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Discussion Starter #1
The time has come to set the Iron Llama to pasture and retire her to folding/home media server status. She had served me well and will be treated gracefully in retirement

So here was the dilemma at hand, it was time to upgrade...but I still had an untouched opty175 of ccbbe 0617 fame (not to mention a never opened/tested A64 4000+ LAB9E that I palmed on the lo-lo.). But s939 is on its way out...would it be financially responsible to go with a new build that was based on tech that is being phased out?

So I compromised...being a noob, and constantly edumicating myself, I felt that I wasn't ready for a conroe or kentsfield (nor deserving). So I opted to build an exoskeleton that was future-proofed and upgrade ready, that was powered by the classic heart and mind of a soul crushing, vapor leaving, shun your neighbor 939 system.

Heres the rundown:

Mobo: DFI Lanparty SLI-DR Expert -newegg
CPU: Opteron 175 ccbbe 0617RPMW - the mantle above my daughters bookshelf
DRAM: 2*1GB gskill pc4000 HZ - The llama
PSU: PP&C Silencer Quad 750w - Newegg
Case: Coolermaster Stacker w/ windowed side panel - Frozencpu
Cooling: Thermalright ultra 120 w/ Scythe S-Flex 120mm 1800RPM - Heatsink factory/Newegg
: 4 x scythe s-flex 120mm 1800RPm - newegg
: 1 x silverstone fm121 - newegg
: Thermalright HR-05 SLI chipset cooler - newegg
VGA: eVGA 8800gts 640 -newegg
Display: viewsonic 2230 22" wxga+ -newegg
Sound: Creative Xifi Gamer -newegg
Optical: Samsung 20xDVD+R SATA -newegg
HDD: WD 500GB SATA 3000mb/s - The Llama
Extras: UV psu sleeving, zalman baybus fan controller, dual 12" UV cctl kit, fan grills and dampeners (heatsinkfactory/frozencpu)

I think as the system comes together...it will get the most out of my s939 components while leaving the door open to, dare I say K10 upgrades (mobo, cpu, dram).

Anyway...tons of pics and play by play to follow.

ALL SUGGESTIONS WELCOME
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by Penicilyn View Post
Looks great to me but perhaps going for dual 250Gb harddrives in RAID0 will give you better performance
I couldnt possibly agree with you more...but I only had a grand (anything more...and I would be looking for a new wife
) to spend, so I had to make do with some stuff I had lying around...hence the 500gb WD. In a perfect world, I plan on either going with 4 x 250 WD RAID 0+1 or 2x74 raptors RAID O w/ 500 gb WD for storage.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Penicilyn View Post
Looks great to me but perhaps going for dual 250Gb harddrives in RAID0 will give you better performance
I cuncur. Ever since I went raid several years ago, i never went back to single harddrive. A nice performance boost with raid indeed.

Figured using the harddrive from his old system will save him some $$ I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
so I got the call from the wife today... you know the one that goes like this

"hey babe"
"hey..."
"what you up too?"
"...nothing...you know, just work and stuff"
"you got a bunch of boxes in the mail"
"I AM ON THE WAY HOME RIGHT NOW!!!!"

HOW YOU KNOW YOU ARE A NERD REASON #314:
A bunch of nondescript, brown parcels arriving at your doorstep is not better than, but damn close to good s3x

So anyway, I was as giddy as a schoolgirl, barely able to wait to see my new pirate's booty (see...I was able to make two s3xual allusions in the last sentence..I WIN). Its like Christmas in March, and Santa doesnt even come by my house anymore (Saint Nick welshed on a bet and is a poor loser, you see he fancies himself a drinker....)

so heres a pretty pic:


Yeah...most people just see boxes...but if you squint real hard and have mad phat overclocking skillz and legit nerd cred...than you can see inside the boxes...here try below:
clearly you got the cred...and mad phat skillz, cuz you see BOOTY

I have enlisted the aid of a personal assistant for this project. What she lacks in experience, she more than makes up in enthusiasm...just look:


so everyone is pretty much excited about this project...
...well except the Llama. She isnt jealous so much as she seems a little depressed. How do you know if your rig is bummin' hard...well a little observation and you can see she is blue:


Its okay Llama, you're not being replaced...just given more specific responsibilities (home media status....)so buck-up little soldier, your days are far from done.

Anyway...I did the inventory of my goodies and much to my chagrin the Experts user documentation is in Japanese (or so I think). So I'll be doing a whole lot of reading just to get the board stable.

