Project: Rebirth | Lian Li - 3-way SLI - Watercooled - Noctua

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by NeuDub, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Messages:
    353
    Project: Rebirth

    Key Features:
    • Lian Li case modifications
    • 3-way SLI
    • Water cooling
      • Two (2) loops
      • CPU and GPU water cooling
    • Rebuild and rebirth of an older system

    Foundation Concepts for Rebuild:
    • Keep costs down to a minimum and utilise resources to maximum
    • Utilise hardware available from hardware stash
    • Be open to the idea of fabricating parts as necessary using grandfather's workshop (metal lathe, wood lathe, band saw, drill press etc)
    • Be flexible and ready to adapt design as the project takes shape
    • Be open to outside input and consider all options and ideas

    Reason for Rebuild:

    In March 2010 I moved house and put my PC into storage. The system was then based on an NVIDIA 790i Ultra SLI motherboard, Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 and 2x NVIDIA GTX280 in SLI, however the motherboard was starting to flake (typical for an aging 790i chipset motherboard). A month or two before going into storage the second PCI-E 16x slot began to develop an intermittent fault (wouldn't initialise SLI and/or wouldn't show the second GTX280).

    The PC was taken out of storage in August only to go back into storage again by July 2010. In December 2010 I once again took my PC out of storage and this time rebuilt it using X58 parts I had lying around. At this point in time I was going to do a full system rebuild back into the case, but due to outside time restraints I built the system up as a desk based barebones system. I made this move as I had to get the system up and running but hadn't the time to put some proper work into it. This is how it has looked since and to this date:


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    Click to view full size!



    HARDWARE
    Link to updated hardware.

    Current System Hardware:

    CPU: Intel Core i7 920
    Motherboard: Intel DX58SO "Smackdown"
    Memory Kit #1: Corsair Dominator 1866MHz 9-9-9-24 1.65v Triple Channel (3x2GB)
    GPU #1: XFX GTX280
    GPU #2: ASUS GTX280
    Sound: X-Fi Elite Pro
    PSU: Corsair TX-750
    Storage:
    • System: Intel X-25M 80GB SSD
    • Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB

    Final System Hardware:

    CPU: Intel Core i7 920
    Motherboard: Asrock X58 Extreme 3
    Memory Kit #1: Corsair Dominator 1866MHz 9-9-9-24 1.65v Triple Channel (3x2GB)
    Memory Kit #2: Corsair Dominator 1600MHz 8-8-8-24 1.65v Triple Channel (3x2GB)
    GPU #1: XFX GTX280
    GPU #2: ASUS GTX280
    GPU #3: Galaxy GTX280
    Sound: X-Fi Elite Pro
    PSU: Corsair TX-750 or PCP&C Silencer 750 - yet to decide which I want to use; the Silencer is from the system's QX9650/790i days
    Storage:
    • System: Corsair Force Series GT 120GB
    • Storage #1: Intel X-25M 80GB SSD*
    • Storage #2: Intel X-25M 80GB SSD*
    • Storage #3: Seagate Barracuda 1TB
    • Storage #4: Western Digital 300GB VelociRaptor

    * = May or may not put these drives into a RAID 0 - not sure.

    I would prefer a more powerful processor but unfortunately this is all I had left and after a bit of an OC, it should be alright.

    The ASRock X58 Extreme 3 was the last one in the country and was EOL when I bought it, but I got it for the USB3.0 and SATA3 features as well as a more OC friendly BIOS. The USB3.0 and SATA3 aren't native features to X58 but I'm not overly concerned about getting every percent of efficiency from these sub-systems. They're just nice to have.

    The memory is a "because I can" option. The 1600MHz sticks are actually faster than the 1866MHz sticks when OC'ing, so the only issues I see from running 6x DIMMs is if the memory controller wants to play nice or not - we'll see.

    I scored the third GTX280 from a mate of mine after a GPU swap. We were chatting about hardware we always wanted to have and he mentioned CF HD4870s. For me, this rang a bell as I knew another mate who was looking to offload CF HD4870s for penny and a dollar and so I ended up swapping them for my other mate's GTX280.

    The PSU choice could go either way. Both of the units feature a single +12v rail (my personal preference) with 60A able to be drawn. I loved the PCP&C Silencer when I was using it, but I've no reason to ditch the Corsair TX-750 either - both are great units.


    COOLING
    Link to updated cooling.

