TL;DR: Big video card, small case, weird extra intake fan configuration significantly helps sustained GPU loads. Overall GPU seems to run good at 70C (~1950Mhz, ~380w) but the PSU fan gets quite loud in this configuration. Click for pics.
Got my chunky 3080 FTW3 Ultra card, which I bought through EVGA due to my lucky early click of the auto-notify button. I got in early for the new waitlist queue. My time was Sept. 17, 7:08am PST. Here's an album with the pics
that will illustrate various things I'm talking about here.
I've finished the journey to fit it in my case and retain the ability to use bottom-air intake fans, albeit a little jankily. Here are some initial notes and conclusions about this process. Initial benchmarking/performance notes after. Note that I've previously modified this case by fully removing 120mm of sheet metal from the bottom and rear fan locations. Temperatures could be much different in someone else's setup. Here's my pcpartpicker build and write-up.
- Card slot thickness is 57-58mm at thickest I measured, from the backplate to the dumb wavy plastic of the shroud. From PCB it's about 53-54mm.
- Card can be installed without removing AIO/rear exhaust fans from the case. I thought I would have to remove my AIO rad to get it in diagonally first, but I was able to drop it straight down -- the slot retaining bracket where you screw it in the back catches on the back edge of the case, but you can then angle the front of the card down into the case and easily scoot it forward and the rear bracket clears the case after that.
- Card will just barely NOT fit with 15mm fans (with rubber anti-vibration pads adds ~1mm). I think 12mm slim fans miiiight just work, but I can't be certain.
- Adding the intake fans to the bottom of the case was a pain in the ass. However, see testing notes later for impact, kinda worth it once the total system is heat-soaked. Instead of removing stuff from the case and having to redo cable management I just used a phillips bit in a ratchet lol. Got me in the tight corners on the back and the right side.
- You will need to add extra feet height for this case if you go for this bottom-mount fan style.
- Connected the PWM fans (2 fans connect via splitter) to the one GPU PWM header before installing since it's very tight once the board is installed, would be a royal pain to try to get your phalanges back there once it's in.
- PCIe Cables: Put non-shared-pigtail 8-pin on the center connector, and shared pigtail connectors on left and right, since there were reports the center connector draws slightly more power than left and right.
- No issues booting and using DDU to remove all drivers and installing new Nvidia drivers.
- Being a benchmarking newb, I just went with the popular Timespy 3DMark benchmark run.
- I have a Ryzen 5 3600 and 16GB (2x8)
- As a score baseline my previous MSI 2070 Super Ventus OC got total score of 9638, GPU score of 10219.
- First run, glass case panel OFF, full-stock everything, Normal BIOS switch, total score of 14601 and GPU score of 17810. That's a 70% increase in GPU score from the 2070 Super. Max GPU temp 71C, was mostly below 70 during load. Average clock frequency 1,937 MHz.
- Second run, glass panel ON, full stock everything, Normal BIOS switch, Score 14609 / 17780. Max temp about 71C. So pretty much no difference there.
- Third run, switched to OC BIOS. Score 14559 / 17739. So just as a stock baseline, those scores are where I am starting.
I realized this was not a good way to test real world performance and for tweaking/testing different fan speeds so I booted up Destiny2 (I wasn't sure what else to use) and sat in the Tower and found a spot to stare where I got the lowest FPS and cranked super resolution up to 200% and all settings as high as they go.
Note at this point GPU is still on stock settings and I've got the fans running on stock curve. GPU load stayed in the upper 90's%. Clock speed usually hitting 1950Mhz and bouncing down to 1935ish and back up a bit. Temps around 70C. Probably not the best benchmarking situation but it yields some important conclusions.
. TOTAL SYSTEM HEAT SOAK & POWER
This is where the rubber meets the road. After an hour running this my system was definitely in its temperature groove. The first thing I need to talk about is my PSU and power. I installed Precision X1 for 3000 series so I could mess with various GPU settings and I was also monitoring with GPU-Z. My PSU is 650w Seasonic SGX-650 Gold Rating, it's an "SFX-L", basically it's a tiny bit larger than SFX.
GPU-Z reported total GPU board power draw consistently hitting ~375w. When idle, GPU board power draw is at ~43w. My APC UPS battery backup reported idle draw of around 140w for full system -- that includes two 1440p monitors, though, desktop speakers with subwoofer, and some LEDS for backlight around the desk. APC reported full load at around 580w. So if we subtract a conservative 50w for those peripherals, 530w load out of 650w capacity is somewhere around 80% PSU capacity. Hot-box efficiency curve testing from Anandtech
would indicate that I'm at somewhere above 88% efficiency at 500w to 600w, so losing ~60w of direct heat in the PSU itself. And it SHOWS. Jesus I had no idea that fan got so loud. The PSU fan is easily the loudest part of my whole system under sustained GPU load. In my case and particular setup there are various things working against the PSU.
From the pictures you can see my AIO rad and fans are kinda blocking the intake fan, and intake air coming out has gone through the rad so it's not exactly fresh. This probably adds a bit to fan noise. The other problem is that the PSU is actually not directly accessing external exhaust -- it's dumping some heat into the air space of the cable-management area of the case -- although most of it is escaping through the punched grill holes where the PSU exhaust fan points at. I think in most other cases the PSU would have a direct external output, but not in this case. The exhausted air is quite hot, but the exhaust location is not too hot to touch or anything, the PSU itself is also not too hot to touch, just much warmer than I expected. Removing the rear case panel didn't really change the fan speed, so actually... maybe that doesn't matter so much.
Maybe my 2070 Super also pushed the noise level in the PSU relatively high and I never realized that some of the noise was coming from THAT fan and not my GPU fans and external fans ramping up. I tried testing with X1 by lowering the power target to like 60% and board power draw was reporting more like 250w which is relatively the same level as the 2070 Super. The PSU was indeed still loud, but not quite as max'd out as before, it must still be generating at least 45w-50w inside the PSU instead of 60w or something, so it's still significant. So that's that. I found out my PSU fan is stupid loud. Maybe I'll experiment with switching to one front fan regular intake and AIO exhaust out the back and maybe that'll get enough fresh air for the PSU fan to stay in a lower part of its curve. However that may increase my case temps by not having as powerful exhaust. I'll have to see. Even if you have a 1000w PSU, it's still going to be generating a similar amount of heat in the PSU, it just might have more space and a better fan/exhaust than my situation. I have to assume that affects the longevity of components.
. EXTERNAL FANS:
More things to note about fans. I tried disabling my external GPU intake fans with a 3DMark run and the GPU fans ran at around 70% while maintaining ~72C during the run. That made me scratch my head and wonder if the external fans weren't worth the trouble. HOWEVER, doing testing with my Destiny2 full system heat soak revealed that without those external fans on, under sustained load it was getting up to 80C or more with GPU fans at like 50-70% RPM. Adding ~50% RPM from external GPU intake fans slowly lowered the temps to stabilize at ~70C. So that's actually pretty significant, so they are a good idea after all for real world sustained gaming load. I found that by setting all GPU fan curves to something around 50-60% at 70C would keep it pretty stable temp there while relatively complementing the decibels of the PSU fan since that's apparently gonna be loud as hell anyway. Again, I'm curious what reversing my system AIO intake/ rear exhaust positions would do for the PSU temp/fan and GPU temps.
Well this is a long write-up. Hope this helps someone else a little bit, let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.