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Old 27-07-13, 11:45 PM
Bartacus Bartacus is offline
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An old noobs 2nd water build / overhaul / upgrade: Case Labs M8

Hey guys, fairly new member here, figured I'd toss up a log of the upgrade from my virgin water build. So this is my second water loop. I'm 43, been building systems for years, but never got into water until recently. Now I'm hooked! WARNING: I am a complete noob STILL, and I'm not good with tools! So you won't see any fancy fabrication in THIS thread, LOL! You'll see a ton of idiot mistakes involving alcohol and stupidity though.

The first build, being a rookie water loop, was rather awful:



That build consisted of:

Corsair 800D case / AX750W power suppy
Asus Rampage IV Gene mobo with i3820 and XSPC Raystorm block
16GB Corsair Dominator Plantinum 1866 RAM
Sapphire Radeon 7950 (non reference) with AlphaCool NexXxos V2 block
XSPC EX360 rad in the roof, 3 Coolermaster SickleFlow fans in pull / intake
XSPC EX140 rad in the rear exhaust area, 140mm Bitfenix fan in pull / exhaust
XSPC dual bay reservoir with dual D5 variable pumps
FrozenQ helix reservoir / blood red

It was ugly as hell, had no proper drainage OR fill mechanisms, and basically retarded on any number of levels. I even ended up putting the tube res on it's side to set up a drain:



LOL! Hard not to face-palm myself looking at that pic. I made so many mistakes! The drain worked well enough though. The whole system worked well performance-wise. I had no complaints about temps. But then I got the itch for a 2nd GPU, which would probably mean I need more rad. Using that logic as an excuse, I bought a Case Labs M8 cube:



I've always wanted a cube. The idea of having an entire half of your case to hide the cable mess in appeals to me. Cable management ISN'T one of my skills.

The M8 comes with stuff, lots of stuff:



It looks so empty back then. Has THAT ever changed:


Got the XXL window:


Also added a second 7950 into the mix, a reference 7950 this time:


Now both my cards have boobs:


I was kinda bored with the FrozenQ tube res, and not really enjoying the lack of port options on mine. So I spent some cash on some sexy German hardware and bought an Aqualis 800ml tube reservoir and a Watercool Heatkiller GPU block for the new 7950:


I got those parts from Dazmode.com. Daz rocks.


Heatkiller installed and looking awesome:


Backplate installed and also looking awesome:


Large tube is large. I named it "TubeZilla":


TubeZilla says "this M8 is tiny":


I also decided to ditch my XSPC bay res, and do something different with my twin D5s:




Of course, I bought that M8 with rad expansion in mind. Very specific expansion! Monstrous expansion!


Alphacool Monsta 360s. Rads be phat, yo:


Also got Daz to send me some good fans for the new rads, Gentle Typhoon AP45s:


Seeing how much room I have to play with:


Flirted with using some Triebwerk fans for a minute, decided nah:


Also bought a spare D5 / box reservoir for external testing:


Wow, this case is a touch smaller than I had envisioned:


That's my own stupid fault of course. Once I placed the tube, I realized I wasn't going to have enough room to mount both D5s in their own mount kits. I just didn't have the space. DOH! My Aqualis tube also didn't come with a pump mount. So I contacted Shoggy @ AquaComputer, and bought a D5 mount for TubeZilla, directly from them:


Rigged up a little stand-up box for TubeZilla testing:


After thinking about it, I decided TubeZilla needed to be floor mounted somehow. The mounting plate that comes with the tube is for a wall mount. I couldn't see that working well inside the M8, and didn't relish the idea of drilling coles in a case that cost me $750CDN. So I decided TubeZilla will get feet:


$5 a pair brackets from Canadian Tire. Once I drill proper holes, these will do nicely:


I spent a ton of time thinking about the tubing run, and trying different things. Both Monstas are mounted on the power supply side of the case, with the idea being to use the EX360 rad over the motherboard, as it was in the 800D. It turned out the easiest run from the motherboard side on top was straight down to the bottom Monsta:


Then across and up to the top Monsta:


That made the most sense to me. Diagonal runs were out, as I needed to move that HDD cage in and out. That cage would be full too. Given all the junk that was going in there, this seemed like the cleanest tube route.

