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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. I've recently undertaken a pretty serious project and thought i would document it here. The goal of this was to take an SX57H7 and make it as powerful as possible while still keeping the form factor. I could easily have stuck a huge radiator on top and be done with it, but my goal was to keep everything inside the case except for the reservoir (for easy filling) and the graphics card which i already had sticking out of the side of the case.

Before i get to the w/c bits, this is the system i've been running for about a year now. It's been a great workhorse but it runs HOT and LOUD. perfect candidate for water cooling then :-D




specs are as follows:
-msi gtx275 sticking out of the case to make room for a pci-e sata card
-i7 920 oc'd from 2.66 to 3.2ghz and undervolted slightly
-3x 2gb 1333mhz corsair ddr3
-2x ocz vertex 120gb ssd's in raid 0 for os and programs
-1x 1tb 7200rpm hd for media
-pci-e sata card for the dvd drive since the shuttle only has 3 sata ports internally and as you can see i decided to stick 4 drives inside of the case, oops!

now, for the shiny w/c bits i started installing today
-ek supreme hf water block
-ek 120mm radiator
- XSPC X2O 450 pump and reservoir combo to save space and simplify things

those of you who have owned shuttles will know that shuttle decided it would be a good idea to make their heatsinks mount to non-standard holes. people who have water cooled shuttles before have used some sort of bracket or cross-bar going over the water block. I decided that the most elegant solution would be to laser-cut an acrylic bracket to replace the sheet steel bracket that EK gives you. It also matches the acrylic waterblock top nicely.




The plan is to have the radiator above where the stock heatsink was and have the now 120mm fan blowing up and out of the case to retain airflow the comes in through the sides of the case to cool the other components. besides the 40mm psu fan there is only the 92mm fan cooling everything in a stock shuttle. This gets very noisy and i'm glad to be putting a 120mm antec pwn fan in it's place. Since the air has to go up, i needed to cut yet another huge hole in the case to let air out. I got a nice grill to cover it too.




shuttle is nice in that they already have a good solid plate on the back of the cpu. unfortunately it's not supported by anything directly. The rubber pad from the ek waterblocks backplate was the correct thickness to span the gap between that plate and the bottom of the chassis so i just cut it to fit and stuck it there.




from that last pic you can probably see the next major mod that needed to be done, cutting, bending, and re-riveting one of the rails to clear the radiator.



BUT, despite being ugly, the rad finally fits!!!




now that the rad fit, i stuck everything back in the chassis for a test fit. sure enough the waterblock fits under the HD tray as i had calculated. the big problem is getting the lines in and out of the case since the gfx card pcb is actually taller than the pci card bracket. this i did not expect, so things are tight.







another necessary mod to make room for the rad was to replace the unnecessary stock shuttle 2ft long sata cables with 8" long ones with 90" plugs. The rad butts right up against the dvd drive and gets very close to the HD so 90" plugs were a must. Another space saver was to cut down the 1.5ft long sata+molex cable from the psu which had a molex to sata adapter on the end. once it was cut to length i put 2 new sata plugs on the existing wires at the perfect length. no more adapter, no more clutter :-D



that's all i have done up to today. I plan on finishing the project tomorrow so hopefully i can get more pictures posted in the next few days. please tell me what you think of the progress so far. I'll also happily answer any questions about the project. it was impossible for me to find some of the information i wanted about this shuttle without taking the thing apart myself, so if you have any questions whatsoever about it feel free to ask, hopefully i can make your life a bit easier.

ps: phew that was a long first post
 

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nice!

if its meant to be portable dont make too many sudden moves since the tube can slip off
 

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just add worm hose clamps and they ain't ever going to slip off fall off. very nice i like this. just wondering though, would a corsair h50 fit in a shuttle?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Quote:

Originally Posted by smartasien View Post
just add worm hose clamps and they ain't ever going to slip off fall off. very nice i like this. just wondering though, would a corsair h50 fit in a shuttle?
sadly, no. there just isn't enough space above the cpu without removing the drive tray.
 

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amazing lol.. i could never fit my old shuttle with a radiator .. yet alone waterblocks :S..

everything was just too cramped inside..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
MORE BITS and MORE PICS!

got the final few pieces in a mail today including some edging for the gfx-card hole so it does look quite so half-assed.


new 90 degree fittings to clean up the hoses on the rad.


the cpu block barely fits under the hd tray with the fittings on there.



this is the clearance (or lack thereof) between the dvd drive's sata cables and the radiator with the rad butted right up against the back of the case. if it was .5mm wider it would not have fit. if you need a small rad this is the smallest 120mm i could find. thanks EK for this great product!


tomorrow i will finally get some water in it. I'll do my best to pull the components away from the case but it's pretty tied up in there with the hoses running through holes. i'll just stuff the case with towels and hope for the best :-D
 

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wow those are some tight quarters your working with


I must say that I really like the look of that msi card sticking out the side of the case and how it pulls cool air from the surroundings- Thats awsome!

