Beta Orionis – Part VI

Build Log:

Two RMAs going out the door and one coming in is how things started after posting the last section. Corsair sent back a full retail packaged CX750M, which is good as it virtually guarantees a working unit. And the RMAs to ThermalTake and Performance-PCs went out through USPS the following Saturday and were delivered the next Monday – one of the things I love about USPS Priority 2-day.

The next order from Performance-PCs was put on hold pending the RMA as I wanted to use the store credit toward the next purchase, which was looking to be an expensive one. In the mean time, I ordered the water blocks directly from Koolance: the CPU-380A, VIDNX680 and 2xRAM-33 (refurbished), plus a U-fitting.

Speaking of the fittings, I ultimately decided to go with the PrimoChill fittings. They are more expensive than the AlphaCool fittings, about 50 cents more per fitting when buying a 10-pack of the PrimoChill fittings. But they are easier to work with, as that internal O-ring on the AlphaCool fittings is just going to hinder things when trying to do test fits on the copper tubing – the need to constantly push the tubing in and pull it back out while getting the lengths just right is probably going to ruin the internal O-rings. As the PrimoChill fittings don’t have an internal O-ring, test fits while sizing will also be easier.

The AlphaCool fittings are certainly intriguing, but I think those are more suited for acrylic tube, specifically their 13mm tubing, than for copper. And the EK and Bitspower fittings I also would not recommend for copper tubing. Use acrylic or PETG only for those. Use only the PrimoChill fittings for copper.

Parts start rolling in

There were several orders placed in close proximity to each other. The Koolance order arrived on the same day I placed an order from Performance-PCs (paying the rush order fee as well), FrozenCPU and TigerDirect (more on that in a little bit). The Performance-PCs order included:

  • Bitspower mini-valve
  • Bitspower anti-twist adapter – essentially a male-to-female rotary extension adapter
  • AlphaCool ST30 240mm radiator
  • AlphaCool HF D5 top
  • Phobya Balancer 150 Silver Nickel
  • EK UNI Holder 50/70
  • PrimoChill Revolver fittings – Anodized Silver – 2×10 packs

The in-store credit from the RMA made a little dent in that order, as did the coupon code. Together they knocked over $50 off what would have been the total. From FrozenCPU, I ordered:

  • 5xSwiftech 90-degree single-rotary fittings
  • 2xBitspower Spectre Pro 140mm

The fans I originally intended to order from Performance-PCs, then forgot about it as they weren’t on the wishlist. Both of these orders should be arriving about mid-week, the Performance-PCs order via FedEx, FrozenCPU via UPS.

Then there’s the order from TigerDirect. Let’s just say that when you see a good deal, you take it.

Plus TigerDirect had a Columbus Day special going on where you could get $15 off any order of $100 or more. So I was able to get this graphics card for $260 plus shipping. I’d been keeping an eye on prices through PCPartPicker, and when I noticed this I just had to jump on it. It was too good a deal to pass up, especially when everyone else still has this card for over $300 – typical price I’ve seen is over $350 as of the time I write this. And with the $30 rebate, it’ll come out to $230 plus shipping in the end.

Certainly one hell of a deal.

It does mean I now need a second Koolance GTX 680 waterblock, but I still come out pretty well ahead on that. I still need to order coolant, so I’ll likely get both direct from Koolance. And for the SLI I’ll probably use the Swiftech SLI fitting, running it in parallel.

I was originally planning on waiting to do SLI in my build, waiting for the price to come down to, actually, about what I paid. I wasn’t expecting it to happen this quickly after the GTX 900 series was introduced, though. I expected the prices to remain higher for at least another month or two, and in most venues they still are. As of the time I write this, Amazon lists it for $370, and Microcenter for $350 (plus about another $30 for sales tax for me). NewEgg is the only other place I’ve seen that is listing it for $300, but they’ve only just recently got it back into stock. Even PNY’s online store lists it for $395 right now – which is odd since they list the OC2 version of the card for $320, though it’s out of stock. And there are other retailers listing the card for over $400.

So again I definitely got lucky on my timing in finding a good deal.

For now, though, it’s all about playing the waiting game. Here’s the components of the loop thus far.