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[ Build Log ] BFG Azza 9000W - It's alive! IT'S ALIIIIIVE!

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Table Of Contents
1) Project Overview
2) Initial teardown and PSU mount mockup
3) PSU Mount revision and bending
4) Customized Azza 9000 top
5) Reservoir mounted, PSU shroud v1.0
6) "Floating" Pump Top Mounted and Fan Paint Test
7) More fun with fans
8) Shroud revisited, fans at 50% and pump top now has a feeder line
9) The overkill arrives
10) Round 1 of GPU polishing begins

To start with, this is probably my first serious build log and my most ambitious project to date, so please bear with me if I suck at this.

I've been building PC's for the better part of two decades and decided in 2013 to complete my first water cooled endeavor, which was done inside of an Azza 9000W case. I've pictured it here so you can see where I've left off with it at (for now):



I fell in love with the case, honestly. It's big, roomy, decent cable management, but for water cooling unless you're willing to put up a 240/280 in the bottom, 120 on the back, 480 up top, strap some mounts to the front for another 240... well, it doesn't house "big" builds as well as I would like and the clean look goes right out the (now larger) window.

So, I sat down and did some modeling and planning... how do I get this to accept 3 or 4 GPU's, keep it in reverse ATX, keep the cleanliness and make it look right? I waffled and almost pre-ordered an Enthoo Primo White from Phanteks, but due to how long the pre order cycle was and some concerns over the amount of chopping I was going to need to do to that case I decided, why not just use my Azza?

Well, except I game on it and use it daily, so I can't have it out of commission. If only I could build up from a chassis and just switch over the panels when I'm done...

Oh wait, yeah, I could do that.
Edited by sporkotica - 6/16/14 at 7:28am
post #2 of 53
Thread Starter 
A quick email to Azza later and they (after some confusion over what I was asking for) let me order just a chassis and motherboard tray, which showed up a few days later filling up an entire box for a midsize tower.



As you might be seeing there in the bottom of the chassis, I'm going to be mounting something more substantial than the 240/280mm that would have fit there factory... here's the modeling mockup of the plan so far.







Obligatory Parts List

Breathing
2x XSPC AX480 Radiators
2x Swiftech D5 PWM pumps
1x XSPC Photon 170 Reservoir
1x EK-WB Dual-Pump Top, Single Loop
17x 120x25mm fans (Corsair SP120 PWM High Performance)
2x Swiftech 8-Way PWM Splitter
4x EK-WB GPU FC Blocks and Backplates (Powercolor PCS+ R9 290X, likely black Acetate as this is the only apparent option)
1x EK-WB Supremacy (Nickel)
1x EK-WB Full Board Block (Maximus VI Extreme, Nickel CSQ)

The Guts
Motherboard: Maximus VI Extreme
CPU: Intel i7 4770k
RAM: 16GB G-SKill Ripjaws 2133MHz
GPU: 4x Powercolor PCS+ R9 290X
PSU: Lepa G1600

For now, let's get started on the meat and potatoes (VIVA DAN QUAYLE) in subsequent posts.
Edited by sporkotica - 7/20/14 at 4:47pm
post #3 of 53
Thread Starter 
I've already done a little work on this and starting the build log after like a naughty, naughty boy.

But here, amuse yourself with my work thus far! Marvel at my messy workspace!

We begin by taking that gorgeous chassis and removing all of the various things we simply do not need. Drill, go!



Amusingly, absolutely nothing in the massive, messy area behind that case came out of except a few rivets. That's all from another case I tore down for spare bits and to check some tolerances... it might make an appearance as we go forward, but probably not.

As the previous post demonstrated, I intend to put my PSU in a little bit of an unconventional spot. To that end, I've got to come up with a mount - the fan will face out towards some 120mm hex holes on the side panel adjacent to it, so getting the hot air out actually is exactly as easy as it was when bottom mounted.

I did a basic mockup with some angled aluminum stock, a few 6-32 screws and a couple of angle brackets for furniture.



The position is a little off, but mostly I was looking to figure out tolerances, how much strain that PSU - my testing brick, a now ancient BFG 1200W PSU and great tester for large PSU's space and weight - would put on more slender aluminum bits and pieces. It worked surprisingly well, with nary a movement of any important pieces, but I realized that even with some patient work, I'd end up needing to use a ton of angled shanks and some clever holes with flat machine screws just to keep it from wobbling about. Not my style, so I decided to try my hand at brazing some aluminum. Here's the practice bonds to some scrap aluminum:




