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So, it's been about a year since my last actual build, which was a rather orthodox 800D water cooling build. I've been out here in New Mexico for a little other a month and won't be leaving until the end of July. So I am out here without my rig and plenty of ideas for a new build.

I originally was just going to be modest and add a second graphics card to my rig and maybe a second radiator. I realized that my 800D was going to be restricting when it comes to space. I have an old CM 690 II Advanced case that I was thinking of using as a secondary storage for the radiator and connecting the two cases, pretty much just for fun and looks. Well I realized I don't really have the desk space for 2 cases.

So I decided to go all out and start on a custom desk build. I've seen a decent amount of these around and it looks like a super fun project. My older brother has been building a lot of custom furniture lately in his free time and I pretty much couldn't cut a piece of wood in half, so I figured it'd be a fun project for him as well (and I can use his skills haha). So after I finish my work here, I'll be visiting him for a week or so and constructing this desk. In the meantime, I've been ordering parts and sketching up plans for the desk. So this log may be a bit uneventful for the next month or so.

I do enjoy performance when it's applicable but I also like to do things just for looks. So I probably won't ever be utilizing every bit of cooling that I have available but it'll look nice to me hahah.

NAME:

I'll be calling this project the Crail Desk. I've been skateboarding for about 10 years now and most of my life is based around it. I've been filming and editing skate videos for just as long almost. So it's a big part of my life. Crailtap is a distribution company for several brands and I love their logo (the one at the top of this thread). I'm having Kirk Carpenter over at LazerWerx make a small custom piece of acrylic with the Crailtap logo. it'll be on black acrylic, with the logo being blue acrylic. I'm gonna make a "slot" on the top of the desk, put some white lighting in it and place the piece in that slot.

PARTS:

Current hardware that will be used:
-GA-P67A-UD4-B3 Motherboard
-I7 2600k
-2x WD 1TB hdds
-2x WD 250GB hdds
-16GB Corsair Vengeance
-5x Medium Speed Yate Loons (clear blue with black painted frames)

Current watercooling parts that will be used:
-MCP655 with EK top
-XSPC RX360
-2x FrozenQ T-virus reservoirs (one has blue helix, other has custom black/blue helix. Both have black caps)
-XSPC compression fittings

Newly added hardware:
-2x GTX 285 (already have one of these, but found 2 on eBay for cheap with the Koolance blocks on them. Couldn't resist) ***
-Corsair HX750 PSU
-12x Medium Speed Yate Loons (all black)
-16.4' strip of cool-white LEDs with dimmer/power supply
-2x new sleeved extension cables for graphics card
-Lamptron FC-5 V2 fan controller (30w per channel)

Newly added watercooling parts:
-EK Supremacy Nickel CPU Block (acrylic top)
-2x Koolance block for GTX285 (using acrylic top)
-XSPC EX360 Crossflow
-3x 360mm rad grill
-6x XSPC compression fittings
-4x Fesser 45-angle adapters
-15' clear XSPC tubing
-Mayhem white pastel concentrate and deep blue dye

COLOR SCHEME:

My 800D build was based on a black and blue color scheme so I will continue with that since a lot of my parts are black/blue (the reservoirs, sleeving, etc). What I will be changing is the case lighting. I originally had UV lighting with blue UV tubing and the blue LEDs from my fans illuminating the case. I will be switching to clear tubing and trying out Mayhem's pastel and working on getting it to the right shade of blue. I've never used dye before and I know there can be issues but I want to stubbornly try it. Mayhem's seem to have their stuff together pretty well. Anyways, I will be switching the lighting to a cool-white lighting. I've seen people use that before and it really looks great.

DESK PLAN/LAYOUT:

So, since I don't have ANY of my main components with me, I can't do much planning, at least accurately. I used some free time to learn SketchUp and put together a rough idea of what I'm going to do. The actual look/color of the desk is undetermined yet, so I made it basic. I was mainly trying to focus on the layout of the parts. Also, my monitors won't be sitting on the desk, as I have monitor arms for them









The desk, in the above plans, is 75" long, about 30" wide, and about 26" high. All of that is subject to change once I get the wood and start laying things out. The "tub" that holds all the components is about 22" L x 21" W, but again is subject to change once I lay things out and see how my tube routing will be. The window on the top of the desk will be smaller than the tub itself, so it will hide some things. The depth of the top portion of the tub (where the motherboard and what not is) is something like 8" and the bottom compartment that holds the PSU and harddrives is 7" but will probably be decreased since it looks like I got some room. I should also note that the components used in the above plans are not exact. I couldn't find an EX360 sketchup, so I used two RX360's. Also, the reservoir colors are not how they will actually be. And the graphics cards are GTX295's I believe. I also left out the actual tubing because I haven't had the time to learn and put them in haha.

