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[Project] Upgrade and a HAF (watercooled) Updated 03/27

4281 Views 19 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Jrice00
Hi all!

I decided to upgrade my PC. At first it started just as a case upgrade as my Antec 900 was getting too small and I wanted to get rid of my custom external radbox (a cheap Logisys mid tower chopped in half).

After a few “why not†this is turning into a pretty significant upgrade.

Here is what I am starting with (current sig PC):

DFI LP UT P35-T2R Motherboard
Q6600 G0 (1.2375 VID, 3.8ghz stable)
2x2GB G.Skill PC2-8000 DDR2
EVGA 8800GT 512MB (overclocked to 770/1000/1900)
Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatality
2 x Seagate 7200.11 500GB RAID0
LG BD reader/DVD burner
Corsair HX520 PSU
Antec 900 case
Custom external radiator case
Thermochill PA120.3 rad
D-Tek Fuzion v1 CPU block (with washer and quad nozzle)
Swiftech MCW60 GPU block
Laing D5 vario pump
Zalman ZM-MFC2 fan controllers
Sychte S-Flex F fans for the radiator

What will be kept from this build:

RAM, Video card (for now as I am shopping for a GTX 285) , sound card, hard drives, BD/DVD drive, all water cooling gear and the fan controller plus the scythe fans.

New parts for the upgrade:

Cooler master HAF 932 case
Corsair TX750 PSU
1 Seagate 7200.11 500GB, 2 Hitachi 1TB drives (final config will be the 3 seagate in raid 0 and the two hitachi in raid 1)
EK Multioption reservoir 150
XSPC RX120 Radiator (adding some cooling capacity for the forthcoming GTX-285)
Gigabyte EP45-UD3R mobo
Q9650 (1.15 vid)
bunch of Bitspower fittings and 2 Bitspower temperature probes.

Last night I spent around 4 hours dismantling my current PC, cleaning the water blocks and the radiator.

I didn’t take pictures of this process but expect pictures of the building process later this week as soon as I have some free time to work on it.

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Can't wait to see what you do with it!
Well tonight I was able to put 2.5 hours on the system.

The plan was to prepare the radiators (mount the fans on it) and then start installing the water cooling gear into the case. I was able to install both rad into the case and the reservoir as well.

This time I took some pictures for your viewing pleasure

The radiators with barbs, fittings and fans installed. Water blocks

Fan side view of the radiators.

The Thermochill going into the top of the case.

It's in! The top three 5.25 slot are unusable now. That's ok I only need three and there are three more left on the HAF.

Top view of the case. I had to drill custom holes to mount the Thermochill.

I had to install the motherboard before installing the XSPC rad on the back of the case otherwise I wont be able after.

Q9650 E0. I was lucky, I got a 1.15 VID! cant wait to overclock that baby!

Installed a Bitspower tee at the ouput of the second rad to fit a bitspower thermal probe. I added an extender between the tee and the probe to make sure the probe "head" was not obstructing the water flow.

Second radiator in and hooked to the thermochill's output.

Overall view of what's done so far.

Installed the very nice EK Waterblock reservoir. At the outlet there is a tee to a drain tube with a auto shutoff quick disconnect plug. Also there is another temperature probe at the botton of the reservoir.

Here is where the pump will go...

That's it for tonight.

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The HAF seems to be a better case overall for watercooling. The Q9650 is a great chip. I had a Q9550 and it was a great overclocker.
I had some time tonight to work a little bit on the build. Jsut enough to complete the loop by installing the pump, water blocks, filling the loop and start a leak test.

The leak test stopped pretty quickly as the pump was leaking! Looks like I did not tighten the top enough after cleaning it :swearing:. I was able to tighten it in place without having to unmount it. good thing.

Another thing I just realized is the way I mounted the reservoir, on the HD cage, it might be an issue for the forthcoming nVidia GTX-285. I measured 10.5 inches of clearance and after checking on the EVGA web site their GTX-285 specifications are exactly 10.5 inches

Either I am going to have to move the reservoir when upgrading to the 285 or find a 285 that is slightly shorter then 10.5 inches. I doubt the later is possible. Gonna have to think about that but since I am keeping by 8800GT for now I do have some time to come up with some idea.

Here is the loop completed:

Leak testing. An old switching power supply retired from an arcade machine is providing power to the pump.

Dont know yet I'll be able to put some time on it tomorrow but hopefully I'll get the thing running before the end of the weekend and start overclocking next week.

