm radiator would only fit in the shown orientation.
Remember the terms “slim” and “thicker” two paragraphs above? The Phantom 410’s top panel is tall enough in the middle to fit this 1.5” radiator, but would have limited wider 280 mm (2 x 140 mm) radiators to around 1.2” thickness.
Rather than use a separate power cable for the optical drive, I decided to move it to the bottom 5.25” bay and share a cable with the SSD and hard drive. Other cables are stuffed neatly behind the motherboard tray.
- Our High-End Build Evolves
- Graphics, CPU, And Memory
- Motherboard, Case, And Power
- CPU And Motherboard Cooling
- An Alphabet Soup Of Storage: SSD, HDD, And ODD
- Hardware Installation
- Test Hardware And Benchmark Settings
- Results: 3DMark And PCMark
- Results: SiSoftware Sandra
- Results: Battlefield 4 And Far Cry 3
- Results: Grid 2 And Arma 3
- Results: Audio And Video Encoding
- Results: Adobe Creative Suite
- Results: Productivity
- Results: File Compression
- Power, Heat, And Efficiency
- A Gaming Build That Works Hard