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My "modest" build : i7-2600k/580SLI/HAF-X/NH-D14

post #1 of 165
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone smile.gif

I just wanted to post here the build process of my computer, for reference or maybe ideas of setup for our fellow OCN members wink.gif

But let's start with the beginning, shall we ?

My previous computer was from about four years ago : a dual core E8600 ( upgraded from an E6750 ), P5K3 Deluxe motherboard, 4 gb OCZ Reaper ram modules, GTX280 graphics card, Seasonic M12-700W PSU, two Seagate 1 Tb HDDs, all of this installed in an Antec Nine Hundred case ( that wasn't pretty, cable management was a big mess biggrin.gif ). In last February, my GTX280 died ( no more 3D capabilities, but browsing the web and watching movies/series was ok ). So I decided to upgrade my computer and started from scratch.

I started collecting information ( not enough as you will see later on ) on the new technologies available now : i7-9xx cpu series ( nice perfs ! ), GTX5xx graphics cards ( less power angry and quieter than 280/480 cards, excellent ! ), SSDs ( Oh shiny ... ).

I was going for the X58 chipset so I ordered two kits of 3x2 Gb Corsair Dominator 1600 C8 ram modules ( 12 Gb should be enough ). While those were on the way ( Remember that where I live ( Tahiti ), orders take a good 7-10 days to arrive ). And I continued to fetch some more information on setup and configuration : Sandy Bridge ( WTH ? Better than the 980x and 990x for gaming for the third of the price ? eek.gif ). Full Stop ! I checked on P67 chipset motherboard solutions without breaking the bank and I saw the Sabertooth P67 ... Wow, now that's something new, in my opinion the Thermal Jacket looks really great. Plus here we got pretty high temperatures all year long ( 26-35°C ), so I was thinking this might be a good thing.

For cooling I chose a Noctua NH-D14 ( had a NH-U12F before and it did wonders smile.gif ) which is a really great.

For the graphics I chose a MSI NGTX580 Twin Frozr II OC, being more an Asus or Leadtek customer, but the cooling and the noise performance got me ( this was just before the launch of the Asus GTX580 DCUII haha ).

For the disks, I went to OCZ and their great Vertex 3 drives. One 128 Gb for the system and one 240 Gb for the games and applications, plus two Seagate 1 Tb 7200.12 Rev 3.0 6Gbit/s HDDs for media and data backups.

For the CPU, I bought an I7-2600K since I needed the Hyperthreading for Photoshop and Premiere CS5.

To power all of that, the Seasonic X-760W was a no-brainer, at least for me biggrin.gif

The case was more of a puzzle: I needed good cable management ( well almost everything is better than an Antec 900 biggrin.gif ), space and good cooling. I checked several sites, and browsed through their case reviews, and several got my attention : CM 690 Advanced II, Corsair Graphite 600T and InWin Dragon Rider. I finally chose the Corsair for its look and cable management, and from the reviews I saw its cooling capabilities were good ( yeah right, more of that later ).

Now some pictures of the build, in chronological order :
5538929235_9d9600e78e_b.jpg
Goodies !

5538928895_bfb9a57f71_b.jpg
Asus Sabertooth P67

5538929029_f90d97fe51_b.jpg
Corsair Dominator 1600 C8

5539508082_b9321fa813_b.jpg
Noctua NH-D14

5552642952_ed5b32005e_b.jpg
Intel i7-2600k in its new home biggrin.gif

5552643334_567323d3ed_b.jpg
Ram Clearance

5552059019_274ea56f05_b.jpg
THe NH-D14 is huge eek.gif

5657324644_ca6850bdc5_b.jpg
Components in !

5656750823_9c7e75b6f8_b.jpg
So pretty ...

To be continued ( check my next post smile.gif )
Edited by TC_Fenua - 7/26/11 at 8:56pm
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post #2 of 165
I wouldn't say that is modest =)

Looks really great, very clean!
 
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post #3 of 165
Yea, not modest... Awsome though smile.gif
    
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post #4 of 165
Very straight forward build.Very nice
    
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post #5 of 165
Uber nice!
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post #6 of 165
Thread Starter 
So it looked great and stuff, right ? Right ...

I noticed a big problem when I tried to push the system a bit : high temperatures on some components.

Here's what I had:
5802819358_b6867a17d0_o.jpg
Ouch, too high...

