The Z Build 2.0

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Oct 29, 2000
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Hey all,

So I am embarking on a fresh build.

Back in July of 2016 I embarked on my first water cooled build, which I documented here.

1581799039751.png

It has served me well ever since, but end of last year it was time to retire the i7-3930k and motherboard I bought back in 2011 and upgrade. I went with a Threadripper 3960x.

My plan was to make it a drop-in upgrade, but I was never quite thrilled with the layout that resulted in.

1581799245356.png

It turns out that the Threadripper socket is just so damned large that the PCIe slots all move down one slot. The first opening in the case is no longer used. Additionally, the Heatkiller IV pro I decided to go with for my CPU block has specified inlet and outlet ports, and they are the reverse of what made sense for a drop in replacement in my loop, resulting in a crowded, criss-crossed layout

Then, last month, my new motherboard died out of nowhere. (Damn you bathtub curve!)

In troubleshooting what was wrong, I did damage to my trusty old Corsair 750D Airflow case. I decided to turn misfortune into opportunity and decided to take this as a sign that it was time for a new build, in a new case, with a better layout for my new hardware, and a cooling upgrade while I am at it.

I am taking the time to plan and start working on the loop while I am waiting for Gigabyte to return my RMA'd motherboard.

More to follow in the next post.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
Joined
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General Strategy.

My theory on PC builds is that whenever something breaks, that means it is time for an upgrade, not a sidegrade or a downgrade, so we are going with a bigger case that can support more radiator capacity. I am also planning on adding a second D5 pump in a dual pump top to aid flow through the longer loop this will result in.

After much hand wringing about the ridiculous price point I decided on a Corsair 1000D case, in large part because it supports FOUR 480mm radiators (with optional brackets)at the same time internal to the case. I balked at the price at first, but I found an open box special on Amazon at a great price, and decided to bite the bullet.

At first I was tempted to immediately go for four 480mm radiators, configuring them in push-pull, but after actually totalling up the price, I decided to do this build incrementally. Surprisngly it was the fan budget that killed that idea. 32 of my favorite fans (Noctua iPPC 2000-pwm) wound up adding over $800 to the budget for just fans. that wasn't happening.

Instead I decided to keep my 420mm radiator from my old build and add two Alphacool X-Flow 480mm radiators, retiring my 280mm "Monsta" radiator in the process, as there is simply nowhere to mount it in this case.

Since my current reservoir is a pump/res combo, and I wanted to go with a dual pump top, I also need a new reservoir, that is a reservoir only. I know some disagree, but I like the added temperature stability more fluid in the loop brings. it allows the fans to ramp up and slow down ore slowly, and results in a more smooth experience. For this reason I decided to to go with the HUGE EK-Res X4.

The blocks will also stay the same from my last build. The Heatkiller IV Pro stays for the Threadripper, and the EK fullcover block stays for the Titan X for now until next gen GPU's come out.

Tubing, fittings and swivels will mostly be reused from what I already have. I don't have time to learn doing hardtube this time. Maybe next time.

My Aquaero will also stay for fan control.


Final loop parts list
  • Case: Corsair 1000D
  • Reservoir: EK-Res X4
  • Radiator 1: Alphacool XT45 420mm (already had)
  • Radiators 2&3: Alphacool UT60 X-Flow 480mm
  • Fans 1: 6x 140mm Noctua iPPC 2000-PWM fans for push-pull on the 420mm radiator.
  • Fans 2: 18X 120mm Noctual iPPC 2000-PWM fans for push-pull on the 480mm radiators and two fans in the back.
  • Pumps: 2x EK D5 G2 PWM pumps in an EK dual pump top.
  • CPU Block: All Copper (Nickel plated) Watercool Heatkiller IV Pro for Threadripper
  • GPU Block: Black Acetal Nickel Plater EK Fullcover GPU block for Titan X Pascal.
  • Fan &Pump Control: Aquacomputer Aquaero 6 XT
  • Tubing: Soft black PrimoFlex Advanced LRT, 3/8ID, 1/2OD
  • Fittings: XSPC Black Chrome Compression Fittings
  • Swivels, Bends, etc: Various, all Bitspower.

Planned Layout in next post.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
Joined
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Messages
29,992
Planned Layout:

1581803754141.png



Alright, so here is the routing and layout plan.

