Table of Contents
Note: For those posts which are retroactive, the date reflects the date of
the post, not the date when I did the corresponding work.
01. 2013-JUL-01: The SMH10 - Unboxing and Assembly
02. 2013-JUL-01: Radiators
03. 2013-JUL-01: PSU & Pump Mounting, Making the 24 Pin Cable
04. 2013-JUL-06: What 40 Hours of Cabling Will Get You...
05. 2013-JUL-18: Various Small Bits
06. 2013-JUL-22: A Copper Face Plate for the Lamptron FC5V2
07. 2013-JUL-25: The Aqua Computer Aqualis Copper Edition
08. 2013-JUL-29: Interlude: A Retroactive Build Log on My Previous Build, ZEUS
09. 2013-SEP-14: Prototype: The Bitfenix Spectre Pro Copper Edition
10. 2013-SEP-15: Painting the M/B Block Screws
11. 2013-SEP-20: Fan Disassembly: How-To
12. 2013-SEP-22: Quick and Messy Status Shots
13. 2013-SEP-23: The Bitfenix Spectre Pro Copper Edition (cont.)
14. 2013-SEP-23: Copper Paint vs. Actual Copper: A Comparison
15. 2013-OCT-01: Colour-Coordinating the Kryographics Titan
16. 2013-OCT-08: Loop Planning
17. 2013-OCT-09: Colour-Coordinating the Raystorms
18. 2013-OCT-13: Deciding on a Backplate, Small M/B Teaser
19. 2013-OCT-13: The EVGA SR-2 Black Editon
20. 2013-OCT-28: Requesting Opinions on Fittings...
21. 2013-OCT-29: Colour-Coordinating the RAM Blocks
22. 2015-SEP-03: Finally, Progress!
23. 2015-SEP-06: Assembled
I hope I've put this in the right sub-forum.
Many, many years ago I first came across OCN, but since I was out of the
PC building game for a few years (military, college, bad health) I only got back
into it earlier this year, and finally decided to join up here.
A very short introduction: 27 years old, male, Swiss, finished high school
in 2005, army 2005~2007 (Lt, infantry), worked in Logistics and accounting
2007~2008, studied mechanical engineering 2008~2012. Unfortunately
I was befallen by bad health for extended periods of time during my studies
(nothing life-threatening, but it did prevent me from working for college as
much as I should have) and had to drop out last summer (I will be starting
a degree in electrical engineering next September if all goes according to
Since then I've been recuperation (still one more operation required next
August) and did some web development work from home. Finally, this spring
I had the money and time to start putting together a rig which I'd been planning
for a very long time.
Yes, yes, I'm aware: The SR-2 is old news by now. Originally I started putting this
build together in late summer 2011. Shortly afterwards, everything was put on
halt due to health troubles. After it became clear that the pause was going to
be significantly longer than expected, I considered selling off the hardware I had
already bought (the SR-2 among it), since being ill is not exactly cheap for a college
student, even in a country with mandatory health insurance.
However, I still would have made a significant loss, and I just have an inherent
weak spot for dual CPU systems, so I persisted. And this spring I finally had the
money to start buying the remaining components.
The good thing about having to wait this long is that in the meantime, Caselabs
had come out with pretty much the perfect case for my plans: The SMH10.
Originally, it was going to be a scratchbuild. The case I would have made myself
would have been quite similar in layout to the SMH10, also built from aluminium
(2 mm ~ 3 mm). But naturally, it's rather difficult to manufacture something of
similar quality with only the basic DIY tools, and if I had bought the tools
needed for making my own awesome case it would have cost about the same if not
slightly more than an SMH10, so I just went for that instead.
I'm still far off from getting everything I need, so this will take some time to
complete (I hope to be done some time in summer).
Before anyone thinks I'm a millionaire or something: I worked before I went
to college. I've been working since I had to drop out last summer/fall.
Besides that, I'm rather frugal with most other things in my life. So this build
is mostly the result of hard work, dedication and lots and lots of patience.
No miracles were worked and no cheat codes used.
Hysterical Excess Labouring Independently Of Sanity, aka HELIOS.
Because: It's been going on for almost two years. And I am definitely starting
to question my sanity.
