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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mod Show Case shots









Links to workflow at the bottom of this post.

Logo for build



For a while now I have been wanting to do a proper build log on a rig. I have also wanted to do a mItx build for a while now as well. When killing some time at the local MicroCenter the other day I stumbled across an open box Asus P8Z77-I Deluxe mITX motherboard for a steal of a price. So I decided that it was time to start the adventure into watercooling a mini ITX system. I had recently done a somewhat crappy build log on my main systems water loop and I will be redoing that build log as well.

http://www.overclock.net/t/1425176/evolution-of-a-pc-first-watercooling-loop-semi-build-log

I wanted to do something different with this build. I don't see a lot of mini itx builds as it is. Much less water cooled ones. Most of the mitx boards out there don't lend themselves to being fully watercooled. And by this I mean the full motherboard, as none of them are really geared toward full fledged performance. One of the great features of this design that ASUS has come up with is that is has a full blown VRM assembly that most mitx boards just can't compete with.

Maybe I should backtrack a little first though. About 2 weeks ago I was looking for another company besides EK that could have a waterblock for my ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z motherboard and stumbled across this interesting little thing.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/21247/ex-blc-1518/Bitspower_ASUS_P8Z77-I_DELUXE_Intel_Z77_USC_Water_Block_-_Nickel_Plated_Clear_BP-WBVGNGTXTITANNPACIBK-MBK.html



This is what got me settled on the motherboard that I would be using for my build. Now I had to find a case to use. Again I wanted to do something different. I had the small challenge of putting 3 radiators in a 800D so I wanted another challenge. I decided to do a custom loop in a Cooler master Elite 130 mITX case. Basically this case as designed for a closed loop cooler with a standard thickness radiator. Ran out of room in the Elite 130 so I decided to jump to the Bitfenix Prodigy. So I plan to do a little modding and a try and cram an XSPC RX120, 2 Fans, a Swiftech MCP35x Pump with EK clear CSQ acrylic top and a reservoir. Which I have no clue what one I will be using right now. I also plan to put a window on both sides of the case to show off all the work.

Heres a few pics of the Case to show what I am working with.







This Build is going to take me some time as I have to save to purchase the parts still. I only have the motherboard, the case and a videocard to use at the moment. Still need to get the CPU, PSU, RAM, Waterblock, Reservoir, Pump, Radiator and the fans. Not to mention fittings. I will be using acrylic tubing on this build. Everything will be way to cramped to try and use normal tubing.

Color scheme will be Green white and red like the Italian flag. White case, Green, white and Red 24 pin connector, green accessory power cables, red and white fittings, white coolant.

And now for my parts List

Hardware:

CPU: Intel i5 3570k



Currently Using A Intel Celeron G1620



Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe (received)



Power Supply: Corsair AX760 (received)



Videocard: Gigabyte Radeon HD7950 For now (previously purchased)



Ram: Corsair Dominator Platinum 8GB(2 x 4GB) 2133Mhz (received)



Hard Drive: Samsung 840 Series



and a 2TB Seagate Barricuda (purchased)



Case: BitFenix Prodigy



Watercooling:

Waterblock: Bitspower P8Z77-I Deluxe Water block



Fittings: Primochill Revolver Compression Fittings in Red (Received)



Bitspower 90° Rotary Adapters in white (Received)



Tubing: Primichill Clear Acrylic Tubing (Received)



Radiators: XSPC AX120



XSPC RS120



Pump and Reservoir: EK DDC X-RES TOP w/ PWM pump



Fans: Corsair SP120 PWM Quiet Edition or High Performance Versions



Coolant: Mayhem's Pastel Ice White (Received)



Lighting:
Phobya RGB LED IR Controller and 1 6CM RGB LED Strip (Received)



Fan Contoller: Swiftech 8 Way PWM Splitter

(Received)

Workflow(sorta)

Front Panel Honey Comb Removal


Marking Side panel for window and Organizing parts for painting

Painting Main chassis, interior pieces, front panel and mesh

Main Chassis Painted and Assembled

Installed Motherboard and Painted GPU Fan Shroud

Painted accents on GPU fan shroud

Side Window A Removed

Side Window B Removed and preliminary cable management

Painted the cover panel, an easter egg, and preliminary 24pin routing

Cover panel installed and coolant received thumb.gif

First Test/Maybe Final acrylic frame stock arived 12"x12" of 1/4" Translucent White and Lettering Design

Mock up of new front fan mount

New Fan Mount Completed

New Fan mount, Reservoir Fill Cutout and Final Coat of Paint on Chassis.

Initial Lighting configuration. May cut the LED strip down so it fits better. May also get a 30cm one for the other side of the case

Finalized Logo for the Build

Final Light Controller Position and new custom 24pin cable ordered

MDPC-X Sleeve Heatshink and Pin Removal Tool Arive

SSD Placement and Final Lighting Configuration

More Cables Sleeved, Corsair Dominator Platinum Ram Purchased

Accent Paint on Front Panel and Case Cover

Final Accent Stripes Applied


Mockup of GPU side window.

