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PlanetSmasher

The Upgrading of GARGANTUA

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I originally built Gargantua in December 2011.  It is now 2014 and Gargantua still kicks butt, however, I did say I was going to make some upgrades and mod the case a little bit, and this is the story of that endeavor.  I'll start by providing a link to my original post showing the Building of GARGANTUA.

 

At the top of my article was a list of components included at the time of the original build, and the proposed upgrades I wanted to add later on.  I actually completed some of those upgrades about a year ago.  I upgraded to Windows 7 professional 64 bit, I added a second nVidia 560-TI graphics card, and hooked them up in SLI, and I added an Asus DVD optical drive.  Then, about 5 or 6 months ago, I went with an external-internal hard drive enclosure solution (connected via eSATA).  I did this because: 1) I hated Intel's SATA/RAID controller, and 2) removing the HDDs from inside the case improved the airflow out through the front of the case.  The external HDD enclosure has an excellent hardware SATA RAID controller and is connected using Marvell's eSATA controller.  I decided to stick with my array of WD Raptor HDDs.  These are SATA III HDD's set up in RAID 5.  I'll get solid state drives when I build a new machine in the future.

 

Now for the final upgrade.  I will upgrade from an i5 Sandy Bridge CPU to an i7 Ivy Bridge CPU, and change the CPU cooling from air cooled to water cooled (just because).  I modded the case to accommodate the new CPU cooler and to improve airflow in the case.

 

To start all of this, the first thing I had to do was flash the bios.  This was necessary, to accommodate the new Ivy Bridge CPU and to unlock SATA III and USB III in the motherboard.  Since I'm using an Asrock motherboard, I had to go to their web site to get the bios.  No surprises there, it's just that their instructions are barely clear enough to understand what is needed, and there are no instructions on how to actually do the procedure.  You have to guess, based on the only thing they do tell you. 

Edited by PlanetSmasher

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Nice. I always forget about dremmeling the meshes for better airflow. It looks like your intake is from the top, and exhaust out the front and rear. Is that enough airflow to cover your HDD on the bottom?

 

You should put some covers on those fans, wouldn't want to accidentally cut your finger. Happened to me once...

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Nice. I always forget about dremmeling the meshes for better airflow. It looks like your intake is from the top, and exhaust out the front and rear. Is that enough airflow to cover your HDD on the bottom?

 

You should put some covers on those fans, wouldn't want to accidentally cut your finger. Happened to me once...

 

Yes, intake is from top and out the front and back.  There is also the side panel fan which is also intake.  I removed the internal HDDs in favor of an external HDD enclosure setup.  Part of the reason was I din't like the way Intel managed RAID and SATA, but also, air flow was pretty bad with the HDD's there.  The external enclosure has a built in hardware SATA/RAID card by Marvell, and I like how it works.

 

Yes.  I have to find something that will act as a fan guard that will not restrict airflow.

 

Thanks for your comments.

 

Thanks, Black64!  I hope that in four years, my next build will be even more ubber powered than this one.

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