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[Build Log] Water Cooled Phanteks Enthoo Primo 7900x - Redundant

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post #1 of 90 (permalink) Old 07-04-2017, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all!

I am a noob at all of this so be gentle, but feel free to tell me anything you see that doesn't make sense or you'd like to know why I picked something. Last time I made a watercooling build was about the time fish tanks went out of style for water cooling. Yeah, that long ago. I didn't do a good job then, but hopefully this time around... And yes, I am actually making two identical builds, apart from coolant color. My wife wanted a new computer while I was at it.

Without further ado, here's the current plan for the build!

The general idea is to go black with plexi / nickel blocks apart from coolant which is undecided atm. We'll see how it goes in practice but that's the general thought.

General non-cooling parts
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Primo - Big, honking Full Tower with loads of room and prepared for water cooling.
PSU: EVGA SuperNova G2 1600W - Should be plenty of power for what I'm putting in it.
Motherboard ASUS x299-Deluxe - Nice 10 PWM board with loads of goodies.
CPU: Intel i9-7900x - 10 cores. Overkill? Yes. But I can always... Nah, I won't lie. I just wanted it.
Memory: 64GB (4x16GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 3000MHz CL15 DDR4. - Do I NEED 64GB today? Does anyone? Video editing 4k ? Maybe (I don't do that). I am a software engineer but 10 cores and 64GB of memory is overkill, even for me unless I run VMs. Loads of VMs. At the same time. Yeah, overkill.
Graphics cards: 2x MSI GeForce 1080 Ti EK X in SLI - I'm sure I absolutely need it to pull out that extra FPS.. Yeah, I'll keep telling myself that.
Storage: Samsung 960 EVO 1TB - Apart from the whole "it's awfully expensive", it's probably the sanest choice in this build. I can always add some rotating disk or an SSD for storage if I need it.
Monitor: ASUS PG348Q 34" 21:9 Ultrawide gaming monitor - Absolute joy to use for software development. It's the only thing I bought that I can actually use yet.

Cooling bits and bobs:
CPU Block: EKWB EK-Supremacy EVO X99 - nickel - Nickel base with plexi top. Hope to replace it with EK's Monoblock for the x299-Deluxe when it comes.
GPU Blocks: The one that comes on the graphics cards. Nickel base/plexi top/black backside - Fits the general build and I don't have to void warranty to install it. Easy choice.
Pump/Reservoir combo: Alphacool Repack - Dual Laing D5 Station incl. 2x Alphacool VPP655 pumps - After going through loads of ideas I ended up with this since I really wanted two pumps and it was the only one I found and as I was ordering from Alphacool anyway it was an easy choice.
Radiator (Top): Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper 480mm 60mm thick radiator in push/pull pushing air out of the case - I think it should fit there as it's in front of the motherboard even if it hangs that low. Might be a pain to get cables in but I'll get it to work.
Radiator (Bottom]: Alphacool NexXxoS Monsta 480mm 86mm thick radiator in push/pull pushing air out of the case. - It fits. I wanted it. Yeah.
Fans (Radiator): 16x (8x Top, 8x Bottom) Noiseblocker NB-Multiframe M12-P PWM 120x120x25mm - Should be pretty good for what I want.
Fan (Rear): One of the 140mm fans that came with the case pulling air into the case - Good a place as any to put a case fan to blow air into the case. Possibly change the fan to something else down the line.
Fan(s) (Front): One or two of the 140mm fans that came with the case pulling air into the case - I don't know if the lower one won't be just pushing air in to .. nowhere really so I may end up not mounting it, but we'll see when everything gets here.
Fans (Side): The last two 140mm fans that came with the case pulling air into the case - I think I can place the computer in such a way that this is all doable this way.
Fan splitters: 2x or 3x Phobya 1-to-8 powered PWM splitters - The motherboard has 12 (!) PWM capable fan connectors (can be configured for either constant voltage, PWM or voltage regulation individually. I intend to drive 1 of the outputs to a Phobya splitter and drive the top fans with it, then the same for the bottom and use the PUMP and AIO connectors to drive the two pumps and the rest of the fans from the motherboard OR possibly drive the other fans from a splitter. All depends on cable lengths, etc.
Tubing: Alphacool Eisrohr 13/10mm PETG - Even though I've never done it I thought I'd give hard tubing a go and most places I read says to use PETG tubing, so I am.
Fittings (Hard): Alphacool Eiszapfen 13mm compression fittings - black - Should be pretty and safe enough.
Fittings Bent (Hard): Alphacool Eiszapfen 13mm compression fitting 45 degrees rotatable - black - Look at next item for description where this goes.
Y-Splitter: Alphacool Eiszapfen Y-connector 45 degrees rotatable - black - The pumps have two outlets, one will have a straight line going into the Y and the other one will have the above 45 degree fitting feeding it into the Y.
Temperature sensor: Alphacool Eiszapfen temp sensor G1/4 - chrome (black was unavailable) -I wish it was black but it'll connected to the Y-splitter above and it'll be behind the side panel so it hopefully won't be too visible.
Flow sensor: Alphacool flow indicator G1/4 with RPM signal - plexi - Undecided where I will put this, but it'll be.. somewhere. And it will be connected to the motherboard for RPM signaling.

