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[Build Log] CaseLabs M8 Refurbishment: X99 Deluxe, 5930K, 2x980GTX, Aquaero 6, Solid Acrylic Custom Loop

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
Introdution
I have been building PC's for nearly 15 years, but back in late 2011/ early 2012 I built my first fully water cooled PC using a CaseLabs M8 (with 2600K and 2xGTX580) - Nearly four years on and the M8 case is still in brilliant condition; so for this build I plan to update just about everything inside but leave the case mostly "as is". Some of the stuff inside badly needs updating/replacing (especially if I want to do 4K gaming in future) and some of it perhaps does not but will be upgraded anyway!

Unfortunately in the final rush to complete the old M8 build I never fully completed the build log, but it can be found here if people want to check that out. I have however finally updated that thread with some pics of the fully built system and I have also included a few of the best photos in the spoiler below. For months after I got it running I smiled when I sat next to it and switched it on and it quietly whirred into action - without doubt the quietest and most powerful PC I have owned.

I can't speak highly enough of the CaseLabs case, the Aquaero 5, and most of the other components I choose for that older build - since I got it up and running it has seen hundreds and hundreds of hours of use, most week-nights, and most weekends early-late both days. It really has not skipped a beat and I have not had to do any maintenance apart from cleaning some dust a few times - recently I have had the odd little niggle with USB stuff (maybe an indication that something is going wrong with MB?) and one of the fans or pumps has developed a bit of bearing noise.

Old Build Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Case labs detail and wheels
Motherboard
XSPC raystorm
PSU Side
Finished PC
Aquareo AC5 front
Front fans
PSU side fans, cabling and HDD bay
Finished PC motherboard side - doors and panels removed
PSU side radiator fans
Finished build Motherboard front
Finished build Motherboard side

Refurbishment Concept - White/Carbon
For this build I have some plans already: The build itself its based around an X99 deluxe MB from ASUS so I will plan to use a grey/white theme to match. Again this will be completely custom cabled with everything sleeved to match the overall colour scheme or be stealth-ed (black sleeve) to hide it in the case - I will probably try and sort out some subtle lighting too (fabwerk)

I have bought already bought most of the components so time for some fun!

Main Components
CaseLabs M8 - Existing
Asus X99 deluxe U3.1
Intel 5930K
32 GB Quad Ch. 3000MHz DDR4 Corsair Dominator Platinum RAM
Samsung 512GB SM951 M2 SSD Samsung 512GB 950 Pro M2 SSD
2 x Samsung 512GB 850 PRO Enterprise Class SSD
Western Digital 4TB Black SATA 3 Performance Hard Drive Western Digital 5TB Black SATA 3 Performance Hard Drive
2 x EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Superclocked ACX 2.0 4GB
AX1500i PSU

Watercooling
2 x Aquacomputer D5 pump mechanics with aquabus connections
EK Dual D5 XTOP EK Revo Dual D5
Aquacomputer Aqaulis XT 450ml Reservoir

EK Supremacy EVO - Nickel Clean CSQ
2 x EK-FC980 GTX - Nickel Clean CSQ
2 x EK-FC980 GTX Backplate - Black
Bitspower AIX99D Nickel MB Blocks

Mayhems Pastel Ice White coolant

Aqua Computer Aquaero 6 XT USB Fan Controller
4 x Aqua computer Poweradjust 3 USB, Ultra-version
2 x Aqaucomputer fabwerk
Aquacomputer LED strip
Aqua Computer Passive Cooler for Aquaero 6 - Black
4 x Passive Cooler for poweradjust 3, black
Aqaucomputer Real time clock module
Aquacomputer Flow sensor "high flow" for aquaero Aquacomputer MPS100 Flow Sensor
Black Frontplate for aquaero 6 XT
2 x Black Bezel set for poweradjust, black anodized aluminum

14 x Noiseblocker NB eLoop Fan B12-3 1900rpm
2 x XSPC RX360 v3 Radiator
1 x XSPC EX360 crossflow Radiator

E22 solid acryylic tube 12/10mm
A load of bitspower carbon black fittings
Telios Sleeve in Black, Grey and White

Plus a lot of other bits: e.g. wire connectors, sleeve, heatshrink, LEDs etc....

