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[Build Log] Legacy of the Water Ninja

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Thread Starter 
Legacy of the Water Ninja
Chapter I

3-6-14
So I have been building on this computer for half a decade now. Seriously, I bought the motherboard (MSI NF980-G65) in 2009. She's seen 3 video cards, 2 processors and 3 sets of RAM. 2 power supplies, 2 sound cards and countless hard drives. Air cooling, water cooling, AIO and custom, low clocks, high clocks (almost hit 4ghz!), 3 different cases and God only knows how many USB devices have plugged her holes over the years. Really, the only constant in this computer is the motherboard.

Seems a shame that the time has come. She has served me very well and may be retiring, but wont be forgotten. I must also pay homage to my Phenom II X4 965 BE. This processor has gone through most of the above history along side what has proven to be the best motherboard I ever owned (and I've owned a bunch).






Currently I have the following equipment in the Water Ninja.

MOBO- MSI NF980-G65
CPU - Phenom II X4 965 BE @ 3.8ghz
Memory - 16Gb G.Skill @ 1600mhz
GPU - EVGA 660Ti FTW+ 3gb
Sound - Creative Labs X-FI Titanium
PSU - Antec Trupower 700
HDD - 3 different OLD SSD's
Case - TV Stand cabinet.
cooling- Check out the sig

The main purpose of this rig is to play games. And nothing in-particular. I like a wide variety of games from Industry standard FPS's like Battlefield and Far Cry to Indie games like Vessel and Trine. But recently I have noticed that with each new game I have to keep lowering the graphics settings to maintain a favorable frame rate. I installed Metro LL and even with the settings all the way down and the resolution at a measly 1280 x 720 frame rates are unacceptable. I like being able to turn things all the way up and go "OOOOOoooo!!!" and "Awwwwwwww!!!" as I kill noobs in HD.

After that disappointing display, and looking at my hardware, it is apparent to me, upgrades are necessary. My weakspots? Motherboard and processor. I got the 660Ti less than a year ago and don't plan on upgrading it anytime soon. I though about going FM2, but I'm not at all excited about the current CPU's and really don't want to be a guinea pig for any new ones... really I don't want to wait tongue.gif SO, I will be going with tried and true, grade A components.

Parts I will be changing to!

MOBO - Asus Crosshair Formula V
CPU - FX-8350 (hopefully all the way to 5ghz!)
HDD - Samsung 840 PRO 128 (OS)
HDD - Samsung 840 EVO 256 (Games)
PSU - Seasonic G-750. My current PSU is getting old and not sure how long I want to entrust my new equipment to it. This upgrade will likely happen at a later date, though as the build IS happening this weekend, but I don't have that piece yet.

I was considering the Sabertooth... but it's so ugly. And eventually the Water Ninja will be moving out of her drawer and into the lower glass covered compartment of my TV stand. So I said to myself "You're already spending all this money... why not go for the gold?" So I picked up the Crosshair Formula V.

The plan is to move the stereo equipment to the upper compartment and putting in a roll out shelf that I will mount all the components to down below. Eventually I will be upgrading the water cooling system to handle the mosfets, north and south bridge and video card. TUBZ GALORE! For now, my wallet is already on fire and could use a cool down period. I should probably also by my wife something nice instead of waterblocks and radiators.

More to come later!




Legacy of the Water Ninja
Chapter II

3-11-14
I got my shiny new parts in and went to work. Trip's wondering why this weird thing is in his box.





I decided to get the PRO series SSD. I wanted to make sure that whatever writing Windows decided to do, was as swift as it could be.


It was time to take out the old and bring in the new. Thanks to the overabundance of swivel 45s I put on my loop, I was able to simply pull the block off the CPU and set it aside. Didn't have to drain my loop or take anything loose. That was a win in itself.



