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Project Red Pill

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December 14, 2012 4:43:15 AM

After a lot of thinking I decided to scrap my idea of having two systems in a single case and instead go for something a little more pratical and more cost efficient. This is Project Red Pill. It will be my everyday use pc, HTPC, high end gaming rig, VM and rendering system. I MAY even do some benching or something but I really haven't put much thought into that as of yet. I am currently running a single 1080p monitor but will either be upgrading to a 1440p monitor and adding a second GPU or, keeping a single GPU and my monitor until the 8000 series is released then I can invest in an 8000 series card and a new monitor + second card later on. So any opinions on that would be great. Keep my card and monitor until the next series or just invest now and upgrade once either the NEXT series comes out or the prices drop on the 8000 series.

This is going to be kind of interesting in that it will run 3 closed loops over a custom loop. An H100i for the 3930K in push/pull, and a (two) Red Modded Antec 920(s) for one or two GPU's. This is both cheaper, easier on me as I have never built a custom loop before and it will allow me to try out a simple mod to cool my GPU(s) called, The Red Mod. Once the 8000 series is released and waterblocks start coming out I can more than likely replace all my closed loop coolers with a custom loop. For now though, this is the route I have chosen to take.

So any opinions, suggestions and/or comments are all welcome. As well as if you have any questions about my component list or anything I did not explain clearly enough in my OP.

Forgot to add the budget for the build. That would be around $3000, which this is about $2991.09.

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit OEM
Case: AZZA Genesis 9000B
MoBo: ASRock X79 Extreme11
RAM: Patriot Viper 3 16GB (4 x 4GB) 2133
CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i + 2x SP120 High Performance Edition
GPU: PowerColor AMD Radeon HD 7970 PCS+
GPU Cooler: Antec KUHLER H2O 920 *Red Mod
SSD: Samsung 840 Series 250GB
HDD: Seagate Baracudda 3TB 7200RPM
PSU: SeaSonic X Series 1050W
ODD: ASUS DVD Burner OEM

*The Red Mod is basically using a CPU cooler to cool a GPU using a custom made mounting bracket or zip ties to secure the waterblock. Exactly the same as "The Mod" for Nvidia cards.

More about : project red pill

a b C Monitor
December 14, 2012 5:54:54 AM

First off 2133MHz RAM isn't going to be worth the cost in terms of speed - and that will actually lead to Intel voiding your warranty.

Second - any sort of MacGuyver style modifications, like using an Antec Kuhler as a GPU cooler (actually a CPU cooler) will lead to your video card warranty being voided. I'd suggest if you're going to be paying $3K for a rig that you should do a bit more research into things like that.
December 14, 2012 5:59:57 AM

I didn't know about the RAM thing but I do know my warranty would be voided with the mod. That's not a huge concern for me though, I'm getting mine unopened from a friend so I wouldn't be paying retail for it anyway. I forgot to mention that. Is there anything else you'd recommend I look into? Also what speed of RAM should I consider instead?
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a b C Monitor
December 14, 2012 5:38:42 PM

MX5J6 said:
I didn't know about the RAM thing but I do know my warranty would be voided with the mod. That's not a huge concern for me though, I'm getting mine unopened from a friend so I wouldn't be paying retail for it anyway. I forgot to mention that. Is there anything else you'd recommend I look into? Also what speed of RAM should I consider instead?


I'm pretty sure SB-E is rated at 1866 but I don't know for sure, if I'm wrong someone else will correct me on that. :lol: 

The design of Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and Sandy Bridge-E all have the RAM controller on the CPU itself rather than on the motherboard. This is why overclocking your RAM can lead to system instability and failure.

Most of your original build looks pretty good but in order to use a Corsair H100i, you have to have one of their new "i" enabled power supplies with the USB link to take full advantage of it. Not to say it's not worth getting but you would need to switch out the PSU. I'd personally get a strong air cooler like the Noctua D14. If you want to use liquid cooling use an open loop instead of three closed loops, I don't know of a case out there that would accommodate such a setup. You could go with an open block like the Swiftech Edge: http://www.swiftech.com/H2O-x20-Edge-HD.aspx , and then a liquid cooled video card like the EVGA Hydro Copper series: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... . That would probably make a lot more sense and would be easier to configure in the long run.
December 14, 2012 6:04:58 PM

Well maybe i will go with 1866 then. It would save me some more money, which is nice.

Also i thought the USB thing hooked up to your mobo, not your psu? I may be wrong about that or you may be talking about something else entirely. lol Maybe you could explain a little more? Is there another PSU you'd recommend, that is at least 1000W?

How much better are kits like the one you mentioned vs the H100i? Also i was going to install the H100i in the top of the Genesis9000B and one or two 920's in the bottom where the two 120 fans are, though I wasn't 100% that was going to work. It would be an experiment.

Also I heard something about VM's and Nvidia cards. I believe it was about how Radeon cards work better or are easier to configure with Xen and you don't have to passthrough the onboard audio on the board because you are using the GPU audio instead? Or something along those lines. Though it can be done with Nvidia cards, I do actually prefer Nvidia as well because I do play a lot of Skyrim and i know CFX doesn't play well with it. So I will look into a Hydrocopper 680.

