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Project: Living Room Monster

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by purple, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. purple

    purple New Member

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    Well, compared to most of the rest of the builds here, this is not going to be anything special. I'm making only minor non-cosmetic mods to the case and I'm not overclocking right away.

    I'm building a living room computer that will replace both my currect HTPC and a 10 year old file server that started life as a PII. I also want to be able to play games on my flat panel tv. AND... I want to try to get the kind of longevity out of this pc that I got out of my old file server and workstation (that is also being retired as a result of this build).

    So the requirements for this pc are (nearly) always on, ability to house ALOT of drives, and play some games - all without raising the tempreture of my living room 10 degrees and sounding like a wind tunnel.

    Of course, I blew right through most of these requirements and wound up going with a Core i7 950 with a GTX Coop Hydro Copper...

    But that'll be explained later.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  2. purple

    purple New Member

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    The Case

    I was looking for 8 - 10 internal HD bays, external iEEE port, and silence.

    My current HTPC runs in an Antec Sonota II, which despite some heat problems, I'm pretty happy with. I've always pretty much always used Antec cases up to now, but this time I went with the Lian Li PC A71F

    It's got a shit load of bays, that external iEEE port. The design is nice and minimalist (big black box that will sit in the corner and not draw attention)

    Also, I've always wanted to check out a lian li case

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  3. purple

    purple New Member

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    The Case: Continued

    I love watching a bunch of boxes and trash become a computer

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Well this case is HUGE!!!! This is just the face plate next to my antec sonota II. I'm sure one day soon, I'll want to puke over how big it is. Luckily, I have a space in the corner behind the couch for it.

    [​IMG]

    And this is it Nekkid

    [​IMG]

    There are four fans included with this case. 2 140s in the front and 2 120s high and rear. Airflow is low front to high back. All fans are low rpm and extremely quiet. pretty much inaudible in open air.

    I'm going to use these for general air movement. I'll plug them directly into the psu and run them at 100% since they're so quiet and I have limited mother board fan headers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  4. purple

    purple New Member

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    Blood and Guts

    Well here's the real system

    CPU: Core i7 950 3.06 GHz
    I know I could have just overclocked the (cheaper) 920, but I can't help but feel that not overclocking (right away) will help the longevity of the system. (and to tell you the truth, I'm not going to do much on this pc that would really stress either processor.)

    MOBO: ASUS P6TD Deluxe
    chosen for lots of reasons: It's ASUS, it has 6 SATA headers, good cooling characteristics and the rampage II was just too damn expensive.

    RAM: 6 gigs Corsair Dominator 1600 (3x2GB) from ASUS QVL list
    was originally going to go w 12gigs, but am probably not going to run 64 bit os right away, so I'll probably upgrade later.

    GPU: EVGA GTX 295 Coop Hydro Copper
    Ok, this is was just blatant overkill, but Its been years since I treated myself to a top of the line graphics card. And I'm justifying it (in my mind) as it will just push the systems longevity...

    OPTICAL: LG 6x Dual Layer BLU RAY re writer
    also does cd / dvd rewrite and HD DVD read

    PSU: ANTEC Earthwatts 750
    little more expensive than comparable models, but I just trust Antec.
    also, after plugging this thing in, it's REALLY quiet. I'm very happy

    SYSTEM DRIVE: Seagate 1.5 TB 7200RPM Barracuda
    This is kind of the weak link in the system, but (after the graphics card) I wasn't shelling out for a velociraptor. I figure I'll just run w this till SSDs become a bit cheaper.

    MEDIA DRIVE: 2 x Seagate 1.5 TB 5900 Barracudas
    for movies etc.

    RAID 1 MIRROR: 2x Seagate 500 Gig Drives
    For redundant storage of pictures of my kid and stuff. Coming out my existing HTPC


    What I'm hoping for from this setup, is of course some good right-now performance, but also some extreme longevity (as a file server and media pc)

    I figure w that video card I should be able to play games at high detail / frame rates for at least 4 years.