Drain system:
The lower radiator will sit a little raised due to the pulling fans and the radiator inlet/outlet ports will be to the front of the case leaving the drain port on the radiator facing back in the case. I plan on making a hole in the case mesh right there and first putting an extender (if needed), a 90 degree bend, a ball valve and a plug. This means that when I go to drain the system I can just remove the plug, insert a soft tube with compression fitting, crack open the ball valve and draining should be easy. When done I'll just close the ball valve, replace the plug and voilá - drained system. Depending on how far from the edge of the case the radiator actually sits I might turn around the extender/l-connector/extender completely to have it closer to the case.
Tubing (Soft): Alphacool AlphaTube HF 13/10 (3/8" ID) - clear - Just your normal soft tubing.
Fittings (Soft): Alphacool Eiszapfen 13/10mm compression fitting - deep black - No reason why they can't be pretty at the same time, eh?
Extender: Alphacool Eiszapfen extension G1/4 outer thread to G1/4 inner thread - deep black - Connected in the drain plug in the lower radiator to get the connector out of the case in the back. This may not be needed.
L-Connector: Alphacool Eiszapfen L-connector rotatable G1/4 outer thread to G1/4 inner thread - deep black - Just a 90 degrees rotatable connector so the ball valve doesn't stick straight out through the back of the case.
Extender: Alphacool Eiszapfen double nippel rotatable G1/4 outer thread to G1/4 outer thread - deep black - To connect the L-connector to the ball valve and making it easy to have the valve pointing the way I want it to (up most likely).
Ball valve: Alphacool Eiszapfen 2-way ball valve G1/4 - deep black - Nice ball valve connected to the adapter.
Plug: Alphacool HF screw-in seal plug G1/4 - deep black - Just in case the ball valve doesn't hold pressure, this will seal the deal.

Coolant and Dyes:
Coolant Alphacool CKC Cape Kelvin Catcher - Seems good from what I've read.
Dyes Mayhems Standard dyes - I have picked a few colors and will decide on what I do when it's time to fill the system. It's highly likely our systems won't be the same colors.

So how do I run my loop?

The Dual Pump/Reservoir combo unit is obviously sitting in a 5.25" slot at a good height.
One of the outlets from the pumps goes via fitting, tube, fitting into the Y.
The other outlet goes through a 45 degree fitting, through a tube, a fitting and into the same Y.
The other end of the Y is connected to the temperature sensor, which neatly is inner thread-inner thread. Saves me getting an adapter. The adapter goes to a fitting and through a tube into the CPU block inlet.
The outlet of the CPU block goes to the top radiator inlet.
The top radiator outlet goes down into the top graphics cards I have not decided if I will go parallel or serial between the graphics cards.
Instead of using a terminal I will simply be using fittings and tube to connect them, so either two tubes between the graphics cards or one tube (and plug whatever holes need plugging). The outlet of the second graphics card will go to the front of the case to the inlet of the bottom radiator.
The bottom radiator outlet will go back up to the inlet of the pump/reservoir combo unit, completing the circuit.
Somewhere in a Good Position(TM) I will place the flow sensor as well, either visible (maybe close to the graphics cards) or hidden (maybe near the pump/reservoir combo or by the bottom radiator).

I can already hear "pics or it didn't happen!" - Well it hasn't happened .. yet.

Pics will however come! Both when I have all parts and some during the build which will hopefully start this weekend but if not then early next week. All depends on when the Alphacool stuff comes.

I have received everything EXCEPT:

Anything from Alphacool - don't know why it's taking time, payment was flagged as accepted monday morning but it hasn't shipped yet according to their site. Well, now I know and it should be shipped today or tomorrow. Apparently 3 minutes before me someone ordered the CPU block so they were out when I finally ordered... I have removed it from the order and they will ship it without it.
EK CPU blocks - Being shipped to a local store and ready for pickup Thursday or Friday this week.
PSUs - ETA is next week unless I find them somewhere else but anything high powered is basically sold out everywhere.

