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Build Advice Z-Machine successor - NCase M1 [Brainstorm phase] Input wanted

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by JaccoW, 3 Jun 2014.

  1. JaccoW

    JaccoW Overspender on keyboards

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    As my current PC is starting to show its age and frankly, outdated by now (see specs in sig; E8400 +P35) I have been thinking about upgrading this year.

    So when the NCase M1 showed up on my screen I decided I needed it and thus a build was born. (pre-ordered it)
    [​IMG]

    The case is compatible with water cooling but a Mini-ITX case needs some care picking the various parts to make everything fit. And while the hardware is not fixed yet I have until august/September to decide on what to put in there as the case won’t be shipped until that date.

    Budget: €1000 for hardware + €500 for the watercooling (?)
    EDIT: I can possibly extend that to €2000
    Peripherals such as screen, keyboard (ha!) and mouse are not necessary.

    Main uses of intended build: This case will be my daily driver that I use for things like gaming, streaming video through Mezzmo DLNA media server and probably for my dad to do some video editing on.
    Though I was planning to use my old pc with an upgraded processor, a Q9550, as a media server since that one has a lot more room for discs.

    Previous build information: See sig:
    Monitor resolution: I am currently using a 24” 1920x1200 screen. I might upgrade to 2560 x 1440 screen in the future.

    Storage requirements: I am currently using roughly 2TB in data. But I would like to just use a 500GB SSD + 4TB HDD and offload part of that data to a central NAS in the house turning my old pc into said NAS. :p

    I think the SSD + HDD should fit, but if not I don’t mind putting the HDD in an eSata enclosure and sticking that underneath the desk.

    Overclocking: Yes

    Extra information about desired system: I am aiming for a quiet water cooled build in a compact chassis. The idea is to minimize the clutter on my desk and just have a small case, keyboard, mouse and a set of stereo speakers on there.

    My desk currently looks a bit like this with the monitor on a platform.
    [​IMG]
    Now this is an old pic and with a reel-to-reel standing right next to the case (yes, that little thing is a 24”screen ;) ) and a printer on top of the receiver on the left it’s getting crowded.

    I want to liberate some desk space.

    Current Hardware plans
    Mobo: Asus Maximus VII Impact (Z97, though the VI Z87 predecessor is fine as well)
    CPU: Intel i7 4790K (though that one is on the fence as it might blow my budget.) Intel Core i5-4690K
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 770 (or whatever else is cool by then)
    RAM: Unknown, probably 16GB of Corsair ram
    Storage: 1x 500GB SSD + 1x 3,5" 4TB HDD
    Extra’s: I’ll probably blow another €50 on sleeving every cable
    Silverstone PP05-E

    Cooling: This is where it gets interesting and I need your advice. I was planning to watercool both the CPU/chipset and the GPU. I was thinking of either a single 240 radiator on the side with an external reservoir and a pump on the bottom or perhaps adding another 120 radiator on the bottom of the case if there is enough space.

    If that is going to blow my budget I might go for watercooling my CPU and keeping the GPU aircooled for now.

    Again, I have no experience watercooling so I will run this list past you boys and girls again when it is getting clearer.

    Inspiration:
    Finally, here is some inspiration from the previous people who assembled these cases and what is possible with them.
    Gallery

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Using Apogee Drive II, Magicool radiator, FrozenQ M1 res
    [​IMG]
    120mm radiator + 240mm radiator w/slim fans, ATX PSU, Swiftech Apogee Drive II, FrozenQ M1 res
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 5 Jun 2014
  2. JaccoW

    JaccoW Overspender on keyboards

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    After some more reading through the original thread it seems like the dual radiator setup was a proof of concept but it is too cramped to make it work comfortably.

    However, most people do 50-60C on a single 240 rad and that is a perfectly acceptable temperature. There is plenty of ventilation in this case. The biggest problem is excess cable but I am familiar with cutting down cables to size.
    Besides, I don't mind having a bit of noise when I am playing a game. But when I am doing nothing special like browsing I don't want to hear much more than a whisper of fans.

    What do you think about the rest of the components though?
    Any ideas on the pc hardware itself?
     
  3. JaccoW

    JaccoW Overspender on keyboards

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    Alright, so let's leave the watercooling out of it for now.

    The i5-4590 is a more affordable alternative but we are talking about a 3.3-3.7 Ghz vs. the I7-4790K 4-4.4 Ghz @ stock. That's quite a difference I believe.

    A good processor with an upper midrange GPU should be more than enough for the next few years. From what I've read it won't be until the end of this year or perhaps even next year that the newest GPUs from AMD and Nvidia will be available right?
     
