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[Build log] Chimera - S8 build v1.1

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey there, I have found myself nolonger able to edit the opening post of my previous log, and a great number of things have changed sense then, most notably that I'm nearing completion of the first phase of this build, and that the tentative list of parts to add has continued to evolve sense the original log was last posted in. So, I'm making a new thread for it.

As a note to the mods: if there is a way to consolidate the old thread into this one, and allow me to continue making edits to the opening post, that would be appreciated.

The name Chimera came to me because of this build's jack-of-all-trades setup which will enable it to be a combination gaming PC and workstation, which also houses a large internal database. As it stand now, I have over 5100USD tied up in the system in it's current state, and I am nearing the point that I can start moving beyond the initial hardware setup and into setting up the software. Addressing the hardware first, the pieces I have included inside the box (including the case itself) so far are as follows:

Case: Caselabs S8 w/Pedestal, with Gunmetal grey exterior panels and white interior frame, cost with case specific accessories=984.39USD

Case accessories include:
1 x Fan Attachments - 120mm (pricing varies)
(Style: .75'' off-set ($10.95), Color: Black (2-3 business days for processing))
1 x Horizontal Accessory Mounts (Pricing Varies)
(Horizontal Accessory Mount: S5 S8 - $13.95, Color: White Matte (3-5 business days for processing))
1 x Caster Kit - HD
1 x 120.3 (360) Drop-in Radiator Side Mount - S5 / S8 / S8S Pedestal
2 x Flex-Bay 5.25 Device Mount - Standard Anti-Vibration
(Color: Black (2-3 business days for processing))
1 x Flex-Bay 5.25 Device Mount - Standard Adjustable
(Color: Black (2-3 business days for processing))

The motherboard and processor were bought in the same order, and unfortunately, as far as I know Newegg doesn't offer itemized receipts.
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z170x Gaming G1
CPU: i7-6700k
Total Cost: 859.98USD

The RAM, Power supply, slim-optical drive and the enclosure for the optical drive also came as one order:
PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand TPG-1200M 1200W ATX 12V v2.3 & EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 64GB (4 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 (PC4 24000) Intel Z170 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-3000C15Q-64GVR

ODD: LG BU20N Internal Blu-ray Writer

ODD/HDD enclosure: ICY DOCK 2 Bay 2.5 HDD SSD Hot Swap Backplane Cage Mobile Rack with Slim ODD Tray for 5.25 Drive Bay - ToughArmor MB994IPO-3SB
Total Cost: 760.63USD

M.2 SATA SSDs: 2x Sandisk SD8SN8U-1T00-1122 X400 1TB M.2 2280 Solid State Drive=494.48USD

2.5" HDDs: 4x Seagate 5TB Barracuda Sata 6GB/s 128MB Cache 2.5-Inch 15mm Internal Bare/OEM Hard Drive (ST5000LM000)=873.48USD

Cooling system:
Most of the parts are from EKWB, however some of the rotary fittings are from Alphacool, and the Quick Disconnect fittings are from Koolance:

QDC fittings:
x4 Koolance QD3-FS10X13-BK QD3 Female Quick Disconnect No-Spill Coupling, Compression for 10mm x 13mm (3/8in x 1/2in) *Black*
x1 Koolance QD3-MSG4-BK QD3 Male Quick Disconnect No-Spill Coupling, Male Threaded G 1/4 BSPP *Black*
x2 Koolance QD3-FSG4-BK QD3 Female Quick Disconnect No-Spill Coupling, Male Threaded G 1/4 BSPP *Black*
x4 Koolance QD3-MS10X13-BK QD3 Male Quick Disconnect No-Spill Coupling, Compression for 10mm x 13mm (3/8in x 1/2in) *Black*
x1 Koolance QD3-MSFG4-P-BK QD3 Male Quick Disconnect No-Spill Coupling, Panel Female Threaded G 1/4 BSPP *Black*
Total Cost: 215.49USD