1.) We start at the reservoir.
2.) Drain down to the dual D5 pumps.
3.) Flow up to GPU Block
4.) Flow up to heatkiller block
5.) Flow up to 420mm radiator up top, entering through unconventional vent port.
6.) Dual tubes with parallel flow into the 480mm X-Flow radiators.
7.) Dual tubes with parallel flow out of the radiators into the reservoir.


The non-conventional flow through the 420mm radiator and parallel flow through the X-flow rads is a little unusual, but based on the testing in my other thread flow splits almost identically across the two sides, despite a slight offset of the vent port. This unusual routing makes the tube routing much simpler.


I welcome any comments!
 
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Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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29,992
Alright.

Finally got around to opening the new case. The box has been sitting on the floor of my basement since arriving as I was procrastinating cleaning up my workbench from my previous project.

Pictures do not do the ridiculous size of this thing justice. It barely fits on my workbench, and will barely fit on the floor under my desk when it is done.

1581808439924.jpeg

Maybe a picture next to (the carcass of) my old 750D will do it.

IMG_20200215_182438.jpg

Yes, that case on the left is a Full Tower 750D O_O

There are some disappointments already.

It comes with some sort of silly Corsair RGB commander box. Tossing that. Homey don't play RGB. What a waste to include that garbage.

There is some sort of stupid RGB box in the center of the front fan mounts which is probably going to wind up obstructing airflow.

IMG_20200215_175853.jpg

Also annoying, I had assumed the drive cage would be modular and removable like it was in my 750D. It isn't. It's riveted in place. Well, that's stupid.

IMG_20200215_175948.jpg

Now I have to decide if I want to drill out the rivets and remove the thing, because there is no way in hell I;m putting spinning drives in this build. That's what NAS servers are for. There is simply no need for 3.5" drive mounts in any consumer case, even a beastly large one. At the very least they should be removable. Maybe rivets are cheaper, but Jesus Herbert Walker Christ, this is a $550 case...

And if I do drill it out, then I lose my pump mounting plate, meaning I'd have to drill custom mounting holes in the bottom of the case.

IMG_20200215_180050.jpg

I was hoping this "Case to end all cases" would not require me to do that type of modifications... Guess not. :/

While the slide out fan/radiator mounting trays are nice. They have me worried that they are too close up front to support push pull configurations both top and front at the same time.

IMG_20200215_182546.jpg

If true that's a real shame. Radiator capacity is the one and only reason I bought this case. I'll reserve my judgment until I try to install things though.

Anyway, that's my first take on the 1000D. Not entirely thrilled, but it is what it is, I guess. Now to decide if I want to drill rivets or not...

Tomorrow evening I will do a test fitting of the radiators and see how that goes...
 
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Starfalcon

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
209
Shame about the rivets, sad in that expensive a case too. It isnt even anything structural, should just have some thumbscrews to remove if you do not need it.
 

N4CR

Supreme [H]ardness
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Oct 17, 2011
Messages
4,579
The res looks like a kettle lol. Looking forward to keeping an eye on your new build.
If only you could fit wider rads, then get less, larger fans.
 

RazorWind

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 11, 2001
Messages
3,550
Given how much that case costs, being disappointed with pretty much anything would be unacceptable, to me. I think I'd rather have a less expensive case that's just... a really good case, without trying to have all the silly bells and whistles like RGB and space for second system.

It really bums me out that CaseLabs went under. This system is practically begging for one of their cases. :(
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
29,992
Preparing to do some radiator for tests and I am prepping my fans.

I don't normally go out of my way or spend extra money on aesthetics for my builds, but I am just so goddamned tired of Noctuas brown colors.

Decided to get some grey corners for my noctua fans.

IMG_20200216_194053.jpg

Not sure I really like it, but at least it's not brown.
 
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Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Alright.

Test mounting radiators is done, and this case has displayed some more stupid annoyances.

The sliding fan/radiator mount brackets that come out for easy access are an amazing feature. I love them. But Corsair put their holes in really stupid places...

The screw holes in the 3x 140mm mount up top are oblong so you can slide things back and forth to give yourself some leeway. Well. At least the front and the rear fan holes are. The one in the middle? Not so much. So, in order to give me as much space in the front as possible, I slid the radiator as far back in those oblong holes as possible. This means the middle fan holes don't line up anymore...

