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Discussion Starter · #1 ·




Introduction
My Corsair Air 540 has been great in the time I've had it but it was always my second choice. It's a fantastic case in many regards but I find myself wanting more flexibility, more space and more maximised airflow potential design. For some background, I am an air builder and I probably will be for some time based on the constant results I get in all of my builds so this build will be air based but may have a revision down the track on water. This is another reason I have bit the bullet and gone with the CL Mercury S8 over 540. Whilst I like to modify anything I can I was starting to find push against the limitations of the 540 and adding a rear twin fan mod, whilst it would work for better flow to the bottom graphics card would start to cramp up the case and mean compromising storage options.

Why isn't this a watercooled build?
This is a work PC probably more than it is a gaming PC so reliability is key and a fan failure is far less damaging than a pump or flow failure, as well as the downtime to set up a full water cooled rig and iron out bubbles or other issues - the things we don't always think about when we read build logs. If a fan fails, you still have heatsinks and other fans working if you don't or aren't around to catch it straight away.

Why the S8?
The key is the horizontal motherboard placement and the advantages are numerous for an air build in this case:
  • CPU cooling from two directions (front and top)
  • Graphics cards cooling from two directions (front and top) and more importantly one of those directions is into the side of the cards meaning that in SLi air can still get into the gaps vs the fan below method that could have been implemented in the 540 but would likely only benefit one card
  • Large HDD capacity without compromise and with good to great cooling options for them depending on placement and accessory options
  • 5.25 drive bay in horizontal x 3 - nice for a fan controller, bay reservoir and even an optical drive if you want (I still use them lol though I have an external as well)
  • This one is specific to me but I can use my Thermaltake Max 5 Duo SATA HDD Rack which is a great quick option for my HDD archive that I don't always need installed in my case
  • The option to go water in a big way without any modifications and with an optimal layout - I mean, 3 x 360 radiators can easily fit in this and that's enough to cool the most beastly system!
  • Finally, it's CaseLabs construction and quality
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Components
Case: CaseLabs Mercury S8 **Acquired** [Building]
Case Color: Black
Form Factor: SSI EEB
Top Chassis Mount: Drop-in 120.3 x 2 mount
Top Cover: Ventilated
Left Door: Standard Window with Ventilation
Right Door : Standard Window with Ventilation
Front Cover: Ventilated
Flex-Bay Configuration: 120.2 Mount with Solid Bay Covers
Power and Reset Switch: Standard Power/Reset Switches with Sleeved Cables
I/O Panel: USB 3.0/HD Audio
Add a Second HDD cage?: No thanks
Add Tech Station Conversion Kit?: No thanks
Add the S8 120.3 side mount?: No thanks
Extra: 120.3 (360) Drop-in Radiator Side Mount - S8
CPU: Intel i4770k **Acquired**
Motherboard: Asus Z97 Deluxe **Acquired** [Photos]
Memory: 32GB GSkill Trident X 2400MHz **Acquired** [Goldeneye Edition]
Graphics Card: Asus 980 Strix **Acquired** [Photos] [Goldeneye Edition]
SSD Boot: Samsung 840 Pro 120GB **Acquired**
SSD Gaming: Samsung 850 Pro 256GB **Acquired**
PSU: EVGA SuperNOVA 1200 P2 **Acquired** [Photos] [Rubber Support]

Cooling:
Just a little note here, I am a Noctua man and have been for some time but the market has become a bit more competitive these days and I am going to try to achieve what might be a slight compromise to get a better aesthetic from this build - I feel this case deserves it and that it can be done with enough research.

CPU Cooler: Cryorig R1 Universal **Acquired** [Origami Test] [Photos] [Goldeneye Edition Part 1] [Goldeneye Edition Part 2]
Case Fans 120mm: 13 x Corsair AF120 Quiet Edition **Acquired** [Colour Match] [Painted] [Installed]
Case Fans 140mm: 1 x Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition **Acquired**
Fan Splitters: Phobya Various **Acquired**
Fan Controller: Lamptron FC5 V3 **Acquired** [Photos]

Cables + Management:
Ensourced PSU Cables (Black and Tan) **Acquired** [Design] [Pre-shipment] [Installed]
Moddiy USB 3.0 Adapters (Low Profile) **Acquired** [Photos]
Techflex Velcro Cable Manager **Acquired** [Photos]

Misc:
Custom Fan Paint [Colour Match] [Painted]
4 x Thermaltake Lumi LED Strips (White) **Acquired** [Photos] [LED Control Cable]
DEMCi Filters **Acquired** [Modded]
  • 4 x 140.3 (Top + Sides)
  • 1 x 140.2 (Front Left)
  • 1 x 120.2 (Front Flexbay)
  • 1 x 140.1 (PSU Slot)
Ventilated Slot Covers **Acquired** [Photos]
Thermaltake Max 5 Duo SATA HDD Rack **Acquired**
LG Bluray Player **Acquired**