Alphacool rotary fittings:
2x Alphacool Eiszapfen G1/4" Male to Male Extender,Rotary, Chrome=27.06USD

EKWB Cooling Components:
2x EK-AF Extender 12mm F-F G1/4 - Nickel
2x EK-Ekoolant EVO UV BLUE (premix 1L)
2x EK-AF Angled 90° G1/4 Nickel
1x EK-UNI Pump Bracket (120mm FAN) Vertical
1x EK-RES X3 150
2x EK-AF T-Splitter 3F G1/4 - Black
6x EK-ACF Fitting 10/13mm - Blue
6x EK-ACF Fitting 10/13mm - Red
2x EK-AF Ball Valve (10mm) G1/4 - Nickel
2x EK-AF Pass-Through G1/4 - Black
2x EK-PLUG G1/4
13x EK-ACF Fitting 10/13mm - Nickel
1x EK-XRES 100 Revo D5 - Acetal
1x EK-D5 Vario Motor (12V DC Pump Motor)
2x EK-AF Angled 2×45° G1/4 Nickel
1x EK-CoolStream XE 360 (Triple)
1x TUBE PrimoChill PrimoFlex™ Advanced LRT™ 12,7 / 9,5mm - Crystal Clear RETAIL 3m
8x EK-Vardar F3-120 (1850rpm)
1x EK-Supremacy EVO - Nickel
1x EK-CSQ Adapter 45° G1/4 Nickel
1x EK-AF Extender Rotary M-M G1/4 - Nickel
1x EK-Cable PWM Fan Extension (30cm)
Total Cost: 885.14 USD

Last minute purchases:
1x Link Depot POW-SATA-EXT 16" SATA Power Extension Cable=4.20USD
1x KINGWIN FPX-003 Multi-Function LCD Fan Controller Panel Black=45.48USD
1x 8 inch Molex 4-pin Power Extension Cable w/ 8" Molex 4-pin Male toSATA Power 15-pin Female latch locking Power Adpater Converter Cable=3.53USD
1x 15 Pin SATA to 4 Pin IDE Molex Power Cable Reverse Adapter Converter SATA to Molex Female for DVD VCD HDD Hard Drive Power Cable=8.53USD
1x Phobya SATA Power Extension Cable with High Quality Black Sleeving (30cm / 12 inch Length)=8.49USD
1x StarTech.com PYO2SATA 6in SATA Power Y Splitter Cable Adapter - M/F=5.63USD

Total of current permanently installed parts:
5176.51USD

Temporary parts, transferable to future builds:
1x MSI Video Card Graphic Cards G1060GX6SC=154.99USD

Parts I nolonger have the receipts for:
2x Corsair 120mm PWM fans
2x Molex to 3x SATA power



The tentative list of parts yet to be added are as follows, this could change at any time depending on availability, or newer versions that come out before they become affordable:
Phase 1, Primary GPU(s):
1x or 2x 1080 Ti FE, equipped with waterblocks from EKWB and slimmed down to single slot cards


Phase 2, stand alone non-GPU-related PCI-E cards:
Sound card: Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe 124dB SNR Sound Card with 600ohm Headphone Amp and Desktop Audio Control Module

Video capture card:
For the longest time I thought there was no such thing as a single PCI-E capture card that could handle both analog and digital input, it appears I was wrong! With this in mind, I can free up a PCI-E slot and make things a little bit less crampt with this:
AVerMedia HD DVR High Definition / Analog Video Capture Card PCI-E, HDMI, RCA Composite, Component, S-Video, Win 10 (C027)

Backup Bluetooth/WIFI card:
None decided yet.


Phase 3, main media database:
8x 10TB 3.5" HDDs
PCI-E Raid Controller capable of handling all of the aforementioned drives, RAID types 5, 6, 10, 50 and 60 have been considered, with the possibility of using ZFS instead.


