This machine was loosely based Project RedRum, but scaled down to fit my budget and allow for room to grow down the road.
It is used for Gaming, 3D Animating, Modeling, Rendering and Image Processing. I went with an air cooling system and, as per RedRum, it was a push pull setup. More on that later. Otherwise I tried to stick close to MSI and Corsair brand pieces, hoping for ease of compatibility. Did I mention this was my first build of this scale and budget?
Mobo Super awesome and built for overclocking. Quality build, packaging and simply amazing. It even has a little digital readout that displays the processor temp. Which is handy if I'm playing in the dark and don't want to alt-tab out to check the general temp of things.
Proc WOW it's fast. Love it.
Paste Don't use it all. Learned that the hard way on a previous build. Just a dab. Smeared nicely with a business card.
Ram Love the corsair quality. Wish it matched the red thing I was going for but this was the speed ram that worked. I think the next step up would have required a different mobo and thus put me out of budget.
Cooling Ah the Corsair H100i GTX liquid cooling system. This was probably what I spent the most time thinking about and working with during the actual build. It comes with 2 fans, but I wanted another two for a push/pull. So I went with the corsair 120SP fans without the LEDs. The LED ones performed slightly less I recall, but it was negligible. SP because those are the fans that are suppose to be good when pressed against radiators. So I bought 4 of those and just took out the ones that came with it.
Now that H100i came with 4 6/32 screws that are long enough to go through the fan housing and into the radiator. I needed another 4 of those since I had two extra fans and they needed go mount into the case on the other side. I had to go to the hardware store for this. I forget the exact size, I think it was 1 1/4 inch 6/32, but I could be wrong. Just bring one of the long screws that came with the H100i to your local Hardware store and buy 4 of them.
Ok, so two fans on the bottom pushing air up, two fans on the top pull air out and through the top of my case. To get this working I had to get 2 PWM fan splitters. I plugged the push fans into CPUFAN1 header and the pull fans into CPUFAN2. Great. Setup that pump.
That pump has this USB plug that goes into a mobo header. But it's god awful ugly sticking out of the side of the pump like that. But nothing to be done I suppose since I want to make use of the corsair link. If you look at my pictures you can probably see the cable on the bottom of the H100i pump, right under the glowing red corsair logo. It also needs to be powered and apparently the USB isn't enough so I plugged that into the SYSFAN3 since the CPUFANs were already taken by the push/pull fans.
What is of note is that I didn't use the built in fan splitter that came attached to the H100i pump. With those fans plugged in there it seems that the pump makes noise more often, so I secured them down but otherwise them unused. Next thing with that pump is noise.
Turns out the H100i has some pump noise when turned on full blast. It's not enough to be heard if your fans are running at 100% so I assume I'll never really hear it anyway, but it's disappointing to learn that this model just has a little clicking sound when you turn it up past 75%. Maybe a more expensive model would be more quiet. But, like I said, if those fans are on 100% they get pretty loud, so the pump would be the least of my auditory annoyances.
Aside from that the H100i has been a solid performer. It keeps my proc nice and cool. At idle it runs about 28 degrees which I think is fantastic. Under load it runs around 43-45 degrees. I was also about to change the color to red, which is nice.
Case GREAT fricking case. It's much wider than I anticipated but that's because it just helps you make your build look better by hiding all the power cables in the back.
Fans I went with 3 of the Corsair 120SP Led fans. Love that look. Also replaced the back fan with a corsair 140AF. I only had 2 more fan heads so I used two more PWM splitters and 1 extender to connect the 3 in the front and 1 in the back. Now I have one left over.
HDs In the Corsair case there is this little rig of a bunch of SSDs. The fit in nicely and are otherwise hidden behind the mobo with all the power cables. The only built in place for older style HDs are the two hot swap connections on the bottom. Slapped them them, good to go.
Video Card One of the best cards I've ever had. It's amazing. If I ever really want to I can get another and run SLi, which would be nice but unnecessary at this time. The only, very small problem is that the card is so long that it covers my SYSFAN2 header. Since I have that sleeved y splitter there cuz I just HAD to have it sleeved, it won't bend enough to let the card seat without making scary sounds. So I put the video card in the secondary PCI slot, which is fine. If anyone out there knows where I can get a 90 degree PWM fan splitter cable, please let me know. ;)
Keyboard Well, it's true what they say, Once you go clack, you never go back.
Thanks for reading all that! Lemme know if you have any questions.