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My "RDX" build. Sometimes it takes very little to set off an extensive mod.

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, clearly I am new here. I figured you all would appreciate my insane mod. I am a regular of reddit so expect lots of my links to lead back there smile.gif

As a bit of background I have been away from my computer addiction for several years now. In college I slapped together a Lian Li watercooling rig (before it was cool =P) and hooked it up to a half broken refrigerated bath I had found in an old research lab. I even built a microwave computer for a friend of mine (we gutted the inside and everything fit amazingly). Since then I have been messing with cars and building fire cannons. Last year my trusty laptop died, another got stolen.. basically all my computers were failing around me. It was time to get back into modding.

I did some research and decided to get the Seriner GD-L01. It had the look, the all metal appeal, and the option of a single PCI card (I hate those cubey cutsie cases). Plus it was on sale! I tossed a zotac mITX board in there and tried a custom heat pipe rig. It did not work. In fact it did not work so well that it would overheat at the drop of a hat. Like the parasitic karma junkie I am I decided that the heat pipe design would be enough to net me tons of meaningless karma. It did ok, but one post really stuck with me:

B8Hqy.jpg

This was right around when sandy bridge was being released (the build took about 2 months). Here is the end result:

This is a temporary setup just to work on it before I plug it into the big TV
qvdeFh.jpg

ixsWkh.jpg

BQeDzh.jpg

Some of the problems I faced while slapping this together include no space for connectors, CURSE YOU INTEL!:
SL1rKh.jpg

This is another special trick, the card is only rated for so many Watts at 12V, so I just sized some wire to that spec, no need for a massive cluster of spaghetti crammed into the corner of the case.
I said high gauge in the image, I meant Low gauge, stupid typos.
Vp0yxh.jpg

After I fit all the normal hardware, mobo gigantic expensive graphics card.. drives.. There was no room, NO ROOM. I had heard of these power supply modules from a company I wont post up here, I am not sure if they'd appreciate my advertising. These things are used in industrial lasers and crazy 1000 Amp rack computer rigs and all kinds of crazy industrial OEM stuff. They are really advanced and dense and easy to ruin ASK ME HOW I KNOW.

wGL96h.jpg

I used a pico PSU to power the mobo and drives, 160W would do (over do). This only left the graphics card. Since it is rated at up to 250W (depending on who you ask) I'd need something like 400W, 33A!!! That might be enough to weld. The design I wound up with has three modules mounted to a perf board, the perf board screws into the heat sink and provides just enough pressure to squish some thermal goup in there. 120V is converted to 300V, then down to 12V by the remaining two modules. Built into the system is an Arduino (pro mini) which monitors two temp sensors and throttles the fan up and down depending on the temp. I also put LEDs in there for fun. The fan has the somewhat futile task of pushing air across the outer heat sink, it has no grille and was a pain in the butt to machine into those aluminum fins. I used a drill press with a milling bit and an XY table, the stuff cuts like butter!

w57sCh.jpg

iZKJyh.jpg


I had to cut holes for fans, no room for water cooling. Cooljag makes a nice 1U copper 1156 cooler with a BRUTAL fan. Seriously, when I got it I connected it to 12V and it ran hard enough to heat up the hub. This is a fan running full bore with air shooting everywhere and the hub has the audacity to get hot!

Fitting the 2 slot graphics card to a case designed for only one PCI card was a bit of a chore:

jjsurh.jpg

Only the metal mounting flange pushes down on the enclosure, I was considering cutting it but I didn't want to mod the expensive graphics card in any way.

The video card draws air from directly below the case, the enclosures feet are tall enough that there is a nice big pocket of room temperature air to draw from.

Here is a shot of the bot--
GGf4Uh.jpg

JSAuOh.jpg

HERE is a shot of the bottom of the enclosure, and the aforementioned fan hole.

guqqHh.jpg

Now benchmarks! Ill just provide links to these I think I am already too image heavy in the post: Furmark for 5 mins. and the resulting Power supply temp

I waited a few minutes and ran Prime 95. These temps are a bit low, and I think that is because the GPU fan is drawing air out of the case, my previous high temps are visible in the readout though. The power supply was able to cool down some too.

That is about it, Ill post up when I do the remaining stuff like the CIR port and the RDX logo I plan to put on the front. Ill be cutting some of that grating to make the chemical symbol. It would also be nice to devise a way to get those hex gratings flush with the outer enclosure. Id also love a blu-ray slot loading drive, or just a regular slot loading DVDr, but I lack funds now thanks to the power supply screw-ups.

