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Thread: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

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    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    Been a while since my last build log now! Working full time means less time for techy stuff!

    Not sure if this is the right place to post now as there have been quite a few changes since I last posted! Feel free to move this if it's in the wrong place mods!

    Here's my last build log: [Build log] Back to basics - NZXT S340 (ft. Thermaltake Smart SE PSU)

    Strictly speaking, this build was done in 2016 but I've had upgrades since then and didn't get around to posting it so here I am.



    Parts list:

    CPU: Intel i7 4790K - £170 (2nd hand, CEX using vouchers)
    Motherboard: MSI Z97M Gaming - £80 (2nd hand, eBay)
    RAM: Crucial Ballistix Tactical 32GB (4x8GB) - £92 (New, Amazon)
    Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 1TB + 250GB - £230 (New, Amazon) + £50 (New, Gumtree)
    Graphics card: Palit GTX 1070 GameRock - £375 (New, Scan)
    Case: Cooltek (Jonsbo) UMX3 - £113 (New, Alternate)
    PSU: SilverStone SST-SX500-LG V 2.0 - £66 (New, Amazon)
    Cooler: DeepCool Gamer Storm Captain 120 EX - £35 (New, Ebuyer)
    OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit Pro - £15 (Had already)

    Total: ~£1226

    My system has gotten a lot more expensive over the past few years it seems! I guess the new GPU and SSD doesn't help.

    I've been playing BDO a lot on 2560*1440 so I decided to upgrade to the GTX 1070. Haven't felt the need to upgrade from Devil's Canyon however as there doesn't seem to have been much innovation in the CPU world. The only reason for me to upgrade the CPU would be for the newer chipsets for DDR4 (which again doesn't seem like much of an upgrade) and for NVMe drives (which I do want!). I used to run quite a few VMs hence the 32GB RAM but nowadays it barely gets filled up (although I am using 15GB right now!).

    Anyway, here are the photos. As mentioned earlier, they weren't all taken at the same time so they may look a bit inconsistent.

    Here's the case:



    It has already been in use since June 2016 but thanks to the lovely aluminium and thick tempered glass, it's as good as new. I'm glad we're finally past the stage of perspex side windows which scratch just be touching them!

    I really like the tempered side window of this case actually as it's tool-less.


    Guts of the case:



    Pretty empty as I've stripped everything out. Note how it unfortunately does not have a CPU cut out (which is why I stripped this PC out as I was changing coolers in fact!).

    Even fans have been stripped bare:



    I got some new fans so decided to strip what I had in there before. You might notice I've already got the IO shield in and I've got some LED cables around the case as it doesn't come with an lighting.

    Onto the aged yet trusty Z97 motherboard:



    I think feature rich mATX motherboards are almost rarer than mini ITX boards now! Do we really need all the space of an ATX board? One could argue that mATX is close to ATX that there's almost no point going for mATX though I guess.

    Another angle:



    As it's not the newest board round the block, it doesn't have things like USB-Type C or Thunderbolt but I won't need those for now.



    Trusty i7-4790K. I honestly see no reason to upgrade my CPU but at least with Ryzen pushing Intel, things should be somewhat competitive again.

    I really didn't like the stock yellow heatsinks on the Crucial Ballistix Tacticals but at the same time, I didn't want to pull them off so my solution was to shoddily cut some carbon fibre wrap I had lying around and try to stealth them out:



    Not the best job in the world but it'll do.



    Looks pretty stealthy to me.



    I don't think someone will look that closely!

    Adding the CPU cooler mounting on:



    As mentioned previously, the case doesn't have a CPU backplate cutout so I have to make sure that's on the motherboard before putting it in.



    Looking pretty empty so far.

    The case does support ATX PSUs, but why bother with them when you can get something like this:



    Fully modular 80 Plus Gold from SilverStone.



    The first version didn't get the best reviews for noise as the fan would intermittently start/stop from what I read but V2.0 solves that in having an always on fan with a gentle fan curve. In fact I never hear this thing spin up and I can barely hear it anyway unless I stop all my case fans!

    This is how all PSUs should be, compact, cool and quiet.

  2. #2
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    Now onto the GPU:





    It didn't originally look like that.

    It was meant to be blue but yeah, I was not going to take blue in my case so out came the carbon fibre wrap again.

    Let's go back to some photos from 2016...



    This was the original GPU.





    A triple slot monster that is both higher and wider than a normal GPU.





    In fact look at it compared to my old GTX 970! It makes my GTX 970 look small!







    I used a heatgun to weaken the adhesive between the blue metal part:



    I then did some very shoddy work again:





    But hey it doesn't look too bad:









    Yes I know you can see some blue still but it won't be noticeable in the case.
    Last edited by Ulti; 09-04-2017 at 10:16 PM.

  3. #3
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    Here's the DeepCool Gamer Storm Captain 120EX...



    I'm not sure why they make product names so unnecessarily long. Not sure why it looks so dusty in the photo either. Maybe it was just the light or uneven paintwork.

