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post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I've been holding off on upgrading my entire system for Ivy Bridge E, mainly due to the fact that I upgrade every 2 generations on the enthusiast platform. My 920 has held out well, but I do believe it needs to be retired more or less. Long story short...my system will be revamped in the next few months until Ivy Bridge E comes out so I can be ready for it smile.gif

The hardware going into the case is rather irrelevant right now, as I'm not sure what motherboards will come out with the new chips, but for now I'm kind of a fan of the MSI Big Bang-xPower, mainly due to the general blackness of the board. Maybe I should point out the kind of look I'm going for-basically, its gonna be a black/green theme, with white mixed in a bit to accent some things. Not exactly sure what I want or what I'm looking for, but that idea keeps coming back, so I'm sticking with it. The green will mostly come from lighting, and it will probably be pulsating. I'm thinking of clearing out the entire drive bay area up above, and having an elongated motherboard tray to mount 2 frozen-q spiral res's on, and have a dedicated cpu loop, and have another that handles my gpu(s) (haven't decided how many I'll have...may stick to just one, but it will be a GTX 780) and maybe my chipset/ram. Last time I tried to WC my chipset it was a disaster, but I was trying to do it all in a mid tower case, and it was my first WC loop, so I think I'll give it another try if I can find the appropriate blocks. I'll probably find a way to mount a 360 rad in the front where the optical drives and such would normally be mounted, and have a clear front of some sort, perhaps perforated so the fans have some intake. I'll have a 480 rad underneath, and I'm debating if I want/need an additional 360 rad up top. I'll not be doing push/pull on all the rads, probably just the rad underneath, and on the front rad just have pull, and If I do a top rad, it would be a push. Oh also, the mid-plate that divides the top and bottom will be lit. I know I'm missing a few things, as I haven't fully thought it out, but that's mainly because I want some input as to what I'll need, and what you guys think would make it either look cooler, or just be more functional I guess.

Once I get a better feel for what I'm getting into, I'll figure out what's going into it, and make up a few drawings and the such...anyway just want some input. Thanks in advance! I'll keep this thread updated with pics of the concept, and once it gets rolling I'll get pics of the build progress and such.

Oh also, in case it wasn't clear, this will be a water cooled build, and it's primarily used for gaming, with a bit of coding.

**UPDATE 7/3/13**

So I meant to keep this updated with build progress and the such, but I kinda got lost in the modding, and forgot to upload pics as I took them. Regardless, here's more or less a build log:

I got my TJ07 completely stripped down, and more or less rivet-free. I didn't mean to take it down as far as I did, but once I got one rivet popped, I just couldn't stop, and ended up taking out the rest. It's actually kinda fun smile.gif I've got a friend who powder-coats, so I took all the pieces down, and got them redone in black, as all the interior was still bare metal, and the outside was losing some of it's pzazz.

In the meantime, I took my Seasonic Platinum 1000 and sleeved all the wires heatshrinkless. My reasoning for the Platinum 1000 was that it's fully modular, and it's 80 PLUS Platinum, so in the long run it will pay for itself. I woulda gone with the Corsair 1200i, but for one, I have no intention of running more than 2 cards in this rig ever, and it was much more expensive. The sleeving went fairly smoothly, but man...that was pretty rough on my fingers. Weeks later, and they're still showing the wear and tear of heat-shrink free sleeving. The cabling looks quite nice however. I shoulda taken pics of the sleeving before hooking it up...but that kinda passed my mind. Regardless, I got that done, and the case was done with the powder-coating soon after. Man, I'll tell ya, the case hadn't looked that good since I got it a few years ago. Regardless, here's where the pics will start popping up:

Here I have the case completely stripped down, and I'm test fitting to make sure everything will fit. In the bottom, I'll have a 480 rad up front, and a 240 rad behind it. The fit is tight, but it works fine, and all in all, everything will work out. I decided I didnt want the rads sitting on the floor, so I made some stands out of some 3/4"x1.5" wood strips I found, and screwed some acrylic pieces to the end to ensure the rads wouldnt move. The tubing up front will keep them from moving forwards, so I was only concerned with them scooting backwards.

So my initial plan was to have the drain port connected to a T in between the bottom ports of the 2 rads. I found out while connecting the fittings that my initial plan wouldnt work, so I improvised with 90 degree fittings to the T to the drain-port. It worked out quite nicely smile.gif Since this particular set of tubing wouldnt be visible, I opted to use worm-drive clamps, as I'm much more satisfied of their durability, as opposed to other tubing clamps.

Just another shot of my handiwork. I'm quite happy with how everything fit. One thing to note, that may not be noted elsewhere, is I'll only be using the power switch from the front panel connectors, as I've never used the front reset switch, and I find the power and HDD led's are overkill,especially in my current build. You'll see why in later pics smile.gif

Another view, from the front. This shows the clearance the fans have with the rads on the stands I made. It's not very clear, but I'd say there's about 1mm of the bottom of the fan behind the piece of metal that the side panel slides onto, so it's just about perfect.