I think the first steps, while waiting on the case...will be to lap the base of the TR-120 and see if I can test the sytem for startup and the such.

Maybe sleeving the PSU too. Question for modders: my pp&c psu comes sleeved in a morbid black, should I just run my UVblue over it...or remove it and then sleeve?

edit: 22inch vg2230wm viewsonic kicks serious arse!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I actually joined DIY (DFI) street this morning, and I downloaded TMODs iso the day I chose the expert. I have heard about BIG TOE and MERLIN as well as OCZ TONY, but have little knowledge about their respective strengths/weakeness's....

...any tips or hints???
 

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Your posts are a joy to read

Cute kid too!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Quote:


Originally Posted by The Duke
View Post

Your posts are a joy to read

Cute kid too!

You are too kind...my smarts aint gettin me anywhere, so I'd better at least be entertaining.


As far as my daughter...looks can be decieving, she is sociopathically maladjusted counterstrike insane fragging machine. Seriouslly, people want to rolll with her instead of me. I feel like the fat kid in dodgeball
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So today I wanted to dive in and start prepping my rig for its first test fire...(mobo,cpu,cooler,psu,HDD,optical,and sound and grafx cards). I know this expert is gonna kick my ass


So I decided to lap my TR ultra 120 (since its a mindless activity that would let me plan some of my case mods in my head).

The cooler itself is impressive and formidable in size. However the finish was absolutely crap, Thermalright...try Thermalrough.

So I broke out one of my www.easypckits.com premium lapping kits (pictured below) and set out to do the dirty. Off topic: yes, another shameless plug...but Dave aka [email protected] is an absolute pleasure to deal with, and if you are planning on lapping anything...his site is the only place to go.

after about 10 minutes @ 400grit sandpaper, I was shoked to see just how concave the base was. It took me the better part of 90 minutes to just create a flat surface (the time it usually takes me to lap a processor and heatsink!!!). My mistake may have been not using a coarse kit (grits 100, 150, 200, 320) before jumping to the 400, it may have saved me a considerable amount of time...and possibly sanity.

anyway after about and hour and half this was what we were facing

yeah I know its not so impressive, but at least it was getting flat...you know like the world, or something.

Once I was finished with the 400 grit...the process began to be a breeze, here's the midway point


again not quite looking at a naked girl...but at least you could see copper and what appears to be a flat surface.

the finished product, however, was worth the frustration


sorry for the boring play by play...but I said I would document everything. Unfortunately I was stuck at work to 1am...and didnt begin this project until after 2am and it is now a little after 5am

I need to get a life


anyway...more to come...soooooon
 

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Great Log. Nice attention to detail. You will be pleasantly surprised with the DFI board. I have found it really unleashed my X2...

Good choices all around for your build--looks like a solid rig.
 

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Really nice build! Socket 939 is still an awesome platform and you have totally taken advantage of it. Good luck with the rest of it!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well a couple of days in and I have already caved to the popular sentiment. I have scrapped the idea of yanking my 500gb caviar as a HDD solution. I have had a 40 bones credit to compUmustbekiddingme sitting around for ages...basically I was assuming I would eventually frame it as some antique and see what kind of crazy jack I could get for it on Ebay.... Anyway I occasionally cruise to their site to see if bankruptcy had claimed them yet and I spotted my WD Caviar 3200ksrtl on sale for 99 dollhairs. Well some quick math told me that if I used my credit...well I could get that drive for...uhhh...hmmmm....well less than $99 damn it (after some not so quick math and the aid of a graphing calculator I came out to a total $64.29).

So you can see where I am heading with this....give yourself a point if you said RAID.
I figure I will go with a 2x320gb RAID 0 config...with my 80gb ide drive for storage and back up purposes (for now...cuz you know I sweat the raptors). Of course this opens up a whole new can of worms...as my familiarity with RAID extends to that which you get in a can to kill roaches, and late night rendezvous with the ladies in sleep away camp.

I also decided that the mod of my case is going to take awhile...so I better plan on creating something to keep the guts of my new rig under control while working on it (cuz you know I can't wait to start tweaking the board, ram and cpu).

I found an old uATX case lying around and converted into an external mobo tray...

before


and after:


I am hoping this will provide a somewhat safer environment to test from...than say just laying it on the table...or rubbing on the carpet. Actually, if anyone thinks this is a bad idea let me know...preferably before I toast my gear


Onto my case....which arrived today, I am at a loss for words. Have a look...


