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Project: Monsuta Version 1.5

For Version 2.0, should I change the way I have the blocks hooked up?  

1 member has voted

  1. 1. For Version 2.0, should I change the way I have the blocks hooked up?

    • Yes - get the EK-FC Terminal DUAL Parallel - Plexi and clean up the looks
    • No - save the cash and get the part for the next new system build

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP

I planned on posting this build around May 10th, but shelved it for a while as I tested and got used to the new system. Benchmarks for GPU & maybe CPU will be coming along eventually.


This is the first (of maybe 3) build log(s) for my new Monsuta Rig (might change the name later down the line), to replace my currently-failed Beast Rig.
Total build time and cost for the project so far was around maybe 5 hours in getting everything put together, and $3540 AUD in (new) parts, OS & Shipping.



Parts List;
Chassis: Thermaltake Core X71. Motherboard: MSI X99A SLI Krait Edition. CPU: Intel Core-i7 5820K. RAM: 32GB (4x8GB) Corsair Dominator Platinum 2400MHz C14 (XMP to 2666MHz C14, additional kit to be added in V2.0). GPU: EVGA 6GB GTX980TI SC+ ACX2.0+ (SLI & watercooling in V1.5). PSU: Antec HCP 850W 80+ Platinum. Storage: 500GB Samsung 850EVO M.2 + 4TB Seagate Barracuda. Optical: ASUS DRW-24B3LT (borrowed from Beast). Cooling: Cooler Master Nepton 120XL (CPU, probably change to custom in V 2.0). OS: Windows 10 Pro. Monitors (not pictured in the log): Acer XG270HU (1440p144, primary) + 2x LG Flatron E2441 (1080p60, secondaries).


Monsuta 01.jpg


Optical drive isn't shown as it was moved over from Beast once the system was ready to have an OS installed. Chassis is unboxed and hidden behind its box as it arrived a few days before the guts of the system did (good job Australia Post! /s).


Monsuta 02.jpg


Figured before I finagled with the more sensitive parts of the rig, I best install the lungs that'll provide the juice for everything. Might have "fun" in V1.5 trying to position the rad downstairs so the ports don't clash with the PSU or cables, but that's another job for another day.


Monsuta 03.jpg

Kinda obvious prepping to install the M.2 and CPU before anything else goes on the board. I'm loving the black-and-white scheme of the board, though sadly that'll be mostly covered up when times comes to install RAM & GPU's.


Monsuta 04.jpg

Alrightly then! Main storage for the system's installed and now it's time to install the CPU & RAM in this bad boy! Also; gotta love the custom sticker on the CMOS battery MSI did for this board.


Monsuta 05.jpg

Sweeto! Those RAM sticks look beautiful in-box, but you know how they can look even better? I do - Installed! ;) Also, it is kinda scary hearing the creaking that comes out of locking down the CPU bracket on an expensive mobo & CPU combo.


Monsuta 06.jpg

Boo-yah! M.2, CPU & RAM are all installed, and the lightbar bracket for sticks 3 & 4 (far-side sticks) have been flipped around so all the sticks read "Dominator DDR4" from the top of the board down and face the same direction.


Monsuta 07.jpg

Hoo-boy that GPU is a big boy, but with great horsepower comes great bulk! ;) Aaaand the 4TB drive is loaded into the mounting sled before it goes behind the optical bays in the chassis.


Monsuta 08.jpg

Here we go! One installed motherboard & HDD, with the mounting stands for the CPU cooler set and ready for thermal paste to be applied!
As an aside; I probably should have plugged in the SATA cables for ports 1 & 2 next to that USB 3.0 header at this point, you'll see why later. :(


Monsuta 09.jpg

Aw man, was this ever a pain to get installed! >.< With the thickness of the Nepton 120XL's radiator it was a real pain to try and mount push-pull on it over the Rear I/O without it either blocking the view of the RAM & CPU sockets, or risking interference with the GPU due to the pull-fan's wires coming in through the grommet just a bit down.
So having the second fan pull air above the Rear I/O and the main rad/push-fan shunt air out the roof of the chassis was the best solution in the end... For now.


Monsuta 10.jpg

Here's a better angle on how things look with the rad, CPU block & fans mounted (Editor's note: The stock CM fans have been replaced with a pair of EK Vardar F4's from the currently-offline Beast Rig).

And whilst it looks like the rad/fan are blocking the 8-pin EPS & 4-pin ATX power ports for the CPU (and technically: they are), the design of the chassis' roof mounting areas for 120/140/200mm fans actually lets me adjust the position of the rad without having to completely remove it and remount it, by sliding it along the screw channels.


Monsuta 11.jpg

And here's the shot of everything fully installed! Yes the 4TB drive doesn't have power running to it at this point, I'll eventually reposition the SATA power so the system will have both the optical & 4TB drives, but for now the optical has higher priority (Editor's note: This has now been adjusted and both the 4TB & Optical drives are powered).

And yes, I've got the 20+4 pin power cable tied down to the chassis using a twist tie, so it won't collide with anything if I move the case.
Also, remember how earlier I said I should have run the cables for SATA ports 1 & 2 on the motherboard? That's because those ports (along with the USB 3.0 header next to them) are basically hidden under the end of the GPU's PCB.


