Meshify S2 Ampere Refresh (Complete)

Discussion in 'PC Build Logs' started by macktheknife, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    Mack's Meshify S2 Ampere Refresh

    In 2018 I replaced my 4790k with a 9900k (and the board & ram) and added a couple of NVME SSD's. I completed it in a bit of a rush so I never bothered to cable manage it very well and I only made some slight improvements when I had to go back and remount my AIO when I needed to get to my board fan headers (long story cut short, three of the 6 headers have bios issues that prevent proper PWM control).

    With Ampere coming in the next month or two I've decided to refresh several other parts of my system and do a much neater build in a Meshify S2 case, with all M.2 drives and a lot of airflow when required. I could have just throw in the new GPU into the existing system, but where is the fun in that?

    My initial plan is to build the new system with one of my existing 980ti's and then swap in whatever Ampere card I bought. The case ended up going on a 3 week backorder despite it being "ready to go" when I ordered it, if it takes longer to get to me I might just wait and do the whole thing in one go.

    The last few upgrade cycles I've done have been changing out the CPU then a couple years later doing the GPU. This build I want to remain unchanged for at least 4 years. I know it's a closed side panel case and not a TG RGB Showcase, I'm doing this as a neat build for my own satisfaction because the poor way I've done it in the past scratches in my brain to fix it.

    Parts that are staying:
    • Intel 9900k - This has been a great upgrade from a 4790k which was starting to have trouble in certain games (Battlefield 5 was virtually unplayable with it and it gave a lot of improvement in benchmarks like AC Odyssey). I momentarily considering doing a upgrade to 10990k but quickly decided to leave it as the cost for benefit ratio was really bad.
    • G Skill 3600mhz C17 memory. Initially 32gb, I found a good price on another 32gb recently so I picked that up and will be going to 64gb. Not the absolute fastest around. Wasn't my first choice, stock issues saw me switch to this. They are B-Die. Been using them in XMP mode.
    • Asrock Z390 Taichi - Very solid board, no issues apart from early instability with the bios versions and the aforementioned PWM issue. Current bios I have is rock solid and I can work around the PWM issue.
    • Samsung 970 Evo Plus (500gb and 1tb) NVME SSDs - 500gb with two partitions for OS and Utilities and the 1tb is for games. Very fast, big endurance.
    • Asus Xonar Essence STX Sound Card - I've had this thing for over a decade now, it's been in three builds of mine and this would be the 4th one. Using it with Audio Technica AD-900X headphones. I don't know how much onboard sound has developed since then but no reason to throw it out.
    • Acer Predator X34 - IPS ultrawide with Gsync, does 100hz. Thought about replacing it with the X38 or LG 38gn950 (38" 160hz IPS 3840x1600) but those cost nearly double what I paid for the X34 and it's not as big a leap from the X34 to those as it was from my old 30" Dell to the X34. Maybe if I'm lucky the X34 will blow up and give me a reason to buy it.:D
    • Noctua Industrial Fans - I bought two of the 140's to replace the old fans on my old AIO and a couple for exhausts. No reason to replace them. With PWM control they are silent at low temps and only get super loud when I'm rendering or playing a CPU intensive game and get 80c or higher temps. Going to use the two 140's on the top exhaust and one of the 120's on the rear, plugged into the Meshify S2's inbuilt fan controller.
    • Ducky Shine 7 Blackout RGB - Using MX Blacks. Recent purchase. I was on an ancient Corsair K90 board with Reds that finally died after ~7 years. Moving to this took a few weeks to get used to the heavier press required. Great board. Only minor downside is the software, it's fine to setup RGB but you can't do macros. Can be tricky to set macros up.
    • Logitech G Pro Wireless - This is the best mouse for gaming I've ever used. Have the Powerplay mat for it, makes it fully wireless, no charging dock required. Have had issues with their build quality.
    Parts being replaced:
    • Coolermaster Nepton 280L AIO - This is approaching 6 years of usage and is out of warranty, I estimate it's at least halfway through it's 40,000 hour expected service life. Done a good job but it's time for a replacement. I think it was one of the first major 280mm AIO's that came out, and it wasn't an Asatek OEM (which I think got them sued lol).
    • Samsung 840 2.5" Sata SSD - Bought this at the hallowed grounds of MSY Auburn in early 2015. Still works fine. Decided on moving to a 2tb M.2 drive for more capacity and not needing the extra cabling. Will be used in another build or maybe as a NAS cache at some point in the future.
    • Fractal Define R5 - This did the job back in the day, now it's a bit outdated as I don't need any drive cages or 5.25" drives. The internals are a mess in it's "open" configuration as there's no PSU shroud, and instead of a panel that helps hide cable mess from the back of the case it's just open. Have been using it with the front panel removed so it gets cool air and easier to clean the filtures.
    • Asus Strix 980TI's in SLI - I purchased these in October 2015 when a catastrophic failure between the GPUs & PSU after a hard shutdown caused a fire in the PCI-E power cables on my original Gigabyte 980. They are hot, they are loud, they use a lot of power and are increasingly useless in SLI in modern games.
    • Seasonic X Series 1050W Gold - Bought after the above mentioned failure (of an EVGA Supernova G2 PSU). Still works, but again coming to 5 years of usage, time to upgrade the quality, without SLI I'm not going to need 1050w. Might be repurposed for a nas build.
    New parts:
    • A future Ampere GPU - Based on the leaks so far, my intent is getting the 20gb model. Assuming there aren't any issues with reviews, initial idea is get the Asus Strix version. Subject to change.
    • Fractal Meshify S2 - The case I was going to build in is something I went back and forth over for ages. Specs required were USB Type C on the front, mesh front and preferable a closed side panel. I waited nearly a year for the Fractal P500A (which is a P600S with a full mesh front) and then they released them without a closed side panel. Picked the S2 over the P600s as it's not as tall, has a full front panel and it's IO is on the top which is better for where I keep the case. I don't trust Glass side panels and I like less noise so going closed side panel.
    • EK AIO 360 D-RGB - Came down to this vs the Arctic Freezer 2. With no stock of the AF2 to be found, went with the EK. RGB doesn't matter, will just turn it off, the performance in reviews is top tier.
    • WD Blue M.2 2tb Sata SSD - Bulk SSD capacity. No cables.
    • Corsair AX 850 Titanium PSU - Top PSU reviewers place this as one of the best supplies on the market (especially sub 1000w), it's the Corsair branded version of the OEM Seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium. There are rumours that the 30xx will need a new power connection but I'm pretty certain the board partner models aren't going to use it in this generation at least. Famous last words? My choice here is down to wanting a lower powered PSU, being titanium was a secondary consideration.
    • Miscellaneous Parts - I might need some PWM extensions so I've grabbed a set of those from Noctua. Selected Coolermaster MasterGel Maker for the Thermal Paste. I do have a Deepcool 10 port fan hub lying around as well, but with the S2 having one built into the case and only having three fans outside the AIO I don't think I'll need it. My Noctua Industrials, some of them seem to have lost or never come with the rubber corner dampners, so I got a couple sets of those.
    • Cables - I need 1 molex, and 1 sata power cable connection. The PSU cables have four connectors on each cable for them and are stupidly long. I'm getting some custom cables which only have one connector on them for neatness, as well as three 8 pin PCI-E cables as the PSU I have only has dual 6+2 daisychainned cables.
    And that's the overview. Have a couple pics of the keyboard & the old guts to go in here and then I'll update as I receive parts and eventually put the build together.

