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The Big Dive with Caselabs TX10-V

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post #1 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I decided I was going to build my personal computer this time around. You can call it a gaming rig, a workstation, an all-purpose PC, etc. My objective was to build one very powerful computer for my personal use and then continue to upgrade it as needed. I'm not much of a gamer, but I want it to have the capability to handle with ease the most extreme of games - just in case I wake up one morning with a lot of free time to play with and decide to game on my computer; I don't do a lot of video editing or 3-D rendering, but I want it to have the capability to handle with ease the most demanding of such tasks. I want it to be a beast as far as personal computers go.
 
This will be the first time ever I'm building a computer. I knew it would be a challenge because I was a complete idiot when it came to building a computer. So I wanted to be sure I had the level of technical expertise and the resources this task would require. After spending hours and hours watching online videos and reading dozens of articles on how to build a personal computer, it turned out that the highest level of technical know-how that I needed to have was knowing how to use a screwdriver and being patient to read and follow instructions on a manual! So I took the dive - the big dive.
 
I bought two books: Building a PC in Easy Steps by Stuart Yarnold and Upgrading and Repairing PCs (20th Edition) by Scott M. Mueller (I haven't made much use of Mueller's book yet  - I just use it occasionally as a reference tool). I continued watching how-to videos, online reviews, and unboxing videos; I can't tell you how many articles I've read so far - I continue to do so. My confidence was built up and now I'm a long way into my build. Enough of this babble.
 
 
 
The Big Dive
I've divided this project into four phases:
 
Phase I - from selection and buying of parts to where the computer becomes usable for computing.
Phase II - cable management and lighting.
Phase III - top extreme storage chamber.
Phase IV - air filters and finishing.
 
 
Initially, I wanted to wait till I completed the first phase before beginning this post, but I lost my patience. I'm where I think I can begin to talk about the build. Updates will be posted as I make progress. It's going to be a long journey for me, I think. Now, I should say, this is not going to be one of those mind-blowing, out-of-this-world builds that you find on this site and on various fora for computer enthusiasts. I'm just going to do my best to accomplish the task I've set for myself, viz. to build a very capable computer for my personal use. However, I'm proud to show it off. Really, I think I deserve to buy myself a beer now.
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post #2 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 07:35 PM
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First time PC builder....in a TX10. Nice. thumb.gif


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Ok so here is my report....IT AIN"T HAPPENING!
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post #3 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 07:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Some of the major components of the build:

 

 

1. Processor: Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa-Core Processor 3.2 Ghz 12 MB Cache LGA 2011 - BX80619I73930K

2. Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Extended ATX Intel Motherboard

 

3. RAM: Patriot Viper 3 Series DDR3 32GB 21333MHz (PC3 17000) Quad Kit PV332G213C1QK. I have two sets of this to give me 64 GB of RAM.

 

4. OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate

 

5. PSU: Corsair Professional Series AX 1200 Watt Digital ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Platinum (AX1200i). I have two of this daisy-chained with an Add2PSU Multiple Power Supply Adapter.

 

 

6. Boot drive: Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 512 GB SATA 6.0 Solid State Drive MZ-7PD512BW

 

7. Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST3000DM001. I have three of this for a total of 9TB. I plan to buy three more to give me 18 TB to be used in RAID 1 setup. So effectively I will have 9TB of storage in the business section of the case. I plan to build another extreme storage unit in the top chamber of the case. I'm looking at having a total of 120TB to 160TB there, depending on whether I use 3TB hard drives or 4TB hard drives. That will be Phase III of this project. More on that later.

 

8. Optical drive 1: LG Electronics 14x Internal BDXL Blu-Ray Burner Rewriter WH14NS40 - Bulk Drive – Black

 

9. Optical drive 2: Asus 24xDVD-RW Serial ATA Internal OEM Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black)

 

10. Sound card: ASUS Xonar Essence STX - sound card (XONARESSENCESTX)

 

11. GPU: EVGA 04G-P4-2686-KR GeForce GTX 680 w/ Backplate 4GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card. I have two of this card to be used in dual SLI configuration.

