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Old 8th January 2009, 7:20 PM   #1
rainwulf Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: bris.qld.aus
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Default Project Monolith

Hi, i will be detailing here a project that i have been working on for a while now, just odds and ends, but it's now coming together quicker now, and starting to congeal.
It's inspiration is partly from the Space Oddysey 2001, and the technology from a series of books by Neal Asher. The technology is called Jain, and its a biotech hardware plaque that kind of looks a cross between silver vines and roots, and coral. Its tendrils take over any form of technology and subsume it.
You will see this influence later on in the build hopefully.
There will also be a little steampunk thrown in as well, with a lot of copperwork.
As you can tell, its kind of going to be a mixture of past and future technology, all melded together with the Jain biotech. HOPEFULLY!!!

Project Monolith is my first scratch build, i have pretty well built everything from scratch. It will be a tall slim case, rather narrow, but tall, topping 60cms. It will be approximately 15cm wide.

It will consist of a square section frame, with black PVC sides, or possibly black anodised aluminium. There will be no DVD drive, any burning duties can be done by a firewire burner.

It will be completely watercooled, and i mean completely. If produces heat, it will have a waterblock on it.
This is the article concerning the actual copper blocks. http://forums.overclockers.com.au/sh...d.php?t=744978
On the motherboard, the CPU, mosfets, ddr2, northbridge and southbridge will be watercooled.
On the 3870x2, the two cores, pci-e switch, gddr3, and power modules will be watercooled.
The physx card, and x-fi will also be cooled.
The PSU and Hard drives will all be watercooled as well, and due to the simplicity of the design, any additional items anywhere in the machine that get hot can easily and simply be

Now, the heat load of this machine will be fairly heavy. Its a quad core 9950Black Edition Phenom overclocked to 3.0 gig (more when wc) with 4 gig of ram, and a 3870x2 overclocked by bios modification to 850 core 999 mem (925, 900 was stock)

4 Drives in a raid0 ( with room for 6). 2 sticks of DDr2-800.

And the PSU, which will also be modified in the process of watercooling it with higher capacity main rectification diodes.

So, with this massive heat load, a decent radiator will be needed. This machine will still be as quiet as i can make it, so the bigger the radiator the better.

So here it is, courtesy of Daikin down the road.

A brand spanking new split system head thats been mothballed due to its needed the old form
of air con gas.

Inside it is a large surface area evaporator, copper tubed, 3 segment, aluminium finned.

its actually one assembly sliced partly through long ways, and then bent to go around the
giant crossflow fan inside the unit.
I used a dremel and stanley knife to slice of the bits i didnt need.

Now, this has been a bit of a work in progress. Its initial length was around 800mm.
I could fit 5 120 mm fans on it with a bit of overhang on both ends.
The problem was due to the way it was setup, it wasnt a continous circuit, it was actually two split gas circuits. So what i did was sliced them all of with the dremel and decided to start from scratch. This is the first attempt, i was going to use vinyl tubing to set it up for the flow pattern i wanted, and then route the tubes into two manifolds i was going to make.

This however didnt suit me, vinyl tube is smelly, goes opaque after a while, and i had sealing issues.

So i visited the local plumbing store and located myself a meter of 3/4 inch copper water tube, and a meter of 1/2 inch tube, with 4 3/4 end caps.

I polished the 3/4 tube up, because polishing it later is going to be hard as you will see.

Back to the evaporator, now to be called the radiator.
I measured it of to fit 4 120 mm fans perfectly, and with the stanley knife and dremel, started removing the core.

The aluminium fins removed.

Perfect Fit!!!

I then staggered the tubing.

This is my plan! To create two kind of manifolds, inlet and outlet at the bottom of the res.

Measured and ready to drill for the vertical tubes.

I used sandpaper to clean the vertical tubes to make it easier to solder.

Drilled manifold just sits there with the tubes holding it in place. They arent sticking too far into the tube so flow isnt reduced.

Its coming together!! Starting to look a bit steam punkish eh..

Manifold soldered on, and end caps soldered.

Second manifold assembled and test fitted on while the first one cooled from being soldered.

All finished!!

very steampunk

Filled with water and testing for leaks. there was ONE leak, and a bit more solder fixed that up.

All running and will be tested over night for leaks.

As you can see its fairly tall, and will have 4 120mm fans on it. The final height is just under 600mm tall, which brings my case height to exactly 600mm.

Last edited by rainwulf; 8th January 2009 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 8th January 2009, 7:21 PM   #2
rainwulf Thread Starter
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The actual case will be made out of this stuff. 12mm square section aluminum.