    In all I'm hoping to get 8-10 years total service out of this box (with upgrades). Not likely as my centerpiece pc, but as a working pc

    I'd like the little monster taking apart my DiNovo Edge to be able to use it when she finally figures out what keyboards are really for


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  5. LittleLizard

    LittleLizard

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    which watercooling component other than the pre-fitted EVGA block are you going to use. Are you going to watercool just the gpu or the cpu too?
     
  6. purple

    purple New Member

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    Cooling

    I had some real issues keeping my last HTPC cool
    (Core 2 Quad 2.4 w EVGA GTS 8800 inside an Antec Sonota Mini tower)

    I installed my first water cooling setup on that pc and was sold on water cooling. That pc houses a simple ThermalTake Big Water (850?) cooling kit. Integrated ResPump - CPU to single 120mm rad.

    On this PC I'm installing the Swiftech Ultima kit:
    MCP655B pump
    Apogee GTZ Cpu block
    MCR220 dual 120 radiator
    MCRES resevoir

    I just went with the standard ultima not PLUS because I don't feel any need to liquid cool the chipset.

    Additionally, there's a couple of bitspower / enzotech fittings in the loop.

    I'm going to run a split loop for the CPU and GPU. RES-Pump-Rad-CPU/GPU-RES

    the only place I can mount the dual 120 rad is externally to the box (not my first choice) so I'm going to be replacing the fans w a couple of Scythe Gentle Typhoons. From the reading I've done, these are about the quietest fans that push enough air for a radiator application.


    I put the pump and resevoir together into a 5 1/4" bay. The frame was actually the 3.5" converter so it needed some slight modification. the only other mods I'm doing to the case are I drilled a few holes in the 5 1/4" face plates for a res-level window - and a fill port. (pictures of those later)

    [​IMG]

    (I know the screw down hose clamps are ugly, but I forgot to order extra squeezies, and once the box is closed, no one's ever going to see them again. Also, it's sitting on top of the little Core i7 lunch box I got with the CPU and this whole build is taking place on my daughter's anti-static/anti-drool play mat...)

    Here's half the water cooling loop (CPU only) and the external radiator mount (to complete the beheomoth monstrositiness of the build)

    [​IMG]


    Here's the GTX Coop HydroCopper monster
    It has ports on top and bottom of the card. EVGA reports that by switching those plugs w barbs you can run inlet outlet in any direction, even from top to bottom.


    [​IMG]


    Also, as I said in a previous post, the case comes w 2x140mm front intake fans and 2x120mm rear exhaust fans. Since these are so damn quiet I'm going to run them too for airflow.

    And here's a picture of the little asus heatsink cooler that comes with the motherboard. I'm also going to drop a 40mm on the northbridge heatsink (that black finned thing near the bottom).

    [​IMG]

    Lian Li Case + ASUS Mother board = sheer joy to assemble.

    I figure with water cooling blocks on the CPU and GPU, 2 typhoons on the rad, 2 140s sucking air in, 2 120s pushing air out and 2 little 40s on the board, I should not have to worry about heat ever.

    That's the hope at least...
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
  7. Mark_Hardware

    Mark_Hardware New Member

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    such.... tiny.... picuters..... cant..... see.... squat......
     
  8. driver66

    driver66 New Member

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    Click on them :p :slap:
     
  9. purple

    purple New Member

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    Pictures

    Yeah, I don't know why the pictures sized like that.

    I'm guessing they were too big (640x480). I can resize them so they're easier to view.

    EDIT:

    Actually, now that I look at other posts, 640x 480 displays fine. I uploaded these as attachments. Any ideas?

    EDIT:

    Yeah. Big Pictures. Yeah...
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  10. Mark_Hardware

    Mark_Hardware New Member

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    don't want to.... so.... lazy..... :laugh:

    EDIT; Much better, and thank you :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
  11. purple

    purple New Member

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    Fans and MOBO

    What do you think of this?

