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[Build Log] - The Big Budget Boomer Box (aka, the "BBBB") - Page 6

post #51 of 3982
Thread Starter 
Wanted to get some "before" pictures of my radiators done before I start to work on them. As I mentioned in the opening post, I'm using 4 Hardware Labs Black-Ice SR-1 480 radiators, as pictured below:

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My goals for this build were to achieve an incredibly quiet machine, without sacrificing performance. One of the methods of achieving a quiet build is to decide upfront that you are going to spin your fans slowly (and get quiet fans!) But since a radiator loses some effectiveness when fans speeds are decreased, I've opted to offset this by adding more radiator space. Four 480's is a lot, and I'm playing around with ideas for possibly 2 more 360's and 1 more 240. That would be 7 separate radiators!

I've played around with a lot of fans so far in planning for this build, and while doing so, I kind of zeroed in on rpm levels of around 900 to 1,000 as a range that doesn't bother me at all sound wise. Some radiators are designed to excel at low fan speeds, and others excel at higher fan speeds. Because I have chosen to go with slower (quieter) fans, this helped me make the decision about what radiators to start with. Here is a closer shot:

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The SR-1 has siblings in the Hardware Labs line, with the GTX and the GTS. The SR-1 is the version designed for low fan speeds. In general, it is the fins per inch (fpi) and thickness of the radiator that determine how its optimized. The denser the fin spacing (higher fpi) the more pressure is needed to move air through the radiator. Also, the thicker the radiator, the more pressure is needed to move air through the radiator.

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The SR-1 has just 9 fpi, while the GTX has 20 fpi, and the GTS has 30 fpi. So the SR-1 is optimized for lower air flow. Its easier for slow spinning fans to move air through the fins since they are not as dense. The trade-off, of course, is that at higher fan speeds, you generally will not have as good of performance as a radiator with a higher fpi. More fins means more area for heat dissipation. So as long as there is adequate air pressure to move air through the radiator, higher fpi usually translates into better cooling performance, with all else being equal. That's why its important to decide how fast you will typically spin your fans before you select a radiator. The SR-1 is the perfect match for the goals of this build.

The look of the SR-1 is industrial and traditional. According to Hardware Labs, the finish is an "electrostatic polyurethane painting finish". I think its a great look, but the finish wasn't perfect on mine. If you look closely in the pic below, you'll see some of the "streaking" that can be seen on the sides of the rads. It definitely isn't anything to complain too much about, but could have been done a little better:

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Click this pic to zoom in and you should see the streaks fairly easily:

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Another thing I would point out is that I really hope you like where the in and out fitting holes/threads are located......because there is only one set. Some other radiators offer multiple options for where the fittings can attach, which is a nice option. Not here. This radiator is more of a workhorse than a showhorse, and it goes about its job aptly.

Even though I'm ok with the finish on these radiators, I was hoping to have primarily crimson and white as my build colors, with just touches of black here and there (which is almost unavoidable). So, I took them to the local powder coating shop here in Edmond that is only a few miles from my house. He quoted me "somewhere between $15 and $20 bucks a piece to powder coat them in the color of my choice. I told him I really didn't want a lot of powder down in between the fins (don't want to limit heat transfer) and he didn't think that would be a problem. I like the idea of powder coating them, because the finish will be much more durable, and this will also allow me to minimize the amount of black in the build. I found out the code for the powder that CaseLabs uses for the matte white finish, and gave all four of these rads to the local shop with instructions to do it in the same finish. I should have them back by this weekend, so I'll post some before and after shots of what they look like when I get them back.

I still haven't selected which fan I'll be using on the rads, but at this point, I'm down to 2. While I decide, I've been playing with customizing the look of some of my sample fans, to make them match the look of the build and the radiators. Here is a shot of 4 Noiseblockers, 3 of which I've taken some liberties with:

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From left to right,
1) white blades on white frame
2) black on black (as purchased)
3) crimson on white
4) white on crimson

I couldn't do it all in one shot, but of course there is also white on black, and black on white. Which one looks better depends on what the fans are sitting on.

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On a black rad, the white on black (not pictured) is pretty sharp. But if they are in the case (white interior), the crimson on white looks very sharp. I think I'll need to wait and see the fans sitting on the soon-to-be white radiators before I really know which one looks best. I'm guessing the crimson on white (crimson blades on white frame) will probably look the best....but we'll see. However, since the rad fans are behind a crimson mesh already, the white fan blades actually "pop" more when the case covers are on. Look for more pictures of the fans along with the newly powder coated radiators by this weekend.