Filed down to square, and i have pushed in some styrofoam to prevent the epoxy from going all the way down the tube.

First lot of epoxy to go in the ends. This is to allow me to thread the aluminium and epoxy to create a very strong thread, and to allow me to square the exposed ends of on the case frame.

I filed the 4 at once to make them all exactly the same length. These pieces are the horizontal struts going from front to back.

The case will be assembled with right angle brackets that i am making from scratch using this right angle 3mm thick aluminium.

Cut to width and filed down.

Drilled with 3.5 mm drill. The screws are approximately 3.4 mm in diameter, so its a tight fit.

How they will be assembled.

Tapping the m4 hole.

Angle bracket attached. (sorry shitty pic)

And the result.

You can see the epoxy has sunk a bit, so i will fill it up with a final layer, and then file it flat.
This will allow a good flat mating surface.

There is where i am at the moment, with the watercooling system done, and a few of the struts made, and the radiator done.

Tomorrow, i will be making some more of the struts, and ordering more copper plate because i have run out. I need to make the DDR-2 watersinks, the hard drive brackets, the PSU blocks, and the video card ram watersinks.

Last edited by rainwulf; 8th January 2009 at 9:48 PM.
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Old 8th January 2009, 7:22 PM   #3
rainwulf Thread Starter
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Updates. finally.

This update is brought to you by Sink Cat(tm)

This is the frame fully assembled.

I have attached right angle aluminum to the radiator so i can mount the radiator in the case.

120 mm delta fans mounted in aluminium rails.

The radiator mounted into the frame.

Mounting points.

I have used sealant to seal the aluminum frame to the fans and to the radiator.

Base bars for the motherboard mounting.
I drill and tap holes into the main frame with an M4 tap. The M4 tap is the same
size screws as CDrom mounting screws, so i can use standard PC screws for the
entire case. The M4 tap got a lot of use heh.

Test motherboard mounted.

My old machines layout.

Actual motherboard installed.

MOSFET cooling plate installed.

North and South Bridge coolers installed.

CPU Block installed.

Larger view.

Naked PHYSX Card.

Physx Card with block attached.

Copper coolant manifold.

Pump and bottom manifold.
That pump is a 1200litre an hour pump.. wont have any problems with this!!!


Last edited by rainwulf; 9th January 2009 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 8th January 2009, 7:23 PM   #4
rainwulf Thread Starter
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Res top.

Res bottom.

Interior view.
I have used a piece of foam to catch any crap in the lines, and also to catch any bubbles.

Glued together.

There is a clear bit of pipe used on the side to indicate the fluid level.

Thats the res.

Here are the copper pieces for the ramsinks for the video card.

Soldered to copper pipes.

Glued to the video card ram with accelerated model glue.

View of the bottom manifold, pump, and res mounted.

Top manifold.

Finished and polished ram coolers, and PCI bridge chip cooler.

The top of the pump after running for a few hours got really damn hot, so i decided to cool it.

More completed items.

PCI mounting bracket.

Another view of the pump

3870X2 naked with the ramsinks.

Activator. Good stuff.

Back ram sinks installed.

Front ram sinks.

Coolant lines installed.


Last edited by rainwulf; 8th January 2009 at 9:49 PM.
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Old 8th January 2009, 7:23 PM   #5
rainwulf Thread Starter
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The fun begins. The 3870x2 has tiny mosfet power supply modules. They are naked silicon chips, and need dedicated proper cooling.

The special copper heatsink made for the naked chips.

All heatsinks, blocks and ramsinks installed and coolant lines run.

Final views.
This is the view with all the coolant pipes run (silicone tubing) and anti corrosion compound installed.

This is the ICS Clock gen chip. It ran very hot, so i cooled it as well.

View underneath the video card with mosfet blocks.

Hard drive racks.

Front view.

Casing sides arent finished yet.

Top view with the DVD drive mounted vertical. It rises vertically, similar to a toaster.

Complete side view.

bit more work to go yet, including things like USB and power switches and LEDS to go on the top.
And case sides, tops and ends. I will be using aluminum sheeting for the top and back, smoke perspex
for the sides with green internal lights, and glass fibre mesh for the back and front for dust protection and animal protection.

Last edited by rainwulf; 8th January 2009 at 9:50 PM.
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Old 8th January 2009, 7:24 PM   #6
rainwulf Thread Starter
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There was also a watercooled PSU that didnt make the cut. Due to a short in the circuit, i killed it good.

