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[Build log] Thermaltake Core V1 remake and full custom watercooling.

post #1 of 159
Thread Starter 
A new water-cooling project has started!
After a few years using AIO coolers without a discreet graphics card, I am ready for yet another Custom water-cooling project.
This time I’m going to make one based on Thermaltake Core V1 mini-itx case. I am going to use my existing hardware, but will buy the items I need, mostly in the Water-cooling department.

Current Look
I just made this Current look section, where I will post images of major changes. Not changing anything else in this post but these images below this line:

Angled view. Very hard with regards to reflections.
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Top image
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Side pictures.
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

My Requirements:
• Quiet
• Cool
• Nice looking
• Small – not just small form factor
• Can play Dragon Age: Inquisition on high 1920x1200

My Definitions Click to read my definitions on above requirments. (Click to show)
Quiet: I have mostly used pull-only fans on radiators, as I find it noisy when fans blow through a radiator. I don’t know many people who does this.
o I find my EVGA 750 TI SC fan is too loud even though most people say they can’t hear it.
o I use only SSD drives as any mechanical drive is noisy.
o First thing I did when I turned on the Core v1 the first time, was to immediately shut it down and dismantle the 200mm fan. Sounds like a big thrumming wind-turbine to my ears!
o I hope it can be partly passively cooled by the large 200mm radiator I intend to use.
Cool: within working tolerance by a fair margin.
Nice looking: cables and tubing must be nicely organized without any colored wires showing.
o No boring side-view of PSU or GFX blocking mainboard view.
o Hiding as much PCB as possible with water blocks and back plates etc.
o I’ve always used either clear tubing and just water, or black tubing for longevity. This time I will put in some white, and maybe use some blue UV.
Small form factor: Mini-itx and smaller than Bitfenix prodigy which I find a very large mini-itx cabinet – I was actually a bit bummed when I first saw how big the Core v1 looked on my table. Just a big black square box.
Can Play games: I’ve lived with build in HD4000 since I retired my HD5770 but I found myself in need when Dragon Age: Inquisition came out, so bought the EVGA GeForce 750 TI SC graphics card as it is fully capable of muscling this, as I don’t need Ultra settings, and more importantly, it has a very low power profile.

Specification / Parts list on hand I intend to use Click to see parts I plan on using. (Click to show)
Water-cooling Parts list I am going to use Click to view the parts on hand. (Click to show)
• Pump: Swiftech MCP35x PWM
• Coolants: I use ordinary distilled water for ironing.
• Additives: I have all cleaning and preservative agents on hand.
• Monitoring/control: 5x temperature sensors I can place as needed.

Watercooling Parts in this project Click to view list of watercooling parts used in this proejct (Click to show)
• Reservoir: Swiftech MCP35X Reservoir
• Radiator: Phobya Xtreme 200mm Radiator V2 Full Copper (can’t find it on Phobya’s site!)
• MB/CPU block: Bitspower AI77ITXD Nickel Plated (Ice Black)
• GFX Block: http://www.ekwb.com/shop/blocks/vga-blocks/fc-geforce/geforce-titan-series/ek-fc750-gtx-acetal.html]EK-FC750 GTX – Acetal[
• Ram-block: Bitspower Black DIMM2 Block - Am waiting for this item, as the last item!
• Fittings: Black and chrome Moonsoon fittings ID/OD 10/13 2x packages of 6.
• Extenders and Spacers: EK-AF Extender 8mm M-F G1/4 - Black.
• Adapter fittings 45: EK-AF Angled 45° G1/4 Black.
• Adapter fittings 90: EK-AF Angled 90° G1/4 Black.
• Pump Housing and decoupling: EK-DDC Heatsink Housing - Black
• Pump decoupling: EK-DDC Anti-Vibration Mounting - Needed extras.
• Pump Mounting: EK-UNI Holder 50/70
• Radiator Fan: Noctua NF-A14 industrial PPC-2000 PWM
• Flow sensor: Flow sensor mps flow 400, G1/4 - I had bought a 200 version, but it was too small, so waiting for this one.
• Temperature sensors: LCD Temperature Display + G1/4″ Plug Sensor
• Temperature sensors: Monsoon Premium G1/4 Temperature Plug - White
• Anti-microbial: Silver Bullet - I'm also using regular anti-bacterial additiv.

