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Thread: LIAN LI PC-A05NB watercooled parts & thoughts

  1. #1
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    LIAN LI PC-A05NB watercooled parts & thoughts

    So my initial goal in this slippery slope of water cooling was to go all out: TJ07 multiple rads with very elegant, simple modding (similar to the effect murdermods often have) with extreme hardware (EVGA Classified and full-cover block anyone? )

    But alas those three things together would easily run $900 in themselves. In the seemingly daily "virtual builds" people like us seem to do across the Internet in merchant's shopping carts, I've come across another case that I think would make a perfect start to water cooling.

    First, let everyone know, while I've never done water cooling, I've always had a voracious appetite for computer hardware/tech and DIY stuff; I've also built several computers for family friends, but non have required modding so I'll also be getting the standard rotary tool/drill/jigsaw/solder iron/etc base setup. Further support for going a cheaper route for my first actual case build & mod.

    Without further adieu, here's the beauty! Lian Li 805NB


    This case has been around for a few years and has a new revision, so there's been lots of reference material to peruse. A great example: A still posted to HardForum thread dating back to Christmas 2006. I've played around with what type of water cooling I'd get and what mods I'd do to the A05NB in relation to a standalone setup and to future upgrading to a TJ07.

    To that end, I've varied mostly the type and size of radiator I'd get. Ultimately (for the TJ07) I want a XSPC RX480 with some Gentle Typhoons, unless I go 4x140mm.
    • 4x120 external mounting is the only way to use this now for the A05B and future TJ07 . It would require a radbox on the back or mounting above the top panel. Using a strong rad box seems the best as ventilation slots below the 120mm back intake fan would provide a perfect place for the radiators tubing to enter the case (I'm thinking 45s would be needed to make the abrupt downward turn). I know the RX480 would look rather goofy with the top half extending above the case, but I think it'd be worth it for the extra performance and future upgradability.*I don't like this idea anymore as it would leave the A05NB without its own radiator solution if I ever upgrade. There are savings in that however. Still I don't like it in lieu of the options below.
    • 2x120 radiator now and later mount it to the TJ07's top panel fans and/or along with a new 4x120 radiator in the bottom compartment. Since my hardware at the moment comparatively will suck, maybe a 2x120 radiator in the A05NB's top/botton panel or at the back with a radbox would be the cleanest solution, present and future. However, mounting it in the top panel would block a motherboard PCI slot and mounting it in the bottom would prevent any radbox external mounting and cramp the PSU (or just not fit).*If I use a shroud and casters, which I'm leaning towards, I'll be able to fit an XSPC 2x120 radiator without any clearance issues and unless I upgrade to a really long PSU, won't hit or cause cabling problems.
    • For the A05NB alone, it seems the Swiftech MCR220-QP is best because it is only 24.9MM thick and therefor obstructs the mobo the least for a top panel mount. Mounting a 2x120 radiator in the bottom gives more leeway, so maybe an RS240 and fans would fit.*No reason to mount on top and using a shroud on the bottom uses the extra 30mm to hide the fans to make things less cramped on the mobo/ram (but either way wouldn't get blocked because of case bottom width) and allow a better/thicker radiator (RX240 or Feser240).
    • External mounting of anything kinda defeats the purpose of this case (ATX functionality in a decent SFF case), so to that end I've thought about adding a Koolance shroud to the bottom to give extra room to the fans.

      I don't believe they make a 2x120 shroud and the dimensions are 419mm x 182mm x 30mm so it might not fit without either (1) high enough case feet (maybe swivel-kind?) or (2) removing the IO bay on top. On top it helps eliminate the heat pocket other A05NB users seemed to have and could cool a 5.25 bay-mounted hdd. On the bottom it could help cool a PSU (I plan on a 120fan-less PSU, removing PSU's case, and inverting it for cold intake). As long as it could get enough clearance for air intake, I think I prefer the bottom method. I could probably even fit an RX240/Feser in the bottom without clearance issues.
      *Even though it will add $70 to my initial costs (Koolance shroud and 4 casters), I like the overall look and functionality of a bottom shroud. I'll cut in the case floor intake for the upside-down PSU and that will cool it beautifully. The case is long enough for the shroud and casters (181.6mm shroud + 84.1375mm dual casters = 265.7375mm > 209.804 case width BUT 419mm shroud + 42.06875mm caster = 461.06875mm < 490.22mm case length)

    Aside from the radiator choices...

