Most powerful HTPC ever. ;) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 45 Old 05-15-2016, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Most powerful HTPC ever. ;)

So just how much hardware can you cram into a Silverstone GD08?

Asus Rampage IV Black E-ATX board, Asus Xonar STX II 7.1, 4 x GPUs an Intel Extreme 4960X, 6x SDDs and 30TB storage (external) - oh and it's watercooled to the max to keep it quiet and cool.

More to follow tomorrow.

Tada! It lives!! by Hilton, on Flickr

Done! by Hilton, on Flickr
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post #2 of 45 Old 05-15-2016, 07:29 AM
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What GPUs are in there?
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post #3 of 45 Old 05-15-2016, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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What GPUs are in there?
They're a bit old school now, but they're 3GB Ram and voltage modded GTX 580's that run at 1000mhz/2200mhz (GPU/Ram) still plenty powerful enough but a new set of Nvidia's will find there way in there shortly. They'll be more powerful and run a whole lot cooler too. The GTX580s pull close to 400W each.
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post #4 of 45 Old 05-15-2016, 07:49 AM
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They're a bit old school now, but they're 3GB Ram and voltage modded GTX 580's that run at 1000mhz/2200mhz (GPU/Ram) still plenty powerful enough but a new set of Nvidia's will find there way in there shortly. They'll be more powerful and run a whole lot cooler too. The GTX580s pull close to 400W each.
Aack! 580s are around 250W TDP IIRC, but with your OC they actually take that much more power? That's a bit nuts, lol! So basically the GPUs take up 80% of the PSU's capacity and the remaining 20% is left to run the system (which is still 300W with a 1500W supply).


I'm guessing a single GTX 980 is probably as fast as two of those...but I'm also guessing you're waiting for the 1080 to hit... Two 1080s would be faster than all four of those and will probably consume half the power of one
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post #5 of 45 Old 05-15-2016, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Aack! 580s are around 250W TDP IIRC, but with your OC they actually take that much more power? That's a bit nuts, lol! So basically the GPUs take up 80% of the PSU's capacity and the remaining 20% is left to run the system (which is still 300W with a 1500W supply).


I'm guessing a single GTX 980 is probably as fast as two of those...but I'm also guessing you're waiting for the 1080 to hit... Two 1080s would be faster than all four of those and will probably consume half the power of one
I used to run 2x1500W PSU's to run this system before it went into the GD08 case. I have to run the GPUs at 900/2000 now to stay under 1500W. The 1080's will be much more power efficient and your right it will probably be more powerful than all 4 580s.
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post #6 of 45 Old 05-15-2016, 09:24 AM
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Today's Super-computers are having a huge problem right now.

It is easy to have 1000TB of SSD diskspace and 1000 16-core CPU's... the problem they are having now is that the the CPU's can pump out numbers faster than the motherboard's bus, RAM, network and diskspace can save them.
They also have the opposite problem when reading back the data, the disks and network are far slower than the RAM and CPU power. (They always have been...)

A system is only ever as fast as the weakest link.

Unlike 10 years ago, with today's 10Tflop Phi/Tesla processors and 8192qubit quantum computers, the CPU-horsepower is no longer the bottleneck. Read/Writing and sharing data fast enough is still a problem.


There are also non-hardware based problems. For example:
Video game AI hasn't really become any smarter than was possible back in the 90's.
The bots in the newest Halo game are nearly as dumb as the bots in DukeNukem 3D.
Gunning aim is another problem, computers have flawless aim (we have all played against hackbots online), as soon as you round the corner a headshot bullet is flying towards your skull. That's the problem with computers, everything is black or white, they have to program the bots to mis-fire and mis-aim and delay INTENTIONALLY to give humans a fighting chance.

Q: How did that bot know that you were hiding behind that bush or keyhole on the rooftop on the other side of the map?
A: because bots already know the position of all objects and all players AT ALL TIMES, they are programmed to "fake" like they can't see you. They could easily headshot you from across the map in 1ms if the game programmers really wanted the bots to be that good regardless of how hidden you are; bots don't have eyes and aren't looking at pixels on a screen, they have full access to all of the game code.

