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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Project Name: Big Budget Boomer Box

Project Name Reasoning:
Because I'm a touch lazy, I absolutely refuse to type out "Big Budget Boomer Box" very often. So, henceforth, whenever you see "BBBB", you'll smile and remember how many keystrokes I saved. How about I explain the name first. "Big Budget"....is self explanatory, ...but here's how I ended up there. Contractual issue with my previous employer left me with enough funds to take some time off work and still have some fun money. I'm not working at all this summer, so I've got plenty of time. I'm at the perfect point in my life right now to put together my dream build. So...I'm going to throw some money at it and not waste this opportunity. This will be fun. "Boomer"...is a reference to my alma mater, the University of Oklahoma. I'm Sooner born and Sooner bred, and when I die I'm Sooner dead! Rah Oklahoma! The OU color is crimson, and you'll see that color theme throughout the build.

Goals for Build:
This machine will be used primarily for surfing OCN. Er....ah....maybe some photo/video editing also, as well as storage of all my photo/video footage. Gaming? Yeah, maybe a little...but that's not my primary thing. Quiet. It needs to be quiet, because it's a 24/7 computer. But...I do plan on a fairly heavy overclock, so the cooling has to be first rate. I don't like fan noise, so all fans will be on a controller and spinning at very low RPM for everyday use. Since this negatively impacts radiator performance, my initial plan is to offset this by adding more radiators! The CaseLabs TH10 case I've selected will definitely hold plenty, so I'm planning on between 4 and 6 large radiators, with about 40 fans spinning at very low RPM. Initial plans also include large raid array with SSD's, which will be the priciest part of the build. I'm also going to try some interesting things with this build (acrylic, copper accents, custom dyeing, LED lighting, etc.), so my hope is you will be entertained.

Updates:
There is nothing worse than a dead and unfinished build thread. We've all felt the abandonment and depression this causes at some point in our OCN lives. So first and foremost, I promise to finish. I also promise frequent updates, with lots of pictures. Lets be honest with each other....I'm already starting to bore you with all of this typing....right? Pictures are what makes us love the build threads, and I promise lots of them. Plus...I've got a nice camera, so there won't be any blurry phone pics. So click "subscribe" now. Go on. Do it before you forget. Yes...now. This opening post will be edited as the build progresses with an Index and links to any significant progress updates. I'll also update the Hardware Status parts list shown below, as I order and acquire the parts, and/or change my mind on what to get.

Build Log Index with Links:

Aug 2012 Edit: For those of you joining this thread late in the game....its grown pretty lengthy. I've tried hard to keep the index below updated with any of the significant picture updates, in case you want to just hit the highlights. But...you'll be missing out on all the witty OCN banter if you only look at the pictures!


Hardware List and Status:
Here is the legend. Green means I've already got it. Orange means its been ordered (yellow text isn't real legible). Red means I'm still deciding/researching the item, or waiting because I don't yet need the part. I'll update this Hardware Status in the OP as things change:

Case
  • CaseLabs TH10 with Pedestal and extended tops
Main Guts

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3960X
  • Motherboard: Asrock Extreme 11
  • GPU: 2x EVGA GTX 690's
  • Memory: 64 gb, Corsair Dominator GT 1866
  • PSU: 2x Corsair AX850. Probably could get by on one big PSU, but this setup will allow me some additional overhead, and as an added benefit, it should keep the PSU fans spinning at a minimum
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Storage

  • Raid Controller: ARECA ARC 1882IX16 PCI-e 3.0.
  • OS Drive: 2x 256 gb SSD Vertex 4 in Raid 0
  • Raid 5 Array (for storage): 10x 512 gb SSD Vertex 4
  • Raid 0 Array (scratch drives, render drive): 4x 256 gb SSD Vertex 4 Series

