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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Time to get this build log started. Based on my schedule, this will probably take me the better part of two months, but I wanted to get some pictures posted so I don't have to do it all at once. I've been wanting to get into water cooling for a while now, and just couldn't justify the cost. Now that summer is rolling around and temps in my room will be rising, water cooling will do a much better job of keeping temps and noise down. Another reason I delayed starting this build was my indecisiveness in choosing a case. I currently have a Zalman MS1000-HS2, but it can only fit one, thin 240 radiator, and maybe an additional 120. Since I want to cool an i7-950 and 6950, I wanted to be able to put in a 360. I'm not looking for record breaking temps, just enough to keep everything cool during video transcodes at as quiet of a noise level as possible.

As I mentioned, my current case can't fit the equipment that I'd like, and I don't really see it as having modding potential either. Since I still have my previous case lying around unused (a cheap Ultra X-Blaster Mid Tower), I decided to try to conceive a way to re-use it. I picked the Ultra case up when I did a build about 4 years ago, and it's been sitting around for about a year now since I bought the Zalman case. I decided it's much easier to stomach cutting up a $50 case rather than a $200 one
The Donor: http://tinyurl.com/5r22kj

For watercooling equipment, I'm planning to go with the following:
XSPC Rasa RX360
XSPC Razor 6970
Various Bitspower compression fittings
Primochill Blue 3/8"ID 5/8" OD tubing
5 GT AP-15s

My Idea is to mount the radiator and fans to the floor. To mount the radiator under the floor, I'll have to add some height to the computer. The case is 17" high, and the opening in my desk is 21" tall, which gives me room to add a little under 4" of height. Conveniently, a 1/2"x4" board from Lowe's adds 3.5" without having to make multiple cuts. Since the RX360 rad is about 2.5" thick, it will fit perfectly and have about an inch underneath to pull in fresh air. The 3 AP-15s will be mounted above the floor, eliminating some of the space needed under the case. To create this extra room, my plan is to build a wooden rad box to attach to the bottom of the case. The side of the rad box will be open on the sides for airflow, and also so that you can see the RX360. The ends will be solid wood and shaped to mimic the case as best as possible. The entire case and rad box will be sprayed flat black to match. Here's a crappy photoshop drawing that shows my basic plan for the rad box and layout for the water cooling.


For additional airflow for the case, I'll still be able to place a rear exhaust fan, as well as a front intake as well. The front intake will have to be modded a little, but shouldn't be too difficult. Rather than it being on the inside of the metal frame of the case, it will sit on the outside inside the plastic front panel.

Since the case has 4 external 5.25" bays, I'll have plenty of room for my Blu Ray drive and the reservoir of the Rasa kit. I still need to determine how I'm going to mount my HDD and SSD. I also have an open 3.25" bay, so I think the SSD will go in that and the HDD will go in the open 5.25" bay. By doing this, it leaves room for me to use noise dampening mounts for the mechanical drive.

Here some pics to start of the stripped down case and me beginning to get the custom rad box fitted and mounted. I'm planning to cut off the fan grills and add some cable management holes in addition to cutting the holes in the floor for the radiator.




Had to drill the plastic feet off the bottom.



The brackets for the rad box mounted after drilling the mounting holes


I'll be cutting these bolts down smaller once I get a dremel


Some mockups of the radbox resting on the bottom of the case




More to come!

Thought I'd add in a TOC to make things easier
1) The case taking shape: http://www.overclock.net/case-mod-work-logs/984262-ultra-watercooling.html#post13138249
2) The goodies arriving and cutting holes in the case: http://www.overclock.net/case-mod-work-logs/984262-ultra-watercooling.html#post13718466

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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's what I keep hearing. I was looking at the EK block, but all the posts I've read about the Razer have said that it gives as good or better performance. Now if only Jab-Tech would get them back in stock so I can place my order. I need to get the radiator so I can mock up where the mounting holes need to go.

