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Old November 26, 2010, 02:36 PM
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Location: Ft Hood. TX
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My System Specs

Default i7 ATCS 840 watercooled :D

Well, I have been lurking here for a while now, but I did post once in the introduction thread saying id come back and post my work log... well here it is, after it is all already done, lol.

First some specs of my machine currently:

Monitor: LG W3000H 30" 5ms
Case: ATCS 840 case w/ ink black powder coating
Mobo: EVGA 760 3-way Classified
Hard Drives:
3x Western digital 640Gb RAID 0
1x Seagate 1.5Tb

CPU: Intel i7 950 @ 3.85Ghz (it will rise, but this is fine for now. xD)
GPU: 2x EVGA GTX 480 SLI (not overclocked just yet)

RAM: 6GB OCZ HPC Reaper DDR3 1600 RAM
PSU: Thermaltake 1200w modular
Creative X-Fi Titanium

Watercooling:
Radiator: BlackIce GTX Xtreme 360
Pump: Swiftech MC35x PWM pump w/reservoir top
Blocks:
Swiftech Apogee XT
2x Koolance VID-NX480

Tubing: Primoflex LRT 1/2" ID, 3/4" OD, UV Blue
_________


I have been putting computers together for many years, both for myself and for others, yet this was the first time I have ever tried or even thought of trying water cooling. I had no major problems once it was together, though I did feel the noob in me kick my butt a couple times with a snag here and there along the way. Oh well, all is well now.
Now lets get started.

First for a few pics of the parts coming in:

(sorry, my battery was dying and I couldn't find the charger for the first few pics I took, so they look kind of crappy )
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First I put the entire thing together on Air until I got in all my watercooling parts, both because I'm way impatient and because I wanted to make sure everything worked just fine. It also later helped me in my "wow" factor when I realized the IMMENSE difference water cooling makes.... More on that later...

After seeing this MONSTER of a case, all powder coated and delicious and shiny... I couldn't help but hop right in and get it together ASAP. I got my case in first, and boy was it hard seeing this beauty sit in my room for a few days while the rest of my parts came in from other places... Once the parts DID come in though, IT. WAS. ON. :P

Fast forward through a few routine computer putting together shots and you have this:

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Yes, I realize the the cables are BAAADD. I usually spend most of my time of putting together a computer organizing cables and making it look spiffy, but this time I thought I'd put it together and leave it nasty for a few days while I waited. I was just too anxious to turn this puppy on to deal with cables when I was just going to take them out again for the water cooling anyways.

Well, everything worked out just fine, ran everything beautifully at 2560x1600 max settings for all my games. The only problem I had was that after a full game of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, my CPU would be up near 75 degrees Celius, which technically isn't BAD, but I don't like seeing those temperatures. Once I started trying things on all four cores, though, the CPU got to 85+ Celsius, and that just wouldn't do...

After a couple of weeks, I finally got the water cooling parts in, and that's where my next post will come in.
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Old November 26, 2010, 02:36 PM
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So after having this setup for about 3 weeks without much of a hitch (other than the heat problems I mentioned earlier), I finally got in my watercooling parts and a good weekend to put it all together.

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And the parts:

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I also happened to have a very good friend hop on by for a week during most of this process to help me and/or laugh at my stupid failures along the way. Suppose some of you might know Crispex, right?

First came taking off the GPU heatsinks. This was not as fun as it looks. I didnt get many pics of it all off and cleaned and stuff, since I was getting sort of angry at all the stupid little screws. I also don't have much room to work with AT ALL, just a tiny floor with no other surfaces to use, so all of this entire ordeal I have to work with very little room and quite a lot of back, neck, and leg pain. BUT! I did finally manage to get the little things off and get the goop all on the GPU core, after cleaning the surfaces with arcticlean, of course.

I spread it with a little corner from the box this GPU came in, using my radiator cardboard box as a surface.

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Both done

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After that I put some teflon tape on all my threads, put the threads on the boards, and put it all together, happy that I was about to get to one of the easy parts. Time to flush the system for a few hours. This was one part where Crispex really helped. Boredom while waiting for a system to flush is quite a lot with all these nice shiny expensive parts all around you, and we played a lot of castle crashers and Halo: Reach to pass the time.

I had to use my bathroom as I don't have room anywhere else. This was one of the most exciting parts of the build, finally getting all my expensive parts together for the first real test. I used extra tubing I got from a local store around here instead of my more expensive Primoflex. It did what it needed to do.

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After about 2 hours of flushing, I couldn't wait any longer, so I took it all apart, drained it, and started putting the plan I had into place. Everything was going fine until I hit my first snag that came from me being a noob...

I wasn't exactly ready for tighter than normal spots in a case so dang large, but it happens! This put my build on hold for a couple days until I got a nice shiny rotary 90 degree fitting to replace it.

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Once that order came in (along with a nice case of Bawls ) I put it all back together again, and started by mounting my radiator in the top of the case. The ATCS comes with nice little brackets made for this exact thing, one of the big reasons I decided on this case, in fact. I mounted all the fans to push through my radiator out the top of my case, to keep the filters at least semi-useful.

This is when I found out that the radiator came with 12 perfect length screws for 38mm fans, and 12 REALLY LONG screws that had no real use for me with 38mm fans. I had to go and buy more screws that night, so in case anyone wants to do this, make sure to get at least 12 more small size screws to mount the radiator.

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Next, I mounted my pump in the bottom of the case. The screws that came with the pump had a bit too small of heads to be used properly the way I wanted to mount it on the bottom. A couple of washers fixed that problem for me.

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I put the pump in first so I could test this connection right away. I knew it would work, but it annoyed me to have been beaten by something so simple, so I just had to get it out of the way first.

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Then the CPU was next. After I got all the tubing properly measured and cut, and shoved over the barbs (some of those were REALLY tight, made me happy :P) I spent the next 12 or so hours leak testing the setup with my previous comps 850W toughpower PSU.

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Even after 12 hours, there were no leaks at all. I was surprised, to say the least. In fact, I was scared at this point... If something hasn't gone wrong yet this far into it... When WILL something go wrong?! At this point the only problem that could go wrong would be hardware failure, far more catastrophic than just a simple leak early on into it... I decided my fears were smaller than my ambition and anxiousness to get this running, and drove on through the morning (it was 3 am by this point)

BEWARE THE FINGER!

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Thanks to Crispex for providing the excellent camera skills for the finger. :P

After turning it on and waiting for a few seconds... I notice something out of the ordinary... My monitor would not turn on at all... After all this, my monitor would not turn on no matter what I did. Usually my monitor doesn't on when it doesn't receive a signal. By this time I'm freaking out, since I just spent the last week putting all of this together just to not have it work right as i turn it on. I decided to go to bed bitter, broken, and confused, since I had been up for about 26 hours at that point, and I was aching from head to toe from being cramped on the ground so long.

After waking up the next morning, I got the bright idea that I SHOULD have had the instant my monitor didn't work, which is to use the HDMI out from the 480 on my TV. I tried this and it worked just fine, so after a CMOS reset, and a bit of messing around, my monitor decided to wake the hell up and work finally.

Now I was happy enough to carry on the next 3 or 4 hours tidying up my cables to be presentable.

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And how it is as of about 5 minutes ago, since I forgot to take a picture earlier.

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Finally! Done!

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The SLI connector nozzle from koolance pushes the cards slightly away from each other, so unfortauntely my previous hard SLI connector no longer fits on the cards without a lot of very stressful bending, so I have a couple of longer soft ones coming in probably today.

I don't have much to benchmark this with, though I will be back on the 30th for the first tests of 3dMark11 on this beast!

I can at least say that after all this, my temps went from 100% 3 cores at 75-80 degrees Celsius with stock cooling and slight underclock to 3.05Ghz, to an AMAZING 100% full load at 53 degrees Celsius max after overclocking it to 3.85Ghz.

I knew watercooling was going to be worth it, but damn! From nearly killing the CPU from temps while gaming to 53 degrees celsius with 4 cores after 1 hour of crunching? I am still awe struck at the power of water cooling, and will most certinaly be returning to do this again on my future builds

Hope my first build log ever wasn't too bad or boring for all of you!

Last edited by Mystikal_Pooka; November 26, 2010 at 06:50 PM. Reason: replace broken picture links
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Old November 26, 2010, 02:45 PM
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The ATCS is a great case! Looks life fun so far...looking forward to seeing your setup. Here is my ATCS setup (no GPU wc yet):
Going under water for the first time, part 2: moving to a new home
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Old November 26, 2010, 03:05 PM
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That is freakin' nice. Kind of a shame you didn't get a pair of 580s instead, though.
And by the way, WTF is with that SATA port right next to the first PCIe slot?
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Last edited by Reyzac; November 26, 2010 at 03:13 PM.
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Old November 26, 2010, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reyzac View Post
That is freakin' nice. Kind of a shame you didn't get a pair of 580s instead.
And by the way, WTF is with that SATA port like right next to the first PCIe slot?
Not sure but I think its for esata backets so you don't have to stretch a sata cable over your video cards
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Old November 26, 2010, 03:11 PM
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Yes, unfortunately I started putting this together about 2 months ago, so I was not there for the release of the 580's. 480's are amazing though, I do love them. <3

The red one? That is one from the case for the e-Sata, which I don't need at all. I took it out since I thought it looked ugly, being the only red cable there.

Last edited by Mystikal_Pooka; November 28, 2010 at 10:25 AM.
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Old November 26, 2010, 03:15 PM
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Ah, okay, makes sense.
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Old November 30, 2010, 01:18 PM
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Well I have another update to this build.

Unfortunately, my MCP35x pumpres top is severely cracked near the bottom port plug. There was a tiny leak I noticed from overnight with the system off, which lead me to find the cracks all over it... I can't (won't) get a replacement, since apparently this is apt to happening on this particular top, which was unknown at the time I ordered it since it was still relatively new. Anyways, Just ordered another NON-pumptop reservoir to replace it, should be here by this weekend, when I will update this thread again with more pictures and maybe even some benchmarks, if 3dmark11 is out by then (since it got delayed by a few days ><).

Anyone think I went overboard on this one a little? <<

FrozenQ PC Mods 250mm Liquid Fusion V Series "2nd Generation" Reservoir - UV Cathode - UV Blue Helix - FrozenCPU.com
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Old December 1, 2010, 05:32 PM
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Nah, that's pretty cool, actually.
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Old December 4, 2010, 09:47 PM
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Got my computer back up and running, and it looks quite awesome with the new res! pics on next edit!
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