Also: I've been naming my PC's after Greek deities since forever. The first PC I
built was an AMD Thunderbird C 1.4 GHz machine back in 2001, which lasted me for
a few years, and it was called Helios (I use the name as the PC's host name
within our network, for those wondering what practical use it has).
It died a fiery death at the hands of a water cooling accident: Using the Eheim
1048 I had been befallen by the rattling pump wheel. Naturally, I wrapped some
tape around the axle which solved that problem. Unfortunately, the tape became
brittle over time and eventually, a piece of tape broke off and clogged the
loop. Killed the flow, cooked the CPU (no overheating protection back then).
After that, I took that name out of use, until now. It's time for a revival.
For the most part, PrometheusCU. I'm sure many of you are familiar with it,
and those who aren't: Go read it, now! I'll wait a few days.
Sadly, its creator passed on and never finished it (it did go to a friend of his,
but no activity since last summer, at least not in the original thread
I don't nearly have his set of skills and/or tools, but that doesn't change
the inspiration part.
Main PC Guts
As a side note: The computing power of this rig will mostly go to BOINC (I might
use it for gaming from time to time, we shall see). If [email protected] ever get their stuff
together with regards to GPU folding on Linux (highly unlikely
switch over to folding again, since I'd been doing that for about 18 months
before switching to BOINC due to the GPU problem (and a few other niggles I
have with the project's behavior towards its donors).
The O/S will most likely be Arch Linux (since I've been using that for about two
years now and am quite comfortable with it), or if I feel experimental Gentoo or
even FreeBSD. Certainly not Windows. I need my xterm and Z shell and UNIX
- M/B: EVGA SR-2
- CPU: 2 x Xeon x5680 (not ES, normal retail version, got them for half price
on eBay, brand spanking new)
- RAM: 24 GB of Corsair Dominator 1866
- GPU: 1 x Geforce Titan (should do well at computing)
- SSD: Intel 520 120 GB
- HDD: TBD
- PSU: Enermax Platimax 1200 W (don't need that much power, but the
weaker models aren't fully modular, more reasoning for my decision later on)
- Case: Caselabs SMH10, reverse ATX layout, obviously in black
Well, of course it will be under water!. In fact, all my PC's for the last 12 years
have had to get wet.
- CPU blocks: XSPC Raystorm Copper Edition
- GPU block: Probably the Aquacomputer Titan block in copper with
the acrylic top. Haven't ordered it yet though, so this might still change.
- RAM blocks: Alphacool Dominator water blocks in copper with plexi
tops. Yes, cooling your RAM with water is absolutely unnecessary.
I just like how it looks.
- M/B block: MIPS SR-2 block in Acetal/Copper
- Pumps: 2 x Aquacomputer D5 without Aquabus
- Pump tops: 2 x Alphacool D5 pump tops in Acetal
- Reservoir: Aquacomputer Aqualis Pro
- Radiators: 2 x Hardware Labs SR-1 560 + 1 x Alphacool NexXxoS XT45
Full Copper 480 (that's ~14.89 120mm single radiators, for those
- Fans: For the moment, Bitfenix Spectre Pros in 140 mm and 120 mm,
respectively. Some people seem to be having bearing troubles, if that
happens, I will probably go for some Noctuas.
- Fan and Pump Controller:Lamptron FC5v2
- Flow Meter and Display: Koolance INS-FM17N with the DCB-FM01
as its display. I know flow monitoring isn't really necessary, and the
Koolance flow meter doesn't really look good. This is mostly about satisfying
my curiosity, and there's enough places in the SMH10 where I can hide the
display and the sensor so that it doesn't uglify the build.
- Fittings: 16/10 mm compression fittings, Alphacool shiny copper and
possibly also in black
- Tubing: 15 mm OD copper tubing (possibly some normal 16/10 tubing
in some parts, to be determined). And yes, I have figured out a way to fit
15mm OD tubing into 16/10 compression fittings and getting it watertight
(at least according to first tests, let's hope it keeps working).
Although I started this build a few months ago (some may already have seen it
in other places) it is still very much an ongoing project and will be for quite a
while. I will be catching this log up to date over the coming few days.
So, for those who have not been deterred by my introductory novella, let's
get to it.