Cooling

  • Radiators: 4x Hardware Labs Black Ice SR-1 480 Radiators
  • Radiators: 1x Hardware Labs Black Ice SR-1 280 Radiators
  • More Radiators: 2x AquaComputer AMS 360 Copper Fins
  • Pumps: 4x D5 variant (Swiftech MCP655's)
  • Pump Top: Bitspower Dual D5 Pumptop
  • Pump Top: 2x Bitspower Pumptop V2
  • Pump Decoration: 4x Bitspower D5 Modkit
  • Reservoir: Some Custom Work from FrozenQ
  • Radiator Fans: 47x Noiseblocker M12-S2's
  • Case Fans: 4x Noiseblocker 40mm Black Silent
  • Case Fans: 4x Noiseblocker 140mm Black Silent
  • CPU Waterblock: Mips Iceforce Custom Copper Plated
  • GPU Waterblocks: 2x AquaCompuer Aquagrafx 690's
  • Motherboard Waterblocks: Both the Mips AE11 block and the Nateman_doo custom AE11 block. Will test both and winner stays!
  • RAM Waterblocks: 2x Mips 4 Dimm Block
  • TIM: Indigo Extreme. Kind of scared to try the "reflow", but it will be an adventure
  • Tubing: I'll be using a combination of white, clear and custom dyed crimson.
  • Fittings: Bitspower White!

Monitoring and Control

  • AquaComputer Aquaero 5 XT
  • AquaComputer Aquaero 5 LT
  • 12x AquaComputer Power Adjust USB Ultra
  • 3x AquaComputer Flow Sensor Block
  • Lamptron FC8 for Case Lighting
  • 6x Water Temperature Sensors: AquaComputer
  • 5x Air Temperature Sensors: AquaComputer

Misc

  • Monitor: Dell 27 inch IPS
  • Soundcard: TBD
  • Sleeving: MDPC-X; white, and a custom dyed crimson
  • Speakers: Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II 32 watts RMS 2.0 Speakers
  • Blu-Ray/DVD Reader/Writer: LiteOn 12x
  • GPU Backplates: TBD - Exploring some custom options


Inspiration and Resources

  • The entire OCN community. Seriously.
  • Martin's Liquid Labs -- I've read every review he has done over the past several years. Truly some great information and a valuable resource.
  • Skinnee Labs -- More great testing and reviews.
  • OCN Member P3nnywise: "Red and Black" Build Log -- This one was awesome!
  • OCN Member theseekeroffun: "Complete Madness" Build Log - Finish it Rocky!
  • CaseLabs Cases

Hope that adequately describes what I have in store for this summer. I've lurked in OCN for years, but joined earlier this year because of my plan for this summer build. This is going to be awesome, I promise! Subscribe now and join me for a fun summer build log!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
CaseLabs has arrived! About 2 hours after I started this thread, the doorbell rings, and the FedEx guy is standing there staring menacingly at me. Beside him is an extremely large box, and he says to me, "what the hell did you have delivered?" I smile, sign his little pad, and send him on his way. I knew it would arrive at some point today, but this is early enough where I'll be able to play with it a little bit! Here are a couple of the obligatory box photos:

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And here are the boxes beside a chair to give you some perspective on how big these boxes are:

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Now lets open the box a little bit.....

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Wait...what is that...what is that color?.....is that red? is that purple? or is that.....

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CRIMSON! Or to be more precise....the University of Oklahoma crimson. Go Sooners! Rah Oklahoma! Now lets get this thing out in the sun for some photos to show off the custom color powder coat finish!

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Based on all of the existing CaseLabs build threads, I was expecting fantastic packaging, and I was not disappointed. And the case is nothing short of amazing. Even the tiniest little details, like countersunk screws to assemble the pedestal, make the box reek of quality. I'll pull the case upstairs for some studio lighitng pictures tonight, and I'll show off more of the accessories that I got. But I wanted to get some pics quickly while the sun was out because it is beautiful here today. Heading to the pool for an hour, and then a quick workout, before I do some more unboxing and pictures tonight.

I've updated the thread index in the OP and the hardware status.
 

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This is an extreme build, deserving the horribly priced 3960X! But yeah, I would go for a 3930K and get moar SSD's instead, but its your call. This is going to be one epic build, I love watching these get built.
 

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subbed +1 on 3930K over 3960X, however I'm glad you're hoping for something better to come out first (so am I - real unlocked 8 core anyone?)

