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Tiny GTX 660 i7 Gamer

Discussion in 'PC Build Logs' started by Ratzz, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. mad_mic3

    mad_mic3 Member

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    looking good:thumbup::thumbup:
     
  2. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Further work on the HDD cage and power bridge.

    I've worked out a lower profile method (different connectors) and settled on and built the final cage design.

    There is heaps of room between drives so the ventilation should be ok, as you can see in the video below.


    movie


    Something I hadnt mentioned though is that I will be putting a 50mm hole in the cage, in the middle of the inside bracket, with holes to suit a 60mm fan should it ever be needed. Personally, I doubt it, but might as well leave the option. The hole will help ventilation anyway if nothing else.

    I considered not bothering with the 3.3V cable (the orange one) as pretty much the only thing that uses them is an msata anyway at this point. They do play a role in hotswapping too in some way I think, but ummm all drives including the C drive will be on the same connector so hotswapping is never going to be an option anyway.

    On the other hand, they are there, it makes zero difference to anything if I leave them there.. so they stayed.

    The entire bridge will be encased in black resin, including the solder side. Hoping it will look pretty pro :) and it really will need it for durability. Mind you, even as it is, its totally rigid and appears very strong.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  3. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Some more pix.

    Board has been trimmed, PSU cable added.

    I forgot to allow clearance for the end SATA cable, but a right angled one fits in under the power cable so all good. Just need to find a right angle that goes in the other direction...

    And yes, all tested and works lol

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Humpty

    Humpty Member

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    Subbed, looks mint man
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Thanks mate, its starting to come together :)
     
  6. BigDave

    BigDave Member

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    Nice work on the HDDs :cool: :thumbup:
     
  7. /invariance\

    /invariance\ Member

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    Although it's a PITA now, you could desolder the power cables and move them up the board slightly to between the sata connectors, then you could use a straight sata lead to match the rest.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Yep thats the plan now :)
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    I've finally bought a mobo for the build !!


    I've picked up an Asrock Z77E-ITX here on the forum for $130, which was one of the two on my short list. The other was the P8Z77-I Deluxe which has featured in most of my drawings. The price is right, it seems nobody in Oz stocks much in the way of Z77-ITX already since the advent of Z87, so I grabbed it with both hands.

    The Asrock is a good board, with all the features I need. It also happens to have an mSATA slot on the underside of the board, but I have just sold my mSATA drives lol


    I dont think I would have used them anyway, as the socket is slower than the drives I will be installing, and with a 250G SSD for OS, it makes caching redundant too.

    Nevertheless, I am now going to move the board 13mm higher, to get it 20mm off the deck. This will leave me the option of sticking something into that slot without cooking it hopefully, and has the added advantage of making cable clutter disappear more easily.

    I am hoping, since many laptops use an mSATA/mini PCIE slot to run things like wireless and bluetooth, that I can find something to stick in the hole.. maybe a bluetooth module?

    Looking forward to receiving it next week sometime. I also have some resin tint coming, just a black tint to add to standard fibreglass resin for embedding my SATA power bridge.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    In the meantime, I have been playing with Sketchup again..

    I think we should have a Sketchup thread, just for people like me who have little else to do with their time :D


    This is a mash of various parts in a concept. The rad is my version of a Phobya G-Changer 240, 2x120 rad 60mm thick.

    [​IMG]


    I've stuck a full size PSU in there too, due to the 7970 being there.


    [​IMG]


    You'll have to excuse the crappy hoses, extrusions are hard to do well... I am working on my skills so I can draw cables and stuff too, but its not easy.

    Nice compact little loop, with a 7970 in there. This particular water block wouldnt suit though, I would want one with side inlets to reduce the height.


    [​IMG]

    Theres room underneath the HDDs for all the power cables, nicely hidden. They'll be able to run under the board too if needed, this one also has the board 20mm off the deck. Heres a cutaway version, so you can see the back of the PSU and how the HDD cage sits above the cabling.

    You can also see how much space is under the mobo with it at 20mm high instead of 7.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  11. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    I have just been looking at
    :ways to expand storage (currently will have 4 ports, all in use)
    :ways to use the mSATA (SATA2) port on the underside of the board (currently wasted)

    So firstly, there is a module for the mSATA that will share that port between two drives. So thats a SATA2 port, shared, with 2 SATA cables coming from the module. My assumption here, and the advertising that goes with it, leads me to believe that because they have their own SATA controller, they dont need the board to support them as such, and they should work on any modern board.

    I'm thinking, since these would be easily the weakest link in the storage/speed chain, that a couple of the 1.5TB 5400RPM Hitachis could work here. I'm limited to those of course because of the required 2.5" drive size, there just arent any bigger that I am aware of.

