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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
FINAL PICS: Here

Well, after some pondering, shuffling around, and a good bit stupidity, I have decided to squeeze a PA120.3 into an Antec 300. I want a completely internal setup.

Wish me luck.

Current Rig:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The Objective:
Set up an internal water cooling system, using a recently purchased PA 120.3 from the forum.

The Reason:
My passive Orochi is starting to struggle. Intel specifies that my X3350 has a thermal limit of 71°C. The Orochi lets it get that hot without much fuss.

The Plan:
If the "passive Orochi" did not give it away, I like my system quiet. Therefore, I want to use minimal fans, and a quiet pump. My 3870 is loving the passive Accelero it is mated with, so it remains air-cooled. However, this CPU only loop will be fun fitting into my case, I suspect. Fitting a PA 120.3 into my cased will prove challenging, and fruitless if I use the wrong combination of components. First, I must pick out the parts to my loop, and make sure that they match and compliment eachother. Next, I want to fit all the new goodies inside my rig without altering its outside appearance.

The Details:
1. I am using 3/8" ID Tygon tubing, stretched over 1/2" fittings. Black cable ties will be used to secure the tubing.
2. I plan on using stock Antec fans to keep my current noise level unchanged. Some GentleTyphoons may come later.
3. Access will be dismal. It looks like I will have to tie in the loop in situ. Space is short.
4. I do not care for absolute performance, only that my processor temp never climbs above 71°C.
5. The case image must remain unchanged fro the outside.

Disclaimer
Functionality is key. I am not one to stress over detail. If you want polished work, please visit another log. My work is not atrocious, but it is not perfect by any stretch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Parts:

PA 120.3
This monster was the king of quiet before TFC came onto the scene. Sure, the MCR320 will probably beat it at my heat load (sub 200 watts) and fan speed (single low speed 140mm) according to Martin, (MCR320 PA120.3), but I have always seen the PA as a beast, and its pressure drop is minimal compared to the MCR320. My pump choice warrants this.


Enzotech Sapphire Rev. A
After seeing this amazing post, I had to have the Enzotech. Second best thermal result, highest flow by a wide margin. Couple this with the fact that I bought it from the Egg for $40, it was perfect for my project.


D-Tek Db-1
This pump defined my loop. I heard it was the quietest available, and performed well to boot. However, I suspected that it had a low tolerance for pressure, so I sided with the high flow PA and Enzotech. Its small size also helps with placement, fitting anything larger would require crazy tubing, I think.
(I would rather not mention that I considered buying this pump at first, which was what really drove me to get low pressure drop components. I would much rather say I chose the Db-1 to begin with, but sparse information sacred me away from it. Luckily, it just so happens that the Db-1 is also a low pressure, high flow pump as well, so it worked for my build in the end.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Front of the box.


Back of the box.


Inside the box.


First layer of foam block removed.


Second layer, plus barbs and TIM.


Third layer, and the block is free.


Fourth Layer, the rest becomes visible.


All out, and the spread.


The layers, as you can see, they are plentiful.
http:

The base reflects my [dirty] flash drive painfully well.


An inside shot, poor at that.


This does nothing to capture the clean beauty of the block.


Overall, not bad at all for $40. I was so close to paying 50% more to get it from Performance-PCs, as Frozen-CPU had it listed, but not in stock, for $50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The box.


Opened.


All the parts.


All the important parts.


Barbs come with O-rings, pump comes with isolating mounts, and it is small. A steal for ~$45.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Words cannot describe this process. Pictures speak all.

The two contenders.


Possible orientation.


Optical drives will not be happy.


Final orientation.


Marking the Cut.


I will butcher you.


Seems to fit.


Good from this end.


The back (barbs) of the rad rest on top of the PCI slots. The front rests upon the cutout I made. I have secured the back barbs to the case via zip ties through the fan grill. Hold is sturdy and true. The front needs filler to keep it stable, but I have an idea...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Block mounted on motherboard.


Pump, block, and rad will be close.


Temporary leak test, while I prep the case for final WC installation and fitting.


Closer look at temporary testbed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had to leave my PA 120.3 filled, I was not going to try and bleed it after installing it.


I needed to mount the pump, so I used wire fan frames tied to the rad.


It fits!


All is well.


These rubber pads are used to isolate air conditioning equipment.


The isolated and secured my rad well.


Leak testing is critical, I use special paper. (MS Paint FTW)


Scale.


It blots when wet.


