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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello and welcome!

This build is OVER!

"A famous explorer once said... that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are. I'd finally set out to make my mark; to find adventure. But instead, adventure found me."

-Lara Croft, Tomb Raider

"Look, Lara. We need to send out that SOS and I'm not climbing anytime soon."
"Yeah I was afraid you were going to say that."
"You can do it, Lara. After all you're a Croft."
"I don't think I'm that kind of Croft."
"Sure you are. You just don't it yet."

-Roth and Lara, A Survivor is Born

The Parts

Case: Case-Labs Mercury S3
Mobo: ASRock Z77E-ITX Mini ITX
GPU: Galaxy GeForce GTX 670 4GB
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
RAM: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB
SSD: Corsair Neutron Series GTX 240GB
PSU: Silverstone 550W 80 PLUS Gold
OS: Windows 8 OEM

Links here for easy navigation:

Update: Abridged
Update: New Parts
Update: In Depth
Update: The Plaque
Update: Finished.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmz96 View Post

Hello and welcome!

You have found yourself my first build log, the place where I will be recounting the process of my build, the future upgrades, and some fun little "mods" (if you can call them that) I will be doing to my build.
So without further ado, let's get this log rolling!
biggrin.gif


So Why "Aura's Blaze"?
Well I like the way the word "Aura" sounds, meaning:

Neat little word, no? Hopefully when all is done the computer will be striking enough to give off a little bit of a feeling, at least that's my hope. Oh, and I used "blaze" because of the orange
tongue.gif


The Parts

Case: Custom Bitfenix Prodigy
Mobo: ASRock Z77E-ITX Mini ITX
GPU: Galaxy GeForce GTX 670 4GB
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
RAM: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB DDR3-1600
SSD: Corsair Neutron Series GTX 240GB ($180 Newegg Deal!)
PSU: Silverstone 550W 80 PLUS Gold
OS: Windows 8 OEM

Parts Still Needed
  • Second HDD, a 2.5" 750GB Western Digital Storage Drive.
  • The Window Parts
  • Paint, Skill, and more Pain (and a freighter more of skill)
  • Sleeving, I'll be using a combo of ModDIY and MDPC parts to get the job done, kinda excited for this - A LOT!
  • Closed Loop Watercooler so I can finally get this thing OC'd!
  • Fans and Fan Splitter, right now I can only get the cpu cooler and a front fan on, I want to put a 230mm in front with a AF140 as exhaust.
  • The Custom Backplate

The Plan

So my goal is to make a sudo-small form factor system so I can bring it around when I need to, hence the Bitfenix Prodigy. I decided on the custom case, however, to go with the color scheme of orange/white. I want to add in a water loop and I had originally planned on doing a custom water loop, but I would like to take a minute to thank our fellow forum-goer, Pestilaence who made a very good point in the Bitfenix Prodigy Owner's Club:
So I thought about it and I think the best move is a closed loop system, as while the aesthetics of a custom loop is very nice, the cost isn't and for the quality loop I want to set up, that cost is too large to validate. So the new plan is to wait it out until the new Swiftech H220 comes out, and because of it's expandability, I can always mess with that later on and add more! Additionally, because I can now save ~$200, I can do the custom MDPC sleeving I wanted to try out AND get a new phone, which I really need!
tongue.gif


I also plan on painting the side panels, nothing overly intensive, so more "Stencil" than "New Coat." I'm still in the works of designing this, so I'll update you there later. I only know the color will definitely be and orange.

From there the only other plans are:
  • Custom Window, I have to see my hard work after all!
  • Custom GPU Backplate, which I will be buying from TripTCC as soon I as finalize the design.
  • Custom MDPC Sleeve Job
Update Masterlist
As updates come, I'll link them here, but for now the first one will go right below this.

Update 1

Alright! So the parts came in about 3 days ago but the case took until last night, however I did get a head start:
Smile! Family Photo!


Okay, Ram in, CPU in, and Stock Cooler in (for now)


Hot Damn that's a perty GPU!


It's bending, it shouldn't be doing that!
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And this is the part where i cut out 2 hours of the build log, as I spent it fighting the PSU cables.... they're very... "stiff" to put it lightly.
Oh, Hey! Look at that it works!

I actually thought it wasn't working at first, as I couldn't jump it... then I remembered to turned on the PSU... yeah it was a late night...

Alright, now that it is working, time to pack up until the case comes! Let's use the newegg box as a shield, after all it "May Contain Awesome"
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Two Days Later.

