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  1. Planning to build a gaming PC but don’t know where to start? Picking components can be tricky, but with the CORSAIR PC Builder, you’ll get step-by-step guidance for picking out all the components you need for your next build. Here’s a quick video to show off the PC Builder’s guided experience: The CORSAIR PC Builder takes the guesswork out of picking compatible components for a PC build. Start by selecting your Graphics Card and CPU, then choose from compatible Motherboards, Cases, Cooling, and other hardware that are guaranteed to work together to create your next PC masterpiece. While the CORSAIR PC Builder is focused primarily on CORSAIR products, our database includes a growing number of third-party components to help you fill out the rest of your gaming PC build, even if you decide to go with a case from a different brand! Finally, once you’ve picked out your components, you can either check out through our webstore or save your configuration for later. And it’s as easy as that! Once your hardware is on the way, check out our of tutorial videos over at the CORSAIR LAB so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running and get your new gaming PC put together in record time!
  2. In the world of DIY gaming PCs, every component is hand-picked for performance, reliability, and looks. While most think of an upgrade as a new graphics card, processor, or even more RAM, some substantial steps towards better performance can be had with a fresh pc case, improved cooling, or a new PSU. Maximize Your Airflow with a New PC CaseA computer cases is one of the few components that are commonly re-used when it’s time to upgrade or re-build your gaming PC. Our 5000 Series mid-tower computer cases take the entire build experience into consideration with build-friendly features such as RapidRoute cable management, ample cable management space, a modern IO layout, and compatibility with a wide variety of different cooling systems and configurations whether you plan to use an air cooler, a liquid cpu cooler, or go all out with a custom cooling system. The CORSAIR 5000 Series mid-tower PC case lineup offers a wide range of options for different builders.The new iCUE 5000T RGB takes these core features in a bold direction with unique styling, highly customizable integrated RGB lighting, and intelligent fan/lighting control built-in thanks to its included COMMANDER CORE XT. The iCUE 5000T RGB is the whole package and is ready to go with 3x LL120mm RGB fans to give you a jump start on your next system upgrade. Cool Under PressureUpgrading your CPU cooler may be all your system needs to unlock more performance. And if you’re looking to squeeze every megahertz of performance from your processor, our ELITE LCD Series all-in-one liquid CPU coolers are up to the task. The CORSAIR iCUE ELITE LCD Series of CPU coolers offer extreme cooling with a personal digital dashboard.Available with radiator sizes ranging from 240mm to 420mm including our high-performing ML RGB ELITE Series fans, an ELITE LCD cooler may be just what the doctor ordered, giving you the performance you crave in a highly attractive package with brilliant RGB lighting and a highly customizable IPS display so that your favorite memes don’t have to stay dreams. Most modern computer cases allow for AIO liquid CPU coolers like the ELITE LCD to be mounted to the front of the case with the cooling fans set as an intake to directly pull in fresh, cooler air from outside the case. However, if you’re using a high-end graphics card that dumps a lot of heat into your computer case, you can also mount the radiator for your AIO liquid CPU cooler at the top of your case with the fans set to exhaust out the top. This configuration serves as a good balance for managing both CPU and GPU temps, with the GPU (a component that can produce a lot of heat while gaming) receiving air unobstructed from your case’s front intake. Installing and setting up a CORSAIR ELITE LCD CPU liquid cooler is a quick and easy way to unlock the performance of your processor while giving you a highly customizable display and brilliant RGB lighting.ELITE LCD Series coolers are compatible with modern Intel and AMD sockets and backed by a 5-year warranty so you can rest assured that your cooler will keep your hardware in check until your next big move. Quiet PowerhouseA PC power supply or PSU is often overlooked when it comes to first-time builds or upgrades, but a good power supply will last you for multiple builds, so why not aim for one that’ll give you fantastic performance now and in the future? Most mid-to-high end gaming PC builds tend to sit at around 750-850W when it comes to the capabilities of their PSU. This doesn’t mean that the system will pull that much wattage from the wall. In fact, you’ll likely see a PSU using roughly 80% of their rated wattage which is a sweet spot for performance in terms of efficiency. This goldilocks zone is where you want your build to be at, and yes if you do go over that 80% mark to use all the juice your PSU can muster, it’ll be fine (just less efficient). If you tend to pick components with similar power draw, that one PSU will last you for multiple upgrades and rebuilds backed by a warranty of up to 10 years with a top-of-the-line model. But what if you think you might kick things up a notch next time you do an upgrade? Most CORSAIR power supplies are fully modular, making them easy to install and reduce cable bulk by only using the cables you need for your build.Flagship hardware is becoming more power hungry. The latest enthusiast processors and graphics cards are already pushing 240W and 350W respectively, putting a high end build at near the 80% mark for just those components if using a 750W PSU. If you plan to load up on fans, lighting, and storage drives, you’ll be best served by picking up at least an 850W power supply or maybe 1000W for peace of mind so your PSU can run cooler, quieter, and provide better efficiency for those times when your system is running at 100%. Closing ThoughtsNow is a great time to upgrade your PC and unlock the performance built in! CORSAIR components make building easier than ever and are backed by top notch customer service and industry-leading warranties. If you’re planning to upgrade your gaming PC or plan to build an entirely new rig, join our communities over at the CORSAIR User Forums, CORSAIR Community Discord, or the CORSAIR subreddit!
  3. It’s the season for upgrades, with new hardware and the latest technologies, you might be considering upgrading your system. Today we’ll take a quick look at some key upgrades you can make. Plan Your Next Power MoveSo you’re going to be swapping some core components for your build, but what’s out there? Let’s get the TL;DR on some key component upgrades. Memory MattersSystem memory is used to keep your processor fed with information, be it something as simple as a document or webpage you’re viewing or the mountain of layers or video assets you’re chewing through in Photoshop or Premiere. Having enough memory available for the task at hand is important, otherwise your system will fall back on slower storage (usually in the form of a pagefile on your primary boot drive) which will result in severely reduced performance. Memory speed is also a factor, generally the faster your system memory is, the more responsive your system will be which helps considerably in CPU-intensive games and any other task that puts your CPU to heavy use. If you’re just gaming, 16GB is the current sweet spot for performance with enough capacity to handle the growing demands of games as virtual environments have become larger and more detailed. In terms of raw speed, DDR4-3600 is recommended for AMD platforms and provides a good balance in terms of overall cost vs. performance in CPU-intensive games and programs. If you’re upgrading an Intel system, memory speed isn’t as crucial, so memory kits rated for DDR4-3000 and DDR4-3200 are popular options for most gaming builds. For content creation, capacity plays a substantial role in performance (while overall speed doesn’t matter as much). A 32GB kit would be the minimum if you’re juggling a lot of high-resolution assets for your streams or working on highly complex video projects. As we mentioned earlier the more memory you have available, the less often your system will need to dip into its pagefile, resulting in more consistent performance as you work through large media projects. If you’re going all in on the new Intel® 12th Gen Core Series, you’ll be looking at the bleeding edge of technology and need all-new DDR5 memory. The strategy is the same, but the numbers are cranked up to a whole new level (and it wouldn’t hurt to future-proof your build bit while you’re at it). For a DDR5 gaming rig, try shooting for a 32GB kit of DDR5-4800, this should be plenty fast and give you quite the buffer for games for the foreseeable future. When it comes to content creation, more RAM is always better, so shoot for a 64GB kit (it’s alright to drop the speed a bit). For DDR5, you’ve got the choice of our sleek and stealthy VENGEANCE DDR5 kits. And if you want to make a splash and have better cooling performance, our DOMINATOR PLATINUM RGB Series and CORSAIR-exclusive DHX cooling technology make a return. Pick Up the PaceSSDs have been getting faster and larger each year, if your current platform (or the one you’re upgrading to) supports PCIe Gen4, you’ll be able to take full advantage of a PCIe Gen 4-capable SSD like the MP600 PRO XT. A fast SSD means faster loading times in games or when opening a large video and/or photo project. The MP600 PRO XT is available in sizes up to 4TB and can hit transfer speeds of up to 7.1 GB/s! And if you’re looking for a healthy mix of speed AND capacity, our MP600 CORE is available with capacities of up to 8TB! Keeping the Lights OnIf you’ve gotten this far, you’re definitely in the mood to upgrade, but don’t overlook your power supply. If you’re looking for higher efficiency, modular cables, or need more breathing room for beefier components, we’ve got you! If you’re doing a no-frills build with an entry-level graphics card (or even just integrated graphics), a 650W – 750W modular or semi modular power supply would go a long way, giving you some wiggle room for future upgrades. Serious gaming requires serious power. With higher-end graphics cards recommending at least an 850W PSU, if you want to future-proof a bit, consider going for at least 1000W. And if you go for a model with modular cables, you can swap them out for different colors to match your build. Cooler and QuieterIf your system’s cooler is having trouble keeping up with the heat put out by your processor or if it’s running louder than you like, it may be time to upgrade to a new cooling solution. Our new ELITE LCD Series is available with radiator sizes of 240mm, 360mm, and 420mm and provides plenty of cooling performance for high end processors to keep throttling at bay. Not to mention, the vibrant LCD screen on these coolers lets you further customize your build (or provide at a glance cooling info in real-time). Speaking of cooler upgrades, if you’ve got an ELITE CAPELLIX Series cooler, you can pick up the ELITE LCD Upgrade Kit to give you the same spectacular screen found on our ELITE LCD Series. And if you’re upgrading to a new Z690 motherboard and Intel® 12th Gen Core Series processor, make sure to pick up this LGA 1700 Retrofit Kit which includes the required standoffs for Intel®’s new CPU socket (ELITE LCD Coolers include this already in the box). If you’re looking for a fan upgrade, consider our ML PRO Series PWM fans which run quietly while offering high performance thanks to their magnetic levitation bearing. And with our new ML RGB ELITE fans, you get the added benefit of AirGuide technology which helps direct airflow precisely where you need it. And if you want some more style with your cooling, our QL Series and LL Series are popular choices for those wanting to make a statement with their cooling, incorporating a dazzling array of RGB LEDs into the fan frame. A new case could also be the solution for better cooling performance. While many of our cases take airflow into consideration, we’ve developed airflow-focused models that help you bring cool, fresh air into your system to keep your components running as cool as possible. Our 4000, 5000, and 7000 Series AIRFLOW cases, provide plenty of options outfit your system with a much-needed cooling upgrade whether it be fans and/or liquid cooling! Speaking of liquid cooling, if you want to take your build to the next level, our HYDRO X Series custom liquid cooling components are ready to help you tame your temperatures with the ability to incorporate multiple radiators into your loop and allow you to turn your fans down for whisper quiet operation. Check out our cooling configurator to explore the wide variety of components compatible with your current hardware or your next upgrade. High Performance, Out of the BoxIf a complete system upgrade is what you’re looking for, our VENGEANCE GAMING PC and CORSAIR ONE systems may be more your speed. VENGEANCE GAMING PCs are built with the same off-the-shelf parts we all love, offering high performance, reliability, and more importantly allowing the system to be upgraded easily as new hardware comes out in the future. If you want compact power, the CORSAIR ONE takes the same formula of high-performance, off-the-shelf components and packs it into phenomenally small 12 liter package, allowing for quick and easy setup and whisper quiet performance. Choose Your Upgrade PathUpgrading your PC is easier than ever, whether you’re simply upgrading a few parts to speed up your current system or building an entirely new PC from the ground up! CORSAIR has everything you need to get the most out of your hardware. Building a new rig? Join the conversation over on the CORSAIR User Forums, Community Discord, or Reddit!