I really cant tell you how enormous this case is to me...I am utterly overwhelmed with its size. A few side notes about the CM stacker at a quick glance:

1. although it lacks some of the finess of a Lian Li, I was thoroughly impressed with the finish and structural design of this case. Really, this case was well thought out and executed with precision and care

2. The documentation is anything but sparse...at least for a case, and it comes with a ton of hardware...screws, mounting brackets, standoffs, thumbscrews etc..

3. The attention to detail is impressive, all of the fans are grilled and have filters as does the entire front bezel (each bay cover that is)

4. The variations of just "stock" configurations is endless...and the little extras that I wasnt even aware of, like casters (even though they are plastic crap) are really appreciated

On the whole, I am in love with the case.
Here are some of the planned mods:

1. Boring out the top blow hole and replacing the stock 80mm with either a Fm121 of S-flex 120mm

2. Cutting the side panel (at the bottom) to accomodate 2 x S-flex 120mm silent intakes

3. I was planning on painting the entire outside of the case midnight black with shimmer flecks...but my wife convinced that the brushed aluminum panels actually look quite sharp...so now I am leaning towards a two-tone finish. Either painting just the front and back black...or also including the top, and leaiving the side panels in there native finish.

4. I am leaning towards painting the inside with either UV sensitive Red to contrast with my blue uv sleeving or maybe something with a reflective finish like chrome.

5. Definitely stealthing the drive bays...and trying to creat a stealthed hot-swap bezel for future use...

Right now my primary concern is with fan placement...as I am worried about creating to much turbulence and interupting good airflow. I know I am definitely going to exhaust the blowhole...since my cooler needs to be oriented that way and I will have an s-flex pushing air through it upwords. The rear exhaust and front HDD cage intakes are also set..but then everything else is a toss-up. Calling all aerodynamics experts!

Anyway...I am delirious so I'll wrap it up for tonight.

As always remember...hug a mormon or a penguin, its good for your chi
 

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GREAT, great build log! I would've advised to get something else than the S-Flex fans before now, because they aren't really _that_ silent (and they're a bit too expensive)
Anyways, great build log!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Quote:

Originally Posted by gonX View Post
GREAT, great build log! I would've advised to get something else than the S-Flex fans before now, because they aren't really _that_ silent (and they're a bit too expensive)
Anyways, great build log!
To tell the truth, I was leaning towards the nexus, but those darned SPCR guys convinced me that the S-Flex was the way to go for CFM to dB ratio. Probably should have gotten one to test...but the $.36 that I saved on bulk pricing was too much to pass up on


If they prove to be too too noisy...I'll undervolt them till I can figure out an low cost alternative (Yate Loon or something).

I cant tell you how much it means to have the "Site Elders" (you, Duke, Druid, Beret) pop in and give words of encouragement...really, its makes my fanaticism almost seem...well...no, its still just fanaticism, but at least I ain't alone
 

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Sweet lapping on that U 120

I did discover the fan clips are a bit of a pain and don't retain the fans all that well. So, I got out the needle nose plyers and added a little tweek to improve the retion vastly. Hard to describe it though, about an 1/8'' from the base of the "V" I added a little bend so that up one side the "V" has about a 10 degree kink which makes the "V" drop further into the fan screw holes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It has just been one of those days today


A wise man once said " some days you are the dog, and some days you are the tree"

Today was a frickin pine forest day...

Duke...excellent idea. Since the experts retention bracket is situated vertically, I am going to have mount the fan on the bottom facing the case to effectively push cooler air through and allow heat to rise. Thus exposing the fan to the full 9.8 m/s2 of downward acceleration. In other words added retention is not an option...its a must.

Thanks for the tip (verbal +rep)


While I was "working" today...I found some time to slap together a rough diagram of the proposed fan placement:


my primary concerns are this so far

1. Too much positive pressure in the case...as I will have 4 x 120 mm intakes and only two exhausts at the moment. I really am not sure of the affect on cooling and air flow this may have...one possible solution is the use of the FM121 and its 110cfm in the top blowhole to aleviate some of the pressure???

2. Turbulence created by the rear exhaust and HSF having conflicting vector directions. The HSF will be pushing air up towards the top exhaust, while air will be raked across it from the front and side intakes moving to the rear exhaust.

I would say that my aerodynamic principles are shaky at best...except that I have none. Really all I do know is that if I were to push my Rig off the table...it would go down....reallll fast....and that would be realllll bad.

Shout me down some suggestions childrens...

PS. Thanks again to everyone for the encouragement...