IMG_20200216_210906.jpg IMG_20200216_210918.jpg

In the grand scheme of things, it's not the hugest of deals, because with all the other screws in place, even with the center fan not being screwed in at all, it does not budge. It is sandwiched in there and will not move. So I guess it will work anyway.


I was really worried I wouldn't be able to fit the radiators both in front and in the back, but I was able to make it work. The top and the bottom need to slide in and out together now though, as the only way to make it work was for the bulge on the top radiator to fit in the gap between the two on the bottom.


IMG_20200216_212218.jpg IMG_20200216_212236.jpg IMG_20200216_212310.jpg

It's going to be tricky to link them together up top. Probably going to require a 90 degree swivel bend on each of the ports, but it should work. Hope the tight bends won't hurt flow too much...

So, push-pull both top and front are not going to work at the same time:

IMG_20200216_212625.jpg

Maybe I can use some sort of 140mm to 120mm fan adapter on that last slot up top and make it fit. Any suggestions?

If I only had another half an inch it would work, which the next part really frustrating.

Why on earth do I need so much clearance in the back?


IMG_20200216_214748.jpg IMG_20200216_215104.jpg

Two whole inches wasted in the back.

This is a recurring theme with this case. Such an awesome case with so many awesome features only to be held back by some stupid design decisions.

I wish I were better with sheet metal. I'd fabricate my own mounting tray up top, moving everything back a bit.


Next issue. The motherboard tray rises up from the base of the case causing a little bit of a space restriction. In push-pull with a 60mm radiator this only gives me a quarter of an inch of clearance for airflow.


IMG_20200216_215147.jpg IMG_20200216_215158.jpg IMG_20200216_215202.jpg IMG_20200216_215218.jpg

So, that drive cage is definitely going to have to come out. The back third of the rear radiator is going to have flow constriction due to only having a quarter of an inch of clearance, but that I'm going to have to live with.


It's not as bad as it looks through, as there are passthrough holes behind the motherboard tray, so some air can flow through there.

IMG_20200216_221527.jpg IMG_20200216_221506.jpg

The back of the case also has some vent holes, so some air should be able to flow through there.


This is a glorious sight though. I love it:

IMG_20200216_212227.jpg
 
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Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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I swear to God, in their promotional image below, their top radiator is shifted further back than it is in mine...

So, they realized the problem, crafted a custom bracket just for their photo shoot, and then shipped it with the existing one anyway...

multi-slide-dimensions.png
 
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Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Hey Zarathustra[H] . This looks like it's gonna be a monster build.

If you need any bracketry or the such, my 3D printer and 3D modeling ability (such as it is) are at your disposal.
I appreciate the offer very much, but I think that what I need is going to be far too big to fit in any typical 3D printer...

I may buy some sort of sheet of ABS or the like and a few L brackets and cut my own top fan bracket, shifting everything rearwards.

Not sure yet.

I may need to wander the aisles of home Depot looking for ideas....
 

VanGoghComplex

[H]ard|Gawd
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I appreciate the offer very much, but I think that what I need is going to be far too big to fit in any typical 3D printer...

I may buy some sort of sheet of ABS or the like and a few L brackets and cut my own top fan bracket, shifting everything rearwards.

Not sure yet.

I may need to wander the aisles of home Depot looking for ideas....
My printer has a volume of 12" x 12" x ~16". Let me know. I need a print project. =D
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
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I'm almost certain in the promotional picture, they're using at 360mm radiator up top, not a 420. The fans up top look like they're the same size as the front fans.

As for the screw design up top, I can understand why they did what they did. 140mm radiators come with two different fan spacings, 15mm and 20mm, with HWLabs and Koolance primarily using 20mm and almost everyone else using 15mm. If they made one end rigid, you end up with some very long oblong holes at the other end. Making the middle solid minimized the deviations at either end to accommodate both types of radiators.
 
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It turns out that the Threadripper socket is just so damned large that the PCIe slots all move down one slot. The first opening in the case is no longer used.
This is a really interesting observation. I've been looking towards TR for my next build and having that one slot shift would be a deal breaker as it would cut the system down to only 3 GPUs with almost every case that I can think of.