  4. CORSAIR Vengeance Gaming PCs with advanced graphics technologies like real-time ray tracing and DLSS AI up-scaling powered by NVIDIA RTX 30-Series graphics give you all the performance you need to play the latest AAA titles in full fidelity. CORSAIR Lab video explaining benefits of ray tracing and DLSS on systems powered by NVIDIA RTX.First, let’s briefly define and talk about what RTX Ray Tracing and DLSS are before we jump into why the CORSAIR Vengeance a7200 Gaming PC is a solid choice for modern titles. A game with ray tracing can have more realistic shadows, reflections, and lighting.RTX is NVIDIA’s implementation of real-time raytracing using dedicated RT cores baked into the GPU to do highly complex calculations for lighting and reflections. Allowing in-game environments to be even more immersive. DLSS can result in sharper, high resolution images without putting a huge load on your graphics card.While ray-traced lighting and shadows provide an easy to spot visual upgrade to games, DLSS (deep learning super sampling) is where the real magic is, boosting FPS by rendering a supported game at a lower resolution that is then upscaled using AI to produce frames at awesome quality. Also note that turning raytracing on by itself is not recommended as current hardware are still struggling to handle such workloads without the help of DLSS. Without making this blog too long about how DLSS and raytracing work together, here’s a quick rundown. DLSS works on a game-by-game basis, using a model put together with machine learning on an NVIDIA supercomputer comparing aliased, low resolution frames from a game to “perfect” frame renders at a higher resolution.With all this information baked into the DLSS model, a game with DLSS will replicate these perfect high-res frames to produce cleaner, high resolution frames even though the game itself renders at a lower resolution on your machine.This helps to free up system resources for your game which results in higher framerates. Thus, allowing you a more enjoyable experience.These technologies are game changing and when paired with CORSAIR components in a system like the Vengeance i7200 or a7200, the RTX 30-series graphics cards run at peak performance with all the power and cooling they need to drive the latest AAA titles on all the “pretty settings”. Cyberpunk 2077 with RTX on features ray-traced shadows, reflections, global illumination, diffuse illumination, and ambient occlusion for a more vibrant, life-like Night City, making this a game that benefits greatly from NVIDIA DLSS. To demonstrate, we’ve set up a quick test on our Vengeance A7200, setting everything including Ray Tracing to ULTRA at 1440p, but keeping DLSS off. With those settings we managed 39.52 FPS on average. Testing again with DLSS set to quality mode, we hit an average FPS of 60.10, resulting in a much smoother experience while maintaining excellent quality. And to further drive the benefits of DLSS, we did a similar test with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, this time cranking the resolution up to 4K with all settings including ray tracing set to maximum. Without DLSS, our average FPS was a respectable 55.86 frames per second. However, switching on DLSS Performance mode gave us a drastic improvement, increasing our average FPS to 77.55 with a barely noticeable difference in quality. And there you have it, CORSAIR Vengeance Gaming PCs and NVIDIA RTX graphics are the perfect pairing for your next upgrade, delivering gorgeous visuals and silky smooth gameplay! For information regarding CORSAIR systems powered by Nvidia RTX, be sure to check out Corsair.com and our Discord server, subreddit and the official CORSAIR forums to learn more.
  5. Want a pro-level build? This pro-level builder bundle includes everything you need to future proof your build. Providing more space to install larger, higher performance components and the dual-chamber design of the 680X RGB allows you to move your PSU out of the way for easier cable management and a clear view of your hardware. Relocate the pre-installed LL120 fans to the top and rear of the case as exhaust fans. This opens the front locations for the H150i PRO XT to be mounted. Relocate LL120 RGB fansTo determine the direction of airflow, you can look at the fan from the front side. Air would be drawn through and exhausted out the back. Air intake goes through the front of a fan and exhausts out the back.To configure your LL120 RGB fans, check out this video where we show you how to use the case’s included Lighting Node PRO. And if you need help with re-orienting your fans in iCUE for animated lighting effect, check out this video. With the front fan locations now open, you can install the H150i PRO XT in that spot. Depending on the how you want the airflow for your case, you can position the fans in front or behind the radiator. In either location, be sure to orient the fans so that they push or draw air throw the radiator to help cool it. The ML fans can be plugged into the 4-pin fan connectors that come off the pump head, you won’t have to worry about finding extra PWM fan headers on your motherboard. We have an installation video for Pro XT coolers to help guide you. When installing the AX1000, make note of where the power connections are on your motherboard. The PSU is going to be located directly behind the motherboard, oriented vertically, and the cables will pass through the grommets from the rear chamber to the front. The fully modular design lets you use only the cables that you need. Rear chamber of a built systemThe 8-pin EPS12V is typically in the top corner and you can route this cable so it can connect directly to your motherboard. It helps to route this cable first while you have more room to work in before installing top mounted fans or coolers. The 24-pin cable can be routed through one of the middle grommets that is closest to your motherboards 24-pin connector. If your graphics card requires extra power, route the cable through the bottom grommet closest to the PCIe connector on your GPU. We recommend running a dedicated cable per power connector on your graphics card for best performance! Connect the SATA power connector for your H150i PRO XT as well as the SATA power for your RGB Fan Hub included in the rear chamber. Do your best to keep all your cables clustered closer to a single column, this makes for cleaner cable organization even with a lot of cables. You can check out this video on installing a fully modular power supply, just like the AX1000. And check out this video for some tips on cable management. And if you are planning to vertical mount your GPU, don’t forget to install your PCIe riser cable as well as removing the two cover plates for the vertical mounting location. Optional Vertically Mounted GPUOf course, you don’t want to forget to connect your front IO for the case. The power button, reset button and LED indicators pins are generally located in the bottom right corner of your motherboard. Check your motherboard’s manual for the exact pinout of the header. You can route these cables through the bottom grommet. Built System with general IO locations markedFor the audio cable, this is generally in the bottom left corner of your motherboard. As always, check your motherboard’s manual to be sure. You can route this cable up through the bottom cutouts. Your USB 3.0 header is usually at the bottom edge or along the right edge of your motherboard. Route the cable through one of the grommets that aligns with your cable management in the rear chamber. The USB Type-C connector is generally on the right edge of your motherboard. You may want to consider using a USB 3.0 header adapter for this cable if your motherboard does not have a USB Type-C header. Make sure your Lighting Node Pro is plugged into a USB 2.0 header on your motherboard, most boards should have at least 1 header. Always check your manual for exact location! Remember that the RGB Fan hub connected to the Lighting Node PRO will only control the lighting of your fans. You’ll want to make sure that you connect your fan PWM cables to appropriate headers on your motherboard (check your manual for header locations) or a fan controller if you have one that you plan to use. For a general guide to building a PC from start to finish, check out this video! If you have any questions, please contact our support team or join our community on Reddit, Discord, or the CORSAIR User Forums!
  6. This essential builder bundle takes your build to the next level of cooling and includes a CORSAIR 4000D Airflow case, RM850 power supply, and the H100i RGB PRO XT liquid cooler for ideal thermal performance with new, next gen components! Using a CORSAIR RM850 power supply will give sufficient headroom on system power draws especially when using the new CPUs such as the Ryzen 5000 series and new GPUs such as the RTX 3000 and Radeon 6000 cards. Before we jump into fans and radiator placement, make sure your motherboard is already installed into the case along with the CPU, RAM, and any M.2 drives you may have to make things easier. Please check your manufacturer’s instructions manual for guidance. We also have a general PC building guide video for reference.Additionally, you may want to have your power supply cables already connected to the PSU, route your 8-pin EPS 12V cable to your CPU’s power connector on the top left side of the motherboard and the 24-pin cable to your motherboard’s power connector. Install the RM850 power supply in the PSU compartment of the PC case and secure it with the right screws. Be sure to also connect all the front IO port cables of the PC case correctly at the bottom of your motherboard while you have more space in your case to work with. Use your motherboard’s instructions manual if you need clarifications on the header pinouts. Now let’s talk about the fans and radiator placement in the 4000D Airflow PC case. Our goal is to mount this 240mm radiator on the top panel of the case while exhausting the hot air out upwards. First, prepare your H100i RGB PRO XT liquid cooler by mounting the ML120 fans that come with it onto the radiator; same side where the tubes are in a push-configuration. Make sure the front side of the fans are visible when mounted. Ensure that you have the appropriate brackets clipped onto your CPU block; the H100i RGB PRO XT will come with an Intel mounting bracket pre-installed, but you can find brackets for AMD AM4 and sTRX4 in the box. When you’re ready, install the radiator with the proper screws under the topside of the case with the tubes at the rear side of the case. If you need help, have a partner hold the CPU block/pump during this process. Once the radiator is installed, secure the CPU block with the pre-applied thermal paste onto the CPU. Make sure the Corsair logo is facing in the proper upright orientation. DO NOT overtighten the screws on the bracket that hold down the CPU block, use your fingers to secure it just enough that it doesn’t wiggle. Then connect the USB cable from the CPU block into the internal USB 2.0 header on the motherboard (usually near the bottom side of the motherboard). Connect fan cable into the CPU_FAN header. Connect the ML120 fans on the radiator into the fan splitters from the CPU block; do this along the back side of the case. Lastly, if you have any additional case fans you’d like to install, go ahead and install those where you feel is needed. Typically, three intake fans on the front panel and an exhaust fan at the rear back panel of the case are ideal for thermal performance. And that’s it! Again, if you need additional references for building a PC from start to finish, watch our recent build guide video .Be sure to check out our Discord server, subreddit and the official CORSAIR forums to learn more.
