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Hello everyone! Welcome to my build log. Originally this machine was supposed to be Intel based, indeed I had already bought an i7 3930k and motherboard to go with it. However, things didn't quite work out with the case I was going to use, the Fractal R4 white with side window. I was unhappy with several things, including the volume of my chosen cooling solution; the NZXT Kraken X60. Money became tight so I sold off the Intel parts and had to make a choice...

In the end, I chose to go back to my AMD roots. I had been using their CPU's since back in the Thunderbird days with great success. I could have picked the i5 3570k for just a little more than I paid for the FX 8320, but I have had that CPU before and was not overly impressed by it. I enjoyed my time with an FX 8150 previously so the 8-core found its way into my rig again. I had planned to use the Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3, but the new UEFI system is far from complete and it was not delivering what the hardware would do. Back to the store it went, and I settled on the slightly more expensive but very nice Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0 board.

I chose the name "Wintergreen" based on the color theme and the AMD based platform. I decided green and white would be nice, and something not very common among the masses of blue/black and red/black builds. For the term relating to AMD, wintergreen was originally a word to describe plants that did not lose their leaves in the winter, now commonly referred to as evergreens. I think this suits it, because AMD is surely in a cold, hard winter right now but still chugging along. They haven't withered up and died yet, so with new 8-core consoles coming out and games appearing that can utilize this CPU properly (BF3, Crysis 3) it seems that spring might be right around the corner.
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I apologize in advance for the crappy pictures I might take. My camera is a terrible $79 bargain bin thing that has been dropped too many times, and the poor lighting in my apartment is more than it can handle. I'll try my best to make it look halfway decent with the limited skills I have.

Anyway, most all of my budget was blown on the water cooling, so I had to be a little frugal with the rest of the build and re-use most components I already had. Here is the hardware list:

  • Case: Caselabs Merlin SM8 (White/Reverse ATX)
  • CPU: AMD FX 8320
  • Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Rev 2.0 990FX
  • Memory: 16GB Patriot Viper 3 DDR3
  • Graphics: Nvidia GTX 660 SLI
  • OS Drive: Samsung 830 128GB
  • Games drive: Samsung 840 250GB
  • Storage: Seagate Barracuda 500GB
  • PSU: NZXT Hale90 850W

Watercooling parts

  • Radiators: Alphacool UT60 480mm full copper x2
  • Pump: Swiftech D5 Vario w/ EK X-Top CSQ Plexi
  • Fans: Bitfenix Spectre PWM green LED
  • Fittings: Monsoon 7/16x5/8 Green compressions
  • Tubing: Duralene 7/16x5/8
  • CPU Block: EK Supreme LTX Nickel CSQ
  • GPU Blocks: EK FC670 Nickel CSQ x2
  • Reservior: Bitspower water tank Z-Multi 250

And of course, the thing everyone wants. Pictures! This post will be edited with hardware pics later as I have to use the machine to type this up right now.

A few weeks ago I picked up my case from Jim at Caselabs. They are about 35 minutes away from me, and it was really neat talking to him and actually meeting the person behind all the emails when I was deciding to buy it.

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The gigantic 25lb box from Performance PC's has arrived today finally:
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Lets set up all the water gear for a nice family photo with the SM8 in the background (oh yes, there will be Mayhems dye):
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Time to post some pictures of the various components as they come out of their nice little boxes.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Reserved.
 

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Sounds good. Like the color scheme.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRic89 View Post

Sounds good. Like the color scheme.
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Thanks! More to come on the colors soon, I purposely left the beginning a little vague so that there might be some surprises.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion49 View Post

I apologize in advance for the crappy pictures I might take. My camera is a terrible $79 bargain bin thing that has been dropped too many times, and the poor lighting in my apartment is more than it can handle. I'll try my best to make it look halfway decent with the limited skills I have.
The pictures aren't bad. Though if your camera allows you to set the whitebalance for the type of lights you have in your apartment, give that a try.

