Overclock.net › Forums › Cooling › Water Cooling › [Build Log] Hardline Virgin - Aussie Build - Define S - EKWB Fanboy
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

[Build Log] Hardline Virgin - Aussie Build - Define S - EKWB Fanboy

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Ok so a little background on me,

I've been building my own PC's for over a decade now. I'm a mid level enthusiast meaning that I like to dabble but I rely on others having already gotten their hands dirty for the finer details of things like overclocking etc. By day, I'm an IT Administrator and some friends and I started a LAN party in Adelaide back in 2005 called "Street Geek LAN Parties". We ran events for around 80-250 people every month until last year when we cut back to every second month to reduce the load on our staff who are now all working full time.

The first watercooling build I did was in an old thermaltake Case called "Kandalf LCS" It was a beast of a machine. A real behemoth.

This one isn't mine but it looked very similar to this. Unfortunately I couldn't find any old photos.

After about a year, I retrofitted a better radiator into the front and used thicker tube that I picked up for cheap at the hardware store. It was a clear hose with white braid in it which I thought was great because it picked up the UV lights that I had in my case at the time.

I ended up ceasing my watercooling adventures because that case was enormous and weighed something like 15kg empty and I'd also put in 2x4bay hot swap hdd bays so the thing weighed a tonne. It was far too difficult to take to LAN parties. Plus I was getting increasingly frustrated with the leaks that kept popping up (presumably due to regular transportation).

Fast forward to 2015 I started encountering hard-line tube watercooled rigs. Super sleek, straight lines totally appealed to my inner OCD. So I found this forum and about a million photos to use for inspiration. Therefore I started hoarding my pennies until finally I was able to pull the lever on a massive new PC parts order. The last time I built a PC for myself GTX 580s were cutting edge so when the parts arrived today it was like Christmas has come early.

Here is the mandatory parts photo:

Unfortunately my Local supplier was out of CPU waterblocks so I'm going to have to wait until I get a water block direct from EKWB or use a stock fan on the CPU and re-do the loop (the latter is more likely since I'm super impatient to get this running).


Parts List so far: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1 MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Sea Hawk EK X 8GB
1 EK CoolStream CE 420 Triple Radiator
1 Western Digital WD Black 6TB WD6001FZWX
1 CableMod C-Series Basic Cable Comb Kit
1 CableMod C-Series AXi, HXi & RM Cable Kit White
2 Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD16GX4M2B3200C16 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4
2 EK HD PETG Tube 12/16mm 500mm (2 pieces)
1 Intel Core i7 6700K
1 Corsair AX1200i Digital ATX Modular Power Supply
1 EK CoolStream CE 280 Dual Radiator
2 Samsung 950 Pro 512GB M.2 SSD
1 MSI Z170A XPOWER Gaming Titanium Edition Motherboard
1 EK-XTOP DDC 3.2 PWM Elite Pump Plexi
1 EK RES X3 400 Reservoir
16 EK HDC Fitting 16mm G1/4 Elox Black
1 EK AF 2 Way Ball Valve G1/4 Black
1 Alphacool HF Bulkhead Quick Release Connector Kit G1/4 Black
2 EK Ekoolant Pastel Concentrate 250ml White
5 EK Furious Vardar Fan F4 140mm 2500RPM Black
1 Phanteks PWM Fan Hub
1 PETG Bending Rubber
1 Fractal Define S case

On order:
1 EK-Supremacy EVO Elite Edition - Intel 115x
1 EK-HD Tube D.I.Y. Kit 10&12mm
3 EK-HD PETG Tube 12/16mm 500mm (2pcs)
(2 meters didn't look like enough especially when I see how much trouble people have bending shapes for the first time)

My theme is going to be black and white, which I'm hoping will work nicely with some RGB LED's to light up the thing. I'm going to try make the build as minimalist and tidy as possible hence the lack of excessive amounts of HDDs etc. (I have another computer for that). This PC is going to be exclusively my new Gaming powerhouse and showpiece for LANs.

I hope to post a bunch of progress images as I work through the build and discuss any ideas or issues that I encountered so that the next person can learn from my mistakes. (Hopefully I don't make too many!)

Thanks for listening!

-raven
post #2 of 24
Thread Starter 
res for end pictures.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Step 1: open all the things.


This is where I think I've found my first rookie mistake.. I'm pretty sure the res is going to be too long for my case. I'll have to wait until I have the radiators in to see.mad.gif

As you can see, I already mounted the RAM, CPU and the M2's




Also, the 1080 is gigantic, way larger than I was expecting...