  7. With this core builder bundle, you’ll have the necessary components needed to power up and cool a new graphics card in a case with massive airflow! Our recommended configuration for the best balance between performance and aesthetics would be to install the SP120 RGB PRO fans in the front of the case and move the pre-installed AirGuide fan from the front panel to the top panel, positioned as close to the rear exhaust fan as possible. Relocate fans with SP120 RGB PRO in front and stock fans on rear and top exhaust.To ensure that you have your fans mounted the right way for airflow, make that the front of the fans are visible when looking at the front panel, the back of the fans should be visible when looking at the top panel and rear exhaust on the outside of your case! Air intake goes through the front of a fan and exhausts out the back.To configure your SP120 RGB PRO fans, check out this video where we show you how to use the kit’s Lighting Node CORE. And you may also want to check this out for how to re-orient your fans in iCUE for animated lighting effects. For your power supply, route the 8-pin EPS12V cable along the back of your case so it can connect directly to the power connector on your motherboard. It’s best to do this before you install anything like a fan/cooler in the top of your case so you have the most room to work with. Built 4000D with power locations markedYour 24-pin power cable should be routed from the PSU shroud up the cable management bar to meet your motherboard’s 24-pin connector. If your graphics card requires extra power, route the cable up the PSU shroud through the central cable cover on your case, we recommend running a dedicated cable per power connector on your graphics card for best performance! Built 4000D with general IO locations markedDon’t forget to plug in the front IO of your case onto your motherboard. Generally the pins for the power button, reset button and LED indicators can be found on the bottom right corner of your motherboard. Double check your motherboard manual for the exact location and pinout of the front IO header! The front IO cables can be routed through cutouts in your case to keep cables looking tidy. The audio cable will generally connect to a header on the far left corner of your motherboard, again, check you motherboard manual to be sure! This cable can be routed through cutouts in your case. The USB 3.0 cable should go directly to a header on your motherboard, these can often be found along the bottom edge or right edge of your motherboard. Pick a header that works best for your cable management. The USB Type-C cable should connect to a header on the right edge of your motherboard. If your motherboard doesn’t have a USB Type-C header, consider getting an adapter so you can plug this cable into a USB 3.0 header. You’ll also want to make sure that you connect your Lighting Node CORE into a USB 2.0 header on your motherboard, most motherboards will have at least 1-2 USB 2.0 headers, check your manual for exact locations. Remember that the Lighting Node CORE will only control the lighting of your fans, you’ll also want to make sure that you connect your fan DC/PWM cable to appropriate headers on your motherboard or a fan controller if you have one. Finally, we’ve put together this general build guide for building a PC from start to finish! If you have any questions, please contact our support team or join our community on Reddit, Discord, or the CORSAIR User Forums!
  8. It’s not often we see an insane concept such as the three-headed gaming beast, King Ghidorah. Cameron Watkins, the mastermind behind this stunning creation, was kind enough to share some of his thoughts regarding planning out and building such a complex system. Who are you? My name is Cameron Watkins, I’m a case modder from Dallas, Texas. My full time job is that of a software developer, but I really enjoy just about everything computer related. Getting my own computer at a young age led me to wanting to make my own games, which lead me to building my own computer which lead me to more programming, and the cycle just repeated itself and here I am. I started off getting into modding when my brother started a business and got a laser cutter. I realized with a laser cutter I could easily design cases and make pieces for computer builds. I started off with several simple acrylic designs, then made a computer with a functioning fish tank, and now tried my hand at a mobile LAN party system with this build. Why are you building this? I built a smaller version of this for QuakeCon last year, meant for two players, while I had trouble with the actual virtualization at the time with Ryzen being so new, I was given the opportunity to go bigger with Threadripper. Around the same time many of the bugs that hindered the last build on the software side were fixed, so I knew what I had to do, go big or go home! With the concept of scaling up three gamers I looked around for a visual theme and somehow came back to King Ghidorah from the Godzilla movies. Growing up my best friend had a lot of Godzilla toys and I remember King Ghidorah being one of my favorites. I think Gigan was actually my favorite, but he didn’t fit the bill for this build. With sixteen cores and being able to reasonably sit three people next to each other, the mobile LAN party idea solidified as three games each with four cores and the last four cores for a dedicated server (and host). How does CORSAIR hardware make this build possible? CORSAIR is most of the build honest. RAM, SSDs, Power supply, Case, Fans. It’s everything but the GPU, motherboard, and watercooling! Functionality, I knew some of the hardware that I needed to use, a Threadripper 1950x and three RX480s. Next was to find monitors that pair well, after looking around for something large enough to be enjoyable but small enough to not be silly, I settled on some 21.5 inch screens. King Ghidorah is gold, and when I mean gold I mean solid gold. I needed RGB and lots of it. The HD120s have an excellent sparkle look, with strong LEDs that aren’t hidden behind frosting and with the CORSAIR Commander PRO, I was actually able to run eight fans, temperature probes in the watercooling loop The next issue was deciding on the RAM, the Zen architecture is a little finicky with RAM, but that was no problem for this CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX 2933MHz. And as much as RGB can help with this build, I also wanted it to be grounded in gold, physical gold, something that looked like King Ghidorah’s scales. CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX fit the bill perfectly. With a simple mod aided by a gold sharpie, a solid black stick was transformed. The last component to pick was the power supply, running three dedicated gaming stations means powering three dedicated gaming stations. Simple napkin math quickly showed that this was going to be drawing close to 1000 watts, even with relatively power efficient components. The RM1000x saved the day, providing good, clean power at a 80+ gold rating (ha ha gold) with modular cables, exactly what this build needed. What sort of obstacles did you overcome during the planning and building process? Fitting this many components into a relatively small case was a challenge, most of the build problems were a matter of getting everything to fit within the case itself. The case is spacious but with that the custom watercooling I had an interesting problem, the water block I was using for the CPU had the inlet on the right side and could not be re-orientated. My options for routing looked something like this: I decided on the left layout meaning I needed four pass-throughs to the back of the case. After a lot of drilling and dremeling, I had a path to the back of the case through a clean pass-through plate that I made. Even with the triple hard drive cage directly behind my top two holes I was able to go through it and still leave it functioning with room for two disks! And the pass-through plate turned out amazingly after getting V1tech’s aid in printing on it. The last issue I was afraid of turned out to not even be an issue, with this many components in a case, there is a lot of cabling. But this case is a double wide, where the back side has a lot of empty space. That coupled with the Commander PRO made cable management a lot less of an issue, sure there were a lot of cables, but I didn’t have to be too neat with them, at least not on the back side. Everything had room and it was easy to close it all back up. So how does it run? Mission accomplished? The build runs really well. Sixteen cores is more than I knew what to do with at first so with the help of 64GB of CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX RAM, I knew it would be an excellent platform for virtualization. As defined by Wikipedia, “virtualization refers to the act of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, including virtual computer hardware platforms, storage devices, and computer network resources.” With that many CPU cores, RAM, and GPUs, I wanted to scale up my idea of a mobile LAN party. This really is a no compromise, all-in-one solution. It offers an excellent 1080p, up to 75hz, FreeSync, gaming experience without having to sacrifice on the muscles to get real tasks done. Each user gets four cores and eight threads with 16GB of RAM, along with their very own AMD Radeon RX 480. What would you like to try building next? My last two builds have been rather large with monitors directly attached to the case to allow for a one step mobile LAN party, but I’ve realized while it’s one step, it’s really difficult to move such a massive, heavy construction. I think my next project will be to go back to my roots. I’ve always loved small builds, but I’m not one to like compromising on performance. I loved the possibilities offered by PCI Express bifurcation, which is literally splitting PCI Express lanes. In this context I mean using a riser cable to turn a mini-itx motherboard’s one 16x slot into two 8x slots. I did that in my previous project “HailFire” but this time instead of just running a multiple GPU set up, I think a utility PCIe device and a GPU would be a more practical solution. That said, I really enjoy watercooling, so I’m sure it will involve a good amount of that.
