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Old 07-10-16, 04:41 PM
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Surfie Surfie is offline
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Project Blue Heaven (formerly Red Light District)

Hi All,

As teased quite recently in the Liquid cooling thread, this is the build log for my new project - Project Red Light District.

Why Red Light District?
So many reasons. For one, i'm going from soft - to hard (tubes). Other reasons include, some actual PROPER attempts at modding (but because i'm poor, i'm doing them ghetto style), and the fact that the build itself will feature red and black (yep, it's another freaking red and black build - sorry!).

Ok, that's all well and good, but what the heck is the build?
Well, as stated before, I am poor, so this is basically lifting DSV from its current chassis (NZXT Phantom 630) and giving it a smaller, less fugly home. This will allow me to move the rads around, and then to top it off, introduce hard line tubing. Along the way, there will be mods.

What about the hardware:
As stated - it is DSV - so you can check that build out here: http://forum.overclock3d.net/showthread.php?t=57668
To sum it up:

Hardware:
ASUS Rampage IV Formula
Pentium 3930k i7
32 gigs RAM (heat spreaders removed for the beast) corsair vengeance
Replacement: Corsair RM 750W PSU
MSI TwinFrozr iii gtx680
2x Samsung 256gb SSD
1x western digital 2tb mechanical drive
1x Samsung 1tb SSD drive
Asus optical drive IS GONESKI! (Welcome to the USB age Surfie).
NEW! Case: Fractal Define S Watercooling

Watercooling:
XSPC Raystorm CPU block (recycled)
XSPC GTX680 GPU block (recycled)
XSPC 170 Photon Pump/Res Combo (recycled)
Alphacool UT60 360mm Radiator (recycled)
Alphcool UT60 240mm Radiator (recycled)
NEW! EKWB Black Nickel Hard tubing fittings (12/16mm)
NEW! EKWB PETG 12/16mm Tubing (2 meters worth - hope it's enough!)
XSPC 90 & 45 degree fittings (recycled)
5x Corsair 120SP Fans (recycled)

Planned mods at time of purchasing the gear:
PSU Cover/false floor
Implement a Fan Control/Light switch (you'll love how I intend to do this!)
Depending on performance/sound - I MIGHT be customising the front panel. Kind of debating this one, because I LOVE the simplicity of the default case front.
Paint the spare PCI slot covers to black.

Why I am doing this build: no particular reason beyond the fact that my loop needs to be torn down for maintenance now, and i'm sick and effing tired of picking up the phantom and carrying it down stairs and upstairs (that thing is HEAVY). Also, I wanted a case that wouldn't look like an eyesore AND take up a huge amount of desk real estate.

The gear has already arrived, and the base build has already started. I will be back tomorrow with the photos from today (it's 2:30am on a Saturday morning, and i've been up for 20 hours now - i'm crashing!), along with whatever I get done tomorrow!

================

Edit 1: Photos from Friday/Friday Night

Ohhhh - a delivery - what could it be??


Oh, a case! And a box of goodies!



The old loop


Guess I better strip the old case down then...


Holy dust contamination Batman!


New case and old case side by side


New case fully opened up and ready for hardware. Note the white PCI covers. I hate that - they have to be black - mod #1.


Motherboard in (and case fans out):



Power supply in, and mod #1 complete (Ghetto style: rip out the PCI covers from the Phantom case!)


Testing that the fan+rad+pump/Res combo CAN actually fit


Testing that the GPU will not be fouled either. Have to say - not a lot of wiggle room


Hmmm - Fractal didn't include a fan controller.... What to do.... huh - somethings missing from this Phantoms chassis...


Wait - what is THAT doing THERE?


Explanation: I fully intended to utilise the fan controller from the Phantom right from the ghettgo. What I did not realise (and have still not solved yet) is that it is actually a two part thing, NOT just the pcb. I was originally planning to put the slider switch onto the outside of the case.... butt I never used it with the Phantom, so i'm thinking of just hiding it in the cable stash round the back. Would love to hear your thoughts!

Pump is in


Protip: If you are going for a similar configuration to me, in your Define S Watercooling: ignore the res mount brackets that came with the case. I spent a LOT of time trying to figure out how to make it work for this build, and in the end, they just would NOT let me come over into the case as much as I needed to, to make it work. I have opted for a fairly low mounting point (there are reasons for this) - you might want to go higher, and the slots make THAT really easy.