That's why bots always have better body armor than the human players, because once they make the bot not have perfect aim and "sight", they need it to not be out thunk by the much smarter humans.
That's why it takes 1million knife stabs, 100 bullets and 10 grenades and 3 missiles to kill the end-boss. The game is either super-easy or super-impossible, computers are black and white.

That is why humans like to play against other humans online, it gives them the human-challenge that they just can't get out of their bots.
It is always funny to watch a mixed-level of humans and bots on the same map, the bots always get pwned, they only get a kill when the humans are changing out clips or have already fallen off a rooftop and crippled themselves with 1 bar of life. LOL!
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post #7 of 45 Old 05-15-2016, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BassThatHz View Post
Today's Super-computers are having a huge problem right now.

It is easy to have 1000TB of SSD diskspace and 1000 16-core CPU's... the problem they are having now is that the the CPU's can pump out numbers faster than the motherboard's bus, RAM, network and diskspace can save them.
They also have the opposite problem when reading back the data, the disks and network are far slower than the RAM and CPU power. (They always have been...)

A system is only ever as fast as the weakest link.

Unlike 10 years ago, with today's 10Tflop Phi/Tesla processors and 8192qubit quantum computers, the CPU-horsepower is no longer the bottleneck. Read/Writing and sharing data fast enough is still a problem.


There are also non-hardware based problems. For example:
Video game AI hasn't really become any smarter than was possible back in the 90's.
The bots in the newest Halo game are nearly as dumb as the bots in DukeNukem 3D.
Gunning aim is another problem, computers have flawless aim (we have all played against hackbots online), as soon as you round the corner a headshot bullet is flying towards your skull. That's the problem with computers, everything is black or white, they have to program the bots to mis-fire and mis-aim and delay INTENTIONALLY to give humans a fighting chance.

Q: How did that bot know that you were hiding behind that bush or keyhole on the rooftop on the other side of the map?
A: because bots already know the position of all objects and all players AT ALL TIMES, they are programmed to "fake" like they can't see you. They could easily headshot you from across the map in 1ms if the game programmers really wanted the bots to be that good regardless of how hidden you are; bots don't have eyes and aren't looking at pixels on a screen, they have full access to all of the game code.

That's why bots always have better body armor than the human players, because once they make the bot not have perfect aim and "sight", they need it to not be out thunk by the much smarter humans.
That's why it takes 1million knife stabs, 100 bullets and 10 grenades and 3 missiles to kill the end-boss. The game is either super-easy or super-impossible, computers are black and white.

That is why humans like to play against other humans online, it gives them the human-challenge that they just can't get out of their bots.
It is always funny to watch a mixed-level of humans and bots on the same map, the bots always get pwned, they only get a kill when the humans are changing out clips or have already fallen off a rooftop and crippled themselves with 1 bar of life. LOL!
Sorry, not to sound dim or rude, but how did you get onto Bots and I didnt really get your point?
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post #8 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 06:05 AM
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Sorry, not to sound dim or rude, but how did you get onto Bots and I didnt really get your point?
I think THAT was the point. What are you doing with that beast you built?

Bill
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post #9 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 06:31 AM
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This is kind of like the HTPC version of a monster truck.
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post #10 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 06:32 AM
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What do you need 4x gpu's for in a htpc? unless you're gaming on it at extreme high resolutions, I think that's a bit of a waste. I'm assuming it's not just for watching tv and movies?

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post #11 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 06:52 AM
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That's no HTPC.....it's a space station!
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post #12 of 45 Old 05-16-2016, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
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What do you need 4x gpu's for in a htpc? unless you're gaming on it at extreme high resolutions, I think that's a bit of a waste. I'm assuming it's not just for watching tv and movies?
Yes your quite correct, its a workstation as well with Nvidia surround (5760x1080 + 1920x1080 for Projector simultaneously) and I also rip and transcode a lot of video with it.

Click for a video tour.
Video tour by Hilton, on Flickr

Wows by Hilton, on Flickr

Tada! It lives!! by Hilton, on Flickr

Cooling System outside (on right through the glass door under closed balcony - When everything has proven stable and I do a test with cooling equipment under the house, Ill be doing some plumbing and quick disconnects on the wall like you see on the back of the case to get the coolant in and out of the equipment room to remove the tubing across the floor!)

