Project Absinthe – Part XV: It’s alive!

Build Log:

If you’re going to use Koolance’s coolant in your loop, don’t try using the little spigot that comes on the bottle. It’s worthless. Just pour it out into a jar and use a syringe to feed it into your reservoir. You’ll save yourself a bit of trouble.

But speaking of the coolant, as I suspected, Koolance said the amber bottle was not good. Thankfully Microcenter had a couple bottles in stock. My wife’s been waiting – as patiently as possible – for her system to be done since it was torn down last week. And I think having to order in more coolant would’ve driven her a little off the edge. So one bottle is going to Kansas City Water Services for proper disposal.

Draining the loop was again a little bit of a pain, as was filling it back up with coolant. But at least I was down to the point where I just needed to get coolant circulating.

It took a while for the vast majority of the air to bleed out, somewhere around an hour and a half before I unplugged the external power supply and got everything plugged up and booted the system.

There was also a last minute upgrade. I earlier purchased a Sound Blaster Z SBX sound card. Okay not exactly last minute, but I waited until everything else was installed and running reasonably stable before installing the card. It went into the last PCI-E slot on the mainboard. I’m still considering getting a RAID card, provided I don’t just put her hard drives into an external RAID enclosure to just get them out of the case.

And the temperature performance on this is phenomenal. Running Prime95 Small FFTs for about a half hour, the CPU got up to 48C. And running Valley Benchmark, the graphics cards got to 43C max. On World of Warcraft, the CPU barely broke over 40C and the graphics cards stayed under 40C with everything cranked up.

And the build is quiet. Very, very quiet.

A retrospective will be coming shortly where I’ll have additional pictures, specifications and parts, and some more discussion of the build.