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Corsair Carbide 500R Ivy Bridge Rig

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My last build comprised of an Intel Bad Axe mobo w/QX6700 @ 3.4GHz, 1333MHz DDR2 ram, and HD 6870s in CrossfireX so this is definitely a good upgrade from where I came from. It'll be used for gaming, daily use, video transcoding, and some moderate photo editing. Aaaand perhaps of course, lots of staring at.


I eventually went from a closed loop water cooling solution to a full blown custom loop, as you can see below. Enjoy watching it unfold!!




Video link:


Final configuration






Final CPU overclock validated by CPUID



Temps from overclock (30C ambient temps with side panel installed)



Memory & cache performance



Final GPU performance




Unigine Heaven 3.0 (default settings)



Unigine Heaven 3.0 (max settings)



Final Windows Experience Index (WEI)




The build starts here...



Meet the family.



Speed talks.



Samsung Bluray optical drive popped in.



Boot and storage drive installed in the racks.



Maximizing fan size with the AF140 Quiet Edition, I/O shield in.



Bolting this on before dropping the motherboard in. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is always a plus!!



The brain.



Vengeance 16GB locked in.



Inside the case.



Pre-installed AF120 Quiet Editions behind the drive cages for extra cooling for the GTX670.



GS800 is from my previous build and is more than enough to power my rig. It has a lit fan so I'm mounting it with the fan facing up.



Corsair H100 with SP120 Quiet Editions. That Intel fan can be thrown at the faces of people you don't like.



The rad mounted on top.



Fans screwed under the rad for a push setup to exhaust up.



GTX 670 Windforce for quietness and ability for OC'ing.



GPU, wires, plugs, cables all connected.



The usual rats nest in the back.



15 minutes later...



The reason I chose this particular Carbide case was for having a non-modular PSU to start with. Notice how the extra unused cables bulge out, much like the cowled back panel.



Everything fits behind there with no flex or resistance in the panel.



Turned on for the first time.



Lights off.



Close up. The H100 pump was fairly loud as expected. So I did the 1N4001 diode mod and fixed the problem. It's so quiet, the PSU (while already quiet), currently has the loudest fan in there now, lol.



POST successful. Now on to other matters before OS install.



I added some blue automotive wire loom on the H100 corrugated lines to match up with the overall blue theme. Also stuck another LED strip behind the opposite side of the H100.



As much as I love this case, the mesh window panel bothers me alot. I'm all for extra cooling but there's no filter to prevent dust accumulation. There's nothing more rewarding than to show pride in my build through a clear window.



After removing the dreaded mesh window by hand...



...I trimmed the panel's interior tabs and raised trim to allow the acrylic to sit flat. Some 3M Extreme double sided tape then held it down nicely. You can't really see the clear window, but it's there lol.



Clear window side panel installed. The way Corsair should've done it...



Lights off again...



Inside with all the blue.



The H100 all nestled up between the heat sinks and RAM.



Vengeance RAM



Gigabyte GTX 670 idling cool at 34C.



The GS800 helps with the interior lighting while powering up the system.



Configuring the BIOS for getting it up and running.



I'm impressed with this setup. This is the default configuration without overclocking. I'm pretty sure to max the WEI with no problems going from 3.5GHz to over 4GHz.



What a sexy piece of technology...


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Really nicely done. Clean wiring job and excellent color-coordination!


The window is the crowning touch...


Which part number is the Samsung BluRay?


I have the identical one except the whole front is gloss - even the black surround. I'd prefer to have the matte surround for my next build.


Might have to just mask off and paint my existing one, though...

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The Samsung drive is model number SH B123L/BSBP. I personally like the mirror look of just the drive tray cover.


I don't see how the highest of the Carbide series cases does not have a clear window option, but the lowest 300R does.

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Being all glossy keeps it from looking good in modern matte finish cases. Works good, though.


Depending on what case I go with next I may try "Stealthing" the drive.


I hear you. I already stealthed the wife's optical drive as an experiment, after watching TinkerTechPC's vid Youtube. She flipped out when she saw nothing but 5.25" bay covers in the front and no optical.


Looks great!

Very tidy, good cable management and a colour scheme that works well.


So jealous right now >:(



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Swapped the stock Corsair front white LED fans for some Bitfenix goodness. They have very focused airflow (as seen in TastyPCTV's smoke test on Youtube) compared to the regular fans, and are very quiet. Under the Bluray drive, you can barely see the 3rd AF120 fan behind the three 5.25" bay slots.



