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[Build Log] Precious Metalworx - Caselabs SM8 Watercooled Workstation

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

CONCEPT: A subtle design focused on clean lines, near-silent performance, and just enough bling to make it interesting. This will be a longer-term build as I will be fabricating a few elements and have several ideas which will be neither cheap nor simple to achieve - so be warned... this might take me awhile.

PARTS LIST:

Existing Parts From Previous Builds
  • Caselabs SM8 Case (Black)
  • Alphacool XT45 480mm Radiator
  • Alphacool XT45 240mm Radiator
  • Alphacool XT45 120mm Radiator
  • Corsair 850AX PSU
  • Silverstone Fan Filters
  • Gentle Typhoon AP-13 & AP-14 120mm Fans
  • Various Bitspower fittings & Reservoir
  • Cables, Fan Controller, etc..
(It remains to be seen whether or not all or any of this will be used in this build) wink.gif

New Parts For This Build
  • MSI Gaming Titanium X99 Motherboard
  • Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 64GB (8X8GB)
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition GPU
  • Intel Xeon E5-1650 v3
  • Watercool Heatkiller IV PRO CPU Block
  • NVMe SSD Drive(s) - (TBD)
(I will keep updating this list as I go and including parts as they come in)

BUDGET/COSTS:
There really isn't a 'budget' for this build - it will be done when it's done and it will cost what it costs. However, as there are always a litany of "How much was that?" questions I will attempt to track things roughly in case someone is wondering. This won't be hugely detailed and won't include labor (unless it's someone else's) but should give you a ballpark.

I'm figuring somewhere around $3000, but it could run off the rails at any time and go north of that.

Not sponsored by anyone other than myself... but if any companies are interested... let me know. tongue.gif
post #2 of 52
Thread Starter 
--- Reserved for final pics and TOC ---
post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to post up some teaser pics as some of the hardware has arrived. Mostly I just wanted to try out my new Nikon glass (got a new fast 50mm for my D750)! biggrin.gif

MSI XPower Gaming Titanium X99 Motherboard...

And the 'peek through' window in the box...

Should be pretty clear why I picked it for this build...

But here is the real reason I picked it... now if only the 24pin connector was a 90-degree too.
I think it's really sad that everyone still puts the regular USB3 headers on boards despite stiff cables and delicate pins/surrounds. Sigh rolleyes.gif

Man I love the depth of field on this lens... paper thin with beautiful bokeh!

I have to admit I'm not the biggest fan of the dragon motif... but the colors are good at least.


Not your normal CPU, but an unlocked Xeon is simply something I had to have while they exist...

Right at home

And another angle just because dat focus


Although I really like EK blocks, once I saw this I knew it was the one...

Sold out everywhere but at least TitanRig had one on Amazon... the price was high, but it was worth it IMO!

Really can't imagine a different block looking better on this MB.

The pic above is how it's supposed to be installed, but based on research and the design of my loop... we'll be going with this instead:

(The matte finish on the mount is good... but I'm thinking that might have to get some polishing before installation).

And a different kind of precious metal... platinum!

I also ordered the upgraded light bars because when you overpay by 10-15% for memory for aesthetics alone...
then you certainly should have to pay another $80 just to make it look the way it should have to begin with. rolleyes.gif

Although to be fair to Corsair - they do have great products, and great service, and (in this case at least) a look that's worth paying a premium for!
Oh, and before anyone asks... yes only 2400... the 1650 is only rated for 2133 but it's known to OC some... but don't really care about RAM OC levels as I've never found it to make enough of a difference to matter - at least in anything that I do. If I were looking for top scores in benches... I obviously would have selected a different CPU to begin with.

One nice thing with the motherboard which was unexpected was a combo promotion which netted me these (although I don't expect much from them quality-wise, they should be good enough for occasional use).


Now to go back to work so I can start bench testing the hardware (before I start voiding warranties... or at least making returns difficult). thumb.gif
post #4 of 52
Thread Starter 
The first round of hardware is looking good... need to give the SM8 a good, thorough cleaning and then I can start getting things mocked up and measured for rads and see what else I need to order. Thinking of just going 480mm up top and down below, so that would necessitate getting the PSU bracket so it can hang out in the middle front area. Not sure if I like that so I'll have to lay it out a little and see.

Also got a selection of fittings and tubes to see which I like better.

But at least the core hardware is working well and block for the GPU is on the way with the fittings, tube, and miscellany! biggrin.gif

That little dragon is actually growing on me a bit. I like that the lighting isn't over the top on this board, but there is still some for 'spice'.

Not doing any OC'ing at this point (cooler isn't even mounted) but seems good so far.

Hooray for tiny screws and massive over-packaging! I guess it makes you feel like you got your money's worth but wow.



