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HELIOS - ASSEMBLED 2015-SEP-06 - (Caselabs SMH10 | Black/Copper | EVGA SR-2 Black Edition)

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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

Current Status

aw--helios--2015-09-06--27--overview-front-side.jpeg

aw--helios--2015-09-06--28--overview-front-side.jpeg

aw--helios--2015-09-06--29--overview-back-side.jpeg

Prologue

Hello everybody.
smile.gif


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
plan though).

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.
smile.gif


The Name

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.

The Inspiration

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
frown.gif
).
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
frown.gif
), I might
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
utilities.

Anyway:
  • 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
W/C parts

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
    wondering).
  • 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.
smile.gif
  • Rep+
Reactions: DerComissar
21 - 40 of 276 Posts

· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by casetitan View Post

Jawbreaking awesome!
thumb.gif
Very clean look
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apocalypse Maow View Post

SUBD!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardnerphotos View Post

subbed!
Thanks for the support fellas, it is much appreciated.
smile.gif
 

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CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), quality = 80
rolleyes.gif
 

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3,266 Posts
AN SMH10 BUILD
biggrin.gif
biggrin.gif
biggrin.gif
subbity sub for sure
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepp3 View Post

AN SMH10 BUILD
biggrin.gif
biggrin.gif
biggrin.gif
subbity sub for sure
Thanks man!
smile.gif


On another note: She's alive!

With the major cables finished I installed a temporary water loop yesterday and turned her on for the
first time. She POSTs, all RAM and both CPUs are detected and the Titan displays a picture onto the
screen. So I'm very relieved to finally know that my hardware is (probably) working as it should. I will
be installing Arch Linux onto the machine and doing some stress testing in the coming days though.

Besides that, I'll be starting to fiddle around with the copper tubing.
 

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I actually just ordered my SMH10
smile.gif
last night!
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepp3 View Post

I actually just ordered my SMH10
smile.gif
last night!
Congrats, I think you'll be very happy with it!
thumb.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by YP5 Toronto View Post

Subbed...love the time and effort you are putting into this.
Thank you!
smile.gif
 

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How's your sleeving experience been with the Platimax? Does it have 1 to 1 cabling? I've been interested in this PSU for a long time
thumb.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepp3 View Post

How's your sleeving experience been with the Platimax? Does it have 1 to 1 cabling? I've been interested in this PSU for a long time
thumb.gif
It's not perfect, but it could be worse. There are a few caveats. The 24 pin has four double wires for voltage
sensing/regulation, and the GPU power cables have clamps on the ground wire groups. I actually plan on
making a more detailed post about how I did the PSU in the next few days, so if it's ok I'll give you what you'll
need to make an informed decision with pics instead of writing an essay.
wink.gif


Spoiler though: It's an excellent PSU, but it does not have 1:1 wiring.
frown.gif
I did however not encounter any
serious frustrations like some people seem to be having with sleeving their Seasonic units.

EDIT

In the meantime, you may be interested in B Negative's SR-2 build. He also had a platimax which
he completely sleeved. I can't recall how he got around the problem of those clamps, but I do remember
him mentioning them.
 

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Thanks man!
thumb.gif
I'm definitely watching this build every time there's a new post
biggrin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzepp3 View Post

Thanks man!
thumb.gif
I'm definitely watching this build every time there's a new post
biggrin.gif
Thanks!
smile.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by socketus View Post

In for s'mo' CL building ;-)
Hehe, thank you.
smile.gif


On another note, two small update remarks:
I'm currently experimenting with getting an encrypted Arch Linux installation set up. Since I have the
rig temporarily assembled I might as well do that now before tearing it apart again. I might also go
with FreeBSD, haven't totally decided yet. In any case, fiddling around with Linux/UNIX makes for a nice
change between all the manual work.

