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Old June 5, 2015, 03:59 PM
'47 Knucklehead's Avatar
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Default Muzzle Flash III: White Death



I started the original "Muzzle Flash" back in November of 2012 here, and made great progress on it. That build was a no compromise build based around the awesome Switch 810 case in gunmetal gray that I heavily modified (including a custom made base). Since that time, I've changed out many of the components ... video cards, custom base, radiator, and will be moving from the standard flexible tubing to rigid acrylic tubing.

After seeing the Phanteks Enthoo Primo, which is build specifically for water cooling, I just had to try this case out. Considering all the other changes I made, and plan on making, to the original "Muzzle Flash", I thought it was perfect to start a new log specific to what this system will be.

After dragging my heals on the "Muzzle Flash II" build for the better part of a year, located here, I really wanted to try a non-standard case that might better show off the liquid cooling parts of the build, and especially the fluid in the video card water block. The best way to do that is either with a "reverse ATX" design (which I had already done in my "Switched Switch" build) or with a case that has the motherboard in a horizontal position. I had considered getting a CaseLabs case in white, but when I heard that Thermaltake was making a special edition of their Core X9 case for only $180 (nearly $400 less than the CL case I was looking at), I had to jump on it. So the idea for "White Death" was born.

For those who may not know, the nickname "White Death" was given to the Finnish sniper, Simo Häyhä, who single-highhandedly sniped over 700 people in 100 days, often in -40C winter weather during WWII.



Computer Components:

Case: Thermaltake Core X9 Snow Edition
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7 (Upgrading to an unknown motherboard in August)
CPU: Intel i7 3770K (Upgrading to a Skylake 6700K in August)
Memory: 4 sticks (16GB) of G.SKILL Trident X Series (F3-2400C10D-8GTX) (Upgrading to unknown DDR4 in August)
Power supply: Seasonic Platinum 1000 Watt
Video card: EVGA GTX 980 Superclocked ACX 2.0
Hard drives: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
SSD drives: Samsung 840 Pro series MZ-7PD256BW 256GB and Intel 320 series 120GB Solid State Drive in a hot swap rack
Hot swap drive rack: ToughArmor MB991SK-B 2.5” SATA Mobile Rack for 3.5" Device Bay and SilverStone FP55B Aluminum Front Panel 3.5" to a 5.25" Bay Converter
Keyboard: Ducky Shine 3 YOTS Mechanical Keyboard Orange LED Backlit (Brown Cherry MX)
Mouse: EVGA Torq X5 gaming mouse
Operating systems: Windows 8.1 64-bit and Windows 10 Professional 64-bit and Ubuntu 15.04

Cable sleeving: MDPC sleeve. Orange, Titanium Grey, and Shade 19.
Lighting: Farbwerk USB/Aquabus 4-channel RGB LED Controller and Flexible Color Changing RGB Ribbon Flexible LED Light Strip

Water Cooling Components:

CPU block: Koolance CPU-380I Water Block
GPU block: EK-FC980 GTX - Nickel
GPU backplate: EK-FC980 GTX - Nickel
Radiators: 1 XSPC EX480 Low Profile Radiator and 1 XSPC RX240 Extreme Performance Radiator
Pump: Aquacomputer D5 pump with USB and Aquabus interface
Pump Base and Reservoir: EK-XRES 140 D5
Fittings: Primochill 1/2" OD Rigid Ghost Compression fittings - Anodized Silver and various Bitspower fittings
Tubing: Primochill 1/2" OD Rigid Acrylic Tubing
Fans: 12 Cougar CF-V12H 120mm 1200RPM fans and 3 Cougar CF-V14S 140mm 1000RPM fans
Fan Controller: Aquacomputer Aquaero 6 XT USB fan controller, graphic LCD, touch control, IR remote control
Fan Splitter: 2 NZXT Grid 10 port fan hub (modified)
Temperature Sensors: Aquacomputer Temperature Sensor - Inner/Outer thread G1/4
Flow Sensor: Aquacomputer Aquaero "high flow" G1/4 Flow Sensor
Coolant: Distilled water
Dye: Mayhems Orange Pastel (NEW formula) (This will most likely change to Mayhem Orange Dye for a more translucent look.)