And the case is in! The FedEx man delivered it to my neighbors house, where I then went to retrieve it and spent the next half hour listening to her rave about her upcoming trip to Australia. I just want to build my computer gurl!
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Anyways, here are the only pictures I took, as it was surprisingly hard to get the parts into the case and I consistently forgot to take pictures in between my rage moments. I'll get some detailed inside pics in the next update, I promise!




So where does this leave us now? Well today I spent an hour at another neighbors getting the windows OEM disk onto a Flash Drive and then installed Windows... in 30 seconds flat. That's right, 30 seconds to install windows onto this SSD, I nearly needed new pants
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From there I installed a few drivers, Chrome, and Rainmeter. Unfortunately, that's all I will be able to accomplish for now until I order a few more parts, as the SSD is strictly for games, OS, and a handful of essential apps (Ie rainmeter). Here's a good question: Can anyone give me some tips on how to use a SSD in conjunction with a HDD? I found a useful tutorial HERE, so I'll mess with that when the second drive comes in, but I want to hear what tips and tricks you guys have!

That's it for now! I'll be away for the next week, so updates will be breif - especially because I won't be near the new computer for the entirety of the week
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I'll mess around with some sketches and see if I can get some ideas for the side panel paint jobs and the custom back plate.
Thanks for reading!
Wow looking great
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Subbed
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SSD works like a harddrive. I have my OS installed to it. I only have Office 2013 installed along with Windows 7. My 3 other harddrives contain Steam and games on one, Storage, tools, music and movies on another and Programs I like to use on the 3rd. With so much room with the programs HDD, I can use it as a disk image as well as a seperate drive to make clones of my setup in case of a critical failure. I look forward to more RAGE and updates
biggrin.gif
 

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subbed! good to see someone else with a HAE Prodigy!

I just have all my libraries directed to my HDD and all my programs and OS on my SSD. I have a 256GB so there's plenty of SSD room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonofJor-El View Post

Wow looking great
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Subbed
biggrin.gif
SSD works like a harddrive. I have my OS installed to it. I only have Office 2013 installed along with Windows 7. My 3 other harddrives contain Steam and games on one, Storage, tools, music and movies on another and Programs I like to use on the 3rd. With so much room with the programs HDD, I can use it as a disk image as well as a seperate drive to make clones of my setup in case of a critical failure. I look forward to more RAGE and updates
biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by phillyd View Post

I just have all my libraries directed to my HDD and all my programs and OS on my SSD. I have a 256GB so there's plenty of SSD room.
I think the most confusing part is redirecting things such as the music/videos/pictures directories. I'll need to play with it, but do you guys have any specifics on how to do this? Do they get moved with the user folder?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmz96 View Post

I think the most confusing part is redirecting things such as the music/videos/pictures directories. I'll need to play with it, but do you guys have any specifics on how to do this? Do they get moved with the user folder?
Actually its pretty easy. Take downloads for instance. I want them in a specific location. Right click Downloads and choose Properties. Go to the location tab and direct where the default folder should be. You can do that for every folder or program you want. When I download Youtube videos, i can do the same thing by setting where I want the downloaded videos to go
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I hope this helps
biggrin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonofJor-El View Post

Actually its pretty easy. Take downloads for instance. I want them in a specific location. Right click Downloads and choose Properties. Go to the location tab and direct where the default folder should be. You can do that for every folder or program you want. When I download Youtube videos, i can do the same thing by setting where I want the downloaded videos to go
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I hope this helps
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O. M. G.
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!!

That's ridiculously easy, rep'd! That should make this easy
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been contemplating for the past hour whether or not I want to do the MDPC sleeving or order off of ModDiy... MDPC is $50 more, I'm not sure if I want to tack that onto the costs, I am on a budget after all
rolleyes.gif


Uh-oh, here's an idea: Why not take the extra 50 and stick some led's in there, for better viewing 0.o
I'll have to keep thinking about it.... but things do not look good for my wallet
biggrin.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmz96 View Post

I've been contemplating for the past hour whether or not I want to do the MDPC sleeving or order off of ModDiy... MDPC is $50 more, I'm not sure if I want to tack that onto the costs, I am on a budget after all
rolleyes.gif


Uh-oh, here's an idea: Why not take the extra 50 and stick some led's in there, for better viewing 0.o
I'll have to keep thinking about it.... but things do not look good for my wallet
biggrin.gif
Save the money and order from Lutro0. He is in the States and you will get your order faster
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PSSSSSSSST and its cheaper!!!
http://lutro0-customs.myshopify.com/collections/all
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
** Archived**
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmz96 View Post

UPDATE 2: BUDGETS

Budgets suck. A lot
tongue.gif


So last night I pulled the trigger and bought a HTX One X off of eBay so I can finally ditch this windows phone I have... a true piece of rubbish. Unfortunately that has cut the budget by a good bit and has changed my previous ambitions. In time I'll surely bring these upgrades to light, but for now, here is the definite new plan:

