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Thread: Miguelnotrabajo's Liquid Cooled SFF Gaming Project

  1. #1
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    Miguelnotrabajo's Liquid Cooled SFF Gaming Project

    I see a lot of really fantastic machines here in the worklogs and the galleries, but not very many SFF ones so I'll post mine. Build just starting, components on their way.

    My first build was a 486DX2 66Mhz back in 1993 and have done many since. This one however will be my first water cooled machine (and I'll post every blunder I make along the way).

    Build Plan:

    MOBO: ASUS Maximus iV Gene-Z/Gen 3 mATX
    CORE: i7 2600K processor - got the K to OC a little, wont go to the limit
    RAM: 4x4GB GSKILL
    GPU: GTX680 - low power and small for performance, perfect for this (out of stock arghhhh!)
    SSD1: 60GB Corsair Force GT for OS
    SSD2: 240GB Corsair Force GT for programs
    DVD: Lite-on external USB DVD drive - hardly ever use an optical drive anymore so I'm leaving it out.
    PS: Silverstone Strider Gold 850W (want to run at 50% for max efficiency + future room to expand)
    CASE: Lian Li V600F - big for a SFF, small for a mini-tower. Just right for this project.

    Liquid Cooling Components:

    Danger Den Monsoon Reservoir
    Danger Den fill port
    D5 variable speed pump
    EK water blocks
    Magicool 180mm radiator
    Phobya G-Silent 180mm fans for rad in push/pull
    Aquaero LT system controller

    Could find no performance data on 180mm rad/fans so this will be an excellent test. I will need to dissipate 290W of TDP. I will track and post system temps as reference for everyone.

    Here is the case + sketch of component placement
    V600F front side.jpgV600F side open.jpgBuild model.jpg
    Last edited by Miguelnotrabajo; 04-09-2012 at 07:29 PM.

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    I ordered the case and one 180mm radiator first to do some test fitting. Here is a shot of the case with most of the guts ripped out. Lots of rivets on this case, but they are soft and come out easy with a 1/8" drill bit.
    IMG_2826.JPG

    The original plan was to remove the HDD trays and go with a sandwich of 2 180mm rads in front blowing in from left side of case and out the right:
    IMG_2829.JPG

    However with a 10.1" video card this arrangement is not going to work. Its about 1/4" too long. The tabs that hold the side panels on this case stick out about 1/2" on all sides and cut down on usable space. The 180mm rad does fit perfectly inside the case facing forward:
    IMG_2827.JPG

    There is room here to try and sandwich 2 rads together with 2 fans but I'm not going to do it. See this post by HESmelaugh where tests show one rad always outperforms 2 rads with the same number of fans:
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/...ndwich-testing

    Instead I am going to try to maximize a single radiator with dual fans and shrouds. All the research I have found confirms that lots of cool external air over the rad makes more impact than anything else in the system. This setup is going to have great airflow so I'm expecting a single 180mm to be enough.

    Can't wait to really dig into the case mod. Components should show up any day now.
    -Mike

  3. #3
    Xtreme Member arkadur's Avatar
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    i've this case in silver, its great!
    why you didnt stay with the 2X120 config in front?


    EVGA SR-2 , 2X Intel Xeon 5620, 12X2GB Corsair Domminator 1600 MHZ CL7
    3X GTX580, Corsair AX1200, Lian Li PC-Z70
    3X Dell U2311H, Liliput 7" touchscreen monitor

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    Arkadur,

    When I originally saw the case by first thought was to put a 120x2 up front. I found this worklog where someone did just that but it ate up their 5.25" bays.

    http://www.overclock.net/t/1195116/l...l-radiator-mod

    I kept looking at the case though and realized I may have room to mount dual 180mm rads sideways. That was the reason I decided to go with the V600F only to find out I was about 1/4" short from making it all fit.

    If a single 180 isn't enough, I have a plan B that involves two separate 140s.

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    your off to a good start i believe looks like a good design so far

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    Unhappy Oh Keplar wherefore art thou?

    Most of the junk has arrived, but the filet mignon of the build is still out of stock.

    Craps here.JPG

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    Exposed metal search and destroy

    I think one of the easiest ways to make your build look more professional is to get rid of any exposed metal areas in the case. Spent some time today removing all remaining bare metal parts of the case and painting them. The hardest part about removing rivets is getting the pieces off your drill bit afterwards.

    IMG_2834.JPG

    Using rustoleum satin black and candy apple red as the color scheme. Tough job in swirling north Texas winds. How does one go from " I need a new system" to " I need to paint the bezel of the bezel in the back of my machine"?