    LOOP-1:

    CPU Block: EK Supreme HF EN (Already own)
    Pump: DDC 12v (Already own - taken from LGA775 Swiftech Apogee Drive - needs a top)
    Pump top: TBC - suggestions most welcome!
    Radiator: Radiical 240 (Already own)
    Fill/Drain: Fill Port (Already own)


    LOOP-2:

    GPU Blocks: Danger Den Maze 5 (x2), Swiftech MCW60 (Already owned - from my WC parts bin)
    GPU Bridge: TBC
    Pump: Laing D5 Variable Speed [Swiftech MCP655] (Already own)
    Pump top: I don't feel it's necessary, but if one appears at the right price, I'll consider it.
    Radiator: Black Ice GT Stealth 360 (Already own)
    Fill/Drain: Fill Port (Need to buy)


    Fittings TBC - likely a mish-mash, but all will be high flow barbs (my preference; I've never really liked compression fittings)


    CASE
    Link to updated case.

    And the case that all of this hardware is supposed to try and fit into is the…

    Lian Li PC-7S!

    http://www.lian-li.com/v2/en/product/product06.php?pr_index=152&cl_index=1&sc_index=38&ss_index=96


    Click to view full size!



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    Yes; I probably am insane but where there's a will, there's a way.

    I've got a CM Cosmos S and some Thermaltake full-tower that are both in storage (one houses a dual Xeon, the other a dual Opteron build), but neither case appeals to me for my daily desktop and I'd like to reduce the system's footprint as much as possible. And Lian Li case quality is second to none.

    The Lian Li PC-7S previously housed a QX9650/790i/SLI GTX280 system, however it was air-cooled and only had an SSD and HDD, not the extended storage of the water-cooled rebuild.


    Potential Case Additions:

    Lian Li EX-34NB 4x3.5" HDD Extension Case - http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=25_30_395&products_id=11161

    Attempt to upgrade front USB2.0 to USB3.0 connections (no straight swap product for this case model unfortunately).

    Maybe cut a window in the side panel… We'll have to wait and see. At this stage the design direction is function over form.


    OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

    Colour Scheme:

    I'm sure this will evolve as the project progresses. At this stage it's fairly open slather, though there appears to be a few different colour-ways presenting themselves within the hardware selection, e.g. black/blue, black/red, blue/black/white etc.

    As it is, I'm feeling more fond of a blue/black/white colour-way.

    Depending on how into the build and obsessive I get, I may consider making up a whole new set of labels/stickers for the hardware, incorporating a single colour scheme.

    Only Use 2.5" Storage Drives

    The only 3.5" drive being used is the 1TB 'cuda - all the others are 2.5" form factor. With this in mind, I'm considering moving to a large capacity 5400rpm 2.5" hard drive.

    "But what about the WD VelociRaptor!?" I hear you exclaim. Well, they never really needed the massive heatsink; it was more of a glorified caddy. Yes, they do run quite warm, but it won't die without the heatsink and the contact points with the heatsink are laughable anyway. Also, the potential cooling setup for only using 2.5" drives should resolve any concerns.

    If I use only 2.5" drives, I'm considering making my own mounting system to mount all the drives in the space of 2x 5.25" optical drive bays. If this is done, I can also modify the fascia of the 5.25" bays to provide additional cooling/airflow either by creating air holes or mounting fans.

    My main concern with this move is the $/GB value is poor when comparing 2.5" to 3.5" hard drives. But with space at such a premium in this build, the reduced footprint of the 2.5" form factor could be enough to win. Also, mounting options in general are much more flexible.

    This is one of those things that will be an on-going consideration throughout the build.


    Note: If you're still reading, congratulations! You've made it through the introduction. From here I'll be wanting to break down and outline the jobs to be done throughout this build, a purchase list, keep track of expenses and I want the photos to do as much talking as possible!
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  2. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Project Job List

    Laing D5 pump refurbishment
    • Re-solder, sleeve and seal power connection
    • Acquire foam pad mount
    • Explore D5 pump top options DONE - XSPC black acetal D5 top purchased
    • Pull apart and clean internals DONE
    • Leak test after cleaning DONE
    • Paint mounting screws black
    • Re-paint base stand Unnecessary - new pump top comes with a base stand also

    DDC pump refurbishment
    • Deconstruct DDC pump from Swiftech Apogee Drive system DONE
    • Explore 10W -> 18W conversion Research done, mod yet to be done
    • Explore DDC pump top options DONE - Aquacomputer Aquacover Dual DDC. Update: Purchased
    • Install DDC pump top

    Clean RAMSinks
    • Remove TIM/Epoxy DONE
    • Bath in tomato sauce DONE

    GPU Water Blocks
    • Decide whether or not to use DD & Swiftech blocks
      • Can they be easily mounted? Negative. Will keep looking for universal blocks in trade forums or eventually bite the bullet
      • Clean and bath blocks in tomato sauce if being used DONE
    • Order Heatkiller blocks?