PSS. Send flowers to your local circus midget...it will bring you great fortune
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So once again I have changed my mind. I took some photos of the case and photoshopped them to get a feel for what a two tone case would look like. That feel is...for lack of a better word, crap. So I have axed that idea. I think that I am just going to paint the insides either a reflective chrome...or a UV reactive red. The only stuff I have found was at performance pc and I am little unsure about it.

I also decided since I didnt have a ton of time to really dive into a project today, I would just sit and stare at my opty.

I could almost here the CCBBE goodness purring under the IHS...it was whispering "crank me to 3ghz...I'm Rick James, b!itch"

Naughty opty...such filthy thoughts. I tried to calm "Rick" as Opty likes to call himself...I explained to him all we had was an empty jury-rigged external mobo tray:

But of course anyone who knows a thing about dual-core opterons, knows that they absolutely refuse to listen to reason. So I tried to leave the room, because I won't argue with an inanimate piece of silicon...people may think I am weird or something.

Then a funny thing happened, I look back at the mobo tray and there was this thing

I think the son of the b!tch was conspiring against me. I turned to him and gave him a piece of my mind "I dont care how many of your friends you get...we just aint gonna party tonight". At this point wy wife walked past my workroom and just stared blankly, I this she was a little disturbed


I decided the only way to solve the problem with Rick, was with a payoff to chill him out. You know, a little bling...so I hit him up with some phat silver yo.
Now I know it don't look like much....but its all in how you wear it.



I took one look and was like "Dammmmmn son, yo' ***** is tight. Aight, hit up some of your posse and we can roll bones for a few" (thats mad street tech talk for, sure maybe we can see if you can P.O.S.T).

So we got his homies, Evga and Ultra...who shouted out to their boys Floppy and Sata and next thing you know we making the scene Lanparty Style



So we chilled, shouted out to the shorties...and then dipped for the night.

And now in the immortal words of Ace Ventura Pet Detective, "fiction is fun, but I find the reference section a little bit more enlightening"

Quick hits on the build:
1. I went to mount the retention device and on my ultra 120...and lo and behold it didnt even come close to fitting. So when shouting down obscenities till my face was crimson
didnt work... I decided to check the TR site, and was greeted with this little tidbit: if you are using a DFI (like the freakin one in their damned tutorial) or Gigabyte mobo...you will need to replace your K8 plastic retention bracket with a metal one. Now I have always used ASUS, so this was never a problem...but how bout having a little something in the materials advertising the product and/or in the included instructions (which I never use anyway...but still, I'm gumby damn it!) Anyway, the cooler still rocks and the 3$ for the bracket aint exactly breaking the bank...but a heads up to anyone else who is interested, make sure you have all the mounting hardware

2. The 8800 cards are F#%$ing enormous...I mean seriously big. You can see in the picture that not only does obstruct airflow to cooler, but it blocks up my Chipset fan too. Defintiely going to have to move it the second slot...and lo' is the fool going SLI (oooohhhh cmon, you know If I had the jack I would be that fool
)

3. (begin fanboyism) I don't even know where to begin with the Expert in terms of praise. I have always, and I mean always...built rigs with asus boards. They have always been reliable, stable and relatively flexible in terms of pushing the limits of hardware. But from the moment I opened the anitstatic-wrap of the Expert I was in love. Yeah, the uv treated slots and cables are a nice extra and the jumper enabled tweaks are also pretty impressive...but where this product shines is in the BIOS. I have yet to flash to any of the advised BIOS alternatives (big toe, ocz tony, merlin)...but the options in the Genie BIOS and regular advance BIOS is stagerring. I can only compare the experience to driving an Audi (Asus) and a Ferrari (DFI). Yeah they both drive real nice and have their extras....but one's a FERRARI for christ's sake. Now from what I understand, DFI has stumbled a bit on their AM2 platform...and they have never really shined on Intels (I dont know this first-hand though)...but this is by far and away the nicest 939 board I have worked on...and maybe the best ever. Lets be clear...I know the road ahead is tough, I only got the bad boy to post....I havent even attached a hard-drive and I have already encountered some fickleness with the DIMM slots. But all in all I am blown away...and maybe for the first time I can say a product has exceeded the expectations created by its hype. (end fanboyism)

Still looking for some suggestions regarding my airflow dilemma...and am thinking of mounting my PSU on the floor of the case rather than the top. Soon will begin some of the sleeving and case mods as well as pushing the chip (I want to wait on the k8 bracket before I stress the chip). Anyway keep tuned as this project begins to roll.

And as always remember: you can pick your friends, you can pick your nose...but you can't deny the fact that Kyle's mom is a big fat b!tch
 
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