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PROJECT LOG Liberty Raven

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Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
PROJECT: Liberty Raven


My original plan was to modify my Dell Studio XPS 9100 to fit my new hardware (into a "sleeper"), but the more I looked at photos of the case and motherboard area when empty (on the Internet), the more I started to doubt the actual successfulness of putting my MOD ideas into action, and even still there would be issues with keeping good airflow throughout the case. So I decided to clear my head by looking at new case options instead or at least to maybe get some ideas, I was liking the white AZZA Genesis, that is until I happened across the RAVEN II (the RAVEN III would have sold me as well, but they went way far too off from its original look and have basically created an entirely new case, I really think that they should have given it new name and kept improving on the original Raven look), as soon as I saw it I knew I had found my case and knew in which direction to go.


liberty_raven_0.jpg

liberty_raven_1.jpg


liberty_raven_2.jpg
liberty_raven_3.jpg

Build:

OS: Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate and Bitdefender Total Security 2012

Silverstone Raven II Case

Intel i7 980x CPU (pulling from my Dell Studio XPS 9100)
Thermaltake TG-1

EVGA Classified 3 X58 MOBO
EVGA Classified GTX680 4GB GPU w/ Classified Backplate
EVBOT

G.SKILL 24GB DDR3-1600 (I will most likely pull off the heatsinks and replace them with six Artic RC Pro heatsinks—though I am still not entirely sure on this, as from my understanding this MOBO does not allow for RAM OC, so it would really only be for aesthetics purposes)

2-Corsair 120GB Neutron GTX SSD inside of a lockable Icy Dock 3.5” hot-swap casing (for OS and Program Files only; if possible I will run in RAID-0 otherwise I will just use it as a ghost-drive--biweekly backups, for example)
1-WD VelociRaptor 1TB HD (for Storage, etc.)
1-WD Green 2TB HD (for a Scratch Drive)

2-LG Blu-ray 14x Players
2-LG DVD 24x Players

Thermaltake Toughpower 1200W PSU (I originally wanted the 1050W, but those are always sold out)

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Pro (lapped by me (well, I gave it my best effort), with a 120mm Noctua Pull w/ a 92mm Noctua Push, using a converting duct--not certain if this will fit due to the large heatsink on the MOBO, but visually it appears that it will clear it by just under 1/8 of an inch or so)

Silverstone PCI USB 3.0 Card for front USB 3.0 access (EVGA did not include an internal USB 3.0 connection for whatever reason)

Killer NIC 2100 (Pulling from my Dell, though I might just go with the dual onboard 100MB/1000MB RJ-45, being that I don’t think it provides any real performance increase and requires that extra software to be ran, though you do get a bit more control, but it might also be causing a slight amount of conflict with Bitdefender—that is just a guess on my part from problems I occasionally have when using the Internet on my Dell)

SoundBlaster X-Fi (Pulling this from my Dell; that is if there is room for it)

Acustipack Extra Sound Damping
Small metal case badges for major software and equipment used in the build
Assorted screws, wiring, filters, etc.
Razer keyboard and mouse (Lycosa Mirror SE and Imperator)


Goals:

To OC and reach a stable 4.0GHz on the CPU.
To OC and reach a stable 1150MHz on the GPU.
To maintain a cool running case and stable OS.
 
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pwnmachine

Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2009
That's quite the collection of parts there, looking forward to the finished product.

Sub'd.
 

reap3r

Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2009
Location
BC, Canada
Oh my, those parts.

Looking forward to seeing this put into action!

Sub'd.

PS: Lucky you getting a hold of a 680 Classified... I'm using 2 for a build I'm putting together and good lord are they hard to get ahold of (in Canada)...
 
OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
Thank you. And that Insomnia project is taking off nicely (as to being creative), oh and I like the black and white theme myself. I was actually planning on getting those same BitFenix fans, although for another case that I ultimately decided against getting (the AZZA).