    Current Build:
    Old Guts1.jpg

    Ducky Board:
    1.jpg

    AIO Box:
    AIO Box.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
  2. OP
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    macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    I got out the ole Photoshop and did a bit of a work up on where the various connections will need to go. I also realised halfway through I should put the AIO's fans on the cpu header in the top of the board instead of the chassis fan header in the bottom so I had to switch them and the connection for the fan hub around.

    pcsetup.png

    I got an update from Scorptec that the Meshify S2 came in this morning to their warehouse so that order should be dispatched in time to get it on Wednesday probably. SSD & RAM should be coming week as well.
     
  3. OP
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    macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    I received the ram & SSD today. Was a bit of a muck about as I was installing them into the current build with cables everywhere. Got them installed, had to crack open my old system to get an M.2 screw. It wouldn't boot. So I went back over everything and realised one of the new ram sticks didn't slot in properly. And the system loaded! And then hard froze when I started moving some files to the new drive!

    I spent another half hour replacing everything again because it kept boot looping. I thought maybe my PCI-E sound card was a problem so I removed it, still happening, removed the new M.2 drive, still happening. Then rechecked that ram stick and it wasn't in again. Stubborn bugger. Eventually I managed to sort it out and get the stick firmly inserted and it's all good.

    Think I need to re-enable XMP in the bios.
    upload_2020-8-20_16-42-49.png
     
  4. OP
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    macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    Good idea to have installed them today. It helped me realised that this board doesn't play well with the additional two sticks. Anything over 3000mhz and the system fails to boot before returning to a default setting. There's various forum threads about how this memory doesn't work well in various different boards for different brands and chipset types.

    I punched in some manual settings and got it to 3000mhz 15-15-15-35 which isn't that much slower than 3600 C17.

