Words of Wisdom from Origin PC, Winners of Intel’s 2018 Extreme Rig Challenge

Staff – August 27, 2018 at 2:51 AM

On June 19th, Origin PC took home first place during Intel’s Extreme Rig Challenge, a competition between elite custom PC talent to see who could build the most powerful, high-performance PC using some of the most impressive components on the market: an ASUS ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming motherboard with Intel® X299 chipset, an Intel® Core™ i9-7980XE Extreme Edition processor, and an Intel® Optane™ SSD 900P Series.

The team at Origin PC was kind enough to share with us a step-by-step guide describing how they designed and constructed their People’s Choice-winning machine, as well as provide some insight into how to get started building your own PCs. If you’re an aspiring PC-builder, this is an invaluable resource to have at your disposal.

Interview with Alexis Rosell

For their entry into the Intel Extreme Rig Challenge, Origin PC modified their mid-sized MILLENIUM chassis to fit the full-size ASUS ROG Strix X299-XE Gaming motherboard, outfitted its insides with a liquid cooling system (complete with an RGB reservoir), and enclosed it with HD UV-printed panels.

Alexis Rosell, Origin PC’s community leader, expressed that the Origin team was very happy with the result of the competition. “We know that we have a pretty great community that's very passionate about our products,” Rosell said. “But to actually be able to see them vote every single day and put us at the top of the leaderboard was pretty incredible.”

It was a well-deserved win: One of the most outstanding features of the machine is its cooling system, which was made up entirely of hard-line tubes. “While we do typically offer liquid cooling in our MILLENIUM chassi, it's usually with our flex tubes, and we only offer it on the CPU itself,” Rosell explained. “This was completely liquid-cooled from the graphics cards to the CPU. To fit our Stage III hardline cooling in there, we had to make some modifications to the case itself.”

They also managed to modify the chassis so that it could house an RGB reservoir that was gifted to Origin PC by Koolance specifically for this build. “We actually cut out where our drive bays normally are,” Rosell said. “We cut out a piece of aluminum there to be able to make that our reservoir bay.”

Another thoughtful aesthetic choice was the HD UV printed logo on the plexiglass outer panel. “It’s textured so that you can actually feel the logo popping out, which is pretty neat,” Rosell said. These are the kinds of considerations that give Origin PC a reputation for crafting clean, meticulously designed machines.

Getting to Origin PC’s level, however, takes practice and hard work. Though Rosell went to school for computer engineering and computer information technologies, he got his start by tinkering with his family’s shared PC when he was 12 years old. “For the longest time, I just had that first PC and kept upgrading it. Sometimes I'd take all the parts and move it to a new case. Other times I'd upgrade the GPU or upgrade the CPU in the motherboard and get more RAM for it or add more hard drives,” he said. “I learned little by little.”

These were pre-internet days, however: If you’re an aspiring PC-builder yourself, Rosell encourages you to turn to online resources like YouTube for information on how to get started. “Linus [Sebastian of Linus Tech Tips], who worked with Intel on this Intel Extreme Rig Challenge, has a plethora of amazing videos that teach people how to build PC's in unique ways,” Rosell said. “So, resource-wise, the internet is endless.”

Rosell firmly believes that even if you’re a console gamer, it’s not too late to begin gaming on a PC. “This is a great time for people to start getting into PC gaming and see what all the fuss is about,” he said.

Origin PC’s step-by-step process for the Intel Extreme Rig Challenge:

Step 1. Deciding on a game plan
  • Every year, for the Intel Extreme Rig Challenge, we’ve done something pretty extensive, like combining two PCs into one or crafting custom-made LCD window panels. This year we wanted to try something completely different.
  • We decided to modify our new MILLENNIUM chassis to fit a fully liquid cooled system & create a reservoir display.
Step 2. Locking down the design
  • We synced with our design team and tossed around a few ideas. They came back with about five options, which we circulated around the office and voted on.
  • We sent that design to our print queue to get it HD UV Printed.
Step 3. Choosing the specs
  • Intel Corporation gifted us with an ASUS ROG Strix* X299-XE Gaming motherboard with Intel® X299 chipset, an Intel® Core™ i9-7980XE Extreme Edition processor, and an Intel® Optane™ SSD 900P Series.
  • We decided to supplement these components with the following:
    • ORIGIN PC Stage III liquid cooling
    • 1300W EVGA Super NOVA G2 power supply
    • Dual NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti graphics cards
    • A single 360mm radiator and a single 120mm radiator for cooling
    • Koolance RGB reservoir
    • 64GB HyperX 3000MHz DDR4 memory
    • 2TB Seagate Barracuda storage drive
Step 4. Building the PC
  • Modifying the case
    • Our product manager and tech marketing manager worked diligently to measure out all the cuts we needed to make and to order the plexiglass we wanted to use to further decorate the case.
    • We cut out pieces of the case and designed an entire reservoir display.
    • We then needed to cover parts of it with plexiglass to give it a clean look.
  • Installing the cooling system
    • We needed to use full hard-line liquid cooling on our MILLENNIUM chassis which we had never done before.
    • Measuring and manually bending the tubes was definitely challenging.
  • Finishing touches
    • Once the cooling system was complete, we moved on to the adding the plexi-glass and RGB fans as well as the HD UV-printed panels.
Step 5. The testing phase
  • Once we were happy with the RGB placement and the look of the PC, we moved on to testing it.
Step 6. Finishing touches
  • Once everything was tweaked and set to go, the build was complete and we revealed it to our community. We got overwhelmingly positive feedback which really made all the hard work that went into this worth it at the end!
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