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Great Setup, It looks weird to me now with it stock and not painted black on the inside.. but good job can't wait to see it finished

Originally Posted by P£P§!
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Great Setup, It looks weird to me now with it stock and not painted black on the inside.. but good job can't wait to see it finished

Yeah, I would have loved to paint the case but I just dont have the place to paint here. Last time I did some spray painting in the workshop there was paint dust all over the house.
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I didnt spent much time on it today. The loop been leak testing since yesterday and this time (after the pump leak), it's watertight.

So I drained the loop, filled it with the coolant (distilled water & swiftech Hydrx), bled the loop and mounted the PSU in the case.

here are the now usual update pictures (with a special guest)

The official project supervisor

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DAMN 2 Rads thats going to be very good temps
This morning I had a few hours (about 4) to finish building the hardware.

I started with mounting the CPU block, then installed the drives, hooking up the cables, mounted the GPU block, installed the video card and finaly (and not the least) did the cable management. As you'll see there is a lot's of cables!

I really dont like where my res is located now. It'll definetely have to be move before I upgrade to the nVidia GTX 285 otherwise the video card wont fit. I do have some idea where it'll go. Anyhow that wont happen until some time.

here are the today's worklog pictures:

CPU block and RAM installed.

Getting ready to install the storage, optical drives and the fan controller. The HDD config will be 3x Seagate 7200.11 500GB in raid 0 and two 1TB Hitachi in RAID 1.

Video card installed and most cables are connected.

Cables management-motherboard side.

That's a lot of cables! How I'm gonna do that?

I suck at cable management, but it turned out not too bad. I was wondering if the case side would fit... it did after about 15 minutes of adjustements.

Red cathode installed. Overall view of the motherboard side.

front view

Next steps is to install the software and start overclocking! Stay tuned for overclocking results next week!

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man that is beautiful. great work!
Hello all

The system is a pleasure to use so far and it's very cool & quiet.

At stock settings the CPU core idles at or around 26C and 35C under load. It's difficult to determine the exact values because I have stuck sensors on the Q9650
. Core 1 & 2 sensors are stuck at 37C and core 3 is stuck at 27C. I did a couple of quick overclock runs and I was starting seeing some movement on core 1 & 2 sensors.

Speaking of overclock, I had some time but not as much as I wish to start overclocking the rig.

I started by trying to get a stable FSB of a somewhat conservative setting of 470MHZ and kept the CPU to a low 6x multiplier for now. On the third try it ran Prime blends for 10 hours. It just needed a few bumps on the VTT (1.30) and vMCH (1.34) to do that. Everthing else is at default voltage (not "normal" or "auto").

After this 10 hours I have put back the CPU at it's maximum multiplier 9x for a speed of 4230MHZ to see how hungry of vCore it is. I kept Load Line Calibration off for now.

At an idle vCore of 1.29 and 1.24 under load it was able to run prime small ffts for about two hours. So it still need a few bump on the vcore to be stable but that's great voltages for 4.2GHZ

I went back to stabilize the FSB (put the multi back to 6) and I added one notch of vMCH and now it's been running prime blends for 18 hours and still running.

So 4.2ghz will be my first setting for a 24/7 overclock and move my way up from there with the room left on vcore.

once it's stable, I'll post some screenshots and progress on higher overclock settings.

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Finished my first stable overclock yesterday. 4.230GHZ at 1.26 vcore so there is still room left for higher speed.

The load temps are around the mid 50's but that's with the radiator fans at a very low and silent 1000 RPM. That will probably be my everyday setting with a more agressive setting for heavy duty tasks.

Still need to figure out how to lower the tRD or performance level of the RAM. right now it's at 9 and the system will not post at 8 even if I add lot's of vMCH. There must something else. Gotta read and find information on that. If you have any tips, please share!

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very very nice! (sorry for bumping btw
I got here through google since i'm also getting the HAF and am indeed planning on getting the same rad as you.
Was it easy to customise the top of the case so the 3 fan rad would fit?
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Those are some great results!

You could mount your Res (You have the same as mine and I also have a HAF) next to the drivebays next to the 24-pin motherboard connector.

Although you do need to drill out the holes.

Originally Posted by Elightos
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very very nice! (sorry for bumping btw
I got here through google since i'm also getting the HAF and am indeed planning on getting the same rad as you.
Was it easy to customise the top of the case so the 3 fan rad would fit?


I was relatively easy to fit the Thermochill in there. I downloaded the rad template from the Thermochill site and with the template I marked where the holes needed to be on the case. The holes for the first fan (toward the front of the case) are kept as they are and I drilled the holes for the next two fans.

Some holes needs to be done in the mesh and I cutted the mesh with a Dremel. Not sure if it can be done nicely with a drill.

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Good job with the case.
Excellent build log.
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