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Bolt X LC hard loop compatibility

Post Date: 2021-03-09

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Caboose_R View Drop Down
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  Quote Caboose_R Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Bolt X LC hard loop compatibility
    Posted: 09 Mar 2021 at 12:49pm
Thanks in advance for any feedback!

Budget:
Variable

Expectations:
Consistent 4k 144hz on high to ultra settings across many genres. Small amount of video editing. I'm also expecting this rig to last 5-6 years. I do like the Bolt X form factor as I think it looks very clean and will fit better on my desk than a standard mid tower, but haven't seen many reviews of it here so was curious to hear about anyone's experience.

Usage:
Consistent 4k 144hz on high to ultra settings across many genres. Small amount of video editing.

Special Needs:
I really don't like loud builds and my last three self-built have been hard tube watercooled systems which I've gotten down to under 20 db at load. I'd happily build my own again but after 6 months of not being able to source key parts I've started looking at pre-built options.

Saved Ticket #: 3804411
Two primary questions I'm looking for answers on besides feedback on the config:
1) I added a second 980 pro drive because I wasn't sure how much of a pain it would be to install a second 980 pro after it arrives. I'm comfortable installing it myself but based on examples I've found of bolt X hard loops online, it looks like I may have to drain and take apart the loop to access the M.2 slot, in which case an extra cost over installing it myself is probably worth it. Does anyone know the whether a disassemble is required to access the m.2 slots?
2) The configurator for DS will not allow me to pick a CPU+GPU loop despite every marketing image I've found for the bolt X displaying a single CPU+GPU loop. Does anyone know if this is an option and if so how to include it?
3) I've only built intel for years, and this is the first time I'm looking into AMD CPUs. It sounds like they're the clear winner these days at the top end. Curious to hear people's thoughts on AMD vs Intel in the current ecosystem and any potential ramifications that would be important to consider.
4) How do the standard DS fans perform in terms of CFM and loudness? I assume they're PWM enabled, but should I plan to exchange them for something better like Noctuas or similar down the road?

Specifications:
Chassis
Chassis Model: Digital Storm BOLT X
Exterior Finish: Exotic Paint Finish - Storm Blue

Trim Accents: Edge to Edge Premium Tempered Glass

Core Components
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (12-Core) 4.8 GHz Turbo (BACKORDER ETA MARCH)
Motherboard: ASUS ROG Strix X570-I Gaming (Wi-Fi) (AMD X570) (Mini-ITX) (Up to 1x PCI-E Device)
System Memory: 32GB DDR4 3200MHz Digital Storm Performance Series
Power Supply: 800W Digital Storm Performance Series (Modular) (80 Plus Platinum) (Supports up to RTX 3080)

Storage / Connectivity
Storage Set 1: 1x SSD M.2 (1TB Samsung 980 PRO) (NVM Express)
Storage Set 2: 1x SSD M.2 (1TB Samsung 980 PRO) (NVM Express)
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)

Graphics / Multimedia
Graphics Card(s): 1x GeForce RTX 3080 10GB (Performance Edition) (VR Ready)
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio

Digital Storm Engineering
Extreme Cooling: Digital Storm HydroLux PRO LITE (CPU Only)
HydroLux Tubing Style: HardLine Tubing (Requires HydroLux PRO Custom Liquid Cooling System)
HydroLux Fluid Color: Clear Fluid + Clear Tubing (Requires HydroLux Liquid Cooling System)
Cable Management: Exotic Cable Management - White - (Cable Combs with Custom Color Sleeved Extension Cables)
Chassis Fans: Standard Black Fans

Digital Storm TwisterBoost Technology
Boost Processor: Stock Factory Turbo Boost Advanced Automatic Overclocking

Edited by Caboose_R - 09 Mar 2021 at 12:51pm
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  Quote GrandesBollas Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Mar 2021 at 12:56pm
The Bolt X used to include the option to cool both the CPU and GPU. I just checked the configurator and found the same problem. Not sure what is going on there. I'd prefer the Corsair ML fans for quiet performance, but again, that option is no longer being offered.

