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Thread: New Pc

  1. #1
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Well Stage 1 of Clocker's latest dream project is almost done. At least done enough to get her running and post some pics...

    Basic stats:

    Thermaltake Xaser III 2000+ aluminum case

    Asus A7N8X Deluxe (ver.2.0) mainboard (thanks to Lamsey for the recommendation)

    AMD Athlon 2600XP

    Mushkin PC 2700 (black) ddr memory- 1GB

    Zalman 7000A-Cu heatsink

    Zalman heatpipe on Radeon 9000Pro graphics card

    WD 160GB 7000rpm HDD

    Lite-on CD-RW

    Memorex DVD-ROM

    This is the basic framework from which I hope to upgrade as money allows. I'm buying a Athlon 3200XP and 1GB of Mushkin PC3200 memory as soon as my computer geek buddy gets his new 64bit AMD. I get to buy his castoffs at a great price.

    The case was purchased with an eye to switching over to H2O cooling when the new CPU gets into my hot,sweaty hands. It's actually much larger than I need, but it makes adding all the hardware involved a lot easier.


    This is the front of the case with the bay door closed. I removed the Thermaltake fan controller panel and put my old panel in. The Thermaltake rheostats really didn't seem to do to much in the way of regulating the fan speed.
    I also removed the backlit Thermaltake logo from the lower panel and cobbled in a grill. There are two fans directly behind this opening and I wanted better air flow...

    I apologize for the crap photograhy,btw...
    This shows the inside bottom front of the case. There used to be 6 HDD bays here, but not anymore! This is the space where the bulk of the water cooling hardware will go (sometime in the future... ). I mounted the HDD in the removable floppy drive bay and cut out the bottom and mounted a fan to blow onto the HDD.

    Just more beauty shots, really. Shows all the drives and the blowhole fan in the roof. Monster Zalman heatsink coming into view...

    And thar she blows! This thing is huge. Seriously. About the diameter of a CD and weighs a ton. I modified the mounting a bit by placing spacers behind the mobo and actually screwing the heatsink mounting brackets into the case wall. That way the board isn't supporting all that weight. It is very quiet... the fan runs between 1350 and 2500 rpm. So far ( admittedly only a day so far...) the chip temp has stabilized right around 40C. Not bad for being almost silent.

    A general view of the inside.
    I spent what seemed like days trying to get the wiring the way I wanted it. Ultimately I bit the bullet and hacked away at the harness, custom fitting as much as possible ( leaving open the possibility for reconfiguration and adding components) and sheathing as I went. It actually looks better in person.

    Now that this stage is done I can begin to plan ( and save money! ) for the next step. Monday I'm going to an aquarium shop to see what I can learn about pumps.
    For a radiator I plan on using the heater core from a car. The water reservoir will probably be an aluminum overflow tank off a race car. I'm still researching the water block for the chip, but this Asus board has the appropriate holes around the CPU mounting socket, so my options are pretty wide.
    Next up is a Soundblaster Audigy Platinum set up. The control panel from that will replace my current fan control panel so I'm already working a new one to go into the front of the floppy drive bays.

    Edit: Can someone tell me if HDDs are position sensitive? Do they care if they are upside down or standing on their end? I'm thinking of maybe moving mine and need to know what my orientation restrictions are- if any.
    Thanks.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Virtualbody1234's Avatar Forum Star BT Rep: +2
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    You can reposition your HD in any way you like.

    Very nice work with the wiring.

    One question. What is that gold colored fan bracket with 2 fans against the back wall? It looks like a HD cooler.

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Originally posted by Virtualbody1234@1 November 2003 - 18:42
    You can reposition your HD in any way you like.

    Very nice work with the wiring.

    One question. What is that gold colored fan bracket with 2 fans against the back wall? It looks like a HD cooler.
    It is.
    Although quite efficient as a cooling device, those two little fans make way too much noise! So I took it off. When I started thinking about repositioning the HDD I used that cooler bracket to get an idea of where I might be able to move the HDD.
    It screwed right into some stock holes in the case wall and I was quite taken with the look. I forgot to remove it when I shot the pics and I'm just going to leave it till I have to open up the case again.
    This Thermaltake has a very weird side panel mounting system...I must admit that I haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet. Sometimes the panels will just drop into place and sometimes neither love or money can convince them to install. Had it not been for that I may have removed that extraneous HDD cooler.

    The drive bays that I removed added a lot of structural support to that end of the case so I have to think of a way to install some stiffening struts when I begin the water cooling project. Hence the desire to move the HDD from it's current position.

    Good eye catching that, btw.

    As long as you're here...I saw some fan adaptors at CompUSA today that put a 80mm fan on a 60mm mount. Reminded me of your fan conversion.
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    Virtualbody1234's Avatar Forum Star BT Rep: +2
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    Yeah, I know there are quite a few fan adaptors out there. I just couldn't find one locally. I have made about 10 so far. Quite a popular item.

    That looks like a good spot to install your drive if it's not too close to where you want to put the water cooling equipment.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    You probably have it down to an art by now.
    I like to make my own stuff too.

    As for the HDD location, right now I'm just exploring my options. Until the water cooling project begins to gel I won't know how much space I need or where that space should be...

    On a completely intuitive level it seems like mounting the radiator externally would be the ideal solution. At least from a purely technical standpoint. Esthetically and practically that may not be best. Mounted externally, airflow and a supply of (relatively) cool air are not such an issue.

    I guess I just need to start gathering parts and see...
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    bigdawgfoxx's Avatar Big Dawg
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    Nice Rig. It looks really nice too. Not the FASTEST ram or cpu...but i really like it. Better then my pos lol
    [SIZE=1]AMD 4200 X2 @ 2.65Ghz, ASRock 939-VSTA
    1.75GB PC3200, 2 X 160GB Seagate w/ 8MB Buffer
    HIS Radeon X800 Pro, Antec Super Lanboy Aluminum

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    abu_has_the_power's Avatar I have cool stars
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    very nice work dude. did u say 40 deg C? that's a bit high for that heatsink. did u oc ur cpu? cuz i have my 2.4c @ 2.6, and my idle is around 34 deg C, and i have the crappiest heatsink.

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Originally posted by abu_has_the_power@1 November 2003 - 19:56
    very nice work dude. did u say 40 deg C? that's a bit high for that heatsink. did u oc ur cpu? cuz i have my 2.4c @ 2.6, and my idle is around 34 deg C, and i have the crappiest heatsink.
    Nope, sorry to disappoint you Abu, but no OCing.

    The Zalman is not an overclockers heatsink.
    It is quiet.
    Dead silent in fact.
    I could probably do better tempwise, but not without sacrificing the silence.
    Also keep in mind the 40C isn't anywhere near the AMD recommended limits so I'm not at all worried.

    Water cooling will change all this anyway...
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    j2k4's Avatar en(un)lightened
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    NICE RIG!

    Wiring is very well-executed; "A place for everything, etc....")

    I'm picking up ideas, bit-by-bit.

    Someday, I'll walk my ass in your footsteps.

    Snazzy, man!
    “Think about how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of 'em are stupider than that.” -George Carlin

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    clocker's Avatar Shovel Ready
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    Originally posted by j2k4@1 November 2003 - 20:35


    Snazzy, man!
    Snazzy???

    Dating yourself a bit aren't you, j2?

    Thanks though. I thought you'd appreciate the braided steel sleeving. Not only can I cruise the internet with this thing, but she stops on a dime also...
    "I am the one who knocks."- Heisenberg

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