13 posts in this topic

After the demise of my Dell XPS L702X, I decided to cut my losses, sell the laptop carcass to the buzzards and put together a Devil?s Canyon based mini-ITX gaming PC.

 

 

The Build

 

CPU: Intel i7 4790K (Devil?s Canyon)
I had considered an i5 but I came from a second generation Sandy Bridge i7, so I wanted an upgrade in-line with what I?ve been used to. The code name might have had a lot to do with it as well.

 

CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i
I needed a good double radiator solution and could not be bothered could not afford to do water cooling the ?proper? way. Mounting this inside the case with the motherboard took nearly half a day in total before I was happy with how it was performing and how it was fitted. Unfortunately those big tubes get in the way of just about anything/everything. Also, whoever designed the clamp system must have also had a hand in the Intel Core HSF - as any stress on the CPU die is deflected onto the fitting experience.

 

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z97N-Gaming 5
I had a lot of trouble finding a motherboard that offered enough SATA ports (minimum x 5), Bluetooth 4.0+ and didn?t look like a tobacco product.
Initially, I had decided on a Gigabyte Z97N-WIFI but discovered that it had only a 4-pin CPU power socket whilst reading another review before bed. I promptly cancelled the order at undead O?clock and ordered the Gaming 5 variant. Looks pretty damned good (matt-black) and the red LED tracing for the ?audio zone? was a nice touch. Dictated my new found red & black colour scheme.

 

RAM: Kingston Hyper-X Beast 2400MHz DDR3 XMP 16GB (8GB x 2)
I tried to find Corsair RAM for a decent price but was unsuccessful (would have been nice to have another same manufacturer product in there). This has black heat spreaders, a decent price tag & cheaper than a lot of alternatives. Zero complaints and was running at 2400MHz right off the bat.

 

Storage: Many Samsung SSD?s and a lonely Intel SSD

 

Video Card: MSI Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 OC 2GB (Gaming Series)
Initially, I had settled for a reclaimed MSI GeForce GTX 650 OC 1GB whilst the Dell sold (which surprisingly it did). Ordered this the moment the money was in my hands.
I would have greatly preferred the reference cooler with LED support to eliminate ?thermal hot zone? issues, but no one appears to sell this new anymore. The choice was between this and the ASUS. This was ?20 less, included a free copy of Borderlands the Pre-sequel and didn?t include ASUS?s HSF reliability (which have historically died on me less than six months in on previous Nvidia & ATi products due to low quality fan construction). Red and black colour scheme requirements also met.

 

Case: Corsair Obsidian 250D
Initially I was set on a Cooler Master Elite 130, then I found the Corsair. A great balance between space to work with and not being a desk obelisk. Finish is nice, tough and I am happy to report that I had no issues with screw threads (an apparent common issue). The magnetic dust filters should be on every computer case.

 

Power Supply: Corsair CS650M
Funny thing, I ordered a CS550M and two days in ? it fell over (fan failure). I tried to reach Corsair about my new petrol strimmer emulator via Twitter, but so far I have had no response. Luckily Ebuyer were fantastic and I have RMA?ed it for a refund. This one seems to have fared a lot better.

 

Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Keyboard - Black
It was cheap (very cheap). Works very well with Windows and Xubuntu. Survives coding and gaming thus far. Unifying receiver is very useful to switch between all my devices (including Xbox 360, PS3, Sony Z1 via USB adapter).

 

Mouse: Logitech Anywhere MX
Very, very happy with this rodent (and I don?t even like computer mice). Takes what I have liked about the VX Nano, NX 80, M555b and bundles them together. Vaguely matches the keyboard too.

 

Accessories:

 

 

In progress / to do:

 

Cooling
I need to get (ideally) a dual 80mm fan configuration for exhaust due to the shortcomings in MSI?s GTX 770 ?twin frozor? exhaust design. They?re going to need to be =< 15mm deep in order to fit between the case and the H100i?s fat pipes. I might swap the front 140mm fan to be an exhaust in the meantime although it?s a bit counterproductive.