You'll notice the splash mark and more likely the "burn" mark on the motherboard plate. I can't even remember where I got the donor case for this motherboard tray, but I don't think I've ever let the smoke out of any electronics. Here's to that never happening cheers.gif

I should have taken this time to clean up the aesthetics inside, like staining the areas I had to cut out and painting the mobo tray, but I got to thinking... why? When in a few months I am just going to move everything out and into the other compartment of my TV stand. Plus I would have had to remove my loop and eff that. So I did some cable cleanup and called it good.

IN goes the new hotness!



I couldn't set my case on it's side for the CPU block install. Even if my res was water tight, the top of the cylinder has some cracks, I didn't want to risk it. But my temps tell me I got the paste on well enough. 33c @ idle and 55c under load. I had to put the block screws in before mounting the motherboard to prevent the back plate from falling out. Something else I've been meaning to do, but have to strip everything out of the case for, is cut a back plate access hole in the back panel. Oh well.



Since I put my tubing/fittings under a good amount of stress moving everything around, I did an overnight leak test before continuing.



Next was some bench time to install windows and do some stress testing, something traditionally done BEFORE you take all that time putting everything together, but I'm not much of a traditionalist. I ran Prime95 and Furmark together for about 3 hours at stock settings. Every 20 minutes or so I would take temperature readings with a thermal gun all over the motherboard. I am pleased to report that even with practically zero cooling on the VRM, the VRM heat sink never reached above 52c. This was the hottest point on the motherboard.

Feeling satisfied that everything was stable, I put The Water Ninja back in her hole.



My pump has a speed control nob on it, so I don't need the motherboard to manage RPM's on it. I simply changed the speed slowly until I got a resonance that matched the rest of the noise from the other fans, and masked the pump noise considerably, not that it's that loud anyway.

That being said, my CPU fan header was free. I decided to conveniently hang a small 40mm fan in front of the VRM as an added precaution and hooked it to the CPU fan header. This way, if things heat up on the CPU, the VRM will naturally heat up too, triggering the VRM fan to speed up. I will be overclocking and while this case has sufficient exhaust, I sometimes wonder about the air flow inside.

Chapter III will cover my overclocking attempts and bench results, when I get time to do that... Until then, here are some pretty pics!








Edited by WizardontheJob - 3/11/14 at 1:58pm
Jarvis
(26 items)
 
Pepto Pony
(12 items)
 
MrDVR
(15 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8350 @ 4.8Ghz CROSSHAIR V FORMULA-Z MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4g 16Gb G. Skill Ripjaws 4x4 @ 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung 840 PRO 128Gb SSD Intel 160 Gb SSD Intel 250 Gb SSD Generic DVD-RW 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2 x Noctua (NF-P12-1300 )1300rpm Premium Silent... Alphacool NexXxos UT60 Full Copper Radiator 240 Noctua NF-A6X25 FLX Quiet Computer Cooling Fan ... NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller w/ Five 30 watt... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2 x Corsair Air Series SP120   COUGAR CF-V12H Vortex Hydro-Dynamic-Bearing  Monsoon 90° Rotary Angle Fitting - 5/8" - Red Bitspower Dual / Single D5 Top Upgrade Kit 100 ... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
ModMyToys DreamFlex Premium 3/8" ID Tubing Reta... Coolance Liquid Coolant Bottle, 700mL Fluoresce... Coolance PMP 450 Variable Speed D5 Pump Bitspower D5 Mod Top V2 Pom version 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung KS8000 4k UHD 65" Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5000 Keyboard and Mouse SeaSonic M12II 750 
CaseAudio
My TV Stand Cabinet Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-4300 Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 EVGA Geforce GTX 260 G.Skill Ripjaws X 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair SSD Samsung 7200 Laptop drive Some DVD Burner I took out of a dead Dell. Noctua NH-C12P SE14 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 19" 16:9 Logitec wireless Enermax 650w Apevia X-Cruiser3 Pink 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-6400K Dual Core MSI A78M-E35 Onboard 4Gb G.Skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz (2 x 2) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 320 SSD Western Digital 2.5" 1Tb 7200rpm  LG External Blue-ray Combo Drive Noctual NH-L9a 92mm SS02 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit Toshiba Regza 52" 1080p Logitech K400 Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D 
CaseAudioOther
A piece of plywood and some zip ties. Onboard Hauppauge WinTV HVR-2250 dual tuner card. 
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Jarvis
(26 items)
 
