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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
So, I've been offline lately, between turning this rig into our "HTPC" gamer, and the pain extending desktops and such is, I've taken a break from serious "computering". Counter Strike and the like have taken a back seat to Rocket League and Mortal Kombat since about Christmas or a little earlier, and UHD gaming has only happened about twice since then. That's about to change.

We're waiting on a couple more W2's, and then our refund, but the outlook is I'll be able to spend $2000 on upgrades this year. I'm completely open to suggestions on how to spend this money, but the goal is to replace all of the fans, watercool the CPU and GPU(s) and upgrade the storage.

So, can you all help me out? I need:

A 500GB SSD exclusively for games (getting tired of having to pick between speed and size). Figuring an 850 Evo.

A new boot drive, ~120GB seems fine. My current drive is fine, but another drive for programs that aren't games would be excellent. M.2 is an option, but since I'm running SLI, it would be a waste to get anything more than Sata3. At that rate, from what I've seen, it's more affordable to go 2.5".

A new 2.5" storage drive, and probably a vibration gasket or something so that it doesn't rattle the cart-thingy too much, so I can remove the 3.5" drive cage.

Water cooling parts for my system below, and fans.

And finally, 3 Xbox One controllers. I have the wireless "adapter" and one controller already.

I want:

A remote (like a Universal TV remote preferably) that I can use at the couch, to type things and control the mouse. Currently I use the free ASUS Smart Gesture app on my phone, and while it mostly works, it also eats my phone's battery and is kind of a pain. Plus, I can't use keyboard shortcuts and in some instances typing doesn't work very well (in games especially). It would be cool if I could use it to control the TV, cable box, stereo and blu-ray player as well, but we're already in the realm of "not totally necessary".

I'm considering an XB1 Elite controller in place of one of the regular ones. This would be exclusively mine, of course, so no kids would ever touch it.

This is lame, I know, but my mouse pad is junk. I would love to get Razer's Firefly or something similar to that, but it's so far down the priority list, I doubt it will happen. I do need a new mouse pad though, and want it to match the blue color scheme. Any recommendations are welcome.
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
A remote (like a Universal TV remote preferably) that I can use at the couch, to type things and control the mouse. Currently I use the free ASUS Smart Gesture app on my phone, and while it mostly works, it also eats my phone's battery and is kind of a pain. Plus, I can't use keyboard shortcuts and in some instances typing doesn't work very well (in games especially). It would be cool if I could use it to control the TV, cable box, stereo and blu-ray player as well, but we're already in the realm of "not totally necessary".

This + some duct tape and a Universal Remote of your choice ? :)

Sorry I couldnt help myself. In the realm of real suggestions... I have A couple of Logitech Gamepads (F310 I think) and they work very nicely. I have heard that the Xbox pads are some of the nicest options, but I just thought Id give a positive nod towards the Logitech. Keys are easilly mappable, and the grip is comfortable. Options for analog joystick control and the whole 9 yards
 
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
I have a 310 gamepad from Logitech, and it is good, but the wireless one costs about the same as the Xbox controller, which has a headphone jack on it and in my oppinion, a better d-pad.
 
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
Here's where I'm at right now:

Scrapped the third SSD, can always get it later on. Also scrapped the Elite controller, as it's just too much money for a few interchangeable parts and extra buttons. So for hardware, I have:

The 500GB 850 Evo picked out, along with a 5400RPM 1TB WD Blue (I know it's going to be slow, but if I end up needing space for games, I can always put the 3.5" back in).

The 3 XB1 controllers with C+P kits.

A couple of USB rear panel brackets, because I'm running out of ports.

For accessories:

Razer Firefly.

Still deciding on the KB/M for the couch. The one Knoober posted looks like the best option right now, though the Rii i8+ also looks good. We can deal with using the cable box's remote for everything else.

Watercooling:

I'm currently undecided as far as how I want to go with this. I have the Alphacool XT45's in 420 and 280mm picked out, along with 8 Noctua NF-A14s to go on the radiators and in the fan mounts on the bottom and back of the case. I'm thinking probably an EK Supremacy Evo CPU block, and have EK full cover blocks and Bitspower backplates picked out for the GPUs. Primochill tubing, and a PWM splitter are also decided on. I still need:

Res/pump (not really a fan of the bay style res).

Fittings (have Bitspower 90s and straits picked out right now, just need to get a count once I decide on the layout of the loop).

