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Lhiannon

The Kraken

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Here at Viperware, we tend to act like a bunch of overgrown kids and we always want the best toys. Well, last week, we got’em. Smurf and I decided that we wanted to build an absolute monster of a computer, with lots of OC’ing overhead, and so we dialed up Zeus and at our request, he bade us “Release the KRAKEN!”

First, we’ll take a look at the components in the machine. The “guts of the beast”, so to speak. Starting with the mobo…

 

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By this point, if you are on this board, you probably already know how insane this mobo is. If not, you may want to call a roofer and have them come do something about the large rock you’ve been living under. Cliffs notes: It’s freakin awesome. The manual is as thick as a Tom Clancy book, which is to be expected nowadays, except that it’s totally written in One Language! That means that no matter what language you speak, it’s one thick manual, with lot of good info in it. There is a cd and some other goodies as well…

 

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Including one large extra gaudy sticker for your case. (It’s not just the sticky part that’s tacky)

 

Onto the rest

 

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Yup. Rampage means intel, and if you’re going intel, and you’re going big, this is the big boy to get. Not only did we break the piggy bank, but then we sold the pieces in order to get this black beauty. Was it worth it? Well, we shall soon see.

 

I can haz graphix pleez??

 

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[strongbadvoice]“Aw, dere are TWO of dem!” [/strongbadvoice]

And they came with 4 gigs of GDDR5. And a couple games. Uh, yeah, I got nothing else.

Sounds like a winner?

 

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Now it does. Let me tell you that this soundcard is probably one of the best ones we have ever used. Easy, cool looking, well supported, oh and it sounds awesome as well. It won’t make your pirated mp3’s sound any better than 128bits, but for games and movies and (gasp) hardcopy music, this is just wonderful. And stop pirating music! That stuff is like masturbation, everyone does it…(except me)

 

Getting kind of warm in here…

 

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Easy, Reliable, Effective. In our opinion, Corsair and Asetek hit a home run with this product. We use it in quite a few of our builds.

 

Scotty, get me more power!

 

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Aye Cap’n! Whoever thought that modular cabling was a good idea needs a medal. And not some little dinky one, either. We’re thinking maybe something with “Nobel” attached to it or something.

 

Next…

 

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Yeah man, we got us some memory. At this point, we’re probably being accused of totally homer-ing for Corsair, but you got to hand it to those guys, they make good stuff. Our first choice for the SSD was actually the OCZ 120 GB, but our supplier was out of stock, and we are an impatient bunch. This is one we haven’t tried yet, so we will be interested to see how she stacks up.

 

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To mount up with our H50. As you’ll see in some later pics, these fans are what Willis was talkin bout. They are easily some of the beefiest 120mm’s I have ever seen. I must warn you though, do not let your small children/cats/other family pets anywhere near these things, as they are likely to turn them into hamburger.

 

And the skin of the beast…

 

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Not a swimsuit model, and not exactly “sveldt”, but we love this case. Extremely solid, with a very ingenuitive 90’ rotated setup, this case works on a positive air pressure model. Along the bottom there are three huge 180 mm fans that pull in cool air from the outside along that neat little bottom lip you see there.

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The air flows upward through the case, venting at the top. Hot air rises, right? Well, thermodynamically, then, this design makes a lot of sense. And, it just happens to look real nice and be extremely functional as well. Also, quite a bit of the interior is coated with sound deadening foam…

 

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Unboxing...

 

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Cue the angels. Something tells me that this here processor is not going to spend much time at 3.33 GHZ. You can tell Intel wasn’t messing around, because the rest of that huge box was filled with this…

 

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Easily the biggest and baddest stock cpu cooler I have ever seen packaged with a cpu. Turns out it’s not just an air cooler either, it’s a heatpipe cooler. Even better. No doubt in my mind that you could reasonably achieve a little overclock just with the air cooler right out of the box. However, ours is going straight back into the box, because we like to get wet.

 

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I mean, really, is there a cooler looking mobo on the market? I know that it’s just my opinion, but man is that sexy! Nerd pr0n, for sure.

So, if you use the Rampage 3 and you plan on watercooler your setup, it is recommended that you replace the passive cooling on the north bridge with a provided active cooler.

 

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I have read in a couple of posts involving the rampage/crosshair boards that some folks have reported poor thermal paste being used by ASUS, citing “yellow” or “crusty” paste. Well, as you can see here, at least on ours everything seemed to be on the up and up.

 

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Intermission:

 

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It’s way to awesome for them to take back!

 

Clipped in and ready for cooling…

 

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Which will be provided by our H50...

 

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And some truly badass fans.

 

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I mean, seriously...

 

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Yes, this is as wide as your girlfriend. I checked.

 

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Nice feature: the mobo tray comes with 6 of the standoffs already secured in place. The case itself came with a bevy of the usual screws, zipties, and one rather interesting Velcro strap provided for securing the PSU. Given that the case positions things rotated 90 degrees, it’s not a bad idea to use it. More on that later.

