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990 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
The Name:
Blue because it's blue
Madness because it's not just blue... it's blue... with madness
Overhaul because I plan on taking my computer is going from complete disassembly to a working, overclocked, modded computer and it takes a lot of time!

The Disclaimer Stuff:
I have touched up many of these images with Photoshop 7.0, but I want to make it very clear that I am in no way altering these images to give me an unfair advantage in the contest. The only alterations I do to any image are:
1) Changing the levels or color correcting so that it looks as close as what it looks like in real life.
2) Changing the background, cropping the image, or taking things out of the background that are distracting

Judges, if you think something looks questionable, then I'd be happy to give you the full-res, unedited, version of any picture. However, I am not going to be apt to just hand out full-res pictures. This could take a lot of time, and since I'll have moved back to the university as of January 2nd, I might not have a whole lot of free time.

The Preface:
Each day is not exactly representative of a real day, but does a fairly good job of showing what I accomplish in a day. For example, the first part of day one (doing the mobo power connectors) was done about 5 weeks before the 2nd part of day one. The rest of the days, generally speaking, were completed in one day's time.

Except for the very first part of the PSU mod, I started all of this December 15th, and troubleshooting, repairing, modding, and overclocking a rig in this short amount of time (not to mention writing this massive thing!) has been demanding
. You might want to grab some snacks, a drink, and a stadium pal because this is quite long with over 100 images and well over 5,000 words! It might take you thirty minutes to read it, but it's taken me many hours to make it. After losing much of it and redoing it due to editing and login/logout problems, I might have even spent more time on this entry than the mod itself! I tried to make it fun to read though, so I think you'll enjoy reading it regardless of its length. Sit back, relax, and read as I take you on a magical adventure.

Let the modding stuffness begin!


Duct Tape: It's for ducts.

Here's my OCZ PowerStream 600W opened up.
She is naked and ashamed.

I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to replace the warranty sticker
convincingly... I think they'd notice that it has been magically sleeved
anyway if the PSU did happen to break.

The fifty-gagillion (translation: 24) wires that I had to label when taking off
the mainboard power connector. Notice how reflective the PSU case is.
Sexeh!

I will clothe her with this so that she is no longer naked and ashamed.

She has been gloriously clothed! Now I'm carefully putting each
pin into its proper hole on the new UV-reactive connector.

More...

If you notice... the additional 4-pin connector wasn't in the previous photo.
I was frustrated I forgot to sleeve it with the 20-pin connector, so I went
back and re-did it. Yes, I'm that perfectionistic haha...
It was a pain in the posterior, but I'm very happy I did it.

The fifty-gagillion (Translation: 24) labels used to keep track
of which pin goes into which hole.

Shazam! That background is definitely not photoshopped.

Ichi - Japanese for:
"I put some duct tape around the molex pins for two reasons.
For one, pins tend to get caught up in the sleeving. They can
also get mixed up, and what you don't see is that I put a small
section of a zip-tie underneath the tape to give it more structural
integrity. I doubt it will matter if the grounds get swapped, but
it never hurts to be careful."

Dos - Spanish for "Disk Operating System"

Three - British for three

Four - The number golfers like to yell

Sweet Action! After and Before compared.

This is for those of you who wonder, "What is so 'special'
about those 'special' molex connectors on the OCZ Powerstreams?"
Every line has its own ground, even the grounds. This is also for
those of you who doubt the awesomeness of the Canon Digital
Rebel XT. The native res of many of these photos is 3456x2304! O_O

She is no longer naked and ashamed. I chose not to sleeve
the PCIe GFX power connectors because I don't need them,
and I plan on hiding them anyway. Women like to hide things.

Due to the added circumference of the sleeving, the wires
would not fit into what I like to call "the wire hole." I yelled
at the PSU saying, "You're fat you fat fatty!"

I then forced her to play Max Unlimited on DDR for like... twice
times. After this she lost enough weight to fit the wires into
the wire hole (Translation: I took off the plastic thingy).
Thankfully, there was enough extra holage (<-New word)
that I didn't have to take a metal file to it like I did with my Tagan.

I apologized for calling her a fat fatty, and we ended the
night with a candlelight dinner and non-alcoholic wine (Translation: Grape Juice).