Do you know much about or know if there is someone here or a guide here about setting up a VM using an Nvidia card?
a b C Monitor
December 14, 2012 6:15:12 PM

Quote:
Also i thought the USB thing hooked up to your mobo, not your psu? I may be wrong about that or you may be talking about something else entirely. lol Maybe you could explain a little more? Is there another PSU you'd recommend, that is at least 1000W?


Here's the power supply that I'm talking about with a very detailed review: http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

The AX1200i uses a new technology that hooks a USB port on the power supply through your motherboard and then that allows you to control every aspect of what the power supply does through software called "Corsair Link". The Dominator RAM and the H100i also take advantage of this technology.

Quote:
How much better are kits like the one you mentioned vs the H100i? Also i was going to install the H100i in the top of the Genesis9000B and one or two 920's in the bottom where the two 120 fans are, though I wasn't 100% that was going to work. It would be an experiment.


In the case of experimental hardware vs. a full custom liquid loop, in this case the liquid loop would be not only a lot more cost effective, but it wouldn't get you into trouble with GPU manufacturers and Intel. The open loop would be a lot easier to configure and would actually save you a lot of hassle.
December 14, 2012 6:31:34 PM

Now that is a nice PSU. So you recommend go with the H100i for my CPU and a custom loop for the Hydro Copper 680(s). That doesn't sound like a bad idea. Though I really do want the 4GB 680, since I think 2GB just won't be enough when running something like Crysis 3 or Far Cry 3 max on a 1440p monitor. I also want two of them, though i don't know if I can afford both right away. I can always expand my loop though after i install it, right? i mean it's not too difficult?

I can't even find any Hydro Classifieds. =[

Also it seems, even if I go with the 2GB Hydro 680 it will cost me a lottle more since I STILL have to put a loop together for it. I have a tough decision to make...
a b C Monitor
December 14, 2012 11:38:05 PM

MX5J6 said:
Now that is a nice PSU. So you recommend go with the H100i for my CPU and a custom loop for the Hydro Copper 680(s). That doesn't sound like a bad idea. Though I really do want the 4GB 680, since I think 2GB just won't be enough when running something like Crysis 3 or Far Cry 3 max on a 1440p monitor. I also want two of them, though i don't know if I can afford both right away. I can always expand my loop though after i install it, right? i mean it's not too difficult?

I can't even find any Hydro Classifieds. =[

Also it seems, even if I go with the 2GB Hydro 680 it will cost me a lottle more since I STILL have to put a loop together for it. I have a tough decision to make...


The H100i is a closed loop - it only transfers liquid cooling to the CPU through the radiator. You cannot run it through a liquid cooled video card. That's why I suggested an open block. It will allow you to do the CPU - GPU - radiator loop where the H100i won't. Check out that Swiftech Edge that I linked to earlier, that's an example of what I am talking about. It may cost a little more initially but in the long run it will be more cost effective than going the MacGuyver route if something goes wrong.
December 14, 2012 11:50:52 PM

Too bad that is sold out right now. =/ I will look into other open loops and see what I find. As for the "MacGuyver" route, its really simple. Removing the stock fans and putting the cooler in its place with a custom made mounting bracket, which is very cheap. Its a popular mod and very easy to do, though I will still be looking into open loops, it will remain my fallback until I can get more information on one of those kits you showed me.
a b C Monitor
December 15, 2012 1:42:01 AM

MX5J6 said:
Too bad that is sold out right now. =/ I will look into other open loops and see what I find. As for the "MacGuyver" route, its really simple. Removing the stock fans and putting the cooler in its place with a custom made mounting bracket, which is very cheap. Its a popular mod and very easy to do, though I will still be looking into open loops, it will remain my fallback until I can get more information on one of those kits you showed me.


Interesting, I've never heard of this modification before. Is it that hard to do?
December 15, 2012 1:53:33 AM

Not at all. Youremove the heatsink from the card, use a copper shim (sold on the website you get the bracket from, i will post a link at the end of my post) use the custom mounting bracket to cool the GPU that the original heatsink was covering and use thermal compound between the shim and GPU and the shim and water block. Here is a link to the guide/discussion on OCN and the site you get the bracket and shim from.

http://triptcc.com/

http://www.overclock.net/t/1203636/official-amd-ati-gpu...

http://www.overclock.net/t/1203528/official-nvidia-gpu-...

that's everything about it. Enjoy. =]
December 16, 2012 5:12:27 AM

I'm thinking about getting one of those open loop kits, expanding it and getting custom mountain/fan brackets made so I can use CPU blocks with my GPU and mount a fan over the VRM's as well. Sound like a good idea? I just don't know what custom brackets will cost.
a b C Monitor
December 16, 2012 5:44:23 AM

MX5J6 said:
I'm thinking about getting one of those open loop kits, expanding it and getting custom mountain/fan brackets made so I can use CPU blocks with my GPU and mount a fan over the VRM's as well. Sound like a good idea? I just don't know what custom brackets will cost.


I'm not really too familiar with a lot of liquid cooling suggestions, one well known custom manufacturer is called Danger Den, I'd also suggest checking out frozencpu.com for some ideas.
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