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xd's HEXAGONAL - From start to finish and beyond

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I've decided to share with you a lil bit of the history of the reason I'm here torturing you with my VRM rants tongue.gif

TABLE OF CONTENTS
  1. 2009: The beginning & the race to 4Ghz
  2. 2010: Cable management and some...ghetto....mods
  3. And then everything was better
  4. Hexagonal!

Edited by xd_1771 - 2/26/11 at 5:25pm
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Let's start from the beginning. With me being in big business on YouTube creating more and more new videos that took increasingly long to render on my old PC:
  • Pentium 4 2.8Ghz, 2.5GB DDR-400 RAM, ASUS HD 3450, 500GB hard drive, a DVD drive....that doesn't work, and a heavily customized Windows XP OS.
In its original glory Hexagonal had been fit with these specs:
  • AMD Phenom II x4 965 140W, Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P, 2x2GB Mushkin HP3 DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24, WD Caviar Black 1TB HDD, Seasonic SS-650HT PSU, and a BFG GeForce GTS 250.
Just over $1000 of glory. At this point I actually seriously mulled going LGA1366 (I wanted i7 pretty badly tongue.gif), but it was definitely out of my budget.
I immediately saw the need for a new PC. After an entire summer saving dollars and researching about PCs and building a parts list, it is now September 2009. I get a box labelled "Coolermaster CM-690" and there is a nice big picture of a CM-690 on it. I actually don't remember what I did with that box, it was big and my family used it for storing random items. But what I was interested in was the contents.... so low and behold, on September 14, 2009, the legacy of Hexagonal began...
And yes sir yes, she was glorious, from the moment I opened up Sony Vegas after installation and click render I marvelled at the speed yessir.gif
033custom.th.jpg014custom.th.jpg001custom.th.jpg
At the beginning I had a lot of stability issues, specifically with memory redface.gif (that's right, even I was a memory n00b once!); the memory had initially been set to run at 1600 9-9-9-27 which was below rated, so I set it to 8-8-8-24. In both cases I got random freezes in the OS. I had to lower the memory to 1333Mhz to keep stable. However, I could also manage to lower the timings to 6-6-6-18, which more than compensated.


The first upgrade came after an extra $80 or so of savings in November. A Xigmatek Dark Knight, some Arctic MX-3 (that I still have right now tongue.gif but it's near-empty), a Sunbeam fan controller, and an Antec Spot Cool. Having just joined this site I had a full intent and will to overclock this chip to 4Ghz:
004custom.th.jpg006customr.th.jpg
Yeah, that's right, everything was so messy that it isn't even funny.
But sadly, I never reached 4Ghz. Around 30 seconds after starting Prime95 Small FFT at 4Ghz, the system would cough, sputter, and BSOD as so:
dscf2614large.th.jpg
I never reached 4Ghz stable with my 965. After 3.8Ghz (which needed 1.475V to be stable) I needed a massive amount of voltage to hit 3.9Ghz (1.55V). The new Dark Knight cooler could definitely handle it, but I didn't really want to push that much voltage through no matter what.

So at the end of 2009, my specs remained as so:
rigfullspecs.jpg

NEXT UPDATE [2010: Cable management and some...ghetto....mods]
Table of contents

Edited by xd_1771 - 2/20/11 at 11:31am
post #3 of 7
Nice!
D
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 6600k MSI M7 R9 380 TridentZ 
OSCase
Windows 10 Corsair 750d 
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D
(10 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 6600k MSI M7 R9 380 TridentZ 
OSCase
Windows 10 Corsair 750d 
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Reply
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
PREVIOUS UPDATE [2009: The beginning and the race to 4Ghz]

Continuing now:
It's January of 2010, and I decided to take my rig up to the table, open it up, and spend 3 days or so doing cable management. Now that actually really pissed my mom off, since at the time the only place I could assemble computer parts was the big wooden dining table right beside my main desk tongue.gif

At this point I had also started to become concerned with my cooler drawing in hot air from the GPU. I thought up (and tried) a bunch of things to try and solve it, including even putting this piece of antistatic foam (from the bottom of my motherboard box) on top of the video card
dscf2607custom.th.jpg
But I was told, it would actually make things a bit worse.

dsc05646custom.th.jpgdsc05658custom.th.jpg
Remember this? lachen.gif
I assure you, my video card spot cool + cardboard/electric tape wind tunnel was long gone, but I found this actually pretty innovating. I have two Spot Cools now... I had initially webordered two at NCIX, but they only processed and made me pay for one in store. The next time I went, they just gave me a second spot cool for free smile.gif

The cable management was still pretty bad...
dsc05664custom.th.jpgdsc05636large.th.jpg
But a lot better.
Take notice of all the other ghetto mods I tried doing lachen.gif the cardboard shrouds on the fans, oh boy, it cracks me up now that I'm looking at it one year later
(Notice that 80x15MM fan behind the mobo tray on the CM690... I found it never really helped temps that much for me and just made noise actually)

There were a few more fans now, at this point two Xigmatek white LED 140MMs (still in Hexagonal now, but disappearing soon with my NH-D14) were added to the top. Which made Hexagonal look particularly beastly:
dsc05679custom.th.jpg
And jeeze, yeah, the people who reviewed the Sunbeam Rheobus were right - those lights are blinding!

NEXT UPDATE [And then everything was better]
Table of contents

Edited by xd_1771 - 2/20/11 at 11:32am
post #5 of 7
hillarious smile.gif
Diablo 3 24/7
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core Pentium G850 GIGABYTE Z68A-D3H-B3 Sapphire HD 6770 4x2GB KVR1333D3N9/2G 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 Samsung SH-S223B Zalman CNPS5X Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
AOC E2243FW LED 21.5'' 5ms  Razer Arctosa Black Seasonic SS-600ET Sharkoon T9 Value Black  
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer DeathAdder Black Edition Roccat Sota Granular Razer Electra Essential 
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Diablo 3 24/7
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core Pentium G850 GIGABYTE Z68A-D3H-B3 Sapphire HD 6770 4x2GB KVR1333D3N9/2G 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 Samsung SH-S223B Zalman CNPS5X Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
AOC E2243FW LED 21.5'' 5ms  Razer Arctosa Black Seasonic SS-600ET Sharkoon T9 Value Black  
MouseMouse PadAudio
Razer DeathAdder Black Edition Roccat Sota Granular Razer Electra Essential 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
PREVIOUS UPDATE [2010: Cable management and some...ghetto....mods]

I know, this effectively makes me seem like I was a total noob back then tongue.gif

I have all these pictures from March 20th, but I honestly don't remember what I was doing with my PC back on March 20th. So I'm going to skip over to April 21...
The PC is still a big mess... wind tunnel still there... blue Gigabyte plates came off to improve airflow to mosfet/NB heatsinks
dscf2921custom.th.jpgdscf2920custom.th.jpg
Back of mobo improved but still bad...
dscf2925custom.th.jpg
Hold on a minute, what was that in the lower left corner---
dscf2923large.th.jpgdscf2906large.th.jpg
biggrin.gif and then everything got better
After blowing a good $200, my boot times went from 0 seconds to -1 seconds...

NEXT UPDATE [Hexagonal!]
Table of contents

Edited by xd_1771 - 2/26/11 at 5:26pm
post #7 of 7
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