Up close. As like any other LED fan ,they dim or brighten as loads change, which I think is cool.



I like the overall look...



Overclocking time...



4.4GHz at 1.2V (1.275V actual in BIOS). So far temps and stability are good. I know Ivy Bridge tends to be hotter than Sandy Bridge. But clock for clock, Ivy still wins in my opinion. I'll see when I get back from work...


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Haha I know. 4.6GHz is actually my target OC. I have about an hour and a half before this 24hr OC is done. I'm seeing good results so far, however voltages could be pulled back a bit to save a little heat. My peak temp was 81 from Core #2 but that was like when it first entered 100% load. Right now I'm averaging temps in the mid 60s all across. Not bad for using Quiet Edition fans with a slightly slower fan speed to trade off pump noise with the diode mod. I also have a pair of SP120 Performance Edition fans on their way to see how much more of a temp drop and OC headroom I can get, with a small trade off for slightly higher dB. As for my GPU, it stayed 34C the whole time during the stress test so I don't think it makes a difference at all. I have the dual AF120s pushing it's heat out to the back on the bottom half of the case. The upper half, where the CPU and power delivery is, is still cool tbh. Thanks for your inputs. 4.6GHz it is...
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Current 4.5GHz stress test. Temps seem stable in mid 60s range @ 1.175V with offset voltage of +0.085V (1.26V @100% load). My plan of attack in OCing the 3770K is running the Windows Experience Index assessment before running Aida64 (my preferred program) for hours. Normally, an unstable OC would fail the assessment during the CPU performance part @ 80-90% load. I would then go back to the UEFI or AI Suite II and make adjustments accordingly. That way I don't waste time stressing the CPU overnight and wake up to a password login screen in the morning.


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I have a 3rd AF120 pushing air across the GPU PCB and straight back, directly towards the AF140 exhaust fan. During gaming, I get around 56°C peak on most games with both the CPU and GPU consistently. The cooling capacity of this case is outstanding. Now if I was to install a floor fan next to the PSU, it would interrupt the already efficient front-to-back airflow and cause the GPU exhaust flow rise up instead of flow rearward like it already does now with the dual AF120s blowing on it from the front.


On a side note, my memory calculations rating jumped up to 7.9 in my Windows Experience Index, leaving the CPU with only score of 7.8. I think 4.7GHz might be the final OC if I can get 4.6GHz stabilized easily. This is so much like feeding boost to a turbocharged engine. You'll get so hooked that you just don't know when to say, "when", lol. At the end of the day, all this OC'ing pays off and is definitely rewarding.

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Your gpu will make a lot less difference for ur CPU temps as well since u have hyperthreading. Made a lot larger difference for me as I was working with 2 7950s on a 4.7 2500k so the CPU was loaded pretty high. Ur CPU will stay low in games because of the ht. Well in bf3 and others that support ht. It will stay cool in other games because ur only on 1 gpu. CPU load goes up a lot when running 2+ gpu's. Should've seen how hot my i7 930 got at 4.2ghz running tri sli 470s. Was slightly hotter then prime95/linx temps while gaming cuz of the heat from the gpu's. And they were reference lol.
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The other reason I didn't settle for reference GPU's was because of noise, as I have become a quiet freak as well. I've always believed in the design of reference GPU's being more efficient than non-reference GPU's as far as front-to-back heat extraction goes. But once it heats up really good, they just scream. I myself had SLI/CrossfireX configs (9800GTX's and HD 6970's) and I've always ended up swapping out their coolers for Arctic Cooling Accelero twin or triple fan setups to combat noise. I chose the Gigabyte GTX 670 because it had the same design coolers the Arctic Cooling Accelero's had and they were clocked higher than reference. It won't be long until I eventually add another one and we'll see how the 500R handles heat with two of those bad boys and a 4.7GHz OC.
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My particular ASUS motherboard has no onboard 1394 ports so it's evident that a PCIe slot has to be used for it. As for my DIMMs, they are CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9B. The 1600MHz DIMMs have slightly tighter timings than the 1866MHz variants (9-9-9-24 vs 9-10-9-27 respectively) so they suit me better for gaming. When compared head-to-head in gaming, there is little to no difference between 1600 to 1866, other than 3DMark11 benchmarks and so forth, for example. As said, this rig is mostly for gaming, daily use, and moderate video editing. Upgrading from 1600MHz to 1866MHz for me would pretty much be worthless at this point. Have fun on your build!! ;)
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Okay, so this is far as it gets overclocking my 3770K. 4.5GHz @ 1.16V with a 0.75V offset in UEFI, adding up to the voltage you see there. I've gone up to every speed above 4.5GHz, all they way up to 4.8GHz @ 1.325V-1.35V but the temps were too unbearable. All my settings were done with auto/offset voltage and a medium to high LLC setting. I also switched to High Performance SP120's on my H100 and it somehow made it worse, lol!! So back went the Quiet Editions. My Malay batched 3770K may be the culprit as I've seen Costa Rica batched 3770K's OC better... Anyway, at 4.5GHz, I'm more than happy. Anything higher is just an achievement number to me. Don't get me wrong, I will still try but for now, I still get great FPS' in maxed out gaming.