Other Parts used in this project Click to view list of other items used in this project (Click to show)
• Sata cables: Sharkoon Sata III Cable - Needed 2 straight Black 60cm cables.
• Lots of sleeving and heatshrink.
• Lots of different pins and connectors.
• Scews, nuts, bolts and washers.. more than you would think!
• LCD mounting: 5.25” Bay Temperature Display Frame V2 - for my temperature sensor displays.
• Extra USB cables.
• PSU cable for Corsair AX760: Individually Sleeved AX 860/760 ATX 24pin (Generation 2), BLACK
• Side and top: Clear scratch, break and UV resistant Polycarbonat plates.
• Black Acrylic plate for a custom IO shield-plate.

Illustrated what's going to happen in short:
  1. The goal is to be able to turn the case on it's side.
  2. Move the buttom plate to the right location (no modding needed)
  3. Cut two small pins in the front top and buttom to be able to turn the front.
  4. Cut-new holes necessary to Mount the front IO-panel on the new side (former top) of the case.

Edited by Darron - 3/14/15 at 12:10pm
post #2 of 159
Thread Starter 
Still working on my Sketchup model while my parts are starting to show up on shipping manifests. They are coming in from the UK and Netherlands. (I'm in Denmark).

My first piece of equipment arrived yesterday and its purpose is all about the looks.
It is a very nice black backplate for my EVGA 750 ti SC Card, which, aside from hiding the PCB in a nice fancy manner, also should lower temperature by 3c. Not that the Card is ever very hot to begin with.

Here are some images of before, after and images of installation instructions + materials (screws and springs)

Edited by Darron - 1/9/15 at 11:11pm
post #3 of 159
Thread Starter 
Just recieved my Waterblock for the Graphics Card and drew it up in Sketchup.


LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01
Edited by Darron - 1/9/15 at 11:11pm
post #4 of 159
Thread Starter 
So, recieved some more stuff. A new top for my Laing DDC-1T pump. I guess I'll only be using it for testing and rinsing, but at least I'll have two working pumps this way:

Also been busy on my Sketchup plan of the Core V1. Only really need to make the window cutoout and hexagonal holes in the sides:
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01
Edited by Darron - 1/9/15 at 11:11pm
post #5 of 159
Thread Starter 
The very first change I made was to flip the case around.

I just did not like the standard view from the side. I wanted to see my motherboard instead, hide the PSU and have gfx at the buttom.

So, as everyone might know, the sides, top and bottom are all interchangeable. But not completely.

The front also have the right dimensions to turn around to fit the alignment you choose of your top and buttom.
Ie.: if you choose to turn it on its side, and not flip the front as well, the logo would standard be on its side and the IO panel would be on one of the 3 other sides, including the bottom, which would be rather.. unhandy.

I wanted to view my entire motherboard and gfx through the side window, and not see the PSU, but I couldn't do that without moving the IO panel, as the IO panel would end up on the bottom unless I made a few changes:

In order to be able to turn the front though, including the IO panel, we need to modify two things:
1.For the front to actually be able to turn we just have to cut off the two little plastic "pins" placed in the middle of the top and buttom of the front.
2.Make new notches for the front IO panel in the metal chassis.

Here I have removed the two "pins" from the front, turned it, and see IO hanging Loose out the top - what will be out front.

After the cutting and putting together the hardware, we now have a nice full side-view of the hardware installed.

