My Cerberus

Discussion in 'Build Logs' started by loader963, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. loader963

    loader963 Master of Cramming
    Thread Starter Bronze Supporter Compaction Evangelist

    Just got my new case Friday and have started my build. The original reason I ended up here at smallformfactor was due to the Kimera (now Chimera) Cerberus, and while I liked it, I didn't really crave the mAtx for my personal use. When one of the founders dropped the announcement of an ATX model, I jumped in just to miss a preproduction model by either one of two other members on here. I did say I'd get one if/when it came to production, but then was so entranced by all of these sub 10L builds that I put the thought of going back to Atx in the trash. However, after receiving notice that my travel days due to work are all but over, its time to build a permanent rig again.

    Now for the build. Due to time constraints and general impatience, I am doing this in 3 phases, in hopefully 3 weekends:
    1- Swap Parts and Basic Assembly
    2- Custom Loop
    3-Custom Cables

    This is not going to be a fancy build that would be a feature on pcpartpicker, as I'm not that talented or patient. But I hope that it will come out looking good enough for my taste. The goal I'm going for is a more simple look, without LED's or bright, snazzy colors. Nothing against them, but I want a more subdued look that doesn't scream gamer when people come over to the house.

    Phase 1 (completed)----------------

    I received my case Friday and did this over the weekend. Overall pretty happy with the results and how it came together. I guess I'll start off with a parts list:

    CPU- Intel i7 8700T
    CPU Cooler- Noctua L9i
    Motherboard Evga Z370 FTW
    Ram- G.Skill Ripjaw V 2x16Gb
    Storage- Samsung 970 Evo 500Gb
    Samsung 950 Pro 500Gb
    Seagate Barracuda Pro 12Tb
    GPU- Asus 1080 TI Turbo
    PSU- Corsair SF600
    Case- Chimera Cerberus X
    Wifi Card- Asus PCE-AC68
    USB card- Generic 5x3.0

    Since I'm posting here, I figure most peeps will want to hear about opinions on the case. Overall, I think she is very sleek. The panels stay attached firmly, the chassis feels stiff, overall a very durable impression. The finish on the case is also top notch and not a fingerprint magnet like the Dan Case I'm replacing. Building in it was fairly simple and the quality stands far out and above the more mainstream cases available. With so much positive, there is very little to complain about. But, me being me, I did have a couple of irritations. The first going to the 3 meter long front USB cable lol. I could use it for a belt, and I'm a big guy. I guess its to make sure it can reach any part of the motherboard, but man it's long. The other gripe was the hdd tray. For the life of me, it felt like I was stripping the screws that attach to the tray to the infinite vents (another feature that is simply awesome). But those two small issues aside, I think I have a great foundation to build upon.

    Everything I stuffed in there besides the motherboard and the HDD came from my Dan A4 build. I liked most of my selections, but there are going to be a couple of changes. The 8700T is a great chip but I plan to go back to overclocking (just for fun) and will hopefully trade her in a few weeks for one of the 9000 series. And that lovable L9I has received notice as well. The evga motherboard is.... a bit disappointing honestly. At first glance she has all the extras i wanted in a motherboard, namely 2 nvme slots, a debug code display in an upper corner, and a simpler appearance. I did not notice the lack of ANY VIDEO OUTPUTS out for the cpu, which was a bit surprising. Doing a little bit of reading up on it, she also appears to be a complicated board to OC with. Having mostly used Gigabyte and Asus motherboards, I never knew how spoiled I was. However, I'm going to keep rocking her for now, especially since it was only $115 new.

    I'm posting a few pics down below and beg anyone reading this not to judge them too harshly. This was basically one of those, "Go as fast and as hasty as possible!" constructions that will be changing wildly from its current form.

    Now that I have her up and rolling, its time to game and wait for more parts to come in. If Amazon and Performance PC's don't fail me, hopefully I will get phase 2 completed this weekend and post an update.
  2. loader963

    loader963 Master of Cramming
    Thread Starter Bronze Supporter Compaction Evangelist

    #2 loader963, Aug 18, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
    Phase 2 ...... 67% and stalled

    Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will this loop. I made a couple of order errors, plus the post office decided to punish me for some unknown evil deed I’ve done. But overall, not a bad start, going in blind minus a few build logs scattered around here. Anyways I’m going to log some of the steps here

    So I started running my loop this afternoon. I started out with swapping the psu mounts in the case. Wish now I had just gone straight with this, but I wasn’t sure if the cpu cooler (noctua l9i) would clear the sfx psu (hint: it would). Anyways, a small step forward to get the ball rolling.