Unfortunately, due to the low mounting point of the pump, the false floor/PSU Cover I had originally planned has to be scrapped. My reasons for mounting the pump/res so low is due to the (very) limited amount of space available between the rads. In order to be able to get my fillport mod in (and allow for easier filling of the case) neatly, with minimal interference with the tubs of the rads, I had to make a sacrifice.

Hard drives in:


Graphics card and front rad & fans in (this took entirely too long to do - had issues with getting the fans to attach to the front like I wanted.). That long red tube, while being a dead spot, is my drain line. If I had a tap connector, I would use it. I don't - so I make do - realising that it will be somewhere for particulates to gather.


Top rad in (also took a long time, due to similar issues. In this case, I had to bite the bullet and switch the fans to the underside of the rad (I wanted to have them out of sight). This photo also shows where my head was at in terms of laying out my runs of tubing. There have been a couple of changes to this layout - but you will see them soon.


===================
Edit 2: Photos from Saturday/Saturday night

Had a huge day today on non computer stuff, so didn't get nearly as much done on this as I wanted to. I DID however get to try my hand at bending, so that was pretty cool.

I teased, earlier, a fill port mod (mod #2). If I had pass-through connectors: I would be using them. I don't - so i'm making do.




This mod is not complete: it will require a mod to be done to the top of the roof section (not here). I'll document this as I do it. Got a lot to do before then though!

Lets start the bending process, with a test bend - see how this all works... This was done completely freehand, no measuring or anything. The flat spot occurred because I started the bend prematurely (no one wants to be premature now, do they?). It also doesn't quite look right, because I then also tried to take out the silicone tube too early. All up though, for a first effort, i'm happy.


First real bend:



Happy with that. Lets start getting some tubes in!
First and second tubes:

The eagle eyed among you will realise, I cheated (I really did). The tiny little run between the rads doesn't line up, and I have no gloves (and hence no mechanism) to bend that run. So I opted for some left over soft tube for it. It's at the back, so hopefully not a big issue. The first long run, from the pump to the outlet of the Rad, has NO bends (as you can see). It's not 100% straight. but there is JUST enough give in the tube while cold to put it straight in.

Third tube - Hey! There's my first real bend right there!


The rest of the run, I hope to complete today (Sunday).

While we are here though, lets have a quick chat about the order that this loop will flow in - as I am SURE that some of you will have concerns about hot air being pushed through the case.

Water will be flowing out from the pump, to the GPU, from the GPU to the CPU, from the CPU to the top rad, where a good chunk of heat will be dissipated by the UT60 240 in the roof, from there into the 360, where the little that is left will be pushed into the case), back into the pump/Res. If I was running SLI or pushing the boundary exceptionally high, then I would be more concerned, and I may end up doing that anyway - but for now, there are no issues there.

===========

OK, so, I got annoyed at myself for cheating with the soft tube between the Rads, so I removed it. However because of my lack of equipment, I had to come up with a novel solution to the problem. What was it? A U bend!



Here are the rest of the tubes, in place:


Now, I stand back and look at the whole thing, and i'm NOT happy with it. Why? I can't really say! The U bend annoys me no end, but that in itself is not the reason. Just something about this layout really bugs me.

So now the project is halted, because I can't continue while I have this hanging around. I COULD use it (it has been leak tested, and I currently have a vinegar/DI water mix cleaning the blocks/rads.... but I don't like this aesthetic AT ALL.

Anyone got any suggestions on how to improve it? The only things I can really think of is to reverse one (or both) of the Rads so that their end tanks are down the other end, and move the pump up a bit....Either that or remove the 240 Rad from the picture entirely...

Edit: changed the project name to Blue Heaven after it became clear that Red Light District just wasn't going to really apply any more.

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Old 08-10-16, 11:07 PM
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Added the photos to initial post. A couple more still to add. For those that are interested enough to follow me on this journey - I am getting close to the point of filling the loop for its initial leak test/cleaning run (vinegar and distilled). When it comes time to fill the loop proper, would you prefer to see photos of it being done, or a video of it all happening?

