Description

I just updated the pictures!

About the build: This was originally intended as a mid-range bang-for-the-buck gaming build, and first included a GTX 660, no SSD, no fan controller, and only the stock cooler. For reference, that was in early 2014. Aesthetics were a pretty big challenge from the start as I never picked any of my parts with color coordination in mind. After switching to the all-black 290X from SFX and installing the triton expandable AIO things started to look quite a bit better. Using a bit of blue tape and a cable extension to hide the hideous mustard cables from EVGA's power supply I was able to get this system looking like a proper piece of custom work.

As time passed I turned more towards 3D rendering and video editing, and while the quad-core i5 is perfectly fine for games it was starting to be a bit of a bottleneck. Rather than going with a new mobo and CPU, I instead got this beefy cooler and overclocked the chip as far as i could.

You'll also notice the PCPP list does not only include parts for the rig, but actually every single item my setup is composed of. This is for personal reference as much as it is to establish what type of hardware can be acquired for a $1700-2000 budget. I believe the PC alone comes out to around $989, which while still OK now was an absolutely amazing deal not so long ago.

Some of the issues I've had: Acoustics have been a problem from the start. Before I added a fan controller my motherboard would still blast the fans when set to the lowest possible speed. As a result, even when all my parts were near-silent the computer would still make a good bit of noise. Not like a jet engine, but an incessant woosh. Once I bought the 290x (which I am very happy with) I also upgraded my power supply and troubles started again. Not only was the 24 pin cable a disgusting mess of orange red and yellow (despite clearly being black on the site I bought it from) but that PSU is ridiculously loud. I don't have a dB meter available but that thing produces at least a constant 30 to 40 decibels. Even under load it is the loudest part in my system.

Overclocking the i5 was also a bit of a disappointment. I never approached unsafe temperatures, however even at high voltage the thing refuses to go above 4.4GHz. It is currently using 1.290v. The GPU was more of the same. I never expected huge margins but i could hardly squeeze an extra 80MHz out of it (with asic quality at 77%). While the chip couldn't take a major speed increase, I was able to decrease voltage by 6%. A modest drop, but enough to make a difference in fan speed under load.

Cable management is obviously a real struggle with the majority of ITX cases, and while the 250D is definitely roomy it includes no cable management AT ALL. There are some spots to tie things down at the bottom and front but it is impossible to route cables under the mobo or through the side if a radiator is installed, meaning all cables have to cross right over it. I was able to partially work around this by routing all cables except the 24pin through an empty HDD cage from the back to the front. The fact this power supply came with extra extra long cables did nothing to help, and the sleeved extension made things even worse. While the motherboard area is now very clean the case's basement is a real spaghettifest.

The radiator was too thick, requiring me to remove the bottom bracket and push it right up against the motherboard's side. The tubes were also far too long and kinked very easily. I drove to Microcenter to buy some tubes, and it turned out the triton does not use a common type. I bought the closest size they sold and worked with that. The tubes (from primochill) were very flexible and kept their shape even in tight bends, unfortunately they were also slightly too thick. I was able to tighten the fittings after an enormous amount of struggle, but got blisters on my fingertips and lost skin a few days later... I haven't had any sign of leakage ever since and the tubes do not appear to be slipping out of their fittings, so I would say it was still a success after all.

While I'm at it, here is a picture showing the evolution of my setup: http://imgur.com/od2vUTP

Comments

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

I like it when you said the basement is "a real spaghettifest". Can't wait to see the cable management on this one.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

I just updated the pictures (my good camera wasn't available so I had to clean them up a bit on lightroom). You'll get a beautiful view, believe me.

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Using a bit of blue tape and a cable extension to hide the hideous mustard cables from EVGA's power supply I was able to get this system looking like a proper piece of custom work.

EVGA doesn't use that for their fully modular PSUs

  • 48 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi mate, first of all, congrats for the config. Secondly.... i have the same box, the obsidian 250d, and i want other cpu cooler, now, i have the noctua lh9i, and the temperatures are high... what cooler do you recommend me? In Spain the Raijintek Tritus 100.5 not exist, only the tritus, with radiator with this dimension: 275x120x32 mm... is compatible? I have h87n-wifi and 4770k. Thanks for you time, and congrats!!

  • 48 months ago
  • 2 points

Well, first I would recommend getting a liquid cooling system, as the 250D limits the height of an air cooler a lot. Secondly, any cooler will fit as long as the fan + radiator do not exceed a thickness of 5.6cm or 5.7 at the very most. I personally had to remove the mounting plate for the fans on the side so I could fit the radiator under the side panel. It will NOT fit with the plate/bracket attached, so it will be held only from the top side, which is still strong enough. Thirdly, while the Triton will fit (it is exactly 5.7cm thick and 240mm format), you will need to buy softer tubes from a custom watercooling seller like EK, primochill, etc... The tubes on the Triton are long and rigid, and will bend too sharply in a small case. This is true for any other cooler. You must make sure the tubes are either very flexible or replaceable like on the Triton. My version of the Triton came with a fan controller built-in, but if yours does not I recommend buying one as well. Good luck on your upgrade!

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