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Discussion Starter #1
INTRODUCTION
Hey, so I thought I would do a build log of my system. Currently it is about half done. I have the CPU loop installed. However there are a few things I would like to get done. I guess I wanted to layout what I have done and will be doing as there isn't a huge resource on water cooling the Fractal Design Define R4.

1) Add the GPU into the system
2) Sleeve the PSU cables
3) Tidy up the cable management.

I am currently in the process of adding the GPU into the loop (which is what started the idea to make it into a build log) I will talk a little more about the components in a bit.
I am looking into sleeving the cables; this is probably going to be the part that takes the longest. I am still deciding what type and colours to go with. Maybe if I get a bit more cash I will order some MDPC-X sleeving. Thinking of mainly black with a touch of blue. Also debating if I should go MDPC or go paracord etc.

In regards to tiding up the cable management I am not sure 100% on how I want to do this. I have seen a couple of other projects that I will 'borrow' ideas from. I was thinking of an acrylic panel to extend the motherboard tray. I would then mount the hard drive behind this and mount the pump to it too. I think it would give the interior a much cleaner look.
I hope to continuously keep it updated however other than the GPU loop it will probably take a while, as this is the only PC I have to use at the same time.

PARTS
PC COMPONENTS
CPU:Intel Core i5 3570K (currently sitting at 4.2ghz)
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V-LK
RAM: 8GB GSkill (if I go with a colour theme I would need to update this as they are red)
SSD: 120GB Intel 330
HDD: 1TB Seagate Barracuda
PSU: Corsair HX-620
GPU: ASUS GTX 670 DCII
Case: Fractal Design Define R4
Fans: 2x140 Fractal Design Silent Series, 2x120 Corsair AF120, 2x140 Deep Cool UP140

WATER COOLING (CURRENT)
Pump: Alphacool D5 Vario Pump
CPU Block: XSPC Raystorm Intel Block
Radiators: XSPC EX240
Coolant: Distilled with silver
Reservoir: EK-D5 X-RES 140 (pump top and res)
Tubing: Primochill LRT Advanced - Clear
Fittings: Compression - XSPC black chrome, Bitspower elbows and extenders

WATER COOLING (PROPOSED)
GPU: EK ASUS 670 DCII block with backplate (backplate on the way, block owned)
CPU Block: XSPC Raystorm Intel Block
Radiators: Hardware Labs Black Ice SR1 280
Coolant: EK Koolant (for a bit to keep the warranty)
Fans: 2x120 Sycthe Gentle Typhoons, 2x140 NoiseBlocker BlackSilent Pro PK-3

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) The starting Point (The first post below)
2) The GPU Block (post 4)
More to come...

CURRENT PROGRESS
I will update this post with the most current pictures of the build.

Watercooling is done. Sleeving to go. Waiting on the proper tools to get it done.




FINAL PICTURES
Will go here

If you have any comments or advice please feel free to let me know. I am going to try for a clean look so if you have any suggestions please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
OK, so the first update is going to be a bit of a history of what I have done so far. If you see the first post you can see all of the parts I have used. The first picture I have also has a Primochill Dye Bomb however I was talked out of using this. I went for straight distilled water.



Here are a couple of pictures of the Res and the Block, however I think you would have probably seen many pictures of the XPSC raystorm block.



After much playing around with how I wanted to mount it. I was originally going to mount the pump over the +1 PCI slot on the case however the res was slightly too large, then I was going to mount it above the hard drive cage in the factory position, however again the res was too tall now I decided to mount it on the side of the drive cage in its third location. If you are familiar with the R4 you can mount the bottom hard drive cage in 3 positions. The factory, and then two that are closer to the PSU. I tried to mount the res on the side of the cage in all three positions, however none worked. The factory location didn't work as the tube hit the GPU, the second position didn't give enough space, and the third I couldn't use due to the cabling of the PSU. I had to use the honeycomb grill on the bottom of the case for a mount for the hard drive cage. It turned out alright.



After mounting this, I realized I had done two things wrong. First is that I mounted the pump too low. I had no comfortable way of increasing/decreasing the speed of the pump. Secondly I realized I didn't order enough 90 degree angles if I wanted to attach the drain to the second inlet of the pump/res. I also realized I would need to purchase another EK extender as the Bitspower fittings were slightly too large (probably by about .5mm in radius) to fit in the recess of the pump.



I realized when the radiator was in the case, it was pretty hard to get my hands in, so I ordered some extenders for it. After I had ordered a few more fittings etc and moved the pump up a little so that I could change the speed, I had it all together and started leak testing. This was about 2 weeks ago and it is running fine now.



And just a few more various shots




I also played around with the LED lighting included with the Block. I might bring this back out at a later stage if I am going for a more looks oriented build.



Today I received the GPU block. It was much heavier that I expected so I put in an order for the back plate too as the stock heat sink make my card sag so much right now I thought I better be safe.




