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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First Update! Mockup and components.

Second Update! Sanding and painting.

Mini Update New Tools

Third Update! Cutting and some tubing.

Here are a couple pix to get you interested:
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20h1smx.jpg

nxjgy0.jpg


The initial idea for this project was to create a small and quiet, yet powerful computer to replace my old systems. However, I recently played through Portal 2 (and Portal for a 2nd time) and realized that the color scheme was awesome. The mixture of orange, blue and white along with the goo tubes inspired me to make it water cooled and portal themed.
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After researching cases and contemplating building my own like I have in the past, I decided on the Lian Li pc-q11w. I think I will aslo be adding a custom acrylic window, since it doesn't come with one.
568726.jpg


That means that the video card can't be full length. This really posed a problem since a lot of newer performance graphics cards are full length or not reference (for full cover block). I decided that the most power I could fit and satisfy these requirements was an HD 5850. At 9.5" the card will be a tight fit, but will work.

Under the hood:
* Intel Core i7-2600 (non K, explanation to follow)
* Reference HD 5850
* 8GB Kingston Hyperx DDR3 1333
* ASrock H67m-itx board w/ wifi
* Samsung 128gb SSD

The Loop:
* 2x Black Ice GT Stealth 140 Radiatorl
* EK CPU block
* EK full cover HD 5850 and Backplate
* Swiftech MCP350 w/ Acrylic top
* XSPC 5.25" Drive bay
* Connected by UV Light blue 3/8" tubing and UV orange anti-kink coils

The point of using a non K chip: The reason is that the K chips do not have the instructions for VT-d and the purpose of the PC will be HTPC + Gaming... simultaneously and completely separate. VT-d will let me pass through the integrated GPU to the HTPC guest and the HD5850 to the gaming guest.

Everything that can be safely painted white will be and mods will be made to make sure airflow goes where it needs. This is an all internal build, so care will be taken!

The parts have been ordered, so stay tuned! Work begins next week and the PSU has already been sent out for sleeving service!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First Update!!!!!!
eek.gif
18 May 2011

All the parts arrived today and I got a huuuge head start. I basically assembled most of the loop and components so that I could have an accurate mockup. I was blown away by how little room there actually was. I really underestimated, but I think it is still doable! I hope to get things painted and the loop finished tomorrow and Friday.

Some pics of the case:
x0zn7b.jpg

112cvfn.jpg


There may be a problem....... The case is supposed to be 10.24" long and the 5850 9.5". This would leave at least a quarter inch in which to plug in the power connectors, but as it turns out it the case wasn't quite up to the specs.
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18052011314.jpg


Enough of that for now... on to the obligatory loop layout shot
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The light blue tubing ended up being a little too sky blue and not as vibrant as I had hoped, but I think it will work and I might just use blue dye to make it deeper in color.
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The components: Trying to keep with the Portal theme (blue RAM, orange ssd accents, etc.)
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First radiator installed where the stock 140mm fan was. There is some room between it and the mount, but I will figure that out. Remember that today was just a mockup.
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Pump top and CPU block installed:
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Final Mockup: It really is tight in there, but It is happening... so help me it is happening!
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t83muh.jpg


Here is a pic showing the GPU block and the space it leaves for the fan... it is REALLY tight and I still have no idea how to get the external power to plug into the GPU.
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I also had to take the bracket off to get it in and then reassemble it inside the case.
2zg5ent.jpg


Well that's it for now folks. Keep tuned as I hope to be making huge progress this weekend. That includes painting things that can be and figuring out where I need to modify the case.
cool.gif
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I don't know if you can see very well but that last picture in the update shows the power connectors to the HD5850 being almost flush with the front of the case. I was thinking of desoldering them and making some new connections. I was also thinking that I could mount them facing down and be able to plug everything in, but I would like your opinions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update # 2: PAINT!

I decided to go nuts painting today (since the last couple days have been gloomy and today was sunny). I originally thought I would just paint the major items in the loop and the inside of the side panels, but the fumes must have gotten to me and I decided to go overboard....
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Disclaimer: I am not a paint genius, but my rattle can skills aren't terrible.