    IMG_2832.JPGIMG_2833.JPGIMG_2840.JPG

    IMG_2839.JPG

  8. #8
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    Looks great so far

  9. #9
    I am Xtreme Manicdan's Avatar
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    specs are near identical to my current build
    maximums gene
    2500k
    gtx 680
    all WCed

    looking forward to the results!
    2500k @ 4900mhz - Asus Maxiums IV Gene Z - Swiftech Apogee LP
    GTX 680 @ +170 (1267mhz) / +300 (3305mhz) - EK 680 FC EN/Acteal
    Swiftech MCR320 Drive @ 1300rpms - 3x GT 1850s @ 1150rpms
    XS Build Log for: My Latest Custom Case

  10. #10
    Xtreme Member LeoAndrade's Avatar
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    Are you planning to watercool the GTX680? You can explore that 140mm fan hole, a slim radiator would come in handy
    PC:
    MOBO: Maximus VI Extreme
    CPU: Core i7-4770k
    RAM: 2x4gb Dominator Platinum 2133
    GPU: GeForce GTX Titan

    Greetings from Brazil!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeoAndrade View Post
    Are you planning to watercool the GTX680? You can explore that 140mm fan hole, a slim radiator would come in handy
    Made lots of measurements on that. A 25mm deep fan barely fits without hitting the side of the MOBO. Might be do-able but with a smaller fan offset to allow room for MOBO components. I'd also be worred the fittings would be in way as well.

    Right now I'm sticking with the plan that the single 180 is enough to cool both CPU and GPU.

  12. #12
    I am Xtreme andressergio's Avatar
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    lol

    MiguelNoTrabajo in spanish means Miguel i dont work

    grats and good luck on the job


    24/7 4770K 48HT + ASUS M6E + TeamX 2x8GB 2666CL11 + 1TB SSD + 3TB HDD + 3x SLI GALAXY GTX780 HOF + SEASONIC P-1200 all WC
    Test Rig1 4770K HT + ASRock Z97M OC Formula + GeIL 2x8GB 2666CL11 + GeiL Zenith 240GB SSD + CM V75O + CM Nepton 280L

  13. #13
    Xtreme Member gr1p's Avatar
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    Cool build but that single 180 won't be enough to cool both cpu/gpu.

    Do you plan on overclocking at all?
    motherboard - EVGA Classified e770 EK watercooled
    cpu - i7 950 @ 4.420GHz EK watercooled
    video - EVGA gtx 580 sli 950/1900/2300 EK watercooled
    memory - 3 x 4GB Mushkin Redline (7-8-7-20 1T)
    storage - Corsair Force 120GB ssd
    power supply - Corsair AX850 (MDPC-X sleeving)
    case - Danger Den Torutre Rack

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gr1p View Post
    Cool build but that single 180 won't be enough to cool both cpu/gpu.

    Do you plan on overclocking at all?
    I would be happy without any overclocking, but I'll probably try to bump if there is any margin available.

    I know a single 180 is going to be close. If the rule really is a 120 for each waterblock I should be okay since a 180 is 2.33x a 120. I'm going to try both CPU and GPU to see what I can get. If it fails, I'll find a way to add another rad.

    Honestly, both of the tiny stock coolers with their tiny little fans are totally dwarfed by this 180rad plus dual fans. Unless the efficiency of the water loop is horrible I can't imagine the temperatures would be any worse. But we shall see.... I'll post the temps for both air and water once its up and running.

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    More equipment has arrived

    Another pile of goodies from FrozenCPU:
    IMG_2841.JPG

    Learned quickly that the replacement Lian Li feet in black were much larger than the silver ones I removed:
    IMG_2843.JPG

    They stick out over the sides and look horrible. Going to the backup plan which is to get some cheapies from Lowes/Home Depot and glue them on.

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    Reservoir and Fill Port

    The Danger Den Monsoon is going to fill the entire dual 5.25" bays:
    IMG_2844.JPG
    IMG_2851.JPG

    These bays are a little over 1" from the top of the case. Had to do some eye-balling to make sure the hose from the fillport would run downhill to the fillports on the top of the monsoon. Looks like it will work fine:
    IMG_2845.JPG

    Next, the fillport install. This was the first point I was nervous about the build since this was the first "no going back" cut to the case. A screw up here would be permanently visible. And of course my drill battery died right in the middle of it. Worked out in the end though. 1" diameter metal bits are about $10. Drill a small pilot hole to start and then take it nice and slow:
    IMG_2858.JPG
    IMG_2859.JPG

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    SSD Bracket

    Since I removed the internal drive bays to make room for the radiator, the SSDs needed to find a new home. There is room right above the I/O shroud at the back of the case. I made some brackets to hold both drives. Mis-drilled one bracket and had to notch it out. The plasic guard covers this mistake nicely when assembled:

    IMG_2853.JPG
    IMG_2855.JPG
    IMG_2861.JPG

    But then I totally screwed up mounting them. I measured out drill holes in the back of the case without realizing the clip that holds the side panel was in the way. Had to drill new holes 3/8" lower. Luckily only visible from the back:

    IMG_2856.JPG
    IMG_2857.JPG

  18. #18
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    Radiator Assembly

    Now on to the radiator....

