ASUS Xtreme Design contest: stage 2 build nelsoncp21

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nelsoncp21 Posted: Mon, Nov 23 2009 8:16 PM

Well I hae been officially told we can start stage 2. My hardware is suppose to arrive tomorrow and I got my case in over the weekend. I haven't started any cutting yet because I want to double check my clearances first. I did however put the case together. Stay tuned I should have some pics up tomorrow unboxing and possibly some premodding assembly. kinda bummed though as I get the stuff tomorrow and then have to head out of town wed for turkey day. I will try to get a good deal accomplished tomorrow evening and post so you guys can comment over the weekend.

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nelsoncp21 replied on Tue, Nov 24 2009 10:15 PM

I guess this is technically day 2 huh. Well I got my gear in today. below are the pics. enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

lots of very nice gear. Thank you to Asus, Antec, G. Skill, Razer, Nvidia and Intel for the awesome gear. I am looking forward to putting it to the test.  Everything was very well packaged with the exception of 1 item. I even found a surprise in there. Thanks for the shirt guys. As I mentioned in my post yesterday I had already assembled the case. I must say I was impressed with the detailed directions Sunbeam included but come on guys I don't have hands the size of an 8 year old. Larger white gloves included would have been nice.

 

 

As you can see the case is very nice but a bit smaller then I had anticipated especially after working with the Lian LI monster in my other project.

 

I started assembling everything today almost immediately as I had a feeling I was gonna have to make some adjustments due to the size of the case.

 

 

 

 

 

Well it really is a tight fit. actually to tight. the SATA connectors get in the way of putting the front panel back on the case. The angle connectors will work I just have to trim back the MB plate more since the connectors angle down and can't do so now because of the MB plate. The graphics card while sexy, she is a big sexy girl. Big girls need love too though so we'll have to figure a way to make her fit. She is actually to long and to high. She fits in the case as far as height but not leaving any room for the power cables to plug in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can clearly see what I was talking about in the above pictures. I think I have a solution though but it will require a bit more modding then I planned. First off if you look in the pics below the rear plate and expansion slots actually are recessed about a half inch in the case. If I can get them to flush mount and move the MB tray forward that half inch, it should give me just enough clearance in the front for the graphics card. I already mentioned earlier how to fix the SATA connector issue. As far as the height of the case, I will have to lower the MB tray. To do this I will have to flip the psu on it's side since the MB tray sits right on top it now. I will have to make some vents in the bottom of the case and pretty much refabricate the entire back panel. I already have several sheets of acyrlic in my closet that were for my other project that I can use. I just have to be extra carefull as I have no room for error on this.

 

 

 

Something else I want to comment on. The psu by Antec. I don't know if they used a thicker gauge wire or what but those cables are super thick and stiff. The psu weighs a ton but it looks and feels solid. I am just worried about routing these cables as they do not have much flex play in them at all.

 

So day 2 did not go as well as I had hoped but I still made good progress. Please feel free to comment on suggestions or critique whenever guys. I'll be checking in from my BB so don't wait till I get back in town to comment. I plan to hit this thing hard come SUN so let me hear what you think now.

 

 

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nelsoncp21 replied on Tue, Nov 24 2009 10:17 PM

so anyone know why only half the pics are showing up now. I had this problem years ago but not since. can't remember what caused this. Did you guys change something on the forums again?

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The forums are not dynamic anymore...If your image is too large it will get cut off now.  The forum used to stretch to accommodate the larger images in sigs and pics.

As for you case, Hot damn!   Lots sweet, I didnt realize that the board was going to look like it is hovering.  Also, those front ports look nasty, that has to be one of the worst places, cant hide those wires, or that pcb.  They should of used some kind of clear pcb.  But you really can't fix that.  Are you going to sleeve those grey cables?  It would suit the black and blue more.

On a side note, what happend with the other rig anyway?  And, where did you get the case?

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Yeah not a fan of the front ports either. I could get rid of them altogether and place some after market one's in but the budget is limited right now. As for project FrostByte I am still waiting for my slow #?* friend to finish the paint job. Everytime I talk to him it's almost done.
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Hehe...I'm really looking forward to seeing the case fully painted and all.  I read in Bob's thread that you are going to sell the components for it...are you not going to finish it?

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If you go to the insert media tab at the top and put in the URL's from there you can set the size of the picture... use 800x600 and they will fit fine...

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ok I fixed the images. I actually had to set them to 600x450 to get them to fit. I had ordered the case from newegg. I think it was only like $80. Not a bad little case just a tad bit smaller then what I had hoped for but still managable with a little modding skills. I am actually gonna take it up to MD with me and hopefully do some work on it in my Dads shop while up there. Atleast thats the plan.