Index of Build Posts
Product Shots
Sleeving/Colour Decisions (part I)
Test System
Stripping the old build from M8
Fans (part I) - RPM Filter Testing
Fans (part II) - Circuit boards
Fans (part III) - Box Construction
Fans (part IV) - Splitter Box Finishing touches
Spraying parts for Aquaero and Lighting
Fans (part V) - Sleeved B12-3's
Moving the test system & Front Panel cables
Aquacomputer (part I) - Poweradjust mods
Aquacomputer (part II) - Fabwerk mods & front plate/bay assembly
Aquacomputer (part III) - Multiplexer / Molex power & Aqaubus distribution
Aquacomputer (part IV) - Aquaero 6 mods
Aquacomputer (part V) - Molex power & Aquabus wiring
Aquacomputer (part VI) - Installation
Aquacomputer (part VII) - USB and molex power cable
Fans (part VI) - Installation
Fans (part VII) - Final Installation
Main LED lighting
Sleeving/Colour decisions (part II)
Sleeving (Part I) - Motherboard CPU + 24 Pin

Final images
Edited by alstorm - 7/3/16 at 3:43am
post #2 of 80
Thread Starter 
Ok so before I head to bed I thought I'd leave some shots by way of a teaser


A few boxes containing initial parts


One of the boxes revealing goodies inside
Edited by alstorm - 10/4/15 at 9:07am
post #3 of 80
Thread Starter 
Product Shots
So lets start with some of the usual box shots


ASUS X99 deluxe (USB 3.1 Version) - I am not sure I really need USB 3.1 yet!
The addon card is not the USB type C version with the new style connector, rather it sports the older rectangular connectors at USB 3.1 speeds - I guess it might be useful in future I guess for fast external storage and other accessories, I will just need the right cable to use this card with any USB 3.1 products I get.


5930K - This processor is a higher max TDP than my old 2600K (140W vs 95W) but I should be able to gain that and more back on the Graphics Cards, the loop configuration in this build is getting a tiny bit of a redesign, more on that later.


32GB of dominator RAM - The box says 64GB but it is actually only four sticks in there, niether corsair or the vendor were silly enough to pack in an extra £600 worth of RAM by accident thumb.gif - BTW I have never seen RAM packed so nicely before, so good job Corsair on that.


2x GTX980 SC ACX2.0 from EVGA - there are two of these for SLi configuration.


SM951 PCI-E SSD (these are still slightly rare!) - I hope this works OK with the X99 Deluxe, I have read mixed reports on whether it will or wont work, It will have to be returned I guess if it does not work.


A pair of Samsung 850 Pros - these will be in raid 0 as a secondary disk (or boot disk if the SM951 does not work out)


4GB WD Black - This will provide the bulk storage for the PC (every PC I have gets a NAS backup weekly anyway)




AX 1500i and Sleeved Cable set - Technically i dont need the sleeved cable set as I will make my own, but having the sleeved set enables me to keep the originals safely stored in case I ever need to return the PSU.


Aquacomputer Aquareo 6 - Got a load of other aquacomputer goodies on their way


A pair of GTX 980 waterblocks from EK, not the Circle design, just clean Plexi/Nickel


EK Supremacy CPU block, I have some MB blocks from bitspower coming which will cover MOSFETS and Chipset


Dual D5 Pump top - going to run two pumps in series for redundancy, flow and pressure reasons.


Aqaulis XT res - I got this out to look at it last night - it's stunning! It feels really weighty, I am slightly concerned that the bracket might not support the weight 100% level over time when its full of water, will be interesting to see.

I plan today to test all these components under air cooling - Once I have the Rig up and running on air I will strip the M8 and begin planning wiring and any mods needed to put all this lot under water.
Edited by alstorm - 7/2/16 at 12:39pm
post #4 of 80
Thread Starter 
Progress is slow due to a lack of free time at weekends and evenings

The build itself now has a (very) temporary home in a small mid tower case and is currently cooled by an AIO CPU cooler and air cooling. I managed to get it up and running, but had to send back the SM951 for some tests as my BIOS could not see it at all despite trying everything I could think of to get it working - Its now with the merchant for testing by their tech support team, hopefully its not an issue with my motherboard or, worse, user error!

Sleeving/Colour Decisions (part I)
I have some LC telios sleeving in four monochrome colours (white, grey, dark grey, black) - but I am trying to decide exactly what colours to use on the main cables. For fan cables, temp sensor cables and anything that will look better hidden I will just use some black sleeve to try and "hide" the cabling inside the case.

For the more visible runs (ATX, PCI-E, CPU, molex, SATA power, SATA dat) I plan to use a grey and white (and possibly black combo). Given the "white carbon" theme to this build I am thinking of a combination of white and grey sleeving the question is which shades to go for and how to use it for best effect?



White and Grey(s)


Black and dark grey - great match for sockets and connectors on MB



White black and Dark Grey

I am sure other people have done similar colour schemes before so it would be cool to have the benefit of others opinions on this.
Edited by alstorm - 7/2/16 at 12:39pm
post #5 of 80
Thread Starter 
It has been a while since I provided an update as a lot of recent weekends have been taken up with family, vacation and work activity. The build now is slowly making steps forward, and in the last few months I have sourced some of the more difficult to obtain stuff I will need for the build, doing some research on some build techniques etc. and I have been thinking a lot about how I will actually layout things inside the case and do cable routing.

I also needed to undertake transferring all files/settings and apps to my LAN box (which will be my main PC for next few months) - this took longer than anticipated and to ensure I didn't lose anything I did not strip the old M8 for a few weeks just in case I needed a particular file.