I have been experimenting around with the copper tubing. Since 15 mm OD tubing is rather hard to
bend in tight radii, I'm currently thinking that I will most likely do completely straight tubing runs. I
don't really want to use thinner OD tubing. Bitspower fittings are not only very hard to come by where
I live, but also ridiculously expensive (even quite a bit more expensive than Monsoon fittings). So
the next diameter down would be 10 mm with push fittings. And I don't really want to go with that since
for one thing I don't really like the look of those push fittings, and I also think 10 mm tubing is just
kind of a small OD for such a large case. 15 mm tubing has a very nice look to it, plus it would allow me
to use some 16/10 mm Alphacool Shiny Copper fittings (also not at all cheap, but still not as expensive
as the Bitspower ones around here).

Either way, I definitely intend to run copper tubing in this, so no need to worry about that. It just might
be straight runs with sharp angles instead of soft bends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by YP5 Toronto View Post

Straight runs...will still function and look amazing. 2 x D5 pumps will have no issues with a bunch of right angles.
Yeah, I'm not worried about the pump power, and either way I will most likely be very happy with the
end result, it's just that most copper tubing I have seen was bent. But I really like the Alphacool
fittings, so I'm not worrying too much about it. I just thought I'd share some thoughts on the topic
and maybe get some feedback.

It will still take me a while to figure out how to best route my water loop anyway, and only then can
I make a final decision, so we'll see.
wink.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Various Small Bits

First off, as promised some info on the Platimax and what you will run into when/if you
try to sleeve this PSU.

The GPU Cable

The GPU power cables on the Platimax consist of one 12 pin connector on the PSU side
(six 12 V pins and six ground pins) and two 6+2 pin connectors on the GPU side. Since
that's four more connectors on the GPU side than on the PSU side, the additional ground
wires are clamped together on their way back to the PSU.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-18--01--platimax-GPU-cable.jpeg

GPU Cable - Ground Wire Clamp

There are two of these clamps per GPU cable, one for each 6+2 pin connector. I haven't
really found a nice way to get around these so what I did is simply remake the entire
cable, as you've seen in my previous post. Since my wires needed to be a lot longer
anyway this wasn't a big deal.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-18--02--platimax-GPU-clamp.jpeg

The 24 Pin + 8 Pin EPS

The 24 pin cable is bundled with one of the 8 pin EPS cables. There is another 8 pin
EPS which you can run separately, and which also has a 4 pin for the CPU on it, should
you need that instead.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-18--03--platimax-24pin-psu-side.jpeg

And the other end of the above. There are a few double wires, the most annoying pair
being the ones stacked right on top of each other. Not very nice...

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-18--05--platimax-24pin-8pin-EPS.jpeg

My Own GPU Cable - PSU Side

Since the Titan has a 6 pin and an 8 pin on its PCB you end up with 14 wires. I took the
additional two ground wires of the PCI-E 8 pin connector and ran them to a different
connector's ground pins on the PSU side.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-18--06--platimax-GPU-power-psu-side.jpeg

The Raystorms

And now for the pr0n part of today's evening. I've polished the raystorms to a mirror shine.
It's not yet absolutely perfect, but it's not much further...
smile.gif


(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-18--07--polished-raystorms.jpeg

Other Stuff

I'm still experimenting with the copper tubing. I've needed to order some additional parts
for that, so it will take me a week or two until I can continue. Until then I'm a bit stalled.
Unless I think of something else to do, we'll see...
wink.gif


As always, thanks for stopping by.
smile.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by alpenwasser View Post

Major Power Cables Finished
So, this is what about 40 hours of cabling have gotten me: One 24 pin, two EPS 8 pins,
one PCI-E 8 pin and four PCI-E 6 pins. I'm not completely done with them (I need to
reinforce the 24 pin's lacing a bit), but the main part is done when it comes to power
cables.

The GPU Cable

This is what the GPU cable looked like before lacing.
(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-06--01--GPU-cable.jpeg

CPU1 + PCI-E Aux

These are the cables for the CPU1 power delivery (8 pin EPS + 6 pin PCI-E) and the SR-2's
PCI-E auxiliary 6 pin for the PCI-E slots themselves. Makes for 20 wires in total. First I crimped
their M/B terminals:

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-06--02--CPU1-PCIE-aux-wires.jpeg

After that I colour-coded them to know which pair of wires needed to be sleeved with which
paracord colour. Doing that 20 wire cable is pretty much the only thing I did this week. All in
all it was about 15 hours of work (cutting, crimping, sleeving, lacing). The PSU side crimps
were only crimped onto the wires once the whole harness had been laced so that the
wires had the right length (obviously the outer wires in the bends will have to be longer).