At this time I am still trying to organize the pictures I have taken during the construction of the machine so that I may post them all at once, in the meantime more photos continue to accumulate as the project progresses.
Edited by Elanachan - 7/31/17 at 2:15pm
post #2 of 6
I'll be interested to see pictures of everything smile.gif

Have you tried messaging a forum admin to see if they can fix the issue with not updating the old thread?
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
No, I haven't talked to an admin about it, I mostly just took the position that because the thread hasn't been posted in for a while, and things have changed so much, that it would be better to just start fresh. Below are some of the shots I took during construction. I do remember taking some shots when I was still putting the case itself together, but they seem to have disappeared. The first shots were from fall 2016, the latest shots were taken just a week or two ago. It has been a slow process primarily due to monetary constraints, and very extensive testing of the cooling system prior to filling it.

An early stage of construction, this was right before the radiator was installed, along with the fans, in the pedestal. It turned out when I was installing the fans that the fan screws that came with the radiator from EK weren't long enough to go through both the mounting bracket that came with the case, and the fans, causing me to search the local hardware stores for a better option before finally ordering a set from Amazon. This also showcases a proof of concept setup using a 120 fan and HDD mount from the magnum line of cases to allow four additional 3.5" HDDs over the exhaust fan, which would be viable with a liquid CPU cooler. The only reason why the mount didn't stay it is that I found that the power supply in the current setup didn't have enough plugs to take advantage of this. This also shows my take on the mounting method for the pump, using the horizontal bracket and offset 120 mount so that I don't need to be drilling holes into the panel below.


Another closeup shot showing the HDD cage over the mounting for the exhaust fan. At this time, I was also playing with the different fittings to figure out what would be the best way to hook up the CPU and the waterblock that was built into the motherboard. This was also around the time I found out that the pump/res combo I ordered from EK did not include the L bracket seen in their prebuilt kits, with the pump on the top of the case ready to go, but with no place to mount it until I go back to EK to order the bracket.


A shot later on showing the power supply after it was mounted, and the start of the final setup for the motherboard cooling. The devices populating the 5.25" bays are the USB 3.1 hub that came with the motherboard, and a special enclosure designed to hold the slim optical drive containing a bluray writer designed for use in laptops, as well as two 2.5" hotswap drive bays. This also shows the installed 240 radiator mount to, to which the fans were later installed, with the intention of allowing space for a second radiator to be installed, should it become necessary.


The pump is now installed, along with the tubing for the motherboard. Between here and the previous pic I had discovered the amazing thing that is quick disconnect valves, something that has become a rather key feature in this build, separating the pump, reservoir, CPU/Motherboard and, eventually, the liquid cooled video cards. I have also used these QDC valves for the fill port on the top of the case, both for running the initial leak tests using air pressure, and later as an option for filling the system. The only section that doesn't make use of them to seperate out the individual components is the short stretch of tubing between the motherboard and the CPU block. Also, the compression fittings in the top part of the case, within the main loop, are color coated to denote flow direction, blue representing cool intake, and red being hot exhaust.


Here is the 2.5" HDDs being mounted to the stealth mount plate. These are 1TB 5400 RPM drives from Seagate. I was originally going to mount them between the plate and the motherboard, but the thickness of the drives made that impossible, so they are flipped upside down once installed. I also found while test fitting these that the single 4x SATA cord from the power supply wasn't quite long enough to consider using in this configuration long-term, as the reach over the drive on the bottom left was making for some fairly high tension. The solution for this consisted of an extension with an extra SATA plug on it, which has sense been used to power the fan hub that controls the push/pull fans for the 360 radiator in the pedestal.


