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Black Ice [First Build]

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Posted · Original PosterOP




Welcome to my build log for my first ever build, Black Ice. This isn't going to be anything special, just a bit of simple modding. There will be 4 sections to this build log, 3 of which are customising components and peripherals, with the last section being the actual building of the rig.


I was originally going to build a black and blue themed build, however after seeing some black builds with white highlights I completely fell in love with the colour scheme. I looked around online to see if anyone else had dome what I was planning to do with the H440 and found a great thread by j4m3. Hopefully when everything is finished, the build should look something like this:



*Image credit: j4m3*


I'll start things simple by explaining the specs of the build and justifying my choices.


CPU: i5-4690k (OC @ 4GHz)

GPU: AMD r9 290x (Stock @ 1GHz)

PSU: XFX Pro 750w Semi Modular

Memory: Kingston HyperX Fury Black Edition (1866MHz)

Storage (Primary): Samsung 840 Evo 250GB

Storage (Secondary): Seagate Barracuda 2TB

Storage (tertiary): Hitachi 2.5" 320GB 

Motherboard: MSI Z97S SLI Krait Edition

Case: NZXT H440 Blue/Black

CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X61



CPU: I went for an i5-4690k, but I was originally going to purchase a 4790k as this machine will be used for somewhat heavy rendering and image editing, however it was just out of reach budget wise. I'm also considering upgrading to DDR4 when it becomes more affordable, so purchasing an i5 will save me some cash when it comes to purchasing a new motherboard, CPU and memory later on down the line.


GPU: I purchased this card last April for just £210, which was a great price at the time. It was the best card I could afford for my budget. In order to maximize the amount of money I can put into other components I have decided to re-use the 290x as it still performs very well.


PSU: I purchased this alongside the 290x. I couldn't afford a fully modular power supply, so the extra cables really restricted airflow in my older case, however they shouldn't be a problem in the H440.


Memory: This memory was cheap, had good speeds and latency and fit the colour scheme. As far as I'm concerned memory is memory, and there's really no point in spending another £60 for some flashy LEDs on something like the Corsair Dominator Platinum modules.


Storage (Primary): I wanted an SSD with enough room for my OS and a few programs such as Photoshop and Sony Vegas. The 840 was relatively cheap for it's speeds and size. I would've gone with the 850 evo/pro however I couldn't find any extra cash from my budget.


Storage (Secondary): I wanted some reliable storage for things like movies (Totally legal, of course...), games, probrams and any other junk that gets built up on my PC. The Seagate Barricuda offered this at a very reasonable price.


Storage (tertiary): This is some old 2.5" laptop drive I found in a drawer. It still works fine, and it's fairly quick. I'll be using this drive as a target location for FRAPS and DXTory.


Motherboard: This motherboard had everything I needed, including a great white/black colour scheme for a good price. It's Z97, so has all the bells and whistles which should last me a good while even if I decide not to upgrade to a DDR4 ready system.


Case: I chose this case mainly on aesthetics and silence. Although some say the fans run very loud when using the included 10-port fan connector, I can always solve this issue in the future by buying an external fan controller, or find a way to ghetto mount a 3.5" controller on an internal bay. The case looks outstanding, and with a few coats of white gloss paint over the blue bezels it should match the colour scheme perfectly.


CPU Cooler: I wanted a CPU cooler that is future proof and can be used with a G10 if I ever decide to get a custom loop for my CPU, while still achieving very low temperatures. This AIO has great benchmarks, and should provide more than enough cooling capabilities to help me push the i5 to its limits.





The Case


The case (aside from actually building the rig) was the most time consuming piece of the project. I made a few mistakes here and there, and trying to paint the panels outside in an open-air garage was the worst idea. There was very strong winds which blew saw dust and newspaper all over the wet paint. At one point I had to sand off the white paint from the NZXT logo, as the paper completely ruined it :'(


Anyway, I think it turned out pretty well in the end, and can't wait to see the case put together.


Firstly, sorry for any poor quality images. The case arrived when it was dark out so I had to use lamps, which gave off very poor lighting. My case arrived last night, along with my HDD, SSD, waterblock and CPU. I decided to strip it right away to save time when I come to painting it. First of all I'd like to mention how amazing the case looks and feels. It feels like it's fashioned from a single lump of aluminium and is very sturdy, I found myself leaning my entire bodyweight on it at some points when removing everything (Not a good idea, I know) yet it managed to maintain its shape.