I swear to God, in their promotional image below, their top radiator is shifted further back than it is in mine...

So, they realized the problem, crafted a custom bracket just for their photo shoot, and then shipped it with the existing one anyway...
Like Tsumi said, they're using a 360mm rad up top. The case doesn't ship with it, but you can buy another 2x4x120 radiator tray and mount that up top. It's what most of their promotional material shows and it's what I'm running on my setup.

If you want more height available, you can mount the push fans for the top radiator on top of the mount tray. That will get you an extra 25mm of clearance (it's also what I did on my build). Without this, there isn't enough clearance to do a push-pull 60mm radiator in the distal position up top because of the motherboard shelf.

Don't know if you're planning to run dual 140mm fans in the exhaust port. Hopefully not, because they won't fit despite what Corsair's early marketing material + every single paid review stated. There's about 3mm too little clearance for them to fit. I ended up using a Bridgeport to shave a little bit off of my fans and that's how I got them to fit.

My recommendation for routing is to run the top rad(s) as one loop and the front rads as a second loop. Trying to connect the two sets of rads together leads to awkward routing, plus it makes maintenance and filling a bit of a PITA. You end up with a LOT of cables plus the tubing which all have to move together when you pull out the radiator trays. If you're into clean cabling, this is extra annoying because you have to either disconnect everything and then cut your zipties, or you have to build in 1ft long service loops... and cut your zip ties. A drawback here is that you're going to have to buy a second Aquaero if you want the third pump because your system is already right near the limit of what the Aquero can support.
 

VanGoghComplex

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A drawback here is that you're going to have to buy a second Aquaero if you want the third pump because your system is already right near the limit of what the Aquero can support.
Aquabus is a beautiful thing. You can buy modules that give you additional outputs for fans and pumps and then slave those to the Aquaero via Aquabus.
 
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Aquabus is a beautiful thing. You can buy modules that give you additional outputs for fans and pumps and then slave those to the Aquaero via Aquabus.
For normal builds, you're absolutely correct. What I'm finding with my own 3-loop Aquaero-controlled build in a 1000D is that certain compromises have to be made in terms of granularity of control in order to handle 24 fans + 3 pumps + 3 combo temp/flow sensors. A limitation of Aquabus is that although it can control a significant number of devices (iirc, something like 128 of them), it can only handle a couple of devices of any single type; ie, it can handle 32 devices total, but only two of those can be flow sensors (I just made these numbers up, but they show what I'm getting at).

If each push-pull set is operated as one (rather than push on one set and pull on another), it is much easier - especially with the relatively new Octo. Or you could make use of USB control instead of having everything be controlled by the Aquaero.

One of the nice things about Aquaero, of course, is that a second one can be slaved off of the first and this nearly doubles capacity. Alternatively, the second unit can be run as its own device controlling only its own loop. That might be a bit overkill compared to, for example, running a D5 Next on the loop and routing its fan output into an Octo.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Messages
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This is a really interesting observation. I've been looking towards TR for my next build and having that one slot shift would be a deal breaker as it would cut the system down to only 3 GPUs with almost every case that I can think of.
Good to hear from someone who actually uses this case.

I'm curious. What on earth do you need or even use 4 GPU's for? VM's with passthrough? Mining? It's fine for me. I don't plan on ever using more than one GPU.


Like Tsumi said, they're using a 360mm rad up top. The case doesn't ship with it, but you can buy another 2x4x120 radiator tray and mount that up top. It's what most of their promotional material shows and it's what I'm running on my setup.
That makes sense, I guess. I was hoping to - down the road - use it with four 480mm radiators, but maybe that just won't work, despite what corsair claims on their website.


If you want more height available, you can mount the push fans for the top radiator on top of the mount tray. That will get you an extra 25mm of clearance (it's also what I did on my build). Without this, there isn't enough clearance to do a push-pull 60mm radiator in the distal position up top because of the motherboard shelf.
I wonder if they have redesigned it. On mine, there is certainly no space to fit fans on top of the tray:

IMG_20200221_205202.jpg

I mean, there seems like there might be a little space on top, but I guess you'd have to dismount the sliding tray, mount the fans, and then reattach it or that wouldn't work, but even that feels like it might not fit.

