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OBS and NDI streaming and recording tutorial.

This will be a quick run down to record and stream without the need of a capture card. Streaming directly from your gaming rig without a capture card will result in performance loss in a game. While the initially I was looking to buy a capture card the end result was disappointing. My main monitor is a 1440p 165hz refresh rate and the capture card locks the refresh rate to 60hz and the Duplicate Desktop option also generates problems on its own. And you still have to run software from your main pc besides this requires resources it also means capturing in-game means you can not alt-tab as it will cut the feed and displays your captured desktop. However, I went back to the web trying to find some way I can capture footage and have more freedom doing so. Here is where I stumbled upon NDI for OBS it removes all restrictions I have with a capture card and allows for much better fine-tuning of your whatever you want to capture.

Pros:

  • No capture card needed.
  • No performance impact on your main/gaming rig.
  • Recording and streaming in high quality at the same time.
  • Capture any resolution size and increase or decrease resolution size.
  • No refresh rate cap on the main/gaming rig.

Cons:

  • Requires a 2nd PC.
  • Takes up LAN bandwidth.

Getting Started with OBS and NDI.

You will need a 2nd PC, this can be any PC or laptop the better, of course, will result in better footage as well as being able to stream and record at the same time if you are a content creator as well. You can start out with a very cheap 2nd hand pc with cheap mice and keyboard as well as a screen. you can use 1 screen but this would mean you will have to change feeds what is suboptimal and you would have to set everything up before starting a stream and or recording. however, you would only need an iGPU or basic GPU since you will not use that hardware to capture any feed from your gaming rig. In terms of RAM, you will need 8GB however you will be needing a strong CPU since all encoding is done with the CPU. In short, the more cores and the higher the frequency the better, starting with a Ryzen CPU or older gen Intel CPU would yield the best results. 

For future reference, I will list my NAS/Capture rig specs, nothing special about it I am using parts from my older gaming rig I recently upgraded.

  • CPU: Ryzen 5 1600X overclocked to 3.9Ghz.
  • RAM: DDR4 Corsair 16GB 3200Mhz.
  • GPU: ASUS RX 570 4GB(no iGPU on Ryzen).
  • Mobo: ASUS X370 Gaming-F.
  • Storage: M.2 C Drive, SSD Gaming drive, Striped RAID Array.

The Raid array is for storing the footage, you do not need any M.2 or SSD for a Capture rig I just had these drives on hand. Another important note for those who overlock either of their rigs ensure your fan curve is set to create a minimal amount of noise. Having a beefy CPU cooler with a higher TDP will help greatly reducing noise while maintaining cooler CPU load temperatures. I am a fan of the Gelid Phantom Black overkill for a NAS/Capture rig but it barely makes any noise so a perfect solution for a modest price(35 Euro). While running a Corsair 150i Pro 360 radiator with push/pull on my 8086k @ 5.2Ghz, delidded and liquid metal applied and resealed. 

Besides the obvious OBS installation on both PC's or Laptops, you will need the NDI plugin the installation file can be found here: OBS NDI You will need to install this on both systems and reboot. Your gaming rig will transfer the captured feed over your LAN or Wifi so ensure those can handle the increased traffic. I am recommending you are at least on a 1GB LAN using Cat5e cables, a 10GB network is better but a lot more expensive. Wifi is not stable enough in most cases I would recommend against using that but it can work at the cost of performance of the captured feed by saturation of the wifi signal. Using a 100MB/s network is possible I have seen my traffic go up to 25mb/s with just the capture feed, it will restrict your internet performance. Important to remember here is that you will send from your gaming rig to your capture rig a feed over LAN of x amount of MB/s and that both rigs will also communicate with the internet taking up x amount of MB/s for streaming and gaming.
But in most cases routers have 1GB switches so unless your network is really old I would not be worried but it is certainly wise to check your router specs and double check the network cables you use an upgrade if needed.

OBS: https://obsproject.com/
Streamlabs: https://streamlabs.com/
OBS NDI: https://obsproject.com/forum/resources/obs-ndi-newtek-ndi%E2%84%A2-integration-into-obs-studio.528/

Setting up your NDI Feed.

