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[Build Log] Big-Beetre - Shinobi XL

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Introduction
I am a software developer professionally but hardware is a hobby I enjoy spending my free time on. I have built a decent number of computers for myself, friends, and family over the years but my personal machine was getting a little old so it was time to upgrade. I was rocking a Core 2 Duo E6700 (that's a Conroe for you youngins out there) @ 3.25 GHz, 4 GB RAM, EVGA 9800 GTX+, and a 3 way RAID-0 of Velociraptors plus 2 3 TB RAID-1 storage.

The name Beetre is just weird spelling of beater and I call all my machines Beetre with some prefix. The reason for this is that I usually build a machine for the long haul, typically between 4 and 6 years with as little upgrades as possible. So by the end of their lives my machines are all OLD BEETRES.

I should also mention that this is my first water cooled build, although I have dabbled with water cooling here and there on small projects.

Plans, Goals, and Inspirations
The only parts being transferred to the new machine will be the 2 3 TB 7200 RPM Seagate HDDs. Aside from that I had budgeted $2500 for the new tower and wanted to include water cooling in the price. You will notice that I am talking past tense here and that is because it has taken me a while to get the machine to its current state and of course I am still not finished with it. thumb.gif

Most of my inspiration comes from these forums and an absolutely AMAZING custom water cooled rig builder on YouTube named Singularity Computers. Massive shout out to this Australian fellow I learned so much from his channel!

Shopping List
This is the list of components as purchased from the local PC shop:
  • Intel Core™ i7-3770K Processor, 3.50GHz w/ 8MB Cache
  • $289.97
  • Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE w/ Dual DDR3 1600, 7.1 Audio, Dual Gigabit Lan, Dual Band WiFi, SLI / 3-Way CrossFireX
  • $264.77
  • MSI N680GTX Lightning GeForce GTX 680 2GB PCI-E w/ Dual DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort
  • $492.49
  • Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB DDR3 2133MHz CL11 Quad Channel Kit (4 x 4GB), Cerulean Blue
  • $144.99
  • Bitfenix Shinobi XL ATX Gamer Case, Black w/ Windows
  • $141.24
  • Samsung 840 Pro Series Solid State Drive SATA III, 256GB
  • $212.49
  • Corsair AX760i 760W Modular Power Supply
  • $168.74

Sub Total: $1,714.69
GST 5% $85.73
Total: $1,800.42

Here are is the initial list of components from FrozenCPU.com:
  • Black Ice GT Stealth 240 Radiator - Black
  • 1 x $60.95 = $60.95
  • Bitspower G 1/4" Thread 30 Degree Rotary Fitting Adapter - Silver Shining (BP-30R)
  • 2 x $11.99 = $23.98
  • EK DDC X-Top CSQ Pump Top - Acetal -Laing DDC / Swiftech MCP350/355 WITH an Optional Pump: Swiftech MCP35X™ - PWM ($99.95)
  • 1 x $122.90 = $122.90
  • Bitspower Water Tank Z-Multi 150 Inline Reservoir (BP-WTZM150P-BK)
  • 1 x $38.95 = $38.95
  • Bitspower Dual G1/4" Male / Male Fitting (BP-WTP-C08)
  • 1 x $4.99 = $4.99
  • Black Ice GT Stealth 360 Radiator - Black
  • 1 x $69.95 = $69.95
  • EK Supremacy Universal CPU Liquid Cooling Block - Acetal + Nickel (EK-Supremacy - Acetal + Nickel)
  • 1 x $76.99 = $76.99
  • EK MSI GeForce 680 GTX Lightning VGA Liquid Cooling Block - Acetal + Nickel CSQ (EK-FC680 GTX Lightning - Acetal+Nickel)
  • 1 x $112.99 = $112.99
  • Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PLPS 120mm x 25mm Ultra Quiet PWM Fan - 600-1500 RPM - 8-24 dBA
  • 7 x $20.95 = $146.65
  • 120mm Fan Grill
  • 7 x $3.00 = $21.00
  • Tygon 2475 Ultra Chemical Resistant Plasticizer Free Tubing - 1/2" ID (3/4" OD) - Clear (ACG00038)
  • 6 x $5.50 = $33.00
  • Bitspower Ultimate G 1/4 Thread 1/2" ID x 3/4" OD Compression Fitting - Silver Shining (BP-CPF-CC5)
  • 9 x $7.99 = $71.91
  • Bitspower G1/4 Thread 90-Degree Rotary 1/2" ID x 3/4" OD Compression Fitting - Silver Shining (BP-90R2LCPF-CC5)
  • 1 x $18.49 = $18.49

Item Total: $802.75
Shipping: $77.48
Subtotal: $880.23
Discounts: -$40.94
Grand Total: $839.29