That said, I don't see the issue of clearance above the motherboard tray. I current have a 45mm thick 420mm radiator up there with 25mm thick fans on top. With those installed, I have approximately another 70mm of clearance.

IMG_20200221_205747.jpg

Another set of fans would only consume 25mm of that, and going from a 45mm thick to a 60mm thick radiator should only consume another 15mm, so with both, I should still have 30mm of clearance.

Unless maybe the 8x120mm top tray hangs lower than the 3x140mm one does?

Don't know if you're planning to run dual 140mm fans in the exhaust port. Hopefully not, because they won't fit despite what Corsair's early marketing material + every single paid review stated. There's about 3mm too little clearance for them to fit. I ended up using a Bridgeport to shave a little bit off of my fans and that's how I got them to fit.
I don't have a bridgeport, but I am not above taking my Dremel to a couple of fans if I need to.

My recommendation for routing is to run the top rad(s) as one loop and the front rads as a second loop. Trying to connect the two sets of rads together leads to awkward routing, plus it makes maintenance and filling a bit of a PITA. You end up with a LOT of cables plus the tubing which all have to move together when you pull out the radiator trays. If you're into clean cabling, this is extra annoying because you have to either disconnect everything and then cut your zipties, or you have to build in 1ft long service loops... and cut your zip ties. A drawback here is that you're going to have to buy a second Aquaero if you want the third pump because your system is already right near the limit of what the Aquero can support.
I appreciate the thought, but I am ogf the school of thought that you should always have all of your radiators in the same loop, or you lose a lot of cooling efficiency when all components with blocks are not at 100% load at the same time (so 99% of the time) and wind up with higher fan speeds, and more noise.
 

cyberguyz

Gawd
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Aug 28, 2014
Messages
715
I really love that case to bits. Too bad in Canadian Pesos it would cost over $600 and that is an order of magnitude too costly for me even to dream of.

The only two things I am not a fan of is ...

1. All that tempered glass. Glass is heavier than steel/plastique doors and frankly the case sits on the floor on the right side of my desk. All the frag harder disco lights would go to waste on me (I usually keep them turned off or unplugged).

2. With all that bigness in size comes a corresponding bigness in weight. I have to lift that monster up to my desk to poke my head into it & root around with the angry pixie handling hardware.

Beyond those two things, I'm drooling all over my keyboard with the hots for it. Too bad my CM HAF-XM is still usable...
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
Joined
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Messages
29,992
Alright. Some stuff I'll be using to make my own fan bracket, so I can move the top radiator further back and out of the way...

First a few of the smallest black corner braces I could find:

1582853836506.png



A 1/4" thick 24"x12" sheet of ABS plastic

IMG_20200227_194738.jpg


A 140mm hole saw for the fan holes:

IMG_20200227_194759.jpg


Only issue remaining is that I don't have anything good to cut a straight line for the edge of the bracket.

I was lamenting this fact at work, that all I have are a circular saw and a jigsaw, neither of which are particularly good for cutting straight lines. A colleague of mine said he'd b ring me a table scroll saw I could use.

Today he brought it in, and he brought me this thing:
IMG_20200227_191954.jpg


For those of you who are vintage tool fans, this is apparently a King-Seeley scroll saw, manufactured from the 1930s to 1950s for Sears Craftsman, and sold under the Dunlap brand.

I'm guessing they were an older design from back when tools were driven off of whatever spinning thing you had nearby (Electric motor? Foot pedal? Steam engine? Wind mill/water wheel?) and that the motor was added after the fact.

One thing is certain. it weighs a bloody ton. None of that plastic shit. And with that big exposed belt, it's definitely pre-OSHA :p And I challenge you to buy anything at Home Depot today that will still be operational 70-90 years from now :p

Anyway, he tells me it works great, so I am going to clamp down a spare block of wood on the table, and use it as a guide to make the straight cut.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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29,992
Alright,

Spent some more time today. First step, clean that nasty rust off of the table on the old scroll saw so everything slides more smoothly and it doesn't scratch the plastic while cutting.

Started with 36 grit, then 80 grit, followed by 120. I don't think it really needed a pass with the 220, but I did it anyway.

IMG_20200307_204140.jpg

My colleage has offered to sell it to me for what he has into it (approximately $40). I might bite, and if I do, maybe I'll put a layer of paint on the top of the table to prevent it from rusting again...

