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System Build: Fractal Black Pearl USB3

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys

I had been asked to complete a system rebuild and thought id put together a quick build log, especially showing the new USB3 version of the Black Pearl.

The idea of this build was to strip down an existing Q6600 system and build a new Phenom rig suitable for Bulldozer.

Existing System...

Mobo - Unknown
CPU - Q6600 Stock
RAM - 4GB DDR2
GPU - 1Gb 560 GTX
HDD - 2x 500Gb

New Parts...

Mobo - Gigabyte 990FXA UD5
CPU - Phenom x6 1100T @ 3.3Ghz
Cooling - Noctua NH-D14
RAM - 8Gb (2x 4Gb) DDR3 G.Skill Ripjaws
HDD - 1Tb WD 7200rpm
Case - Fractal Design R3 Black Pearl USB3

For the first part of the build I received the new parts before the existing rig, so of course how can we NOT build what we have seen as we have the chassis and core parts.



The case arrived well packaged, very similar to the first generation Black Pearl cases, with lots of extras to help you build your system including colour coded screws for different components, replacement drive bay cover, fan controller etc. Even simple things like the rear panel grills are all high quality powder coated aluminium.



The Black Pearl uses the same acoustic material as previous incarnations and has a great quality feel to whole case, considering its price its a fantastic little box!

The case is pre fitted with 120mm silent fans, 1 at the front and one at the rear.



The new Gigabyte motherboard is a joy to behold, superb build quality and expansion options (crossfire and SLi, AM3+ bulldozer support, USB3) and is finished with very good quality north/south bridge heatsinks.



The processor...



Mounted...



Replacement mounting brackets fitted and TIM in place...



Noctua fans removed... (note the little hands assisting)



Heatsink fitted to mounting brackets...



Shiny! The faceplate on the heatsink is one of the smoothest i have seen on any after market fan assembly.



Ripjaws fitted before 2nd fan reattached to the Noctua heatsink... not a lot of headroom there but still a perfect fit.



The Black Pearl has great pre cut and rubber trimmed cable tidy holes over the base plate to make it easier to run cables behind the mobo, just remember to run the jumper cables before fitting the mobo!



Jumpers fitted, mobo in place...



The hard drive brackets allow you to attach a hard drive to a dampened mounting bracket, these can then slide into the mounting bays licated in the front of the case.



Fitted...



Done! Until the remainder of the system arrives and we can continue the build, the next stage will be strip down and salvage. Watch this space!




Edited by weesteev - 10/4/11 at 12:11am
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post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Update - 05/10/11

The original system arrived and work began to strip down and salvage parts...



Not a very nice case, bet the insides are the same?



Of course they are! After a quick diagnostic, the SATA controller on the ASRock mobo was fried and didnt recognise any SATA devices. System still boots and doesnt return any errors but its no use if you cant load an OS!! Time to get to work...



GPU, PSU, Hard Drives and Optical drives salvaged, the rest is for recycling/spare parts. Non modular PSU, oh dear! Lets try and squeeze it all into the new case...



Cabling is certainly easy with this case, if you spend the time you can hide pretty much every cable behind the mobo tray.



As its a non modular PSU we are working with, its tricky to tie up all the cables that are lying around as there no option to remove un-needed cabling.





So, cabling complete, GPU and hard drives in place, time to test.



System powers up perfectly, a quick check with the original OS loaded HDD confirms the system starts OK but we still have to reload the OS.
Edited by weesteev - 10/5/11 at 12:13am
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Corsair K70 RGB Corsair RM850i Define R5 Black Pearl Corsair M65 RGB 
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Corsair K70 RGB Corsair RM850i Define R5 Black Pearl Corsair M65 RGB 
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post #3 of 7
by "new" usb 3 version you mean buying the upgrade kit right?

or do the cases come standard now with usb 3?

where did you buy your r3?
Edited by surfbumb - 10/3/11 at 4:42pm
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post #4 of 7
i dont think the r3 have usb 3.0 on the case. for sure his mobo has usb 3.0 slots
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
The new R3 Black Pearl does have USB3, the case has had a few minor changes as well.

The USB3 internal header is also a blue plug and has 14 pins rather than the standard 7/8 pin header and the external socket is blue as well. i didnt even realise this until I unpacked it.

From what i have seen, the fan dust covers have also been improved, especially the cover for the PSU vents on the bottom of the case, they arent as flimsy as the first gen. case.

All kit for this build was bought from ebuyer.com (UK).

http://www.ebuyer.com/236437-fractal...def-r3-usb3-bl
The Money Pit!
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 8370 Black Edition Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Gigabyte 970 G1 16Gb HyperX Savage 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SSD, 1Tb x4 Corsair Hydro H110i GT Windows 10 Enterprise x64 Samsung S27D590C 27" Full HD Curved LED 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair K70 RGB Corsair RM850i Define R5 Black Pearl Corsair M65 RGB 
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The Money Pit!
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 8370 Black Edition Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Gigabyte 970 G1 16Gb HyperX Savage 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SSD, 1Tb x4 Corsair Hydro H110i GT Windows 10 Enterprise x64 Samsung S27D590C 27" Full HD Curved LED 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair K70 RGB Corsair RM850i Define R5 Black Pearl Corsair M65 RGB 
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post #6 of 7
Lovely.

I bought the USB upgrade kit for my R3 and found it just didn't work. The screws were too short and you had to route the cables through the top 5 1/4" bay.
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Update in second comment field, further updates to come!
The Money Pit!
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 8370 Black Edition Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Gigabyte 970 G1 16Gb HyperX Savage 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SSD, 1Tb x4 Corsair Hydro H110i GT Windows 10 Enterprise x64 Samsung S27D590C 27" Full HD Curved LED 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair K70 RGB Corsair RM850i Define R5 Black Pearl Corsair M65 RGB 
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Corsair 220 x 220 Cloth Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty Champion Series PCI-E Creative Gigaworks T40 Series 2 Speakers Corsair Void Wireless 
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The Money Pit!
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 8370 Black Edition Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Gigabyte 970 G1 16Gb HyperX Savage 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung SSD, 1Tb x4 Corsair Hydro H110i GT Windows 10 Enterprise x64 Samsung S27D590C 27" Full HD Curved LED 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair K70 RGB Corsair RM850i Define R5 Black Pearl Corsair M65 RGB 
Mouse PadAudioOtherOther
Corsair 220 x 220 Cloth Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty Champion Series PCI-E Creative Gigaworks T40 Series 2 Speakers Corsair Void Wireless 
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