Note: if video: you'll have to make do with what my potato.... err: phone can do.
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Old 12-10-16, 11:24 AM
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OK, so, I got annoyed at myself for cheating with the soft tube between the Rads, so I removed it. However because of my lack of equipment, I had to come up with a novel solution to the problem. What was it? A U bend!



Here are the rest of the tubes, in place:


Now, I stand back and look at the whole thing, and i'm NOT happy with it. Why? I can't really say! The U bend annoys me no end, but that in itself is not the reason. Just something about this layout really bugs me.

So now the project is halted, because I can't continue while I have this hanging around. I COULD use it (it has been leak tested, and I currently have a vinegar/DI water mix cleaning the blocks/rads.... but I don't like this aesthetic AT ALL.

Anyone got any suggestions on how to improve it? The only things I can really think of is to reverse one (or both) of the Rads so that their end tanks are down the other end, and move the pump up a bit....Either that or remove the 240 Rad from the picture entirely...
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Old 12-10-16, 11:30 AM
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Normally when people do hard tubing they run everything 90'. This way it's either up/down left/right, so I can see why it annoys you.

The problem is the cost of fittings. People who don't water cool (like me exactly five weeks ago) knew that water cooling was expensive because of the rads/pumps etc but the fittings are the devil's creation ! The costs start adding up really fast.

Does your rad not have g 1/4 top and bottom?
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Old 12-10-16, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post
Normally when people do hard tubing they run everything 90'. This way it's either up/down left/right, so I can see why it annoys you.
That might be it. I went with the soft tubing philosophy of trying to use as little tubing as possible.... Guess I need to buy more tube and redo about half of the runs...And probably turn one of the rads (at least)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post
The problem is the cost of fittings. People who don't water cool (like me exactly five weeks ago) knew that water cooling was expensive because of the rads/pumps etc but the fittings are the devil's creation ! The costs start adding up really fast.
That they do my friend, that they do. I'm lucky though, I have a reasonable selection of 90 and 45 degree fittings, so as long as I can line up the end points to be straight, then I can pretty much bend how I want. My biggest issue to date has actually been with the measuring of the runs (that run from the CPU to the Pump/Res - I got it wrong (too short) 5 times! But if I go with the straight up/down, in/out, left/right runs, then I shouldn't really need that many fittings, would I?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post
Does your rad not have g 1/4 top and bottom?
No. My Rads are not crossflow rads (with a entry/exit point at each end), they are the standard type. They DO have a bleed port at the bottom (which my 360 is using as a drainage point - that long red tube you may have seen).
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Old 12-10-16, 01:50 PM
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Ugh, yeah my rad isn't Crossflow either (thanks for teaching me the correct name for it lol) so I had to really do some head scratching.

You can, though, quite easily straighten hose with a heat gun. It stays that way, too.
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Old 12-10-16, 02:06 PM
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Aye fittings are the most marked-up, hyped-up thing on the market right now, they cost pence to make and cost the earth for us meer mortals. Really annoys me how restrictive they are because of the prices. Yet when they 'sponsor' someone they throw literally thousands of pounds worth of fittings their way because realistically they cost pittance to make.

FYI Surfie, I had to bend hardline for my rad-to-rad gap lol So cheating is still cheating :P
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Old 12-10-16, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuB View Post
Aye fittings are the most marked-up, hyped-up thing on the market right now, they cost pence to make and cost the earth for us meer mortals. Really annoys me how restrictive they are because of the prices. Yet when they 'sponsor' someone they throw literally thousands of pounds worth of fittings their way because realistically they cost pittance to make.

FYI Surfie, I had to bend hardline for my rad-to-rad gap lol So cheating is still cheating :P
I don't understand? I'm using hardline everywhere in the loop except for fill and drainage currently? The rad to rad (which was where i cheated initially), is now a u shaped hardline bend. I don't like it though.
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Old 13-10-16, 03:27 AM
Bartacus Bartacus is offline
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Is there any room for tube behind the mobo tray? That would open your options up a ton.
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Old 13-10-16, 04:48 AM
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Is there any room for tube behind the mobo tray? That would open your options up a ton.
Hmmmm. Depends on the section. Front section, yes, but not much in the way out access (although i could cut some holes i suppose), back, maybe, but access will be a bit easier. What are your thoughts?
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