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Thermaltake Level 10 GT WC Build

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have decided to get a Thermaltake Level 10 GT and transfer my existing system into it, and then finalise my WC setup.
Seeing as I always come here for inspiration on what to do next, I thought I would share my experience with everyone else in the hope someone gets something useful from it.

Its very much a marmite case, even more so as I went for the 'Snow' edition
I liked the contrast this edition gave over and above the normal level 10 GT, and the top of the range level 10 is just too far out of my budget.

My initial and first ever watercooling setup was done in an Antec 1200. Absolutely great case and buckets of room whatever you decide to do. Unfortunately this did require some modification in order to be able to mount the rads and pump, and one of my lasting niggles with the case is how awkward it can be if your changing your HDD's on a regular basis. For cooling purposes the 3 slot removable drive bays are great, but on the other hand they are a pain to remove when fully cabled up with the fan and all.

Sooo after much debating about what case to move to, I did settle on the level 10 GT, with the coolermaster HAF a close second. Ultimately it was the unusual look of the Thermaltake that drew me that way, rather than going for just another rectangle to house my rig.

So to the juicy stuff!

System Specs;

Asus P6T Deluxe
Intel Core i7 920 @2666MHz
6GB Corsair DDR3
ATI Radeon HD 5800
OCZ Vertex 64GB SSD
Samsung Spintpoint F1 1TB
LG BR Writer

Water Cooling Parts;

Pump - Laing DDC 12v with Phobya Black Nickel top
CPU Block - EK Supreme Acetal + Nickel
Radiator - Phobya G-Charger 240
Reservoir - XSPC 5'25 Bay
All Fittings are 10/8mm Compression Black Nickel

I didnt actually properly document my original WC setup, but thankfully did take a number of pictures, so those combined with the new pics from the Thermaltake should show you everything I have been getting up to.

Pics to follow
Edited by crimond84 - 10/23/11 at 5:47am
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
First up, a quick shot of all the WC components purchased

And with my old case in shot too

My Mobo and one very shiny CPU block

Backplate mounting

Mounted CPU Block

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
The following pics are the WC installation into my OLD case, the Antec 1200. I wont go into too much detail here as its been a while and I cant remember all the pitfalls I hit, although I do remember mounting the rad being a bit of a pain

Hood stripped off the Antec allowing access to mount the rad inside

Holding the rad in place trying to figure out how to mark on the case where the holes need to be drilled for mounting the rad

Holes drilled and 3 / 4 screws in place, one of them didnt line up with the rad

Wanting to keep the exhaust fans at the back of the case, clearence was a bit on the close side...

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
OK, motherboard now in place, and the fittings added to the rad, CPU block and reservoir

Thankfully the inlet / outlet just miss each other on the rad & reservoir - I actually hadnt even thought about this until it was in place, so that could of scuppered me a bit...

Personally, I hate the reservoir, but I had hit my budget on my last shopping trip and this was a very cheap compromise. I would like to move to an internal reservoir or just a fillport on the level 10 GT - Recommendations welcome...

Bit of a jump here (I think I got carried away and forgot to take pictures, but all the tubing is now in place, with the addition of the pump mounted on the floor of the case.

Leak testing....

There are many ways to perform a leak test, the most safe of which are to test it outside of your system, or at least not to power ANYTHING else on.
I, however, was a bit stupid and decided 'it would be fine', mainly because I had spent all evening plumbing everything in and getting the cabling as neat as I could. It was more lazyness than anything, but I had also tripple checked all the fittings to give myself a bit more confidence. So with that in mind I just swaddled all of the fittings in toilet paper and proceeded to fill the system up...

Voila... No initial leaks, all was good!!

After completely filling it up to the brim (tool a while to work all the air out of the system) I then sealed off the reservoir, only to find that the screw plug on the reservoir wasnt a very good fit!
No matter how tight I did up the plug, it kept seeping very slowly

A small strip of electrical tape around the thread easilly sorted it out, but it certainly reassured my thoughts that this was a short temp cheap alternative..

Here's a final pic of all the loo paper gone

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
So moving on to this weekend where my new case arrived!