Custom 24 pin cable installed

Green Removed from from panel and Fan accent ring mockup

Started Making Custom Cables


Made a few more cables and started measuring for CPU and GPU cables

Resleeved the custom cables I made. Didnt like the way I did the heatshrink in the end.

So I redid it thumb.gif

Routing for New Cables and Final SSD mounting point.

Recieved Fittings, Tubing, and fan controller for the build. New Fan contoller cables sleeved and controller mounted.

New DVD Slot cover and failed attempt at making the custom window trim.

2x PCIe and 8 pin CPU cables Cut to length. Also pins and heat shrink arrived from MDPC-x.

Crimper and heatshrink arrived. Sleeved 2x PCIe and 8pin CPU power cables.


Made my own 24pin cable


Ordered Majority of Water cooling components

I am now out of room and will be changing cases mad.gif

Switched to the Bitfenix Prodigy in white and already made a few modifications

A few more mods and getting cables routed

Plans for custom Front panel


Starting to get tubing routed

Big update with system filled and running, also a few issues I ran into


Painted Second Radiator and door panels
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So this case came with some kind of odd honeycomb behind the mesh front panel. I didn't like it so I made plans to at first just remove the parts that would hinder airflow.





Like I said I just planned to remove a circle. But in the end I removed all of it. Now you can see through quite easily and I like that you can see the fan.





Removed the silly hunnycomb they had behind the mesh cover.

Nice to be able to see the fan. Cant do much more to increase airflow in this little machine.

Here is a teaser of the side panel ideas I have and for the possible layout of the radiator and pump. Pump is movable but gives me good idea of the space it will take up. Also a note on the way the fan mounts inside the front. With the honeycomb removed, there is quite a bit more space for the fan in the front area. It would be possible to modify the mount to move the fan forward and give more room to add a second fan to the system.

Plans for a side window. Will most likely do one on the other side as well.





 

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Looking good so far. I'm starting to like SFF builds more and more to more I see them. Shame I just finished building a new media server or I totally would have gone SFF. I did the same thing with the front honeycomb behind the front bezel with my gf's case. Drastically improved airflow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by morencyam View Post

Looking good so far. I'm starting to like SFF builds more and more to more I see them. Shame I just finished building a new media server or I totally would have gone SFF. I did the same thing with the front honeycomb behind the front bezel with my gf's case. Drastically improved airflow.
Slowly more and more cases are coming out that will actually support watercooling in the SFF market. So I hope to start seeing more soon. Maybe even inspire some?

I am trying to decide on my res still. There is the almost obvious choice of the Swiftech MCRES Micro Rev2 http://www.swiftech.com/mcresmicrorev2reservoir.aspx
But I don't really like the looks of it and would prefer to use a tube style res if possible.

Or I could go with something more along these lines.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/17507/ex-res-430/EK-MultiOption_RES_X3_110_-_Liquid_Cooling_Reservoir_6_Total_Ports.html?tl=g30c97s165



http://www.frozencpu.com/products/14284/ex-res-321/Bitspower_Water_Tank_Z-Multi_40_Inline_Reservoir_-_Ice_Black_BP-WTZM40P-IBKBK.html?tl=g30c97s165



Or to Switch my entire pump idea to one of these. That is if I can get it to fit in the case. The DVD/Blu-Ray drive is only in there till I get my OS installed. And will most likely be removed before than and ran externally. I Will be mounting a 1TB WD Black HDD in the DVD tray and pasting a SSD wherever I can lol.

I have also thought about doing a bay res but then my HDD mounting point will be compromised.

http://www.frozencpu.com/products/21018/ex-pmp-247/EK_DDC_X-RES_Top_100_w_32_PWM_Pump_EK-DDC_32_PWM_X-RES_100.html?tl=g30c97s152



I am also unsure what to do about this side window. Do Just the area for the Video card or the entire window? I will be doing a full window on the opposite side of the case.

Plans for a side window. Will most likely do one on the other side as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimoswabi View Post

For such a SFF like yours, you might want to stick with a pump/res combo with space being at a premium.
Something like EK-DCP 2.2


I've used it in my Prodigy and it's near silent, very low power consumption & load current requirements so you can just plug it into your CPU Fan header on your mobo.
I like the idea. Just have to write down its footprint and make some measurements in the case. It may be too long though.
 

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Why go for such a thick rad when you have so little space (unless you already own it, then disregard everything I say). Why not go for a high FPI, low thickness rad?
 

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

I went and took a quick measurement:
110mm x 65mm x 100mm (L x W x H)
Ya I got it off the link but thank you
smile.gif


Took a quick measurement and I have around 5 inches or 130mm.



So I think in the end I can either go with the picture I will post below this line.



