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The "White Trash" budget build

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself needing a new 'puter, due to my idiot cousin accidentally spilling his beer into my case - he managed to actually get about half of the beer inside where it made its way into the power supply and fried it. Well this was the PERFECT opportunity to do a new build. It's all stock stuff, and my first liquid cooled build and I'm extremely happy with it.

Details of all this water cooled AMD goodness follows;

All parts purchased from www.newegg.com unless otherwise noted.

Case - NZXT Source 210-002 White - $39.99 ( Roomy ATX mid tower with lots of fan holes, 20mm space behind main plate for wiring)
Mobo - ASRock 880GM-LE - $54.99 ( AM3, hybrid crossfire, overclocks very nicely, but doesnt unlock cores)
CPU - AMD Phenom II x4 980 BE - $149.99 ( Not Thuban, but the fastest (3.7ghz stock), most stable chunk o' Deneb on the planet)
Mem - G-Skill Ripjaws 2x4gb/1600 - $39.99 ( Red & shiny, loves overclocking)
Grfx - Gigavyte GTX460OC V2 1gb - $139.99 ( Dual fans, dual DVI output, mini HDMI output)
H2O - Corsair CWCH60 Liquid cooler - $69.99 ( Complete, self-contained liquid CPU cooling system - installs in under 10 minutes)
Fans - 2x Vantec Stealth 120mm DBB - $30.00 ( Quiet 78cfm fans from my local computer repair store)
HDD - 2x 500gb Sata 3 HDD's - $180.00 ( RAID arrayed, nothing special)
DVD - Asus DVD/RW drive SATA - $18.99 ( cheap, but does it's job as designed)
Pwr - Antec NEO-He 550watt - $60.00 ( Modular SLI ready, I bought this for a client repair a couple of years ago & never used it)

Total invested = $784.00


Comments;

For a case that's only 40 bucks, its surprisingly well designed and well built, It's powder coated outside AND inside and it can accept up to 6 additional fans (max; 3x140mm fans - 120mm fans will mount where 140mm's go if desired), I broke a blade on the included NZXT 120mm case fan by ever so slightly coming into contact with the fan blades with my finger while moving cables around. This fan was noisy and vibrated to begin with so out it went. 20mm of space behind the main plate and back plate provide ample space for cable routing. And,.... this thing is as white as the driven snow and makes the interior bright and very clean looking.

The Corsair CWCH60 high perfomance hydro cooling loop is AWESOME !! - it installed easily and perfectly within 10 minutes !! - I WILL NEVER air cool a CPU again, EVER !!! It went into the rear fan port where the included case fan went. I installed one 120mm fan in one of the top fan ports to pull air up and out, and the other in the side panel to push air in - This fan port conveniently, and I'm assuming by design, sits right over my vid card. I'll add more fans IF the need presents itself, but for now under load and OC'd - the case feels cool, almost cold even, to the touch.

The Gigabyte GTX460OC V2 video card takes 2- 6 pin power leads - I'm assuming because of overclockability and its two cooling fans.

Based on ambient temp of 21C(70F), my CPU idles at 28-30C (82-85F) at stock speeds - thats only 8-10C (15-17F) above ambient. Under load (BF3, ultra settings for 4-5 hours) the CPU has just topped 46C(115F)

OC'd to 4.2ghz, idle sits at 32-34C (90-93F) and under the same load as above, has hit 50C (122F) I've yet to see it go higher than that and am very happy that this build keeps below the 50c plateau w/o having to resort to stronger measures.

The Mobo was amazingly inexpensive for it's capabilities but sometime in the future I plan on swapping it out for a board that has 2 or more PCIE slots, a better south-bridge chipset, and can unlock cores.

I still have some cable management to do as you will see in the pics,...

Comments welcome & Peace Out Y'all =8)

WT001.jpg 5513k .jpg file WT002.jpg 4800k .jpg file WT003.jpg 4899k .jpg file WT004.jpg 5186k .jpg file
White Trash
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White Trash
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post #2 of 37
That case is really nice for 40 bucks. Looks good, though it could use a few zip ties. biggrin.gif
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post #3 of 37

The 880GM-LE is a low end 3+1 phase board with low end design, and I would not trust it for running 125W TDP processor.  Although it is rated for such, you will probably very quickly experience protective shutdowns that may affect your saved work as the motherboard's VRMs may not in all situations be able to push the processor.