Also 4x680's for someone who doesn't really game? 2 should be enough to max out a U2711. If you're going all out though consider going with 3 of the korean 2560x1440 IPS monitors that can push 120Hz (120hz.net), then at least 4 680's are justified
wink.gif


Nice choice on the areca card

if you're going all out then get some nicer memory - corsair are going to be releasing that dominator platinum which will have some serious epeen.

PSU- check out johnnyguru's review of the lepa 1600W gold. Should take care of your PSU needs without the mess and fuss of two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathanak21 View Post

Get a 3930k over the 3960x. Save some money
thumb.gif
Thanks for the thoughts nathanak21. If the next intel unlocked processor has not come out within the next few weeks (my timeframe for buying), then I might very well drop down to the 3930k. I've read a lot of really good things about its OC potential, and plus, I probably won't be able to resist getting the newer CPU once its released. So, not really "saving" money.....but wasting less. Almost the same thing.
smile.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by succesfulvoid View Post

This is an extreme build, deserving the horribly priced 3960X! But yeah, I would go for a 3930K and get moar SSD's instead, but its your call. This is going to be one epic build, I love watching these get built.
Thanks succesfulvoid! More SSD's would always be good. I've enjoyed watching a ton of the CaseLabs build logs, so I'll try and do it justice and entertain you along the way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3930K View Post

Subbed.
Thanks 3930K! No question where you stand on the CPU issue, as I gather from your screen name.
thumb.gif


Quote:
Originally Posted by stren View Post

subbed +1 on 3930K over 3960X, however I'm glad you're hoping for something better to come out first (so am I - real unlocked 8 core anyone?)
Also 4x680's for someone who doesn't really game? 2 should be enough to max out a U2711. If you're going all out though consider going with 3 of the korean 2560x1440 IPS monitors that can push 120Hz (120hz.net), then at least 4 680's are justified
wink.gif

Nice choice on the areca card
if you're going all out then get some nicer memory - corsair are going to be releasing that dominator platinum which will have some serious epeen.
PSU- check out johnnyguru's review of the lepa 1600W gold. Should take care of your PSU needs without the mess and fuss of two.
Thanks stren! Have enjoyed watching you proselytize the virtues of CaseLabs cases here on OCN. You're probably one of the reasons I ended with this case. You carry the banner well. And as I've dug into it more tonight, I continue to be amazed at the quality and wonderful thoughtful touches that have gone into designing this case. It is far and away better than any case I've owned or seen.

If I could get an 8 core to OC, I wouldn't feel quite as inferior to all you SR-X builders.
tongue.gif
I agree that 4 GPU's is a little overkill, but with all the PCI lanes on the Asrock Extreme 11, I can run them all at 16x on PCIe 3.0! That should provide benchmarks like we've never seen before. With the Asrock board, the 3rd and 4th cards don't cause you to drop down from 16x to 8x. All four cards at 16x. I've simply got to take advantage of that....even if I don't game much. Would feel like I was wasting the motherboard if I did anything less. Plus...when I say I don't game much, I mean on the computer. I've logged some hours on my Xbox360. Will be neat to compare the two on the same game. I have considered moving to a 3 monitor setup. Will check out the monitors you mentioned.

I've read good things about the Samsung memory, but I'll definitely check out the Dominator Platinum. Appreciate the heads-up. I've already got the two PSU's, so I'll probably stick with that initially. The Corsair PSU fans simply don't spin at all until they get quite a bit of load. By splitting the load between 2 units, I hope to be able to keep the fans from spinning under all normal conditions. Only have the fans kick on under super heavy loads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrocutor View Post

I'm not sure I'm confortable calling that a computer case... it's completely empty, unlit, non-populated, and it already looks like a work of art.
Thank you Electrocutor. I was expecting something amazing, and CaseLabs didn't disappoint. It is a fantastic case.