    Edit - Day after, it's unstable & bluescreening. The new sticks being Hynix and old sticks Samsung seem to be at least part of the problem. Removed the new sticks and set everything back to normal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
  5. OP
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    macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    The sata & molex cables from Cablemods arrived today. I also ordered a trio of 8 pin PCI-E cables as they had gone on special and I'd actually opened up the PSU box and realised it only has 6+2 dual daisychain cables, which look like ass. Pretty sad that Corsair would put in such shit cables in order to push their own special cable sets.

    The molex will be "on display" while the sata power will go around to the back for the case fan hub, but for both it means I only need that one single short cable instead of using the long default PSU cables which each have 4 of their respective connections on them. They have a nice feel to them.

    I could put the build together with just a 980ti but I've decided to wait until the eventual new GPU arrives or until I get the 8 pin cables depending on how close they are arriving because I don't want to have to swap around PSU cables later on.

    2020-09-01 16.16.57.jpg
     
  6. OP
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    macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    The final cables came in yesterday. I've decided to just wait until I get the new card. Although I might take out the case and put in the AIO in the front of it.
    cab1.JPG
     
  7. OP
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    macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    Alright, with the impending arrival of the 3080 I've started the build itself. I might have finished tonight but the postman had other ideas.

    Problem one, the second screw to remove the PSU Shroud hole wouldn't budge. I thought I was going to strip it. I ended up moving the cover around a bit and eventually managed to get it into a position where it would go.

    Problem two was that the AIO probably won't reach from the bottom of the case to the top like I originally intended (before that gamers nexus youtube video that made everyone panic). It'll be above the CPU anyway so shouldn't be a big deal. I also used the wrong screw type initially. I think their older or other products use the 30mm threads while this one uses the 34mm, and they just put both in so they don't have to worry about putting the wrong one in the product.

    Left things at this because I am going to have to flip it on it's side to put the motherboard in and I don't really want the aio in the way while I do that.
    Work1.png
    Work2.png
     
  8. OP
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    macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    Made a lot of progress tonight. Took apart the old system and began moving things over. Put in the motherboard, installed the AIO and power supply and hooked up the power cables.

    The 4+4 cables on the AX 850 are terrible. Not being individual sleeved isn't the problem, it's how rigid and inflexible the end is with a stupid amount of heat shrink on the end. I wasn't able to put them through the grommet above their connection had to use the next one over it looks a bit rough.

    Tommorow I will get it up and running. Hopefully with a new gpu.
     
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  9. OP
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    macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    After more mucking about with the courier they finally got the card over to me at about 4pm. I got to work, didn't have too much left to do. Installed the three case fans, setup the fan extensions, did a bit of neatening up work to the rear. It's a bit of a mess but that's what a back panel is for.

    6 CPU.jpg
    7 Internal.jpg

    I did have a GPU lifter thing that I used for my 980ti's but it doesn't quite fit now in the new case so I had to ditch it. And then it was time for the beast GPU to go in. EVGA FTW3 Ultra 3080.

    8 GPU Box.jpg
    9 GPU.jpg
    10 GPU install.jpg

    Didn't snap the pci-e socket when I lifted it off the table so I'm taking that as a successful installation.

    Since I installed a new BIOS battery it was reset to default, enabled the XMP profile and then disabled all the RGB except for the memory because that doesn't link to it for some reason. The fan curve worked great, the inbuilt fan controller on the case means I can run the three case fans off one header and all the AIO fans off the other. Very useful since this board has a bug in some bios versions where three of the headers don't report or control properly in 4 pin mode.

    Idle Temps (Ambient is around 22c degrees today) are ~37 on the GPU and ~30 on the CPU. Big improvements for both especially the CPU. Going from two GPU's to one is obviously a major change in the amount of heat coming out at any one time, and the EK AIO is now front mounted instead of top mounted like my old Nepton.

    My monitor is an X34 running 3440x1440p up to 100fps. This is still an amazing monitor that doesn't need an upgrade although with this GPU installed going to a higher refresh rate monitor is definitely on the cards. Asus have a new X34S model coming out soon which is the same size but does 200hz with a super low response time. If the LG 38GL950G (38" 3840x1600 175hz) drops down in price I might look into that as well.