    SLI Bridge
    • Need to acquire one for mobo layout! Not necessary - moved to single GPU solution. Update: I have a bridge for 2-way SLI should this route be taken
    • Test available longest flexible SLI bridge DONE - too short

    Radiators
    • Flush all radiators thoroughly DONE
    • Obtain or create an appropriate radiator template for cutting top case mount DONE

    Radiical 240 Radiator
    • Paint metallic rails black Unnecessary; the way the radiator is mounted, it is no longer visible
    • Replace barbs with G1/4 1/2" high flow barbs DONE

    Black Ice GTS 360
    • Remove wire fan grills and currently mounted fans DONE
    • Replace barbs with G1/4 1/2" high flow barbs DONE

    Noctua and Coolink Fans
    • Clean ones that have dust on them Done

    Corsair RAM Cooler
    • Re-spray thumb screws black

    Case
    • Cut out top for mounting radiator
    • Remove 3.5" HDD caddy for pump mounting space DONE
    • Determine whether to use Lian Li GPU side mount fan
    • Determine where to cut holes for tubings pass through to rear and top external radiators No longer necessary

    Motherboard
    • Remove ASRock logo from "southbridge" heatsink Attempted but screws are too tiny
    • Remove "X58 Extreme 3" plate from "northbridge" heatsink Done
    • Explore and determine MOSFET cooling solution DONE; found an appropriate water block


    Painting List

    • D5 pump mounting screws
    • D5 pump base stand No longer necessary
    • Radiical radiator rails No longer necessary
    • Corsair RAM cooler thumb screws
    • Stock Lian Li fan grills With the change of case, this is unnecessary
    • 7800GTX bracket No longer necessary
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  3. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

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    Project Purchase List

    If anyone has any suggestions on where to purchase the parts required or replacement ideas for the parts listed below, please don't hesitate to post a reply in this thread and let me know! :thumbup: :)

    Definitely Need:
    • 3-Way Extended SLI Bridge - $? @ ??? No longer necessary
    • Danger Den Fill Port - $12.95 @ GAMMods Purchased Bitspower sealing plug/fill port
    • Aquacomputer Aquacover Dual DDC pump top - $48 @ TKR Purchased

    Consider:
    • 2-Way 11cm soft SLI bridge - $6 @ IJK No longer necessary
    • Phobya Balancer 150 reservoir - $45 @ TKR
    • Heatkiller GPU-X3 Core LC Blocks (x3) - $210 (3x$70) @ TKR No longer necessary
    • Heatkiller GPU-X3 Core LC Blocks - $70 @ TKR
    • Heatkiller GPU-X Multi-Link - $38 @ TKR No longer necessary
    • WD 5400rpm 2.5" 1TB HDD - $95 @ MSY [price @ 22/01/2013]

    Bought:
    • Secondhand Swiftech MCP35X pump + four (4) Bitspower G1/4 matte black 1/2" barbs - $60 - OCAU Trade
    • Intel Core i7 950 - $110 - OCAU Trade
    • Lian Li V2000B - $150 - Trade with a friend
    • Second (2nd) DDC pump
    • Aquacomputer Aquacover Dual DDC pump top
    • XSPC black acetal Laing D5 pump top
    • Bitspower G1/4" 1/2" barbs
    • Bitspower G1/4" 90 degree 1/2" barb
    • Bitspower sealing plugs/fill ports
    • mod/Smart 3mm black sleeving spool with pre-cut heatshrink
    • 120mm fan silicon mounts
    • UV cold cathode 30cm light tubes
    • vented expansion slot covers
    • Lambtron 4-port inverter
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2013
  4. paulbagz

    paulbagz Member

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    Sick.

    <3 builds that use classic hardware.

    I shall sub thee.

    -PB
     
  5. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

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    HARDWARE CHECK

    First thing is first, I need to go through all of the bits and pieces contributing towards this build. During this process I'll be checking everything over, detailing any work to be done and photographing it to add to this worklog and share with YOU! :p


    EK Supreme HF water block


    Click to view full size!


