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[Build Log] Lian Li V-33

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So just to jump right in, im going to leave this thread here, I will explain why. So currently I am in the mood to build another "custom" pc and I was bitten by the water cooling bug... Again...

I'm not going to go into too many details here, I hate long introductions and sappy stories about how this is my passion. It's not. I'm just a tinkerer and I love building things.

Anyways, my current setup is alright but its nothing to gawk at. It was purpose built in a rack-mount server type enclosure. Its quiet and its fast but its not what I want.. My current machine has the following specs:

ASUS Z97-WS
Intel Core i7 4790k w/ Noctua cooler
32gb of Crucial Ballistics
Crucial M.2 SSD (SATA Based)
Seasonic Platinum 1000 PSU
No GPU (Intel Graphics ATM)

This was originally going to be my water cooled office machine with a built in RAID. What I ended up with was an air cooled desktop because I ran into time constraints. From this system, I will be reusing the PSU and selling the rest to fund the current built.

I won't go into further details and just jump into what I have going now. I decided to use the Lian Li V-33 case since its such a sexy monster and fits my needs. Small and simple but not cheap. Lian Li is king when it comes to precision aluminum forming. I am SO happy with this case, it was worth all $200 dollars.

Speaking of money, this whole build is personally funded out of pocket. I have no sponsors and the wife doesn't know how much I spent. This will backfire on me as some point in time because its getting to be super expensive, probably the reason why I stopped building custom PC's a while back to begin with.

Anyways, I jumped on Newegg to take advantage of their credit card. 12 months interest free if you spend $500 or more. My shopping cart filled up quickly. ASUS Maximus VIII Gene (Micro ATX since I don't plan to SLI... GTX 1080 FTW!). An Intel i7 6700k CPU and 32jigabites of Corsair Vengeance although I think that this will eventually be swapped out for Corsair Dominator so I can use the EKWB RAM koolah! Total for these three parts? $688..... ***....doh.gif

In the past I used "other" WC parts. I won't go into details, we shall not dwell on past mistakes. This time around, I decided to keep it simple and use as many EKWB parts as possible after I found out that EKWB has a mono-block for the ASUS VIII Gene. This made things simple and neat. I like simple and neat so off to EKWB I went to build my shopping list. I bought a lot of stuff;

EK monoblock for the VIII Gene
EK 12mm Extender for the reservoir to pump connection
EK 10/12mm PETG Tubing
EK X3 multiport reservoir top
EK Vardar 120mm fans - x3
EK CoolStream SE 240 radiators - x2
EK CoolStream SE 120 radiator
EK Reservoir x3 150
EK Black HDC 12mm fittings - x10

Total for all this? $543.37... Worst part is that this doesn't even include the RAM cooler or the GPU cooler for the GTX 1080 which I still need to buy as well as well as more fans and probably a few other things like an additional reservoir, fittings and the pump including the pump housing to cool it and pump top.... I regret this already.. According to UPS, these parts should arrive today at my local UPS store. Or as I have passionately nicknamed them, The OOPS Store since UPS damages almost ALL my packages. Really not happy that the only two shipping options are DHL?? or OOPS... No love for FedEx?

Anyways. I'll post up some pics as they come. I was originally planning to use my Noctua commercial fans since I paid $50 for two of them. Rip off much for a fan?! I also have a few Alphacool rads sitting around from a previous build that were unused. Problem is that space is limited in the case and the 45mm rads plus 25mm fans too up too much space. I decided to replace all the radiators with the EKWB units. EK 240 SE in the front of the case, EK 240 SE in the bottom of the case and EK 120 SE in the back of the case. I will post more images soon to give a better idea of what im working with.

I don't know why im posting all this other than to get my ideas out of my head, no more room, hard drive storage is full! If anyone cares to follow this, cool beans. If anyone cares to share your opinions, cool beans. If anyone has an idea, I may want to hear it. I realize that picture-less build threads are about as exciting as ingrown toe nails so ill get some posted soon. I think?
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EDIT: So just a small update that will be updated further tonight. Apparently, prepaid rebate cards are useless online since they have no billing address to verify so most online orders fail. I swear the banks do everything in their power to make sure the card is as useless as possible in hopes that you don't use the rebate.

