Massive Liquid Cooled Gaming Rig
Triple radiator, dual pump madness. EK slabs.
Black Sparkle out the wazoo. But I may not even use these.
Matte Black cornucopia with a puzzling number of stop fittings...:thinking:
Triple 140mm, Dual 140mm and just for the "why not" factor a 120mm single rad to be run in series with a dual DDC 355 heart pushing through a very nice EK all polymer top/res combo. EK blocks all the way with liquid metal TIM pads. State-of-the-art cooling.
Surface area anyone?
Noise Blockers all around. It's Push Pull all the way.
Even the packaging looks fast.
EK has got a new look...very sporty.
I'm sticking with this "leakproof" theme :p
I'll need to investigate this TIM before comitting to it. Unless Coolaboratory has changed the formula this stuff sticks blocks to chips like glue...that's a big comittment when going FC on a high dollar pixel cruncher like the 5970.
For the pumps. These babies make sweet love to the pump motor and can be tied to the BigNG and the whole deal can be twiddled by SW, or set to run manually. Nice stuff.
gotta have it. 7/16-5/8.
This should be fun :)
Gratuitous LC porno shot
The patient is on the operating table.
First step is to get this honking rad to fit in the case.
Rad is about 6-1/8" wide (156mm)
Space between top rails is about 5-1/2" (142mm)
Rad also will extend down into the optical bay (which is also too narrow at 150mm).
Using my Fein Multimaster I trimmed the rails and optical bay.
Some Buna-S Edging trims out the edges.
Now the GTX420 fits like a glove.
O.J. Simpson's glove.
Scant clearance between the optical and the front fan, but there's no way around it. At least it's far enough away to avoid annoying cavitation noises.
I elected to leave that top PSU brace intact. The mid rails give the optical bay support where I notched the bay. The tubing will easily pass through the existing opening.
The rear 120mm rad with it's push pull Ultra Kaze fans definitely overhangs the CPU socket...but a pair of BP rotary 45 degree fittings and a rotation of the EK HF block solve that fitment issue. There's a whole 1/16" of clearance:p
The front rad is a tight fit. It misses lining up to the existing mount holes by 3/16" or so. The cutout for the fans is tight too.
But a careful enlargement of the mounting holes allowed the GTX 280 to sock up with it's Push Pull arrangement.
So there you have it...the three rads are test fitted.
Cyrus agreed that the optimal airflow would be for all fans to pull air into the case. Obviously some exhaust vents would need to be made.
I started with the bottom of the chassis. Using a step bit I made a few holes in a staggered grid, much like the hole-pattern Lian Li uses in their HDD caddies.
A step bit is a wonderful thing. It leaves a nice burr-free hole and can be used as a chamfer to clean up any edges rapidly. I'll be making some spacers to elevate the feet so the bottom of the caase has sufficient clearance to make use of the bottom vent.
I've done this before, but I took this picture anyway as a reference before I took it to pieces for powdercoat.
Each of these aluminum parts gets coated.
It's probably one of the more time consuming mods, powdercoating these small parts; after they are powdercoated each hole will need to be reamed for clearance before reassembling...but it would be a crime to leave them bright when every other part is coated.
So much for a neatly organized bench...that was 12 hours ago :D I'll have to reorgamanize everything in the morning when I get back from the powdercoaters.
I removed all the stickers and plastic bits and now the chassis is ready to powdercoat.
Loose ends? Yep. I need to assemble the dual DDC pump and create a custom mounting bracket for it. I also need to double check that nothing else needs to go to the powdercoaters before I hit the highway.
Helluva board doncha think?
Because of the 120GTX rad and pair of Ultra Kaze fans hanging over the board I have to use these rotary 45 degree fittings.
Hefty back plate with spacers.
Stuff really works. I had already wiped the CPU with the provided "clean room" abrasive cloth. Nice system.
y so srs?
Could we get any more anal about TIM? I don't think so.
