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Eric The Tech Guru

College Build - Downsizing from an Air 540 to an Air 240

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey everyone!

I've been floating around the forums for a while now and always love watching build logs, but I've never really done a build log myself.

I decided now would be as good a time as any to document a build I'm doing.

I'm currently an expat living in London with my parents, and this summer I'll be moving back to the USA for work and then to start college there in the fall.

My current rig is in a Corsair Air 540, which as you may know is a huge case. It'd be a pain to ship it to the US, and it would also take up a ton of room in a dorm room, so I decided to go for a Micro ATX build in the Corsair Air 240 instead.

Here's the part list for the build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($411.88 @ OutletPC) 
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler 
Motherboard: Asus MAXIMUS VIII GENE Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard  ($208.99 @ NCIX US) 
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory  ($124.00 @ B&H) 
Storage: Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive  ($327.99 @ SuperBiiz) 
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($399.98 @ OutletPC) 
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($104.89 @ OutletPC) 
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($104.89 @ OutletPC) 
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Video Card (2-Way SLI)  ($649.99 @ B&H) 
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Video Card (2-Way SLI)  ($649.99 @ B&H) 
Case: Corsair Air 240 MicroATX Mid Tower Case  ($89.99 @ Amazon) 
Power Supply: Corsair 850W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($164.99 @ Amazon) 
Total: $3237.58
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-31 09:40 EST-0500

I'm moving most of the stuff from the old rig into the new one, the only new parts being the case, motherboard, and 950 pro.

For case fans, I've got 6 of the LTT edition Noctuas, only 3 or 4 of which I'll be using in the new configuration. Some I've got for static pressure, and others for airflow, I'll work it out later.

The 950 Pro just showed up today so I'm pretty excited about that. The rest of the parts should be trickling in this week.

Also got some red cables for my PSU to go with the red/black build. I'm trying to think of something to do about the green lights on my GPUs, I've seen people sand the green coating off of it and make them white, so I might try something similar and make them red if I can.

As far as monitors go, I'm currently using 2x1080p cheap-o AOC monitors, and a nice Asus PB278Q, 2560x1440p 60hz monitor for media production and such.

I'll be posting updates once I've got all the parts and then again once I start construction. Gonna try to do it in a day because I don't like to be without my rig for too long.

Thanks!

- Eric

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Sounds awesome! I'm looking to build using the same case and motherboard. :) Can't wait to see the updates. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of performance you get from the NVME M.2 SSD.

~Wes

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, westonb27 said:

Sounds awesome! I'm looking to build using the same case and motherboard. :) Can't wait to see the updates. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of performance you get from the NVME M.2 SSD.

~Wes

Thanks :D

I'm hoping for the fabled 2500/1500 MB/s Read/Write so I guess I'll just wait and see.

I'm going AIO on my liquid cooler cause there isn't too much room in that case to fit 2 full size GPUs and tubing, so hopefully the rad will fit okay xP

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2 minutes ago, Eric The Tech Guru said:

Thanks :D

I'm hoping for the fabled 2500/1500 MB/s Read/Write so I guess I'll just wait and see.

I'm going AIO on my liquid cooler cause there isn't too much room in that case to fit 2 full size GPUs and tubing, so hopefully the rad will fit okay xP

I'm planning on using the same AIO cooler too actually. Which 980 Ti's do you have? I've seen similar radiators fit with the reference blower types but I'm not sure about anything else :p

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, westonb27 said:

I'm planning on using the same AIO cooler too actually. Which 980 Ti's do you have? I've seen similar radiators fit with the reference blower types but I'm not sure about anything else :p

They've got reference coolers on em, I think they're Zotac but I don't remember.

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2 minutes ago, Eric The Tech Guru said:

They've got reference coolers on em, I think they're Zotac but I don't remember.

If they're reference then you should be fine. I've seen a lof of SLI'd reference cards in the air 240.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, westonb27 said:

If they're reference then you should be fine. I've seen a lof of SLI'd reference cards in the air 240.

Okay, yeah I had found some too, just gonna be a pain to wire up the front I/O and the power cables will be tight :/

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4 minutes ago, Eric The Tech Guru said:

Okay, yeah I had found some too, just gonna be a pain to wire up the front I/O and the power cables will be tight :/

Yeah. I can't wait to see the progress of your build :)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update #1

Got some new parts in today, I had my 950 from a few days ago but never posted photos.

The Asus Maximus VIII Gene has joined the family and is lookin fine.

