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[Build Log] King Ghidorah, 3 Gamers - 1 Threadripper - CWE

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Now that the mainstream can get crazy core counts for not insane prices, I've been wanting to do a multi user system. A workstation by day, LAN party by night. I have 2 rx480s with copper blocks on them so far, I am in discussions to get a third. So I'm thinking, a 3 headed monster with a dedicated server? 4 cores and 16 gb of ram each, with lots of watercooling! I've narrowed down a few cases and designs, more to come on that later. But right now, things are coming in... Let's do this!


First I must say a big thank you to AMD and Corsair for sponsoring me with the cpu, motherboard, ram, case, and powersupply. I had just upgraded to Ryzen and I must say if that's the a powerhouse, then threadripper is a monster! A Kaiju, if you will?


Table of Contents

Update 0: Intro/Initial packaging



CPU: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950x

Motherboard: Gigabyte x399 Aorus Gaming 7

RAM: 64GB of Corsair LPX 2933

GPUs: 3x RX 480 reference with EK copper single slot block.

SSDs: 3x Corsair MP500 240GB

Powersupply: Corsair RM1000x

Case: Corsair air 740

Monitors: 3x Acer KG221Q bmix 21.5"



[X] Post check of components

[X] Monitor Mounting Design

[X] Watercooling Design

[X] Pass thru plate

[X] Rigid tubing

[X] Fill Watercooling

[X] Interior Photo Shoot

[X] Exterior Design

[X] Front Monitor Mounting

[X] Side Monitor Mounting

[X] VM Software

[X] Final Photo Shoot

[ ] Dreamhack Austin

[ ] PDX Lan 32A



And look at that packaging, I've never been so in awe upboxing something...



















Edited by TheArkratos
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The monitors that I have chosen are the Acer Gaming 21.5" KG221Q bmix, they are 75hz, Freesync, 1vms, TN monitors that measure 20" by 12". The amazing part of the case selection is that the Corsair AIR 740 measures: 426mm x 340mm x 510mm meaning that if I turn the case on it's side, so the window is up, and a monitor will almost perfectly fit on the front.




And now that I have ram, SSDs, and the case, I can begin work! Next update should include more information about the parts and a general plan for the build.


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So why does it feel like it is being marketed towards a community dominated by gamers? Is that just my misperception? The picture of Linus holding the Threadripper machine over his head on the front page of r/pcmasterrace made me thing about this.


Honestly... I have no idea why they would do that... My old main (doesn't get modified ever) machine is a 4790k and going to a 1950x even at 4ghz, is a very slight downgrade for anything that uses 4 cores or less. That said, that's still more than good enough to not bottleneck a graphics card at higher resolutions.


Threadripper is a productivity monster, great for high thread count loads and virtual machines. Virtual machines are literally getting better on Threadripper as we speak now that the KVM npt AMD bug has been fixed enabling pass through on KVM. Only reason I could see a "gamer" getting this chip is if they stream in multiple formats at once or do a lot of productivity on the side, possibly gaming while rendering, etc. Or if they just want the high end for the sake of the high end. Lastly, I guess if they NEED 64 PCIe lanes, which I don't know how you would fill that up in a practical build.


I'm planning 3 rx480s and 3 NVME drives, I'm not even maxing out the PCIe lanes... (Cards run in 16, 8, 16, with the 3 NVME taking up 12, making a total of 52 out of the available 60)

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Planning for the case is starting, and I must say after unboxing this thing, it doesn't feel nearly as large as I was expecting. Because it's "double wide" it's a lot shorter both top to bottom and front to back. Overall, I'm really pleased with the size, and the build quality is quite nice!






But more importantly this is how it's planning to be used.




With a monitor essentially replacing the front. Look at how perfectly sized that is!




The others will be mounted via an arm to the side. I'm still looking into the structural integrity of where to mount those arms, but the size look really solid.




I think this case will be perfect for this, and the amount of watercooling it supports will mean the three RX480s and 1950x should be nice and cool!






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Hey guys sorry for the delay in updates. With the holidays approaching schedules get crazy but I wanted to get a few teasers of some parts that are coming in and give a quick update on playing with things.


Update 1 Component Checking Part 1 and Planning


Teaser of the color scheme coming together:



Trying to figure out radiator fitment and routing.



