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699 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I have been researching/lurking these forums for a while now. About a month ago I decided to water cool my set up. I had fairly good temps with my i7 950 and dual 6870s on air, but the noise from the fans to achieve these temps was too much. At 20c ambient I got an average of 60c from my i7 950 at 4ghz in IntelBurn. In Furmark I would reach 70c at 20c ambient from my 2 6870s. However, the noise was just too much, and I think I was just looking for an excuse to water cool. So...

On to the build-

-Table of contents-

Current Status
Water Cooling Build Log
Wire Management / Sleeving
Water cooling temp results Screen Shots
Still to do List
January 10, 2011 Work I did while on vacation
January 10, 2011 Plans for after vacation
January 15, 2011 Hardware ordered to replace radbox
January 15, 2011 Plans for my LED and fan terminal blocks
January 19, 2011 New rad mount and some cutting
January 21, 2011 Terminal blocks, fan wire soldering, case cutting
January 24, 2011 Fan and crossfire bridge paint job and sleeving shipment
January 25, 2011 My external rad's fan sleeving
January 26, 2011 Added some light to my build
January 31, 2011 PSU sleeving all done
February 1, 2011 Nearly done
February 3, 2011 Done (well... except for my clear side window)
February 5, 2011 All done... for real now
March 1, 2011 OK... I swear I might be maybe done now

699 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Current status - *Done*

***Please note*** As you look through the build, alot of stuff done early in the build was redone later in the build. As I learned what I was doing I made stuff better. So you may look at something and say eww... but that eww was fixed later on.

I AM DONE with my build. The countless hours I think really paid off and I am very satisfied with the results. I have built computers many times before, but they were all plug and play. I have never modded, drilled, cut, or watercooled a build before this and it was fun. So much fun, that I am contemplating selling this one and doing another one all over again with what I have learned from this build. I love it and it looks great, but I have learned ALOT from it, I think I could do more with my next build. I want to thank the many people that helped in my countless questions (this forum community is awesome).

Here is a quote by repo_man that sums up EXACTLY what I was going for in this build. I can't say it better myself, so I won't. I'll let repo_man do it-
Originally Posted by repo_man;12338179
Indeed. As I look at it now, I love the subtlety of it. It's very understated. If one didn't know modding or what he/she was looking at, the case would look very plain and stock. It's very understated sexy. I like it. It's mean looking, plain (sleeper'ish if you will; if you're a car guy), clean, but bold too. A very well executed mod man.
Enough ranting.... on to the pics -

This pic is after I replaced the i7 950, sabertooth x58, xms3 ram, and the rasa block. I replaced all that with a 2600k, msi p67a gd55, corsair vengeance ram, and a EK supreme HF CU nickle block


These pics are before the above change but still represent the build well.






















699 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here is what I started with -

IMG_1082 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Here is what I decided to do -


The list of items I bought to water cool-

XSPC RX360 radiator
XSPC RS240 radiator
XSPC X2O 750 Dual pump/reservoir (I know this may be weak, but I will monitor and upgrade if need be)
XSPC Rasa CPU waterblock
2 EK Nickel+Acetal Full 6870 waterblocks
EK Parallel SLI/CF bridge + the 2 req links
Swifttech Radbox
5 Gentle Typhoon 1450 rpm fans
3 Xinruilian RDL1225S fans
2 KillCoils
6ft PrimoChill PrimoFlex 1/2"ID hose
1 Gallon Distelled Water
Misc. Barbs and Clamps

IMG_1081 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

IMG_1080 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

So, let's get started.

My 1st task was to remove the 6870s and add the EK blocks and bridge. The EK products I used were EXTREMLY well build with clear instructions. The fun part was putting the TIM on the spacers that go between the blocks and the card so that they did not fall off when you turned the water block over to mount it. It worked well but I was afraid the spacers were going to shift or fall off the whole time I was doing it. It worked out well. The most time consuming part was cutting the thermal pads to fit, but all in all everything went smooth.

One done -

IMG_1085 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Two Done -

IMG_1090 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

After that was done I started installing the bridge. It went on super easy.

All done -

IMG_1093 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

IMG_1091 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

I got a bit excited for a sec and forgot the motherboard was about to come out. But, it made for a nice pic. These 6870s are really solid, with NO flimsiness with that bridge installed. Highly recommended.

IMG_1094 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

I then removed the 6870s and took my NH-D14 off to prepare the motherboard for the XSPC rasa CPU block. The i7 950 is lapped, and it is done better than the below pic does it justice. I just could not get the lighting right to really reflect the fan-

IMG_1095 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

The Rasa went on semi-smooth. One of the attachment posts had a stuck lower knurled nut, but a little "gentle" persuasion goes a long way. I didn't notice the nut was stuck until after I screwed the post down, so I had to take the post back off and use two pliers to free the nut. I guess they got some paint in the threads? Either way, it got free and easy after the pliers loosened it.