-raven
post #4 of 24
Nice! Keen to see more.
Ol'Faithful
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon x5660 P6X58D-E XFX AMD Radeon R9 280X Corsair Vengeance 24 GB Triple Chanel 6x4GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lite-On DVD-RW Noctua DH-14 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Pro x64 Samsung 24" LED 1080p 5ms DVI (S23A300B) 
PowerMouseAudio
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Gold Corsair M95 Onboard :S 
  hide details  
Reply
Ol'Faithful
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon x5660 P6X58D-E XFX AMD Radeon R9 280X Corsair Vengeance 24 GB Triple Chanel 6x4GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
Lite-On DVD-RW Noctua DH-14 CPU Cooler Windows 7 Pro x64 Samsung 24" LED 1080p 5ms DVI (S23A300B) 
PowerMouseAudio
Thermaltake Toughpower 750W Gold Corsair M95 Onboard :S 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
It was never meant to be easy...

Ok steps achieved for tonight,

Motherboard mounting screws. It was a nice surprise to find a thumbscrew included to tighten the case screws into the motherboard plate, it made this task a lot easier than usual.


With the motherboard fitted, I installed the front panel audio (there was a nice cut-out in the motherboard tray that worked perfectly for this!)


Usb3 front panel header was next and being situated on the Right hand side of the motherboard made that easy to cable manage too. With this done, I moved straight to installing the power cables and some basic cable management.


I used cablemod cables because I like the way they looked in other builds and because I don't have the time to make my own. I also got a few of the spacing clips (combs) to make them sit nicely.

Next step was to test the size and position of the enormous graphics card.

The size of this thing, I'm really glad my motherboard has steel re-inforced pcie slots.

So far things were swimming along nicely. Too nicely. So next I thought to size check some of the watercooling equipment and this is where things have gone a little pearshaped.

Despite listing support for 420 rads at the top of the Fractal Define S, the EKWB 420 is quite long (around 460) but also quite thick 45mm. Due to the thickness, the radiator doesn't actually fit in the gap between the top of the case (inside) and the motherboard IO panel housing..


Its a bit hard to see, so here is a top view, there is probably only 3mm clearance at either end.



I have a few ideas for tomorrow to attempt to remedy this but this is where I will stop work for today.

I will have to take some accurate measurements to decide whether I can make it work by cutting into the IO space and removing that section of the case and about the top cm of the IO plate. It will be very close. I might have to re-think my build somewhat if I can't get it to work because I will have a radiator and 3 useless fans sitting around unless I can organise a return/swap. If I do a return, I will have to try find a 420 rad that is no more than 30mm thick and gamble as to whether I can fit the fans on, get a second 280 rad and return a fan, or get a 360 rad and have lots of space up the top and have to swap 3 fans. Hopefully I can get what I have to work without making any compromises.

Also, I'm quite sure that the res won't fit vertically. Will have to look into whether horizontal mounting is a possibility but it's certainly not my first preference. I'll probably have to look for a smaller one.

My final idea is to swap to a different case but this is my least favorable idea so far.

That's it for now,
-raven
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Decided to return the radiator I planned for the top for now and see how I go (temp wise) with the 280.

I've started testing a few different layouts. Will take a few photos once I'm happier with the way it is sitting.
post #7 of 24
Glad you chose to ditch the rad over switching cases.

The define s is an great case!

I honestly probably would have taken the lazy approach and mounted the rad to the top of the case myself tongue.gif
...though the define is one of the few cases that doesn't have the tube holes on the back, if I remember correctly.
New(old) build
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3 1231-V3 gigabyte GA-H97N GTX 1060 G-skill lifetime 1600mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
2x WD green 1x ocz agility SSD  Modded deepcool Gammaxx Windows 8.1 with classic shell for games. 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Fedora KDE for everything else.  Yamakasi catleap q270 Gamdias hermes ultimate  EVGA G2 750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Core V1 G303 - Hand cancer edition.  goliathus  AKG k240  
  hide details  
Reply
New(old) build
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon E3 1231-V3 gigabyte GA-H97N GTX 1060 G-skill lifetime 1600mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
2x WD green 1x ocz agility SSD  Modded deepcool Gammaxx Windows 8.1 with classic shell for games. 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Fedora KDE for everything else.  Yamakasi catleap q270 Gamdias hermes ultimate  EVGA G2 750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Core V1 G303 - Hand cancer edition.  goliathus  AKG k240  
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
2 Steps forward, 3 steps backwards

Update from the weekend.

