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Old 06-27-2010, 01:22 PM   #1
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Default i7 980X build, or ...

I need the cores. I have a water cooled i7 920 OC-ed to almost 4.5 GHz (in the signature) running 24x7 and frequently CPU utilization gets maxed from many minutes to several hours. The original plan was to just upgrade it ... swapping out the 920 for the 980X ... per Rob's suggestion. And, a good suggestion/plan it is. BUT, the 920 is running much too well to set on the shelf. Kind of a high class problem.

Erst while, the 2nd WC-ed rig is not booting. It has an older 775 CPU of some kind & it is not worth it to me to put any effort or $$ into it just to have it as another box. Software that I have can make use of both the 920 AND the 980X for either bigger projects or just faster turn around. The case for this 2nd rig is identical to the 1st one that I updated (the i7 920 build) back in December. These cases are old, are beige, but are full size roomy & easy to work with.

The 920 build used 2X120 Swiftech radiator as it fit the original mounting holes on the back of the case. I posted that build on Techgage forums back in December or so. Not in tremendous detail, but a start for a newbie at documenting his work. That build was something of a rush job as I really needed it up ASAP. I'll put a little more effort into documenting this as well as attempting to pull together some calculations that are elsewhere on the net. Things like pump size, water flow rate, radiator sizing, fan choices and the like. I purport myself as an engineer (albeit electrical) so I will try to act like one to see where it gets me.

I am thinking that I will use a 4x140 radiator for this 980X build. Not sure which brand at the moment. These radiators can easily be double the cost of the 2X120 Swiftech. People (hobbyists) have made curves for these. The fans will be on 1 side pushing air through the radiator. Ppl have made curves for these. I have a left over Eheim pump like I re-used before. For the 920 I was trying to keep cost contained & going for max performance ... that system upgrade cost ~$1800 & I am really happy with the results. Since, I have had more time to research & see that pump selection has a few trade offs; ppl have made curves for this. I'm planning to apply this information to this build & will post for argument (really).

Of course cost is a factor else I would seriously study the i7 980X Xeon equivalents. I think it was EVGA was/has come recently out with a dual socket m/b that can be OC-ed? Ve-e-ery interesting, but too much $$ in one case. If I were needing that kind of power *now*, I think the smart money would be on GPGPUs ... but what would I do with those in 2 years? Same for a dual Xeon build I think, although CPUs have greater use in the future for general use/gaming.

From the original builds around dual Athlons, I have realized that cans of compressed air are my friend for keeping up with having clean radiators ... every month or 2 & its not a big deal. Who knew? I also have 2 air cooled systems with the latest (at the time) HSFs like 2 Noctuas in a 4 y/o dual Opteron system. Since a rant thread I posted a year ago about how much of a PITA it is to clean the WC systems inside AND out, after not having touched either one for a few years, I am not so sure which one is more evil. The air cooled stack of fins can't be cleaned unless they are washed. There is always some "sticky" dirt left even after a good blow job. Anyway, I am thinking of ways to mount the radiator for this 980X build more conveniently for cleaning as well as ways of cleaning the plumbing without having to completely tear down the whole system ... separable water connections on the back of the case are looking like they could be a very convenient assist.

1st order of business is to paint over the beige color. Posting pix of beige anything is kind of deflating in this time of all black. I don't like admitting that ego comes into play with that, but I guess I am just human anyway. So, has anyone painted beige computer cases? What paint did you use? What do you think of the results? Scratch resistance issues or anything else come to mind?
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:55 PM   #2
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What color are you going for? or what look are you going for? That will decide the recommendation for painting, in my stream of thinking.


Also, there are some really good tutorials on the web for painting computer cases and getting spectacular results.

If you are interested, I'll post up.

-=TD
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:50 PM   #3
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Do! Do post those links. I wasn't thinking too far outside the box, buy why not?!
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:40 AM   #4
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Some of the references I am going to dig thru are like this for pump sizing.
This thread has a long list to dig thru. Some of the info is dated & some is current based on available proudcts. And some shouldn't make too much difference.

I am interested in one guy's testing of radiators with & without fan shrouds, push pull fans & the combinations. A little challenging is data is often updated but conclusive remarks are not & do not match the data ... or so it appears at the moment.
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:20 PM   #5
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Here's a couple of bit's to get you started:

http://www.modders-inc.com/modules.p...ndhtcat_num=15

http://www.modders-inc.com/modules.p...ndhtcat_num=17

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=MonsterMawd

http://www.mnpctech.com/case-mod-pai...od-how-to.html

Hope this helps!
-=TD
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Old 06-29-2010, 01:18 PM   #6
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Ugh! That's a lot of work ... the video of sand blasting just the chassis & the air brush painting. Looks nice although the choice of color (yellow-ish) would not be high on my list. I have considered powder coating items in the past ... hmmm. I may be a little too utilitarian to get into that much work, but I am thinking.

Thanks for the links TD
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:00 PM   #7
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To get a good, smooth painted finish, 90% of the work goes before the paint. You have a good base, you will have a good spray.

Powedercoating is good if you can get it reasonably. Try calling around to PC'ing shops and see what hte common colors are that they run. See if they have a schedule of specific colors on specific days.

"Setup costs" can usually be bypassed if you make it as easy as possible for them to do the work. That means yo ustrip it, you prep it, you deliver the parts so that all they have to do is hang it on the line.

Worked for me in the past with a gloss black case frame that I had PC'd in gloss black.


Takes some phone work and a little relationship building, but you might find someone willing to assist.
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Old 06-29-2010, 06:12 PM   #8
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I doubt that I will paint the case frame, but the beige case has to go. I don't think that I will cut a window (well maybe!) into the case side panel so the insides won't be seen too much. Fortunately the front & sides are just snapped or slide on so the painting can be a parallel effort to the updating the guts.

For powder coating, the car guys have been all over the DIY for a while for repainting rims. And, I am also a car guy. The key component is to find an old kitchen oven for baking. I am digging into that again. There are always used equipment places around that something suitable can be picked up pretty cheap ... but talk is cheaper! I like this case for now. It is steel and I would prefer a Lian-Li black aluminum as I have 2 of those, but $200 or $300+ for one of those is not in the budget for now.

As for the guts, this guy, Martin, seems to be as definitive as it gets for testing fans, radiators, pumps, etc. But he does not have much or anything for 140mm fans/radiators ... *if* I stick with a radiator that uses 140 mm fans. I don't think that he has done much testing for a few years.
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