Regarding UPS, they are late. What's new? Took them two days to get the package from Slovenia to the US and then another week to move it 20 miles to my house.. Not even a busy holiday season. Should have the box in hand tonight so ill post the first pics following that.

Are prepaid cards completely useless for anything online other than local stores?
Edited by M3Roc - 6/15/16 at 7:05am
post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 


Small update as promised. Package one of two has arrived in good condition. I will update more later. I will post high res images of some stuff but not until later. For now, ill just use my phone for convenience.

Jumping right in, I'm starting with the radiators. I must say right off the bat, im not excited. Since I am not sponsored, I will take this opportunity to speak freely and give my opinion about what I bought when compared to hardware I've used in the past from other manufacturers. I want to be as specific as I can so others can make an education choice. Some of it will be criticism and some will be praise.

First off, the 240SE and 120SE radiators are not what I expected. My choice of radiators is Alphacool (AC), I have experience with them so this was my reference. The EK would either match the quality, exceed or perform poorly.

The first thing I noticed is that the EK radiator feels flexible. When holding the radiator by the sides, there is a lot of flex because the material used for the housing is thin. Unfortunately, this does not boast of quality. The edges of the AC radiators are much stiffer with almost no flex. This isn't necessarily a down side because the fans, once mounted will afford rigidity. As well as mounting the radiator inside a case if you use the radiator side as the mount. Since I will be mounting the fans in a push orientation, the fans will mount to the front of the case and will be holding the rad. The second thing I noticed right away is that there is no screw puncture guard like I see in the AC rads. To be objective, the screw holes do not line up with a coolant channel so there is little chance to create a dangerous leak when using screws too long. The fins are in the way though and can certainly be damaged easily although not detrimentally. The last thing I noticed and this is my biggest annoyance and set back is the threads for the screws. They are NOT M3 threads. In all my builds, I use M3 screws with a collar to mount the fans to the rad. I cannot use the screws of which I have tons of which sets me back. The thread on this rad are larger in diameter and are have very aggressive threads. If someone from EK could tell me what these threads are, please let me know. If I end up using these radiators, I will need to find a new source for these shoulder screws, the included screws are useless for my application. Reference the images below for further details.

The black screw is the one included with the EK rads. You can tell they are ~M4 size but have much more aggressive threads. The silver screw is the shoulder screws I use to mount fans. The thread-less "shoulder" diameter on the silver screw is the exact size of the hole in the fan which centers the fans. I've been using these for a long time, they work great. Can't use them here, they don't hold/catch the threads.

EDIT: I found out that these screws are the same type used throughout the computer. They are the same thread as those used to mount the PSU to your case. I have TONS of those and this makes me happy. I don't know the official type of screw/thread but I have lots of em. Matter fact, I found a whole back of shinny new collar screws with that thread but sadly, the head is too wide and doesn't fit on the inside of the fan. I could modify the fan but I would rather avoid that unless no other choice.


In this image, you can see what it looks like when a fan is mounted using the M3 shoulder screws on the left. The screws holding the fan on the left are simply pushed in since the threads on the screw are too narrow, they just fall out. On the right you can see one of my AC rads with common M3 threads with a shoulder screw all the way in. Works perfect with the fans. I may have to opt for the 35mm AC rads after all.


Below you can see how well the shoulder fills the screw hole, centering the fans to the threads. You can see the fans mount perfectly to the AC rads.



Below is an example of a fan mounted to an AC rad which is then mounted from the other side to the case. This was the plan but will not not work with the EK rads without finding screws with the proper threads. Just one more thing to set me back since this case is very limited on mounting locations for rads.




Here you can see how the rad is held on the left and the case on the right with fan screws.