I found an old intel stock cpu cooler so that I could fire up the machine to ensure it boots etc before I get too heavily invested in tubing etc. (This is a pro tip, always do a quick test before you spend hours making a custom PC only to find out that your motherboard is damaged, or your non-modular power supply has a dead rail).

After a bit of mucking around:
  • New bios for my motherboard to support the 950s (note to self: check into the dual/bios options of the motherboard in case I have to flash the bios update on the second bios)
  • insert network and raid driver into windows boot.wim (https://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/library/hh825070.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396)
  • insert whatever motherboard/peripheral drivers into the windows install.wim, this step and the previous step are optional but I prefer adding the correct drivers prior to windows attempting to install random ones. This just helps avoid conflicts, blue screens and also leaves you with a nice bootable USB for the next time you re-build the PC so you don't have to go driver hunting again.
  • format the wd black. I used a block size of 8k (default is 4k) which I'm hoping will give me a decent balance of performance and efficiency for my steam library. I also decided to do a slow format to ensure there is no data to begin with. When the price comes down, i'll probably add a matching wd black and put it in raid 0 for some extra speed/capacity since I'm not really worried about data fidelity on this machine.


I've had to stop working on my custom loop in anticipation for my second order since it includes some some more appropriately sized tube bending silicone. The only one that was available when I placed my first order was for 10mm id tubing. My small bend test with 12mm id tubing and 10mm silicone made for some funky kinked bends.



Finally my second order arrived yesterday so I was able to make some progress. Well 2 steps forward, 3 steps backward.

To cut the tube, I've been using a pipe cutter, (not this one but similar - i forgot to take a photo)

here's how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRzypS4P9V8&t=3m40s

It makes a very neat cut and arguably doesn't need sanding/mucking around afterward (though I did anyway just to be safe). The reason you sand the corner is so that the sharp edge of the tube doesn't cut the rubber o-ring as you press it in. EKWB recommends a 45° chamfer over 0.5mm.

I decided that the first bend I would try would be a 90° with a 45° at the other end. this would come out of the bottom of the massive res, slope up and drop into the top of the pump. The pump is well below the rest of the water in the res so there won't be a problem with the pump being starved. This worked fairly well however my eyeball measurements were off by about a centimeter and I wasn't happy with the location of the pump once I fitted the tube.

Here's what happens when you make a perfect 90° angle then attempt to re-shape the second bend, fail then have a tantrum.



Since it was next to impossible the first time, I decided to make a second, quite successful attempt using right angles. This approach used more tubing but was easier to line up. I had a clever strategy that worked pretty well for my eyeball measurements this time. I took a piece of paper, placed it under all the components that I'm fitting and traced their outline on the paper. Then I took the pump and res and placed them on the sheet of paper, on the table outside of the case and ruled some lines to work as a guide for the bending etc. What I ended up was about a 90% fit which I figured was good enough for this section as it will be obscured by the pump, res and front panel anyway.




Feeling somewhat triumphant, I decided to work on the next bend. 90 degrees at both ends should be easy right? Well not when you only leave enough room for the tube and literally nothing else. You can see the lack of clearance between the res and the uncovered radiator fitting. (oops)




To make a 90° bend you heat the plastic near melting point and it becomes easy to manipulate. Unfortunately the tube also loses its perfectly round/uniform shape as it enters the bend.It stretches thinner on the outside and bunches up thicker on the inside of the bend. Where I've marked red, the bend becomes too thick to slide the compression fitting outer over. Also if we have the odd shape too close to the seal it will leak.


In my experience so far you need a few cm (an inch or so) between the bend and the end of the tube for the fittings to work. After a bit of light research, a good ratio is about 5x the tube diameter for a corner radius to minimize deformation of the tubing. Therefore the corner radius for the 16mm tube should be about 8cm. Since we're not being all that scientific, this means my corners will bend around about the size of a post-it-note. This is much larger than what I want so it will take some experimenting to see what I can get away with. In my planned layout I had only allowed enough room for a right angle and the tube. This would be fine if I used 90° fittings instead of straight compression hardline fittings but I didn't. So the radiator had to come off again, and the fans were placed in the pull configuration to afford me the extra space. A bunch of annoying allen key screws later. Lesson learned. Luckily with a bit of tweaking of my pump position, my original pump/res tube was still an OK fit so I decided to secure it into place.