That's all for right now, next update I'll recap my progress on the top panel and hopefully have some more steps done towards fabbing up the PSU mount. Stay tuned.
post #4 of 53
Subbed. Love when a build starts with a photo of the case in its skeletal form smile.gif
Parvum Warfare
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4970k EVGA z97 Stinger Nvidia Titan Black 8Gb Corsair Vengeance LP 
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Samsung EVO 500Gb Swiftech Apogee XL CPU block Swiftech KOMODO NV LE GPU block Darkside 240mm & 120mm Radiators 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bitspower True Brass fittings Noiseblocker Multiframe 120mm fans  E22 Acrylic Tube Mayhems Aurora 2 fluid 
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Windows 8.1 Corsair RM650 Custom Parvum Systems Ensourced Custom Sleeved Cables 
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Samsung EVO 250Gb EK Supremacy Clean Nickel Plexi Swiftech MCP35X Pump Mayhems Aurora 2 Coolant 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
4 x Coolermaster JetFlo 120mm Fans 3 x NoiseBlocker Black Silent Pro 80x15mm Fans EK Monarch X4 Clean Nickel Plexi 2 x EK GTX 770 Clean Nickel Plexi 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2 x EK Coolstream PE 240mm Radiator Bitspower Black Sparkle Fittings E22 Acrylic Tube Bitspower Reservoir/Pump Top Combo 
OSPowerCaseOther
Windows 8.1 Corsair AX860 Parvum Systems Customized S2.0 Ensourced Custom Sleeved Cables 
Other
Various Custom Vinyl and Paint Work 
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3930k @ 5.1 Asus Rampage IV Extreme 3 x EVGA GTX 780 SC 16Gb Corsair Dominator GT 2133Mhz 
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Samsung 840 Pro 512Gb 2 x Aquacomputer Modularity 480 Single Circuit 100+ Bitspower Fittings E22 12mm/10mm Acrylic Tube 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Primochill DI Water 1 x Aquacomputer Modularity 240 Single Circuit 2 x Aquacomputer Aqualis Reservoir 4 x MCP35X w/ 2 x Aquacomputer Dual DDC Tops 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK Supremacy Full Nickle Clean CSQ CPU Block 2 x EK Monarch Ram Blocks Clean CSQ Acetel XSPC RIVE Motherboard Block Kit 3 x EK Titan Waterblocks Nickle Plexi w/ Backpl... 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
12 x Noiseblocker Multiframe 120mm Fans 1250rpm Windows 8 Pro 3 x LG 27ea63v Corsair K95 
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Corsair AX1200 w/ Ensourced Custom Sleeved Cables 900D w/ Custom Paint Corsair M95  CorePad XXL 
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Parvum Warfare
(16 items)
 
Parvum Titanfall
(21 items)
 
ROBOCOP
(25 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4970k EVGA z97 Stinger Nvidia Titan Black 8Gb Corsair Vengeance LP 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung EVO 500Gb Swiftech Apogee XL CPU block Swiftech KOMODO NV LE GPU block Darkside 240mm & 120mm Radiators 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bitspower True Brass fittings Noiseblocker Multiframe 120mm fans  E22 Acrylic Tube Mayhems Aurora 2 fluid 
OSPowerCaseOther
Windows 8.1 Corsair RM650 Custom Parvum Systems Ensourced Custom Sleeved Cables 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 4670k @ 4.8Ghz Asus Gryphon w/ Thermal Armor 2 x EVGA GTX 770 SC Corsair Dominator GT 8Gb 1866Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung EVO 250Gb EK Supremacy Clean Nickel Plexi Swiftech MCP35X Pump Mayhems Aurora 2 Coolant 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
4 x Coolermaster JetFlo 120mm Fans 3 x NoiseBlocker Black Silent Pro 80x15mm Fans EK Monarch X4 Clean Nickel Plexi 2 x EK GTX 770 Clean Nickel Plexi 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2 x EK Coolstream PE 240mm Radiator Bitspower Black Sparkle Fittings E22 Acrylic Tube Bitspower Reservoir/Pump Top Combo 
OSPowerCaseOther
Windows 8.1 Corsair AX860 Parvum Systems Customized S2.0 Ensourced Custom Sleeved Cables 
Other
Various Custom Vinyl and Paint Work 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3930k @ 5.1 Asus Rampage IV Extreme 3 x EVGA GTX 780 SC 16Gb Corsair Dominator GT 2133Mhz 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Samsung 840 Pro 512Gb 2 x Aquacomputer Modularity 480 Single Circuit 100+ Bitspower Fittings E22 12mm/10mm Acrylic Tube 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Primochill DI Water 1 x Aquacomputer Modularity 240 Single Circuit 2 x Aquacomputer Aqualis Reservoir 4 x MCP35X w/ 2 x Aquacomputer Dual DDC Tops 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
EK Supremacy Full Nickle Clean CSQ CPU Block 2 x EK Monarch Ram Blocks Clean CSQ Acetel XSPC RIVE Motherboard Block Kit 3 x EK Titan Waterblocks Nickle Plexi w/ Backpl... 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
12 x Noiseblocker Multiframe 120mm Fans 1250rpm Windows 8 Pro 3 x LG 27ea63v Corsair K95 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX1200 w/ Ensourced Custom Sleeved Cables 900D w/ Custom Paint Corsair M95  CorePad XXL 
Audio
Logitech z623 
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post #5 of 53
Thread Starter 
Mini mid-morning update before I go grab myself a bite.