I just ordered a Monsoon MMRS reservoir, hopefully I got the right length and parts for what I want, either way I'll be needing to do some painting on it.


Also I've never had so many sticks of matching ram before... This is glorious!



And they run perfectly on Threadripper, XMP worked perfectly, here's some Cinebench numbers.






Edited by TheArkratos
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  • 3 weeks later...

Short update, but trying to give everyone a heads up.

I've been ordering parts and test fitting them along with general holiday busy-ness.



I hit a snag though with the reservoir, the stock mount from Monsoon puts it out so far in the case that it literally covers half of the motherboard. I do love the looks of the reservoir and if I can get it to work I plan on painting a lot of it. However.... I was going to cut a new mount on the laser, but that is getting delayed because the office flooded!



So hopefully this weekend my brother and I can clean the water mess up and I can get that piece cut. Stay tuned!



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I've been waiting to see what would happen with Threadripper waterblocks. I told myself for a copper and gold themed build I need a plexi and copper block, ideally something that I could add some gold to.


I'm waiting to see if Heatkiller help me get a copper/plexi block without the top anodized, that way I can take it somewhere and get it anodized, probably gold.




Because that is a beautiful block.


If that doesn't work, I'll probably go with XSPC as their red edition block offers a similar feel, where I could anodize the hold down plate a different color. With that one, I know I can get it in copper and either re-anodize the hold down plate, or make my own... I do have some nice gold mirror acrylic tongue.gif


I'm on the fence honestly. I think I like the heatkiller block better, but the xspc allows me the opportunity to do some fun stuff with the large flat hold down plate... Opinions?

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry for the delay, I've been waiting on the rest of the watercooling pieces... I talked with Watercool about getting a custom TR4 waterblock and they said yes! Only problem is the order got slightly missed by the people handling the nickel plating and all of that batch got sent off to be plated, so was bumped to the next batch.


But what I did in the mean time was take the opportunity to attempt lighting work, play with different tubing and paint.


Since the build is copper and gold I experimented a little bit. The left is gold and bronze alternating and the right is gold only.



I think the gold by itself looks much better so I did a few sticks to test how they look.







Honestly I think it looks great, the paint/marker needs to be touched up, but I really like it. IMO it's better than RGB leds.


Also I've been experimenting with frosted tubing, I'm trying to replicate the effect where the tube looks like it's glowing. But I'm actually on the fence about whether I'd rather just use the new Primochill Vue coolant. But so many people are having issues with it and the color I want isn't even out yet. So I figured I'd take my time and play around while I wait for the watercooling parts.


After lots of waiting, I got a special package in the mail towards the end of last week. This specific configuration of this block does not exist on the website, the base was not nickel plated and the top cover was not anodized. This means I can get the top anodized much more easily.




The surface area on the fin design is massive! Almost the size of the entire exposed Threadripper heatspreader, I'm very impressed.



I hopefully can take the top cover piece to get it anodized by a local shop this week. The plan is to get it gold and then hydro dip a snakeskin pattern on top of that, so we'll have a golden scale pattern.


Speaking of anodized though. I was trying to find ways to tie the gold theme through the build more without being gaudy. A tasteful piece here, a tasteful piece there. So I picked up the anodized gold singularity computers reservoir mounts to go with the new smaller bitspower reservoir... and... the color was very different from what I expected, way to orange-y of a gold. So those have been returned, and it looks like I'll be painting the standard plastic reservoir mounts, but that should be fine, just not the super fancy nice mounts that I was expecting to have.




Lastly I wanted to give an update on the watercooling internal design, I can't do the full loop without the cpu block obviously but I have been brainstorming how to best execute the other theme of the three heads inside the case. Currently this is what I've got cooking for the GPUs.











Edited by TheArkratos
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  • 2 weeks later...

So the first place I took the piece to said they couldn't guarantee that it wouldn't be orange, which is a no go for me. So I'm taking it to another place to see what I can do. In the meantime, I'm working on the loop, ordering new fittings here and there to make it possible. This case supports more radiator than any I've used before but wow that many pieces makes it hard too.


Here's what I was thinking, sorry for the CPU block missing, as said it's dismantled. However it is also the cause of an interesting problem for me. The inlet is on the right and the outlet is on the left, meaning a typical clockwise flow doesn't really work.