And anything I'm missing.

Also, what I don't use out of the budget will go towards my wife's new computer, so the less I spend, the better. With my current parts list, I'm at around $1500, but that's with only one of each fitting and a res/pump that can easily be swapped out for something better/less expensive.

What do you all think?
 

knoober

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2015
Just a quick not on the little keyboard/mouse combo I linked: I actually have one of these things and while I dont use it heavily I havent seen any problems with it. Range is fine. Mouse sensetivity is fine. The keys are a bit stiff but could possibly "break in" a bit. There are tons of other choices though. I chose this one based on cost and because I didnt have alot of requirements beyond being small and wireless connectivity. I did see some much nicer models while I searched though
 
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
Understood. Those are the only requirements for me as well. Any gaming done from the couch will be with controllers, and any gaming requiring kb/m will be done at the desk, this will be exclusively for navigation. The only real requirement is real time key presses, so key combos like alt-tab and shift-tab will work.
 
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
Recently discovered that a 420mm radiator won't fit at the top of my case without modding. So now I have 3 options; Switch to a 360, a 280 or mod the case. What do you guys think?

If I go with a 360, I'll need to switch 3 fans out for 120mm ones, so I'd need recommendations for that.
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Recently discovered that a 420mm radiator won't fit at the top of my case without modding. So now I have 3 options; Switch to a 360, a 280 or mod the case. What do you guys think?

If I go with a 360, I'll need to switch 3 fans out for 120mm ones, so I'd need recommendations for that.

I vote mod.

Why not mount the rad outside the case, on the case's top? Build a simple frame or better yet, get 4 hollow aluminium rods and use them as stands perhaps....
 
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
I'm going for as clean looking a loop as possible, and I don't think I can achieve it with running tubes outside of the case. I don't use the 5.25" bays, nor do I plan to, so no big deal to remove them, but If there isn't going to be much cooling difference, I'd rather go with a rad I don't have to mod the case for.
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Fair enough, I would personally go with the 360 vs the 280. A lot more fans in 120mm vs 140mm. Noctua comes to mind here.
 
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
So are there fans that match the ones I have picked out in 120mm? Should I go with those, or are there better options?
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
So are there fans that match the ones I have picked out in 120mm? Should I go with those, or are there better options?
NF-F12's or even better,NF-F12 Industrial PWM. Great static pressure for high FPI rads.

That said, I have a low FPI rad, ~7FPI the XSPC RX360v2 so I am using Yate Loon high's in push only and it matches what my old BlackIce GTS 280 did with Yate Loon mediums and NZXT fans in push+pull.

Gentle Typhoons are good for rads too I hear, but there are so many fans out there to choose from... It really depends on the rad I would say.
You could always make a thread in the watercooling section for more opinions and advice :)
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
A 360 up top and 240/280 up front should cool that hardware well enough. If you are worried about the heat or just want to keep things quiet by running fans on low it is possible to fit a 360 up top, a 240 up front, and a 240 on the bottom.
 
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
A 360 up top and 240/280 up front should cool that hardware well enough. If you are worried about the heat or just want to keep things quiet by running fans on low it is possible to fit a 360 up top, a 240 up front, and a 240 on the bottom.

I've actually decided on exactly this. Apples to apples, going 120mm all the way around was so much less expensive (switched to E-loops), that for the same money, I could have the bottom 240 for ~$15 more.

It was late last night when I finished shopping, so I didn't have time to post up the finished list for critique and suggestions. I'll do that when I get home. However, I think it's probably pretty close to finalized.
 

t1nm4n

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2005
Location
Texas
I have the E-loop on my rads in pull, I like them, even when they spin up they are more of a dull hum than high pitched whirling noise some fans make. I opted for the PWM 2k rpm version B-12p iirc, although I've never seen them reach over 1850rpms, might just be my aquaero unit not reading it right or the fact I have 4 fans on a pretty long splitter and the pwm signal has lost some it's umph, either way they work great on these 480 UT60 alphacool rads.
 
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
Okay, so here's the plan:

I intend to use the first picture in this post's layout for my system. I can't think of a way to make it look more clean, and it's exactly the layout I want. I will drill new holes to mount the front radiator if I need to, so no biggie there. Same with the reservoir. I intend to mount the fans in the front like stock, and sandwich the mounting "bracket" in gaskets to try and keep everything quiet and efficient. Necessary or not, I feel like it's my best bet, and the gaskets are only like $2 each. The rads will be an XT45 in the front and on top (240 and 360, respectively), and an ST30 240 on the bottom.

