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Semi-Compact Gaming

by MisterNoisy


Small(ish) Skylake gaming build. This is the quietest PC I've ever built - even with the fans cranked to max, it's barely audible.

I was shooting for quiet and fairly powerful with a unified look. The CPU, case and CPU cooler were pretty much what I based everything around, so there was a bit more planning when it came to motherboard selection and the like - there's literally 1mm of space between the CPU cooler's fan clips and the backplate of the GPU and about 5mm between the top of the cooler and the case window. The fans are a bit pricey, but completely worth it.

2.5" drives were necessary because I wanted to avoid having to install the larger front drive cages, and the GPU was from a previous build.

The case is very feature-filled and great for both air and water cooling, but construction is a bit lightweight and it would really benefit by having more than a half-inch of space between the mobo tray and the case door.

UPDATE: Replaced the GTX970 with a MSI RTX2070, the Acer TN panels with a Dell 24" G-Sync panel and two AOC IPS panels and KBM with new hardware.

Part Reviews

CPU Cooler

Outstanding performance that can keep an OC'd Skylake proc nice and cool, with great aesthetics and almost no noise to speak of. Downsides are the cooler's size (seriously, this thing is enormous and weighs about a kilo) and installation system - you don't so much mount the cooler to your motherboard as the other way around. Large motherboard heatsinks around the CPU socket will make it even more challenging, since you need to thread small nuts from above the board while screwing them in from the bottom of the mobo to lock it down.


Think of this board as the poor man's Maximus VIII Gene, since it's about the cheapest SLI-capable mATX Z170 board out there. Great onboard audio solution (more important at smaller form factors, since you may not be able to just pop in a sound card).

OCs well - my 6600K is happily humming along at 4.4GHz and it picked up the RAM's XMP profile immediately. While the UEFI is a bit retro looking, it's easily navigated and things are where you'd expect them to be.

The board is definitely picky about RAM, so look at Gigabyte's QVL list before buying.

Good looks paired with a pleasantly rational layout and an amusing glowing LED trace. I also appreciate the heatsinks around the CPU socket not being ridiculously huge, since I still love big air coolers.


The case looks fantastic, with a clean but bold appearance rendered in nicely matched painted steel and high-quality plastics, with a huge window to show off your work. Lots of features that will appeal to both air cooling and water cooling types, including provisions for tons of 120/140mm fans, a voltage-based fan controller, plenty of clearance for tall CPU coolers and multiple radiators, even including mounting brackets for reservoirs. The ICON display is super slick, if a little dimmer than I'd hoped.

While the design is outstanding, build quality is where the Aegis falls a little flat, with fairly thin steel throughout and slide-lock style doors. My example also had one of the top-panel LEDs fall out of its socket during shipping, but a little hot glue solved the issue.

I can recommend it, but not wholeheartedly - there's a lot here to like and nothing quite looks like it (yet), but this isn't quite a five-star chassis.

Wireless Network Adapter

So far, so good. Great data throughput and range, and it looks cool. Currently, there isn't an official Win10 driver, but you can manually install the 8.1 driver and it'll work fine.

Case Fan

The quietest fans I've ever used by a huge margin. They're not cheap and not exactly airflow monsters, but nothing else I've used comes close in terms of noise levels.

Comments Sorted by:

aliencds 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

very nice build and great cable management. I'm using the NZXT fans that came with my case. I am thinking about upgrading to something to keep the noise level down a bit. These look like they may be a good fit.

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

They're outstanding for low-noise applications, but likely don't push as much air as your NZXTs. Thanks for the cable management compliment, but you really don't want to see the back side of that motherboard tray. :)

SpikzeMC 2 points 42 months ago

Awesomeness has been captured in 2 pictures... :O Awesome build!

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Thanks! That case is a looker, for sure.

AWholeLotOfLag 1 Build 2 points 42 months ago

$10 is pricey for a fan? Look at noctuas.

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Yeah - I hear yas, but for a three-pin sleeve/rifle-bearing fan, $10 is a little steep. Still worth it, though.

Master-Zixx 5 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Really awesome build! I've been wanting to build inside this case for a while now and you're the first to do so in the same colour scheme that I want to. I just have a small request. Could you post a picture with the side window panel on? I'd like to see how clean it looks when covered, because I'm really debating what case fans to go for from an aesthetic vs noise point of view. I'm going for non-led fans and am tempted by the Bitfenix Spectre Pro White 140's. While they're expensive (£15),I feel hit the look I'm going for to a T. My only concern is that it'd be wasted if you can't see them. +1 for a unique case and focused build design!

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Sounds good - I like the industrial/technical look of those Bitfenix fans, too. I'll try to take a picture with the door on later today.

Master-Zixx 5 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Sweet! Thank you for the effort!

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Added a shot of the side with the door on. Hope that helps!

HareTheFurrySergal 2 points 42 months ago

That's the only GTX 970 I would buy. I like green... I honestly think they need to make a White, Baby Blue, and Pink GPU. That's what I'm painting my motorbike.

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

Yea - I kinda dig it. :) I mostly bought it for the backplate, since I knew it'd be very close to the CPU cooler.