Alright, here are a few quick updates:


Backside wiring tidied up:
liberty_raven_4.jpg



Full view of the "engine" (still need to transfer over the CPU):
liberty_raven_5.jpg




In order: 120mm Noctua below a Nexus Beamair, Thermaltake Pro, Nexus 120mm to 92/80mm fan ducting, Noctua (low profile) 92mm, and a OKGear 92mm metal fan filter.
liberty_raven_6.jpg



View of the block after lapped (sort of hard to see on camera):
liberty_raven_9.jpg



Front to side view:
liberty_raven_7.jpg



Font view:
liberty_raven_8.jpg
 

m715

Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2012
Location
Owego, NY
Nice build, I hadn't looked at the Raven case before, the orientation of the components/motherboard is interesting, looks like it should be good for cooling...keep up the good work :cool:
 
OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
Nice build, I hadn't looked at the Raven case before, the orientation of the components/motherboard is interesting, looks like it should be good for cooling...keep up the good work :cool:

Thank you. That is one of the things I found interesting about the Raven, it is a positive pressure case, blowing cool from bottom to top (e.g., heat rises), which is suppose to help in decreasing average temperatures by around 5 degrees Fahrenheit (but then again it is running 3-180mm low-to-high fans to achieve that). Also the case is not really built for water cooling, but it does include two bottom holes to take hosing in and out of to an external source.
 
OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
Why so many optical drives?


I administrate a multi-functioning political awareness/“conspiracy theorist” Website that includes steaming video (which I recently relaunched with new multi-media software, so I am starting from scratch working out software issues at iWarrior WebTV - Knowledge Visualized). Which means that I have lots of DVD’ to convert into MP4-HD files (right now only test music videos are showing, as I am having major issues with Nginx and getting progressive streaming and uploadprogress to work properly).

Originally, I was going to just have the two Blu-Rays, though after deciding on the Raven case with its extra bays, and considering that DVD’ play in the Blu-Rays at only 16x, while the DVD players run DVD’ at 24x and only cost $20 apiece, I thought I might as well just get them, I can always take them out whenever. And as a bonus I can use them whenever needed to quickly burn DVD copies for free distribution.

Though I will admit the case looks much nicer with only the two Blu-Rays displaying; those faceplates are very eloquent on the new LG series.
 
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OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
For a quick update:

My build is on hold presently, due to a bad unit of ram and what seems to have been a malfunctioning GPU, I had RMA’ed them both back last week via FedEx Office. Right now I am using the ram (12GB of generic memory) and GPU (ATI Radeon 5900) from my Dell Studio XPS to setup my OS and have also been reconfiguring the layout and cleaning out all the dust from around my makeshift home office.

* The new memory was only showing sixteen-gigabytes available out of the twenty-four, while testing in units of twelve-gigabytes resulted in one instance of eight-gigabytes, I then cycled those out until I located the one that resulted in causing eight-gigabytes as opposed to twelve-gigabytes.

** The GPU was freezing Windows 7 at startup (the animated logo would stop moving and Windows would just sit there doing nothing); and moreover, when warmbooting the monitor’s power would not reengage, thus forcing me to shut off the power supply and perform a coldboot. The only way I was able to enter Windows was via safe-mode. Also to note the GPU did not cause these issues until Windows had auto installed the drivers for the GPU through auto-update or when I manually installed the drives using the included EVGA software CD.
 
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OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
Yet another somewhat update:

I received both RMA’ back for the GPU and memory.

For the GPU, I thought I was suppose to return everything, so I did and in return I only received the GPU back they kept all of the dust covers, software CD, etc., tech support told me I am just out of luck, I should have only send them the card (I was under the impression I was going to receive a new card, being that they told me I have to take my classified back-plate off otherwise they will end up keeping it).

