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[Build Log] - IRONBEAST - A fully water cooled, X99, Quad GPU, 900D build - Page 81

post #801 of 1313
I'd imagine temperatures would be similar, restriction would be rather high though.
   
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post #802 of 1313
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the kind words. I’m glad you like the waterblock design, even if it is only conceptual (and is likely to stay that way, at least for a while).

To put your minds at ease, I have a solid defence against any manufacturers stealing my work - the fact that they would bankrupt themselves if they did (though in truth I'd take it as a big compliment if they wanted to copy my creations). This concept model is the initial idealised design; it was never developed far enough for me to start making any practical alterations to curtail the volume of materials, reduce the expense, or increase ease of manufacture. As such it has the complex block machined from a single thick copper slab, it’s got a shaped Plexiglas infill structure, a stainless steel plate fixing plate, integrated Neopixel lighting, screwless dark-tint brushed aluminium facings and embossed silver-finish Ironbeast insignias. Suffice to say it is not what you’d consider ‘commercially viable’...

Anyway since you seemed to enjoy those renders I thought I might make up a couple more showing what these look would like in the full 4-way setup – complete with the custom SLI bridge, the matching ‘power bridge’ idea, the manifolds, etc. Those should be ready in the next couple of days. For those that are interested in the thermodynamics of it (heaven help you) I might also do some deconstructed views showing just the block itself and try and explain some of the thinking behind the flow design.
post #803 of 1313
Thread Starter 
As promised I have now made up couple of extra renders showing the internals of my GPU waterblock concept, plus a little explanation of the physics behind it for those that are interested in such things. I’m working on the other less informative but prettier renders showing the full SLI assembly, which will be posted for your amusement as soon as I find time to finish them.


This is what the core of the GPU waterblock concept looks like when you strip away the facings, fixing/framing plate, the Plexiglass internal structure, the mounting screws and the graphics card itself - leaving just the waterblock, rubber gasket, Bitspower fittings, and the Aqua Computer MPS flow sensor.

The original idea was created with the Titan Black in mind, whilst this particular CAD model was made (or at least started to be made) for the Titan X. The basic rational behind the design was that since these are dual-width cards (and the DVI connectors prevent them being otherwise) there is no benefit to having a conventional thin waterblock - so I might as well make use of the space to try and build something more effective (and nice to look at). As such this is a deep-channel design, in a similar vein to some of the motherboard-waterblock concepts shown earlier in the build log. It is machined from a big slab of copper (20mm thick), sealed with a full-area rubber gasket and capped by a Perspex window. This makes use of a costly amount of materials (far more than any retail product could afford to) but should have several advantages:

  • The larger volume of metal means there is a higher thermal capacitance in direct conductive contact with the chip – i.e. a bigger mass of material requires more energy to raise its temperature by the same amount. In theory this should help to smooth out the effects of short-duration spikes in GPU loading (from say the ‘update model’ command in CAD) and make the temperature changes more gradual.
  • The thicker block is able to accommodate standard G1/4 threaded ports directly into the edge of the copper slab. This means that, unlike normal designs, the fluid does not have to execute an instant 90-degree turn (or worse, in a parallel setup, an instant 90-degree split) in order to enter the block. With most retail waterblocks the flow geometry must also change at virtually the same time; from the circular port to a longer, narrower slit. Both of these things disrupt the flow and contribute to the formation of resistance effects in a way which, alllied to the smooth 45-degree flow-split of the manifold design, is mitigated by this approach.
  • In a similar vein, the normal internal dimeter of G1/4 fittings is about 10mm. The deep-channel design allows for a flow area of 10x10mm to be maintained throughout the block, save at the critical point where it passes over the GPU. Thus, whilst the flow vector alters (as smoothly as possible), changes to the prevailing cross-sectional flow-area are minimised as much as possible. Additionally the thick block design means that heat can be effectively transferred into the coolant water from the sides of the channel as well as the base; yielding three square cm of thermal contact area for every cm the flow progresses.


This image illustrates the passage of coolant water through the block. The channel has been shaped to pass directly over all the main heat sources as far as is practically possible. Whilst this produces a more complex path than normal, changes in direction are kept as smooth as possible and should not be as problematic using a large-volume channel than with a conventional shallower one.

The incoming flow is split between the four cards by the manifold and then enters the block as shown via a mini D-plug fitted into the inlet port. It then passes only briefly through a short length of channel before exiting through another G1/4 port. From there it passes through an assembly of fittings, through the integrated MPS flow sensor, and back into the block.

Here there are a number of issues with the design which I never managed to resolve before discontinuing work on it. Firstly the MPS is sited on the incoming flow, which means its integrated temperature sensor is reading the inlet water temperature which is of no use at all. There is nothing in the block design which would stop me running the flow the other way, but using the 900D case causes some limitations with the rest of the Ironbeast loop layout which prevent me doing so. Secondly, my experience with the radiator testing shows that the MPS sensor, being differential-pressure based, will misread if the flow comes directly of a turn in this way. Finally, but most problematically, that particular assembly of fittings would prove extremely tricky to install.

Upon returning to the block the flow channel turns upwards over the VRMs before splitting into two separate paths (this geometry would probably be smoothed out a bit in a more refined design). One path goes directly to the GPU area, whilst the other slightly longer path curves down to cover some of the memory and then enters the same area from another direction.