Then the top Monsta would run to the mobo side like so:


To the pumps / tube res:


I used old clear tube to measure the distances I needed before cutting up the good stuff, PrimoChill advanced LRT in red:


Trying to figure out the tube / 2nd pump placement:


Can anyone spot the disastrous noob miscalculation in that above pic? I made a serious dunce move that picture hints at. More on that later. My little pump / tube combo ended up badly:


I heat shrunk the feet with thick stuff, for camo and vibration damping. I also made a royal mess of the mounting holes on the back AND the bottom, so TubeZilla never sat properly. So I went back to the drawing board and spend another $5 on new brackets, and another $8 on spray paint:


I messed up the mounting holes AGAIN (totally SUCK with tools), but it wasn't as bad this time:


TubeZilla sits MUCH better, and looks nicer with painted feet. Also painted the 2nd D5 mount:


Future disastrous noob mistake evidenced again:


More tube finalizing, or so I thought:


I almost forgot that I picked up an NZXT HUE RGB LED strip / controller. After finding it hidden under a pile of boxes, I decided to install it. The power cable would be run nicely hidden beside the bottom Monsta, and connect here (case rear):


From the case rear, straight up below the motherboard to the front:


Up the case front:


Across the case top, and down the back over to the power supply side, where it ends:


Lights, camera, action:


Speaking of lights, TubeZilla also needs some. It has 6 LED holes in the base. I only used 4. I started out by stripping some XSPC red LEDs I had:


After looking around for some black heat shrink that would be thick enough for the LEDS, I only found one strip thick enough. Of course, it HAD to be pink:


It'll be hidden anyway, mostly. Wiring em up:


Done:


Uh oh, we're down a light:


Until we lift the power cable UP that is:


A messy pile of parts, including the next thing to be installed, XSPC water temp sensors:


Temp sensor #1 (cold) will go right before the first pump:


Temp sensor #2 (hot) will attach to the top EX360 rad, with the CPU output going into it:


Temp sensor test:

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Old 27-07-13, 11:45 PM
Bartacus Bartacus is offline
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Post #2: I had to break it up since I was over the 32000 character limit. Don't hurt me mods!

HDD cage will have an SSD cage velcro-ed to the bottom:


Tight fit, but it works:


The M8 awaits its new guts:


Draining the old rig:


Rig is drained:


Power supply removed:


And put in its new home. Fits nicely:


Lots of room for tubing in a Case Labs box:


Next up, transfer HDDs / SSDs to the new system. SSDs first:


SSDs installed in new cage:


HDDs installed too. This should be fun cabling:


I bought a cable to help with the cable mess:


Cage installed, quad SATA cable tied down:


Forgot to mention the fans! 3 Gentle Typhoon AP45s on the bottom Monsta (pull exhaust), attached with a 3 - 1 Bitfenix Alchemy splitter cable to make life easier:


Same setup on top Monsta, with the fans in push intake:


TubeZilla gets one of the D5 varios:


TubeZilla is bolted to the bottom 120mm rad covers, flipped upside down so the bolts will clear the 120mm holes underneath:


Here's a bigger hint about the upcoming stupidity that threw a monkey wrench into everything:


Prepping the EX360, using another Bitfenix splitter (LOVE these things):


Jamming a fitting through the grommet for the EX360 connection:


You can see the temp sensor on the EX360 (far left, top). The connection to the LED screen at the front is tied off along the top:


Massive noob mistake #1: I assumed GPU block ports were in a standardized place, the same on every block. Duuuuuuuuuuuhhhhh!