Monsuta 12.jpg

And here's the final shot of the system with the side panels on, the morning after building it, sorry about the camera flash glare.






Final thoughts and commentary:

All-in-all this was an interesting and fun build, being the first time I've used a case such as the Core X71, and first system built with a X99/2011-3 mobo & CPU combo.


Some things to point out though;

Mounting the PSU in the basement was easy enough (using the rubber standoffs that came with the case) but it came with the downsides of the 8-pin EPS cable not being long enough to reach the port on the motherboard without an extension cable (one came with the chassis), and the 20+4-pin motherboard power cable wasn't quite long enough to pass through the cable management holes behind the motherboard tray and still manage to be plugged in without an extension came (hence why I ran it through the main body and tied it down with a twist tie). In addition, the 8-pin & 20+4-pin power cables from Antec were really damn stiff along their lengths, and the 8-pin extension cable that came with the case wasn't that much more flexible either.

The thickness of the Nepton 120XL along with the stiffness of its tubing made it unwieldy to try and install on the back panel over the Rear I/O (where most 120/140mm AIO's are mounted), though it was easy enough to mount to the roof of the chassis with only one fan.

With the motherboard if you're planning on mounting 2 or more SATA drives and plan on using the slots in numerical order - plug in the cables before you mount the GPU! (same thing applies to using the second USB 3.0 header)




Project: Monsuta Version 1.5 Update!


New GPU & loop parts
Here's the freshly new parts about to be opened up and installed!


GPU Blocks
Here's a close-up of the GPU blocks and the fittings for the parallel coolant flow between them.
Side note: I should have gotten the EK-FC Terminal DUAL Parallel - Plexi fitting for hooking the two blocks together instead of the parts I did get to link the blocks together.


New GPU & all the other fittings
The thing sitting on the GPU box next to the baggies of fittings is the Bitspower flow meter as I originally intended to use it. As can be seen later, I had to rethink where the meter was going to sit in the loop as the way it was set here did not work in the end.


Radiators & GPU backplates
Here we can see the size comparison between 360mm radiators and the GPU backplates in their boxes, along with the Res/Pump combo off to the side.


Tubing. Natch.
This is what 3 metres of 13mm/19mm (1/2" ID, 3/4" OD) soft tubing looks like when coiled up and shipped. That might sound like a lot, but it's safer to have a large amount of tubing you can put aside for another build rather than have to order extra tubing because you goofed up too much making certain runs.


GPU Card 2
Here's what an EVGA GTX 980Ti SC+ ACX 2.0+ looks like when you take off the stock cooler set up and start laying down the thermal pads for a waterblock. Note: Laying the thermal pads for the VRMs is a beeyotch sometimes!



GPU Block 2 - Installed!
Here's the gloryshot of the first GPU block installed... on the card that's going to be Card 2 in the system and not have the screens running off of it. Airflow through the case from the front rad's fans will provide the cooling for the capacitors you see lined up below the power connectors.


Backplate 2 - Attached!
Here's the sexiness that's a TitanX Nickel backplate on a GTX 980Ti (Maxwell TitanX GPU core - some CUDA cores, half the-V-RAM).
Not only does the backplate look sexy, but it also protects the backside of the PCB and also helps move heat away from the V-RAM chips on the backside of the TitanX (those chips not installed on a 980Ti).


Card 1 Block Gloryshot
Here's the gloryshot of Card 1's waterblock freshly installed, installation is: Second verse, same as the first.


Card 1 Backplate Gloryshot
"Second verse, same as the first" again, though this time I removed the blue sticker protecting the badge before taking the shot (same as with the block shot for this card).


Basement View
Okay, there was a LARGE timeskip between the last picture and this one, as I didn't want to bore you guys with the hassle I went through trying to install the radiators, fans and everything else, along with cutting all the tubing before filling the loop up for a leak test.
Here you can see Radiator 1 being fed from the blocks upstairs and feeding Radiator 2, along with the drain port hanging off of the t-splitter from Radiator 2's outlet. PSU was removed for the extra space needed during running the tubes, and to prevent damage risks during the leak test.



Installed Loop Gloryshot
Here you can see what I meant before when I said that the way I had the flow meter set up wasn't going to work, so I set it in-line with the GPU inlets so it was hanging off of the blocks.
Additionally this shows why I mentioned earlier that I should have gone for the Terminal Dual Parallel - Plexi part instead of trying to use the short tubing and fittings to link the stock port blocks together - it was a pain in the rear and I ended up having to unmount both port blocks and mount them together before putting them back on the GPU blocks.



Loop During Leak test
Here's a shot the next day during the leak test of the loop, using a power brick for an old USB IDE/SATA HDD reader to power the pump during the test.

Funny story though - When I started filling up the loop, I didn't expect the coolant to start flowing OUT of the inlet port and start filling up the radiators via capillary action and start flowing into the GPU blocks from Radiator 1 before the system reached a fluid level balance where the bulk of the air left trapped in the loop was in the GPU blocks instead of the radiators (normally it's air in the rads that needs to be dealt with during a loop's first fill-and-bleed).




<Space to add in the edits and updates for Version 2.0>

Edited by Technous285
Version 1.5 update!
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