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[Build Log] Sean's BlackIce Build

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
This is a little after the fact, since I just finished up the build - kind of like watching a movie where they show you the conclusion first, and then walk you through the protagonist's journey after... Hangover style thumb.gif.

Case: 1/2" copper tubing frame which was hand polished and clear coated to prevent oxidation, I CAD designed the acrylic and had it laser cut. Assembled with WAY too many black ox metric bolts, compression springs, silicon sealant, solder, weld-on #16, chewing gum...
Motherboard: Asus Z77 Sabertooth
CPU: i5-3570k
Power: Corsair AX850
CPU Waterblock: XSPC Raystorm
Memory: Corsair Dominator CMP16GX3M4X1866C9
Memory Waterblock: XSPC Dominator
Video card: Powercolor LCS 6970
Pump: Dual Laing DDC 355 with XSPC Acrylic dual pump cover and blue leds
Radiators: 360 x2
Drives: MKNSSDCR120GB ATA Device (x2 in raid 0)
Hitachi HTS541010A9E680 ATA Device (for storage)
KINGSTON SVP200S3120G ATA Device (for Linux)
Optical Drive: HL-DT-ST BD-RE BH08LS20 ATA Device
Fittings: Koolance (many, many fittings)
Tubing: Feser Tube UV Hose - 3/8" ID - 1/2" OD - BLACK / UV Blue
Coolant: Feser One - CLEAR /UV Blue
Reservoir: FrozenQ Fusion Reservoir Rev.6 UV Blue
Lighting: lots of custom leds and cold cathodes... more soldering that I care to discus.
Temperature monitor: Bitspower coolant temperature sensor soldered to a XSPC mini temperature display

Props to Dazmode, XSPC, Umake Montreal for laser cutting, and of course, ASUS for making the sabertooth board – with out which, this build would not be possible.

ps... somethings I would do differently, like a pair of EVGA GeForce GTX 690 Hydro Copper Signature cards, and larger ssd drives... but, I live on a disability income and don't have 'sponsors' ... so, not going to happen.


On with the show!









http://www.overclock.net/g/a/796383/seans-blackice-build/
Edited by Epimetheus - 10/25/12 at 12:24pm
post #2 of 8
Nice job! Very unique design.
FRHKBOX
(25 items)
 
Cruncher
(9 items)
 
Raspberry Pi
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8350 @4.2GHz Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 XFX R7950 Double D 4x4GB Samsung MV-3V4G3/US 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Vertex 4 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 64GB Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB Lite-On iHAS224-06 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Xigmatek Aegir 2x Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 Lamptron FC5V2 2x Corsair SP120 High Performance 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
2x Corsair AF120 High Performance Antec 200mm and 120mm fans Xigmatek 120mm fan Windows 10 Pro x64 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Mint 17 (VM) Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks 2x Asus VS247H-P Logitech G510 
PowerCaseMouseOther
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W  Antec Eleven Hundred M.M.O. 7 TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Wi-Fi 
Other
Additional cables 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD Phenom II 960T ECS A960M-M3 ATI Radeon 3000 Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 
RAMHard DriveCoolingOS
2x2 GB ADATA XPG Gaming 1333MHz 9-9-9-24 1 TB Western Digital Blue AMD FX heatsink (from 8350) Windows 10 
Power
Corsair CX500M 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
ARM1176JZF-S @1GHz Raspberry Pi Model B rev 1 VideoCore IV @500MHz 256MB LPDDDR2 @600MHz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
SanDisk 32GB Ultra Class 6 Raspbian Wheezy headless none 
PowerCaseMouse
Apple 2.1A iPad Power Supply none none 
  hide details  
Reply
FRHKBOX
(25 items)
 
Cruncher
(9 items)
 
Raspberry Pi
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8350 @4.2GHz Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 XFX R7950 Double D 4x4GB Samsung MV-3V4G3/US 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Vertex 4 128GB OCZ Vertex 4 64GB Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB Lite-On iHAS224-06 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Xigmatek Aegir 2x Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 Lamptron FC5V2 2x Corsair SP120 High Performance 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
2x Corsair AF120 High Performance Antec 200mm and 120mm fans Xigmatek 120mm fan Windows 10 Pro x64 
OSOSMonitorKeyboard
Mint 17 (VM) Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks 2x Asus VS247H-P Logitech G510 
PowerCaseMouseOther
PC Power and Cooling Silencer Mk II 750W  Antec Eleven Hundred M.M.O. 7 TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Wi-Fi 
Other
Additional cables 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
AMD Phenom II 960T ECS A960M-M3 ATI Radeon 3000 Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 
RAMHard DriveCoolingOS
2x2 GB ADATA XPG Gaming 1333MHz 9-9-9-24 1 TB Western Digital Blue AMD FX heatsink (from 8350) Windows 10 
Power
Corsair CX500M 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
ARM1176JZF-S @1GHz Raspberry Pi Model B rev 1 VideoCore IV @500MHz 256MB LPDDDR2 @600MHz 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
SanDisk 32GB Ultra Class 6 Raspbian Wheezy headless none 
PowerCaseMouse
Apple 2.1A iPad Power Supply none none 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 8
Very nice build. thumb.gif I like that you finished it first since I find it hard to wait to see the end result of people's builds. Like watching your favorite tv show once a week! I'd rather download it and watch it all at once. How long it take to build?