Also the Corsair branded red sleeved cables showed up. I was gonna go with some cablemod cables but they're highly unavailable here in the UK (at least I wasn't able to find them with an hour of searching) so I defaulted to corsair's branded stuff. I would have liked to have some red/black with the sleeving, but I had already made the purchase so it was a little too late to change my mind.

Some photos for y'all. I'm new to this so please be kind. I'll have better photos for the actual build log cause my desk will be clean.

Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 SSD

IMG_1619.thumb.JPG.3aa1e43c210ddfeb4ad58

IMG_1621.thumb.JPG.eedd8db8b2362b196810d

 

Asus Maximus VIII Gene Motherboard

IMG_1622.thumb.JPG.158f27680b7044c3805c9

IMG_1626.thumb.JPG.e0861978d1aa7a762b81a

IMG_1627.thumb.JPG.a19fcfd98bf244ffed625

 

What's in the bag?

IMG_1623.thumb.JPG.2027fce6137835a69dddb

 

CABLES!

IMG_1624.thumb.JPG.3afff30a2ca07703ce391

IMG_1625.thumb.JPG.c4cb0e12c58e22fe91b45

 

Thanks for watching, I'll keep you guys up to date when the rest of the parts show up!

- Eric

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Update #2

Unpackaged the 950 and the Mobo and mounted the 950 on it.

Took a ton of photos cause my lighting was better this time and I had cleared off my desk a bit.

Gallery incoming, let me know what you think of the photos this time around.

IMG_1628.thumb.JPG.8d11e1cadeb769747c667IMG_1629.thumb.JPG.fa7621b2a5c42bedb1853IMG_1630.thumb.JPG.c1371bb25148ff360af31IMG_1631.thumb.JPG.1c7ac48550a1478810c05IMG_1632.thumb.JPG.34104b99f159dc65cfb1cIMG_1633.thumb.JPG.37904418960736e001aa0IMG_1634.thumb.JPG.287cb79490d412e70ab55IMG_1635.thumb.JPG.80d9c6786db492213875bIMG_1636.thumb.JPG.bdf839205c7bda90c2efdIMG_1637.thumb.JPG.c992d4243fea09a800306IMG_1638.thumb.JPG.36981b1fb9d389403e183IMG_1639.thumb.JPG.7b0843ca1a1cc49edd4a5IMG_1640.thumb.JPG.89b49ace6d5113654390bIMG_1641.thumb.JPG.cbdb59ec0b2abedc76738IMG_1642.thumb.JPG.9bd7180ad3ddc1082b36eIMG_1643.thumb.JPG.4cccc5732ed173cdc110eIMG_1644.thumb.JPG.7d3e185bdd489967ad22aIMG_1645.thumb.JPG.a2abb962916ed41bb7ce2IMG_1646.thumb.JPG.3273f29e583f6b6afc917IMG_1647.thumb.JPG.ff77b22d2b1d0c2177bccIMG_1648.thumb.JPG.4b56254e1de252c08527dIMG_1649.thumb.JPG.086cab6971144131000adIMG_1650.thumb.JPG.2a4851450bd1a3752f784IMG_1651.thumb.JPG.1f36d03c6f568100180f9IMG_1652.thumb.JPG.44c009095df5b46f6fb0dIMG_1653.thumb.JPG.6289995fc03a052d35629IMG_1654.thumb.JPG.71d56fc382aab3ca6abf2IMG_1655.thumb.JPG.bcb83a45f2c6243ed3eab

Thanks for following!

- Eric

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 hours ago, westonb27 said:

Looking good! What are your plans for the SSD? I was going to get the 512GB but went for the 256GB because of the price.

I'm gonna be using it as my system drive and maybe have a few games on there.

I've got a 1TB 850 Evo to use for larger games and other critical files.

Then I've got a 6TB Raid 0 array for media that backs up to my 12TB (24TB in Raid 10) local server.

The write speed increases on the 512GB was such a boost I couldn't really justify purchasing the 256GB paying like the same $/GB without getting the same performance.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

UPDATE #3!!!!!!

Hey guys, so I got my case and NZXT Hue+ lighting in today and did the whole build.

I've got a bunch of before / after shots of the old case to new case.

I'm going to be doing some better photos of the new case once I've got windows installed and everything set up.

