Title: Parts Review, +Info!
Date: October 03, 2009
Status: Ongoing. Finish Parts Review, prepare for Red Cube
Brief: Good Evening Everyone, lots to do today! Before you scream "Bloody Murder" this log is becoming a Review Log, and not a work log! I'd say Halt. As work on the worklog is ongoing, and as I mentioned previously I have had to pause for a bit due to getting the Cube painted. First I had to wait for my dremel to arrive to do the mods, the dremel was DOA, got replacement, did the mods, and dropped it off at Fusion Powder Coating here in Sunny Florida, and am picking it up early week of Oct 4th - Oct 9th. And I will resume operations and do all updates with the worklog in the same manner and production as the parts review.
However so I am not standing idle, I decided to do some more Part's Review for you guys, this is where I show you a hands on impression of products I am using in my build. You will see it in the final product, when I actually get to the point in my build log that I use it, I will reference these, as my hands on impressions, and on the worklog it will be practical usage. So feel free to ask any questions as you may want to use these products yourself. Alot of things I use, I got ideas from other worklogs, so to make it easer for you, I have linked the products I am showcasing in these reviews in the Part's list. Big thanks for my partners in the build log, for providing, and helping obtain these items.
The Cube ended up being Powder Coated Mettalic Red, and Black, so its not a normal powder coat, I asked for and paid extra for Show Quality paint. Fusion Powder Coating, normally works with Automobile and Motorcycle parts so you can start imaging the outcome! I am anxious as you problably are now, and I will post the picture of the painted cube ASAP.
Expect another Part's Review tomorrow, and then I am done with reviews for a while, and then I will be working full time on the worklog, and hopefully, cross your fingers with me! I can obtain the rest of the parts and keep going. A factor that threw alot of things in the air, however is graphics cards. Right now its a race between 2x 295 GTX's and or 2x Radeon 5870x2s, and or 2x Fermi's. I am still evaluating all my options, and it will come down to performance and cost. As soon as I have a clearer decision, I will let you know. Also due to the recent price drops in SSD, they have now become viable options, and I will be using 4 solid state drives as my main OS drives, and I will send the Raid 0 Velociraptors into Programs/Data drives all powered by the 1680IX. Either way, its going to be very very fast.
I have updated the first page, with all full parts list, and will make a few more edits here and there, when I either have the items, or have a clear decision on using that item. However 99% of the time, anything that goes in the parts list, I own, or have already made an arrangement for it to come. As some items are custom, I can't 100% confirm their existence yet. Anyhow that's pretty much it for now, expect more constant updates, and much more content in the coming weeks (honestly in a couple of days even!). I will push as far and as intensively as I can. I hope everyone joins me in the struggle that is this work log. It took me 12+ Hours straight for this update to occur from start to finish!
I'd like to thank my producer, (Mom), and Logistics Director (Dad), as couldn't have gotten these pictures up without them. They also sign off layout changes, heh. Front page is officially done for now, go click on the first post again!
Thanks alot for checking out Sestren! And make your voice heard, if you like it, make your voice heard, or type here, as the more support, the more influence and reach I can push for. And be back soon, as in a matter of days, a certain red metallic comes home..... I am ready.
Petra's Tech Shop: Smart Coils 5/8 OD Review
Smart Coils are twisting plastic strips that are used to cover tubing so it doesn't kink or bend itself thus obstructing waterflow while the tubing is bent at awkward angles. This is important because a single kink can drastically reduce waterflow. Smart Coils are generally specifically made for certain o.d, or outer diameter tubing. Today we are taking a look at 5/8 O.D Smart Coils from Petra's Tech Shop. Because Sestren uses external radiators it is imperative to make sure all the angles from the external radiator to the inside pumps do not kink. So Smart Coils are applied at certain sections to prevent that from happening.
You can apply smart coils by gently wrapping it around tubing that will be angled. It is interesting to note that alot of users use alot of Smart Coils to dress up their tubing, when it actually only needs to be applied to where the tubing is angled. Smart coils can be used sparingly. One doesn't need to use a large amount of Smart Coils. However since they denote a certain status quo and are generally attractive depending on the build, it is fun to put them all over the tubing. It won't hurt the computer in any way, just your wallet. Overall Smart Coils are pretty simple, put them where you want to prevent kinks and you are done, they are necessities in tight tubing bends, and generally inexpensive, so definitely pick up a few if you can and are water cooling.