I wont clutter my already busy posts of pictures of the case and packaging in all its glory, there are plenty of them out there to see. Needless to say it arrived in perfect condition and having a good look around it made me feel I had made the right decision in the case (of course its all personal preference )

So as per my previous posts, I was planning to transfer my rig into this case wholemeal, and then make the upgrades as I can afford them.

The biggest things on my list are replacing my GPU and WC'ing it, and replacing the WC tubing.

The graphics card, while it performs great, it soo loud its untrue, and I am a bit of an Nvidia fanboi if the truth be told, but no so much as to opt for a more expensive less performing card, hence at the time I went ATI.

As for the tubing, I feel my existing tubing & colouring has a bit of a tacky feel to it, and I am not hugely into bags of fluorescent colour pouring out of the case, so I am going to go with plain white tubing, which I think will look great against the largely black interior.

Again, suggestions on the GPU upgrade and tubing etc are most welcome. I think my hardest decision is whether to go SLi or not. Its something I have always wanted to do, but as things are you just dont get the performance gains you should, so its very much a gimmicky upgrade (not to mention what models to get...) This in turn will decide whether I need just a single additional 120mm rad, or two, and possibly an extra pump!

I am happy with the mobo and memory for the time being.
Back on air cooling I was running my CPU @ 3.4Ghz per core, and plan to do the same again once I have finished tinkering with everything else. I may well be able to push this higher too with the WC setup.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
So, first and easiest item in, the BR drive...
The reason this is at the bottom is because the Reservoir will sit on top of this, leaving me two spaces for an aerocool fan control panel when I get round to getting one.

This was probably the worst idea I have had so far, again though I was lucky to get away with it, but I thought it would be 'easier' to migrate the WC setup (which obviously includes the mobo) all in one go without having to drain the system...

The reservoir was the most awkward bit as that had to be passed through the drive bays at an angle all the way, so it could then be slid back in from the front into the correct slot. This required many hands to ensure none of the tubes got too heavily twisted, and none of the trailing components fell over - My beautiful wife gets a bit thumbs up for helping me here!

Quick shot of the rad where you can see it balanced between the two cases as I screwed in the mobo before attempting the same with the rad

Removing the top panel and air filter on the Thermaltake reveals the 200mm fan located in the roof. Removing the fan allows you to mount a 240mm rad directly onto the ceiling of the case, which again is another big thumbs up for me considering the pain I went through on the Antec 1200

Apologies for the poor quality of the following pictures inside the case - It was night time and the lighting in my living room is crap, and if I use a flash the pictures look worse than these!

With the rad and motherboard in place along with the reservoir, all I have left to do it mount the pump.
Although it did become apparent very quickly that the half neatly routed tubing was all out of place as the internal dimensions are very different between the two cases...

I am currently stuck with the pump, and its just sitting on the floor of the case (with a very thick rubber mat attached) as there are no immediate mounting holes, and I am reluctant to create my own because a) its a brand new expensive case, and b) if I go SLi the current location of the pump is where my first additional rad will sit!
I think for the moment I will leave it sitting on the floor, the PC doesnt get moved around a great deal and so long as I dont tip it onto its side it should be fine.

While the following pic is very glaring with the flash, it does actually show whats in place a little better

Again I dont want to perform a 'review' of this case by any means, but I do have to comment on the cable management. While under the motherboard tray it looks like a rats nest as usual, the grommetted cabling holes are just superb, and keep the inside of the case extremely clean and empty.

All finished for the time being

post #7 of 7
Awesome, I just finished my Thermaltake WC Build, too lazy to do a build log though, I'll take a pic of the finished product for you though!
i7 2600k P867 EVO 2xGTX 460 8gb DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DrivePowerCase
2x1tb raid 0, Crucial M4 LG Blu-ray Corsair 850w Level 10 GT 
  hide details  
i7 2600k P867 EVO 2xGTX 460 8gb DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DrivePowerCase
2x1tb raid 0, Crucial M4 LG Blu-ray Corsair 850w Level 10 GT 
  hide details  
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