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Case Mod - In Progress ICE Dragon _Parvum S2.5 custom mod featuring Borosilicate Glass Dragon tubes

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by SpikeV, 13 Aug 2018.

  1. SpikeV

    SpikeV New Member

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    . . . the ICE Dragon journey


    Well, technically this project is not “Complete” as this log is being started, here today - I am still working through some finishing items and a few technical issues . . . but, it is very close…

    So, while this project has lasted way (way) longer than expected – thanks to tremendous and continuous ‘scope creep’ . . . yeah, OK… and some Real Life distractions, as well ! – the focus of THIS build log will be mostly on the thought process in it’s life cycle and some of the technical issues & solutions – most of which have worked out!!!

    What I have learned over more than a year with this project has been remarkable – especially by my standards (which may not be saying much) !!! Yeah, I love doing the research and gathering as much insight as possible – internet, events, retailers, etc., . . . but, the REAL knowledge sharing has come directly from the great support of so many smart and talented people I have encountered in this space . . . and to all of those, I am tremendously grateful.

    So here is my story . . .

    The reason for the current project is directly due to my first build, completed Christmas 2016 (late in the evening on the 23rd December) as a totally unexpected – but, unbelievably appreciated gift for my 10 year old (Gamer) son.

    But after that first project was over I had two major issues:

    1. I just missed being involved with all those activities – the research, the sourcing, the vision, the problem solving … and, most of all- the creating ( particularly- creating stuff that worked ! ), and

    2. I soon stumbled upon a photo of a Parvum case while web surfing my favorite new topic, and I knew then . . . I just had to have one of these

    So the decision was taken in late March of last year to start up a new project . . . to push my personal boundaries a bit now that I was becoming aware of the many possibilities and began to follow some of the major players and what they were doing. I contacted Sean at Parvum Systems to discuss some case ideas, and a few weeks later placed my order.

    I soon realized that . . . your project needs to have a name and a theme – so after a little thought, a little inspiration . . . and, a little messin’ about with some logo concepts . . . it was settled …


    [​IMG]
     
  2. SpikeV

    SpikeV New Member

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    . . . a couple of things to get straight - right from the start

    • I am not an engineer . . . my greatest abilities are sarcasm and a death-grip on common sense (in that order)
    • I thrive on 'different' (and usually not 'stupid different'). . . and definitely NOT a fan of the same ol' - same ol' (but, again ... not beyond 'borrowing with pride')
    • you will hear me whine A LOT about trying to get product here to Denmark (25% tax on everything and customs charges which just about eliminate sourcing anything from the US and China . . . at least through the usual manner ! )
    • and, I am about - the detail (likely related to some form of OCD)

    And, speaking about detail . . . one of the great things about building with a Parvum case is that you can get as creative as you like . . . but, in my case (!), I started with a standard S2.5 mATX case with a few changes I saw on their Facebook site . . . then, 'borrowed' a few concepts from some of my favorite Parvum builds (figuring that they retained the original vector files - so the render work would be fairly straight forward)

    [​IMG]
    . . . taking a web photo and creating a template on which to describe each of the panels for the new build with the Parvum Guys - this worked out extremely well . . . the first renders were dead-on

    and this is what we got ...
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    side note: now over time ... the photography got a bit better (along with a number of other skills) !!!


    . . . spoiler alert - to give you a sense of where we will end up . . . here's a bit of a teaser ...

    [​IMG]


    Cheers :thumb:
     
    _Prometheus_ likes this.
  3. _Prometheus_

    _Prometheus_ Active Member

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  4. SpikeV

    SpikeV New Member

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    Hey Prom - thanks for your interest

    . . . it may get a bit strange along the way - but hopefully never boring !!!
     
  5. _Prometheus_

    _Prometheus_ Active Member

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    Well to do, I like such projects.
     
  6. SpikeV

    SpikeV New Member

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    [​IMG]

    . . . This is the place where you would usually get a nice picture of a pile of cool boxes all jammed full of the latest swell PC stuff . . . well, at least as much as you could afford ... (or might admit to your wife !)


    But - come on ... after you have seen a thousand of those pictures . . . who really cares about the boxes ???
    . . . and as they say - 'no matter how BIG your Pile ... somebody, somewhere has a BIGGER Pile' (it's just the way life is)


    So lets get to the more interesting stuff - like - 'Why the heck did you choose that lame motherboard over the ASUS Circus Maximus XXXIV ZX999 Stress Gripper with RGB(W) BushGard protection (and 7.1 v2 bios)'

    [ ... of course I took 'Pile' photos . . . and if you really feel a void in your day without them - then, just send me a message and I'll be happy to send you some . . . of mine, I mean !!! ]

    So, anyway ... there we were, all excited about the Parvum custom case (order) and the new ICE Dragon build project ... and all decided that we were stepping up from Junior's 6600K and GTX 1070 Cheesecake (you know - the spontaneous combustible EVGA edition) . . . hard at putting the list together and chasing the Deals . . . but hold on a minute ... this was April 2017 ... likely the worst time in recent history for taking on this exercise ... it was about to become Marketing Tsunami time for the CPU industry . . . and how do you filter through the crap storm of BS in order to make the right choice ???