Now to cut the sheet to size.

Roughly 21.25" x 9.75" does it.

I had a terrible time cutting the ABS plastic sheet. No matter what I did, the saw would melt the sheet of plastic while cutting, and it would re-combine on the other side.

In the end, a combination of freezing the plastic (I put it outside in the cold, but a freezer could have done the job too), pointing my Datavac blower at the saw blade during cutting, and pre-applying silicon oil to both the blade and to the top of the sheet of plastic along the lines I intended to cut, did the trick.


Next, tightening the corner braces in place with some M4 screws and bolts I bought on Amazon.

IMG_20200307_182041.jpg IMG_20200307_182249.jpg IMG_20200307_182256.jpg

Turns out they have a bit of a curve on them which caused a fit problem with the plastic sheet, so I chamfered the bottom edge using my Dremel to make it fit right.

I also had to cut away a slot on the rear right corner to allow the front panel cables pre-wired into the case to pass through.

Next, I drilled holes for the brackets using a 5mm bit, and countersunk them with my Dremel, so the screws would sit nice and flush.

I still have to cut the holes for the fans, and all the screw holes, but here is some test fitting:

IMG_20200307_202456.jpg IMG_20200307_202503.jpg IMG_20200307_203911-cropped.jpg

With the fit test successful, I decided to see if the top fans would fit on top of the bracket.

IMG_20200307_203548.jpg IMG_20200307_203559.jpg IMG_20200307_203603.jpg IMG_20200307_203609.jpg IMG_20200307_203620.jpg

They just BARELY fit. I have to finagle it a little to close it with them up there, but I think it will work.

The ABS bracket flexes a little more than I expected for a 1/4" thick sheet, which means once I cut the holes for the fans, it will probably flex even more.

I'm hoping that once the radiator is tightened to it, it will reinforce it to the point where flex is minimal, but time will tell.

Going to try to cut all the requisite holes tomorrow.
 
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Joined
Oct 23, 2018
Messages
600
Looking good! Like VanGogh said, that tray will become stiff once the radiator is attached to it.

One thing you may want to do is do your cable management on top of the tray behind the fans. IIRC, you're an Aquaero user, so I'm guessing you're going to run an Octo or a Splitty9 Powered for those 6 fans. If you put that board onto the tray, you'll only need two wires coming off of the tray rather than 6. Might be just an aesthetic thing if you're going to connect the top rad to the front rads. On my build, I kept my radiators mobile, so reducing the cable count makes a big difference every time a radiator needs to be slid out.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Messages
29,992
Looking good! Like VanGogh said, that tray will become stiff once the radiator is attached to it.

One thing you may want to do is do your cable management on top of the tray behind the fans. IIRC, you're an Aquaero user, so I'm guessing you're going to run an Octo or a Splitty9 Powered for those 6 fans. If you put that board onto the tray, you'll only need two wires coming off of the tray rather than 6. Might be just an aesthetic thing if you're going to connect the top rad to the front rads. On my build, I kept my radiators mobile, so reducing the cable count makes a big difference every time a radiator needs to be slid out.
Yeah, I was planning on using some of the extra space up there for one of my splitters.

I'm not familiar with the exact ones you mention, but I have three of these for my build.

That part of the cable routing should be easy.

I havent quite figured out how to route the fan cables for the 16 fans up front though. That's going to be more of a challenge.
 
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Image from iOS (2).jpg


You can sort of see how my fronts are routed here. I'm running RGB in my fans, so there's twice as many wires. But basically, the wires route through the center gap between the two sets of fans. My splitters (RGBpx Splitty4) are mounted to the bottom screws on the bottom fans. This leaves me with four cables running from the radiators to my Aquaero (fans) and one to my Farbwerk 360 (RGB). Being able to daisy chain the RGB was really nice even though I had to make my own cables for it. Fortunately, I have the OEM Molex crimper for this, so that made it slightly less of a headache.

I'd like to have had a fan splitter that could handle 8 fans at a time, but I couldn't find a solution that would fit on the radiators & mount while still reducing total wire count (due to the RGB). Space is surprisingly tight around the front rad. There's no space to mount splitters on the far side of the radiator because of the side panel. There's barely any space on the bottom because of the slide. Top side has the slide plus the tubing to deal with.