After many hours of basically fumbling around I got the GPU to work in the #2 16x PCIE slot, for whatever reason while in the #1 16x PCIE slot the GPU will not refresh the monitor once Windows starts with the Nvidia drivers installed, but it will work while in the second slot. Also I was having serious driver crashes, Windows pausing, and BSOD related to the GPU drivers (I have the most current version installed); however, I seem to have resolved this issue when I enabled the K-Boost option using the Precision-X utility, which caused Windows to do a reboot after showing a popup concerning SLI-mode being turned (off or something to that effect)

Well I had 24-GB of fresh new memory… That is until I began replacing the stock heatsinks with the Artic Pro heatsinks. Those G.Skill thermal pads are very stick and hard to pull off, using a heat gun only slightly aided the process. Unfortunately, I misjudged where I had the screwdriver during the prying process on one of the sticks and broke off a tiny conductor looking piece, so for now I will just be using three sticks in slots 1, 3, and 5 (which I presume will work out better for whatever OC I am able to pull off using this set of memory with the EVGA X58 Classified-3).

I now pretty much have Windows up and running and the computer positioned in its spot under my desk. Although I am still having a few issues of concern that I need to address.

1. Windows has begun treating my C-Drive as a removable flash device (via a Marvel ATA Controller). I uninstalled the software though that did not make this problem go away.
2. I cannot get the GPU to operation in PCIE slot #1, only the second 16x PCIE slot.
3. I need to finalize my attempt at OC the CPU, GPU, and RAM so that they can sustain stress testing; at present running a stress test results in a BOSD memory dump and reboot.
4. I need to finish my attempt at trying to paint a 92mm Noctua fan black and red to fit with the color scheme.
 
OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
Goodness, it has been nearly two-years already! So, the next phase of upgrades will include the following (assuming all goes as planned):

1. An LSI m-SATA card, 1GB DDR3 cache Areca 1883I SAS 12G dual core RAID controller 2GB DDR3 cache, for RAID 10 and four WD RE 3TB drives for 6TB of media storage as an onboard file server.

2. Full block installation, including GPU (EVGA, copper), MOBO (Koolance set), and CPU (EK Supremacy, nickel).

3. Two Black Ice Nemesis Rads, a 120mm and 280mm (will be somehow fixed to top of the two 180mm fans), each with two NB PWM fans.

4. A dual EK reservoir, two EK D5 pump tops and D5 PWM pumps, and two 400mm EK water tanks (mounted to rear external of case), all connected with black Monsoon rigid pipe and black chrome Monsoon fittings (1/2" ID).

The WD Green will go, along with the two DVD drives and the SSD hot-swap. A few new bits and pieces will be included throughout for presentation, as well as maintenance.

The overall goal will be to provide so much fluid that overall temps remain low through the process of convection, along with keeping energy costs down through the use of PWM equipment, effectively extending the life of all components in the long run.
 
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OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
Just a small update:

I still have not been able to begin the next round of upgrades for Liberty Raven, but in the mean time I have managed to score a few very nice additions from eBay, including (all used of course, and have not tested them myself as of yet):

1. A second set of Corsair 16GB 2133Mhz 1.5v. Providing Liberty Raven with 24GB of memory (using three sticks from each of the two sets).
2. An i7 990X. Which will provide a backup CPU, using the original i7 980X (or I could also reuse it back in its home if need be, my Dell XPS).
3. An EVGA 680 Classified, with back-plate and Hydro Copper. Providing Liberty Raven with SLI (finally, awesome!)
(4. Also two new edition Corsair SSD Neutrons 120GB to replace the current SSD in RAID0--I will attempt to use one or two of this in the PC addressed below; two LG 16x Blu Ray--then 1-2 of the current LG 14x will go into the PC below (the two DVD' will be getting pulled all together); new sleeved extension theme--Silverstone black and red.)

Further still, I decided it best that while working on the Liberty Raven project I will need to setup my old computer first, so that I don't feel the need to rush through it (being that I will be computer-less in the meantime). Thus, I brought my Dell e520 out and figured I should first do some quick upgrades to it, which includes:

1. A refurb MOBO.
2. A Quad-Core 6800 CPU, (to date there is evidence that up to a Quad-Core 6700 may be used on an e520--after the BIOS has been updated to the most current version--so I figured I would just give the 6800 a try and if not will instead hunt down a 6700, which will certainly work, either way both are still a decent upgrade considering the current Duo-Core in there now).
3. G.Skill 4GB 800Mhz.
4. PNY 650GTX 2GB (I already have an upgraded PSU).
5. A new 120mm CPU fan (for BTX FF MOBO), two 80mm and one 92mm Noctua Redux (gray colored) PWM fans (will attempt to use the two 80mm on the rear vents to make case positive pressure and the 92mm to either blow on the GPU or as pull fan at the rear of the CPU tunnel). The three Noctua fans will be connected to a bay fan controller.