You don't see many AMD/CaseLabs builds, so looking forward to this. It's been a while since I've done an AMD build myself, back in the days when everything was still single-core
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Looks great!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update time. So now I got the case all ready to start working. Its time to put some components in and see what it looks like so I can visualize the loop.

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I really like this motherboard tray and the little captive screws.

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I put on an dead Asus P67 board as it has the same basic layout of my Sabertooth so I can see how things will line up.

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Fan covers off! Man that was a lot of screws.

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Here are the mesh PSU blockoffs, I don't know if I will use them yet but I wanted them anyways.

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Stuck some radiators in so we can see how this will fit together.

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Now lets figure out the pump. Time to get rid of the ugly stock top and put the very nice EK X-Top on. Super easy install. I was impressed by the EK parts quality to be honest, after worrying about the bad reviews all the time.

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Thats all for now, more to some later.
 

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

Looking good
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I like those RAD's seems like it all fits in there great
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Thanks! I ran into a few snags and haven't had time to update, hopefully tomorrow I can post the rest of the work.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scorpion49 View Post

Thanks! I ran into a few snags and haven't had time to update, hopefully tomorrow I can post the rest of the work.
Yea I feel ya I just finished my Mod to install my three 360mm RAD's in a Corsair 800D. It involved alot of cuts lol..... but it was worth it!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCCSolutions View Post

Yea I feel ya I just finished my Mod to install my three 360mm RAD's in a Corsair 800D. It involved alot of cuts lol..... but it was worth it!
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I've been following that build, I can't wait to see how it turns out. Lots of work right there!
 

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I demand PICTURES !!! man, I read your post about agressively filtered fans so I gotta see !

Here, I'll post this as a temp .... You hammered this build HARD !
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by socketus View Post

I demand PICTURES !!! man, I read your post about agressively filtered fans so I gotta see !

Here, I'll post this as a temp .... You hammered this build HARD !
Spoilers~! That isn't even its final form.
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Okay, I'll update what I've done so far since I finally got the pics uploaded to stupid new cool-kid wannabe facebook photobucket.

Okay so we left off with the pump. Now I stuck both radiators on there and decided where I originally intended to mount the pump would work just fine. I had anticipated this location and ordered a UN bracket for the pump.

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So the pump looks good, lets see how the rest of it fits. I mounted the PSU bar and a spare PSU, then attached the res how I wanted it.

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Now its crunch time. Not much more I can do without the actual guts of the system. I shut her down and pulled everything out. Here is the poor, dessicated (Interesting, google chrome doesn't think "dessicated" is a word) remains of the "donor" R4 build.

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Here comes parts~! I like the Green PCB on my 660's :3

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So now lets work on GPU first, since they are the most work out of all of them.

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I won't bore you with all the details but here is the end result. These EK blocks are really good looking, I thought I wouldn't like the circles but I really don't mind much.

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Now lets get the CPU block. I almost messed up here, I didn't put a backplate and tightened too much until I hear the board make a cracking sound. Lucky for me in the end it all works good still
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Cool, now lets install! Put the board in and the EK FC link on the cards.

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After this I put my NZXT PSU in, it matches the matte powdercoat perfectly.

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About this time I realize I have made a big mistake. I never even once thought of how to get the PSU cord to the supply! More to come in the next post, this one is getting too big.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok so I solved the problem with the PSU cord using the PSU cover plate that is probably supposed to be used for water tube pass-through. I put the grommet on the PSU cord and put it behind the radiator. I have a 90* connector plug on order so it won't touch the radiator.

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You can see the result here, and also some tubing under the res that caused problems. The pump could not get primed like that so I had to take it all apart and change it.

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Mounted all of the drives in the back and managed cables as best I could. Made another mistake here that I have not fixed yet. The big PSU cables bundle interferes with the door handle, so I had to remove the handle to get the door shut for now.

