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Build

Fractal Design Define S (Retired)

by mtrapuzz

114
114 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

Nov. 6, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

4GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

38.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.07GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

36.0° C

Description

This build is used for work (modeling and simulation) and gaming if I get time. I like tinkering with things, so I enjoy the build process and tried to make it visually appealing as well as functional.

This build was featured on Fractal Design's website:

http://www.fractal-design.com/home/definesmoddingseries

Customization:

-RGB LED lighting:

-Power supply enclosure:

-Black sleeved cables

-Custom cable combs

-360 radiator to 420 fan bracket

-240 radiator to 280 fan bracket

-Custom hard lines for water cooling

-Black PCI slot covers

-Sound damping in the front cover

-Modified air flowing moduvents

-Custom DDC pump bracket

The base price for the parts that went into this build is shown in an image. I saved about $350 on this build at the time.

Part Reviews

CPU

A quad core processor with overclocking abilities was enough for me. I got this as part of a CPU + motherboard combo.

Motherboard

This is a great motherboard. It has lots of nice features and I like how it looks. I got this as part of a motherboard + CPU combo.

Memory

This ram is fast, and to me is the best looking as well.

Storage

Sandisk is a very reputable company. I do photography as a hobby, and I use Sandisk cards; they have never let me down. I didn't need much space as I keep all my music and pictures on external storage.

Storage

This is a compact drive that doesn't make much heat or noise. I just use this to store a few things locally on my PC.

Video Card

I future-proofed my build with this card. I spent more money to have one of the best cards out there, instead of doing an SLI. I have never done SLI, but from the research I have done, it is better to go with one card instead of two. Power consumption is low, and I didn't have to buy multiple GPU blocks. Future-proofing the card assures that my watercooling set-up won't need to change for a long time. I can always get another one of these down the road and SLI it, but for now it runs anything I throw at it without breaking a sweat.

Case

I believe a case is the most important part in any build because you see it all the time and it ties everything together. Therefore, I don't really spare any expense when it comes to cases, but luckily this one was really cheap. There are some better cases out there that I myself probably like better (Lian Li PC-08), but they all come with too many downsides. The Define S really has no draw-backs. I believe this case is the best bang-for-buck water cooling case out there right now. It is compact enough, yet you can fit multiple radiators, pumps, reservoirs etc. I don't think there is another case out there that meets my requirements as this one does.

Power Supply

This is the best power supply I have had. The active/passive fan control is an great feature. It is the highest power rating platinum supply from Seasonic that is still in the small form factor. This allowed me to add another 140mm fan in the bottom of my case.

Case Fan

These are great fans: quiet, good looking, and capable of moving air.

Monitor

This is an awesome looking monitor with all kinds of neat features. It is an IPS monitor that does 4k at 60hz with really good response times.

Mouse

This is the best mouse I have used so far. It feels really good in my hand, and is very sturdy. It's sleek and isn't covered in a ridiculous amount of buttons.

Comments Sorted by:

jambii420 1 Build 8 points 32 months ago

Woaaah awesome loop man! Love the chrome fittings.

The colors in this build are perfect too you did a fantastic job with the lighting

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Thanks.

madurham84 3 Builds 7 points 32 months ago

Awesome, totally getting joker vibes! +1

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

Thanks.

GuruGames 5 points 32 months ago

This is an amazing looking build man! The colors look great together and I'm loving the custom water cooling loop. Definitely one of my favorite PC builds I have ever seen :)

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 5 points 32 months ago

Thanks a lot. The lighting is actually RGB, but have been liking the purple lately.

riomist 3 points 32 months ago

Such a Beauty! But uh... are you sure you dont wanna throw a mechanical drive in there? Anyway, what OS you're using?

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

I have one in the back. I will upload an image of the back later. Using Windows 7

jcurrier06 2 points 32 months ago

why not upgrade to 10, im sorta new to this and peoples OS ranges from 7 to 10. Why not use the newest version?

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

I use a lot of software that probably wouldn't work with 10.

shmattymcfatty 2 Builds 3 points 32 months ago

Awesome build! hopefully your the next featured build.

philphaser 12 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

How could this not be featured? What is wrong with pcp? Do they pick their featured builds by random generator these days?

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Haha, thanks. It only matters that you like it.

I think some of the over-the-top stuff they choose not to feature, just because it doesn't really apply to most people. I think PCP is (like every other business anywhere) looking out for their best interest, which would be featuring builds that people the majority of PC builders would see and could "copy." They do this because it would allow a person to track prices of parts like AIO coolers and things that PCP allows you to track. This would get traffic up on their website unlike when someone decides to use custom built pieces and things that PCP doesn't track. Someone trying to emulate a more custom build would not benefit PCP website traffic because you can't track some of the parts. Anyway, I don't really know if that makes sense, but I am sure you understand what I am getting at.

And I'm not saying they don't ever feature over-the-top builds, but they probably don't do it as often.

Thanks for the support though, haha.

philphaser 12 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Featured Spot should be reserved for pure awesomeness! Everything else is a travesty!