I gotta clean this guy out next. I think it will be pretty quick, but the downsizing might take awhile.


Probably won't get too much done in the next week since I'll be doing that ^ rolleyes.gif
post #5 of 52
Excellent pictures thumb.gif

Subbed.

TCO
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
I7 5930K @ 4.5Ghz Asus Rampage V  GTX 980  GTX 980 
RAMRAMHard DriveHard Drive
Corsair Dominator Platinum 2666mhz DDR4 4 Gb Q... Dominator Light Bar Kits x 2 Crucial 240 SSD  Seagate 7200 Rpm Baracuda 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Seagate 7200 Rpm Baracuda Crucial M500 512 SSD Crucial M500 480 SSD EK 480mm Coolstream XTX x 2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Tons of Fittings Supremacy Evo Copper EK  XSPC 240mm Radiator V3 x 2 Swiftech MCP35X PMW Pump DDC x 2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK Rampage V Mosfet WaterBlock Original CSQ NB Eloops B12 - 2 1300rpm  Phobia 8way 4pin Fan Controller x 2 Ek Single Link CSQ Bridge x 2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bitspower Z Tank (Clear) 250mm x 2 980 WaterBlocks x 2 Ek DDC Pump Top (Acrylic) x 2 Primochill 3/8" x 1/2" OD Clear Tubing 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Bitspower 12mm Acyrlic Tubing 19" x 4  XSPC 3/8" x 1/2" Compression Fittings x 12 Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit Crossover 324K 
MonitorPowerCaseOther
Qnix 2710 Perfect Pixel 1440p  EVGA 1300 G2 CaseLabs SMA8 Darkside 12" Led Lighting  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 7700k Asus Strix Z270i Gaming GALAX 980TI HOF Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 2400  
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Crucial 512 SSD EK Supremacy EVO White Bitspower 150ml Reservoir POM White x 2 Swiftech 18w DDC x 2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bitspower 980ti HOF Waterblock (Clear)  EK SE 240mm Slim Radiator EK XE 240mm Radiator x 2 EK DDC Plexi top x 2  
OSKeyboardPowerCase
Windows 7 Professional NEX Moba White Pro EVGA 650 G2 Caselabs S3 
  hide details  
Reply
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
I7 5930K @ 4.5Ghz Asus Rampage V  GTX 980  GTX 980 
RAMRAMHard DriveHard Drive
Corsair Dominator Platinum 2666mhz DDR4 4 Gb Q... Dominator Light Bar Kits x 2 Crucial 240 SSD  Seagate 7200 Rpm Baracuda 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Seagate 7200 Rpm Baracuda Crucial M500 512 SSD Crucial M500 480 SSD EK 480mm Coolstream XTX x 2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Tons of Fittings Supremacy Evo Copper EK  XSPC 240mm Radiator V3 x 2 Swiftech MCP35X PMW Pump DDC x 2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK Rampage V Mosfet WaterBlock Original CSQ NB Eloops B12 - 2 1300rpm  Phobia 8way 4pin Fan Controller x 2 Ek Single Link CSQ Bridge x 2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bitspower Z Tank (Clear) 250mm x 2 980 WaterBlocks x 2 Ek DDC Pump Top (Acrylic) x 2 Primochill 3/8" x 1/2" OD Clear Tubing 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Bitspower 12mm Acyrlic Tubing 19" x 4  XSPC 3/8" x 1/2" Compression Fittings x 12 Windows 7 Professional 64 Bit Crossover 324K 
MonitorPowerCaseOther
Qnix 2710 Perfect Pixel 1440p  EVGA 1300 G2 CaseLabs SMA8 Darkside 12" Led Lighting  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 7700k Asus Strix Z270i Gaming GALAX 980TI HOF Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 2400  
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Crucial 512 SSD EK Supremacy EVO White Bitspower 150ml Reservoir POM White x 2 Swiftech 18w DDC x 2 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bitspower 980ti HOF Waterblock (Clear)  EK SE 240mm Slim Radiator EK XE 240mm Radiator x 2 EK DDC Plexi top x 2  
OSKeyboardPowerCase
Windows 7 Professional NEX Moba White Pro EVGA 650 G2 Caselabs S3 
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post #6 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCautiousOne View Post

Excellent pictures thumb.gif

Subbed.

TCO

Welcome aboard!

Got some more things coming in for testing, although I'm not sure if any will make it into this build.