I have a similar idea that I'm working on but still in the research mode trying to find the right items.
Angling the fans just gave me another idea that might solve a possible air flow issue, thanks. Trying to make it close to the wall as possible.
Need more pics please, close-ups.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
CHAPTER 1: OVERVIEW, OBJECTIVES AND DESIGN PHILOSOPHY (or, "the importance of not just slapping shiny crap together")

The goal of the BlackIce build was to showcase a well designed water cooled system. I did not like that I had put significant effort into designing and building water-cooled systems in the past, only to hide it away in a traditional case. Windowed cases were nice, and I've built my fair share in the past - but still, it seemed far to 'constrained' and hidden. Instead, I wanted to build something that put the water cooling front and center. I also wanted to minimized the space that a traditional case took up. Cases are far too bulky in my opinion... and too 'appliance' like – no matter how much time and effort I spent dressing them up.

My first version resulted in using an Ikea IVAR cabinet with glass paneled doors as the housing, with the radiators situated on the outside. It looked 'ok', but had issues. The cabling was complicated and showed far too much of the 'ugly bits'; and, heat accumulation was abysmal. Even with cabinet fans, it was a convection oven! This build was a short lived build from the onset as I quickly realized that I had to ditch the cabinet.

The present concept started off by looking at benching tables. I've built tables in past, but they looked, well... like borg vomit – and they took up too much real-estate on my desk. So, I played with the idea of mounting a bench table on the wall. This is where things started to take shape. I built my second version with the motherboard mounted on a copper framed acrylic wall plate with shelves below for drives and power supply. It successfully removed most of the heat issues, but still looked like crap with the exposed drives, cables and power supply – dress them up all I wanted... those elements still looked too busy.

For the current version, I decided to throw away all pre-conceived ideas of what a computer should look like. Until now, I was still placing the components in a traditional configuration – power supply above or below the motherboard, drives to the right, cooling above or to the back... these ideas had to go. Also, I have a tendency of taking all the cool ideas I see on other builds and mash them together within a traditional design scheme. The result was a jumbled mess of shiny things. Yes, the wires were all sleeved nicely – but it was still a rats nest... just a well dressed rats nest. Yes, it had all the bells an whistles, but there was no overall design involved – too many colors and lights and crap... it was just too 'busy' and cramped. I wasn't looking at the computer as a whole – only as a collection of what looked good individually.

To start fresh, I borrowed my fundamental design philosophy from a line in Civilization V that resonated with me. Specifically, "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away". - Antoine de Saint-Exupery. I also decided early on to stick to a LIMITED color scheme – one primary color, and two accent colors max (something I learned by reading a design text book borrowed from a friend). Black and UV blue made the most sense to me, with some copper and stainless steel accents for mounting screws.

To cut down on clutter, I first sat down and made a list of ALL the parts I wanted to include, and then strike off everything that I could off that list (second optical drive, fan controller, card reader). I then separated the short-list into two – the things that I wanted to showcase, and the things I wanted to hide – which proved to be an evolving list. Things like ssd drives and sleeved cables started off in the 'show' side, but ended up in the hide – reservoir started off in the hide, but made it's way to the show. I also had to ensure that the things that needed to be accessed could be - like the optical drive face. Finally, I had to stop trying to look for parts online like drive housings that weren't intended for what I had in mind – and start designing them myself.

Once I had my list of 'parts to show', I made a scale model of those parts out of cardboard, and shuffled them around until I had a configuration that worked. The one problem I ran into was that with the two 360mm radiators; in order to make it look good as a whole, I had to place them on opposing sides – effectively framing the computer... unfortunately, this required running lengths of tubing from the far left to the far right, which didn't work for me – the tubing 'drooped' and looked too messy. At first, I decided to hide the tubing behind the back-plate, but later came up with the idea of creating an acrylic 'channel' to feed the coolant from one end to the other... While the most interesting aspect of the build, it also proved to be the most challenging – making the water channel aesthetically pleasing AND functional (water proofing laminated acrylic plates under pressure was more than I bargained for– to be covered in the 'structure' chapter).