You will capture from your gaming rig, voice chat will happen from the Gaming Rig so you will need to setup OBS or Streamlabs to your taste. All OBS or Streamlabs will do it generate a feed and send it to through your LAN to your Capture Rig. Besides your own preferred setup, you will need to set up the NDI plugin. Any extra you might have like overlays, widgets, and alerts can be done from either rig, but I would suggest using the Capture rig so you never have to alt-tab and use the mice/keyboard or even streaming deck(s) from your capture rig. Allows you to work on your stream without the viewer ever knowing as well as any smooth recording session as a result.
In OBS go to Tools then select NDI Output Settings, tick both boxes on Main Output and Preview Output and give them a name.
OBS NDI Plugin Location
You will notice that while the NDI plugin is active you can not modify the output settings so ensure you have those set or go back to the NDI plugin and untick the boxed to modify your output settings. I will have some more tips for the quality of your capture feed below but first, let's finish the basics. The next step will be capturing the feed using NDI plugin on your Capture Rig, In your preferred scene to stream or capture add a source and select NDI Source, Select Create new and name this source to your liking and click OK.
OBS NDI Plugin Scene Source
You will be presented with a options screen, Under Source name select the feed that you named in OBS/Streamlabs NDI plugin setup. Ensure you use the highest possible bandwidth for the best results unless you intend to use lower settings. Also, make sure the YUV Range is set to Full and the YUV Color Space is set to BT.709. And then click OK. You will notice as soon as you select a feed it will start displaying your desktop this means it is now receiving and you are ready to start Streaming and or Recording.
OBS NDI Plugin NDI Source
Now you will have to select your stream service and enter your stream key and select a Recording Path if you wish to record as well. Furthermore, you will have the option to record as you stream or just make a recording for you to make content. Always use the X264 encoder over hardware, the CPU encoding is more powerful and yields better quality results. Important here as well as to ensure you select the right bitrate with the right resolution for your recording or stream. In my case using my hardware I Record and Stream 1080p @ 60 FPS with a streaming bitrate of 6000 and a recording bitrate of 12000.
These setting will vary with hardware as well as any limits a streaming service might impose on your feed, but recording wise you can do whatever you want just make sure there is no lag and you have a stable stream that does not drop frames giving the best viewing experience.

Tips & Tricks.

As you may notice the OBS/Streamlabs resolution for streaming and recording is set to the screen size, you can temporarily set your screen resolution to 1440p or 4k and adjust the settings in OBS/Streamlabs. Then you can save these settings without OBS/Streamlabs reverting those back when you set your resolution back to the original resolution of the screen. Remember to adjust your bitrate accordingly and test your stream and recording for a CPU bottleneck. Another way to increase your stream and recording quality is by increasing the CPU Usage Preset from Very Fast to Faster or higher. You can on your main rig select under Tune the Film setting to increase quality as the exspense of LAN bandwidth.

Bitrate options for streaming.

  • 1080p @ 60 fps: 4500 to 6000.
  • 1080p @ 30 fps: 3500 to 5000.
  • 720p @ 60 fps: 3500 to 5000.
  • 720p @ 30 fps: 2500 to 4000.

This covers the basics of setting up your OBS/Streamlabs streaming and or recording Capture Rig there are many more options but this should get you started on a high-quality stream and or recording spree.
Please share or link the article if you find it useful.

- "Note to self: shoot anyone near the console on outpost Kareah"



Opinions, opinions and then some more opinions when it comes to desktop builds with AMD and Intel CPU's.
Stepping away from the fray I would like to throw my 2 cents into the conversation as an end user who pays for his hardware.
Writing this article is based on end-user experience from a person who was listed as the worlds most dangerous hacker using a Pentium II.
To an advent gamer who racks up legendary scores in PvP games in over 2 decades of gaming, photoshop editing, and web design.
At the end of the day, it is to you the reader and therefore end-user how to spend and what to spend your money on.
This article is for the purpose of offering perspective backed up by experience from different angle stepping away from the fray.

Value.

Value is made up in 2 parts, the first is what a corporation would like to charge you for their product.
This is effected by the bottom line, how much it costs to produce their product(s), their R&D expenses, PR and staffing costs.
Part 2 is you the end-user, you decide how much value you want to attach to a product, the corporate PR tries to influence you.
It is called Public Relations for a reason they are being paid to represent their product as best they can and might even lie.
Always wise to cross-reference with multiple sources, people who are for and against but try to filter out the "fanboy" information.
But at the end of the day you the end-user decides where to spend and how much you are willing to spend on a given product.