PLAN:

So, here's the basic plan for the components. The two radiators will be in a push/pull configuration with the black Yate Loons. One of my reservoirs will be mounted outside and on top of the desk (attached to some sort of wooden block). I will route a tube from the bottom of the reservoir and into the table, which will lead into the compartment holding the pump and all the other components. The 2nd reservoir will be the end of the loop essentially, and route back up through the table and into the side port of the 1st reservoir.

The loop order will be: outside res, pump, EX360, EK CPU block, GTX285 then GTX285, RX360, 2nd res, outside res

I will be using the EX360 cross flow radiator for the radiator that will be on the right (from the top view). So the pump will led into a port right in front of it on the EX360 and then the outlet on the EX360 will be over right by the CPU. Also, the radiators will be more "aligned" probably than they appear in this plan

Some of the corners and bends will be a bit tight. I'll try to minimize this as much as possible, but just in case I got some 45-angle adapters to help. The XPSC tubing does seem a whole lot more flexible than what I've used before though.

The bottom compartment will hold the PSU and harddrives and essentially anything that I want hidden (mostly due to cables). I am going to salvage some things from my 800D and CM690 cases (rubber cable hole grommets, back I/O and PCI plates, etc). One thing I will take from the 800D is the little board that that harddrives can plug into. It has nice locations for the SATA cables and a single power cable. I might try to make or use a drive cage from one of the cases. The cables from the drives and the PSU will route up through the compartment and into where the motherboard is.

The front of the "tub" will have 3 medium speed Yate Loons (the blue LED ones I have left over) for intake. Below that will be my CD drive, fan controller, and the front panel power switch and USB from the 800D (the center one in the plans above; used some generic 5.25" component to fill in it). The sides of the tub will have holes cut out for the fans attached to the radiators. I'll use some rad grills for both radiators and also the 3 fans on the front. The back will have the remaining 2 blue Yate Loons for outtake.

My ultimate goal is to decrease the depth of the tub as much as I can and just conserve space in general. I use desk space a lot, so it's important that I still have some. But at the same time, I don't want a super long desk if I can avoid it. My current desk is 65" long and my 3x 24" monitors span the entire length. So I figured I'd add 10 inches to that and be pretty well off.

Stay tuned for updates (mostly just new parts arriving).
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One of the GTX285's and block. The other was shipped to my place in Florida



Super dirty clear top to the block (the seller never took this block apart because I asked him if it had the clear top to it and he said no. That is because he never took the block apart and found it haha. You can remove the metal top and just use this one).



9 of the 12 fans, fan controller and some wire that will be used for soldering the LEDs together



6x XSPC compression fittings



Some 45-angle adapters



The remaining 3 fans came in, here's all 12 together



Dimmer for the LEDs. Essentially, my on/off switch



Power supply for the LEDs



Wanted to see how they'd look but didn't have a small enough screwdriver to secure the wires haha




XSPC clear tubing



One thing I like to do is paint my compression fittings a flat black to match the rest of my stuff. The XSPC fittings are easy for this because all that needs to be painted is the removable metal ring. After a few coats, I put them into the oven for several minutes and it usually comes out very well if I don't screw up the painting



Wrapped a piece of tubing with tin foil and placed the ring on it. I just need to avoid getting paint on the threads. The tubing itself isn't a snug fit, so the foil makes up for that. I was holding the tube while painting at first (hence the plastic covering my hand haha). Then I just stuck the tubing through the top of a box



Looks good



Next up was the angled adapters. These were a bit more tricky to paint and took more time and didn't come out as clean as the fittings but it's all good.



All 6 done



Looks pretty clean

 

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Discussion Starter #3
I want the dimmer for the LEDs to be in an accessible place so it isn't such a pain to turn them on and off. But the color of the dimmer is absolutely awful. It was simple to open up the dimmer and remove the guts and paint the outside:





Now I can stick it somewhere close by and in sight
 

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Nice man
smile.gif
Love those mat black fittings!
wink.gif

maybe you could do something to the box under the desk to make it a little less boxy
smile.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeahh, I want to definitely decrease its size whenever I start actually putting the wood together. The aesthetic design of it pretty much depends on my ability with wood-working (well, my brother's since he'll be helping alot). Do you have any simple ideas that would make it look less boxy?

Thanks!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomiger View Post

Yeahh, I want to definitely decrease its size whenever I start actually putting the wood together. The aesthetic design of it pretty much depends on my ability with wood-working (well, my brother's since he'll be helping alot). Do you have any simple ideas that would make it look less boxy?