// Stefan

EDIT: Added a component picture.
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post #2 of 90 (permalink) Old 07-05-2017, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Some changes happened. The CPU blocks from Alphacool were out so I removed them from the order and the CPU blocks I will be going with are now the EK-Supremacy EVO x99 from EKWB. They are currently being shipped to a local store.

Alphacool just mailed me that the package is ready for shipping and will hopefully arrive early next week.

That leaves the PSU. It .. is .. a .. headache. Basically sold out everywhere I look.

If anyone knows where to get hold of something like an EVGA G2/P2/T2 or Corsair HX(i)/AX(i) at 1300W or more, let me know. Or something else with quality.

// Stefan
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post #3 of 90 (permalink) Old 07-08-2017, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Loads of components are here already.

Alphacool delivery scheduled for this coming Monday (the 10th). PSUs are hopefully here Wednesday-Friday this week. We'll see.

Build will actually commence today with some easy stuff like putting in the NVMe SSDs, CPUs, CPU Blocks, Memory and screwing it into the case. Yes, the risk is that I have to remove it from the case again but at least they're not in the way.

Also will start removing superfluous stuff from the cases like unused cables, 3.5" cages, etc.

// Stefan
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post #4 of 90 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so there's been progress.

Both motherboards are in, with CPUs, CPU blocks, memory, SSDs in the correct place, all inside the case.

Machine #1 has gotten a lot further (basically we're finishing up this one and then switching to the other one).

It has a temporary EVGA G2 850W PSU inside of it as I am .. still.. waiting.. for .. the.. PSUs.. A company said that they can get hold of 6 with no issues and I should have them this Wednesday or Thursday. I called them today and guess what? They haven't received them and they don't know when they will.

On a scale from unprofessional to professional they go really, really low. They have my money, which of course they can give back if I so wish, but they don't actually have any PSUs or a way to get hold of them. I will not name and shame them. If they would've at least called me / mailed me telling me that "oops, seems we CAN'T get hold of them!" then at least I would've known.

Ok, rant over.. for now.

Side view of almost everything installed except graphics cards and water cooling parts.

Front view.

Side view of other side. Yeah, loads of cables but what else can I do with them?

Rear view. That's how I ended up doing the drain, it's connected to the bottom of the radiator so draining shouldn't be an issue.

Last we did before sleep was to get the dual pumps/reservoir installed, but I haven't snapped a picture. I'll fix that later.

After sleeping we installed the graphics cards with the tubing between them. I'm going parallel for the looks.

More updates to follow.

// Stefan
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post #5 of 90 (permalink) Old 07-13-2017, 07:15 PM - Thread Starter
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the reason why there is a piece of paper sticking out from the fitting going to the pumps is because we did a few tests.

Since I don't have any other way of cooling the CPU we did a short loop with soft tubing where we connected one of the pumps (plugged the other and didn't give it power) to the CPU block and back to the pump/reservoir and checked if it POSTed (using an old Radeon 5870).

Good news : It works!
Bad news: It leaked. A little.

We thought we had checked all the fittings, etc to see that we had all the o-rings as we should and .. seemed to have missed one. We had a very tiny leak from the in-port to the reservoir. About 1 drop every 2 minutes. It was due to a missing o-ring. Now, we haven't tested to see if it leaks with the o-ring there but we're confident that was the only issue. No other leaks in the system.

I've done my first bend! First attempt without using a tool. Obviously a heat gun and a silicon insert but all done by hand and to me it looked good. It's the one that goes from the temp sensor after the Y-connector after the pumps to the CPU block.

Won't share a picture until more tubing is installed. We're currently working on bending the tube from the CPU to the upper radiator.

// Stefan
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post #6 of 90 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Some more progress made, but didn't spend too much time on it unfortunately.

Done bends:

Reservoir/Pumps (really temp sensor after Y-connector) > CPU block (1 bend).
CPU block > Upper radiator (2 bends).
Lower graphics card > Lower radiator (2 bends).

Left to do:
Upper radiator > Upper graphics card (4 bends probably).
Lower radiator > Reservoir/pumps (3 bends).

This is on system #1, the other one we haven't gotten as far on yet.

We're going to get started on it in a few hours and hope to be able to fill it with water this session.

Looking at the last picture up there makes me wonder if it may not be nicer to have the PCI-E cables coming in from the side... What do you guys think?

// Stefan
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post #7 of 90 (permalink) Old 07-16-2017, 04:14 AM
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A not so "noob-ish" build you have here. And it has quite a lot of overkill in it. Also those radiators are huge. Good luck !
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post #8 of 90 (permalink) Old 07-16-2017, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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They are huge but to be honest, when you're holding the Monsta in your hands and looking into the case anything smaller would feel small. Even the 60 feels small if it'd go to bottom.

Since last we've had some things happen.