CPU Bottleneck, performance, and basics.

A bottleneck in your hardware is either the CPU or the GPU when it comes to gaming.
In order to find what is your bottleneck run some benchmarks ingame and see what is maxing out first.
Some games are more CPU intensive and some more GPU intensive, run different games to get an accurate picture.
Then there is your screen, 1080p, 1440p and 4K those will also bottleneck different components.
1080p will always bottleneck the CPU and 4K will always bottleneck the GPU.
Then there is a refresh rate, a 165hz screen is capable of displaying 165 FPS with the standard being 60hz on most screen.
This ties into your screen resolution so when your CPU or GPU is getting bottlenecked at different resolutions.
Other components such as the amount of RAM and what speeds and timings your RAM runs.
Your storage solution also influences this, games on an SSD will have better loading times, lower latency over a regular hard drive.

Intel.

Known for higher prices but the best clock speeds on their CPU's, the Intel premium as it is lovingly referred to.
Intel has an overall dominance over the desktop, laptop and server market over AMD and you will see more Intel systems.
Their performance for high-end gaming/overclocking is somewhat hampered by using really bad paste between the chip and IHS.
And not all Intel CPU's can be overclocked you will need a K variant such as an 8086K and a motherboard that has an overclocking chipset.

AMD.

Mostly known for the value and not charging a premium for their product AMD is not known by many in the general public.
They have a far smaller market share then Intel but are making a come back with their Ryzen and Thread Ripper CPU's.
All AMD chips are soldered so their thermal performance is much better may it be at lower clock speeds.
The only motherboards from AMD that do not support overclocking are their low-end motherboard chipsets.

Building AMD.

Most commonly referred to as the budget option AMD systems tend to cost less may it be at a small performance hit in gaming.
With workstations and servers, they are however making waves with the Thread Ripper being on par with Intel in terms of performance.
I am using a Ryzen 1600X that I used for gaming and now I am turning it into a NAS/Capture rig with NAS storage drives.
It has lower operating voltage thus consumes less power and the motherboard chipset offers more PCIe lanes over Intel.
This means you can run an m.2 C drive and 6 SATA drives with a GPU and a capture card without add-in cards.
As mentioned above the CPU is bottlenecked at 1080p there for it is wise to use a 1440p screen with free-sync and an AMD GPU.
The bottlenecked is now your GPU with free-sync on an AMD GPU smoothing out the frames per second.
AMD GPU's are in general less expensive then NVIDIA and the Free-Sync monitors also charge no premium.
Most people on a budget go for 1080p but that would as mentioned above bottleneck the CPU resulting in a lower FPS.
In short, if you want high fps with high refresh rate Free Sync monitor but you are on a budget go AMD.

Building Intel.

If you want the highest possible FPS at the highest possible refresh rate you will end up with an Intel CPU and Nvidia GPU.
But this will come at the premium even more so in recent days of writing this article currently prices are inflated so you pay even more.
As well as building a workstation, you also will pay this premium more performance at an exponential cost.
Intel has the i5/i7/i9 as a mainstream CPU's and the Xeon and X series CPU's for workstations and servers.
The main difference between mainstream vs professional in the number of PCIe lanes and RAM channel you have.
Gaming on a highly competitive level is still best with Intel you will get the best FPS at the highest possible refresh rate.
That said your GPU will be the bottleneck on 4k but most high-end gamers or streamers do not play on 4k due to the lack of FPS.
4k Gaming is becoming somewhat viable with the new 2080ti and the release of 4k high refresh rate monitors.
But it will be at least 1 more generation of GPU architecture before 4k gaming on the highest level will be viable.
And due to the fact the mainstream CPU's offer fewer PCIe lanes, you will not be able to connect as many devices to your motherboard.
That said most gaming PC's use external storage, for the most part, may it be somewhat forced upon by Intel.
Also to consider here is when using NVIDIA you cannot use Free-Sync you will be relegated to G-Sync that also comes with a premium.
You can opt-in to use an AMD GPU and go for Free-Sync but at the current time, there aren't any real high-end AMD GPU's.
For my end user experience, I wanted the highest possible performance on my 1440p, 165hz Acer Predator monitor.
Running on an overclocked 8086k/Z390 Motherboard, ASUS ROG 1080ti, 32GB of G.Skill DDR4 with Samsung 860 EVO SSD's.