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Well, thanks for the confidence booster, haha. It was a good bit of work to get it to where it is now.

philphaser 12 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

And that should be rewarded! I'm tired of mediocre builds on the featured spot!

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks.

Philk3D 3 points 32 months ago

Sick build! Love the Joker's theme man. I bought the Define S myself, can't wait to work on it as soon as I get everything, this case puts to shame a lot of competition, even it's bigger brothers. I'm glad to hear you feel the Castor feels good and sturdy, I'm waiting for mine soon. Fantastic build man, cheers!

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks. Glad you like it. I may have to call it the joker now that everyone keeps saying that, haha.

PS1054205 2 points 32 months ago

looks really good :D why is the reservoir water green but the pipes look like they have clear water

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

The water has a splash of antifreeze in it. You can see it more in the reservoir because the water is "deeper" there. I probably will add a little less next time so it isn't so noticeable.

Ninjadudewhat 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

I actually really like it but okay cool

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks.

PS1054205 2 points 32 months ago

what does anti freeze do to the loop exactly? i would imagine it makes it colder? and is anti freeze clear itself?

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

No, antifreeze does two main things in cars: it lowers the solidification temperature of the fluid (no benefit here), and it is a corrosion inhibitor. This helps prevent galvanic corrosion between metals with different galvanic potentials. The second reason is why it is in the loop. You don't necessarily need it in the loop, but I add a small amount for peace of mind.

Antifreeze is different colored based on manufacturer. There is green, orange, etc.

Atron 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

How loud is this with all of those fans on full? Im sure even in a fractal case it isnt quiet. I cant imagine the racket it would have in a regular case

tejadam868 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

notctua fans are super quiet. His water pump probably puts out more sound than the fans.

Atron 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

The industrial series are quite loud, click one and the DB is around 31 at lowest and can probably go up to 50, these arent going to be quiet belive me especially with 6 plus the pump as well as GPU and PSU fans. So I get the feeling that it will be a bit noisy

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Fans run at 20% and pump at 60%. You can't hear either of them.

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Also there are 7 Notcua fans. There is one under the Power Supply shroud.

The PSU fan never runs because it is on passive mode and never reaches a temperature where it needs to turn on.

The GPU doesn't have any fans because it is water cooled.

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

With the fans at 2000rpm they are definitely louder than the pump at full speed, but normally, the pump is only operating at 60% which doesn't make any noticeable sound.

Atron 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

Try both on full, I want to know how loud this can get

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I have, and it gets pretty loud.

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I run the fans at 20% which is about 400rpm for these fans and the temps don't go above ~34 C even with a when watching videos or doing solid modeling etc. The only time I have ever had the fans go any higher than 20% was when I was doing benchmarking. They went to about 80% or so, and my temps didn't go above ~54 C. My power supply is active/passive, so the fan on it doesn't run unless the temps get to a certain point. I can't even tell the computer is on. The only noise you can hear is when you open the case, and it is whine from the electronics not the fans.

InfamousMEE 2 points 32 months ago

i like it

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks.

lemur9753 2 points 32 months ago

I really love the look of this PC :) Maybe add some dark green, as i love the "accidental" colour of the water in the reservoir +1

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

I will make the LEDs green and take another picture. Thanks.

DS4130 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

That is one magnificent loop :)

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thank you.

Thecautiousone 10 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Good Work.

I approve.

TCO

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks.

senshudan 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Where did you find a Z97 Pro for $150? That's amazing...

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Micro Center had the bundle Z97 Pro with i7 4970k last Christmas for $400

overco 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

So beautiful.

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks.

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Pictures added 11/9/15.

RyRy 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

This is jaw dropping. I am also very inspired by this work. Great build! -RyRy

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks much! Let me know if you have any questions.

RyRy 2 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

Will do!

Edguitar20 2 points 32 months ago

How is the Castor? I am planning on buying it or the naos I have medium/big hands Nice build btw

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 2 points 32 months ago

I have large hands (6' 4") and it feels nice. I think whether you like a larger or smaller mouse would be the deciding factor. I use a claw grip with the palm side of my knuckles (the first knuckles after my wrist) resting on the mouse about 3/4 of the way back on the mouse and my palm and wrist kind of suspended off of the mouse and desk. It feels nice if used like this.If you usually use a palm grip and you have large hands, you may want to get a bigger mouse.

As far as quality, the Castor is awesome. It feels solid, but isn't very heavy. It is very precise and has good customization.

Edguitar20 2 points 32 months ago

Thanks for answering, I might get the Castor because I tend to change my grip and because at the moment I am using a small Logitech mouse, but I'll see if I can try both.

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

No problem.

USA602 1 Build 2 points 32 months ago

How did you make the psu enclosure? super jelly!

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Laser cut acrylic, and then glued together and painted.

