Winter One: Full Metal!

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Winter One: Full Metal!

“A lesson without pain is meaningless. That's because no one can gain without sacrificing something. But by enduring that pain and overcoming it, he shall obtain a powerful, unmatched heart. A fullmetal heart.” -Edward Elric, Full Metal Alchemist

UPDATE: Do check out my update log for most recent changes; added a MORA 420 and reworked tubes

This build took awhile to complete to be honest. I was busy juggling work & studies during the pandemic, but I got it done in the end. I've always wanted to try for a full metal build, & seeing the full metal 3090 FE block by EKWB sealed the deal. Cheated my way by using pre-bent chrome brass tubing from bitspower. Cutting is pretty easy, but chamfering several times to get the perfect fit was slightly annoying. Pro tip: use acrylic to get your tubing runs perfect and then just replicate with chrome brass, it's much faster!

Dual 280 rads were barely enough to get the 12900k under control, so I did a few mods. First, I was lucky enough to chance upon a well binned 12900k (SP111 on pcores). This meant I could use lower voltages, which helps quite a bit. Next, I delidded the chip, and used a copper IHS from Rockitcool. I then did the washer mod in order to relieve excess pressure from the ILM. The Optimus Signature V2 did not come with a backplate much to my annoyance. Thankfully, a EKWB AIO LGA1700 perfectly solves this issue with standoffs and a solid backplate. With proper mounting pressure, an even spread of paste on an improved IHS, rigid backplate to keep the board straight, and a good delid, I managed to shave off around 15C from stock temps at a given voltage. Absolute win in my books.

The board I chose was the MSI Z690i Unify. I have absolutely no regrets with this board. Very strong VRMs for an ITX board (10+1 105a) with triple m.2 and dual TB4. For storage I used 2x 2TB Aorus gen4 drives, with the other slot populated by a 2TB Corsair MP510 gen3. This board handles DDR5 like an absolute champ; I've tuned my 6000c30 Kingston DDR5 to 7000c30 without much issues other than spending a month learning the ins and outs of ddr5 EmojiI've also removed the stock heatsinks and replaced them with XTIA Full Metal Jacket, which has a bigger mass and allows for better cooling.

The 3090 FE block is beautiful, albeit with some issues. Inner machining on it was not good, and I had to RMA it with EKWB in order to get a good ones with a flat die area. Luckily, they have good CS and I've an alright block in the end with a gpu core-coolant delta of 12K at 400w. Pump choice was a slightly uncommon one; an aqualis DDC from aquacomputer. I absolutely love the glass tube as it cleans nice and is crystal clear once the bubbles settle. It also is quite slim and proportional. In order to eliminate DDC vibrations in my case, I used Gorilla mounting tape onto 3m Dual Lock between the pump and the case itself. This allowed for tool-less mounting, a secure connection, as well as a dampening layer.

Fan choice for 140mm is quite limited, especially in my case. I strictly could use 25mm fans due to clearance issues, so the Arctic P14 (27mm) and NB Eloop (29mm) were ruled out quickly. Noctua A14 are an old design and noisy in today's market. Toughfan14 is an excellent choice, providing top tier performance. I used it for awhile however I found that I wanted something a bit quieter without sacrificing too much performance. Surprisingly, the BeQuiet! Lightwing 140mm High-Speed fans came to my attention. I tried one fan out and found it was indeed much quieter, though you have to move up in speed to get the same performance as TF14. I'm trying them out for now, and so far I quite like it. TF14 needed to be around 1300rpm for coolant temp to settle around 40-42c during gaming (500w load, 24c ambient). The Bequiet fans needs to be around 1500 rpm for the same coolant temp, but they are remarkably quieter so I'll stick with these for awhile.

I'm sure some are concerned about a 12900k+3090fe being powered by a Corsair SF750. I assure you, this PSU is an absolute champ and I have never had one crash due to a power trip. Cables are diy custom made with 17awg MDPC Silver cables.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with how this build turned out. I think it looks good, temps are relatively cool for an itx build, it isn't noisy and performance is fantastic. I've absolutely maxed out the hardware in this case. Till the next build!
Color(s): Black Chrome
RGB Lighting? No
Theme: none
Cooling: Custom Liquid Cooling
Size: SFF
Type: General Build

Build Updates

Added a MORA 420 A20 edition | Fans swapped to BeQuiet SW4 Pro | sanded block + IHS w/ Fibreglass ILM


$ 299.99
Intel - Core i9-12900K
Socket: LGA 1700
Cores: 16
$ 375.15
MSI - Meg Unify (Z690I)
Chipset: Z690
CPU Socket: LGA 1700
Size: Mini-ITX
Kingston - Fury Beast (Up to 6000Mhz) (2x)
Type: DDR5
Capacity: 16 GB
$ 1,439.99
NVIDIA - GeForce Founders
Chip Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip: RTX 3090
Interface: PCIe x16
$ 152.77
Gigabyte - Aorus NVMe Gen4 (Copper)
Form Factor: M.2
Interface: PCIe x4
Capacity: 2 TB
$ 285.00
Corsair - SF750
Wattage: 750
Form Factor: SFX
Efficiency: 80+ Platinum
winterdesign - Winter One
Type: Mini-ITX
Side Panel: Mesh
Case Fan
$ 29.90
be quiet! - Light Wings
Size: 140 mm
$ 149.98
Hardware Labs - Nemesis GTS (2x)
Type: Custom Loop
Size (WxHxD): 280 mm (2 x 140 mm)
Watercool - MO-RA3 420 LT black
Type: Custom Loop
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