By the end of the night we were a little tipsy and started
drawing things in the air with the candles. (It was not easy creating that shot
)


Time to build. Deaf Ninja joined me for most of the day, but it took so long that he
ended up having to leave before I turned it on. I've had too many bad experiences
to take any shortcuts


My case is pretty much totally empty... There is a lot of work ahead.

The evaporator head still has the Arctic Silver Ceramique from
six months ago on it. How will I clean it? Well... let me introduce you to...

...my three best friends! Their names are " Precision Electrical
Cleaner," "91% Alcohol," and "Dielectric Grease." The electrical cleaner
is a solvent that dissolves dielectric grease. It is very handy
for you phase changers out there. You can find it at your local
radio shack or computer store (hopefully). You cannot RMA a
motherboard with grease in the socket because the manufacturer
will not want to get grease on their equipment. The alcohol is to
clean off thermal paste and contacts, etc... You can find this pretty
much anywhere (like Wal*Mart). The dielectric grease is a non-conductive
grease which can be found in automotive stores (Make sure it is clear
before you buy it though). It is used to seal off the socket and whatever
else you want from condensation.

The ancient Mesopotamians would always put their dielectric
grease on the socket in an OC formation for good luck. Yes
that is a lie, but at least I have fake-good-luck on my side.

The socket is completely engulfed in grease. I probably added
twice as much as, if not more than, the original "OC" amount.
I doubt many of you have taken off a socket (That's what the
long slits along the sides of the socket are for), but I have had
to for RMA purposes. There is actually a fair amount of air space
between the plastic and the metal contacts for the pins. Equipped
with this information, I continued to put more and more and squish
it into the holes with a pipe cleaner to the point that pushing
on the plastic would cause grease to squish through the pin holes.

The processor didn't miss out on the dielectric fun. I squished
grease into it with a pipe cleaner until every air bubble was gone.
Notice the lack of shoes. Without socks there is less chance of
electro-static discharge from stuff like rubbing your socks on the carpet.
This might be generalized to something like "Fewer clothes is better,"
but I'm no authority on that. Please wear pants.

Yummy! Pushing a processor into a socket filled with dielectric
grease is like stepping into thick mud. You just have to put
constant pressure on all four corners onto it as it slowly sinks
into the socket and the grease squishes out of the sides. By
completely covering the pins and socket with grease, the goal
is to keep air bubbles to a minimum, and keep air OUT. With phase
change, the more air that can get in, the higher the chances
of condensation getting in as well. The more condensation,
the higher the risk of pin rot, which is where the pins of a
processor corrode, ruining it. I've experienced it, and let me
tell ya', it's as much fun as rollerblading in quicksand.

I spread the excess grease around the socket to try and further
seal it off from air. This will also help to seal the gap between
neoprene that insulates the CPU and the motherboard.

The aforementioned neoprene templates are installed.

We can't forget the back of the motherboard! The risk of
corrosion does not stop with the CPU pins. Unfortunately,
I've also had the back of my motherboard corrode on the
previous one. Thankfully, after some careful cleaning,
DFI accepted my RMA.

I spread the grease almost everywhere the neoprene would
touch in hopes of completely sealing off the delicate circuitry
beneath the CPU.

The neoprene and heater pad are installed! The heaters
further prevent condensation.

All of the cards have been plugged into the motherboard tray.
If this were any other computer, it might be wise to plug in
only the absolute basics, but with this case and the incredible
amount of stuff inside, it is extremely difficult to move anything
in or out of the case once the tray is installed. The things
installed are (from top to bottom): a slot cooler, Gigabyte X800 XL,
CCFL controller, Midi port from Audigy ZS 2, Augidy ZS 2, and ATI's HDTV Wonder.

It's already starting to look messy. Those wires on the left are an eyesore!

I've maxed out my images for this post. Onward to reply numero uno!
 

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Premium Member
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990 Posts
Discussion Starter #2

Here's a closer look. This is the Chill Control circuit board for
the Vapochill LS. It fits perfectly in the back nook of my case.
This alone adds 7 wires/cables to the case, not including the
molex connector that has to be routed to it.

I put my traditional pea-sized amount of Arctic Silver Ceramique
on to the CPU and installed the clamshell housing the evaporator
head. By the way, in case you didn't know, ceramique is more
efficient than AS5 for sub-zero temps.

