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Graphite: Reactor B - WC Gaming Rig in a Switch 810

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
~ Graphite: Reactor B ~


What's in a name?
My first gaming build/case mod, Graphite, was named after a graphite nuclear reactor built in Oak Ridge, TN during WWII. I thought about choosing a different name for this rig, but I'm reusing some parts from the original Graphite and I'm rather attached to the name, so I'm keeping it. The Reactor B part comes from the B Reactor at the Hanford Site, which was the world's first full-scale reactor for producing plutonium. The reactor at Oak Ridge was a pilot project for the ones at Hanford, so it seemed fitting. Also, like my rig, it was watercooled. cool.gif

What are you going to do with it?
It'll basically be my entertainment center. I'll use it primarily to play games plus watch movies and listen to music. Also, I rip all my DVDs/Blu-rays to my server so I don't have to deal with the discs, and this rig will provide the video encoding muscle. Since it sits right next to my TV, it has to look nice without being distracting or gaudy or loud. The goal is classy. I'm thinking white for tubing and black for sleeving, with white and blue as accent colors to complement the tubing and my blue FrozenQ res. I'll take suggestions though. biggrin.gif I'm not planning any major case mods (not enough time/workspace) unless they're necessary.

Parts list
Most of the core components are new, but I'm reusing several parts from the old Graphite, including most of my WC parts. My budget was $800 for main upgrades (CPU, mobo, GPU, case, and some additional RAM).

New stuff:
Case: NZXT Switch 810 Matte Black - $142
CPU: i5-3570K - $215
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 - $115
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 7850 - $235 - $15MIR = $220
RAM: 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600 (2 x 2GB) - $30 * I got these to match the two sticks I already had for a total of 8GB.
TOTAL: $722

Newegg's July 4th sale helped me come in way under budget! With the extra cash, I decided to pick up an SSD I hadn't thought I could afford:

SSD: Corsair Force GT 120GB - $120 - $30MIR = $90
NEW TOTAL: $812

Only $12 over budget AND I got an SSD! Not bad! thumbsupsmiley.png

Here's what I'm reusing from my old rig:
RAM: 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600 (2 x 2GB)
PSU: 750W Thermaltake Toughpower Modular
HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
Optical: Samsung Blu-ray drive
Fan controller: Sunbeam Rheosmart 6
Fans: 5x Yate Loon low speed (3 for the rad, 2 case fans)
CPU block: XSPC Rasa
GPU block: Swiftech MCW80
Radiator: Swiftech MCR320
Pump: Swiftech MCP655
Res: FrozenQ Liquid Fusion - Blue, 160mm
TOTAL: $0 smile.gif

Now I have nearly everything I need, short of new tubing & clamps. Those can wait though, since I plan to run the rig on air for a bit to make sure everything works right before I go underwater.

Table o' contents
Intro & Parts List (you are here)
I. The Parts Arrive, Initial Assembly
II. Destruction!
III. Dry Run
IV. Dirty Blocks
V. Underwater...almost
VI. Mo' Problems, Mo' Money

Hope you enjoy the build!
Edited by frigginacky - 10/4/12 at 5:05pm
     
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32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
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Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
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32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
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Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
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Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
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post #2 of 14
You might want to go with more than 4GB of ram for what you're going to be using the rig for, looks great otherwise thumb.gif
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I. The Parts Arrive, Initial Assembly

All my stuff arrived from Newegg right before I had to leave town for the weekend. It was so hard not to start unboxing things immediately! Instead I settled for a group photo:

450

Fast forward a few days, and it was time to start building! I started by giving the case a once-over. Everything was in order, except one of the little posts that holds the top cover of the case had broken. frown.gif I wasn't about to ship a huge case back to Newegg because of some tiny little piece of plastic, so I fixed it with some superglue. Problem solved.

450

Here's what the case looks like opened up:

700

Now it's time to pull everything out! I removed all the included case fans since I'm not planning to use them. The Switch comes with a nice little built-in fan hub; all your 3 pin fans are hooked in and powered by a single molex connection. I'm using a controller, so I removed it. It was held on with velcro, so this should have been easy. Sadly the glue on the velcro had melted, so both sides of the velcro came off, leaving nasty sticky residue. mad.gif It took a lot of isopropyl alcohol and scraping with an old credit card to get it off. Here's the culprit:

450

(I'm just going to apologize here for the picture quality; I usually work at night and the lighting sucks).

With everything out it, it was time to start filling it up. I unboxed everything:

700

450

450

I really like the stock cooler on this card. Too bad it's coming off soon. devil-smiley-019.gif

700

The SSD looks so small in the 3.5" tray. It looks even smaller once you put it in the drive bay:

700

Here are all the new parts in their places. It has a nice (but unintentional) red & black theme at this stage.

700

Next stage will be ripping out the parts from my old rig and moving them to the new case. Pics should be up soon!
Edited by frigginacky - 7/14/12 at 3:39pm
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
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Spinpoint 1TB, WD Green 1.5TB, Spinpoint 2TB, W... Ubuntu Server Corsair 400CX nMediaPC HTPC 5000B 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
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Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nemesis158 View Post

You might want to go with more than 4GB of ram for what you're going to be using the rig for, looks great otherwise thumb.gif

I actually have 8GB...4GB from my old rig, plus another 4GB of the same sticks that I just bought. thumb.gif
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
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Spinpoint 1TB, WD Green 1.5TB, Spinpoint 2TB, W... Ubuntu Server Corsair 400CX nMediaPC HTPC 5000B 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
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post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
II. Destruction!
I know this is a build log, but this post will be mainly about un-building my old rig. Here's what it looked like when I started:

450

My poor loop never had quite enough space. The tubing between my res & CPU was kinked from the tight bend. The tubing leading to the pump was under so much stress that it actually pulled the pump loose from the adhesive foam pad it was sitting on. Here's a closer shot after I started pulling the tubing off:

700

Clearly I should dust my rad more often. redface.gif

700

Here it is post-surgery. All the parts I need are out, except for the CPU & GPU blocks.

