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Thread: Project CM-690 Mod

  1. #1
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    Arrow Project CM-690 Mod

    Hey all,

    I recently bought myself a new rig, consisting of a CM-690 (I had one of these with my last rig too), and the following hardware:

    Asus P5Q P45 Pro mobo
    Intel E8400 @ 3.6GHz 24/7
    OCZ 2GB ATI Heatspreader RAM DDR800 4-4-4-12
    Sapphire HD4870 512MB GDDR5 Graphics card
    OCZ GameXstream 600w PSU
    Western Digital 750GB SATAII HD
    Logitech G15 Keyboard with orange backlighting
    Logitech MX518 (4 year old mouse that has travelled the world with me!)

    Right, so in my last rig, I had the pre-built CM-690 L-shaped window panel, this came with the chassis when I bought it, so I was pretty lazy and didn't change anything. I also had a Coolermaster Aquagate watercooling unit that fitted in 2 x optical drive bays, which had the pump, radiator, and everything incorporated, cooling my E8200 on the old rig. Temps were not much better than the Zalman 9700LED that I used to have on it, and it was quite messy. I also didn't enjoy the tiny tubing that this unit used, hence my custom kit choice with 1/2" tubing for this project.

    I have never built myself a custom watercooling system, so this will be my first. It will also be the first batch of modding I have done in about 10 years! (The last mod I did was on an AMD K6-2 333MHz in an AT case many, many years ago)! Barring some odd LED, and minor case mods here and there.

    So for this project, I would like to build a custom kit for my CM-690, cooling the CPU, and after it is all done, I will be adding a waterblock for my HD 4870 (No funds for that right now - 60 quid is a bit much after ordering all this!) I will then also be cutting my CM-690 case panel, and adding an AC Ryan 480x480mm clear plexi window, with C-strip edges, installing AC Ryan White cold cathode lighting, and cleaning up the messy cables, sleeving un-sleeved cables, and heatshrinking them. So to sum up:

    • Install Custom watercooling to cool CPU & GPU in loop
    • Cut, and install window mod in CM-690 chassis
    • Install white cathode lighting, and tidy up cabling


    After reading through various forums and posts etc... I have concluded that the best place to buy the kit from is Specialtech. I carefully (I hope) decided on exactly what I would need, and chose based on their stock levels being "in stock" for each item. (I absolutely hate waiting for orders!) I am new to the UK, so I hope I made a good choice here!

    [hopeful plead]PS - If anyone from Specialtech reads this, please consider sponsoring me an EK 4870 waterblock for my build! [/hopefull plead]

    So here is what I have just ordered, and paid for from Specialtech.

    • Products ordered:
    • AC Ryan AcrylPanel™ 3mm - 480x480mm Clear
    • AC Ryan Morf SE PSU Modding Kit - Black (MF2209)
      Quantity: 1

    • AC Ryan UV Black Complete Cable Sleeve Kit (FK3800)
      Quantity: 1

    • AC Ryan TWIN30 CCFL Light - 2 x 30cm White / White (CC3053)
      Quantity: 1
    • Black Ice® GTS-Lite 360 Black
      Quantity: 1
    • Scythe Kaze Jyu SLIM 120mm Case/HDD Fan, 2000RPM (12mm height)
      Quantity: 2
    • D-Tek FuZion V2 CPU Block
      Quantity: 1
      Selected options: Fittings: 1/2" Barb
    • D-TEK DB-1 Compact 12v Pump
      Quantity: 1
    • EK Multioption RES 100 Rev.2
      Quantity: 1
      Selected options: Fittings: 1/2" Barb
    • Feser One UV Blue / Blue Coolant 1Lt
      Quantity: 1
    • ClearFlex 60 1/2" tubing
      Quantity: 2
    • Zinc Plated Worm Drive Hose Clip for 1/2" Tubing
      Quantity: 10
    • 1/4" EK High Flow Barb for 1/2" Tubing
      Quantity: 2
    • Zalman ZM-STG1 Super Thermal Grease, 3.5 g
      Quantity: 1
    • Alphacool Plastic Funnel
      Quantity: 1
    • Alphacool Spacers for Black Ice Radiators (14539)
      Quantity: 1
    • G1/4 plug with O-ring
      Quantity: 1


    I will be attempting to fit the radiator at the top of the chassis, on the inside, but have ordered some spacers, just for testing purposes if I need to mount the radiator somewhere before cutting the chassis. The Scythe 120mm fans were specifically selected for their low profile. 12mm in height is perfect for this case, as from what I have read, there is not much room in the top of the mesh. These should fit perfectly!

