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[Build Log] mATX SLI - Water Cooled Arc Mini

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, been lurking in the WC forum for a while now. This will detail my first WC build!

Back story: I've been running an i5-2500k @ 4.6ghz with a GTX 670 in my Arc Mini for over a year. I recently bought a Lightboost-capable display (read about it here) and decided I needed a bit more power to support that. Of course I decided to get another GTX 670 to SLI but I knew the temps would be high and so it was. After running it I knew SLI would provide me the needed power but I needed better cooling so I started reading up on WC, learning as much as I can from these forums and others... and here I am.

Here's what I'm starting out with:










After looking around and checking out the different brands, I settled to go mostly with EK parts because of the performance and aesthetics, and also because of builds like Mailk's project ARC. I also took the opportunity to get some sleeved cable extensions to pretty things up a tad. The new parts came in today:


List of new components:
  • EK-Supremacy CPU Water Block (Acetal + Nickel)
  • 2 x EK-VGA Supremacy Bridge Edition (Acetal + Nickel)
  • EK-FC Bridge Serial
  • EK-FC680 GTX Backplate
  • EK-D5 Res TOP 100 CSQ
  • Swiftech MCP655 Pump
  • 2 x Zalman ZM-RHS1 Passive VGA Cooler
  • EK-UNI Holder 50/70
  • 14 x EK-CSQ Compression Fittings
  • 2 x EK-CSQ 90deg Fitting
  • 2 x XSPC EX240 Rads
  • 4 x Swiftech Helix 120mm fan
  • 10ft Tygon 3603 tubing
  • Arctic Silver 5
  • Bunch of assorted BitFenix sleeved extensions

I spent a lot of time debating if I should incorporate a fillport like kubed_zero's build but I decided against it.

My priorities: good temps (not the ultimate super best) as a result of a compromise for decent noise characteristics. I wanted relatively low rpm fans and appropriate rads to try to maintain low noise. I also wanted everything to be in the case. This sounds trivial but I debated mounting rads outside the case at various points in my study.

Since the parts came in today, I got everything out and started getting familiar with the parts, how everything fits together, etc. Since this is my first WC build I want to become really familiar with the mechanics of it all. After I got done playing with the new toys, I started tearing the rig down:




In order to mount the front 240mm rad, I'll have to drill out the pop rivets that hold the bottom HDD cage down. You can see them in these two pictures. I didn't get that done tonight because the drill bits I had simply weren't up to the task... I'll resolve that tomorrow.




So I turned my attention to the GPUs. I have two Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670s. The Windforce cooler is secured to the PCB with four screw in the back. Undoing those and unplugging the fan PMW allows the entire cooler to come off. Right away you'll notice the amount of TIM used on the GPU...






For this build I decided to go with universal GPU blocks in case I decide to upgrade on a whim... therefore I had to put in passive cooling for the VGA RAM. The Zalman heatsinks fit in quite well and as you'll see the EK universal GPU block is built in such a way that the heatsinks have proper clearance.







I completed both cards and I stopped for the day... to be resumed tomorrow!
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2500k ASUS Maximus V Gene Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670 SLI 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2133MHz 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H60 Win7 x64 BenQ XL2720T NZXT HALE90-1000-M 
CaseMouse
Fractal Design Arc Mini Razar Mamba 2012 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2500k ASUS Maximus V Gene Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670 SLI 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2133MHz 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H60 Win7 x64 BenQ XL2720T NZXT HALE90-1000-M 
CaseMouse
Fractal Design Arc Mini Razar Mamba 2012 
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post #2 of 7
Looking good so far. In my Arc Midi build, I settled on 1/8" drill bit, going forward and back (sounds goofy, but it works) until the rivet popped. If I only went forward, it would catch, bind and spin the rivet. Backing up smoothed out the bind area and let the drill dig in further. After a 3-4 motions of this, the rivet should pop thumb.gif
 
Liquid i5
(18 items)
 