  9. Last year, we launched CORSAIR ONE to much critical acclaim, earning several industry awards for its compact, quiet, powerful design, and innovative convection-assisted liquid cooling solution for both its CPU and GPU. Today, we’re launching the CORSAIR ONE ELITE and PRO+ which are powered by the latest Intel 8th-generation Core Series processors with a few additional tweaks under the hood. SIX CORES: STREAM+GAME+CREATE The biggest difference between the CORSAIR ONE ELITE and PRO+ models and the previous CORSAIR ONE PRO is a platform upgrade from the Intel Z270 chipset and an 4-core, 8-thread i7-7700K processor to Intel’s new Z370 chipset and the 6-core, 12-thread gaming and multitasking beast, the Core i7-8700K. With a clock speed of up to 4.7GHz (up from the i7-7700K’s 4.5GHz), the i7-8700K in the new CORSAIR ONE ELITE and CORSAIR ONE PRO+ allow you to push out as many frames as their NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti video cards can create for ridiculously high fps gaming or smooth ultra-high definition 4K experiences. It doesn’t stop at gaming though, the CORSAIR ONE ELITE and PRO+ are multi-tasking champions, allowing for smoother experiences for tasks such as rendering massive 3D/video projects, streaming, and even day-to-day tasks such as launching office software and web browsing with an excessive number of tabs open. The CORSAIR ONE ELITE and the CORSAIR ONE PRO+ are housed in the same compact and sleek aluminum chassis and make use of our patented convection-assisted cooling solution for both the processor and video card. The CORSAIR ONE ELITE and PRO+ feature up to 32GB of VENGEANCE LPX DDR4 2666MHz memory (the PRO+ model comes with 16GB of memory) and a 480GB M.2 NVMe SSD that’s supplemented by a 2TB 2.5” SATA HDD for mass storage. Both models of the new CORSAIR ONE are upgradeable with easy access to the memory and an unpopulated 2.5” drive slot for expanding storage as the system grows with you. Here’s a quick breakdown of the specifications of both the CORSAIR ONE ELITE and CORSAIR ONE PRO+: CORSAIR ONE PRO+ (CS-9000013) CORSAIR ONE ELITE (CS-9000014) CPU Intel Core i7-8700K, Liquid-cooled (6 Cores, 12 Threads, Up to 4.7GHz) Chipset Intel Z370 Memory 16GB (2x8GB) CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX DDR4-2666 32GB (2x16GB) CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX DDR4-2666 Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB GDDR5X Liquid-cooled Storage 480GB M.2 NVMe SSD 2TB 2.5” 7mm SATA HDD Power CORSAIR SF500 500W SFX 80 PLUS GOLD @ 50C Network 802.11ac 2x2 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, Gigabit Ethernet Ports Front: USB 3.1 Gen 1, HDMI 2.0a Rear: PS/2, 2x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, Ethernet, Audio, 2x DisplayPort 1.2, HDMI 2.0 Software Windows 10 Home 64-bit CORSAIR LINK PC Doctor Size 200 x 176 x 380 mm (7.9” x 7” x 15”) 7.4 kg (16.3 lbs.) Warranty 2 Years MSRP $2,799 $2,999 The CORSAIR ONE ELITE and CORSAIR ONE PRO+ are both available from our webstore. For more information about CORSAIR ONE, join our community at the CORSAIR USER FORUMS.
  10. I was really excited when we released our Carbide 460X case as it has awesome potential for modding and making themed builds, I wanted to do a Overwatch build as that is the game I play the most right now, so I started to think about a design. Gigabyte was really nice and helped out with a GA-Z170X-Designare and a Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX 1060. All the hardware I ended up with was this: Corsair Crystal 460X Gigabyte GA-Z170X-Designare Intel Core i5 6600K Gigabyte Xtreme Gaming GTX 1060 Corsair Vengeance RGB Corsair MP500 Corsair RM650X Corsair H100i v2 Corsair HD120 RGB Corsair Lighting Node PRO Our Vengeance RGB is a really good choice when doing theme builds as it is easy to fit it together with the color scheme you have. As the theme of the build is Overwatch I went for a white-orange color theme. Modguru was nice again to help out with sleeved cables for our RM650X. We have two other products that recently was released as well that I am using, our first M.2 SSD, MP500 and our Lighting Node Pro which makes it possible to control our RGB-fans through Corsair Link, it also comes with RGB LED-strips. It is really nice with M.2 SSDs as there is less cables to route in the case. This is how the cable management behind the motherboard ended up like. I mounted one of the RGB LED-strips around the IO-plate on the case, just to make it easier to see in the dark when you need to plug something in. The other RGB LED-strips was installed inside the case to sync up with rest of the theme. Next thing I wanted to do was to cover up the fans on the inside of the case, together with a friend I designed a fan-grill with Corsair and Overwatch logos. It was milled out in clear acrylic. This plate was painted, the small bit in the Overwatch logo was painted orange and the rest white. The PSU cover was also painted white and orange. This was how it ended up looking, I know the fan-grill probably stops some air from the fans, however, this case is extremely open so it did not do any big change in the temperatures. I wanted the front glass to have a Overwatch logo as well, I thought about vinyl at first, but then I decided on engraving it to the glass with a rotary tool. I used something called carbon paper to transfer the logo to the glass. Then I used my rotary tool with a engraving bit to do the engraving, I made a complete guide on how to do engraving that you can find here. When engraving glass though you need to be extra careful and not use any sharp engraving bits, I recommend using the “ball” ones. Remember to engrave on the backside and not the outside too! The top part of the Overwatch logo is orange, which I wanted it to be on the glass as well so I bought an acrylic pen and filled it out. With the three front fans set to white LED the fan-grill really shines up! The RGB LED-strips on the IO-plate looks like this, really useful when its dark. This is how the build ended up looking, for more and better photos, check out the Builders Gallery! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.
  11. Games Done Quick is a charity video game marathon organization that features high-level gameplay by speedrunners to raise money for charities such as Doctors Without Borders and the Prevent Cancer Foundation. To commemorate our partnership for their 2017 Summer Games Done Quick event this year, we've put together a custom gaming PC in a Crystal Series 460X chassis. The custom paint job and laser etching featuring the Games Done Quick logo was done by our friends at Controller Chaos. We've partnered with them before on several custom peripheral projects over the past year and their expertise definitely shows in the custom work done to the 460X chassis. Once you dig inside the case, you'll notice that we've put together a system that provides everything you need for gaming. We've partnered with Gigabyte who generously provided their AORUS GA-Z270X-GAMING K7 motherboard and AORUS GTX 1060 graphics card for the system. At the heart of the system, we installed an Intel Core i7-7700K cooled by a Hydro Series H100i V2 alongside 32GB of high speed VENGEANCE RGB DDR4 RAM. For our OS drive we used a 120GB Force Series MP500 NVMe M.2 SSD supplemented by a 480GB Neutron XTi SATA SSD for storage of games and programs with a 1TB HDD for mass storage for larger game libraries and other files/programs. Hiding under the custom painted power supply shroud is one of our popular RMx series power supplies, specifically the RM650x, which provides more than enough power for the components currently in the system with enough headroom for overclocking and additional components/upgrades in the future. We also outfitted the power supply with one of our premium cable kits featuring all white cables to go with the theme of the build. Not leaving it at high performance hardware and custom paint/glass, we also paid attention to the lighting in the system. We grabbed one of our new LIGHTING NODE PRO RGB lighting controllers so that we could put together an awesome blue and white light show using the brilliant lighting provided by our HD120 RGB fans and the individually addressable RGB LED strips we've installed in the chassis. The 2017 Summer Games Done Quick run from July 2nd - July 9th and will be raising funds for Doctors Without Borders. To learn more about GDQ check them out at gamesdonequick.com.
  12. We were at the UK LAN-event Insomnia 61 together with Overclockers UK. We had one of our influencers there, BoMenzzz, and we teamed up with Bit-Techs inhouse modder Dave "davido_labido" Alcock to build a custom watercooled PC for BoMenzzz that was revealed at the event. In this blog Dave himself will show how he built this custom PC. Hi folks, my name is Dave, but most people know me online as ‘davido_labido’. I have recently taken the role of an in-house computer modder at www.bit-tech.net. Which basically means I get to play with computer equipment and write about my experiences. Not a bad job huh? The first build I decided to do for bit-tech.net was for Corsair and particularly its up and coming twitch streamer BoMenzzz. BoMenzzz recently managed to gain sponsorship from Corsair so she is doing very well. When I spoke to the Corsair rep, he mentioned that BoMenzzz had a bit of an ugly computer which wasn’t fit for a Twitch streamer! We decided something needed to be done. Her old computer was a nest of cables and looked rather messy, it was quite loud and just needed some TLC. Working alongside Corsair and BoMenzzz we decided what hardware we needed and found that she wanted a white and pink colour scheme. The build would be liquid cooled to keep audio levels down. Alphacool kindly provided the liquid cooling. When all of the hardware arrived we knew it was going to be an interesting build! First thing was to strip the case down to ensure that we could make the Corsair 460X as white as possible. I wanted to try and get a build as white as possible so that the pink would contrast against it. I did this by drilling out all of the rivets, it took a while, Corsair really like to ensure their cases stay together! After the build was stripped down it looked a little like this; so many parts! Anything that was metal on the case, I popped along to the powder coaters just to save time. Everything else I sprayed myself. This included all of the liquid cooling parts and plastic parts of the Corsair 460X. Here you can see the Alphacool radiator getting a blast of paint on my spray rack. The spray rack is a garden grow rack and is very cheap indeed. It ensures that wind and rain does not affect the spraying however. To hide all of the holes in the motherboard tray that we didn’t want to see, I made a few acrylic plates. I had to then cut the holes that we wanted our cables to pass through. The holes that were cut started off very rough, like in the picture, but with a bit of filing and sanding they became smooth. Now that everything was sprayed I could do a test fit and figure out how I was going to do the loop. I knew that everything was going to be a tight fit when I requested the hardware, I didn’t realise just how tight it was going to be though. There was less than an 8mm gap between the end of the GPU and the radiator! Speaking of the graphics card, it really ruined the white and pink colour scheme, it just looked wrong. I do love the design of the MSI GPUs though, so I decided to spray it and do some other little mods. First of all we had to remove the red parts from the black surround. Once this was done, we sanded, primed, sprayed and lacquered them all so that they were a nice bright pink. This suited the build far more and tied in all of the colours. Next on the list of jobs was a set of custom sleeved cables. This meant measuring, cutting and sleeving all of the cables that would be seen. Some of these cables are ‘Y’ cables. This means that there is 1 cable at the motherboard end, but 2 cables at the PSU end. I got around this problem by creating some brand new ‘Y’ cables. Once all of the cables were done they looked great. They were the perfect length for the look that I wanted and they were now white and pink! As well as having a love for gaming, streaming and the colours white and pink, BoMenzzz really likes Pandas! I decided to try and sneak one into the build somewhere. The best place I could find was on the PSU cover that is included with the Corsair 460X. When I was spraying the cooler for the MSI GPU, I decided to add a little bit of BoMenzzz branding. Using a vinyl cutter I created a little logo on the side that lights up. I also created a really simple backplate out of some scrap acrylic and some vinyl. Once the build was done, I filled it up with some Mayhems Pastel Pink. I think this colour is awesome in the Alphacool frosted tubing. After it was all filled and everything was powered, it looked rather tasty! We decided to present BoMenzzz with the build at Insomnia 60, a UK gaming festival. Needless to say, I think she was happy with it! Her PC garnered the most attention out of all the other builds at the event which was pretty awesome considering there was some other great builds there. It was a pleasure to work with Corsair, Alphacool and also BoMenzzz! If you would like to check out BoMenzzz stream, click here: https://www.twitch.tv/bomenzzz To check out a more detailed build log, check out our three-part series on Bit-Tech here: https://www.bit-tech.net/modding/project-logs/2017/03/17/bomenzzz-build-part-1/1 https://www.bit-tech.net/modding/project-logs/2017/03/21/corsair-460x-build-for-bomenzzz-part-2/1 https://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2017/04/21/corsair-460x-build-for-bomenzzz-part-3/1
  13. This blog series is about how it can look when you build your own case from scratch. Part 1: The Beginning - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-CURV3D-The-Beginning Part 2: Hardware and case - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-curv3d-hardware-and-case Part 3: Finishing the structure - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-CURV3D-Finishing-the-structure Part 4: Custom parts and sleeving - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-CURV3D-Custom-parts-and-sleeving Part 5: Finalizing the last details - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/project-curv3d-finalizing-the-last-details In this last part of this blog-series I will show you how all the hardware above is installed in the case as well as the end result of the build. This is how we ended up in the last part, now all the hardware needs to be installed and the LCD has to be configured. In a small case like this you have to install the parts in a particular order to be able to fit everything. So first of all I started with the motherboard and installed the fans to one of the fan-ports. Then I installed the SSD-holder to the Corsair H75. Next thing to do was to install the radiator, I screwed it together with the front fan and installed all the cables needed. I used P-clips to tie everything down as well. Last thing, mount the CPU-block! This is how the inside turned out looking, I tried to get everything as tidy and clean as possible. Here is a nightshot for you. I set up the LCD so it cycles through three screens, the name of the build, the sponsors and finally a status screen with temperatures, usage etc. Now it is time to show some end result photos of this little scratchbuilt case. This little PC will be used as a HTPC for movies and some simpler games. This have been a long and time-consuming project but now it is done and I am very satisfied with the result. I hope this have been an interesting blog-series for you to read and that you learned something. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment!