Gee, do you think I could bridge these things? NOOOOOOO.


But that wasn't the worst mistake I made. The WORST, most cataclysmic mistake, was this:


HOW did I not realize how small that space was?!?! Drastic measures had to be taken. Since drills and I do not get along, I wasn't about to start drilling MORE holes in the Case Labs plates or worse, the case floor, in a mad panic. So I decided on velcro as a temporary fix, until I re-think this thing and come up with a more permanent solution.

TubeZilla gets fuzzy feet:


As does the pump. I was running out of velcro at this point, and only had six little pieces left for TubeZilla:


Thanks to a freaky snake-like Bitspower fitting, I got by:


As I said, cable management isn't my thing.


But it lived:


Here it is with an NZXT Sentry Mix fan controller, which lasted about 1 day before I removed it. It makes the CM fans whine/groan loudly no matter what speed the fans are on. Horrible noise!


The HeatKiller and Dominators match up nicely:


Then I got around to thinking about how to run the other 7950 with Alphacool block. After 5 minutes, I came up with this:


Not pretty but it worked for a bit:


Until I gave it MORE than 5 minutes of thought, and came up something different. First off, I didn't like that snake fitting, so I ditched it in favor of curvy short tube runs. But I didn't have too many fittings laying around. First from the pump to TubeZilla:


Add 2 more pieces of curvy tubing that seem to flow with the Raystorm CPU block, and you get this:


All the fittings I had left over in the end:


It almost looks like abstract tube art.


I used Case Labs short flex bay mounts to get the XSPC temp sensor LCDs in the top bay, about 1 finger away from the EX360 rad:


Also ditched the NZXT Sentry controller for making my fans sound horrible, and went back to a $10 Sunbeam:


I do love the color red, played out or not:


I REALLY need to learn how to use a camera:


That's all for now. I'm still working out what to do about properly mounting the pumps / tube. Might even go back to the XSPC dual bay res, just to be able to tuck the pumps away nicely. We shall see!

Questions / comments / suggestions are welcomed.

Bart
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Workstation: Threadripper 2950x on GB Aorus Xtreme X399 / Zotac 2080ti / 32GB TridentZ 3200CL14 (8GB x 4) / custom loop
Home Theatre: Ryzen 3900X on Asus C7H X470 / Radeon VII / 16GB G.Skill 3600CL15 (8GB x 2)
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Old 28-07-13, 12:18 AM
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Remmy Remmy is offline
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Looks great dude! I was wondering though, even if the GPU fittings were in the same place for different blocks, why wouldn't you just get two of the same blocks for the sake of them matching?
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Old 28-07-13, 12:26 AM
Bartacus Bartacus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remmy View Post
Looks great dude! I was wondering though, even if the GPU fittings were in the same place for different blocks, why wouldn't you just get two of the same blocks for the sake of them matching?
Thanks! When I bought the first video card, I had no idea what water cooling was. I discovered water halfway through my single GPU AIR build. So that first GPU was never supposed to be underwater, therefore I didn't care if it was reference or not. Turns out it isn't, so I bought one of the only blocks that fits, the Alphacool. The 2nd GPU was purchased months later, and I bought the Heatkiller because I wanted the better VRM cooling, and because I stupidly thought the ports would be in the same place.
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Workstation: Threadripper 2950x on GB Aorus Xtreme X399 / Zotac 2080ti / 32GB TridentZ 3200CL14 (8GB x 4) / custom loop
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Old 28-07-13, 12:28 AM
SPS SPS is offline
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That was hard to follow

There's definitely some interesting hosing going on there, but I do like those dark shots.
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Old 28-07-13, 02:57 PM
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alpenwasser alpenwasser is offline
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Ha, this makes me quite nostalgic for when I was still new to W/C and made my own
silly mistakes (most expensive one was screwing a bolt into the tubes of my airplex
radiator ).

I actually quite like the tube routing between the GPUs. Looking forward to more.
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