What we'll do in this log:
  • The window, that's essential in my eyes
  • The backplate, that's not even debatable. I mean if I put in a window, I want to look at a pretty and not an ugly pcb
    biggrin.gif
  • Swiftech H220, I still feel the watercooling loop is justified
  • Edit: here's a fun idea, I think I'll include the rainmeter desktop design in this buildlog, since that is a big part to me and I'll be redesigning the whole desktop, not just a few extra widget's. We're talking a full renovation
    biggrin.gif

What will have to be axed for the sake of the phone
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  • sleeved cables
  • painted stencils

So overall it's not to big of a hit, just aesthetics that will be hit the most. Eventually I will get to these, hopefully, but for now this is the new plan. Today I will order the storage hdd and a 200mm front fan. Luckily the H220 has a fan splitter included, so there's a bit of costs saved. The only downside is I'll have to wait to have the front fan connected until the H220 is released
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That's it for now, I'll edit the main post to reflect these changes!
Well like I was telling you about Lutro0, you cant beat his prices
biggrin.gif
You would need at least 50 ft of Paracord which you can get for $6 AND AND AND he has a tutorial on youtube about how to make them heatshrinkless
biggrin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonofJor-El View Post

Well like I was telling you about Lutro0, you cant beat his prices
biggrin.gif
You would need at least 50 ft of Paracord which you can get for $6 AND AND AND he has a tutorial on youtube about how to make them heatshrinkless
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I found his tutorial... that is very nice
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Now it's just a matter of whether or not I can find a nice orange and a bright white paracord. Lutro0's shop has them, but the orange is a bit washed out and the white looks dirty... perhaps that is the lighting, I'll keep investigating
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(edit: before I forget, painted stencils are back on and we're adding led's to the mix
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!! This gonna be gud!)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmz96 View Post

I found his tutorial... that is very nice
biggrin.gif

Now it's just a matter of whether or not I can find a nice orange and a bright white paracord. Lutro0's shop has them, but the orange is a bit washed out and the white looks dirty... perhaps that is the lighting, I'll keep investigating
tongue.gif


(edit: before I forget, painted stencils are back on and we're adding led's to the mix
biggrin.gif
!! This gonna be gud!)
I bought his Paracord and it is the lighting. The paracord pictured does not do it justice as seen in person. You will not regret them
biggrin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonofJor-El View Post

I bought his Paracord and it is the lighting. The paracord pictured does not do it justice as seen in person. You will not regret them
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that's very good to hear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmz96 View Post

UPDATE 3: BUDGETS BE GONE (WELL NOT TECHNICALLY
tongue.gif
)


Enough has happened that I feel it is a good time for another update, no pictures in this one unfortunately as I'm still on the vacation with the family - but important nonetheless. So yesterday I spent the day being crisped by the sun and burnt to a bright red on the ears and nose, but while sittings there on the beach (which was surprisingly cold) I crunched some serious numbers and have found a way that I think I can make the paint, the sleeves, and even a few leds happen (I've yet to figure the leds out, so throw some suggestions my way
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)

I'll be doing paradox for the sleeving, as SonOfJor-El has pointed out several times, paracord is cheaper and will work with the budget. The issue I then faced was a) can I get the color I need and b) how can I get the cables I need, given I lack the proper tools. Well here are the solutions:

A) Lutro0's Customs has a seriously good selection of colors, which has recently updated and luckily, he has both a clean white and a nice orange (I lied, there will be pictures today
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)



The white is so clean, I love it! But that orange, the solar orange.... oh man
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I was debating the neon orange, but I'm not sure if I like how bright it is, it has that property of reflecting light off of it almost, like it has a shine if you know what I mean. The solar orange is much more reserved, which I feel is good for the inside of the case, it's not over the to stand-outish, and it shouldn't look funky when light up by lights (hopefully!)

I'll also be picking up the paracord helper, crimpers, and molex extractor he's got for sale.
Pro help needed: I noticed he sells coreless versions of the paracord, what's the difference and which should I get?

B) So the colors have been found, but what about the cables? Kinda important right?
Well making my own is very possible, all I would need is a wire striper (got it), some wire (laughably cheap), the pin things for the end (again, cheap), the connectors can be reused foe existing cables, but then crimping the crimping tool itself... ouch. $50?! Ouch... there are cheaper options, like $20, but those seem to mess up the wires. So I hit the chalkboard and some more sun(burn) and found a new solution:



so for $41 I can get the mobo, cpu, and a dual pci-e 6+2 wire set, complete with new connections specifically for my psu. At that price it's hard to say no.