These babies are going to replace those bright yellow UV IDE/Floppy
cables that come with the DFI boards. Blueness is coolness.

Installed! I was very happy with how they turned out. The
wiring issue is starting to get crazy.

Okay.. that's it... it's chaos. Between the Vapochill LS, PSU,
data, and peripheral wires, it's insane.

Amazingly, it boots up first try. I had plenty of opportunity
to swap wires during the PSU mod and whilst building the
computer, so the fact that it POSTed fine the first time
was a bit of a shocker. Being careful pays off.

Day 3 was primarily software-related stuff, but I did find something
rather intriguing that might pique everyone's interest.

Time to reinstall windows! Woohoo! Only the 8th time this year!
Right before my computer went caput 6 months ago the OS
started to corrupt. NTFS is t3h pwn!

Everything looks to be going smoothly in Windoze world, and we
all know how accurate Windows' time estimations are. I figured it'd
take 15-20 minutes to install it... max.

In the mean time I decided to lay down some ownage in DDR
(That song is named "A" and is on Ultramix 2.. in case you care...)
So then I finish up and I expect the time zone screen to be up right?

THIRTY MINUTES LATER..... What?! Okay...not having the
motherboard drivers installed is one thing... but this?!
I figured I'd just let it sit for a while and see what would happen.
It ends up giving me a BSOD. "Great," I say to myself, "more BSODs."
I was determined to do everything I could to fix the computer
and enter the mod contest though. I scoured the net looking for
what the BSOD meant and found a thread that mentioned that
XP had to be on primary master. I thought I had it on that, but
just in case, I checked. Well... it was not on the master part
of the IDE... it was on the middle section. I thought I'd found
my solution.

I proceed to reinstall Windows XP and get this:

Oh no! I've faulted a page! I swap the ram to the yellow slots
just for kicks and all of a sudden I start getting beep codes
I look it up, and beep codes normally mean only two things on
the Award BIOS. Guess what one of them is?... bad RAM.
Special thanks to Burn who helped me figure this out here
I thought "No way! There is no way that my RAM is bad!!
I have the best of the best! Samsung TCCD! ooooorrr maybe not.

Yep! Looks like good ole' Platinum 4800 TCCD to me! But wait...
Lets have a closer look.

Hm... I mean.. it DOES say Platinum 4800 on it and
it is supposed to be TCCD... Lets have a closer look.

What is THAT?! v1.1?... What is?... Wait...
That's right guys. For a while OCZ ran out of Samsung TCCD.
What did they replace it with? TCC5... its newer, crappier
little brother. ...and what do we do with defective little brothers?
We RMA them back to OCZ is what we do.

Do you think they could have put that "v1.1" any smaller?
It's almost as if they were trying to hide it. NAW....

Anyway... one of the sticks is completely unstable, and
the other is stable enough to do most things in Windows.
Oddly enough, they passed memtest perfectly for 39 iterations (overnight)
Anyway... OCZ is sort of making good by replacing it with
Platinum 4800 Elite, which is guaranteed to be TCCD, and
worth $15 more.


Day 4 is when I tried to do a unique mod I doubt anyone has
ever done. Unfortunately, it failed, but that was only part of my mod.
The main focus of this mod is awesome lighting, and
awesome cable management. I will include my attempt so
the judges can see what I tried, and others can perhaps build
on what I started. Ph33r the ownage of the lime green couch.

Okay... this is the concept. I'm going to cover my computer
with flower-print wallpaper. ...maybe we should focus on
the hair drier instead...

Imagine a blue, glowing, orb floating above your computer case.
I thought it might be a little goofy, but then again, it'd look cool, and
it would be something that few people, if any, have ever done.

The plan was to get the highest CFM fan I could, make a
sort of tunnel that got narrower for the column of air. I was
then going to draw circuit traces all over a ping pong ball, float
it on the column of air, and shine a blue LED cannon on it.

Enter the Smart Case Fan II. It is an 80mm fan that pushes
an crazy 75.7 CFM at 4800RPM (and *cough*48dB*cough*)
I wasn't worried about noise for the mod though. This was
the highest CFM 80mm fan I could find, so I got it.

Ugliness! It must be bluuueee! Time to sleeve.