SweetDaddyD94 2 points 32 months ago

is it worth doing the water cooling system? Also is it hard to install since i am a slight noob when it comes to these things plus does it have any plus side to things and what not

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

You can do an AIO (all in one) cooler. Those are easy to install. The custom water cooling is harder to do. The hard line custom water cooling is harder than the flexible custom tubing.

With water you get much cooler temps under load especially on GPUs. It looks cool, but is more expensive than air cooling.

Start off with an AIO cooler.

Ninjadudewhat 2 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

Would you mind adding some more pictures from different angles, more specifically the top? I'm curious about the modded moduvents

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

I will post up a picture of what I did this weekend and will reply to your post when I do.

Ninjadudewhat 2 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

Thanks, cool

anthonychristov 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

That is probably the cleanest build I have seen thus far! I love the way you managed the cables and how clean and organized everything looks. Definitely bookmarking this for reference.

The PSU enclosure is legit.

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

Thanks.

anthonychristov 1 Build 1 point 31 months ago

How did you avoid connecting the Power+, Power-, Reset, HDD LED, USB 3.0 and all those other small cables?

Where is your HHD? lol

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

The power cables are commected. They come from the side by the sata ports. The usb 3.0 is right by the motherboard main power cable. The only thing I didn't connect was the front audio because I never use it.

The HDD is a 2.5" laptop drive, so it is sitting next to the SSD in the back.

trent1754 1 point 31 months ago

It looks like an alien built a pc...I LIKE IT!

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

Haha, thanks, I think :)

trent1754 1 point 31 months ago

Dude its awesome, your welcome xD

Gooberdad 8 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

Awe man the Titan water cooled is bad to the bone. +1 nice build

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

Thanks. I have some new parts in the works.

Gooberdad 8 Builds 1 point 31 months ago

Cool

mich0327 1 point 30 months ago

Before I even saw this build I was imagining what would be the perfect dream build, and then I saw this. This build is just like what I would build if I had the time and money. I feel like we have the same mind :) .

Great build +1

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 2 points 30 months ago

Haha, thanks. It took me a while to get all the nice parts, just upgrading one at a time.

49ers 1 point 29 months ago

That's really a beautiful build. An awesome color scheme. A very clean look too. Some excellent parts chosen as well. Nice setup.

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

Thanks.

49ers 1 point 29 months ago

You said this one is retired. What PC are you using now? Or you are building a new one?

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

I am building a new one, but do not have time to work on it until March. I have a different computer I am using at the moment. I never did a completed build for the one I am using now, but I will have to some day soon. You can click my profile and look at saved parts lists I think. They should all be in there.

49ers 1 point 29 months ago

Cool. I will check that out.

Merkdog 1 point 29 months ago

Is the PSU enclosure custom or bought cause I need one just like it!?

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

It is a custom piece. I have the drawings for it if you want them.

Merkdog 1 point 29 months ago

Sure that would be great!!

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

Do you have a program like solidworks?

Merkdog 1 point 29 months ago

No but I will inquire about it

EarningAttorney 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

But can it play minesweeper?

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

I never tried unfortunately.

EarningAttorney 1 Build 1 point 29 months ago

-_- shame dood

mphershey 2 Builds 1 point 28 months ago

One of the best build on here imo, really nice job. +1

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 28 months ago

Thank you very much

Mango0129 1 point 28 months ago

Question why does it say (retired) are you retired ?

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 28 months ago

Haha, no, it's just an old build that is not current and doesn't exist anymore.

Mango0129 1 point 28 months ago

Oh.

RMFbucketglove 1 point 27 months ago

Pssssh ONE Titan X and a mere 4790k with a custom water cooling loop on both PSHHHHHH couldn't even run an internet explorer page out of date

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

:D

RMFbucketglove 1 point 27 months ago

why not another souloutin because dident distilled water become conductive again after a while and I can't imagine anti-freeze would slow that process

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

Anything will become "more conductive" over time by absorbing metal particles and things off of the blocks and fittings. Antifreeze is used in cars to prohibit corrosion, so it should help prevent that, but I know it's not great for plastics.

RMFbucketglove 1 point 27 months ago

How did you get the coolant that translucency

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

This was just distilled water with a small spash of green antifreeze; probably about 5%.

RMFbucketglove 1 point 27 months ago

Cool

codypcbuilds 1 point 27 months ago

After all that did you realy use 5400 rpm drive? But still awesome build +1010101010100110100101010

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 27 months ago

Thanks! That drive pretty much just has music and some pictures on it.

huypham98 1 point 22 months ago

I'm in love with it! 1 question: how can you plug that many fans? because some motherboard only supports 3 or 4 fans. (sr abt my English, I just move to us and newbie in PC) Thanks!

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Thanks. I used fan splitters. Most motherboard headers can support 2-3 fans.

Tigerfin273 1 point 20 months ago

+1

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Thank you.

Majoraz 1 point 20 months ago

this looks great

mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

Thanks much.

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mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 29 months ago

Thanks.

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mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 32 months ago

Thanks.

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mtrapuzz submitter 3 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Made a new build in a different case with a few different parts but still haven't made a completed build yet :)