At any rate, i'm not too crazy about these rads. The build quality or the fact that the screws used have a thread unlike anything I have in my arsenal, and I have an ARSENAL of screws. Mostly "M"
sizes since that's all I've run into in the past. I may have to opt for AC rads after all since I have nothing to mount the EK rads with, not good.... thumbsdownsmileyanim.gif

I'll take a look at the fans next. I've heard good things about them from watching reviews online so ill have to see for myself if its all true. Tune back in shortly for more since the rads are just one of the many things I bought! thumb.gif
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EDIT: So I decided to play the game and use the fans as pull and try to use the screws provided as they were meant to be used. This little test showed me that the radiator was too wide and the mounting holes would not line up with the holes in the rad. This is hard to point out but in the pictures below, you can line up the screws in the fans with the mounting holes on the case. The edge of the rad that has the ports is pressed against the edge of the mount, no more room to move sideways. Now if the fans were on the push side like I intended to have them, then the radiator would stick out far enough to clear that obstruction. See, there IS a method to my madness! kookoo.gif




I started looking through some of my screws that I've saved over the years and found something interesting, something that will work temporarily to test flow and noise levels. I found these threaded rods and brass nuts a while back. They have saved my butt on more than one occasion. They will work well for testing so I mounted the rad to the front of the case as it was originally planned.






Looks a little rough with the brass thumb nuts and extra long threaded rod but its temporary for testing. They look proper and spin in a circle thumb.gif




To close this trial by fire, I noticed right away that one of the fans is making a horrible ticking sound. Very loud. I'm thinking that one of the three fans is defective? At any rate, this is what the setup should have been from the beginning. Also, to my avail, I found yet ANOTHER set of collar screws but the collar is just a hair too wide. I think that I may consider drilling the fan mounting holes just a wee bit to make the screws fit and possibly, just possibly we can make this work. thumb.gif

For now, I need to figure out if I can make that fan stop ticking so loud, its gawd awful!
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More to come soon on the M8G Monoblock..

My initial thoughts of the M8G block were very good. The block felt very solid and very heavy. The weight was impressive, I don't know why but it feels solid. I'm glad I got the clear instead of the black POM. It compliments the MB very well. I did not install it yet as im not ready for that at the moment. One thing I did notice is that most of the smaller counter sunk screws in the middle of the block were very loose, to the point of where running my finger over the top, I could feel them moving. No big deal as I grabbed my trusty MIP 2.0mm driver and snug them up without using too much force. You don't want to crack that clear top however unlikely, its quite thick.




The Monoblock, I will be keeping for sure. After handling it personally, I am certain that the block for the GTX1080 will be equally as awesome. After seeing the parts that EK manufactures VS parts that are supplied such as their radiators, I can tell right away that they need to find a new supplier for radiators. The EK radiators simply do not compliment the quality of craftsmanship that went into their other hardware solutions such as the MB Monoblock and the X3 Reservoir which is next to be review. As I think about it more, I'm sad to say that I may not be using the EK rads after all.

Also, as I build this out, I've thought about setting up a YouTube channel to review some of this hardware that I use. What do you guys think? Yay, Nay?

Stay tuned thumb.gif
Edited by M3Roc - 6/15/16 at 7:06am
post #3 of 18
Interesting, looking forward to the build and to see if your wife kills you. thumb.gif
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just found out that the rear 120SE radiator is too long on the bottom by like 2mm. Since my Alphacool rads fit front, back and bottom, I guess that makes my decision final to ditch the EK rads and use AC for the rads. Sad but im really not impressed with the EK rads. They could have been much better in the long run but its obvious that this isn't EK's product but instead a supplier with loose QC.

Below is a picture of the EK fans running for testing. One is making a horrid ticking sound and is most likely defective. I am using an old Zalman ZM-MFC 1 Plus fan controller designed for a single 5.25" bay. It's one of the best I've had including build quality. They just don't make em like this anymore.

Here is the EK fan mounted to the 120SE rad with the collar screws I found. Aren't they purty!? Much better than what's included with the rad. Too bad the rad doesn't fit, it's blocked by the audio ports on the MB by about 2mm. Oh well... The AC rad fits well with room to spare. I will however admit that the EK's look damn sexy compared to the AC's. It's too bad this relationship couldn't work. Its not me baby, its you.. buttkick.gif



And here is the AC mounted with the EK fan in testing.






All in all, I would say that this has been a productive day. We found out that EK uses hawkward screws on their rads. We found out that I will not be using the EK rads after all and will have to purchase additional AC rads for front back and bottom. We also found out one of the fans is possibly bad..

One more with an EK fitting installed.