I thought one machine was done yesterday but then we noticed two boxes with flow sensors lying unopened. Argh!

Decided that if we have to empty it off fluids to install the temp sensor we may as well do some other changes as well...

One annoyance is that the CPU FAN and CPU OPT fan headers can only work according to the temperature of the CPU. I mean, it's not illogical but if I'm water cooling it I may want to base it on something other than the CPU temperature, like say .. the water temperature. We had the upper radiator fans connected to CPU FAN and lower radiator fans connected to CPU OPT.

The tubing near the graphics cards was a major source of turbulence and I had a feeling that was giving me worse performance.

So off we went draining the system (second time..) and did the following:

Install the temp sensor vertically just before the inlet into the reservoir. Pictures in a little bit.

Switch from Parallel to Serial arrangement of graphics cards.

Move fans to different motherboard connectors.
Current mapping is:
CPU FAN - Pump 1 - We can get the rpms but the pumps don't support controlling by default. Alphacool 655T.
CPU OPT - Pump 2 - Same as above.
CHA 1 (Chassis 1) - Phobya PWM splitter connected to upper radiator's fans (pushes air out of the case).
CHA 2 (Chassis 2) - Phobya PWM splitter connected to lower radiator's fans (pushes air out of the case).
W PUMP+ (Water Pump) - The top front mounted 140mm Phanteks case fan (pulls air into the case).
AIO (All In One) - The rear 140mm Phanteks case fan (pulls air into the case).
M2 Fan - Flow meter with RPM signaling.
EXT1 (External 1 on ASUS Fan board) - The bottom front mounted 140mm Phanteks case fan (pulls air into the case).
EXT2 (External 2 on ASUS Fan board) - The top side mounted 140mm Phanteks case fan (pulls air into the case).
EXT3 (External 3 on ASUS Fan board) - The bottom side mounted 140mm Phanteks case fan (pulls air into the case).

I had the machine on over the night doing stress testing of the GPUs. Only a mild overclock at ~1950MHz on both cards. Temps on the graphics cards were 59 and 66 degrees respectively.

Now I've had it stress testing the same for about an hour and temperatures have stabilized at 56 and 59 degrees respectively - so I was right! Serial is better for me.

I can also report that with my setup I have ~320 liters per hour which equals 1.4 GPM (Gallons per minute).

I don't want to leave the machine running with CPU @ 4GHz going full tilt as well as the graphics cards as the draw at the wall is then ~880W and I have a EVGA G2 850W PSU in it right now (since I'm still waiting for the 1600W ones...). Now, I know that the 850W isn't at the wall but actual delivered and the efficiency isn't 100%, so I should be safe but I'd rather not push it.

I will however do some tests to figure out the temps with everything going full on.

All temperatures reported are with the same not quite aggressive fan speeds.

// Stefan
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post #9 of 90 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 01:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Here are pictures from before and after the last changes. Enjoy.

Before the changes:

Side view with tubing.

Parallel cooling of graphics cards. Loads of turbulence here.

CPU block.

Side view showing rear fan.

Front view. The big cover in front of the front fans is removed on purpose for air flow.

Side view (other side).

Rear view.

Drain solution.

I stuck the Thunderbolt 3 card in between the graphics cards.

After the changes:

Side view with tubing and flow meter.

Flow meter installed.

Graphics cards now running in serial instead of parallel.

CPU block.

Lower tubing.

I plan on adding more pictures later of when it's running, etc. I also plan on getting some LED strips since it really is dark in there and the fluid is not showing off at all, especially the front.

The flow meter was an interesting problem. After figuring out where to stick it we cut the tube and mounted everything and started filling the system. When we turned the pumps on the flow sensor was rotating as it should but then at some point it stopped. I don't know when or why - it just did. Some googling led to a thread somewhere that pertained to a different flow sensor and that particular one can't be mounted vertically. I spent over an hour trying to find any wording on the box, on the page, threads, etc if the Alphacool flow meter can or can't be mounted vertically and there simply is no word on it at all.

So we started planning on where can can move it, how we can test if it works or doesn't in vertical until it just ... started up. Just like that, after quite a long time and it's running fine. Now, I am really happy as I was not looking forward to using a whole pipe to replace the one we cut.

Anyone know anything about this issue? Can you mount the Alphacool flow meter vertically or not? I mean it works now - yes, but I want to know any other word.

If I don't hear anything I'll contact Alphacool and ask them myself.

Any other info or pictures you all want?

Oh and yes - the thing is really, really heavy. It was no fun moving it.

// Stefan
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post #10 of 90 (permalink) Old 07-17-2017, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I've had it running now for a full day overclocked, etc and my Delta T is currently 9 C which I'm pretty happy with.

// Stefan
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