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My Lian Li PC71 Mod - getting ready for BF3

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by DrunkenMafia, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. DrunkenMafia

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    Well I don't get to post here to often, basically I am just too damn busy all the time. But I did manage to get a new rig built over the last few weeks and thought I should put a couple of pics up...

    I started off with a Lian Li PC71 I bought of ebay for $80. The guy said it had been installed in his business about 5yrs ago and it never moved, I was pretty stoked when it arrived as it was in great condition. Excuse the first pics as I forgot to take any before I started and had to copy/paste off ebay :laugh: :

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    I wanted to keep the prices down so I managed to get a lot of it second hand, some from my fellow TPUers and some from ebay.

    Here is the list of hardware I bought for it:

    Gigabyte 990fx-UD5
    1090T CPU - Got this off eBay for $45 with a broken pin. Will show you pix later on.
    4gb Crucial 1333mhz 6,6,6,18. Temporary ram out of my HTPC until my new ram arrives, courtesy of Tig :toast:
    2 x ASUS HD5870 1gb reference design video cards. Got these for $120 each. :rockout:
    3 x 160gb Raptors in RAID 0. Got these for $20 each.
    Thermaltake 700watt TR2 power supply (Its the only decent PSU I could get locally and needed on ASAP)

    I want this to be a pure gaming machine so will only be turned on when gaming, I also wanted it to be fully water cooled as I had never done that before. This is what I decided on:

    XSPC RASA RS240 kit
    Swiftech 480mm rad
    2 x Swiftech MCW80 GPU blocks
    White XSPC hosing
    Bitspower fittings
    Bitspower 480mm Radiator Grill

    I think the cooling cost more than the hardware inside.:p Water cooling gear is expensive downunder!!

    First thing I did was completely strip the case for painting, I really love Lian Li cases as they are easy to dismantle and very well made.

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    I marked out holes in the motherboard tray for the various cables using a print out of the 990FX board as a guide:
    • 8 pin CPU
    • Main ATX
    • Front buttons
    • Sata cables
    • GFX pwr cables
    • USB cables
    • Audio cables

    Then drilled out the motherboard tray and removed it to make it easier to cut:

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    I also decided to cut a large hole in it for access to the CPU back plate:

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    Once that was finished I needed to mount the lower radiator. There was a little bit of guess work here as I didn't have the actual motherboard to check the spacing of the 5870's. I just placed it as far away as possible and hoped for best. Turns out I got very lucky, you will see in the pics later on. :)

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    Then I cut the holes for the 2 x 120mm fans, I was in a rush here and didn't have a compass on me so I just freehanded them with a little help from a 120mm fan frame:

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    A bit slack I know but you won't be able to see them at all once its finished. :)

    After that all the parts were ready for painting:
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    While that was all drying etc. I needed to cut the top panel and mount the 480mm rad and radiator grill:

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    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
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  2. DrunkenMafia

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    More tomorrow, its like 1am here.
     
  3. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Subbed to see the end result. :) Looking good so far and if you need help with case layout throw me a PM (but i think you got that already under wraps).
     
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  4. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    ^^^

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    Crunching for Team TPU
  5. DrunkenMafia

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    Thanks, will put more up tonight when I get home. Had a quick bash at BFBC2 last night with the 5870's and man it runs so much smoother than 1 5870. It looked awesome!!

    I did a quick 3Dmark06 run and scored 24000, graphics cards were at stock, cpu 4.1ghz.

    I am also stuck at 4160mhz on my X6, can't seem to get it stable any higher. Thats with 1.6v too. Will keep tweaking tonight and see how we go. It will boot at 4.4 and run PImod but crashes during any bench runs. Managed a 16.03 second 1m pi which is the lowest I have ever done myself.
     