I wasn't exactly happy with how my corners were working out with brazing. Made several attempts but the time consumed (I refuse to buy a MAPP gas torch just for this... for now) and the trouble with making the seams as tidy as would make me happy, I decided to take a crack at cold bending the bar. It's not anything super tough, 5052 so it was pretty easy to form without a bending brake. I'm reasonably happy with my results, since I lack a bench to mount either A) The aforementioned bending brake, or B) A vise.

That being said, pretty happy with the outcome and I'm going to do hole drilling and test mounts before hopefully prep and prime today for painting.




This is going to become sufficiently easier once I get that whole "buy a house" and "have a workspace that isn't a folding table in the garage" thing out of the way. For now, a bunch of clamps and lots of scrap wood make a pretty good stand in.
post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 
At first, it didn't quite fit with the motherboard tray installed. I was upset, but then I remembered I own a hacksaw and all was right with the world again.

Don't worry, I took a file to it after taking this picture.







You might notice she's a little cockeyed in the mount, this was originally an issue with the design in the concept phase but I let it ride on final for two reasons. First, the bars for support need to be straight up for my wraparound acrylic to rest flush against it and also with the slight tilt, my modular cables (on the actual PSU) will be slightly canted so the angle to fasten them in will be slightly easier to work with for attachment and wraparound purposes.

Side effect of making the fit as close as I did: The power supply bracket and motherboard tray compress slightly when the tray is secured into the frame, making the mounts for the PSU serve as a stressed frame member to help overcome some of the lost rigidity from taking out the 5 1/4" mounting points.





You can sort of see in this picture with the 120mm fan positions as they that the 480mm radiator for the bottom in the actual finished product will be offset to the front. This will allow for smoother tube routing as well as keeping things a little distanced from the PSU for better airflow.


Running a test piece through some primer and paint to see how to get the best results, then I toss these two into the mix. Next stop after that? The front blanking panel and reservoir mounting proof of concept.
post #7 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jameswalt1 View Post

Subbed. Love when a build starts with a photo of the case in its skeletal form smile.gif

Thanks smile.gif I've been over your worklogs for Robocop and your Titanfall build before and I've seen your stuff over on MA on Facebook, love the work you do.
post #8 of 53
This will be good!
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post #9 of 53
Thread Starter 
Mini update!

Can't get much done during the week (home late from work and the neighbors are really touchy about power tools at midnight), but I can manage to do some primer and paint work on those brackets. Quick shot of where we're at, hoping to have them finished and fully dried in time to mount and measure up for the next phase this weekend - the vertical PSU shroud.

post #10 of 53
Thread Starter 
I hate to leave this space inactive (plus I'm antsy to start working again), so I wanted to recap something I did prior to the arrival of the chassis.

The Azza 9000W is a little notorious for being air starved in the top; just take a look at the Azza Club mods here on OCN and you'll see chopping or adding venting to the top as a common mod. Heck, just look at a couple views of the top and you'll know what I mean about restriction right away:





I got my 480 installed up top on previously using this case and I was noticing my temps were a little toastier than anticipated (GPU load was hitting 60C on an 1150/1350 overclock when gaming) and that just didn't sit right with me, so I took a kind, simple, diplomatic approach to the problem.

I cut the damn top off.



You can see the Bitfenix Spectres, a Cold cathode inverter and my Corsair Link just hanging out up there, like somebody ripped the top off their house in a cartoon.


Temps immediately fell to 48C under full gaming load, same overclock. But, noticeably, she's a bit... um, she was a bit naked and hideous with that yawning chasm.

But I ran it like that for ages until I could figure out what I wanted to do to make this happen. Did I want to put mesh in the top as others have done?

Tempting, quick enough and I think it'd look alright but... no, it had been done.

Eventually I decided, well, maybe I can just re-create the chevrons and put a new top in?



A little white acrylic and some trial and error later, and I had a few more to fiddle with in assembling the top.

After some three little bears stuff...

Too wide...


Too narrow...


I found the baby bear combo, juuuuuust right.


I'm still sorting out how I want to get her done for color matching the chevrons; may just install it as it sits until I sort that out, although I am sort of partial to how it looks without the matching done. Installed fan grilles just in case sitting in the exhaust stream for my radiator decides it wants to see how good that plastic adhesive really is.

More to come as more is done.
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