So that leaves us needing:
  • 1 set of cables (need to verify if 30cm is long enough for the pcie and if duel pcie 6+2 looks like as the cable I'm currently using is a bit different, I may just use that cable and just replace mobo/cpu)
  • 1 order of white paracord and 1 order of orange (25ft each, that should be more than enough if my numbers are right)
  • Cutters, sleeve helper, and molex extractor (edit, I forgot to mention I'll try to make my own sleeve helper first before shelling out $11 for one
    rolleyes.gif
    )
A grand total of: $87.25
Honestly there was only $50 left in the budget, but I found a way to add another $100. So the budget we have for sleeving, paint, leds, and possibly a front 200mm fan is $150. Let's make that work
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Oh and in other news, the second HDD is ordered along with a spare sata cable as I don't have another, it's 500Gb which for me is enough, but others is not. That should be in by Saturday, which will be when i'm back home. I also will be picking up the acrylic and cstrip from frozen cpu to save on shipping, I'll probably order that this weekend since I won't need it right away. The tape for the window I will pick up from work, as I get an employee discount and it's time to make that $150 stretch xD That just leaves the Swiftech H220, which I will be patiently waiting to be released and hopefully get my hands on
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That's it for now, I'll crunch the numbers on the Leds and get you guys updated. Oh and the paint - I might be able to grab from work if we have the right color, which would be good, save a few more bucks
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With the coreless its just one fewer step to do. You would have to remove the core anyway. And I too also ordered from Moddiy. I am waiting as I ordered them Feb1st and still is in status awaiting fulfillment. Pay the extra for the speedpost as it is wort it. I have ordered from them a few times
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The 30cm is long enough as I took precise measurements. Its a total of 11 inches and you really wont need any more than that. with my cables routed, the dual pcie cables measure approx 7 inches. As for the Paracord I would do 50ft total so yeah 25ft of each is enough.Great work on finding more for your budget
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonofJor-El View Post

With the coreless its just one fewer step to do. You would have to remove the core anyway. And I too also ordered from Moddiy. I am waiting as I ordered them Feb1st and still is in status awaiting fulfillment. Pay the extra for the speedpost as it is wort it. I have ordered from them a few times
biggrin.gif
The 30cm is long enough as I took precise measurements. Its a total of 11 inches and you really wont need any more than that. with my cables routed, the dual pcie cables measure approx 7 inches. As for the Paracord I would do 50ft total so yeah 25ft of each is enough.Great work on finding more for your budget
biggrin.gif
Thanks for the heads up about modDIY, better order sooner than later! I'll see what I can work out
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quickie update, not really worth an official title
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So caselabs announced their new S3 mini-itx, with a plan to start production in the next 2 weeks roughly. While I like my ppcs prodigy.... I LOVE the caselabs new case. Well for the past few days I crunched some numbers and checked the mail ... which surprised me with a check
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So it looks like I can make the caselab case work
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What needs to happen, though? The H220 will not happen, it will be replaced by a h100i and the modDIY cables I was going to pick up I'll be replacing with the Silverstone short cable kit, which I can still sleeve without an issue and it's about $15 cheaper, which is nice
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I also don't need to buy the stuff for the window since that can be added to the case (on the proper side of the case as-well
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).Then I just need to sell the prodigy. So the build log will be very bumpy in the coming week(s), but nothing can happen until I am back home tomorrow.

Complete plan change, things just got very.... interesting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
UPDATE 4: Last Resort Fun!

So I have a fairly final plan, in fact it is much different than the last "unofficial" update said, so I'll leave the plan to myself and not bore you with the consistent changing of my mind
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On a whole other note, I asked caselabs if their Friday release date was still a go for their mini itx case was still ago and unfortunately.... it's looking to be delayed for another week or so
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I'm not sure how much longer I can last without a computer, it's been well over three weeks and the possibility of another 3 pains me, especially with all these computer parts teasing me in my room
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And so I have devised a plan, "the last resort" plan. And it is not a motherboard box and a prayer... oh no... it's much more fun
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!!! I've found my grandma's old computer (and no I did not "inherit it" to put it nicely, she gave it to me last month when I visited her, as she got a new one
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). So what to do with a decade old computer when you don't have a case? SCRAP IT FOR THE CASE
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Yes this is the last resort plan, for the interim I'll be using an old compact computer case as my case
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, so let the fun begin! (well actually in 3 hours it will begin, I have an event that requires my attendance in the mean time)... SO LET THE FUN BEGIN IN 3 HOURS! *sets watch*

So it's now 4 hours later and everything is together, tomorrow I'll get the pictures up and the details... but for now: Bed
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