The main GPU heat transfer area, rather than using the normal linear channel setup, is modelled on the pin design of the Aqua Computer Cuplex Kryos CPU waterblock (though an order of magnitude cruder in scale). This is basically two sets of channels cut across each other, producing a very high amount of surface area - and with the incoming flow streams intersecting at right angles, a region of turbulent flow is produced directly over the chip. Furthermore, even with the presence of the pins, the flow area available here is larger than that of the main channels. This increased area should mean that the local flow velocity is temporarily reduced (because in an incompressible fluid the overall flow rate must remain a constant), meaning that each molecule of water spends a proportionally longer time directly over the GPU than it otherwise would. In combination these three factors should, in theory, produce very efficient rates of heat transfer.

The two exit paths from the GPU area mirror the entry paths, again with a longer branch to pass over the memory directly. In both cases the difference in path length and geometry will produce a slight bias in favour of the shorter route, but at this scale and pressure it shouldn’t be significant enough to matter. The two exit paths reintegrate into a single channel, which passes back out of the block through another mini D-plug. At this point the second manifold smoothly recombines the flows from the four graphics cards back into a single stream and connects to the next part of the loop.
Edited by OCDesign - 10/28/15 at 5:52pm
post #804 of 1313
Wall of text read. wink.gif

Design wise yes its very nice, but like you mentioned the practicality of it just isn't really there. Too bad, I get tired of seeing the same blocks over and over. tongue.gif
   
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post #805 of 1313
Looking nice! i'm down for a sub
post #806 of 1313
Thread Starter 
Here are the remaining render images of the GPU waterblock concept, showing what the design would like in SLI and in situ. However, as nice as it looks, I fear it’s just not going to be viable for me to pursue; the additional time, effort and cost is just far too much on what is already a complex build. Still at least now the idea is on the record, not languishing forgotten in the depths of my hard drive, and you get a few pics to keep you entertained whilst I try and deal with yet more delays...


Four way configuration, including the custom SLI bridge (left) and its ‘Power Bridge’ counterpart (right) in a matching Perspex and dark-tint brushed-aluminium finish.


The ‘power bridge’ in fact does not actually bridge anything. It’s simply a low-profile way of connecting the 6 and 8-pin PCIe power connectors on the GPU to a short extension cable built into each waterblock. This links to the discreet set of connectors on the side of the cards (which you can just about see in the first picture), alongside the internal USB to the MPS flow sensor - all of which will be accessible from the offside without being visible in exactly the same way as the Display Port connection.


And this is what it looks like with the manifolds in place. (These are a variant design in order to accommodate the centred ports. They are a little closer in style to the original ‘ribcage’ look of my early concept models, made before the ones at the start of the log, which first inspired the 'Ironbeast' name)

With a little editing work…




And finally -


- in situ. The only things missing from the image are the black acrylic Motherboard Cover, the GPU mounting screws, and the GPU cover (which would be redesigned to provide extra support, to cope with the increased weight of the waterblocks, whilst concealing the fixings and the unused ports)

I like the way that use of Ironbeast insignia looks, visible but subtle, so I will definitely try and include that on the build - the only place the logo will be used, at least on the nearside.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinnedone View Post

Wall of text read. wink.gif

Design wise yes its very nice, but like you mentioned the practicality of it just isn't really there. Too bad, I get tired of seeing the same blocks over and over. tongue.gif

Yes I'm sorry about that, I know the previous post was a little bit wordy. But it’s better than me pacing around the house, mumbling to myself about flow dynamics and heat transfer rates, generally giving the impression that I’ve finally lost my sanity entirely…

I'm really quite fond of this design, but yes - it just isn’t practical for me to try and make it reality. And of course any future graphics cards will, if the Fury's design is anything to go by, loose the DVI connector and so become viably single slot. Still it not totally impossible that this could be adapted this to a more slimline form factor, and its aesthetics could be applied to pretty much anything, so the idea may not be totally lost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crafty615 View Post

Looking nice! i'm down for a sub

Thanks very much. Welcome to my mad little project!
Edited by OCDesign - 10/31/15 at 5:47pm
post #807 of 1313
wow the set up design looks sick! thumb.gif hope it looks much like this in real
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post #808 of 1313
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozzy1925 View Post

wow the set up design looks sick! thumb.gif hope it looks much like this in real

Thanks very much, so glad you like it. I certainly hope the reality will live up to the plan, but don't hold your breath. Given that after all this time I still haven’t succeeded in getting the parts for the Phase Three Test Frame made, necessary just to prototype this design, I find myself doubting whether any of this will ever exist at all.


Edit: A little update. I’m told that my usual timber suppliers have now looked through the pack of drawings I made for them, and that I should finally find out sometime near the end of next week if and when they can make the test frame parts for me. (Since it’s considerably smaller and more complex request than normal there has apparently been some doubt about it). If not I’ll have to find somewhere else that can do this for me, which will be annoying. Keep your fingers crossed everybody…
Edited by OCDesign - 11/1/15 at 3:02am
post #809 of 1313
Keep up the good work
post #810 of 1313
Those cards look beautiful, especially when lit. As you say though, if it's too much time and effort, get the rest done first. Maybe you can come back to that later. smile.gif

I hope they say they can make our test frame and get back to you soon!
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