593

Pulled the out the 5850:

450

OMG naked card!

289

When I first put the ramsinks on the card, I had to use little dots of superglue to hold on a couple of them. If you look at the top left of the card you'll see some residue left from the thermal tape. I tried getting it off with nail polish remover, but it only helped a little. It shouldn't affect the performance of the card though. Closeup:

450

Card with its clothes back on. biggrin.gif

450

Next up was the CPU waterblock:

450

After cleaning the the TIM off the blocks, I officially have all the parts I'm reusing ready. Here they are (minus WC stuff):

442

Not as sexy-looking as the new parts, but hey, they're a lot cheaper. biggrin.gif Soon, I'll give these guys a good dusting and then finish off the non-WC version of the rig.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
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Spinpoint 1TB, WD Green 1.5TB, Spinpoint 2TB, W... Ubuntu Server Corsair 400CX nMediaPC HTPC 5000B 
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Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
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Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
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post #6 of 14
Nice looking build, how are you finding the 810? I'm picking up the same one soon I hope.
Big Mickey
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
III. Dry Run

Sorry it's been a bit since the last update. I've been busy with my new little helper, shown here eating my laptop power cable.



But I have managed to finish putting my rig together...the air-cooled version, at least. I started by cleaning up some of my old parts. My power supply has a stain where my res leaked on it. redface.gif No damage luckily, but it didn't want to come off.



It's a bit better after scrubbing but you can still see it. I may have to try vinegar when I clean my blocks.



The fans needed some cleaning too. Before & after pics:



With everything cleaned, I started to put the old parts in the new case. This is when I discovered my first issue with the Switch 810: only one of the 5.25 bays (the top one) has screw holes which let you line up your optical drive so you can use the included stealth bay cover. Of course, I didn't want to use the top bay to leave room for my rad & fans. So I grabbed my trusty drill and made a minor mod:





Now I can put my Blu-ray drive in any bay I want. tongue.gif

Here are all the parts loaded in:
.


Successful boot is successful! thumb.gif



Since I took these pics I've had plenty of time to test my rig. Now it's time to void some warranties! I got a big bag of watercooling odds & ends in the mail yesterday, so as soon as I clean my blocks, Graphite is going back underwater. Snorkle.gif
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
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Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
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32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
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Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
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32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnticingSausage View Post

Nice looking build, how are you finding the 810? I'm picking up the same one soon I hope.

Thanks! I love the Switch so far. Plenty of room to work & great cable management. My only complaint so far is the screw holes on the 5.25" bays (see post above), but that's pretty minor. I bet you're gonna enjoy it. thumb.gif
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
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Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
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32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
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Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
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Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
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32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
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Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
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post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
IV. Dirty Blocks

Once I got the rest of my WC parts, I started cleaning up my old blocks. Awhile ago, I started noticing blue flaky crap accumulating in my res. (Here's a link to the thread I posted then if you wanna see the pics.) I didn't clean the blocks then; just the res, so I was expecting the blocks to be pretty bad. I was right.

I opened the CPU block first:





The GPU block looked even worse. Blue crap on the barbs...



Blue crap in the inlet...


Blue crap inside the block. That big glob at the top is where the inlet goes. I'm amazed I had any flow at all with that stuff in the way.


And of course blue crap in the top of the block.


The pump was pretty clear, but the res had more blue. I think it was the source since the GPU block, which was after it, was so gunked up.



I got another nasty surprise when I checked out my FrozenQ res. Somehow in the few weeks I had it out of the rig, the helix completely cracked! mad.gif Not sure what happened, but I'm going to have to get a replacement helix somewhere down the line. It still holds water though, so for the time I'll keep using it.




With all the parts checked, I started cleaning. I started with hot 10% vinegar in distilled water, which got the blue stuff and some of the black off. Next I tried ketchup, which made it better but still not clean enough. Finally I tried 5 minutes in lime juice. I should have just started with the stuff. Makes 'em much shinier. Not like brand new, but good enough. thumb.gif

Above the line = before lime juice.




Reassembled and ready for action:


I rinsed the radiator with 10% vinegar. This is how blue the water came out:



I rinsed it out six times and there were no more blue flakes. Now that everything is clean, it's time to assemble the loop.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Spinpoint 1TB, WD Green 1.5TB, Spinpoint 2TB, W... Ubuntu Server Corsair 400CX nMediaPC HTPC 5000B 
  hide details  
Reply
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-3570K Asrock Z77 Extreme4 XFX Radeon 7850 8GB G.Skill Ripjaws 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Corsair Force GT 120GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB Samsung Blu-Ray Water Win7 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
32" 1080p LG TV Logitech K800 Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Modular NZXT Switch 810 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Logitech G700 Steelseries QcK Mini Onboard + Klipsch Promedia 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 X2 5050e ASUS M3N78-VM GeForce 8200 (onboard) 2x2GB Corsair DDR2 800 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Spinpoint 1TB, WD Green 1.5TB, Spinpoint 2TB, W... Ubuntu Server Corsair 400CX nMediaPC HTPC 5000B 
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post #10 of 14
yikes those are some icky looking blocks. looks like it might be copper corrosion (oxidized copper is blue) so maybe check to make sure what you are using in your loop isnt causing it.
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