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First Watercooling Build Merlin SM8 Case Design Help

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I will be posting my first ever watercooling build here soon. This is actually my first real build, as I've only built one PC in the past (that has held me for over 3 generations of upgrades, and was air cooled). So I'm pretty new at all this. I have done pretty extensive research, and I have somewhat decided on my components and case.

The one thing I can't figure out though, is how I should buy the case. I really like the Merlin SM8 from Caselabs, but it has so many options and things you can do with it, I have no idea where to start.

Any help from the community will be greatly appreciated. I know this case and certain components I have are overkill, but I like the option to add in stuff in the future, so that's why some of the things are the way they are.

I'm not sure whether I should get a pedestal, or the fan filters, etc... for the case. Also if you get the pedestal, it looks you would still have cutouts on the bottom of the case for fans, which really wouldn't be necessary if you had the pedestal I would think. But I'm probably thinking about it all wrong. I used rig builder to show the parts I am considering, but I will list them here so it is easier to see.

I will put '*own it' by the stuff I already have


Caselabs Merlin SM8

Intel 3930k

Seasonic X-1250 *own it

Rampage 4 extreme (not crazy about this board, but no better options that i can see, I have trust issues with Asus)

GTX 670 superclocked 4GB X 2 in SLI with backplate

Samsung 30nm 2x4GB X 2 (16GB) Ram. (I am aware the mobo uses quad channel) (I am also considering going 32GB, but maybe later. Even if I don't need it, would it be a bad idea?)

Samsung 830 128GBx2 in Raid0

Extra storage will be 128GB corsair forceGT and 2x 128GB OCZ vertex drives that I have lying around -*own it

Monitors are currently Benq XL2420T and Dell U2311H. I usually only game on one monitor, but I'm getting the 4gig cards just in case I want to do something diff down the road. - *own it

Samsung Blu-ray read/write drive

Indigo Extreme Thermal solution

D5 Vario pump (x2?) Haven't done the math to figure out what kind of head I will need yet XSPC 5.25" bay reservoir

Either Tygon black or dynaclear sp? (can't remember what this one is called) 1/2" x 3/4" tubing

Monsoon Compression fittings

XSPC Raystorm CPU block

XSPC GTX 670 full GPU block X2

Alphacool or black ice radiators (not sure on sizing or amount yet, since I'm not sure on case design yet)

Cougar 140mm fans if I go the 140mm route

Or Skythe Gentle Typhoon if I go 120mm

Anyone who can look at the Caselabs website and see the options available on the SM8, could probably tell me my best options. I also would like the case to be somewhat dust resistant, meaning I would like to have dust filters in areas where the air is being drawn in. I know they sell the silverstone filters on the caselabs store website.

I'm also curious about sound solutions, as most of the current soundcards seem rather disappointing, I am curious about external solutions. Although I do want to keep gaming performance, so that is definitely a consideration when looking.
Edited by ballnuts - 10/13/12 at 4:15pm
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 
Anyone?
post #3 of 11
Get quad channel memory, period.. its pretty much the entire point of your chipset besides the extra PCIE lanes. I have an ASUS mobo for 3 computers now, they have always worked flawlessly. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them, and that particular board is the king of the hill for chipset 2011. I have Gentle Typhoons, and honestly wouldn't recommend them, they are very noisy. For a better price, and performance, get the new corsair SP series fans. The SM8 is huge on the inside, get a set of 8 and have a quad P/P radiator.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Can you please explain to me why you are recommending 'quad channel' memory here? The Samsung syncs very well, and has no problems that I have heard running in a quad channel setup with an overclock. I understand that memory manufacturers are selling their memory and calling it quad channel, but if I can get the same results with using 'dual channel' in a 'quad channel' setup, then I don't see why it's an issue. I have yet to hear someone give me data that proves otherwise, but I am honestly curious as it seems many people have this recommendation for me.

Thanks for sharing your experience on the fans. That is an area I haven't done much research. I'll take a look at the corsairs and some others for comparison. Might have saved me some decibels!


Can't believe more people aren't chiming in about the case build. Thought the Merlin SM8 was a hot topic.
Edited by ballnuts - 10/13/12 at 9:49pm
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
wow, what a great audience
post #6 of 11
Hi, I'll try and help with the watercooling bits.... alot to read!

I think crunkosaur is saying that if you don't use quad-channel, then you might as well go 3570K and Z77, which saves some money. Well that's prob what I'd do, but horses for courses and all.

As for the water-cooling bits, all looks fine. One D5 pump will be enough, and if you use a bay res don't attach the pump to it. I would also recommend Primochill 7/16" ID myself, especially a case of this size, 1/2" ID / 3/4" OD is massive, but if you like the look then that's fine.

Radiator wise, the case fits a 120.4... so I'd definitely recommend a Black ICE SR-1 480mm Radiator. There's only one fan I'd recommend on this with you cooling this and 2 GPUs... Gentle Typhoon AP-15s... I've got that setup and it works great... albeit I don't have SLI! If you want extra performance, but personally I can't see the need, then you can either install 8 fans in push/pull, or fit upto a 360 rad in the bottom of the case.

Yes Gentle Typhoons will cost you an extra £30 in my country... but are worth the extra IMHO, and for this build, £30 is not a big proportion!

Hope this helps,

DB
post #7 of 11
First off, 4 hours to bump your thread is a bit much and it won't get you any more attention.

