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Case Mod - In Progress NZXT Lexa -Experimental Modyssey - June 5 - new CCFL, lighting question

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by ModMinded, 24 Oct 2008.

  1. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    OK Pics sorted... upgraded to pro.
     
  2. jhanlon303

    jhanlon303 The Keeper of History

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    Curse of the successful! :wallbash::wallbash: Welcome back with the pics.:thumb:

    john
     
  3. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    Slight Diversion - PC Parts Pr0n

    Thanks John! :D
    And to celebrate.... I have a big announcement (well for me, anyways!)...
    New Hardware, New OS, New Pics!!! :clap:

    As you probably know, I spent some time DLing the beta Windows 7 and installing it.
    I had the system out of the case for this (as I do regularly, so I can keep working on the Lexa)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It looks pretty... and runs smoothly, though I haven't done much with it besides check my Windows Experience Score and play with a few settings.
    [​IMG]

    Since I hadn't installed Vista before, I was impressed with the look and the ease of install. It looks promising, now I have some time to see how nicely it plays with other stuff...

    BUT WAIT... There's MORE! :hehe:

    [​IMG]
    Why yes, that is 4GB of OCZ Reaper DDR2 PC8500 RAM in my pocket, and yes, I am happy to see you. :p

    The observant hardware geeks may be scratching their heads, wondering why I would get such RAM, when it won't run on this Mobo you're used to seeing...

    It's cause of this...
    [​IMG]
    Yep, I got a new mobo... ASUS P5KPL-CM mATX form factor, socket 775.
    Standard unboxing:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    That's a six inch ruler for size comparison. oh, it's so small and cute... :blush:
    Again, let me anticipate the nerdy naysayers among us who have been keeping a diligent eye on my hardware... yes, I know it won't run the AMD X2 3800+ cpu you've seen here... and that's because... it isn't meant to! (whattya think I am, someone who doesn't read manuals?)

    [​IMG]
    oooohhhhh... what's in the box?
    [​IMG]
    That there, my fine friends, is the most expensive single piece of PC hardware I've ever purchased. While not exactly bleeding edge, it is a huge step up for me. For those that have been watching the Sales threads, Greensabbath was selling an extra QX9650 cpu at a great deal. After much internal debate and a few PMs, I agreed to buy it, and picked it up this afternoon from him. Thanks Nick! (there goes the budget for the foreseeable future!)
    He threw in the stock cooler, which came with thermal goo already on it.
    [​IMG]
    I installed it as is, though I was tempted to wipe it clean and spread some thinly across the entire surface. What do you think? I'll see how the temps look after stress testing it, and decide if it's needed at this point.

    Put it all together, take some arty farty shots:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And then install Vista! (Yep, I said Vista... Work hooked me up with one so I can do some testing. Unfortunately it's the business edition, so I don't get access to the Media Center stuff.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I plan on installing the windows 7 beta on a separate partition for a dual boot, just to see what's what. I can already tell from my limited experience with them that the windows 7 looks nicer.

    So... I spent way more money than I should have, but I took a nice big step up in hardware capability. I'm still bottlenecked by the graphics, and may have been better served by spending that money on a nice vid card... but oh well, it was such a deal. I got the cheapest mATX board I could find that would max out the RAM and CPU, and the RAM was on sale with a rebate for a can't miss price, so while I'll be eating rice and beans for a while, I'm pretty happy with it. Onboard video on the asus sucks (Vista scored it a 1, but when I put the EVGA GT7950 card in the score plumps up to a very respectable 5.7 (bottleneck at the HD, everything else is 5.9)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Now... as it turns out... ALL OF THE ABOVE is OFF-TOPIC... :sigh:
    I don't want to put this in the LEXA case, since the main reason for all the UV goodness was that mobo, so it will stay there for the foreseeable future, and don't you worry, it will get completed.
    This setup will be the base for a future project, and for right now, I'm going to use it as my main gaming rig and workstation (dangit... forgot to save money for new games :() So I'll install it somewhere bland and boring, and look at it from time to time and ponder... :)
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2009
  4. tominated

    tominated What's a Dremel?

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    i got that mobo for a pc i built for my grandparents! looks like you're putting it to better use!
     
  5. InferiorPlanets

    InferiorPlanets Worshiping the SilverStonehengeā„¢

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    hmmmmm... stock heatsink.... The last time I used one was back in :worried: 98... ouch! I'm getting old.

    How do you like your RAM? I may (or may not: damn thieving b*****ds at the military postal service) be getting that in my mailbox soon. I ordered that along with the rest of my rig when I got the refund for the last $2500 I loaned to NewEgg for a shipment that never came.

    Now I have about $3k floating around in the postal system with NewEgg and Tiger Direct. Hopefully TD will actually ship my gear here. We're all of the opinion that NewEgg just lets our $ produce interest and doesn't actually ship our orders. It's kinda funny that they don't seek proof before giving us our refunds. :eyebrow:

    OK, rant over.
     