Conclusion.

Intel and AMD are pretty much tied in the server and workstation market with AMD offering much sharper pricing for their products.
For gaming, Intel is still king if you want the absolute max in frames per second paired with a Nvidia GPU.
AMD is a great budget option, from low end to mid range builds that will game just fine at considerable less cost.
it comes down to you the end-user where you want to spend your money and how much you wish to spend.
But the market does need competition or prices will be inflated and performance gains will be far less.
Therefore I step away from the fray and I buy AMD/Intel and Nvidia products when they are priced right for the right amount of performance.

-Booommmm! Headshot!
Paul "HisEvilness" Ripmeester.


How to set up a Virpil VPC WarBRD base and Constellation Delta grip.

Recently I obtained a high-end joystick since I was tired of the plastics on failing on me.
While this does not warrant the price tag it does when you combine the tweaking/assigning buttons.
It does tend to take up time as well as you have to "learn" how to fly with every new stick you use.
You can find the Virpil product line up here: https://virpil.com/ remember to check the correct geolocation.
For my use, I opted for a joystick that could be placed on top of my desk, just easier and less hassle.
You could opt in for a full setup with the throttle or dual stick as well, adding more to the price tag, however.
There are also parts that allow for special mounts on your desk for a dual stick or stick and throttle.
WarBRD is an on top of the desk setup while the MongooseT-50 is for specialty mount attached to your desk.


Assembly.

When your package arrives you will notice bubble wrap and other packing materials.
You will have some spare parts like cams and springs, I use mine stock without changing anything.
What you will need is a CR-V #10 bit remember to have one on hands.

Next up is attaching the base to the Constellation Delta grip, there is a connection male plug in the grip.
Gently pull it out a bit so you have enough slack to attach it to the female connector in the WarBRD base.
Then align the grip with the base so it is centered and use the knob on the base to screw it in place.
Remember when taking off the grip to gently remove the connection cable.
The next part is attaching the base plate to the WarBRD base, there are 4 screws in one of the bags.
Take the CR-V # 10 bit and align the screw holes and put each screw in, do not screw them in 1 by 1.
Screw them in halfway down and then start on 1 corner, any corner you like and screw it down.
Then do the same with the opposite screw so the plate aligns correctly and the screw will fit in the flush.
Now tighten them all down to the base plate is firmly attached but do not exert too much force.
You will also find some M3 rubber pads in the box place them on the bottom of the base plate.
This concludes the assembly part, do a quick visual check if the Constellation Delta grip is correctly aligned.


Software Setup, Firmware update and Calibration.

Plug in the USB in your PC any 2.0 or 3.0 USB connection will do but use 2.0 as it frees up 3.0 connections for storage devices.
Head over to the Virpil website, or use this link https://virpil-controls.eu/downloads/software.html to obtain the software.
At the time of writing this article, there is only one software item linked, the VPC Configurator Software.
Unpack this in a folder on your desktop or other location you desire and run the VPC_JOY_SETUP.exe.
Head to the firmware section by click on the firmware button on your left-hand side.
Ensure you enter the correct firmware path, there is one file to look for a *.hexc file but it should be the only file listed.
Now click "Open firmware update mode", double check the firmware file path, then click "Start firmware update".
The right-hand side of the above buttons will see the software writing the firmware update and a final note it is complete.
Now click "Close firmware update" this will conclude the firmware update, below is an image for reference.
Firmware update

Next step would be to calibrate the axis of your joystick, remember you have several axes to configure.
DO NOT use the windows calibration tool as it may mess up your firmware files with faulty data.
Head over to the Axis section of the VPC software, you will see a button bottom right "CALIBRATE AXES".

You will see several sliders moving widely, start out by gently moving the stick all the way up and then down.
And then leave the stick centered by not touching it, this will align the Y axis for your stick.
Repeat the process as well by moving the stick gently all the way left and right and leave it alone centered.
Now your Y, X and Z slider stop moving violently, also do this for the twist Z axis to ensure alignment.

The rY and rX are the Analogue stick mounted behind the trigger on the face of the stick.
Repeat the same process for the rY and rX axis by moving them gently all the way up/down/left/right.
Let go of the analog stick for it to find it's center this will conclude the calibration process.