    It was actually a pain to get it into the case - the mounting was blocking the radiator so as I didn't have a saw or dremel, I took a wrench and basically ripped one of the mounting blocks partly backwards. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of this part but that part no longer holds the mounting for the window well, it kinda just sits in there but there's no grip on it now but I'm pretty sure it'll hold up nonetheless.



    They actually do a white version of this too but it wasn't in stock in Ebuyer, only at Amazon at double the price. I'm usually willing to pay a premium for looks/colour but when it's double the price.. no thanks!

    Next, some new fans:



    I went through quite a few fans and their reviews on hardware.info before settling on these ones. I wanted something with some white LEDs so things like Noctua were out of the question. I did consider Corsair's Mag Lev ML120/140 fans but they didn't actually seem to get good reviews at all, especially when it came to the noise department so I passed on those. These seem to be pretty highly rated at 30dBa.



    They kinda clash with the red of the motherboard and CPU cooler but ah well.



    Phew! It was almost impossible to get the fan in using the provided rubber fan mounts due to hardly any clearance. Next time remind me to install the case fan first before putting the motherboard in! At least I didn't have a giant tower cooler in the way but the radiator plus the motherboard heatsinks were definitely still in the way.



    Both fans on. Yeah I'm really not sure about the red now.



    PSU goes in too. That side had some ugly stickers on it and I didn't want to peel the sticker off so carbon fibre wrap comes to the rescue again! I should maybe do something about the blue but at this point I could not be bothered. Note how much more space there is using a SFX-L PSU as opposed to an ATX PSU.



    Well some fat arse GPU just had to take up all the space!



    I know it's 2017 and people are now using NVMe drives but hey... I'm just a poor graduate!



    Decent mounting mechanism I guess. Supports up to 3x 2.5" HDDs there but there is no dampening of any sort so beware if planning to use 2.5" mechanical HDDs.

    The left side does have a slot for a 3.5" HDD though with some rubber feet but I would be killing the GPU if I were to put a HDD there and block of all the airflow.

    Besides, why would I use a HDD if I want a quiet PC?



    Well that's the PC complete now. Not as clean as the NZXT S340 due to lack of places to hide the cables but it doesn't look too bad! I played with the idea of just making a shroud for the cable and covering the shroud in carbon fibre wrap but laziness got the best of me.

    Note that this case has no intake fans!

    Here's the same photo again from the beginning of this thread:



    Doesn't look too bad wrt cable management!

    I do like my LEDs:



    Not too sure about the red still... Unfortunately the LEDs bring out the cable mess.

    Just also want to point out that the Palit GTX 1070 GameRock has very poor RGB functionality. The white is a very off white that looks more yellow than anything.

    With the side panel on:



    Looks pretty stealthy and somewhat hides the cable mess. I wouldn't mind if it was less tinted however but now the red looks less out of place. I'll probably keep an eye out for any special offers on the white version of the cooler though! Until then, thanks for reading!

    For anyone that's interested about the temps, this AIO cooler is slightly quieter than my air cooler as I've got the fan on a low speed and the pump is surprisingly silent. I don't hear the trickle of water or anything at all even though it's supposedly running at full speed (~2000 RPM). Temperature wise it's actually inferior to my older Cooler Master V8 though but so far it hasn't broken 70C in gaming or 80C in burn-in tests so I'm fine with it as I value low noise over low temps.

    The GPU is amazing though and never really breaks 60C in gaming. Considering that this case lacks quite a bit of airflow that's amazing as it never breaks 700 RPM which is effectively silent.

    Mission accomplished for now!
    Last edited by Ulti; 09-04-2017 at 10:45 PM.

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    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    Excellent work.
    I quite like the red on the cooler. Sort of the Eye of Sauron-esque
    Society's to blame,
    Or possibly Atari.

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    Re: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    Nice build log.
    Jon

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    Re: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    Good work!

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    Re: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    HAL- "Hello Dave"

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    MGP
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    Re: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    That's quality! Great log. I've got the Phanteks Pro M with Tempered Glass, looking into the Corsair RGB kits.

  11. #9
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    Thanks everyone!

    @Phage
    @cptwhite_uk
    Haha I guess the red does break things up a little bit and shows where the brain of the machine literally is.

    @MGP
    The Phanteks Pro M (and also NZXT S340 Elite) are both beautiful too. Just adding a tempered glass side panel makes a PC case look so much more premium compared to the preceding plexiglass/acrylic side windows! I used to have LED (albeit not RGB) RAM back in the day but I prefer a more stealthy approach now.

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    Re: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    Can you tell me more about the carbon fibre wrap please? Like what's it normally for, where do you get it from?

  13. #11
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: [Build log] The year of tempered glass (and ArGeeBee) - mATX under 25L

    It's vinyl wrap so I think mainly used for the automotive industry for the finish.

    I usually get stuff like that on eBay. Here's an example of one on eBay:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-x-CARBON...4AAOSwNSxVIUeG

    I can tell it's not the highest quality but does the job here.

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