    Swiftech MCP655 pump (Laing D5 Variable Speed). At some point in its history, this poor D5 got hacked up, so I'll be looking to fix it up and ready for this build.


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    Swiftech Apogee Drive from which the DDC pump will be extracted.


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    Two (2) Corsair 2.5" -> 3.5" caddies - these were originally going to be used for mounting though I'm now considering a custom 2.5" form factor mounting system.


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    This old school Zalman HDD cooler/caddy is from an old water cooled Lian Li V1000 build I had back in 2003/2004. It has been sitting in my parts bin for years. It may get used, it may not. It all depends on the direction I choose to take regarding the storage configuration.


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    I've had this Corsair triple channel fan cooler for many years and the thumb screws have some small rust spots and will need a quick sand back then a hit with an etch primer and some blaaaaaack.


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    Like the Zalman HDD cooler, this radiator fan shroud is a remnant of my old V1000 build. It may get used, it may not. Either way, it's available... And UV reactive.


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    This is my water cooling "bag o' bolts, screws and fittings". Inside are a bunch of radiator fan mounting screws, collected mounting hardware, cheap fittings and other randomly collected water cooling paraphernalia.


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    Some good old fashion U-channel. Great for softening the edge on metal edges against cables and can also be used for window cuts etc.


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    To be honest, I don't really know what this stuff is called, but it sure helps with cable management and grouping cables. This was just random stuff left over from previous builds.


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    To be continued...
     
  6. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

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    HARDWARE CHECK CONTINUED

    This is my current collection of assorted heatsinks. The mini-tower is a Noctua NC-U6 that I've had and re-used over many years. It's a great little heatsink and at one point even had insulation wrapped around it and dry ice thrown on top for some frostiness. It might get used, it might not, but it's there if needed. The rest are some chipset coolers and an assortment of ramsinks.


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    This guy... This guy! I've had this little fella for many years - since my first water cooled rig I believe. I did have two but one found its way into a mate's system. Now I can't find the darn things anywhere. If anyone knows where to purchase another from, please let me know! :thumbup:


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    Two (2) Danger Den Maze universal GPU blocks that I've had for years. To give you an idea, one of these bad boys used to cool a 7800GTX! It was then used on a 7900GT (volt modded, of course) and a bunch of 8 and 9 series GPUs after that. And that just highlighted why I love universal blocks. :D


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    A Swiftech MCW60 that was originally used on a HD2900XT and then sat in the parts bin since. :rolleyes:


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    The odd trio.


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    Corsair Dominators... We've all seen them but I still think they're some of the most photogenic DIMMs around.


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    Some spare wire for extending fan cables and other small wires. Any PSU extensions will require a higher gauge wire.


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    Cable management clamps. Nothing special but quite useful.


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    Some coils to reduce kinks in the water cooling tubing.


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    Hose clamps... Because that's how I roll. :p


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    To be continued...
     
  7. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

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    HARDWARE CHECK

    Black Ice GTS 120 - I probably won't use this, but it's available if needed.


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    One of the original Black Ice 120, complete with fixed barbs. It's an old radiator but still gets the job done. Look after your hardware and you'll get lots of use out of it. :thumbup: Having said all that, it's in need of a good flush. :rolleyes:


    Click to view full size!


    One of the newer pieces in this build, this Corsair Force GT 120GB SSD was taken out of my laptop in December when I upgraded to a SanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD. This leaves it conveniently available for my desktop rebuild. :leet:


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    One of the two Intel X25-M SSDs that will be used in this build. Again, it's an older unit but a quality one. The second unit is currently used in the desktop system (yet to be dismantled).


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    The two SSDs together. Both I think are aesthetically interesting. I mean, there's not exactly much to play with in terms of large volume manufacturing aesthetics, but I feel these two units represent the nicer end of the spectrum.


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    Western Digital 300GB VelociRaptor with ridiculous heatsink.


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    Galaxy GTX280 - this will be my test mule for fitting blocks, figuring out any dimensions and sorting out what ramsinks to put where, while trying to keep the three cards similar in appearance. All of the GTX280s will retain the back cover and any stickers removed (the XFX card has an ugly sticker covering almost the whole rear of the card).


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    The Swiftech Apogee Drive system being dismantled.


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    The guts of the Swiftech Apogee Drive system that I was trying to get out - a healthy DDC pump, now in need of a pump top. :D :thumbup:


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    To be continued...
     