    And in the near future:

    So tell me what you think about my parts selection and mod choices!
    Last edited by liguhy; 05-26-2009 at 01:47 AM.


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  2. #2
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    quick question: if you mount a double rad on the bottom, where do you plan on placing the pump?
    i got one of those chassis myself, waiting have its top cut to mount an rs360 there.

  3. #3
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    Good luck with your project ... it's interesting to put a liquid cooled build into such a small case.

    I've seen a few A05 builds ... not sure if you saw this one by noobzed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skane View Post
    quick question: if you mount a double rad on the bottom, where do you plan on placing the pump?
    i got one of those chassis myself, waiting have its top cut to mount an rs360 there.
    I'll answer your question if you answer mine

    I'm gonna play around with the hdd placement and at least cut out the hdd cage's bottom so I can mount the pump on top of the PSU. I might even unscrew the entire hdd rack depending on how many drives I install. I figure I'll install one where the 3.5 bay is and the other in a 5.25 bay where the ODD isn't.

    I've thought about mounting a triple rad grill/Koolance shroud on top but wonder how it'd affect the IO shield on the top panel. Can you place it towards the case's back enough to keep the IO? If not I could always relocate the IO panel I suppose. f I mount the ODD in the bottom 5.25 bay I could either have a triple rad or put a double with the 3rd fan cooling an HDD.
    Do you have any pictures of your top panel cut for the triple grill?


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  5. #5
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    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...&postcount=499

    Scamps fit a Swiftech 320 up top; it's a very nice looking build. I'm thinking of doing what he did, or going external with something big like a Mo-ra. The A05BN is a pretty nice case. I picked one up from the Egg when they had it for 79.99 shipped.

  6. #6
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    mine isnt cut yet, but ive made rough paper cutting template, if you want ill make pics with that on it.
    you wont be able to keep the io shield, but ive ordered a silverstone module that fits in the floppy drive bay. you could also put something like a fan controller/io hub in the top 5,25" bay if you get a triple rad. it should still leave enough space for that.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by skane View Post
    mine isnt cut yet, but ive made rough paper cutting template, if you want ill make pics with that on it.
    you wont be able to keep the io shield, but ive ordered a silverstone module that fits in the floppy drive bay. you could also put something like a fan controller/io hub in the top 5,25" bay if you get a triple rad. it should still leave enough space for that.
    How easy and well constructed would you think it'd be to move the IO cover and inputs to the front cover? I bet you could even keep it all within the front cover and never have to drill the case. I also have a slim DVD burner drive and a 2.5" HDD left from a laptop/dripping-fishtank conflict some months ago (the watermark sticker they said was "activated" and therefore not covered under my warranty ). Always thought this drivebay from PPCs would be very nice and accomplish everything I'd need for front bay devices, save media readers.

    Heck, put this drivebay in the bottom 5.25 bay and add any kind of rheobus/controller/switch in the top and I could fit a 3x120 rad in there no problem. I kinda like that idea now that I'm thinking about it cause it helps solve what to do with my leftover hdds (I hvae a 160GB SATA operating system drive, a 750GB SATA storage drive, a 120GB IDE old drive, and a 80GB IDE laptop drive). I'm ok loosing the old 120GB to an enclosure, so that'd only leave mounting the 750GB storage drive in the A05NB's top hdd slot - leaving more than enough room to mount a D5 Vario. Me likes this idea

    Oh, and pictues would be awesome. Did you place the rad as far back as possible? I also have future plans to run a fill port directly above the reservoir mounted on the air slots next to the mobo IO shield.
    Last edited by liguhy; 05-25-2009 at 09:57 PM.