Speaking as a redneck..."that don't make no sense" but apparently it works...
Yes this is totally nuts...booting a megadollar PC with no active cooling.
Much more relaxed just running water over one :D
I made the shortest loop possible to keep it simple, but I isolated the pump and rad from the board in the event of leaks...and there were leaks.
Once the air bled out the pumps are dead quiet.
I borrowed a GFX card and HDD from one of the obsolete rigs in the closet and set about installing V64 Ulti on the rig for testing purposes.
No leaks here....
More in a bit...including the dreaded leaks :(
Supposedly BP had a problem with these and recalled them and corrected the problem. My ass.
No leaks here...still makes me nervous.
Compfitting too large in diamter to sock up to the res without a M-M F-F fitting
See the shine in the crevice?
It's water, which this piece of paper towel will soon show.
@#$% me running. This is not what I would expect from EK...not at all.
Good thing I drilled a bunch of holes in the bottom of your case Cyrus...looks like they'll come in handy. JK
Impressive temps considering the teensy rad.
All done with this hoo ha, but I wanted to get those shots up.
I've got video of me opening the top plate and there being water inside, I've got video of me running the test loop and water starting to come out the crevice of the top plate.
The only part of the pump that needs to be sealed are the channel and the hole: they have O-rings around them. I don't get it. I put the top back together with great care. It didn't seem to matter...still leaks.
The Waterblock came off easily. But I took the precaustion of booting up and stressing the CPU with Prime 95 then shutting down before trying to remove the waterblock.
Except for the area that lifted when I pulled the block the TIM is like a mirror...just flat as flat can be.
The TIM did not stick to the EK block except for one small fleck that came right off...the 99C heat did discolor the the plating a touch in the center. I'll see if that buffs out with the supplied Indigo "clean room" abrasive wiping cloth.
You can see the ceiling reflected in the TIM.
It peels off in a film...almost like mylar.
Just a couple of flecks left on the IHS that the edge of a Credit Card popped right off.
Talk about conforming to the IHS...that's the imprint of the printing on the IHS trapped in the film of liquid metal...:eek:
That film is amazing.
And here's what the EK HF Cu looks like inside. I opened it to change out the mid plate. I was informed that the one with the fewest slots provides the best performance, so I backtracked and made the required change.
Could they make it any more complex and shiney? It's a marvel of engineering.
How the hell do they machine fins that thin?
Mid plater numero uno installed...now getting the waterblock back together...not as easy as it looks.
And passing leak testing with flying colors.
And here's that pesky BP rotary 45 degree fitting that was leaking and then stopped leaking...
I can't see anything different or "wrong" about this fitting compared to the ones that hold their water...just plain weird.
Yeah, I should have pulled the large O-Ring too, and inspected that groove. There was a strand of acetal under the O-Ring (left from a dull cutting tool) and that acted like a wick. Cleaned it up and am currently testing the pump with some success.
I guess I was getting annoyed yesterday and did not proceed in my usual manner. It's a new day. I can keep moving forward:yessir:
Note little thing in the groove on the far left. Easy to miss.
Right side "hairpin curve" looks okay.
The "straight aways" look clean.
The center of the left "hairpin" bears closer inspection.
Here I lifted the tuft of acetal from the bottom of the groove.
Hard to photograph...
I had to turn thecamera upside down to get the lense close enough :p
I cleaned off the tuft and reassembled the unit and now it's apparently leak free.
I find using macro shows me way more than my eyes can detect at a cursory glance. If you study the pics above you will see many hairs and fibers of acetal along the edges of the milling. The bit is clearly past due for a change and producing questionable work. What about when the fibers break free and end up lodged in the fine grooves of the waterblock? I may be getting anal about this, but I would expect cleaner work from EK.
More vids to follow ;)
Sorry about no pics last night. Lightning knocked out our phone line and DSL until this morning.
Have a look.
