Hot Chocolate - Test Bench & F@H

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Hot Chocolate - Test Bench & F@H

(This build is from Dec 2018) This was originally setup on a cardboard box to add to my Folding@Home power for LTT's Folding Month. I decided to keep it around as a test bench and have tested a TON of RTX cards for use w/ F@H and other compute heavy tasks. It will stay in the config through the winter, but I will use it as a traditional test bench when I have new parts arriving/departing that need to be put through their paces. There have also been 4 motherboards, 3 PSUs as I was testing boards with different PCIe layouts. While it's not a gaming system, I did order a bridge to see what the #s are like against my 2080 Ti in 3D Mark. It will get here after Christmas though and I won't have time to run benchmarks til then anyway.

Why RTX cards? They are far better than the 1080 Ti @ folding and were only $699. Pascal cards are becoming scare with the 1080 Tis out of production and I was able to sell my 1080 Tis for a good price.

Things I loved about the build:

1. I became intensely curious about the HAF XB Evo for seemingly no reason, but I'm certain glad I bought it! The first thing of note is the build quality. I was afraid that this case would ding and scratch easily, but man... it's solid and painted really well. I've rebuilt this system w /various mobos, PSU, GPUs, and CPUs and it looks like it did on day 1. There is also something to be said for cable management. This is an older case, but everything was very well thought out. There are soooo many tie down points that it was really easy to give cables a permanent home while allowing them to route in a way that keeps them in place while making a board swap easy.
2. There's something to be said about the Noctua traditional aesthetic. I am glad they welcomed change and now have more current colors available, but their brand identity lies in the brown colors. It was the inspiration behind the name "*Hot Chocolate."* That and the 2080s keeping the house warm while folding.
3. Once again I went for a look that did not rely on RGBs to gain its identity. I wanted a simple and clean look given the fact that the parts in here will rotate.


1. So, the ROG Front Base goes under "Challenges" simply because I bought it for looks. I wanted something to break up the monotony the 2.5 bay covers brought to the front of the case. I knew going in that it was just going to be an information display given the lack of support for modern ROG_EXT equipped boards. Just adding this note here so that someone doesn't buy it thinking it will work with the C7H. It merely shows rounded clock speed #s, temps, and fan speeds.

In closing, still can't believe it took me this long to get around to building a test bench. I guess I really don't mind running things on a cardboard box. Just looks a whole lot better now. I opted not to use the vast storage options in the HAF, but I have over 100 TB of NAS based storage in the house, so an OS drive is really all I need. The hot swap option in this case is awesome though. I might throw a drive in and keep test software on it, but... I really don't need to.
Color(s): Black Brown
RGB Lighting? No
Theme: Color
Cooling: Air Cooling
Size: ATX
Type: General Build


$ 199.00
AMD - Ryzen 7 (2700X)
Socket: AM4
Cores: 8
$ 184.99
ASUS - ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi)
Chipset: X470
CPU Socket: AM4
Size: ATX
$ 39.99
G.Skill - Ripjaws V (3200MHz) (Red)
Type: DDR4
Capacity: 16 GB
$ 479.99
ASUS - Turbo
Chip Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip: RTX 2080
$ 479.99
ASUS - Turbo
Chip Manufacturer: NVIDIA
Chip: RTX 2080
$ 167.69
Samsung - 960 PRO
Form Factor: M.2
Interface: M.2 (M)
Capacity: 512 GB
$ 177.72
Corsair - RMX (Black)
Wattage: 850
Form Factor: ATX
Efficiency: 80+ Gold
$ 108.60
Cooler Master - HAF XB EVO
Type: Mini-Tower
Side Panel: Solid
Case Fan
$ 29.95
Noctua - NF-A12x25 5V PWM
Size: 120 mm
Case Fan
$ 23.95
Noctua - NF-A14 5V PWM
Size: 140 mm
Case Fan
$ 23.95
Noctua - NF-A14 5V PWM
Size: 140 mm
$ 109.95
Noctua - NH-D15 SE-AM4
Type: Air Cooler
$ 50.00
CableMod - PRO Cable Extension Kit
Mode: Stock
Sleeve: ModMesh
Color: Black, White
CableMod - PRO Cable Extension Kit
Mode: Stock
Sleeve: ModMesh
Color: Black, White
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