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[Build Log] Quanti - First Small Form Factor Build

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Actually started posting pictures of this build in the Silverstone FT03-mini club thread, but figured it would be a great experience posting a formal build log seeing it's my first small-form factor system! So I'll do my best to share along the way... components arrived about 1-2 weeks ago and as of 3/17, I've completed the custom loop and leak tested 12 hours. I'll post what I have so far and a few shots from last week.

Still To Do
  • Custom wiring and sleeving this week. Waiting on my shopping list to arrive today/tomorrow.
  • Adjusting the liquid color, as I'm not very satisfied with the UV blue within UV tube. I've ordered Mayhems Pink UV dye, which I believe will finish nicely with the tubing color.
  • Cable management and drive placement. I've 2 SSDs and 1 IDE... so placement will be in mind as I re-wire everything. Drives our hanging outside the case so far *laughs*.
  • Reversed the reservoir placement in order to have the in/out feeds at the lowest point. Thanks to OCN's Wisk, I'm getting minimal condensation build up at this point.
Build Quanti
  • CPU: i5-4670k
  • GPU: EVGA GTX 760 SC
  • Memory: Corsair Vengeance Blue 8 GB (2X4 GB) PC3-12800
  • Case: Silverstone FT03-mini
  • PSU: Silverstone 450W SFX 80+ Gold
  • Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Impact mini-ITX
  • Drives: Samsung 840 pro, 830, and WD Black 750GB
  • Monitor: ASUS PB Series PB238Q 23-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor
  • Mouse: Razer DeathAdder
  • Keyboard: CM Storm QuickFire Rapid Mechanical Gaming Keyboard with CHERRY MX Brown Switches

Edited by BenjaminBenj - 3/17/14 at 3:31pm
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Cable shopping list arrived! Should be a fun night. smile.gif

post #3 of 17
Awesome build so far. Keep us posted on the wiring! thumb.gif
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mocboy! smile.gif Wiring is coming along... finished up the PCI-E 8 and 6-pin this A.M. I'm not 100% happy with the ends on the double wires... it was tough making the heatshrink clean, at least for me being my first time. I doubled up the heatshrink and I'm not sure if it was the best idea, though it'll likely not show in such a small build.

24-pin next!
post #5 of 17
Good Luck on the sleeving. Subbed thumb.gif
post #6 of 17
Is that one rad the only rad there is gonna be? I'm curious to see the temps because i've been wondering about watercooling a small rig too biggrin.gif
Otherwise looking great i love the sleeving colour thumb.gif
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey Everyone,

A few quick updates on my Quanti build:

- As I was sleeving new cables and peeking into my build, I decided to change two components on the water line. I've swapped out my old XSPC RX120 Radiator for a new EK High Performance CoolStream 120 PE Series Radiator. Second, I've taken out the old XSPC Ram block x2 and replaced it with the EK Monarch Series X2 Ram block. With regard to the Ram block swap, I felt like the XSPC block was a bit too "chunky" for my build seeing how small the space is. The EK Monarch series is materially narrower and definitely fits better in the build, and the 1/4 inlets have better placement for my loop. Plus the clear acrylic channel is quite nice smile.gif Picture attached below.

I swapped the radiator for a new EK rad for a few reasons: 1) I really wanted to see how this new EK CoolStream 120 performed in a small build such as this; 2) The dimensions are MUCH more friendly in my build 160 x 130 x 38mm (L x W x H) versus 158.5 x 130 x 56mm - the lesser depth makes a world of difference!

- Custom cabling has begun, though I will say I'm finding it challenging. The PCI-E 8 and 6-pin double wires are awful to work with... just very difficult to sleeve cleanly and insert into the ends (hands are practically bleeding). The 12v atx went very smoothly though, and am looking forward to the 24-pin! Shot below reveals the color scheme so far.

Thanks Zooty!!! smile.gif Appreciate the support and following. I'll do my best to keep things updated as I go. A few people mentioned great interest in the "small" builds.