  6. modsquad

    modsquad Grease Monkey Undergraduate..

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  7. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Nice new RAM mate, and the rest of the gear lol. This just means you gotta do a new mod to accommodate your new gear, HTPC perhaps ;). Keep up the good work.
     
  8. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    lol, thanks for the comments tominated. It's a budget mobo, but it looks like it'll work well. Did you set it up with IDE drives? I was having one irritating problem where it would keep saying there was not IDE Master, and then pausing until I hit F1, even though I'd set the board to SATA only and disabled the IDEs. I tried a few different configs, but finally just told it not to halt on that error. Works fine otherwise. I haven't dled a new bios (or checked the web) so maybe that might resolve it.

    Don't look down on the stock heatsinks... (Ok, yeah you can, but just for now.) Budgeting's a biatch. :grr:
    The RAM is great! I think it looks cool, though it is pretty high profile. I'll see how it performs. Should be highly overclockable (like the CPU) when I get to that stage.
    Sucks to hear about your difficulty with newegg or should I say postal service. Does stuff really go missing that often? That's a lot of expensive hardware heading your way. You can drop it off here when you come to pick me up for the crawfish road trip... (or better yet, just have them ship it to me! :hehe:)

    Don't be sad... you've got some fantastic hardware and modding going on over there!
    I'm liking win7. It was a breeze to set up dual boot with vista... I have high hopes for it. As you can tell by the hardware, I'm not exactly a bleeding edge guy (or haven't been.) This beta is the first OS beta I've tried, so I hope it'll work nicely with what I already have in terms of software.


    Thanks man! Yep... this definitely means I must mod more (and perhaps faster :lol:) I would like a nice HTPC/Gaming PC. The small size of this board makes me dizzy with options. I've got at least 3 mod ideas I've been wanting to do, so this will be used somewhere, somehow, sometime... and hopefully with some coolness! :D

    So... some questions: I dled speedfan and hwmonitor and prime95. I was running about 47-50C idle, and that popped quickly up to 100C when running prime95. That seems a bit high... wouldn't you say? I stopped the test at this point, and have to find out more abou the ideal temps for this chip, but can't imagine it being more than 90C... Temps dropped quickly once the test stopped.
    I'm not sure if I should go with the original plan of fresh thermal paste instead of as I received it and pictured it above. Non-stock cooling is out of the picture for a while, but it wouldn't hurt to relap the heatsink and reapply a nice thin layer of grease.

    EDIT - A quick search online shows that the the word seems to be 65 as the usual recommended Max for this cpu... so somethings' not right. /Edit
    I've been doing the case shuffle, trying to find a case to put the old gaming rig in and having difficulty fitting the Rocket cpu cooler in. Finally found a case that had hooks instead of risers/screw holes that would fit it, but the psu mount is some totally non-standard crap. I'm doing this so I can run the new hardware in my other 'nice' case, a Nzxt Trinity with a premade window and some lights.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2009
  9. spenc259

    spenc259 in the build stage!!!

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    well done on th nw hardware MM. your right having a budget is defo restricting...

    im having same probs on my rig with the temps! but they are not going that high! i always panic if th tmps are high as th ambient room temps in scotland are generaly not high.. it is usually freezing after all!! anyway hope u get it sorted man..
     
  10. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    You can use the new board. Say it with me:

    -Neon - green - motherboard - cover-:D
     
  11. Mino

    Mino Ganzerli Mino

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    Wow, new hardware!
    Maybe in future I'll buy new items, but now I need some money :-(
    anyway, I'll try windows 7 asap, I'm curious!
     
  12. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    Oh to be wealthy and not have to worry about piddling things like cost... :lol:
    Yeah that's a worry for me. I think today I'll disassemble and reapply.
    QUESTION- Can anyone tell me more about this bracket retention mechanism for the stock intel cooler? The manual says to pop them in with the narrow part of the groove sticking out (which I did). There's little arrows on top that say turn, but I think thats just if I want to remove them. Anything special needed to be done after just popping them in (diagonally)?

    :lol: Actually I was thinking along those lines as well.... Maybe version 2 of the Lexa. :dremel: For now I just need it working and in a case. :)

    Hey Mino, thanks for comments and welcome to the log. Yeah, I recommend the beta... I'm liking it.
     
  13. 500mph

    500mph The Right man in the Wrong place

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    I hate the stock Intel cooler mechanism. They should all be popped in and not be able to pull out of the back. Make sure that the black part with the arrow is pushed all the way down though. It may require some extreme pressure though. Mount the heatsink on the board outside of the case if you can, to make sure the white bits went all the way through the hole.
    That is some nice hardware.
     
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  14. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    Thanks for the tips and and comments 500mph! Very helpful. I think it's pretty much all the way through. I did it outside of the case just on the board, and got a little nervous with all the creaking the board was making. But I did check the backside and made sure the little white prongs were through.

