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Old 25-09-15, 02:56 PM
sinnedone sinnedone is offline
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Build Log Bringing Sexy Back

Hello OC3D, I wanted to share with you all a project I have been working on for almost 2 years now.

It's not the newest hardware being that when I started Haswell had just come out and unfortunately (or fortunately depending how you look at it) simple life things have lengthened this project.

This should be a fairly quick log as all the work is almost done and I'm at the point where all that's needed is some slight detail work and final pictures. Which I hope to complete in a week or so. Not to mention last time I posted a build here it was only rig pictures instead of a log and I'd like to tell the whole story this time.


This is also the first time I have watercooled a PC and on top of that I decided to jump straight to acrylic tubing. Up until acrylic started becoming mainstream I was seriously turned off of watercooling simply because of aesthetics. When I saw builds using copper (BNEG) and then acrylic I knew a hardline system was something I would definitely be down for. lol

I'm going to start off with system specs/details and pictures. PLease forgive the first couple of pictures as they will get better.



Case...........................................Zal man GS1000
Motherboard...............................Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP7
CPU............................................Int el I7-3770k
RAM............................................Cor sair Dominator Platinum 2133mhz 16GB (4x4gb)
SSD's..........................................OCZ Vertex 4 128GB x2 in RAID 0 (OS+few games)
HDD............................................2TB Seagate 7200rpm (storage)
Power Supply..............................Cooler Master V1000 modular 1000watt
Graphics......................................Saph ire R9 290 x2 (reference)
Sound..........................................Cre ative Sound Blaster Z



Now for the watercooling side of things I have chosen the componets that looks wise fit the look I was looking for. I am not really a brand loyalist and simply use what looks best to me. :thumb:


For radiators I chose to go with the Alphacool brand. I chose to go with these beacuse I plan on using lower rpm fans and wanted unitformity with the rads. I will be trying to stuff the lollowing rads into my chosen case:

1- Alphacool Monsta 280mm
1- Alphacool ST30 280mm
1- Alphacool XT45 140mm
1- Alphacool ST30 120mm


For waterblocks I tried to stay uniform and used a combination of EKWB and XSPC blocks:

1- EKWB Supremacy in acrylic/nickel for the 1155 CPU
2- EKWB Acrylic/nickel blocks of the R9 290 rev 2 variety
1- XSPC Black Acetal/Copper Block for the z77x-up7


As far as connecting all this equipment together I went with a wide array of different manufacturer fittings. I will be using 1/2" OD acrylic tubing with this particular build and some of the fittings will be as follows:

-Bitspower rotaries
-EKWB rotaries
-Monsoon rotaries
-Monsoon 1/2"OD fittings
-Bitspower Drain valve
-Plugs from both EK and Bitspower
-Extensions from Bitspower and Koolance


Pushing the air through the rads will be Cougar Blue LED 140mm/120mm fans. There will also be a Prolimatech 140mm slim and a 120mm slim fan for odd placement duties.

Pushing the fluid will be a Swiftech mpc35x pwm pump with an EK heatsink housing and Bitspower acrylic pump top with add on reservoir. So here is the obligatory too much stuff stacked on top of each other pic;





Here is a picture of the case I will be using:



Now I know that it's not the newest case around or full of watercooling options but ever since I first saw this case, I simply loved the looks of it. To me it reminded me of high end home Stereo equipment and just looks classy to boot. It might not look like much now, but by the time I'm trough it will have all the watercooling options I need plus I think it will look a little better than what it came stock.


Here are some pictures of the hardware I'll be working with. First up is the EK clean acrylic/nickel Supremacy CPU block. (non EVO as I've been collecting parts for a long time, lol)








Next up is one of the EK R9 290 Blocks with backplate. There are 2 pairs of these but one is currently being used in my rig.









Next up is the motherboard with xspc block and some monsoon fittings, Unfortunately the orange will go in a future update, but this is one sexy board.










Here we have a couple of different parts put together. We start off with a Swiftech MCP35x pump, add an EK nickel DDC heatsink, and a Bitspower acrylic top. Then we go for the Bitspower 250 reservoir top upgrade kit and on top of that an upgrade 3 hole top for the res. Bitspower..... the best at nickel and dimin'.