That has to be one of the coolest mods I have seen . I love it!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
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Originally Posted by Liighthead View Post
nice work O.O .... just fits hehehe... what temps u getting ... cpu n on ur 275.. nice idear cutting out the side to fit it X)
thanks for the comments everyone!

gpu never gets above 60 when gaming, since it's not overclocked more than msi did i haven't done any gpu stress tests, so that temp is from gaming. also, that msi cooler is silent unless it goes full speed, and it never does that even under heavy heavy gaming load for me.

cpu IDLE is about 60. yes, you read that right. I've tried many thermal pastes but the stock heatsink is just useless. The bottom of the heatsink that touches the cpu is so uneven that there was no thermal paste left on the center of the cpu and about .5mm of it around the edges. Full loads it will get up to around 85. that's with a slight oc to 3.2ghz and undervolted at the same time to keep temps below boiling :p I look forward to getting those temps way down with this setup
 

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good news everyone! (thank you professor farnsworth) Got it filled up with water and not a single leak. it's been running for about 8 hours now and I will leave it going overnight before putting everything back in the case. ideally i would have taken the whole loop out of the case for testing but the following pics describe the problem with that. The lines go through the case and are very short, so i had to keep the waterblock in the case. best i could do is put a towel under it.




few more pics of the radiator fitment. The I/O side is resting on the graphics card with the pcb between the fittings and the res. I put 4 layers of electrical tape between them to avoid anything getting ruined. To support the other side and keep it level a scrap bit of tubing underneath works nicely and also avoids vibration.


and a few more pics of the layout...






tomorrow i'll get everything running and post some temps, maybe even do some further overclocking
 

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Discussion Starter #15
alright, been running some tests and overall i'm rather disappointed with the performance, the main issue is heatsoak, so I was wondering if could get your input fellas.

current ambient is 25c and as soon as i fire it up after a night of cooling down the idle temp is right around 32c. but after 30 minutes of web surfing the idle temp will creep up and settle at 40c. I have the arctic 120mm fan cooling the rad at it's maximum 1350rpm but it doesn't actually feel like that much air is coming out of the rad. One of the reasons i chose the ek rad was because the low fin density should lend itself to a nice slow fan speed but perhaps this isn't enough. I have an antec 3 speed case fan that will go up to 2k rpm but is noisy as hell. I think i will drop that in later today and see if temps drop a bit.

The closest i can get right now to measuring the water temp is taking a surface temp of the radiator end tanks where there is little airflow and lots of contact with the water. at idle that is around 34c. here is screen cap after idling for 30 minutes.


now, if i start up prime 95 i get the following temps at these time intervals

cpu rad surface (water temp)
1 min: 59c 36c
5 min: 64c 39.4c
10min: 66c 41.1c
15min: 67c 42.5c
25min: 67c 42.3c

then after 20 minutes of idle the water temp was back down to about 33c and cpu temps were around 40c as before the benchmark.

It seems to me that the slow increase in cpu and water temp indicates that the rad isn't doing it's job of keeping the water temp down. Do you think upping the fan from 57cfm at 1300rpm to another fan that puts out 80cfm at 2k rpm will make much of a difference? I rly don't want to have to take the rad back out to change the fan and the faster fan is ridiculously noisy.

also, here are some pics of it with the case off while I continue testing. The other weekend i made a custom drawer to keep the shuttle out of the way and still have it accessible. what do you think?


 

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This build look amazing. I am absolutely bewildered at the fact that you were able to fit an entire LCS into a shuttle case. Even if your temps don't drop, it's still quite an achievement.
Regarding the fan though... Personally, even if there is a lot of hassle, I would still replace that fan. RPM doesn't matter as much as CFM, but if that 2k RPM fan moves a lot of air, I would use it.
I know there are fans out there (whether or not they cost $30) that have ridiculously high CFM with low RPM and noise.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by jamezracer View Post
sadly, no. there just isn't enough space above the cpu without removing the drive tray.
Can a coolit Eco fit in that case? I believe it's shorter. . .
 

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Wow, just saw the drawer. The shuttle looks extremely compact in comparison to everything around it and looks hella smaller than my printer...
Great job on the drawer as well. Very clean cuts and a nice pattern and flows well with the rest of the desk.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
alright, with the 2k rpm 80cfm fan in and a 24.4c ambient, these are the new numbers.

cpu rad endtank (water temp)
idle 38c 31.4c

benchmark started
1 min: 57c 33.4c
5 min: 61c 36.6c
10min: 63c 38.0c
15min: 63c 38.0c
benchmark left running, fan turned down to 1500rpm @ 15min mark
20min: 65c 40.0c
25min: 67c 41.3c
30min 67c 41.8c
at 30min it had pretty much leveled out and I was getting bored :p

so looks like there are a few degrees to be had with the extra fan noise. Since i plan to overclock much further I will keep the noisy fan in and only crank it up when i need to. shame i won't get to use my super silent pwm arctic F12 :'(

@ WTHbot: the problem i see with the coolit eco is that the water lines come straight out of the radiator and would hit either the top of the case or the gfx card depending on which way you orient it. if you are set on putting a pre-built system in a shuttle then try finding detailed dimensions of the kit you are after and compare them to the components i managed to fit in. I made cardboard models of all of my components and fit them into the case before ordering them, you should try the same to be sure.
 
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