  8. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

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    HARDWARE CHECK CONTINUED

    Western Digital 300GB VelociRaptor removed from its heatsink-caddy. This drive, while following the 2.5" form factor in width and length, the height of the unit is about 50% higher than a normal laptop drive.


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    This comparison demonstrates the difference in thickness between the VelociRaptor and a normal laptop drive...


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    ...As does this image.


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    This image shows the pathetically small contact area between the heatsink and the drive. These pads came in contact with the PCB on the bottom of the drive and doesn't come in contact with any of the metal surfaces of the drive. :confused: :sick: Additionally, to stop from shorting the drive's PCB, the TIM on the heatsink had squares of plastic film put over them, further reducing the ability for the heatsink to actually remove the heat from the unit. :thumbdn:


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    I just so happened to have a silicon PSU mount. So I figured, why not use it? :p


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    Swiftech MCB-120 "Radbox" - I actually have two of these but what makes this one unique is that its made of metal rather than plastic like what's available today. The reason for this is when it was first released as part of a Swiftech complete kit, the Radbox was manufactured with metal. However, when the unit came to market as a stand-alone product, Swiftech changed to using a molded plastic. Personally, if I'm going to go hanging a rad off the back, I want metal holding that baby up!


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    And a quick demonstration of how it pulls apart. I'm still not 100% that I'll use it - I might just use long screws. However, it's there if I need it.


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    More hardware to be catalogued, but that's it for now.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

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    Swiftech MCP655 (Laing D5) Clean

    As noted in the Project Job List, I need to pull apart, clean, reassemble and test my D5 pump.

    So I did just that.

    As you can see in this image, I pulled the pump apart and gave it a wipe out. To my pleasure, the pump had no muck, gunk or otherwise nasty bits caught up in it. :thumbup:

    As you can see in the photograph, the pump base needs a bit of attention to bring it back to a new looking state (to the left of the impeller and O-ring you can see where the paint has chipped off). At some point I'll also be giving the screws that hold the stand to the pump a hit with a black rattle can so they don't stand out so much.


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    Afterwards I setup a quick loop, ran it for a couple hours and it didn't leak. I left it overnight and then ran it for a few more hours the next day and still no leaks. Happy days! :D


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    And with this post, the work-log for this project is up to speed.

    I still need to finish photographing some bits and pieces (larger rads, fans to be used, motherboard etc) to finish off the hardware check/catalogue. Once this is done, I'll be heading into pulling more things apart and doing some actual modding and building for this project.

    I like to plan my builds ahead of where I'm at and also like to get a start before starting any work-logs. From here on in, we're in this ride together.

    Thanks for reading so far.
    :) :thumbup:
     
  10. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

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    Hopefully this build can continue to entertain and interest you. :)

    If you have any ideas, suggestions or questions, please feel free to let me know. :thumbup:
     
  11. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

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    HARDWARE CHECK CONTINUED

    Pictured here are nine (9) Noctua NF-S12-1200 fans. I have another that is currently used on the yet to be dismantled desktop, making ten (10) units in total. I'll initially set them up running at the full 12v but will likely mod them down to 7v for quieter computing.


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    Pictured here are two (2) Noctua NF-12P fans. Like the NF-S12-1200 fans, there's still a NF-12P being used on the heatsink (Noctua NH-C12P) of the yet to be dismantled desktop.


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    Pictured are two (2) Coolink SWiF-1202 fans. I bought these fans back in 2006 when Noctua and Coolink first started to break into the Australian market (they were owned by the same parent company and Noctua was the European arm and Coolink the Asian arm - whether this is still the way it is, I have no idea). While I did use some of the Coolinks, I really fell for the Noctua fans and these two particular SWiF-1202 have never been used. Whether or not they find their way into this build, I don't know, but they're there if I need them.


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    Standard 120mm fan grills. These will be painted either black or a colour to match the build's colour-way (when I figure out what it'll be!).


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    I've mentioned my old Lian Li V1000 build a couple times so far and these are yet another remnant from that build. Black painted, aluminium mesh fan filters/grills. They're great at keeping the dust bunnies out - hence why I've held onto them for so long.


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    This is a high quality 38mm thick Sunon 120mm fan. Depending on how airflow - particularly air intake - is going, I may put this fan into the build, though it'll be volt modded down to 7v to reduce noise.


