Case/Motherboard Suggestions (Watercooled)

I've been pretty happy with my b450i ITX setup. It's minimalist, convenient, and get's the job done well with little fuss.

I came into a rtx3090 with some EK watercooling gear, and I would appreciate some opinions on a case, and possibly motherboard, to build a better setup that could utilize this giant gpu. I haven't used watercooling in 15 years now, so would appreciate the help in pointing me in the right direction.

I mine on the 3090 while not in use, and it seems like it would make sense to move to watercooling, given the immense amount of power and heat given off by a rtx3090.

I would also like to utilize 10gbe sfp+, or something faster in the future. The logical choice here seems to be a cheap sfp+ nic, which would mean a second 16x slot and a larger ATX format motherboard. I guess the utility of a second slot beats the convenience of the minimal ITX format.

If you were to build a decent quality/durable am4 computer build, what would your suggestions be?

I have a ryzen 3600 I would carry across for now, perhaps swapping for a 5800x/5900x, or I might just wait it out on the upcoming am5.
I have 16gb of low speed ram, though may swap for 32gb of something high speed that can help push out the fps on this 3090. My current monitor does 1440p 144hz.

What would you suggest for a well built case that will fit some form of radiator, to cool both the cpu and the 3090

What would you suggest for a motherboard? I have an asus x570 in a server which is a wonderfully stable motherboard, but for this computer, I would happily compromise on a cheaper x570 or older x470, if I don't need to utilize the extra features

Also, suggestions on a radiator and pump?

Thanks for the help!


  • +3

    B450/X470 for the board will be fine; B550/X570 has many features that can't be utilised properly by most users and bring their own issues (vert mount gpu issue, chipset fan, usb issues, etc).

    In terms of radiator, it doesn't really matter what you get. Even the EK SE radiators which a lot of people shit on do the job perfectly fine. Get whatever is convenient for you.

    For the pump, genuine DDC or D5 pump res is a good place to start. Personally I'm a fan of a lot of the EK pump reservoirs (especially the FLT line). Don't cheap out and buy a crap pump or buy one of Bykski/Barrow's clones; they have a very poor reliability record.

    In terms of case, it's really up to you and what you want sitting in your living room/workspace/basement. A good place to start with is 120mm of radiator per 100W of heat you need to dissipate. Any lower and you'll have to deal with higher fan speeds/temperatures. More radiator will be better if you don't mind a larger case though.

    Some things I would keep in mind; I would get the active backplate if you are mining with the 3090.
    Get a proper fan controller that can control your fan speeds based off coolant temp. The first choice would be an Aquacomputer Quadro if you can get your hands on one. 2nd choice would be a Corsair Commander Pro (icue can be funky sometimes and is a resource hog though).

    For reference, I am running a 5950x on a Strix B450i and a Radeon VII on a single 240mm radiator.

  • I'm in a similar situation to yourself, 3090 and a 5800x in an itx build that I like to mine on when I'm not gaming. The 3090 has a heat problem for mining that is worsened by the clearances around the PCIe slot on ITX motherboards.

    You should know that whilst mining the memory junction temps on the rear of the board will get very, very hot. Approx 105c is common. My backplate gets scalding hot.. There is no decent cooling for the rear memory chips on any stock 3090. There are plenty of complaints about this online, especially Reddit.

    Solution 1: Add little heat sinks to the memory chips with thermal tape and point a fan at them. Or buy a unit that does this. People have mixed results. Do your research.

    Solution 2: Watercooled Backplate (aka active backplate). EK and Bykski have them for a bunch of 3090s. - Linus Tech Tips

    Then there's the ITX motherboard problem: A lot of ITX mobos are so component-dense that you can't fit a watercooled backplate (due to their thickness) to the GPU. In my case, I couldn't even use rear heatsink solutions properly because the lowest memory chips were covered by the tall m.2 and audio daughterboard section of the motherboard.

    I'm using an ASUS ROG x570 i-Gaming mobo, but quite a few other ITX motherboards have the same incompatibility with watercooled backplates. Do your research.

    Eventually, I conceded to using a riser cable instead, just so that I could cool the rear of the 3090. My system is currently in a heavily modified SG13 (any case can fit a 3090 with the help of a dremel!). I've recently bought a Meshlicious with 4.0 riser as well as water cooling gear and will transplant my system when the last few parts arrive (the mobo standoffs and EK leak tester are the last to arrive).

    tl;dr: If you're going to mine with a 3090 in an ITX, then go for a riser cable so that you have room for good air or water cooling for the back of the card.