For context, the pump will be in the back compartment, near the bottom of the res, but on the other side.


The problem with this one, while visually cleaner, the flow goes counter clockwise. Meaning I need 4 passthru fittings to allow the bottom flow to go to the top of the res and the bottom of the res to the pump to the top.




Here is more or less a suggested flow from bouncing the idea off some other people.




Note the fitting contraption to the right of the GPUs will have the tubing leaving it go straight back then up or down based on option one or two.


Also another benefit of option 1, is that visually the res would look like it's floating with the only tubing going to it passing straight into the back wall.


This kind of doesn't matter too much because the build will be on it's side in its finished state, however I do want to be able to convert it to an upright position from time to time.



Edited by TheArkratos
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  • 1 month later...

Sorry for the delay, I was waiting to get stuff in and then somehow forgot to update my post here so I'll catch this log up.


The cover for the CPU block has been anodized gold. My brother was going to help me hydro dip it but the weather in Texas has been awful so we ended up giving up waiting as I just needed the block back. We may try again later, I really hope too...



I made some better brackets for mounting the reservoir to the radiator because in the photos it's barely attached, only to realize I didn't have the right screws, so I ordered some. When they came in I discovered I ordered the wrong ones and had to order more.


(I actually ordered 3 boxes of each....)


(The brackets still have the protective paper on them, but don't worry they are indeed black)



So now that I can mount the reservoir correctly I can get placement for the bulkhead holes. And with the CPU block back and assembled I can finish the loop. Look forward to updates about the loop next week sometime.




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It was a busy week, got a lot of progress done, but even had to buy some new tools to do it!


I reinstalled the CPU block




Reinstalled the reservoir to start marking up a plate for the pass thrus...




Made the sure the top hole gave me clearance to go across and made sure it was parallel for my dip into the cpu block.




Once the plate was marked up and holes on the actual sheet metal were marked the cutting could begin...

However I couldn't just drill them out because the holes hung over the edge into the cable management holes... And my jigsaw couldn't get in there, my dremil was battery powered and was not strong enough...


After a trip to the local hardware store and new corded dremil...




It looks pretty great, now don't worry the white is temporary, I was using it for the test fitting, I'll laser cut one when it's all finalized out of something prettier. And the blue tubing is temporary, it was just for me to have a marker to help me easily see those are to the reservoir and need to be perfectly straight up and down.








And here's what I'm looking at for figuring out pump placement... Not the best, not the worst...




See you all next week. Progress should be at a more steady pace as I shouldn't be waiting for any parts, unless something weird pops up again.









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  • 2 weeks later...

So the top two pass thru's go straight into where the HDD cage is supposed to be... So after more drilling...


I officially saved the HDD cage!



And only lost one HDD slot!



And I used some PETG to mock up my last bend to see if I like it before I commit to using the rest of my frosted acrylic.





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Just a quick update.


I had to tear down the entire case to clean the radiators, redo the pass thru plate, and make the front monitor mount. I'm not sure if I want to leave the pass thru plate black or if I want to work with V1 tech to make a pattern for it and illuminate the pattern, I'd probably do scales or something. However it's in a place that wont get much view as it's under a radiator and the reservoir.... I think I'm going to assemble the build again, fill the loop, turn on the lighting and see if I want more or not.




Also, I didn't post it here but I found a relatively low profile monitor adapter a while back that allows me to have height adjustment for the front monitor.



Found here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0741CFJVW


With that adapter I had to make my own 120mm fan to 75mm vesa mount. However the radiator mount is not centered on the case, so the adapter I made is slightly offset.




With the monitor attached. I now have height adjustment with the monitor only about an inch off the case front.




Pretty pictures coming soon as I reassemble and fill the build. I still have most of exterior work to do, but I feel like the internals are in a state that can be called "done" however I may still tweak them if I don't feel like I have enough color, too much color or whatever.


What do you all think about what you have seen?





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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's what I'm working on at the moment as I get the side monitors mounted.


You can see in this photo that the surface I'm using to mount the monitor arms is not flat...




The difference in height is luckily very very very close to 1/8 inch thick acrylic, so I should be able to use that as a buffer to fill out the indent.


*Photo taken from the "Legit Reviews" review of the case, modified to show points of interest*

I really recommend looking at their review. I really really like this case the more I work in it.



