http://gamingtrend.com
September 20, 2014, 06:03:25 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
   Home   Help Search Calendar Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Quiet but Deadly (Now with build pics)  (Read 2009 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« on: February 17, 2012, 01:58:28 AM »

Well, the last of my parts came in today. Unfortunately, I won't be attempting assembly until next Wednesday, probably, because of family in town this weekend. This will be the first time I built my own machine. I've wanted to several times before, but I always chickened out and bought a prebuilt machine. One reason is that I get obsessed with picking out just the right components, and spend hours reading reviews and agonizing over the best choice. Second, I've always been nervous that I'll screw it up.

My intended budget was $2000, and I ended up spending just under $1800. While I didn't start out to build a quiet machine, I realized along the way that I had been choosing components with that quality. Notice I didn't say "silent". Silent computing is a whole different animal, and people building truly silent PCs are willing to sacrifice horsepower to conserve decibels. My hope is once this beast is finished, is that it will have plenty of muscle but with a refined manner as far as noise is concerned.

So, my intent is to go through the build, item by item, and give the rationale for each component. There's no doubt there are places I could have saved plenty of money, but I'm pleased with the quality of the components. This wasn't intended to be a penny-pinching build, as I've already said. I'll be adding to this over the next week, talking about the components, posting pictures of components and the build and we'll find out if all these different pieces are going to work together like I hope.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 07:06:45 PM by Misguided » Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
Purge
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 18537



View Profile WWW
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 02:15:09 AM »

I always love the process of building.
Logged

"If it weren't for Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television, we'd still be eating frozen radio dinners." - Johnny Carson
naednek
Global Moderator
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4646



View Profile
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 07:08:37 PM »

Quote from: Purge on February 17, 2012, 02:15:09 AM

I always love the process of building.

Me too until the part that goes wrong, then it's frustrating, but once you get over that, it's back to being fun smile
Logged
Calavera
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 317


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 07:41:34 PM »

That sounds awesome. It's like the build logs over at HardOCP for case mods. Some of those are really amazing.
Logged
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 01:02:23 AM »



So. A 330 dollar motherboard. Yup. There's a story here, though. The machine I current use was a custom build by Maingear nearly 5 years ago. While it wasn't apparent initially, I eventually had massive problems with lookups on that machine. We went through a series of parts trying to fix the problem. Eventually, they replaced my mobo with an RoG Asus board. Not only were all the other issues fixed, but the machine felt faster than it ever had before, and as an over locking noob I was able to clock my 2.4 q6600 to 2.93 with a couple of clicks, where it has remained rock solid for a couple of years.

Before I even began thinking about this specific build, I knew in the back of my mind that if I ever attempted building my own machine, it would be with nothing less than an Asus RoG motherboard as the centerpiece. Nothing else was a consideration.

Is it excessive? Yes, but they made a believer out of me. This was the one part of the entire build that was non-negotiable. Not exactly true...I did consider P67 rather than z68, but I'll get into the reasons for that decision a bit later.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 01:05:07 AM by Misguided » Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
TheAtomicKid
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1439



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 12:13:10 PM »

Quote from: Misguided on February 17, 2012, 01:58:28 AM

...
My intended budget was $2000, and I ended up spending just under $1800. While I didn't start out to build a quiet machine, I realized along the way that I had been choosing components with that quality. Notice I didn't say "silent". Silent computing is a whole different animal, and people building truly silent PCs are willing to sacrifice horsepower to conserve decibels. My hope is once this beast is finished, is that it will have plenty of muscle but with a refined manner as far as noise is concerned.
...

There's also the fact that all your friends would be referring to your new baby as an SBD/Silent But Deadly, which quite frankly I don't blame you for not going there biggrin

Atomic
Logged
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2012, 08:33:59 PM »

Quote from: TheAtomicKid on February 18, 2012, 12:13:10 PM

There's also the fact that all your friends would be referring to your new baby as an SBD/Silent But Deadly, which quite frankly I don't blame you for not going there biggrin

Atomic

Well, I was being a bit cheeky when I made the title (pardon the pun).



Certainly the most visible expression of any build is the case. I looked at a ton of different reviews. I knew I wanted high quality, something that would last through multiple builds. Researching cases was where I started thinking about having a quiet system. While I considered models from Corsair, Thermaltake, Rosewill, Cooler Master and others, the cases I kept coming back to were the Ft-02 and RV-02 from Silverstone.