  14. This blog series is about how it can look when you build your own case from scratch. Part 1: The Beginning - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-CURV3D-The-Beginning Part 2: Hardware and case - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-curv3d-hardware-and-case Part 3: Finishing the structure - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-CURV3D-Finishing-the-structure Part 4: Custom parts and sleeving - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-CURV3D-Custom-parts-and-sleeving In this part I will go through how to polish acrylic that has some scratches, how I installed different custom parts and how I assembled the case. So let’s start with the acrylic, this pieces of acrylic have been through a lot, so they have some scratches. So what to do? Well I use something called Novus Plastic Polish, this is the best polish I found for acrylic. So there is three different parts, one for heavy scratches, one for fine scratches and one to make it clean and shine. First of all, if you have heavy scratches use the number 3 together with a microfiber cloth and buff in the same direction as the scratches. After that I use the number 2 bottle with a clean cloth and buff in circle movements, I did this 2-3 times. To finish it off I used the last bottle, sprayed over the surface and with a new clean cloth buffed it out so it’s clean and shiny. Next thing I did was to shorten the pump-cable for the Corsair H75 as it does not have to be that long in this build. So I measured out how long it needed to be and cut it. Heated up my soldering station and soldered the cables together with some heatshrink. To make it look cleaner it also got some black sleeve. Installed and mounted, looks much better than before. What do you think? Let’s start mounting the different parts together! First of all, the 4x20 LCD, I glued it to the frontplate with some heavy-duty epoxy. The power-switch was also installed to the frontpanel. The fangrill with dustfilter was installed by pushing it under the front casefeet and then screwed into the fan-frame in the back. These casefeet is hand-milled in aluminium, they give builds a cleaner look and is very easy to install, just drill a hole and mount the casefeet with a bolt and nut, then just add the rubber-piece to stop some vibrations. The last thing to be mounted is the front and backpanels. As I don’t want to have any screws visible these are also glued with epoxy. They are glued in one at a time with the help of straps and clamps. This is how it looks when it is mounted together. In the next and last blog in this series I will show of how I install the hardware and how the case ends up looking. Leave a comment of what you think about the build and stay tuned for part six!
  15. This blog series is about how you can build your own case from scratch. Part 1: The Beginning - http://www.corsair.com/en-us/blog/2015/september/project-curv3d-the-beginning Part 2: Hardware and case - http://www.corsair.com/en-us/blog/2016/february/project-curv3d-hardware-and-case Now it is time for Part 3. So last time I finished the frontplate, now it is time to make the backplate for the case, which will house the I/O-plate, the power-connector for the Pico-PSU and some ventilation holes. The principle is the same as for the frontplate. I started by cutting out the entire shape. Next thing to cut out is the hole for the I/O-plate, it can be a bit difficult to measure out where it should be. What I did was to install the motherboard into the case, and then push the backplate as close to it as possible and then mark out where to cutout. When cutting out make sure you cut less than you marked out and then file down the rest by hand. Next thing to do was to figure out how to design the ventilation holes, this was my first idea. But it ended up being two lines instead of three. Cutting out the hole for the Pico-PSU connector was easy, mark out where it should be and use a regular drill. I/O-plate fits, power-connector fits, frontplate fits, success! I installed all the hardware to see if everything works, which it did. So let’s keep on working, next thing to do is to paint the front and backplate. Painting aluminium with spraycans can be very difficult, the paint does not stick as good as it does on steel for example. But I will go through how I think the best way of doing it is. What you need: Self-etching primer for aluminium. Regular paint. Clearcoat. Fine sandpaper. Time and patience.So first of all you have to sand the surface down to get the paint to stick better. Next thing is to start with the self-etching primer, do 6-7 thin layers and let it dry for 24h. Sand it down with very fine sandpaper to remove any scuffs and then go on with the regular paint, same here 6-7 layers with 10min time between. Let it dry for 24h. Let’s sand it down again with fine sandpaper and then finish it off with a few layers of clear coat. If you do it right and let it take time to dry properly, you will get a good result. This was all for this blog, in the next one I will go through the Pico-PSU, sleeving and how I made a custom-part for the SSD. See you next time!
  16. This blog series is about how you can build your own case from scratch. Part 1: The Beginning - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-CURV3D-The-Beginning Part 2: Hardware and case - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-curv3d-hardware-and-case Part 3: Finishing the structure - https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/Project-CURV3D-Finishing-the-structure One thing I really enjoy with scratchbuilds, is that you can build your case exactly like you want it, optimize it after the hardware and coming up with new solutions to mount hardware. This case is very small so everything that can save space is important. In this case for example, the SSD does not have anywhere to be mounted, so I had to make something to fix that problem. What I came up with was to somehow mount the SSD over the radiator without blocking to much airflow. So I started off with a aluminium sheet which I bent twice. I removed everything that was not needed. Next thing I did was to clean up the edges and corners. I painted the SSD-holder black to fit together with the SSD and radiator. The SSD is mounted to the SSD-holder which then is mounted to the radiator. To make the SSD stand out a little bit more I wanted to engrave our sails logo on it. What I used is something called carbon paper, then put the logo on top and filled in all the contours of it, the carbon paper transfers that over to the SSD as you see in the photos. Using a Dremel I then started engraving the logo, first all the outlines and then started filling all the empty spaces. It ended up like this! Another small detail I did was to remove the plastic ring around the pump on the H75 and paint it white instead of the original grey color. I want to keep everything tidy in this build, all the small details have to be as good as possible. So sleeving everything was for me a must. So first I started with the two 120mm fans in the bottom, as I only have two fan-ports on the motherboard these had to be soldered together. I really enjoy making the cables the exact length that they have to be. The LCD that will be installed in the front had a green PCB that really stood out from everything else, so I got some Plastidip and painted it black instead, I also sleeved the USB-cable black to fit in. The power-switch also got a custom-cable and black sleeving. This little piece is what will be powering the PC together with the power-brick, it is called Pico-PSU or Nano-PSU. All the cables for this will also get some sleeving, the power-cable got black sleeving. I made a custom-cable here that goes from PSU to SATA to 4-pin CPU, sleeved with white and light blue colors. I then used something called P-clips to tie down the cables so everything looks tidy and clean. The workspace can get a bit chaotic when in the middle of a build! This was everything for this blog, next time I will go through how to polish acrylic and how I install the different parts. See you!
  17. I wanted to make a build with a Mirror’s Edge theme and what case would fit better than our white and red Spec-Alpha case? It got the right colors and also has a bit aggressive look to it. But I also needed matching hardware. For the motherboard I chose Gigabyte’s Z170X Gaming 7 which have a white and red theme as well. I also got some white-red-grey sleeving from Modguru to use with our RM650i power-supply. The CPU I chose was Intel’s i5 6600K and to cool that I went for our H100i v2, to get the cooler to fit better with the build I painted it white and used our red side shields. I made a guide about how I painted it here if you want to take a look. https://www.corsair.com/us/en/blog/How-to-mod-paint-your-radiator The graphics card I got was a GeForce GTX 980 from Zotac, it did also not fit the overall theme because it was grey and orang, so something had to be done to it. I took the GPU-cooler apart and painted both the cooler shield, backplate and the fans white and red with the same technique as I painted the H100i v2. Now all the hardware worked better together. But all this does not really get you straight into thinking Mirror’s Edge right? So I wanted to do something special with the case. I contacted a friend of mine, DMFinearts, who is very talented with airbrushing. I came up with a design for the case and he made a really awesome job with the custom paint. It does look cool right? Next up was to start installing all the hardware into the case. I used our new ML120 Pro LED fans, I mixed up white and red LED ones which makes a cool effect, I also used our Commander Mini and the LED strips to light up the inside even more. I wanted to hide the cables to make the build look more clean so I made a small cover-plate in aluminium. The Corsair Neutron XTi fits good installed to the cover-plate right? Another cool piece of hardware I use in this build are our new Vengeance LED ram. This is how all the hardware looks together inside the case, I think it all fits together pretty well, what do you think? Let’s put some lights on! This is how the build ended up looking without the sidepanel on. I think all the hardware works really well together, both the colors and the lights. Here are also two photos of the build up and running in a dimmed down environment. And last two overview photos of the beautiful custom paintjob on the case, a big thanks to DMFinearts for the paintjob. I hope you liked this build, comment what you thought about it and I will see you next time!