For everyone....I welcome a review/critique of the selected components in the opening post. The funnest part of a build is picking out the stuff, and I welcome the combined accumulated knowledge of the OCN community.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpachris View Post

Thanks stren! Have enjoyed watching you proselytize the virtues of CaseLabs cases here on OCN. You're probably one of the reasons I ended with this case. You carry the banner well. And as I've dug into it more tonight, I continue to be amazed at the quality and wonderful thoughtful touches that have gone into designing this case. It is far and away better than any case I've owned or seen.
If I could get an 8 core to OC, I wouldn't feel quite as inferior to all you SR-X builders.
tongue.gif
I agree that 4 GPU's is a little overkill, but with all the PCI lanes on the Asrock Extreme 11, I can run them all at 16x on PCIe 3.0! That should provide benchmarks like we've never seen before. With the Asrock board, the 3rd and 4th cards don't cause you to drop down from 16x to 8x. All four cards at 16x. I've simply got to take advantage of that....even if I don't game much. Would feel like I was wasting the motherboard if I did anything less. Plus...when I say I don't game much, I mean on the computer. I've logged some hours on my Xbox360. Will be neat to compare the two on the same game. I have considered moving to a 3 monitor setup. Will check out the monitors you mentioned.
I've read good things about the Samsung memory, but I'll definitely check out the Dominator Platinum. Appreciate the heads-up. I've already got the two PSU's, so I'll probably stick with that initially. The Corsair PSU fans simply don't spin at all until they get quite a bit of load. By splitting the load between 2 units, I hope to be able to keep the fans from spinning under all normal conditions. Only have the fans kick on under super heavy loads.
Haha well I'm glad I put you on the right path then
wink.gif
While the samsung ram is a bargain for what it is, there is better ram out there for those who want nothing but the best. Plus it doesn't look that good. I chose this kit for my build: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233230&Tpk=16%20gb%20dominator%20gt which will be at least as good as the better binned samsungs (and is about as fast as you can while keeping 1.5V rated specs). Vega went with these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313243 but of course there is faster memory out there these days. The SB-E chips struggle to get past 2400 on water though so it might be a waste getting more than that (unless you want that platinum epeen).

My only worry with 850W PSU's is that you have to be careful how you hook it up. For such a build with dual PSU's I'd want to use dual 1200W's personally. That way if power is sourced momentarily from one PSU more than the other that you'll have less risk of a problem. I'm sure it'll work because people have done it, it just makes me nervous!

The other thing is that if you have quad SLI you'll need to make sure your water blocks let you fit your raid card in between them. Most waterblocks are not single slot compatible.

One more thing - bin your cpu. Buy from several sources, test the overclocks and keep the best one. This will give you far more performance than "the best" water cooling setup vs an average one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmas View Post

subbed. I see a lot of WC goodness in your list. I smell an awesome build here
thanks carmas! it will be fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tipo33 View Post

Quad SLI, watercooling and dual PSU's?? subbed.
thanks tipo33! glad you're along for the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I lugged this beast upstairs into my 'faux' studio, and took some more pictures. Here are some without the pedestal.

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More to come!......
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Now here are some of just the pedestal:

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More to come!.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here are pics of both together. This case is VERY large:

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and it de-skins in seconds. here it is naked, and blushing:
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now a few more angles:
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Ok.....that's it for the case. Next up....some of the accessories I got with it.
 

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i like the red and white. interesting to see a window on the PSU side. The PSU's will have their fans directly infront of the plexi on that door. Not that it really causes an issue, the corsairs just dont have led's or anything in em
smile.gif


edit: when did caselabs start adding color options? when i bought my TH10 you had the option of black or white.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyperlite View Post

i like the red and white. interesting to see a window on the PSU side. The PSU's will have their fans directly infront of the plexi on that door. Not that it really causes an issue, the corsairs just dont have led's or anything in em
smile.gif

edit: when did caselabs start adding color options? when i bought my TH10 you had the option of black or white.
I don't think it's official yet. I'd say it's in beta lol
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stren View Post

I don't think it's official yet. I'd say it's in beta lol
Well, the next time you talk to Jim, tell him it's an awesome idea. Small extra fee for custom paint colors.

That plus the inclusion of a modular mid-tower and he would have to have to hire a small army to keep up with sales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here are some pictures of the accessories I've started with from CaseLabs.

