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Messages - Steve N. Mavronis

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Added some PC lighting bling today with a 30cm BitFenix Alchemy 2.0 Red Magnetic LED-Strip!

I made a PCPartPicker page for myself at but check out the description I posted there about my basic build experience. Let me know what you think if you want to use something like that here if you do a build gallery or whatever for this topic. Take care and thanks for all your help! This is a nice PC build forum to be participating on.

Looks great! When I have some extra time I'll put together a Gallery page for this system.

I got 2 of my EVGA $20 each rebate pre-paid credit cards the other day! Still waiting for $30 more from other rebates.

I ordered the $22 BitFenix 30cm magnetic red LED strip for some added bling. I'll probably mount it in the roof along the little vent slots for effect there and into the case parts. An alternate location is along the front edge of the pull out radiator roof tray. As soon as I get it I'll take new pics with the lighting!

I made a PCPartPicker page for myself at but check out the description I posted there about my basic build experience. Let me know what you think if you want to use something like that here if you do a build gallery or whatever for this topic. Take care and thanks for all your help! This is a nice PC build forum to be participating on.

Looks fantastic! Congrats on your first high-end build!

Other than finding a cooler that would fit, did you have any other challenges readers should know about. I'm putting together a build guide and review for the Phanteks Evolv ATX, and it's quite simply the best case I've ever worked with. Way ahead of the competition. Just about all the $2,000+ builds on TBG will be spec'd with Phanteks for the foreseeable future.

By the way, I'd be happy to put together a profile page for this system in The Gallery. I can use the photos above or any others ones you've taken. Just let me know.

Sorry about the huge image links. I need to find a good photo sharing setup. I can't get the image upload to work in new posts here to add re-sized for forum images. This weekend I'll try to do a photo essay of my build (with better lighting) also showing the rear cable management and other details that I can point out about the build process and things I've learned. The Evolv ITX was a nice case to build in, especially for its class. I'm glad that I settled on it instead of the Fractal Nano S. My EVGA Geforce GTX 980 Ti Classified seems to be getting good airflow, especially with dual 140's up front with the lower fan pretty much directly blowing at it. The top drive bay tray is unpopulated just being used to lay the GPU power cables onto but leaves the upper cage frame slots open for some airflow under the PSU shroud. My heavy GPU is dead level with no sag thanks to a little DIY standoff trick I used. When I put my hand next to the front intake openings I can feel air being drawn in and it's quiet. I was half expecting whistling noise, LOL. I can also detect some slight airflow coming out the top vents. I guess there will be enough positive pressure to keep dust from being draw into any exit holes.

Finished my first high end gaming PC build today! Everything works like a charm! No problem with the cooler fitting, lots of wiggle room around the tall RAM.

Will be gathering baseline temps and such before overclocking, etc.

Today I got my free requested Thermalright LGA1151 CPU Support Spacer and 4 Special (Screw Nut) Washers to help reduce cooler mounting pressure (with my Silver Arrow ITX heatsink) so that my Intel Skylake i7-6700K CPU and ASUS Z170i Pro Gaming motherboard processor socket isn't likely to be damaged.

Go ahead and install it now. I can definitely understand your frustration. The only precaution I'd take is to secure the heatsink methodically, making sure not to overtighten, and don't move the system around except by hand, i.e. not in a vehicle where it could get jostled. You can always dig into the system another time to install the brace.

I may end up doing it. I'll give until this weekend, sigh. If you look at Thermalright's solution they have a clear support spacer that fits snugly around the processor when the latch is locked down pressing on the side tabs of the CPU lid and the support spacer holding everything in place. It also overlaps the plastic CPU socket frame without pushing against the processor PCB. I guess it helps reduce any downward pressure when securing a heatsink cooler to the processor in effect shielding the thin PCB. They are recommending this for Skylake processors with heatsink coolers over 500g. The Silver Arrow ITX is 700g. It seems like a good idea and so that's my hangup waiting for it.

Since March 2nd or 3rd my free Thermalright Skylake CPU spacer and backplate washers presumably reached United States Customs in NY. I can no longer see any shipment status changes using the Taiwan tracking number because USPS doesn't provide international tracking from Taiwan. I'm not sure if it's still being held in US Customs until scanned. But I have a 'My USPS' account setup to detect any package in route to my address and it shows no deliveries pending at this time. So I'm assuming it's probably stuck in US Customs until they decide to process it.

