Alright guys I had some time this weekend to get some big stuff done with the Rocketfish. I originally intended to place the pump only but I got carried away and actually completed the loop.
LOOP DESIGN GUIDELINES
When designing the loop for this project, there were a couple of guidelines I wanted to follow based on some things I learned from in the past.
-- Loop must be short 'n sweet. Rather than stealthing any of the loop, I gave priority to flow instead. Besides, I think the tubing looks cool!
-- No elbows or coils. I'm not totally against using elbows but I wanted to see if I could run the loop without them first. Coils on the otherhand will never find a place in a machine I build. Besides not liking the look of them, I don't think they're durable in the long-term. In fact, I used a section of leftover tubing from an old build that had some coils on one end. I gave one end a gentle pry and they broke right off with little resistance.
-- Airflow restrictions must be kept to a minimum. I wanted to keep as much of the motherboard area clear for one reason: this case can use as much help as it can get in the airflow department.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
And here we have it. You'll see a Swifty Apogee GT that I'm using for a mock up (it's mounting hardware has been lost). Ironically, there are prexisting holes in the Rocketfish that match up to prexisting holes on the Apogee. It's not quite in the right position but it's enough to get close.
Swiftech MCP655 Vario
EK Multioption 150 Rev.2 with Anti-Cyclone insert
Swiftech MCR320 QP
Now you can see the false floor doing it's intended job. Not only does it isolate hard drive heat, but it gives me quite a bit of freedom for pump placement. I originally wanted to stealth the pump but I ended up using a different placement. I still may but for now, show me the pump!
You also might notice something unusual near the res. Leading into the next part (insert dramatic transition)...
WIRE MANAGEMENT COVER
Aesthetically, I wanted the most attention to be given to the water loop. Functionally, less wire mess means more efficient airflow. I used 1" nylon spacers along with some long screws to attach a small cover that not only gives a great place to mount the res to but hides the 24-pin power and SATA connections. I plan to cut a hole in the PSU area to route the cables behind the motherboard. Although the res looks crooked (due to the downward angle of the picture) I made absolutely certain that it was within 1/16" of being square and parallel with the other panels.
A MATCH MADE IN HELL
I finally hit my first snag with this project: getting the rad grill and the MCR to play nice together. While A.C.Ryan advertises that the rad grill will fit an MCR320 after enlarging the holes a little, I had no idea that I was going to have to bore them out as far as I did. After punching the fan holes to 1/4" I was finally able to get things together without putting too much stress on either the rad or the grill.
I went with the inexpensive MCR because this is a CPU-only loop. I had originally intended to add the 3870x2 to the loop and use a GTX360 but with the HD4k cards coming on strong, I don't forsee the x2 sticking around long enough to justify putting it on water.
Please forgive the crudeness but this is the basic thoery behind the airflow 'enhancements' I plan to make to the case as well. What do you think?
Alright guys! In the spirit of keeping this log going, I have a tiny little update for you. I should apologize first for the lackluster pics but things have been busy as of late.
THE POWER SUPPLY
This was the one major hurdle I knew from the beginning after I decided to move my sig rig into a modded Rocketfish. From the rear wall of the 'fish to the nearest wall of the hard drive rack is roughly 9". My Toughpower's case along is larger than that. I could easily remove the nearest rack and have room to spare but that violated one of the fundamental thesis of this build: both racks remain.
*DIVERSION* Upon completion of this log, head over to the "For Sale" section where I will be posting the Toughpower at a price that I'm hoping will move it.
Finding the right PSU proved to be a little challenging but I eventually decided on the supurb PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750W. Here's why:
1. It is a quality piece of there ever was one. I have always wanted to try out one of their PSUs and thought now was as good of a time as any.
2. Enough power along with the right connections for a dual 4870 setup should I feel so inclined
3. Since it doesn't have a top/bottom-mounted 120mm but rather a rear-mounted 80mm, I can still use the factory PSU brace in the 'fish to make sure it's nice and solid without flexing the back plate.
4. It's a front intake to rear exhaust system. With the false floor in place, it seems only natural that the best airflow is coming from the front and not the top or bottom. As a bonus, it should help move air through the lower chamber.
Alright some of you may have already noticed this is the "Crossfire Edition" of the Silencer 750W. Was it the red color? ATi fanboism? Well...I must be honest...maybe just a little. The better question would be was it $30 cheaper than the black version? Yes! Yes it was
BUT WHERE ARE THE CABLES?
In the pic above, all the cables are installed in the case and the opposite case side panel IS installed. You'll notice the 8-pin motherboard lead hanging out. Still haven't decided what to do about that one yet. The SATA power cables are intentially loose since I plan to tidy them up after the drives are in place. Where did I run all the cabling? Behind the mobo tray? Nope! The answer will have to wait until the next installment
MAN! THAT THING BLOWS!
After some much appreciated help from some of the OCN members that gravitate near the "Watercooling" section, I decided on the 120x38 Scythe Ultra Kaze 2000RPM fans for the MCR. They will be controlled by a Zalman 6-channel fan controller. Here's a quick shot of my little fan comparison tonight:
You can see an Antec LED (Non Tri-Cool), a Scythe Slip Stream, a generic fan from a Swiftech kit, and of course the Ultra Kazes. How to the big 38's compare to the others you ask? Imagine Chuck Norris vs. your little sister. Yeah...it's like that Edited by MNiceGuy - 7/14/08 at 2:41pm