More to come so stay tuned! thumb.gif
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimensive View Post

Interesting, looking forward to the build and to see if your wife kills you. thumb.gif

I do admit, it could get harry.. rolleyes.gif
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Just placed another order with AquaTuning for two Alphacool rads, two DDC pumps and a pressure relief valve. Hopefully it arrives as quick as the EKWB order did which amazing took only two days to get to the states. Now we wait.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
So a small update because I get bored waiting on parts..

Today, I wanted to talk about something that blew me away. So aside from the Lian Li case being so freaking awesome, I must hand it to them, they included some awesome freaking fans and ill tell you why. A few reason really. First off, most of my "high pressure" radiator fans wont even start until I put my fan speed controller at 50% or more! These fans start at the lowest setting and dont drop out!! thumb.gif

At their lowest setting, I can feel significant air flow from the back of my 45mm thick rads! This is awesome! thumb.gif

They are dead quiet. No seriously, they are hands down the quietest fan I have. They blow away my Noctua NF-F12's and my EK F4-120ER's at their lowest settings. Even at half speed, these fans are still quieter then the two mentioned fans! thumb.gif

I'm so excited about these fans and to think, I almost threw them away. These are by far my new favorite fans and so I will have to find a source for more of these fans. They use three pin connectors with all black wire. I would seriously encourage anyone to try these. I'm hoping Lian Li has more of them otherwise ill have to find them online.

Below, you can see two of these bad boys on my Alphacool rad. The one on the left has had its sticker removed and replaced by a carbon fiber sticker for no reason other than esthetics. The one on the right has the original sticker which should help you guys find them.




I really with I could express to you guys just how freaking quiet these fans are! I accidentally stuck my finger in one moving the case, I thought the fans were off! Check em out and let me know if anyone here has had any luck with these. I'm going to try and source three more for my case. thumb.gif
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3Roc View Post


I really with I could express to you guys just how freaking quiet these fans are! I accidentally stuck my finger in one moving the case, I thought the fans were off! Check em out and let me know if anyone here has had any luck with these. I'm going to try and source three more for my case. thumb.gif

Looks like plenty of people are selling them, just did a quick Google search on the model number, KF1225S1LSBR
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post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by taowulf View Post

Looks like plenty of people are selling them, just did a quick Google search on the model number, KF1225S1LSBR

I was playing around with the fans last night primarily in the push orientation. At the lowest power setting on the fan controller, the fan is by all means, silent even though its spinning.

I have no testing equipment so this is all based on what I heard with my ears and what I felt by holding my hand behind the radiator. I noticed that the fans are most efficient between lowest setting and up to 50% setting on the fan controller. I don't have a controller with an RPM readout so im basing this on the settings on the fan controller. My rad is currently 45mm thick but will be replaced with the ST30's which is 30mm. As I increased the speed of the fan, I could feel a noticeable difference in air flow up until about 50% at which the noise level would peak out and so would the air flow. Basically, after 50%, the fans don't offer anymore performance. I believe that has something to do with the blades geometry and the fact that they were designed to move air without restriction like a rad.

I'm still going to find three more of these fans to replace all my case fans since most of my work load will keep the fans in the lowest ranges anyways.

Also, I placed an order with aquatuning last night, a bunch more parts are coming as well. i'm excited to keep this build going.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
This just in...



The DDC pump is getting a cool treatment. To help it keep its composure, although this is really more of a dress up since I don't assume ill be pushing the pump very hard. Bitspower top and bottom.









If you look at the side of the case that's got the extra space, you'll have an idea of where the pump will "hang" out. No really, the pump will litteraly be suspended below the silver aluminum level by isolating silicone vibration mounts. You can see that the top of the pump has four M4 threads, that's where the isolators will mount. In the middle of the pump top is the intake.

The EK reservoir will sit above the pump feeding it through the middle intake. With the pump hanging below, there will be a hole drilled through the silver level. I will use a G1/4 extension to mount the reservoir from up top. I bought the Ek res with the EK extender. For what ever reason, EK managed to make the extender wider than the threaded mount on the res. The only option is to use the skinnier silver extension in conjunction with the black male to male. This looks ugly and wont fly.. I'll have to either find a reservoir that fits the extender or find a new res. With the exception of the Mono block and Graphics card block, I am keeping almost nothing from my EK order and it was the most expensive order I put in....







More to come! thumb.gif
Edited by M3Roc - 6/20/16 at 5:52pm
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