I cant get another model of that psu, so the watercooled psu is on hold until i can find one that will easily allow me to watercool it.

Also watercooled hard drives!!! However this turned out to be a missplan, because they wouldnt have fitted in the case, and because the drives are behind the radiator, they get air flow anyway, and the watercooling would have actually restricted air flow.

As you can see they stack together nicely, but actually block all air going through the stack, unless i space them much further apart. its still a possibility like the wc psu, but considering they are cooled perfectly well now, probably not in this case anyway. However i am keeping the plates for anything else that might crop up.

So the todo list contains the following.

IO. Leds, power switches, usb etc on the top front of the case.
Temperature controlled fans that stay at 5 volts (really quiet) until it gets warm.
Case sides.
Mesh back and front.
Pump failure warning system.
Cable Management. The cables are all kinda just floating around at the moment, so i am going to sort them out. Since this PSU may end up being removed and replaced with a watercooling one, i dont want to go randomly cutting of all the cables. SO im going to fold them and cable tie them out of the way for the moment. But there are other cables and coolant lines to be taken care of and routed properly.
POSSIBLE watercooled psu, however judging by the heatload and how the machine handles the warm weather, this might not happen. The current psu (delta) has a wonderfully awesome temperature controlled fan, which is as quiet as the 120s at at 5volts, yet its only 80mm.

i have considered watercooling the delta (its actually a server PSU) but its actually TWO seperate boards inside, and lots of heatsinks. Over 6 seperate heatsinks, and only half of them earthed, which makes watercooling them an extremely dangerous proposition.
So what i may do is hang out for a replacement for the one i blew up (and took out the house), watercool and test it good long and hard outside of the case before i add it into the loop.
i will also have to encase it with clear plastic because of the dangerous voltages.
The last thing to do is put the 2d clocks of the 3870x2 back to stock, No need to overclock the cores at 2d, considering one of them isnt even being used, and the other is just doing 2d rendering. NO need to create excess heat.

And to answer someone in the thread, leaks are possible. One of the reasons im not too bothered by lack of case sides at the moment. The pump runs 24/7 even if the machine is in standby, and i have a torch on hand to check it during long gaming runs. I also check and mark the coolant level indicator on the res.

Leaks have happened before too, which is the reason i went from the black poly tubing, to the translucent silicone stuff. The black tubing also had a smaller inside diameter and restricted flow. The leak happened from the video card, onto the sound card. It was only a few drops though, no massive flood. The anti corrosion compound is fantastic.

Last edited by rainwulf; 8th January 2009 at 9:51 PM.
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Old 8th January 2009, 7:29 PM   #7
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holy crapppp thats alot of work o.O nice work man
Originally Posted by Bastard Child View Post
*here's hoping an email to the distributor can get me a replacement knob*
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Old 8th January 2009, 7:40 PM   #8
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Wow, this is seriously impressive. I've submitted it to Digg, hope you don't mind.


If this thread happens to become extremely busy via Digg, feel free to use OCAU Pix to host your images instead of your hosting if needed:


Great project! Will be keeping an eye on it for sure.
www.overclockers.com.au - also now on twitter and facebook.
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Old 8th January 2009, 7:42 PM   #9
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cool, i'm a big Asher fan so interested to see how your vision pans out.

love the pluming on the water cooler, though Jain technology wouldn't have guards on the fans, they'd give no fark for chopping fingers off.

wish line war would hurry up and be released.
Reality or nothing
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Old 8th January 2009, 7:45 PM   #10
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Wow it's HUGE!
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Old 8th January 2009, 7:54 PM   #11
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Bloody hell!
That's awesome.
I kept reading further down and each time I thought it was finished, well I wasn't :P
Great work
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Old 8th January 2009, 8:04 PM   #12
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Looks amazing mate!

I was like, theres so many pipes, it'll kill the airflow.... and then i realised it didnt matter
[EG41MFT-US2H - E8500 - 5770 - 4GB 1333 - 5.4TB - V351 - HX620]
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Old 8th January 2009, 8:05 PM   #13
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now thats some crazy shit. well done
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Old 8th January 2009, 8:10 PM   #14
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That is oh so truly epic.

Ghetto watercooling
| AMD 7970 3GB | FX-8350 @ 5.1ghz | 32GB Corsair 2200 | Lian Li PC-P80B | AX-850w | Win7 Ultimate x64
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Old 8th January 2009, 8:14 PM   #15
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Amazing, just amazing!

Great stuff
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