MODZERO SHOCK Hey folks, I'm back with another b(uild)log... I'm not sure where to start with this one... I was finishing up with MODZERO DYNO (here) feeling unimpressed with the final build thinking 'ughhhhh ATX sucks, I wanna get back in another SFF case'. Parvum has always been my 'goto' chassis of choice but as I'm still actively developing MODZERO SEVEN (here) I started thinking of all the other epic chassis on the market. I've always liked the NCASE M1, the LOUQE GHOST S1, Dan Case S4, and the Formd T1! I'd no concepts in mind, no real drive to do anything new or extreme with any of the above... at that point, I wanted to build a clean, air-cooled rig I'd be happy to have on my desk and take along to LAN events. But then Covid put a stop to LAN events and the shortages killed supply and most of my sponsors had their marketing budgets slashed and thus weren't able to support (at that time). Can't believe it's June 2021 and much of that is still valid. I wasn't in a rush, so it just occupied that space at the back of my head for a while. I think, at this point, the PS5 and XBOX SX were about to be released and RTX 3000 & and RX6000 series were doing the press rounds. Intel was rumored to have the 11th gen just around the corner and thus the motherboard players would have new chipset boards to push. It started to feel like an opportune time to reach out and see how I'd fair. But first I'd need a concept. Then I won dec MOTM over on builds.gg! $500 + a bunch of credit with EK and PPCs. Now I had a budget! I'd seen a bunch of builds on Instagram in SLIGER cases, I'd not heard of Sliger but for the most part, they had that shoebox design that I was looking for. Then they posted teasers of the S610/S620, it had a cleaner design on the front than the 500 series and I loved the chunky handle! it also looked amazing in white with a black top/handle. I wanted them both... the concept became clear... build a console-killing mini beast running the latest from Intel/Nvidia (seeing as the consoles were all AMD/AMD) and cool it with the best air cooling on the market. I'd no real mods in mind, just 100% handmade custom MDPCX cables, panel to panel Noctua cooling, and great midrange hardware! So I sent out the emails and starting spending my winnings on bits. SLIGER S610 (here) ... ... ... The case was the first to turn up, I bought the S610. It was the only thing I wanted and Performance PCs sold Sliger products. I got in touch and they placed the order with Sliger. In the time it took to come, a few things happened. Well, one thing happened (here). ... I didn't even have a RTX3080! This build was intended to be a console killer, not a PCMR wet dream! In my mind, I was aiming at a 3070 maybe a 3060 and most like an 11th gen i5 as again, I was thinking I'd be buying it! But this block blew me away! There was no way I was getting a couple of rads in the S610 and I was still in love with the idea of class-leading air cooling! So one build became two! I reached out to Sliger and explained I was building in the S610 on-air aiming at the console market with a super clean build. Then I said, I'd like to squeeze two 240mm rads and a full custom loop in the S620 and asked if they would be up for coming along for the ride. They were! shortly after the S620 arrived on my doorstep. Thanks Sliger! ... ... ... The guys over at Sliger have been great too! they sent me an extra front panel for the S620 (as I may attempt a distro.) and for anyone that follows them on Instagram (here) you'll know they are a small company in the US, that design and manufacture their products in the US. I was getting a CaseLabs vibe and I'm all for it! More about the S620 later. My last three builds have been proudly sponsored by AMD, I started out back in the 90s with AMD and it's been an absolute honor to have their support. Before it, I bought the chips that went in my builds and until ZEN landed. Like everyone else.. those were Intel products. With a good body of work to my name now, I thought I'd try my luck and reached out to Intel. Now, I was asking for a product that wasn't out yet and I'm a nobody! I've never been sent anything pre-release, never signed an NDA. I was having this conversation (asking for sponsorship) on two fronts. With Intel I'd sent them a pitch asking for an i5/i7 and with the Gigabyte I knew they'd release an ITX Z590 board, just because they hadn't announced it yet, didn't mean it didn't exist. Sure enough, Intel released the 11th gen of CPUs, and along came Aorus with the Z590i (here) ... ... I've been posting stories and images over on my Instagram for months check em out (here). I figure this build log will be image-heavy as it is. I run the X580 ITX board from Aorus in my MODZERO SHEILD build and love the similarities. Intel got back in touch and offered to support the build, they kindly sent me over an i7 11700k! I was super stoked! Does anyone else recall those awesome press kits Intel sent out? with the cool product boxes (you'd have seen them in all the youtube coverage)? Yeah? ... LOL! Made me chuckle, doesn't matter in the slightest! I'm super proud to have Intel support this build and to be able to add Intel to the list of awesome brands I've worked with. Pre ZEN only the very few used to get anything from the big blue (sponsored), yeah markets have changed, but for an old player like me, feels good to have them on board. ... So I'm rocking the Intel Core i7 - 11700K which suits me just fine, as I'm running the AMD 5800X in my other build (SEVEN). Nice to have that matching core