 

12. Cooling: Custom water cooling. This is a major part of the build. It deserves more attention – later.

 

13. Case: MAGNUM TX10-V – the entire project revolves around this case.

 

 

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post #4 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 07:39 PM
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Sounds like you've got something interesting up your sleeve, keeping a close eye on this thread. Good luck! thumb.gif

Edit: Just saw the post above, and it looks to be a beast in the making, excellent!


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He's probably running Cross-Asus SLEyefinity with that i5 3770k overclocked to 17gigglehertz.

 

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post #5 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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As the parts began to arrive, I took some pictures. Not really sexy - just wanted to  keep footprints of the build. Just a few of the items. My emphasis is really on the TX10-V. Everything revolves around it. I just thought I should explain my choice of the TX10-V as opposed to the TX10-D. 

 

I wanted the size and space of the TX10 for ONE computer. With the TX10-D, the space would be shared by two computers (though not necessarily - if you choose not to build two computers in the case), effectively reducing the size of the case to half apiece. Cable management is another thing. Of course, you should be able to identify what cables belong to what computer, but it should be simpler with just one computer in the case. Further, I hardly use two computers simultaneously. Nonetheless, I've seen some really awesome builds with the TX10-D and I've learned a thing or two from them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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post #6 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Assembling the case:

 

Notice the careful packaging by Caselabs. Parts were carefully wrapped in thick plastic to prevent damage/scratches. The majorr parts were not labelled, but this was not a dig deal. The assembling guide that came with the case made it fairly easy to identify the parts. This, though, is one area where Caselabs could provide more help to a novice like me. Proper labeling of all the the parts would completely eliminate guessing.

 

The assembling process was straightforward. There were no confusing diagrams in the assembling guide. No lengthy passages to read. Just a simple, accurate, straightforward guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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post #7 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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PSU side of case with the door ajar

 

 

Mothorboard side of case with door ajar

 

 

Case with pedestal. Sorry for the poor image

 

I'll explain the brass thumb nuts you see below. I wanted to make sure the doors and covers are "locked down". The clips began to fail to hold the doors in place. I replaced the clips with some of the spare clips the Caselabs sent with the case, but the same thing happened again. So, in addition to the ball studs and clips that hold the covers and doors in place, I drilled holes through the covers and installed some screws on the frame so that after the covers and doors are in place, they are further held in place with the thumb nuts. After a while, I stopped liking the brass nuts. Now, I have all that removed, except for the ones that hold the doors. I'm still debating whether to block the holes with decorative screws/washers or just black, blind aluminum rivets. Somewhere in my mind still, I'm brooding over how to further fortify the "locking" mechanism - to be double certain the covers are held down.

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post #8 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-08-2013, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HemiRoR View Post

Sounds like you've got something interesting up your sleeve, keeping a close eye on this thread. Good luck! thumb.gif

Edit: Just saw the post above, and it looks to be a beast in the making, excellent!

Thanks. I'm glad you stopped by.

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post #9 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-09-2013, 04:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Once the case had been assembled, it was time to decide on how to cool the PC. This was where the almost limitless options you get with the TX10-V presents its own challenge. Should I fill up the heat chambers with radiators (560 mm x 6)? Should I use the flex bays? Not an easy decision to make. If I don't fill up the heat chambers with radiators, then what would I do with the massive spaces? 

 

For sure I wanted to do an overkill of water cooling because I wanted the PC to be as silent as it could get while effectively cooling the major heat generating components. By the way, deciding on what components to cool was another hard question. To begin, there was no question about water-cooling the processor and graphics cards. The debate was over whether to water-cool the motherboard and RAM. Initially, I ruled out the motherboard and RAM as far as water-cooling went. 

