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  1. Join Date : Jan 2015
    Posts : 345
    Windows 10
       11 Sep 2016 #1

    Advice on new custom computer I swapped my laptop for?


    So after getting tire of my laptop being a bit shitty, I posted it on Kijiji to try and sell it with the intention of using the money towards a proper gaming desktop. Someone replied back offering to swap for his own gaming pc, and here we are.
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    It has an AMD FX-8350 with a watercooling setup, a Nvidia GTX 780, MSI 970A-G46, 16GB ram, SSD + HDD, and a metric tonne of wires.

    My questions are:

    1. How do I maintain a water-cooling system? Do I have to drain the system every so often and replace the coolant?

    2. This system is capable of being overclocked, and can be done through the BIOS's GUI. How do I figure out what the maximum overclock the system can handle?

    3. I don't really like how the top fan juts out so much, and the upper front fan is partially obscured by the front cover. But they cannot be mounted on the other side because that's where the radiators are secured. Is it possible to replace the front 120mm fan with a thinner one or one that allows more ventilation around it? Is there any fan or fan sheath I can buy for the top so I don't have the screws sticking out like that? I can cut the fan wires, feed them through a screw hole, and splice them together again inside the case. Do I even need those two fans? the radiators have their own (smaller) fans on the inside.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by FuturDreamz; 11 Sep 2016 at 16:56.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  2. Join Date : Jan 2014
    Oak Ridge TN, USA
    Posts : 26,850
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       11 Sep 2016 #2

    1. If it's not a closed loop system my understand is ,, yes. You will need to maintain it. Top it off and clean it out from time to time. I know more can add additional information.

    4. You can get a home version of 10 for around 120 Amazon/Newegg etc.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  3. Join Date : Jan 2015
    Posts : 345
    Windows 10
       11 Sep 2016 #3

    How can I tell if it's a closed loop system? I've tipped it over a couple of times accidentally and it didn't spill. It looks like it has a plug on the bottom of the tank.

    And I bought a Windows license from Amazon so I removed that question
    Last edited by FuturDreamz; 11 Sep 2016 at 16:57.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  4. Join Date : Jan 2014
    Oak Ridge TN, USA
    Posts : 26,850
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       11 Sep 2016 #4

    Check out the make and model of the unit. That's how I would.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  5. Join Date : Jul 2014
    Serbia
    Posts : 7,139
    All kinds
       14 Sep 2016 #5

    Only actually closed system loops are all in one and they don't require maintenance. This one may be from a kit but not AiO. You should be wise to check it good as somebody obviously put it together.
    Processor and MB are overclockable but "silicone lottery" may limit the OC and you'll never know until you try what limits may be. Given that cooling and other parts, 4.5GHz should be easily attainable.
    Nvidia GTX 780, if with 2GB of memory is older but still viable GPU and a good match for processor.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  6. Join Date : Jan 2015
    Posts : 345
    Windows 10
       15 Sep 2016 #6

    CountMike said: View Post
    Only actually closed system loops are all in one and they don't require maintenance. This one may be from a kit but not AiO. You should be wise to check it good as somebody obviously put it together.
    Processor and MB are overclockable but "silicone lottery" may limit the OC and you'll never know until you try what limits may be. Given that cooling and other parts, 4.5GHz should be easily attainable.
    Nvidia GTX 780, if with 2GB of memory is older but still viable GPU and a good match for processor.
    Thanks. I think the guy I bought this from said this was a custom cooling system, so I'm not sure if it counts as a kit. It is sealed though, I've put the case on it's side and it doesn't spill. How exactly do I maintain this, and how often? Do I need to flush the entire reservoir, and if so how, what fluid, and how often?

    I found the driver page for the motherboard. Turns out that it was as simple as googling the "GAMING 970" prominently written beside the GPU. MSI has a ControlCenter which enables OCGenie which is supposed to set up overclocking automatically, so I'll do that.

    It's all set up with the valid Windows 10 license now so that's no longer an issue.