Once I had the placement down and was happy with how it looked, I considered how to ensure that the board was properly cooled. This was a problem for me in the past – especially with an open, water cooled computer, the board would not benefit from traditional air movement inside a case to cool the mosfets. My options at the time were either water blocks or fans placed in front of the board.... both had problems I didn't like – water blocks limited my board selection, and fans got in the way of the aesthetics. Two things changed this frustration – the sabertooth board which creates a means of cooling the board by directing airflow on the board itself – and placing a 120mm fan BEHIND the board rather than in front (to be covered in the 'cooling' chapter).

With that done, I worked on how to place the uv lights in front, with out obstructing the view, and not looking like they were just 'slapped on'. I also wanted to make sure that the lighting was balanced in terms of both placement and intensity (more on that on the lighting chapter).

Once I had the 'to be seen' stuff sorted out, I worked on the placement of the 'behind the scene' stuff, like the power supply and wiring. I'll cover this in more detail in the 'structure' chapter.
Edited by Epimetheus - 10/26/12 at 12:34pm
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Anthony and T S D... many thanks thumb.gif

TSD - I'm livin' in O-Town myself... feel free to msg me if you want to come over for a tour (Glebe area, near the university). I'd be more than happy to walk you through it and maybe help develop some ideas for your next build. cheers.gif Also, this build took me about 5 months to build - largely due to cost, but also because of much trial-and-error.
Edited by Epimetheus - 10/26/12 at 12:48pm
post #6 of 8
Sorry for delay...

Well actually I'm about an hour out, I put O-Town because people wouldn't know where Braeside is. I would like to think most know where Ottawa is, well maybe not Americans! biggrin.gif (sorry little jab to our neighbors, please don't invade!)

I'm in the same boat when it comes to cost. All the parts I want are high end. I'm also designing our new house plans for the spring, so this computer may take a lot longer than I was hoping for.

Here's kinda what I was thinking, still playing with the layout. Everything will be countersunk with a kind of "thermal armour" covering everthing so all you see is the components. It's going to take me a while to get there. I had the same though about hiding the things you don't want to see. Like the card reader, usb ports, DVD, etc. I can stick those on the side. It's just finding enough room so as not to make this bigger than my fridge!

As far as the rad I was thinking of a piece that scoops the air out the side, but I'm not sure how far away from the base I need to be. I would image the same area as the fans are, makes sense. This would make the whole system stick out a lot more. Then I saw yours angled. That may work better. I also want to do a push/pull config.

The video is the most critical. I need to find a 16x riser ribbon before I start anything. If I can't find one long enough then I'll have to rethink the design.

Man autcad to jpg doesn't do it justice but I couldn't upload a pdf. rolleyes.gif


By the time I start building all the parts will be obsolete! tongue.gif
post #7 of 8
That's very cool...
post #8 of 8
Quote:
AlderonnX - That's very cool...
Thanks. My first water cooling project so i have lots to learn.

Work in progress ,still playing with the design. I may even go with a 4-fan rad to keep everything symmetrical not for cooling even though that's a bonus. The water lines are going to be copper tubing (seen it on another build) and I may even play around with gold plating them. Add a little bling to it. Need to learn more on this too.
Sometimes I need one of these buttkick.gif to get me going, I overanaysis and take a long time to decide. I'm finding some of the items I'm looking for don't exist or are a little off from what I want. I even went as far as doing some cardboard mockups of the main componets so I could get a better feel for spacing and size.

Quote:
Epimetheus - I'm livin' in O-Town myself... feel free to msg me if you want to come over for a tour
I may have to take you up on that offer, thanks. Your build is the closest I've seen to what I'm trying to do. At first I though you were using copper for your lines as well but then when I took a closer look it was just for framing. Still a neat idea though.

Having no case like that do you need the ram cooler? Or even fans in the back to keep air moving around everything? I don't know how hot ram gets. I've been tossing around the idea of cooling the ram but I want to get the the Dominator Platinum ones that light up and a cooler would block the look of it. You would have the benefit of convection where heat rises, but enough to keep everything cool !?

I'm more into aestheics but by using all higher end componets I get a powerful computer to boot! Not so good on the pocket book though.doh.gif
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