    Various benchmarks (3440x1400 in game):
    • Cinebench R15 run the CPU peaks out at 73c, scoring just over 2000.
    • Cinebench R20 peaks at 81c with a score at 4740.
    • Timespy 15682 (Graphics Score 17,075 with CPU 10,727.)
    • Far Cry 5 it is practically pinned at 100fps during it's benchmark at full ultra settings and runs completely smooth in-game.
    • GTA 5 was running well over 100 FPS, most of the benchmark was in the 150's, a few dips under 100 but in-game even with the special super high draw distance settings it was butter smooth.
    • Subnautica was a game that was extremely intensive with the old system (and even worse when I had a 4790k not a 9900k). Now at max settings it's running very smoothly and even more beautiful.
    • Shadow of the Tomb Raider had an Average FPS 124 in the benchmark at ultra settings.
    • I have to reinstall AC Odyssey I'll add in those benches later.
    • Not a benchmark perse, but I do the occasional conversion of videos into new formats and the 3080 just rips these in minutes compared to double digits before.
    The best part is the system no longer outputs heat like a nuclear reactor and the insides aren't tangled like a telstra underground copper pit. GPU max power is 380 watts, CPU 158 watts. Ampere responds well to undervolting so I might try that as the temperatures pick up in summer. The dual 980ti Strix models were pulling 600 watts at full load plus the 160 from the 9900k means I'm using over 200 watts less power now.

    12 TimeSpy.png
    14 Monitor.png

    All in all, a good rebuild, all the new parts working great and the 3080+9900k is a beastly gaming system.
    11 Install.jpg
     
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    macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    One final update, purchased the Acer X38 Predator ultrawide. Amazing monitor. The 160hz & 175hz overclock worked perfectly, only a small amount of vignetting at the edges of the screen but it's barely registerable unless you're looking for it. The typical IPS glow is minor and only at the edges while being only visible in a fully black screen situation and it doesn't bother me.

    This should be my core PC for a very long time. It would have been interesting if I'd stuck to the 4790k until these new AMD cpu's came out, a 5950x with a Gen 4 PCI-E SSD would have been icing on the 3080 but the 9900k should be a great CPU still for years to come.
     
  11. krimnl

    krimnl Member

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    I found that a really interesting read! Good insight into why you're keeping certain parts, upgrading others and the benefits (with benchmarks and temps) you saw from your changes.

    Similar to your 4790k, I've got a 4690k which has been great but I feel it's now starting to bottleneck the rest of my build.
     
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  12. sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    That seems like an... excessive amount of paste? As long as it works.
     
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  13. h2oxide

    h2oxide Member

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    GOOD GOD

    It also looks like you applied it with your fingers OP?
     
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  14. jjjc_93

    jjjc_93 Member

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    Surely you can also tidy those pcie power cables up a little too? I keep scrolling through the photos waiting for the updated pic with them neatly bundled and excess tidied away but it never comes!

    Nice specs though, should do you for a few years to come.
     
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  15. KriiV

    KriiV Member

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    Incoming "Guys, I'm watercooling but my temps are horrible" post. :lol::lol:
     
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  16. adamsleath

    adamsleath Member

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    nice looking aio
     
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  17. OP
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    macktheknife

    macktheknife Member

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    I didn't notice this post had got some traction!

    I actually cleaned it up after taking the photo and forgot to do a new one. That square method is how you're meant to put the Coolermaster paste on according to their instructions. The last time I used their paste it came out really nice and smooth, but this time around it got cloggy and hard to manipulate coming out of the tube. It might have been because I picked a lower tier paste the last time while this was their top tier and had different ingredients so it felt more dense.

    I'm not sure how the texture got there, it might have been from the applicator or how it came out of the flat tipped 'needle'. Temps are good still. They can get below 25c at idle when the room is cold and the PC hasn't been on for long. Undervolting really works wonders to reduce the power usage and load temps. CPU rarely gets above 70 unless I'm hammering it with a benchmark or something that works the CPU very hard and the GPU doesn't get over 65 with my undervolts.

    Even after all the steps I took to reduce cable clutter, the space under the PSU shroud was still pretty heavily packed. It made it a real pain to fit the GPU cables and all the front IO cables in that grommet. Those 4+4's in the top left corner and the atrociously designed USB-C front header (the solid black cable between the sound card and the AIO tubes) are the major sore points for me. I never realised how shitty the Corsair PSU's 4+4 cables were otherwise I'd have bought a full kit from cablemods as well as the custom Sata & Molex cables, and it would have come with cable combs to make it neater.

    I know it's a bit of a copout but this is a build in a non-windowed case so it doesn't need ultimate neatness which is why I never bothered with cable combs. I straightened them out a little just before I closed up, I expected the cables to be a bit more stiff than they turned out to be. They don't interrupt airflow and they aren't any daisychains hanging off the side. And of course, it's a massive improvement over how the last build looked.

    It's a really nice AIO for temps and looks. I'm not an RGB guy so they're current disabled. The diffused pump cover is the best looking cover that isn't one with an LCD screen imo.
     

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