Watercooled Lian-Li PC-V650 [Build Log] - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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Watercooled Lian-Li PC-V650 [Build Log]

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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 10:50 PM - Thread Starter
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So I needed to build a new server/workstation for my business, so I started the search for the right pieces. I went back and forth on the size and style of the build, and really fell in love with the new line of Lian-Li cases.

I originally wanted to do a Micro ITX, then I decided to go for a little more flexibility and go with Micro-ATX.... finally I decided that I should go ahead an upgrade my main rig, and use the core components for the new server. The problem with this was that I would have to be able to fit a full size ATX board.

So without giving up entirely on my smaller form factor server dream, I landed on the Lian Li PC-V650 case.



Now, these cases are pretty new, and I was not able to find hardly anything about these cases except for a random review here and there. I wanted to watercool this thing because I already had a full coverage block on the motherboard I was going to use so there was no going back.... I went ahead and took the gamble, and It worked out great.

Now this post will not be much of an on going "work log" as I have already finished the work, but I wanted to post what I did in case any one else was wondering about these fantastic cases, and maybe someone else could get some ideas or get some questions answered


So, as you can see, these thing have a pretty good amount of space to work with. The power supply is mount in front of the PCI slots, so that allows the full size ATX board to fit without making it tall like a normal ATX case. You can see this thing comes with huge storage space. The bottom cage is removable, and the top cage has a build in hot swap SATA back plane. Dual 140mm fans come on the front of the case.

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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
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So basically my plan going into this build was to remove the lower hard drive cage, as I only need the top cage, and see if I could mount a 140mm radiator to the lower front fan. I knew it was going to be a tight fit, but I went ahead and gambled and made a few large orders from FrozenCPU and got the ball rolling. You can see that with the lower cage removed, there is quite a bit of space to work with. Keep in mind, removal of this cage would also be necessary if you planned to use really long graphics cards. For this build, I will not be doing any gaming, so am only going to use a passively cooled ATI 5550 I had laying around.



I also decided to go ahead and mount an additional 120mm radiator to the rear 120mm fan hole. I figured, might as well, right?! Now I had originally thought I would be mounting the radiator outside the case, so I went for the XSPC AX120 aluminum cased rad, so that it would match the case. However, after chaining the internal design of my loop around, it was better suited to mount the rad internally, and have the fan on the back of the case in a pull configuration. (You will understand why a little later on)



Another thing I want to quickly throw in here is that I upgraded all the fans with the new Corsair AIR series fans. They only make the "quite Performance" version in 140mm, but they move a ton of air, and they are dead silent... I mean these things are QUITE! Highly recommended... So I have 4 of those, and then 1x120mm SP high performance fan for the 120mm rad... this is the one with the high static pressure to suck the air through..

So.. Now lets get started with the good stuff... First I needed to make a few minor modifications to the case itself. First thing I usually do is upgrade the case feet. I love these aluminium feet from MNPCtech, I have used before and they are great. Usually just need to drill out existing holes and put them on. They look great, and give you a good 1" or so of clearance if you plan to do anything under the case, like add another rad or something





Next quick mod is to drill out the top of the case for the fill port. This fill port is a key piece to the design I wanted to achieve with this build. I will explain why in detail in the next few posts/pics smile.gif



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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
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So now with the fill port installed, I can explain why it was such a key piece to my design! Fill Ports are a great way to fill up your system and bleed out the air. With most loop, you fill it up and then you have to prime up the system, rock the case around, and work some magic to get coolant filled up in all your blocks and rads. Well what I wanted to try this time around, was have a way to not only fill up my res, but prime another part of the loop.

So I guess I should explain the loop real quick so that this will make more sense. Also, something I perhaps should have brought up earlier is that I am going to use a Swifttech Apogee Drive pump/block combo in this build

Loop works like this:

Res -> Pump (CPU block) -> 120mm rad -> MB full coverage block -> 140mm rad -> res

Ok so now that that's cleared up, here is what under the hood of the fill port!



So, in order from the rad on the left, a T-block, a ball valve, and another T block that connects to the fill port and a rotary fitting that will eventually go straight down to the top of the res. The first T-block will connect to the inlet of the mother board block.



So whats cool about this setup is that when I open the valve to fill the system, I am basically filling the system from both ends! I fill up the res, and also fill up the radiators and everything back to the res at the same time! Once the system is ready to be powered on, I just close the valve, and start to bleed the system!
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, so now we move onto my favorite part of this build... The 140mm rad setup! Now like I said before, I had this idea in my head when I bought the case, but there was not enough data out there on this case at the time to know if the 140mm rad was going to fit directly to the front mounting holes. Obviously the fan fits, but the rad mounted sideways was going to add a few mm that might not allow it to fit. So I gambled, and it worked!!