Here is the way it receives power. It is a male and female
connector (one on each end) and it presented an
interesting barrier for a minute or so while I figured
out exactly how they got the pins in there in the first place.
I needed to know this, of course, because I needed to
get the pins out (the sleeving will not fit over the connector)
As you can see, there is a little trap door.

Ahhh... Much better.

Here it is installed. It adds an orange flair to the top of the
case. I didn't like it at first but it's growing on me. It would
have been a nightmare if I dropped those little nuts/bolts/whatever
into my case haha. Somehow I managed to hold up the grill,
the fan, cram my hand through the PSU wires, and install it
without dropping anything in to the silico-aluminum abyss.

This is the fan speed controller. Where am I going to hide
this little guy? I looked around for a good spot.

Aha! I found a hole that was pre-drilled in my case.
It fit perfectly! I just taped it from the inside and I can
now easily adjust the fan speed!

I made a little cardboard thing to concentrate airflow
and test my idea... That's pretty much what it looked
like when it was on, except with it on, the pingpong ball would
just get to spinning, then fling crazily off of the cardboard mount.
It never truly hovered.

I thought weight might be a problem, so I sanded the ping pong ball
carefully for a while until it seemed to be fairly lighter. No luck.

Then I thought it might be the fact that the air is spinning and the
cardboard is just too square. Perhaps it needed a tunnel.

Conair... don't fail me now! As random as this is, my dad happened
to have a broken hair drier in a box somewhere. I cut off the handle,
cut some foam to seal off the air, and tried it.

Once again, failure. I could hear the pitch of the fan change
as the air blockage stressed the fan, and it never really floated
anyway. Guys... to do this mod, you're going to need very
concentrated air going at like 250CFM (In other words... LOUD).

By the way, that Case Fan II is LOUD at full speed, and the
fan controller that came with it actually didn't work, so I sleeved,
swapped connectors, and installed a great fan controller that came
with one of my old Zalman heatsinks. I can't even hear
the fan with it turned all the way down, but then again,
my Vapochill's pump isn't exactly quiet.

With that small dissapointment behind me, I move on and
decide it is time to put in that additional lighting I've been
procrastinating on. Every part of the build takes a lot of
thought, and I wasn't really looking forward to analyzing the
best lighting configuration, so I put it off for a while.

The wires must be sleeved and connectors replaced
of course. This one took a fair bit of time.

I decided to hide the CCFL controller box up in the upper
space of my case. Unfortunately the knob is too long.

Fortunately, I have sandpaper.

This is the wire of my LED cannon. I'm not sure where I'm going
to shine it yet, but I am pretty sure I want it to be on top,
and I want to hide the wire, so that means it's time
to take off the molex and snake the pins through a slot.

Fee Fi.

Fo Fum.
Voi la.

It was hard to get this picture to come out right, but this
shows (taken from below shooting upward) where I hid the
CCFL power inverter (I think that's what it is) and the
settings box. You can also see where I snaked the cable,
and that stupid fan adjustment knob that doesn't work on
the far right.

At one point I had my window (with CCFLs on it)
leaned up against my case, and I tilted my case backward
to try to get a peice of a zip tie to fall a certain way so I
could grab it with some needle-nose pliers. Tragically, at about
1AM on Christmas morning I leaned the case back down,
the bottom CCFL somehow caught a corner of the case,
and the sheer weight of the monstrous case (which cuts
into my hand every time I carry it) busted my bottom 12" CCFL.

As I sometimes do when something minor but frustrating
happens, I blocked out the craptacular feeling and thought
up a quick solution. Since I have two 4" CCFLs in the top
(which I'm not showing at this time... You have to wait until
the end!
) I ripped the broken CCFL off, tore off the upper
12" CCFL from it's mounts, and hot glued it to the old bottom
mounts. It is only slightly worse that it would have been with
both.. Meh... stuff happens.



The Christmas plunder has equipped me with new weapons
of mass dissapation.

Once again, I've posted the maximum of 38 images... onward to my second self-reply!
 

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Premium Member
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990 Posts
Discussion Starter #3

Here's the Gigabyte X800 XL in its original form. Granted,
the passive heatsink is pretty cool looking, but it's not the best
for overclocking; the RAM gets no cooling, and it is really heavy
for a GPU heatsink. Without extra fans blowing on it, it is so
hot that it will burn your hand. With some fans (which I had)
it is efficient.