Budget BOINCer
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel i7 3930k Asus Rampage IV Gene Micro ATX LGA2011 Diamond Radeon HD 7970 Diamond Radeon HD 7970 
RAMHard DriveCoolingOS
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB Heatkiller Waterblocks! Windows 8 Pro 
PowerCase
Seasonic X-850 Mountain Mods H2gO, black wrinkle, Left H Windo... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 2500k @ 4.5ghz 1.428v Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4-B3 EVGA 570 SC SLI@ 900/2000 1.1v G-Skill Ripjaws 16gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial C300 128gb Samsung F4 2TBx4 Raid5 LG Bluray Combo GPU - HK GPUx3 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
CPU - HK Rev 3.0 360+120 Rads, Gentle Typhoon AP-15s Win7 Pro x64 Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Corsair HX750w Cooler Master HAF X Logitech G9 Razer Barracuda AC-1 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 945 MSI 790FX-GD70 3x HD 5870 G-Skill Ripjaws 2x2gb Blue 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Seagate 320gb CPU - XSPC Rasa GPUs - XSPC 5870 & MCW82 RS240 & EX240 
OSPowerCase
XP Pro Seasonic Platinum 860 Fractal Arc Midi 
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Liquid i5
(18 items)
 
Budget BOINCer
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel i7 3930k Asus Rampage IV Gene Micro ATX LGA2011 Diamond Radeon HD 7970 Diamond Radeon HD 7970 
RAMHard DriveCoolingOS
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB Heatkiller Waterblocks! Windows 8 Pro 
PowerCase
Seasonic X-850 Mountain Mods H2gO, black wrinkle, Left H Windo... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 2500k @ 4.5ghz 1.428v Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD4-B3 EVGA 570 SC SLI@ 900/2000 1.1v G-Skill Ripjaws 16gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Crucial C300 128gb Samsung F4 2TBx4 Raid5 LG Bluray Combo GPU - HK GPUx3 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
CPU - HK Rev 3.0 360+120 Rads, Gentle Typhoon AP-15s Win7 Pro x64 Samsung SyncMaster XL2370 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Corsair HX750w Cooler Master HAF X Logitech G9 Razer Barracuda AC-1 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom II x4 945 MSI 790FX-GD70 3x HD 5870 G-Skill Ripjaws 2x2gb Blue 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Seagate 320gb CPU - XSPC Rasa GPUs - XSPC 5870 & MCW82 RS240 & EX240 
OSPowerCase
XP Pro Seasonic Platinum 860 Fractal Arc Midi 
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Angrybutcher View Post

I settled on 1/8" drill bit

That is the right size, but I only had wood drill bits so I needed to buy a cobalt bit.

That said, let's go into an update! Got a lot done since the last post... First thing was drill out the pop rivets. There are four on the bottom of the cage, and two that hold it against the motherboard backplane. thumb.gif




Next, some testing to see how the front rad will fit. As you'll see, it's a tight squeeze, but with a little push, it pops right into place!






In the last picture you'll notice that there is a horizontal crossmember in the opening. Upon further inspection...


I noticed that if I removed it I could easily mount push/pull fans on the front 240mm rad. So, a few minutes later with my Dremel tool and the case now well acquainted...


Much better! So it was at this point that I thought I would go into something else as a break to working on the case itself and I went to do the "radiator dance" for a while. Then I realized I had made a rookie mistake... I had forgotten to purchase additional plugs for the rad's other ports mad.gif So clearly the build won't be complete this weekend. Until I get the plugs I decided I'd try to do just about everything else; dry fitting all components, cutting tubing to size, prepping cable management, etc.

First item on the list: install the bridge for the GPU's. This was simply a breeze. It's much simpler to install the bridge before putting the cards in, now they go in and come out as a pair quite easily.


Next up, the CPU block. I have a LGA 1155 so I wanted to swap the jet plate to the EK recommended.




Pretty darn simple stuff, although the gasket was a bit of a pain in the butt to secure when putting everything back together. Anyhow, next up was mounting the block on the mobo... Again, piece of cake.








Next up: build the "EK Robot" as Malik called it.


During my dry fitting session I actually built and rebuilt this component several times, modifying the height and the orientation (the EK pump top has two inlets, one on either side). I wanted to fit the EK logo facing out if possible, and this is what I came up with as a final solution:


So far, pretty happy with the progress. I got almost all of the tubing cut except one leg I think. I also drilled mounting holes for the EK Robot on the bottom side of the case (I'll probably show that in the next update).

