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C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

50 XP

14th February 2004

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#1 8 years ago

In honor of tomorrow, had to say it...

Anyway, I thought I'd share with all you good people the tale that is the creation of my most recent build. It's suitably terrifying for All Hallow's Eve eve.

As you may recall, my venerable HD4870 exploded about five weeks ago. Got home from the bar on a Thursday night and my computer was off. Odd, but not unheard of... happens a lot if there's a power surge, for example. Despite it being 2 AM, my having class at 10:30 and needing all the time in between to, ah, recover, I decide that I want to check emails, maybe a few forums. So I hit the power button and then... *POP!* Flames, smoke, acrid smell of ozone and all. Yep, it went up. You've seen the pictures.

So a couple days later I pop onto Newegg and order a replacement. At the same time, I get in touch with DD and place and order for their Summit full cover block. Then someone here tells me that I don't have a reference card. Five minutes of research later, turns out they're right. Dammit! Why did this not occur to me before ordering?

Oh well! As if sensing my annoyance, Newegg dropped the price on Sapphire HD5870 Eyfinity6 cards to within $25 of the XFX I ordered. Cool. So I bought one.

Now I have two video cards, one of which I have no use for. So, like any enterprising geek, I put it up for sale, BNIB, on the OC Forums. Nobody wants to buy it. But someone does offer to trade me for an ASUS Maximus III Formula and Core i5-760, proved stable @ 4.2GHz on air.

Ok, fair enough! It's better than my old QX9650, clock for clock, and that wouldn't even sit at 4GHz. So I take his trade. The XFX is in the mail!

Now by this point in time, I've got the Eyefinity6 in hand. Water block is installed, and I've come to realize that my PSU is borderline to power it, and worse, lacks an 8-pin PCIe connector. That means a inelegantly ugly solution involving an adapter. Well, thinks I to myself, to hell with that! Back to Newegg, this time for a Seasonic X-560.

Fast forward about five days. Now I've got everything in hand that I need: shiny new 5870. shiny new M3F, shiny new i5, shiny new Seasonic. Oh yeah, I also needed new block for my CPU and, since I think the stock cooling on the M3F is ugly, board blocks as well. EK to the rescue, there.

Being concerned with performance, I of course opened the CPU block to ensure that the #1 jet plate was installed. It was, so I put the block back together, installed everything, ran cables and tubing and started to fill my loop. All was going quite well until I saw the water bubbling out of the side of my CPU block. Not just a little bit either, mind you. Every drop I'd put into the system was coming out of it. Goddammit.

So I pulled the block. In my eagerness to get everything put together, I'd completely failed to verify the seal on the block when I put it back together. The main o-ring had popped out of it's groove and was smooshed out at an angle... no seal at all. I'm damn lucky that it was only pinched, and not cut or otherwise damaged!

Got the block put back together, verified the o-ring was in place and put everything back into my system. Filled the loop without problem until... what the hell? Water is dripping out of a rad's outlet, from under the barb's o-ring. Huh? I never have figured out what the hell was going on here: I tried three or four different barbs before the problem went away, and now it's fine, but I can't for the life of me figure out what the deal was.

Finally I have everything installed, routed and plumbed. Loop is full and has been running for about two days. We're good to go live! Plug everything in and... no video.

Come again? Nothing. Not an error, not a beep, just a solid Q-LED for VGA. Monitor goes straight into standby mode.

Sonuvabitch. Newegg, though, was kind enough to give me an RMA. While waiting for shipping on that, I borrowed a friend's Gigabyte 5870 and was at least able to confirm that everything else was working. Beat Windows back into submission (new hardware and all), and got my replacement card yesterday. This time I had sense enough to test it before removing the air cooler. Lo and behold, it works!

So I pulled the stock cooler and, in a fit of amazing awesomeness, managed to install the waterblock, which was still attached to the still-full loop. No leaks. Mad skills.

One quick leak-test later, I plugged everything back in and... ZOMFG it's working!

So five weeks and way too much money later, I finally have a fully-functional computer again, and just in time for PDXLAN 16.5 next weekend.

It's a frackin' miracle.




kow_ciller

Gettin' hardware chilly

50 XP

16th June 2004

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#2 8 years ago

Sounds like someone needs to get to overclocking :D




*Daedalus

A Phoenix from the ashes

50 XP

18th April 2006

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#3 8 years ago

A worthy tale, and an enjoyable read, good sir!

^ and ditto. =p




kow_ciller

Gettin' hardware chilly

50 XP

16th June 2004

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#4 8 years ago

I had that O-ring problem with my pump ,but the previous owner installed some barbs on the pump and the o-ring was half way out of the barb so it was leaking water like a pro. Good thing you double checked it and didn't just slap everything to go.




C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

50 XP

14th February 2004

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#5 8 years ago
kow_ciller;5417664I had that O-ring problem with my pump ,but the previous owner installed some barbs on the pump and the o-ring was half way out of the barb so it was leaking water like a pro. Good thing you double checked it and didn't just slap everything to go.

Yeah, I may be impatient about a lot of things, but leak testing isn't one of them! Drying the board out was kind of fun, though... a lot of water got under the chipset/MOSFET block, so I had a giant wad of paper towels poked down under it to soak everything up. Was I ever relieved when everything booted and nothing was shorted or scratched out!

As for overclocking...

4.33GHz effective, stable. x21 multi, 206MHz BCLK and Vcore set at 1.3425V in BIOS (Windows reports 1.352V at idle and 1.36V at full load). Everything else is essentially unaltered: QPI is at 3717MHz and memory ratio at 2:6 for an effective DDR3-1240 @ 6-6-6-20 1T.

dT is around 4ºC at idle, about 8ºC at load. Not great, but the realities of my case prevent an elegant cooling solution with anything more than two 240 rads, and I've got my video card sitting in the loop also.

Even with that, I bet I can get 4.5GHz stable, with a still-reasonable dT...

:)




*The.Doctor

Trust me, I'm a Doctor

102,440 XP

25th November 2003

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#6 8 years ago

C38368;5417866

4.33GHz effective, stable. x21 multi, 206MHz BCLK and Vcore set at 1.3425V in BIOS (Windows reports 1.352V at idle and 1.36V at full load). Everything else is essentially unaltered: QPI is at 3717MHz and memory ratio at 2:6 for an effective DDR3-1240 @ 6-6-6-20 1T.)

Nice. That's clocking a good bit better than my i7 860. I'm needing 1.39v for 4.2Ghz and had to up the QPI to 1.28v.

I'd try and get your ram speed up though. Loosen up those timings and maybe give it a little more volts and see what it does.




C38368

...burning angel wings to dust

50 XP

14th February 2004

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#7 8 years ago

Yeah, this turned into a pretty good deal for me. Digging the way better OC on this chip than my old QX9650.

ASUS, true to form, has some weird BIOS options. Basically, you're presented with four options for memory speed: Auto, and three target speeds. These are actually ratios, but expressed as target memory speeds. Th e ratios also change as BCLK changes, to keep the options presented around 1066/1333/1666 speeds. I happen to have 1333 modules, so while I can probably run a 2:7 ratio, I don't have the option. Either 2:8 (which would put me way over spec, possibly with no boot) or 2:6 (under spec, but tight timings and no real performance loss).

It's kind of stupid, but it does "just work" in the end. It's just rather limited.