As for my other project, it's on hold till this contest is over atleast and I actually get the case back whenever that would be. The hardware I have for it may go up for sale depending on how this contest turns out. Both systems are very capable but I would probably just add to the hardware I just received with money from selling the other parts and transfer everything over to the Frostbyte case if I don't win this contest. This Sunbeam case is nice but I wouldn't keep it if I loose. Besides I can't fit 3 WC loops in this little case Big Smile

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Here's my update after turkey brake. So I have worked every angle I can with this case and there's just no way to get the extra space required to fit the 260 in unless I remake the outside panels. So thats my next step on the case is to go through adding a inch on all sides(little more then necassary but more room is always better) and reuse the hardware(screws and plates) from the original sunbeam case. I can use the existing panels as a template.

Since I have to do so much extra work on the case I decided to set the components up in an open bench setup like my existing rig is thats still waiting on it's case to be ready. This is just temp so I can get it up and running, test out some features and such and then when the case is ready just pop it in. So as soon as I got back in town thats what I did. I had to take some pics of this cause it's a pretty sweet sight to sit here at this desk with these two powerhouse systems kickin butt right here in front of me. See for yourself. 

 

 

 

 

On another good note. I have two awesome systems based on killer MB's by ASUS that I can bench against each other. So after I get everything up and running and play with some features I want to here some requests on bench's ya'll want me to run. Here's list of hardware that I have sitting in front of me right now that I can bench anyway you like.

i7-860 (LGA 1156) -system 1

i7-920 (LGA  1366)-system 2

Asus p7p55d premium  (p55 express chipset)-system 1

Asus rampage extreme (x58 chipset)-system 2

G Skill 4GB DDR3 2133 -system 1

Corsair 6GB DDR3 1600-system 2

Asus ENGTX260 -system 1

2x Saphire Radeon HD4870's 1GB ver.-system 2

Antec true power quadro 850w-system 1

FSP Everest 800-system 2

Samsung 128GB SSD-system 1

2x G SKILL 64GB SSD (RAID 0)-system 2

2x Raptor X 150GB (RAID 0)-system 2

Windows Vista basic 64bit-system 2

Windows Home premium 7 64bit-system 1

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Hey guys. Just thought I drop in and let you know I am testing out this nifty express gate feature from Asus. Pretty neat actually. The splashtop browser is pretty nice. Very simple to use. No huge chage over IE or anything. None of that extra garbage attached to it either which I personally like alot. My only complaint would be I can't get the resolution right on it. Maybe someone else in the contest figured it out. No matter what I change the resolution to it still stays at 1024x768 and cuts off the edges. I have tried several other resolutions but my viewing size on the screen stays the same. anybody have any thoughts on this? Of and the Razor keyboard is sweet. I am really liking the illuminated keys. Much nicer then the Logitech board I have bee using.  Haven't tried any games out yet to compare the mouse to the Logitech g5 I currently have but I'll let ya know as soon as I do.

I also tried out the Memok feature. It basicly reboots the system and checks the ram and settings then tells you if it's ok once it's rebooted and then tells you to go into BIOS to save the settings. Pretty nice easy way to check if your oc'ing the ram. After I fine tune this baby I will test it out some more trying to make the ram a little unstable and see what happens.

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Nice! now you need 2 LCD's!

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yeah. but I have no more desk room! I already feel like I am sitting behind a command center or something. This is my first go at windows 7 too. so far I am liking it very much. Any suggestions for benchmarks or stress test programs with windows 7? Is prime 95 still the best program to run? want to break this baby in before I start really tweaking her.

Oh and as for the case I cut the top and front panels today. I have to get more acrylic. I'll probably order a new power switch and some case feet too. The wife is gonna kill me for sure Surprise

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I ordered the remaining acrylic panels yesterday to finish the case along with the feet and power switch. I am letting the hardware stress with prime 95 now. Seems to be working fine with windows 7. Guess that program just about works with all versions of windows no matter the upgrade. The audio on this board is pretty sweet. Can't wait to game on this thing. My 1 speaker is still dead though. I need to get a new set bad. The funny thing is that if I click on the speaker fill option on speaker settings and test tab, the speaker tests out great but when I play anything it still is almost non existant. It's only the front left speaker. With 4 other boards I couldn't even get that speaker to test out. way to get my hopes up Asus. Thought my speaker was actually working againStick out tongue. 5 out of 6 speakers isn't bad I guess. Thats it for today. gonna let this baby stress for the nest 24hrs and then start playing with the oc features of the board. Feel free to chime in and get some conversations going guys.  

 

Hey what kinda temps are people getting with these cpu's? I am not using any after market cooler or anything but even with the stock cooler it seems to be pretty high especially when set up in an open bench. I am getting about 72*c from both pc probe and speed fan for the cpu. speed fan was reporting the cores ranging from 79-82. The system temp was right up there with it on speed fan  but pc probe puts the mb temp at 32*c. The GTX260 is very cool and quiet running right around 42$c. I can't even here the fan on the card especially over the noisy RAM cooler which I may ditch.

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ottoyu34 replied on Tue, Dec 1 2009 11:45 PM

the i7 860 on stock , idle shouldn't go over 40C.At least that's what I recall from mine. It's open bench too. These 85W~ TDP suckers run

but cool.