  6. DrunkenMafia

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    A couple of pics working on the top panel. I was pretty hard cutting into such a nice piece of brushed ally:

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    I then screwed on the bitpower rad cover. The bitspower stuff is so nicely made, I guess that's why they charge like a wounded bull for it. :)

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    I was a bit of mission getting all the screw holes on 4 fans lined up. One thing I didn't like about the bitspower was the black hex head screws they provided to screw down the fans, they were all to big to fit the holes on any of my rads, all the rads I can remember use 6/32" or 3.5mm thread. These were 8/32 at least. So I had to use black brass instrument screws which looked pretty good anyway. I ended up using 4 of the bitspower hex screws to hold the top panel to the case, that way I didn't have to rivet it back on and can remove the rad for cleaning really easily.

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  7. HammerON

    HammerON The Watchful Moderator Staff Member

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    Like what I see! Sub'd:toast:
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  8. DrunkenMafia

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    Next up was the case. I finished painting it in satin black. I think I put about 4 coats of enamel on it and it came out pretty good. I did consider powder coating it but wanted to keep the costs down.

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    Next up was mounting the bottom 240mm XSPC rad. this is go inline between the 2 gfx cards to keep the temps down.

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    I installed 2 x coolermaster blue LED fans under the rad sucking air out thru the rad:

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=9_510&products_id=8022

    They seem pretty good for the price and I get a nice blue glow from under the case. :)

    Then it was time to fit the top panel, I was really impressed with how well it fit. I think Lian Li may have been thinking the same thing as the 480mm swiftech radiator fit like a glove.

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  9. DrunkenMafia

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    Now a couple of pics with the lamptron fan controllers and XSPC res.

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    Getting there:

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    Front panel on, trial fit:

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  10. erixx

    erixx

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    Niceeeeee!!!!!! It reminds me my beloved PC70 (99% identical)

    Good to have so much room? Sure!

    Question: doesn't painting remove the brushed aluminium look and feel?

    Want more pics noow!
     
  11. LifeOnMars

    LifeOnMars New Member

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    Good job my friend, looking forward to seeing the end result. If you want to give those cards more to feed of, make sure you overclock the CPUNB. I would also say go for a slightly lower CPU overclock on less volts as 1.6V is far too high.

    Good luck and subbed for updates :)
     
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  12. DrunkenMafia

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    Yeah I loved the brushed ally on the case, don't worry I only painted all the silver parts that weren't finished in black already. :)
     
  13. DrunkenMafia

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    Yeah I thought 1.6v was a little high, I have backed it down a bit but am really getting stuck at 4160mhz (260x16) NB - 2600 atm
     
  14. DrunkenMafia

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    Here is a couple of pics with the sides on, the case is still empty here but all the painting is finished.

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  15. DrunkenMafia

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    Yay, motherboard arrived. The last real enthusiest board I bought for myself was the DFI CFX-3200. Lets hope this GB board doesn't give me the hassle that one did. lol

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    Remember how I was saying I kinda guessed whether I would have enough room for the rad and both GFX cards...

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    :eek: :eek:

    I did have a backup plan to mount the rad fans under the case on the outside but I am heaps stoked they actually fit.. Just :D
     

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  16. DrunkenMafia

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  17. DrunkenMafia

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    Now for the white tubing, another thing I have never done before, I like to see if there actually is coolant in the tubes!! Gotta give things a try though....

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    It was a little messy at first, there was JUST enough room between the bottom rad and 2nd gfx card.

    I also bought 6 x Fractal 80mm silent fans. http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=9_508&products_id=14504

    There is 2 on front blowing onto HDD's, 2 above mb backplate and 2 above PSU. When I went to fit the psu plate I found the 2 x 80mm fans were to thick and hit the radiator so I had to replace them with 2 x coolermaster slim 80mm fans:
    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=9_508&products_id=13964

    They are ok but fairly noisy.

    Here are some more shots showing the restricted space above the bottom rad:

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  18. Suhidu

    Suhidu

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    That looks great, suits the components well. Close call with the rad.

    edit: nice white tubes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
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  19. DrunkenMafia

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    Thanks, I was surprised at how easy they are to clean, just wipe them with some tissue and contact cleaner and all the marks come straight off.

    I decided on the MCW80 water blocks as well, I can't see the point in paying $100+ for a full coverage block that you can only use on that model of card. At least with the MCW80's I can take em off and change cards later. I bought a set of Arctic cooling heatsinks to put on all the other components on the card:

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=207_314&products_id=16441

    These were pretty cheap and came with a tube of thermal adhesive.