And that's where I ran out of steam. Today I feel ten times better...the respiratory bug is getting killed off by the antibiotic and I'm getting my mojo back.
More later today.
I managed to squeeze these pixels through the clogged tubes.
I got the GFX blocks and accessory parts mounted and mounted the mobo and started working out the plumbing and came to the conclusion that the second fan on the 120mm radiator is really making trouble for me. It's shrouding the GFX ports on the top and the option is to loop tubing all over the place to make the runs. The over problem is the fan is in contact with the CPU fittings...meaning all that isolating of vibration will be for naught since it'll be humming away against the motherboard etc.
Otherwise things are going well.
Internet is back so I can start uploading some pics.
One fan too many me thinks.
M3 Flange head through silicon T grommet.
Thumbnut for easy removal of 120mm Radiator. Silicon grommet to isolate vibrations.
Mobo tray installed with black hardware.
Details details details
280 coming together wth isolators and black harware.
Quite a package.
Stilts for the pump. To promote airflow and get a cleaner loop that is a tad easier to fill.
Stand offs are matching powdercoat and use isolators.
A worthy contender for the Heavy Weight Title.
EK packaging looks just as pro as ther blocks now.
Mmmmmm. Shiney. :drool:
EK must have heard me *****in about the lack of stand offs for the FC 4870X2 because there are now stand offs included to allow proper tightening without all the dicking around.
Cyrus went for the EK backplate which is an excellent piece and has CNCed stand offs, die cut TIM pads and lovely flat head screws.
Warranty official void. Thank you very much.
It's fiddly, but a little dab of Artic Ceramique secures the stand offs to the block long enough to fit it in place.
I lay the card onto the block so I can eyeball the holes ...you can't be pulling the thing back off or moving it around.
What a tag team these two are...
More cool acetal parts to screw on...the fluid bridge.
Nicely done...but always inspect acetal parts for stray shavings and swarf.
There was stuff in the connector.
The piece covers the two ports on the acetal side of the block.
And the bridge connects to the block of ports and viola, a massive brick of GPU power.
And here we are at the "one fan too many" point of the build.
The CPU fittings are touching the fan.
The fan covers the top ports of the GFX block bridge :(
But I did make a nice connection to the return on the res/pump combo. The QD will also come in handy for draining and filling.
I'm headed back to the shop to ponder the situation but I think the fan will have to go if I want the plumbing to be pretty.
I leave that up to Cyrus. He's okay with just one fan inside the case. Once that was cleared up I was able to finalize the loop.
I know it's confusing looking. Here's the order: Res>Pump>280>420>120>QD>CPU>QD>GFX>QD>Res.
With only three 45 degree fittings and 3 Quick Disconnects (QD) and a minimal amount of tubing this loops is short and too the point. The longest piece of tubing is about 18" from the 280 Radiator to the 420 Radiator.
I have yet to reorient the fans so they pull from the case, but I'll have that done in a couple of hours and be leak testing over the weekend.
Next up will be some fancy fan wiring to keep all those Noiseblockers and pumps spinning with some help from the mCubed controller modules.
I've got a hole to route in the blind side panel for the side vent, which gets a powdercoated hex mesh across the opening with a removable filter behind.
After that the usual cable management and first Power Up under water in the case.
This build should be ready to hand over by the middle of next week unless some unforseen incident intervenes.
mCubed Big Ng. I know it well. 4 channels for the fans, USB header for the mobo, com link for the miniNG that runs the pumps, temp probes out the wazoo including high falutin digital temp probes etc etc etc.
I have a system for connecting multiple banks of fans to the BigNG. I make a color coded harness of twelve wires for the 4 channels and break that out using a mini connector block.
I fix the connector block to the mobo tray and make another harness of 18 gauge wire soldered to multiple Male 3-Pin Connectors to the various fans.