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    Another leftover from the V1000 is this Lian Li GPU blower fan. Again, I don't know whether it will be included or not, but it's available should I wish to use it.


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    SLI bridges! Frustratingly, none of the triple bridges will work for the ASRock X58 Extreme 3 PCI-E16x layout. The ASRock bridge to the left of the two triples is the only bridge included in the motherboard accessories. I'm actually quite frustrated by this as it either means messing around trying to source an appropriate bridge or I'll be frankensteining up a triple bridge out of long flexible bridges.


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    This is a Radiical 240 radiator and it's been around the block, so to speak. To freshen it up a little, I'll be painting the metallic rails black.


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    This is a Black Ice GT Stealth 360 radiator and has largely just been used for benching loops. I would prefer to use a thicker 360 rad but this project is about working with what I have.


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    And here's the guts of the hardware, the ASRock X58 Extreme 3 motherboard.

    One of the first things that will be happening to this motherboard is the removal of the ASRock logo from the "southbridge" heatsink. Next will be the removal of the logo/lettering from the "northbridge" heatsink to allow the fins to breathe.


    Click to view full size!


    As you can see, the MOSFET cooling on this motherboard uses an active heatsink design with a heatpipe through to the "northbridge". Little fans like this can go and die in a fire! I also wonder whether they consider that in the large majority of cases, this little fan would be competing with a 120mm fan for airflow. In my mind, it makes more sense to reverse this small fan to vent up towards the case airflow extraction fan. But what do I know? I'm just a keyboard warrior!

    I've been looking around for MOSFET cooling solutions to replace this monstrosity. If I can find an appropriate water block, great, otherwise I'll be looking to get a passive heatsink off of another motherboard (already tried an old Asus K9 motherboard MOSFET cooler but it was ~4mm too short) and my last resort will be to use ramsinks. The "northbridge" will then be cooled using the Noctua NC-U6.


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    Pictured is the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 power supply. This is a great unit and packs 60A on a single +12v rail.

    When I started thinking about this build one of the first things that went through my mind was "Don't go stupid with the PSU sleeving!"... Yeah, well, I'm re-thinking that now. :lol: :rolleyes: :p With this in mind, PCP&C unit is a better option as the Corsair TX-750 I have has moulded plastic SATA end terminals, whereas the PCP&C unit has easily de-pinnable (yup, just made up a word!) SATA connectors and will make sleeving very simple.

    The one issue with choosing the PCP&C unit is that it's all bright red... When I'm leaning towards a black/blue/white colour-way for this build.


    Click to view full size!



    That's the end of this hardware check and will probably be it for a little while... Unless I find something else to include in this build. :p
     
  12. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Messages:
    353
    Colour Scheme Development

    Though it's still early days in this build, I'd like to decide on a colour-way for it before I have to do any annoying back-stepping to re-do something that no longer fits the build.

    As it stands, I'm nearly 100% decided on the following colour-way:

    Primary: Black
    Secondary: Blue
    Tertiary: White/Silver


    PSU Cable Sleeving

    In the last hardware check I looked at the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 and mentioned my new intentions to cable sleeve the whole PSU.

    In the last 24 hours I've done some research and found a PET sleeving wholesaler that does custom PET expandable sleeving. With this in mind I started looking at different weaves and the way the colours can be represented throughout the weave. In the end, I liked the way this black sleeving looks with a blue tracer in the weave.


    Click to view full size!


    There were other options with a gold or silver tracer that I liked, but I like the subtlety of the blue tracer in the black weave quite a bit and it grew on me as I continued my research.

    Unfortunately, like all good things, there is often a catch. In this instance, the catch is that I would have to order 400-500 meters to have this luxury of having a custom weave. While in theory I could sell the excess in the for-sale section (and it'd be cheaper than retail options as the wholesale price for 400-500m wasn't as much as I had expected), it's still a hell of a lot more sleeving than what I actually need!

    I need to think this sleeving option over a fair bit and if all else fails I can get 200m spools of single colour sleeving and will on-sell any left overs in the for-sale section (will be cheaper than PCCG etc). If I do go for a single colour weave, it'll be either black, blue or white (or we'll see how far I twist my own arm! :lol: :rolleyes:)

    Some questions!

    Now, when it comes to sleeving individual wires, what tends to be the sleeving size preference? I can get 2mm, 3mm and 4mm braided expandable sleeving (and larger too) with a 3x multiplier for expanding, e.g. 2mm will expand to 6mm.