    After that I went for the big boy and slapped the WB on the GPU. This is where I made the first of my mistakes. I bought one of these in the winter for another build I had and it had everything in it. Instructions, spare parts, support bracket, etc. When I ordered this water block, it only costed almost half as much. Me,thinking it was to clear stock for the new cards coming out, was very happy. Upon opening it though, I discovered it was just literally the wb, screws and a gasket, with nothing else. I had planned on running a bracket so I went ahead and ordered it. So now I’ve got a few days to wait before it comes in.

    Next I dumped the cpu cooler for a block. This was easy thanks to the rear cutout on the motherboard tray and with plenty of room. At first, I wish I had gotten a black top, but it’s growing on me.

    Next up were the rads and fans. The fans are the slim Noctua 120mm fans with that coffee and tan color. They don’t really go with the rest of the build, but I couldn’t find the black ones anywhere. The rads are Darkside cross-flow slim 240. These suckers are slim and don’t really have a dense fpi. I think they should pair up nicely with the noctuas. They are also cross-flow, which while not rare, aren’t all that common compared to their regular brothers. They do trade a few % of performance from what I’ve read, but I’m thinking that by using them I will simplify they tubing runs. I’m guessing (hoping more like) that the temps and noise won’t be too bad.

    My plan was to set them up in a “push” configuration. I know it makes no difference and peeps have done tests proving it, but I’m stubborn. Plus it hides that coffee and tan color scheme Noctua is known for. I will say that it was a bit of an effort to get the screws thru the infinite vents and the fans to the radiator. I also had to shorten the screw lengths to keep them from damaging the radiator.

    The res/pump is an ekwb ddc combo. I also used the ekwb universal pump/fan mount. This was one area I was nervous about that actually out worked pretty good. One thing to note is the mount is upside down on the lower front fan instead of being upright on the higher one. I did this to give me a little more working room up top. The only real regret is the power cable is a bit too short to reach the plug on the motherboard by a couple of inches.... drats. On the plus side, I had quite a few millimeters to spare from the GPU waterblock and the pump mount interfering with each other. Also, I still have plenty of room to route the front power and usb cables through to the motherboard.

    Now comes the next hiccup I had with my plan. I’ve been working out of town during the week days for the last month. So I’m not home to check my packages but my wife is. I need to train her to inspect them when she brings them in apparently. One of my rads was destroyed in the mail that was delivered Thursday. I just discovered this today and it has put a rat turd on my dinner plate. I’m gonna hit the post office and the seller up Monday and see how I can resolve this. I don’t blame the seller as whatever did the damage went thru 2 cardboard boxes, bubble wrap, and a paper before it slammed the rad. At least it was insured.

    Anyways here’s a photo of how I’m planning on it looking by this weekend. On the plus side, since I won’t be gaming, I may as well start on some cables, as it is a real bird’s nest with the stock ones installed inside the case.

    Hopefully next weekend I will have completed this rig and will be gaming again.
    TheHig and rfarmer like this.
  3. FoskcoRS5

    FoskcoRS5 Designated LMG

    Are the photo links dead for anyone else?
  4. loader963

    loader963 Master of Cramming
    Thread Starter Bronze Supporter Compaction Evangelist

    Don’t have a pc to check on but they show up on my phone I posted them on and on an iPad in private mode?
  5. FoskcoRS5

    FoskcoRS5 Designated LMG

    #5 FoskcoRS5, Aug 19, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
    Maybe it was just my laptop cause I see them fine on mobile.

    Thanks for sharing!
    loader963 likes this.
  6. loader963

    loader963 Master of Cramming
    Thread Starter Bronze Supporter Compaction Evangelist

    #6 loader963, Aug 21, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018
    Phase 2.... 70%

    So I received the GPU support bracket today. Tonight I installed it and started running some tubing. I then decided to rip it all out and make a few changes.

    After doing some measuring and on the fly planning, I decided to pull the evga motherboard and replace it with an Asus z370i. This brought the GPU up one pci slot, giving me a bit more room down below. I’m going to need the space for the rad, fans, and a custom hdd bracket I’m trying to Frankenstein up. It also moved the 24 pin cable back to the left side of the reservoir. The main negative is it moved the cpu block behind the psu. As it turns out, my fear of interference in some of the tighter spaces was pretty unnecessary.

    In a game of millimeters, I appear to be unscathed. The reservoir is easy to reach, I have plenty of room for cables, and the universal bracket I’m using for the res just barely misses the 10/16 fittings on the rad.