As you may notice the sliders do not perfectly align with the "center" of the slider bar.
This is the center relative to the mechanical parts/sensors within your Constellation Delta grip.
Click "Set center and Save to profile" you will notice the green indicator top left going yellow.
In order to save the settings, you need to click "STEP 3: SAVE DEVICE PROFILE" located in the center.
It will write and save the files and reboot your stick so the correct settings are in sync with a green "Sync".

There are many more options but those are for more advanced use, after this setup you will be able to use the stick.
Remember to make make a back up before touching any other settings in the VPC Configurator Software.
In the case of "bricking" the stick simply download the VPC Configurator Software or unzip from the previous download.

Unplug your USB connection and plug it back in and repeat the firmware update portion.
Also, load the default profile by clicking "IMPORT PROFILE FROM FILE" located bottom left of the software.
Load the default profile "VPC WarBRD + Delta [PCBvLite].cnfLITE" matching your grip.
Then redo the Axes alignment calibration as described above to reset and "unbrick" your joystick.


Ingame use.

Now you will have to assign the buttons in your game, there will be a default setup.
But this will be almost certainly nowhere complete or up to your taste.
Remember you have a myriad of options be sure to assign buttons logical for you.
And make a back up of your config file for each game so you will most likely never have to redo this.
Below is an image of all button with the numbers you can find in the VPC software as well.
Virpil WarBRD Constellation Delta
This concludes this short tutorial on how to set up your Virpil WarBRD base and Constellation Delta grip.


AMD Ryzen 5 1600X overclocking guide.

After some months I decided to upgrade my 1600 to a 1600X to see if there is a difference in performance, on paper at least the X series should offer higher clock speeds.
Here is my overclocking guide based on my experience using an ASUS X370 Gaming for better VRM's over a B350 chipset.
Upgraded to an X CPU but I did not get a Ryzen 7 over a Ryzen 5 since clock speeds remain the same, the Ryzen 5 1600X and Ryzen 7 1800X offer the best clock speeds.
So for anyone looking for a CPU for gaming higher clock speeds take president over core count for the best experience.

My Rig, PC Partpicker.

Link: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/GvtDkd

  • Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe.
  • Motherboard: ASUS STRIX X370-F.
  • CPU: Ryzen 5 1600X Retail.
  • RAM: G.Skill - Trident Z RGB 32GB 3200
  • GPU: ASUS STRIX GTX 1080ti.
  • PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 750W Gold.
  • Samsung 960 EVO, OZC Agility 3 256GB, WD Green/Blue 1TB storage drives.
  • Cooling: CoolerMaster LiquidMaster 240 AIO.
  • Case fans: 4 x 140mm intake fans, 3 x 140mm + 1 x 120mm exhaust fans.

If you read my previous article regarding the Ryzen 5 1600 you will see I have made substantial upgrades to my PC.
As it stands the only matter is that the 1080ti seems slightly bottlenecked by the lower per core speed over an Intel CPU.
However, as newer games enter the market supporting better multicore performance this will negate this current gap for AMD relative to Intel.
Pure performance wise an i7 would be better but for a bigger premium and it would only be for gaming.

Getting Started.

As always insert your desired hardware and ensure it boots and windows version of your taste is installed.
For this guide, I used an ASUS motherboard and a 240 AIO for cooling, air cooling might make it harder to achieve a higher overclock.
The principle remains the same as well as using a different vendor although they might use different wording then ASUS.
Also, make sure to run a baseline benchmark to check stability at stock settings and scores so you can measure any gains.
Check your BIOS version especially with Ryzen updates do tend to offer greater stability especially RAM wise.
ASUS-ROG-Strix-X370-F BIOS version

BIOS Settings.

Ensure you run stock DDR4 RAM speeds that is 2133mhz with stock timings.
As you might be aware of Ryzen is a bit funky when it comes to RAM but higher MHz will yield a faster system.
The RAM clock speeds tie into the infinity fabric that "glue's" chiplets together in the die.
For the best results ensure you have Samsung B-Die or Hynix A-Die IC's, you can check the QVL or RAM manufacturer as well as use Typhoon Burner.
Note the screenshot below has my D.O.C.P. profile the highest settings, keep the stock timings for now and change this after finishing your CPU overclock.
ASUS-ROG-Strix-X370-F-RAM
Now to get down to getting the best out of your chip without burning the house down.
As always you are bound by the "silicon lottery" and on this draw, I have the short straw because I am not getting better clock speeds.
Good chips can run 4.1Ghz with proper voltages mine are a bit on the high side and I tuned down my overclock just to be save.