If you aren't familiar with these cases, they have a very unusual approach to thermal management. The motherboard is rotated 90 degrees so the side that would normally face the back of your case is at the top. Both cases have 4 fans. There are three 180mm intake fans at the bottom of the case and a single 120 mm exhaust at the top. This arrangement creates good airflow out of the top of the case, and since heat rises on its own, the case has great cooling properties.

The choice between the two was largely cosmetic, to be honest. I was willing to spend more money for the aluminum case, but would have been happy with the other if that choice had been necessary. I did like that the fortress series case doesn't have feet, as it may make placing the system more flexible. I really prefer the styling of the fortress case; it reminds me of some of Lian-Li's offerings, and I have always liked those.

One potential downside to these cases is that you have to be careful with the type of CPU cooler and video card you put in them if you want to maximize the cooling of the case. I spent considerable time choosing what I hoped are the right cooler and video card for the system. You could make the case that anything that constrains your options to that degree should be avoided, and I can't argue with you there, but we'll see how it works out.
Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 11:49:23 PM »



What to power a quiet but powerful PC with? Like the choice of motherboard, this one will meet with some skepticism because of the cost. This Seasonic X series power supply offers 3 cooling modes: passive (up to 20% load), silent (16dB at up to 50% load), and cooling. I won't be taxing this PS remotely at the start, but I definitely wanted enough overhead to easily accommodate a second graphics card. I'm figuring that with only one card that it will stay in silent mode even under load. I should also note that I bought it on sale for less than the cost of the 850w unit in the same series. Like the Fortress case, I fully expect this PS to last a long time, through 2-3 builds or even more. The five year warranty doesn't hurt.

As an aside, some of the smaller PS units made me nervous because they only had 4 power ports (and it seems to be increasingly common for graphics cards to require multiple connectors). I didn't realize at the time that the motherboard has auxilliary power connectors, but I'm not sure how common those are on other mobos.
Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2012, 06:31:05 PM »

The choice of a processor wasn't really a choice at all. Everything I've read indicates there is little difference between an i5 and an i7 for gaming purposes, and I didn't want to make the jump to the new x79 platform. The 2500k was a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned. Modest price with great OC overhead. While I don't plan to overclock the memory or graphics, I absolutely will OC the CPU, which brings us to the subject of coolers.

Early on, I figured I would get a decent but inexpensive cooler. I had my eye set on the Thermalright HR-02 Macho. Not the easiest part to get ahold of, especially since NewEgg doesn't carry any Thermalright coolers for some reason. So I had decided I'd go with one of the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 series like the plus or the evo.



Later on in the process of choosing components, I had decided on  a) the fortress case and b) wanting something quieter. The FT-02 actually had a major impact on this decision. Recall that the motherboard is rotated 90 degrees. For optimal cooling, you want the fans to blow upward toward the top of the case. Additionally, heat pipe design is important. You don't want the hottest part of the heat pipe to be higher than the cool area because heat rises, so I had to consider what the orientation of the heat pipes would be when the cooler was mounted so the fans could blow upward.

I managed to snag the Noctua NH U12P SE2 cooler for 63 dollars off Amazon. That was more than I originally planned to spend on a cooler, but when I considered it comes with two fans (and these fans run 20 bucks separately), thermal paste is included (saving me ten bucks) and it was going to give higher performance with less noise, it seemed like a tremendous value to me. Note that the SE2 version of the cooler is 1155 compatible out of the box according to the manufacturer, even though the box doesn't say so (nor do places like NewEgg).

Honestly, not having built my own machine before, I wasn't prepared for the sheer size of this monster. Pictures don't do it justice. It is nearly as big as my head, and here's the proof:



I'm honestly glad I didn't go for an even larger cooler like Noctua's own DH-14. While I don't think I am going to have problems with fitting my RAM beneath it, I got some g.skill sniper low profile just in case. I really tried to be careful and make sure I didn't wind up with something that wouldn't fit, so I payed it safe.
Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
Bashtor
Gaming Trend Reader

Offline Offline

Posts: 19


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2012, 09:18:28 PM »

I just want to say I love the way you are breaking this down.  I'm actually thinking of starting to build a PC once I get back to the states and this post is pushing me more towards that option.  Bravo!
Logged
CeeKay
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 71766


La-bibbida-bibba-dum! La-bibbida-bibba-do!