 

In particular since you have an aftermarket H60, you make things infinitely worse by leaving a low end VRM system without ANY cooling whatsoever (neither airflow no heatsinks), preventing any effective radiation of heat - AND overclocking and overvolting to 4.2Ghz.  You NEED to pursue a new motherboard for proper operation with such power loads - and for now, you should use the AMD stock cooler to provide motherboard component cooling and undervolt and underclock as/if necessary, NOT overvolt and overclock.

 

You should take my warning and read the link in my sig (About VRMs & MOSFETs).

 

You are at least lucky that this board has a confirmed method of VRM protection because that shuts things down upon overheat/overload (you might not notice this right away but placing extreme load on weak VRMs degrades its ability to handle current similar to how a PSU degrades with time, eventually reducing the amperage supply/conversion capacity to the point where it will simply not work anymore), if it didn't you would be dealing with a flaming, burning mess instead of a motherboard.  It is extremely important that you know about the motherboard you are dealing with (i.e. VRMs capable?) before you proceed with an overclock/overvolt (i.e. is iteeven safe to do so).  Many recorded VRM failure incidents are caused by users' lack of knowledge about this issue.  That's what I and my article are here for.

 

By the way, 980 BE is a Deneb.  There are no cores to unlock.


Edited by xd_1771 - 2/11/12 at 3:03am
post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by xd_1771 View Post

The 880GM-LE is a low end 3+1 phase board with low end design, and I would not trust it for running 125W TDP processor.  Although it is rated for such, you will probably very quickly experience protective shutdowns that may affect your saved work as the motherboard's VRMs may not in all situations be able to push the processor.

In particular since you have an aftermarket H60, you make things infinitely worse by leaving a low end VRM system without ANY cooling whatsoever (neither airflow no heatsinks), preventing any effective radiation of heat - AND overclocking and overvolting to 4.2Ghz.  You NEED to pursue a new motherboard for proper operation with such power loads - and for now, you should use the AMD stock cooler to provide motherboard component cooling and undervolt and underclock as/if necessary, NOT overvolt and overclock.

You should take my warning and read the link in my sig (About VRMs & MOSFETs).

You are at least lucky that this board has a confirmed method of VRM protection because that shuts things down upon overheat/overload (you might not notice this right away but placing extreme load on weak VRMs degrades its ability to handle current similar to how a PSU degrades with time, eventually reducing the amperage supply/conversion capacity to the point where it will simply not work anymore), if it didn't you would be dealing with a flaming, burning mess instead of a motherboard.  It is extremely important that you know about the motherboard you are dealing with (i.e. VRMs capable?) before you proceed with an overclock/overvolt (i.e. is iteeven safe to do so).  Many recorded VRM failure incidents are caused by users' lack of knowledge about this issue.  That's what I and my article are here for.

By the way, 980 BE is a Deneb.  There are no cores to unlock.

Yer why not a thub core run cooler even when oc'd and my 960t (which is cheap) oc'd to 4.1ghz no probs and has cores to unlock (havent unlocked mine mobo wont)!
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post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply - thats some good info about VRM's etc,...

As far as the board goes, please remember that this IS a budget build so I had to get what was affordable at the time. I WILL be replacing the board when I can afford the board I want.

I've been monitoring this board closely and have noticed that even under load and OC'd, it is running only 7-8C (77-79f) above ambient. I'm not worried about it spontaniously combusting or melting at all.

As far as unlocking a Deneb - well duh !!! - never said I want to attempt to unlock it - I just said I wanted a board that can unlock cores smile.gif

As evident in the pictures, there IS a 120mm fan in the side panel that bathes both the mobo and the vid card in gloriously cool outside air - inside case temps are WELL (like 20f) below my friends aircooled 955 BE - Going back to a stock air cooler would seen extremely counter-productive to me as air coolers evacuate heat only from the CPU and minimally from the board, but re-distribute the heat throuout the case Why not just send the CPU heat completely out of the case with water cooling? Intuition tells me that going back to air would actually raise my mobo temps in this specific build scenario.
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post #6 of 37

The warm air exiting from the stock cooler is better than no air at all.  The likelihood is such exiting air is still cooler than the temperature of the motherboard component and thus there is still a capability of removing heat.  The case's two exhaust fans should be able to remove this heat that is pushed back into the case fairly quickly and efficiently.