    And the next part; who would be keen on some cheap sleeving? Depending on the final wholesale price (will go down if I do all three colours :weirdo: :wired:), I'm currently looking at being able to on-sell my leftovers at about $40 for 50m of sleeving (that's based on buying one colour - cheaper if I go three but can only do that if I know I can sell the leftovers). Anyone interested in getting some sleeving?


    Work Done Today
    • Deconstruct D5 leak test loop.
    • Finished hardware check and photography.
    • Went through bag of bolts/screws/misc. mounting gear and re-organised the bag into zip-locked bagged groups, e.g. one bag has all the radiator mounting screws.
    • Added painting list to jobs list post.
    • Looked into MOSFET cooling options - more research to be done.
    • Considered black/blue/white colour-way and looking into how this can be applied to the build - will detail this further as things develop.
     
  13. VirtualNinja

    VirtualNinja Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Messages:
    911
    Location:
    North Parramatta
    Who is the pet sleeving wholesaler?
     
  14. NickMate

    NickMate Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Above the Horizon
  15. Dr Evil

    Dr Evil Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,855
    Location:
    Perth
    Just be careful that if you go the 3-Way SLi bridge that the spacing fits. Judging by the ASRock X58 Extreme 3 board its a little off so you might be only be able to use flexible SLi bridges. Unless of course you find a 3-Way Sli bridge that does match the gaps.
     
  16. aeon.

    aeon. Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2012
    Messages:
    457
  17. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Messages:
    353
    One of my mates is a sparky and can get the sleeving through work from a Chinese wholesaler/manufacturer. I'm not dealing directly. :)

    I've got a range of SLI bridges, the issue is actually the spacing between the PCI-Ex16 slots. In particular, the gap between the first and third slot is quite far. I'll be going into this a little further in my next update (from progress I made yesterday).

    And this is precisely the issue here. I'm actually quite annoyed that ASRock advertise the 3-way SLI feature - and in particular, in a non-typical arrangement - and then doesn't supply an appropriate bridge. But I guess that's the difference between a 2nd tier and 1st tier motherboard manufacturer. :sick: :rolleyes: :(

    Hahaha, I don't think I made myself clear. I'm aware what it is and what it is called, but I'm specifically hunting down the Danger Den piece (every shop stocked them back in the day). All is good though, I found them available at GAMMods. :thumbup:


    Cheers for input everyone. :) :thumbup:
     
  18. OP
    OP
    NeuDub

    NeuDub Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2009
    Messages:
    353
    Case and Desktop Hardware Dismantled

    The next stage in this build was to give the case some attention. This meant pulling out any hardware left in it, removing any unnecessary parts and giving the whole thing a thorough clean. It's important to remember that I've had this case since 2007 and it has seen quite a few builds and a fair bit of use over the years.

    First thing is first, take the panel off and have a look what's still inside. What I found was the NVIDIA 790i SLI Ultra motherboard from the previous build in this case, two (2) additional Noctua NF-P12 fans and a Coolink SWiF-801 fan along with a DVD-RW optical drive.


    Click to view full size!


    It was at this point that it dawned on me that the third GPU in the new build will sit right on the end of the motherboard. This poses two questions:

    1. Is there enough clearance from the base of the case for the GPU block and any fittings, tubing etc, and;
    2. How will I mount the GPU on the rear bracket support, as the GTX280 has a dual-slot bracket.

    The first question will ultimately weigh in on the decision regarding GPU blocks, tubing/fitting setup and will be considered as the build progresses, but for the time being will sit on the bench for further consideration (I'll get to this again soon).

    The second question was solved by looking in my parts bin at a 7800GTX that has a single-slot bracket and the same output layout as the GTX280. It has a little rust and general aging on the plate so it'll get a sand down and some paint.


    Click to view full size!


    This is the 3.5" HDD caddy that sits at the bottom front of the case (apologies if the photograph is disorientating). This will be coming out to make room for pumps and any potential front 120mm radiator placement.


    Click to view full size!


    A fair bit of dust was caked on these fans and the stock Lian Li fan grills had done a decent job but obviously some dust still gets through. The fan grills also had some corrosion from the dust and will get a lick of paint before they're re-used.


    Click to view full size!


    Dust be gone! :thumbup:


    Click to view full size!


    And this is one reason to love Lian Li. Two screws and the 3.5" HDD caddy is out.


    Click to view full size!