    And I'm still wondering what I can do about the fans? Are they all a standard size or is it possible to get ones with low profile sheaths or more decorative sheaths?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  7. Join Date : Jul 2014
    Serbia
    Posts : 7,139
    All kinds
       16 Sep 2016 #7

    Fans, yes they are mostly standard sizes, most popular nowadays are of 120mm and you can find thin (~10mm) or thicker ones (~20 and up) and that doesn't define their efficiency. They don't all come with protective grill.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  8. Join Date : Jan 2015
    Posts : 345
    Windows 10
       24 Sep 2016 #8

    Thanks. I've done some research and updated my parts list: "Proton"

    Today I opened it up to take a closer look inside. It seems to me the builder made some odd choices, such as the PSU is a semi-modular yet he used the detachable CPU2 and video 3/4 cables instead of the integrated CPU1/Video 1 + detachable video 2 cables. I pulled a good handful of wires that were completely superflous (such as an extender cable for the motherboard), and everything works fine now. He had all the fans and pumps hooked into a fan hub with no speed control, so no wonder it was so loud. I plugged all the fans and pumps into the correct sockets on the motherboard (and pulled 2 80mm fans hanging by a single screw on the radiators - the radiators already have a 120mm/140mm fan on the outside - along with a 120mm fan that was sitting precariously in a spot with mounting only for a 140mm fan). it now runs a lot quieter, with minimal or no loss in cooling ability it seems.

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    The top fan I want top replace with something that looks a bit nicer. I was thinking of using this one. I want to get new white/silver screws because the black ones are stripped, but I'm going to need extra long ones. Currently it's using 33mm long screws which are only hanging on by a couple threads. One thing is I want to feed the wire through the vent so that it's hidden, but that's going to require cutting the wire then splicing it back again. Both the original and this new aluminum fan are 3-pin, and I'm wondering if a 4-pin would be better.

    the bottom fan, as stated, is so thick that it seems to impede airflow. There's only about 8mm between the fan shroud and the case.I want to move the current fan down and on the inside, then get a 15mm fan. But the only 15mm fan I can find that isn't super expensive is this one, which also only uses a 3-pin connector while the current fan is a 4-pin. If I keep the old fan I'm going to need a y-splitter. I'm not sure if I can use a y-splitter on two 4-pin fans or a 4-pin and a 3-pin, or if I should just get a 3-pin splitter and let the old fan keep the 4-pin mobo socket.

    So to summarize my questions:

    1. Is the aluminum can a good idea? Can anyone find a different 120mm fan that looks decent with a 4-pin and isn't expensive?
    2. I the slim fan a good idea? Can anyone find a slim 140mm fan with a 4-pin connector?
    3. if I have to have two fans share a connector using a y-splitter, is it okay to have two 4-pin fans connected together or one 3 and one 4 or only 3-pins?

    thanks.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  9. Join Date : Jul 2014
    Serbia
    Posts : 7,139
    All kinds
       25 Sep 2016 #9

    1. Yes, why not but probably more expensive than plastic ones. You could mask it with a car speaker cover of appropriate size, just take any foam that may be on the inside of grill.
    2. Watch out for number of 4pin fan connectors on MB, may not have many and some may not be PVM even with 4 pins. Slim fans can be just as good as any thicker ones. For case cooling, CFM is most important.
    3. It's OK only if they are same, otherwise speeds may be somewhere in between faster and slower and control is not accurate. Don't mix 3 and 4 pins on same header, results are unpredictable.

    Pump should run full speed all the time, it should go either to a header without RPM adjustments or on PSU directly but RPM are not detected that way.

    Check MB manual and in BIOS for number and adjust-ability of fan connectors. Most of the time there's only two settings, one for CPU_Fan and another for all other ones.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


  10. Join Date : Jan 2015
    Posts : 345
    Windows 10
       25 Sep 2016 #10

    According CPU fan and sys fan 1+2 can be automatically controlled, sys fan 3+4 have no power controls. According to the specs for this mobo, the cpu header can't regulate the speed of 3-pin fans but the sys fan 1+2 headers can.

    It's a little odd but I'll figure it out.

    And I couldn't find another fan that looks nice like the aluminum one. I'm OK if it's all plastic, but I don't want the screws to be exposed like they are on my current one.

    I ordered the two fans + some needed mounting screws, a 4-pin y adapter, and a metal grill for the top fan. I'll set it all up when they come in the mail.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec


 
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