Is this my final form? Probably, the case is pretty rad but the insides are going to fluctuate!
This is the original iteration of this build before I decided to spend some money on aesthetic / cooling features. This is the Cooler Master Elite 342 case (old model no USB3). I modified the front cover and took out the air filter to put that fan in (it's a Purple AF120 Corsair).
Original System parted out on the bench ready to go into the new case!
Installation of the NH-C14!
Wow, that's a big cooler. Keeps everything nice and chill. Adds plenty of airflow for the motherboard components and ram.
This is what it's like inside the case with the GTX 950 SSC. Lot's of dead space :/
Still had the Purple fan at this point, set the rgb strip to match - kind of experimenting with different colors before ultimately settling on white!
Same pic but with the glass panel on (Protective plastic still on).
A little mess in the back.
Once the card is mounted vertically it really fills the space!
Closer even. I like the air gap to the right.
Another big back panel mess. Ended up adding in a Silverstone fan controller since my Dell OEM board only had one chassis fan header.
A little view with the panel on (still has protective film).
Experimenting setting the Lighting Node Pro to react to CPU Package temps.
Turned down the lights in the shop to see what it is like.
First shot at home in its "final" resting place on the floor next to my desk.
This is the Z77 ASUS board and the i7-3770 I pulled out of ewaste. This was when I was testing highest clock possible on the Intel Stock Coolers.
A couple views of the coolers.
4 different heatsink models for Intel stock heat sinks.
Able to clock this badboy up! 11067 is a hell of a score for a non k sku 7 year old chip.
Was able to reach that 4.5 using this Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black edition cooler. I wonder what my temp differences will be with my Noctua (I bet within 5c).
My Elite Dangerous setup.
From Ewaste to Gaming Rig
Preface: I am primarily an Apple user. I've been switching off between my 5k iMac , 2,1 Mac Pro and MacBook Pro for quite some time depending on the task. I also run a small repair shop and as a hobby enthusiast run a lot of VMs of different systems to play with. I am constantly running out of system resources on my machines.
Primary reasons for building this system: 1. To house a few different Operating Systems including: Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10, Debian, Arch, & a Hackintosh. 2. To play video games with my friends on Windows only titles (even though the main games I play are StarCraft II and League of Legends (which are pc/mac)). 3. To explore the untapped potential of old hardware and save some parts from ewaste. 4. To have an ever changing system that will be upgraded slowly over time based on sheer luck. 5. To not spend too much.
I started out by gathering components destined for the foundry (we work with a local recycler that parts out ewaste and eventually melts everything down. After a few months of hording supplies I was finally able to begin this.
I started out with a 500w Thermaltake TR2 PSU, a Dell OEM board and cooler, an i7-2600, a 120GB Kingston SSD, an HD 6770 1GB and 12GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz. I threw these in an old Cooler Master Elite 342 case and scrounged up a Purple Corsair AF120. This was a good start but then I began to yearn for more @.@
So I grabbed a White Corsair Carbide Spec-06 off the shelf, a few Corsair AF 120 and 140mm fans and got to work.
The HD 6770 evolved into a GTX 950 SSC which then again evolved into a GTX 970 Reference Model. I added a cheap PCIEx16 extension cable to utilize the cases' built in vertical mount.
The Dell OEM cooler turned into a Noctua NH-C14 that was kicking around my shop for the last few years never knowing the pleasure of cooling a system.
I had an extra Corsair Lighting Node Pro and one RGB strip kicking around so I threw that in too. I currently have it set to a dull white and a marquee type pattern.
My sole Kingston SSD was soon joined by a 250GB Intel SSD, a 2TB Seagate Barracuda, a 3.5" 1TB Seagate Barracuda, a 2.5" 1TB Seagate Barracuda and a 2.5" 1TB Toshiba HDD. Now I had plenty of independent drives to run separate installations on.
I wanted the USB 3.0 capabilities of my case so I added a cheap USB 3.0 Startech PCIE expansion card that features an internal header. I also ended up adding a TPLink GIGABIT ethernet card as well - the dang drivers for my Dell XPS 8300 board kept getting overwritten by Windows 10 on boot and would cause me to have to uninstall and reinstall literally every time I fired the damned thing up.
Then I got a hankering to play Elite Dangerous so I bought an Acer Windows Mixed Reality headset and a Thrustmaster Hotas X... Which this platform supports perfectly.
I have these paired up with a Cooler Master Master Keys Lite Mem-chanical keyboard and a Logitech G203 Prodigy mouse. I have the original Razer Kraken 7.1 SS headset and a Logitech 2.1 SS speaker system. I am using a Blue Snowball-Ice microphone. Though these peripherals are actually carried over from my iMac (I've since gone back to using the Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard 2 on that machine).
As far as displays go I have a very cheap 28" ViewSonic 60hz 1080p from Amazon and a 23.5" 60hz 1080p Samsung SyncMaster from ewaste. They are both on a dual monitor stand. Nothing special about these displays.
Honestly I am at a point where I will probably be buying a second desk (the same L shaped one I already have) and make a nice horse shoe desk to house all of my systems. I have my work flow going, my gaming stuff and I need to have at least one or two test systems going at a time.
I am always resurrecting old Apple Hardware and playing with it (Such as my PowerMac G4 project!)
All was well for a few weeks until some new ewaste treasure has landed in my lap. I got my hands on an i7-3770 and an ASUS Z77 board. I've been running some tests at work and am able to clock the 3770 to just over 4.5GHz and achieved a Passmark CPU score of over 11000! Which is great. I will be swapping out the boards and processors soon! Before I do I want to run some tests and see how high I can get the i7-2600's clock to go.
- With the Stock Intel cooler (Both CU core and Al variants) I was able to sustain a clock of 4.2GHz before hitting Thermal Junction in stress tests. In case you were wondering the Copper Core cooler lasted a few seconds longer before hitting TJMAX.
When I do that upgrade I have a 650Watt Thermaltake TR2 to throw in instead of the 500 I have now!
This has been a fun and rewarding experience thus far. It continues to grow! I can play all the games I want at really decent settings. I am particularly in love with Wolfenstein II at the moment. I've been exploring a lot of crazy things in VR, I am glad for the experience!