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post #41 of 121
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All components and items have been purchased. There is going to be a delay on my case from Mountain Mods due to supply issues. I hope to get that last piece by the end of June.

I am going to finish planning out and writing up the first version of my build log by this Friday. Additionally, playing with some WC loop design ideas. I will also begin to post pictures as the goodies come in. smile.gif

Stay tuned for more awesomeness that is on the horizon. thumb.gif
    
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post #42 of 121
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Chapter 1

Acknowledgements

Behind most builds on OCN, there are a special group of individuals that make logs, such as mine, possible. Without these exceptional guys, I would be completely lost. Thank you…

skyR: This individual, from TeamLiquid.net's Tech Support section, helped me out the most from the get-go. Starting in November, I began to do research into this project and I was completely clueless. He took the time to explain everything... component by component until I had a greater understanding of not only what's good out there today, but why. My PC would not have been as incredible as it is with you. Thank you very much for your assistance and time.

Lutro0: You took me under your wing, and without asking for anything in return, guided me throughout this entire process. You’re an extremely open minded individual, and you never steered me in the wrong direction.

*This guy is also the best sleever that I have come across. I watched his sleeving stream several times, and he really takes his time. There’s passion and pride in the quality of work. Therefore, I am really looking forward to seeing your work for my build.*

JozefH: Like Lutro0, you took the time out of your day to assist me, a complete stranger. We discussed the components of my build, and you helped me save some money. That money was immediately blown on water-cooling though, haha. And, of course the fire extinguishers due to the amount of dragons…

But, in all seriousness, thank you so much for your time and dedication. You not only helped me find an affordable water cooling solution, but it also has value – it can last for several high-end builds. The hours leading up to a out-of-state trip, we burnt the midnight oil picking parts online. We went a little crazy at the end. Fun times. smile.gif

I am also looking forward to potentially frantic Skype calls in the near future when I begin to put the loop together. I’m going to have to figure out how to flush these rads. Prepare yourself. Haha.

Kramy: Hard drives, at least for me, was an underestimated part of the build. But, I was entriguied by your OCN description (“Storage Nut”). I never thought much of storage, but your profile peaked my interest and I reached out to you. The essays you wrote… man, I really appreciate the time you invested in me. I’m going to post everything you wrote, if you don’t mind in my build log for other’s to learn from your words of wisdom. I’m quite proud of the HDD/SSD components that I picked out, and I’m really looking forward to organizing and optimizing my PC once it’s all put together. Thanks a ton for everything you did.


Thank you Demented, XNine, PeteJM, xnuw, benben84, PuffinmyLye, and ehume. I know I ask a lot of questions, and I appreciate your support throughout this process as well. You, and everyone on OCN who has interacted with me – even if it was one post – you had a positive influence on me.

Build Log Preface

Thanks to you all at OCN again. I really hope you enjoy the build log as much as I did. I put a lot of effort into this so it can be an enjoyable experience, and hopefully education for all you first timers out there.

It’s organized in chronological order: research phase, shipment, unboxing, assembly, organization and final pictures. However, dispersed in the various sections, I will incorporate commentary. It’s intention is twofold: entertainment (you get to see how I think through the challenges of a newbie’s first build) and education (learn from my success and setbacks); I will incorporate the lessons I learned from my trial and errors, plus advice given to me by OCN members. Again, this will be organize into relevant sections. For example: if you want to learn what Kramy taught me about HDDs, check out the “Computer Build section”.


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Edited by Passion - 6/27/12 at 9:29am
    
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post #43 of 121
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Chapter 2

Computer Build Updates

Computer Schedule Announcement

Computer will be assembled on Friday, July 6, 2012. I will flush the rads, and do a 24 hour leak test. Computer will be fully operational on the following day. I will dedicate a section of my build log to document how I will then optimize my computer (from BIOS settings to Win7 installation, and everything else in between).

Update #1: The CASE Setback

In hindsight, I've learned that this case's uniqueness is also its greatest flaw. Being an individual who strives for perfection, even in the finest of details, this case could be built better. I am going to provide my feedback to MM so they can perhaps improve upon their nice concept. The H2gO is, after all, a brilliant idea for a case. I personally like the compact look and structure. I'm also a big fan of the motherboard placement.

But, the case proved to be my biggest setback. When I got around to installing the computer, it was very easy in comparison. I put the computer together for my test run in under an hour. Whereas, I spent my first build day troubleshooting case problems...

---Problem #1 (Written on June 29, 2012): Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
My main problem right now is making room for 2 HDD and 1 SSD. Unlike a regular tower case, I have to mount the HD rack myself. But, according to MM, the rack is designed to be mounted on a 120mm fan slot. But, I did not want to sacrifice a fan for hard drives.

I have two solutions for this problem:

1) Mount the HD rack to the fan, which is mounted to the case -- this would be accomplished by getting a long screw so it can reach both.

2) Drill holes into the case to create space for a custom HD rack (I might mount the drives in the vertical position in this scenario). I was thinking about utilizing the space between the PSU and the front panel of the case.


I'm not sure which is the best option. I never built a computer before, let alone use a case like this. I also think that MM didn't provide me with enough screws for the HD rack, so I will have to run to the local hardware store to pick up screws anyway. Going to hardware store to prepare for both options. This will get done properly, and it will get done today!
---Problem #2: SCREWS! Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I could not find screws that worked! The screws that came with the case were for the motherboard only, and I had nothing else to work with. I couldn't mount the HD rack and the HDDs to the rack. Furthermore, the screws that came with the products I ordered (i.e. reservoir -- it's screws did not mount properly because of the acrylic casing; the screws were not long enough). These setbacks really delayed my progress.

