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CPU waterblocks on Crossfire 7970+MCP655 Mod

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-12-2013, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
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***WARNING, VERBOSE WALL-O-TEXT. IMPATIENT POSTERS SKIP TO TL;DR smile.gif***

For a little bit of background, I was running a Sapphire 7970 when Dwood started making his brackets, which interested me since I was mining LTC and my temps would break 80c on the stock reference cooler. I ordered a custom lip bracket one right before he stopped taking orders, and threw a lapped H70 on my card with stellar results like shown in this thread : here. My temps dropped from 84c stock, to 79c with replaced TIM, to 58c with the H70. I then did a few simple mods I never posted - replaced the crappy rigid ribbed tubing to standard clear tubing, added a Phobya tube res, and replaced the stock fans with 80cfm server fans. Now I was running at 55c full load, and was very happy(for a while).

A good deal popped on one of my other forums, which ended with me adding a second 7970 to my rig. Of course I wanted to ditch the same stock cooler, but I had a couple things to think about. Dwood was no longer taking orders on brackets, I didn't want two separate AIO loops crossing ugly lines all over my case, and I didn't trust the terribly weak stock H70 pumps to push two cards and a bigger rad. This of course led me to the logical choice of adding a second custom loop to my rig, but being cheap and a pretty slick modder, I looked at my parts lying around first - specifically the 280mm Aquacomputer Airplex Modular radiator, Enzotech Sapphire CPU block, and extra MCP655 pump top from an old dead pump...

***Mod Starts Here!***
The Enzotech Sapphire RevA. is a big, solid copper waterblock popular during the 775 days. Performance wise it is mid pack compared to other blocks of the same timeframe, but it was one of the lowest restriction waterblocks around and was way cheap in price. This made it perfect for beginning watercooling loops - it was only around $45 bucks new at the time, extremely low restriction so didn't need huge pumps, and performed better then a few more expensive blocks. While the low restriction made it perfect for a GPU setup that has to run flow-killing 90* adapters, the size and weight is an issue. I did some rough measurements and think I can get one in-between the two 7970s if I use non-rotating low profile 90* fittings and stick to 1/4" tubing. I have a horizontal mobo so the weight is not nearly as big an issue as with a vertical mobo, and even with dual GTX GenII 480's and dual pumps I have plenty of room in the bottom section of my custom Extended Ascension. I ordered a second identical Enzotech block that I found for sale on this forum, and a third 655 from a different forum, then got to modding what I have.

First thing I did was mod my spare 655 top to accept G1/4" fittings to reduce it to 1/4", since I did not feel like spending $30 on an aftermarket top. I cut off the stock plastic 1/2" barbs with a dremel, then tapped them with a 1/4" NPT tap. Note that G1/4" and NPT are not exactly identical threads, but in plastic it is "close enough" to work. The first few threads screw in perfectly hand tight, then you torque the last couple with a wrench and it corrects the difference between the straight and tapered threads. Now they screw in perfectly by hand, and I used a beveled drill bit to cut a recess for the O-ring. I was surprised to see that even though the 655/D5 pumps have "permanent" 1/2" ID barbs, the inside routing leading to them is noticeably smaller. I would imagine porting the stock top may actually be worth a bit of flow in a 1/2" tubing setup, but don't have the time nor desire to test that since this loop is using tiny 1/4" ID tubing anything. Nothing too exciting here, this is the finished result - awww, aren't those little barbs cute???:



Next step was to mod the block and bracket. This was pretty straight forward...I mocked up the hole spacing using the stock cooler I had lying around from my old card, then drilled it through. I then used a dremel to trim down the edges on the block itself since it will just barely (~1mm)interfere with the bolts I will use to mount it. After that all I will do is bolt it to the card using the stock retaining bracket on the back and some machine screws+bolts. I only pulled the top vanity plate off the card since I want to paint it red, it doesn't need to come off. Here's another boring, crappy pic to show what I needed to trim:


Tomorrow I should have my 90* adapters in, so can mock it up and make sure everything fits while I wait my my pump to come in.

***TL;DR***
I am about halfway through putting two Enzotech CPU waterblocks into a crossfire water cooling loop in a custom Mountain Mods Extended Ascension case. Modded my MCP655 to accept G1/4" barbs, and modded the block to bolt through on an AMD GPU. Waiting on pump to arrive to install modded top and finish/test loop.


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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2013, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Got the barbs installed, had to use elbows+barbs because the normal 90* barb fittings are too close together to screw in.

Still a very tight fit! The bottom piece is the stock backplate bracket that I will use for some spring tension to prevent over-tightening.


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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-16-2013, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Still waiting on the second Enzotech block before I mod the stock cooler for a VRM plate and install them both together. It is a tight fit, but everything goes together fine. Strangely enough, I was going to run two braces off the original mounting holes for a 92mm fan but apparently the hole spacing on socket 775 is the same as an 80mm fan, so I can just bolt one on the side over the VRMs once they are sinked.



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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 12:00 AM
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@puck Awesome!!!
This is my favorite kind of build.. problem solving from the parts bin.
i have spent the day getting beat up on ebay trying to get a cheap quality pump.
I may just get a new swiftech.
So no issues with spacing on the gpu and the 775 block?

perfect timing on the build thanks. ;> ill be lurking
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 07:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunset1 View Post

@puck Awesome!!!
This is my favorite kind of build.. problem solving from the parts bin.
i have spent the day getting beat up on ebay trying to get a cheap quality pump.
I may just get a new swiftech.
So no issues with spacing on the gpu and the 775 block?

perfect timing on the build thanks. ;> ill be lurking
Sunset1
The GPU bolt spacing is slightly smaller then the 775 socket spacing, so I drilled new holes in the stock bracket which you can see in the last picture. Since the block is basically just as big as the spacing, I had to use a dremel to shave a bit off each corner of the block for the bolts to fit.

Still waiting on the other block to come in due to shipping delays, if it comes in today I might be able to get it all installed tomorrow. I plan to cut my Dwood mount to use for the other block, to reuse its fan bracket and show off the personalized lip smile.gif.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 07:25 AM
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Very nicely done Puck ! Any Tec's ? Cheers and have a great day. thumb.gif

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2013, 09:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gdesmo View Post

Very nicely done Puck ! Any Tec's ? Cheers and have a great day. thumb.gif

Not on these,but it would be hilarious easy to add them - all I would need is a pair of copper cold plates and slightly longer screws for the base of the water blocks smile.gif.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2013, 10:33 PM
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Cool my friend, look forward to it ! thumb.gifthumb.gifthumb.gif

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2013, 02:00 PM
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looking forward to it ..

(edit)
so did you have to use a shim or not?
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