The heavyweight heatsink champion of the world has been
removed, leaving a dirty, ugleh core.

This paste is like stone. To get it off I had to put that
electrical cleaner I showed on Day 02 and scrub it with
the attached brush. Even so, it took some scrubbing, and
scrubbing a GPU core is a little unsettling.

After some "coaxing" it is as clean as it's going to get. Mom
and dad blew my socks of this Christmas, surprising me with a brand
new digital camera! (They found an amazing deal. They've always been
great shoppers) I got a Canon PowerShot SD400 (5.0 Megapixel)
The above picture was taken with the SD400. Thanks guys!

I thought it was interesting how they used an X800 Pro core for
the X800 XLs.

Here's an image of the inside of the passive heatsink for
those of you that are interested. The insert at the top-right
is simply a closer view. I give the contact a meh out of 10.

This is my second Zalman heatsink product and both times
the quality of the contact surface has been impressive. To
attempt to lap this would undoubtedly make it worse.

Here are the RAM-sinks that came with it. I put them at various
angles so you could get a good idea of what they look like.
On the bottom row, the left one is with the adhesive covered,
the middle shows the white thermal pads, then the right shows
what it looks like after I used my fingernail to scrape off the
thermal pad so I could use Arctic Silver Ceramique instead!


...makin' progress on the RAM-sink installation. On the first couple
I put too much thermal paste and it was pretty messy... ...as if
Ceramique isn't hard enough to deal with anyway... Alcohol
got most of it off okay, and since Ceramique has no conductivity
(unlike AS5, which does conduct) I wasn't really too concerned.
Using the Ceramique will get the contact thinner than paper
.


Sleeve on!

Paste on!

Heatsink on!

RAM-sinks on!

POWAH ON!
Rock on!


The blue fans on the top and right are what I used to have on
the passive heatsink. The one on the right brings fresh air from
the front and pushes it to the GPU. The one on top helped to
get air off of the huge heatsink, but since that is gone, the RAM-sinks
now have their own special 60mm fan.

The only complication putting it on (other than the ceramique, which
was rather self-inflicted) was that the metal support on the back sits
slightly lower then the top of the RAM-sinks. When I tightened it,
it put pressure on a RAM-sink, tilting it.

Hopefully the tilting action didn't damage the GDDR3. To fix
the problem, I simply took some needle-nosed pliers and
bent two of the fins down:


Time for the finishing touches.

I forgot to include this earlier, but remember that orange fan
that I added to the top of the case? Yeah, that one. Well,
those silver screws were bugging me.

Masking tape: It's for masks

Now they're black. Woo!

The vent holes in the back of the case were just perfect
for putting zip ties through. Using 6 zip ties I pulled many
wires toward the back of the case, keeping everything tidy.

Unfortunately, everything does not always go smoothly in time-
sensitive situations. I mailed my defective RAM back to OCZ
with 2-day shipping knowing that OCZ would be on holiday break
within the next week, and that it had to be there A.S.A.P.

Some bozo at UPS left my package sitting in the facility for 4 days,
so it got to OCZ late, and here I am without my RAM. I was very
concerned I'd be disqualified so I contaced Admin, and since I proved
it would run earlier in this entry before sending off my RAM, he is
going to allow my entry to remain in the competition
.

...and now for some beautiful day/night shots!

The following images are thumbnails. Please click them for the full version!


Back

Front. You can't really see it well, but I've painted
both my floppy and DVD-RW drive black. I did this before
the contest, however.

Here's an image for you megapixel junkies. Also, the
previous pictures sort of underexpose the window part of the image.
This picture better represents what it looks like normally.

I simply taped the RAM cooler straight to the motherboard to
give a great idea of what it will look like normally. The cooler
is the Super Talent RAM cooler (non-led). I broke the arms
that normally clamp it to the RAM slots off of it and filed the sides
smooth. A review accidentally broke the arms of his off as well.
It seems the springs Super Talent chose are too strong for the plastic.
It's all good though, because without the arms I can tape it right to the
RAM, which sets it about an inch closer, yielding better cooling.