Thanks for reading!! If you like larger, grainier pictures check out the imgur gallery.

Fun fact: The case is smaller than the box the graphics card shipped in!
Edited by oh_bother - 3/9/11 at 7:58am
post #2 of 52
i salute you sir (Y)
     
CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon x5650 Xeon X5650 EVGA Classified SR2 EVGA GTX 680 FTW 
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CPUCPUMotherboardGraphics
Xeon x5650 Xeon X5650 EVGA Classified SR2 EVGA GTX 680 FTW 
GraphicsRAMHard DriveHard Drive
EVGA GTX 680 FTW 24 GB DDR3 1600Mhz C9 1 TB WD Black 1 TB WD Black 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
1 TB WD Black 1 TB WD Black Kington Hyper X 3k 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 
OSPower
Windows 8 Cooler Master Silent Pro Hybrid 1050w 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3930k Intel ES ASrock X79 Extreme4-m GTX 680 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
240GB Samsung EVO SSD 2TB WD Green DVDrw Cooler Master Nepton 240m 
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Windows 7 Ultmate Cooler Master VS550 Cooler Master Silencio 352 
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post #3 of 52
Haven't read the whole thread yet, but just wanted to give a shout-out to a fellow Redditor. Nice mod.

EDIT: Really, really, really nice mod. Wow!
Edited by LingLing1337 - 3/9/11 at 8:00am
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post #4 of 52
Holy **** that's amazing! I'm jelly...
post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 
Replies already? I am still in the middle of my third re-read! I think I got rid of most of the little mistakes.
post #6 of 52
Thread Starter 
I also have schematics and micro controller code for those more technical minded. I am currently trying to get the LEDs to look nice when the psu heats up, The power supply is always on (it is something like 85% efficient anyway so it isn't wasting much energy) so when the computer is off and the PSU cools, I want the LEDs off. as it heats up it goes solid blue when the computer is at idle temps, as it heats up to game temperature it'll be solid orange. The fan hole needs to look like you are peering into a forge, but not be so bright as to distract from whats on the screen.
post #7 of 52
Wow, really nice!
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post #8 of 52
Beautiful mod, the sheer determination to pack all those components in that box is commendable.

if I may, that case has a distracting lack of exhaust.

I suggest cutting the hole around the CPUs heatsink fan larger than the actual fan, adding a duct, such that the combined CPU intake/exhaust is at least mixing with the surrounding air.
    
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post #9 of 52
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone, glad you all like it!
I missed all the contests, I would have loved to jump in as a dark horse competitor in some of these biggrin.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonindeBeatrice;12670621 
if I may, that case has a distracting lack of exhaust.

I suggest cutting the hole around the CPUs heatsink fan larger than the actual fan, adding a duct, such that the combined CPU intake/exhaust is at least mixing with the surrounding air.

That is actually something I was thinking of addressing, the air currently finds whatever nook and cranny it can, with most of it finding its way to the PCI mounting hole. If I really need to I can machine out some of the inside of the right side heat sink so that the fins are a sort of grille.
Also the 1u cooler sits about... actually wait I have calipers here.. 11mm below the hole, so I assume there is some sort of eddy current going on.

EDIT: Presently case temps are not threatening the system at all, and the fans are relatively quiet at load (the graphics card is the louder component) so I dont see a real pressing need.
Edited by oh_bother - 3/9/11 at 12:02pm
post #10 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by oh_bother;12670671 
Thanks everyone, glad you all like it!
I missed all the contests, I would have loved to jump in as a dark horse competitor in some of these biggrin.gif



That is actually something I was thinking of addressing, the air currently finds whatever nook and cranny it can, with most of it finding its way to the PCI mounting hole. If I really need to I can machine out some of the inside of the right side heat sink so that the fins are a sort of grille.
Also the 1u cooler sits about... actually wait I have calipers here.. 11mm below the hole, so I assume there is some sort of eddy current going on.

EDIT: Presently case temps are not threatening the system at all, and the fans are relatively quiet at load (the graphics card is the louder component) so I dont see a real pressing need.

I was going to say it looked like exactly 11mm to me biggrin.gif
    
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Crucial C300 64GB Seagate Momentus XT 750 Western Digital GP 2TB EARS Windows 7 Premium 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Asus VE278Q DSI SMK-88 Seasonic X-660 Lian Li U6B 2011 SE 
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Logitech G500 KAI.g3 HIEN - HARD 
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MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
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