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2012, 09:36:20 PM »

that's either a really big fan or a really small head.

[edit]  damn, that case looks spacious but a bit plain.  you need some stickers or LED's to make it go faster slywink
« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 09:39:06 PM by CeeKay » Logged

Because I can,
also because I don't care what you want.
XBL: OriginalCeeKay
Wii U: CeeKay
TheAtomicKid
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1439



View Profile
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2012, 10:01:17 PM »

You people and your stickers...

I guess at least they don't light up the room when you're trying to sleep.

Good thinking about heatpipe orientation when fitting it together. Did anyone know that proper orientation of heatpipes to take advantage of gravity can make as rather noticeable difference in temps? As much as 15c from personal testing. The idea is to make what little liquid is in the pipe, pool at the source of heat, which increases the efficiency. They still work without it, just not as well.

The sad thing is, due to this, the standard atx tower is generally the worst of both worlds for cooling the cpu/gpu. The cpu is on its side, so at best, most heatsinks can mount the pipes parallel to surface the case rests on, which runs it across the surface of the cpu, with a sort of neutral effect in terms of gravity vs the distilled water inside. Which is better than it pooling at the ends, but only a bit.

The gpu hangs upside down, so any heatpipes in those pretty much depend on wicking action inside to do their job.

This is why you see some atx cases with the motherboard inverted... in order to mount the gpu's right-side up, so that gravity helps with the thermal action.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heat_pipe for anyone interested. Remember it's a wiki, so grain of salt, but it is a start.

Atomic
Logged
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2012, 10:40:57 PM »

Quote from: Bashtor on February 20, 2012, 09:18:28 PM

I just want to say I love the way you are breaking this down.  I'm actually thinking of starting to build a PC once I get back to the states and this post is pushing me more towards that option.  Bravo!

I'm glad somebody is enjoying it. I spent days picking out components and it is fun to try and share some of the thought process that went into it. If anybody has questions about anything, please chime in.

Interestingly, I tried to spec out as similar a system as possible from Puget Systems. I had to compromise a bit on the mobo, power supply, and on the graphics card (meaning I picked lower powered choices from their offerings), and factoring in tax, it would have cost me about 800 dollars more than what I spent, which really surprised me.

Quote from: CeeKay
that's either a really big fan or a really small head.

[edit]  damn, that case looks spacious but a bit plain.  you need some stickers or LED's to make it go faster

The cooler is huge, trust me, though you can get bigger ones.

LOL, would a UV reactive GPU help? Personally, I really like the sleek simple lines of it. The HAF X is a very nice case, but a bit funky for my taste (surprisingly, if I could have gotten the acid green nVidia version for the same price as the regular one, I might have gone that direction). The fortress case isn't flashy, but it isn't going to look out of style either. I honestly didn't care at all about the window, but I happened to get Silver w/ the window on sale.

In regard to heat pipe orientation, this is the orientation that Silverstone tells users to avoid:


You don't want the hottest part of the pipe to be the high side. It is ok to have them come up from underneath or the side.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2012, 11:14:01 PM by Misguided » Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2012, 04:32:27 PM »

Well, tomorrow is supposed to be B-day, so getting down to the nitty gritty. I mentioned before I would discuss the P67/Z68 issue. The link below is to an exhaustive breakdown of all the differences between the two on Hardware Canucks.

z68 overview

One of the two biggies is a new way to use both the on-board GPU and the discrete graphics depending on the task. This is primarily useful for doing stuff with video transcoding and the like, not so much for gaming. The other major feature is the inclusion of Intel's Smart Response Technology.

To crudely summarize, SRT uses an SSD partition up to 64 GB in size to cache a standard hard drive. On the plus side, the cache can be used to speed up a drive of any size, giving you SSD-like performance on any size drive for a budget price. Also, once this is set up (which requires enabling RAID in bios settings and really needs to be done prior to installing the OS) the cache drive is invisible to the OS, it isn't a separate drive letter. On the down side, it isn't as fast as just using an SSD and the speed increase is dependent on what data is in the cache. If you are constantly running different things, then data is going to be getting pushed out from the cache, so the next time you run it, it will be slow again.

Now, an SSD is really important these days if you want a quiet and powerful machine. While it might not increase the framerate on Crysis 7, it can dramatically increase boot times, level loads, etc. I really thought about this a lot. I didn't really want to spend gobs on a large SSD drive, but I definitely wanted to give the technology a spin.