DIGI+ VRAM Settings.

The X370 offers much more in the BIOS for overclocking, a greater range of settings then a B350 board as well as a better VRM.
A better VRM translates into a more stable power supply, fewer fluctuations resulting in great stability.
Frequency settings on VDDCR CPU Switching Frequency and VDDCR SOC Switching Frequency to 300, a higher frequency tends to be a waste of power.
VDDCR CPU Current Capability, VDDCR SOC Current Capability, in short how much power it can draw over the baseline to 130%.
VDDCR CPU Load Line Calibration, VDDCR SOC Power Phase Control set to extreme.
VDDCR CPU Load Line Calibration, VDDCR SOC Load Line Calibration set to level 3, higher or lower resulted in instability in my case yours could be different.
These settings are the best for my chip, especially the Line Calibration settings vary from chip to chip if you are close to stable make changes here.
ASUS-ROG-Strix-X370 BIOS, DIGI+ VRM

AMD CBS.

Only one setting here is of importance that is the Core Performance Boost, this will set your clock speed to the number entered in the BIOS without a boost.
If you leave this one it will result in instability due to the chip trying to boost higher frequency's, when running at the highest frequency this will result in crashes.
ASUS-ROG-Strix-X370-F AMD CBS

CPU Core Volts.

As with the Ryzen 5 1600 none X the same volt limits apply, going beyond those will result in your CPU degrading to the point it will not maintain the overclock.
Also to note is that the X version has a higher set temperature reading to not be alarmed by higher numbers, this is why better cooling is important.

  • AMD Recommended Voltage: 1.350 and 1.375 volts.
  • Community Recommended Voltage: 1.400 and 1,450 volts.
  • Absolute max and not recommended: 1.500 and 1550 volts.

The 2 settings you will have to adjust here are CPU Core Ratio and VDDCR CPU Voltage, the first is a straight up number the latter is an offset number.
On the X370 you either use Offset Mode or Manual Mode, Offset Mode offer better granular tweaking over manual mode so we will be using Offset Mod.
Now it comes down setting the CPU Core Ratio, start at 38.00 and then set the Offset mod to 0.0375, this should work on any system.
If this does not post you have a really bad CPU that will be a nightmare to overclock, and getting higher frequencies will need exponential more volts.
Run a quick Cinebench to see if your stable if so reboot and head back into the BIOS, now set the CPU Core Ratio to 38.50 and keep the Offset mode as is.
Repeat the process add 0.20, until your Cinebench test fails, now you can add more volts in the Offset mode, an Offset of 0.07500 will give 1.425 V.
But do not go straight to an Offset of 0.07500, up the voltage 0.00625 then see if your system will post and then increase the CPU Core Ratio again until it fails.
With a bit of luck, you should be stable at 40.00, a 4.0Ghz on all cores the less voltage it takes to get to 4.0Ghz the better your CPU is.
Fewer volts is less heat and a higher overall overclock see if you can make it to a CPU Core Ratio of 41.00 with 0.07500 Offset or lower.
ASUS-ROG-Strix-X370-F Voltage Offset

Now when you have achieved a stable overclock it is time for a proper burn-in test to validate your overclock and ensure it is completely stable.
Use Prime95 and run that for at least 30 minutes to an hour, if your overclock holds it will be completely stable under stress as well as normal load.
If your crash on Prime95 that simply means your ocerclock is unstable and you have to lower the CPU Core Ratio or increase the Offset voltage.
Make sure you keep an eye on your temperatures, HWiNFO64 is a good software-based monitoring tool although actual sensors will be more accurate.
This concludes the overclocking guide for the Ryzen 5 1600X on an ASUS X370 motherboard, remember mileage may vary and may Gaben be with you.

- Paul Ripmeester


Case Airflow: Case Study with a

Phanteks Enthoo Luxe.

In part I found here: the fundamentals of setting up a good air cooling loop.
The 3 basic set up positive pressure, negative pressure and neutral pressure for case airflow and the abbreviations common for air cooling.
For part II diving in deeper with a specific case the, Phanteks Enthoo Luxe using a wide range of fans and pressure setups.
While I prefer a negative pressure setup I prefer to go over the numbers on a case by case basis running the numbers per setup.

