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[SCRATCH BUILD] Compact Splash - 14.5L / MITX / Watercooled 3770K + GTX570 - Page 2

post #11 of 816
Quote:
Originally Posted by She loved E View Post

Johnny Cash thumb.gif
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post #12 of 816
Thread Starter 
The legend! Love that disc (can't believe I didn't have it already). Happy to see another fan! cowboy.gif

Here’s the complete component list...

Main -



Intel 3770K CPU (OC goal: 5.0GHz)
ASRock Z77E-ITX
G.Skill 2x8GB Ripjaws X (2133MHz)
EVGA GTX 570HD 2.5GB
ST45SF 450W PSU (may upgrade to the new modular/Gold version)
Samsung SSD (boot) & WD HDD (data)

Cooling -



XSPC EX120 & EX240 rads
XSPC full copper CPU block
EK GPU block
Swiftech MCP35X pump
Technofront Nano res
3x GT AP-15s
Bitspower fittings (with, horrors! lots of angled fittings wink.gif)
A couple XSPC fill/drainports
Clear Primochill tubing

Case -

Front IO & feet poached from a SG05
One million black hex screws
 
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Hard DriveOSPowerCase
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz ASRock Z77E MITX EVGA GTX 570 HD 2.5GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
WD 80GB 5400RPM Corsair H100i ubuntu 13.10 18" Dell Ultrasharp (4:3 Free Oldskool Edition) 
PowerCase
Silverstone ST45SF Compact Splash Prototype 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3220 Intel DQ77KB Integrated. What. Corsair 1x8GB Laptop Memory 
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Plextor 128GB mSata SSD Ubuntu Delta PA-5M10 None. 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz ASRock Z77E MITX EVGA GTX 570 HD 2.5GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
WD 80GB 5400RPM Corsair H100i ubuntu 13.10 18" Dell Ultrasharp (4:3 Free Oldskool Edition) 
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post #13 of 816
Thread Starter 
[Previous Update]

Thought I’d add a little more background while I prep the next *real* update (ie, with pretty pictures).

Jumping back a bit, remember how I mentioned that I wanted lots of power, watercooling and MITX in my tiny build? Can you believe that nothing like that exists in an off-the-shelf case?!

When I started planning this build I searched high and low for cases that fit the bill and no matter where I looked I got no closer to finding a case that would support a proper watercooling setup in anything that could be considered small. I *heart* Sugos (5/6/7/8), the Array R2 is dead sexy and of course there’s Prodigy but they all need modification to fit my hardware, or they’re simply too big.

Don’t get me wrong, people have done incredible builds in those cases but at the end of the day compromise is always necessary. You need to have a bigger case than you want. Or you need to make due with a smaller rad, which means a smaller OC. And you have to spend weeks cutting up your brand new $1-200 case to get what you really want. The list goes on and on which is why I decided to go custom.

So if you’ll indulge a designer, here’s the design problem that I started with, which I’ll use to set up my next update to outline the design process.

★ ★ ★

Let’s start by recapping the requirements you already know about:

  • Hi-power computing – basically the most advanced, fastest build possible for the bottom 99% (thx Occupy! thumb.gif). My definition of “hi-po” (as we say in ‘Merica) isn’t an x79 6-core behemoth, because unless you’re that top 1% of modders running a CaseLabs dual-tower supercomputer, an IB i7 with 16GB of RAM and a 2GB+ GPU will do the trick (and then some). My rig will mainly be a design workstation (running CS6, SketchUp, etc.), but the same hardware will also make a competent folder or killer gaming rig.
  • Water-cooled – this wasn’t originally a requirement, but became one to support the performance requirement. I live in SoCal where it gets really hot and stays that way for months at a time. My main rig (on air) always runs hot. Stuffing that same hardware into a tiny build is going to end up even hotter. Exploring a water-cooling setup should allow me to marginalize one of the biggest downsides of an SFF which is restricted airflow. Of course that means I need at least 3x120 worth of rad space to cool an OC’d CPU & GPU. This is probably the most defining requirement of the build since air and water-cooling setups consist of such different hardware (while all MITX boards and main components share essentially the same structure).
  • Small – which should go without saying for an SFF build, but as we’ve seen from the Beastly SFF thread, there’s plenty of debate about what should be considered a truly “small” build. Practically speaking, I want something that will sit ON my desk vs. under it. Whether you’re using air or water to cool your rig, you need a fresh, cool air supply to keep temps under control. That’s a lot easier to get on a desktop where there’s less chance of dust and more surrounding space to supply cooling air. Long story short, there's no maximum size requirement other than to try to get case volume as small as possible and with as small a footprint as components will allow.