Thinking about how this machine is going to be used, I don't do anything on my PC except play games. All my word processing, email, browsing, photoshop, etc is all done on a Mac. Moreover, most of my gaming these days is on the iOS platform. What I really want this machine for more than anything is for playing MMOs. I have bought a copy of SWToR and am awaiting Tera and Secret World. Typically, I am only going to be playing one of these at a time.

It seemed to me for my purposes that giving SRT a try was the perfect option. I decided that rather than buy a 20GB drive (which is the size Intel suggests) I would get a 64. At that size, if I decided I didn't like the SRT and wanted to use the SSD in a more conventional way it would be big enough to hold the OS, or it would be more useful down the road in my next build. There are other articles around on this tech, so definitely check those out if this sounds interesting.



I didn't know a damned thing about SSD drives when I started out. I know from research that the difference between the fastest and slowest is FAR smaller than the difference between the slowest SSD and the fastest conventional hard drive. I was all set to buy an OCZ Agility 3, which was inexpensive and had some good reviews, but was convinced to avoid a drive with a Sandforce controller. Sandforce has a bad rep, and maybe deservedly so. Their driver was causing BSODs and other issues. While this was supposed to have been fixed with a new firmware back in October, I decided to play it a bit more safe.

Samsung's SSD drives are kind of unique in that they are designed and built completely in-house and use their own controller, at least for now (they have been bought, so who knows what might change). The 830 series has a strong reputation and I managed to nab one for 100 bucks on sale. Note that with any SSD brand, smaller drives are slower compared to the larger ones, but again it is all relative.

I needed a hard drive to pair with the SSD. Originally, I planned to get something fairly small, because I don't really need that much, but I have a large CD collection I've been thinking of importing so I can listen to things more easily and I decided I might as well go big. By this point, I had assembled a bunch of quiet components and it made sense to try and do the same with the hard drive. Moreover, if the SSD caching works as advertised, having the fastest hard drive wouldn't be a necessity.

I never knew that the colors in Western Digital's Caviar series were related to performance. Black are the fastest; Green are slower, quieter, and use less power; and Blue are in the middle. I was looking at the WDC Green drives, but there were an overwhelming number of poor ratings on NewEgg, especially recently and on the larger drives. Instead I choose a 2 TB Seagate Barracuda Green. These drives are in the top end of the green drive segment in terms of performance, spinning at 5900 rather than 5200. It has a 64MB cache and has a SATA III interface (which is irrelevant, since hard drives can't come close to maxing out a SATA II from what I've read). At 110 dollars, it seemed a decent price for the size at today's flood-inflated prices.

Finishing up the storage part of our journey is 8MB of g.skill 1.25v sniper DDR3 1600 RAM. I considered more expensive ram with ridiculous looking heat spreaders and lower CAS laten is and whatnot. For me, I don't think any of that really matters. Yeah, I'm going to OC the CPU, but I'm not going to spend hours tweaking all the voltages to get the last few percent possible out of the system. The heat spreaders are small, which should eliminate any possible concerns with fitting underneath the CPU cooler and the low voltage means the memory uses a bit less power and runs a bit cooler.

Last but not least, I got a Samsung blu-ray combo drive (burns DVD and cd but only reads blu-ray). Honestly, I didn't put a ton of thought into this. I don't really need blu-ray, but figured it was worth the extra 30-35 bucks to have it if I wanted it later. Since I don't expect to use the drive while gaming, noise and such wasn't a major issue. I picked something that looked decent and had a reasonable price and came with software. At a cost of 55 dollars, it didn't break the bank.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 05:33:27 PM by Misguided » Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 09:02:30 PM »

Alright...the last component post, and it is a doozy. I put off thinking about graphics until late in the process. I had all these crazy quiet components picked out, and I knew that the GPU was in all likelihood going to be the noisiest thing in the case. All told, I spent roughly 15 hours researching, reading reviews, etc. just for the graphics card. I also reconsidered whether I really wanted the FT-02, because even Moreno than with the CPU cooler, the case played a major factor in the graphics card I chose.

Early on, I actually considered some passively cooled solutions, perhaps in an SLI configuration. That was really the point where I came to my senses and said "ok, I would like a quiet system, but I'm not going to make major sacrifices in GPU performance to achieve that."

