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Project Mercury - Caselabs S3 | Watercooled | GTX Titan

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

My Official build-log will be held at LinusTechTips Forum although i will update this starting from the next update.

Back with another build log, this time a different path, less is more with mITX and i intend to showcase that in its full glory.

Caselabs has always had a soft spot with me, ever since i first bought the STH10, clean lines, modding friendly and extremely well designed, so when the Mercury S3 was announced some months ago i couldn't resist.

Prodigy may have started the mITX craze, Caselabs has perfected it with the Mercury S3.

Unfortunately due to size restraints, my previous build Akula V2 is now to be disassembled, it's just too big for my desk and is a dust magnet.

This computer will mainly be used for light gaming, work related use & general use, so the components don't have to be top of the line yet i intend to recycle my used components as much as possible.

Vision & Color Scheme
With all my build's i strive for simplicity, less is more.

Once again the build will be based around the components, the colors will be subtle, the components will be minimalistic.

Just like Akula V2, the build will incorporate Republic of Gamers products, which leaves me little choice but to follow to overdone red & black scheme.
Watercooling will be done with primary EKWB products used from Project Akula with some new splashes of products just released.

Mercury S3 Case
One of the biggest selling points for Caselabs cases is the options when purchasing, these are the options/variations i chose.
  • Matte Black
  • Drop-in 120.2 Radiator Mount
  • 36mm Ventilated Top Cover
  • Left STB Window
  • Right STB Window
  • USB 3.0 Upgrade IO
  • 120.2 Radiator Flexi-bay Upgrade

Just a matter of shipping & waiting for it to arrive, sadly this thing cost me an arm & leg due to the shipping cost to Australia, worth it.

Main Components
Large portion of my components will come from previous builds, most from my Prodigy & Dimastech builds so my wallet won't be that much lighter in the end, i hope..
  • Intel Socket 1150 4770k
  • ASUS Maximus VI Impact
  • Corsair Dominator GT 2133 Mhz (2x4Gb)
  • OCZ Vertex 3 Max IOPS 240Gb
  • Western Digital Caviar Red 2Gb
  • Silverstone Strider 650W Gold ST65F-G
  • Gigabyte GTX Titan OC Windforce Edition

Cooling Components
Lucky for me, most of my cooling components i already own, for most this is the expensive part.

New products that have just been released from EKWB will be tested within this build, including their new PE radiator's, hopefully they will have their ROG Impact waterblocks released in time..

On another note, i intend to delid the 4770k - I've done this process on the 3570k earlier and the temperatures were excellent, this time i will be going naked chip, so EK's Naked Ivy supports will be used.

  • EKWB GTX Titan Nickel & Plexi CSQ Waterblock
  • EKWB Supremacy Nickel & Plexi CSQ Waterblock
  • Laing D5 & EKWB CSQ Acetal Pump Top
  • Bitfenix Z Type 150ml Reservoir
  • EK CSQ Fittings
  • Noiseblocker BlacksilentPro PL-2 x 4
  • EK CoolStream PE 240 x 2
  • PrimoFlex Advanced LRT 3/8in ID x 1/2in OD Tubing Clear
  • EK Blood Red Coolant

  • 16AWG Individually sleeved cables, MDPC Black Sleeving
  • Modsmart Chrome Casters
  • Delidding 4770k & Using EK Naked Ivy standoffs

Hopefully this will be a quicker build than my previous logs, I'm a perfectionist so these things take time unfortunately.

In the coming weeks i expect to receive the Mercury S3, from there i will slowly incorporate the parts within the build.

The biggest hurdle is always the sleeving, in such a tight build sleeving even the best power supplies can be tricky, lines are tough to hide so perfection is required when all eyes are on the cables.

Stay tuned, I'm as eager as ever to begin and one day complete this build.
post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 
My 2nd Delidding CPU, 3770k was my first which i used the Razer method, sure it worked but it was stressful, i reused the Intel IHS on the past build so my temperature difference was good but not excellent.

This time i used the Vice, Wood & Hammer method, a far more pleasing method if you ask me wink.gif 2 Hits of the hammer and the IHS was off, cleaned using Indigo Extreme Alcohol & Cotton Buds.

