Mounting the CPU and VRM water blocks
Since I pulled the motherboard tray back out of the case to make installing the case lighting easier, and I'm done playing around with the test bench now is the time to mount the CPU and VRM blocks.
There is a single screw at the bottom of the armor to remove the first section of the armor.
With the first piece of armor removed you can see where there is a M.2 slot. I seriously doubt I will ever use that slot since it would require a system drain, and removing the video cards for access. This also allows access to some of the screws that secure the motherboard to the motherboard tray that slides into the case.
Flipping the motherboard over, the two screws on the right hold the I/O cover in place. The other four screws hold the stock VRM heatsink on. The top back plate gets reused with the VRM block.
Pull the I/O cover off carefully because there are two electrical plugs connected on the bottom. The top one is pulled off already in this picture.
I/O cover off.
Here is the stock VRM heat sink off to the side. On the left under the I/O cover the stock VRM cooler also cools the Aquantia 10 gigabit LAN chipset.
The back side of the stock VRM heatsink.
Since this is a “reverse ATX” build, and the motherboard will be mounted upside down from what would be the normal mounting position, I would like to minimize the upside down writing. I wanted to somehow mod the “Republic of Gamers”
name plate in the center of the motherboard.
It looks like a thin piece of metal that’s just glued on there. I thought about taking a heat gun and peeling it off there, but another OCN member that wanted to do something similar said it is built into the motherboard.
Even if I could get it to come off with a heat gun, I couldn’t easily flip the name plate over due to the shape of it. So I was just planning to leave it alone because it won’t show much due to the fact that the first video card will mostly hide it. I did come up with a solution though.
Originally I was just going to leave the top plug of the I/O cover unplugged so it would not illuminate the “Rampage VI Extreme”
logo on the I/O cover. I ended up removing this little top circuit panel, and tapped the connector up.
I put a piece of black vinyl over the slot where the light would go through the I/O cover just to keep any light from coming through.
Here’s the beautiful Heatkiller VRM block with acrylic top.
The heatsink on the left is for the 10 gigabit LAN chip, and came included with the VRM block which I thought was a nice touch. I’m sure it would provide adequate cooling, but since I had some larger heat sinks on hand I’ll be using the one on the right since there is plenty of room under the I/O cover for it to fit. Bigger is always better right
Got the 10g chip heat sink on there now. Notice anything else here? I used some of the black vinyl sheets that I used for the fan stickers, and cut out a piece that fit over the “Republic of Gamers”
logo in the center of the motherboard. That looks cleaner
The VRM block also came with the appropriate thermal pads.
VRM block mounted.
I always use the Gelid GC Extreme thermal compound for mounting my CPU blocks. I know that the Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut is just slightly better than the Gelid compound, but in most charts I’ve seen it is only about one degree better. I’ve also heard of people that suggest the Thermal Grizzly Kryounaut dries out over time, although I’m really not sure how that can happen.
I’ve used this Gelid GC Extreme for years now, and had very good luck with it so I’ll stick with what I know is good and reliable. Plus I like the spreader tool that is included.
That’s about the right amount of thermal compound. I actually ended up putting just a little more on there.
Another controversial topic is how to apply the thermal compound. I always just spread it out as thin as I can across the entire CPU lid. I know that many people will say that this may not be the best method, but it makes me feel good that I know I have complete coverage! Plus I have never had a bad mount using this method.
The protective covering peeled off of the CPU block.
Here's the CPU block mounted. Remember back when I did the unboxing for this block and put some red coolant in it for the pictures? I left that coolant in there sitting on my work bench for like a month, and already you can see the pinkish stain from the fluid. It won’t show once I have red coolant back in there.
This Heatkiller IV Pro HWLuxx Edition
block can be mounted in any direction, but the center port must be used as the inlet. Therefore having the outlet at the top will be the best way to bleed the air out, which is crucial sine I’ll probably barely be able to tilt this case to bleed it when the time comes
Here’s the motherboard back mounted to the motherboard tray.
Time for the CPU block LEDs. These are Darkside 3mm white LEDs.
I spliced the two LEDs together, sleeved with the MDPC-X platinum sleeving, and put a fan connector on the end. That will plug into the Splitty9 I’m using as a LED distribution block on the back side of the case.
I put the placeholder video card back in to check out the routing situation. The harness will go over the top of the RAM sticks, below the video card, and through the same case opening as the 24 pin cable.
A final test to be sure the LEDs work ok.
After I get to this point and looking it over... then I come up with the idea of putting black vinyl over the black section of the I/O cover with the “Rampage VI Extreme”
So I had to take the motherboard back off the tray, then it took me three tries to cut a piece of vinyl to fit correctly. This looks way better than I expected! It looks stock, and again helps eliminate the upside down writing.
Here the motherboard is back mounted on the motherboard tray again. There was a few very small bubbles under the sticker. I worked them out the best I could, and then after a day or two they were completely gone.
That’s all for this update.