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-06--03--CPU1-PCIE-aux-colour-coding.jpeg

Main Cables

And these are most of the major power cables. What's missing here is the GPU power delivery
because I'd already tied that to the case when I took this picture. As you can see the cables
are all stuck together because of the way I had to do the PSU side of things. How I organize
the PSU connectors is determined by the PSU's power rail design and connector layout.

The harness is surprisingly stiff (considering Silicone wire is very floppy) and holds its shape
pretty well with all the lacing.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-06--04--main-cables.jpeg

Mounted

And this is how the whole harness looks when it's mounted into the case. The messy bit above
the PSU will still be cleaned up a bit, plus most of it will be hidden.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-06--05--primary-cables-inside.jpeg

Hiding the Messy Bits

Besides the side door, the reservoir mounting plate will hide those bits of my cabling which I
haven't tidied up to insane levels.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-06--06--cables-with-reservoir.jpeg

20 Wire Run

And a glamour shot of that 20 wire cable. I know I could have routed this cable through a hole
which is situated pretty much perfectly, but since I spend this much time on my cables anyway
I thought I might as well make them a proper feature.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-06--07--CPU1-PCIE-aux-run.jpeg

That's it for today. I have to admit I look forward to doing something else besides cables
now. There's still some cable work to be done (the pumps, fans and some other small
parts), but the major work is done now. 40 hours of cable work is quite enough for now.
biggrin.gif


Next Up

I'll be starting to experiment with the copper tubing next week.

Thanks for stopping by.
smile.gif
Your sleeving and cable management skills are fantastic. Can't wait to see more of the build go together.
Also +rep for the cabling tips above, going to use some of those myself. Specifically for handling those dreaded double wires. I started sleeving my AX850 months ago, never finished....but might pick it up again having those tips now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Thank you for your kind words, they are much appreciated.
smile.gif


The double wires were definitely quite a pain, but in the end it was mostly a matter of patience
and persistence, being willing to start over when I had screwed up (which happened a few times
with the double ones
mad.gif
).
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
A Copper Face Plate for the Lamptron FC5V2

While I really like the brushed alu look on the FC5V2, it doesn't really fit all that
well into the rough powder coat on the Caselabs case. So instead of having two
black things which are not the same sort of black I thought I'd turn the fan controller
into an element of contrast and make a polished copper face plate for it.

Taking Things Apart

First I took the fan controller apart to see how everything fits together and get
access to its existing face plate so that I could fit the new one to it.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-22--01--lamptron-disassembled.jpeg

Sketching Things Out

The new plate will be made from a 1~1.2 mm (not sure anymore) piece of copper
sheet I had laying around. First: Use the old plate as a stencil and sketch the outlines
of the new plate onto the sheet of copper.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-22--02--new-plate-sketched-out.jpeg

Raw Cut

After some Dremel work it looked like this:

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-22--03--new-plate-raw-cut.jpeg

Current Status

After lots and lots of filing, sanding and polishing (~5 hours), it currently looks like
this. It is not yet completely flawless, but I'll save the rest of the work for when the
build is in its closing stages. Since the surface is very finicky I don't want to spend
lots of time making it absolutely perfect now only to possibly damage it in a mishap
during the build and then have to redo the whole thing.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-22--04--new-plate-frontal.jpeg

The new plate is simply taped to the stock plate. It's a lot easier (and cleaner) than
having to drill holes for the screws into the new plate.

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-22--05--new-plate-side.jpeg

(click image for full res)
aw--helios--2013-07-22--06--new-plate-close-up.jpeg

That's it for today. As always, thanks for stopping by.
smile.gif
 
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