Kool_Killer v2.0 aka The BEAST

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Here's some general pictures of my main computer.

Specs:

  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+
  • ABIT AN8-Ultra with uGuru Pannel
  • Corsair XMS Pro 2x512MB
  • eVGA nVidia GeForce 7800GT
  • 2x 250GB Wester Digital WD2500YD RAID Edition
  • Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Deluxe
  • Creative SoundBlaster Live! Value
  • Logitech Z-560
  • Logitech MX518
  • Logitech Elite
  • Ratpadz GS 
  •  US-Robitics 56K Performance Pro PCI modem
  • Toshiba  SD-R5002 DVD-RW
  • Yamaha CRW-F1E CD-RW
  • Koolance PC-601BW
  • Antec TrueBlu 480
  • DigiDoc5
  • No-name USB multi-card reader

Please note, if you see dust, it's because the system is almost four years old by the time I did this upgrade. It's hard to clean it very well after all that time.

 

Here's the motherboard during initial setup. I only have the RAM and CPU installed, and I just finished applying the thermal compound. If you take a look off to the side you can see an added fan. The ABIT Q-OTES system was intended to run with passive cooling, but hearing of some problems and decided to error on the side of caution, I zip-tied a 60mm fan blowing inwards towards the PWM heatsinks. The fan is connected to the OTES fan headers, so its speed is currently controlled by the PWM temperature.


Here you can see the fan from the otherside, with it currently installed in the case.


The X2 3800+ ready for the waterblock with just barely a coat of thermal compound. The original heatsink retention mechanism had to be removed, although the backplate was still used.


Side-view in all her glory.

 

 Powered up with just the light from the motherboard LEDs, the RAM activity meters, and the two back fans (Cooler-Master rifle-bearing fans, very nice). If you can notice, there's a blue glow on the back of the video card around where the USB cables are. This is from the Antec power supply. The expansion board for the onboard sound also has two red LEDs.

 

 Lit-up with the Sunbeam dual cold-cathodes. Although they are slow starting for cold-cats (usually taking about 3 minutes for full brightness), they are incredibly intense.

 

 Ahh, the side-profile.

 

 Here we can see the OTES system with it's special backplate.


The front view, with a random sticker courtesy of OSRAM Sylvania. The DVD drive was painted with flat-black primer, which looks almost an identical shade to the other drives in real-life. In a normal Koolance PC-600 series case, the top drive bay is occupied by the radiator. I managed to mod the DigiDoc slightly to get it fit. More on this later. The two switches just above the card reader control the cold-cats and the radiator fans.

 

  Here we see the modded top-module. I added the same Cooler-Master fans that exist in the other parts of the case, swapping them out with the slightly louder stock fans. To keep the LED's fully lit even when the Koolance system throttles them down, I supplied separate power to them, controlled by that front switch (I need the switch, since at night these three fans light up my entire ceiling!). I also swapped out front LED display and power LEDs to blue. The Accel full-speed fan indicator LED was changed to a RGB multi-color LED that fades and flashes all sorts of color patterns.

 

 Here you can see the DigiDoc, and just barely through the fan grill (where a fan no longer exists) you can see the metal of the radiator. Yeah, it's that close (literally 2mm of clearance)! Since the DigiDoc had two logic boards stacked ontop of each other, I managed to pull one off and move it to another part of the case (you'll see this later).


While changing out the fans I took the liberty to change out the fan grills. Not wanting those trendy laser-cut grills, I opted for the slightly industrial raised grill design. They server a purpose, since, I once accidentally left a paper on top of the fans, which shot up the temps rather quickly.

 

 Here's some of the cable management. Note, NEVER, EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER NEVER EVER NEVER NEVER EVER fold SATA cables like this! This is absolutely horrendous to the cable, and I had a backup set just incase they didn't survive. Luckily, I've had no problems with them, but I wouldn't be surprised if someday I do start to get random hard drive errors (and being on a RAID 0 array isn't the best place to try this, either).

 

 Doing what I can to fix some of the notorius problem areas.


Here's that second logic board for the DigiDoc. All the fans and temperature probes connect to this board. I then use 12 pin and 10 pin cables to go back to the other board. Surprisingly, I developed this mod strictly from pictures on the internet. I ordered everything and when it all arrived it luckily worked.

 

Here's some of my more creative IDE origami. Each CD/DVD drive is on its own channel, so that way I have the extra slack to fold them over properly.

 

 Some more minor cablework. I got kinda busy behind the removable drive bays because of the uGuru panel (USB, Firewire, Audio and the uGuru link had to run up there, not to mention power, IDE, and even the water line).

 

 Since the TruBlu 480 is a tad old, it doesn't have the PCI-E video card plug, so I used the adapter without problem. ABIT dropped the ball on the layout around the video card, since all of the USB headers and SATA headers are place directly under the longer video cards. The other SATA cable weaving underneath and back up behind the hard drive bay was intended as my backup connector, since I have an external SATA drive I perform drive images to. I initially left it in place like that since it was so difficult to install, but thanks to the DVD burner I found little use for it and have since removed it.

 

Well, that's the Kool_Killer. I hope you enjoyed the tour!