Testing
To Sidemount or not to Sidemount (on Air) [Results]

For anyone interested here's my

I'll do my best on the photos, the highest MP camera I own is a video camera (Sony HDR-XR500) so it will have to suffice for the photos. Maybe on the final shots I'll be able to borrow a DSLR and learn how to work it
tongue.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·


When looking for a CPU Cooler these days there are a heap of things to consider and one of the big ones is RAM clearance. Thankfully Cryorig offer a downloadable PDF on their website that allows you to print a scale version of their R1 variations to test fit with your motherboard and RAM - brilliant!





Because of this origami test fit I was able to determine that although the measurements on the website indicated that I should be able to fit my RAM under the Ultimate version of the cooler the origami said no go. The Universal (pictured above) will fit very nicely and it looks like I won't hit any motherboard components or heatsinks, my RAM will clear nicely and I can probably put their heatsinks back on - which means they're going get a paint job
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So that's today's 'physical' work done, now back to planning and researching those fans while I wait for the case! I'll do some RAM shots once I get my paint organised
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Subbed for cute puppy.

Also, apparently hubby says he's stealing your puppy *laughs* (poor guy wants and misses a pup, but we live in a small apartment right now)

Also, it's rather nice to see another aircooled build ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWulfe View Post

Subbed for cute puppy.

Also, apparently hubby says he's stealing your puppy *laughs* (poor guy wants and misses a pup, but we live in a small apartment right now)

Also, it's rather nice to see another aircooled build ^_^
Thanks for the sub, even if it was just for my little Yumi
tongue.gif

She might make more appearances whether I like it or not, she's a curious one
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Fluffy Fennec Foxes!
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I also subbed for the CaseLabs S8. I love those cases, and really should get my act in gear so I can finally buy one ^_^;;;;;
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post

Gotta see how this one comes out . . .

Not a lot of Caselabs air builds . .

If I can help with anything, just ask

Darlene
Thanks Darlene, hopefully I don't disappoint!
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Something things I haven't used before and thinking about using in this build:

Lamptron FC5 V3 Fan Controller
Phobya Y-Cable 3Pin to 2x 3Pin per pair of front 120s
Phobya Y-Cable 3Pin to 3x 3Pin per triplet of top 120s
And probably an additional 2 x 3Pin for the rear exhaust and bottom rear fan - I'll have to work this out in a few days when I have the case.

I am guessing that splitting everything like this wouldn't overload the channels with pretty much any fan on the market?

I was looking at fan hubs at first, but after reading I'm worried about them not handling the load and even read about some NZXT Grid's melting!
I've always been a PWM man and never needed controllers before, also never needed this many fans lol.

Any issues running splitter cables in to these controllers?
 

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Hey Grimdoctor

Thought you were getting the case for a water cooled build
winksmiley.jpg


Lol just kidding man - always good to see a good air cooled system im here with you mate. If you need any help let us know
smile.gif


a sub from me

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by nyk20z3 View Post

I will join you on this 1.
Thanks for coming along for the ride
thumb.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by BazG View Post

Hey Grimdoctor

Thought you were getting the case for a water cooled build
winksmiley.jpg


Lol just kidding man - always good to see a good air cooled system im here with you mate. If you need any help let us know
smile.gif


a sub from me

thumb.gif
Thanks bud, nah, no water for me...well not yet. Everything I've ever done if optimised has been so good on air there's been no need - and that's saying a bit considering our summer
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·


WE HAVE A BUILD NAME!!!



I was discussing my progress with my partner over dinner and as I was describing the colour scheme and plans and as I was explaining a fan detailing technique I was considering, the visual of the James Bond intro popped into both of our minds at the same time...
Goldeneye was born!
wheee.gif


 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimDoctor View Post

Something things I haven't used before and thinking about using in this build:

Lamptron FC5 V3 Fan Controller
Phobya Y-Cable 3Pin to 2x 3Pin per pair of front 120s
Phobya Y-Cable 3Pin to 3x 3Pin per triplet of top 120s
And probably an additional 2 x 3Pin for the rear exhaust and bottom rear fan - I'll have to work this out in a few days when I have the case.

I am guessing that splitting everything like this wouldn't overload the channels with pretty much any fan on the market?

I was looking at fan hubs at first, but after reading I'm worried about them not handling the load and even read about some NZXT Grid's melting!
I've always been a PWM man and never needed controllers before, also never needed this many fans lol.

Any issues running splitter cables in to these controllers?
I haven't used the FC5, but all the Lamptron premium controllers have a good reputation . . . .

Keep in mind that none of them are PWM.