Next post I will probably cover cleaning the case out thoroughly (obviously ti was a bit dusty as you can tell in the first pictures of this post), cable management and fan placement. One thing I noticed during my dry fitting session was that even though the FD website states you need "low profile memory" (<40mm height) for a rad thicker than 40mm, I found that my G.Skill Snipers (42mm height) would easily allow me to mount push/pull on the top rad as well. I'm currently debating if I'll do that as I'd need to purchase additional fans, I don't have any that I'd find suitable for the task. Till next time!
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2500k ASUS Maximus V Gene Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670 SLI 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2133MHz 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H60 Win7 x64 BenQ XL2720T NZXT HALE90-1000-M 
CaseMouse
Fractal Design Arc Mini Razar Mamba 2012 
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Intel i5-2500k ASUS Maximus V Gene Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670 SLI 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2133MHz 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H60 Win7 x64 BenQ XL2720T NZXT HALE90-1000-M 
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Fractal Design Arc Mini Razar Mamba 2012 
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Alright, I haven't updated in a while so here goes...

After the last update, I cleaned out the case thoroughly and started installing basic component and doing cable routing...


In order to have the res stand on the case floor and still have room for a push/pull setup in front, the res ends up being pretty close to the GPU but there is still a slight clearance.


I didn't take pictures when I was assembling it out of sheer frustration. All the tubing I had cut was simply not working out and I needed to redo all of it. I also found I needed at least one 45deg fitting in the loop and I simply didn't have that. Fast forward a few days, and it's install and I'm ready to leak test...


I really wanted to watch the hockey game as that was going (go Kings!) so I got set up in my living room. I found a nice hook placement for my funnel and I began bumping the pump...




After 15 hours of continuous operation I felt confident my system was water tight so it was time to install everything else.


Finally the system was up and running!




But... things weren't so simple. I booted up and ran Prime 95. I thought my temps were awesome. However, when I ran Heaven I crashed almost right away. I thought maybe it was the drivers... reboot, same thing. Furmark... ahhh! All of a sudden I notice that my temps are completely sky rocketing on the GPU, absolutely out of control in a matter of a second.

Two thoughts: either my three hours of radiator dancing didn't pay off, or the GPU block(s) aren't seated properly. Time to drain the loop and open those babies up... any advice from anyone?
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2500k ASUS Maximus V Gene Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670 SLI 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2133MHz 
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Corsair H60 Win7 x64 BenQ XL2720T NZXT HALE90-1000-M 
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Fractal Design Arc Mini Razar Mamba 2012 
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Intel i5-2500k ASUS Maximus V Gene Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670 SLI 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2133MHz 
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Corsair H60 Win7 x64 BenQ XL2720T NZXT HALE90-1000-M 
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Fractal Design Arc Mini Razar Mamba 2012 
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post #5 of 7
Is the die around the GPU higher than the mating surface? I know the 7000 series has an issue with that.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmwookie View Post

Is the die around the GPU higher than the mating surface? I know the 7000 series has an issue with that.

So I thought the issue might have something to do with that. I partially drained the loop and pulled the cards out. In the instructions, with heatspreaders they recommended taller washers. Long story short the mating surface had poor contact with the die (if any) for other than the paste! Yikes. Rebuilding everything with normal washers and posting again tomorrow. Thanks!
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2500k ASUS Maximus V Gene Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670 SLI 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2133MHz 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H60 Win7 x64 BenQ XL2720T NZXT HALE90-1000-M 
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Fractal Design Arc Mini Razar Mamba 2012 
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Intel i5-2500k ASUS Maximus V Gene Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670 SLI 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2133MHz 
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Corsair H60 Win7 x64 BenQ XL2720T NZXT HALE90-1000-M 
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Fractal Design Arc Mini Razar Mamba 2012 
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Good news! I pulled everything apart and rebuilt the GPU waterblocks, reseated them with the smaller standoffs and noticed I had much much better, full contact. I also took the opportunity to pull apart the GPU waterblocks and inspect them, to see if there was any flux residue. I saw none, although I did notice one or two flakes in the amount of fluid I had drained, which is to be expected.

Bottom line: my load temps on water are what my idle temps were on air for this tiny setup... I am very, very happy! I will post better pictures at the end of this week.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2500k ASUS Maximus V Gene Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670 SLI 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2133MHz 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H60 Win7 x64 BenQ XL2720T NZXT HALE90-1000-M 
CaseMouse
Fractal Design Arc Mini Razar Mamba 2012 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5-2500k ASUS Maximus V Gene Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670 SLI 4 x 4GB G.Skill Sniper F3-17000CL11D-8GBSR 2133MHz 
CoolingOSMonitorPower
Corsair H60 Win7 x64 BenQ XL2720T NZXT HALE90-1000-M 
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Fractal Design Arc Mini Razar Mamba 2012 
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