 

Stock coolers normally blow downward and motherboard components are organized to be laid out around the CPU for this exact purpose.

 

You can probably expect that the lower side fan exerts low static pressure which means that the GPU fan and the H60's fan should steal most of the air that would supposedly move towards any motherboard components.  There is NO airflow going through them as it is likely skipping the setup.  You can't really relate the case ambient temperature to component temperature because hardly any of that component temperature is even radiating to the case; it's just sitting there and piling up without radiating naturally due to the lack of airflow.  That is what is extremely dangerous.  As much as 70% of all recorded VRM failures pointed out in my article (that was a measurement taken longer ago so it may have changed slightly as new failures were recorded) happened on setups where proper VRM cooling was not ensured (i.e. tower cooling/water cooling).

 

You should not ignore my warning by keeping your setup as-is until a new motherboard is claimed and I strongly recommend that you replace the AMD stock cooler for the safety and operating efficiency of your setup.  You are pushing a load that is well beyond what a board like this should be expected to handle.

post #7 of 37
I was thinking about what XD said about cooling the MB and rememberd the Noctua NH-C14. It costs $20 more, but it is a decent cooler; and it comes with 2 Noctua NF-P14 fans. One of those fans you can put in the top of the case if you want. From what I've read, it is a decent cooler, though probably not quite as effective as the H60. It does however cool the RAM and MB far more effectively than either the tower or water cooler designs.

For the record, I'm planning on getting one of the NH-C14 for a mATX build.
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post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 
I tried xd's (Honest thanks for your concern about the potential of burning up my board in my setup) suggestion and went back to the stock AMD fan - Both CPU, mobo and CASE ambient temps all went up about 6-8C degrees - I'm afraid my system could reach a poitentially hazardous temperature pleteau much more quickly and easily, but maybe this is good if the mobo stays more protected from an overage of thermal energy???

Since it can't be lost in translation because I didnt say anything about it previously, I use this system mainly for gaming and photo processing, I dont overclock my systems 24/7 - only enough to see what they can do, get the system stable for a couple of hours, then dial it back down to stock speeds for normal use.

I checked ROOM ambient temps against my last tests and no change there - room temp was 70F +/-1 degree, and here in Colorado in the winter where there is very little moisture in the air, I dont consider humidity a factor. - I'm monitoring my mobo temps with both the mobo's on-board temp sensor and a thermal sensor gun - yes there are differences between the on-board sensor reading and direct temps of the heatsinks from the thermal gun, the latter being higher. - So which numbers do I rely upon? I'll assume the gun readings,...

Added a couple of extra case fans in the roof of my box for good measure with both of them blowing directly on/across the mobo,....... And did some serious cable management. I'll post more pics in a couple of days.
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Corsair H60 Liquid Cooling System 3 - 120mm Case fans 3 - 140mm Case Fans Win 7/64 Home Edition 
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Asus VG248QE 24" 144htz Gaming monitor Raidmax RX-1000AE 80+ Gold Certified Modular PSU NZXT Source 210 ATX Midtower white/black trim Sony 7.1 Home Theather system 
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post #9 of 37
the fans on the roof do better removing heat from caseafter all heat rises pull in cool from the bottom and put it out to the top
post #10 of 37

Are those idle or load temps?  It's better to have higher idle temps and lower temps that remain more constant when loaded, rather than having low idle temps and ridiculously high load temps that raise continuously due to the lack of cooling and thus the over-time heat pileup.


Regardless of whether you've got the H60 or not you should put focus on case airflow.  Your H60 has extra 120MM fans; use them.  Mount them in the case to provide extra intake and exhaust so that the ambient air in your case actually gets out and cool air gets to your parts.  Cable management is also an important level of organization.  You took a first step forward towards better mobo component cooling by replacing the stock cooler, now you just need to take the other step forward that is improving case airflow.

 

If the components that are being measured by the mobo temp sensors (which do not measure heatsink temps but temps of the components under them) are cooler than the heatsink that you point out with the sensor, that probably means the heatsink is working - and is able to offload the heat from the component to the additional metal.  All you need is for air to hit that surface area and you're truly moving the heat away.


Edited by xd_1771 - 2/19/12 at 12:38pm
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