First post, by FFXIhealer
Gonna document what I've been doing with my Windows 7 rig. Since the internal PC components are effectively 11 years old at this point, they're getting along in age, yet still work.
CPU: Intel Core i7-860 2.8GHz stock (4c/8t)
Socket: LGA 1156
Motherboard: MSI Big Bang Trinergy
Video: 2x GeForce GTX 480 (SLI)
Boot Drive: 250GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
Game Drive: 1GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
Storage Drive: 3TB Seagate HDD
Case: Thermaltake Versa H26
Back in 2010, I bought a Swiftech 240mm radiator (dual 120mm fans), 30mm thick and never used it. I also bought a waterblock for my EVGA GTX 480 graphics card - also unused. I planned to EVENTUALLY do a custom water-cooling loop and I never did. First, it was stupid expensive. Second, I never really NEEDED the extra cooling since I never overclocked anything. But yeah, the CPU is using the stock Intel heatsink.
So what has happened since? I sold that 480 waterblock on Ebay and then turned around and bought a matching pair of EKWB FC 480 waterblocks, since I have two working GTX 480s I plan to SLI together. This is also why I had bought a $350 motherboard back in 2010. It gives me 32-lanes of PCI-Express to use effectively with the built-in NF200 chip.
Just over a week ago, I bought an EK Quantum Vortex CPU waterblock in Copper/Plexiglass and a 280mm radiator from EKWB (dual 140mm fans), but the rad was 45mm thick and with the 25mm thick Vardar fans I bought with them, it was too tall to fit into my case. It hit the top VRM heatsink and wouldn't slide into place. So yesterday I drove nearly 3 hours one-way to hit up a Micro Center that a week ago I didn't even know was there and I bought instead a Corsair 280mm radiator. THIS one was only 30mm thick and fit into my case just fine. I also bought EK's D5 pump and res combo unit.
So far, I've only mounted one of the graphics cards waterblocks, since It's not currently in the system. I also bought 4 low-profile hard-tubing compression fittings to go on the graphics cards so I can run them in parallel. I have to buy 16mm OD PETG tubing to put the two together. I'm thinking of doing the rest of the build in flexible tubing. I'm not sure I want to do hard tubing bends yet.
The 240mm rad is already mounted in the case in the front with a pair of Corsair SP120 fans pushing air through. The 280mm rad is now installed on top with a pair of 140mm EK-Furious Vardar EVO fans pushing air through. The two 120mm fans made noise at 100% speed, but it's NOTHING compared to those Vardar fans at 100%. Holy damn, dude. People complained about the GTX 480 blower cards making noise, but THIS is ridiculous! I have to put them at 50% speed to shut them up (they're fairly quiet at that speed now).
Give me a little bit more time and I plan to get the rest of the parts I need. I'm thinking I need a Corsair Commander Pro to control the fan curves, since my motherboard BIOS only supports setting fans to either 50%, 75%, or 100% and none of them are dynamic or respond to temperature changes. Not even the CPU fan is dynamic right now (it's always set to 100%). My plan is to go from Res/Pump to the two GTX 480s in parallel, then to the top rad for cooling, then down to the CPU, then to the front rad for cooling again, then back to the Res/Pump. I also plan to overclock the CPU to at least 3.6 GHz and I want to use as low a voltage as I can to stay stable... then slowly push up to find if I can do 4 GHz flat without burning anything up. This Big Bang Trinergy was built for overclocking, but the OC Genie function is garbage. It OCs everything, or course, but you get stupid-high voltages that way.