Edited: Making the images smaller.
Edited by Darron - 1/10/15 at 12:29pm
post #6 of 159
Thread Starter 
Got another shipment today, where my nice radiator was included. It's really very nice, but unfortunately the description was not correct regarding fan mounting brackets. There should have been 2, but only 1 was premounted.
To make matters worse, I actually bought a matching fan grill to protect the radiator from the inside, and to make it look nice, but the Measurements are totally off, as you can see in these images:

Fan shroud sizeing all wrong.
post #7 of 159
Thread Starter 
Here are some more Pictures of unpacking and test fitting of watercooling Things:

Alphacool Plexi Pump Top and Plexi Reservoir Combo.
To be honest, I'm not sure if I'm going to use the reservoir, but I'm still not sure about reservoir placement in the cabinet, and this one is a very small and nice alternative for a bigger reservoir. I had hoped to use the top hole as an inlett, but the threads are incompatible with my fittings (very large hole)
  • Alphacool Laing DDC Pump Top Plexi
  • Alphacool Laing DDC Reservoir Top for the Alphacool Laing DDC Plexi Top

Swiftech Apogee Drive II disassembling.
I just need the pump part of it, which is a Swiftech MCP 35x
The blue pad is a thermal conductive pad. The stuff that looks like Water on some of the images is some sort of heat-transfer oil (thing) - As you can see, there is a LED attached to this pump, and I'm not entirely sure what to do with this yet.
The led is placed under the top of the pump under Swiftech logo with a blue plexi block. There is a green and a red block in the pump assembly as well.

Mounting the EK-DDC Heatsink Housing.
Notice the size-cut thermal pad. It was actually a bother making this one fit, as it stretched a lot when taking away the protective plastic, and had to nudge it into the proper size before it fit properly.
The long screws going through the pump housing and latch onto the pump-top has countersunk threads in its head. Meaning you screw the long screw in and then can screw the vibration-killer feet onto the heads of the long screws.
The final image shows the pump with the Alphacool Laing DDC Plexi Top.

Monsoon ID/OD 10mm/13mm (ID/OD 3/8-1/2) fittings
As you might guess from the images, I bought 2 packs of these, so i have 12 in all, which should be plenty for what I have in mind here.
There was twice as many O-rings as needed, which is very nice. Just have to remember putting them on before usage!
Hare are some images of these fittings, and a testfitting on my 10/13 White tube (blue uv reactive)

Edited by Darron - 1/9/15 at 11:39pm
post #8 of 159
Ekwb is by far the best looking and performance wc parts i've seen on reviews.
Your project looks amazing man.
One question about whole system water cooled: Supose you want to remove your graphics card, how are you going to make it, considering the water loop?
post #9 of 159
Thread Starter 
So, today I wanted to execute my interior mod plan.

First the planning part:
  • #1 we can see that I need to remove one of the harddrive brackets.
  • #2 I want to cut the MB strud at this point in order to remove the strut #3
  • #4 move the remaining harddrive Cage to the "aux" placement as shown by the arrow. This should provide better structural integrity for the MB-tray, and add better cable management to the rear of the cabinet.
  • #5 shows the (?) I need to drill out in order to remove the severed MB-tray strud.
  • #6 shows how I hope to round the corners some, without getting too close to the hole under the mounting point
  • #4 shows harddrive Cage in the right location.
  • Last two images shows expected result/radiator placement.
LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

Preperation part:

I have taped up the area for my cuts as I do not want to scratch the surrounding metal a lot.
I also test best angle to cut from, and end up using the flexible axle for my trusty old Dremel.

Execution part:
Here I start cutting.
An image shows the strud being severed and the location of the metal (?) I need to drill out to properly sever the strud. I have chosen to use small drills at 2mm and 2,5mm to loosen it, and then pull/twist it out the rest of the way, in order not to enlarge the hole any. There is a Photo of the severed strud, the metal part and the drills used.
I wanted to Draw the corners I wanted to cut, but I ended up removing the tape as I could end up cutting off too much.
After rounding the corners I smooth the edges down some.

End result:
  • First image shows the rounded corners around the cut, and the moved harddrive bracket. Easy to see the extra space to the right of it.
  • Shows a front view - I have stacked the radiator up some, so its a little skewed smile.gif
  • Last image shows the wrong sized fan-grill I recieved - grr. Would have looked nice though...

Large Interior view of the radiator: Phobya Xtreme 200 - Pure Copper V2.
Shows plenty space for cables etc between it and the MB tray.
post #10 of 159
Looks great, i was thinking of doing the same with a 200mm rad.
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