***EDIT*** I added the following 2 images at about 2:30AM Jan 3rd, so
judges, if you feel that's not fair to the other modders then feel free to not
consider these:

I realized my cold cathodes on the above image were set to sound sensitive mode
thus, it was off when I took the picture. This one is slightly blurry (since I don't have
a tripod here at college with me) but this one shows it with the bottom cathode on.

Just for kicks I took the above image into Photoshop and completely desaturated all blue.
This shows you how crazy blue my rig truly is! Once the RAM is in, the orange and yellow
RAM slots will be barely visible anyway. hehe
.

Finally, I want to show you a video demonstrating the awesomeness that
is my cold cathodes on sound sensitive mode. I didn't spend a whopping
$2.50 on a sound sensitive controller box for nothing! haha... Since my
computer was in the basement, and it was something like 2AM, the only
audio I could think to use was something from DDR. The section of
Max Unlimited I used has enough variance in the bass to show that the
cathodes truly flash to the beat of the bass.

I took the video with my PowerShot SD400 which isn't exactly king at
shooting night video, so it's somewhat underexposed.

Check it out baby!


Ownage in the form of light

Concluding Remarks:
Yes it is fast, yes it looks really cool, and as you've seen, a lot of work has gone into it. This mod might not be revolutionary, but it separates itself from the rest in some fairly significant ways:

The first and most obvious thing is the massive amount of work done in such a short amount of time. I didn't just mod a computer, I built it, reinstalled an OS, loaded all my apps, lit it up, modded tons of hardware, did some crazy wire management in a very small amount of space, and would have overclocked my CPU, RAM, GPU, and VRAM had UPS not messed up. The second distinguishing factor is the amount of detail. It's a lot of small things that end up creating a work of art in the end:
-The PSU exhaust fan has blue LEDs
-Every visible PSU wire has been sleeved in blue UV sleeving
-Almost every visible non-PSU wire or cable has been sleeved in blue UV sleeving
-Every IDE cable is blue UV
-The floppy connector is blue UV
-The SATA connector is blue UV
-Every visible PSU connector has been replaced with blue UV connectors except the SATA connectors
-Every non-PSU male and female molex has been replaced with blue UV connectors
-Every fan connector has been replaced with blue UV connectors
-The GPU fan's LED, RAM sinks, and video card PCB are all blue
-The front Vapochill LS LCD screen is blue
-Both slot cooler 60mm fans for the video card have blue LEDs
-My Saitek Eclipse keyboard has blue LEDs behind every key
-Even the status LED light on the chill control circuit board in the rear of my case is blue

The beauty is not only in what you see, but in what you do not see. My case could easily turn into a hideous wire monster considering the fact that it has four hard drives (Two 120GB Diamondmax 9s, One 300GB Diamondmax 10, and One 74GB Raptor), almost every rear slot filled, a floppy, DVD-RW, and many extra wires due to phase change... It is not a wirey mess though, because tons of unsightly wires, cables, inverters, and whatever else have been zip-tied and taped just out of sight.

Now this computer does not only allow me game, Photoshop, watch HDTV or analog TV, enjoy movies in 5.1 surround, and keep me awake at night, it does it all of this while looking awesome.

It was a lot of work, I'm proud of it, and I hope you enjoyed it.

Special Thanks goes to:
God - for blessing me with the abilities and resources to be able to do things like this.
Admin - for allowing me to enter the contest and for giving me enough bandwidth on www.rigshowcase.com to avoid any problems.
My Father - for the use of his Digital Rebel XT, Laptop, Photoshop 7 and tools. Without these things I most certainly would not have been able to complete my entry.
My Mother - for giving me the VF700-Cu LED and for feeding me!
Both Parents - For getting me the Canon Powershot SD400! Wow!
My Sister - for letting me use her computer to make a BIOS-flashing disk
BURN - for helping me figure out my RAM was bad
DFI - for replacing my busted motherboard quickly
Jimmy Houn (OCZ RMA pwnzor) and OCZ - for replacing my cruddy TCC5 RAM with their best TCCD free of charge and painlessly. Thanks Jimmeh!

Overclock.net as a whole - for equipping me with the knowledge to do things like this

Xoxide and PCtoys - for actually having the mod supplies I needed

last and most definitely least...

