[Staff Project] NZXSPC The Build

Staff project NZXSPC The Build

 [Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build


The Build  

If you've been following this build and any  of the other great bits of work over in the Project logs area of the forum, you've got a bit of an inclining as to what comes next.  We've planned, we've modded, that's right now comes the build.


The Motherboard

The eagle eyed amongst you will probably notice that the Motherboard doesn't look like any other MSI Z77A-GD55 you can buy. As we wanted a very subtle and sleek look to this build we took the decision to change the colour theme of the Motherboard, changing all the electric blue to flat matte black. For those of you who can't remember here's a picture of the virgin motherboard and one taken after the first coat of paint.  Just goes to show you don't have to choose a motherboard just because it goes with your colour theme. Pick the motherboard you actually want, then change it's colours to match your theme! As with all the mods I'll be picking this up in more detail in the forum thread.

[Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build [Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build


 XSPC Raystorm CPU block

Everyone does a build a slightly different way, but one of the givens is that you should always attach your watercooling fittings to the appropriate block before fitting that item.  This is especially true of the GPU and CPU blocks as it dramatically decreased the forces you're exerting on them.  the images below show the Raystorm CPU block and Razor CPU block mounted and in the case.  Obviously there were a fair few stages leading up to this point, and far too many pictures to show here so if you want to see everything head on over to the full thread in the Project logs area. 

[Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build     [Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build


XSPC Razor GPU Block

As with the fittings for the CPU block we've chosen to eschew the barbs that come with the XSPC kit and go for some Bitspower fittings.  Not that there's anything wrong with the XSPC ones, We just fancied a bit more bling.  The Razor waterblock is really easy to fit.  everything you'll need to mount is included in the box, along with a fantastic set of instructions.  So if you've never mounted a GPU waterblock I can heartily recommend the Razor.

[Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build     [Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build


Bitspower Fittings with tubing fitted

A lot of rot is talked about the order you should lay out your tubing in, with many insisting that should you be watercooling CPU and GPU then rads should be positioned between them in the loop.  In actuality it makes little to no difference to temps but does serve to make the inside of your case look like someone's filled it with fat spaghetti.  The best route is the simplest route,  often this is the route that uses least tubing and as a result leaves the inside of the case looking neat and tidy.

[Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build     [Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build


NZXT Premium cable extension pack

The use of the NZXT premium cable extension pack means that we've got quite a bit more work to do behind the motherboard tray if we want things to look as nice as they do at the front.  If you're asking why we should take the time to do this then you've probably not worked out why we're called OC3D.  Thankfully the inclusion of no less that 27 cable tie points, large, well spaced and grommeted cable management holes and plenty of room behind the motherboard makes this job much easier for us.  Still a little way to go but we're well on our way.

[Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build     [Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build 


SSD and HDD mounting

As we've chosen to keep the inside of the case as minimalistic as possible we've chosen to "stealth mount" both the HDD and SSD behind the motherboard tray.

[Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build     [Staff Project] NZXSPC  The Build


To see more of the stages involved in this project and of course all the other great bits of work underway, head over the to the OC3D forums area and visit the Project Logs section.  While you're there, why not post a few pics of your pride and joy up in the Rig Gallery area, or share your pristine workspace with us in the Desk & Work Area of the forum

So guys, we're nearly there.  Now just a matter of finishing a few things off and she'll be good to go.  Rest assured we're going to be putting it through its paces.  

Forum Thread Link

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Most Recent Comments

12-06-2012, 15:27:42

Things here at OC3D towers are changing. If you hadn't noticed already, the "News" is gone and has been replaced by modding guides Hardware quick looks and generally more hardware and modding related subjects.

We're also going to be doing more review builds and projects as well, ably kicked off with Toms excellent CKC build. Project NZXSPC is going to be something a little bit different in that the finished product will actually serve as my daily driver, my everyday work and leisure PC. The hardware and techniques used will be those that are within the reaches of most of us, without the need to sell a kindey or take a 3 year engineering degree.

The Project is based on the "Gunmetal" Special edition of the NZXT Phantom 410 that was reviewed back in April, we have to say we were very impressed with it. To the point where we felt that it was a suitable candidate for a project. This of course got us thinking about what could be done with it with regards to watercooling and refinement of the features to better suit our needs and tastes

We're not planning any major changes to the exterior of the case (OK, a few changes maybe), and certainly won't be changing the colour, as the "Gunmetal" was one of the prime factors in the choice of this case in the first place.

This Gunmetal colour, and the flat matte black of the radiators we've chosen serve as the jumping off point for the inspiration for the project. As with any piece of work a plan and inspiration at the outset greatly enhances the work, and although some adaptations can be incorperated as a result of ideas and additional inspiration it's all to easy to tell when a project builder and modder is just winging it.

