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I7 + CM V8 + CM 690 build experience (with photos)

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May 31, 2009 8:25:50 PM

A few weeks back I had come to this forum to get some advice on my first PC build. Thank you all for your advice. That PC is now up and is running windows 7 smoothly with moderate overclock. Here's my build:

1. i7 920 for 220 from microcenter
2. CM 690 for 87 from FRY's
3. CM V8 + extra fans from frys for 67
4. OCZ platinum 6GB 12800 from amazon for 70
5. Gigabyte GA-X58-UD4P from ewiz for 235
6. Corsair Tx 650 from PC connection for 80
7. Nvidia 9600 GSO from amazon for 55
8. WD black 640 GB from amazon for 75
9 WD raptor 74 GB from newegg for 58
10 DVD sony 24x optiarc from newegg for 28

Total is 973 (includes shipping, taxes and MIRs).




Here are some comments for someone building using CM690 and CM V8.

1. If you have extra fans, mount the top, bottom and right side fans first. Take out the top cover completely along with the USB, audio, etc. cables and keep it aside. Its required during the final steps only. Same goes for the front cover. Front cover is very hard and you'll have to apply a lot of force to take it out. It might seem it'll break but in most cases it won't break ;) .
2. Mount the processor and heat sink on the motherboard (outside the case).
3. CM 690 has three holes on the MB support frame. I'll call them top, mid and bottom holes. Mount the PSU at the bottom of the case and pass all cables except one 12 V 4pin molex cable, through the small hole next to the PSU (bottom hole) to the back side of motherboard support (i.e., right side if looking from front). The one cable that is left in front of MB was used to power the back and side fan. I'll come to one horrifying issue with the side fan later.
4. Screw the MB risers to the case. You may take out the cable management grooves at this point as they interfere with the installation and mount them later.
5. CM V8 will make plugging anything which is on the top and left of the heat sink very difficult after MB is screwed to the case. So make sure you plug the CPU power connector and fan connectors before installing the MB (i.e. screwing the nuts). Pass the CPU power connector through the top hole on the case.
6. Use the middle hole to route the HD audio connector from the top cover through the back side of MB support to middle hole and then under the graphics card and then to the plug holes. It made my audio cable connection slick, so try this if possible.
7. Connect HDD drives and dvd drives. Use the space under the bottom most hdd slot to hide the sata cable used for HDD and DVD drives. I had to because I had only two HDD and on dvd and the cable was very long. Put the top and front cover back. Again force will be required for the front cover.
8. Secure all the cables on the back of the MB using tapes. I have used plastic cello tape but I'm not sure whether it can withstand the MB support temperature. So, use something better than plastic tape. Since I had only one graphics card so I also had to hide the additional power cable for the graphics.
9. After attaching all the power and other cables, test your system. Try hiding cables in the right side of the case, as much as you can.
10. If everything is fine, then comes the interesting part of installing the right side cover. Since many cables are routed from the back and they make the effective thickness large and the space between the right side cover and the MB support might not be sufficient. But, it is still possible to align the cables judiciously and install the right side cover. I don't have a perfect right side cover installation but it is hardly visible unless you know in advance. The MB power connector is the thickest try not to overlap many cables on top of it. In any case, routing cables from the back of the MB makes the MB front completely free of any hanging cables which is great for air flow.

Link to photos of my new build: http://s557.photobucket.com/albums/ss17/1Kpc/

OVERCLOCKING (3.67 GHz after turbo boost kicks in, moderate and easy overclock)

I've overclocked the CPU to 3.33 GHz but have let speed step and turbo boost on. So unloaded cpu frequency is generally around 2.1 GHz and loaded CPU frequency is 3.67 GHz (multiplier is set to 19 and turbo boost raises it up to 21 when loaded). Bclock is at 175 MHz, QPI is at 6.3 GT/s and uncore frequency is at 2800 MHz. RAM frequency is set to 1400 MHz. Timings are at 10 - 9 - 9 - 22. I'm not sure whether I required it or not but I changed the uncore voltage to 1.195 (up from 1.175 V). Also, if I set the CPU core voltage to auto then MB was setting it to 1.36 under unloaded conditions also, so I changed it to a fixed voltage of 1.2 V. I'm not sure about the unit of the timing, i.e., when we say 10 clocks ...what is the clock frequency here. current CPU core frequency or RAM frequency of 1400 MHz in my case or any other frequency. I'd appreciate if any one can explain this. Pushing my CPU to 4 GHz was never my intent so I'm content with 3.67 GHz.

Unload core temp is ~40 C (using coretemp) and CPU case temp ~35 (using easytune 6).
Loaded core temp is ~55-60 C (using coretemp)

BTW I have two additional top exhaust fans and one bottom intake fan. All from a four pack 120 mm fan bought from fry's for 10 bucks only.