You should contact DS directly. It may be that these options are not being shwon due to supply issues. Then again, that raises questions whether it is a good time to buy.
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  Quote Caboose_R Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Mar 2021 at 1:04pm
Fair points Grandes. And thanks for bringing them up. I did email DS a couple of days back but hadn't heard back so thought I'd try my luck on the forums. :)

I agree that it hasn't been a great time to buy for quite some time now, but my current 4 year old build is starting to show symptoms of mobo failure. So depending on how lucky I am I may not have a choice. :(
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Mar 2021 at 3:36am
The Bolt is the smallest form factor here and has all the tightest tolerances. My best guess for the custom loop and the GPU is that the 3000 series are just too big to accommodate a water block in that case. DS would be your source for the question about the M.2 slot as it would again depend upon tolerances. Some motherboards come with heatsinks on the m.2 slots that must be removed to fill the slot and replaced. You have to get a screw driver in there to fasten the drive down.

AMD is the choice hands down because they have been using the PCIe Gen 4 bus 7nm procs for well over a year. Intel has been stuck at 14nm, and the PCIe Gen 3 platform. The end of this month marks the new day dawning at last. Intel will be shipping Rocket Lake CPUs on the PCIe 4 bus. They will be the fastest gamers on the planet. This close, and assured of a wait for a 5900X, I think you should at least have a look at the the new offerings. DS is usually not late to such parties, but in this environment, who can say. Once again, ask.
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  Quote Caboose_R Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Mar 2021 at 10:47am
No response on the M.2 question, but I did hear back about the GPU+CPU loop and it sounds like a non-starter. The bolt-X only supports a single radiator, which can't sufficiently cool a GPU+CPU loop. Thanks for the feedback Cretae. :)
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  Quote GrandesBollas Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Mar 2021 at 1:47pm
I find it really sad that DS no longer offers a GPU cooled option with the Bolt X. I had to dig back through September to find another poster who wrote that the CPU+GPU option was not available. In my opinion, that was one of the major selling points for that form factor. Really disappointing to see these posts. I can only hope that things go back to normal when the Pandemic ends.

Clearly, it had been offered for a previous generation GPU:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKBP1oGoBDk&ab_channel=DigitalStorm

Edited by GrandesBollas - 10 Mar 2021 at 1:50pm
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  Quote Caboose_R Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Mar 2021 at 7:57pm
Yeah. It's sad for quite a few reasons: 1) The vertical GPU would be quite the showpiece with a water block. I've never seen a stock fan solution on a GPU that looked remotely as cool; 2) With that small of a form factor, I don't think I'd trust high end components with that restrictive air flow, and 3) literally all of their marketing images still show the GPU waterblock.
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Mar 2021 at 4:01am
"Thanks for the feedback Cretae. :)"

My pleasure. sorry we couldn't be more helpful.
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  Quote Caboose_R Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Mar 2021 at 12:15pm
Originally posted by Cretae

The end of this month marks the new day dawning at last. Intel will be shipping Rocket Lake CPUs on the PCIe 4 bus. They will be the fastest gamers on the planet. This close, and assured of a wait for a 5900X, I think you should at least have a look at the the new offerings. DS is usually not late to such parties, but in this environment, who can say. Once again, ask.


Forgot to add in case anyone else viewing had this question. I heard back from DS regarding Rocket Lake timelines. Apparently Intel originally told them end of April for physical inventory, but then recently delayed that again with a TBD for current ETA.

They also advised that the DS pre-orders will open up on the same day that Intel officially "launches" Rocket Lake, whatever that ends up being. However, they expect upwards of 8 weeks for inventory and build time to actually receive a preordered PC. So all in all, fastest possible would be ~Early July for a rig ordered end of April.
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  Quote GrandesBollas Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Mar 2021 at 12:21pm
Rocket Lake in my opinion is over-hyped and not worth waiting for. It is the last generation for the LGA-1200 socket. Evidence points to Alder Lake being a bigger improvement.
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  Quote Caboose_R Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Mar 2021 at 12:50pm
I tend to agree. The steadily growing issues on my older build made it a fairly easy decision though since at the current rate it's totally feasible my rig will be dead before July. Ordered a LUMOS custom loop with a 3080 and Ryzen 7 5800X last night. Now the waiting game begins. Hopefully that 3080 doesn't burn me too bad on wait times.