So here's where the real problem lies. Recall that the motherboard is rotated 90 degrees in this case and vents at the top. Silverstone suggests that for optimal cooling, you use a graphics card that vents to the rear of the card through the slot cover. While this was a common design, that is no longer the case. While many stock designs employ that type of fan, most of the specialty cooling solutions you see (like Asus Direct CU or MSI Twin Frozr) aren't built that way.

Now I may have put too much reliance on Silverstone's recommendation, but given I am not an experienced system builder, I didn't want to wind up with a system that didn't perform to my expectations because I didn't heed the manufacturer's warning. Like I said, I was getting so frustrated that I seriously rethought buying an HAF X instead. Then I stumbled upon the IceQ series from HSI.



While I considered some of the other variants in the series, such as the 6870, I ultimately decided to go for the mid-high end and the 6970, with an eye toward adding another later on if I want. When this monster arrived, I was again awestruck at just how large it is. I knew it was nearly a foot long, it looks a heck of a lot bigger in person than in pictures.



Apparently, some reviewers, like Hilbert Hagedoorn at Guru3D (who writes amazingly detailed reviews) think the massive cooler design is hideous, but when it comes to components inside the case I am much more concerned with function than form (the Samsung 830 SSD is drop-dead gorgeous, but no one will ever see it). Honestly, I don't think it is that bad anyway.

I can't wait to see what all the different parts look like in place.
Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2012, 03:27:50 AM »

Got everything put together. Picked up the monster (it is HEAVY!) and put it at a temp location where I could get power to it. Plugged everything up, hit the switch, nothing. No power. Went to get something to eat, and while I was doing so it occurred to me that there was a connector on a cable I hadn't plugged in (there were two and I wasn't sure if I was supposed to use both). Plugged in the connector and so far everything looks great.

I enabled RAID in the BIOS and am installing Windows now. I took some pictures at different stages and should get those up with notes on the build process in the next couple of days.
Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2012, 05:02:54 PM »

Time for build photos!

Alright, let's start out with an open shot of the case. I wanted to show the 180mm intake fans at the bottom of the case. My hands are small, but should still give some perspective here. The FT-02 is about 24 inches deep so those fans are about 8 inches in diameter.



The hard drive bays are really nifty. What you are looking at here is a bracket removed from the cage. You attach your drive to the bracket with screws (and there are rubber grommets to reduce vibration) but then the bracket pops into the cage without need for screws. I really like this because you know the drive is secured, but the screws are easy to get to (since the brackets are removable. The case comes with one backplane for hot-swapping but I didn't make use of it. You can buy more as well,  but it isn't something I have need of.



Here's my SSD drive. While the case has a designated spot for a single 2.5 behind the motherboard tray, I choose to just use the 3.5" adapter it came with. This actually caused a problem with the bracket you just saw. The rounded tab sticking out the back of the bracket prevented me from plugging in the SATA data cable and I had to flip the SSD bracket over. If you squint at the pics later, you'll see that the SATA cables on the two hard drives are plugged in in opposite orientations.



After I got the power supply and drives installed, it was time to go to work on the motherboard. I've got two shots of the Noctua here, first with a single fan attached and then, both fans (motherboard rotated 180 degrees). This was the part of the entire build I was probably the most nervous about, but it really wasn't that bad at all. The fan didn't block anything, though I did make a point of plugging in the 8-pin power connector before I installed the motherboard since it would have been a bit tricky to get to after.





By the way, you'll notice that I installed those fans with the power cables at the top. I went back and rotated them 90 degrees after these pics.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 05:05:00 PM by Misguided » Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2012, 05:47:07 PM »

Speaking of that 8-pin power connector on the motherboard, 4 pins were covered and I had no idea why. The manual didn't say anything about it so i went online to see if I could find anything. Turns out they cover 4 in case you only have a 4 pin connector so you use the right four. The cover was on there so tightly I broke it removing it, but the port itself was fine.

Once I had the cooler installed, the mobo was rather unwieldy. I did my best to ease it into place but somehow managed to bend one of the connectors. I tried to move it back into place gently with a pair of pliers but it was only the ROG connect port, which I don't plan to use (let's you hook a laptop to it and get telemetry data while overclocking), so I just left it alone so I didn't make it worse. You can see it just right of center between two sets of blue USB ports. I think that pic was taken before i screwed the motherboard down, so everything dropped into place a bit afterward. There's also an empty space because I didn't install the Bluetooth card. I never saw an instruction to do so, so I never even thought about it. Suppose I can open her back up and drop it in.



