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Old November 16, 2010, 03:37 PM
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Default MiniITX on Water [Q08+PA160]

Selling off my large cases as I'm in love with tiny setups at the moment. I have a stripped town TJ07 that's been sitting there for almost one year that I have barely touched. My tastes are changing as I am discovering I no longer want a Crossfire or SLI setup. Instead I want a nice, quiet, tiny system.

I moved from a heavily modified Rocketfish watercooled system to a much smaller (and not as fast) system in a Lian-Li A05NB. Seeing how I only need one PCI-E slot, and now use optical out to my receiver (and an Apogee One DAC), I don't have a need for a discrete sound card in my daily use computer.

Here's where Mini-ITX fits. One PCI-E slot for a nice graphics card, everything else onboard, all in a tiny package. Perfect!

My goal is small and quiet. Ever since the Q08 came out with the front 140mm fan, I always wondered, "Would my PA160 fit in this?" I had intended on using it in my old Twice7 case but did not have the tools or materials to make it work. It wouldn't fit anywhere nice in my Rocketfish (which already had a PA120.3), nor would it fit anywhere in a 800D, OR the A05).

I took the risk and purchased a Q08 from NCIX's latest sale (they had it for $99). Finally, I get to use the PA160 somewhere (hopefully)!

My current list of materials include:

Lian Li Q08B case
Thermochill PA160 radiator
DDC3.2 w/XSPC res top
Apogee XT CPU block
Pioneer DVR-218LBK DVD Drive
XFX Radeon HD5850 video card

Somewhat undecided for the rest of the parts. I may end up taking the H55N out of my file server and use it here, provided I find a suitable cheap mobo as a replacement.

Here are some pics of the first rough cuts and placement of parts. I tried to keep the original mounting holes intact in the event I want to revert this back to an air-cooled system. My tools are: Wiss snips, and needle nose pliers. Hardly the tool-belt of a hardcore modder, but it's enough to get the job done. The best thing, the only piece I cut comes out with four screws (after you take the six screws off for each panel). I can take the small piece back to my Parent's garage to sand/file/paint it.












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Last edited by zoob; February 18, 2012 at 03:54 PM.
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Old November 16, 2010, 05:49 PM
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3.0 "I kill SR2's" Charlie
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Damn Zoob, you should have told me that when you bought the 5850. I would have given you some edge trim, to give your cuts a clean look. Fire me a PM with your address and exactly how many inches you need, and I'll send some over.

Otherwise, that setup will be a tight fit... but will be a damn fine machine once completed.
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Old November 16, 2010, 06:17 PM
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Tight fit it is! I just measured the 5850 and looks like 10" may be just a touch too long for this setup :( The 90 degree barb barely touches the 5850 shroud, so I may end up using my 5770 until I can find a suitable replacement. Let's cross my fingers for whenever I finalize on the motherboard!

I was planning on just filing the edges down, but how can I turn down trim! I might need to snip off a little bit more depending on how thick it is... I hope there is enough wiggle room.


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Old November 16, 2010, 06:20 PM
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3.0 "I kill SR2's" Charlie
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FC wb on the GPU? ; )
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Old November 16, 2010, 06:45 PM
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Damned radiator shroud gets in the way! The 5850 I have measures in at 10".. half an inch longer than reference design!


Ignore the retro couch pattern

A full cover block would be very tempting, and I'm pretty sure the PA160 can handle an overclocked quad+GPU no problem even with a slow 120mm fan.

This is now my second small-ish wc rig that is limited to cards of about 9.5", AND it'll need top mounted molex plugs. Same story with my Twice7... front mounted rad = not enough space for a long video card. Arrrgh!
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Old November 17, 2010, 10:57 AM
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Any pictures from a wider view?
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Old November 17, 2010, 02:58 PM
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Some wider pics. An excuse to pull out my tripod :)







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Old November 17, 2010, 03:17 PM
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Interested on where the pump is going to be situated.
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Old November 17, 2010, 03:43 PM
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very cool build zoob looking forward to more pics
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Old November 17, 2010, 05:31 PM
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Very good Q about the pump. I might need to switch to a t-line instead of the XSPC res-top.

Also just ordered:
Seasonic X750 PSU - fully modular, high efficiency, low noise
Primochill LRT tubing 3/8" - clear & black for potential T-line and the rest of the loop. Great seal on 1/2" barbs after steaming the ends.
Enzotech MOS-C1 - for whatever motherboard ends up being used

I'm thinking I might need to find a good quality 140mm fan and fashion some kind of foam shroud instead of using the 120mm shroud. It'd save me about two inches of space, and every bit is going to add up in this build. I knew full well the Q08 would be a difficult one to plan as I never had measurements before I purchased the thing. Let's see how it turns out! :D
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