So the cool thing about this case, is that Lian Li make these special screws that you connect to the fan so that you can just pop the fans in and out. I wanted to see if I could keep this going, as it would make maintenance on this guy a real breeze. After a few tests, it worked like a charm! So let's take a look at this bad boy!



So what we have here in this nice tidy bundle from right to left:

Special Lian Li mounting screw things -> Lian Li 140 filter -> Fan -> XSPC 140mm rad -> Fan -> Phobya mesh grill -> Bitspower res bracket -> BItspower Tank Z 80mm res

I will explain a little more about how everything is connected in a bit, but the key thing here is to note that this little module is basically a single piece, that literally just snaps right into the front of the case with little to no effort, and no screw or tools!!



Now the Phoyba grill I originally got just for looks, but what turned out to be a super awesome side effect of this grill, is the extra couple mm that is extends beyond the fan is exaclty enough to give support to the entire module once mounted to the front of the case! How perfect!

Few more pictures of the "module"


On the bottom of the res, I have a special port that will be used for easy draining of the system. More on this later...



I am going to use only distilled water in this build, so you can see my little silver kill coil in the res smile.gif


Here is the special drain port I mentioned earlier. Basically just a length of hose with a Koolance VL3N no drip QDC fitting. I have used these on other builds before and they work great. This little fella will just be "tucked" away until needed. When I want the drain the system I just whip this guy out and attache the female QDC and drain away wink.gif
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-13-2012, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Now its time to get the mother board prepped and ready to go.


Here you can see the Apogee Drive Block/Pump combo. I have it setup so that the inlet is on the right side in the picture.



I installed the fittings, and then to my disappointment realize a bit of a flaw in the design of the drive block... It blocks the first ram slot! This sucks, but I will be able to manage with 8GB and if I need more, I can always upgrade to higher capacity sticks. Anyway, this is a shame... I don't even think stick with no heat spreaders would fit in here?? Perhaps this problem is just with this board... but if you plan to use one of these blocks, definitely consider this!!!
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Now its time to get everything all connected up and do some leak testing.

So remember the order of the loop: Res -> Pump/CPU -> 120mm Rad -> motherboard -> 140mm Rad -> res


IN this Picture above you can see the line that connects the fill port down to the res!



He you can see the straight shot out of the pump/CPU, into the 120 mm res, and then another straight shot to the motherboard inlet up by the power regulators. Now that you see this, you can see how cool that little vale is up by the fill port! I can fill this part up, and even prime the pump form both directions!


Here I hooked up the PSU just to the pump and some fans (just to make sure fans worked) to do some leak testing. I let this ride most of the day while I took care of some other stuff, and came back later at night to find no leaks, drip or anything unpleasant!
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Now that leak testing is done, just a few minor things to tidy up



The back side of the V650 is pretty nice. You get almost 2 inches to work with in the front of the case to stash cables and such. Also notice the easy access to side facing sata ports. Very cool.



Is that a super convenient drain port popping out... or you just happy to see me??



So here she is fully put together. No frills, glowing fans or extra lights on this build, just the LEDs off the motherboard and Pump/block. Nice clean and simple.
Got the hard drives mounted as well. The V650 can actually hold 3x2.5" drives along with 3x3.5" drives without the lower cage. I have an SSD mounted in the bottom of the remaining cage, and 2 Seagate Constellation ES.2 Enterprise class drives in the Hot Swap SATA backplane. These are 2TB drives setup a RAID 1 mirror as they will be hosting a large Subversion repository as well as a few VMs. There is room for a 3rd drive there as well If I need one down the road.



Looks pretty sweet chilling on the desk! Now the next project is to build a new shelf there and have this guy tucked away underneath the Stacker once its reborn here in the next few weeks!
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 12:30 AM
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That is such a nice case, great job smile.gif
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
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So that is pretty much it for this turbo build log on the PC-V650! Let me know if you guys have any questions about any of the hardware or the case. I think we'll start seeing some really cool mods coming out with this new line of cases. There is one bigger than this, the 750, and 2 smaller. I would really like to see someone watercool the ITX version!


Also, as I was typing up this entire thread over the last 2 hours or so, I was running various prime 95 tests and am getting great temps so the setup is preforming as I had hoped.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 10-14-2012, 05:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobos223 View Post

I love these aluminium feet from MNPCtech, I have used before and they are great. Usually just need to drill out existing holes and put them on. They look great, and give you a good 1" or so of clearance if you plan to do anything under the case, like add another rad or something



]

Nice project log and choice of custom case feet, they look great on this case thumb.gif
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