I'm super surprised this case isn't WAY more popular, my only assumption is people don't want to pay over 100 dollars for a case... But I'd call this one worth it. I'm sad I lose the outer aesthetic but the layout is amazing.


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I made some spacers, drilled some holes...


And learned that if you are drilling perfectly into the side of sheet metal you have no problems...




If you are off by a little bit...




Dremil made it work if not pretty at least it works... And the dremil was used to make room for the nut.


But the case is becoming sentient! It's growing arms!




Here is picture shows the spacer I made to make the surface flush




And here is a pretty picture of everything mocked up before the tear down. See you all soon when I can set up and take good pictures with all the monitors attached!




I now just need to figure out my front IO plan, make the new outer shell of the case, clean everything up, flush radiators, etc and reassemble... Right? Right???






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Lots of updates coming this week. I spent a good bit of time over at V1Tech this weekend. I'm happy to announce that I will be collaborating with them as soon as I get some designs drawn up.


The monitors are mounted and situated. However I'll be pulling the monitor arms back off to paint them.




And wow this thing is wide. I also wanted to announce that I have commissioned the great Max Davenport a concept artist at Gearbox Software (the makers of Borderlands) to make a custom wallpaper to span the three monitors and help bring the theme into the software too. Seriously, go check out his work this guy is amazing: https://www.artstation.com/daven


In just a quick quick sketch for a sense of layout, he's proposed this monster!




King Ghidorah will be flying straight at you. Each monitor will be a head with the body residing behind the middle monitor. I'm so excited!


A little bit of minor construction is left on the case as I figure out how to route the monitor cables cleanly. And then I just need to finish the designs for the case panels and get everything fabricated with the help of V1Tech.


And then lastly reassembly!


After that I'll have photos of the build and begin working on the software set up. But I can't do that till I can turn everything back on again.


I'll leave you all with an action shot of a nearly empty case ;P





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So a lot has happened, to the point that I didn't get around to updating here immediately so expect another update this weekend and then one early next week as I catch up and finish up.


Unboxed and installed the last few components.




I don't think I've had a power supply with quite that many cables.




And I'm still not used to how tiny M.2s are. SOoooooo TINY!






And so many of them!




I picked up a limited edition plush King Ghidorah and I think he approves of the monitor arm painting!




However... During case construction, disaster struck, as paint really doesn't like chrome...




Monitor arms will be repainted or vinyl wrapped next time around. And pictures to come as the internals are back together and leak tested. Cable management is still a struggle though.








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  • 2 weeks later...

I did myself a favor and got some HDMI extensions, made a few holes, and they turned out pretty good.




Ok, hurdles aside the internals are done. I assembled it and had an interesting problem I've never encountered... I was given a power button from a friend that was wired backwards... It was set up so if you weren't pressing it the power pins were connected and if you were pressing they were disconnected.


Moral of the story... If you do the equivalent of holding the power button while trying to post you get errors: C0 sometimes, b5 sometimes, and random shut off during booting...


2 days later and 6+ hours to tear down, debug, and rebuild... I present you the cell phone quality photos of the internals!


Check out those scales on the pass thru plate and on the gpus! V1Tech really helped hook me up with their new printer. I think it's either live on their website or will be soon, link in the first post.




I didn't leave myself much room for GPU power... but it worked!




In it's preferred orientation:




And one with LIGHTS




That lighting is powered by the Corsair commander pro. That thing has a million connections making cable management an interesting endeavor, luckily the back side of this case is MASSIVE.




Last thing to leave you with, the artist sent me another update. I'M SO EXCITED!!!










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  • 3 weeks later...

Remember that scale pattern I made for the GPU backplates and the pass through plate? Well it's back with a vengeance...


It's on the case...




Even around my HDMI and power cable pass throughs




Around the window




Even took the monitor arms to get wrapped since the paint didn't work




I mean, King Ghidorah is one color and nothing but scales... So it is all accurate to the character!


A few minor details I forgot to get photos of including things like the power button, the minor cables, etc.


And the photo shoot took place




And a sneak peak of the back




Fancy photos coming soon, they are off to post production! and WOW the raws even look amazing. I'm working on the software side in preparation for Dreamhack Austin, if I don't have it working by then I still have time before PDX Lan but at least the physical aspect of the build is done! I'll update as I work on the software, but I really need a few days to catch my breath!







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