    . . . well, just had to fall back on one in my quiver of 'rules to live by' . . . "Go - with What you Know" (GWK)

    so, at that point in time my best choice (and I'm still good with it - will explain later...) -


    [​IMG]
     
  7. SpikeV

    SpikeV New Member

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    [​IMG]


    . . . one issue that became apparent early-on was the scope of the original build plan kept on expanding as the vision and confidence grew

    then it was decided that this experience would become a stage gate project where I could arrive at a working 1st stage - quite basic ... then upgrade to the next stage, then the next and so forth until the final goal was reached . . . that would allow two things to happen -
    1. I could run a series of Benchmarks at each stage gate - then take a look at the performance impact of each upgrade effort, and
    2. this would allow time for the budget to cover the upgrades toward the final goal
    the reason this plan worked for me was because this project was as much about the Journey as it was about the end goal

    . . . time for another Teaser ...
    [​IMG]

    So, the starting point was basically a 7700K (that I could push a bit) with a GTX 1080 (about the time of the Ti releases and just prior to the mining impact in the EU ... and the Vega let down) . . . of course the CPU would start off water cooled (begin with an AIO) - but the GPU might start on air (?) :eyebrow:

    The End would definitely be full water cooled custom loops for CPU and GPU, including blocks... likely HeatKiller, XSPC or EK, upgraded Rads ... likely HW Labs or XSPC ... needing White, of course -AND- definitely full borosilicate tubes (lovin' the Glass !!! )


    BUT (as promised) starting with just another AIO CLC was NOT part of the plan . . . we were going to do a little custom work on this cooler straight-away . . . and, it was going to go something like this -

    [​IMG]

    'What the heck is that' you might ask (???) . . . well, stand-by - cuz it's about to get interesting !!!


    In the meantime - it's about time to go Shopping . . . and even though I said I wasn't going to show the boxes stuff - I just remembered I was also learning to do some video stuff - so you're gunna get boxes anyway !!!

     
  8. SpikeV

    SpikeV New Member

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    quick program note:

    1 - 'Edit' for prior posts doesn't seem to work so well . . . typically getting this banner ...
    upload_2018-8-22_23-28-16.png


    2- regarding post #6 above ...

    [edit note- too funny ! ... looks like someone has hacked this sight - so when you type "1070 (letters for 'For The Win") it posts as "1070 Cheescake" - let's see what happens when this edit note is posted ???!!! ... ]

    [stop]
     
    Last edited: 22 Aug 2018
  9. SpikeV

    SpikeV New Member

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    [​IMG]


    Shortly after the theme was settled, the concept started to take shape around the general component selection . . .

    . . . the case

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And most importantly - I was in love with the retro (early) Parvum Round Fan grills / ports
    [​IMG]

    And quite soon after - I was determined that although the plan was a 240 AIO (the cool DeepCool 'Reactor' thingy) for the CPU . . . I needed to splice in that rather unique XSPC Ion Reservoir
    . . . now initially I reached out to DeepCool to see if I could get their AIO with a Res that they offered in their GENOME II case . . . but they were not interested to make that available separately . . . so it was on to Plan II and the XSPC Res

    [​IMG]


    THEN THE MORE INTERESTING IDEA OCCURRED . . .
    with the 'ICE Dragon' theme . . . how cool would it be to introduce two completely different worlds
    - Glass Art ... and,
    - High Tech
    ( and I could not find that this had been done anywhere else before - at least in my research - so I was on my own to see if I could make this happen)

    . . . my initial mock-up

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    . . . but ... I simply could not find any Artist, Student, or Glass School in all of Denmark (which is known for it's abundance of Glass work) that was interested in (or, likely could understand) what the heck I was talking about (???)

    several months went by with absolutely no luck . . . and the outlook was seeming quite dim

    then one day while just randomly surfing the internet ... I can across this

    [​IMG]

    and, this was it - exactly what was bouncing around in my head ,,, but, . . . just a photo and back from 2008 (as I recall) - so now I needed to chase down the Artist ...

    that wasn't particularly easy ... but I managed to get a name ... and then an address . . . and, then ...

    I found out this guy is located out on the coast of California, USA ...

    So off again to see if this time I could get any interest in my little project -and- being the first to introduce these TWO WORLDS ...