Done! by Hilton, on Flickr

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post #13 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 05:25 AM
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Yes your quite correct, its a workstation as well with Nvidia surround (5760x1080 + 1920x1080 for Projector simultaneously) and I also rip and transcode a lot of video with it.
Ah, ok, you're off the hook then. I've just seen people build stuff like that, only to play 1080p movies, and no gaming

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post #14 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 05:38 AM
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so it sounds like this machine is going to be faster than the pc I just bought with 800mhz cpu, 512 mb ram and 8gb hdd?


sick!!!

THANK YOU!!! for your selfless contribution to the audio world
Anders Torger for Brutefir
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post #15 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 06:01 AM
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Thanks! My wife was complaining about me buying a new XPS core 6 i7 for 500,00 and going to Windows 8.1 with WMC, some were saying it was over kill for an HTPC, well you can look and see that Intel & Microsoft are not supporting new chip unless it has Windows 10. Skylake looks like the end of the line for HTPC.
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post #16 of 45 Old 05-17-2016, 06:14 AM
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Ahh, I can see it now. All the "why you want to show off" and "what a waste" haters, hating on this thread.

Nice build BTW, I never could get an after market water cooler to pump properly. Just kept churning air.
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My build thread

My 8 x RE XXX 18" Subwoofers, IB build
Couldn't pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel.

Do you know what Nemesis means?

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post #17 of 45 Old 05-20-2016, 05:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Ahh, I can see it now. All the "why you want to show off" and "what a waste" haters, hating on this thread.

Nice build BTW, I never could get an after market water cooler to pump properly. Just kept churning air.



Thanks
After market pumps need to be primed and installed in the correct orientation and depending on the loop, may keep blowing bubbles through the loop unless you turn the speed down for a while until the air is out the system.


I changed the fans in the Sub Amps today and the fan noise level dropped by just over 3db per AMP. (measured) Nice!
Picked up these Duratech fans from Jaycar. 12vdc 2000RPM IP54 rated and 21dbA noise level.


Amp fans by Hilton, on Flickr


Amp fans by Hilton, on Flickr

Noise comparison video, a bit hard to hear without headphones but they measured just over 3db quieter. (4.5db for both)
Amp fans by Hilton, on Flickr

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post #18 of 45 Old 05-20-2016, 08:09 PM
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Beautiful build, you cramped 30TB in one enclosure?
I have this SilverStone case, and it's a love hate with the case. I'm hoping one day they'll fix the doors which I happen to use, I know some don't care about the optical drive but I feel it should open and close properly. Or at least look like the rest of the case! Haha...

Sent from my SM-N900T using Tapatalk
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post #19 of 45 Old 05-21-2016, 03:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Beautiful build, you cramped 30TB in one enclosure?
I have this SilverStone case, and it's a love hate with the case. I'm hoping one day they'll fix the doors which I happen to use, I know some don't care about the optical drive but I feel it should open and close properly. Or at least look like the rest of the case! Haha...

Sent from my SM-N900T using Tapatalk



I love the case! I can't believe it fit all that gear in, especially the fact it fits an E-ATX motherboard and extra long PSU with 4 way SLI. It's a bit nuts to have so much gear in a tight space. I've always dreamed of having a small case after having the huge cube you saw that it used to live in!


The optical doors work fine for me. Took a bit of fiddling, but when the bluray drive's mounted right it works perfectly.


The 30TB is in the external RAID array. (the big one - the small external RAID array is just a fast scratch disk with WD 1TB Blacks in RAID 0)
Inside the case there's a couple 120GB Sandisk SSD's in RAID 0 for boot disk mounted above the bluray drive, and 4 x 120GB Sandisk SSD's in RAID 0 in the caddies.