Phase 1 of the construction is nearly complete, and the loop has been filled. The extremely OCD leak tests using air pressure appears to have been fruitful as the system was filled for the first time with zero leaks from any of the fittings. The extra reservoir ontop of the case is the original 100 series res that came with the attachment that makes up the pump/res combo. This was replaced with the 150 res immediately after the parts arrived. The 5.25" devices are in their final location, and a fan controller/card reader has been added. This controller is to allow manual speed control of the two intake fans, the exhaust fan, and the fan that pulls air between the area with the power supply, and where the bank of hard drives will be located in a future upgrade to the system. Also, because my current comp is on it's last leg, I did an emergency order on the MSI 1050 Ti that is currently in the case, so that I could start the software setup ASAP. Doing this allowed me to discover that one of the two M.2 drives was faulty. At this time it has been sent back to sandisk with an RMA order under their 5 year manufacturer's warranty, and the replacement is on the way.
One last thing to note on this picture is the red clamp holding the tubing. This was something I found at the grocery store, intended for use as something you clamp to a pot or pan to hold string utensils for cooking. This was added to fix a kink in the rotary fitting on the top of the CPU block, and to prevent the tubing from coming in contact with the ram cards, and the edge of the motherboard closest to the front of the case. Despite it's jury rigged nature, it is quite effective at what it does, and has just enough of a grip on the support beam that it doesn't get shaken loose without some effort.

Edited by Elanachan - 8/11/17 at 11:01pm
post #4 of 6
Can't wait to see it completed smile.gif
post #5 of 6
I certainly agree with JakeCL on that.

Glad I found your "second" build log, as I had been following the original previously.
Chimera has certainly progressed very well, the white interior/gunmetal exterior is a nice contrast, and makes a great two-tone color combination.
The motherboard, psu, etc. color scheme, with black and white with red accents, gives it some "pop".

Unbelievable amount of drives and storage space!
S8 Build
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
5775C ASUS Maximus VII Hero Titan Xp GSkill DDR3-2133 16GB  
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Air until the loop upgrade Win10 Pro Acer Predator XB271HU 
KeyboardPowerCase
Ducky One TKL UK/ISO Custom EVGA SuperNOVA 1200P2 CaseLabs S8 White 
  hide details  
Reply
S8 Build
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
5775C ASUS Maximus VII Hero Titan Xp GSkill DDR3-2133 16GB  
Hard DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Air until the loop upgrade Win10 Pro Acer Predator XB271HU 
KeyboardPowerCase
Ducky One TKL UK/ISO Custom EVGA SuperNOVA 1200P2 CaseLabs S8 White 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm glad you like the setup so far. Unfortunately I have run into mutiple issues with the software setup, and I'm frankly looking for pointers on where to go next.

Due to my concerns about windows 7 becoming obsolete, and windows 10 having security issues implemented by microsoft, I have been looking into the idea of trying linux instead. Because of my somewhat extensive experience doing things in MS-DOS/command prompt/DOSbox, I had decided to give Arch Linux a try. I was able to make the distro install and launch off of a USB stick easily enough, but when I found that configuring it to run off of the raid 1 array proved too difficult without help, one particularly elitist moderator on the Arch Linux forum basicly shut me down because "the only stupid question is the question that isn't asked" apparently doesn't apply to me and my trying to learn the system as a matter of course during the installation setup.

Now I'm not sure where to look next given the intended use of the hardware.

As a reminder of what each set of drives is meant to be used for:

On Motherboard
2x M.2 SSD: OS storage, system maintenance storage (such as antivirus), peripheral software (for printers, special keyboard/mouse software, etc), probably in RAID 1
4x 5400RPM HDD: Program storage and temporary storage for media files, RAID 0+2 (for backup), RAID 5 and 10 have been considered*
2x SATA SSD in RAID 0 for scratch disk*

*note: due to limitations of the motherboard, only two 5400RPM drives are able to be controlled via fakeRAID, and the scratch disks would need to be setup with software RAID due to the SATA header only supporting AHCI

Separate controller
x8 10TB HDD: Final location of media files. RAID 5,6,10,50,60 and ZFS have been considered.


Before I got shot down on the Arch forums, I had just started to scratch the surface on the idea that it may not be possible to distribute the files the way I had intended on linux. If this is true, I am forced to return to using something from microsoft, and while I'm willing to use Windows 7 until it becomes unviable, I do not know what to do next, as I refuse to let microsoft tell me what I can and cannot put onto my system, and/or monitor my activity.
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