count. Looking forward to benching them off against each other. ... Noctua sent me over all the Chromax! I'd posted unboxing and product shots on my Instagram (here) so check em out if you're into it. I'll talk about them more when we get into the build I ended up NOT using the cooler they sent me and went with my trusty NH-D9L and did buy another 4 fans. I've some thoughts on Noctuas Chromax, remind me if I forget later on. Remember I mentioned I'd won BOTB over on Builds.gg (here) well that opened some doors! I run an 860 EVO drive in the back of that which caught Samsung Memories eye over on Instagram. They sent me a message which turned into a zoom meeting with their creative team. They only wanted to use the project in an ad they were shooting!!!! HOW COOL is that! Long story short, I wasn't down with shipping my pride and joy halfway around the planet so I pointed them at BenQ and moved on. I went back to them weeks later and pitched this project. WOW! Did they hook me up! ... 2x Samsung 980 PRO 1TB 1x Samsung 870 EVO 2TB ... I posted a bunch on Instagram if you wanna see it. As mentioned, I'd adjusted the scope of the build after EK blew my ginger bollocks off with the 3080 FE block.. so now I needed a 3080FE.. Which, is no easy thing. I've no relationship with Nvidia, and those guys in the community that do weren't getting GPUs sent their way either. It was a case of FINDING STOCK. Who am I kidding, it was a case of sitting on a PartsAlerts discord server for 11 hours a day with a Telegram app pushing notifications when/if Nvidia pushed the stock to the UK. Orders were (still are) being fulfilled by Scan.co.uk and unless you were hitting that product page within seconds of it going live, you were ****ed. so I was ****ed. over and over.... and over again. Sure, 8-5 whilst working from home It's easy enough to have the discord open on another screen.... and yeah, telegram does an OK job at covering those other points in the day. But I quickly found that even this wasn't enough. You needed to be logged into your scan account as the capture security stuff would cause you to lose out... you needed to use cash (not a credit card) as any transaction approval would cause you to lose your basket. But most of all, you had to be ready...... At most, there would be 1 drop every couple of weeks, 14k ppl would hit the discord link, and maybe! maybe! Scan would have 30+ GPUs. It took weeks just to get to the product page and there actually be an option to 'add to basket'. I lost out twice due to using a credit card and at least twice to server errors. When I finally landed one, I can tell you it was the most stressful nerdy tech purchase experience of my life! ... It's a thing of beauty! minus that abomination of a 12pin power connector! *puke*. It arrived and I left it in the box (half-open) enjoying its splendor whilst I waited for the time I could start this build... well I got bored of waiting, drained MODZERO SEVEN, and swapped out my EK cooled 5700XT anniversary edition with the RTX3080 FE running on air. I made new cables (only as far as the adapter) and for a couple of weeks, when I could, I enjoyed the power and performance this GPU delivers. Two things, however. Mounted inverted, the FE cooler is horrid! it would spin up SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO loud even with a headset on you'd be thinking someone was parking a truck outside. Secondly, that 12pin is like taking a **** on the bonnet of a supercar. ... But something else was happening, MODZERO SEVEN runs a 700watt gold SFX PSU from Silverstone, up until very recently it was the very best they offer in that form factor. I fitted the 3080FE with the primary intention of finally finishing Half-Life ALYX! using Oculus Connect and the Quest 2 the 5800X paired with the 3080FE offered a MAXED out VR gaming experience which is, put frankly, INCREDIBLE! The world is full of only two types of people. Those who have experienced ALYX and everyone else. Problem was..... The PC would just turn off! not driver crash, not crash ALYX, it would die. Now I knew Nvidia claimed 750watts is needed for the 3080 but in all the years I've been a PC gamer I've never known a GPU to actually push those requirements. Nothing I could do would give me a stable experience so after at most, a couple of hours progress in-game and hours of troubleshooting. The 3080FE came out and went back in the box. ... So I did the sensible thing and sourced the solution! I've got some good shots coming up. So why call it SHOCK, it's not going to be one. I've no intention of pushing the boundaries... instead firmly taking aim at clean aesthetics and whats with the *? well let's get this started. ... I ordered the case with white panels, a black top, feet, and handle. I knew I'd use Noctua Chromax black fans and most everything else internally would be predominantly black. The XBOX is black and the PS5 Black and White. The S610, the one I ordered at least is black and white. I wanted a console experience but needed a distinction. I thought about the XBOX game pass on the PC as a platform then remembered this. ... This would be the color scheme for my console killer, and thus its controller and namesake. The Microsoft Xbox Shock Blue controller. I took a good look at all the blues MDPCX offered and went with Blue Carbon. The blue Noctua offer as bumpers on their Chromax products wasn't too far off the SHOCK shade of blue and I'd hoped to vinyl wrap the front panel on the S610. Really simple, no modding, just clean. So let's get to it. J.