Thanks!
I think It really depends on where you need to have have room for styff, for example, in you dont need much room in the front of the box you could make the box larger in the back than in the front



This is just an example of how It could be done
smile.gif


with this example I was thinking rounded corners:
As in
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I see what you're saying. The issue I'm having is the CD drive and fan controller. I have them installed into the front of the bottom compartment, so their cables can all be stashed down there. If I could find a better place to stick them, I could drastically decrease the boxiness of the bottom compartment since it will only hold the PSU and harddrives essentially.

On that note, I actually just picked up this guy http://www.cmstore-usa.com/atcs-840-black-i-o-panel-oem-package/ which I'm gonna stick somewhere on top of the desk. If I could come up with a similar approach for the CD drive and fan controller, that'd be great. I originally had an idea of mounting them on the front "edge" of the desk, like yours. But that requires more knowledge/thinking about the actual wood work than component placement (I still dunno what exact material the top of the desk will be made out of, or how it'll be put together, etc). Also, I think I'd have to make the desk longer because the only room for them would be pretty much under where the keyboard is and that could be kinda annoying to have. I can't put them right above the main compartment (where the 3 fans are) because they would extend into the actual compartment (I'd have to make the tub back a bit).

Also, if I mount the CD drive and what not on the edge of the desk, I gotta figure out how to route all their cables in a neat way down to the power supply. So the "slot" where the CD drive is would need to be accessible to the bottom compartment

I'll see what ideas come to mind in the next month. I may just stick to the straight edge, box design. I think it won't look too bad as long as it's consistent throughout the design. I definitely want to decrease the depth/height of the bottom compartment though. I think that will help a lot with looks. It really only needs to be as high as the PSU or the harddrives, whichever is taller, plus an extra inch or so for cable routing space.
 

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so i realize that this is very off topic but i notice that a lot of build logs have very nice and accurate 3D renderings. is there a program you used specifically for computer builds? or is everyone just amazing at 3D art?

back on topic:
looks sick! Subbed
biggrin.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I thought the same thing before I started this haha. Try out Google SketchUp, it's free (the non pro version). Then go to this site to download some pre-made components

http://scc.jezmckean.com/

SketchUp takes a little bit to get use to but after you learn the basic ideas, it's really simple.

Good luck!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomiger View Post

I thought the same thing before I started this haha. Try out Google SketchUp, it's free (the non pro version). Then go to this site to download some pre-made components

http://scc.jezmckean.com/

SketchUp takes a little bit to get use to but after you learn the basic ideas, it's really simple.

Good luck!
thanks! i knew that everyone couldn't be an expert
tongue.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomiger View Post

I see what you're saying. The issue I'm having is the CD drive and fan controller. I have them installed into the front of the bottom compartment, so their cables can all be stashed down there. If I could find a better place to stick them, I could drastically decrease the boxiness of the bottom compartment since it will only hold the PSU and harddrives essentially.

On that note, I actually just picked up this guy http://www.cmstore-usa.com/atcs-840-black-i-o-panel-oem-package/ which I'm gonna stick somewhere on top of the desk. If I could come up with a similar approach for the CD drive and fan controller, that'd be great. I originally had an idea of mounting them on the front "edge" of the desk, like yours. But that requires more knowledge/thinking about the actual wood work than component placement (I still dunno what exact material the top of the desk will be made out of, or how it'll be put together, etc). Also, I think I'd have to make the desk longer because the only room for them would be pretty much under where the keyboard is and that could be kinda annoying to have. I can't put them right above the main compartment (where the 3 fans are) because they would extend into the actual compartment (I'd have to make the tub back a bit).

Also, if I mount the CD drive and what not on the edge of the desk, I gotta figure out how to route all their cables in a neat way down to the power supply. So the "slot" where the CD drive is would need to be accessible to the bottom compartment

I'll see what ideas come to mind in the next month. I may just stick to the straight edge, box design. I think it won't look too bad as long as it's consistent throughout the design. I definitely want to decrease the depth/height of the bottom compartment though. I think that will help a lot with looks. It really only needs to be as high as the PSU or the harddrives, whichever is taller, plus an extra inch or so for cable routing space.
Yeah I understand
smile.gif
When making the example I thought of the cd drive and such where you placed them, but maybe you could pm me your sketchup document so I can express myself a bit better?
smile.gif