I have decided to upgrade to some trendy LED based fans as one of the bloody Corsair LP120?s on the radiator has died:

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Obligatory Box shots

 

post-129876-0-10169600-1409602397.jpg

 

post-129876-0-49000300-1409602421.jpg

 

post-129876-0-92755900-1409602461.jpg

 

post-129876-0-15021900-1409602473.jpg

 

 When the components turned up in their brown boxes, I opened the larger box believing it to be the motherboard but infact it was the PSU - quite a shock!

 

 

Corsair 250D

 

Inside it's pleasently robust

post-129876-0-94988100-1409602807.jpg

 

The rubber gromit and pin design on the drive caddies however, is not

post-129876-0-15398700-1409602834.jpg

 

post-129876-0-79227200-1409603052.jpg

 

So young, so full of life

post-129876-0-34451900-1409603134.jpg

 

Unbeknownst to me, this will be coming back out 48hrs later...

post-129876-0-94951700-1409603163.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continued

 

Loading up

post-129876-0-43018700-1409603544.jpg

 

Yeah, not happy about the SATA power connectors from Corsair and where they're going to have to fit. I have just ordered some short red SATA cables at this point as the shortest I have to hand is 30cm.

post-129876-0-09575900-1409603604.jpg

 

Gigabyte Z97N-Gaming 5 - Seen bigger mousemats!

post-129876-0-05711400-1409603683.jpg

 

post-129876-0-45343700-1409603786.jpg

 

Note to future Corsair H100i owners:

These clamping nuts actually slide to allow it to fit your motherboard. It won't mention this in the manual because they giggle to themselves as you search the box for another clamp that never existed. Yes, the manual was supplied was placed in the box to deceive you - you are supposed to be of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's lineage anyway.

post-129876-0-94412500-1409603805.jpg

 

post-129876-0-58327500-1409604233.jpg

 

Yeah, so I wasn't happy with those SATA connectors - DIY humble SATA backplane

post-129876-0-67859600-1409604273.jpg

 

Steel rule also in the post

post-129876-0-51397900-1409604340.jpg

 

Much better

post-129876-0-27276800-1409604366.jpg

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continued

 

A lot of room for improvement

post-129876-0-80799000-1409604884.jpg

 

post-129876-0-65869500-1409604949.jpg

 

Streuth, that's a bloody big fan

post-129876-0-11271600-1409604979.jpg

 

Revisted those accursed cables for the other two drives

post-129876-0-84087900-1409605112.jpg

 

Much better

post-129876-0-69451000-1409605177.jpg

 

Installing Corsair H100i or How to move a stubborn old goat

 

When it comes to maneuvering the Corsair H100i, boxes are your best friends

post-129876-0-60399400-1409605043.jpg

 

Mounted block after a few more monkey plasters

post-129876-0-20502400-1409605186.jpg

 

This thing is like the Companion Cube from Portal!

post-129876-0-10688900-1409605190.jpg

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#Geekask #geekporn  #lolwhatthehellhashtag

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continued  - How to move a stubborn old goat Part 2

 

@*&%?!#~!"$%?!!

 

post-129876-0-72236400-1409605596.jpg

 

Turns out it doesn't fit in the manual directed installation approach. I did say it deceives. Synergy is awesome.

 

Actually, it's a Gigabyte issue as their PS/2 + USB header has no business being there - but if you've worked with the H100i in a confined space, you'll love to hate it.

 

Time for 120mm fan-based musical chairs

post-129876-0-28214400-1409605835.jpg

 

The WiFi + Bluetooth board is also in the way, so I made up an insulation tape based pad for it to rest on. Shap edges, pressure, heat, rubber, electricity, coolant and time do not go well together

post-129876-0-39637600-1409606007.jpg

 

And it's in!

post-129876-0-06404400-1409606412.jpg

 

Backside

post-129876-0-10369300-1409606246.jpg

 

Time for a POST

post-129876-0-08652100-1409606644.jpg

 

Pretty

post-129876-0-69584800-1409606688.jpg

 

 

 

 

Disaster!

