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Thread: Red Dragon SFF build

  1. #1
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    Red Dragon SFF build

    This is my second build ever. First build was here.

    I learned from this build, and I learned that no matter what components I picked, there was always something else I should have chosen instead. So this time, I asked for advice here and here prior to ordering parts.

    Not receiving any replies, I just went with my best guesses on the choice of parts, with some help from PhillyD at Performance PC's. Hopefully I didn't make too many mistakes.

    This build came about because I had the good fortune to win a motherboard and GPU from MSI in an Anandtech.com giveaway.

    So with that as a starting point, I determined to make a black and red themed small form factor build that would be sufficient to power a 1080P monitor (bought a large refurbished one from Bosch in an employee sale last year) or a 1080P television.

    Parts list:

    1 x MSI Z87I GAMING AC LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
    1 x MSI GeForce GTX 760 GAMING ITX 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
    1 x CORSAIR AXi series AX860i 860W Digital ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready
    1 x G.SKILL Trident X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C10D-16GTX, Timing 10-12-12-31
    1 x Samsung Electronics 840 EVO-Series 1TB 2.5-Inch SATA III Single Unit Version Internal Solid State Drive MZ-7TE1T0BW
    2 x Western Digital 4TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive, Black, WD4003FZEX
    1 x Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core Desktop Processor 3.5 GHZ 8 MB Cache BX80646I74770K
    1 x Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver Thermal Compound AS5-3.5G - OEM
    1 x Windows 8.1 System Builder OEM DVD 64-Bit
    1 x BitFenix Prodigy Mini-ITX Case - High Airflow Edition - Stealth Ed. & Customize
    1 x Black Ice? GTS Gen Two Stealth 280 Highest Performance Radiator
    1 x Laing DDC-pump 12V DDC-1T
    1 x FrozenQ FlexTank Multi-Option Reservoir - Cast Acrylic
    3 x Monsoon 90 degree Rotary Angle Fitting - 5/8" - Matte Black
    2 x Monsoon 45 degree Rotary Angle Fitting - 5/8" - Matte Black
    2 x Monsoon Chain Gun Compression Fittings, 3/8" x 5/8" 4-Pack - Red
    1 x EK-DDC X-TOP CSQ - Plexi
    1 x Bit Fenix Spectre Pro LED Fan Series - 200mm - Red
    4 x Bit Fenix Spectre PWM LED Fan Series - 140mm - Red
    1 x Swiftech 8-Way PWM Splitter Box - SATA
    1 x PrimoChill ICE Non-Conductive Liquid Cooling Fluid (32 oz.) - Blood Red
    1 x NZXT Sleeved LED Cable Kit - 1M - White
    1 x Lamptron Inverterless Cathode Spectral Bar - UV
    1 x Logisys Dual UV 12 in. CLK12UV2 CCFL Light Kit
    2 x M4 x .7 x 30mm Black Oxide Steel Socket Head Cap - Set of 4
    2 x Serial ATA 3.0 600Mb/s Cable w/ Metal Latch - Straight to Straight - 18" - Black
    1 x Serial ATA 3.0 600Mb/s Cable w/ Metal Latch - Straight to Right Angle - 24" - UV Red
    MDPC-X small black sleeve
    MDPC-X small red sleeve
    MDPC-X black SATA sleeve
    MDPC-X red SATA sleeve
    MDPC-X black heat shrink
    MDPC-X red heat shrink
    MDPC-X black SATA heat shrink
    MDPC-X red SATA heat shrink
    MDPC-X black tubing sleeving
    MDPC-X assorted tubing and heat shrink
    Assorted cable ties.

    Tools:

    MDPC-X Pin Remover
    Dual Head ATX & Auxiliary Molex Removal Tool
    KwikCut Advance SL100SS Stainless Steel Tube Cutter - Orange
    Filling Syringe
    Bitspower - Power Supply Starter
    Assorted screwdrivers, pliers, needle nose pliers, digital calipers, scissors, pry bars, and possibly a Dremel tool if I want to get really fancy.
    Last edited by Bolas; 03-02-2014 at 05:09 PM. Reason: add links

  2. #2
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    Here's the stack of parts.



    Opening the reservoir box.



    Carefully breaking the mounting bracket for the reservoir. Well, OK, it was an accident. I sure hope I can buy a set of replacement clips somehow.



    Monsoon Chain Gun compression fittings.



    Add in the angle adapters.



    Add the metal color accent discs.



    Fully assembled fittings.


  3. #3
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    Now to add the power supply to the case.



    Opening up the power supply box yields this.



    Opening up the bag of cables.



    Nice cables! This is what power supply cables should look like. Black wires, round sleeves.



    Open up the case.





    Remove bracket from case.



    Check fit.







    Install bracket.



    Replace bracket thumb screws.



    Check to make sure it is not upside down, and fan matches up with filter.

    Last edited by Bolas; 03-02-2014 at 01:38 PM.

  4. #4
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    Next the SSD.



    Inside the box:



    Detail:



    Now to find a location for the SSD.

    Remove drive cage.





    Maybe in the rear panel? I'm concerned that this would be blocked by the radiator.



    Or beside the power supply? I'm concerned that this would block the cords exiting the power supply.



    Or on the bottom of the computer? No obvious problems.



    Under the drive cage wins for now.


  5. #5
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    Now for the HDD's.

    Unboxing an OEM HDD gives you... well... just the HDD. They're cheap like that.



    I like the tool free mounting system for the drive bay trays in this BitFenix case.



    Here's where the wires will be connected.


  6. #6
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    Now for the radiator and push/pull fans.