Aww come on, I was doing so well..
This is where things went a bit pearshaped for me last night. Unfortunately, the EK res outlet I was using on the back, has a recessed fitting. I don't know why - its unnecessary and basically a design flaw. What this means is there is minimal thread for the tube fitting to attach to and of course, I stripped the thread. EK included 2 adapter fittings that would have saved the day if I used them at the start. Thankfully, the stopper plug seems to make a good/tight seal still so I've plugged that and will have to re-visit the positioning of the res. Note, here's the flawed instructions for the res:
Specifically, I was using port 5. As you can see from the image, it's recessed (like 3,4 and 6 but clever me, I neglected to notice) @EK-CEO please update the instructions to save someone else a potential costly mistake! I won't be able to use that port now but hopefully working around it doesn't cause too many issues. For this design, I'd love to see another horizontal back port on the other side, just to allow a touch more flexibility/symmetry. The ek logo badge could go on the reverse side too so you can get a little bling whichever orientation!

Sadly now that I've had to make these adjustments, my proud work from the first bend does not work at all so I have to start again. Now that I've had a bit of basic practise, I think I'll take a leaf out of this book tonight: http://www.overclock.net/t/1388300/acrylic-pipebending-101 and attempt some slightly more technical methods (assuming i can find a decent material to use for a former.)

Thats all for now, hopefully I'll have more success with a fresh start.
post #9 of 24
Subbed. the recessed ports on EK's stuff is by design, it allows their stop plug to fit flush if you don't use the port. It can be frustrating, but actually a pretty good design overall.
 
Spare Parts
(8 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
intel i5 750 Lynnfield Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3 ASUS Strix GTX 960 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin... 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Crucial BX100 SSD 500GB EKWB EK-KIT L120 Corsair SP120 Koolance 2x140mm Radiator HX-CU1402V 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Corsair AF140 Bitspower VG-NGTX960 Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Samsung Curved 27" S27D590C 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair Strafe RGB Apevia Iceburg 680 watts Apevia X-Sniper 2 EVGA Torq X3 Laser 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom 9750 ASUS M3A78-CM PNY XLR8 GTX 460 Corsair XMS2 (4 x 1GB) 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingPower
Hitachi 5K500 Silenx 92mm EFFIZIO Corsair SP 120 Red LED Antec 500watt 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-6400 Skylake ASRock A170A-X1/3.1 Gigabye G1 Gaming GTX 970 Windforce CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB (4 x 4GB) 288-Pin DD... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bykski CPU-XPR-A High Performance Acrylic Nicke... EKWB Acrylic Nickel GPU Block Monsoon MMRS Reservoir Bykski BY-PUMP-XPH-PA Water Cooling Pump 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Koolance 240 30 FPI Radiator Magicool 280 14 FPI Radiator Bitfenix Spectre PWM 120mm Fan ML140 140mm PWM Premium Magnetic Levitation Fan 
OSPowerCase
Windows 10 Pro Corsair RM Series 850 Thermaltake Suppressor F31 
  hide details  
Reply
 
Spare Parts
(8 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
intel i5 750 Lynnfield Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3 ASUS Strix GTX 960 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin... 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingCooling
Crucial BX100 SSD 500GB EKWB EK-KIT L120 Corsair SP120 Koolance 2x140mm Radiator HX-CU1402V 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Corsair AF140 Bitspower VG-NGTX960 Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit Samsung Curved 27" S27D590C 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Corsair Strafe RGB Apevia Iceburg 680 watts Apevia X-Sniper 2 EVGA Torq X3 Laser 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom 9750 ASUS M3A78-CM PNY XLR8 GTX 460 Corsair XMS2 (4 x 1GB) 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingPower
Hitachi 5K500 Silenx 92mm EFFIZIO Corsair SP 120 Red LED Antec 500watt 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-6400 Skylake ASRock A170A-X1/3.1 Gigabye G1 Gaming GTX 970 Windforce CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 16GB (4 x 4GB) 288-Pin DD... 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Bykski CPU-XPR-A High Performance Acrylic Nicke... EKWB Acrylic Nickel GPU Block Monsoon MMRS Reservoir Bykski BY-PUMP-XPH-PA Water Cooling Pump 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Koolance 240 30 FPI Radiator Magicool 280 14 FPI Radiator Bitfenix Spectre PWM 120mm Fan ML140 140mm PWM Premium Magnetic Levitation Fan 
OSPowerCase
Windows 10 Pro Corsair RM Series 850 Thermaltake Suppressor F31 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Trial and Error and Error and Error

Ok so maybe not quite that dramatic. But I didn't really make any visible progress last night. What I did do however was spend about 6 hours going back and fourth on design ideas. Bending some tube, fitting it then realising that literally nothing else will work in that configuration. Making an adjustment and starting again.