Here is the mobo installed in the case. Note the power supply hanging from the top of the case, which I don't think I had any pics of yet. You can also see the optical drive in the top external bay upper left with just enough clearance in front of the PCI slots.



Here's the IceQ safely ensconced in its new home. Note that while this is a two slot card, the cooler actually pokes into the third space. I actually did know that from reading reviews and decided I was ok with it. If I add another down the line, it will block the last three slots on the left. Good thing I don't need any other PCI cards. Note that HIS says not to plug both power ports into the same PCI cable, so I ran two. I thought about using an auxilliary power connector on the mobo but decided to just run the two cables.



Oh my god, where do all these cables go?



Here's a slightly cleaned up shot. I was surprised at how easily the side panel went on. I didn't have any trouble whatsoever. I tried to position the thicker cables where there was a bit more space. You can clearly see here that while there is a cutout in the motherboard tray, it doesn't line up with the location of the CPU on the motherboard. That is why I had to install the cooler on the motherboard before I put the mobo in the case.



Here's the completed build from the front with the case open. I was pretty happy with how I was able to route most of the cables. I was able to tuck a bunch of excess under the power supply. The one that really annoyed me but I couldn't do anything about is the data cable from the optical drive. It wasn't long enough to route behind the tray. I think I did ok.



Here are a couple of shots with the side panel on.





And finally, here I've got the top cover on and sitting in its permanent spot. If there's anything this picture illustrates, it is that no how carefully you plan, no matter how many hours you spend reading reviews and choosing components, you will probably do something incredibly stupid like buying a black optical drive to go in a silver case!



I'm super pleased with the results so far. I haven't run any benchmarks or anything, but the build has met my expectations. While the machine is definitely not silent, you could literally converse in a whisper while sitting right next to it even under load. You can barely hear the hard drive spin up and I dont remember hearing the video card spin up when I was playing ToR yesterday. The exception is the optical drive, but I already knew that would be the case. My old computer is about 20 feet away, and even at idle I can hear it over the new one.

I should figure out how I can monitor temps and such so I can get a sense of cooling performance. Note that I haven't overclocked the processor yet. I figured I would let the system break in a bit before I did. Honestly, though, I don't expect that to increase the noise, unless the additional heat causes the graphics card to run louder.

At any rate, I had fun with my very first build. I'm really glad I bit the bullet and did it myself.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2012, 06:02:06 PM by Misguided » Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
TheAtomicKid
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1439



View Profile
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2012, 09:09:39 AM »

Now that it has been a little while, perhaps you've had some ideas on where you might have gone differently. I'll be updating my 'twitching' thread in a moment for my own.

Atomic
Logged
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2012, 05:50:06 PM »

Actually, I'm extremely pleased with everything so far. I still haven't done any overclocking, but I don't anticipate any issues there. I wanted to give the system some time to settle in first.

I have become suspicious that the video card I bought has gone EoL, which is a bummer. I had hoped to pick one up later for Crossfire. I thought about trying to find one somewhere and just get it now, but decided it would probably be better to simply upgrade in a year or two and I could use the 6970 to replace the dual 8800 setup in my old machine.

Aside from that, everything is groovy. The one thing I've considered adding is a front panel USB module of some kind. There are two on the top, but I'm not crazy about how it looks to have stuff plugged in up top, and more plugs is always good.
Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
TheAtomicKid
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 1439



View Profile
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2012, 06:13:04 AM »

Out of curiosity, how's your samsung ssd holding up? If you noticed in the thread here...

http://gamingtrend.com/forums/hardware-software-hell/building-a-new-rig/

I posted some comments about my own experience.

Atomic
Logged
Misguided
Gaming Trend Staff
Gaming Trend Senior Member

Offline Offline

Posts: 4850


Semi-acquatic egg-laying mammal of action


View Profile
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2012, 06:50:48 AM »

I've had zero troubles with the drive, though I haven't looked at the fragmentation. SRT caching isn't a perfect solution, but I've been happy with it, overall. The only problem of any sort I've had with any component is that I've had two instances where white horizontal lines appeared on the screen and in one of those cases, the left and right sides of the screen were reversed (left half on the right), I don't know if that's something with the video card or what.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 06:53:42 AM by Misguided » Logged

Ruining language with my terrible words.
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.125 seconds with 68 queries. (Pretty URLs adds 0.024s, 2q)