I also decided to try out the EK 90 degree fittings, as they were about half the price of the Bitspower ones. They look awesome with the XSPC compression fittings, but Think the Bitspower ones look better against the black acetone. I doubt I will change them out as it is going to cost around $90+ for better looking fittings.




As I have been doing this I have been trying to improve on my photography skills. So I guess any tips on that too would be great (have read the photographing your rig guide on here)

Oh, I thought I would also add how it performs currently. As the temperaturs are probably the best benchmark.

Before It was water cooled - I had a Hyper 212+ on there (ambient temp 19 deg)
IDLE
CPU: 36-29-22-24 (17 Deg Above Ambient)
GPU: 29 (12 deg above Ambient)

LOAD
CPU: 67-65-63-65 (48 above Ambient)
GPU: 70 (51 above Ambient)

After the water (ambient temp 21 deg)
IDLE
CPU: 37-28-24-29 (16 deg above Ambient)
GPU: 28 (7 deg above Ambient)

LOAD
CPU: 63-61-59-61 (42 above Ambient)
GPU: 69 (48 above Ambient)

The GPU obviously doesn't change much. The temps on the CPU are an improvement however I think with better fans and maybe re-seating the CPU block I could get a slightly better gain. Hopefully adding the GPU doesn't adversely affect the loop either. There is one more location I can add a 140/120 rad onto if I have issues, but that would mean removing the HDD cage and installing it on the floor of the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thought I would post a bit of an update just to let everyone know that its still going. Waiting on these parts to come before I can continue.

2xFan Splitter cables
670 backplate
G1/4 inner/outer rotary bit (for my drain)
Black Acrylic
MDPC-X shipment
oh and longer screws for the SR1

In the last few weeks I have received

2x Noiseblocker PK3 140 Fans (These are loud but seem to move a bit of air, bearable on 7 volts)
2x Gentle Typhoon 1850rpm fans
280 SR1 rad
4x XSPC compression fittings
Front fan Controller for the R4 (mine is faulty)
EK Koolant (figured I might use it)
670 backplate
G1/4 inner/outer rotary bit (for my drain)
Black Acrylic
MDPC-X shipment
oh and longer screws for the SR1

Also got Mayhems UV Emerald Green X1 but I think I might use that another time.

Just on a side note Fractal Design's customer service is amazing. Just needed to email proof of purchase and the serial number and they happily sent on out to me (Europe to Australia)

I am hoping that the acrylic and backplates come tomorrow so that I can set it all up on Sunday. Otherwise I think I will be working 7 days straight for the next few weeks and won't get any time to get to work on it. (not getting my hopes up, the estimated time for the back plate was 15-30 days, and was sent on the 29th) Otherwise I will check it out and see if it can be installed without pulling the card apart.

I saw another Build on here where there was a bit of acrylic over the PSU to the fan in white. I think It might steal that Idea if/when I get a window in the case.

Also in regards to the loop order I was thinking of reversing it. so a bit like this PUMP > 280RAD > 240RAD > CPU > GPU > RES > PUMP
It either will have to go GPU>CPU or CPU>GPU I don't think it will have a massive impact on the temperatures (as from what I have been reading loop order hardly makes a difference) but what do you think?

Edit Got the backplate and Rotary bit today. I guess I will have to wait until next weekend before I do anything more.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I have received everything, or at least I think I have. I may get a few more things, who knows I tend to just buy a whole lot of stuff I think I need. Hahaha.

Either way, I have also thought of adding uv reactant dye into the mix to help check for leaks. Hopefully it works like I want it to.

I have started work on putting all the new components into the system. The drain I used was pretty helpful. However there were a few issues. When I rotated it around to get the outlet into the bucket it started leaking from the fitting straight away. This is where the Inner/Outer G1/4 fitting should come in handy, and stop this. I am still not sure about the acrylic extension to the motherboard tray. My issues with it are that cable routing will be more difficult to make it look nice. However I also think that the case looks so much better without the hard drive cage. For now I might leave it with the HDD cage and add the acrylic in later.

The SR1 is a tight fit, but it should be fine I need to re-mod the mounting holes as I think they are slightly off and a bit more play with the screws would be great to get it to fit. These pictures are obviously not of the fit but still of the SR1.


I got the package from MDPC. Very nice sleeving. The colours look good but the blue might be a bit too aqua to match the motherboard. Not a huge Issue.


I have sleeved the GTs which makes it look much better. However I managed to get them both connected to the bottom fan header so you cant see any cables at the radiator so it might have been a bit of a waste. Was a good trial to sleeving. I have now gone and done it to the pump cables, It looks so much better now.


I have also taken my Graphics card out and put the block and backplate on. It looks very nice. I am happy with it (so far) It is much heavier than the stock heatsink however when I put it in there was no drooping of the card (like with the stock one) The weight of the block is spread much better.



