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Old 12-04-13, 03:22 PM
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alpenwasser alpenwasser is offline
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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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Old 12-04-13, 03:25 PM
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alpenwasser alpenwasser is offline
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Location: Switzerland
Posts: 1,856
The Case Itself

The SMH10

Since these long posts are extremely unwieldy for editing: multi-posting.
Also makes it easier to link to a specific section of the build.

I ordered it flat-packed. Shipping to Switzerland was ~150 USD and it took
13 days from order confirmation until arrival. Jim was very helpful with advice
and making sure what I ordered made sense .

The Box

Unpacking the Goodies

Guarding the Loot

Always Use Protection (a thick wool blanket in this case)

Ready, Set, Go!

First Steps

Getting There...

Uh Oh!

The 3.5" HDD cage collided with the tie down points. I wrote to Caselabs
and sent them a pic. They promptly responded saying they were trying to
figure out what had gone wrong.

After a few days Kevin wrote back to me saying that my main compartment
divider (the big vertical plate in the main chamber) had accidentally been
manufactured to an old spec and that they were going to send me a new one.

This actually worked out quite well because I'd forgotten a few small parts in
my first order for which I now didn't have to pay shipping .

Mistakes happen, what matters to me is how they are handled and Caselabs'
customer service left nothing to be desired in this case.


Out of Curiosity

A Fine Detail I noticed

The threads for mounting the acrylic window and the HDD cages are done
like this. You barely notice them. No fiddling around with screws. Just use
the provided flange nut driver (which is a very nice one btw) and mount
the nuts over the threads. Much more comfortable than screws. Very nice!

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Old 12-04-13, 03:26 PM
SeekaX SeekaX is offline
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Posts: 4,757
was about time to see your rig, this is gonna be awesome! sit the f*ck down and do it!
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Old 12-04-13, 03:29 PM
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alpenwasser alpenwasser is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Switzerland
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Radiator Porn


As mentioned, I will be using two Hardware Labs SR-1 560's and one
Alphacool XT45 480, or the equivalent of ~14.89 120 mm single rads.
Both the SR-1 and the XT45 are excellent at the low fans speeds I will
be using, according to Martin's Liquid Lab (SR-1 review, XT45 review).

Group Shot

Isn't that 480 just cute?

GTX 560

There was mistake in my shipment of the SR-1's. I got the GTX560's instead.
Had I kept them, I would have saved around 50 CHF (~41 EUR, 37 GBP).
However, according to Martin's review, they are only really useful for high
power fans, which is not at all what I intend to run.

Nonetheless, they are a stunning piece of workmanship, so I took a few pics
before sending them back.


After a little while, I got what I had ordered:

SR-1: Longitudinal Shot

The fins on this rad are just about perfect

Fin Detail

Creating more turbulence (for better heat exchange) and preventing dust
buildup (according to HW Labs' PR).

Alphacool XT45

Alphacool XT45: Fin Detail

The fins are structured not as excessively as the SR-1's, but judging from performance, it's still enough

Bottom Radiator Assembly: Components, Revision 1

The 560's will go into the bottom compartment, while the 480 will be in
the case's top.

SR-1: Nylon Screws

I ordered some black Nylon M4 hex bolts (to dampen the fans' vibrations).
I knew it was going to be a tight fit (maximum length they were available
in was 30 mm), but I had to try.

Also, I very much like the fact that the SR-1 is using M4 threads .

SR-1: Slightly Recessed Threads

I could just about get the screws into most of the threads through the
Caselabs radiator mount. Unfortunately, the threads on the SR-1 are slightly
recessed. Getting a gasket in between was going to be impossible (and
I could only mount about 10 of the 16 screws per assembly).

And since the SR-1 uses 20 mm distance between fan threads, I was going
to need a gasket.

Longer Bolts, Plus Gasket

I ordered some 40 mm hex bolts and some Phobya radiator gasket tape.
Let's try this again

Fan Bolts Cutouts

One Side Done

Sealing Gaps

The SR-1 has 20 mm spacing, so there's a gap between fans.

Radiator Assembly, Revision 2

I will spray paint the bolts with copper later on.
But the painting phase is not quite here yet.

Small Oversight

Can't have this:


No Puncturing

The SR-1 has a 15 mm inbuilt shroud on one side. So there's plenty of room
for those 40 mm screws.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more updates
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Old 12-04-13, 03:30 PM
alienware alienware is offline
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Big boy rig !
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Old 12-04-13, 03:30 PM
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SieB SieB is offline
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Location: Dudley
Posts: 8,138
That's a hell of a long time to put together a case, well worth it though.
Looking forward to seeing it all up and running.
NZXT Switch 810 - Ryzeny 3600 - Gigabyte X570 Gaming - 32GB Corsair Platinum SE - MSI Gaming 1070 - Crucial MX100 256GB SSD - Crucial MX500 500GB SSD - Samsung F3 1TB HDD - Corsair H100 - Corsair RM1000i SE - Asus VE247H

PC Audio: Asus Xonar STX - Sennheiser HD650.
Portable Audio: FiiO X3II - Audiofly AF140 - Etymotic ER4s - Fidue A83.
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Old 12-04-13, 04:00 PM
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Mysterae Mysterae is offline
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Nice one Alpenwasser! Sweet specs, looking forward to more updates.
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Old 12-04-13, 04:06 PM
Snortan Snortan is offline
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This is brilliant! Waiting for more pics .
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Old 12-04-13, 04:33 PM
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pcjunkie429 pcjunkie429 is offline
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Subbed . Can't wait for the rest of the build. Starting out epic.
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Old 12-04-13, 04:37 PM
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dipzy dipzy is offline
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going to be a good one, can't wait for more
| Asus X399 Zenith Extreme | AMD Threadripper 1900X | 32GB Gskill Trident Z RGB | Nvidia Titan Xp | Western Digital 500GB & 512GB NVME M.2 SSDs | Corsair AX1500i | LG 32" 4K HDR Monitor | Ducky Shine 3 YOTS Edition | Corsair M65|
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560 radiator, caselabs smh10, copper, evga sr-2, geforce titan

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