    After I ran the tubing I installed the psu and started mocking up cables. Instead of doing a fully custom job, I’ve gotten lazy and decided just to shorten the ones I have. The VGA cables are actually just right for the build. I will have to chop the 8 and 24 pins down quite a bit though, and I will probably have to do a sata cable to power the fan hub, pump, and the hard drives.

    Anyways, my goal is to finish the hdd tray by Friday and hope the lower radiator comes in. If the pieces to shorten the cables come in time as well, maybe I’ll get it all done by Sunday.
    TheHig and rfarmer like this.
  7. loader963

    loader963 Master of Cramming
    Thread Starter Bronze Supporter Compaction Evangelist

    Gonna have to make custom cables. I tried to shorten the sleeved premium cables Corsair offers for the sf600 and made a mess. The ends where I cut the Sleeving are fraying and look terrible. Being a rookie at this, I thought by skipping on the heat shrink that the sleeves may slide a bit, but this is not the case.

    I still haven’t done the 24 pin yet, but did do the eps and vga cables. At least I got the lengths close. Really need to watch more tutorials online and see if I can improve on it. Else I may have to find someone to do it online for me.

    Anyways, back to the net to order some more cable and materials. Also still waiting on the radiator.
    TheHig likes this.
  8. loader963

    loader963 Master of Cramming
    Thread Starter Bronze Supporter Compaction Evangelist

    Phase 2 .... 99%

    Leak testing has begun :)
    Hopefully tomorrow night phase two will be done.

  9. Valantar

    Valantar Cable-Tie Ninja

    Looks sweet! Is that the EK SPC MX-150 PWM pump/res, or a DDC variant? Except that I have a rear 120mm rad (and a larger case :p), that layout is surprisingly close to my own, actually. You've done a far better job of getting everything to fit together, though, with the rad-mounted res and so on. One thing that would worry me: the bend between the res and the GPU. I take it you're using thick-walled and kink-resistant tubing, but how will it hold up once the liquid inside heats up? I know my EK-ZMT Neoprene tubing - which is crazy stiff - gets quite soft when filled with 40-45-degree liquid, at least. Still, if it holds up, that is one impressive loop. Well done. Kind of makes me wish I'd saved up for a Cerberus myself :D (Though I would have struggled a lot to fit my ATX PSU in there.)
    loader963 likes this.
  10. loader963

    loader963 Master of Cramming
    Thread Starter Bronze Supporter Compaction Evangelist

    Thanks for the kind words. I’m hoping this setup will work well enough. The atx psu would’ve required me to use rotary fittings lol. I’m using 10/16 tubing and, while cold, seems to be holding up well. If it isn’t a leaky mess when I get home, I’ll report later on how it does on load. And that pump is an ek xres 100 spc-60 Mx pwm. Not to noisy but not as silent as a d5 I had.
  11. Valantar

    Valantar Cable-Tie Ninja

    That's the same pump/res as I have, guess I had the number remembered wrong :p I'm very happy with it (even if my first one developed a crack in the outlet port! RMAd with no problem, though), I agree that it's reasonably quiet, and the price is excellent. While I don't have much experience with other pumps, I get the impression that it's a great contender for size/noise/performance, and a winner once cost is factored in. Seems like EK has discontinued that unit though (not the pump; they still have it listed as a standalone unit). Maybe my cracked port was a design weakness?

    And yeah, rotary fittings were part of my plan for the Cerberus. Heck, I have a bunch of those in my H200i, and can't imagine getting my loop together without them. The rear radiator does force some pretty tight bends, as does the ports on the front rad being way down below the PSU shroud. Then again, I'm relatively new at this, and not all that comfortable manhandling hoses excessively to make them connect :p
    loader963 likes this.
  12. loader963

    loader963 Master of Cramming
    Thread Starter Bronze Supporter Compaction Evangelist

    I had to go back thru my orders to find that model number. I actually do have 4 rotarys sitting beside the rig on the table. I started to use them but I swear they felt loose and I’m just paranoid of a leak forming. Maybe next time because I’d love to try a hard loop someday.
  13. loader963

    loader963 Master of Cramming
    Thread Starter Bronze Supporter Compaction Evangelist

    #13 loader963, Sep 17, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    Phase 3: Complete

    Finally received my cables from CableMod and installed them today, and am happy to say that they turned out wonderful.

    Temps are awesome and not a lot of noise during gaming. This has been a fun project, but it took way longer than i thought it would. I'm almost dreading when I get my next cpu and hdd upgrade in a couple of months. And, of course, I have a lot more respect for the guys who do their own cables.

    FoskcoRS5, TheHig, confusis and 2 others like this.