Sunday, December 21, 2014

PC: Custom watercooling on gaming rig (Part 6)

Ok time for some recent final pictures shall we?

First of all the left side of the case where you can see the Reservoir, the PSU along with the custom cables. I also thought about installing the default 80mm case fan with it's base, just because why not? Some more airflow hitting the extra mobo pcb with the power caps certainly can't hurt. I saw it also gets hot so a bit help is always nice imho.

 Here you can see some more details of the cable management, PC speaker mount, and how tight did the PSU fit on the Apogee Drive II 90 degrees fitting :)

Here's some upper to right side of the case. You can clearly see the GPU rails tied on the chassis skeleton, plus some upper overall view.

This is the right side of the case where you can see the GPU, the huge radiator, and the spiral cable wrapping for SATA slim cables and some USB3.0 cables on the bottom.

Here are some supplemental images of the left side in angles in order to see the cable management of USB2.0 header, and front panel leds, fan cables+extensions etc.

This is the front side of the case with the slim Bluray & Dual 2.5" SSD/HDD combo along with the back side of the case checking out the mobo and GPU.

Last but not least, this is the case with the lid closed like a glove! It doesn't touch or interferes with anything inside the case and you can still see some of the innards from the tiny airflow holes.

I'm certainly thinking about future acrylic window on the sides or the upper part in order to be able to check out and admire easily my rig but for now I'm all set.
I'll update with more pics when I'll have more mods done :)

I really hope you liked my build and despite I wasn't very thorough in every process of this making-of, I did my best into taking pics as much as possible.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

PC: Custom watercooling on gaming rig (Part 5)

One more update for this build.

I was happy I got some new (minor but important) stuff from the mailman yesterday!

So, it was time to cover some cables in order for everything to be better organized.

Not bad at all!
Now I knew it was time for the irritating part... Da PSU mod. That meant... custom cable length that I was rather sure it would be a time consuming experience... and I wasn't far from it!
First of all I dismantled the PSU... so bye bye 5 years warranty :(

As you'll saw, the cable length is REALLY big which would have been really ugly and would definitely be bad for the airflow of the case. So here we are...

Yeah! It's done :D And I really love it!!!
You can see I even used the original sleeve in every pair lol. No I'm not El'Cheapo, I just felt like it wasn't bad for my taste so why not?
I also thought that no matter what, I'd do in the future with this case I'd never use 2x GPUs with that PSU, so I removed the extra dual extension from both GPU rails, and decided to use both rails for my 2x 6-pin connectors smile.gif As you can see I also kept (for future usage) the extra 2-pin for making the 6-pin to 8-pin cable in case I change my GPU in the future...

I really love it and it certainly nice and tidy once putted inside.
Some might ask me why I haven't sleeved every wire since I made a custom length and would look really cool! First of all I was thinking about it a lot, but I decided to proceed with better airflow and less cable mess, instead of great looks :) I might change that in the future who knows, but for now I'm all good.

I guess the next post will be one of (if not) the final. Stay tuned :)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

PC: Custom watercooling on gaming rig (Part 4)

Hey my friends once more.

Continuing my rig update I though for once to also install the system speaker (lol I know) just because why not?... so after putting some heatshrink tube, here's the old chap :)

Also I thought of a way to mount the Swiftech Reservoir by drilling a hole on the upper chassis skeleton. Ofc I made the hole both on the top and bottom part in order to help me screw it easily.

Ok, it's tiime for Prime:)
I cut a bit of the internals of a small tube that I cut in order to fit a funnel we have for kitchen use (lol).

And here's the preparation and filling the loop.

Good thing is that only one fitting needed a bit more screwing alas I didn't have leaking issues! Felt rather awesome to have such success upon my first watercooling experience xD

OK one thing that it felt rather weird is the loud noise from the Apogee Drive II pump (since it operates at full speed).

I'm attaching for reference the following:

A small video of the pump operating from zero to max rpm

A small video of the pump operating from zero to max and then low rpm settings (via PWM) due to Asus settings on BIOS

More info on that later on...

OK after finishing the loop, I just had to try it as fast as I could lol, so, I just putted the PSU inside, tie wrapping the cables not to create a mess and here we are...

Wow temperature after running Prime95 for about 10mins was 35 degrees!!! And that with both Noctuas performing under 700rpm and Apogee Drive II under 1374rpm at silent use!

Time for some Furmark stress test on FullHD.

Ok 55 degrees ain't bad for 15minute stress test I thought, so I guess test was a success.

Since I completed the loop and since I wasn't aware if it's normal to have such noise in full RPM from the pump, I thought about contacting Swiftech's support just for advice.
Ofc I provided all the neccesarry info like pictures, videos etc in order for them to be able to hear the pump and they kindly responded in every email.

I quote a part from one of their emails (from Bryan) as it troubled me a bit:
Hi again Marios,
OK, there is an issue with your loop design and it’s likely why you’re now having issues with this pump. These pumps, like most water cooling pumps, need to be fed directly by the reservoir so that they won’t encounter issues later on with sucking on air once evaporation starts to set in. I do think that the way you installed this pump is the reason you’re having issues with it. That really isn’t advisable to have a pump like this that isn’t being directly fed by the reservoir.

Ok, so after a lot of thinking (despite being bored to redo anything from scratch) I decided to proceed with the suggested way....
Oh well... I had to remove apart from the coolant, the bracket, the radiator, I had to reposition the fans, put new rubber feet, blah blah blah... assemble everything back... and start the new way that the tubes were meant to be used.
Ofc I tried my best to utilize all my fitings without having to buy different angles, etc.

After some time and re-tubbing everything, I was rather happy with the result, and I think it looks also better than the previous one smile.gif
So now the loop goes like this:

Reservoir OUT --> Pump+CPU Waterblock IN --> Radiator IN --> Ratiator OUT --> GPU Waterblock IN --> GPU Waterblock OUT --> Reservoir IN

Not bad at all.

Sadly despite working just fine, I haven't saw any major difference in pump noise so after emailing Swiftech (Bryan) back he responded the following:
My suggestion would be to add a drop or two of dish soap to the coolant. It will act as a surfactant and a lubricant to help quiet the pump and push the remaining air to the surface. You should then run your pump at full speed for a couple of hours to circulate it. Let me know if this resolves your issue or not.

I putted 2 drops of dish soap (after reading some other articles as well) and it definitely helped a little but I'm working on it in case it even gets better in future. Good thing is that sound is just audible above 2200rpm and even then it's not annoying. It gets annoying above 3000 rpm where it doesn't actually need to go or helps more imho.
Also, temps got better with the new loop for some reason. Maybe Bryan was right in the first place!

As you can see I got from 56 degrees to 47 running a full Furmark stress test (for 15minutes) on FullHD!
It's fantastic and I didn't expect such difference tbh.

Last but not least some FireStrike demo benchmark

Certainly not anything super impressive (as I'm running without OC on both CPU and GPU) but not bad at all.
The moment that test was off I checked the temps monitor and largest temp I saw was 51C degrees on GPU and 47C degrees on CPU under FireStrike Demo.

Anywayz, stay tuned :)