My 24/7 Sub-zero Water/TEC Cooled Cosmos II


Nov 8, 2012
I am not sure where this belongs if it belongs in the case modding which I will be doing a lot of, in the water cooling section which I will be doing a lot of or in the TEC sections which I will be doing a lot of so I am going to start by posting it in the case modding and water cooling sections and let you guys tell me where it belongs exactly????

Let me start by saying that I am going to give all the information on my build, and it will be a slow process, but I do hope you take time to read it, as well as subscribing to it and following it, although it will be a slow process to start with. I do not know if I have set my goals too high, but as you read you will see that I will be doing a lot of real-world experiments to prove myself right or wrong and to find out exactly what I need to accomplish my goals.
My Goal with this build is to build a self-contained PC that is capable of being run at a high overclock on the CPU and GPUs. I want this to be quiet and I wish for benchmarking to be run at sub-zero. I will have a TEC-cooled CPU block that is controlled to maintain the temperatures I set. These temperatures will usually be above dew point, because it is dew point that causes condensation, and depending on the humidity this temperature can be quite cool and even cold. In a heated and cooled house the humidity is usually very low as both heating and A/C remove moisture from the air. Air-conditioning does this better than heating, because part of the way it cools the air is to remove the water from the air—that is the reason that A/C units have drain lines. Dryer air feels cooler than wet air. But if you have gas heat you are actually adding water to the air because a by-product of burning gas is water vapor.
I will have the capability to run the CPU at sub-zero temperatures and I know to do this I will need to insulate the motherboard. I will be able to do this to benchmark it, or if I want to run it 24/7 like this. I do need to do more research on insulating the motherboard so any help you guys can provide will be much appreciated.????
I want to use water to remove the waste heat from the TEC water block. This should be about 550 watts that will need to be removed just from the CPU cooler. This is the heat from the CPU plus the waste heat from the TECs. I will also be cooling 2 GTX 680 GPU’s at about 320 watts each along with the motherboard, so I figure I need to be able to remove around 1200 watts of heat including the motherboard. The TEC CPU cooler will be able to cool the CPU to 15 to 20 degrees C below the water temperatures. So I will need water temps that will be below the ambient temperature in my house. The ambient in my home is usually around 25 degrees C. So just using the water at ambient I will not be able to get the temperatures as low as I would like to. So I plan on building a cascading TEC water chiller also, to cool the water to around the dew point. I have found 40x40 mm copper blocks at Custom Thermoelectric that I am going to use to make a custom water chiller (if the test pan out, more on this later). These blocks have barbs on them for 3/16” tubing but I hope with hose clamps and a little RTV silicone to keep these from leaking I will be able to use ¼” ID Tubing. I will use 2 blocks, one on hot side and one on cold side. Because of the smaller tubing I am afraid it will restrict the water flow so I am going to use a Koolance 5 way splitter to bring ½” id tubing into one side and then have 4 ea. ¼” tubing run to the water coolers I have found. I will have 4 in series on each line to help cool the water. I will do this for both the hot and cool sides. I will have 8 to 16 blocks that will have 100 to 150 watts on each for somewhere in the range of 800 to 1200 watts. I know you are thinking WOW that is 2400 watts of more to cool. But I will be using the cooled water from my chiller so it will not be I think and will prove through experiments in my home. I will control this chiller with an Aqua Computer Aquaero 5 using the Power adjust to power 4 other relays for the TEC’s that way I can maintain the water temperatures I want by having a 4 stage TEC Cooler.
My Plan is to use a Cooler Master Cosmos II case that I will mod to put in the water chiller and the radiators I need. I have been doing a lot of reading on cases on forums and following several people as they modded the cases and I think this will suit my purposes exactly. Also, since I plan on moving the power supply, as I saw someone do, and adding a second power supply to power my TEC cooler, I emailed Cooler Master about purchasing another PSU bracket so that I could add another power supply, and he is providing me this free of charge, although I have not even bought my case yet. SO I WANT TO GIVE A BIG THANK YOU TO RUBEN FRANCO AND COOLER MASTER!!!!!!!!!!!
For Radiators I plan on using EK Water Block Radiators who is sponsoring these radiators. The reason for this is that all the reviews I have read on these radiators consistently rank them in the top 5 in efficiency. Plus for some reason I really like the looks of them I know what you are thinking all radiators look the same but something about these caught my eye?? LOL
I will be using Monsoon fittings, especially the Compression fittings, the swivel 90 and 45 degree fittings, both light port and other. If I am unable to use these and they are not going to be in a place that will be seen, I will use whatever I find the cheapest. But for sure I am going to use some of the light fittings to provide a little light in my tubing.
The fans I will be use are Koolance Fan, 120x38mm (FAN-12038HBK) and Koolance Fan, 120x25mm (FAN-12025HBK). This is because of the high static pressure rating of the fans and the low sound levels, plus I have heard from several people in various forums that they are the best for using on radiators to get the best performance from them.