I have mounted the GTs on the 240 rad and routed the cables behind the motherboard so it looks very nice. They are going to a single fan header on the motherboard. I have also re-mounted the Raystorm. I read on here that someone got better results with a 90deg mount so I have tried that and will see how it goes. Although adding the gpu into the mix wont let me see if it makes it better. I have taken the front of the case off. I decided to remove the USB2 and also the HD audio cables to help neaten up the cabling. Mainly as I wont use these and if I do need to I have USB3.

For now thats all I can think of. I will keep updating it as I go along.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So the water cooling aspect has been completed for now. I don't have any overall pictures yet but will upload some that I have got so far.

First up is my messy workspace. It is much cleaner now that I have finished the build.


The off cuts of my tubing. If I generally over measured and cut to size, rather than cutting it short the first time.


Here is the first couple of attempts at sleeving. I am really happy how the pump came out. Looks so much better. The power switches etc are a little bit crap though.


I have put clear UV dye in the loop, with distilled and a biocide (mayhems) I did plan on draining the loop then using the EK Koolant I have, however once I thought about it, draining it will mean pulling apart most of it to get all of the water out (which I assume is what is needed when changing coolant types)

Here is just a whole lot of playing around with a new lens I got. Also lit the tubing up with a UV light. I am thinking of getting two 30cm UV lights to light it up (I think it looks pretty rad lit up)




At first I was getting really bad temps, shot up to about 80+ in a few seconds of load, figured out that it was because the pump wasnt connected properly. Plugged it in right and it was working good. Very happy with the temperatures.

I will try get full pics of the loop soon. Just need to find the time. Then It is onto sleeving the system.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I drilled a couple of holes through the hard drive cage. EK supply a bracket with their pump top/res that looks like L (but upside down) and it is just bolted into the side of the HDD cage. Here is the mounting guide for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The project is still going along. I haven't really done anything to it though.

I just took everything out the case. (Didn't take the loop apart) soi its just sitting on my desk. Reason I did this is I have a few Ideas that I wish to do. Also I don't know why but I figure it will be easier to sleeve, once I get around to it.

I have a spare 360 rad so I figure that I will use this instead of the 240. Going to put the 280 at the top if it fits and mod the front of the case to fit a 360. I also want to change how I mount the pump. I don't like the HDD cage.
Thinking of putting a box around the PSU and stuff.

I may also make a false back. Not sure if I am going to convert my system back to air for the time being why I work on the case or if I should leave it as it is. I am a little worried it will fall off the desk and spray water all over my powerboard.
There is probably a few other things, but I will try keep pictures posted as I go.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The front I did need to drill a few holes to fit the 280. A 240 would fit fine. The top fits a thin 240 fine too. I would also recommend drilling out the 5.25 bay if you don't use it. Makes it much easier
 

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Thanks for the advise, I placed all my HDDs at the 5.25 bay area.

Another question, does all 240mm rads have the standard screw positions that will fit the define R4 front? Which is the 240mm rad that you've tried that works perfectly?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The front will fix in 4 screws in the middle. So if you do it that way you would need to attach the fans in pull set up. Or only fix each fan twice. Shouldn't be an issue. From memory they are long holes so there is no set mounting distance and therefor could use any rad. Can double check when I get home.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think it was res/pump > 240 rad > CPU > GPU > 280 rad > res/pump. Or the other way around.
 

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Great job the build is very very beautiful! Also I have a Fractal Design Arc XL and would like to install my first liquid cooling system, I know the diameter of the fittings? Is Good Mayhems Biocide Extreme together with bidistilled water to have a similar effect as your build? I have prepared a list for my liquid cooling system, you tell me if the components are good and help me to choose between the two radiators? Sorry for my bad english and Happy New Year
smile.gif
Thanks for your support

Quote:
EK Water Blocks EK-Supremacy - Plexy-Nikel

Alphacool pump VPP655

EK-D5 X-RES 140 CSQ - Acetal Reservoir

Scythe - GentleTyphoon 120mm 1850rpm
Quote:
Alphacool Radiatore NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper 240mm

XSPC Dual Fan Radiator AX240
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm not really sure what you mean with the biocide question. Do you mean if you add it to distilled water will it have the same effect? If so, it won't colour your water blue. It turns into a clear solution once added. I would recommend getting a bottle of blue dye too.

With the radiators. I think both a good however I would probably go with the one that has lower FPI. This way you could use quieter fans. I think you might not see much of a difference between the two temperature wise. Maybe like 1-2 deg. I think the area of a radiator has a bigger impact than the thickness of it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyv View Post

With the radiators. I think both a good however I would probably go with the one that has lower FPI.
Thank you, I can show some model?

The primochill tubes that you used are 13/19 mm ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by andyv View Post

If so, it won't colour your water blue
My choice is between these two, to be added with distilled water and biocide. I'd like to see the real effects on a photo of build
smile.gif



Mayhems XT-1 UV Blue


Mayhems X1
 
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