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Old 12-04-13, 03:22 PM
alpenwasser's Avatar
alpenwasser alpenwasser is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Switzerland
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HELIOS (Caselabs SMH10 | black/copper | EVGA SR-2 | Geforce Titan) - by alpenwasser

Table of Contents

  1. 2013-APR-12: The SMH 10 - Unboxing and Assembly
  2. 2013-APR-12: Radiator Porn
  3. 2013-APR-13: Building a New Workshop
  4. 2013-APR-23: My Old Rig & The XSPC Raystorm
  5. 2013-JUN-16: PSU & Pump Mount, Making the 24 Pin Cable
  6. 2013-JUN-21: Small Cable Progress Update
  7. 2013-JUN-21: Cable Lacing Sketches
  8. 2013-JUL-06: What 40 Hours of Cabling Will Get You...
  9. 2013-JUL-18: Various Small Bits
  10. 2013-JUL-22: A Copper Face Plate for the Lamptron FC5V2
  11. 2013-JUL-25: The Aqua Computer Aqualis Copper Edition
  12. 2013-SEP-14: Prototype: The Bitfenix Spectre Pro Copper Edition
  13. 2013-SEP-15: Painting the M/B Block Screws
  14. 2013-SEP-20: Fan Disassemlby: How-To
  15. 2013-SEP-22: Quick and Messy Status Shots
  16. 2013-SEP-23: The Bitfenix Spectre Pro Copper Edition (cont.)
  17. 2013-OCT-01: Colour-Coordinating the Kryographics Titan
  18. 2013-OCT-08: Loop Planning

Second part of table of contents can be found in this post.


The first system I ever put together was back in 2001, and after suffering from
a vacuum cleaner of a heatsink for a while I switched to water cooling.
Got myself an Aquacomputer Cuplex and the necessary accessories. And ever
since then I've only had personal rigs with W/C. Water cooling was a lot
different back then, much more improvisation and DIY ghetto modding
(not that the improvements since then aren't appreciated, there's loads
of awesome stuff nowadays).

As for this build itself: Yes, yes, I'm aware: The SR-2 is old news by now.
Originally I started putting this build together in late summer 2011.
Shortly afterwards, everything was put on halt due to health troubles.
After it became clear that the pause was going to be significantly longer
than expected, I considered selling off the hardware I had already bought
(the SR-2 among it), since being ill is not exactly cheap for a college
student, even in a country with mandatory health insurance.

However, I still would have made a significant loss, and I just have an inherent
weak spot for dual CPU systems, so I persisted. And a few weeks ago I was
finally able to continue with buying the remaining components.

The good thing about having to wait this long is that in the meantime, Caselabs
have come out with pretty much the perfect case for my plans: The SMH10.
Originally, it was going to be a scratchbuild. The case I would have made myself
would have been quite similar in layout to the SMH10, also built from aluminium
(2 mm ~ 3 mm). But naturally, it's rather difficult to manufacture something of
similar quality with only the basic DIY tools, and if I had bought the tools
needed for making my own awesome case it would have cost about the same if not
slightly more than an SMH10, so I just went for that instead.

I'm still far off from getting everything I need, so this will take some time to
complete (I hope to be done some time in summer).

Before anyone thinks I'm a millionaire or something: I worked before I went
to college. I've been working since I had to drop out last summer/fall.
Besides that, I'm rather frugal with most other things in my life. So this build
is mostly the result of hard work, dedication and lots and lots of patience.
No miracles were worked and no cheat codes used.

The Name

Hysterical Excess Labouring Independently Of Sanity, aka HELIOS.

Because: It's been going on for almost two bloody years. And I am definitely
starting to question my sanity

Also: I've been naming my PC's after Greek deities since forever. The first PC I
built was an AMD Thunderbird C 1.4 GHz machine back in 2001, which lasted me for
a few years, and it was called Helios (I use the name as the PC's host name
within our network, for those wondering what practical use it has).

It died a fiery death at the hands of a water cooling accident: Using the Eheim
1048 I had been befallen by the rattling pump wheel. Naturally, I wrapped some
tape around the axle which solved that problem. Unfortunately, the tape became
brittle over time and eventually, a piece of tape broke off and clogged the
loop. Killed the flow, cooked the CPU (no overheating protection back then).
I'll see if I can get some pics of the damage to the Cuplex and post them later.

After that, I took that name out of use, until now. It's time for a revival .

The Inspiration

For the most part, PrometheusCU. I'm sure many of you are familiar with it,
and those who aren't: Go read it, now! I'll wait a few days.

Sadly, its creator passed on and never finished it (it did go to a friend of his,
but no activity since last summer, at least not in the original thread ).
I don't nearly have his set of skills and/or tools, but that doesn't change
the inspiration part.