    This dual fan/dual shroud assembly is a behemoth. 2 Phobya G-Silent 18 fans and 2 20mm thick shrouds. The shrouds are clear plastic and arrived with many small scratches and residue all over them (Will mount with the cleaner sides facing out). Also had a hard time finding 60mm long m3-0.5 screws to put the assembly together:

    IMG_2848.JPG
    IMG_2849.JPG

    Took the time to paint the wires and logo's on the back of the fans since they will be visible. I'll be sleeving the rest of the cables later:

    IMG_2860.JPG

    During testing I could feel air flowing in-between the small gaps between each piece of the assembly so I cut 16 small strips of double-sided 3M 414 tape to use as insulators between each piece:

    IMG_2862.JPG
    IMG_2863.JPG

    The final assembly is super quiet and pushes a ton of air over the rad.

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    Starting to Come Together

    Got lots accomplished on the build this weekend. Now that the case modification is mostly complete, the assembly can finally start. I still have a long way to go, but its finally starting to look like something I can be proud of. That ugly stock Intel cooler is ruining my glamor shot for now. And still my only screw-up so far are those misdrilled holes in back that I still need to paint so they look less obvious:

    IMG_2865.JPG
    IMG_2867.JPG
    IMG_2868.JPG

  20. #20
    Xtreme Member arkadur's Avatar
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    very nice job on the case!
    i didnt like the DD tank, i think that the koolance was better here.
    what about the waterblocks?


    EVGA SR-2 , 2X Intel Xeon 5620, 12X2GB Corsair Domminator 1600 MHZ CL7
    3X GTX580, Corsair AX1200, Lian Li PC-Z70
    3X Dell U2311H, Liliput 7" touchscreen monitor

  21. #21
    Xtreme Member craigbru's Avatar
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    Great looking build man!
    Project: OSIDIAS - CNC by Romaxx
    Losias Technologies & SFF Modding Forums

    Quote Originally Posted by ShadowHunter
    dude, stop trying to create Skynet. at this point, the scale goes - metric tons of awesome < epic < overkill < you

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by arkadur View Post
    very nice job on the case!
    i didnt like the DD tank, i think that the koolance was better here.
    what about the waterblocks?
    That Koolance RP-1200 is a good looking compact all in one product. I'll have to keep it in mind if the DD dissapoints. Plan to use EK waterblocks when the time comes.

  23. #23
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    Finally up and running

    First update post from the new machine!
    Worked on the first try - no RMAs yeah
    and OMG is it fast compared to the old one.

    I still don't have a video card (no I will not pay $700 to buy a GTX680 from a reseller), but the MOBO has an HDMI port so I'm running it off the TV in the living room, Nice!:

    IMG_2869.JPG
    IMG_2873.JPG

    Spent most of the week configuring Win7 and installing all the steam games but I did find some time to get the Aquaero 5 LT installed and configured. Its mounted to the underside of the roof of the case. I didn't want to drill holes in the top so its mounted with Goop. Goop will glue anything to anything else. Fantastic product.

    IMG_2871.JPG

    Configuring was a giant pain. The controller firmware needed updating which turned out to be way more difficult that I would have thought. To make things worse much of the documentation was in German. Thankfully there is this:

    http://martinsliquidlab.org/2011/12/...iew-guide-wip/

    Total life saver if you are going to use the Aquaero controller. I would still be trying to figure it out.
    Now that it is running I have a minimized control screen that allows me to view all aspects of the cooling system. Here is a sample window. Looks kind of plain right now since I'm not running liquid yet:

    Project1.jpg

    Some thoughts on the Aquaero:

    1. Updating firmware is a pain. Wish they would have included the reset jumpers so I did not have to make my own.
    2. Heatsinks for the fan regulators should be included instead of optional. My regulators reach 65C when running a single fan per channel at 50%. Will definitely be adding heat sinks. They might want to look into switching regulators since they will be much more efficient.
    3. Kaspersky hates the Aquaero version of the open source hardware monitor used to measure CPU/GPU temps (OHM 0.4.0 Beta). Hopefully wont be a problem in the released version of Aquasuite.
    4. Once running, its great and its stable. You can set fan speed vs temperature profiles. You can automatically calculate and graph deltaT ( air in - water out ). and its stand alone so it keeps running if the USB controller freezes.

    Hope to get the cabling sleeved and cleaned up soon.

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