Test System
One of the first steps I have now completed was testing the new components, I built up a test system using a cheap case - I did consider buying a test bench but it seemed a cheap full case was more cost effective and would offer better protection from dust etc.




I obtained a cheap AIO cooler to build the test system with


This is the test system built up with x99. SM951 and one of the 980's





All the components in place


First Boot

As I mentioned before I initially had some issues getting the SM951 SSD to be recognised by the BIOS (As you can actually see in the shot above) - I discussed this with the vendor, they were very helpful and offered to test it for me in their lab. So i sent it back and they confirmed it was working fine and returned it to me again.

Anyway it turns out for the x99 BIOS to recognise the SM951 M2 drive it needs to have an OS installed on it - I felt so stupid when I got it back and the windows installation recognised the presence of the SM951 just fine, and once windows 8.1 was on it so did the BIOS - I really should have looked into that more as all that info is around on overclock.net! whistle.gif
Edited by alstorm - 10/4/15 at 9:09am
post #6 of 80
Coming along nicely mate thumb.gif
post #7 of 80
Thread Starter 
Obviously one of the first steps was to remove the old components and watercooling from the caselabs M8

Caselabs M8 Strip down


I built a simple drain tube with a compression fitting, a stopper and small length of tubing. I emptied what I could from the system using the drain valve and lots of shaking - once that was no longer draining, I repeatedly used the squeezy filler bottle to empty the res (which would refill a little each time). Then when I was sure I had most of the water gone I began breaking the loop.



First up I removed the pipes from graphics cards to the res (including the drain port and T piece)


I then removed the graphics cards


... and the pipes to the CPU block ...


finally I was able to remove the motherboard tray!


This gave me better access to the back PSU compartment and I could then remove a lot of cables, the HDD caddy, and the PSU itself.


Next to go was the (dusty) side radiator


... and fans


I kept on removing cables, pipes, fittings and radiators. Its really surprising how long a build like this takes to strip down, but I guess it did take me months to build.


Finally i had just a few fans and cables (and their P-clips) left - after more work collecting all the P clips and cable ties I had an empty case


Finally empty


BUT very dusty!




After a thorough vacuum and cleaning with a damp cloth I have a clean(ish) M8 - only noticed on uploading these shots that i have dusty wheels!
Edited by alstorm - 10/4/15 at 9:10am
post #8 of 80
wow that new x99 deluxe box looks superthick do you know if there is any thing other than the usb3.1 card compared to the non usb3.1 x99 board?
post #9 of 80
Build is coming along nicely, great parts. I have those E-loops going though an Aquaero, and if you plan on setting them to lower RPM speed, you will not get an accurate reading on your Aquaero. When you decrease voltage on those the Aquearo will start to bounce the RPM reading all over the place. I think I read some where that the B12-4 do not have that problem. One more thing if those fans are in pull sometimes you can get a really annoying sound from them. I still have my B12-3 in an S5 buld and I just ignore the reading when set to lower speed. biggrin.gif
post #10 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlakai View Post

wow that new x99 deluxe box looks superthick do you know if there is any thing other than the usb3.1 card compared to the non usb3.1 x99 board?

AFAIK the only difference between the USB3.1 version and non USB 3.1 version is the additional card - You would have to check the real detail on ASUS website/forums (or owners club thread here on OCN) to see if they made any revisions to the motherboard or added other additional parts between the two versions - but I assume its just an additional USB 3.1 PCI card and a new box print.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newtocooling View Post

Build is coming along nicely, great parts. I have those E-loops going though an Aquaero, and if you plan on setting them to lower RPM speed, you will not get an accurate reading on your Aquaero. When you decrease voltage on those the Aquearo will start to bounce the RPM reading all over the place. I think I read some where that the B12-4 do not have that problem. One more thing if those fans are in pull sometimes you can get a really annoying sound from them. I still have my B12-3 in an S5 buld and I just ignore the reading when set to lower speed. biggrin.gif

I have found a sort of "solution" to this issue for eLoop B12-3's wink.gif

I certainly won't claim its my invention/creation, but after quite a lot of searching I found on an Australian forum instructions for an RPM "filter" circuit for the B12-3. This filter will allow the RPM signal to work down to around 650RPM (around 3.8V) on an Aquaero 6. This will be the topic of my next update smile.gif Unfortunately even with the filter it does not seem that you can make the RPM signal work all the way down to the very lowest voltages the B12-3 fans will spin at. However, the circuit does improve these fans to be 100% usable (including RPM signal) with an aquaero in the "butter zone" for quiet watercooling.

Thanks for the tip on using them in pull - I was already aware of reports of these issues regarding the vortex noise when B12's are used in pull - I will therefore use most of mine in Push only. However, given how dusty the old machine was, I am intending to use some fan filters this time around, so I do have a little concern that the vortex noise might be an issue for me down the road.
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