Hey there Epiikk, thanks for replying! Right, so I knew going into this small build having more than one radiator internally would be pretty much impossible, unless I stacked rad-to-rad with a push configuration. I've read a ton of research and labs on the net regarding stacked rads, and ultimately most concluded it was worse performing than having a single rad on the same number of blocks. A few of the reasons included: additional heat shared between the two rads, hot air blowing onto a second hot rad, additional fan pressure build-up. Ultimately I decided to step far off the common path and NOT follow the x1 120mm rad per block minimum, and really find out for myself how the temps fared. Also keep in mind, most research out there involves people with at least mid-to-full cases.... this FT03-mini can barely fit a hand at its core once built, so for me it was really about bringing down the temps from where they were.

I configured and tested my hardware prior to designing the loop, and also ran benchmarks as well as temp recordings along the way. My ambient temp is consistently 22.5-23c, and I did not overclock prior to the loop going in. I really hate referencing "idle" temps, but for the sake of comparison and simply mentioning them, my idle GPU (EVGA GTX-760) temps were averaging 42-44c with the panels closed. The CPU (I5-4670K) on the other hand was averaging 1-2 degrees higher idle, between 43-45c with the panels closed. With my current loops (after adjustments above), GPU idle sits in the low-to-mid 20s, while my CPU hangs at 31-32c.

Now for the good stuff biggrin.gif... I ran a bunch of different benchmarks (e.g. 3dmark11, RealBench, Prime95, wPrime, Valley, Furmark), but I want to mention the temp differences under actual applicable gaming conditions, because I truly was amazed. If you're interested in a specific benchmark and the results/temps, let me know. In Crysis 3 with the highest graphical settings without the loop, my GPU temps leveled out in the low-80 range (81-82c). On the current loop, GPU holds in the 41-43c range over 30 minutes of gameplay. The CPU was in the mid-70s without the loop, and on the loop in the 51-54c range. I know this isn't the more refined form of testing, but regardless it goes to show you what water can do in such a small form factor system. And keep in mind, this is with three blocks (CPU, GPU, Ram)... Also I neglected to mention, those temps without the loop was without any overclocking. With the loop, I'm running my GPU @ 115% power target, +90MHz GPU clock, +358MHz memory clock. CPU is overclocked to 4.7GHz (4.8, 4.7, 4.7, 4.5 - core settings). So pretty impressive temps...

Have a great night! And yes, sticking with one rad! Really want everything internal.

post #8 of 17
Really nice temps! I've just been thinking since many people go around yelling "you need 120mm rad for each component +120mm to spare at least" but lately i've been seeing builds like this that work just fine. Good work thumb.gif
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by EPiiKK View Post

Really nice temps! I've just been thinking since many people go around yelling "you need 120mm rad for each component +120mm to spare at least" but lately i've been seeing builds like this that work just fine. Good work thumb.gif

Hey EP,

Exactly... and that's precisely what I read while doing my research on this build leading up to it. I've done a handful of builds in the past, but never a small form factor system and never a loop like this beyond a single CPU block. I'm not one to necessarily go against common wisdom, but then again I think it's important to question test results and opinions, and also really consider what's unique to your own build. I don't doubt 1 block per 120 rad works effectively and performs beastly if you will smile.gif, but given the sheer size of this case I'm working in, I was hoping anything would be better than air cooled given the really high temps. So it worked out smile.gif quite nicely.

By the way, I actually tried a few different rads along the way. I've managed to knock down game-load temps by at least 7-8c with changes to the rad. I'm currently running an EK High Performance CoolStream 120 PE Rad, and boy is she performing nicely. I tried an XSPC RX120 and also a Phobya G Changer 120. The EK ended up pushing temps down under load and idle, and worked out best with my fan configured (Silverstone 140mm air penetrator). I'm sure those rads are great though with different fan configurations...

I'll keep posting with new updates! Any questions, happy to chat wink.gif these SFF builds are a blast.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
A few shots with my first wiring! Still working on audio and usb cables... the mess on the side.

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