Pepto Pony
(12 items)
 
MrDVR
(15 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8350 @ 4.8Ghz CROSSHAIR V FORMULA-Z MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4g 16Gb G. Skill Ripjaws 4x4 @ 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung 840 PRO 128Gb SSD Intel 160 Gb SSD Intel 250 Gb SSD Generic DVD-RW 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2 x Noctua (NF-P12-1300 )1300rpm Premium Silent... Alphacool NexXxos UT60 Full Copper Radiator 240 Noctua NF-A6X25 FLX Quiet Computer Cooling Fan ... NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller w/ Five 30 watt... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2 x Corsair Air Series SP120   COUGAR CF-V12H Vortex Hydro-Dynamic-Bearing  Monsoon 90° Rotary Angle Fitting - 5/8" - Red Bitspower Dual / Single D5 Top Upgrade Kit 100 ... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
ModMyToys DreamFlex Premium 3/8" ID Tubing Reta... Coolance Liquid Coolant Bottle, 700mL Fluoresce... Coolance PMP 450 Variable Speed D5 Pump Bitspower D5 Mod Top V2 Pom version 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung KS8000 4k UHD 65" Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5000 Keyboard and Mouse SeaSonic M12II 750 
CaseAudio
My TV Stand Cabinet Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-4300 Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 EVGA Geforce GTX 260 G.Skill Ripjaws X 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair SSD Samsung 7200 Laptop drive Some DVD Burner I took out of a dead Dell. Noctua NH-C12P SE14 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 19" 16:9 Logitec wireless Enermax 650w Apevia X-Cruiser3 Pink 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-6400K Dual Core MSI A78M-E35 Onboard 4Gb G.Skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz (2 x 2) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 320 SSD Western Digital 2.5" 1Tb 7200rpm  LG External Blue-ray Combo Drive Noctual NH-L9a 92mm SS02 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit Toshiba Regza 52" 1080p Logitech K400 Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D 
CaseAudioOther
A piece of plywood and some zip ties. Onboard Hauppauge WinTV HVR-2250 dual tuner card. 
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post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 
Legacy of the Water Ninja
Chapter III

3-19-14
Overclocking! Why have a custom loop if you don't plan on pushing the limits? - is what I say anyway. I have successfully OC'd my 8350 from it's stock 4.0Ghz @ 1.3v clock to a very nice 4.8Ghz @ 1.45 clock. Stable so far, but lots of more tests and even some benchies both at stock and OC settings left to do. PLUS, I have hit the thermal barrier. So something in my cooling solution needs to change. One weakness is the cramped quarters that my rad sits in. Something that I hope to clear up once the Ninja gets moved to her new home.


Just wanted to post a few thoughts before getting the meat and potatoes (screenies and benchies) recorded.



Up-coming topics for future chapters include:
New Home - Moving The Water Ninja to a different cabinet of the TV stand
TV Tuner - I recently purchased a WinTV-HVR 2250 by Hauppauge and will be adding it to the system along with a laptop sized 1Tb hdd for DVR

Stay tuned! Comments, criticisms and complete/incomplete sentences welcome and encouraged! biggrin.gif
Edited by WizardontheJob - 3/19/14 at 9:38am
Jarvis
(26 items)
 
Pepto Pony
(12 items)
 