Like I mentioned before I'll be using of different manufacturer fittings but damn these Monsoon ones are rather sexy!










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Old 25-09-15, 03:16 PM
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Kilbane Kilbane is offline
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Look forward to seeing how the build progresses dude. Not generally a fan of rounded cases, however Zalman have done well with that, i agree with what you were saying about the "high end home Stereo equipment" look. As for the water cooling options, half the fun is making it all fit.

Keep the updates coming.
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Old 26-09-15, 03:02 PM
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AlienALX AlienALX is online now
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I quite like that case always wanted one
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Old 26-09-15, 03:23 PM
sinnedone sinnedone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilbane View Post
Look forward to seeing how the build progresses dude. Not generally a fan of rounded cases, however Zalman have done well with that, i agree with what you were saying about the "high end home Stereo equipment" look. As for the water cooling options, half the fun is making it all fit.

Keep the updates coming.
Thank you.
Honestly I do believe most of my personal fun is making things fit. lol If I am not making something fit or modifying it makes it feel like something is missing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post
I quite like that case always wanted one
Thanks, I'm going to spice it up just a bit.



First thing up to be improved on visually is the motherboard waterblock. I personally did not like the button head screws so decided to try and make it be a little more visually appealing.

Disassembled the motherboard water block to get at the stainless steel plate which originally looked like this:



Went ahead and countersunk the holes for the screws for preparation of new hardware:



After that went ahead and sourced some flush head allen screws cut to length and assembled the block:




Definitely feel that better. It's not done yet in those pictures as it will be made to look a lot prettier.





Next up is the case. It's a Zalman GS1000. Now this is a rather old case (5 years or so) and airflow is not it's strong suit but we'll see if we can make some changes.*


Here are some pictures of the case as it started:















Now one feature I want to use on this particular case is the hot swap bays in the lower three spots at the front of the case. The case was built with a mounting location for a 120mm fan at the very bottom of the hard drive area to help keep the hard drives cool but installing one would make you have to use the 3 upper drive bays losing the 3 bottom ones. I can't have that now.... I need that area for the front Monsta rad. Well with the help of a slim (12mm) scythe 120mm fan and some modifications we're gonna make this happen. *


Here are some pictures of what I mean:






Now first thing were gonna gave to do is flatten out these mounting recesses in the bottom of the case.*


Before:




After:




Still not enough room for that 12mm thick fan.*








Well lets modify the plastic mounting brackets for the hard drive cages a bit then.*







After those 2 slight modifications we finally have enough room for a slim fan to keep those 3 drives nice and cool














I'm at the point right now where I need to modify things a bit to try and fit as much rad space as possible in this case. I will be installing 4 rads in total. The first will be an Alphacool 280mm Monsta in push/pull as intake in the front of the case. The second will be a single 140mm Alphacool XT45 in push/pull intake at the bottom of the case. The third will be 280mm Alphacool ST30 in push exhaust at the top of the case. The last will be a single 120mm Alphacool ST30 as an exhaust in push at the rear in the case. Here a simple paint diagram of what the plans are:




Im going to be tackling the bottom mounted 140mm XT45 first. Now there isnt much room down there and with the power supply in place the rad doesnt really fit very well:



Yeah crammed up against the power supply and hot swap board isn't going to work very well.






To get a little bit of space at the bottom and have room for the 140mm radiator I decided to go with a Lian Li power supply bracket (can be seen HERE ) to pull the power supply back a couple of inches. This particular bracket is not a direct bolt on for my case, and the zalman uses its own power supply bracket to load the power supply from the rear:






To try and mount the Lian Li bracket directly to my case would have required a little bit of sheetmetal work on my part to be able to get a good mount and decided to try for a combination of the original zalman power supply bracket and the Lian Li extension. First thing up was to cut the original power supply bracket so that the power supply go slide through it.




Then I placed the Lian Li bracket onto the power supply to make measurements of where the two pieces would need to be joined.