 

PHOTOS:

 

Old Build:

IMG_1657.thumb.JPG.787e76be6977c8ae846b2IMG_1658.thumb.JPG.5f1a3fb8e470e0e61a7e6IMG_1659.thumb.JPG.9782dade5a37da42be3c3IMG_1660.thumb.JPG.83b26ad55ab1bd5ade3bdIMG_1661.thumb.JPG.889a4c978194316deee42IMG_1662.thumb.JPG.ae55b152e828ae656072dIMG_1663.thumb.JPG.42f96b2eb1112f8418e36IMG_1664.thumb.JPG.92077f0d9c8c9b046ee34IMG_1665.thumb.JPG.3ef4969c06be9f2a20a29IMG_1666.thumb.JPG.28c24474b63b4ffdba077

 

 

 

Here are the new parts:

IMG_1668.thumb.JPG.a74da76636108c05488fd

 

Here's the two cases next to each other:

IMG_1670.thumb.JPG.4a0b8ef7dd2900971b421IMG_1671.thumb.JPG.cde1438f368fa1e1c220eIMG_1672.thumb.JPG.ca01de7309a8788328272

 

Everything excluding a few fans and that mobo fit inside the new case:

IMG_1673.thumb.JPG.08fe161d1988dcd25d7adIMG_1674.thumb.JPG.bf05c944150bbf3f3b5f9IMG_1675.thumb.JPG.6b42087a1279f40fcae69

 

The teardown of the old case was the easy part, the building inside the confined new case was a pain:

IMG_1676.thumb.JPG.915a7206c823e17de7876IMG_1677.thumb.JPG.7d16594ace94c3fed5d9dIMG_1678.thumb.JPG.4de40e41cf63219d6f727IMG_1679.thumb.JPG.22ada9044f3f83fc51356IMG_1680.thumb.JPG.622e0cc0044da2965e6e4

 

 

Those cables made it freaking impossible to close the front panel, also the cards have no screws or anything to hold them in place :/

 

I've got everything powered up now but I'm gonna do some mods with lighting and stuff before posting new photos.

 

Let me know what you all think of the build so far!

 

- Eric

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Got Win10 and all my stuff installed, got the NZXT CAM software to set up my lighting.

 

Going with a breathing red for now.

 

Enjoy!

 

More Photos (with lighting):

 

IMG_1691.thumb.JPG.7bf16d9af9b434660280b

 

IMG_1692.thumb.JPG.4b8ecfa094a7729861a7b

 

IMG_1693.thumb.JPG.aa198ac2af7b5fa57cfa8

 

IMG_1694.thumb.JPG.2ecbce0b94f337242fa00

 

Let me know what you think!

 

- Eric

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Looks awesome man! I love it. Aside from the cable management, where there any challenges building in the 240? and how's the speeds on the new SSD? I've heard that one of your sata ports gets disabled when you have the M.2 SSD in there. Is that true?

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Posted · Original PosterOP
9 hours ago, westonb27 said:

Looks awesome man! I love it. Aside from the cable management, where there any challenges building in the 240? and how's the speeds on the new SSD? I've heard that one of your sata ports gets disabled when you have the M.2 SSD in there. Is that true?

Thanks! I'm loving it.

 

The hardest part is closing the windowed side of the case. My model came with what I now know was a screwed up bottom screw, so I had to apply a lot of pressure and force with a screw driver to close it, so that'll be a pain when I have to open it for servicing. The cables I've got for my PCIE power protrude a good amount out of the side of the card, so it presses a ton on the windowed door, making it bow out a bit at the bottom, but I minimized as well as I could.

 

The SSD is giving me solid 2500MB/s sequential reads with somewhat disappointing writes around 550-700 MB/s. My BIOS is really the limiting factor of boot times, cause I have Asus's auto-overclock turned on, but the SSD runs nice and smooth.

 

I'm pretty sure there is a sata port that gets disabled when the m.2 is put in, so I just skipped the top two sata ports and haven't had any issues.

 

Thanks!

- Eric

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Looking pretty sweet!

You say the building was a pain, why is that? 'Cause of the tiny place to get everything in it's place?

 

Still doubting what case i'm taking for my next build. First idea was to take the Air 540, but the more i look around on the net, the more convinced i get for the Air 240. Always used to have full towers, but something small this time, would actually be cool. 

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
23 hours ago, d3rF. said:

Looking pretty sweet!

You say the building was a pain, why is that? 'Cause of the tiny place to get everything in it's place?

 

Still doubting what case i'm taking for my next build. First idea was to take the Air 540, but the more i look around on the net, the more convinced i get for the Air 240. Always used to have full towers, but something small this time, would actually be cool. 

 

 

I'm getting significantly higher temps in the 240 than I was getting in the 540...

 

I wouldn't recommend it if you can help it...

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