    They will only be storage drives anyway, used for video and audio playback. Might be a little slow filling the drives to begin with (I could always do that before fitting them to this slot I guess) but this is one occasion where speed is not going to be an issue, just with a continous read from one of the drives at once in most circumstances.

    I'm sticking with the 1TB version for the other 3 big drives (4th drive is OS SSD) because of the 7200rom speed of those drives.

    These modules have their own SATA controller and even support RAID, though that would seem pretty senseless given the limitations of the socket.

    The second possibility is a port multiplier, but most of the info I can google seems pretty out of date, and points to the board needing to support it. Of course, I cant seem to find that info regarding this board lol... but tech changes every day, and I guess its possible that all boards do nowadays. This port multiplier would also use the mSATA connection on the underside of the board.

    So, does anyone have any experience with either of these? If it happens to be advice specific to an Asrock Z77E-ITX , that would be even better :D but generally.. any comments?

    A further question.. the mini PCI-E slot on the upper side of the board currently has the wifi installed. If I remove the wifi, can I replace it with something else?
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
  12. sonicthemouse

    sonicthemouse Member

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    This pleases me greatly, good buy! :D

    Not sure what else comes in m-PCIe but from my experience with laptops (never tried with the AsRock board as I actually find the WiFi pretty handy) you can put anything in that slot, exactly like any other PCIe slot on a motherboard. It's just smaller :thumbup:
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    New work rig. My first Haswell build. Tried to talk the boss into letting me watercool it but no dice lmao.


    [​IMG]


    Antec VSK3-500 with supplied 500w PSU for now, but a decent PSU will replace that. Just havent picked one yet.

    Kingmax RAM 16G DDR3 1600 - he wouldnt shell out for the good stuff but at least he let me get plenty of it..

    i5 4440 is plenty good enough for the task, its basically my work pc and a small server for the shop, about 10 machines on the network.

    Our data is extremely important but there isnt that much of it, and speed isnt particularly important. Its all just spreadsheets and docs. Apart from that, its just my mule for downloading shit with. So a pair of 1TB WD Reds in RAID 1 and a decent backup regime just in case.

    H87M-E has all the usual features, 6xUSB3 (2 front, 4 rear) a couple of USB2 on the back and 6 more from the board if I want them. 6 SATA3 ports. That pretty much covers the basic needs. Of course it will run both my monitors too, onboard graphics only, its not a gamer.

    Win7 Pro X64

    Not bad for $750 all up. But I forgot to buy a bloody burner, I dont use them on my own machines but I use it a lot at work.. oh well I have a couple lying around here somewhere I guess.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Also picked this up for cheap.

    TT Armor A90 in good nick. Heavy thing, lots of goodness, but wont take supersize GPUs without taking the dremel to the drive cages. Has 180mm fan on top, 140mm in the door, 140mm on the back. Room for heaps more or some reasonable size rads if I keep it.

    I dunno though, dont usually like big cases. Has a working 775 and C2D, 2G DDR800 (coz XP), 500G HDD. Going to strip all that crap out and sell it for what I can get, then decide if I want to keep the case or not.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  15. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Whats all that got to do with a tiny gamer you ask? OK, nothing lol.. but hey its my thread I can shit in it if I want :thumbup:


    This however... at last I have 'the' board thats going into this build.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    So the TT Armor A90 in the pix a few posts back came with a dodgy generic PSU, a couple of sets of wires cut and gaffa taped.

    It has a 180mm fan on top, a 140mm on the side panel and 120mm on the back.

    eSATA on top, 2x USB2

    [​IMG]

    2x USB2, audio, reset, and a couple of dodgy IDE burners. Power switch is the plastic triangle where the arrow points.

    [​IMG]

    The board is an Asus P5B.. by all accounts a good OC board for 775 fans it seems. The machine was running fine so far but the BIOS is warning of the impending death of its 320G SATA2 drive every time it boots. It has a dodgy version of Win7 Ultimate installed and 2G DDR800. The 2 mismatched ODD were both IDE.

    I did look at the CPU before I took it apart, but I forget,, I will fire it up on the bench later and check. Its a C2D, cant remember which one though.

    The GPU is a 512MB HD5450, but it has a DMS59 inteface, which needs an adapter to run a pair of dvi monitors. Standard connections dont fit. And theres a PCI wireless card.


    [​IMG]


    I dont like it much, but the case has potential I think. With a little ingenuity and a fair bit of cutting and removing, I think it would be possible to get one hell of a lot of water happening in there :).