So as you can see with my initial couple orders I was very close to my budget at $2639. However as I am sure many of you know, you never get everything you need in the initial order specially when water cooling. rolleyes.gif

The additional lists:
  • EK 4-Pin PWM 4-Way Splitter Cable - Sleeved Black / Black
  • 2 x $9.99 = $19.98
  • Mayhems Pastel Coolant Concentrate - 250mL - Ice White
  • 1 x $21.95 = $21.95
  • EK FC Bridge Single CSQ - Acetal (EK-FC Bridge Single CSQ)
  • 1 x $9.99 = $9.99
  • Bitspower G 1/4" Thread 30 Degree Rotary Fitting Adapter - Silver Shining (BP-30R)
  • 2 x $11.99 = $23.98

Item Total: $75.90
Shipping: $27.01
Subtotal: $102.91
Discounts: -$7.59
Grand Total: $95.32

  • Kingwin Dual 2.5" Single 5.25" Bay Internal Tray-Less Hot Swap Rack w/ Key Lock (KF-251-BK)
  • 1 x $32.95 = $32.95
  • Kingwin Triple 5.25" Bay to 4 x 3.5" Internal Hot Swap Raid-4 Rack (KF-4002-BK)
  • 1 x $87.99 = $87.99
  • Noiseblocker NB-BlackSilentPro PL-1 120mm x 25mm Ultra Quiet Fan - 900 RPM - 11 dBA
  • 1 x $19.95 = $19.95

Item Total: $140.89
Shipping: $24.20
Subtotal: $165.09
Discounts: -$14.09
Grand Total: $151.00

Final total after additional orders: $2885.

Future Plans
I plan on custom sleeving every wire in the machine including the front panel connectors. This may have to wait however as I am also considering one of two other options related to the loop:
  1. Flip the bottom 240 rad to the front with the inlet / outlet at the bottom for better drainage. This may also allow enough room to mount the pump / res combo to one of the bottom fans with a UN Z2 bracket. I would end up buying a proper drain fitting if I go this route.
  2. Change the case over to the Carbide Air 540, this case has been really catching my eye lately. biggrin.gif

As I said I may end up switching the 240 rad to the front of the case and re-route something like this (excuse the crappy drawing):

This will result in more tubing but may end up being ultimately cleaner. Still need to hammer out the fittings and measurements before I make a decision between this and the AIR 540.

As of right now all the fans and pump are running off PWM splitters from the 2 CPU fan headers on the mobo. I would like to eventually change these to run off an Aquaero 5 Pro that will have a temp reading from the coolant. I will need to determine if the Aquaero is capable of running PWM fans and add a temp sensor to the loop before this happens. Using the Aquaero will allow me to setup fan speed curves based on the coolant temp instead of the CPU. Also adding the Aquaero will use up the last 5.25 bay in this case.

Build Log
Please excuse the crappy photos as I only have a HTC One S to take them with.

Money shot!


Mobo up close. This is before I stupidly broke one of the pins in the USB 3 header. I will need to replace the mobo some day when I want USB 3 on the front panel... thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif


Case with window condom still on, they're no good after being used to lets get rid of that!


Backside shots



And a final three shots to round up the build before water cooling components were thrown in.



As mentioned all the previous shots were of the machine before any water cooling. I put it together with stock coolers and stress tested all the components to rule out faults and to get some base line temps/performance results. Temp / performance results will be coming!

Water cooling components finally arrived!


Sketchy? Hell ya! The HDDs are only there temporarily because I removed the (rather crappy) HDD cage to get all the fans I wanted in.


And here is where the crappy HDD cage was before. Seems to be a rad and a few fans there now, oh my...


The top 360.


And this is one of the reasons that I am considering moving the 240 to the front of the case instead. It is a little tight in there...


A little quick and dirty spray painting to get the res mounting hardware to match the rest of the build. I'm going to say it wasn't exactly easy to find all the bolts I needed to mount the rads... I really had to search around town to find them, next time I will just fork out the cash to get the bolts from FrozenCPU because finding M4 button head bolts is no easy feat...


The 680 LE all naked and sexy.


Stock front and back plates, only the back one will be going back on.


Shiny!


Filling the loop, I was so excited and nervous!



Sorry for the image quality but I wanted to show that the PCI slot bolts are still actually accessible. I used spacers to get the res and mounting hardware away from the back enough to get a screwdriver in there. A little awkward but very doable.


Some shots after 24 hour leak test. I was very paranoid since this was my first time working with such thick tubing - 1/2" ID 3/4" OD.



Here are photos of the new HDD solution I have employed.



Current Images
Here are some images of the rig in its current state.



Temporary cable management until I get custom sleeved cables happening. The Hot-swap bays added a lot of new cabling so cleaning this up may get interesting...