    Unboxing the radiator gives a radiator and some screws.



    Checking radiator fit, rear of case.



    Checking radiator fit, front of case.



    Let's be honest with ourselves... this case isn't really designed to hold a 280 mm radiator with 25 mm push/pull fans... but what the heck.... we'll make it work!

    Height is adding up quickly.



    Eight short screws, eight long screws. Not enough hardware when I need eight long screws and eight longer screws. Looks like I get to go shopping at Home Depot.



    Hmmm.... how am I going to do this?



    Maybe if I use only two screws per fan I can check the fit?



    But... it doesn't fit. The screws are too short to go through the radiator shroud and the fan and into the radiator, I need about another 1/4".

    So... drop the pull fans, go with push only to test out what I can until I get some new screws. Here's what the radiator looks like under the grill.



    Thick even with only one set of fans.



    I end up going out in the snow and ice and buying eight M4-.7 x 30 mm screws to tide me over until I can order some black screws.

    It's going to be tight!



    Let's make sure that I have the fans all pointing in the same direction, and the wires all leading out the same way.



    And that takes up a LOT of space in the case!



    No space for a fan controller in the front drive bay, much less a full DVD drive.



    Here's the top of the case, with four fans installed instead of two. You can see the radiator through the case now. But those zinc screws have got to go!


  7. #7
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    Installed red o-rings that came with the fittings.



    Now to plan out the cooling loop.

    Looks like I got the wrong pump gasket. It's too big!



    Maybe something like this?









    Looks like I'll have to play with the reservoir location a bit.



    Last edited by Bolas; 03-02-2014 at 02:01 PM.

  8. #8
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    Fittings mounted to reservoir.



    And to the other blocks.







    Can't really see the fittings too well through the mesh on the rear panel. Maybe I should replace that with a window?




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    Now to figure out the routing of the cables.

    How big is the big motherboard cable? Will it fit?



    Looks like it sticks out into the drive cage area.

    That's a big cable!





    With the cables and all the water cooling gear, space is looking VERY tight!



    Can't power up the SSD with it's current location, the power cable bends the wrong way. So we will move the SSD to the lower location in the rear panel cage. That should allow the SSD to be away from the radiator enough to give access, and also allow the power cable to connect easily without major modifications.



    It works!



    More cable clutter. We'll have to tame that with some clever routing and some twist ties.



    Now that the spot under the drive cage is free, maybe I can put something else there, like fan wires and a fan power board?



    Maybe I need to buy or build shorter cables?



    Hmm... I like routing the cable through the oval cut-out, that helps with strain relief.



    Tight fit for cables between power supply and hard drive cage.





    Do I have enough cables connected before installing drive cage again?

    Last edited by Bolas; 03-02-2014 at 02:07 PM.

  10. #10
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    Opening up the motherboard box. Note the "do not disturb" doorknob hanger. Too funny! I love it.



    So here's the motherboard layout. Looks like I need not just a 24-pin connector, but also an 8-pin power connector for the CPU. So I'll need to run another cable from the power supply before I put the drive cage back into place.



    Now to check the GPU. Inside the box is this.



    Only one 8-pin power connector required, so I've already run enough cables for that one, no need to run anything else.

    Checking the fit of the GPU in the case.







    Looks like that will block a large part of the side window case panel (it's back-ordered, so still waiting on that) but that it might show off the nice dragon logo, depending on the size of the window.
    Last edited by Bolas; 03-02-2014 at 02:12 PM.

  11. #11
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    Adding in one more 8-pin power connector, now ready to plug the 24-pin back in.

    One 6-pin for SATA power, one 6-pin for fan, pump, and lighting power, one 8-pin for PCIe power, one 8-pin for CPU motherboard power, and one 24-pin for motherboard power.



    Seems like this does stick into the drive cage area a bit....



    This will need a lot of cable management.



    At least there is some space to take up the slack.



    Going to be a bit of a fight to get the hard drive cage back in.


  12. #12
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    Now to install the CPU into the motherboard, install the motherboard into the case, and install the gpu into the motherboard, and connect all the cables and tubes....

    Except....

    DISASTER!

    One of the pins on the motherboard CPU socket is bent. I dare not install the CPU before getting this fixed, so I get to put the build on hold and wait for an RMA for the motherboard to get it repaired.



    While I am at it, I can order new black screws, a replacement for the broken reservoir mounting clip (or try out superglue to fix it), order some new SATA cables (the included ones were black with white connectors -- bleah, doesn't fit my color scheme), and ask PPC to send me the fan power splitter board and pin removal tool that didn't ship with the order by accident (due to last minute changes to the order). With some luck, the back-ordered side panel window might also show up.

    I'll also need to borrow the optical drive out of my old computer in order to be able to install the operating system onto this computer, since this one does not have an optical drive. And since that one is in Nebraska and I'm in Missouri... it will probably be about a month before the next update on this build log.
    Last edited by Bolas; 03-02-2014 at 05:09 PM.

  13. #13
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    My red sleeve and heat shrink arrived today, along with some new SATA cables and the fan power distribution board.

    Last edited by Bolas; 03-16-2014 at 08:14 PM.

  14. #14
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    I got the motherboard back. Different serial number, guess it couldn't be fixed easily. Starting to work on it again today.

    Question... can I just cut off the extra cable length on the front panel sound connector? I figure the Audio HD connector is the one for my motherboard, and I don't need the extra AC'97 connector. Right? Anyone know?

  15. #15
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    It's working! Not done yet, but operational.

    http://valid.x86.fr/5zjpcr

  16. #16
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    Pump gave out. Time to go shopping again.


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