The main issues I have to deal with now are:
  • Clearance of the radiator and the top of the case
  • Clearance of the Res which is much larger than what I probably should have ordered. (@ek a 300 tall variant would have been way better in my case)
  • limitations of the pump inlet and outlet position.
  • Have a better go at more consistent bends. (did someone say 'measurements'? FINE..)

Oh and here is a major one:
Tube length. The maximum length of any tube I ordered is precisely 500mm. This means that between any 2 fittings, the maximum distance is 500mm not including bends. But I'll get back to that.

First things first, I need to improve my tube bending skills. Taking a leaf out of @B NEGATIVE's book. I decided to see what I had on hand to create a "former". Basically a scrap of metal that I could neatly(ish) bend into a corner and place the hot tube on to get the same shape bend every time. Luckily I found a piece of old external hdd enclosure (aluminium) that I bent around a 50mm pvc pipe for a nice corner radius. Here's a picture in all of its super technical glory.


Unfortunately its not perfect because where the HDD mounting holes were in the piece, the metal was weaker and folded instead of curved but in the middle it is pretty smooth so I'll use that.

Using a fancy right angled ruler, I marked out 5cm in each direction to use as a guide when lining up the bend and had a crack on a piece that I planned to use for the rad to the pump outlet.

You can see here that the bend turned out very neat compared to my previous attempts. I'll try find a few more pieces of scrap metal to try get a neater template before doing the remainder of the work though.



A good tip when sanding the edge to make it ready for the fittings is to use masking tape around the area you don't want to sand. this helps keep the rest of the tube smooth and prevent accidental sanding.



You can see from this photo that once I removed the maximum amount off the end of the bend that it fits (barely) past the radiator. Success? Sure! For now..


Pro art skills..



So my original plan was to have the water flow into the top of the res, exit the res (either via drain valve or to the pump). Res>Pump>Rad>GPU>CPU>Res This was good in theory however not so much in practise. The res is too tall for the top inlet to be used without a 90° fitting. Therefore I have to get a run from the cpu to the bottom of the res in this configuration. This makes for a) a very tricky bend and b) more than 500mm of tube length. Plan A (if you can call the 4th or 5th revision of a plan "Plan A") scrapped (and once again the likeliness that I'll be able to use the bends I made so far. frown.gif

This made me visit and revisit (and revisit) my radiator layout. The main thing I was originally intending was to have the radiator situated with the ports at the bottom. This would make the system easier to bleed because the water won't be stuck in the U shape of the radiator. In the end, the tube length limitation (I don't want any joiners) has forced me to rotate the radiator placing the inlet/outlet at the top of the case as high as possible. This means that I can take a straight run directly above the res and head to the CPU block. After about 40 attempts at re-positioning everything I've settled on the fact that this is the one and only way the components will fit into my case with the radiator mounted at the front and without having to order longer tube or alternative fittings.

Pro tip: After about 10 really awkward removal and reconfiguration of the radiator and fans, I worked out it was about 400% easier to insert the rad when I first propped it up with a block of wood instead of holding the rad and loose fans in one hand and trying to thread the needle with the fan+rad screws and finger tightening the screws enough to hold it up. Awkward..

Finally, I wrapped up at about 1am once I had securely fastened the radiator in the push configuration with the in/outlets at the top of the case as high as practically possible.

This means the EK logo and Radiator description will be upside down (sadface) but I don't see any way around it unfortunately. EK could probably get around that by printing the logo on the side instead of the top/front edge. Oh well minor details I guess.

That's it for now. The plan for tonight is to attach the fancy schmancy thermal interface material and cpu block for my cpu cooler (ekwb supremacy evo) and start from the top down. Rad to CPU, CPU to GPU GPU to Res, Res to Pump back up to the Rad. In this configuration I won't be able to afford myself a drainage port without first buying a splitter unless I can get the stripped thread on the res to fasten securely with a fitting.

From here out the PC will be unusable until I have the loop running.

Note to self: scrounge around for something to get the pump powered without having to fire up the mobo. I'm pretty sure I have an old spare psu lying around somewhere from previous builds.


That's all for now folks.

-raven
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Water Cooling
Overclock.net › Forums › Cooling › Water Cooling › [Build Log] Hardline Virgin - Aussie Build - Define S - EKWB Fanboy