 

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Fairly standard so far. Those fans on the left of the picture are the big 180’s I mentioned earlier. Also, this case is very easy to work in. Plenty of room.

 

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The PSU comes with all of the cables in a box that makes opening it up feel like a production. I seriously expected it to be glowing when I opened the flaps.

 

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Cool bag for your leftover cables and such. Works great for a mouse or some headphones as well.

 

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There’s the beef. I sprained my wrist holding this thing in one hand.

 

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Don’t eat that. And if you do, make a video and post it up here so I can make fun of you.

 

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So, I know I’ve spent a lot of time on these fans, but they were one of the few issues we ran into. The thickness that I thought was so awesome before (seen here next to the stock fan it replaced) ended up almost causing us a severe headache. See, the long screws that come with the H50 aren’t THAT long...

 

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Luckily, our case manufacturer thought to include quite a few extra screws that we found we could make work…

 

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Thick fan + Radiator + Thick fan = Serious cooling.

 

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So, about that power supply strap.

 

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There it is. You can see that Silverstone has built a little recessed area into the tray to thread it through. Essentially you just screw in your psu as usual, and then tighten up the strap, and viola, all nice and secure. An added bonus is that on the back side of the tray, you can use the slack in the strap to keep some of your cords secured as well.

 

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The psu will draw its air in from the back of the case, through this vent.

 

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Enough juice to keep us awake until 3 in the morning. Well, that plus some Coke.

 

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Here we are with our cooling and psu secured and in place. As you can see, it’s a good thing we have some room in here. Just wait, it’s going to get quite a bit tighter.

 

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Our ssd adapter came from Silverstone neatly labeled. In fact, if you managed to avoid eating the packet of dessicant earlier, you are probably smart enough to figure out what that bracket is for.

 

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These days it seems it’s all about Blu-ray, and so we picked one up for our little pet. We like LG readers, very reliable.

 

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More Solid State memory sexiness, this time in the traditional RAM format.

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And installed. You can see that the air coming in from the bottom is going to flow over and keep these babies nice a cool.

 

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And our t00nz. Very easy to install, and a very cool flat black to look at inside the case.

 

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Gotta have the net, right? We opted for a nic card, given that we will be moving this thing around quite a bit.

 

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And installed…

 

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And now for the Icing on the proverbial cake…

 

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Or, in a pinch, you could run it off of a car battery.

 

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If you look real close, you can see where I drooled on it while taking it out of the package.

 

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Did I mention that I tested this versus your mom? Almost as big as the Shocker!

 

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Damn that’s close! Seriously guys, the reference 5970, which is slightly longer, may not have fit in here. Those with good eyes will notice that we had to move our sound card a few slots down to accommodate the girth of this behemoth.

 

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And here she is, with all the goodies installed and ready for the world. This has been the most enjoyable build I’ve ever done, and neither of us can wait to get to the testing phase.

 

Testing has begun, and be sure to watch this space for our results for overclocking and possibly some fraps testing.

 

Thanks for reading!

 

The staff @ Viperwaresystems

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This will be water cooled in the near future. We have had so much success with the H50 that we wanted to give it a shot in there. For the record, we WERE able to get the proc to 4.8ghz with 1.57 volts. Weren't able to prime95 it at that speed, but we did get off a 3dmark06 session. Here are the results...

 

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I apologize for the poor picture quality. As you can see, we were having some temp issues with the 5970. That will be getting water cooled as well. Trying to get in touch with someone at Danger Den to see about letting them have it for a bit for R&D purposes.

 

Thanks in advance for the comments, guys.

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Nice build :)

 

If you cranked up the fan speed a bit, I am sure you would get much better temperatures. Don't leave it at 30%!

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Nice build :)

 

If you cranked up the fan speed a bit, I am sure you would get much better temperatures. Don't leave it at 30%!

 

I actually had it turned all the way up in afterburner...Not sure why it only listed at 30% in Everest. Good eye, though.

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I actually had it turned all the way up in afterburner...Not sure why it only listed at 30% in Everest. Good eye, though.

Well, looking at your last screenshot, it is also at 30% in AfterBurner!

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Very nice build I am loving the case and the mobo!

 

Keep us posted on how the watercooling for the HD5970 comes out.

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Well, looking at your last screenshot, it is also at 30% in AfterBurner!

 

Yeah, I had noticed that. On everest though, you can see that it is saying the fan speed is 2400+ rpms. I am still wondering about the incongruency, because I was under the impression that the fans on the 5970 were maxed out at 2090 rpms...Can anyone shed some more light on that?

 

Also, in order to get the fans to run higher, I had to go into the profile selection and sort of map it out, i wasn't able to just turn them up from the front page. It was a bit weird. Perhaps I just did something wrong. I will go back and have another look at that.

 

Right now we are using a 27" ASUS montor, so were at 1920x1080. One of our next purchases will be a 30", as that will allow us to really push at the 2560x1600 level.

 

Thanks for the comments guys, I will definitely keep this updated.

 

Did I mention that we are planning on selling these? :evilgrin:

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