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Part selection advice, Fractal R3 woes

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello Gents.

First time posting here, long time lurker. Bit the bullet and have decided to get my feet wet. My main problem now is with the casing. Now I realize that the R3 wasn't designed with WC in mind, but nevertheless, I'm determined to make this work! (since I already have it) I'm only looking at CPU only for now. Specs in sig, but plan on getting the following:

Components:
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair V Formula or ASUS Sabertooth 990FX
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance Dominator (because it's fast) or Vengeance LP (because it's white, and it's short)

Parts:
- Block: EK Supreme HF
- Pump: Swiftech MCP355 w/ XSPC Acrylic top
- Rad: Black Ice GT Stealth 280 w/ 2x Noctua P14 or 2x Swiftech MCR120-XP w/ 2x Scythe GT 1450
- Res: EK MultiOption 150 Advanced
- Plumbing: PrimoChill 1/2" ID 3/4" OD tubes on Bitspower barbs and compression fittings

Comparing the two boards first, I notice that the RAM slots on the Crosshair are about 5mm further into the board than the Sabertooth. Do you think this 5mm could help offset the R3's lack of clearance up top? Every little bit counts, I suppose.

Next, the rad. The R3 has mounts that fit a 280 on the roof, so ideally I would like the GTS. I've measured and it should be able to fit with a slight trim of the sound deadening material above the drive bays. Furthermore, at 32mm it's one of the slimmest I can find (again, every little bit counts.) I emailed Fractal and one of their reps suggested I go with 2x 120 rads instead to be safe (one mounted at the back, one up top?) I don't know how much of an impact having two smaller rads is as opposed to one big one (if any.) Any ideas?

"Get a new casing" is not an option, as I'm quite fond of my R3 despite its flaws. I would prefer to have everything tucked inside the case and not have to take a drill/dremel to it if possible. Unless it's something really minor.

Sorry for the lengthy first post, and pardon my ignorance on the matter as it is my first time. I hope to get some guidance from the kind, experienced community here in getting this right.

Thanks!
Domino
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T @ 4.0 GHz ASUS Crosshair V Formula ASUS HD 6950 DirectCUII 8 GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
128 GB Crucial M4 SSD Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 x64 Ultimate Corsair AX750 
Case
Fractal Design R3 Arctic White 
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Domino
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T @ 4.0 GHz ASUS Crosshair V Formula ASUS HD 6950 DirectCUII 8 GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
128 GB Crucial M4 SSD Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 x64 Ultimate Corsair AX750 
Case
Fractal Design R3 Arctic White 
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post #2 of 4
First off, welcome to OCN. Thanks for finally joining.

I have eyed the R3 case a couple times. But I have never owned it or seen it in person. So I dont have all the answers for you.

As for cooling purposes, either solution would work for you. The two single radiators would be able to mount easier and with less hassle, but I think the 280 radiator would be quieter and more efficient. If it will fit.

On barbs or compression, it is mostly personal preference and budget. I like compression personally, much more secure, look better, and no hose clamps but cost more. Either can leak if fitting isnt tight or seal is damaged. Same brand/size tubing I use.

Also, can I recommend some Akasa Apache fans. They come in 140 and 120, are great radiator fans(great static pressure), quiet, and PWM control. You can also use one of these to control more than one fan(also make one for 5 fans if you want that). Plus you dont get the ugly color scheme from Noctua. The advantage of PWM control fans, is that you can make a custom fan profile, and the fans have a greater range of RPM. Meaning quieter when you dont need the cooling power, and more cooling power when you cpu temperature raises. And IIRC, Noctuas are not good radiator fans, low static pressure.

As for Modding the case, I would do it. I completely enjoy modding my case and look for things to make better. But others dont have the same passion and skills/know-how.
Edited by goodtobeking - 11/1/11 at 3:37pm
Bubble Bee Tuna
(20 items)
 
  
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Bubble Bee Tuna
(20 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
4770k@4.5 Asrock Z87 OC Formula 7970@1200/1600 6970@950/1450 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
6970@950/1450 Samsung Wonder Ram 120Gb Phoenix SSD 120Gb Phoenix SSD 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
1Tb Western Digital HDD 1Tb Western Digital HDD Slim Slot stealthed Heatkiller 3.0 CU, Heatkiller 7970 CU with back... 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Phobya 400mm radiator, EX 360mm radiator, misc ... Swiftech MCP35X2 Pump, Frozen_Q 250mm Liquid Fu... Windows 7 Ultimate Asus 1080P 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
OCN Edition Ducky with MX Blues Corsair HX 850 Corsair 600T Razor Lachesis 
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post #3 of 4
Hello irot. I'm a newbie here too. I am also new to water cooling. I have a Define Mini, which is very similar to the R3 and I am about to attempt to do a custom loop in there, sacrificing one of my 5 1'4" bays for a reservoir/pump and mounting the 240mm rad in the front.

Have you considered removing the HDD bay cages and mounting a 240 in the front? This is what I plan to do with my Define Mini. If you can pull it off you will have plenty of room for a push pull configuration even with a 50mm thick radiator. And possibly some shrouds depending on the length of your video card. However I am not sure what your system is like. I only use 1 SSD for storage in my system so this type of setup will work for me. Alternately if you need to have a regular HDD or 2 you can sacrifice having an internal optical drive.

The only problem with this is you would have to do minor dremel. A few rivets for the bottom HDD rack and possibly dremel out the support bar between the fans in the front. I know you said you don't want to have to hit it with a dremel but... just a thought for ya.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtobeking View Post
As for cooling purposes, either solution would work for you. The two single radiators would be able to mount easier and with less hassle, but I think the 280 radiator would be quieter and more efficient. If it will fit.
I was thinking of just getting one 120 rad and see how it fits first. If there looks to be sufficient clearance for the 280, then I'll add the 280 on. If not, then another 120. Better too much than not enough, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtobeking View Post
Also, can I recommend some Akasa Apache fans. They come in 140 and 120, are great radiator fans(great static pressure), quiet, and PWM control.
Thanks for the heads up, those look like excellent fans! I think I'll get those and the splitter instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goodtobeking View Post
As for Modding the case, I would do it. I completely enjoy modding my case and look for things to make better. But others dont have the same passion and skills/know-how.
Well, that's precisely why I'm reluctant to mod: I'm not comfortable with power tools. Though I'm tempted to give it a shot, I'm afraid I might end up with a mangled case instead. I've seen case mod shops around, but if it really came down to it, I'd rather just go for it myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PabzOr545 View Post
Have you considered removing the HDD bay cages and mounting a 240 in the front? This is what I plan to do with my Define Mini. If you can pull it off you will have plenty of room for a push pull configuration even with a 50mm thick radiator.
Yes, I've seen some people do that and it frees up an immense amount of space. Like I mentioned above, I'll have to see if I can get more comfortable with the tools before I even attempt to mod. I will probably only have one SSD for OS and one normal HD for my work and stuff. But I'll be sure to keep this in mind when I'm building.

Thanks for the pointers, guys. Keep 'em coming!
Domino
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T @ 4.0 GHz ASUS Crosshair V Formula ASUS HD 6950 DirectCUII 8 GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
128 GB Crucial M4 SSD Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 x64 Ultimate Corsair AX750 
Case
Fractal Design R3 Arctic White 
  hide details  
Reply
Domino
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1055T @ 4.0 GHz ASUS Crosshair V Formula ASUS HD 6950 DirectCUII 8 GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveCoolingOSPower
128 GB Crucial M4 SSD Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 x64 Ultimate Corsair AX750 
Case
Fractal Design R3 Arctic White 
  hide details  
Reply
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