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View Full Version : PC Rebuild Photo Album: Antec 1200 to Fractal Define R4 Black Pearl


Drunken Savior
10-10-2013, 01:04 AM
I've been wanting to switch out of my previous case (Antec 1200) into something smaller and more silent with less LEDs (even though they make PCs run faster). So I ended up deciding between the Corsair 550D and the Fractal Define R4 Black Pearl. The decision came down to 2 things: The R4 featured space for up to 6 140mm fans (bigger fans can move as much air as smaller fans at slower speeds, allowing them to run quieter) and that the R4 has 4 USB ports on the front (2x 2.0, 2x 3.0) while the 550D has 2x 3.0s.

After 5 hours, I disassembled my PC, cleaned out all the parts and reassembled it. And I got it to post in 1 try!

http://i.imgur.com/1iLbiqA.jpg
Here's the empty R4. The case comes with 2 140mm fans. I have plans on adding a water cooler inside and going back to my overclock of 4.5 Ghz (i7 2600K @ 1.29V).

http://i.imgur.com/nF77Vue.jpg
So I moved the back fan to the front and added a Noctua AF14 FLX to the back. Noctuas are known for silence and nice CFM, and the notorious ugly color. Oh well, performance over looks in this case.

http://i.imgur.com/270I18i.jpg
Here's the larger Antec 1200 next to the smaller Fractal Define R4 Black Pearl. You can see a huge problem I have with the 1200 here. All that damn cat hair! To clean the case, you have to open up both sides of the case and unscrew the fans out to access the mesh screen. Total pain! The R4 has a simple push-latch that exposes the screen. Also here you can see my Cooler Master 212+ air cooler (big silver thing) that allows my CPU to be OC'd but with max temps of 80C. I'm hoping water cooling might lower that!

http://i.imgur.com/yBuwyRx.jpg
Here's all the components of my PC. From left to right, top to bottom: Asus P8P67 Deluxe <REV 3.0> Mobo with CM 212+ air cooler, 4x 4GB 1333 G. Skill DDR3 RAM, EVGA Superclocked GTX 670 4GB, Hauppage Colossus (I don't recommend getting this), Encore Wifi card, BD-R drive, Corsair HX750 PSU, 2TB WD Caviar Black SATA 3, 1 TB WD Caviar Black SATA 3, 1 TB WD Caviar Black SATA 2, DVD-RW drive.

http://i.imgur.com/KkCWngj.jpg
5 hours after I started, all done! And it posted on the first try! So far it's running at the same idle temps as the 1200, going to test it on a load (encode a mkv) later. So far, I'm really happy.

http://i.imgur.com/cr9yxUg.jpg
And with the case closed up. The window does add to the noise that can escape...but I do like being able to peek inside without having to unscrew a side off. So it's a good tradeoff.

Badrats Studio
10-10-2013, 01:13 AM
Beautiful monster.

Drunken Savior
10-10-2013, 09:41 PM
Well, I can't perfectly explain it, but this case keeps my CPU about 6C cooler! I do miss having an eSATA port on the front of the case, but the tradeoff is worth is.

Sulblazer
10-11-2013, 08:09 AM
I like the cases where the PS vents from the bottom. Does it have a dust tray for there?

Drunken Savior
10-11-2013, 01:20 PM
Dust Tray? I assume you mean a screen/filter and the answer is yes. You pull it out from the back and it covers both the PSU area and the 140mm fan area in front of it. Easily removable filters were a high priority for me. Since this goes under the desk, having it be removable from the side would have been better but it's not that big of a deal.

Reality
10-11-2013, 01:43 PM
Very nicely done. A beautiful job on managing the cables. I wish my case was built with cable management in mind. I find to find my own tricks to make it all work.

Drunken Savior
10-11-2013, 02:42 PM
Thanks man. Honestly the 2 best things for cable management is having appropriate extentions and cable ties.

I wish I was as enamored with my cable management as you are. All the tech forums I go to have 'cable management' threads that make my machine look like spaghetti.

Like this one:
http://i.imgur.com/0MHDjpC.jpg

Also, the insulation of SATA cables are the bane of my existence. So stiff.

Reality
10-12-2013, 04:00 AM
Uuuugh that's some great tidying up there. I want to get that done for me but I don't honestly see how I could stuff all my cables behind the mother board tray like they can.

Drunken Savior
10-12-2013, 04:10 AM
Makes me wonder why graphics card have their PCI-E ports facing the way they do (away from the mobo). What the shit...why!?

Joe Redifer
10-12-2013, 04:52 AM
It really is a shame you don't have as many LEDs as you used to. I added a few to mine and I can edit a video nearly twice as fast as I could before. I'm thinking of adding some angular shaped fans and some internal neon lights which illuminate the room through the angular vents to make everything even faster.

On a serious note why don't processors come overclocked from the manufacturer (AMD, Intel, etc)? Or do they? I don't see why the overclocked speed can't just be the real speed.

Drunken Savior
10-12-2013, 05:21 AM
You should add a LED strip inside. You'll need to bolt the machine to the house foundation or it might just fly off, but it'll be worth it.

CPUs are certified to run at a certain speed by the manufacturer. Overclocking requires you to manually optimize how fast you want your CPU to run. To sustain that speed, you need to increase the voltage going to the chip. Increasing the voltage increases the heat, which can decrease the overall life. Overclockers will use specialty third party coolers to pull the heat from the CPU.

So instead of finding out the peak optimal speed of each CPU, CPU manufacturers just set them to run at a nice, safe speed using their cheap stock fans that allows for mass, automated, production at a profit.

Sulblazer
10-12-2013, 04:39 PM
Nice water cooler. Those hoses look like their rubber. Was that stock or did you mod it? I have a smaller corsair H55 and the hoses are plastic with flexible ribs on them. Btw, what are your temperatures at idle and load?

**edit** oh...nevermind, that was just a comparison picture.**

bujeezus
10-17-2013, 11:40 AM
To sustain that speed, you need to increase the voltage going to the chip.

some times you can get away with just changing the fsb multiplier. i got an old Q9300 2.5Ghz overclocked to 3.4Ghz.

Drunken Savior
11-13-2017, 03:26 PM
IS NOTHING SACRED?