I modified the drive cage to fit the SSD caddies as below. I'll be upgrading all the SSDs to 1TB SSD's when the prices are a bit more reasonable.
Tada! It lives!! by Hilton, on Flickr


I do full and incremental backups to an external 4 bay HDD USB3 dock with Acronis Backup and Recovery 11.7 - and rotate the backup disks monthly off site with another set.
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post #20 of 45 Old 05-21-2016, 04:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Specs
HTPC/Workstation (runs JRiver MC21 as client)
Case - Silverstone GD08 HTPC
Rampage IV Black
Intel 4960X @ 4.7Ghz
Aquacomputer cuplex kryos HF .925 silver edition CPU block
16GB Corsair Dominator 2000Mhz Ram
4 way SLI GTX 580s @ 1000/2200 (3GB Ram cards Voltage modded)
ASUS Xonar Essence STX II 7.1 sound card & daughter board
Aquacomputer GPU blocks
6 x 120GB Sandisk SSDs
LG BH14NS40 14X Bluray drive
Corsair AX1500i PSU


Cooling System
Case - Mountain Mods Extended Ascension
4 x 360 Rads (blackice GTX 360)
24 x Fans (+2 Exhaust)
2 x Koolance res with 2 x D5 pumps each
Aquaero 5XT controller with 6 x PA2 controllers
Enermax MaxRevo 1500W PSU (from old build when I used to run 2 of them!)


Media Server / Backup Server (runs JRiver MC21 as server)
Case - Silverstone GD08 HTPC
Gigabyte Z87X-HD3
Intel i7 4770 @ 3Ghz
Corsair H75 AIO CPU water cooling
8GB Ram
ASUS GTX 760 Direct CU II OC 2GB
Samsung 120GB SSD
4 x USB DVB-T tuners
Seasonic 650W PSU


The full build log is here in pics https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/


or here with commentary > http://forums.overclockers.com.au/sh....php?t=1194974
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post #21 of 45 Old 05-21-2016, 04:21 AM
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If most of your GPU load is video transcoding and the like rather than straight gaming you might be better off with the nVidia Titan X rather than a GTX 1080. I know there's been a lot of bluster recently on the internet about the new 10-series beating the Titan X at a much lower price, but that's only for _gaming_, for serious data crunching tasks the Titan X still gives better performance per card (but perhaps not better performance per watt).
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post #22 of 45 Old 05-21-2016, 04:27 AM - Thread Starter
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If most of your GPU load is video transcoding and the like rather than straight gaming you might be better off with the nVidia Titan X rather than a GTX 1080. I know there's been a lot of bluster recently on the internet about the new 10-series beating the Titan X at a much lower price, but that's only for _gaming_, for serious data crunching tasks the Titan X still gives better performance per card (but perhaps not better performance per watt).

Yeah I think I'll skip the 1080s and wait till end of year or early next year for next gen Titan or Ti's and just go with 2 x SLI. Then I'll be good for 4K and hopefully by then more video content will be around.
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post #23 of 45 Old 05-21-2016, 04:39 AM
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What a cool project.

The only thing that occurs to me is what a terrible investment.

I was reading up on the killer gaming builds from 2013 on PCGamer and the high end was a $16,000 + build.

details in this pdf archive...

http://dl.maximumpc.com/Archives/MPC...3%2009-web.pdf

Looking at it there's much better much cheaper stuff now. And that is only 3 years ago. I bet a better rig would be had for under $1000 now.

I guess souped up monster trucks and decked out cars must be a similar thing. Very special and extremely poor investments in general apart from the Hey Look What I Did factor.

I like custom PCs tho ... just too a point.

=Brian
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post #24 of 45 Old 05-21-2016, 04:44 AM
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Lol, at first i thought u use 1 radiator to cool 4 GPUs and CPU.
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post #25 of 45 Old 05-21-2016, 06:02 AM - Thread Starter
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What a cool project.

The only thing that occurs to me is what a terrible investment.

I was reading up on the killer gaming builds from 2013 on PCGamer and the high end was a $16,000 + build.

details in this pdf archive...

http://dl.maximumpc.com/Archives/MPC...3%2009-web.pdf

Looking at it there's much better much cheaper stuff now. And that is only 3 years ago. I bet a better rig would be had for under $1000 now.

I guess souped up monster trucks and decked out cars must be a similar thing. Very special and extremely poor investments in general apart from the Hey Look What I Did factor.

I like custom PCs tho ... just too a point.

=Brian
Your not wrong, it's not a great investment for sure. But gee its fun.
I used to spend a lot more money on expensive cars, at least this way I get to enjoy the performance.