    I was a bit pissed off with the XSPC kit too. It came with an AMD block plate and the instructions mention you have to use a standard back plate but the screws they supplied were 1 size bigger than the AMD plate. I needed 6/32 and they supplied 8/32. Maybe I am missing something. Luckily I had a heap of left over 6/32 radiator screws which turned out to be the perfect length:

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    Maybe I am missing something, feel free to enlighten me if you have installed a XSPC block on your AMD board. :)

    All in all though the XSPC kit is great value for money, the res/pump is very well made and completely silent, it doesn't seem to have any trouble pumping the fluid around my system. :rockout: Good job XSPC.
     

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  20. caleb

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    Bulldozer ? :)
     
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  21. Thrackan

    Thrackan

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    Nice huge build, subbed for moar drool pics :)

    Oh, one thing, I'd cut out the fan grills on the rear panel to increase flow and decrease noise.
     
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  22. DrunkenMafia

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    Yeah I was considering that, I have actually fitted steel mesh filters to all the 80mm fans, they are a bit hard to see though. I was trying to keep the cutting of the case down to a minimum as I don't have the patience/time to file all the holes perfectly. The fractal fans are only 1000rpm silent fans so not much airflow anyway. :)

    I might put some more pics up, just been playin BC2 and got a BSOD after an hour.. :( its probably my ram, just turned it right down again.
     
  23. DrunkenMafia

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    Ok, well here goes - the first fill up:

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    Now I filled it with the pump running and it sucked a fair bit of water in. I then sealed the res and lifted the case up and twisted it around and upside down trying to get all the bubbles out, I could only fit 1litre of water in, I was kinda thinking it would be more than that but it will not take anymore. After a bit of testing today the entire top rad gets warm suggesting there is fluid going through the whole thing. It sux not being able to see in the hoses. Lol.
    And its hard with the pump inside the res as at some point the pump will suck air if you are moving the case all around.

    I nearly put my friggin back out twisting it around lol!! It must be 20+kgs!!

    I decided to paint all the screws white, just for something different:

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    They actually turned out really nice. One bad thing with Lian-Li cases is they use their own thread type of screws and are different from other pc screws - I ended up a couple of LL thumb screws short so will have to find some more.

    I found a guy on ebay selling 160gb raptor drives for $20, that is damn cheap and I had always wanted to try a raptor raid 0. So I bought 3 of them:

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    I am actually pretty impressed with the speed, I have been on SSD's for about a 2 yrs now and its hard going back but these are pretty good, very noisy though but not fussed about that at all!!
     

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  24. DrunkenMafia

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    All these pics are taken with my Samsung Galaxy 2S phone. Its an awesome camera but suffers bad in low light.

    Here is a pic of the wire trick to keep my processor alive, it was easy and only took about 5 mins:

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    Hopefully you can see it, its on the outside LH row, 9 pins down from the top. I just got a piece of fine wire and stuck it in the hole until it bottomed out, cut it higher than the hole and bent it over. Lucky for me the broken pin was on the outside row. :) once the processor clamps down it hold it in place and works great. :) Not bad for $45 or so. :rockout:
     

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  25. DrunkenMafia

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    Now to the wiring, I am planning on sleeving the PSU with white/black but haven't gotten around to it yet. Its a time consuming job no doubt. For the time being I have just tied all the cables to the back of the motherboard tray, I also need to replace the red sata cables with black ones:

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    I also painted all the screws for the HDD's, motherboard, side panels, PSU etc white. I also did the bottom radiator grill:

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    I still have a bit left to do:
    • If you look at the hose coming out of the bottom rad - the bend is to tight and the hose is flattening out. I am trying to think of a way to fix that, maybe a 90degree elbow fitting on the rad.
    • For the time being I have cable ties on the hoses, it looks ok in the pics but I am trying to come up with a better idea. Any input welcome. :)
    • Sleeve the PSU.
    • Attach a fan to blow on the 5870 VRM's - These get hot!!!
     

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