Audio Components:

Amplifier: Onkyo TX-NR636 7.2-Ch Dolby Atmos Ready Network A/V Receiver w/ HDMI 2.0
Front Speakers: 2 Boston Acoustics VR 975 Reference-quality
Center Speakers: Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000
Sub-Woofers: 2 125-watt 10" (one in each VR 975 speaker)
Rear Speakers: 2 Boston Acoustics SounWare XS Satellite Speakers
Side Speakers: 2 Boston Acoustics SounWare XS Satellite Speakers

Index:


Highlights:
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Old June 5, 2015, 04:01 PM
'47 Knucklehead's Avatar
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Reserved for expansion.
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Old June 5, 2015, 04:22 PM
'47 Knucklehead's Avatar
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I was originally was going to buy a Case Labs Mercury S8 case in white for $550 and was all set to pull the trigger on it (and wait the 6-7 weeks for it to be done in white and a week to ship across the country), when I discovered that Thermaltake was coming out with a version of their Core X9 case in white ... the Snow Edition. I instantly thought that this would make a great case to get and whip out my Dremel and mod the heck out of. If you have ever followed any of my previous work, I personally don't consider it to be a "Build" unless you actually cut, crimp, bent, paint, and/or fabricate in some way. I consider those things just "Computer Assemblies", but I digress.

So about 2 weeks ago I pre-ordered my Core X9 Snow Edition case and waited for it to come into stock and Newegg, then be shipped to me. This was all before the Case Labs/Thermaltake fiasco that recently took place at Computex. Maybe if I knew know what I knew 2 weeks ago, I might not have ordered it, but I didn't, and since the Core X9 doesn't really look much like (or is constructed the same way) as the triple the price Mercury S8, I see no great foul.

There is a TON of room in this case. If you wanted, you could easily mount a PAIR of 420 radiators up top, one 420 down below, AND a 240 down below also. Not to mention a couple slim 240/360s up front and a 120/140 on the back.

Me, I'll be trying to keep all the radiators and their fans down in the lower part of the case (along with the PSU) ... A 420 radiator with 8 fans in push/pull mounted on the floor, and on the PSU side a 240 radiator with 4 fans in push/pull mounted on the floor. I will also be constructing a mid plate assembly to split the case into an upper and lower portion. Then I'll push the feed and return tubes up through the mid plate and connect it to the EK-XRES 140 reservoir and pump and then over to the CPU and GPU water blocks.
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Old June 5, 2015, 04:23 PM
'47 Knucklehead's Avatar
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(1 week ago)

I went ahead and ordered a 24" x 36" x 1/8" sheet of opaque white acrylic (#3015) from eStreetPlastics that will hopefully be here at the same time. That should give me enough material to make two mid plates ... because you never know if I'll screw something up and have to try again.

[update]

Just got the tracking info from eStreetPlastics and the material for the mid-plate will be here Wednesday.

The 2 white Bitspower case top water fill ports that will allow the G1/4" fittings to go through the mid-plate have shipped also and should be here about the same time from Performance PCs.
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Old June 7, 2015, 09:29 AM
'47 Knucklehead's Avatar
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(4 days ago)

Well the Thermaltake Core X9 Snow Edition came in today. No shipping damage, and for the cost, it doesn't look too bad. Sure it's no $550 Case Labs Mercury S8, but I won't be hesitant to cut up and take my Dremel to a $180 case.

So without further adieu, there is the case.





























Now some people have said that Thermaltake cases are "junk", but that just isn't true. Sure it isn't as good a construction as a case triple the price, and no, the "fit and finish" are perfect, but it is about as good as say the NZXT Switch 810 (which I've owned 2 of them). The case is VERY solid, doesn't rack, even when all the panels are off. My two biggest complaints about the case is the paint is, well, paint (not powder coated like on a Case Labs) and there are no hinges on the doors, so that like the Switch 810, after you open and close the door about a dozen times, the paint on the inside edge (not visible) will rub off. The last two things are just typical of most cases these days, plastic window and has a plastic front (granted like my Phantek case, it is covered in metal mesh).






Last edited by '47 Knucklehead; June 7, 2015 at 09:37 AM.
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Old June 7, 2015, 09:31 AM
'47 Knucklehead's Avatar
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(3 days ago)

Today I also got in the 2 white Bitspower water fill port fittings that I will use on the mid plate on this case as well as the white acrylic sheet for the mid plate.

After doing some measuring, it appears that I need to cut the mid plate sheet 13 13/16 inches by 23 5/16th inches. That will pretty much totally fill the entire inside of the case, front to back and side to side. Once I verify that, I can lay out marks for holes to put it over the motherboard tray and have it extend all the way forward.