  18. CUE2: Software Overview The Corsair Utility Engine (CUE) is the software that drives the complex lighting and other features behind our gaming peripherals. While previous iterations of CUE have served this purpose well, CUE2 refines the user experience to make it easier than ever to jump right in and quickly customize your peripherals. With that in mind, here's an in-depth look at the new and improved CUE2. New User Interface CUE2 features a revamped user interface with hi-resolution images and UI adjustments that allow for the window to be resized to make the most of whatever display you're using. When you first start CUE2, you'll be greeted by the default profile in the top left corner, your devices with global settings, help, and advanced toggles in the center, a shortcut to the latest CUE patch notes at the bottom, and a shortcut back to the homescreen in the form of the Corsair Gaming logo in the top right corner. If you don't have a CUE-enabled peripheral connected, you'll see a series of demo peripherals so you can explore the different configuration and customization options available (this can be disabled in global settings). Profiles in CUE2 Profiles in CUE2 can be customized with a unique profile icon and background. Now you can quickly identify what profile you’re working in as well as show off your favorite characters or games to match with your lighting effects. Profiles contain performance, actions, and lighting information, allowing for a great degree of flexibility between games (especially if you link multiple profiles to a particular game to switch between characters or classes, all with their own unique lighting profiles and actions). Creating Profiles To create a new profile, click on the hamburger icon on the left hand side of CUE and then the plus icon. You can then name the profile and set a custom profile icon and background image (with an option to blur the background image and adjust the transparency of tabs as needed). If you need to tweak these settings again in the future, just click the pencil icon in the hamburger menu while that profile is active. Importing and Exporting Profiles Profiles can be imported and exported by clicking on the icon with left and right facing arrows. You can then choose between import and export via the drop down menu. Please note that CUE2 can only import CUE2 profiles, legacy profiles created in CUE 1.X will not import correctly. Exporting a profile will save the name, lighting effects, and actions in the profile. However, actions may need to be remapped. RGB Share Want to try out a few advanced lighting profiles or want to share one of your own? Corsair RGB Share is a resource we've put together for the community to easily share their custom profiles with the world. Lighting in CUE2 Lighting effects in CUE2 are split between basic and advanced. Basic mode includes a selection of preset lighting effects that you can modify color, speed, and direction (depending on the effect) while advanced mode allows you to create complex effects from scratch with a greater degree of control. Basic Lighting We include a variety of preset lighting effects for basic mode such as the popular spiral rainbow and type lighting. These effects are applied to the entire keyboard, but can be layered on top of each other to make a rather impressive light show. Visualizer modes and the Lighting Link feature to sync up all connected CUE-enabled peripherals are included in the basic mode. Here’s an example of setting up basic lighting: Create a new profile by clicking the hamburger icon to the right of the profile icons, then click “+” to add a new profile to the list. The "Create Profile" options will appear below the onscreen keyboard preview. You can name the profile, link it to a specific program, and add a custom icon and background for the profile here. Make sure to save. Click on “Lighting Effects” to the left of the preview area, then click “+” to create a new effect. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see the current effect preset (default is the spiral rainbow). Make sure to name the effect in case you plan on adding additional effects later. You can change the effect used via the drop down menu and tweak things such as color, speed, and direction depending on the particular effect you’re working with. Again, don’t forget to hit save once you’re done tweaking the effect to your liking. You can add additional layers of lighting effects by repeating the process we just went through. Layers are prioritized from top to bottom, meaning that layers at the top of the “Lighting Effects” bar will be on top of layers that are lower in the chain. Advanced Lighting By toggling the “advanced” switch at the top of CUE2, you enable advanced lighting features that allow you to make your own lighting effects and apply them how you want across your peripherals for a higher degree of customization. Here’s an example of setting up advanced lighting: Toggle the “advanced” switch at the top of CUE to enable advanced mode. Create a new profile by clicking the hamburger icon to the right of the profile icons, then click “+” to add a new profile to the list. Name the profile, link it to a specific program, or add a custom icon and background. Ensure that you save these settings. Click on “Lighting Effects” to the left of the preview area, then click “+” to create a new effect. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see the current effect, use the drop down menu to change the effect type as you wish and customize colors, speed, velocity, triggers, etc. as you wish. Name the effect and highlight the keys this effect will apply to (click and drag a box around the keys, or control+click to select individual keys). Make sure to save. Continue adding layers of effects by hitting the “+” icon, or you can duplicate an existing layer or import effects from the library. Effect priority is the same as in basic mode, so layers at the top of the stack will visually be on top of all other effects on your device.Actions in CUE2 Actions in CUE2 are listed on the left hand side with easy to reach controls for creating actions, duplicating actions, saving to library, importing from the library. When you create an action, you can choose between a macro, text, key remapping, media controls, timers, disabling keys, and profile switching. With actions you can do things such as remap a key so that it imitates holding a key, set a key or group of keys to be disabled when the lock is on, or automatically group profiles linked to the same program for easy switching between profiles for different characters or roles. Audio If you've got a VOID RGB headset, you'll be able to quickly toggle EQ settings, switch between stereo and Dolby 7.1, adjust sidetone/mic volume, and manage the InfoMic with ease thanks to the new, streamlined layout. Performance Settings Performance settings in CUE2 allow you to adjust angle snapping and pointer precision for mice and lock button behavior for keyboards. Global Settings CUE2’s global settings can be found by clicking on the gear icon next to the advanced mode toggle. While in global settings, you can update device firmware, adjust the polling rate for mice, check for CUE updates, startup behavior, and enable CUE SDK functionality. You can also turn off demo mode by checking the box to show only connected devices while CUE is running. Need Help? If you find yourself stuck at anytime, try clicking on the help icon just below the settings icon at the top of CUE2, this will trigger a tooltip to guide you through the different options that are available to you. Otherwise, the Corsair User Forums is a valuable resource for tips and tricks from us and the community. Imagination Visualized With CUE2, our goal is to unleash creativity expressed through powerful software and advanced RGB lighting. CUE2 will be supported with regular updates to introduce new features and we're constantly looking for feedback from the community (if you have feedback or feature requests, let us know in the Corsair User Forums). Thank you for all your input and we look forward to seeing how CUE evolves in the future.
  19. First off, could you tell us a little about yourself? I started playing video games when I was about seven and I was mostly a console gamer for a long time because I couldn’t afford to buy or build a computer. So I saved up money throughout college, I was working I think three jobs at the time and saved up enough money and built my first computer. Ever since then I’ve been fully converted to playing PC games. About two years ago I started streaming on Twitch and then a year after that I quit my full time job as a graphic designer to focus on streaming full time. When did you build your first computer and how many have you built now? I think it was right before I started streaming about two years ago, so maybe two and a half years. This build is my third. You built the PC for your sister to give her an upgrade, but what inspired you to do so? She’s the kind of person who would never do this for herself and she doesn’t like to spend money on herself. I knew that she needed an upgrade because she’s been using an old laptop for about five or six years. I really wanted to introduce her to some of my favorite games as well and most of them are PC games. I figured the only way I was going to get her to do that would be if I took the initiative and built her the computer myself. So it was also a way for you to reconnect with your sister via games? Yeah, because there are a lot of PC exclusives that I wanted her to experience and she just couldn’t run anything on that laptop, so I built her a new computer. We used to play console games all the time and then once I swapped over to playing PC games there was kind of a divide there where she couldn’t play the same as I was playing because I was playing on a PC and she didn’t have a computer that didn’t have any PC games. Was it a surprise for her or did she know beforehand? It was a surprise for a while but she started talking about buying a new laptop and I had already started contacting companies about parts. I was going to make it a surprise but I had to tell her not to buy a laptop, so I kind of had to reveal it to her. One of the biggest obstacles to high-end PC gaming is the knowledge needed to buy parts and put together a build. How much about parts and building did you know going into it? With the age of the internet that we’re in it’s very easy to learn how to do just about anything and building a computer seems more of a daunting task than it actually is. The first time I built a computer it was nerve wracking but the second and third times it was less scary. You just kind of have to get over the fear of breaking things because everything is a lot less delicate than you expect it will be, except for the CPU. I watched a lot of tutorials online and refreshed my memory about how to do it and it wasn’t scary. It was scarier to be doing it with an audience. How did having an audience affect the build process? It took a lot longer because I was stopping to explain things and I was stopping to read the chat. The whole build took quite a while because of the time I was taking to talk to people. There was one part where I plugged one of the power supply cords in the wrong way and then because of the positioning I couldn’t reach my hand where I needed to to pull it out of the socket. It was getting really frustrating because normally you would just deal with it and unplug it, but because I had so many people watching and they’re all watching me have this struggle. The knowledge of that was pretty nerve wracking. Were there any instances that your viewers were helpful during the process? Among the PC building community it’s kind of a contentious topic about whether to install the fans as intake or exhaust and so for a while we were going back and forth and I was debating with the chat about what was going to be the best for my specific situation. So it was nice to talk to them and have their feedback about their experiences on whether it’s better to do it one way or the other. I ended up going with the way CORSAIR has it printed in the manual, which I believe was intake. Based on your experience streaming this build would you do it again the future? I would definitely do it again. It was frustrating but it was still a fun and interesting process. Building a PC for my mom is something I’d also like to do, she has a Chromebook so she doesn’t even have a full laptop. When it came to the tools you had on hand, what was most useful during your build? I did get a plastic Lazy Susan so I could set the case on it and spin it. Even if I hadn’t streamed it, it was super useful rather than having to pick up the entire case and turn it around, I could just spin it on this little Lazy Susan. What advice would you give someone who wanted to start building their first PC, based on your experiences? The knowledge that things aren’t quite as delicate. You do need to be careful but you don’t have to be as careful as you might expect to, except for things like the CPU. When you’re plugging things in sometimes you kind of have to force it to click and I know the first time I was building my computer I was lacking in confidence. As long as you’re paying attention to the tutorials and you kind of know what you’re doing, you need to have confidence while building the computer. You should respect that the parts are expensive and there are certain pieces that are delicate but sometimes you have to force things together. Have you ever wanted to build something crazier? More lights, more design? Yeah I think if I had more expendable income or if I was just doing something more for the build’s sake I would really like to do one that’s color coordinated. I don’t know if I’d ever want to get into custom water cooling because it seems like so much effort and it’s so easy to install CORSAIR coolers that I don’t know if I’d want to put that extra pressure on myself. But if I could just buy any parts that I wanted I think I’d want to do a white and black or yellow and black color coordinated build. We want to give Anne a big thank you for taking the time to talk to us as well as streaming the build! CPU Cooler: CORSAIR H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-2400 PSU: CORSAIR RM 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular Case: CORSAIR 350D Window MicroATX Mid Tower
  20. I am working on a new custom build right now with a Mirrors Edge theme, I will be using a red and white Carbide Spec-Alpha case and to cool the CPU a Hydro H100i v2. To make the radiator fit better to the theme I wanted to paint the radiator white and then used our red parts from the H100i v2 color kit. So what do you need for painting your cooler? Cardboard. Masking-tape. Sandpaper. Primer, paint and clearcoat. A place to paint, preferable outside. First of all, I started by masking of the things I don’t want to paint. I cut out a piece of cardboard that fitted inside of the radiator to mask of the fins. When you get a new Hydro H100i v2 cooler it comes with a plastic bag over the cooler, I used that bag to mask of the tubes and CPU-block. Then I used masking tape to mask of the last pieces of the tube. To prepare the surface for the paint I used 80-grit sandpaper and went over everything to make the paint stick better. Now it is time for the paint, I started out with a grey primer. My recommendation is to spray very thin layers with 10 minutes of time between them. When you covered the surface with a few layers of the primer let it cure for 24 hours. After that it is time for the paint, same thing here, thin layers with 10 minutes of wait time between them and 24h cure time. Next step in the painting stage is the clearcoat, but before that I went over the surface with a very fine sandpaper to remove small bumps in the paint. Now it is time for the clearcoat to make the paint glossier and stronger. Paint a few thin layers and let it cure for 24h. After that it is finished and you can remove all the masking tape and the cardboard pieces. This is the final result of the painting, I am very satisfied with the result and it fits very good with the overall theme. Here it is together with the motherboard and a GTX 980 which also got a paintjob to fit the theme. Let me know what you think about this guide in the comments! See you next time!