UPS - for not only jeopardizing my entire entry, but damaging the strength of my entry. I would like to thank them for being irresponsible, sluggish, and forcing my parents to mail my RAM to to college. Thank you UPS for being the brown dookie that you are.
 

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Premium Member
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990 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Here are some updates, which should obviously have no bearing on the judging results and which I'm submitting waaay after the due date, thus I'm putting it a reply just to be certain nothing is confused
. I just had to end it on a happy note though
.

The RAM has arrived, and knowing what is in that package,
I cannot wait to tear into it.

I was being serious. That package never stood a chance.

The RAM looks sexeh just like all the other OCZ RAM.

No suspicious model numbers! It's TCCD baby
.

Here's a pwnage photo of ICE yes.. ICE
...on the window. Don't worry, there's no leakage. I left my window open one day to let some cool air into my room while I was gone. Well my evaporator hose is pressed against my window and even through the insulation it always makes condensation form. Well this time it froze! That ice was pretty thick too! It was about 1/4 of an inch thick.

The RAM is dern good RAM. Unforunately, the memory controller in my CPU is not
. It'll go up to 3.003Ghz, which isn't even that impressive if it were stable for phase. It is slightly unstable at 2.95Ghz and is only finally stable at about 2.9Ghz. I didn't fine tune it for 10 extra Mhz... just dropped it to 2.9Ghz since I was sick of the BSODS
. The reason I think it's the memory controller is because no matter WHAT multiplier I use except for 4x (5x-11x will not work), the computer will not boot at 300FSB. I tried plenty of mobo voltages and the loosest timings but nothing worked.

Oh well... If phase change were magic it'd be called magic change, but it's not. It's called phase change, and Asetek was all out of magic changes when I bought mine.

It gave me a pooty feeling being stuck at 2.9Ghz (which plenty of people have reached on air) since my original San Diego 3700 could handle 3.1Ghz stable. ...But then it got pin rot and went to CPU heaven. Pin rot is corrision of the CPU pins due to condensation from poor insulation with phase change. I also got motherboard rot or whatever the heck that is called. It's a long story... and if you do a little searching I'm sure you can find all the miserable info on what happened to my computer you'd ever want to find. I'm pretty sure I've got brain rot too but that's a longer story... Maybe I'll get an opteron eventually
.


Here's all of the benchy stuff. I didn't include Prime95 because I didn't feel like doing it and because prime seems to be rather unpredictable on this sytem. At 3.0Ghz it would prime for 30 seconds twice in a row then go for three hours until I stopped it... It wasn't stable though. I played Half Life 2 from beginning to end on it at 2.9Ghz. Good enough for you? haha.

Here is the CPU-Z validation of course: http://valid.x86-secret.com/show_oc.php?id=64226

My 32M score is at least good enough to bump myself into 10th place. Man I gotta get me one of those opterons haha
. My RAM is being soooo underused.

As for the GPU "overclock" (which is none) I knew it wouldn't from the get go. The VRAM is also likely limited a good deal. In order to unlock any overclockability I'd have to do the volt mod, which isn't simple enough for me to want to do it quite yet. If I hadn't just fixed a rig that has been broken for 6 months maybe I'd do it hah, but I've spent enough money, this is the rig I'm using for college, and I'm very happy with it now
.

I've used my newfound uber computer power to celebrate Wintereenmas in style, beating Half Life 2, pwning the n00bs in Unreal Tournament 2004, and even delving into Conquer Online a little (my friend got me into it <_O). If you don't know what Wintereenmas is... get with it dude! The season is already half over!!! www.wintereenmas.com

If you enjoyed reading this you might also enjoy reading my original phase change adventure 6 months ago, before all of the craptacular problems started arising: http://www.overclock.net/off-topic/3...ght=56k+killer

If you have any questions about anything please send me PM and I'm always happy to help to the best of my ability


Once again this has been a production by TheInformationator
:

Random extra junk:


By "watch my back" you mean sit behind the stone barrier while you shoot all of the combines, right?

Just look at that scroll bar! -> It just doesn't get any smaller than that! Yeah baby! My pity goes out to all 56k users who attempted to view this hahaha.

That's it, now go pee or something, you've got to have to pee by now.

Go do it... I'm serious. NOW!

O_O Don't tell me you really got a Stadium Pal
 
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