I've got a large chunk of the parts in. I snapped some pics of the most important/interesting parts. Things that are still incoming include the case, radiator, fans, reservoir, and some other small bits.Update 6/24/12
Really minor update, but I ordered the last part I needed which was the keyboard. I went with a Ducky Shine with MX Blacks and white LEDs from TankGuys, as I had to have that OCN logo. Gotta rep my favorite site where I can. Update 6/30/12
I apologize for the lack of updates for the past week. I wish I could start the build, but to make a long story short I'm waiting on a new replacement Switch 810 due to damage. And unfortunately NZXT is in California which makes the shipping times really bad to me (4-5 business days for UPS and FedEx ground). I'm hoping that I have it sometime next week, but have no idea how the holiday will affect it. Not to mention I will probably be out of town with family. So again, I'm really sorry about this build being at a dead standstill right now. I made a mistake in that I shouldn't have posted the start of this log/build until I had all of the mission critical components AND that I had verified everything was undamaged. You would think the box being PLASTERED with fragile stickers on every side would deter FedEx from treating the package like a god damn soccer ball, but I guess that's wishful thinking.
Also, I did some test fittings and I've got a problem because the Swiftech fittings will not work with the GPU block. The ports are too close together, thus it's physically impossible for me to install the fittings as they won't screw in without hitting each other. The idea I have to resolve this is to get one additional 45 degree rotary fitting, which will hopefully give me enough clearance. And I should probably do it this way anyways so that the tubing going from the outlet of the CPU block to the inlet of the GPU block doesn't have to bend as much.
So to at least turn this update from totally bad news to somewhat bad news, on the plus side yesterday I received what I believe is the last missing component that I needed: a Ducky Shine keyboard with Cherry MX Blacks and white LEDs. I'm not sure if I've ever seen an unboxing of a Ducky Shine, but enjoy nonetheless.
I don't know where this trend started for putting things inside velvety bags, but I love it. I'm a sucker for it. The Seasonic Platinum PSU also came inside a velvet bag.
It comes with a instruction sheet (which does a poor job IMO explaining what the switches on the back do) and a nice dust cover when not using it. I was really glad to see that, because the monitor also came with a dust cover (which I've NEVER seen before), and as you all probably know the keyboard and monitor attract the most amount of dust and are the toughest to keep clean. Whereas the tower has nice, flat surfaces that all you have to do is wipe down with a microfiber cloth.
Reppin' the OCN. Gotta share my love for my fellow overclockers out there. Update 7/21/12
I pretty much fell off the face of the earth there, but now I'm back. Real life got in the way, but things are now FULL STEAM AHEAD. I have every single part I need, and with the weekend here the build can actually move forward.
These are all the empty boxes. Glad that Newegg seems to have improved their packaging a bit.
Switch 810 hiding
Components ready and waiting
Work area prepped
Getting ready to flush the radiator. The submersible water pump is inside the bucket along with a gallon and a half of distilled water. The filter was a GE household sediment filter, perfect for this application. I didn't use the good tubing, just whatever was the cheapest at Home Depot. I really regretted that as this was the worst tubing I could possibly imagine, borderline impossible to fit over the compression fittings.
Loop setup and ready to run.
This is how it looked before.
Results of filtering for about an hour. Now imagine that running through the pump or the blocks.
I'm really glad I took the time to do this.
Next up, I'm going to take out the motherboard and assemble all the components, mount all the waterblocks, mount the motherboard inside the case, cut tubing to appropriate lengths, and begin a full system leak test. Hopefully I can get all this done by the end of tonight so that I can start the leak test and have it run overnight, and therefore leave tomorrow for actually installing the power supply and *fingers crossed* have the machine POST by tomorrow night.Update 7/22/12
I wasn't able to get as much done yesterday as I wanted, however I did get everything prepped and ready for the leak test. Just have to mount the motherboard, tubing, etc. So at the very least I know I'll have the leak test done by tomorrow morning, which means during the week I'll be able to start bring power into the picture and start connecting everything. Thus, assuming I can work on this an hour or so each weeknight, 1 week from today the monitor WILL be showing the Windows 7 desktop.
Ready to work.
The patient before surgery prep.
Stock MOSFET/VRM heatsink removed.
Waterblock installed nice and snug. Really like how well it fit, not to mention I think it looks great.
Mmm, so much power between my 2 fingers. This is the C2 stepping as indicated by the SR0KY code.
So many contacts...
I hate this part so much. DON'T BEND THE PINS! No pressure...
Phew, no sweat.
Money shot, one of many.
Another great install. Probably the easiest CPU cooler I've ever installed. Literally 3 steps: screw in the 4 standoffs, apply TIM and slide the block over the standoffs, and put the springs on the standoffs and tighten down with the thumbscrews until you can't twist anymore which means optimum pressure is being applied. Looks damn good.
Money shot #2. Mmm 16GB of RAM...
Side shot. I really love the way this low profile RAM looks. Lends itself to a really awesome aesthetic, especially due to them not having heatspreaders. I'd say this is money shot #3.
The 2nd patient.
This was the easiest disassembly I've ever had of a video card. As soon as I removed the last screw, the whole thing just fell off. It startled the hell out of me, especially as I wrestled with my GTX 260 for a good 5-10 minutes trying to get the damn shroud off.
