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Completed Log Sept. 2009 Final Photos CPU Magazine July 2010 issue spread (digital edition) Well, here we are again. Every couple of years or so, I build a new 'main' rig, and I tend to refer to it as "Lumière Noire" each time. So if this is confusing, it's understandable. I had attempted to log the last version of "Lumière Noire" over at B-T, but right in the middle of it, I had decided to build a new rig. So, of course, the old one was scooted away like a bowl of cold mushy oatmeal. Hey, upgrading does it, right? Regardless, this is my main rig. This is my big beast. This is my pinnacle of evolution. This is my baby. Man, I'm a dork. Let's see what unfolds, shall we? I'll be building the current version of Lumière Noire around a Lian Li PC-A70B. Personally, I tend to go to LiLi most of the time because they're just a joy to cut on. Also, I'll state right now that I'm a W/Cer through-and-through. Basically every rig I build tends to be on water, and if not, they were originally meant to be. :lol:/> The system I am installing in this sucker is made up of a DFI DK X38-T2R board running a C2D e6850, 8GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 RAM, a single Raptor 150GB, and another WD Caviar Black 640GB for storage. Both of those will be housed in twin Scythe Quiet Drive HDD silencers. Graphics handled by an XFX GTX280. The PSU I chose was the awesomely quiet Ultra X3 1Kw. The CPU, GPU, and probably chipset will get pushed. The CPU, northbridge, and the GPU are all water-cooled using (some version of) EK's awesome blocks, in one form or another...but we'll get to that in due time. The fans. This theme was intended to be black and red from the get-go, because that's always the color-scheme I go with on Lumière Noire. So I wanted LED fans. Like I said, I'm a dork. I snagged five red LED Zalman ZM-F3 fans. I was using SilenX fans on the last version of the rig, but they aren't much for static pressure, or anything else for that matter, so I hopped on to Performance-PCs' site (PPC's is a mile away from me :)/>) saw that those just came out, so I ordered them and and picked them up the next day. All the acrylic work is simply a series of mathematical equations. Or vector, for short. Being a graphic designer, I tend to work in my native environment. I don't use Sketchup or anything like that, nor have the time to mess around with it. I draw 2-D illustrations (i.e. side, front, top, etc.) of the stock case and 'digitally mod' on top of it. It saves on paper. Also, I tend to generally tear apart the cases by removing the rivets while modding. I also measure everything and get it within a 1/16" tolerance or closer when designing my mockups. Accuracy is a necessity for such small spaces, or something like that. I tend to look at a case and 'see' what I want to do to it. Other mods jump out in the middle of it, or as I refer to as 'dynamic variables', lol. I know, sounds transcendent doesn't it? I hope not, as I'm not an expert or a mod-god or anything like that, nor would I pretentiously and narcissistically boast that as so. I just do what I do, just like the lot of you. I hope you like what I have to show, and I hope you don't feel like you wasted 10 mins of your life looking @ these things. Here's some stats... Current System Specs: Motherboard: DFI DK X38-T2R CPU: Intel C2D E6850 RAM: Corsair Dominator DD2-1066 4GB kit x 2 (8GB total) HDD1: System drive - Western Digital Raptor 150GB HDD2: Dump drive - Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB PSU: Ultra X3 1000w modular unit VGA: XFX GTX280 OPTICAL: Laptop slotload DVD burner with IDE-SATA conversion board Loop 1: CPU - Thermochill PA 120.2 Loop 2: Video card / Motherboard Chipset - Thermochill PA 120.3 Here's the case, all brand-new n' stuff. I'm unboxing it to make sure UPS Man's 'handywork' didn't, uhh...rupture anything. Taking the side panel off, you can see why I decided to go with this case. And if not, then just continue to read! Nice case! I love Lian Li. I can admit it. Here's the front panel. Nice. And as it breathes it first few breaths of life, I begin to strip parts of it off rudely and without remorse. :lol:/> Just excuse those things installed in the bays. I was measuring things. :D/> Overall, it's a gorgeous case for anyone to use just stock. But for me, that's not good enough. :lol:/> I've got to make it look like I want it to look. The mockup I came up with is as follows: Things may change; things may not. Who knows. I've got some more stripping to do before I cut on the case, coat the chassis, etc. But, let's mod, shall we? I'm going to install a window panel on the case. I just chose the Lian Li W-75B panel, for ease and it's just about what I was wanting. Besides, I need the stock panel for something else. ;)/> I'm modding this window panel though. The acrylic, frankly, sucks on these panels, and the screws have to match. Silver rivets FTL! ...and all drilled out. Holes enlarged for the larger socket cap screws to be used. Let's measure it for a custom window. And design it. I'm cutting this out of smoke gray acrylic, like the rest of the acrylic. I'm following the panel opening's curves so it looks flush and nice. ...Cut and installed. I always use large black oxide socket-cap screws on Lumière Noire. I love the look! Now, on to other things. The board. Okay, yeah. The board stock is nice. But again, I don't want it like that. So....I stripped all the stock cooling off. :lol:/> I decided I'm replacing the stock southbridge with an aftermarket Enzotech sink a bit larger and a bit more efficient. I didn't think the southbridge justified being in the loop, and I hate running massive amounts of hosing. ...and installed. Looks nice. And believe me guys, to those that are considering using anything from Enzotech, go for it. Quality is quite good. :thumleft: The mosfet sinks needed to go too. I decided on Thermalright sinks for these. There. All done. Nice! Now, for the northbridge. Okay, I want to add this to one of the loops. The problem is, at the time I got this board, there weren't much of any blocks that fit this chipset, and the ones that did I didn't care for. I sent an email to Eddy over at EK Water Blocks to see if he had anything in the works for the DFI boards. He didn't. So, I got an idea. :D/> I had a couple of these EK chipset blocks laying around. Since DFI decided to be a bit different and only use two mountpoints for their chipsets on the boards, I decided I'm just going to make a new top for one of these blocks. I measured it out and it looks like it'll be plenty of room for error. Plus, it'll be fun! So I started designing and came up with this. Measurements are pretty damn close. I'll tweak things a bit before I cut it, but it should work. I was thinking of cutting it out of 3/8" black acrylic, which should give it plenty of strength for mounting and it'll be nondescript and stealthy. :lol:/> Now, the CPU's block. I decided to ditch my old EK-Wave I was using for a higher-flow unit. I was going to go with Eddy's Supreme block, but decided to go for the proven D-Tek Fuzion. :thumleft: Nice! But-- :D/> It's not good enough for me stock. Gunmetal looks soooo cool. :headbang: ------------- Until the next update, I got nuthin'. :thumleft: