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firky

Water Cooled HTPC

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Right Guys and Girls,

 

Its time to build a HTPC for gaming. I have being looking at getting an xbox 360 or a playstation 3 but they just don't do it for me the graphics are often lacking they tend to be unreliable. So I have decided to build HTPC just for gaming I wanted something nice and small, nice to look at I wanted it to connect via HDMI to my TV as well as being quiet. Yet power full enough to handle games like Crysis at full HD 1920 by 1080. Normally small cases and gaming don't mix or shouldn't be in the same sentence. Small cases mostly mean small cheap low quality psu's that cant support high spec components needed for gaming. Small cases have limited room for heat sinks and fans poor air flow and lots of very hot components. Graphics cards are also a huge stumbling block for small low profile cases as low profile graphics cards are often low spec and low power and inadequate for gaming.

 

So to eliminate the problems with using small cases. I have picked a case that supports a Full sized psu this will ensure that the components remain stable while under heavy load. I have found my self a good low profile Graphics card an nvidia 450GTS I plan to use two of these cards to give me the most amount of power I can fit in this case as I have a psu that can handle high end graphics cards I will make the most of it. The cards I have picked take up two pci slots each one for the pcb and one for the heat sink with an exhaust vent at the back letting the fan blow hot air right out of the case. I also plan to use water cooling for the cpu as instead of a huge heat sink that wont fit. I plan to use the pump/block from the corsair H70 along with a black ice GT stealth 240mm dual radiator and 3/8 tubing. Most of you are now probably thinking to your selfs the H70 is pants you could do better with just a normal heat sink. and these of you who are really in to water cooling will be thinking 3/8 tubing thats tiny thats not going help your flow rate. Normally I would agree But seeing as the pump is right on top of the cpu water block you cant lose any flow between the pump and block and by using a 240mm rad that is only 30mm thick it gives me a large surface area to dissipate the heat while being able to mount it within my case easily unlike large heat skins that are fixed over the cpu.

 

By now your probably thinking well come on then whats the specs of this beast Firky?

 

Well here we go:

 

Case: Lian LI pc-c39

Psu: Corsair TX 950W ATX SLI Compliant Power Supply

Motherboard: Asus Rampage III GENE Socket 1366 mATX Motherboard

Cpu: Intel Core i7 950 3.06GHz 8Mb Cache LGA1366

Memory: Corsair 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz XMS3 Triple Channel i7 Memory Kit CL8

Graphics: Palit 1024MB GDDR5 GeForce GTS 450 Low Profile DVI / HDMI PCI-E

Hard drive: Undecided yet

Dvd drive: Undecided yet

 

 

Thats enough typing for now. Here are some pic's of my work so far.

 

SDC13099-1.jpg SDC13102-1.jpg

 

This lead was made to carry the RPM info from the corsair H70 pump to the cpu fan header using only pin number 3 and a single green multi strand cable.

 

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This lead was made to supply the corsair H70 pump with 12v DC ensuring the pump runs at it full potential RPM. Avoiding the motherboard cool and quite settings which is used for the rest of the case fans. By using a tamiya plug and socket it makes removing the pump / block much easier also reducing the amount of cable management.

 

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This lead was made to connect my modded H70 to any PSU with with 4 pin molex connections. These leads will soon be added to my H70 along with two koolance female quick disconnect fittings.

 

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The Koolance fittings will be used with 3/8 ID (10mm) tubing. These quick disconnect fittings will allow me to remove the rest of the water cooling loop with out the need to remove the H70. Thats all for now guys Im waiting on a big box to arrive in the post.

 

Thanks Firky.

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Some I have parts are ready and waiting.

 

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I have always used Arctic silver 5 on all my builds I always have one to hand never no when you will need it :). I have a 4 pin molex I need to make up for the fan controller had to get some new pins just incase bargain price :)

 

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As always I will running a leak test before my build goes live so I got me one of the motherboard plug switchy on things it was 30p normally I would just short the two pins out with some wire but this just a little bit safer. Got my self some taps they will be used when making a bracket for the rad.

 

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I plan to use some sort of "T" line set up in my loop what better way to fill your loop than a Danger den fill port :) Also got my hands on some screws for my rad bracket.

 

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I will be using a 240mm Black ice GTX Rad for this loop its only 30mm thick ideal for my low profile case. Also I plan to use some quality BitsPower fittings to keep the every neat and tidy. I am going to use plastic pipe clips for this build last time I used jubilee clips and they are a real pain to tighten even with the correct tools.

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Here is a quick mock up of how the fittings from the rad will go. The bracket still needs to be made and holes drilled for the bulkhead fittings. Total width of the rad plus fittings is 165mm and the total depth is 85mm.

 

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If I am short of hight within the case I can reduce the hight from 85mm to 75mm by in creasing the length by 25mm.

 

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Both of the above layouts give me enough clearance to fit the fans on the same side of the rad reducing the over all size and keeping the hight below 90mm.

 

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Here are the Scythe slip stream 120MM 2000rpm slim case fans I will be using with the rad. They are tiny compared to the 120mm by 25mm fans that Corsair ship with the H70.

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how are you planning on silencing the gpus? and also i do not think (at least the palit ones) that they support SLI.

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I am going to leave the gpu cooling stock for now untill, one I found out how hot they get, two how loud they are and three how much space I have left.

 

 

I was under the impression I could run these cards in Sli with out using a bridge. I guess I will find out soon enough.

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Here are a few pics of the hardware I have so far.

 

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I just had to make sure it all fitted nicely in my case.

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Yep you have probly guessed it I will have to mod my H70 to allow me to use the cables I have made up as well adding 3/8 tubing to allow me to use Koolance QDC fittings. So its officially Modding Time! The plan is to replace the standard H70 3pin fan header with the 4pin molex lead I've made up as well as a RPM sender for the motherboard header. Then add the 3/8 tubing.

 

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Here are a few snaps before the Modding begins

 

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First I cut the pipes sat the rad in the sink to drain and then carefully cut the pipes of the H70's plastic barbs using a "Stanley knife". The H70 is now separated from the rad and completely tubeless.

 

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Turning the H70 on its side reveals the screw and washer setup which holds the barbs in position. After removing the screws the barbs just pulled out. Next I tuned the H70 up side down to reveals all the screws all but two are used to hold the cooling block to the pump while the other two identified by the arrows are the screws that hold the cover on.

 

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After removing the two screws the cover just pulled off. Here you can see all the bits removed so far. Here you can see the inner workings of the H70. More importunely you can see where the 3pin fan cable goes.

 

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Three screws hold the electromagnet and circuit board in place once removed the circuitry just lifts right off.

 

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Here we can see that the fan cable is clearly labelled on the circuit board so I went ahead and desoldered the cable.

 

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Next I soldered the cabled's I made before. Making sure to solder them in the correct place.

 

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Next steps were just to rebuild the H70 making sure to keep the cable braid inside the lid using the cable ties as cable retainers to prevent the cable from being pulled out tough the lid.

 

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Next I cut a small pice of 6mm ID tubing I put this on each barb to build up the thickness so I could clip 3/8 ID (10mm) tubing on to the barbs.

 

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Here is my finished H70 in all its Koolance QDC glory :)

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I wasn't 100% happy with the way I had connected the 10mm tubing to the 6mm barbs on the H70. I used a short peaces of 6mm tube to increase the size of the barbs then fitted the 10mm tubing on top and used plastic clips to hold it all in place. This didn't allow the barbs any clearance to lie flat as the tube jammed against the screws. Also the plastic clips were big and bulky and reduced the room I had between the top of the case and the motherboard. So I set about finding a better solution for this.

 

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I decided to used two longer peaces of 6mm tube to extend the Koolance Tubing Adapter - 1/4" (6mm) to 3/8" (10mm) fittings away from the H70 allowing the barbs to move while keeping every thing as low as possible.

 

 

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This is how the H70 is sitting at the moment not 100% it will stay like this.

 

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Here is a few pics to give you an idea of where the rad will sit.

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I dread to think how much all that BitsPower cost :lol:

 

Nice job so far, but why use the H70 block with 6mm barbs? Is it because it has side barbs? Wouldn't a better block with 90° adaptors on top fit?

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I dread to think how much all that BitsPower cost :lol:

 

Nice job so far, but why use the H70 block with 6mm barbs? Is it because it has side barbs? Wouldn't a better block with 90° adaptors on top fit?

 

It looks like it was an easy way to have a really low profile pump and block since it looks like space is at a premium in that chassis! I agree the bitspower stuff was a bit of an overkill and introduces to many leak points into the loop. Pretty, Yes ...Expensive ......Yes but awfully sure you will get at least one leak there

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It looks like it was an easy way to have a really low profile pump and block since it looks like space is at a premium in that chassis! I agree the bitspower stuff was a bit of an overkill and introduces to many leak points into the loop. Pretty, Yes ...Expensive ......Yes but awfully sure you will get at least one leak there

 

 

You hit the nail on the head the only reason I used the H70 for this build is due to the very compact design with a block and pump together which dose not protrude any higher than the ram modules. As regards to the bits power parts I have used the liquid PTFE tape as I don't fully trust the O rings. How ever a vast majority of the fittings are rotatable allowing me to line every thing up this would of been imposable (or very hard) with out the rotation within the fittings I believe each fitting has two O rings to prevent any leaks. I do agree that it may still leak but I am doing my up most to prevent that.

 

I am thinking along the lines of an SSD One for speed and to for phisical size as I could mount it above the DVD drive rack and use the 3.5inch bay for the extra cables from the PSU rather than cutting them off and voiding my warranty.

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