What fans are you contemplating . . . . . staying budget minded and going with 3 pin, or splurging a bit and going with PWM?

If you wanted to go PWM, you could go entry level Aquaero controller 5LT with 1 PWM channel and 3 voltage controlled channels that would be fine for your limited number of fans. It has no display, so you could mount it internally and not have to take up a bay space, or go with a 5 Pro with the display.

The fan cables should be fine for what you want . . . . I make all mine from scratch, because I have reservations about cheap manufacturers electrical bits, but a lot of guys have no problems with them.

Darlene
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post

I haven't used the FC5, but all the Lamptron premium controllers have a good reputation . . . .

Keep in mind that none of them are PWM.

What fans are you contemplating . . . . . staying budget minded and going with 3 pin, or splurging a bit and going with PWM?

If you wanted to go PWM, you could go entry level Aquaero controller 5LT with 1 PWM channel and 3 voltage controlled channels that would be fine for your limited number of fans. It has no display, so you could mount it internally and not have to take up a bay space, or go with a 5 Pro with the display.

The fan cables should be fine for what you want . . . . I make all mine from scratch, because I have reservations about cheap manufacturers electrical bits, but a lot of guys have no problems with them.

Darlene
Thanks for the reply!
smile.gif


If I go fan controller it will be for DC fans which is a little new to me (at least on this scale) as I've always used PWM fans.
I was thinking about the Corsair AF120 QEs (only DC) - the price is good, the flow is pretty good, and the looks are nice. It's usually function over form for me so these would just scrape in. I could paint my current Noctua's and I now some people have done it successfully but I don't know that I'm skilled enough for that. I think I'd rather sell them in their perfect condition and get something else.

The other option I've been mulling through is to go with the Corsair SP120s QE PWMs and just utilise my current powered PWM splitters. I figure that getting the SP120s would mean I could reuse them if/when I ever go water. Getting the DC fans and a controller as above I would be an extra AU$90 vs these PWM versions.

The Corsair fans aren't one that I've ever tested. Have you? The best/most options available to me would be from PCCaseGear.

I'll be running a fully filtered setup using DEMCi fitlers (most easily available option for me) with a strong bias on positive pressure. I know the SP fans aren't aimed toward airflow as such but I think they would be ok?
 

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Old, Senile, and Happy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimDoctor View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by IT Diva View Post

I haven't used the FC5, but all the Lamptron premium controllers have a good reputation . . . .

Keep in mind that none of them are PWM.

What fans are you contemplating . . . . . staying budget minded and going with 3 pin, or splurging a bit and going with PWM?

If you wanted to go PWM, you could go entry level Aquaero controller 5LT with 1 PWM channel and 3 voltage controlled channels that would be fine for your limited number of fans. It has no display, so you could mount it internally and not have to take up a bay space, or go with a 5 Pro with the display.

The fan cables should be fine for what you want . . . . I make all mine from scratch, because I have reservations about cheap manufacturers electrical bits, but a lot of guys have no problems with them.

Darlene
Thanks for the reply!
smile.gif


If I go fan controller it will be for DC fans which is a little new to me (at least on this scale) as I've always used PWM fans.
I was thinking about the Corsair AF120 QEs (only DC) - the price is good, the flow is pretty good, and the looks are nice. It's usually function over form for me so these would just scrape in. I could paint my current Noctua's and I now some people have done it successfully but I don't know that I'm skilled enough for that. I think I'd rather sell them in their perfect condition and get something else.

The other option I've ben mulling through is to go with the Corsair SP120s QE PWMs and just utilise my current powered PWM splitters. I figure that getting the SP120s would mean I could reuse them if/when I ever go water. Getting the DC fans and a controller as above I would be an extra AU$90 vs these PWM versions.

The Corsair fans aren't one that I've ever tested. Have you? The best/most options available to me would be from PCCaseGear.

I'll be running a fully filtered setup using DEMCi fitlers (most easily available option for me) with a strong bias on positive pressure. I know the SP fans aren't aimed toward airflow as such but I think they would be ok?
I would never advise anyone to use Corsair PWM fans of any flavor.

They were designed to be used with Corsair's own Link system, and don't follow the Intel PWM standard very well.

When you try to control more than just a few, you progressively loose control of the lower range as you add more fans until they all just run at max, even though they are set at a very low pulse width.

Most mobos seem to handle about 4 to 6 of them on a powered PWM splitter before things start going south. . . . around 7 or 8 of them, and they are all at max with no control.

You won't be using that many, at least not yet, but why buy something that would be useless down the road if you wanted to expand the system.

If you like the Corsairs, and they are reasonably priced in the 2 packs, go with the 3 pin . . . . they voltage control acceptably. . .

If you want something PWM that you can control from the mobo with a powered splitter, get Anything But Corsair, and you should be OK.

Darlene
 
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