First up are the hard drive cages. There are HDD cages for both the motherboard side of the case, and the PSU side of the case, available from CaseLabs. The 4 below that I got are for the PSU side, where I've elected to keep all of mine:

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This next shot is a close up of the cage. The cages attach to the case by sliding these rubber grommet covered holes onto pins sticking out of the case. This should eliminate any vibration coming from the harddrives from being transmitted to the case. The attention to detail in the production of this case is amazing.

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And in this shot, you can see the 4 HDD cages all lined up on the PSU side of the case. Each cage holds 4 drives, so these 4 would hold 16 drives total!

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But wait...there's more! (in my best late night infomercial voice) If you act now, you can DOUBLE the capacity of your HDD cages by using these specially designed 2.5 inch SSD adapters. Each one of the adapters holds 2 SSD's, and takes up one slot in the HDD cage. So each HDD cage will effectively hold 8 SSD's with these attachments. I ordered 8 of the SSD attachments, so two of my HDD cages will hold 16 SSD's. Nice.

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Next up are the accessory mount bars. The 4 bars on the right side of the picture below can attach to the frame of the case in either a horizontal or vertical position. Then you can add various attachments to these bars with simple thumb screws. Its a beautifully thought out setup. You can see in the picture below I've started with some plate attachments and some fan mounts. Each of these are available in a normal straight format, or an offset format also. The plate attachments also come in larger sizes.

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Here are some pictures with a horizontal accessory mount bar inside the case, and the two plate mounts attached so you can get an idea how they work. The horizontal mount bar can slide up or down the case and attach where ever you want it. As you will also see on the left side of the picture, I've attached the fan mounts directly to the frame of the case. Another beautiful detail CaseLabs has done with these cases:

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Here's a closer pic of the plates. You could make a false floor out of these plates along the bottom of your case, to hide some of the ugly wiring parts. Or you could create a second level floor in your build for pumps or other items. The only limit is your imagination with these cases!

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Here is a shot of the vertical accessory mount bar, and the two fan mounts. I'm imagining the air coolers out there creating a few columns of fans where ever they want to in their case, to really get the air moving. Very cool idea.

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This picture is of the different bay area mounts. In addition to those below, you can see the 5.25 to 3.5 converter in the picture above this at the very top of the case. In the picture below, from left to right, we have:

1) short device mounts
2) normal device mounts
3) anti-vibration mounts (see the rubber grommets/screws)
4) adjustable device mounts (notice the play in the screw holes....allows for non-standard devices)
5) double bay normal mounts
6) double bay short mounts

I got a lot of them.

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In the picture below you can see the tubing management plates, which assist with passing wires/tubing from the lower compartment to the main compartment:

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Here is a picture of two of them installed in the bottom of my main compartment:

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Now, I can already hear a lot of you poo-poo'ing the idea of these tubing management covers. You'll say that "with my Dremel I could do that quickly for free". Yes. Yes you could. I would agree that it is easy to cut a hole. But....you'd have to agree that it is pretty hard to "un-cut" that same hole. By simply swapping out these plates, I don't have to cut holes in my case. AND....I can change my mind later in the build and not have those holes still there. This is the better way.

This next shot is of the fan mounts. The two on the left are for the motherboard side, and the two on the right are for the PSU side:

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Here is a shot of the two motherboard side fan mounts inside the case:

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Lastly....here are some cable ties, rubber grommets, plates and bay covers.

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I also got two 480 radiator mounts, that are in the pedestal right now. They will be in plenty of upcoming pictures. And I got two additional size tops that will allow for fans, or even radiator and fans, to be on top of the case and out of the main compartment. Will probably be using the larger size, and placing radiator and fans on top of the case. Jim ran out of powder, and had to order more. These will be completed and shipped shortly.

The way these cases have been designed, you can really make it do whatever it is you need to do with your build. And you can do so with limited cutting necessary. And like I said before....that's a beautiful thing. It may feel manly to carve into that case with your Dremel, but that cutting might limit your ability to use the case differently for your next upgrade. With CaseLabs, its all modular, and you can setup your case exactly the way you need it, and then change the case when you change your mind. They really are amazing.
 

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Subbed, I really like the colours. This'll be another excellent build, I can feel it in my bones (and checked out the parts list
biggrin.gif
)
 
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