Today I wrote to Thermalright/Taiwan who had originally sent me my shipment tracking info on February 29 saying where shipped February 26. In response they told me the items should arrive in 2-3 weeks and to wait. Not sure if they mean counting from February 26 or today. It's a bummer having my entire PC built now for a couple weeks already while still waiting on these precautionary parts that I had requested so I can finish it. It's frustrating as you can understand.

I could just forget about it and install the CPU and mount the Silver Arrow ITX cooler without them, but I'd probably kick myself when they finally arrive after the fact.

Thank you for the replys and advice.  Really newbie question here.  Do you install the PSU with fan facing down or up?

Fan down in cases like this with a bottom filtered intake vent for PSU cooling. Plus if the PSU fan were up in the Evolv ITX, it would be sucking away air that the GPU needs because it would be facing its cooling fans too. You don't want competition there!

General Discussion / Re: ASUS USB 3.0 External 12X Blu-Ray Writer
« on: March 04, 2016, 10:19:35 AM »
I hope it works well. At least with external you don't have to be running power to it all the time, only when needed. The angular look will go well with my Evolv ITX too. ;)

Not sure what software comes with it besides Power Backup which I probably won't use. The non-Lite version has 3D movie playback ability, not sure. I think this is the same exact hardware minus the extra software bundle, therefore the Lite designation.

I'll have to evaluate free burning software for bluray/dvd/cd and probably search for free blueray player software too. For DVD movie creation I use the free DVD Styler which is really nice and full featured with custom menu text/graphics and everything. I hope the author expands it's capabilities to include 1080p bluray movie authoring.

General Discussion / ASUS USB 3.0 External 12X Blu-Ray Writer
« on: March 04, 2016, 09:22:03 AM »
I bought an external usb 3.0 bluray/dvd/cd writer today on Newegg good deal at this pricepoint - Regularly $100 but $31 off promo code (expires 3/9/2016) plus another $20 ASUS mail-in rebate if purchased in March 2016. My net price after MIR will be $49.

ASUS USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 External 12X Blu-Ray Writer

General Discussion / Re: DIY Magnetic Case Badges
« on: March 03, 2016, 11:00:03 AM »
I added a Phanteks magnetic case badge to my Evolv ITX build. I removed it from the optional mid-plate SSD/HDD bracket using a bread bag plastic clip by running it around the edges until the glue let go. No damage.

Steve who has posted photos above went through the same decision-making process. He might be able to shed some light on the issue.

I agree that adding an exhaust fan to the Evolv ITX is a good idea if using an air-cooled video card. For what it's worth, the recommended card for the March edition of the guide will be the EVGA Hybrid, based on the rear fan issue and the positive response to the Hybrid from readers who've used it in other TBG builds.

I agree with Ari on this. Personally I'm afraid of water cooling my own PC, although it is very popular these days. The MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G is a fine card. I love the looks especially the side curving heat pipes. The only reason I went with the bigger EVGA 980 Ti Classified is that Newegg had suddenly put it on sale for a net lower cost than the MSI at the time I purchased, so I went with the EVGA plus they give great warranty support and a trade-up program. But the GPU and water cooled or not is really a personal choice you have to weigh.

I got notification last night from Thermalright/Taiwan that my free requested CPU spacer and 4 washers shipped via registered airmail. Although this is not technically required to install my Silver Arrow ITX cooler, they recommend it for Intel Skylake users (generally to address the reported CPU damage issue) with their products and will start including them soon. Anyway, I might as well wait for these and use them. Deciding to ask for these has voluntarily held up by build for a week or so already so it's on me. ;)

Herein lies the problem with using air cooling in an ITX build. I too had problems fitting the Thermalright AXP-100 Muscle on the Asus Z170I Pro Gaming motherboard, for this and other reasons. In fact, the bracket clearance issue is a troubling one, and the fault my lie with Asus. In any event, it doesn't matter much - there's no electrical current going through the bracket, otherwise it would potentially short the motherboard out. This is how it will look mounted:

I hand fitted it over the 4 mounting studs and it appeared to fit without any wiggle room. Is your motherboard VRM crooked? That does appear to be the same mounting bracket. The motherboard VRM seems to have a slot that it can fit into. Funny that a cooler made for ITX use wouldn't use a custom bracket. I agree it is ASUS fault and they push the 95x95mm to the limit. In any case if it does encroach on the right and let sides I do have my trusty metal file to make it compatible, LOL!

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