In the meantime, I'm going to finish my selection of fans, and document the process I've gone through with a post and probably a separate thread.
post #52 of 3982
Are you painting only the frames of the radiators white? or the fins too?

If you do white Frame / black fin radiators, I would do Red frame / White blade fans.
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SR-2
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post #53 of 3982
Holy crap! This is a $20,000 computer! I get about $20,000 when I add up your parts list, making some reasonable assumptions That's on the verge of just plain silly. But I'm jealous as all get out. Will definitely follow this one. Good luck! thumb.gif
post #54 of 3982
What is so aweosme about Oklaoma university??? r0fl



anyway awesome build man! lvoe the color of the case tongue.gif
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post #55 of 3982
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_5110 View Post

What is so aweosme about Oklaoma university??? r0fl
anyway awesome build man! lvoe the color of the case tongue.gif

Apparently you build $20k pc's if you graduate from there. I'm transferring now!
post #56 of 3982
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by asg View Post

Are you painting only the frames of the radiators white? or the fins too?
If you do white Frame / black fin radiators, I would do Red frame / White blade fans.

My thought was only the frames....but some of that will depend on the guy doing the powdercoating. If he has to sandblast the original finish off, I don't know if he can protect the fins. If he can't protect the fins, then I could either leave them how they come out of the sandblaster (I think they are copper underneath the finish, but unsure if its a bright copper or not), or could have them powdercoated white. May impact performance a little...but can't be too much since almost all rads get painted black. Should know something soon....will definitely update the thread.


Quote:
Originally Posted by forumaddict View Post

Holy crap! This is a $20,000 computer! I get about $20,000 when I add up your parts list, making some reasonable assumptions That's on the verge of just plain silly. But I'm jealous as all get out. Will definitely follow this one. Good luck! thumb.gif

Silly.....or extreme! Thanks!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_5110 View Post

What is so aweosme about Oklaoma university??? r0fl
anyway awesome build man! lvoe the color of the case tongue.gif

  • 7 national championships
  • 43 conference championships
  • 152 All-Americans
  • 5 Heisman Trophy winners
  • 47 game win streak which is the longest in history and will never be broken

There is only ONE Oklahoma!



Quote:
Originally Posted by forumaddict View Post

Apparently you build $20k pc's if you graduate from there. I'm transferring now!

Send me your SAT scores and I'll see what I can do. thumb.gif
post #57 of 3982
except the football, this university seems useless Oo
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post #58 of 3982
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Billy_5110 View Post

except the football, this university seems useless Oo

How about this? The University of Oklahoma is No. 1 among all public universities in the number of freshman National Merit Scholars enrolled and among the top ten of all public and private universities. OU is home to over 700 currently enrolled National Merit Scholars.

Does that do anything for you? tongue.gif

http://www.ou.edu/go2/home/nationalmerit.html
post #59 of 3982
Thread Starter 
PSU "Before" Pictures! I'm going with two Corsair AX850 PSU's.

400


I like the two PSU approach for many reasons. By dividing the load between two PSU's, I can keep the load for either of the PSU's at a minimum, which in turn allows the fan to spin slowly, or even not at all. These Corsair's don't even spin at all until they reach a certain load, and they are basically silent up until that point. I also think that spreading the PSU connections over two boxes makes it a little easier to start your cable routing project. More room to work. Here are some shots of one of the units:

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434

700

You can see in the pic below that it is a completely modular power supply, which will make sleeving the cables MUCH easier to do.

417

478

Most of the cables come sleeved already, but not individually sleeved, ...as any true OCN'er would want.

400

Closer pic of the sleeving. Its not horrible. smile.gif

400


Can anyone help me interpret what this sticker says? I don't speak Spanish.

481

Too late! Lets see how we can tear this thing apart. It's got a San Ace fan.

400

Bottom plate comes off pretty easily....

400

Sides are released.....

400

Hmmmmm.....switch and outlet only slide out one way.

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And for the life of me, if the connections to the switch and outlet are supposed to come out...I couldn't figure out how to do it. So....had to snip some wires. Will be doing some soldering when I put this thing back together.

400

So here is what it looks like all laid out.

400

I think this thing is screaming for some powder coating, maybe some copper accents, an upgraded fan, and some custom vinyl stickers. I'll be starting on that shortly. Stay tuned, and subscribed, to see how it comes out!
post #60 of 3982
Rebel, voiding that 7 year warranty on the first day. tongue.gif
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