★ ★ ★

With those as my core goals, a few more supporting issues need to be addressed:

  • No optical drive – this is probably the biggest compromise about the build (although for me it isn’t an issue). IMO, optical is the next floppy drive. It’s not extinct yet, but USB flash drives are getting so large and cheap that they’re quickly replacing DVD/BR as a method of sharing/transporting files or even installing software. I have no remorse about kicking the OD to the curb.
  • Limited hard drive space – also a borderline compromise, but going back to my “performance for the 99%” criteria, two hard drives should be plenty. They’re both 2.5” vs. the more traditional 3.5”, but as with Flash drives, SSDs/HDDs are getting smaller and cheaper. Two drives will give me plenty of room for a fast SSD boot drive and 2.5” HDD for data.
  • Watercooling “nice to haves” – while I was willing to lose the OD and limit hard drive space, since I’m new to watercooling I want to have basic elements that are usually only present in larger WC builds, namely drain and fill ports and a reservoir. Reservoirs are useful for keeping an eye on fluid level, and drain/fillports will allow easy flushing and draining when the rig needs to be moved or tinkered with.
  • Universal hardware – because of the variety in WC equipment out there, it quickly became evident that I’d have to make tough decisions about what hardware to run. To reduce limitations (for future upgrades as well as getting case size down) I decided to go with 120mm rads and fans instead of more powerful 140mm units. If you’ve ever shopped for fans you’ll know there are 20x as many 120mm options vs. other less-loved sizes. And, again, with reducing size a primary goal I’ve opted for thin and med/high-FPI rads instead of something thicker. Rad tech is constantly improving and if you’ve seen any recent rad tests (like this one) they’re rapidly catching up to the performance of thicker low-FPI rads – even surpassing them at higher fan speeds.
  • SFX PSU – again, driven by a drive to reduce case size, using the SFX format is my best bet. Silverstone’s ST45SF and ST45SF-G 450W power supplies make it possible… without them I’d either have to make room for an ATX PSU or dial back watt-thirsty main components to bring power draw down.


Whew! Nothing like writing a dissertation on case design after work to get the blood flowing. wink.gif Give me a couple days and I’ll pay it all off (I swear!) with some shots of my design method and how I honed in on the final design.

For anyone left… thanks for reading! thumb.gif

SLE

[Skip to Next Update]
Edited by She loved E - 4/16/14 at 7:55pm
 
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Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
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Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
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Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
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Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
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post #14 of 816
Mate, you've pretty much just laid out the pipe-dream build that's been rattling around in my head for years.
My stumbling block has been the scratch built case itself. I want an aluminium frame and panels, constructed in such a way that bulky box-pipe or similar structural beams aren't needed. This dictates the use of folds and layering to get a decent amount of rigidity in the case.
I'm very keen to see what you come up with, your teaser picture on the front page really got my attention smile.gif
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post #15 of 816
To bad you wont be able to get a photo shoot with that grenade tongue.gif
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post #16 of 816
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lujani View Post

Mate, you've pretty much just laid out the pipe-dream build that's been rattling around in my head for years.
My stumbling block has been the scratch built case itself. I want an aluminium frame and panels, constructed in such a way that bulky box-pipe or similar structural beams aren't needed. This dictates the use of folds and layering to get a decent amount of rigidity in the case.
I'm very keen to see what you come up with, your teaser picture on the front page really got my attention smile.gif

Yes you've nailed the challenge of trying to minimize case size. The ideal structure in terms of rigidity and durability usually conflicts with where you want to place components to make them serviceable. The last thing I want to end up with is a case that needs to be gutted completely to swap a hard drive, for instance.

