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2500X : Build Notes and Comments

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Upgraded my daughter's gaming system to the new 2500X.


Overall experience was excellent. I have always had a soft spot for the smaller cases, even if I don't use them on my daily machine. Fortunately, my 14 yo daughter is the perfect recipient for smaller systems. Previously, her system was in the 280X - even went to the extreme of putting in a custom loop, which was not easy.

This time, it was upgrading to a new Link AIO and RX fans. The 2500 is noticeably larger than it's 280X predecessor(?) - it has to be in order to fit a 360mm radiator. But it's still smaller than a full mid tower and fits between the 2000D (which she's also had) and larger cases. The top is full mesh; we won't have the same issues with top exhaust that we had with the full glass on the 280X so running the radiator in the top as exhaust will work well. There's room for a 280mm radiator up there as well. In fact, putting a custom loop in the 2500 with the XD3 - or even an XD5 - shouldn't be difficult at all. You could do radiators in the top, bottom (but you'll have the bottom of the board blocked; make sure to connect the motherboard headers!) with a single layer of fans and push/pull on the side. You could even be super-clever and mount a pump in the back with a reservoir mounted in the front and use the side grommets to transition from front to back.

Cable management, even without the nifty Project Zero motherboards, is a breeze, especially with the Link system. There's plenty of channels for routing the cables. And the back makes for plenty of space to just shove cables in when you are done messing with them. (That's the "Mullet Method" - pretty in the front, messy in the back.) And while I have an SFX PSU (Corsair SF750) in this one, there's plenty of room for a traditional ATX sized PSU (at the cost of space in the back, of course).

I have a mix of RX and QX in here. The QX fans came with the radiator and the RX fans were separate. For aesthetic reasons, I did want to RX on top and bottom, with the logo facing out and right-side up. It's easy to pop them out and rearrange them based on how the fans are installed. I did discover, however, that the RX fans do not have the temp sensor that the QX fans have! That made it really easy to decide to put the QX fans on the side intake and the exhaust. This kept the balance and aesthetic with the RX fans (top/bottom) while also providing data on the intake temperature and the exhaust temperature. In particular, I like to control my case airflow fans based on the exhaust temperature; as the inside of the case heats up due to GPU waste heat, I want those fans to move more air. For the radiator, it's going to be controlled based on liquid temperature. One thing that I'll need to watch for is to make sure that the case airflow fans flow ramp up enough so that waste GPU heat isn't an issue for the radiator; we do want to ensure that the air flowing through the radiator is actually cooler than the liquid. But it's only a 3060 in there and there's plenty of airflow, so I don't think it'll be an issue. And since there's no glass to block the path of the exhaust, we won't get into a situation where the radiator temperature goes out of control. The entire side is also mesh, so there will be good cooling in the compartment for any spinning rust drives that you may put in there. This build, however, is NVMe only.

One more thing - the new fan screws that come with the RX fans and the 2500 are really amazing. I guess I've been building PCs to long; it seems silly to get excited about *fan screws*. But these things are a breeze to work with. I really like them; they are super-easy to thread on a brand new fan and even easier if you want to swap something around. And no more killing your wrist trying to thread the screw the first time.

How everything is connected:
Link Hub Port 1: AIO => AIO Fans => Rear Exhaust Fan
Link Hub Port 2: Splitter Cable with bottom fans on one side, side fans and XG7 adapter going to a single Corsair RGB Strip on the other side. This is where things got tricky. Initially, this was connected to the bottom fans (bottom fans => Side Fans => XG7) with no splitter, leaving a cable in the side area that I felt looked icky. So I rigged up some spliced-together cables to get what I wanted so that the Link cables were all hidden.  (https://www.reddit.com/r/Corsair/comments/1bxkry3/a_sacrifice_has_been_made/). IMHO, Corsair really needs to have a cable to cable connector in addition to the current 4-point splitter but I digress. Using the XG7 to control the strip allowed me to eliminate both the Lighting Node Pro AND all peripheral (Molex/SATA) connections!

Big thanks to Corsair for providing the 2500X, AIO, and RX Fans and making this build possible! And a shout out to the product teams that developed the Link cable system ... it is such a big difference from the old way.

PS: Ugh.

It was pointed out to me that the rear fan is backwards. Dammit. What happened was that I originally had an RX fan there. But then I discovered that the RX has no temp sensors and swapped it for a QX while still keeping balanced looks.

Now ... it took me all of 9 minutes from the time I got the message in Discord to the time that it was fixed. Between the amazing fan screws, Link cabling, and a really easy case to get into, maintenance and little tweaks and upgrades is going to be super simple. That was part of the test and review - yeah, that's it. That's the ticket.

The Toys:


Compared to 280:


First Boot in the new home:


Edited by DevBiker
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