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Node 202 - The Challenger

by Zarovzky



Date Published

Sept. 17, 2016

Date Built

Sept. 10, 2016

CPU Clock Rate

4.8 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

45.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

80.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.1 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

1.1 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

40.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

75.0° C


This build was a challenge for me hence the name “The Challenger”, I wanted an well cooled overclocked CPU, an M.2 drive and a monster GPU… all this in the Fractal Design Node 202. I will use this build for a bit of gaming and video editing but mostly for multi-threaded programming where I can easily use 100% of the CPU.

Case: I initially wanted to go for the “Silverstone Raven RVZ02” but the overall cooling isn't as good as the 202’s, I’ve also read that the RVZ02 fan filters reduce the cooling a lot, and going with the version with plastic panels isn't an option at all because I need a cut in the CPU area and cutting plastic is harder for me than cutting metal, at least for the tools I have right now. So I ended up cutting the 202’s CPU area to fit an Noctua NF-F12 with cut corners, to make it look more rounded. If you want to know how did I cut the corners, ask in the comments :P

Cable management: it ended up being pretty easy without the SSD cage and no SSD installed, just had to plan everything. The PSU was the last component to go in the case because of the cable management.

TESTING - probably the part where I spent most time CPU temperatures celsius (with overclock at 4.5ghz): Stock Scythe fan: …… thermal throttled…. -----Noctua 12cm Push: 80º----- -----Noctua 14cm (NF-A14) Push: 85º----- -----Noctua 14cm Pull: 84º----- -----Noctua 12cm Pull: 77º----- It was a surprise for the 12cm fan to perform better than the 14cm, specially in Pull, probably because the blades are closer to the heatsink and due to it smaller size, it sticks better to the heatsink, not allowing any gaps like the 14cm fan does. As for the GPU: 40º at idle and 75º under load, it never went above 75º, barely audible, the case also helps cooling the GPU as the backplate is very close to the case side panel and the side panel itself dissipating the GPU heat, acting as a thicker backplate.

Looks: painting was another challenge as the fan was very hard to paint without painting the blades, just that part took a while. I’ve used hot glue to make a surface around the fan so it sticks properly to the heatsink and to the cut edges of the case. It's not well polished so it may look a bit rough but from a fair distance you don't see the imperfections.

Overall it looks great near my desk or on it, using the rubber feet :D

Part Reviews


CPU (delided and reapplied thermal compound, used Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme between IHS and chip): managed to keep it stable at 4,8GHz and 1,4V without thermal throttling in stress tests. I needed the best cpu possible for the motherboard, won the silicon lottery there, the normal voltage for 4,8GHz is ok. My CPU wont push above 4,8 however.

CPU Cooler

CPU Cooler: The Big Shuriken 2 is by far the best heatsink for the 12cm noctua fan. It has a lot of heatpipes and a very good dissipation surface. Another challenge here, I had to cut it a bit in order for the 44mm height ram to fit. The cpu fan is 1cm higher than the case.


Motherboard: I first thought of going with the “Asus Maximus Impact VIII” but the sound card and the VRM board near the CPU would give me a lot of problems with the “Scythe Big Shuriken 2” and the lack of M.2 made me go with the “Asus Z170I Pro Gaming”, I wanted it as compact as possible.


RAM: I really wanted to max out as upgrading it later on will give problems in the long run. I do really use most of the 32Gb for compression/encoding tasks. I know this ram is a lot higher than the “Corsair vengeance” but it is a bit better for a lower price. The Corsair memory I was looking for was at 3000mhz and CL16 as they don't have better options available in my country, while the G.Skill is 3200mhz at CL14 for like 20€ lower.


Storage: this one was easy as I had an 500GB m.2 laying around, the space and speed is more than enough for editing. Most projects are stored in the home Server, so space isn't a problem.

Video Card

GPU: well, this part is that game me another challenge. Initially I wanted to go with the EVGA 1080 but I found a 50% discount on the Sapphire R9 Fury and it was an insta-buy. My next monitors are going to be free-sync so that's just a plus there. I had to cut a corner off the backplate as It did not fit in the case properly, holy cow, this GPU was very hard to fit in the case without bending or forcing anything, the GPU is 307mm long while the recommended max length by fractal design for the case ie 310mm. Well… even if it is a 3mm shorter it didn't fit the entry, but when it was in place there were no problems at all. The GPU is overclocked at 1100Mhz and the HBM at 530Mhz.