I'm keen to see what I come up with too! wink.gif The design is well underway but it remains to be seen if it'll work once we get to production. Thanks for watching and I hope I succeed for both our sakes!
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREG MISO View Post

To bad you wont be able to get a photo shoot with that grenade tongue.gif

Nah it just means I need to plan a road trip to NV or AZ for the shoot. Vegas is only a 4 hour drive... thinking.gif
 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz ASRock Z77E MITX EVGA GTX 570 HD 2.5GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 
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Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
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Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz ASRock Z77E MITX EVGA GTX 570 HD 2.5GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 
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Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
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post #17 of 816
I am so excited. thumb.gif
post #18 of 816
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stealthybox View Post

I am so excited. thumb.gif

me too... it's friday!

cheers.gifdrunken.gifguitar.gifyessir.gifsanta.gif
 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
WD 80GB 5400RPM Corsair H100i ubuntu 13.10 18" Dell Ultrasharp (4:3 Free Oldskool Edition) 
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Compact Splash
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Intel 3220 Intel DQ77KB Integrated. What. Corsair 1x8GB Laptop Memory 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz ASRock Z77E MITX EVGA GTX 570 HD 2.5GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
WD 80GB 5400RPM Corsair H100i ubuntu 13.10 18" Dell Ultrasharp (4:3 Free Oldskool Edition) 
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post #19 of 816
Thread Starter 
[Previous Update]

Welcome back to another installment of SLE on Design. Now 30% longer! rolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gifrolleyes.gif   teaching.gif

While I usually start with a ton of sketching and word association when designing for my day job, for this project I jumped right into SketchUp because my most pressing challenge initially was component configuration. So this update will cover my early design process, which is all about component selection & layout using SketchUp for quick & dirty mockups.

We’ve all seen the debates about small case configuration and what the ideal setup is (with PSU placement being especially polarizing)… it’s time to see for ourselves!

If you don’t already know about SketchUp, get it now and play around with it! It’s an easy to learn, free 3D modeling program. If you know about Sketchup then you probably also know about the 3D Warehouse. Many kind folks have added common computer components to the warehouse, which you can download and use which makes projects like mine a whole lot easier.)

So with Sketchup open and core component models handy, I knocked out the first “design” in pretty short order.

★ ★ ★



As you can see, there’s no case yet, just trying to get the components in the right place to minimize size. I was originally looking at a single 360 rad for cooling but quickly found this wasn’t ideal for packaging purposes or overall size.

v3
PROS: small footprint, ATX PSU, isolated rad (airflow going thru rad enters & exits outside case)
CONS: too large @ 23.5L case volume


It’s always important early in the design process not to fall in love with an idea you might have loved in your head or doodled onto a napkin. While I liked the structure and simplicity of v3, I essentially abandoned the idea and moved on, which is perfectly OK. It’s not efficient or worthwhile to see EVERY idea thru to the end… rapid experimentation to get as many ideas out there is a much better way to get to the best design. These “failures” will contribute to the final design even if it’s not always obvious.





The next idea that really intrigued me was a double-decker cube type box. Danger Den and Mountain Mods make some cool cases that use a similar layout. The biggest advantages are separation of case & rad air supplies (not dumping hot rad air into the case) and room for an optical drive, fan controller and lots of hard drives.

v23
PROS: massive cooling (4x120), isolated rads, lots of room for optical & hard drives
CONS: huge 25L case volume and large footprint, complex case structure


Reminding myself that ending up with as small a case as possible was my ultimate goal, I started to eliminate all but the most essential components. Bye bye fan controller, adios isolated airflow. Also as I got more comfortable working in SketchUp and designs were getting more refined, I started adding things like front USB ports, power button and WC fittings to make sure that as I reduced size I wasn’t designing myself into a corner.