    At first the loop will only be cooling the CPU (Until I can get my hands on a waterblock for the 4870). I have the BlackIce GTS360 lite radiator, EK 100 resevoir, pump, and Fuzion rev.2 waterblock that will be in use at first.

    Now I need some suggestions as to what loop I should run, and placements of my other components - i.e. res, pump, and tubing routing. I'd like a nice clean look, with a good view of the resevoir from the side window.

    Here are some pics of the case and PC as is, before starting. (Excuse the bad quality - using my crappy Nokia 2.0 megapixel phone cam). More pics and progress will be added as I receive the parts, and begin work! For now, lets just discuss possible options / provide comments / feedback etc...) Also if you feel I left out anything on my order, let me know, so I can update the order before Monday

    The original CM-690 -



    Empty chassis before new build:



    PC setup:



    Inside view:


  2. #2
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    Update time:

    I received all my gear, but had realised I didn't order 120mm fans. Instead I had ordered Scythe 100mm x 100mm x 12mm slimline fans, that were incorrectly listed under the 120mm fan section. So opening the box of goodies, I was pleasantly surprised - they included these fans I ordered, PLUS, two more scythe 120mm fans! There is still the problem of the 25mm height fans clearance in the mesh of my CM-690 though. Specialtech were also kind enough to include two UV reactive SATA cables too! I love this company. They were extremely efficient, quick, and included some free goodies!

    Anyway, some pics of the loot!



    Side profile of radiator to see width:



    Can't start without some Beea!



    I had a problem when I got home though - I was meant to borrow a jigsaw from my brother in law, but he was only getting home at 9:00pm. No problem, the time was now 7:00pm, so I shot off to the local B&Q hardware store in Wimbledon which was open till 8:00pm! Bought my sell an el-cheapo 350w Jigsaw and some metal cutting blades. Jigsaw was only £9! Cheap-ass. I purchased a Triple rad, so I needed to chop some top section out of my case to fit the radiator. The thing is quite huge, so I roughly marked out a section to cut, and just cut it. I wasn't worried about the finish as nobody would be able to see this cut once everything is together.

    Here's the extremely rough cut. I had some u-strip to neaten up, but I didn't bother because like I said, nobody can see it.





    I punctured out the plastic grill type stuff on the top section, otherwise the 25mm height 120mm fans wouldn't fit. Here they are inside the mesh, and mounted on the radiator.

    Mesh cut :




    Fans in :



    Will add some more progress soon. Got the whole loop tested and installed, so will add some more pics just now.

  3. #3
    Xtreme Enthusiast miptzi's Avatar
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    looking good, man!

    nice
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    Thanks miptzi I prefer the way you mounted the fans in your CM to be honest. These ones are making slightly more noise because they are close to the mesh. I might think about cutting some out, and mounting them that way... What do you guys think?

    Here is a better pic of the radiator before I installed:



    Case before I pulled all the components out to cut and leak test :



    Here's the pump I'll be using (D-Tek) :



    Here it is mounted and in position :



    One problem with this though, is the pump is a little bit further back in relation to the rad. So now the pipe is kinking a bit. I'm sure this is restricting airflow a little, so any suggestions to prevent this? Should I try shorten the pipe a little?

    D-Tek Fuzion rev.2 block ready to go in :





    Progress :



    Board and CPU need to be removed for leak testing:





    Anyone know if this E8400 is from a good batch? So far I have been a little over 4.0Ghz on air (Freezer 7 Pro)...

    Leak testing in progress... I only tested for about 30mins, and on the first run I found quite a major leak on the left barb coming out of the radiator. This is my outlet going straight to the CPU block! Quickly cleaned up, and tightened the wormclip about 6 more turns, and tried again. So far no leaks, and my system is now installed into the case.




  5. #5
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    Took some pics the other night of the panel after I shortened the screw holder columns. Just to the right of the red SATA cable, at the top of the pic, you'll see where I had to clip the column. (Both sides). Before this was done, the panel did not want to clip all the way back on. 5/6 sections would clip in, and one would always pop out until I did this.



    Sleeved the rear 120mm extraction fan (The stock one that came with the CM690). The girlfriends hair dryer came in handy here.



    However, I got a little carried away with sleeving my Q-connector. Note the warped front panel LED connectors O_o



    Loop installed, and hardware in. These shots are before cable management was finished.









    I still need to connect the white CCFL's and do the window panel mod.

    Will see if I can update again tonight...

    Any suggestions to better route the watercooling tubing? I don't like the randomness of the loop piping. I need more order, if you can understand what I'm saying...

  6. #6
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    looks good till now man. could you take some pics of the top?