Now if these were like materials then a simple weld and grind would suffice to join them together, but unfortunately they are not like metals. The zalman case bracket is a sort of aluminized steel and the Lianli bracket are plain old aluminum. So I tried out some epoxy after prepping the surfaces and hoping it would do the job.(pictured) UNfortunately as I knew was going to be the case it didn't work. What I would up doing is what I should have done in the first place and simply riveted the 2 pieces together. Unfortunately I do not have pictures of that.




In the end the bracket accomplished its job and gained the extra space I needed for the radiator.





Next up is the power supply mount bracket. Since the power supply is sitting a little further back via power supply extension bracket, the bottom support bracket was a little too long and in the way of an intake fan, this needed to be remedied:

Started with:


After cut:



This freed up some room for the 140mm slim fan that goes mounted in the bottom of the case:










Now comes time to shoehorn these rads into this case. I started with the top rad by cutting out enough space for a top mount:


Then I made some brackets into which mount those top rad/fans to:





Went ahead and mounted the brackets to the case with some rivets to continue the fitment process:









Slightly offset to try and give myself more room in the main chamber:



Still not very much room though




Next up is the front rad. A 280mm monsta being mounted in what use to be the front drive bays. First thing is to try and make some brackets to mount this thing.



Follow that with some assembly with the fans in push/pull





Now its time to mount them up :thumb:





Next up is the bottom 140mm rad. There's some dimpled 120mm mouting holes, but I wont be using them and they'll actually get in the way. They had to be flattened down to make a good mount for the 140mm
Before:

After:



Another small bit is that there are not enough ventilation holes to account for the 140mm fans coming up in size from 120mm on the bottom, so some more ventilation holes had to be made:
pilot holes:


slightly larger unfinished holes:



mounted:





Now for the final rad This one is going to be a 120mm mounted at the rear of the case on the outside. Only real modification here was making some holes to allow the fittings to pass through:




AAANNNNDDD Finally All rads mounted in the case:





One of the things needing modification was somewhere to mount the pump/res combo being it sat slightly too tall when sat on the midplate being that's where I wanted to mount it.. Now I know I could have simply gone with the 150ml bitspower res, but the 250ml just looks so sexy reaching to the top I had to try and figure out a way to make it happen.

What I wound up doing is simply cutting a hole through the midplate so the pump could sit lower. Then making an aluminum bracket to sit the pump/res combo onto. I used the stock rivet holes but made the bracket threaded to hold both together. It turned out pretty well.











Still a little tight at the top, but everything fits.




Thats pretty much it for everything that needed to be modified on the case. Next off is dissassembly and gettting powdercoated.


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Old 27-09-15, 11:09 PM
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CreatiXx CreatiXx is offline
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A Zalman case, been doubting about those once too. Good to see one creating a build with it. Looking good so far!
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Old 29-09-15, 02:43 PM
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By George that looks awesome !

As I was scrolling down through the pics I was thinking "Man that needs painting black badly" and you didn't disappoint !

Great work so far !
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Old 29-09-15, 02:47 PM
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Wraith Wraith is offline
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Quality work there dude and great execution, moar! moar!
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Old 29-09-15, 03:51 PM
sinnedone sinnedone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CreatiXx View Post
A Zalman case, been doubting about those once too. Good to see one creating a build with it. Looking good so far!
Thank you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienALX View Post
By George that looks awesome !

As I was scrolling down through the pics I was thinking "Man that needs painting black badly" and you didn't disappoint !

Great work so far !
lol Yeah the non painted interior of the older cases do kill the look a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wraithguard View Post
Quality work there dude and great execution, moar! moar!
Thank you.

Some more incoming.






Now the countersinking of the screws on the stainless plate was only the first step for what the final goal would be. Now my other blocks are nickel plated so the motherboard block was a little out of place being copper. So after some vigorous stainless polishing and getting the copper bits dipped in nickel we have the z77x-up7 motherboard block XSPC should have built. Came out rather sexy I think.








