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"Black Water" Storm Sniper Water Cooling Build -56kers Beware-

post #1 of 128
Thread Starter 
blackw2.jpg




I have been researching/lurking these forums for a while now. About a month ago I decided to water cool my set up. I had fairly good temps with my i7 950 and dual 6870s on air, but the noise from the fans to achieve these temps was too much. At 20c ambient I got an average of 60c from my i7 950 at 4ghz in IntelBurn. In Furmark I would reach 70c at 20c ambient from my 2 6870s. However, the noise was just too much, and I think I was just looking for an excuse to water cool. So...

On to the build-

Edited by PulkPull - 4/3/11 at 8:21am
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post #2 of 128
Thread Starter 
Current status - *Done*

***Please note*** As you look through the build, alot of stuff done early in the build was redone later in the build. As I learned what I was doing I made stuff better. So you may look at something and say eww... but that eww was fixed later on.

I AM DONE with my build. The countless hours I think really paid off and I am very satisfied with the results. I have built computers many times before, but they were all plug and play. I have never modded, drilled, cut, or watercooled a build before this and it was fun. So much fun, that I am contemplating selling this one and doing another one all over again with what I have learned from this build. I love it and it looks great, but I have learned ALOT from it, I think I could do more with my next build. I want to thank the many people that helped in my countless questions (this forum community is awesome).

Here is a quote by repo_man that sums up EXACTLY what I was going for in this build. I can't say it better myself, so I won't. I'll let repo_man do it-
Quote:
Originally Posted by repo_man;12338179 
Indeed. As I look at it now, I love the subtlety of it. It's very understated. If one didn't know modding or what he/she was looking at, the case would look very plain and stock. It's very understated sexy. I like it. It's mean looking, plain (sleeper'ish if you will; if you're a car guy), clean, but bold too. A very well executed mod man. yessir.gif


Enough ranting.... on to the pics -

This pic is after I replaced the i7 950, sabertooth x58, xms3 ram, and the rasa block. I replaced all that with a 2600k, msi p67a gd55, corsair vengeance ram, and a EK supreme HF CU nickle block wheee.gif

finalrxs.jpg

These pics are before the above change but still represent the build well.

donewhole.jpg
donewhole2.jpg
donewhole3.jpg
donewhole1.jpg
doneback.jpg
doneback1.jpg
doneback2.jpg
donegpu2.jpg
donegpu.jpg
donecpu.jpg
doneatx.jpg
donelowerrad.jpg
donesilvercoils.jpg
doneledswitch.jpg
donetoprad.jpg
doneexrad1.jpg
doneexrad2.jpg
doneexrad3.jpg
doneexrad4.jpg
doneexrad.jpg
ledson.jpg
Edited by PulkPull - 3/1/11 at 5:46pm
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post #3 of 128
Thread Starter 
Here is what I started with -

5311952495_9d41f535c7_b.jpg
IMG_1082 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Here is what I decided to do -

stormsniperwatercooling.jpg

The list of items I bought to water cool-

XSPC RX360 radiator
XSPC RS240 radiator
XSPC X2O 750 Dual pump/reservoir (I know this may be weak, but I will monitor and upgrade if need be)
XSPC Rasa CPU waterblock
2 EK Nickel+Acetal Full 6870 waterblocks
EK Parallel SLI/CF bridge + the 2 req links
Swifttech Radbox
5 Gentle Typhoon 1450 rpm fans
3 Xinruilian RDL1225S fans
2 KillCoils
6ft PrimoChill PrimoFlex 1/2"ID hose
1 Gallon Distelled Water
Misc. Barbs and Clamps

5312542046_66a4a68a51_z.jpg
IMG_1081 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

5312541814_94c5d49123.jpg
IMG_1080 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

So, let's get started.

My 1st task was to remove the 6870s and add the EK blocks and bridge. The EK products I used were EXTREMLY well build with clear instructions. The fun part was putting the TIM on the spacers that go between the blocks and the card so that they did not fall off when you turned the water block over to mount it. It worked well but I was afraid the spacers were going to shift or fall off the whole time I was doing it. It worked out well. The most time consuming part was cutting the thermal pads to fit, but all in all everything went smooth.

One done -

5312542776_7ed7cfe8dd_b.jpg
IMG_1085 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Two Done -

5311953801_7f3a6824dc_b.jpg
IMG_1090 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

After that was done I started installing the bridge. It went on super easy.

All done -

5312544162_420c80e879_b.jpg
IMG_1093 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

5312543880_34f18308a5_b.jpg
IMG_1091 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

I got a bit excited for a sec and forgot the motherboard was about to come out. But, it made for a nice pic. These 6870s are really solid, with NO flimsiness with that bridge installed. Highly recommended.

