[Staff Project] NZXSPC Finished build

[Staff project] NZXSPC. The finished build

 [Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build


Staff project NZXSPC.  The finished build

All the work put into Project NZXSPC is starting to pay off as the build reaches it's completion.  For those of you who've taken the opportunity to migrate over to the forums area and in particular the Project logs section you'll have seen the various stages we've been through with the project, and hopefully taken the time to look not just at this project but also the many others which are under way.  From scratch builds to just simple upgrades, you'll find it all in the forums, along with a great community with fellow enthusiasts always happy to help.


Case, NZXT Phantom 410 "Gunmetal" Special edition - custom window
Motherboard, MSI Z77A GD55
Processor, Intel 2500K
Graphics, NVidia GTX570
SSD, SanDisk Extreme 120GB
HDD, WD Green 2TB
RAM, 16GB Mushkin Blackline
Additional Cabling, NZXT Premium cables Starter kit
Radiators, 2 XSPC EX 240 Radiators
Reservoir, XSPC X20 750 bay reservoir with integral pump
CPU Block, XSPC Raystorm - custom white LED's
GPU Block, XSPC Razor - Custom painted black & gunmetal grey
Fans, 5 x Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpm.



lets kick things off with a quick look at the exterior of the case.  It was never our intention to alter the external looks of the Phantom 410 to any great degree as it's such a great looker, but we did feel the mesh area  beneath the window had to go, replaced with a single large sheet of clear3mm acrylic.  

[Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build     [Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build 



Moving to the interior, you already have a good idea of what's in here, but just to re-cap, we've taken out the front 3.5" bays and cut away a little of the 5.25" bays to make room for the front XSPC EX240 radiator, the other being safely stowed away in the roof of the case.  We've also made use of the NZXT pre sleeved cable extension pack to add a bit of class to the cabling.  As we wanted to go for a mature sleek look we also changed the appearance of the blue highlights on the MSI motherboard, giving it an all over matt black look.  And even though it will never be seen, we wouldn't be OC3D if we didn't make sure the cabling at the rear of the motherboard was also sorted out.

[Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build     [Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build


GPU and Cooling loop

Before we come to the CPU cooling, lets first take a look at the GPU cooling and loop in general.   We took the Copper and Brushed Aluminium Waterblock, a thing of beauty it has to be said, and after a bit of a false start decided that this would look much better if modded to suit the theme of the case.  We also chose to swap out the supplied XSPC fittings for a Bitspower Shiny silver fittings, they're not cheap, but they're worth every penny.   Our chosen loop order reflects the desire to keep the inside of the case clean and simple, and as we all know the only thing to be  gained from going back and forth between components and radiators is a case interior that looks like a vipers nest.

 [Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build     [Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build


CPU Cooling

The excellent XSPC Raystorm CPU Waterblock comes with 2x3mm LEDs to light up the acrylic area of the block, however, as this blue would not be in keeping with the theme of the build we chose to wire in some white LEDs in their place.  I think you'll agree the crisp clean white light they give makes the effort worthwhile.

 [Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build     [Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build



Combined with the NZXT 200mm LED lighting strip, again in white and chosen for its quality as well as the ability to be able to vary the intensity of the light.  We're able to really set off the interior of the case.

[Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build     [Staff Projext]  NZXSPC  Finished build


There is of course  much more to this project than the highlights presented here.  So if you want to get the full flavour, in true OC3D fashion, make yourself a brew and wander over to the Project Logs area of the Forums.   In due course we'll be benchmarking the system as well as conducting a full system review, we'll also of course giving our thoughts on the build and the components used.

Without wishing to cause embarrassment as he's a very modest chap i'd like to pass my most sincere thanks to Tom, not only for making this project happen, but for offering constructive criticism and guidance where it was needed.  Without him this build wouldn't have happened, and without his input, it wouldn't have look as good as it does.

So with the rig complete and raring to go it's time to see what Project NZXSPC is capable of.  Many thanks to all who have followed this build and others on the forums, and for all the feedback received.  And remember even though this projects finished, there's still loads going on over in the forums.  Why not take the Bull by the bits and see what you can do.

Now, I'm off to have a bit of fun.... Keep track of everything in the NZXSPC build log here.


«Prev 1 Next»

Most Recent Comments

12-06-2012, 15:27:42

Things here at OC3D towers are changing. If you hadn't noticed already, the "News" is gone and has been replaced by modding guides Hardware quick looks and generally more hardware and modding related subjects.

We're also going to be doing more review builds and projects as well, ably kicked off with Toms excellent CKC build. Project NZXSPC is going to be something a little bit different in that the finished product will actually serve as my daily driver, my everyday work and leisure PC. The hardware and techniques used will be those that are within the reaches of most of us, without the need to sell a kindey or take a 3 year engineering degree.

The Project is based on the "Gunmetal" Special edition of the NZXT Phantom 410 that was reviewed back in April, we have to say we were very impressed with it. To the point where we felt that it was a suitable candidate for a project. This of course got us thinking about what could be done with it with regards to watercooling and refinement of the features to better suit our needs and tastes

We're not planning any major changes to the exterior of the case (OK, a few changes maybe), and certainly won't be changing the colour, as the "Gunmetal" was one of the prime factors in the choice of this case in the first place.

