Brian Voo

ASUS Z87I-PRO with Noctua NH-D14 in BitFenix Prodigy

I’m enjoying the new PC too much in order to write a post hence the delay. I’ve gotten my hands on the graphic card for this build, the ZOTAC GTX 770 4GB.

I was eyeing the ZOTAC GTX 770 2GB AMP!, but that ran out of stock at my local store and since I couldn’t and didn’t want to wait any longer, I just paid a small extra for the only one they had which was the 4GB version.

I’ll stop blabbering and start showing some pictures during and after I first finished the build without the graphic card.

ASUS Z87I-PRO Motherboard

First off it’s the ASUS Z87I-PRO motherboard that supports the i5-4670K, Intel’s latest Haswell processors. The ASUS motherboard also supports the Noctua NH-D14 without any modifications unlike the other Z87 ITX boards I researched on (like the GIGABYTE Z87N-WIFI or MSI Z87I). The vertical 12+2 DIGI+ VRM ‘daughterboard’ also boosts the performance to make it stand out from the rest, with a small additional price bump.

ASUS Z87I-PRO

ASUS Z87I-PRO

GIGABYTE and MSI placed the processor too close to the PCIE slot, that made the very large NH-D14 sit too close to the graphic card. This requires some modification as per the recommendation of Noctua, because having any metal surface contact with the graphic card might cause issues. This isn’t a problem on the ASUS Z87I-PRO motherboard with more than an inch of clearance.

RAM Clearance

You can tell by now that the color scheme of this build is all over the place. Brown and Beige Noctua fans, Yellow and Gold accents on the ASUS motherboard and Electric Blue G.SKill RipjawsX (F3-12800CL9D-8GBXM), a 1.35v 8GB kit rated at 1600MHz, CL9. The max height of the RAM is 40mm which is pretty much a few mm from the Noctua heatsink. So if you’re planning to get the ASUS Z87I-Pro with a Noctua NH-D14, get nothing more than 40mm high RAM.

ASUS Z87I-PRO with Noctua NH-D14 and G.Skill RAM

ASUS Z87I-PRO with Noctua NH-D14 and G.Skill RAM

Another thing to note is that the 4 fan headers on the motherboard are located behind the I/O, under the rear heatsink tower that has no fan attached to it. You can imagine how hard it is to reach your hand in there to reconfigure the fans wires.

ASUS-Z87I-PRO IO with Noctua NH-D14

ASUS-Z87I-PRO IO with Noctua NH-D14

There’s Fan Xpert 2 from ASUS that lets you control the individual fans, but I had to reconfigure the ‘CPU’ fan header because it has some restrictions to what you can do to the CPU fan.

Final Assembly with BitFenix Prodigy

I used a Corsair GS700, a 700W 80+ Bronze power supply. The power supply was a real tight fit, and since it’s not modular the extra cables almost had no place to go (picture of that on a future post). I also think that 700w is way too much for this build.

I saw Linus from LinusTechTips on YouTube build a rig with an Intel 3960X, ASUS Rampage IV Gene, Gigabyte GTX 780 and NVIDIA Quadro 4000. With 2 graphic cards, you would think it would need a 700W(?) power supply, but they only used a Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 550W power supply, mind blown.

After watching this, I’ve decided that I’ll get a Corsair RM550 or RM650 (just to be safe) power supply. They are the latest power supplies Corsair has to offer and are rated 80+ Gold with flat, all-black modular cables. This combination of features would make it a perfect fit for a build like this and make it aesthetically pleasing too.

Opened BitFenix Prodigy Japan Edition Black/Red

Opened BitFenix Prodigy Japan Edition Black/Red

Cable management for the case wasn’t the greatest due to the size of the BitFenix Prodigy. I’ll update again when the Corsair RM power supply is available in my local market. Not sure when it’ll be available considering they just started shipping it out at the end of September.

I’ll cover the performance of this beast later on, together with pictures of the graphic card and (bad) cable management issues I faced. For now, I’m enjoying super smooth FIFA 14 with V-Sync turned on and Battlefield 3 with ultra settings. I’m also playing the Battlefield 4 BETA with most settings set on high or ultra, real results for that when the game actually releases.

BitFenix Prodigy

BitFenix Prodigy Japan Edition Black/Red

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Brian Voo - Gear & Tech Enthusiast
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