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[Build Log] - IRONBEAST - A fully water cooled, X99, Quad GPU, 900D build

post #1 of 1313
Thread Starter 

Hello all. Welcome to the build log for my first entirely self-built computer (and epic vanity project), IRONBEAST, which I have finally got around to start posting for your amusement. All questions, friendly critique and speculation about my sanity are entirely welcome. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Contents

  • Introduction: Post #1
  • Project Overview: Post #2
  • Background: Post #21
  • Build Status, 4th March 2015: Post #21
  • Design Overview: Post #57
  • Project Progression: Post #67
  • Components Selection, Part One: Post #85
  • Manifold Prototype: Post #95
  • Components Selection, Part Two: Post #156
  • RayStorm Lighting Test #1: Post #167
  • Fan Backlighting Test Pictures: Post #187
  • Subfloor Assembly Renders: Post #218
  • Lower Radiator Configurations: Post #256
  • Upper Expansion Ports, Concept Renders: Post #271
  • Lower Expansion Ports, Concept Renders: Post #294
  • Phase Three Test Rig Design, Part One: Post #403
  • Phase Three Test Rig Design, Part Two: Post #441
  • Build Status, 26th July 2015: Post #650
  • Intial Benchmark Tests, 3DMark Fire Strike: Post #666
  • Motherboard Cooler Design: Post #754
  • Radiator Configuration Testing, Part One: Post #790
  • Radiator Configuration Testing, Part Two: Post #793
  • Phase Three Test Frame Construction, Part One: Post #856
  • Phase Three Test Frame Construction, Part Two: Post #865
    ...

Introduction

Making my own computer is something I have wanted to do for almost 10 years, but have never had the time or the resources to properly devote to it. Thus I have always ended up being boringly pragmatic and buying off the shelf – until now. I know, I know. If I had even half a brain I would start with something simple, something restrained and sensible, something practical; but as you can probably guess from the name, I’m not going to. This is the best (and quite possibly only) opportunity I am going to get for the foreseeable future to dedicate myself doing something more than an ‘ordinary’ build - something a bit special.

As such I am, against my better judgement, going pretty much the whole hog first time out. The project will include extensive case modifications (including new metalwork), a full watercooling system, some custom paintwork, bespoke case lighting and ultimately a little overclocking too. It’s definitely going to take a while, as I’m tiptoeing rather cautiously through each stage of the process. I will be relying very heavily on my CAD skills and modest engineering abilities, plus the sage advice of people here, to make a success of this.

And on that note:


Angle One, with side panel


Angle Two, without side panel


Angle Three, without side panel


Angle 4, without side panel


These are a few render images of what I intend to try and make - generated using the CAD model I’ve created whilst planning the detail of the build. This is, for those that are interested, an ‘assembly model’; made up of individual part models of the various components. It will allow me to post a series of exploded and sub-assembly renders deconstructing the design, showing you stage-by-stage how I intend the build to be made (hopefully you can then point out all the places where I’ve been unusually stupid).

I will be trying to include as much content as I can in the build log; including drawings and diagrams, 3D renders and work-in-progress photos. (Warning: there will also be wordy and longwinded bits where I start to ramble on about stuff, apologies in advance.) You might have noticed that the Ironbeast design has some ‘unconventional’ elements to it, and a somewhat unusual layout. There are also a few other interesting features I have planned that the model doesn’t show. I’ll be explaining all these ideas, and the motivations behind them, in detail as the log progresses.

Things to expect:

• A powerful X-99 based workstation build
• Extensive custom watercooling setup
• 4-way SLI or Crossfire graphics
• Non-standard layout with centred and recessed motherboard
• Clean aesthetics with concealed cables and pipework
• Bespoke-made programmable lighting rig

Edited by OCDesign - 1/20/16 at 12:11pm
post #2 of 1313
Thread Starter 
Project Overview

A quick at-a-glance summary of component choices, and then a space for me to post some pictures

Components List:

System:

Case:
1x Corsair Obsidian 900D (with extensive modifications)
Processor:
1x Intel i7 series 5960X Haswell-E
Motherboard:
1x ASUS X99-E WS
Power Supply:
1x Corsair AX1500i 1500W
RAM:
8x Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 3000MHz 4GB
SSD:
1x Samsung XP941 512GB
2x Samsung 850 Pro 1TB (1 initially, spaces allocated for 8 max)
GPU:
4x ??? *
3x Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti in SLI (EVGA, Superclocked ACX 2.0+)
1x Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan Black (Gigabyte, Reference Design)


Cooling:

CPU Cooler:
1x XSPC Raystorm
GPU Cooler:
4x ??? **
Motherboard Cooler:
Custom made cooler
RAM Cooler:
Stock air cooled or integrated with motherboard cooling
Pumps:
3x Laing D5 PWM with custom painted Koolance covers
3x Aquacomputer D5 with speed signal and custom painted Koolance covers
Reservoirs:
2x Alphacool Cape Fusion Core with custom sleeves
Radiators:
1x Alphacool NexXxos ST30 Full Copper 480 (nearside mount)
1x XSPC EX240 Multiport (offside mount)
1x Hardware Labs Black Ice Nemesis 480 GTS X-Flow (top mount)