Taking a page from the Lian Li A05, I played around with a front-mounted PSU, which makes for some interesting airflow. In this design I actually channeled rad air from the front into the PSU inlet a la miahallen (specifically his Gaming in Tight Spaces build). Ooh, which reminds me of another design tip: amateurs borrow, professionals steal. wink.gif Giving credit where it’s due is actually banned by my union, which is why I’m using an alias.

v38
PROS: Getting smaller (16L)
CONS: Complex air & water flow, and there HAS to be a way to make this thing smaller…


I didn’t know it at the time of course, but at this point I was on the eve of two eureka moments that would allow me to reduce the case volume by another 1.5L and drastically slim the footprint.


Eureka #1 (v45) – PSU over mobo



Just moving the PSU over the mobo allowed me to shorten up the case and fix a lot of the flow issues of v38. I resisted the change for a long time because of all the bellyaching that goes on here and other forums about not enough clearance above the PSU for coolers. But I’m not air-cooling, so what do I care? You can keep your Megahalems… I’ve got radiators. buttkick.gif And like some have found with the SUGO cases, if you orient the PSU so that its pulling air from above the CPU you add another way for air to exit.

Eureka #2 – tower instead of “tank”



^^This is the side view of v45. My original intent with this design was for a SUGO-style layout, with the mobo on the bottom (self-dubbed “tank” layout, as it sits low & stable like a tank). Here’s what it looks like from the top...



thinking.gif ...wait a second…

If you reorient the rad & pump within the case and rotate everything 90-degrees we’ve got instant tower and about 70% smaller footprint! upsidedwnsmiley.gif



v49
PROS: Smallest volume possible given chosen hardware (14.7L), smallest practical footprint, good balance between hi-po hardware and frugal use of space. Looks like success to me!!
cheers.gif
CONS: Reeeealy tight tolerances… if I measured wrong, nothing will fit like it should and I'll be an utter, complete failure.... headscratch.giflachen.gif

★ ★ ★

Now that we’ve got component configuration and selection squared away, next I’ll dive into design of the actual case as well as take a closer look at the physical hardware and how this puzzle is going to come together.

Thanks for sticking with me! (I kinda can't believe it) Here’s a token of my appreciation… every time I work in SketchUp I think of this scene… helps if you’re listening to techno while working.

[Skip to Next Update]
Edited by She loved E - 4/16/14 at 7:56pm
 
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Intel 3220 Intel DQ77KB Integrated. What. Corsair 1x8GB Laptop Memory 
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Plextor 128GB mSata SSD Ubuntu Delta PA-5M10 None. 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz ASRock Z77E MITX EVGA GTX 570 HD 2.5GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
WD 80GB 5400RPM Corsair H100i ubuntu 13.10 18" Dell Ultrasharp (4:3 Free Oldskool Edition) 
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Silverstone ST45SF Compact Splash Prototype 
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(16 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3220 Intel DQ77KB Integrated. What. Corsair 1x8GB Laptop Memory 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Plextor 128GB mSata SSD Ubuntu Delta PA-5M10 None. 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.7GHz ASRock Z77E MITX EVGA GTX 570 HD 2.5GB G.Skill Ripjaws X 2133MHz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung 830 128GB SSD XSPC EX120 + EX240 XSPC Raystorm Copper EK FC570 GTX SE (rev. 1.1) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Swiftech MCP35X pump 3x GT AP-15 fans Tecnofront nano res one million bitspower fittings 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Dell U2410 Silverstone ST45SF-G Scratch built 14.75L prototype 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-3770k @ 4.8GHz [DELIDDED] ASRock Z77E Samsung Low Voltage 2x4GB Crucial M4 128GB 
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
WD 80GB 5400RPM Corsair H100i ubuntu 13.10 18" Dell Ultrasharp (4:3 Free Oldskool Edition) 
PowerCase
Silverstone ST45SF Compact Splash Prototype 
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post #20 of 816
So professional... Really anxious to see it complete...smile.gif
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Overclock.net › Forums › Specialty Builds › Small Form Factor Systems › [SCRATCH BUILD] Compact Splash - 14.5L / MITX / Watercooled 3770K + GTX570