[Build Log] Taowulf's Hex in a beQuiet! Dark Base 700
Well, after months of putting what I need together, I am finally going to start Phase 1 of the first (mostly) all new build I've done in almost a decade.
The last time I "seriously" started a new build, it was late 2007/early 2008. I ended up leaving my job with T-Mobile in April of 2008 (long story) and thinks have been kind of sketchy since then, so any PC upgrade was as I could manage to squeeze it in, replacing single parts or trying to salvage what I had and keep limping along as best I could.
The only parts being transferred over my my current system will be the Zotac 1070 AMP! Extreme and a 2TB hard drive that used to be my games drive.
So for the new system I went with -
So that covers everything I needed for Phase 1, so today (as soon as I finish typing) I am finally going to get started, need to mount the EK CPU block, get the graphics card out of the current system (and see if this Byski block fits) and everything in the new case so I can start working on the tubing runs. Yes, it is also my first time with hardline tubing, but I ordered more than I need, so I should have enough tubing. And yes, I went Acrylic not PETG. Mostly due to the clarity that acrylic has over PETG although I doubt the end product would have looked too much different. Experimentation is fun.
So what will be in Phase 2, and why is there a phase 2? Pretty much one reason. Painting. Winter is still hanging on stubbornly here in Central Oregon, so I need to wait for better weather before I can turn the inside of the Dark Base 700 into the White Base 700. Outside of the case will be staying the stock brushed aluminum (most likely) but the inside will be all painted white. Although, I am considering repainting the white HL rad to orange, if I can find a shade that goes well with it. I am also planning on some interior plexi panels, most likely edge lit. how much of the theme "Hex" I work into that depends on how well I can realize a few ideas I have had into reality. Since my history of under performing is foremost in my mind, I will keep quiet on those to keep expectations low. :D
Other parts that I am planning on painting. The black metal edge of the EK block will be turning either white or orange. I also want to paint much of the motherboards plastic covers, over the I/O and so on. I picked a bunch of the Phanteks Halos RGB fan frames, and since they can be easily taken apart, those will be repainted as well, and I am undecided about the fan frames at this point. I have 2 12 packs of the Monsoon hardline fittings, in both white and orange, and once I have them in, I will be assessing a possible color change on them as well. Either all white or all orange depending on what looks better. Phase 2 will also be the cable sleeving extravaganza. Planning on full custom cables and sleeving for everything I can, with a theoretical white/orange/grey scheme. I still need to order some samples from cable-sleeving.com. Yeah, most likely going with MDPC-X.
As for the fans on the rad, as I mentioned in the water cooling section, I will initially only be able to fit 4 in push/pull and the 5th will be push only. Once everything is in the case, I will be able to see how much room I will have to trim back the metal portion of the basement shroud to fit a 6th fan. So that is undetermined for now.
And now dropping in a few crappy phone pics of how things are now with the mobo on the motherboard tray, it has been up and running since just after the start of the year, as I mentioned I have already done some preliminary overclocking, tested up to 5GHz using OCCT to stress with a little Prime 95 in there as well. I didn't run them for a very long time, but with ambient temps around 21C, after an hour in Primi95 Small FFTs I saw temps slightly above 70C after delidding and using the Rockit IHS. As I mentioned previously, with [email protected] running, they were going only up to around 60C with an ambient a few degrees higher. Should perform well when it is watercooled.
My first naked die!
testing the delid - I have one of the Halos frames on the 140, you can see how well it lights up the fan blades. I really like the look.
And finally, the most important tool I picked up today to help me build -
Oh, bonus messy desk pic showing the current setup -
Tonight went kind of as expected for something I embark upon.
Get a little accomplished and then have a few small setbacks followed by a big one.
So I got the mobo block on, that was pretty painless, except for the time I mounted it and realized I had not put on TIM.
Then I go to mount the fans and the Halos on the rad...hmm. These screws are too long. These are too short. These are the wrong screw size entirely.
So a couple trips to Lowe's later (Home Despot was even worse also snowing, uphill both ways in my bare feet) and I have two more sets of screws that are also all wrong. What is this country's problem with carrying metric screws? Anyway, so I at least mounted up the front fans and rad so I could finalize the pump and res position. Oh? What's this? The res is too high? Some moron (this moron) measured wrong. Oh well.
So at least the motherboard tray, mobo and rad is on the case. I am going to find some sexy screws and order a smaller res now.
Work threw me a bit of a curve. I have 32 hours of vacation time that rolled over from last year and I was planning on using it during April/May when the weather should be better for painting to do Phase 2. Found out today that I have to use all 32 hours before March 31st. Only 7 total days were available to choose from this month, and most of them spread over the last two weeks. So much for my plan of doing everything all in one week. Going to have to figure out what I can get done this month, and the March weather can be unpredictable. This might delay Phase 2 a bit longer, but right now I just need my screws to get here to get Phase 1 finished.
Best laid plans, and all. Of course, my plans are generally pretty ad-hoc and usually never survive contact with the enemy, er life.
The 35mm screws from FrozenCPU came as well as my new res. I was going to avoid FrozenCPU, but they were the only ones carrying a res in the size I needed that I liked. So I went with a Byksi Ice Dragon res, 200mm.
