What is the most resilient parasite? Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? An idea. Resilient... highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it's almost impossible to eradicate. An idea that is fully formed - fully understood - that sticks; right in there somewhere.
I have an idea, and it has been festering since well before Thanksgiving and the Blackfriday sales which convinced me to finally upgrade from my PII x4 955BE. This idea is to create a system which is small enough to fit on my desk, stylish enough for me to want to show off to my friends, yet quiet enough to not be heard over my headset.
I can attribute this inception to two main culprits, She Loved E and Seanimus448. If you have not seen Compact Splash, and loved it.. You must be living under a rock, please educate yourself and read the build log here
. It was a very valuable read, and one that really put the idea of a small build into my head.
You can see a Seanimus' log in my signature, while it may seem odd for a giant Caselabs build to inspire a small build, simply put his attention to detail and unwillingness to settle have resulted in a very education build log filled with numerous detail mods which can be used in any form factor build. I also highly recommend reading his log, you will
- ASRock Z77E-ITX I have been dying to get my hands on an ASRock board, and this proved the perfect chance.
- Intel 3770K Thanks to Microcenter for selling this at just over the cost of the 3570K, I could not pass up this offer.
- White BitFenix Prodigy
- Vengeance 2x8GB CL10 This might change, as I purchased this for my DZ77GA-70K, and the red doesn't go with the "Blastoise" theme.
- Corsair CX600WM This is probably only for the Prodigy case, step 3 likely will be replaced by silverstone 450W gold modular.
- ASUS DC2-4GB GTX670 This drives my 1440p monitor, and 1200p 2nd monitor, as such the slight performance hit was taken over the chance current modded and next gen games might max 2GB GDDR.
- CM 212+ This will only be used during step 1 of the prodigy build.
- HyperX 3K 120GB Got 2 of these in fakeRAID 0, which was my initial reason for AMD -> Intel switch for the Z77 chipset.
There is a problem with this idea, I have never watercooled. Although, I have been sorely tempted in the past, most recently due to CF 2xHD4890 and a PII x4 955BE. I don't particularly like the idea of frying a couple grand of hardware, so a 3770k build would be both strong SFF build, and a great platform for learning on with less financial risk due to failure. The solution, was to create a practice build, where I have a larger room for error, and I can use most of the components for my final build. Enter, the Prodigy.
This MacPro wannabee has all the room I need to comfortably fit and cool the components I want to use in my final build, and it just looks cool. Off the shelf doesn't work for me, so this build will also make use of a SLightBox, and have some light modding to the internals to support a res / pump combo. I should be able to fit a 240mm and 140-200mm rad as well, which should ensure plenty of rad surface area. I will also be working on a custom side and fron panels, these will be the main places I will be adding the Blastoise theme. The general color scheme will be blue on white, while I will be looking to potentially add some tan.
The idea of all of this is to get practice with all tools and skills necessary to complete my scratch build of Blastoise.
Step 1) Everything Air cooled in my basic prodigy. This isn't even a pokemon. It is like being at that screen, where Oak who apparently has known you for years, has no idea what your name is.
Step 2) Squirtle - Everything under water in a custom loop in the Prodigy. Light Custom work has been done to support the loop, but still looks like a white Prodigy.
Step 3) Wartortle - Side and front panel complete, sleek yet tastefully flashing, in a refined sort of way. SLightBox and odds and ends added.
Step 4) Blastoise - Custom Case constructed, all sleeving, and etching complete in a *very* small form factor, custom loop refined and glowing. A true symbol of the power of water.
I will be working on this build as I have time, and pictures / unboxing and updates will be posted. Thanks for reading, hope you'll enjoy my log, and can help complete this goal.