Now I'll describe one really really annoying issue with CM 690 case. The left side fan is very noisy. I googled and found that many other people have also faced similar issue with the side fan. It is because of the proximity of the fan to the grill which makes an annoying whirring noise, and its unbearable and nothing is wrong with the fan itself. Right now I have removed the left side cover and am thinking of either using a speed controlled fan and set its speed to 800 rpm or some how distance the fan from the grill using spacers. Please advice me on the second technique, because I think it'll give better result.

Wooh...thats easily my longest post ever in any forum. Feel free to comment on anything.

Best luck with your build.
May 31, 2009 8:36:05 PM

i see you splurged for a good cpu and overclock it but you bought low end card
whatever floats your boat, thats a nice looking system nice cable management too i cant stand messy looking case the ocd kicks in haha

May 31, 2009 8:45:26 PM

Thanks alvine. I'm not a gamer, that's why I didn't invest much on the graphics card. I'll be using it mostly for MS office, matlab, online videos and browsing :) ... and its my custom build so wanted to make it good
Related resources
May 31, 2009 8:50:52 PM

This is a fine example of the kind of thing we need more of around here. The title will show up on google when someone wants to check this configuration.

I did something quite similar when I built mt C2D system with the relatively new Xigmatek cooler last year.

You probably don't need that side fan at all.


May 31, 2009 8:58:20 PM

Good job, build looks nice.
June 1, 2009 7:09:48 AM

Nice build, looks awesome.
June 1, 2009 7:19:32 AM

Thanks proximon, xthekidx and AKM880. xthekidx, you had made some good comments when I was planning for my PC.

Proximon: as you suggested, I've removed the side fan now and the temperatures are still the same as before, problem solved ..!!
June 1, 2009 8:31:03 AM

That's interesting, I've never had that problem with my side fan. All the fans except for the CPU cooler are pretty darn close to silent in my case. The only things I hear are the CPU fan and the WD6401AALS drive.
June 1, 2009 10:08:01 AM

i had the same problem with the cm690 case with the fan. luckily i had a spare cable from my noctua cpu fan which allowed me to turn down the rpm nad the noise problem was solved
June 1, 2009 3:24:52 PM

I don't have problem because i have an Zalman zm-mcf1 plun fan controller. You can put on that fan controller 6 fans. And it will be quiet. I have the same CM690.
June 1, 2009 4:39:07 PM

Nicely done 1Kpc and thanks for the feedback.
July 17, 2009 11:38:50 PM

1kpc -

Thanks for your post. I have been buying parts for my first build. Many of them are similar:

1. i7 920 for 220
2. CM 690
3. CM V8
4. OCZ platinum 6GB
5. Gigabyte GA-X58-UD4P
6. Corsair Tx 850
7. Sapphire ATI 4890
8. WD black caviar 1tb
9. SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223Q

Are there any books or articles or videos online that you watched to get a better idea of how to put things together?

Additionally, I too only want to moderately overclock. How did you do that, and are you willing to share your settings?

Finally, have you found a solid benefit to the extra fans? It's something that I'm considering...

Thank you for your input. Obviously, anyone else is also free to post their advice if they have pointers or if they see an issue with my build.

Thanks!
August 2, 2009 1:27:10 AM

I am about ready to start a very similar build to the ones mentioned in this thread, so excellent post...and good pictures...

Why is the V8 Up and down on the OP and sideways on arkadi? Is their a correct way to install it or does it really matter?

Couple Questions
Does losing the one vent from the see through side decrease air flow at all? think I am just going to go with the stock 690 and perhaps change the side at a later date, but was just curious. - I also noticed OP placed the left side fan on the lower of the two mesh gratings, was this due to interference from the V8? Looks like its over the gfx card, obviously its lower so cooler air, heat rising etc, and upper one can vent..But is it worthwile putting it higher so it blows onto the MB?

Also are fan controllers worthwhile? I plan to oc to 3.5-3.6 range just a nice easy oc and will have a gtx 275 card in there as well but is there any reason to have the controller except to fiddle with fan speed for quiet? or is it worthwhile to get a fan controller + temp monitor?

Is the bottom fan that functional? What I mean is are the risers high enough that the airflow under the machine makes it worthwhile to plug a fan in down there?

As far as the gigabite mb any reason for choosing it over the ASUS P6T? Seems from the people who typically answer questions on the forums that the P6T is often recommended/favored, however you see the UD4P pop up occasionally as well.
August 2, 2009 9:51:15 AM

You can place the v8 any way you want....in my case the air flow channeled form bottom of the case, up.
The side fan and the position of the v8 helps to channel the air via the chip set as well. The bottom fan helps, but is not a must. Keep in mind that the fans can be noisy, and the Rig have to be silent first, for me anyway. So fan controllers are useful for me, monitoring is nice, but it not a must.
V8 is grate cooler it can do much better than 3.6, i had my 920@4.2 but only 4.0 stable.
Keep in mind that V8 is somewhat tricky to mount.
Any way the 920 is so fast that i want to down clock it :) 
As for the MB, some ppl love ASUS some Gigabyte, in the end it pure luck. I got Gigabyte, but not because it is better, it just Gigabyte local distributor is better than Asus.
gl with your build.
August 12, 2009 2:43:54 PM

I finally built my machine on monday night, and took it for a drive tuesday night.