Patient prepped for surgery.
It's interesting to note the VRMs to the right of the memory chips had that dinky little aluminum heatsink as you saw 2 pictures above, however the 4 tiny chips above them to the left of the power connectors had nothing on them.
GK104 goodness. You can see the difference from the picture above that the 4 chips will now be cooled.
Money shot #4. Made in Germany goodness.
Bling bling. I do have to say that getting the fittings on was a MASSIVE pain in the ass as the base will not rotate without using a set of pliers (obviously good for not having leaks, obviously bad for install purposes). Not to mention I had to use these, because NONE of the available straight compression fittings will work on this block. Swiftech, Monsoon, Koolance, etc: You name it, I tried to fit it. The ports are just too close together for a compression fitting to work. That left me 2 choices: these Bitspower 45 degree compression fittings or barbs. Barbs were out of the question so I went with these. I'll be better off with these anyways as it will make it easier to connect the CPU block to it with a shorter run of tube and not have any kinking due to not needing to bend the tube as much.
I am sort of nervous about this, as I've NEVER had a card be this heavy before. I assume that the backplate makes this possible, because I don't see how that much weight can be hanging off the PCI Express slot. Yes, you are reading that scale correctly: it weights 3 AND A HALF POUNDS!
Next up, leak test time.Mini-Update 7/28/12
I didn't want to make a full update, so this is just to include the pictures I forgot from the 7/22 update for SilentKilla78's question. Also, the leak test has been successfully completed. Pics are forthcoming, most likely tomorrow morning.
This is why I went through the hassles of finding fittings that would work for installing on the same side. Excuse the finger prints, they were immediately removed once I saw this picture. The finish is so nice, but it's an incredible fingerprint magnet, just like the backplate.
If the ports were even a fraction of a millimeter closer, this wouldn't have worked.
Installed. I was BLOWN AWAY by the backplate. I had my index finger on the power connectors and could feel the 3.5 pounds. As SOON as the bottom of the PCB inserted into the PCI Express slot, I felt almost nothing. Now I finally understand the hype around backplates, as this one really works. Not to mention it just looks awesome.
Close-up. Just look how level the card is, no sagging here. Simply incredible.Update 7/29/12
Leak test is all done and water has been drained from the system. Not going to have much time tonight, but the PSU will be mounted along with the optical drive and SSD, and as many wires as I have time for will be connected including the case's front panel cables, power connections with extensions, and data cables. So much for my goal of having it at the desktop.
I hope now that I'm past all these roadblocks, it will be much smoother sailing as there will no longer be any waiting for parts. If I'm not done a week from now, I may just lose it.
Below you'll see the trials and tribulations I had trying to figure out a layout for the loop tubing to work. Suffice to say, this royally sucked.
FINALLY, after waiting/wasting 2 more days waiting for new fittings (admittedly my fault), I've got the loop setup perfectly. I should have just bought 90 degree rotaries in the first place.
LEAK TEST! Not a drop was to be found. I was really excited by this, considering this is my first foray into watercooling.Update 8/6/12
What an awesome weekend this was. Got my first paycheck from the new job, so took Mom out for a surprise dinner. Great weather today. And best of all, made some serious progress on the build.
Pioneer optical installed.
Secured with the awesomeness that is thumbscrews.
Nice and cozy in its new home, soon to be shared with some 2TB mechanical drives.
SSD and optical data cables.
Time for a little mad science in the lab (aka measuring and mixing the coolant for the loop
WHAT?!? Why would you hack off the clip? You'll see...
Yea...this is why. Literally no room. There's probably a MAX of 1mm of clearance between the fan blades and the cables.
Asus' awesome little Q connector for the front panel cables (power, reset, and LEDs).
All front panel wires connected. Unfortunately, I could not do anything about those 2 wires you see coming from the upper right. NZXT made the power and HDD led cables RIDICULOUSLY short. The one on top in particular is pretty much pulled taut. Not happy about this at all.
All power connected. Good thing with the side panel on you can't see all those wires on the bottom right. The one wire that's disconnected has the blue cap on it to remind me to plug it in later on. This USB lead is for the Aquaero, and so I don't want to throw it into the mix until everything else has been installed and there are no driver issues. Also, I need to figure out something for covering the wires coming out of the power supply.
Time to step it up to the next level of the build.
The moment of truth. Not going to lie, this part always scares me.
Booted right up and into the BIOS.
Good night and rest well. You've got a big couple of days coming up.
Stay tuned, folks. I'm in the home stretch now, but this is when things get interesting. Assuming all goes well tomorrow and barring any distractions, there should be an update posted tomorrow night showing the Windows 7 desktop.Update 8/7/12
Getting better at this. This time only a 1 day delay instead of a week.
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit install begins from USB stick.
Done installing and first restart at this point. I've never seen the install go this fast before on any install across many, many different machines. To be fair though, this is the first time installing with the SSD/USB combo.
Everything completely done at this point and sitting idle. Holy mother of god...
Chilling at the desktop after a mere 7 minutes and 16 seconds. This is what I've been wanting to see for so many weeks now.
Now it's time to use Sean's optimization guide and get everything ready.