 

Well, I bought a Corsair H100 just to test out the major components - to be sure nothing was DOA. I knew then that the noise of the stock fan on the Asus RIVE would bother me. I listened to it over and over. Finally, I decided the motherboard would be water-cooled too - not because I thought the chipset and mosfet would generate significant heat to warrant water-cooling, but because of the noise made by the stock fan on the motherboard cooler. As for the RAM, it will not be water-cooled. It would probably make my build prettier if I water-cooled it, but it would be cosmetic merely -  no real functional benefits with regards to noise reduction or lowering of the RAM temperature. Further, I worry that the heat from the processor and graphics card could raise the temperature of my RAM if I placed all of them in a single water-cooling loop. So, yes, I'll be water-cooling the processor, my graphics cards, and the motherboard. The RAM would use air cooling merely.

 

I also finally reached a decision on how to set up my cooling loop. I will not be mounting any radiators in the flex bays even though I had bought some radiators for that purpose a while back. Reason: I don't want to exhaust any hot air dissipated by the radiators from the front of the case. So, mounting a radiator in the flex bays would be tantamount to removing heat from the inside of the PC, then blowing the heat back into the case before exhausting the hot air from the back - didn't make much sense to me.

 

I also was unwilling to exhaust the radiator hot air from the top of the case or from the sides. Mounting a radiator on the rear of the case was not an option. Besides the possibility of mounting a 120mm radiator close to the motherboard (near the I/O shield), the case was not designed to be used that way. I was left with one option - to exhaust hot air generated by my radiators from the bottom of the case. My unwillingness to exhaust hot air generated by radiators from the sides of the case meant I could not use the radiator side mounts and their associated accessories that I had already purchased. What do I do now? Yes, I could mount a Watercool MO-RA3 9 x 140mm Pro Extreme Radiator in the bottom of the case and set up my radiator fans to blow the hot air out from the bottom. That was what I decided to do. Hey, I could use two of those!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notice that I drilled three holes in the fan shroud and routed my fan cables from those holes. The tiny cable slot that came with the shroud would not work for me. I thought about leaving the shroud off, but a friend thought it looked neater with the shroud on. So, I left it on.

 

 

 

The radiator fans are set up in a push-pull configuration. That means I have 36 radiator fan cables to deal with here.

 

 

 

The screws that hold the fan cover in place use the same holes that the fans use. So the four edge screws of the fans on the edges had to come off. I figured that three screws apiece are more that enough to hold those edge fans in place anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With 36 fan cables to deal with, it made sense to use splitters for a finer cable management. I'll power these splitters directly with a fan controller. Each channel of the fan controller will power no more than 9 fans. So, I'll devote four channels to the radiator fans. Notice that the spitters are offset to the left because the cables are closer that side of the rear cover.

 

 

The initial plan for me was to install the fan splitters with screws. I was skeptical that the self-adhesive velcro strip with which they came would hold up pretty good. So, I ordered a set of acrylic sheet with a black matte finish to match the case. The idea was to screw the splitters onto the acrylic sheet, then screw the acrylic sheets in turn to the rear covers. That way, I would avoid drilling too many holes on the rear covers. It turned out, however, that the self-adhesive velcro strips performed well. I made sure of this by vigorously shaking - several times - one of the rear covers with the splitters mounted. They (splitters and velcro strip) did not bulge. So, I'll be saving the acrylic sheets for future use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With the radiators mounted in the lower heat chambers, I now have another challenge. How do I protect the fan blades? It probably wouldn't be a problem to leave them this way, but I'll feel better to have some kind of grill over them. I doubt that Caselabs has anything that would serve as a solution for this at the moment. I'm still thinking about my options. Maybe I'll get three 140mm x 3 fan grills and mount them at the bottom of the case; but if I do that, I must look for how to hold them in place because I can't use the fan screw holes. Maybe I can, but I have to find screws long enough and not too long to avoid puncturing the radiator; plus, that would mean less screws holding down the fans.

 

 

 

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post #10 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-11-2013, 07:45 AM
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One heck of a job for a "1st timer" or anyone for that matter biggrin.gif Keep up the good work! thumb.gif

Fan grills or filters should protect the fans wink.gif

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