Main PC Guts

As a side note: The computing power of this rig will mostly go to BOINC (I might
use it for gaming from time to time, we shall see). If [email protected] ever get their
together with regards to GPU folding on Linux (highly unlikely ), I might
switch over to folding again, since I'd been doing that for about 18 months
before switching to BOINC due to the GPU problem (and a few other niggles I
have with the project's behavior towards its donors).

The O/S will most likely be Arch Linux (since I've been using that for about two
years now and am quite comfortable with it), or if I feel experimental Gentoo or
even FreeBSD. Certainly not Windows. I need my xterm and Z shell and UNIX
utilities .

This is also why I won't get an Aquaero; the Aquasuite is Windows only .

  • M/B: EVGA SR-2
  • CPU: 2 x Xeon x5680 (not ES, normal retail version, got them for half price
    on eBay, brand spanking new)
  • RAM: 24 GB of Corsair Dominator 1866
  • GPU: 1 x Geforce Titan (should do well at computing)
  • SSD: Intel 520 120 GB
  • HDD: TBD
  • PSU: Enermax Platimax 1200 W (don't need that much power, but the
    weaker models aren't fully modular, more reasoning for my decision later on)
  • Case: Caselabs SMH10, reverse ATX layout, obviously in black

W/C parts

Well, of course it will be under water! . In fact, all my PC's for the last
10 years have had to get wet.
  • CPU blocks: XSPC Raystorm Copper Edition
  • GPU block: Probably the Aquacomputer Titan block in copper with
    the acrylic top. Haven't ordered it yet though, so this might still change.
  • RAM blocks: Alphacool Dominator water blocks in copper with plexi
    tops. Yes, cooling your RAM with water is absolutely unnecessary.
    I just like how it looks.
  • M/B block: MIPS SR-2 block in Acetal/Copper
  • Pumps: 2 x Aquacomputer D5 without Aquabus
  • Pump tops: 2 x Alphacool D5 pump tops in Acetal
  • Reservoir: Aquacomputer Aqualis Pro
  • Radiators: 2 x Hardware Labs SR-1 560 + 1 x Alphacool NexXxoS XT45
    Full Copper 480 (that's ~14.89 120mm single radiators, for those
  • Fans: For the moment, Bitfenix Spectre Pros in 140 mm and 120 mm,
    respectively. Some people seem to be having bearing troubles, if that
    happens, I will probably go for some Noctuas.
  • Fan and Pump Controller:Lamptron FC5v2
  • Flow Meter and Display: Koolance INS-FM17N with the DCB-FM01
    as its display. I know flow monitoring isn't really necessary, and the
    Koolance flow meter doesn't really look good. This is mostly about satisfying
    my curiosity, and there's enough places in the SMH10 where I can hide the
    display and the sensor so that it doesn't uglify the build.
  • Fittings: 16/10 mm compression fittings, Alphacool shiny copper and
    possibly also in black
  • Tubing: 15 mm OD copper tubing (possibly some normal 16/10 tubing
    in some parts, to be determined). And yes, I have figured out a way to fit
    15mm OD tubing into 16/10 compression fittings and getting it watertight
    (at least according to first tests, let's hope it keeps working).


Aka the thing that people actually care about

I have my own web space and will be uploading the pictures to it. Quite a
few reasons for that, none of them relevant here. There are a few scripts in
the background which resize the pics to any desired resolution (for this
forum: 600 px width, that way you don't get those "Pic has been resized" bars).

Most pictures are stored in 1920x1440 on my server, so if anyone wants to
see some additional detail (since 600 px width is rather low), I will hyperlink
each image to its own full-res version.

You can also specify any arbitrary desired resolution with the following pattern:
Where w000 and h000 are the desired width and height in pixels (you do need
the preceeding "h" and/or "w" though). It's sufficient to use one of the two. If
you use both, the image will be resized proportionally and the pixel values given
will be treated as maxima.


Many words have been written about this. For now, I will stick with hard
wrapping my lines, mainly because the "Preview Post" feature uses a wider
text area (==> longer lines) than the actual post later will have, which makes
it quite hard to predict how everything will look.

As someone who strictly adheres to the 80 characters per line limit in all
my text files and who is admittedly a bit anal about text formatting (PAR
FTW, for those familiar with its awesomeness ) I'm just too annoyed
if some automatic system screws up my text formatting.

The result is still not fully what I would want, but that's not possible here.
Also, this will enable me to fit all text within the same margin as the 600 px
wide images.

So, for those who have not been deterred by my introductory novella, let's
get to it.
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560 radiator, caselabs smh10, copper, evga sr-2, geforce titan

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