Final Config:
https://www.digitalstorm.com/configurator.asp?id=3809648
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  Quote ealderson Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Mar 2021 at 1:43pm
Originally posted by Caboose_R

I tend to agree. The steadily growing issues on my older build made it a fairly easy decision though since at the current rate it's totally feasible my rig will be dead before July. Ordered a LUMOS custom loop with a 3080 and Ryzen 7 5800X last night. Now the waiting game begins. Hopefully that 3080 doesn't burn me too bad on wait times.

Final Config:
https://www.digitalstorm.com/configurator.asp?id=3809648

I know one can't predict for sure what happens with the supply chain, but I had a 3080 on my build ordered in late Jan and it shipped a few days ago. That's not nearly as long as I figured it would take.
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Mar 2021 at 3:52am
Originally posted by GrandesBollas

Rocket Lake in my opinion is over-hyped and not worth waiting for. It is the last generation for the LGA-1200 socket. Evidence points to Alder Lake being a bigger improvement.



That may well be true. An incremental step up in CPU power/speed isn't a necessity. IMHO, an i7-10700K at stock is enough to carry the day in gaming for several years out. The problem I see is some folks just don't want to buy into the fact AMD is fully back with a vengeance, and want Intel. I can't let that go past me without warning about the obsolete bus. I, personally, would be crushed to know my storage is slowed as much as 35% because I chose the wrong platform. I'm not pushing the new CPUs as much as PCIe 4, which you must see as clearly "worth waiting for", yes?
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  Quote Caboose_R Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Mar 2021 at 9:42am
Certainly going with PCI3 at this point would be the exact opposite of future proofing. I have a friend who just bought an $8k USD rig 2 months ago with custom water cooling, and he went with an intel solution. He didn't realize it would be PCIe 3 until after and still is pretty salty about it. ;(
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  Quote GrandesBollas Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Mar 2021 at 11:30am
PCIE5 is preparing to be released. From a practical standpoint, are you really going to see in real world practice a difference between PCIE3 and PCIE4? I'm not convinced that is a good enough reason to upgrade. I'm more interested though in the number of PCIE lanes offered either by the CPU or the motherboard chipset. That affects the number of PCIE x16 lanes available for GPUs, for M.2 drives, etc.
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  Quote Caboose_R Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Mar 2021 at 1:26pm
Originally posted by GrandesBollas

From a practical standpoint, are you really going to see in real world practice a difference between PCIE3 and PCIE4?


In my friend's case, I don't think you're thinking practically if you're spending $8k USD on a rig just for gaming :P
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  Quote GrandesBollas Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 Mar 2021 at 3:04pm





The above is taken from this review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DKVVtirNM8&ab_channel=GamersNexus

Going from Gen 3 to Gen 4 offers almost inconsequential improvements; I also agree that at this point, the rave on Gen 4 is mostly marketing hype.
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 Mar 2021 at 3:32am
Originally posted by Caboose_R

Originally posted by Cretae

The end of this month marks the new day dawning at last. Intel will be shipping Rocket Lake CPUs on the PCIe 4 bus. They will be the fastest gamers on the planet. This close, and assured of a wait for a 5900X, I think you should at least have a look at the the new offerings. DS is usually not late to such parties, but in this environment, who can say. Once again, ask.


Forgot to add in case anyone else viewing had this question. I heard back from DS regarding Rocket Lake timelines. Apparently Intel originally told them end of April for physical inventory, but then recently delayed that again with a TBD for current ETA.

They also advised that the DS pre-orders will open up on the same day that Intel officially "launches" Rocket Lake, whatever that ends up being. However, they expect upwards of 8 weeks for inventory and build time to actually receive a preordered PC. So all in all, fastest possible would be ~Early July for a rig ordered end of April.


Sooo... here we go again. How deep a hole will this be for Intel? It's looking like AMD's timing for Zen 3 could not have been better.
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