This Gunmetal colour, and the flat matte black of the radiators we've chosen serve as the jumping off point for the inspiration for the project. As with any piece of work a plan and inspiration at the outset greatly enhances the work, and although some adaptations can be incorperated as a result of ideas and additional inspiration it's all to easy to tell when a project builder and modder is just winging it.

Having established the case being used lets take a look at the other kit that's going to be going into the build.

Case, NZXT Phantom 410 "Gunmetal" Special edition

Motherboard, MSI Z77A GD55

Processor, Intel 2500K

Graphics, NVidia GTX570

SSD, SanDisk Extreme 120GB

HDD, WD Green 2TB

RAM, 16GB Mushkin Blackline

Radiators, 2 XSPC EX 240 Radiators

Reservoir, XSPC X20 750 bay reservoir with integral pump

CPU Block, XSPC Raystorm.

GPU Block, XSPC Razor

Fans, 5 x Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpm.


Now that we've all seen the team sheet, lets take a closer look at the players

Case: NZXT Phantom 410 "Gunmetal" Special edition

I think we've already said enough about this case, so lets let the pictures do the talking.






We are going Sandy Bridge with the firm favourite and now almost legendary 2500K. Hitting 4.6GHz on a relatively basic air cooler we are hoping that getting it wet might enable us to tease a bit more out of it. Motherboard of choice this time around is the MSI Z77A-GD55, which has already established a solid reputation, and does have to take some of the credit for the 4.6GHz overclock. It's able to support both sandy and Ivy Bridge, so offers upgrade opportunities in the future.






Graphical grunt will be provided by the NVidia GTX570. A cracking little power house of a GPU, and well able to cope with anything we might be going to throw at it. This card was the basis of many an OC3D review, it was looking forward to a quiet retirement rocking slowly on a sunny porch somewhere in the country, but due to the government increasing the retirement age the card has had to keep keep working to pay the bills and will probably end up seeing out the last of its days in this system! There's plenty of life in this old dog yet and with luck getting it wet should see it with a new zest for life.




With the price of SSDs dropping it's a no brainer to add in a sliver of black magic to look after the OS and those all important applications. SanDisk were the company that recently drove the price of 120GB SSD's down to £84.99! With insane read and write speeds plus some very stable firmware when compared to other Sandforce based drives we were happy to use this as a part of the project.




Another "Black" product, this time, the Mushkin Blackine RAM in the form of a 4x4GB kit, sure this might be a dual channel board but it means we can fill all of the slots. Its natively an 1866MHz kit but we will be hoping that we can push these up to the next memory divider of 2133 *fingers crossed*.




Power for this rig will be coming from another excellent NZXT product, the HALE82. With 850 Watts on tap it has more than enough muscle to for the needs of this rig. The HALE82 is a semi modular design, with the main 24pin, 8pinCPU and 2x6+2 pin PCI power cables already attached. Don't go thinking that's where it ends though, with a holw bag full (literally) of additional cables to choose from the needs of even the biggest of systems should be catered for.






NZXT Premium cables starter kit. Now i'm not averse to a bit of cable braiding, in fact I find it rather theraputic, but with such great pre braided kits readily available it seems daft to make my fingers bleed for no good reason.




As the name of the project suggests we will be using XSPC parts. We have chosen two of the relatively new EX240 radiators, these are just 30mm thick but promise to deliver the performance of a 60mm thick radiator whilst still being able to be used with low speed fans, this claim is something we plan on looking at in a future review here at OC3D. The rest of the parts are the famed Raystorm CPU block, the legendary X20 750 Reservoir and a Razor GPU block.

Rather than go through each of these in detail I'm again going to let the pictures do the talking. If however you'd like a bit more detail, head over to the Front page of the main website area.











Having seen what we have as the basis for the mod its time to share some of the plans for it all. If you've read the review of the Phantom 410 you'll already know that it has native support for a single 240 Radiator in the roof of the case. By now you've also probably noticed that we have two 240 Rads in the kit list. The plan of course is to mod the case so as to allow the accomodation of this second 240 rad. I had hoped that it would be a simple case of removing the Storage bays, but on closer inspection it appears it might require a little bit more than that. We want to keep this looking very understated and clean, almost like the cases was designed this way.

In addition to the work done on the cooling side we are also going to be altering the side of the case. Not that there's anything actually wrong with the side panel, it's just that we have never been a big fans of vents in the side, or worse still vented windows. Knowing that a lot of people share a distast for vented windows NZXT have opted to offer a split level solution, with both a window and a vented section. I'm afraid it's not for us so it'll have to go.

There will of course be a few little other mods along the way so you'll have to keep your eyes peeled to the front page for updates! We will of course be posting a full build log here in the OC3D forumsQuote

12-06-2012, 15:34:21

This will be awsome. Can't wait to see this finished.Quote

12-06-2012, 15:38:14

Looking forward to this http://forum.overclock3d.net/images/...cons/smile.png What power supply are you going to be using?Quote

Register for the OC3D Newsletter

Subscribing to the OC3D newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest technology reviews, competitions and goings-on at Overclock3D. We won't share your email address with ANYONE, and we will only email you with updates on site news, reviews, and competitions and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Simply enter your name and email address into the box below and be sure to click on the links in the confirmation emails that will arrive in your e-mail shortly after to complete the registration.

If you run into any problems, just drop us a message on the forums.