    I'm in the garage now, and have finally figured out how to use the router to my advantage. Update and pics to come later this evening. :)
     
  15. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    Router Table Experiments

    I was able to borrow the router table and a few bits from the library this weekend, and I went to work on experimenting with it. i've never used a router or router table, but had watched a couple episodes of New Yankee Workshop about it, and read up a little. I figured it was time to see what it was really all about.

    As I mentioned above, I've been wanting to set up something so it is quick and easy to make duplicate pieces. So what I did was draw out the dimensions of my I/O slot covers and drive rails for the 3.5 and 5" drive bays on some graph paper. I made a copy and cut out the pieces with a razor and glued em to some scrap wood I had. I used a tablesaw to chop them roughly into shape.

    [​IMG]
    Since I had the table saw already set to the close approximate size for the 3.5 bay rails, I sliced up a few practice pieces of blue plex and some of my favorite neon green.
    [​IMG]
    The red stuff on the bottom is that 3M doublesided tape. I used it to attach the piece I wanted to cut.
    [​IMG]
    See how much space I have to hold onto it there, keeping my fingers safely out of the way of the bits? Highly Recommended! :thumb:

    [​IMG]
    This pic really shows how it works. The bearing runs along the face of the wood template, and cuts the plexi below.
    [​IMG]
    I just like the lines on this one. :D

    It worked out pretty well with the blue, so I stuck on the green. BTW, this tape is pretty awesome. I used just a little bit, and was able to stick and restick quite a few pieces. Eventually the stickiness weakened, so I had to use some more, but overall it worked out better than I thought it would.
    [​IMG]

    Action Shot!
    [​IMG]
    You can see a chunk of the green being trimmed off.

    What I ended up with was a set of nicely sized pieces:
    [​IMG]
    I didn't realize that the floppy drive bay rails stopped shorter than the HD rails.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This last pic is really just to show one of the purposes I had in mind for them. I was planning on using them to mount stuff, having the holes go through the spaces in the drive cage as you can see. Other pieces are just decorative, which is funny when you consider my plan for the HD cage involves an opaque front. ;)

    Other experiments were done using the chamfer and ogee (?) bits.. Not as successful with this size of plexi. I'm sure it would work great with larger pieces as a nice edging effect but with this small size, I kept cutting away some of the base and losing stability. There was also a bit of a gap between the router insert and the table, so I kept bumping it and wiggling the cuts, so edges were not as smooth as I wanted.
    [​IMG]

    As you can see I made quite a mess today. :lol:
    [​IMG]

    Still have to trim down the other templates, then I can make the other pieces as well. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the router work. There is still a bunch of smoothing to be done, which might be avoidable with a better table (ie a smooth faced one.)
     
  16. headala

    headala What's a Dremel?

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    could you show us the pieces resulting from the experiments with the chamfer and other bits? I would like to see them, even if they're not perfect. Thank!
     
  17. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    Hey 500mph, your advice really helped. I just took a look and on one of the corners, the cooler brackets inner black pin wasn't fully down through the white piece, resulting in an uneven pressure on the cpu.
    I've since removed it, cleaned it up with some alcohol and goof off, and reapplied. It's showing much more reasonable temps, but check out the pic... SpeedFan and HWMonitor are about 10deg off from each other! WTF :confused:
    [​IMG]
    (this is with Prime95 running... they're both below the 65deg mark however, so I'm happy. :D)

    Sure thing headala (and thanks for the post), they're the last 2 pics in the above post. I'll get some closer pics up soon.
     
  18. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    the blueheaded stepchildren

    Headala, this is for you:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With flash:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    My main problem is how uneven the cut is. As you can see there're a lot of lines there where the bit kind of 'skittered' across the piece. I'm blaming it on the pieces (being so thin) and the table's little circular insert around the router bit. It was just a fraction of an inch shorter than the surrounding table, so every pass I made would stop as I bumped it, and then have to be jiggled over the lip (I tried using tape underside to even it up, but couldn't find my duct tape :(. It didn't help that after one side was passed through, there was just a thin edge along the top to help me guide it as I ran the other side through.

    Like I said previously, I think these bits would work great on a bigger piece (wider, not thicker, tho that would work as well). One of the things I was thinking of doing with it would be a mobo tray for the new mobo. I'm sure either of those bits would look a lot better on the edge. (but it's too late now to do it without bugging the neighbors, plus, I've already cleaned up! :lol:
     
  19. The boy 4rm oz

    The boy 4rm oz Project: Elegant-Li

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    Nice work on the plexi pieces, they fit perfectly.
     
  20. ModMinded

    ModMinded Are you throwing that away?

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    Thanks man!

    [Self Congratulation]
    I was just gonna edit my previous post, but I just have to say... I'm loving this new hardware... Running prime95 with all cores at 100%, I'm still able to easily copy pics from the camera, upload (having to dl and install flash and java to do so) post, and surf with NO problems of slowness or stuttering, or whatever...
    :rock:
    [/Self Congratulation]
     

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