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  8. #8
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    i see you have found the answer for the io ports in the thread by noobzed.
    ill make pics of my case this evening, didnt have time for it yesterday. I will mount my rad as far back as possible, but i still lose the built in io panel.
    i dont think the fill port next to the radiator will give you any problems, the a05 is wide enough for that.

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    *bump*
    Updated original post with thoughts and emphasized what route I want to go with the radiator. I like the Koolance shroud mounted on the bottom for a RX240 and PSU cold intake. I've found some wicked caster options too:

    • For bare, non thick carpet mounting these Acme (specs) would be absoutely perfect, but I'm worried about clearance issues if they sink into carpet
    • These guys (specs), while not vertically uniform like the Acme casters, look cool and provide more ventilation.


    Also, could someone chime in on the D5 Vario question? I'd just like to know if they all refer to the same (and newest) variant of the D5
    Last edited by liguhy; 05-26-2009 at 02:08 AM.


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  10. #10
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    Don`t like this case at all.

    Intel Q9650 @500x9MHz/1,3V
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  11. #11
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    Thought i would post this as not seen anyone try it. TC PA120.2 in room and PA120.3 in floor.



  12. #12
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    cute case...

    i thought i bought out the last 2 in Newegg... making 2 builds for my girls... twins... lol..
    "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times challenge and controversy."
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  13. #13
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    I think there are many different ways how to install a liquid cooling setup in this case. That's how I solved it:





    Whatever you plan to do: measure, measure and measure again! There were a few things where I just had some luck because I did not thought that it might be a problem. That little bastard does not excuse any mistakes
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  14. #14
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    Thats really neat set up. What rad you running in the roof?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shoggy View Post
    I think there are many different ways how to install a liquid cooling setup in this case. That's how I solved it:





    Whatever you plan to do: measure, measure and measure again! There were a few things where I just had some luck because I did not thought that it might be a problem. That little bastard does not excuse any mistakes
    where can one get that top panel? preferably in the US.

    I've got a build coming Up and I'm fitting 2x tripple raddies, Can't wait to see your build as well

    Core
    Core i7 920
    eVGA X58 LE SLi
    2x3GB Mushkin DDR3-1600
    BFG 8800GT OC
    Seagate 7200.12 1TB + Maxtor 320GB
    LianLi A05B

    Cooling (all internal)
    2x BI GTS 360
    2x DDC3.2 + Ek top
    EK Supreme LT

  16. #16
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    What rad you running in the roof?
    It is an Airplex Pro 360.
    where can one get that top panel? preferably in the US.
    Sorry, you will find it nowhere... it is a custom mod which was done with our laser cutter. We offer that as a service but that would not make much sense in your case because of the high shipping costs.

    That laser is a nice "toy" which I also used for the side panel.



    The logo and text is a shiny blue (milky plexiglas with LEDs) but the cam captured it totally wrong.
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  17. #17
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    dammit shoggy, we're gonna have to relocate you to the states!
    i'll get one of my colleagues to marry you to get you a visa... just as long as you bring your laser toy...
    "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times challenge and controversy."
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad8988 View Post
    Thought i would post this as not seen anyone try it. TC PA120.2 in room and PA120.3 in floor.


    2 Big ass rads, 1 big ass reservoir, even a big PSU
    >i5-3570K
    >Asrock Z77E-ITX Wifi
    >Asus GTX 670 Mini
    >Cooltek Coolcube Black
    >CM Silent Pro M700
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    >Cooler Master Seidon 120M
    Hell yes its a mini-ITX gaming rig!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kinghong1970 View Post
    dammit shoggy, we're gonna have to relocate you to the states!
    i'll get one of my colleagues to marry you to get you a visa... just as long as you bring your laser toy...
    LOL

    If the airport will allow me to take it as hand baggage? I don't think so. *g*

    (Not ours but seems to be the same model)
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  20. #20
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    man thats an awesome little build shoggy

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    Would you pull the switcheroo on your mom?