MrDVR
(15 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8350 @ 4.8Ghz CROSSHAIR V FORMULA-Z MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4g 16Gb G. Skill Ripjaws 4x4 @ 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung 840 PRO 128Gb SSD Intel 160 Gb SSD Intel 250 Gb SSD Generic DVD-RW 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2 x Noctua (NF-P12-1300 )1300rpm Premium Silent... Alphacool NexXxos UT60 Full Copper Radiator 240 Noctua NF-A6X25 FLX Quiet Computer Cooling Fan ... NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller w/ Five 30 watt... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2 x Corsair Air Series SP120   COUGAR CF-V12H Vortex Hydro-Dynamic-Bearing  Monsoon 90° Rotary Angle Fitting - 5/8" - Red Bitspower Dual / Single D5 Top Upgrade Kit 100 ... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
ModMyToys DreamFlex Premium 3/8" ID Tubing Reta... Coolance Liquid Coolant Bottle, 700mL Fluoresce... Coolance PMP 450 Variable Speed D5 Pump Bitspower D5 Mod Top V2 Pom version 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung KS8000 4k UHD 65" Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5000 Keyboard and Mouse SeaSonic M12II 750 
CaseAudio
My TV Stand Cabinet Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-4300 Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 EVGA Geforce GTX 260 G.Skill Ripjaws X 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair SSD Samsung 7200 Laptop drive Some DVD Burner I took out of a dead Dell. Noctua NH-C12P SE14 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 19" 16:9 Logitec wireless Enermax 650w Apevia X-Cruiser3 Pink 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-6400K Dual Core MSI A78M-E35 Onboard 4Gb G.Skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz (2 x 2) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 320 SSD Western Digital 2.5" 1Tb 7200rpm  LG External Blue-ray Combo Drive Noctual NH-L9a 92mm SS02 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit Toshiba Regza 52" 1080p Logitech K400 Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D 
CaseAudioOther
A piece of plywood and some zip ties. Onboard Hauppauge WinTV HVR-2250 dual tuner card. 
  hide details  
Reply
Jarvis
(26 items)
 
Pepto Pony
(12 items)
 
MrDVR
(15 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8350 @ 4.8Ghz CROSSHAIR V FORMULA-Z MSI GTX 980 Gaming 4g 16Gb G. Skill Ripjaws 4x4 @ 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
Samsung 840 PRO 128Gb SSD Intel 160 Gb SSD Intel 250 Gb SSD Generic DVD-RW 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2 x Noctua (NF-P12-1300 )1300rpm Premium Silent... Alphacool NexXxos UT60 Full Copper Radiator 240 Noctua NF-A6X25 FLX Quiet Computer Cooling Fan ... NZXT Sentry Mesh Fan Controller w/ Five 30 watt... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2 x Corsair Air Series SP120   COUGAR CF-V12H Vortex Hydro-Dynamic-Bearing  Monsoon 90° Rotary Angle Fitting - 5/8" - Red Bitspower Dual / Single D5 Top Upgrade Kit 100 ... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
ModMyToys DreamFlex Premium 3/8" ID Tubing Reta... Coolance Liquid Coolant Bottle, 700mL Fluoresce... Coolance PMP 450 Variable Speed D5 Pump Bitspower D5 Mod Top V2 Pom version 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Samsung KS8000 4k UHD 65" Microsoft Wireless Comfort 5000 Keyboard and Mouse SeaSonic M12II 750 
CaseAudio
My TV Stand Cabinet Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-4300 Gigabyte GA-78LMT-USB3 EVGA Geforce GTX 260 G.Skill Ripjaws X 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair SSD Samsung 7200 Laptop drive Some DVD Burner I took out of a dead Dell. Noctua NH-C12P SE14 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 19" 16:9 Logitec wireless Enermax 650w Apevia X-Cruiser3 Pink 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
A6-6400K Dual Core MSI A78M-E35 Onboard 4Gb G.Skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz (2 x 2) 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Intel 320 SSD Western Digital 2.5" 1Tb 7200rpm  LG External Blue-ray Combo Drive Noctual NH-L9a 92mm SS02 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit Toshiba Regza 52" 1080p Logitech K400 Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D 
CaseAudioOther
A piece of plywood and some zip ties. Onboard Hauppauge WinTV HVR-2250 dual tuner card. 
  hide details  
Reply
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