As I stated above I will be using an Aqua Computer Aquaero 5 to monitor and control all temperatures and flow rates on my cooling loops. This way I can keep the computer as quiet as possible and still have the performance I need. I will be using all the accessories for this, the USB power adjusters for the pumps and fans if needed, water block to keep it cool, temp sensors and if needed a Multi-switch USB 1.41 to control additional fans, leds and the TEC water chiller.
The computer hardware will consist of the following components.
• Asus Rampage IV Extreme Motherboard
• Intel I7-3970X CPU
• 2 Water Cooled GXT 680’s
• 64 GB of Corsair Dominator Platinum at 2133 MHz. The customer support at Corsair have informed me I should not have any problems running this memory set at 2133 MHz on the RIVE with the i7-3970. I had thought about water cooling the memory also but I like the little LEDs that are on this memory.
• 2 Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD connected to the SATA 3 ports from Intel chip.
• LSI 8 port SAS/SATA 3 1GB Raid controller card with 8 60 GB SSD as I already have 3 of these
• I will be setting up a 40GB ram disk with back up to load my frequently used programs to.
All of the above items will be purchased from Newegg. I have been buying from them for 10 to 12 years and have always got good customer support. They have lots of information on their site and the reviews are also very helpful. I know I have spent enough at Newegg over the past few years I should own stock in this company. LOL
I will be using the EKWB water bocks to cool my EVGA GTX 680 and the motherboard. I like the look of these in black and have read lots of good reviews and had them recommended to me by several people on lots of different forums.
The CPU cooler I will be using is a Quad TEC Direct Die and Quad Controller from Mindchill at He has agreed to make me a controller for this, so that I can turn off the dew point control or have it on if I do not want someone to run my PC below dew point. This is important to me as I work as Maintenance Supervisor/Chief Engineer on a drilling rig in Indonesia. I am gone to work for 28 days and home for 28 days so I want to make sure my PC is safe when I am gone.
Because of my experience at work trying to make equipment work that was designed by engineers on paper without any real regard to real-life conditions, I plan on being very meticulous in my build and test and experiment with each step until I am sure that I will get the results I want. Or determine what I need to do to get the results I want and how I can make this work in my case. I don’t want to just use engineering figures like watts and other things on paper and say this will or will not work. I know this gives a good basis and starting point, but in my experience nothing is the substitute for real-life situations and experiments.
But before I tell you my first experiment and plan I want to thank everyone on all of the forums that have been patient with me and given me advice, knowledge and their experience. I also want to thank X-bit Labs, Tom’s Hardware and AnandTech for providing a wealth of knowledge and information. But sometimes the information you provide is too technical with too many engineering graphs and not what I would call real-world tested. But in saying this it has caused me to learn so much because I had to look up a lot of the information and learn what a lot of things meant.
I also want to thank Performance PC for all the information on their site on cooling and modding PC’s. Your staff has always taken the time to answer all my questions and help me, even though it has been a couple of years since I placed an order, but in this build I plan on buying everything I can from you.
EK Water Blocks have been so helpful with providing with a lot of information and also a sponsorship so I will be able to do the testing and post the results for everyone to see.
Also Aqua Computer has provided lots of answers and information on their products that I have been able to use to plan my project so I also wanted to say that you to them. We have been communicating by email and they are helping me determine exactly what equipment I will need to be able to control my TEC water cooler and fans on the radiators to maintain as quiet of a PC is possible and will also ramp the fans up and pumps as the temperature’s rise.
Enough of the thanks and accolades to different people and places, now for the fun part the first experiment.
Before I tell you what my first plan is, I want to tell everyone again that this will be a slow build and lots of experience. I will have a limited monthly budget to work with and I also will be gone for 28 days at a time but like I stated before I hope people subscribe and follow my trials and tribulations. LOL
The first thing I want to do is prove how much heat radiators can actually remove. What I am going to do is the following.
• I am going to get 3 ea.3/4” tee pieces of pipe and 2 6” sections of 3/4” inch pipe. I will put immersion heaters of various wattages and see if the radiators can maintain the water temp within 5 to 10 degrees of ambient temperature. I hope you can understand what I am saying. If not please ask questions and I will explain further. I also have a drawing attached so that you might get a better idea.
• I am going to have 250 watt, 375 watt, 500 watt and 1000 watt immersion heaters that I am going to use in different combinations to see about heat removal.
• Since I do not have and really can’t afford to buy logging equipment to log the temps, I am going to use a video camera to watch, because I plan on testing for 4 to 6 hours.
• 1st example is using an EK-CoolStream RAD XTC (140) EAN: 3831109860137 Radiator with a 100watt heater in the pipe and see, if this radiator will maintain the temps for 2 hours if so I will add more heat and watch it for up to 6 hours.