You'd cringe to think how much I spent on this machine when I first built it in 2011 and then upgraded in 2013 (from Rampage IV Extreme 3960x to Rampage IV Black 4960X and added the 4 x SSDs)

Building a better rig for under $1k would still be pretty near impossible though, maybe $5K. The equivalent CPU is still $1K here in Australia and even last gen GTX980s are still $700.
It's not just about the equipment though, it's about the maximum overclock while keeping it quiet and stable 24/7.

When I first built this machine i got into the top 10 futuremark 3dmark 11 competing with liquid nitrogen bench machines while this system is a 24/7 stable system.
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post #26 of 45 Old 05-22-2016, 09:05 AM
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Good idea. Or if you get impatient 4x Titan X will still be more power than even you might use :P
One would think so. Unfortunately truth is a bit different. I have 2x Titan X and 3440x1440 monitor which is much less then 4K and having maxed out settings and stable 60fps is still not possible with all games. If i turn on DSR (dynamic super resolution) which brings me closer to 4K (or over) and makes things look even more awesome, it gets worse.
My original idea was to run 3x 1440p monitors for some nice multimonitor gaming, but given the performance requirements I gave up on that until much stronger graphic cards come out.
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post #27 of 45 Old 05-22-2016, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
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One would think so. Unfortunately truth is a bit different. I have 2x Titan X and 3440x1440 monitor which is much less then 4K and having maxed out settings and stable 60fps is still not possible with all games. If i turn on DSR (dynamic super resolution) which brings me closer to 4K (or over) and makes things look even more awesome, it gets worse.
My original idea was to run 3x 1440p monitors for some nice multimonitor gaming, but given the performance requirements I gave up on that until much stronger graphic cards come out.
Yep! Thats exactly why I've waited so long to upgrade. I still today get great performance on 1080P and 5760x1080 performance is pretty good on all but the latest titles so I've been waiting for a pair of SLI cards to do 4K 60fps on HDMI 2 or display port. 1080Tis will probably be the upgrade point for me. Quad SLI on GTX580s is great in games that scale and dont need more than 3GB ram (quite a lot of games do scale well)
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post #28 of 45 Old 05-24-2016, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I did some plumbing today to get the cooling rig outside permanently!

The wall plates with quick disconnects mounted.

Plumbing! by Hilton, on Flickr

Plumbing! by Hilton, on Flickr


Hole in the wall.... exciting stuff.

Plumbing! by Hilton, on Flickr


Outside wall plate mounted.

Plumbing! by Hilton, on Flickr


This bit was real hard, but I managed to get a spanner up behind the wall plate to tighten the quickconnect onto the tubing and the mount.

Plumbing! by Hilton, on Flickr


Inside done!

Plumbing! by Hilton, on Flickr


A remote controlled power switch with a temporary extension down to an external powerpoint and the tubing all hooked up!

Plumbing! by Hilton, on Flickr


Plumbing! by Hilton, on Flickr


Power on Video! (click pic)

Plumbing! by Hilton, on Flickr
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post #29 of 45 Old 05-24-2016, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Phatboy69 View Post
I did some plumbing today to get the cooling rig outside permanently!
If it's worth killing, it's worth overkilling! I love it! I've always wanted to do a liquid cooling setup like this, but haven't been able to justify it.
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post #30 of 45 Old 05-24-2016, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
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If it's worth killing, it's worth overkilling! I love it! I've always wanted to do a liquid cooling setup like this, but haven't been able to justify it.

I've always wanted to put the noisy stuff in another room or outside and this has worked out perfectly on both fronts for me.


I must say I really love the silence combined with a powerful machine!


I've ordered some Noctua fans for my RAID boxes as they're a few years old now and the fans are a bit rattly. (Noctua NF-R8 Redux 80mm 1800RPM Fan)


It's funny how once you start removing sources of noise what else you can hear! (the RAID box fans even on low)


I have a fish pond outside my balcony and I'll have to put a remote switch in to turn the pump off when I'm listening late at night at low volumes because I can hear the water trickling down the rock face into the pond.

Last edited by Phatboy69; 05-24-2016 at 10:45 PM.
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