    Holy Crap !!!!! - not only is Garrett interested . . . he's as excited about this little challenge as I am ...(FINALLY !!!)

    ... so we start to talk about how feasible this is and what is doable, and not ... and dimensions ... and stuff like "annealed" and "fire polished" and "borosilicate lab glass" . . . and Garrett says he'll get back with some prototypes ...

    . . . about a week later
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    . . . and then ... about 4 (painful !) weeks later . . . arriving in beautiful Denmark . . .

    ( ... Oh,YES . . . it will be Mine ! [Waynes World] )

    [​IMG]

    Glass Dragon Tubes custom made by renowned Glass Artist
    Garrett Brebes of PISMO BEACH, CA
     
    Arboreal and _Prometheus_ like this.
  10. SpikeV

    SpikeV New Member

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    [​IMG]

    . . . we'll definitely be getting back to those Dragon Tubes - but now the most stupid part of the journey . . . acquiring the Motherboard...

    So, getting your Motherboard is generally pretty straight forward - commit to your Form Factor of choice [that's mATX for me] - take a decision on your level of 'enthusiasm' [ 'X' -or- 'Z' . . . or maybe, 'B' or 'H' ] ... then, check out all the current Intel (March 2017 !!!) chipset offerings from your favorite Brand [then compare to your - not favorite brand(s) ] ... take a serious look at your bank account ... consider what part RGB plays in your life ... and wait for the latest overly marketed boards to hit the shelves [ah ... internet sites] ... pull the trigger and wait by your mailbox - SIMPLE !

    Well that's the way it ought to be . . . right ?

    So, it's all decided ... the easy choice is the soon to be released (in the EU - already available in US) next generation of the mATX board I used for my son's rig - fully functional - great reviews - overclocks like a champ - great $ value - built like a Brick House - rock solid performance (and Dual Bios - just in case!) ... and, not the same (Brand) board used by 97.3% of all the other projects ... it's the ...
    March 2017
    [​IMG]

    So now we're coming up on May (2017) and I've been watching all the DK and EU sites since March waiting for this thing to become available in the EU so I can get going with the project. No one has it listed except for Overclockers,UK - but still as 'Pre-order' . . . then a few days later I check back on the Overclockers, UK site and get ...
    [​IMG]

    ANYMORE ??? ... it's a brand new release ... goes from "Pre-order" to "Not Available Anymore" overnight ...
    So, obviously an error - so I call Overclockers to get it sorted . . . they tell me ... "nope, End of Life".
    Well something's screwed up because it's still plenty enough available in the US (?)

    Turns out I've been chatting with another builder [orbitalwalsh] who happens to be building a system for Gigbyte UK for a show . . . he says, he's in the (UK) Gigabyte office the next day and will get it all figured out so I can get my hands on this board. It takes a few days, but orbitalwalsh gets back and says - 'nope, (the Sales Mgr is pissed, but) Gigabyte EU decided that they would not bring the mATX board into the European market for 2017' . . . WHAT ???? ['no ... we will just let ASUS own the mATX Market in all of Europe ... not really interested in that Customer ...'] . . . then why the Crap are you doing all the Marketing for this board - STUPID !

    Well, I'm really not a fan of taking "No" for an answer ... so how to make this happen ???
    Seems there is exactly one other EU listing through Amazon UK - but it's actually Amazon International ... not clear on what all that means but they are the ONLY ones in all of EU with an offer - and they indicate it's supplied from the US, but their price includes all transport, customs and taxes ... AWESOME !!!
    Well - not exactly awesome ... problem is they will only deliver in UK . . . CRAP !

    OK, so time to leverage a colleague (great Guy) living in UK and set this relay plan in motion ... Colin agrees to be my middleman and collect from Amazon and turn via a carrier who can then deliver to Denmark (for about the same shipping cost as from the US - well if you shop it hard enough!) . . . So I pull the trigger with Amazon UK or, International, or whatever! . . . several days later Colin sends a photo to prove that this friggin' board has found it's way to Europe - and will soon be on it's way to Denmark . . . so finally, 20 July, the Gigabyte GA-Z270MX Gaming 5 has arrived in Denmark . . . just in time to watch the AMD inspired - CPU WARS - leading to the early release by intel of the 8th Gen i7s and the 299s and the 370s - AWESOME !!!
    [BTW - Gigabyte states that Boards shipped outside the US will not be covered by warranty ... thank you Gigabyte]

    [​IMG]

    . . . you would think obtaining a mainstream motherboard would be straight forward
    > choose it - order it - receive it
    . . . and, not necessarily take - an act of God !!!

    [BTW - still waiting on the Parvum case from the UK to be delivered]
     

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