Having established the case being used lets take a look at the other kit that's going to be going into the build.

Case, NZXT Phantom 410 "Gunmetal" Special edition

Motherboard, MSI Z77A GD55

Processor, Intel 2500K

Graphics, NVidia GTX570

SSD, SanDisk Extreme 120GB

HDD, WD Green 2TB

RAM, 16GB Mushkin Blackline

Radiators, 2 XSPC EX 240 Radiators

Reservoir, XSPC X20 750 bay reservoir with integral pump

CPU Block, XSPC Raystorm.

GPU Block, XSPC Razor

Fans, 5 x Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpm.


Now that we've all seen the team sheet, lets take a closer look at the players

Case: NZXT Phantom 410 "Gunmetal" Special edition

I think we've already said enough about this case, so lets let the pictures do the talking.






We are going Sandy Bridge with the firm favourite and now almost legendary 2500K. Hitting 4.6GHz on a relatively basic air cooler we are hoping that getting it wet might enable us to tease a bit more out of it. Motherboard of choice this time around is the MSI Z77A-GD55, which has already established a solid reputation, and does have to take some of the credit for the 4.6GHz overclock. It's able to support both sandy and Ivy Bridge, so offers upgrade opportunities in the future.






Graphical grunt will be provided by the NVidia GTX570. A cracking little power house of a GPU, and well able to cope with anything we might be going to throw at it. This card was the basis of many an OC3D review, it was looking forward to a quiet retirement rocking slowly on a sunny porch somewhere in the country, but due to the government increasing the retirement age the card has had to keep keep working to pay the bills and will probably end up seeing out the last of its days in this system! There's plenty of life in this old dog yet and with luck getting it wet should see it with a new zest for life.




With the price of SSDs dropping it's a no brainer to add in a sliver of black magic to look after the OS and those all important applications. SanDisk were the company that recently drove the price of 120GB SSD's down to £84.99! With insane read and write speeds plus some very stable firmware when compared to other Sandforce based drives we were happy to use this as a part of the project.




Another "Black" product, this time, the Mushkin Blackine RAM in the form of a 4x4GB kit, sure this might be a dual channel board but it means we can fill all of the slots. Its natively an 1866MHz kit but we will be hoping that we can push these up to the next memory divider of 2133 *fingers crossed*.




Power for this rig will be coming from another excellent NZXT product, the HALE82. With 850 Watts on tap it has more than enough muscle to for the needs of this rig. The HALE82 is a semi modular design, with the main 24pin, 8pinCPU and 2x6+2 pin PCI power cables already attached. Don't go thinking that's where it ends though, with a holw bag full (literally) of additional cables to choose from the needs of even the biggest of systems should be catered for.






NZXT Premium cables starter kit. Now i'm not averse to a bit of cable braiding, in fact I find it rather theraputic, but with such great pre braided kits readily available it seems daft to make my fingers bleed for no good reason.




As the name of the project suggests we will be using XSPC parts. We have chosen two of the relatively new EX240 radiators, these are just 30mm thick but promise to deliver the performance of a 60mm thick radiator whilst still being able to be used with low speed fans, this claim is something we plan on looking at in a future review here at OC3D. The rest of the parts are the famed Raystorm CPU block, the legendary X20 750 Reservoir and a Razor GPU block.

Rather than go through each of these in detail I'm again going to let the pictures do the talking. If however you'd like a bit more detail, head over to the Front page of the main website area.











Having seen what we have as the basis for the mod its time to share some of the plans for it all. If you've read the review of the Phantom 410 you'll already know that it has native support for a single 240 Radiator in the roof of the case. By now you've also probably noticed that we have two 240 Rads in the kit list. The plan of course is to mod the case so as to allow the accomodation of this second 240 rad. I had hoped that it would be a simple case of removing the Storage bays, but on closer inspection it appears it might require a little bit more than that. We want to keep this looking very understated and clean, almost like the cases was designed this way.

In addition to the work done on the cooling side we are also going to be altering the side of the case. Not that there's anything actually wrong with the side panel, it's just that we have never been a big fans of vents in the side, or worse still vented windows. Knowing that a lot of people share a distast for vented windows NZXT have opted to offer a split level solution, with both a window and a vented section. I'm afraid it's not for us so it'll have to go.

There will of course be a few little other mods along the way so you'll have to keep your eyes peeled to the front page for updates! We will of course be posting a full build log here in the OC3D forumsQuote

12-06-2012, 15:34:21

This will be awsome. Can't wait to see this finished.Quote

12-06-2012, 15:38:14

Looking forward to this http://forum.overclock3d.net/images/...cons/smile.png What power supply are you going to be using?Quote

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