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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OBLIGATORY INTRODUCTION
Working Title: Cerberus Is Thirsty
Project Name: Sasquatch Giggles


Thanks for checking out my build log! I hope you guys appreciate the time, effort, and green I put into this. It's been a long time coming, but I sacrificed the money from my Trans Am spring projects in order to get this done.
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[Car image hidden at the behest of Poseiden]

This is a completely new build, apart from my keyboard and mouse. I'm not doing anything crazy right now (I'll start modding my previous build first) so if you're looking for major mods, move along!



The above is the Tender Vittles build in my signature. Originally built in January 2009, the only upgrades have been from an X2 5000+BE>X4 940BE later that year and XFX 9800GTX+BE>EVGA GTX460 SSC+ in 2011. Oh and HDD>SSD conversion! It was time…

Time to build Cerberus! WEEEE!!!

My first dive into dual GPUs, water cooling, multi-monitor, and high quality audio!

PARTS

AMD FX-8350

Water Cooling Loop

Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z

XFX R9 280X Black Edition x2

Mushkin Redline 16GB DDR3 1866

Fractal Design Arc Midi R2

Eyefinity setup

High end audio


A little preview for you guys!!

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
UNBOXING

Hey, some people like this...maybe?

Fractal Design Arc Midi R2

Asus Crosshair V Formula-Z


Crucial m500 480GB


Water Cooling Loop


XFX 1050W


XFX R9-280X Black Edition


Triple monitors and XFX stand


Hifi Audio

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
BUILDING AND TESTING, PART 1



Initial case modification


Final config with fans and DVD drives in


Mobo, PSU, and SSD installed


Got a bucket for my WC loop parts


Vinegar dump


Distilled water added


~2hr mark; parts mixed around


~4hr mark. Washed everything with hot tap water, then distilled water. Radiator got extra time for flushing.


Used an air blower (ED500) to dry parts quicker

Not very happy with my reservoir (case window's fault, not res's). Not worth the modification for my original idea, which you wouldn't see anyway without side panel expansion. Going back to the drawing board for reservoir; most likely a fill line with a T-connector.


HDD cage cramping my style. Moved SSD to one of two 2.5" mounting holes in the back.


Only secured with bottom screws so I don't have to remove motherboard to remove SSD (just PSU).

Decided on a Bitspower D5 Top upgrade with 150mm reservoir and replace the Alphacool HF D5 top. Probably just sell current top and res.




As you can see, this top is not exactly "clear," compared to my Alphacool. The same frost is on the top and bottom lids of my res tube. While I'm waiting for the rest of my kit, I'm going to make an honest company out of Bitspower!


Picked this stuff up from an auto parts place. Cost me ~$20.



Before and after. The same will be done when I get my new cap and plugs, which may take even longer due to an incoming winter storm
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New cap and plugs cleaned.

Build on hold until I return from travel.


Radiator mounted with fans. Pretty straightforward.


Pump/res assembled. If you look closely, you can see a yellow seal around the pump fitting that is sitting on a plug. That is due to Bitspower not creating a large enough space to allow for compression fittings in neighboring flows. No way this would seal alone, even with a low profile plug next to it.


Picked this stuff up from a hardware store. Cost me $3.


Everything installed.


This was the only place I could fit the pump and be able to connect the res. It just barely clears my video cards.


Tubing installed. Cut up a lot of tube trying to get that res bend to work; still causes pump/res to lean slightly. I ended up drilling holes for the right side AFTER I run tubing and becomes a huge pain.


Coolant. Spoiler alert: Doesn't stay this color.


Initial fill.


Again, another display of my intelligence and planning. My filling station: Vehicle fluid funnel into cajun turkey injector. It did not fill quickly and there were spills, but it worked.


Successful leak test for the most part. The towel was to watch for thread seal leaking, which it did for a short time. How the fluid looked red in this picture is beyond me; it is pink like you see in the tubing.

Initially, I had my pump set at 4 and it was causing air to circulate when it dumped into the res, even being topped off. I unhooked the pump and turned it down to 2, which seems to have solved any leaks and unnecessary bubbles (along with topping off the res).

While I could just add some red dye and a small piece of acrylic to calm the res, I cannot ignore the possibility of a leak from the pump top and will not take that chance. Maybe someone using smaller compression or standard barbs can use this, but I cannot. (Anything I could not use during this build will be sold at reduced prices at the end, once it is all cleaned thoroughly, of course!)

I am returning to my original Alphacool HF D5 top and will find a solution for the reservoir, along with more tubing and coolant.


More coolant, tubing, reservoir and other necessities.


Back to my original top!