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klsi replied on Wed, Dec 2 2009 4:59 PM

WOW that case look clean and sexy

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ottoyu34:

the i7 860 on stock , idle shouldn't go over 40C.At least that's what I recall from mine. It's open bench too. These 85W~ TDP suckers run

but cool.

Actually according to speed fan and pc probe my cpu at idle is around 19*c with a vcore of .89. The temps I recorded were while prime 95 was running and I noticed my cpu was over clocked to 2.93 and the vcore was at around 2.0v. Is this the hybrid phase feature at work? I didn't set anything to over or under clock depending on usage. Must be a default setting. I loaded everything up at default and was testing the system out for stability. I haven't gone into fine tuning anything in the BIOS yet so I am guessing there is an option there to enable or disable this. 

Klsi- yea the case is pretty sweet looking. to bad it's just a tad bit to small for current hardware. 

 

well the parts I ordered to build the case come in tomorrow. Can't wait to get going at it again. 

 

 

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Well I did some more research and now I understand it's the intel speedstep feature. I spent a good bit of tonight researching some of these advanced features and think I have a pretty good idea of what does what. Talk about a huge difference from overclocking a Athlon 64. Since I hadn't tried to oc my 920 I am kinda learning alot of this as I go. Still a little confused on some of the stuff but right now just trying to figure out what I can get my base clock at and what kinda temps I will get from different vcore settings. I dropped my mult to 14 and raised my bclk to 200. 205 and it gets unstable. So now I am testing some vcore settings out. The ram is at 2:8 at 800 at 1.65v. I understand that puts me at 1600 though right? And I set all the other voltage at their min settings except the IMC volt is at 1.25v. 

 

On a side not I did ttry out the Auto tune feature before I started manually setting everything. It left me with a bclk of 178 and a clock speed of 2.88. I am sure that has something to do with the speedstep feature though. 

 

Any pointers on this guys I am all ears! There is alot of features here to sift through with this new tech. 

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I got to work on the case some more today. Juggling classes, fixing to start a new job and the holidays really makes progress go a little slower. I did get 2 more panels cut out today though. I have 2 more and the exterior of the case is done and then I can concentrate on the MB tray and the rollers. I should have some more pics up tomorrow guys.

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So here are the pics I promised yesterday. I still have a little bit of sanding to do on these panels but not much. I started on the fifth panel today but didn't get very far since it got dark rather quickly and the lighting in my garage is very poor. Another thing on my to do list. Well here they are anyway. work in progress.

 

 

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I have been playing around with the Auto tune function some more. I am actually liking the more I use it. It managed to get a 3.4 clock speed stable. Not bad at all imo considering I used all stock parts. I know many of the other contestants are around 4Ghz clock speeds but they are all using aftermarket cooling and maually overclocking. What still leaves me puzzled is that intel uses speedstep and the mult will go up to 26 but they don't give the consumer the option of raising the mult for this model maually. It is what it is I guess. Well I should have some more pics up this weekend and hopefully the case complete.

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Got the outside of the case pretty much finished now. Will have to do some light sanding on some of the edges but not much. Next Is to place the MB tray, with supports and rollers and mount the HD cages and power button. Everything seems to be fitting together nicely. There is alot more work going into this than I had planned and since I have limited resources it's taking a bit longer. I'm getting there though. Contest is coming to an end soon so I will try to increase my updates a little.

 

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Looking good Nelson.

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peti1212 replied on Wed, Dec 16 2009 2:29 PM

Wow, you guys are doing an excellent job. Too bad I am not that talented to work with tools like you guys do it.

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nelsoncp21 replied on Wed, Dec 23 2009 10:40 PM

Man I am way behind on this project. I am nearly done the case and ready to put it back together. I hope to get some pics up for you guys over the next couple days. sorry I haven't been on top of things. I've had the hardware out of use for the past couple days to use for measuring the MB tray but other then that I had been using it everyday and I am extremely happy with this board. It's very stable and quiet. I haven't had 1 issue and honestly don't expect to. Can't say that for many of the boards I've owned. After I get this puppy back together I want to do some comparisons between this 1 and the x58 board I have. I am interested to see how they pair against each other both being top notch Asus boards.

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Well again I am a little late but here's my final update. I wish I had more time to work on it as it could use some fine tune sanding and a good cleaning but I am out of time so here's it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall I am pretty happy with how the build turned out considering the time frame and the budget I had to work with. I wouldn't call it showcase worthy as there are many others I think more deserving but I had fun with this and I am very gratefull for the oppurtunity to participate. I really wish I had 2 blue led fans to switch out. I think that is bugging me more then anything. Building a completely acrylic case was not as easy as I thought it would be. I had a few oops moments especially with all the close fine tune measurements. I did chip a corner when drilling 1 of the pilots for the thumb screws but you really can't see it. I am actually kinda shocked I managed not to crack any of the panels. So I am writing this off as a success. It's been fun guys. can't wait to do something like this again.

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Nice job Nelson.  Good luck on the next stage, I'll be rooting for you.

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