What are your guys thoughts on the stock front fan with the CM 690 case. I feel like between the 2 or 3 layers of mesh/plastic, vent grill and filter result it little air flow past the HD cages. Maybe thats all a front fan is suppose to hit (the HD/CD trays) but personally it just feels pathetic.

Other fans - Top 2x 120's are running decently (exhaust), Rear exhuast (stock) is running like a jet engine with the help of the V8 pushing air right at it. Bottom 120 is also pushing a decent amount of air upwards at the gfx card/mb.

Quick question since we are all using very similar builds - Gigabytes quick boost, anyone try it or hear about it? Quick googles didn't reveal much, and I am sure its not quite as good as manual, but was curious as to its usefullness. Also with the OCZ plat, do you guys know of a good outline of how to set it to read correctly? I think mine was detected initially and set to 1033 - 1.5v as opposed to the 1600 it is spec'd for by OCZ.

I will post some interior pictures later. Looks very much like the OP but my 8pin cable to the top left of the cpu is more visible then either of yours seem to be (ran it up the right side, put it around the back fan (it its slots between the front and back mounting essentially). I did install the UD4P's external Sata controller as did OP, however I may remove it due to not really needing 3 external sata connections (1 top, 2 back) I have an external HD but its usb 2.0 and only 2 months old...

1. i7 920
2. CM 690
3. CM V8
4. OCZ platinum 6GB
5. Gigabyte GA-X58-UD4P
6. Corsair Tx 750
7. EVGA GTX 275
October 5, 2009 9:30:52 AM

Hope you guys can help me with this.
I just installed a V8 in my system in a CM690 case and it didn't POST. Finally got it working again without the v8 and discovered 2 of the RAM sockets on the MB aren't working.
The one thing I discovered when removing the v8 was that the screws were actually touching the case, which probably caused a short on the MB.
Now I can't find a single other person that has encountered this problem, I even tried loosening the risers slightly but the v8 screws still reached the tray.
Do I have an excessively long screws edition or what?

System is:
core2 e8200
asus p5q pro
g.Skill 4gb ddr2-1000
9800gtx
corsair hx620
October 5, 2009 3:34:03 PM

Are you using the risers that came with the case?
Are you using the appropriate mount for your processor?
Are you using the screws that were included with the HS?

At what point during installation are you attaching the HS?

The I7 mount uses some spacers in the mounting unit between the screws and the mount base (on the HS and bracket) perhaps removing these - can't quite recall where they were but they struck me as non-essentials?

Seems an odd problem to be having, but having never used the 775 mount I don't know.

With the CM690 you are installing the HS prior to mounting the the mobo within the case correct? You have used the included tools to tighten the screws after doing the final step of mounting?
October 6, 2009 5:55:21 AM

Yes the risers came with the case, the system has been running fine for about a year with the stock cooler.

Its def the correct mount, it shows that you can attach without it, which i don't want to do but makes no difference anyway because its the screws that came with the v8 that actually reach the MB tray.

Its only very slight, but it was def touching. I can't say exactly now as the MB is away to ASUS.

I'm also using the soft pads on the cooler side.

I've even seen pics where ppl even have a 80mm side fan behind the tray, which is even weirder as this is where the v8 screws are touching and there would be no way I could fit screws in for the fan.

Oh and yes am installing the HS outside of the case.

I'll have to take a closer look when the MB comes back, I was too busy trying to get the system working to get any more details :p 
October 6, 2009 2:31:09 PM

Omega55 said:
Yes the risers came with the case, the system has been running fine for about a year with the stock cooler.

Its def the correct mount, it shows that you can attach without it, which i don't want to do but makes no difference anyway because its the screws that came with the v8 that actually reach the MB tray.

Its only very slight, but it was def touching. I can't say exactly now as the MB is away to ASUS.

I'm also using the soft pads on the cooler side.

I've even seen pics where ppl even have a 80mm side fan behind the tray, which is even weirder as this is where the v8 screws are touching and there would be no way I could fit screws in for the fan.

Oh and yes am installing the HS outside of the case.

I'll have to take a closer look when the MB comes back, I was too busy trying to get the system working to get any more details :p 


Odd, I'd have to look to see how much space I have but it is very small I would suspect. As far as the back side fan, you actually have to mount that outside of the main interior area between the side cover and case
March 20, 2010 5:40:35 PM

1kpc said:




Front cover is very hard and you'll have to apply a lot of force to take it out. It might seem it'll break but in most cases it won't break ;) .



Had that moment myself ( shocked the hell out of me :o  ) when i got that case a week ago..
!