On my first build (midicus) I talked a little bit about the crappy case I had. Well, I got rid of it allong with a couple other things.
The main goal of me doing this was to be a midway point between my old build and my next major performance upgrade while making sure all of my options are open when I do upgrade, and right now I can upgrade just about any part to just about any part with little to no reconfiguring. Mission accomplished B ) plus Im giving a little more about my periferials instead of just the tower.
NEW PARTS: This cooler is pretty awesome. I love the design of Zalman coolers and this is no exception. Idle my temps are 6-8c above ambient and with prime95 full blast it barely got up to 50c (with the chip at 4ghz). It is also light enough that it does not need a back plate.
AS5, no explanation needed really, I considered getting a thermal paste that benchmarks the same and doesn't have a ridiculous burn in time but they are considerably more expensive for considerably less paste.
The corsair spec 01 is a great case, definitely worth the price. It has almost everything you would expect in a $100+ case but just slightly turned down (like for example, it has good cable management options but doesn't have the fancy rubber covers in the holes and could use a tad more space behind the motherboard to rout cables)
I currently have all 4 of these fans at full blast and they can be drowned out by a medium hum (and my head is 2ft away), so for less than $10 each on amazon I would call that a win. Be warned though, if you buy these fans to put some light in your case you will probably be disappointed, though they do give a nice soft light out of the front.
the hard drive doesn't really fit with the whole getting ready for a big performance upgrade thing, but the 2tb drive it replaced was giving me the click of death so I had to :/
LIGHTS!: I wanted blue front case fans to replace the red (because I like blue), but the case had red accents, so I either had to change the accents, leave them clashing with the blue, or have something else be red with them. Also, the side panel is tinted just enough that without lights you cant really see much, but that also makes the lights look better because it takes the harsh brightness out of them. So what I was thinking about doing was putting in the blue leds and getting the cm gemanai iii ($30) and use the original case fan on the cpu cooler. Then I started looking at stuff and found the thermaltake riing fans ($20) and wanted one of those on it. That would be $50 for a cooler rated for 95w tdp -_- . So I scrapped that and found this nice zalman cooler and found that it had good potential to tie in the red accents (plus I had been looking for an excuse to try a zalman cooler because I love the designs)
The leds themselves are cheap all purpose strips that you can easily find by searching "waterproof led strip", they come in rolls of 300 and to make shorter pieces there is a cut line every 3 leds that you can solder leads to, everything is in parallel and polarity does matter.
there are 12 leds on the cooler, 6 on the top behind the zalman logo (with some toilet paper glued over it to diffuse the light) and 6 on the bottom back making that cool splash effect. they are being powered by the 12v line to the fan in parallel with the fan so that it does not cause a voltage drop.
there are 24 blue leds in the case, 6 on the top between the cooler and 5.whatever" drive bays, 6 on the bottom in the same place and the rest are in between the psu and the back fan on the side.
OLD STUFF: the cpu/motherboard are working well together still at 4ghz, it takes less than 30 seconds to go from power off to the desktop (if I'm paying attention to put in my username and password immediately) so no complaints with the new hdd, the only thing that tried to die is the old hdd.
the keyboard is pretty good for something that was probably packaged with a random dell computer. The mouse isn't bad, it fits my grip well and has a good sensitivity, but the scroll wheel is a bit inaccurate and sometimes will go back a little when you take your finger off the wheel (I think I got it like 2 years ago for $6)
The dss is very nice, the virtual surround sound is good for games and movies, but for music it sounds kinda like you're in a large cave. I also use it as a dac/headphone amp for casual listening for 3 reasons, its better than my sound card, analogue volume control, and analogue wheel for bass boost (a well done bass boost at that). I listen to a lot of different types of music so these headphones's relatively flat signature is good for me (if I want to change something I either use the bass boost on the dss or use an eq) and the detail is amazing, highly recommended. the speakers you see have hardly been used since I got these headphones. (the same time as my graphics card, a year ago in July) although the dss is a recent addition.
TODO: Fan controller - What I've heard is that all of the cheap fan controllers are crap, so I'm just going to get a $7 pwm motor controller (rated 2A 14V from an extremely well reviewed company, seriously, for $7), drill a hole for the pot in the 5.whatever" drive bay, and connect all of the fans to that.
psu shroud - probably gonna just make one out of cardboard, put masking tape on the seams and spray paint it matte black.
find a new used monitor (my good used monitor died and now I'm on my crappy backup used monitor)
set aside money for a performance upgrade- yeah!
Looking forward to all of the comments, if you have any questions please ask. Sorry, the pictures are kinda potatoey.