I don't know if this has anything to do with the case or not, but since this is my first build... I have nothing to reuse. The first problem (HD rack mounting) and the other case related problems that will be listed below, revolved around finding proper screws. The case did not come with what I needed, and I ended up running to the store five times on June 29 to get the right solution. I also went out and bought another gallon of distilled water, velcro for SSD mounting (will use it on the side of the HD rack) and I ordered a funnel on Amazon.
---Problem #3: Mounting 5.25 Drives
WARNING: The case is, apparently, designed to mount the CD-R drive on the bottom. If you are considering to purchase this case, getting a CD-R drive will make your life easier. Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
I did not plan on purchasing one, and as a result, the case became even more difficult to work with... I cannot securely mount my 5.25 bays (fan controller and res bay). I tried various techniques (and sunk more time) and nothing worked. Now, even assuming I can mount the drives, there is still an awkward space between the case and the drives. It is these small details that bother me throughout. The pictures below reflect the spacing. I will update these pictures once I close the case up. There's a chance that it might be fixed when all panels are screwed on AND when the bays are eventually securely mounted.

Pictures Pending

Update: MM is providing me with a custom solution. They created an acrylic unit that will house my 5.25 drives and securely mount to the base of the case. If this works, we'll have to see if the space issue is resolved.

The space issue is also present on the motherboard tray. In order to mount the I/O panels AND video card panel... the aluminum frame is pushed out by 1mm. Before the motherboard was installed, this aluminum frame never protruded. Before I added the video card, it took some force to prevent the 1mm gap, but with the GPU... I cannot.

Motherboard Pictures Pending...
Final Thoughts on H2gO (Click to show)
Disregard pricing for a moment, the case is a nice one despite the problems. I can get past many of them, but once you add the cost of the case (min: $180 not including shipping), it's a reasonable expectation to expect perfection. A cheaper case from a manufacturing plant in China, for example, will not have these problems that I went through. I don't expect to leave the case as-is. I'm going to resolve these problems. But, it's annoying to have to do that. If I paid $50 for this case, then it's honestly expected to have setbacks. But, when you pay a premium for a custom case, should one really expect to work twice as hard?

The great thing about MM (and I'm sure other companies like CaseLabs are like this to) is the customer service. Ben from MM created a custom acrylic device to solve my 5.25 bay issue. You cannot get that kind of support from a larger corporation like CoolMaster (I'm assuming), but on the other hand... you might need to with a case from CoolMaster.

It's a great case, with a very unique design. It will look great water cooled, and takes up little space. I like it, but I like it less after what I went through.

We'll see if the 5.25 mounting device resolves my spacing problems. I will troubleshoot the motherboard area today, and contact Ben about it tomorrow. If these spaces are resolved, I will add a post on how I did it to help those who are interested in this case. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from buying this, but I want to provide some honest feedback. It's hard to get information on this case.

Update #3: Computer Testing Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Prior to mounting water blocks, I tested my components with stock heatsink/fan out of the case and everything ran successfully. All components were dedicated. I will now proceed to water cooling stage. Once I receive the 5.25 bay mounting component, I will mount it and then add water to the loop. In the meantime, I'm going to start the loop now.

Hyperlink to Test Pictures Goes Here...
________________________________________________________________________________________________

Live Shipping Updates (Last Update - July 6, 2012 @ 18:12 EST]:

Custom Solution to properly mount 5.25 drive bays: DELIVERED!
156

Mountain Mod H2gO Case: Received!
133

June 28: I finally received my computer case!
450

Everything else has been received a week earlier:
700

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Edited by Passion - 7/6/12 at 3:11pm
    
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post #44 of 121
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Chapter 3

Behind the Scenes

Unboxing! Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
450

450

450

450

Testing PC for DOA
Pictures coming soon.


Purchased Computer Component List Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
CPU: i5 3570K
450

GPU: EVGA FTW GTX 670
450

MOBO: Asus P8Z77-V Pro
450

RAM: Samsung 16GB
700

SSD: Samsung 830 256GB
450

HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB & WD Caviar Green 2TB


PSU: Seasonic Platinum 860
450

Case: Mountain Mod H2gO


Peripherals and Accessories:

External DVD: Samsung SE-208AB (for software and game installs)
450

Monitor: 27'' Catleap Q270 w/ Speakers

Keyboard: Ducky DK9008G2 (Brown Cherry MX Switch)
450

450

Mouse: Razer DeathAdder
700

MousePad: Hein Samurai Gaming MousePad
450

Fan Controller: NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller (Black)


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Edited by Passion - 7/5/12 at 8:10am
    
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post #45 of 121
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Chapter 4


Reserved for log.

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Edited by Passion - 6/25/12 at 7:37am
    
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post #46 of 121
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Chapter 5


Water Cooling Section Pending...

450

Tubing: XSPC Tubing
Water Pump: Koolance PMP-450S
Radiator: (2) XSPC EX240 Radiator
CPU Block: XSPC Raystorm - Intel
GPU Block: Koolance VID-NX680

Fans: Scythe Gentle Typhoons
Compression Fittings: Bitspower Black Sparkle (also have some 45 degree variants as well)

Arctic Cooling MX-4 Thermal Compound

3 Gallons of Poland Spring Distilled Water
1 Liter of Vinegar

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Edited by Passion - 7/4/12 at 11:12am
    
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post #47 of 121
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Chapter 6

Content will be added here... soon.


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Edited by Passion - 6/25/12 at 7:39am
    
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post #48 of 121
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Chapter 7

Content will be added here... soon.



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Edited by Passion - 6/25/12 at 7:40am
    
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post #49 of 121
reserved for post after log update.
post #50 of 121
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Thank you all for tuning into my build log, and I hope you enjoy it.
Edited by Passion - 6/21/12 at 10:12pm
    
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