This way I can determine exactly what I need to cool how much wattage. I will continue this and series the radiators until I find the combination that will maintain the water temps with 1500 watts of heaters in the pipe for six hours.
I plane on using the below radiators to experiment with as I am sure they will fit in my case. Also a BIG THANKS TO EKWATER BLOCKS FOR SPONSORING THE RADIATORS AND THE RESEVIOR!!!!! THESE ARE THE RADIATORS I REALLY WANTED AND THEY ARE GOING TO HELP MY DREAM COME TRUE!!!!
2 ea. EK-CoolStream RAD XTC (140) EAN: 3831109860137 Radiators
2 ea. EK-CoolStream RAD XTC (420) EAN: 3831109860151 Radiators
1 ea. EK-CoolStream RAD XT (360) EAN: 3831109860021 Radiator
I am sure I can get these in my case without too much modding
I am going to use the below items for the pumps, tubing, fittings and reservoir. I will try different combinations of radiators until I am able to maintain a constant water temp for 6 hours, recording this with video camera and posting results on thread. I am going to have a fan controller to control the speed of the fans and pumps and see what difference this makes. I want to be able to use a 500 watt immersion heater and a 1000 watt immersion heater in my test pipe. And have these radiators maintain a temperature that is within 5 to 10 degrees of the ambient temperature in my home. I will have a logging meter with a thermocouple in the reservoir so that I can log the temps of the water. Also will have in line temperature sensors to record the water temps going in the radiators and coming out and also to record water temp coming out of the heat pipe I am making. These will be the Phobya Temperature Sensor Outer Thread G1/4 with Display - Blue so I will video these so that I can show and record the temps. The reason for this is I cannot justify spending the money to be able to log these temps to myself as I do not think they are as important as the cooled water temp going into the reservoir. But want to record them because it might be important. I am not sure.
2 ea. Monsoon Free Center Compression Fittings, 1/2" x 3/4" Six Pack - Matte Black
Actually I will be using barbs for the testing as they are cheaper and I do not want to wear out nice compression fittings taking the tubing on and off of them constantly to set up test.
8 ea. Enzotech Compression Fitting G 1/4 Thread - for 1/4" ID and 3/8" OD Tubing - Matte Black
Actually I will be using barbs for the testing as they are cheaper and I do not want to wear out nice compression fittings taking the tubing on and off of them constantly to set up test.
2 ea. Koolance Tubing Splitter/Manifold, 5-Way swiveling [no nozzles]
5 ea. Phobya Temperature Sensor Outer Thread G1/4 with Display - Blue
1 ea. Koolance Coolant Temperature Sensor Plug, 10K Ohm with a display so I can record water temp in middle of pipe.
8 ea. Bgears 140mm Fan Adapter
6 ea. Koolance Fan, 120x38mm (FAN-12038HBK)
6 ea. Koolance Fan, 120x25mm (FAN-12025HBK)
1 ea. Koolance Flow Meter Adapter With Display
1 ea. Koolance INS-FM17N Coolant Flow Meter
1 ea. Sunbeamtech Rheosmart 6 Fan Controller
1 ea. Aquacomputer D5 Pump Mechanics with RPM Signal
1 ea. 3 Pin to 4 Pin Fan Adapter Sleeved to be able to use pump on fan controller
1 ea. . EK-D5 X-RES 140 CSQ - Acetal EAN: 3831109842652 for my D5 pump
12 ft Koolance Tubing, Blue PVC [6mm, 1/4"] or any ¼” ID Tubing
12 ft ½ id tubing
As you can see, just to do the first experiment I want to prove how much wasted heat I can dissipate. Thanks to EK Water Blocks this will not be so expensive so I will be able to start this testing and start posting results by the middle of Jan. The reason for this is that I leave tomorrow to go to work in Indonesia for 4 weeks and will not be home until Jan 11. Below are the steps I will be taking after I determine how much heat can be dissipated. Below the steps is a drawing of how I am going to set everything up for the first test.
2nd testing will to be to build the TEC water chiller more information on this later as I am still developing it in mind and paper and will need a lot of testing and I need data from first test to finalize this and this will probably be several steps in this as the all copper water blocks are not cheap and I will need to determine the size I will use and things like this. Like I said more details on this soon.
3rd Test will be to use the pipe and heaters to determine if the heat will be removed as I want.
4th will be to mod the case to hold the equipment that I determine I need from the first 3 test. This will be a series of posts on the thread so that everyone can share and help out with this. The worst problem I will have is I want to use black, red and green for the colors but my 4 year old wants me to use orange, pink, green and blue. So I don’t know what to do to make her happy with this??
5th will be the setting up of the Aquaero 5 for control and quietness
6th will be the overclocking and final running.