5311954477_9bcb8b1302_b.jpg
IMG_1094 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

I then removed the 6870s and took my NH-D14 off to prepare the motherboard for the XSPC rasa CPU block. The i7 950 is lapped, and it is done better than the below pic does it justice. I just could not get the lighting right to really reflect the fan-

5312544502_8fdb51244f_b.jpg
IMG_1095 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

The Rasa went on semi-smooth. One of the attachment posts had a stuck lower knurled nut, but a little "gentle" persuasion goes a long way. I didn't notice the nut was stuck until after I screwed the post down, so I had to take the post back off and use two pliers to free the nut. I guess they got some paint in the threads? Either way, it got free and easy after the pliers loosened it.

All Done -

5311956801_9134842d2a_b.jpg
IMG_1111 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Next up was a bit of wire chaos. I freed every previous attempt of wire management I had before and took the top of my case to prepare the upper internal 240 radiator.
Some "controlled" chaos -

5311954879_c7379d7691_b.jpg
IMG_1096 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Once I had the top of the case off I noticed a little problem that was easily solved. The metal riveted on rear handle covered up too much of my fan than I liked -

5312545420_e72ee38200_b.jpg
IMG_1101 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

So, I drilled the rivets off and all was good -

5312545624_81326e2bfc_b.jpg
IMG_1102 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

The upper rad was an easy install. I am still waiting on my Gentle Typhoons, once I get them they will be installed in the push position -

5311956133_ced8f15d1b_b.jpg
IMG_1105 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

After the upper rad I installed the radbox's mount mechanism. It was an easy install. The pump/res went in easy too -

5311956279_218159b7be_b.jpg
IMG_1106 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

5312545776_6b36847935_b.jpg
IMG_1103 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

I went to install the case top but realized it would no longer fit with the two rad fans on top. So I had to do some cutting. I wish I had took some before pics but I forget. Here is how it turned out -

5312546812_d00383ae88_b.jpg
IMG_1112 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Next, I installed the motherboard and the external 360 radiator. The radiator went on easily. However, I don't know if the plastic rad box is meant to hold the rx360 as it is a bit flimsy, but it works. The I have 1 Gentle Typhoon installed in push now, when I get the rest the will be in push too.

5312547688_c8ac1a310c_b.jpg
IMG_1116 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Time for tubing. The primoflex does a good job of not kinking. I have to pull my res out a bit to fill it up so the hoses going to it have to be a bit longer to accommodate. The hose going from the pump to 1st rad almost wants to kink when I push the reservoir back in, but I think it will be ok -

5312548280_60459a379a_b.jpg
IMG_1120 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

After that it was time to leak test. It's been running now for 8 hours with no leaks. After lunch I will start wire management. I will not be able to get it all done as I am still waiting for sleeving and 4 more fans, but I will be able to get to the point of firing her up and testing some temps.

That's all for now, I am hungry.
Edited by PulkPull - 1/1/11 at 9:19am
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post #4 of 128
Thread Starter 
-Wire Management-

*Please note, this is still a work in progress. I plan to completely sleeve my PSU with black sleeves. This will have to wait until I get back from vacation around the 20th of Jan.*

Starting off-

5313237447_6fff13fd64_b.jpg
IMG_1121 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

First thing I wanted to do was temporarily get rid of the exposed wires seen here -

5313830896_12b89c4b9d_b.jpg
IMG_1122 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

I say temporarily because I hope to fully sleeve this once I get back from vacation.

I had to rig a tool up to get my PSU out since I could no longer fit a screw driver on the bolt heads do to the radiator placement -

5313234737_83a5232d7a_b.jpg
IMG_1125 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Here is my temp repair. I got some ghetto cable management supplies from Lowes and did this -

5313827400_35781d71e2_b.jpg
IMG_1123 by ColeKristy, on Flickr
5313234957_9b85261632_b.jpg
IMG_1126 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Half way done -

5313235527_bb3c04b801_b.jpg
IMG_1128 by ColeKristy, on Flickr



All done for now - **I will sleeve all exposed wires seen in pic below when I get back from vacation**

almostdone.jpg
Edited by PulkPull - 1/24/11 at 8:55pm
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post #5 of 128
Thread Starter 
Here are the temp results of the watercooling-

My 6870s overclocked to 1000/1100 ambient of ~20c
furmark20110210.jpg

My i7 950 overclocked to 4.0ghz ht off ~1.26v
16327801.png
Edited by PulkPull - 2/11/11 at 9:19am
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post #6 of 128
Thread Starter 
Still to do-
updated - Feb 1 2011

1) A bit better wire management

2) Clear window side panel

3) Better, more complete pics
Edited by PulkPull - 2/1/11 at 6:42pm
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post #7 of 128
Looking great so far! Congratz mate! devil-smiley-019.gif
    
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post #8 of 128
Nice! Got to love those EK blocks and bridge they really hold the cards straight.
    
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post #9 of 128
Nice work ! Love the EK Blocks for the GPU's
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post #10 of 128
Glad to see another Sniper water cooled:) Very nice job +rep.
Those EK blocks look great, you should be getting a little better temps on your cpu at idle with all that rad, but your loud temps look about right.
Wire management on the Sniper is pretty good, remember there is a lot of space between bottom of the case and the bezel same up top.
Again great job!!
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