After finishing my best low profile CPU cooler comparison, feel free to check it out, I was finally able to use one of those coolers for my new personal build in this Streacom’s DA2 ITX chassis, so I wanted to transfer over some of my experiences with it, and of course share with you this build. Oh yeah, For all of you interested in 10700K undervolting, I’ll put a timestamp in the video so you can jump over that part.
So, touching the topic of the CPU, yes inside we have Intel’s Core i7 10700K, 8-core, 16-thread CPU, with integrated graphics and Quick Sync technology, which is something I really want to explore going further since I use Adobe Premiere Pro for editing my videos. Be sure to stick around and subscribe to that too, especially because I’m also planning to do a comparison with my old system based on the Core i7 5960X, as well as the Ryzen 7 3700X.
Technically speaking, I’m not completely finished with this whole build, this is going to be a series, first and foremost I’ll do some extensive performance testing, alongside few other upgrades, like for example those new DA2 V2 version add-ons which were just recently introduced, redoing some cooling around it and changing the graphics card.
Streacom DA2 – Perfecting the ITX craft
So, this first video is going be the rundown of the components and undervolting the Core i7 10700K on MSI’s Z490I Unify ITX motherboard hiding under a pretty beefy BeQuiet’s Dark Rock TF cooler, which was one of the top performer, both noise and cooling wise, in that aforementioned testing, plus it actually fit into the DA2 chassis, with just enough clearance for the graphics card.
Speaking of it, building in the DA2, especially in this Streacom DA2 Dark Rock TF combination, was really fun and completely different from what I usually experience, firstly because it uses this modular rail system, and secondly, because it’s really beautifully crafted while also being practical, which is why I went for it. Although it’s a small ITX chassis in question, it’s not super-small like Ghost S1 or Dan A4, so there’s plenty of room on your disposal, after all, it can handle a standard ATX power supply if it has to, alongside a possibility to put in some 3,5” drives too. The biggest issue for my setup was the 2,5 slot tall Sapphire’s RX 5600 XT Pulse model, which took some convincing to get into the chassis. This will be resolved with me putting a GTX 1660 Super into it as this Sapphire card is currently a stand-in until I swap the GeForce card from my current system. I find the GTX 1660 Super plenty strong enough for my rendering needs, most importunately because of the CUDA technology which improved rendering time greatly with the latest Premiere Pro updates, and it runs cool and quiet, while my plan down the line is to put a two-slot version of the RTX 3070 or 3060 once it comes out, possibly with some deshrouding and custom fan cooling put beneath them, which can be mounted using those rails.
Yes, I know, the cable management is not the best, but, the plan is to get custom cables to make everything better and clean looking. Thankfully there’s not a lot of them to being with since I don’t use any 2,5” or 3,5” drives. As for now, most of them are pretty much out of sight and blocked by this Noctua NF12x15 fan, which I was actually also looking to fit above the Dark Rock TF as an exhaust fan, but there’s not enough clearance. I’m looking into maybe modifying the fans mounts, make it a bit less thick, but it also seems that the DA2 V2 version could solve this as it provides mounting options on the fan filter itself. Like this extra side 120 mm fan is additionally cooling of the Seasonic SGX-650W SFX modular power supply, which BTW has a passive fan running mode, so keeping it cool will prolong the potential activation its fan, as well as bringing in more fresh air for the CPU cooler and motherboard components. I also used a single 90mm NF-A9x14 fan as an exhaust fan on the back, while I had to ditch the second middle fan of the Dark Rock TF cooler because it interfered with the chassis power supply socket and cable, something Streacom also worked on with the V2 version of the DA2.
Building up to it
For storage, I went with an M.2 only setup, which is why I was in search for a two M.2 slot Z490 chipset based ITX motherboard, plus this one doesn’t have any of the whinging small fans, but still has a very decent power delivery system and passive cooling which is being blown over with CPU coolers fan in my case, and you still get a lot of clearance around the socket for a big air CPU cooler like this one. The only thing I had to adapt a bit was the fitting of the back-plate, where I had to go with two plastic washers to raise it up a bit from the PCB, because in two corners, next to mounting holes, we had a lot of small SMD components, so I couldn’t screw it down onto them.
Anyhow, I’ll have a two 1 TB setup using Kingston KC2500 NVMe M.2 SSD. For now, I didn’t do any RAID configuration, nor I think I will, maybe I’ll do a RAID 1 if eventually get an external SSD storage array. As for their temperatures, they seem to be OK, below 50°C, I still have to test them long term, I’ll report back onto this and everything else surrounding them in a future video, performance in particular, but since the one on the motherboard has its own heatsink and it has some air flowing over it from the CPU cooler fan and since the back one has plenty of room to breath, plus they’re also not PCI-express 4.0 drives, I don’t think temperatures will be a problem.
Besides the build itself, for now, I wanted to focus on finding a good balance between really silent operation and CPU temperatures, because that’s the only thing, together with the memory, which is currently not going anywhere in terms of future modification. This is why I wanted to show you the whole process of undervolting the 10700K and tweaking it in that regard, which ended up being pretty straightforward. Right of the bat, I fixed its frequency at 4,7 GHz, I’ve actually tried going to 4,8 GHz, but the difference in voltage needed between it and the 4,7 GHz was just not worth the temperature increase in my opinion. At the end managed to get a stable clock for that frequency with only 1,175V set for the cores voltage. I didn’t fiddle too much around the rest of the settings, it wasn’t really necessary, I’ve set the AVX CPU ratio offset to 0, put the LLC to MSI’s Mode 3, fixed the CPU ratio to 47 and ring ratio to 44, load up the XMP profile and that was pretty much it.
Undervolting 10700K keeps everything cooler
Since I’m using here a 2×32 GB HyperX Fury RAM kit that runs at a pretty modest 3200 MHz, and since I undervolted and not overclocked my CPU, I went with pretty low SA and IO CPU voltages, just below the default values, which made things a bit cooler. I eventually ended up being below 85°C on basically all cores in one hour-long Cinebench R20 run, with occasionally peeks just above that, and averages mostly closer to 80°C. I found this to be more than OK considering how compact this chassis is, but that’s probably thanks to a lot of perforated breathable points found basically on every panel of it. I’ve also tweaked the fans profile a bit, they’re actually not running at full speed to achieve those kinds of temperatures, so there’s more headroom in regards to that for sure. Here’s how that sounds when the CPU is under full load during Cinebench runs and during system idle, together with a sound measurement.
Of course, all of this can differ depending on the silicon lottery and your cooler and chassis setup, but I’m happy for now and I can’t wait to finish before I put it in use for good. I’ll maybe play with per core configurations later on, and other settings, if you have any info or feedback to give, please do so in the comments section below!
That’s it for this time, thanks for checking out my Streacom DA2 review and 10700K undervolting, if you have any question feel free to hit me in the comments section of my YouTube video listed above, you can contact me via my social media channels!