Any opinions on whether to go with the silver or flat black Bitspower compression fittings?

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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I had a chance to move forward with the front piece. In order to get the thickness I need for the front, I used wood glue to glue 3 pieces of 1/2"x4" board together. Once that's dried, I'll use a file and sand paper to shape this block as close to the original shape of the case as possible. Here's a few pictures of the boards glued together and clamped.





Lowe's had a $10 off deal if you spent $50, so I figured I'd get more of the supplies I'll need. I picked up another board for the back piece, some goo gone to remove the sticker inside the case, paint for when I finally get to that point, a file and sandpaper to do the shaping and then sending of the metal for paint, wood glue and some new clamps. Overall, $50 well spent. I should have another update for you tonight with most of the shaping done and the bottom braces attached.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Time for a good update. After the glue dried, I was able to begin sanding and filing. I'm pretty happy with how it looks so far. I also was able to mount the bottom side and end pieces as well. Here's a picture of how it looks so far.




As you can see, the front and back aren't totally perpendicular to the bottom of the case. I picked up a couple more pieces of the wood that I used for the bottom side pieces, so I think I'm going to take off the current ones, bend the front and back brackets to the correct angles, and then cut new pieces that will keep everything square. You can see in the picture below why I was going to cut new bottom pieces anyways.


Originally, I was going to put two screws in the back piece. I ran into some problems with the wood splitting at first, so it took some experimenting to figure out how to drill the countersink and through holes. Once I figured it out, I was able to make it look pretty nice (minus the two extra holes)


Now that I have a Dremel that my parents sent, I was able to pick up the bits that I'll need to make the cuts in the metal case that will allow for the radiator and fans to get mounted. My plan for the weekend is to make the adjustments with the rad box I talked about above, cut off the front and back fan grates and also get the side window ready for this new project. I should have pics on Sunday to put up. Additionally, I'm thinking I'm going to order most of the watercooling components this weekend. I've been waiting for somethings to get in stock, but I'm not sure how long it will take. This way, I'll have the radiator and I can start mocking up where all the holes need to be cut.

As a side note, I also need to pull all my components out of my current case in preparation to sell it. Looks like I'm going to have an open air system for the next month or so as I finish up this project. If anyone is looking for a case with Hot Swap bays, let me know. I've got it up for sale on Amazon right now.

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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, it's been way too long since I updated this. Since my last update, I received all the water cooling parts and most of the modding parts, including U-Channel and paracord for sleeving. I've been able to get almost all the necessary holes cut in the case, I just need to clean them up now before painting. I want to get as much done as possible on the cables before I paint so that I know if I need to cut any additional holes, but I need to pick up heatshrink first. I'll put some pictures up either tonight or tomorrow of the progress I've made.

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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As promised, here we go. The box of goodies from Jab-tech




Razer 6970

Fittings and Fan cable

A closer look

Cracking open the Rasa RX360 kit







And now back to the case. I started by fitting the RX360 onto the bottom by drilling the mounting holes and cutting openings for the compression fittings to slide through.




You can see the sharpie lines in the case for where I was planning to cut cable management holes.



The holes for the fans all marked out. I may get rid of the middle sections to open it up for more airflow, but I'm not sure if that will adversely affect the rigidity of the case.

Backplate Access Hole that you can see is marked to be expanded

You can see the cable management hole that I cut on the bottom left that already had to be expanded once


Here's the cut that I made to allow for a tubing run. It will be much easier to understand once I start mocking up the tube runs

Here is the markup for the hole I'm cutting to be able to mount the SSD on the side of the drive bays. I know it's been done before, but I like the look and being able to show off the horsepower that's running my OS

That's it for now. More to come once I've had a chance to take more pics. I've got the system in the case as it sits now with the holes mostly cut. I've been out of town a lot, but will be at home for about two weeks now. Should be able to get it to a point of painting. As mentioned above, I need to work on the cables and sleeving, so that's my priority for now.
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