Need a good excuse to build a crazy new massively overclocked computer system? How about this one: CURING CANCER. Mike at Total Geekdom wanted to create a beastly machine to work 24/7 on analyzing images of protein crystallization as part of the Help Conquer Cancer crowd-computing project, and this is what he came up with.
To be clear, the goal with this computer was not to develop the most effective cooling system possible. To do that, you'd use liquid cooling or build the computer inside a freezer or something. Instead, Mike wanted to see just how far he could push air cooling by itself. That means moving a lot of air, and that means a gigantic fan and a case optimized for airflow. In other words, a wind tunnel.
At once end of this case sits a box fan, which sucks air in through the big inlet and forces 2,200 CFM of it through the case at up to 15 mph on the lowest and quietest setting. The shape of the case increases airflow by up to 240%, which is effective enough for Mike to overclock the CPU to 4.5 GHz and the dual GPUs to 1.2 GHz each. Almost as soon as he turned it on, the wind tunnel computer powered its way into the top 5 systems working on the Help Conquer Cancer project, and he hasn't even pushed it to its limit yet.
Here are the specs:
CPU: Ivy Bridge 3770K
GPU: Radeon 7970 (Sapphire Dual-X cards)
RAM: Corsair Vengence 8GB 2133Mhz
SSD: Mushkin Callisto 40GB
PSU: Rosewill Fortress 650W Platinum
Motherboard: Gigabyte Sniper M3
CPU Cooler: Phanteks 140mm
And in the gallery below, you can see some of the build process along with commentary from Mike on how he made it all happen.