One of the issues I have been dealing with is the lack of a proper workspace, so I have decided I am going to convert my workout room into a temporary work area, I will push everything back along the wall to make space for a large folding table and will put up plastic sheeting along all the walls and whatnot, I also bought some eco-paper to put down and a painter's respirator so that I can do some light painting (I need to paint a water-block for the MOBO and possibly the rear of the case after making a pass-through for dual external water-tanks).
 
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OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
I forgot to include a few photos:

How Liberty Raven currently sits:

liberty_raven_10.jpg

liberty_raven_12.jpg

liberty_raven_11.jpg



Included upgrades (however, not all are shown below):

liberty_raven_13.jpg

liberty_raven_23.jpg

liberty_raven_14.jpg

liberty_raven_15.jpg

liberty_raven_16.jpg

liberty_raven_17.jpg

liberty_raven_18.jpg

liberty_raven_19.jpg

liberty_raven_20.jpg

liberty_raven_25.jpg
 
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peanutbudder

Member
Joined
May 30, 2012
Location
California
I still love the look of those Corsair dominator GT's! They're the best looking ram modules I've seen its just to bad they aren't up to snuff anymore with frequencies above 2133mhz. Good looking rig keep up the good work.
 
OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
Yes, sponsored by VISA. lolol

The GT' are very nice indeed. I have been wondering why it appears that Corsair is discontinuing them?

And thank you for complements and all.
 
OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
I have setup my makeshift (Dexter inspired) workshop and it already looks as if a tornado came through it. I have been working on the Dell E520 upgrades and am almost finished. I have been having a hard time trying to get Windows XP to complete the driver install for the PNY 650GTX 2GB for some reason? Goods new is that the Quad 6800 CPU seems to be working like a charm—but my refurbished MOBO had a backward bent pin, so I did my best to move it back to position with a magnifying glass and solder scraping tool, it still looks off a bit so will probably order a new refurb and hope all it well with that one (they are only about $25 so no big deal really, though will have to remove everything again, etc., etc., etc.), being that there is no real way to tell if the CPU is working properly (so far that I know of anyway, with exception to frequent BSOD’ of course).

So far there is not much to see, but I took a few photos to include when I am able to upload them.

I have placed the two 80mm fans, but am not certain I will have room for the 92mm; also, I am still trying to figure out how to include the SSD, because I need to copy over the files from each, the two HDD in RAID1 to two SSD that are currently holding my other system’s files in RAID0… making it more complicated as the E520 only allows for RAID1.

Also, my aftermarket PSU is only 475W, I had thought it was 525W, so I am hoping that is good enough still for the added fans and massively upgraded GPU.
 
OP
Trivius

Trivius

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2012
Location
Fresno, CA
I have a few purchase updates to note:

I ordered another used MOBO replacement for the e520 that is supposed to be in very good condition. Also I came across a 600W PSU with dual fans for the e520 for only $32 so I grabbed that as well, and finally for the e520 I purchased a PNY Pro 250Gb SSD and a new set of matching SATA III and power cables (just hoping the SSD will function fine on the older SATA structure). I will be planning to use the SSD for the OS and as a scratch drive, and then the two 1Tb HDD in RAID1 will be used for storage, perhaps still in RAID1 if it will allow it. I was tempted to replace the current set of HHD’ (which are Seagate Barracudas and are very noisy and slow) with WD Blacks, but will save that for a later upgrade.

And finally for the Liberty Raven, I could not resist myself, I preordered two Corsair XT 240Gb SSD’. The advantages were just so convincing over the current Corsair Neutron GTX 120Gb I have for the build and the price was really not bad at all.

ETA:

The Dell E520 upgrades now has its own (short) build log HERE:
 
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