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I went ahead and bought another 3770K. This time, it's from Costa Rica like I hoped for. I found Malay units to be a little hotter than their Costa Rican counterparts. Let's see how they fare against each other with heat and stability, or is it just me...





It's almost an unfair comparison now because I have a push/pull configuration with my H100 and 4x SP120 Quiet Edition fans. All I did was shift the radiator and fans toward the right side of the case. A 500R first!!



Clears RAM and VRM heatsinks on an ASUS P8Z77 motherboard.



RAM can still be easily accessed, as well as the 8-pin EPS connector.



Sorry for the bad lighting. I'll get her up and running an post some results when I can.


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After countless reconfigurations with the H100 and SP120 Quiet Edition/Performance Edition fans, I found that the best setup was as simple as placing the fans on top for intake, like Corsair suggested. Push/pull with the 4x Quiet Editions didn't do squat except create more noise and dropped temps to a mere 2°C average. Not worth it. The High Performance Editions again, made it more hotter. Don't know why. Then finally, top intake setup with the Quiet Editions dropped my temps at an average range of 5-8°C. My GTX 670 temps remained the same @ 36°C.




At 4.6GHz with 1.25V on the Costa Rican 3770K, I am running a higher processor speed at lower voltages and temps than I was at 4.5GHz with 1.264V on the Malaysian 3770K. See the comparisons:


4.5GHz @ 1.264V / Malay 3770K / Core Temps: 71-72-75-83



4.6GHz @ 1.25V / Costa Rica 3770K / Core Temps: 62-72-66-67 (8 hours done, 16 more to go)



The Costa Rica CPU spiked to 90s at the 1min 30sec mark in the beginning of the stress test, then stabilized to its current 60-70's average as time went on. The Malay CPU saw more random hot spikes to 90s during it's test at 4.5GHz. 4.6GHz with the Malay 3770K was very difficult to achieve even though I successfully validated a stable but still hot overclock at 4.5GHz. Is it still me, or are Costa Rica 3770K's still cooler than Malay 3770K's?

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CMXAF2 RAM fan undervolted to 7V. Quiet while also providing some "impinging airflow" to my precious 16GB 1600MHz RAM.




Never showed you this side of the case: 3x AF120 Quiet Editions, efficiently cooling and blowing away heat from from front to back.


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I've come a long way from OC'ing with Phoenix Award BIOS' on Pentiums and Core 2 Quad Extreme's, lol. Here are my settings in the ASUS UEFI:


The latest BIOS flash of 1401 for my particular P8Z77-V Deluxe motherboard.



As you can see, 4600MHz (4.6GHz) is achieved with the default BCLK and an all core ratio of 46. An XMP profile switches my default RAM speed of 1333 MHz to 1600MHz. For this overclock, everything else you see is just as I left it.



Scrolling down, XMP profile shows DDR3 1600MHz automatically with other relative RAM settings automatically adjusted. Voltage is set default at 1.15V with a "+" offset of 0.135V, giving it a 1.28V value under load.



Everything else below is defaulted.



On the DIGI+ Power Control Screen, I have my LLC set to Medium, which gave me a slight droop to 1.25V from the UEFI 1.28V value. CPU Power Phase Control was set to Optimized and CPU Current Capability has been automatically set to 140% for 4.6GHz. Again, everything else untouched and defaulted.



EIST, C states, and Turbo (required for overclock) were left enabled to achieve my 4.6GHz overclock. Back then on Pentiums and Core 2's, these were all disabled to achieve a stable overclock. I found that it made no difference with it off this time around and it helps with CPU/voltage efficiency.


That's it!!

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