  4. WiSK

    WiSK New Member

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    Jrs77 - guessing you've never water-cooled in a small case before. Water cooling really excels here exactly because it moves the heat from the cramped and congested insides, to the outside, in an efficient way. Single 240mm rad is fine for single CPU + single GPU. Plenty of people cooling their M1 like this getting acceptable temps and overclocking headroom. Sure it's not going to be like 40C at load, but well under stock air solutions.

    It's understandable - lots of people find this idea counterintuitive. The best example was Phuncz on [H] who started with aircooling his rig:

    ... then few weeks later ...

    :D
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2014
  5. JaccoW

    JaccoW Overspender on keyboards

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    Thanks WiSK I was looking for that piece of data. Watercooling is doable and even preferable in a case like this. :D

    @JRS77: After some searching I guess you mean the i5-4690K. That one does save me $100 so that's a good option. Better clocks too.

    So, what about RAM? We've got two slots and a maximum of 16GB I think.
     
  6. JaccoW

    JaccoW Overspender on keyboards

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    You don't have to bother with it. But I do. It's an experiment as well, the fun of building a water cooler case.

    I just spent well over €300 (much more I'm afraid, but I'm trying to make a point) on a Korean custom mechanical keyboard that is being assembled right now. You could say that I could have gone for a €100 keyboard and get similar performance or even just €15 on a simple rubber dome but that is missing the point.
    When finished, it will be a work of art sitting on my desk and one of maybe 50 in the world. And all the trouble I went through for it has been part of the fun.

    Now I am not swimming in money but if I allocate money to the main hardware and a part to watercooling I don't mind people showing me cheaper options but I do mind it when they keep telling me I am doing it wrong and their cheaper option is just as good.
    It isn't.

    I prefer the more expensive option for more reasons than just raw performance.
     
  7. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    Soon™
     
  8. JaccoW

    JaccoW Overspender on keyboards

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    The Man, the Legend, The Maker! Margon! :rock:
     
  9. WiSK

    WiSK New Member

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    I'm looking at Crucial Ballistix Sport at the moment, due to the low profile. I don't know if they overclock well, but RAM speed not so important since Sandy Bridge.
     
  10. JaccoW

    JaccoW Overspender on keyboards

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    I knew I recognized you from somewhere. :D
    Welcome to Bit-tech ;)
     
  11. mansueto

    mansueto Too broke to mod

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  12. JaccoW

    JaccoW Overspender on keyboards

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    Thanks for the heads up Mansueto. The M1 already comes with a SFX psu from Silverstone.
    And I have heard of those before. There should be a 600W version in development as well but nobody knows when it will be available. Maybe Computex can shed some light on that.

    Alternatively I could also simply shorten the cables myself.

    EDIT: I thought it came with that PSU but it seems like it doesn't.
    EDIT2: 600W version confirmed
     
    Last edited: 4 Jun 2014
  13. JaccoW

    JaccoW Overspender on keyboards

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    Read about 50 pages of the thread over at [H]ardforum and got quite a bit of inspiration.

    Since Bit-Tech doesn't seem to support Tables I'll just do it like this:
    [​IMG]

    So here is the idea:
    - Budget can be stretched to €2000
    - With a different bracket it could be possible to mount both a SSD as well as a HDD (2.5" of course) to the inside of the front panel just behind the Blu-Ray. > Further research required
    - Some items, such as the CPU block and the Samsung SSD are just there to have an idea about pricing
    - I might switch to a cheaper motherboard and as such need a different CPU block. This would easily save another €100 together.
    - Another idea is to put an extra radiator on the bottom as well and mount the fans on the outside, underneath the case (Not enough space for the fans inside. Not my idea, but tempting) This would make it necessary to use higher feet and probably special fittings > Further research required

    Seems like I am already coming awfully close to the budget. Though I could spread this out over a few months... or work a bit more this summer :D

    Does anyone have a good place to start reading about tubing, fittings and flow?
     
  14. JaccoW

    JaccoW Overspender on keyboards

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    Right so, after some rummaging around I came to the conclusion that a Swiftech Apogee Drive II was probably a much easier, more compact and overall cheaper solution so the full cover block went out.

    Looking around for Reservoirs I came across the really nice looking Aquatube
    [​IMG]

    It's an oldie but a goodie with five G1/4 holes that can be mounted in a number of ways.
    Downside? No external mount available, just bay mounts and a plate to mod it into a case. Not an option with this one as there is just not enough space inside.
    [​IMG]
    So I am currently designing a mount that can fit onto the 80/92mm fan outlet on the back. While still letting through air. :)
     

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