    So, had a friend tell me about a pretty nifty mITX board (ZOTAC GF9300-D-E LGA 775 NVIDIA GeForce 9300 HDMI Mini ITX) the other day and I've always liked Silverstone's Sugo SG05-B.

    The board comes with sound and video, and apparantly the video isn't half bad. This got me to thinking about the computer I built for my mom a while ago and how this little setup ($322 on Newegg for case, mobo, slimDVD burner, CPU fan) and my current Pentium4 HT processor would fit her needs perfectly without any expansion cards.

    Now it goes without saying I could then ask her into letting me have the computer I built for her to "mess around with" and use her GIGABYTE GA-P35C-DS3R mobo and Pentium E 2410 CPU for my own A05NB build to mess with before getting something better. Aside from her getting my currently-used Pentium4 HT 4 GHz CPU it would actually be an upgrade for her all around! I could then use/sell the extra HDDs/ODDs/case.

    Does this make me a bad son? (mom)=><= (me)
    Aside from the processor, I honestly believe she's gaining from the deal and won't need the processing difference anyhow. I'm even comtemplating doubling the Newegg order so I can have a Lanparty PC. Probably just add an A05BN and some Dominator memory, however. Any advice on if I should use the 4xDDRs slots or use the 2xDDR3 slots? I don't know if I can use both, but that would be awesome if I could.

    Lastly, I'm going home in a week so now would be the perfect time to order all the stuff and have it sent home, so any quick thoughts would be awesome
    Last edited by liguhy; 05-27-2009 at 03:44 AM.


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  22. #22
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    As a Mom, I'd say you need to think twice about taking her computer away. She's probably very proud of here current setup, especially since her son built it. Assuming she's using it regularly, she's probably also used to it and happy with it.

    Only you know what the real situation is, but I'd let Mom keep her special build and figure out how you're going to experiment in another way

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    Side thought while I was messing around after my latest post: Why wouldn't a 1x140, 2x140, or maybe even a 3x140 radiator fit in the top? Don't know if XSPC has 140mm radiators, but HW Labs Black Ice Stealths are only 31.3mm deep and 153mm wide. Length for the 1x140=171mm, 2x140=316mm, and 3x140=460mm. Id be much more willing to mount a triple up top if it's adding the benefit of the increased radiator volume. I assume I'd still be able to use a fan controller and would in all likely hood still loose a PCI slot, unless I mount a Koolance shroud ontop (with Feser's 140/120 rubber gasket and/or 2 120 to 140 fan shroud).
    Last edited by liguhy; 05-27-2009 at 03:42 AM.


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  24. #24
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    ive got the Zotac 9300 ITX Wifi... Its an awesome little board... even better now that ive straped a 295 to it

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    Turns out you can mount a triple and keep the IO shield where it is: link Still prefer moving the top IO shield to the side since the mod would be so easy (small dremel work and 2 screws).

    While back on the top-panel, I'll post another thought (since like NO ONE else is posting ). Anyone remember a modified Lian Li V2100 (or something) PPCs had in stock until not too long ago that included dual Danger Den D5 pums, dual loops, and a totally wicked triple radiator/raptor viewing window top panel mod? If you don't, if anyone has a pick of that top panel please post it for an example. Anyway, imagine one long acrylic panel with 3/4 (towards the back) slotted for 3x120 radiator fans and the front 1/4 clear (uncut) with a Raptor X mounted beneath. Totally freaking awesome!

    If you're using an SSD for your OS drive, then this kinda is pointless to use a Raptor X for storage, but the bling would still be there. I think you could mod the A05NB top panel to have a similar effect and mount two hdds (at least one a raptor) and WC both with Koolance hdd WC (HD-60 or HD-57) and a Nexus Double Twin vibration mount on the Raptor (the 2nd one would be attached to the WC and therefor the mounted Raptor). Thoughts on these mod ideas and/or hdd WC optioins?

    HD-57:
    HD-60:
    Top panel fans:
    Top IO mod:
    Last edited by liguhy; 06-08-2009 at 11:57 AM.


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