The panels came off very easily, and the blue bezels around the black aluminium shell were held in by just a few screws making them easier than I expected to remove.





I taped everything up that I didn't want painting, including the cables for the LEDs on the illuminated NZXT logo. I taped up the foam because I thought the paint may cuse it to become brittle and break away over time, and I also wanted to preserve it in case I want to strip the paint and make the case blue again if I come to selling it in the future.






I used some fairly cheap (£7) glossy plastic paint from B&Q that requires no primer and has a very fast touch-dry time. The can specifies aproximatley 1 hour, however I found myself handling the panels about 10 minutes after painting with no smearing or fingerprints visible. Below is a picture of the paint if anyone is interested, and also some progress after the first couple of coats.








I left each coat to dry for about 40 minutes to an hour before applying the second coat, however in order to clean up any mistakes and defects I did several coats in a short period of time, which isn't the best idea however it sorted out any major flaws pretty quickly. These are the final pictures after the last coat. I think it turned out pretty well, however due to strong winds in the garage there's quit a few little pieces of sawdust, hair and dirt on the panels that I'll pick off with a pair of tweezers and wet sand down some time tomorrow when it's dry before putting them back on the case.


I thought this came out very well for a first time job, and I'm looking forwards to seeing it all together tomorrow! Please note that any areas of blue or poor painting will be covered with the aluminium panels, so it really doesn't matter all that much. The stronger areas of white are the areas that will show when the case is assembled hence why they've received more coats. I'll upload some more pics of the final product.








Completed Case


I put the case together and did some final clean-ups before I box it up and wait for the rest of my components to arrive. The paint dried very well with no blotching or streaks, and even though some of the paint ran a little when I tilted the panels, it soon evened itself out overnight. In my opinion this case looks much sleeker and more appealing than the bland white and black model NZXT sell, and it helps to make my build stand out from the crowd. Although it's such a simple mod, I'm very happy with the end result and can't wait to put the system together.





Completed Build

I finished the build last on Tuesday and spent the last week tweaking things, installing programs and of course a little overclocking. Overall the build was smooth, and I had no issues with any of the components other than the 2TB HDD which, unfortunately, was DOA. I'm currently in the process of getting a replacement, but for now I'll have to live with my SSD and a 150GB drive. One other gripe is the motherboard. MSI really skimped out on accessories. Other than what looks to be a novel of a user guide, there was nothing worth mentioning other than 2 sata cables. The least I expect with an SLI branded motherboard is an SLI bridge (Not that I'll use it, but still...)


Here's a few pictures, I can't work out how to embed an album, so here's the link:http://imgur.com/a/lC9cM

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Posted · Original PosterOP

As a fellow user of the Krait board i'll love to see your take on it!.

I can't wait for it to arrive! Unfortunately I received an email today explaining my order was delayed, meaning I might have to wait until Monday :'(


Kind of frustrating considering I paid for next day delivery...

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I can't wait for it to arrive! Unfortunately I received an email today explaining my order was delayed, meaning I might have to wait until Monday :'(


Kind of frustrating considering I paid for next day delivery...

Ask for a refund of your shipping.


Prometheus (Main Rig)

CPU-Z Verification



Intel Core i3-5005U, 8GB RAM, Crucial MX 100 128GB, Touch-Screen, Intel 7260 WiFi/Bluetooth card.


 Game Consoles:


Softmodded Fat PS2 w/ 80GB HDD, and a Dreamcast.


If you want my attention quote my post, or tag me. If you don't use PCPartPicker I will ignore your build.

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I can't wait for it to arrive! Unfortunately I received an email today explaining my order was delayed, meaning I might have to wait until Monday :'(


Kind of frustrating considering I paid for next day delivery...


they are selling out pretty fast everywhere for people that are building black / white builds so not really surprised as it happened to me as well, ( got some free candy as consoltion tho )

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Posted · Original PosterOP



Updated OP with some pics of the case. The painting went well IMO and it looks pretty good. Looking forwards to putting it all back together.


Motherboard still hasn't arrived. I was considering complaining to scan however decided to let them off as it's coming up to Christmas and times are busy.


Any feedback or suggestions on the painting is appreciated.

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Posted · Original PosterOP



I put the case together :D

I think it looks pretty sexy, and has a much sleeker look compared to the stock white/black model NZXT offer.


Also, I found out my Seagate drive was DOA, and I probably won't get a replacement until after Christmas :'(





Quick pic (For the lazy people who don't want to read OP)




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