HareTheFurrySergal 2 points 42 months ago

Ah. I just like green

Iluvpiesomuch 2 points 42 months ago

Do you like the case? In thinking about getting one

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

I like the appearance, design, features and layout, but build quality is a step down from what I'd expect at right around $100. All told, I'm happy with it, though.

Iluvpiesomuch 2 points 42 months ago

What I really want to know is what the cable management was like for you bec some reviews online said it was a little hard. Another question is do you like the hard drive placement?

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Cable management is a challenge because of the small space behind the motherboard tray and the right side door, but you can make it work. I made liberal use of zipties, using sets of two placed end to end to create a larger loop between multiple cable anchor loops on the back of the tray instead of single ties to cinch a small bundle of cables to single points. That gave me a lot of flexibility when it came to arranging the unholy cable mess back there so that I wasn't crushing everything when putting the back side panel back on.

I picked up the white EVGA single-braid cable set to make it easier, and added a white Bitfenix Alchemy Molex to SATA power adapter once I realized that there was no way that a single PSU SATA cable was going to reach all three drives.

Hope this helps!

Iluvpiesomuch 2 points 42 months ago

Can you put up a pic or two of your cable management

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

I'll see what I can do - it's not pretty back there, though.

Iluvpiesomuch 2 points 42 months ago

What do you think about the mobo?

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

OCs well enough for me, though the UEFI is a bit archaic looking. Looks good and has a decent enough layout. It's picky about RAM - make sure you use something off the vendor's QVL list.

f3nix102 2 points 41 months ago

Which UPS is that from cyberpower?

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

It's a CP1350PFCLCD. Got it a while ago and it's saved my bacon a few times here in lightning-prone Florida.

f3nix102 2 points 41 months ago

I was wanting to get a good UPS ive heard alot about this specific one and never could figure out the exact model because they have 14 different options. Thanks man and sweet build!

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 41 months ago

Thanks! This UPS has been a trooper for about three years now - I can recommend it pretty wholeheartedly.

avpk 1 Build 2 points 40 months ago

Thanks for the heads up about Gigabyte motherboard's QVL!

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 2 points 40 months ago

Glad to be of help - I found out about the board's RAM preferences the hard way, unfortunately and was trying to save others the headaches.

rogue11211 2 points 28 months ago

Not sure if you'll still even be replying to this since this was so long ago, but how was the clearance of the Dark Rock 3 on the Gigabyte Gaming 5 mobo? Planning on buying the exact same two components and I'm desperately scanning the web for builds using those parts and I'm concerned about the size of the cpu fan fitting alright with the layout of the mobo.

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 2 points 28 months ago

The CPU cooler fits fine on the board, but just barely. You will spend a fair bit of time fiddling with the mounting nuts for the DRP3 with the heatsinks surrounding the socket kinda getting in the way the whole time. I strongly recommend doing the cooler install outside the case with the DRP3 upside down on a table and mounting the board/CPU/RAM to it instead of the other way around. I'd also really suggest using a retractable wire prong 'grabber' tool to hold the nuts while you get the bolts started.

Clearance for your GPU in the PCI-E x16 slot is what I'd call 'just enough', with about 1mm between the cooler and the backplate on my cards.

Checked out the parts list, and I dig it. :)

rogue11211 2 points 28 months ago

This is fantastic news, I'm so happy you actually still replied even though the build is over a year old--thank you so much! This will be my first build ever and I'm looking forward to figuring out the best ways to manage cramming so much into my lil cube. :-)

Thanks for checking out the list too, I have it planned out to be built by the end of the year so the build plan is still evolving and changing. In fact the board itself might be an ASUS Maximus VIII Gene instead of the Gigabyte G5 but I have yet to decide that. The DRP3 seriously just looks so badass and would definitely stand out in the best way, it's a relief to know that it fits at all on the mobo.

It's nice to know the GPU and cooler barely fit, but does such a small bit of clearance=less airflow, enough to the point of it being a better idea to get a smaller CPU cooler? Also, how does the DRP3 sit with regard to the RAM slots? Is it hovering just barely over them or resting slightly on top of them? Thanks again!

MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 28 months ago

The space between GPU and cooler (or lack thereof) shouldn't be an issue, largely because all of that air will be driven by the DRP3's fans. The case you're looking at has pretty good airflow, so you should be gtg on that front.

As for the RAM slots, you can access two or maybe three of them with the cooler on if you disconnect the cooler's front fan. It doesn't contact the RAM or anything, but at least one of those slots is pretty much completely inaccessible with the cooler mounted. I did a test build/boot before putting everything in the case, and strongly recommend that you do the same.

If I'm completely honest, there are other choices (Noctua NHD15, etc) that are as good performance-wise as the DRP3 while being easier to live with (specifically easier to mount), but none of them have the same good looks, so I had to have it - I love big honkin' air coolers, and this one is particularly slick-looking.

OccamAsylum 15 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

Little confusing that your build comes up when I search that GPU and it's not even in the completed build you listed years ago. Just make a new post man...

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MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

I just finished the build today, and it's running at 4.4 atm (29C idle; 55C load). I'll happily take more pics down the road.

violetrainxx 2 Builds 2 points 42 months ago

I just realized, we have the same mobo, cpu and gpu in this build :)

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MisterNoisy submitter 4 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

Nah. They're small. They're silver with a bit of blue detailing, but they're small enough that I don't take too much notice of them.