Here I have all the bottom tubing and wiring hooked up, and I installed the mid panel and 5.25" panels, to install the 3rd radiator. I used some brackets I found for mounting rads, and they definitely did the job. I dont really use the 5.25" bays, and I just have my SSD in the computer, so I can use all that space they wanted for HDD's originally, and dedicate it to radiators biggrin.gif I hooked up a bit of the preliminary tubing, and this more or less shows how it will end up. I changed a few things up after this, like adding a 45 degree compression fitting to the right side of the 3rd radiator, and swapping the 90 degree barb fittings on the top of the other 2 rads for compression fittings, mainly for aesthetics. I also swapped the fitting on the left of the 3rd radiator for 2 90 degree fittings, to give a more direct route to the pump, where that fitting will be going to.

Here, I hooked up the tubing and the fittings I had, as I was waiting for one more shipment of fittings to come before I could finish up, and I just couldnt wait so I hooked it up using makeshift fittings I already had. At this point, the center acrylic tube in my x4 helix hadnt burst yet, and it looked magnificent. Also, a sidenote: I ordered 3/8"x1/2" acrylic tubing, thinking it would be close enough to the multilink fittings that I could make it work. It's quite a bit of work to get the ends the right diameter-it took me about 1hr per tube to cut, sand, and polish to make it decent. To the discerning eye, you'll see the ends are not quite clear, but to the casual bypasser it's nearly impossible to tell I sanded them down. My camera catches it almost perfectly tho...

Another prelim view of the loop so far. Before it gets asked later, the 2 bottom rads are indeed not new. I've had them for a few years, they've served me well, and I saw no reason to not reuse them again. Also, the 4 fans on the front rad are daisy chained to the 1 fan on the other rad in the bottom, and are connected to one channel on my FC4. I did this a while ago, on my last iteration of mods on this computer, so I didnt take pics of that.

Another view of my handiwork so far. I hadn't yet swapped out the LED's on my FC4 for white ones, as they hadn't yet arrived.

Here, I've installed the smoked acrylic panels I cut earlier. I do quite like the effect they add, and they make the light not so obnoxious. This is a good view of the front one, and there's one on the top as well. It's not quite clear here, but I also replaced the rear panel with smoked acrylic, and it looks quite nice smile.gif

Here we can kinda see the top smoked acrylic panel from the inside.

Ok, so jumping ahead a little bit, I've installed most of final hardware for the mod. Changes here include I finally got the mirrored green tint acrylic panel cut, the pass-thru fittings installed, all the tubing routed, the wiring completed, and the remaining fittings installed, as well as white lighting on both the pump top and CPU block. The camera wouldnt capture the CPU lighting as well as I'd like, but I assure you it's quite amazing smile.gif

Most of the pics from here on won't have much description, as they're more or less just showing different angles of the build.

Final routing of the tubing, again, I'm quite happy with the end product here.

Mandatory cable routing pic. The TJ07 suffers from routing PSU cables properly ,so to combat this I have cut a space out of the back of the midplate to allow cables to pass from the bottom compartment to the other areas of the case. Also, to get the 8-pin CPU power to go the direction I wanted, I had to put a thumb screw there into the motherboard tray to give that cable an 'anchor' of sorts.

These 2 pics showcase somewhat the mirrored midplate

OK, so all of that was done about 2 weeks ago, and took me about a month to do in all. I've just done a few finishing touches since then. I finally swapped out the LED's on my FC4 for white ones, I got the Dominator Platinum set installed, and I finally got a pulsating LED circuit to work, so I've just gotta solder it up and install that in there. Here's a few pics of the memory installed:

Still to come: I decided on my mobo-the x79 Dark. It just looks too sexy to not use it smile.gif I'll be putting in the 4930k when it's released, so until the CPU comes out, I'll hold off on getting the mobo. I've got the pulsing circuit drawn out in Multisim, so now it's just to transfer it to a PCB for the final product. I've decided to etch out a custom PCB for the circuit, so hopefully that all works out.
Edited by zpliptzy - 7/3/13 at 4:53am
post #2 of 5
Same position as you, my i7 950 has had a good run but I think it's time to move to 2011 what with IVB-E around the corner. I looked at the Big Bang Xpower II as well, but I've pretty much settled on the UP4 from Gigabyte since it retains all the features I need but for £90 less. I'm gonna keep my 680 I think though and just change the block on my CPU loop instead of doing a complete revamp lol. Your plans so far seem good to me though smile.gif

Heard some bad things about the chipset heatsink on the Big Bang board, but if you're planning on WCing it you should be fine since I'm pretty sure it can be removed without too much fuss.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if updating the thread bumps it, so here's a precautionary 'bump'. Enjoy smile.gif
post #4 of 5
Very Nice applaud.gif
Have you ever considered painting the PCB on the video card or getting a back plate for it? That would make it look even better wink.gif
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
I dont plan on sticking with that card-if a 790 is released, I'll get that, otherwise I'll just get a couple 780's. In any case, it's not a permanent card, so I'm not planning on it. I do agree however that a backplate would add to the card's aesthetics.
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