Secondly, know your asking about 4 different topics in the Water Cooling section.


Now for the watercooling.

What brackets did you get with the SM8?
Are you going to get the pedestal? (If not your should since its only $200 more)
I would get maybe a flexbay attachment if not getting the pedestal. That way you can add a 360 to the front of the case.
I would get dual D5/655 vario pumps with a Bitspower Dual Pump top. Redundancy is everything and will help flow. Although, 1 is enough for 1 rad and 3 blocks but if you want better cooling in the future, aka add another rad or 2 or the pedestal with rads, 2 pumps is a must.


Add dust filters to all the rads/fans that are pulling cold air into the case. That will keep the dust out.



If you have more CaseLabs questison, I would put a thread up in that section. The CaseLabs rep is very good about replying.
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Steampunk TJ11
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CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-RAM Dominator EK-Multioption Basic 250 Swiftech MCP655 XSPC EX480 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
XSPC EX360 XSPC EX240 Danger Den GTX 560Ti GPU Block Danger Den GTX 560Ti GPU Block 
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EK-Supremacy LTX Windows 7 Professional Silverstone 1200W Silverstone TJ11 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 950 Gigabyte GA-X58A-OC EVGA GTX 460 SE 4GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Western Digital EK-Supreme HF CPU Block EK-RAM Dominator RAM Block Bitspower GTX460 Block 
CoolingCoolingOSPower
2x EK 480 2x DDCP 4.0 Pumps Windows Home Server OCZ 1000W 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD FX-8120 MSI 890FXA-GD70 GTX 460 GTX 460 
GraphicsGraphicsHard DriveCooling
GTX 460 GTX 460 Curcial M4 XSPC EX 480 
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OCZ Hydroflow HF-MK1 EK-Multioption 250 Swiftech MCP655 XSPC EX 360 Multiport 
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Del, it seems many people are confused about the quad channel issue here. I plan on running the dual channel kit from Samsung in a quad channel configuration. That is, I plan on running 16 GB of the sticks, which is 4 x 4GB, thus Quad channel. The ram is sold in dual channel packs, but i don't think I'm going to have a problem running it in quad channel. I would definitely like to understand this a bit better, but so far, I can't find the data I'm looking for, so I'm just going to try it. If it doesn't work, I'll go with one of the regular brands like corsair or some crap. But I cringe at the thought of it. Same way I cringe having to run an Asus motherboard. I like your idea on the rad/fan combo, I may end up getting this. Thank you.

Fug, I wasn't trying to be pushy, my thread was started almost 2 days ago with no reply to the subject matter. I have my gear coming in Wed. so I;m just trying to speed things up a bit smile.gif
Wasn't aware there was a caselabs section, I will definitely look there now. I have not ordered the SM8 yet. I have no idea what brackets to order, or anything. I have my components fairly set in stone, but as far as the case and the connections, etc for the watercooling part, I'm really struggling. I would love to get on skype or some type of conference call to discuss options, but alas, caselabs doesn't list a number. I'm pretty much feeling helpless at this point in regards to the case layout, addons, and design. I'll continue to do research while I wait on some replies.
post #9 of 11
Read up on their website. http://www.caselabs-store.com/merlin-sm8/
The SM8 page has several paragraphs about it and acessories that go with it.

Lots of info to read.
http://www.caselabs-store.com/the-accessory-mounting-system/
http://www.caselabs-store.com/the-flex-bay-system/


Make a thread in the Caselabs section.
Steampunk TJ11
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EK-RAM Dominator EK-Multioption Basic 250 Swiftech MCP655 XSPC EX480 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
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Steampunk TJ11
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7 2600K Asus Sabertooth P67 EVGA GTX 560 Ti EVGA GTX 560 Ti 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Corsair Dominator Curcial M4 Slot Load Swiftech MCP655 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-RAM Dominator EK-Multioption Basic 250 Swiftech MCP655 XSPC EX480 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
XSPC EX360 XSPC EX240 Danger Den GTX 560Ti GPU Block Danger Den GTX 560Ti GPU Block 
CoolingOSPowerCase
EK-Supremacy LTX Windows 7 Professional Silverstone 1200W Silverstone TJ11 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
I7 950 Gigabyte GA-X58A-OC EVGA GTX 460 SE 4GB Corsair Dominator 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Western Digital EK-Supreme HF CPU Block EK-RAM Dominator RAM Block Bitspower GTX460 Block 
CoolingCoolingOSPower
2x EK 480 2x DDCP 4.0 Pumps Windows Home Server OCZ 1000W 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD FX-8120 MSI 890FXA-GD70 GTX 460 GTX 460 
GraphicsGraphicsHard DriveCooling
GTX 460 GTX 460 Curcial M4 XSPC EX 480 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
OCZ Hydroflow HF-MK1 EK-Multioption 250 Swiftech MCP655 XSPC EX 360 Multiport 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK-Coolstream XTC (140) MCW60 MCW60 MCW60 
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post #10 of 11
Ah so you mean 2x 8GB kits (2x4GB).... so 4x4GB sticks. Samsung 30nm ones... I have the same and would definitely recommend them above most. Sorry I mis-read that a bit. 16GB is overkill, but that's what you wanted!

Good luck with the build... hopefully it'll be quite straight forward... if not ask away on here again, I'll reply when I can. Keep us all in the loop whatever, will help future SM8 water coolers.

Cheers,

DB
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