    I've been reading mixed results about using splitters to connect fans to mobos.

    I have 1 CPU fan and 3 Cha fan headers on the MOBO

    ASUS claims they are rated for 24W a piece. I've been thinking about running two fans a header. I think two fans should draw 6 maybe 7 watts a header. (I forget what the max wattage for the board is)

    Some people claim this is plenty of wattage to run two a header. Some people claim it places undue stress on the MOBO since the fan's power draw is not consistent and that it steals power from other components, also that one fan might get uneven voltage and run slower than the other.

    With this being a recent board, and running a 750W power supply should I be worried about this?

    It's no big deal, but if I could do it safely, I would like to control fan speed via software to all my fans by running them off the headers. (6 fans 2x 120 rad fans, 2x 120 exhaust, 2x140 intake)

    I'm not really interested in most of the fan controllers out there. I want software control over my fans, not rheostats etc. The only fan controller that I can find that appears to do what I want is the mCubed T-Balancer, and it's a $100 bucks. (The Sunbeam Theta would have been perfect...)

    If this isn't safe, I'm going to run the case fans (2x 120 exaust, 2x 140 intake, 2 x 40 MB fans) directly off the power supply at 100% - since they're really quiet and I don't think I'd need to control them anyway. And I'll run the 2 external gentle typhoon 120's off single MOBO headers.
     
  12. Cuzza

    Cuzza New Member

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    Running two fans off one header is fine. They're slow fans, don't worry about it.
     
  13. purple

    purple New Member

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    Digital Cable Delay

    Cuzza, thanks for the info.


    I'm still waiting for a few fittings to arrive before I can complete the water loop and start leak testing.

    In the mean time I was looking at digital cable cards.

    I want an internal cablecard card and was going to go with the internal ATI digital TV wonder.

    It's about 250, but w Ceton's card coming in Q1 2010, I think I'll just wait. Apparently (hopefully) those cards will hit at about 300. Supposedly they can decode and record 4 channels off one cable card, which would be cool.
     
  14. purple

    purple New Member

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    Finishing Up Water

    My Gentle Typhoons got here

    [​IMG]

    They're quiet as hell, but they definately push less air than the stock fans (from the Swiftech radiator). I hope they keep me cool enough.

    Heres the finished loop. After the radiator, loop splits to CPU /GPU then rejoins

    [​IMG]

    http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/999/wholej.jpg

    It took me forever to clean this swiftech radiator. I must have rinse about 3 gallons of boiling water through it, still kept coming up w shit in the water.

    The rinses were w boiled tap water, but then I filled it w vinegar and let it sit for an hour.

    After that I hooked it back up rinsed the system twice w distilled water


    [​IMG]



    The paperclip thing never ceases to amuse me.

    [​IMG]


    because the inlet for my pump is just a little higher than the outlet for the res, I found I had to be really careful filling the system.

    [​IMG]

    On the initial fills, I had to hold the setup so that the pump (which cannot be run dry) would always be getting water

    After 2 rinses w distilled water, and no leaks, I filled the system w PrimoChills PC Pure coolant. For some reason the pump turned it to suds.

    [​IMG]

    This worried me for a while, but as I'm writing this (about an hour and a half later) the suds have gone down and the tubes are clear again.




    Also, here's a picture of the little 40mm on the northbridge. I have it here pulling air through the heat sink away from the motherboard, which I thought would work well w my airflow ( it would push air directly into one of the exhaust 120's. But I think I'll probably just have it blow on the heatsink instead.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Cuzza

    Cuzza New Member

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    can you hear the 40mm over the other fans?
     
  16. CAPITAL LETTERS

    CAPITAL LETTERS New Member

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    wow i really like the 'pump res' assembly very nice and neat.
    how many bays does it take up?
     

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