The Case; Phanteks Enthoo Luxe.

Recently upgraded to a Ryzen 5 1600 and decided to upgrade the case as well, my old Antec Dark Fleet 30 was not optimal for cable management.
This case is an Enthoo Luxe is a full tower model derived from the Enthoo Primo offering most of the features at a slightly smaller size.
For cable management, there is plenty of room, Steel chassis with Aluminum faceplates and room for 8 case fans and 2 drive cage fans.
If you are in the market for a new case look at the Phanteks line they have many features, also interesting to check out are Cooler Master cases.
But for this article, the fans are important since this is not a review but a specific study with the Enthoo Luxe.

Front: 1 x 200mm or 2 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm fans or 1 x 120mm 1 x 140mm setup.
Bottom: 2 x 120mm or 2 x 140mm fans or 1 x 120mm 1 x 140mm setup.
Top: 1 x 200mm + 120mm or 140mm, 3 x 140mm, 3 x 120mm or a mix of 120mm and 140mm fans.
Back: 1 x 140mm or 120mm fans.
Sides: None.
HDD Cage: 1 x 120mm fan per removable cage.
Case Diagram Negative Pressure.

The Fans.

While I normally like a uniform design, while doing some research I found some interesting fans I wanted to test.
Once I've settled on my fan setup I will buy more of the Phanteks fans and probably keep the high static Corsair fans in the front.

Phanteks: 140mm and 200mm high CFM fans for exhaust.

 Static Pressure.CFM.DB.

PH-F140SP

1.3382.119

PH-F200SP

1.04110.125

PH-F120XP

1.7261.627

Corsairs SP120: 120mm high static pressure fans for intake.

 Static Pressure.CFM.DB.

SP120

1.6057.426.4

Arctic F12 and F14: 120mm and 140mm fans for exhaust and intake.

 Static Pressure.CFM.DB.

F12

-5322.5

F14

 -7422.5



The Corsair SP120 offer better static pressure than current 120mm Phanteks fans, 120mm always offer better static pressure over 140mm fans.
Pressure is building up is higher due to air being pushed through a smaller diameter.
The Phanteks fans offered a high CFM making them perfect for exhaust fans, The Arctic fans I wanted to test due to the low price per fan.
140mm fans always offer a higher CFM over 120mm fans as they offer a wider tunnel and bigger fan blades to push more volume.
Large diameter allows for more air throughput at the loss of pressure due to fans limited capability of compacting the volume in a larger diameter.
There is the exception to the norm of course but this is a general logic you would, of course, check with your preferred brand for actual CFM and Static Pressure.

As time progressed and I went from a range of test with overclocks I ran into a problem with the F12 fans not working properly.
For some reason the F-12 did not spin up located on the back of the case in a standing position, this would mess with my RPM profile and create extra noise.
Due to this fact, this article has been delayed and I also decided to add an extra CPU fan since this has become more common.


PWM Signal, PWM Hub, and Heat Managment:

You might want to consider making RPM profiles or setting RPM ranges in the BIOS this would require either 4 pin PWM connectors or a PWM hub.
A PWN hub will allow for 3 pin as well as 4 pin connectors to be used but will read the PWM signal and set voltage accordingly to all connecting fans.
If you have a wider assortment of 4pin PWM connectors splitter cables could work just as good but it would require you to tune each PWM/RPM profile.
The PWM hub in the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe is included there are aftermarket PWM hubs you can buy, be sure to check your motherboard specs when adding fans.
In my case, the ASUS Prime B350 Plus has 3 x 4pin PWM headers, all giving a PWM signal some cases the 4 pins might not offer a true PWM signal.
Check again if these are 4pin PWM connectors or normal 3pin connectors and that all if not some offer a true PWM signal from the motherboard.

There are 3 more options for setting your fan RPM, a program called Fan Speed what works great if your motherboard is supported.
However, not all motherboards are included and I could not get it to work with the AMD Ryzen platform it will simply not read the BUS info correctly.
The 2nd option would be setting your fan speeds through your bios a common workaround if no software offers a good solution.
Simply reboot and head into your BIOS settings and look for Q-Fan settings to set your fans accordingly.
The 3rd option is installed a Fan Controller in one or more of the front panels slots and offers full control that way, a good option for Q-fan or Fan Speed.
I go into greater details regarding the above-mentioned options in my first article if you are unsure what your best option would be.