That's one nice little bad boy you got yourself there
wink.gif
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Some stuff came in today. I was going to sleeve the 6-pin extension cables I was going to need for the 2nd graphics card but I honestly am not up for sleeving haha. I did my 2x 6pins, 24pin, and 8pin connectors on my last build. So I picked up these pre-sleeved extensions. They actually are identical to the paracord I have, as you can see (as far as the color goes). I got 2 extra in case they didn't match the existing 2 I have, but it looks good to me. I may need the extra ones tho, 8" SHOULD be long enough but we'll see. I also ordered 3x 360 rad grills that I'll use for the front 3 intake fans and the radiator fans on the side. Partly for looks, but mostly so the fans have a bit of protection and aren't completely open (I don't want anything to hit them while running obviously, which seems likely on the front of the desk and on the side near my legs). The back 2 fans will just be open. Also got some TIM since I'm pretty sure I don't have any left over from the last time I put my CPU block on.







 

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Discussion Starter #15
My stuff from cooler master came in. Motherboard tray that I'll be using, instead of making my own/attaching the motherboard directly to the wood. I think this guy was like $15.



Also saw this on their site and had to get it, though it's a hell of a lot bigger than I expected haha. I'll mount this on the desk somewhere, perhaps near the back right corner. But it seems to be stuck in the "up" position, pushing it down doesn't cause it to lock. Perhaps whatever case it's from allows it to lock when it's mounted. I'll have to see what I can do, or just keep it up all the time



 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've also decided to change up the design a little bit. As suggested by Eclipsis, I want to get rid of the "boxy" look of the tub/compartment. I rarely use a CD drive, so I think I'm just gonna scrap that. I'll pick up an external one for the occasions when I do need one. Then the only thing that needs accommodation is the fan controller. It should be relatively straight forward to stick it on the edge/lip of the desk, facing forwards. Then the bottom compartment is completely eliminated except for the back portion that needs to hold the PSU and harddrives.

Also, if anyone has suggestions for wood/materials, let me know. I was thinking of using MDF for the table top since it seems relatively cheap, strong, and I can get one solid piece big enough for the top (75" x 30" or so). For the rest, I could use left over MDF but for the legs I'd probably like to use some nice "real" wood.

I'm starting to focus more on the wood portion of the build now, since I don't want to run into obstacles with that. The layout of the computer parts is pretty much figured out; it's just a matter of making holes where they need to be and having enough space for everything.

Since I'm going to be building this at my brother's, which is 500 miles from my place, I probably have to rent a U-haul trailer to get it back. I doubt this will easily fit in my 4door 2013 Elantra haha.

In other news, my PSU should be here on Friday. I've decided to do away with using Mayhem's Pastel. It seems that the effect would be too "cloudy" for my reservoirs and you wouldn't be able to see the helix and what not, which is something I'd want. So I'll stick with just using some deep blue dye. Saves me some money as well. So the only things left to order are the CPU block, radiator, and some misc stuff like fan power distributors.

Oh and I almost forgot. My custom acrylic piece should be ready and here soon. Kirk emailed me a few days ago with what it'll look like and it's been paid for. Can't wait to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Decided to do a bit of work. I really hate cleaning things and I don't want to waste time doing it while I'm building the actual desk. So I went to Walmart, picked up some cleaning stuff and took apart the one Koolance GPU block that I have with me (the other one is in Florida, I'll have to clean it when I get back in August).

With the block as old as it is, and who knows how long the dude before me was running his loop. I polished it as much as I could and cleaned off any gunk. Letting it all dry before I reapply it to the GPU (also removed the old TIM from the GPU and applied some new stuff). Unfortunately, the o-ring has expanded and is impossible to get back in, regardless of how I tried to shrink it. Kinda annoying. I emailed Koolance 5 days ago regarding extra o-rings anyways, so hopefully they'll order some. I'm not 100% satisfied with the cleaning on the other side (not pictured). I wish I had a way to get in between all the crevices. Might try again later







Also, since the front panel I/O thing I got has the typical ugly rainbow colored cables, I'm quickly spraying them black. I stuck the actual panel itself in a box and covered it well so it won't get sprayed. Yes, I operate in a ghetto fashion.





Used some heat shrink to make it easier to handle

 

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Discussion Starter #18
PSU arrived! I was really impressed with the original box and what not being in perfect condition for being a used item. Looks like this guy was barely used. Jumped it and plugged in a fan to make sure it works. I was unaware that the HX750's fan doesn't turn on unless it gets hot. Thought I got a big paperweight haha







 

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What is that top panel's part number? I am also looking at building a desk but have been looking at front panel parts that I can include into the desk like Kaxtos did in his Galant build here:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1200785/project-kapros-ikea-galant-pc-desk-mod/0_100

I probably won't have a need for the HDD hot swap's but that front panel you found is quite nice and offers everything needed really.
 
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