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The XB Returns

by WellThatsSurprising


Part List View full price breakdown


Date Published

Dec. 16, 2014

Date Built

Dec. 15, 2014

CPU Clock Rate

5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

25.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

38.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.3 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6.7 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

50.0° C


Originally this little cube case housed a measly FX-6300 and 7870XT, the full build back then can be seen in my previous completed builds. Though about a month after I built the thing I decided to sell of most of the parts to fund my car projects, the only thing remaining was the case and the HDD's. I loved this little cube way too much to let it go. So, over the past few month I've been trolling Ebay and snapping up parts for super cheap in hope of resurrecting it. Now, the time has finally come to show my progress and why I chose the parts I did. My goal here was to end up with a neat, bulletproof, little box of awesome I can lug with me anywhere.

CPU: FX-8320

Just a lower binned 8350, with the decent sized radiator I have it'll still get to 5Ghz without too much trouble. I'm staying with AMD through this because a lot of the programs I run are heavily multithreaded and I had already seen what the 6300 was capable of. So when this thing popped up in a Microcenter sale for $80 I just had to grab it. The whole $80 was actually a bundle on Black Friday, it came with a M5A97 R2.0 which I promptly flipped for $70 so I could technically say I got the proc for $10...

MOBO: Asus Crosshair V Formula

The M5A99FX I had before was great and all but with upgraded cooling comes upgraded power delivery. I hope to get a good 5Ghz out of this chip without a eff ton of voltage

GPU: Asus 280X Matrix Platinum

My favorite part of this entire build, I've dreamed of owning this card ever since it was first announced. So when I saw one on Ebay going for $200 I pounced on it, even though I could have easily gotten a waterblocked 290 for that price. I think I just have a strange addiction to triple-slot coolers because I drool over the Devil13 7990 a lot too. Anyways, I figured It would be just fine with that massive cooler for whatever mild OC I throw at it. I do plan on throwing a waterblock on it sometime in the future, but I guarantee I'll make a custom bracket to keep that beautiful shroud.

MEMORY: 16GB of meh

I stole this junk out of an older Socket 775 HP Compaq DC7800. This still is kinda a budget rig, remember? But whatever, it runs at 1600Mhz and C10 so I can't complain.


I got all of this as a package deal from a friend who was also selling off computer stuff for car parts. What a coincidence, huh? Anyways, here's a part list of what I got.

  • XSPC X20 750 Pump
  • XSPC EX360 Radiator
  • XSPC Raystorm Waterblock
  • 6x White Monsoon free-center compression fittings
  • 2x Bitspower 45° black compression fittings
  • Primochill flow meter
  • Plug-style temp sensor
  • 6x Corsair SP120

For $80 I think I did pretty good on that one. I don't really like the fans though so I'll probably try finding something more quiet in the future.


Both the 2TB greens I had laying around, though they're gonna get switched out for reds and put in RAID sometime soon. The SSD's I got in a trade for my old Ducky Shine 3.


When I got that 360mm rad from my friend I had two options. Option one was to sell it off and buy a decent quality 240mm. Option two was to mod my case to fit. I sure am glad I chose option two because it was so easy, and fit so well I wonder why Cooler Master didn't offer it this way as stock. Next up was routing the cables from the fans and front I/O panel. Normally they run through holes under the rad and down the center trench if front of the motherboard tray but I really hated how that looked. Pictured first is the stock holes the cables ran through. What I did was cut notches in the plastic of the I/O and ran the cables down under the front cover of the case. When this case was air cooled I just ran them through the unused drive bays but both are now taken up by my pump/res so I had to cut a new hole. Then it was time to mount the flowmeter. The only practical places I could think of wee on the frame rail or over the PCIE slots but it was too tall and interfered with the screws so frame rail it was. Hardest part of this was flush mounting the screw but after a couple minute with a torch, a couple washers, and a hefty screwdriver the thing finally sat flat with the rail and the top panel went on smoothly. I also had to cut off the support for the side panel handle as it was in the way of the tubing. I threw in a picture of the other side so you can see what I mean. I also shortened up the 5 1/4 bracket to make running the tubing easier. A lot better now that I don't have to bend it over those overextending sides.While I was out there in my garage and had the air compressor filled I decided to clean all the metal shavings out of the case too considering I'm done cutting. Don't worry, I did take the rad off once I got back inside and flushed it out thoroughly.

I'm still tweaking things so all scores and clock speeds are subject to change, I just got them to what was easy stable for now.

Comments Sorted by:

candy 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Wow, looks really good +1

WellThatsSurprising submitter 6 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks, I've put a lot of work into it.

Rashiq 1 point 52 months ago

DDAaayyyuuuMMMM..... 360 in a HAF XB. Could you tell us in a step by step guide style how you did that mod? I'm really interested.

WellThatsSurprising submitter 6 Builds 3 points 52 months ago


Buy 360mm radiator template from FrozenCPU or your PC modding sully shop of choice.


Use template to trace shape of fan holes onto centoer of the front of the case. Also mark the screw holes.


Use dremel to cut along lines for fan spots, and then use a drill to make the holes you marked for the mounting screws. You may have issues with the drill bit sliding around the metal so it's recommended to buy a center punch.


Mount the radiator/fans and enjoy!

Yes, it's seriously that easy. Fits perfectly.

Rashiq 1 point 52 months ago

One more thing, Is there enough clearance for an Alphacool monsta in that case? If so can i push/pull?

WellThatsSurprising submitter 6 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Jeez that would be huge, what you need that much rad for in a XB? The monsta is a bit longer so it might interfere with the mounting tabs for the case front. And if you did push/pull you'd have to have a pretty short card. I only have 1/4 of an inch of clearance with my card.

Rashiq 1 point 52 months ago

THAT SOUNDS RAD!! I just wanted to know if I could get away with overclcoked dual gpu cards in sli/crossfire with an highly overclocked cpu..... guess not. Thanks for the great help.

Truenirvana 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Hey if you end up buying those corsair fans could you hit me up? :D

WellThatsSurprising submitter 6 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

I think you meant selling? You'll be the first to know.

Blackie_Sheen 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Nice build. You ae saying mild oc on that card but thats a pretty massive oc. The reference card is clocked at 1 ghZ without boost and like 1,1 with boost. Thats quite a good overclock

WellThatsSurprising submitter 6 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

For that card it is a mild OC. The matrix is one of the best 7970/280X produced, on par with or even trumping the MSI lightning. Plus, the stock clock on the card is 1.1 and the triple-slot cooler doesn't hurt.

Blackie_Sheen 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

ohhh. Ok. Its a card made especially for overclocking kinda like the 780ti kingpin edition even though the kingpin 780ti is probably even more of a overclocking monster

Brodzster 1 point 52 months ago

is say that cpu got you some decent price-performance

WellThatsSurprising submitter 6 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Haha, I definitely did!

xdenttim 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

zzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzZZaaaaaaayyyuum +1

WellThatsSurprising submitter 6 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks a bunch m8!

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