My current setup is my back 120mm fan is a PWM fan with 4 pin connector straight to the motherboard.
My fan hub is connected to the CPU PWM connector and has the pull fan on the first hub connection followed by the push fan on the second connection.
Then I have 4 connections left for 6 more fans with the front 2 x 120mm fans as well as 2 x 140mm top on splitter cables.
Leaving me with 1 PWM connector from the motherboard I am considering using with testing a CPU water cooling setup for my next article.
A caution here though since connecting to many fans to a hub might lower the RPM since that is regulated with voltage, each hub as a total voltage output.
Going over the total output will not fry your hub merely limit the RPM due to the total voltage ceiling your hub has to ensure your fans stay under the total limit.
Either use a 2nd PWM HUB or use more of the PWM connector you might give on your motherboard to prevent limited cooling performance.

Also, an important note is that the motherboard PWM signal relays the temperature from the chip socket, not the chip diode!
The socket diode will always show a lower temperature measurement then the CPU diode since the CPU diode is closer the heat source.
For a proper temperature measurement use the program called HWiNFO64, or use more advanced measurement tools if you have those at your disposal.
CPU (Tctl/Tdie) is the diode located inside the chip, CPU is the diode in the socket, below a screenshot to illustrate with red outlining.
Further more the diodes are not optimal calibrated so temperatures could be off slightly from chip to chip, nothing can be done about this.
It will not harm or damage your CPU or motherboard since there are safety thresholds in place to prevent that.
HWiNFO64_Diodes

For my personal preference, I want little to no noise when listening to music, typing, browsing or doing some editing on my web page.
There for my ASUS Suite 3 RPM profile is set in such a way that within a certain temperature range the fans will spin at low speed.
And will ramp up the fans when putting the system under load when gaming, rendering or performing tests with Prime95 or similar programs.
As with finding the low noise limit under no to little load, the noise limit in your gaming sessions is also important to ensure your fans offer enough cooling.
But with either a headset or speakers the noise of your fans will be hard to hear unless they ramp up to 100%, in this case, find the median temperatures.
And set your fans RPM accordingly, this will take some time and I have been tinkering with my settings for weeks now.

Ambient Noise.

As mentioned above noise generated by your fans is where you trade between cooling performance and ambient noise.
Besides using your ears there is a wide assortment of apps for mobile phones and even better equipment if you happen to have access to that.
Below is a sample of some of the noise ranges with different workloads with
The Idle and light load is nothing running in the background after a (re)boot or doing some browsing or typing on my PC.
A medium load would consist of a gaming session an easy way to mimic this is running a game that comes with a benchmark.
The heavy load is running Prime95 with Small FFT's to generate the maximum amount of heat or a video render using all cores.
Measurements were taken with the phone application on the mouse mat and on top of the case close to the fans giving an appropriate range noise, where as one measurement is where the end user would sit and the other measurement is as close to the source as possible.
No special materials were used in terms of padding this could lower the amount of noise generated.

Idle/Light Load20 Db25 Db
Medium Load30 Db40 Db
Heavy Load40 Db50 Db

The latter sounds like a wind tunnel and I highly doubt the average user will ever need their fans to run at 100% unless they are benchmarking their system.
I overall satisfied with the results after weeks of tinkering in-between work and gaming sessions, and yes I have spent more than I usually want to spend.
But in the spirit of writing this article, I did some extra test and made sure the hardware I am using works and works on demand.
If you have any questions or feedback, would like me to test a different setup or some hardware please feel free to contact me here: Contact Me

For my next article, I have purchased a Coolermaster Master Liquid 240 to test partial liquid cooling combined with air cooling and what yield the best results.
Remember that this is based of the hardware I use in combination with a full tower case the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe you could have slightly different results.
However, results should not vary by much if they do read me previous article located here or contact me and I will do my best to help you on your way.

- Paul Ripmeester


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Opinions, opinions and then some more opinions when it comes to desktop builds with AMD and Intel CPU's.Stepping away from the fray I would like

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X overclocking guide. After some months I decided to upgrade my 1600 to a 1600X to see if there is a difference