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After some re-plumbing of the tubes I reversed the 90* fitting on the top of the res with the 45* at the bottom allowing a nice curve right into the pump. I wish now I had ordered more 90* originally. Lets fill it up! Here you can see the water splashing in the res.

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Ok now to the filters. Here is a comparison of the "normal" fan filter material on the right, and the super dense one I am using on the left.

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I went and got some little clip-on filters and discovered something by accident that ended up making my life easy. The allen key bolts given for the Alphacool radiators fit nicely inside the screw holes on these fan grilles. Now I have an idea.

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This is what they look like now, I may try to cut more neatly next time. The filter is working really well and collected a lot of dust after only 2 days. You can see it in this shot. This setup of filtered intake is the same on the top and bottom of the case. I'm not going to lift it up for a shot of the bottom since the whole thing weighs about 65lbs right now.

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And of course the shot that was posted above:

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I have a few things to change before this is done.

  • Replace the Bitfenix fans
  • Re-route the tubing
  • Put Pastel Green Mayhems instead of the green dye
  • Re-mount CPU block with backplate
The Bitfenix PWM fans suck. A lot. They don't work properly when daisy chained on the PWM splitter and after 5 fans are connected to the motherboard in any configuration they all jump to max speed. I tried it with NZXT and Corsair PWM fans I have around and they work perfectly with 8 off of one header. Clearly the Bitfenix fans are defective somehow. I ordered some AP-45 2150RPM Gentle Typhoons that I will just turn down using the Asus Q-fan stuff, this will bring better static pressure since the filters are really restricting these fans at low RPM.

Also not happy with the tubing, thinking of doing it a different way. If anyone has suggestions I would like to hear them.
 

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I like the Rev 2 board's browns !
Let's get cracking - oh no !

That's good info - the PSU matching the case's matte white.
I like those pale greens - its very soft, dreamy, trancelike.

So, to clean that mesh filter, how ? Looks like its a take out the rad screws , or ...

I would think to change the tubing would mean a pump move. Or run the pump to a rad first.
You're in a new zone, with the vertical psu mounting - that, and the full length bottom rad.

You can't flip the rads - so you're going to have 1 long straight tube run to the rad, or as it is now.

Still, overall, its coming together very well. This is how you make your progress - try it and see, then change.

ADD: I did the google of dessicated and saw half way down, that its a common misspelling of desiccated.
That flipped me - not a word I use often at all, but was sure that the spelling was dessicated. A double c just throws me
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Ok - desicate is a variant of desiccate.

Origin of DESICCATE

Latin desiccatus, past participle of desiccare to dry up, from de- + siccare to dry, from siccus dry
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by socketus View Post

I like the Rev 2 board's browns !
Let's get cracking - oh no !

That's good info - the PSU matching the case's matte white.
I like those pale greens - its very soft, dreamy, trancelike.

So, to clean that mesh filter, how ? Looks like its a take out the rad screws , or ...

I would think to change the tubing would mean a pump move. Or run the pump to a rad first.
You're in a new zone, with the vertical psu mounting - that, and the full length bottom rad.

You can't flip the rads - so you're going to have 1 long straight tube run to the rad, or as it is now.

Still, overall, its coming together very well. This is how you make your progress - try it and see, then change.

ADD: I did the google of dessicated and saw half way down, that its a common misspelling of desiccated.
That flipped me - not a word I use often at all, but was sure that the spelling was dessicated. A double c just throws me
tongue.gif


Ok - desicate is a variant of desiccate.

Origin of DESICCATE

Latin desiccatus, past participle of desiccare to dry up, from de- + siccare to dry, from siccus dry
About the filters, I guess I didn't make it clear. The plastic parts just push onto the top of the screws, I can easily pull them off with my fingers no screwdriver needed. A lucky fit.

No pump move, but I think I will do something like this:

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i like this build..good job
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i wanna ask some question about the hot air airflow from PSU (out take) does it effect your temperature since from your picture it was out take inside the case. thanks
COOL Build
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