Question Calculating the compatibility of NH-D15 cooler with vertically mounted MSI Suprim X 3090 through case PCI slot measurements?

Dec 19, 2020
I recently landed an MSI Suprim X 3090 and am hoping to vertically mount it because (in my opinion), it's one of the nicest looking cards. However, my CPU cooler is the Noctua NH-D15 which is notoriously massive, if an excellent performer.

I haven't bought a PC case yet, but I'm trying to calculate the number of PCI expansion slots it needs to have in order to vertically mount the beast that is the Suprim X 3090. Right now I'm looking at the Fractal Design Meshify 2 XL with 9 slots.

I was wondering if anyone had some insight on how I could do this. Here's what I've come up with so far:
  1. The height of the NH-D15 is 165mm.
  2. The width of the 3090 (or height, when mounted vertically) vis 140mm.
  3. Allowing 5mm clearance between the NH-D15/3090 and assuming the NH-D15 will overlap my top pci expansion slot by 15mm or so, that means that the case's PCI expansion bay height needs to be at least 15 + 5 + 140mm (card height + clearance margin + overlap of the cooler) = 160mm tall.
  4. After some research, I found this old TomsHardware post which appears to show a specification for the vertical height of PCI slots on computer cases: This shows that the apparent distance from the top edge of one slot to the top of the next is 20.32mm. IF this is true, AND my case has 9 slots, then that is a total of 20.32 x 9 = 182.88mm.
  5. By this logic, the 3090 should be easily vertically mounted below the Noctua NH-D15 with 182.88 - 160mm = 22.88mm to spare, allowing some wiggle room.
What do you all think? Am I missing anything here? Do any of my measurements or calculations seem incorrect? If someone took the time to actually measure out their own computer's individual PCI slot height, I'd hugely appreciate it as I don't know how valid the diagrams from that link are, or if they are still accurate in 2020. I don't have a PC or case yet to do this myself, just some other parts (like the cooler and GPU) that I've bought one at a time.
Dec 19, 2020
Physically measurements are certainly important.

However do not forget or otherwise overlook spacing for air flows and fan placements.

What are your fan installation plans?
Planning to do 3x120 intake fans on the front, 3 x 120 and 1 x 140 out on the top and back respectively


What about additional bracket support for the 3090 GPU?


"The other reason though is simply that it’s huge. The RTX 3090 Founders Edition was already a monster card, but the Suprim X takes it up a notch. At 336mm long, it’s a full half inch longer. Unfortunately for me, that meant it was impossible to fit normally in my case! My Corsair Crystal 680X features glass front and side panels replete with prominent front fans, so removing them wasn’t an option. Instead, I was forced to vertically mount the Suprim X just to fit it in the case, but that presented another problem: the card is so thick, the glass literally pushes against the front shroud. My answer, until I get a new case is simply to open the door a bit while gaming so the card can breathe. Check those case dimensions carefully, folks! That said, the testing of this GPU was done in a Lian Li PC-011 Dynamic which fit it in fine, so the thermals and performance benchmarks I’ll be discussing here won’t be affected by cool air or space limitations. "

Reference Source:

Straying a bit (full disclosure) from my comfort zones. However, if anything, there is no harm in asking questions. There may be applicable and appropriate answers - well and good.

It is the unanswered questions that often lead to problems. Or questions that were not even asked.

Hopefully there will be other posts with comments, suggestions, and even more questions.

Doublecheck and verify everything. Read all fine print.
Reactions: ThePitifulOcean
Oct 21, 2020
You should have enough room. If the CPU section is the top of the motherboard, ATX standards says from the bottom of the board to the mid-board mounting row (which is colinear with the first PCIe slot) is ~140mm. The PSU shroud in your case is at least another 25mm below the bottom of the MB. 140mm+25mm-15mm-140mm = at least 10mm to spare for mounting solution.

If you're not sold on that case just look for a case that supports ATX with >25mm clearance from the bottom of the case to the bottom of the board.

Noctua does have a mobo compatibility guide so you can check if there is any overlap with the PCIe slot. I'd be concerned about RAM clearances as well.
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