With all the lighting from the GPU and mobo it is actually already fairly bright in the top half of the case. I will need to find a blue light bar for the bottom half that isn't too bright or it may end up being overbearing.


Challenges
I have alluded to a few challenges throughout the build log however I will summarize them here.

Hard Drives Issue
I had originally planned to mount a case lab HDD assy to one of the front fans. The cage would mount no problem however with the HDDs in it was too long and didn't fit in the case with because of the length of the GPU. I also tried mounting the assy to the bottom rad but it was too tall and hit the 5.25 bay area. What I ultimately ended up deciding is, since I will be running multiple RAIDs (eventually there will be another 840 Pro), that I wanted hot-swap-ability so I bought some 5.25 hot-swap cages.

GPU Block
This was a relatively simple fix. The problem was that the inlet and outlet on the GPU block weren't in the correct places so I had to buy an adapter. This was cheaper than buying two 90 degree rotary fittings.

240 Radiator
I ended up mounting this on the bottom because it resulted in the least amount of tubing being used which should always be your goal. The issue I came across with it however is that the inlet/outlet side of the rad REALLY cramps the cables from the PSU.

The Tubing
OMG this tubing was a bastard to work with! I don't know if anyone has any suggestions about working with this style of tubing but I shredded my thumb and index tightening the fittings and it was one hell of a wrestling match to get them on the barbs...

Fans
All the fan headers on my mobo are 4 pin so I bought PWM fans thinking that I could control them all. Even though these headers are advertised as PWM in the manual they are NOT in fact PWM headers, the only true PWM headers on this mobo are the two CPU fan headers. This was a huge mistake on my part that I rectified by buying two 4 fan PWM splitters. I put all the intake fans (front and bottom) on one and the exhaust fans plus pump on the other. Thankfully this mobo has two CPU fan headers that are both PWM.

ASUS mobo buyers BEWARE!!! the 4 pin aux fan headers on your mobo are NOT ACTUALLY PWM!!! They have 4 pins but are not pulse modulated (source)

Performance and Temperature Results
SOON TO COME! Its getting late and is time to go to bed...sleepysmileyanim.gif
Edited by shakurass - 7/14/13 at 10:28pm
Big-Beetre
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 3770K Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE MSI GTX 680 Lightning Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB DDR3 2133MHz CL11 Qua... 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Seagate Barracuda Custom Loop Windows 8.1 Pro 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ducky Shine 3 DK9008 Corsair AX760i Corsair Obsidian 750D Razer DeathAdder 2013 
Mouse PadAudio
SteelSeries QcK Logitech Z-5500 
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Big-Beetre
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 3770K Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE MSI GTX 680 Lightning Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB DDR3 2133MHz CL11 Qua... 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Seagate Barracuda Custom Loop Windows 8.1 Pro 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ducky Shine 3 DK9008 Corsair AX760i Corsair Obsidian 750D Razer DeathAdder 2013 
Mouse PadAudio
SteelSeries QcK Logitech Z-5500 
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Reply
post #2 of 3
nice and clean smile.gif
very good job
BlackSugar
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 4690K ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac Palit Jetstream GTX 970 Kingston HyperX Black Fury 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M500 Samsung 850 EVO Noctua L9i Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
QNIX QX2710 Logitech G710+ SeaSonic M12II 620 Silverstone SG13 
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Logitech MX Master 
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BlackSugar
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 4690K ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac Palit Jetstream GTX 970 Kingston HyperX Black Fury 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M500 Samsung 850 EVO Noctua L9i Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
QNIX QX2710 Logitech G710+ SeaSonic M12II 620 Silverstone SG13 
Mouse
Logitech MX Master 
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrockh View Post

nice and clean smile.gif
very good job

Thanks! Though I am now looking at that new Phanteks case, mmmm it does look very nice...
Big-Beetre
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 3770K Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE MSI GTX 680 Lightning Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB DDR3 2133MHz CL11 Qua... 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Seagate Barracuda Custom Loop Windows 8.1 Pro 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ducky Shine 3 DK9008 Corsair AX760i Corsair Obsidian 750D Razer DeathAdder 2013 
Mouse PadAudio
SteelSeries QcK Logitech Z-5500 
  hide details  
Reply
Big-Beetre
(14 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 3770K Asus P8Z77-V DELUXE MSI GTX 680 Lightning Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB DDR3 2133MHz CL11 Qua... 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Seagate Barracuda Custom Loop Windows 8.1 Pro 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ducky Shine 3 DK9008 Corsair AX760i Corsair Obsidian 750D Razer DeathAdder 2013 
Mouse PadAudio
SteelSeries QcK Logitech Z-5500 
  hide details  
Reply
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