So, here's the parts list:

Storage/Connectivity:

500GB 850 Evo

WD Blue 2.5" 1TB

USB 3 rear panel

USB 2 rear panel

Cooling:

EK Supremacy Evo CPU block

2x EK-FC980 GPU Blocks with Backplates and a Bridge

Alphacool Nexxxos XT45s in 360 with a gasket and 240 and an ST30 240 with 3x gaskets

8x e-Loops with a PWM Splitter

Bitspower 90 degree fittings (thinking 6) and strait fittings (thinking about 17, so I have extras)

Tubing, Reservoir and Pump

And a flow indicator with blue blade

Lighting/Accents/Controllers:

2x UV lights with fan header adapter

White sleeved PSU cables with blue combs

Razer Firefly

3x XB1 Controllers with charge+play

And finally, a dust filter for the bottom intake.

Did I forget anything?

Edit: Yes, I did. I forgot the keyboard-remote. The wife liked this one the best.

Also, I'd like ideas for a drain for the loop. Bitspower makes a valve I like, but I can't think of a way to incorporate it. For filling, I think I'll probably just cut a hole in the top of the case that lines up with one of the radiator plugs. Will that work?
 
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
I think I've figured out how I'm going to fill the loop. I'll put a fitting on the top port on the reservoir, and run tube from there outside of the case when I'm filling. I'll disconnect and cap it when I'm finished. Still looking for a good way to drain, though. I figure I'll install the valve with a cap, and install another section of tube with a fitting when I'm draining. The problem is where to install the valve. Maybe off of the GPU bridge?
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
I think I've figured out how I'm going to fill the loop. I'll put a fitting on the top port on the reservoir, and run tube from there outside of the case when I'm filling. I'll disconnect and cap it when I'm finished. Still looking for a good way to drain, though. I figure I'll install the valve with a cap, and install another section of tube with a fitting when I'm draining. The problem is where to install the valve. Maybe off of the GPU bridge?

Whatever the lowest point is or easy enough and low enough.
For me, that's my rad which I simply just disconnect the tubing to drain.

I never mentioned the e-loop fans to you, they are a solid choice when it comes to rads. Many like 'em :thup:

I can't wait to see the whole rig plumbed and running!
 
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Dlaw

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
New York, USA
Whatever the lowest point is or easy enough and low enough.
For me, that's my rad which I simply just disconnect the tubing to drain.

I never mentioned the e-loop fans to you, they are a solid choice when it comes to rads. Many like 'em :thup:

I can't wait to see the whole rig plumbed and running!

Me either, been waiting a long time man! And at twice the budget I planned to have, I can do all of the crazy stuff I wanted to do too!

So, you disconnect the tubing, you say? I'm worried that if I do that, water will get everywhere. I realize that I wouldn't do that with the system on, but at the same time, I'll have fans sitting on the case floor that I'll want to keep dry. Am I over-reacting, or missing something?

I've seen that e-Loops are pretty popular, and I wanted all of the fans to match. Plus, I've decided to use white tubing and cable sleeving, and I think the e-Loops will go with that theme nicely. I figured that at 120mm, they don't get much better, but certainly more expensive.
 

Silver_Pharaoh

Likes the big ones n00b Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2013
Me either, been waiting a long time man! And at twice the budget I planned to have, I can do all of the crazy stuff I wanted to do too!

So, you disconnect the tubing, you say? I'm worried that if I do that, water will get everywhere. I realize that I wouldn't do that with the system on, but at the same time, I'll have fans sitting on the case floor that I'll want to keep dry. Am I over-reacting, or missing something?

I've seen that e-Loops are pretty popular, and I wanted all of the fans to match. Plus, I've decided to use white tubing and cable sleeving, and I think the e-Loops will go with that theme nicely. I figured that at 120mm, they don't get much better, but certainly more expensive.
No your not missing anything.

When I drain my loop water splashes everywhere. :p
Not a good idea since my case is made of poplar and MDF :-/

See if you can install a T in the line and put a simple ball valve on one end of the T so all ya gotta do is open the valve to drain. That's what I'd like to do when I re-do the tubing.