  7. #7
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    for your fans you could just drill some larger holes in the mesh, or you could replace the mesh itself
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OdinEidolon View Post
    looks good till now man. could you take some pics of the top?
    No problem - got some pics here. The top is a little messy right now. I didn't take much care cutting the top out as all I had was a cheap jigsaw. It doesn't really matter though, because all the top sections are covered in any case.

    There are some smudges from the oil I used on the jigsaw blade to help lubricate the cut though.





    Thanks for the suggestion LuckyNV - will take that into consideration. The ultimate solution would be to get some 20mm height fans. Anyone know if there are such fans? Anything less than 25mm in height would be great actually.

    I was already lucky to get these 120mm's from Specialtech though. I ordered 100mm fans by mistake - they were listed under the 120mm section, and I saw 12mm height, and just ordered, they must have realised this, and threw in these two 120mm fans for free!

  9. #9
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    Side panel and plexi after I cut them with the jigsaw. I made the silly mistake of not completely masking up the plexi, so it now has some scratches on it I'll just buy another piece and redo it at a later stage though.



    Not too bad for my first ever cut and window mod though. I then glued some c-strip off cuts I got from a local company in my office park that does Soft top car conversions to the cut on the case side panel. I also made a little mistake here, and cut it slightly too short, so it doesn't meet up nicely in the one corner. Also something I can redo though. Not a train smash.

    Here are some pics :









    And a night shot :


  10. #10
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    nice rig dude
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    Cons: The only problem was the FBI at my door saying something about knocking out power for the east coast...not sure what thats about.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyxxx View Post
    nice rig dude
    love it,

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shogan View Post
    No problem - got some pics here. The top is a little messy right now. I didn't take much care cutting the top out as all I had was a cheap jigsaw. It doesn't really matter though, because all the top sections are covered in any case.

    There are some smudges from the oil I used on the jigsaw blade to help lubricate the cut though.





    Thanks for the suggestion LuckyNV - will take that into consideration. The ultimate solution would be to get some 20mm height fans. Anyone know if there are such fans? Anything less than 25mm in height would be great actually.

    I was already lucky to get these 120mm's from Specialtech though. I ordered 100mm fans by mistake - they were listed under the 120mm section, and I saw 12mm height, and just ordered, they must have realised this, and threw in these two 120mm fans for free!

    thanks! nice finish. do you plan to paint it, maybe the internal?

  13. #13
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    Thanks Jimmy and dr.noob

    I do have plans to paint the interior black Odin. Also - I would like to add a GPU block to cool the graphics. The fan is a bit loud. With that, will come more tubing, so I'll need to find a way to give the tubing arrangement a bit more order.

    I'm having a bit of a problem with dust on the two top intake fans for the radiator though! Damn, I though S.A. had a lot of dust, but here my PC is picking up twice as much dust! I have to wipe the top off every day.

  14. #14
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    Ok I re-did my WC loop the other night.

    Two of my tubes had major kinks in them, as a result of me making them too long. One was the short pipe going from the pump ouput, into the radiator. This was causing about half of the tube to be restricted. The other was on the pump inlet, and was slightly kinked. The flow was still good, but not great.

    I re-did these, making the pipes the exact length I needed, added the GPU block into the loop, and installed two small UV CCFLs. Now I can switch between white light, or UV, or a combo of both.

    I also added a Zalman fan controller, my fans are now nice and quiet! Amazing what a difference this made! Blue LEDs mean low voltage to fans, red are higher (faster).

    The card waiting for the GPU water block:


    Stock cooler off:


    Under the block: (Horrible pics here - sorry)


    Zalman STG1 paste on:


    Fan controller in, and positioning pump after shortening tubing:


    UV:









  15. #15
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    Very nice rig my friend. Clean and looks good. How is the performance of that pump?
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  16. #16
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    Nice rig mate - might want to paint the inside of the case - mine looks really good - black inside and red under the grills ontop

    Pics from my mod [all air cooler - overkill.....]
    http://s186.photobucket.com/albums/x8/scottath/
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by vengance_01 View Post
    Very nice rig my friend. Clean and looks good. How is the performance of that pump?
    Thanks vengance The pump is performing well. Even before the graphics block was added, and the piping was kinked, it used to have great flow. I actually looked for the cheapest D-Tek pump I could find, and didn't expect much, but it actually really performs well. With the gfx block in the loop it still swirls the res' water around like a mini whirlpool!

    scottath - I will definately be painting like yours - looks great!

  18. #18
    Xtreme Enthusiast miptzi's Avatar
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    I like your hose job.
    Nice curves, but not one bottleneck.
    beutiful blue coolant, its really worth showing off.
    Nice!!
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