To keep everything easy to service in the future the fans were not permantly modifed. On the top 6 I pulled the RPM wire on 5 and trapped it beneath heatshrink that secures each M/F 3-pin connection. I used some provided Y cables to pair the fans in the even Cyrus wanted to control them seperately at some point in the future. These 3 pairs will connect to a custom 3 connector harness that screws to the connector block.
Here's the harness ready to install. Every connection is soldered, and the leads are tinned.
One channel is left open. The Lian Li HDD caddy plugs into the 4th channel directly. In this shot I am working on the harness for the 4 fans in the front of the case. The rear fan is connected using a short cable to a Male 3-pin connector.
Using some of the cables provided with the Noiseblockers I have the first half of the harness ready to strip and solder up.
It's fiddly work combining the 4 pairs of Red, White and Black Wires neatly.
This is the miniNG and it's job is to control the pumps. It's a stand alone device that will also communicate with the BigNG and allow for RPM and temperature monitoring.
Waiting on sheathing from PPC, but it's getting there. Fan wiring is complete and tested 100%.
Moving on to the PSU cabling. Tasty black button head screws as usual.
Partially modular, the OCZ has long stout cabling with see through mesh. I'm not getting into resheathing this PSU. That's something PPC can do faster and cheaper.
Since we've voided the warranties of almost everything, why not modify the PSU cabling too?
And that's why.
Taming that spaghetti. It's a living. Still have the USB/Firewire/eSATA/Audio to go.
The last of the wild spaghett has been coralled. 3 HDDs, eSATA, DVD, 2 USB, FireWire, Audio, GFX power, Mobo Power, 12 Fans, 2 Pumps: handled. :cigar:
One unsheathed harness. Waiting on the sheathing, should be here tomorrow.
And I didn't let the smoke out.:thumb:
Routed the vent. More gyrations as I tried to decide what to make it look like, where to put it, how big. So I let the math guide my decision. If each 140mm fan is aproximately 25" square inches and the 120mm is about 16 square inches I guesstimate that there's about 141 square inches of intake surface, so ideally I'd like that much or a little more of filtered vent surface. The filter restricts the flow somewhat, so more surface is better. I counted the holes in the bottom giving them each about 1" square in value and measured the unused top PSU grill and the little grill by the PCI backplane and decided I needed about 100 square inches of vent in the side panel.
Looking at the hardware layout I ended up laying out the vent very much as I would lay out a window...5" from the top and bottom, 5" from the back and 9" from the front, leaving me about an 8" by 12" opening. In the event that Cyrus wants a window the hole is in a good spot for one ;)
I routed that out and layed out the holes and drilled for #6 screws.
Using some powdercoated hex mesh and more tasty black button head screws I attached the mesh with nuts, but alternated between short and long screws. I then cut a piece of the filter material slightly oversize and pushed it over the longer screws and capped them with acorn nuts. A simple removable filter. And if Cyrus wants to look inside the rig he can remove the filter and have a peek through the mesh grill.
Tools of the trade.
Backside of panel after routing.
1/2" shank makes for chatter free routing.
Ready to drill holes.
Backside of panel. Note longer screws to hold filter.
Backside of panel.
Vent is far enough away from the fans to shroud the sound somewhat.
Another removable filter.
One more tiny filter held in with the same arrangement of long screws.
The filter material also dampens the fan sound so it's a good deal all around and should keep the hardware relatively dust free.
A real sleeper.
Last thing on the list is to sheath a few more cables when the sheathing arrives tomorrow. Then it's ready for pick up.
Delivered to the client.
He's got a nice car yes?
Hope you enjoyed the log. I basically did a little copypasta from the original thread which eliminates the chatter.
Here are the videos of the work.
Is there a way to imbed YT?
Whoa, this is one hell of a thread here...
Love your threads. :toast:
If that's your car..I hate you. :p
holy hell that is one complex and awesome build! fantastic job as always.
whats this custom system worth to pick up?
I have never stopped to think about it :D I just got to mod it and build it.
That car is amazing. Wish it was mine.
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