Fans:
16x Corsair SP120 PWM Quiet Edition (custom painted)
12x Corsair SP120 PWM Quiet Edition (custom painted)
4x Scythe Gentle Typhoon AP-15 (custom painted)

4x Corsair AF140 Quiet Edition (custom painted)
Tubing:
Clear PVC, potentially some clear acrylic/chromed copper in places
Fittings:
Various from Monsoon, Bitspower & XSPC

Monitoring and Control

Primary Controller:
1x Aqua Computer Aquaero 6 Pro, with heatsink and waterblock
Supplementary Microcontrollers:
3x Aqua Computer Poweradjust, with heatsinks
Sensors:
Aqua Computer Temperature Sensors, inline and surface contact
Aqua Computer Flow Sensors, ‘high-flow’ and ‘MPS’ type (potentially others)


Lighting:

LEDs:
Adafruit Neopixel programmable RGB LED strips
Fibre:
3mm side-glow optical fibre
Controller:
Arduino Mega 2560 R3

* The choice of graphics card remains undecided, other than I want to do a 4-way SLI/Crossfire. The upcoming nVidia GeForce GTX Titan II (assuming that is what the 'full-fat' GM200 powered card is to be called) is currently the top contender, pending release of performance specifications.
** Consequently, the choice of waterblock for the graphics cards also remains undecided.

Edit 05/03/2015. The new GM200 card has been announced as the Titan X. We know very little about it yet beyond a picture. I want it.

Edit 04/04/2015. Persuaded to wait and see AMD’s offering. My patience is waning fast.

Edit: A few modifications to the components list, GTX 980 Ti added to the list of contenders for the graphics card

Edit: 05/06/2015. Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti is now top contender, performance close enough to the Titan-X for a considerably reduced cost. Still waiting on AMD's Radeon 390X, Fury and Fury-X.

Edit: 17/06/2015. Fury pricing looks good. Awaiting performance benchmarks.


Edit: 30/06/2015: Fury X benchmarks are rather disappointing, 980Ti looking likely. The rumoured price reduction on the Nvidia cards might decide it.


Edit: 13/07/2015. Opinion poll favours the 980Ti (see post #569) with the potential option of a 3 + 1 configuration with the Titan Black

Edit: 23/07/2015: Final GPU selections are three Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti, EVGA Superclocked ACX 2.0+ version, and one GeForce GTX Titan Black, standard reference design from Gigabyte. (Bad luck AMD, you made a good rival card - just not quite good enough to win through. Maybe next time.)

Photo Gallery:

Space allocated for pretty pictures
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

Nearside Renders and Close Ups: Post #1, Post #37 Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



















Offside Renders WIP: Post #62 Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)





Phase 1 Test Rig Construction: Post #21 Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)





















Manifold Construction: Post #95 Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

























RayStorm Lighting Test #1: Post #167 Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)













































AF140 Fan Backlighting Test #1: Post #187 Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)























Edited by OCDesign - 7/23/15 at 2:23pm
post #3 of 1313
Looks like an engine smile.gif I like it already.

subbed tongue.gif
deus ex machina
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deus ex machina
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post #4 of 1313
post #5 of 1313
Yes, I will have to sub to this. The design looks really interesting!

-Jeffinslaw
MurderMac
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Schwarz Nickel
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Project mATX
(11 items)
 
Case
Apple Power Mac G5 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Xeon E5 2660 V1 ASUS Rampage Gene X79 PNY GTX 970 PNY GTX 970 
RAMHard DriveCoolingOS
Klevv Fit 16GB SanDisk 120GB Extreme SSD Custom EK Watercooling Loop Windows 10 
MonitorPowerCase
Dell U1525H SilverStone 600w SFX Project mATX 
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MurderMac
(1 item)
 
Schwarz Nickel
(11 items)
 
Project mATX
(11 items)
 
Case
Apple Power Mac G5 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
Intel Xeon E5 2660 V1 ASUS Rampage Gene X79 PNY GTX 970 PNY GTX 970 
RAMHard DriveCoolingOS
Klevv Fit 16GB SanDisk 120GB Extreme SSD Custom EK Watercooling Loop Windows 10 
MonitorPowerCase
Dell U1525H SilverStone 600w SFX Project mATX 
  hide details  
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post #6 of 1313
wow. Subbed
post #7 of 1313
Thread Starter 
Thank you all, nice to know people like the look of it at least! You can expect a bit more stuff to be posted in the next day or two.
post #8 of 1313
that is one nice render. Subbed!!!!!thumb.gifthumb.gifthumb.gifthumb.gifthumb.gif
post #9 of 1313
Subbed broo thumb.gif
post #10 of 1313
I love the symmetry you're going for, best of luck. I kind of wish that there were more options for a fully fleshed dual res system other than CaseLabs
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