Or I get the EK RES-X3 100 which is basically the same size as the pump top and still run a separate reservoir.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WarpPrism View Post

Why go for such a thick rad when you have so little space (unless you already own it, then disregard everything I say). Why not go for a high FPI, low thickness rad?
No i don't own the rad yet so that is always an option. I could go with a AX120 or a RS120 or an EX120 i think they have now. Then I could do push pull with no modification. My though on the thicker rad was it would also somewhat serve as some reservoir space since I am going to lack a bit in that department. More fluid takes longer to heat up so it will take longer before my fans/rads/heat from system/ambient temps all reach their equilibrium point and cant cool any further.

Then again a smaller rad would let me do push pull with a fan closer to the front of the case giving the GPU a little more air. As I am not sure what to do about the air supply for the GPU. The acrylic window I plan to put in will remove the air holes that were designed for that.

I am glad I am getting some input on this build. It is going to be some work fitting everything but I think I will manage. And I do expect my plans wont stay the same the entire build Placement or a component(pump,res,rad) may change here or there. Other than those 3 mentioned everything else is set.
 

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Ya I have seen a lot of people's build logs here on OCN change often
rolleyes.gif


I think the AX120 is the best option for a slim XSPC (it has higher FPI and is slightly thicker). There are other brands though such as EK or Black Ice that have high FPI, slim rads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarpPrism View Post

Ya I have seen a lot of people's build logs here on OCN change often
rolleyes.gif


I think the AX120 is the best option for a slim XSPC (it has higher FPI and is slightly thicker). There are other brands though such as EK or Black Ice that have high FPI, slim rads.
Well my plans have already changed. Got online after work and noticed Corsair was having a huge refurb and accessory sale. So I picked myself up one of these little guys.



I also figured out my color scheme. Going to do a nationality based build here think I'm gonna call it Little Italy. Picked up a set of green Accessory cables and a Red 24pin cable set for the power supply. Red and green sleeved cables with Mayhem's Pastel White coolant. Might even order a White and a Green 24pin and do the 24pin like the flag.
 

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O yes for $90 amiright?

So what rad are you going with? Another potentially good one I spotted is the EK Coolstream PE, 38mm thickness but high FPI so optimal for push-pull in your situation.
 

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

O yes for $90 amiright?

So what rad are you going with? Another potentially good one I spotted is the EK Coolstream PE, 38mm thickness but high FPI so optimal for push-pull in your situation.
Yes sir. I had the PSU and the green cables added and after the 10% discount it was like 120. I added the $10 24pin cable and it ended up being 118 plus 4.95 shipping.

Haven't decided on radiator yet. Had a long day at work and been just vegging tonight mainly. But I couldn't pass up on the deal corsair had going.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuntfly02 View Post

Yes sir. I had the PSU and the green cables added and after the 10% discount it was like 120. I added the $10 24pin cable and it ended up being 118 plus 4.95 shipping.

Haven't decided on radiator yet. Had a long day at work and been just vegging tonight mainly. But I couldn't pass up on the deal corsair had going.
Wow only $4.95 shipping? For the refurb case sale the shipping was $20 or so... I am seriously considering an H100i for 60 bucks right now.

By the way, is there any way to see the shipping cost before checkout?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarpPrism View Post

Wow only $4.95 shipping? For the refurb case sale the shipping was $20 or so... I am seriously considering an H100i for 60 bucks right now.

By the way, is there any way to see the shipping cost before checkout?
You have to go through the checkout process but you can see the cost of shipping before you hit the final button to place the order. I have an account on the site which shouldn't make a difference but they have 3 shipping optioins. 4-6 days standard and then UPS Ground and UPS 2 Day.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuntfly02 View Post

You have to go through the checkout process but you can see the cost of shipping before you hit the final button to place the order. I have an account on the site which shouldn't make a difference but they have 3 shipping optioins. 4-6 days standard and then UPS Ground and UPS 2 Day.
Okay, thanks for the info. The shipping costs probably differ based on what sort of item you're ordering. And I don't have an account on Corsair's web store so I will have to go through that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuntfly02 View Post

Now that I have decided on a theme the real question is do I get the case redone in white? Or maybe like a Hunter Green? Or leave it alone? I am not sure what the cost would be to tear this case down and have it painted or powder coated.
I'm not too sure about how much it would cost (probably relatively inexpensive, as I have heard in other build logs), but I will say if you really want everything to match your theme and you want to make it look professional a white paint job would be best: neutral so it isn't biased toward red or green. Or if you get the case painted red or green I might say make the interior only white and the other color in order to create a balance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarpPrism View Post

I'm not too sure about how much it would cost (probably relatively inexpensive, as I have heard in other build logs), but I will say if you really want everything to match your theme and you want to make it look professional a white paint job would be best: neutral so it isn't biased toward red or green. Or if you get the case painted red or green I might say make the interior only white and the other color in order to create a balance.
I'm think the interior and the face white and the outer shell green. I could easily spray the mesh grills red too
biggrin.gif


Oh I'm getting excited just thinking about this build. This is the sort of thing I wish I had done with my 800D. That case has so much potential but you have to tear it completely apart to do much with it.
 
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