  21. (This post is for the open beta of CUE2, check out our latest blog post for up-to-date information). The CUE2 open beta is here and brings with it a gigantic overhaul of the Corsair Utility Engine. We’ve listened to your feedback and set out to make CUE2 easier to use so anybody can quickly tweak performance settings, create custom actions, and configure amazing lighting effects. So What’s New? CUE2 has a revamped home screen that puts your devices and profiles front and center. Click on any of the new ultra hi-resolution images for your respective device to quickly configure lighting, actions, and performance. The profile bar on the top left lets you quickly glance to see what profile is currently enabled as well as manage your profile library. Speaking of profiles, you can now assign a custom icon and background image for each individual profile, adding a touch of personality to your CUE experience as well as providing a big visual aid for you to easily identify which of your profiles is active. If we stopped at a new home screen and custom icons/backgrounds, this wouldn’t be much of an update… thankfully, we dug even deeper and overhauled the UI for lighting effects, actions, and audio EQ while we were at it. Lighting effects are now layered with priority placed on the top most effect. You can execute simultaneous standard effects by assigning them to multiple layers and put them in the priority you want with a simple click and drag. Effect timing, triggers, and colors can be readily customized at the bottom of the screen. Actions work similarly to lighting, with all active actions listed on the sidebar and relevant settings on the bottom of the screen. Actions are now easily assigned to a key by selecting the appropriate key on the preview. Some bonus tweaks have been made to actions, such as the ability to imitate holding a key with the remap action, a new option to disable a key if the lock button is on, and new mouse angles to make it easier for you to see where your actions are being mapped onscreen. On the audio side, EQ presets are displayed on the sidebar and can be easily adjusted with the sliders at the bottom of the screen. Sidetone and microphone volumes are also readily available in addition to the virtual surround sound toggle. Take it for a Test Drive! Don’t have a Corsair device, but want to try out CUE2 for yourself? Awesome! CUE2 has a demo mode so that you can take it for a test drive with a selection of devices available for you to virtually customize. If you’ve already got one of our CUE enabled peripherals, you can disable demo mode in the settings menu by checking the option to “show only connected devices.” Try out the future of CUE by joining the open beta and letting us know what you think in the Corsair Forums. Note: Lighting profiles and actions from previous versions of CUE are currently incompatible with CUE2 and will require modification in "advanced" mode to work within CUE2. It is recommended that users remain on the latest version of CUE 1.X if they wish to keep their current lighting profiles and actions.
  22. In the last blog we went through what case I would use for this guide as well as what we will do to it. Painting the grills in the front and top. Using sleeved cables, thoughts about cable-management and lighting. How to use simple custom parts. Engraving.So lets start out with painting the grills in the front and top-panels. We have to start by removing the front-panel which is held to the front by two plastic-clips on both sides. On the backside of the front-panel we see the grill as well as the dustfilter, remove the screws that holds the grill and snap it out of the plastic-clips. To remove the dustfilter, bend these small clips and just take it out. There is the exact same procedure for the toppanel, remove the panel, remove the screws that holds the grill, snap it off and remove the dustfilter. Now it is time to start prepping the grills for the paint. These grills are made of steel so it does not need as much prepping as for example aluminium does. I used something called Scotchbrite pads from 3M, the red one, to scruff up the surface so the paint will stick better. The paint I am using is a grey primer as well as a silver color, these exact spraypaints are available in Sweden where I live but you can use the regular spraypaints that you can find in hardware stores and such. When using regular spraycans I highly recommend to use a mask for it as it protects from the dangerous gases. Start with the primer, spray thin layers from a 20cm / 8” distance and let it dry, do this for 6-7 layers and then let it dry for 24 hours before you start with the color. Follow the same procedure for the final paint, if you want a result that will hold up even better, you could paint some clearcoat over it. This is how the grills and fan-rings look when they are finished. Next thing to do is just to put back the grills in the front and top-panels. This is what it looks like now, instead of being all black, there is now some contrasts which makes the case stand out more. Installing custom case-feet. The theme of this build is black/silver/grey, the grills are now silver-colored, so whats next? I have always enjoyed changing and adding small details to my mods, one of those are case-feets. There is a lot of different custom case-feets that can be bought in different shops online, they don’t have to be super expensive either, the ones I am using are custom-milled by a friend. Let us start by turning the case upside down and measure out where you would like the case-feets to be placed out. Next step is to drill the holes through the case so we could bolt the feets to the case. Then it is not much more to do then to put the bolt through and fasten the nut on the other side to hold it together. To stop some vibration from the case going down to your PC-table or floor, you could install some rubber pieces to the feets. So this is what it looks like after the case-feets are installed, it raises the case up a bit so more air can get through the bottom as well as adding more details that fit with the theme of the build. Installing a custom window-frame. The windowed side-panel of this case looks very clean, but what I have done in earlier mods and what I will do here as well will bring more eyes to the sidepanel. I will show how to install a window-frame that will fit good with the overall theme. I measured out the size of the window, added a few millimeters and had a friend of mine mill this out with his CNC-mill. This might sound expensive, but as CNC-mills/Laser machines and 3D-printers are getting more and more popular and also cheaper, there is a lot of people and companies that can do small parts like this pretty cheap. This part is also very simple to measure out and design. To fasten the window-frame to the sidepanel I am using a heavy-duty double-sided tape from 3M, this tape is extremely strong and works perfect for installing smaller parts, ssd and items like that. I cut out small pieces and put them all around the frame. Remove the protection tape and line up the window-frame to the window and press down all around the frame. This is how the result came out, it fits good together with the case-feet. How to engrave? I did not think engraving fit into this build, but I have made a complete guide on how to engrave your side or frontpanel before which can be found here. http://www.corsair.com/en-us/blog/2015/april/how-to-do-engraving This is how the before and after looks, it is not the most extreme mods, but it is some basic mods that still make a difference and is easy to do. It can make your own PC more personal and is a good stepping ground for starting doing more extreme modding. In the next blog I will show the assembling of the PC and how the final result will look.