 

This happiness was short lived as 27hrs of downloading my Steam back catalogue later, the PSU fell over

 

post-129876-0-82877200-1409606751.jpg

 

I tried to reach Corsair via Twitter:

Javascript is not enabled or refresh the page to view.

Click here to view the Tweet

 

Thankfully, Ebuyer were more than happy to accept the petrol strimmer emulation kit back for a refund whilst I ordered a CS650M on next-day post.

 

 

 

 

 

Disaster Recovery!

 

:D

post-129876-0-17043500-1409607042.jpg

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do love a good build thread with loads of pics :)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Continued

 

No petrol smell so far

post-129876-0-73095100-1409607726.jpg

 

First attempt at sleaving

post-129876-0-67121500-1409607797.jpg

 

Second attempt at sleaving

post-129876-0-05175800-1409607831.jpg

 

Few attempts at sleaving later

post-129876-0-81207000-1409607906.jpg

 

Quite happy with the progress

post-129876-0-91993400-1409608042.jpg

 

 

 

Replacement SATA cables arrive

 

Excuse for more sleaving!

post-129876-0-77390100-1409608182.jpg

 

SSD mounting issues can always be resolved with zip-ties

post-129876-0-97886400-1409608190.jpg

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loving this form factor.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exterior Photos

 

Window shot

 

post-129876-0-94397700-1409608548.jpg

 

 

On the cabinet

 

post-129876-0-35846200-1409608558.jpg

 

 

Next to my Silverstone GD06 (Server)

 

post-129876-0-03703300-1409608564.jpg

 

 

 

High Resolution Photos

 

Availible on my OneDrive:

 

20140901_190823_Android.JPG?psid=1

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Needs more glow

 

First up, replacement single Corsair AF140 High Airflow (Blue) [Front] & 2x Corsair SP120 Low Static Pressure (Red) [Radiator]

 

post-129876-0-81002100-1409941750.jpg

 

 

A trip through the sleeving process

 

post-129876-0-93614400-1409941778.jpg

 

 

All fited and mounted up

 

post-129876-0-76420900-1409941806.jpg

 

 

Test fire

 

post-129876-0-59896300-1409942004.jpg

 

 

Should attract a few moths

 

post-129876-0-17653900-1409942020.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cooling Issues Addressed

 

Due to the MSI HSF on the GTX 770, a lot of hot air gets dumped inside the case with nowhere to go (which do the size of the case, is quite catastrophic).

 

So, first I swapped the front 140mm fan to become exhaust. Secondly, I found a build of Corsair Link that actually does something productive in Windows 8.1 x64 (build 2.5.5146) as the latest build is completely cattle-trucked. This has allowed me to some something about the fan profiles and also mess around with the Corsiar logo colour.

 

post-129876-0-55559300-1410003343.png

 

As I was finishing testing the impact of the changes, the postman delivered some Xilence 80mm fans

 

post-129876-0-98662100-1410001809.jpg

 

 

The power connector requirements werw an issue because as for some reason they've opted to wire in a 3-pin and a 4 pin molex connector into the same cable. As it turned out, I was only able fit a single 80mm x 80mm x 25mm fan inside the case at the back due to the radiator hoses (an additional fan would need to be 15mm deep to clear it).

 

I decided to make some adjustments

 

post-129876-0-32801500-1410001816.jpg

 

post-129876-0-13312600-1410001820.jpg

 

post-129876-0-42467700-1410001822.jpg

 

post-129876-0-14878800-1410001824.jpg

 

post-129876-0-13181800-1410001826.jpg

 

post-129876-0-61458800-1410001827.jpg

 

post-129876-0-09183800-1410001829.jpg

 

post-129876-0-20829800-1410001831.jpg

 

All seems to be well now and the GTX 770 has dropped from 84?C to around 68-70?C under full load for a few hours.

 

 

End

 

That's all for now and I'm deeming this build as completed.

I shall now be mostly catching up on around 5 years worth of computer games (and using Shadowplay to record some of it). :happy:

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very nice build! Got me thinking about a mini-ITX build of my own now! Did you find the case cramped at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.