And this was the assistant fan on the motherboard :
5686577310_29a0dfb7b1_b.jpg
Fractal Design Silent Series fan

This fan is great and all, but it has TWO major flaws :
_You can't install anything in the x1 PCIe slot closest to the cpu ( no sound card here then frown.gif )
_It's pretty noisy since it's a small fan rotating at about 2.5-3k rpm.

The fact that you can't install a sound card above the video card is a pain: my GPU was always at 100% fan speed while gaming .... So I tossed it away biggrin.gif

I had to take measures to lower the temperatures:
_Flip the PSU to get air from under and isolate its airflow from the rest of case.
_Replace most of the stock fans which are pure garbage
_Relocate the top 3.5" HHD cage to improve the airflow toward the GPU and SATA buses
_Learn more about airflow physics and improvements

I ordered three new fans, Noctua NF-S12B FLX to reaplce the top and back stock fans. The front stock fan is hard to replace due to its dimensions : 200x200x20 mm, and the best 200m fans out there are 30mm thick frown.gif

I switched the negative pressure system to a positive one ( more intake than exhaust vs stock configuration ), and found great informations here and here.

Let's see what that changed temperature wise :
5802819494_651a62010b_o.jpg
Much better smile.gif

That's a pretty drastic change, huh ? wink.gif Here are some shots of that configuration :
5802264231_aea04fee6f_b.jpg
Noctuas everywhere biggrin.gif

5686578138_53d3a15c60_b.jpg
HDD cage relocated

5802263669_f804281d5c_b.jpg
PSU flipped

I then had a revelation : I need SLI. Why ? I don't know but I need it biggrin.gif Maybe BF3 has something to do with that, haha. And I thought to myself : " There is no way I will have good temperatures in this case with two GTX580 ..." Except going with a water cooled solution, but I'm not ready yet for that smile.gif

And the verdict fell ... I need another case ... My first choice was a Silverstone FT-02 BW with its outstanding cooling and original motherboard orientation. I asked my retailer here if they can order it and how much it would be. Two days later I got my answer : " What ??? $200 for shipping only ??? Are you kidding me ??!! Plus $300 for the case ??!! Forget it ! " mad.gif

I went to the major computer part stores of the island to see what they offered ( it was quick, we got like four with good choices ) and I saw the Cooler Master HAF-X. Wow that thing is huge ! Let's check inside ... Even huger !!! ( is that a word ? biggrin.gif ) Cable management seemed a bit less thought of than the 600T but it was enough for me. Half of an hour later :
5815903160_11d75b1a94_b.jpg
Huge I say !

And a few hours later :
5815337229_2b20133839_b.jpg
All in !

Only changes I made were modifying the graphics card shroud to fit, since my GTX580 was getting in the way, and reversing the top 200mm fan to get more positive pressure, MORE ! biggrin.gif

Here are the temperatures now :
5815902730_7ac1473c0c_o.jpg
Ok, that's way better ...

Some more shots of my current setup :
5822932552_d1b95360af_b.jpg
Lots of space of the NH-D14

5822932842_1549e6a12e_b.jpg
Action shot !

5822932264_5bab616323_b.jpg
Now that's a front fan...

5822931948_79ab3cd6c4_b.jpg
PCB goodness

Of course I haven't finished my setup, I still have things to do:
_Cables sleeving
_Fit a fan controller ( Lamptron FC Touch )
_Install a second 200mm fan on top
_Install a second GTX580
_Elbow grease biggrin.gif

I did some benchmarks and logs, you can find them here.

Long term plan is maybe get a water cooled system ( need to learn more about that ), switch to X79 and Sandy Bridge E next year and get a bigger display smile.gif

Stay tuned !
Edited by TC_Fenua - 6/12/11 at 10:52pm
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post #7 of 165
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the comments smile.gif

When I say "modest", yes I mean it, I don't have water cooling yet, no tri-SLI configuration, only one display and only lightly OC, nothing extreme smile.gif
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post #8 of 165
Edit
Oh nvmd.
Nice smile.gif
    
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post #9 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by TC_Fenua;13848592 
Thanks for the comments smile.gif

When I say "modest", yes I mean it, I don't have water cooling yet, no tri-SLI configuration, only one display and only lightly OC, nothing extreme smile.gif

I would be willing to bet, most people have a different definition of modest than you do tongue.gif

Great looking rig though, keep the pictures coming!
 
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post #10 of 165
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imrac;13848642 
I would be willing to bet, most people have a different definition of modest than you do tongue.gif

Great looking rig though, keep the pictures coming!

Yea, a 580 is like 600 bucks or something right? Not my deffinition of modest. thinking.gif
    
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