So I start mounting up Halos on the front fans, it goes well and I move onto the ones on the back. Of course, as of writing this I am suddenly worried I mounted some of the fans backwards...and of course I did. But before I get to that, as I was mounting the two internal fans...what's this? Why I am 3 screws short? Did I order 17, not 20? Nope. FrozenCPU counted wrong. I emailed them a little while ago and we will see how they respond. It isn't a HUGE deal. I have 20 of the same screw coming in black instead of the silver ones FCPU sent. So when I swap those out, I will reverse the fans up front. Need to trim the mounting screws for the res bracket anyway.
So after the mounting the fans inside...yeah, those need to get painted. I am thinking orange for the Halos frames. They come apart pretty easy with 5 screws IIRC and the light diffuser ring comes right off and then the LED strips practically fly off.
Obligatory horrible smartphone shot.
I have my bits and pieces of vacation coming up next week. If the weather keeps getting better at the rate it has improved since last weekend, it should be perfect. The res caps are screaming for paint too.
Last weekend, we managed a couple inches of snow. This weekend? 50's and 60's and it is getting warmer. WHOOOOOOO
Once more into the breech!
So the mystery of the three missing screws is solved. FPC only had 17. I had wondered why I recieved a refund of $2 and some odd cents. An explaination would have been nice. Oh well, all is good.
Especially since I had ordered 20 more screws from Amazon. So those work, still need to swap out the screws on the front fans now. Spent some time looking for all my parts I have been collecting for months, could have sworn I had ordered some stop fittings, as I need at least 4. But they were no where to be found, so I have some on the way now, will be here by mid week. With my unexpected vacation this week and next, I should be able to get a lot done. In preperation for that, I finally pulled the 1070 out of my current rig and got the new Byski water block mounted up...only to find one problem. They missed a cutout. I had to take the Dremel to it, it is currently not "pretty" but I can fix it later in the year when I strip everything down for painting.
Not being able to check the placement of everything with the video card and water block led to a slight problem. Where I intended to mount the res was right up against the end of the video card, but there is another option.
Mount the GPU vertically, and since my motherboard tray is reversed...that also means upside down.
It should work just fine. One slight drawback is that in the normal orientation, the fittings on the motherboard water block lined up PERFECTLY with the ones on the GPU block. Since the vertical mount is a set back a bit from the normal mount position, my bends are going to be a little more difficult.
Had a moment of regret for choosing 5/8 OD hard tubing. The space between the pump mount and the lower section cover is a tad to slim to run a piece of tubing straight down for the drain valve/port. But not much trimming will be required and the pump mount shouldn't be difficult to trim a little.
But I have a decent planning aid, so all is well.
Edit to add -
Oh and the weather has failed to keep improving, had snow overnight again a couple of days ago. Thursday and Friday it is supposed to rain and not even hit 50F. So phase 2 is off of the table at the moment. I will probably have to see how much vacation I have later this summer. Which is going to be a horrible time to paint if we have a fire season like last year with basically 3 straight months of ash and smoke.
Well, first vacation day is almost done, and while not much was accomplished, (other than disassembly of things partially assembled) I was able to locally source 3/4 of the acrylic for the light panels I am planning, and yes, I said panelS, as in more than one. The mirrored acrylic I had to order will be here Friday.
If you are gonna go over the edge, might as well go ALL the way over. Lighting has come up multiple times for me in the last week or so, replaced my headlight assemblies on my car a week ago, replaced the head light bulbs with LEDs, replaced several of my overhead lights in the RV tonight, also with LEDS and the RGBW strips for the light panels will be by Thursday.
As far as the LED panels for Hex go, there will be at least two, maybe 4 different panels.
Maybe the tint on the DB 700's tempered glass IS a good thing.
After yesterday, I know I have a lot of room for improvement with bending acrylic tubing. I will have to order some more tube so I can practice a bit more.
I will take pics later while I air test the loop. I went to air test it last night and my air test rig was...leaking air. Massively. I've had it for over a year and never really had a chance to test it. When I took it apart, there was absolutely no sealant in the threads. So I sealed it up and am letting it cure, then I will finally be able to start leak testing.
Subbing for your build here. Hope you'll be able to paint soon.
Just a suggestion for the opening post... if you put some space between the paragraphs/bullet points it would be much easier to read. People tend to scroll past if it's a giant wall of text.
Looking forward to more updates :thumb:
Also, thanks for the sub, I've enjoyed your Red Devastator log as well.
So, there was a slight problem with air testing. Every thing was fine except for the res. To get the ports in just the right place, I needed to have it not exactly tight. Fortunately, there is a sweet spot were it doesn't leak and I can still have the ports oriented correctly. I had to put water in it to find that spot though...so onward with leak testing!
I had to put each bullet point for my list as a separate list to get spaces, but the first post is more readable now. Sorry for wall of text, thanks to @Barefooter for the reminder.
System prep and leak test completed overnight, letting things dry out a bit before putting in the Cryochillz Orange Coolant, patience is hard.
Still not 100% happy with the res, but I am working on an alternative for Phase 2.
I thought briefly about going back to the Bitspower 250, but to get it to fit, I would need to banish the pump to the basement, and for that to work, I would need to remove the HDD mount. Then I would need to come up with a new mounting solution for said HDDs. So I will stick with the Barrow res for the time being.
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