Then I can figure out exactly where to mount the EK reservoir and Aquacomputer D5 USB pump assembly on the front part of the case. Then I can lay out holes to pass the power supply wires, the SATA data cables, and the water send and return to and from the radiators down below.





Last edited by '47 Knucklehead; June 7, 2015 at 09:37 AM.
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Old June 7, 2015, 09:33 AM
'47 Knucklehead's Avatar
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(2 days ago)

Tonight I did a little marking up and measuring for the mid plate.

For those interested, I've taken some preliminary measurements for the Core X9 mid plate.

If you cut a piece of 1/8" thick acrylic that is 13 13/16" by 23 5/16" that will be a good fit. You MIGHT want to go about and 1/8" or 3/16" less on the 23" cut if you are wanting to do what I am toying with the idea of doing, and taking more white acrylic and making an acrylic insert on the FRONT inside part of the case to smooth the look out.

Then you will need to disassemble your motherboard tray, remove the rubber grommets and motherboard stand offs, put the tray on the sheet of acrylic (with the protective brown paper still on, both sides) and then with a pencil, trace the cut outs and where the motherboard stand offs are located (as well as the large cut out where the stealth drive area is. That way your CPU back plate will have clearance and you can easily run the SATA cables under the motherboard, through that hole and to your drives for a nice clean cable run). Then it will be a simple matter of using a 5/16" (or maybe a 3/8" if you want to move your plate around to get a perfect up front or back) drill bit and drill out where the stand offs were marked.






Then you can put the motherboard stand offs back on, leave the rubber grommet off (we'll put the holes EXACTLY the size and location later) and try it out. Next you'll want to get 2 or 4 extra motherboard stand offs and find a nut that will fit on the thread side of them and then fasten them to the 2 horizontal rails that hold the motherboard tray, somewhere near the front. Optionally, you can then mark where they are on the mid plate and drill those holes. These additional 2 or 4 stand offs will make it so the mid plate is level and won't sag. If you drill them, then you can also use motherboard screws to go into the holes and into the standoffs and that will be enough to hold the entire mid plate in place.

Viola! Easy Core X9 customization.
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Old June 7, 2015, 09:37 AM
'47 Knucklehead's Avatar
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(1.5 days ago)

Well, did a little bit more work on the acrylic work today. Pretty much got the mid plate the way I want it, and had a ton of the stuff left over, so now I might do something a bit ... more.

Going to see if I can "clean up" the inside of the case a bit more by making a front and rear insert too.





The mid plate is pretty well done for now. I still have to get a couple more motherboard stand offs to prop up the front part of the acrylic (after I paint them white) and figure out where I will drill holes for the hardline for the water cooling from the top part of the case to the lower section and where power wires come up.





Here is a shot of the back insert. I left a bit of room for clearance for video cards and the motherboard IO, which I plan on building a cover for to match up to the back part. I'll be plotting a hole for a 140mm fan and the 4 mounting holes. This should give a nice clean look from the inside, and help hold the insert in place.





I cut the front insert acrylic, but I have to plot out where to cut away parts to allow air flow in and the 3 5.25" drive bays to sit, but that will be another day.


Next up ... wiring up the 10 fans on the 2 radiators. Going to cut all the wires exactly to length and sleeve them. I have a couple of the NZXT Grid 10-way splitters that will then interface to the Aquacomputer Aquaero 6 controller.
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Old June 7, 2015, 02:42 PM
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Good on you Knuckles for giving TT a fair shake.
you make a good point about not hesitating to chop into this case - for the price.
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Old June 7, 2015, 04:03 PM
'47 Knucklehead's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungwirez View Post
Good on you Knuckles for giving TT a fair shake.
you make a good point about not hesitating to chop into this case - for the price.
Well, truth be told, I bought this case BEFORE all the recent fall out about the copying Case Labs at Computex. If I didn't already buy it and it was already shipped, I might very well have not ordered it.

A fellow case modder friend of mine saw that I was getting one, and ordered hers, and then when the stuff at Computex hit, she cancelled her order (it hadn't shipped yet). After seeing just how much room there is, and how this case really isn't like the one that is at issue at Computex, she went ahead and placed her order again. We talked a lot about what happened, and realized that is case was really it's own design, and after thinking about it, weren't ready to throw the whole company under the bus for a possible upcoming case. I honestly hope that TT either doesn't release the W series, or works out a deal with Case Labs (royalties, etc), or changes something in the design to make it "their own", but it shouldn't affect this build.

And yeah, I love "chopping" and this thing will allow just that.
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