All Done -

IMG_1111 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Next up was a bit of wire chaos. I freed every previous attempt of wire management I had before and took the top of my case to prepare the upper internal 240 radiator.
Some "controlled" chaos -

IMG_1096 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Once I had the top of the case off I noticed a little problem that was easily solved. The metal riveted on rear handle covered up too much of my fan than I liked -

IMG_1101 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

So, I drilled the rivets off and all was good -

IMG_1102 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

The upper rad was an easy install. I am still waiting on my Gentle Typhoons, once I get them they will be installed in the push position -

IMG_1105 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

After the upper rad I installed the radbox's mount mechanism. It was an easy install. The pump/res went in easy too -

IMG_1106 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

IMG_1103 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

I went to install the case top but realized it would no longer fit with the two rad fans on top. So I had to do some cutting. I wish I had took some before pics but I forget. Here is how it turned out -

IMG_1112 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Next, I installed the motherboard and the external 360 radiator. The radiator went on easily. However, I don't know if the plastic rad box is meant to hold the rx360 as it is a bit flimsy, but it works. The I have 1 Gentle Typhoon installed in push now, when I get the rest the will be in push too.

IMG_1116 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Time for tubing. The primoflex does a good job of not kinking. I have to pull my res out a bit to fill it up so the hoses going to it have to be a bit longer to accommodate. The hose going from the pump to 1st rad almost wants to kink when I push the reservoir back in, but I think it will be ok -

IMG_1120 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

After that it was time to leak test. It's been running now for 8 hours with no leaks. After lunch I will start wire management. I will not be able to get it all done as I am still waiting for sleeving and 4 more fans, but I will be able to get to the point of firing her up and testing some temps.

That's all for now, I am hungry.

699 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
-Wire Management-

*Please note, this is still a work in progress. I plan to completely sleeve my PSU with black sleeves. This will have to wait until I get back from vacation around the 20th of Jan.*

Starting off-

IMG_1121 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

First thing I wanted to do was temporarily get rid of the exposed wires seen here -

IMG_1122 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

I say temporarily because I hope to fully sleeve this once I get back from vacation.

I had to rig a tool up to get my PSU out since I could no longer fit a screw driver on the bolt heads do to the radiator placement -

IMG_1125 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Here is my temp repair. I got some ghetto cable management supplies from Lowes and did this -

IMG_1123 by ColeKristy, on Flickr
IMG_1126 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

Half way done -

IMG_1128 by ColeKristy, on Flickr

All done for now - **I will sleeve all exposed wires seen in pic below when I get back from vacation**


301 Posts
Glad to see another Sniper water cooled:) Very nice job +rep.
Those EK blocks look great, you should be getting a little better temps on your cpu at idle with all that rad, but your loud temps look about right.
Wire management on the Sniper is pretty good, remember there is a lot of space between bottom of the case and the bezel same up top.
Again great job!!

699 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Originally Posted by CD69Scorp;11857825
Glad to see another Sniper water cooled:) Very nice job +rep.
Those EK blocks look great, you should be getting a little better temps on your cpu at idle with all that rad, but your loud temps look about right.
Wire management on the Sniper is pretty good, remember there is a lot of space between bottom of the case and the bezel same up top.
Again great job!!

I just ordered a mcp655 and the xspc res to fit it in. Also I have 6 more gentle typhoons to mount too when I get home from vacation. 2 to finish up the external rad to make it completely push/push, and four to make the upper rad completely push pull with the GTs. Right now the upper rad is just in pull with some crappy fans I had laying around. I am hoping that the added fans and the better pump will improve my cpu temps.

Quick question, I am pretty sure I know the answer but want to be 100% sure. In the pic below of my incoming res, which is the inlet and which is the outlet fitting on the res?


699 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Originally Posted by JedixJarf;11894257
Looking great! that mobo makes me drool a little though...
Ya, I have never owned an ASUS mobo, and I drooled a bit too when I unpacked the sabertooth. Highly recommended in terms of build quality and overclock-ability.

Loosing Vision
1,901 Posts
You could consider doing a mod to the rear 360 to brace it up on the lower side.

Nothing a little creativity and some rivets can't fix.

699 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am on vacation at my parents house. Yet, I decided to upgrade my pump. I had the pump/res, a couple fans, and some sleeving sent to their house so that I could get to work. The following is what I was able to do here -

I started by sleeving my fans. First up I needed to take the plug off-


Once that was off, I was able to able to slide the sleeving and heat shrink over the wires. Here is the plug side all done -


And the fans side -


One done, time for the next one -


Got the fans done, now it was time to start installing and sleeving the pump -



Got the pump all sleeved -



Then it was time to sleeve the LED. Before -




Next, it was time to put the pump in the res -



All done with everything-


699 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
More updates and plans for when I get home from vacation.

I just ordered the sleeving in the pic below last night. I plan on removing 2 pci-e power and 1 sata power wire clusters from the PSU. Then I will sleeve the entire PSU and all wires coming from the case input/output.


Also, I have decided to further mod my case to allow better air flow to and from the upper 240 rad. It just so happens that I got a Home Depot gift card for X-Mas.
I will use it to get a dremel so that I can cut out the sections of the case as described in the pics below. I am starting to really miss my build and can't wait to get home to continue on it.



99 Posts
Great setup and great pictures (first post btw).
I am looking at this board and I have 1 question are all your slots taken up with the SLI 2 6870? it looks like you have a slot available up top I have the Fatality SB sound card and was wondering if it would fit with the SLI bridge?

Thanks for taking the time to post up pics good inspiration. Good look with the cleanup and sleeving.

2,959 Posts
Originally Posted by BinaryBummer;11894512
You could consider doing a mod to the rear 360 to brace it up on the lower side.

Nothing a little creativity and some rivets can't fix.
YES Please fix the back rad. That lean is killing me.

Nice creative mods keep it up!
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