Let's start with the GPU backplate which turned out AMAZING!
Before:
2i1hy61.jpg

AFTER:
i2r90h.jpg


Side panels, GPU (all covered up) and 5.25" bay
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Case scuffed up and ready to go.
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Radiators being painted. I ended up frosting the tops as you will see later.
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Finally a spread of everything which is drying now.
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qoizp1.jpg


Some items you might not be able to see well: GPU PCI bracket, Antennas for the back of the motherboard, front pannel switches and audio bracket, rear I/O shield.

Now it is time for a break... that was a loooot of painting. Most of the items have 2 coats as well so it should be nice and glossy. The only thing not painted yet is the PSU which is still with RideTheLightning for sleeving service. That will come soon and I can't wait to get it painted too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mini-Update! New tools.

This build is going really fast! I will probably be done with everything except the PSU by tomorrow! I am just waiting for the sleeving service to be done and then I need to paint it.

Later today I will be mounting a lot of stuff and cutting some holes with my new dremel. I thought it would be good to have my own and not borrow my father's again.
2m7i3k7.jpg


This soldering iron is really not that great... I couldn't get it to desolder the HD5850 power connectors.... it just won't get hot enough.

I will post up a real update later tonight. Who knows how late though. Stay tuned!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dizzy4;13577590
This soldering iron is really not that great... I couldn't get it to desolder the HD5850 power connectors.... it just won't get hot enough.
I have that same soldering iron. For whatever reason, the pointy tip sucks big time... but the flat tips aren't half bad.

Also, you never explained why you are water-cooling a non-K edition chip
tongue.gif
. Looks great so far though!
 
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This looks promising, you're a brave man to sand down a water block like that. Waiting for more updates!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:


Originally Posted by MrLinky
View Post

I have that same soldering iron. For whatever reason, the pointy tip sucks big time... but the flat tips aren't half bad.

Also, you never explained why you are water-cooling a non-K edition chip
. Looks great so far though!

Oh yeah... Well I was going to watercool the GPU anyway and thought that i could just cool the CPU too. It will make it quieter than having a fast fan cooling a tiny heatsink. This way there is a lot more room since not much other than a stock heatsink will fit in that case/mobo combination.


Edit: Getting back to the point of using a non K chip: The reason is that the K chips do not have the instructions for VT-d and the purpose of the PC will be HTPC + Gaming... simultaneously and completely separate. VT-d will let me pass through the integrated GPU to the HTPC guest and the HD5850 to the gaming guest.

Thanks for the tip about the flat tips too! I will try them out tomorrow. I guess I can't expect greatness for $15.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yet another update!

The only other thing I did last night was apply weather stripping in an attempt to help direct the airflow better.
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We will see how well it works later.
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Today was really frustrating! I had to cut the case, desolder the power connectors on the video card and remount hardware for a second mockup/ tubing layout. None of these went according to plan
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The soldering iron still sucks too much to remove the connectors and the dremel can be tedious at times... not to mention the cleanup of all the aluminum shavings.

It took forever to cut the case with the dremel.
9r62yb.jpg


But it turned out great.
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And here is another teaser/mockup that is muuuch closer to the finished product.
qq998i.jpg

20h1smx.jpg


Patience is a virtue and I ran out of it about 20 minutes ago so I decided to stop for the evening
tongue.gif
 

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looks well thought out

and max length for video card is 9.75 according to my measurement of case i owned. i found a evga 570hd will fit in this case.

for powersupply what do you plan to use? should be a very short one due to the watercooling your useing

Jen
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Quote:


Originally Posted by Jen
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looks well thought out

and max length for video card is 9.75 according to my measurement of case i owned. i found a evga 570hd will fit in this case.

for powersupply what do you plan to use? should be a very short one due to the watercooling your useing

Jen

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817256063 is the PSU which is out for sleeving. The measurements on newegg for the case were a little off, but the card will fit. I will make it happen as soon as I can reposition the Video Card power inputs. If you look, the 5850 fits just fine and the EVGA 570 cards are shorter because they are not reference and cannot be watercooled by a full cover block.
 
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