Now while I was happy getting things polished/plated I decided to give the ram a little bit of love as well. While Corsairs" Dominator platinum series ram is rather sexy to say the least, it needed a little something in my particular build. I decided to have the top sections plated as well. They are normally an anodized silver finish but I think this looks much better.






Coming together on the motherboard









Those of you with a keen eye might have noticed a little differnet color scheme on the motherboard. While this is a particular sexy motherboard and orange is an awesome color it simply doesn't do on this build. Painting a motherboard is the biggest pain in the a$$ there ever was lol. I got er done though.

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Old 04-10-15, 07:54 PM
sinnedone sinnedone is offline
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The motherboard is almost sitting the way I want but there's still some small bits to be done. (more on that later)

It was time to turn my attention to the waterblocks. First up is the graphics cards blocks. One thing I didn't like about the acrylic EK block for the R9 290's is the fact the acrylic did not run the full length of the card. I decided to take car of that on a budget, lol




I also replaced the black screws with some stainless screws that hold on the stainless plate and polished both the plate and screws.





Basically what I did there was buy some acrylic the same thickness and then made some extensions to the original acrylic by hand to lengthen the acrylic. THe recesses for the capacitors look a little rough on those parts because acrylic doesn't like being heated up and a cnc job wasn't in the budget. It doesn't really affect the looks of the card because those cutouts won't be seen.

That brings us to the next modification to the gpu blocks.









That's a little better.

At that point the acrylic was painted with a satin black minus the small "window" in the center section and a small border around the edge of the acrylic.

Why did you paint the acrylic like this you ask.... well there will be blue leds installed in all the blocks/pump/res and I don't like how harsh leds look in plain acrylic blocks. THe way I painted the blocks will help keep the light where I want it and not floods everything. Basically I want the components to have a sort of "glow" to them.(more on that later)

THe cpu block was next up on the paint treatment.





The last bit to get the custom paint treatment was the pump/res combo. For this I was inspired by the harbingers reservoir covers as I always like that look. I think it came out rather nice.



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Old 05-10-15, 04:21 AM
sinnedone sinnedone is offline
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Next step was to get these puppies lit. I installed three 3mm blue leds in the gpu blockas and wired them up.






After those were installed I moved onto the cpu block whic received two 3mm blue leds.




After that it was time for the pump/res combo. The pump block itself has a 5mm led and the res section has a 3mm blue led.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...sqofrluns.jpeg



The following pictures are not that great and better ones will get posted at a later date, but they show the look I was going for with the lighting on these acrylic pieces.










So far I think the lighting works really well and is exactly what I wanted the blue leds to do. Which is basically light up the components without flooding the entire area around them with blue light and washing the rest of the build.



Now we're back to give the motherboard some love.
Ever since motherboards starting coming out with IO covers I really liked how most gave the board a cleaner look once installed. So I decided to give that a go for the ole UP7.

Started off with some acrylic pieces which I measured and cut individually along with shaping and adding angles by hand. Using some acrylic weld the 5 little pieces of hand cut acrylic became this:






Went with a subtle satin black like the rest of the pieces on this IO cover and simply attached with double sided 3m tape. I rather like the results though. Here is how it came out on the motherboard:





OOh much better
Still not done with the motherboard love though. At this point the capacitors were sticking out like a sore thumb so with some time consuming hand painting skills those too were blacked out as well. The cpu block hand nuts/battery were given the black treatment as well. The results were gratifying to say the least.







So after all this, all the hardware has received some love minus one last part, the Creative Sound Blaster Z. If anyone doesn't know this particular sound card comes with a bright red metal shield. It actually looks pretty good but it's not for this build. I then removed the shield and painted it a satin black to make it a little more understated along with disconnecting the bright red leds it comes with. It also has a small plastic window that's tinted red which i made a clear replacement.






At this point the sound card needed a little extra flair. It needed a backplate, and not just any backplate. It needed an EKWB Sound Blaster Z backplate. What's this you say... EK doesnt make backplates for sound cards? Well... we'll just have to fix that.





Ahhh, much better.
So since all the hardware is finally done the next thing up is to install and get some acrylic tubing bent up.

Stay tuned.
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