Strips wrapped around connections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I covered the back fan grill with manilla paper, to ensure air was pulled through the rad by the top exhaust fan, and not through the back. You can see it here, and also see what I left behind...


A detailed view of the pump mount.


I can remove the RAM my tilting the rightmost stick to the right (after removing the 24pin ATX cable), and moving down the line. It is tight, I tell you.


Cables are out of the way, but not hidden. The rad dominates the scene.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The log is done, my journey is complete.

I accomplished what I set out to do, and my rig runs well.

X3350 @ 3328 MHz, 6 hours OCCT stable, temps below 68 degrees. I could push higher, but I am very happy right now.





Review
I managed to fit a PA120.3 inside an Antec 300. Was not too hard, but no cake walk. Overall, the hardest part was loop installation. Having my motherboard and CPU installed in the case while I worked in that small space was frustrating. Choosing to bleed the rad before final installation saved me. It would have been hell to bleed when the loop was fully installed.

In the future, I would like to add some slower, quieter fans. Currently, I have both case fans (140mm to exhaust, 120mm front intake) set to medium. I wish to get 2 120mm GT fans up front, and would love a 140mm GT up top. A fan or two on the rad itself would not hurt either.

The most annoying thing was installing Vista, a vanilla non-SP1 disk, which meant removing 3 of 4 sticks of RAM. After updating to RAM bug, getting the three sticks back in was entertaining.

Further time would go to hiding cables, but I am quite happy with the current setup.

Overall, I am satisfied with my work. Didi not take but two days of hard work really. I was very relieved to see the rad fit in so easily.

Thanks for reading the log.
 

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I gotta tell ya...at first I was kind of like...ehhhh.
But going through this...that is actually a pretty impressive piece of work there. You actually got it to look like a dual chamber case...as oppossed to just a rad sitting in the middle of it. I bet this was a lot harder than most would think.

I know we don't normally say things like "Nice Squeeze Job" in a mid-tower case...but I think we can here.

Great Work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by hoth17 View Post
how is that rad mounting holding up?
Very secure, actually. The front "compression" fit has the slightest wiggle to it, and the back is solid. The cable ties pull tight against the PCI slots, very little give at all.

I am much more comfortable with this than with the Orochi. That beast felt like it was hanging on by a thread.

Quote:

Originally Posted by clbkdaz View Post
I gotta tell ya...at first I was kind of like...ehhhh.
But going through this...that is actually a pretty impressive piece of work there. You actually got it to look like a dual chamber case...as oppossed to just a rad sitting in the middle of it. I bet this was a lot harder than most would think.

I know we don't normally say things like "Nice Squeeze Job" in a mid-tower case...but I think we can here.

Great Work.
I appreciate your observation. I was not simply a "Lego" project, at least not for me.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Adrienspawn View Post
Nice presentation!

I'm worried about the motherboard temps though. CPU temp improved but I think everything else suffered for it.
I am actually surprised to say that across the board, my temps are either the same or better. This was a bit perplexing at first, but upon closer investigation, my best guesses are summed up below:

1. Using the manila cover over the rear fan grill was a good move. In either setup (air or water), without the cover, air would simply be drawn from behind the case. At least now the top fan exhausts only internal air.

2. The radiator sits about 3mm from the side panel, and [obviously] runs the whole length of the case. This is certainly more restrictive for up-down airflow than the Orochi by itself. The largest gaps exist between the rad and motherboard, exactly where the Northbridge heat sink is concentrated.

3. The GPU temp dropped a degree or two, probably beause of reason 1. It is actually somewhat ironic, my GPU idles (35°C) and loads (65°C) lower than my CPU. This is easy to understand, my CPU cooling ingests the hot air coming off my GPU.

I am fairly sure that OCCT's CPUTIN sensor reads my NB temp, and it looks good:



The lowest possible alarm setting in the BIOS is 70°C. However, this article from Anand claims 47°C to be the threshold. I am happy either way. I am also happy that my board does 416 FSB at .02v or less above stock across the board. (I am actually oblivious to sub 440 FSB setups out there, so maybe I should not be too impressed.)

Just a quick GPU temperature shot:
 

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I really like the work and the log! Very nice writing style and humor.
That rad placement is ingenious and well done
Do you think that you would be able to fit a fan somewhere on top of the rad? I know you want low noise, but maybe a single fan could improve some airflow and temps even more.
Great review of the blocks and pump, btw... makes me want to get into W/C!

Oh yeah, and I like the workshop! need to get me some of those yellow container bins.
 
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