After doing the tear-down, cleaning, and rebuild on my other rig... I'm definitely NOT going to be putting pastel coolant in this one! Not that I had clogs or anything, it actually was running fine even after a year, but wow is that crap a mess to deal with. Every time I was positive I had drained and re-plugged everything... something would drip out of the port I missed and panic cleanup would commence! redface.gif

I guess we'll find out how truly non-conductive that stuff is because some has gone in places that cannot be completely cleaned (like under a USB3 header)... so after a thorough drying period, and careful leak testing which scares me now... we'll see if it goes 'poof'. I don't worry too much because that M8 has literally seen every kind of disaster imaginable and kept running like a top so I expect it's fine, but even with older hardware... I don't ever want to lose something catastrophically if I can help it. biggrin.gif
post #7 of 52
Thread Starter 
Well, already a bit of a change to the hardware after thinking about it a little more. I got the 1080 GTX because I wanted to run a single card and because I really don't game a ton (and when I do their often older, lower requirement games) but the more I thought about things while disassembling my other build (M8) I realized that what I do need desperately is more drive speed. So with a 3770K with no ability to truly gain PCIe lanes - bridge chip only works for graphics (and not that well) - I was always stuck with on-board only for that system.

However, if I put the 1080 in that system, I have basically the same performance as the 980's in SLI - but I gain back the extra 8 lanes for other cards... meaning I can run a NVMe drive as and add-in-card solution on that board. At least that's what I'm hoping... we'll see how well the drivers play nice.

So I ordered a new set of backplates for the 980's and a new anodized plate for the 1080. I'll keep both for both cards in case I want to move them later, but I think it will turn out looking more balanced in this build to have the two cards, and with 40 lanes I have enough to spare. biggrin.gif

Speaking of the other build, I started building it back up and decided that I didn't feel confident with 5 year old o-rings on everything so I'm doing a complete tear-down now to the component level and breaking/cleaning all blocks of any sediment. May still go with Mayhem's pastel in those simply because of the corrosion inhibitors, etc. but I'll clean and flush everything to like-new condition before I rebuild. So now everything will get all new o-rings - well, except for things like the MIPS block for the board as that's not possible to replace. In fact, since it's all straight channels and not a tight or jet-plated block like the GPUs and CPU - I'll just flush that and leave it un-cracked.
post #8 of 52
Subbed! thumb.gif
FireBox
(17 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3820 Asus Rampage IV Gene Zotac GTX 980 x 2 16 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
256GB ADATA S900 x 2 RAID0 3TB x 2 RAID1 1TB x 2 single storage Custom water loop 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
XSPC EX360 rads x 1 / AlphaCool Monsta 360 x 2 ... Dual D5 variable pumps Windows 7 64 bit SP1 Samsung 27" LED 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G110 Corsair AX750 Case Labs Magnum M8 Logitech G500 
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FireBox
(17 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3820 Asus Rampage IV Gene Zotac GTX 980 x 2 16 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
256GB ADATA S900 x 2 RAID0 3TB x 2 RAID1 1TB x 2 single storage Custom water loop 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
XSPC EX360 rads x 1 / AlphaCool Monsta 360 x 2 ... Dual D5 variable pumps Windows 7 64 bit SP1 Samsung 27" LED 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G110 Corsair AX750 Case Labs Magnum M8 Logitech G500 
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post #9 of 52
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart View Post

Subbed! thumb.gif

thumb.gif BART!!!! How is life treating you buddy?!?

It's been way too long since I could mess around with building systems rather than just using them for boring work. It's sad I think I probably got to game less than 40 hours on my M8 build before many years had passed and it was time for major maintenance and rebuilding... sigh.

I guess that's how it is with us old guys... at least until retirement - whatever that is. rolleyes.gif

biggrin.gif
post #10 of 52
Some of us old guys still play games WAY too much. wink.gif Life is good man, haven't touched my system in a while either. Getting that itch though..
FireBox
(17 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3820 Asus Rampage IV Gene Zotac GTX 980 x 2 16 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
256GB ADATA S900 x 2 RAID0 3TB x 2 RAID1 1TB x 2 single storage Custom water loop 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
XSPC EX360 rads x 1 / AlphaCool Monsta 360 x 2 ... Dual D5 variable pumps Windows 7 64 bit SP1 Samsung 27" LED 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G110 Corsair AX750 Case Labs Magnum M8 Logitech G500 
  hide details  
Reply
FireBox
(17 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3820 Asus Rampage IV Gene Zotac GTX 980 x 2 16 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CL9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
256GB ADATA S900 x 2 RAID0 3TB x 2 RAID1 1TB x 2 single storage Custom water loop 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
XSPC EX360 rads x 1 / AlphaCool Monsta 360 x 2 ... Dual D5 variable pumps Windows 7 64 bit SP1 Samsung 27" LED 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G110 Corsair AX750 Case Labs Magnum M8 Logitech G500 
  hide details  
Reply
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