Question Help me pick the ULTIMATE case & cooler! [420mm rad + 2x200mm front]

ct007

Honorable
Sep 4, 2017
14
0
10,510
0
Hey there, fine peoples! 🙃 In continuation of constructing my new PC, I am at the difficult case + cooler selection stage. Here's what my system will have, and what I'm looking for in a case & cooler:

FULL SYSTEM:
  • 13900K (no plans to OC, but misc rendering=yes. Will likely try a better mounting plate for it)
  • 3090 Ti (EVGA <3) (300mm length)
  • 1600W T2 (220mm length)
  • ATX/eATX/XL-ATX mobo
  • ~32GB DDR5-6000 CL30
  • 4 x 2TB 980 Pro Gen2 M.2
  • ~2 x 3TB HDD
CPU COOLER:
  • Best 420mm AIO (No idea. Maybe 360mm is still plenty?)
  • (OR)
  • Best air cooler (Noctua D15 w/3 fans?)
(I haven't seen a single benchmark for 13900K+D15, or barely any comprehensive AIO/AIO-vs-air benchmarks for 13900K yet... so air cooling is still under my consideration, until I see clear results showing AIO is superior, especially considering the shorter lifespan and higher noise of AIO parts)

CASE FANS:
  • All Noctua, 200mm (and under) (unless there's a better fan brand out there?)
CASE:
I assume having the 420/360mm radiator top-mounted would make the most sense, to keep heat at the top(exhaust) and to keep internal case airflow restriction to a minimum. I know the Fractal Torrent is THE case to get for best general airflow, with 2 x 200mm front intake fans, but that case doesn't seem to make sense for my big PSU and 420mm AIO. I care about cooling over noise, so I don't need dead silence. I also likely want a case that's tunnel-shaped, not one that's too TALL or square, which may cause all kinds of airflow problems. I don't think HYTE Y60 is the best option, with poor GPU airflow, and GPU ribbon cable that only supports PCIe-3.0(?).

So, here are the only cases I've found that have: 2 x 200mm front fans, 420+mm top radiator, ATX/eATX/XL-ATX, and 220+mm PSU:
CASE​
Radiator​
PSU size​
GPU size​
Mobo mount​
5.25" Bays​
Thermaltake View 37420mm (side)220mm?mm; 410mm w/out fanVerticleNone
Thermaltake V71420mm220mm310mm; 480mm w/out HDD rackVerticle2
Thermaltake Level 20 GT420mm (side)220mm310mm; 410mm w/out HDD rackVerticleNone
Thermaltake Level 20 XT2x420/480mm220mm400mm; 590mm w/out ODD cageHorizontleNone

Because of the cramped GPU limitation 3 of these cases have, that would narrow it down, between these options, to the Level 20 XT and Core X9, with Core X9 being the older, smaller, uglier, inferior-seeming option.

Hm, looking closer at the Level 20 XT, it appears there are ONLY 2 thin grills for intake air on the front panel... That makes zero sense, with 2 200mm fans behind the panel glass :\ I would have to take the front panel off, and leave it off.

 
Last edited:

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
I would side towards Fractal/Coolermaster/Corsair or Phanteks as one of the case options that would accept a radiator of that size up top. All of the Thermaltake cases you've listed tend to be horrible airflow wise or are just big and bulky without much consideration for optimized layout of parts in said chassis, not to mention that they are dated a little. The case made by the brands listed in my first sentence do have a more comprehensive, well thought out design ethos and they should be able to meet your large radiator requirement.

Please note that looking into a case that has the radiator at the top would mean the depth of the case is more, when compared to a case with provision for radiator at the front, although the latter would mean a case that's slightly taller.

Might I ask why you're stuck with the mind set that the front intakes need to be 200mm?
 
Last edited:

ct007

Honorable
Sep 4, 2017
14
0
10,510
0
All of the Thermaltake cases you've listed tend to be horrible airflow
I just now noticed that the front panel of the Level 20 XT ONLY has 2 thin grills for intake air... :\ That makes zero sense, with those 2x200mm fans right in between the grills, behind glass. Ugh. I would have to just remove the front panel to get max intake airflow, and I'd be OK with that.

Might I ask why you're stuck with the mind set that the front intakes need to be 200mm?
The best cooled case, the Fractal Torrent, has 2x200mm's(*180mm, correction), so I like that as a base option :) Bigger = less noise, also. I just wish the exhaust fan power(140+mm!) was stronger than the intake(as it should be?), which is likely NOT the case with most cases(unless their intake airflow sucks). I really wish Fractal had a more accomodating version of the Torrent, where I could fit my 220mm PSU, 420/480mm AIO, and big GPU.
 
Last edited:

ct007

Honorable
Sep 4, 2017
14
0
10,510
0
How long should I expect a good AIO to last..? I was assuming 3 years, but I see the warranty for this is 6.

Hm, so the LANCOOL III supports 420/480mm top radiator, and 3x140mm front fans. Not bad, not bad... I emailed Lianli and several other case makers, asking which cases fit my criteria, because all of their websites have NO case feature search option. . . :mad: I actually can't use this case, because it says "PSU must be under 220mm".

Is there some difference in size between a "radiator" and "AIO radiator"..? I've noticed Thermaltake points out that AIO radiators must be smaller than "radiators" to fit in the same space.
 
Last edited:

ct007

Honorable
Sep 4, 2017
14
0
10,510
0
Just realized the Level 20 XT, and nearly every other case, has no 5.25" bays. . . 🤦‍♂️

Looks like Thermaltake Core V71 will probably be the answer. 2x200mm front fans, 2x5.25" bays, 420mm top radiator, 310-480mm GPU space. This case is the alternative answer to the Fractal Torrent, and should one-up it with bigger intake fans.

So, is everyone using external DVD drives now, or what..?? How do you install your Win7/XP/98 discs, or some DVD software you have, or watch a DVD from your collection now..? :??:
 
Last edited:

geofelt

Titan
What do you expect out of the 13900K?
Here is a article from tom's that shows that the 13900K does not lose much with a top air cooling:
https://www.tomshardware.com/features/intel-core-13900k-cooling-tested/2
The AG620 twin tower air cooler is probably not quite as strong as the Noctua NH-D15
I can't find the reference, but apparently the default way the 13900K works is to run at the best clock and keep the cpu temperature close to the 100c. throttle point.
The point is, what do you expect?
If you are an overclocker, or want to push the cpu performance to the max, then plan on a top end 480 aio cooler and all that implies.

I might guess that because your gpu is not top of the line, you are looking just for very good performance.

Can you specify the exact make/model of your parts?
PSU, motherboard, ram
This is needed to check for compatibility issues.
For example, some motherboards are not going to be able to use 4 m.2 devices.
Or, a cooler like the NH-D15 may have compatibility issues.

On ram, DDR5 4800 speed may be the sweet spot:
https://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages
On the case, I do love 200mm fans. Large fans move more air quietly.
But for this build, a case with 2/3 140mm front intakes would do the job.
I like having a dvd drive. Particularly if you use it regularly.
Sadly, it is increasingly difficult to find one in a good case.

For occasional use, just buy a usb connected dvd drive.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS