Thermaltake Level 10 GT Water Cooling build log
Well... it's been almost 4 full years since I replaced my Li-Li WC'd rig with the Cosmos S ( http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...ghlight=cosmos ), and while I loved the ease of WC installation in it (out-of-the-box 320 internal installation was almost unheard of... :) ), the non-mechanical touch power switch has always seemed a little flakey, and I'm no longer interested in mucking about with the switch adapter to get it back up and running.... (I've already got a mechanical switch mounted on one of the front bezels, but it seemed like a good excuse for a new case anywise.... :) ).
With that in mind, the hunt was on for a suitable case... requirements were listed here.... http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...e-stop-me.html , and after much gnashing of teeth (ok, there wasn't really all that much gnashing... I'd pretty well already decided on the Lvl 10 GT, and just wanted to confirm that I wasn't loosing my marbles) a black Thermaltake Level 10 GT won the day, and within moments the dirty deed was done.
It's going to take a while for the project to be completed, parts are still coming in, and while I already have the level 10 in hand (it's an awfully big freaking box.... ;) ), it's earmarked as a christmas present for me, and as such I get to play the impatient toddler waiting to unwrap my present(s) on Christmas day...... :) I'll put up a few images this evening of what I've currently got, update as parts come in, and finally post the build process.
There's not going to be much in the way of modding so it might not be of much interest to seasoned pros, but hopefully one or two folks sitting on the fence will see how easy a WC build can be and thus be inspired to take on a project themselves.
Well... that's probably more than enough intro, now onto the current pics (I'll be posting links in this first post whenever I dump a new round of images to make it easy for folks to follow where it's going):
Postscript: I suppose this could also be listed as a cautionary tale.... choosing a new tower case for a WC enthusiast is never as simple as paying for the case... as it stands, the case was around $270, a new PSU (still on the way) was around $240, and today I dropped $270 over at Daz's store..... That's damn near $800 and doesn't include any actual computing hardware..... :)
Looking forward to it....
It certainly looks like an interesting tower.
Yeah adds up quick even without hardware. I have been thinking more and more about going back to water.
Anyway congrats Steve and enjoy!
I'll be watchin!
As promised, here's a few pics of what's currently on hand for this build. It's going to be a combination of new, not new but as of yet unused, and "will need a bit of cleaning up first" repurposed items.
Leading off, let's offer a round of applause for the main attraction. Thermaltake's Level 10 GT is the much more reasonably priced younger cousin of TT's full fledged Level 10. As much as I'd love to do a build inside the original, I really can't justify dropping damn near $1K (after taxes) to satisfy my craving for something other than the standard box Case. I was a bit concerned about the amount of plastic involved, but accepted ST's assurances that it looked and felt pretty solid in person.
Unfortunately, as much as I want to rip it apart to start building this very minute, aside from the box exterior, that's all we're going to see until after I get to unbox it christmas morning. (Gonna be a long wait...... ;) ).
I'll be pairing an ASUS Sabertooth 990FX with an AMD PH II 1090t as well as 2X4G Gskill mem for the guts of the PC. They couldn't pause for pictures as they're busy folding inside the cosmos S, but rest assured they'll make an appearance once they've got a chance to get themselves cleaned up in time for the move to their new digs.
Graphics duties will be carried out by a pair of MSI Twin Frozr II 560ti in SLI. Once they're in, we'll also get a chance to see if the early 990FX SLI performance issues have been resolved through either drivers, bios updates, or a combination of both. (I'll be keeping my fingers crossed).
This particular pair of 560ti's have just recently come back from MSI's repair facility... haven't even had a chance to stress test them yet, and I have to say that I'm rather taken with the boxes they returned them in... I'm assuming that they're the boxes they use for OEM PC builders, no room even for a driver disk... just the card but well packed.
I know the 1350 RPM YL's have lost a bit of favour in the enthusiast community, but I still love `em as a (relatively) quiet budget fan. The fact that the NCIX models ship with mounting screws (hard to find locally, and not cheap if you do find them), have braided cables + molex adapter, and sport that oh-so-cool black w/ red blade colour scheme make them a no-brainer in my mind. The 240 Rad I've ordered from Dazmode supposedly performs well with low RPM fans so 4 of them in Push / Pull will hopefully provide sufficient airflow.
The Fesser 3/8 barbs and NGear fan grills are left over from earlier builds.... I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the chrome, I'm shooting for something subdued, and while I can paint the grills flat black, I'm not keen on doing that with the chrome barbs. Maybe I'll try shaking one up in a bag of sand to see if it survives, and if the treatment sufficiently dulls the finish. (On a side note... I'm not quite sure why the packaging on these Fesser barbs clearly states "compression"... the only compression going on is the o-ring.....).
Lastly (for what's on hand currently) we've got a couple of "repurposed" items from my lonely looking modded tech station. The red res (XSPC similar to the one reviewed here... http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...0m-review.html ) should fit in well with the red blades of the YLs, and the Danger Den DDCPX-PRO hiding down in the bottom might not have it's original mounts, but I'm sure we can do something about that, it still pushes out a ton of flow. Hopefully the threaded stock and locknuts will work as a stand-off for the res, and again, as with the chrome barbs/grills, we're going to have to do something about those shiny bits.
That's all I've got for now, I'll update as the parts come in. That'll give us a better idea of where the build is going.
Nice parts going in, how do you like the Yate loons? I had been looking for some nice black/red fans for my build and I ended up grabbing some SilenX Effizo fans (couldn't find the Phobya ones)
They're not top tier, but AFAIC can't be beat as far as bang-for-buck goes when it comes to low(er) RPM speeds. I've been running some version of the NCIX ones on my rads for the last 4 years and only had a few of them fail due to orientation in spite of running 24/7.
Not sure if they're worth $10 apiece, but IMO certainly worth $6 (or better) when you find them on sale.
Small update for the day (and possibly the last until new stuff arrives at the door):
We'll have to see how well it stands up once it's completely dried, but I suspect my "poor man's solution" to the chrome is going to be as simple as using a permanent black felt marker. Might not be perfect, but looks to me like it'll be fine as a "looks good from far, yet far from good" solution. Word to the wise when it comes to the nuts... if you don't want to blacken your fingertips while colouring, thread them onto either stock or a bolt first.... ;)
Can anybody think of a reason why this won't work? I know it's not perfect coverage, and I suspect it might cause problems if it was actually in the loop, and/or allowed to come in contact with the rubber o-ring, but it doesn't seem to come off unless I'm really working at it.
Next up are a couple of late entries to the re-purposed kit that's going to be part of the build.....
The realtek audio on my Sabertooth has been a PITA from day one.... not sure if it's the board, drivers, or something going on with my speakers / cables, but it's been randomly reporting "a cable has been unplugged" when all appears to be working well... There's probably a way to turn off that pop-up, but I've got this HT Omega Striker kicking around that was originally purchased to stream coax digital audio from my old Q6600 build to a home amp. No more on-board for me, and even better, the black PCB will fit right in with the subdued dark theme.
While the Lvl 10 GT has an integrated fan controller, I doubt its set up to control fans not shipped with the case. This Scythe Kazemaster 3.5 is currently controlling the push/pull fans on a PA120.1 inside the Cosmos S, and should be a perfect fit to run the 4 YLs. Not completely sure how I'm going to wire it up, I don't think I've got any "Y" adapters for the fans. I may need to splice pairs in parallel (the controller has more than enough headroom for that), or possibly come up with a creative use of the motherboard's headers.
Anywise... thanks for looking, and everybody be sure to have a great week!!!!!!!
Apparently the shrine I've set up dedicated to the dark overlords of courier delivery services has pleased the appropriate entities. (Either that, or the new(er) Ontario NCIX warehouses have greatly improved service to the atlantic provinces..... ;) ).
Latest arrival for the upcoming build has been an XFX Pro 1000W. Not a lot of reviews on the XFX unit itself, but apparently it's exactly the same as the Seasonic 1000W unit, and thus has received rave reviews.
That's one big A$@ box, and quite the collection of cables. Being a full modular unit was a major bonus point for me. Only 6 PCIe plugs, but I suppose if a person was going to go full fledged quad SLI that they'd probably be grabbing a slightly higher wattage PSU. That said... more than enough to power my two 560ti cards. (Finally got around to throwing those onto my test bench for the post-RMA stess testing... they've been folding fine for over 5 hours.... ;) ).
AFAIC, great looks on the fan assy, almost makes a person want to ignore the benefits of drawing PSU air up from the bottom of the case just to show it off.... ;) That said, at least PSU manufacturers have recognised that many (if not most) cases now sport a bottom mount and have adjusted the "b side" decals to be upright when mounted in that fashion. Now... if only we could figure out a way to do the same for the rear panel.... (or maybe decide that bottom mount should be the standard so that most builds will appear upright when installed). The switch in the lower r/h side is for selecting between normal or hybrid (power saving) mode.
Last up is the rear panel (see what I mean about orientation??? ;) ), and current output label.... 83A????? Maybe it's time to rethink my "Single rail or die" attitude.
Anywise... glad to see this come in, my TX750s and PC P&C 750W silencers are getting a bit long in tooth, and I wasn't sure about running the two cards under an OC'd load. Probably more than enough power, but after 2+ years of 24/7 OC'd folding I have to start wondering about how well they're holding up.
Next up will be DazMode's contribution (heh... I wish it was contributed rather than billed.... ;) ). Great service BTW.... put the order in on Saturday, got a confirmation email with tracking monday morning by 11 am.
PS... apparently these are supposed to be on sale @ $209 for the next couple of days..... great buy IMO!!!! :)
Nice work there ss...that PSU looks good and suits the case you have perfectly!
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