    After some consideration, I decided to remove the front I/O panel from the case. I don't use the front audio ports due to my sound card and audio setup. To get around the lack of front case USB access, I'm going to get a USB3.0 hub and place it on my desk for easy USB access. I don't use FireWire.

    This move will leave a couple small holes at the base of the case that I'll either just leave as is or if I've got some mesh around the place, I'll put that behind the holes.


    Click to view full size!


    These are now the only case related wires and will be sleeved in time.


    Click to view full size!


    Lian Li PC-7S completely stripped, cleaned out and wiped down.


    Click to view full size!


    Next I got stuck into disassembling my desktop system.

    First things I did was remove the GPU cooling fans, disconnect all drives and remove all add-in cards.


    Click to view full size!


    Once the fans and cards were out, I unplugged the rest of the PSU plugs, removed the system memory and the CPU heatsink and fan.


    Click to view full size!


    After that, the CPU was removed and placed in the ASRock motherboard and the "X58 Extreme 3" plate removed from the "northbridge" heatsink. Not only does it look better, it will have improved cooling (by a bee's dick difference :p).

    I also tried to remove the "ASRock" labeling from the "southbridge" heatsink but they used extremely small screws and none of my jeweler's screwdrivers were small enough. It stays... for now. :Pirate:


    Click to view full size!


    And this is why I'm water cooling. This kind of setup on air would cook the sound card and in time, the GPUs as well.


    Click to view full size!


    Big cards are big. :rolleyes:


    Click to view full size!


    Now enter my world of frustration! :tired:

    This is a flexible (soft) SLI bridge that is 10cm long (the longest I have). It cannot reach from the first to the third card and therefore removes any chance of me being able to make a frankenstein 3-way bridge using soft bridges. *sigh* I've found an 11cm soft SLI bridge from IJK, but I've got more to think about than just this... I'll get to this more in a later post.


    Click to view full size!



    New Pump Acquisition

    I've purchased a secondhand Swiftech MCP35X from an OCAU member.

    This pump is a Swiftech branded Laing DDC3.2 pump and comes with Swiftech's take on an aftermarket top. Being a DDC3.2 it operates at 18w.

    I will use this pump in conjunction with the DDC3.1 pump taken from the Swiftech Apogee Drive system.

    When I receive the new acquisition I will demonstrate the difference between the DDC3.1 and DDC3.2 (10w vs 18w) and will modify the DDC3.1 to a DDC3.2 as I wish to run these pumps in series using a dual top.

    Along with the new pump, I'll also be receiving four (4) Bitspower G1/4 matte black 1/2" barbs in the same package.


    Work Done Since Last Update

    • Change DDC pump top on purchase list to Aquacomputer Aquacover Dual DDC top - $48 @ TKR
    • Completely stripped and cleaned Lian Li PC-7S case.
    • Cleaned the dust off of the Coolink SWiF-801 and two (2) Noctua NF-P12 fans stripped from the Lian Li PC-7S case; NVIDIA 790i SLI Ultra motherboard removed from case.
    • Removed 3.5" HDD bay and front USB2/Audio/Firewire connections from Lian Li PC-7S.
    • Cleaned all fans from dismantled desktop of any dust (1x Noctua NF-S12-1200, 1x Noctua NF-P12, 2x Coolink SWiF-801, 1x Corsair RAM Cooler)
    • Removed "X58 Extreme 3" labelling from motherboard heatsink
    • Tried to remove "ASRock" from motherboard heatsink but screws are too tiny to unscrew.
    • Test fitted GPUs and sound card on ASRock X58 Extreme 3 motherboard.
    • Discovered that the soft ribbon SLI bridges I have are one (1) slot too short and therefore I can't even frankenstein a 3-way SLI bridge.
    • Dismantled desktop computer - only laptop available now!
    • Added stock Lian Li fan grills to paint list.
    • Added 7800GTX bracket to paint list.
    • Added USB3.0 hub to purchase list.
    • Add AS-Epoxy to buy list
    • Updated Project Purchase List
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  19. NickMate

    NickMate Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
    314
    Location:
    Above the Horizon
    That sucks about the sli bridge. The longest they make is 12cm long:rolleyes:. You could try getting 2 sli bridges 1-2, 2-3:confused: not see if that would work and give similar performance.
    Nice job cleaning the Lian Li btw :D
     
  20. paulbagz

    paulbagz Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    451
    Broskie, I may or may not have a spare Tri bridge floating around.

    I shall look for thee tomorrow.

    -PB
     

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