You can't really tell here, but the path was definitely more smooth after I took a Dremel to it. Used a fine grit sander bit until I felt little to no resistance with a Q-tip.



Pump installed. You can't see it but I used a non-slip pad for vibration dampening and used a screw+nut to secure it to the case bottom after I drilled some holes.


Had to mangle a piece of the mobo tray to fit the nut for the reservoir mounting screws. Metal dust everywhere. Do this outside kids; feels like fiberglass.
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Reservoir mounted.


At this point, I saw the annoyance of keeping my rad mounted at the top, so I moved it to the front. Ran tubing.


Filled reservoir the same as last time...just as fun. Leak tested over 24 hours going back and forth between all pump speeds to eliminate bubbles.


Everything installed!



The final pin in my side. SO CLOSE to being finished! The supplied Crossfire bridges with my video cards is clearly too short. The Asus one is only short due to the design of the 280X's fan cover/shroud. XFX's Support was less than helpful.

Currently trying to track down ANY way of getting a longer (> 4"/100mm) Crossfire bridge in order to be able to use both x16 slots.

...but their Newegg support was much more friendly after posting my review stating the lack of Crossfire ability!

As you can see, the "280X" bridge they sent was still too short! Luckily, I start thinking outside the box and wonder if there is a way to go behind the shroud... (Seeing as nobody makes full cover waterblocks for these cards
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I started taking off the rear panel, but there was one screw left that would require removal of the entire heatsink assembly. Then I saw it! The Gap of Rohan!...err...ROG? I inspected the area to see if there was enough space or the bridge melting from being in contact with something too hot.


Wiggled the bridge back and forth with no pressure, to avoid any possible cuts.


And here it is plugged in and ready to install!


Installed and connected! Not exactly pretty, but it fits. The bridge looks taut in the picture but there is a little give to it. I just put light pressure on the cards to bring them together and tightened the thumb screws when they are as close as possible without adding additional stress. I'm comfortable with the slack in the bridge but I want to give it a full load Furmark when everything is up and running, just to make sure heat will not be an issue! [Just a warning in case you get to try this before I can post results
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Removed that ugly nub after the picture was taken, so no worries there!

I think I can finally start to rebuild this case and move onto the next part!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BUILDING AND TESTING, PART 2


Yeah...gonna have to attack this soon and cut down this mess. Can barely get the rear panel on.


Front view!


XFX Stand


3x Dell U2312HMs


Mounting hardware


Looks all nice here...


Required some fun adjustments to fit against the wall


Wiring


BIOS setup


Up and running! (Celebratory drink was had)


Audio gear and case


With side panel

Benchmarks coming soon! For those wondering, I did stress the GPUs and the CF bridge held up fine! Go forth and do great things!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
USA-built audio DACs and amplifiers, usually an alternative to audio cards.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by InfernoReaper View Post

USA-built audio DACs and amplifiers, usually an alternative to audio cards.
That was poorly worded. I meant, what are the ones he has? I personally have the Magni/Modi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Failuyr View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by InfernoReaper View Post

USA-built audio DACs and amplifiers, usually an alternative to audio cards.
That was poorly worded. I meant, what are the ones he has? I personally have the Magni/Modi.
Magni/Modi as well. It's also in my sig
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Minor update:

So I decided on a Bitspower D5 Top upgrade with 150mm reservoir. Received them yesterday and had a stupid moment once again. Hard to fill that res with only one inlet and a screw-on cap!!!

And the VPP655 is not compatible with the Bits top without another $50 mod kit...

Bits Z-Multi cap, cap screws, and a matte black mod kit are on their way now... Just awful
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Happier news, I have been brainstorming ideas with Poseiden about a case concept (not for this build) and it has kept me from becoming too irritated with my mistakes! I hope to start on it as soon as Cerberus is done. More on that later!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FINALLY have an update for you guys, that you can see above (after I polished the acryilics).

I am NOT happy with Bitspower and am moving back to my Alphacool High Flow top, while seeking other means of reservoir.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZephyrBit View Post

What tubing is that?
PrimoChill 7/16"ID x 5/8"OD Clear
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Have an update!

Moved back to my old Alphacool top, got everything installed/mounted/plugged in...AAAND my Crossfire bridge is too short! You've got to be kidding me! Trying to find a way to make this work... Would prefer not to move my card to the x8 slot and eliminated any sort of airflow for the top card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow, has it really been 3 months since I started this log? Ugh.

I just want to thank everyone following me until now. It's been a long road trying to get this done with all the mishaps, changes, mods, and work travel. I think we can finally move onto the next section, the testing phase, and give my fellow XFX 280X owners some answers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Began Part 2. Everything is up and running, just waiting to do some benchmarks before we wrap this build log up!
 
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