  23. I have always been very passionate about small form factor builds so it felt natural for me to build a case as small as possible while trying to maintain a clean design. The challenge will be to fit powerful hardware in this case due to two reasons, the size and the heat. I had to choose very specific hardware that would fit. Motherboard: Asrock FM2A88X-ITX+ CPU: AMD A10-7870K Memory: Corsair Dominator Platinum 2x4GB DDR3 2400MHz SSD: Corsair Force LX PSU: Streacom Pico-PSU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H75 So this build will be based on AMD’s A10-7870K because there will not fit a separate graphics card in the case so I want to have a CPU with very powerful integrated graphics. To power that I will be using a Pico-PSU which is a very small powersupply which uses a external powerbrick. To cool the CPU our H75 will be installed which will make this one of the smalles liquidcooled PC’s. So after choosing hardware it is time to start working on the case itself. As I built this case years ago the basic shape and structure is already done, but I will be modifying it to be able to have better airflow etc. This case is built up by two bent 8mm acrylic sheets, they are held together by two hinges, making it possible to open the case very simple. Before there were only one hole for a 100mm fan in the bottom, which had to change so what I did was to measure out a hole for two 120mm fans. Then I cut it out with a jigsaw and filed down the edges to a nice fit. As you see here, the left fan will be blowing out hot air underneath the motherboard while the right fan will blow in cooler air into the case, through the radiator of the Corsair H75. Next thing to do was to make a new front-plate, this time in aluminium instead of stainless steel as before. I started out by measuring out the shape of the front-panel on a sheet of 1.5mm thick aluminium. Then I started cutting out the rough shape with a jigsaw, I always cut a few millimeters outside of the line and then file it down to get the perfect shape. I will be using a 4x20 character LCD in the front which will be showing temperatures and media info as this will PC will be hooked up to my TV. A 16mm anti-vandal switch with white LEDs will also be installed in the front-panel, I had to make holes for these two components so I started measuring out the holes. For the power-switch I used a drill, made a 5mm hole first and then went on to using a 16mm drill. Aluminium is softer compared to steel, so to drill out a big hole like 16mm you have to be very careful so that the plate does not warp, some cutting oil and low speed on the drill worked for me. I used the same procedure for hole for the LCD, cutting it out with a jigsaw and then file the edges down to the perfect shape, takes time but you get a very nice result. This is everything for this blog, next time I will start working on the backplate as well as sleeving the cables for the PSU, LCD and switches. See you next time!
  24. We recently released our new cooler for small systems, H5SF as well as our first line of SFX powersupplies, SF450 and SF600. How small gaming PC can you build with these two products? When I received my early samples of the H5SF and SF600 I started thinking about making a complete customcase based on these two products. My focus was to make the case as small as possible while still having really powerful hardware. The hardware I chose is what you see in the picture below. Motherboard: Asus Z170I Pro Gaming Processor: Intel Core i5 6600K Graphics card: Sapphire Radeon R9 Nano Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 2x8GB DDR4 SSD: Corsair Force LX 240GB Powersupply: Corsair SF600 Cooling: Corsair H5SF Fans: Corsair AF140 Green LED I started sketching with paper and pen on a design. We already make a case with the H5SF and SF600, Bulldog, so I did not want to make a horizontal design like that, I went for more of a cube-design. I had a lot of help from my modder-friend, Alexander “ace_finland” Hede with 3D-sketching and milling. The design ended up being seven aluminium-plates wich then would be held together with small aluminium cubes. Alexander used his CNC-mill to mill out all the plates in 2mm aluminium. Everything was milled out except the hole for the graphics card due to that was to hard to measure out before, so I used my Dremel, jigsaw and filed it down. After that I mounted everything together to see how everything fits in the case. This build was made for our suite at CES 2016. I did not get much time to finish this build, around 1.5 month, so the design is not perfect. However, in the front the 140mm fan is installed which blow air into the case and then the H5SF blows it out through the back. The R9 Nano takes air from the outside as well and blows it out the back. The SF600 is installed underneath the motherboard and takes air from the bottom and also blows it out the back. Here I compared the case to a 330ml Coke can. Next thing to do was painting the plates. Painting aluminium with spraycans is not optimal, but after looking around the local shops I found a etching primer. I used some wire to hang all the plates up for painting. One advice if anyone of you are going to paint with spraycans is this, take a bucket and heat up water and put all the cans in it, that makes the paint warm which will make the finish much better. I also think everyone should use a mask when painting with spraycans, its good for you and you look like Bane! I started with the etching primer, then went on to several layers of white and finally matt clear coat. Next thing to do is to start putting everything together, here you see the aluminium cubes that I used to mount the plates together. Time for the final result. In the front there is a AF140mm fan together with a power and reset button, all with green LEDs. On the left-side there is a airvent for the Radeon R9 Nano as well as a Corsair engraving. The SF600 is installed in the bottom, beneath the mini-itx motherboard, the airvent over the motherboard is for the H5SF. On the topplate I installed a small window to show off the H5SF. The edge of the acrylic plate used for the window was milled down so it could be installed flush with the aluminium plate. Please post your thoughts about this build in the comments!
  25. This build log is going to be a bit on the personal side. The fact is, at its core, Corsair is a cadre of geeks with shared interests trying to make cool stuff. A lot of companies want to project being “cool” or “rock stars,” but the reality here is that our products are conceived and designed by a bunch of people who are just trying to produce something they’d use. Why am I laboring over the notion that Corsair is ultimately a fairly human organization? Because, well, human things happen to us. At the end of August, I had a very good friend die in a motorcycle accident. He was in his early thirties, driving home from work as a district supervisor for DHS out of Oakland, California. Hit a bad patch of asphalt, lost control of his motorcycle, went under a semi, and that’s all she wrote. Odds are you don’t know him, but given the number of people I saw at his memorial service, I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two of you did. His name was Benjamin Moreno. Ben was a fairly serious gamer. We got into Mass Effect 3 multiplayer together, then graduated to MechWarrior Online with some of our friends. He and his wife were into Star Wars: The Old Republic and Elder Scrolls Online, and near the end had spent considerable time playing Dota 2 and Heroes of the Storm. He got me to give Dragon Age II another chance (and was right on the money). He was also a big part of my choice to join Corsair. Outside of that, he was – regardless of your politics – an exceptional cop. Tough-minded, fair, and directly responsible for saving many lives. Before that, he was in the Air Force. Through his life, he had friends who he’d set on the right path when they’d strayed, and was generous with his time and attention. There are an awful lot of people who would be far worse off today if it hadn’t been for him. Unfortunately, Ben left behind a widow, Risa, and a very young daughter, too young to really comprehend that her father’s not coming home. His family lives on the outskirts of the bay area, which unfortunately played a role in his passing due to the long commute. Gaming was and is a very large part of how they stayed in contact with friends. He and I often talked about someday building him a ritzy custom loop system when circumstances and finances permitted. Since Risa is an avid gamer and plays a healthy amount of Dota 2, it seemed like building her a proper, custom loop gaming machine was the right thing to do. It didn’t have to be as fancy as his would have been, but should have plenty of horsepower for gaming, photo editing, and coding. You’re going to find the custom loop is excessive for this build, but I haven’t built a custom loop for performance reasons for a long time. The fact is that it looks cool – not just to fellow geeks, but to just about everyone. With that said, here’s the component breakdown for the “Blight” Memorial Build, after his handle: Corsair Carbide Air 240 His old gaming PC was built in an Air 540, so it seemed appropriate to go with its more compact cousin for the new one. This would also be an opportunity to show a custom loop operating inside this substantially smaller chassis. Intel Core i7-5775C We had a couple of spare Broadwell chips from internal testing. These are both remarkably powerful and remarkably efficient, and while it’s not the latest and greatest available, the i7-5775C is mighty close. Four cores, eight threads, that massive L4 cache, second in IPC only to Skylake, and a 65W TDP. The odds of being CPU limited with this chip are very low. ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac Mini-ITX We did our internal testing on Broadwell using this platform and found it rock solid with good overclocking potential. Given the cramped quarters of the Air 240, it seemed necessary to go with a smaller motherboard. Corsair Dominator Platinum 2x8GB DDR3-2400 C10 with Lightbars In my testing, I’ve found 2400MHz to be the perfect speed for DDR3 on Haswell and to a lesser extent Broadwell. 16GB of DRAM provides plenty of memory to work with for almost any task. EVGA GeForce GTX 970 It didn’t make sense to put some monster graphics card in the build, but we definitely needed one that would be plenty powerful for gaming for the foreseeable future. NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 970 was that card, and we went with an EVGA model because of EVGA’s tendency to adhere to NVIDIA’s reference design (improving waterblock compatibility). Corsair Force LS 960GB SSD The Force LS was our budget line up until our TLC-based Force LE drives, but make no mistake – these drives, and the 960GB one in particular – are plenty fast. We’re at the point now where nearly a terabyte of solid state storage is no longer outrageous, and the 960GB Force LS is a highly capable drive. Corsair HX750i 80 Plus Platinum Power Supply The HXi series isn’t quite as popular these days with the more affordable RMi and RMx series floating around at 80 Plus Gold efficiency, but the HX750i was chosen for its compatibility with our Type 3 sleeved cables, its higher efficiency, and its ability to run fanless at the loads this system was likely to produce. Corsair Link Commander Mini A powerful system need not be loud. The Commander Mini lets me spin the violet SP120 LEDs in the system at minimum speed as well as control the RGB lighting strips placed on the inside of the side panel, surrounding the window. XSPC 240mm Radiator For this build we’re looking at a rated maximum combined TDP for the CPU and graphics card of just 210 watts. Since even an H100i GTX can cool a 350W overclocked i7-5960X without too much difficulty, I felt a single 240mm radiator in the front would be fine for these highly power-efficient components. EKWB FC970 GTX Waterblock The PCB of the GTX 970 is so small, and the EKWB block really shows that off. The clear acrylic surface lets the end user see the coolant running through the graphics card, which is very cool. Because the block is so much shorter than the stock cooler, it affords us room in the case to optimally place the pump/reservoir combo. XSPC Raystorm CPU Block w/ Violet LEDs Since this build was intended to be more showy as opposed to a crushing performer, I opted for XSPC’s Raystorm water block and violet LEDs to give the CPU the right glow. EKWB D5 Vario XRES 100 Pump and Reservoir I’ve had great experiences with the D5 Vario pump in my own liquid cooled build, and this combo seemed to be the perfect choice for an attractive, efficient system. In addition to the parts used in this build, we also included a Corsair Vengeance K70 RGB keyboard, Sabre RGB Optical mouse, and our new Void RGB headset in black. With all of the components installed, the “Blight” build looks like a fun size version of a more beastly Air 540 liquid cooled build, and that achieves exactly the intended purpose. Because of the highly efficient components, the fans never have to spin up, and everything still stays running cool and fast. The violet (which I confess can look pink in some light) coloring was chosen for its significance to both Risa and Ben, as it’s their favorite color. It undoubtedly seems at least a little unusual to build a computer as a memorial for the passing of a dear friend, but gaming is fast becoming an integral part of our culture. I can think of no better tribute to a community gamer than to keep his wife connected with their friends and loved ones.
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