Power Supply

PSU: Didn’t go with the corsair memory, but I’ve always had Corsair PSU’s and they did never gave me problems, so this pick was pretty easy. Later on I’ve found out that not many SFX psu’s have 2x 8 pin power connectors for the GPU.

Comments Sorted by:

thestroy 2 points 30 months ago

best case ever ! how hot is GPU while gaming ?

Zarovzky submitter 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

never goes above 75ºC (after 2 hours of shadow of mordor with ultra hd settings and texture addon) and the ambient here is pretty high, around 23ºC. Also its overclocked with power limit +50% and mV at max (75mV). The fan curve isnt agressive either, fans are at 25% when at 75ºC. The case itself acts as a heatsink as the distance between the backplate and the sidepanel is around 2-3 milimeters. On my Define R5 the temps would reach 80-82ºC.

thestroy 1 point 30 months ago

awesome , did not expect so good temps ! thanks

vcn13 1 point 30 months ago

+1. I always love the extra effort people put in for case modding!

Zarovzky submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Adding a bit of personality to any case makes it lovely :P

DanielCsillag 1 point 30 months ago

Love the custom work man

Zarovzky submitter 1 Build 1 point 30 months ago

Thanks :D

Boith 3 Builds 1 point 30 months ago

The headline for your build on the build page says 45ghz for your cpu clock rate... hmm... also, that's a great build spec wise. Also good to see a large assortment of pictures.

Zarovzky submitter 1 Build 2 points 30 months ago

Oh yea, I changed the CPU clock, should be 4,5 now.

tadashi 1 point 29 months ago

You are the only one with a 4.5 OC in a node 202. Nice work.

Eren662 1 point 29 months ago

What do you think temperatures would be at stock speed for the i7-6700k with the scythe cooler? I'm debating wheter to get a 6700 or the 6700k (worried about temp) its only a $16 diff. I also wont be able to overclock because store doesn't have z170 itx mobo

Zarovzky submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

The Scythe big shuriken 2 with the stock cooler is... well pretty ok... You will get temps around 75-80 degrees C with the stock fan on a stock 6700k under load, id recomend, if your case fits, getting another 120mm slim fan, for example Silverstone FW121 is 15mm thick while the scythe fan beeing 12mm thick. However, the difference between these 2 fans is noticeable, with the silverstone you might reach 60-65.

Eren662 1 point 29 months ago

I have decided to go with the i7-6700 because it has the same performance of 6600k oced to 4.5ghz, which is what I'm looking for. Ill check the fan out if my temps ever get high

kisara 1 point 29 months ago

Can I ask if your ram works well with XMP enabled? I have purchased the same motherboard/cpu and I am looking for the fastest ram available. I checked G.skill and Corsair compatibility for this motherboard, and neither of them list ram with 3200Mhz and tighter timings than 16-18-18. Your build is the only one here with faster ram. Looking for 16GB or 32GB.

Zarovzky submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

XMP is enabled but you have to manualy set higher voltages for the ram, im on 1,4V atm and its stable. If its not stable for you on 1,4V you should also check the other voltages that involve CPU and RAM like VCCIO and such.

This board handles XMP pretty well by default, id also recommend if you have time, tuning everything manually.

kisara 1 point 29 months ago

Thanks for the reply. We assembled everything yesterday and so far it is running well. XMP enabled, did not overclock cpu yet or run any benchmarks/games. BIOS is updated to latest v.2002 (Sept 23, 2016).

We have almost the exact same components! Same cpu, motherboard, ssd, psu, and ram (different color ram though, picked black/silver).

Camranatic101 2 Builds 1 point 28 months ago

dude this PC is really lit I found it by searching for black and orange or basically and orange ram, and this was the only orange ram, I checked for reviews and found this.

+1 super lit, like the choice of case, ram, cooler pretty much everything except for the thermal compound lol... I would have chosen arctic mx4 ^

Camranatic101 2 Builds 1 point 28 months ago

wait what did you do to the node 202, what's with the fan on the side, did you cut a hole? and how did you do the corners?

Zarovzky submitter 1 Build 1 point 28 months ago

Yes, I did cut the sidepanel, so that the noctua vent fits properly. As for the fan corners, I used a solderer to melt the corners and a small polisher to make them round, they arent perfectly round but I can deal with it.

luttz 2 Builds 1 point 3 months ago

I'm so happy I didn't need to cut the Shuriken as well thanks to the Gigabyte Aorus RGB RAM, which fit just under it :-D

[comment deleted by staff]
Zarovzky submitter 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

I updated it after i saw it was wrong, it seems it didnt update in the search results. Its 4,5GHz