Do note however, that there is a small drawback to Smart Coils, and it isn't their application nor the functions, when coiled they work perfectly. Their only con is really their resistance. They can be pretty brittle sometimes. Personally I am only acquainted with this type of Smart Coils, which can be bought from Petra's Tech Shop, so this may or may not happen to all Smart Coils. However it seems to be the norm. If you apply the coils with tubing already filled with water, or even if its dry but its connected to something if you are not careful while coiling you may break the coils. While they can certainly be put on and put off, if you are gentle and careful, they are also prone to break. So I highly suggest you apply the coils prior to the build, and only after your tubing is coiled up, then put it inside your computer. Failure to do so, can result in losing a perfectly good pair of smart coils, which I personally lost. You can check out in the first stages of this worklog on that one.
Overall I highly recommend Smart Coils, and pick up a few, just in case you break one. And specifically this one from Petra's Tech Shop, as it's inexpensive, does its job well, and when one of my coils was faulty, Petra's staff took care of it, and replaced it, and explained how to properly apply them. So it is highly recommend if you have areas in your water cooling set up that are prone to kinking, get yourself a pair of smart coils today.
Petra's Tech Shop: 4-Pin Molex Extensions Review
Here we have ATX spec, the mother of all power connectors! The 4 Pin Molex. The 4 Pin Molex is an amazing combination of two grounded signals and a +5 Volts line and a +12 Volts line. They are the building blocks of computer and alot of hardware electricity. While the 4 pin molex has been superseded by the new and slim Sata Power Connectors, it still soldiers on as the quintessential computer power connector. And just because there are smaller and slimmer alternatives today, doesn't mean that there isn't alot of hardware that still uses the good old 4 Pin.
Coincidently it seems that the Wizards that are Hardware Engineers, have mostly made the 4 Pin Molex become the computer accessory connector. The Molex can still be used to power Hardrives, and other core computer parts, however as I mentioned Sata Connectors are better at that task, and some hardrives are even phasing out the 4 pin females. So you may ask, What is the 4 Pin instead is perfect for? Well basically everything else. Every single computer accessories you can think of. From Cold Cathode Lights, to that cool little Bay thingie that glow and you have no idea what it does, to water pumps, and everything else, is based on the good old 4 Pin Molex. Because it still a very versatile connector. It is universally used and thus has a large market penetration, and is highly mod-able, or customizable. Not to mention, motherboard manufacturers have also been using the 4 Pin as a power supplant to high end motherboards.
Basically the 4 Pin Molex isn't going anywhere. So we have the gear that needs it, but in the quest of organized wiring, it is a bit cumbersome. The main problem with a 4 Pin Molex, is the same as DVI to HDMI, it does the same thing as its alternative. However it is bulky, and unattractive. Worst yet you need to route distances in your case, that can't be reached by the cables that come with your motherboard! However don't be discouraged because again our friends at Petra's Tech Shop, have what we need.
*Please note that the pictures above are of the product that is being reviewed, however that product as since been upgraded with a male and female black connector, and has been resleeved with a third party sleeving to achieve that look. You cannot purchase a Extension in that condition, you have to sleeve it yourself!
Basically you have two choices, either buy a standard extension that does not come sleeved or buy one that is. Unfortunately I have already sleeved all my extensions, and thus do not have any recent photos on how they looked prior to be sleeved, you may check the beginning on this worklog to see all I went through to sleeve them! It was a alot of work, but I had a solid foundation with Petra's Tech Shop Extensions. Petra's offered various sizes, and all of high quality. After spending thousands of dollars in accessories for Sestren, I needed dependable extensions, and I am highly satisfied with what I got from Petra's, just be prepared to do alot of custom work yourself to reach this level of quality.
However the original extensions that came pre-sleeved weren't bad at all. In fact, they were of much better quality then I imagined. The stock that I got was from OK Gear, and was basically that, OK looking. It wasn't a custom sleeved job, but it wasn't a hack job either, it worked, and seemed to be using a derivative of PET Sleeving. So if you want to sleeve your cables and do not want to do it yourself, I highly recommend these, and if you want to do it yourself, be sure to buy the bare extensions, and then do the custom work yourself. For references on how to actually sleeve it and for pictures of the tools needed to custom sleeve your wires, check the beginning of this worklog.
Petra's Tech Shop: 3-Pin Fan Extensions Review
Following the same principles as the 4-Pin Molex, albeit specifically tailored for 3 Pin fan, these extensions are made to route those ever growing fans from your case right to your power supply. Basically the same Review applies to these 3 Pin Extensions, they work as advertised come in various sizes, and when sleeved look great! You can purchase them at Petra's either sleeved or non sleeved, and they are very inexpensive. They carry all volts needed by your fans, and I checked each of my extensions with a volt meter to ensure consistency. Like I mentioned before, I highly recommend them as a way to route your computer cables so your computer is more aesthetically pleasing and as a way to increase space and airflow inside your case. Highly recommended, especially if you have 30+ fans like I do.