    Some of the drive cage would have to be removed to fit supersized GPUs but not a hard job. Its vented on 5 sides. Its a wide case, wide enough to go with 180mm rads, and a lot of them I think. They could even be stacked on the bottom. Hmmmm


    I have a Z77 mATX board I might play with later (for extra GPU slots) but for the moment, just for fun ;)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Now its an i3-3225 on a GA-H77N-WiFi board, with 4GB DDRR3 1600, and a 640G Seagate on Win7 Pro. Supplied with power by a 90W Pico and a 120W Jaycar brick lol


    I removed the 120mm fan from the back, but I am a bit worried about airflow now with only the 180mm and 140mm fan to do the job :D .

    Do you think I need to add a few more fans or is there enough airflow in there for this system already? ;)

    [​IMG]

    And yes... the previous question may have been a little tongue in cheek...

    I wont mention this case again in this thread, promise. Its either all going to get sold very soon, or I might try an extreme watercooling project in it, in which case it will get a thread of its own..

    I just thought it looks so ridiculous right now I needed to share :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  17. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    One of the things that has been pissing me off is that although I am happy with the performance of the GTX660, it suits my needs well, when working hard its the loudest thing in the computer.

    Also, my current design is built to fit the GTX660. If I ever want to upgrade in the future, I wont have the room. It seems a shame to limit what otherwise is a pretty powerful machine.

    So things have changed again. The case will get a little deeper, deep enough to handle a 12" GPU. And I've just bought a proper loop :)

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=207_160_45&products_id=25061

    I was particularly attracted to this Phobya kit, of the available kits that are quickly and easily accessible, because of the 60mm thick rad, and a much better looking and compact res than the other kits offered. Reviews have them all pretty equal really, although this one wins hands down for low speed fan performance, which suits me perfectly.

    I went with a kit because they are cheap and I am poor :) I can always upgrade bits of it later.

    I did consider 360 and 280 rads too, but decided that the box is already growing far larger than I want it to be, and since this rad is 60mm thick, 2x120 should be plenty. The only real difference to dimensions will be about an extra 50mm in depth though, to accomodate a longer GPU.

    I've even managed to squeeze in a full size PSU now too, to cover higher power needs when I get a better GPU, and I am looking at making or buying a proper backplane for the drives, mounted facing up so I can make the drives easily hotswappable.

    I know some of the parts wont be up to scratch, and its only entry level stuff. Its a learning curve, I will soon discover which if any parts need upgrading. The point is, at least upgrading is possible now!

    I dont want to spend a bunch on watercooling the 660, so the separate waterblock is a universal GPU cooler. It fits this model according to the EK site. I will look into vrm cooling too if it needs it, but its a stopgap till I get a better GPU anyway. I'll buy something I can easily get a pretty full cover block for.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
  18. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    Was so hoping the cooling would have arrived by now. I know it was processed at Underwood mail centre at 11am Friday lol.. so pretty sure it should be here on Monday.

    I've ummm added a little more to it as well.
    Been some major redesigning happening to accomodate the custom loop, and its a little longer now as well, to accommodate up to 310mm GPU if I want to at some time in the future. The problem is that it left an empty space between board and rads on one end of the case, and I certainly didnt want any wasted space !!

    I've had a 92mm rad (50mm thick) lying around for awhile, been wondering wtf to do with it. Well.. I've found something. I think it will look pretty cool the way I am setting it up and hey, every little bit more rad helps right?

    I plan on ordering some GPU VRM and RAM heatsinks for the 660 (because getting a full cover block from the US for it is way too expensive for a mid range card, so the GPU block is a semi universal type one), but I am using it until the cooler arrives so not going to open it up before then and see exactly what I need. PCCG has some 10 packs of little 15mm heatsinks and pads, seems likely that will fit my needs but I will just check first. I am also planning a case mounted fan for those heatsinks, just a small fan on 7V keeping the air moving silently.

    In the meantime.. so proud of this. Been meaning to do it for a long time but hadn't the courage..

    OFF WITH ITS HEAD !!!!! I used the blade method, was ridiculously easy in the end. Don't hold back boys, its not as scary as you think.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. clrobbo

    clrobbo Member

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    Kev,
    I have 2 x EK full waterblocks to fit that GTX660 mate. Forgot to tell you. The good Nickel CSQ ones that you can see the liquid in.
    I woulda sold you one cheap.
    Anyways......
    Cheers
    Craig
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Ratzz

    Ratzz Member

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    lol mate already have the gpu block and have some stick on heat sinks on their way for the vrms. Case had to widen anyway to fit the new rad so there is an extra PCI slot on the outside, got a slot fan to stick in there to blow on the vrms.

    Damn. Wish I had known that when I got the GPU from you !

    Might still be interested, this is all universal stuff, no reason why I couldnt keep it for a different build ;)

    How much?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013

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