I've chosen to direct die mount the 4770k this time round, using EK Naked Ivy/Haswell Standoffs along with the EK Supremacy block, cooled with CLU on the die.
I've applied a small amount of AS5 Thermal Paste to the SMD transistors aside the die to ensure the CLU doesn't spread and short something out.

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
The Main Board.
I've completely reedited my photographs, really was not happy with the initial outcome, and some of the parts I've photographed at no longer part of this build-log so here's to updated photo's

I'm looking for criticism/comments on my photographing & editing of the below photo's - I've picked up some tips from Paultan's video - Always loved his work.

I'll continue to upload as much as i can, i know people hate logs full of walls of text and no photo's so i'll try and limit your notification spam as much as possible tongue.gif

GTX Titan & Backplate arrives tomorrow, along with some 16AWG Wire so i can start on these power supply cables.

post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Arrival of the Titan.
My GTX Titan arrived today along with the EK Backplate to match.

I went with the Gigabyte GTX Titan Windforce Edition - I believe it's the highest factory clocked Titan expect for the Hydro Copper, don't quote me, comes with their aftermarket Windforce Cooler within the box, nice touch.

Just an update with my waterblocks, initially i intended to do with Clean CSQ blocks, although personally I like the EK CSQ Circles on the original blocks, my only concern was the transparency of the blocks, well I've reached middle ground.

I will be polishing each waterblock, wet sanding 1500/2000 Grit & Polishing, should give a very nice transparent look without sacrificing the CSQ circles.

Was hoping for one of my EK Coolstream PE Radiator's to arrive today, but no luck, which means it will be here tomorrow, so i'll be able to mount the radiator & start mounting fans.

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Fans & Radiator's.
Received my EK Radiator today, one of them at least, excellent looking radiator, something you don't normally see unless you go with something higher end like AC.

Mounted the Noiseblocker PL-2 Fans on the 120/140.2 Drop In Mount - Excellent fit, now I'm working on some cable routing ideas for these fans.

Luckily the motherboard has 4 Fan headers, so if i wanted i could run them all directly from the board, haven't done that in a while redface.gif

Last night i painted my OCZ Vertex cover Gloss Black - Finish came out rather well, surprisingly it didn't finish as Gloss but Matte which is the effect i was initially chasing, so i'll have that dry for a few hours and perhaps i may install it into the side mount.

Anyway heres a few shots.

post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
CSQ Fittings
Just arrived a few EK CSQ Fittings - I already had plenty of use left over from my previous build but i was able to get these dirt cheap from a friend, so why not?

Hopefully I'll start my wiring for the power supply tonight, I'll be using the heatshrink-less method which is more common nowadays, normally i would use heatshrink but i just don't have the time to ensure all lines are perfec this time round.

Black 16AWG 1007 Hook up Wire
MDPC Male Crimps
MDPC Black Sleeving

So up until Oct 18th when my waterblock shipment is expected i can't see too much happening with the build, which is a shame because i normally don't like to take extended breaks while building, sure sleeving is going to take some time but still..

Painted the OCZ Vertex SSD in a "gloss" black although it's clearly turned into a matte black, which I'm quite happy with smile.gif

post #7 of 29
Looks like a good start. I know I love my S3.
One small edit, you said your res is a Bitfenix. Did you mean Bitspower?
(15 items)
(15 items)
post #8 of 29
Will be watching this build log with eager anticipation. I've been looking for some inspiration for my next mini ITX build to replace my Prodigy and I think this might just do eet!
What are your plans for a dust filter (if any) for the S3 ?
post #9 of 29
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post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Himuro Bracket
Just finished constructing the 3.5" Himuro bracket that will be mounted in the bottom section of the Mercury S3, very easy bracket to construct & mount, it fit perfectly.

Once again id like to give credit to this design to the owner of "MonsterITX" as this is the exactly same mounting style used within his own S3.

In short the mounting bracket is attached to the Mercury S3, and then the Himuro is attached to the side of the bracket, which was ideal as i was not interested in modding this case.
It's currently in the paint booth getting a coat of Matte Black.

I'm waiting on an order from PerformancePCS in regards to my 2.5" Mini Himuro that i will use on the opposite side for my SSD.

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