I think my next step is going to be to buy the crimper + pins + plugs in order to make custom length fan cables. That will really clean things up nicely - I hope.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Messages
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View attachment 228574

You can sort of see how my fronts are routed here. I'm running RGB in my fans, so there's twice as many wires. But basically, the wires route through the center gap between the two sets of fans. My splitters (RGBpx Splitty4) are mounted to the bottom screws on the bottom fans. This leaves me with four cables running from the radiators to my Aquaero (fans) and one to my Farbwerk 360 (RGB). Being able to daisy chain the RGB was really nice even though I had to make my own cables for it. Fortunately, I have the OEM Molex crimper for this, so that made it slightly less of a headache.

I'd like to have had a fan splitter that could handle 8 fans at a time, but I couldn't find a solution that would fit on the radiators & mount while still reducing total wire count (due to the RGB). Space is surprisingly tight around the front rad. There's no space to mount splitters on the far side of the radiator because of the side panel. There's barely any space on the bottom because of the slide. Top side has the slide plus the tubing to deal with.

I think my next step is going to be to buy the crimper + pins + plugs in order to make custom length fan cables. That will really clean things up nicely - I hope.
Appreciate the info!
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Hmm. looks like I am either going to have to order a couple of those low profile flat G1/4 plugs, or grind out some space in the bottom of the bracket to make them fit...
 
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Hmm. looks like I am either going to have to order a couple of those low profile flat G1/4 plugs, or grind out some space in the bottom of the bracket to make them fit...
Did your radiators not come with enough? Or do you mean the ones that fit flush without the external flange? I might have a couple of spares in a box you could have. They're extras from my Alphacool GPU blocks.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Did your radiators not come with enough? Or do you mean the ones that fit flush without the external flange? I might have a couple of spares in a box you could have. They're extras from my Alphacool GPU blocks.

Yeah, I am talking about the thin ones that don't stick out too much.

Turns out I didn't need the completely flush variety. My EK GPU block came with a couple that were thinner than typical plugs, so I swapped them with the radiator, and now I am able to mount it.

I appreciate the offer to send some though!

More progress and pictures incoming as fast as I can type my post :p
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Alright,

Today I spent some time laying out the fan mount holes and actual hole for the air to blow through on the bracket.

To minimize measurement errors, I decided to use a template approach. I grabbed an old piece of poster board that had been laying around since my stepson was in elementary school and needed it for some project or something, placed it on top of the radiator and poked holes and screwed the poster board to the radiator. No I had my screw hole locations.

After that I marked it up with a pencil and ruler, and traced the outline of the hole saw in the center points of the fan locations to get an idea of what it would look like:

This is what I wound up with. A little ghetto, but it's not stupid if it works :p

IMG_20200308_151943-crop.jpg

I proceeded to drill all the fan holes with a 5mm bit, and I used the pilot bit from the hole saw to drill out the pilot holes in the center of each fan.

Now it was time for the hole saw. I clamped down the ABS sheet with a piece of a broken old butcher board cutting board underneath it. I used the hole saw to cut about halfway through, then flipped it and centered it using the pilot hole again and cut the remainder from the other side. I'm told this provides a cleaner cut, and it sure turned out good, so I guess that advice is accurate.

IMG_20200308_155954.jpg

What I did not realize is that a hole saw is a much tougher load on a drill than typical drilling (makes perfect sense in retrospect, but I didn't think of it at the time). Apparently my old corded Ryobi drill does not have an overheating shutoff in it, so halfway throuhg the second hole I had to stop because smoke was coming out the back of my drill where the motor is. I thoght I had ruined it, but it seems to work fine once I let it cool down (which took forever). For the remainder of the hole sawing I took it much slower, and pointed my datavac blower so it was blowing air at the drills vent holes. This seems to have worked. No more smoke :p

I now have three perfectly circular disc shaped pieces of ABS with a 140mm diameter. I feel like I should figure out someting to do with them :p

Then unfortunately I skipped some steps forgetting to take pictures.

Something I hadn't thought of that become apparent when I drew my paper template was that the hole saw fan holes were going to be very close, with only a millimeter or so of material between them in the center. So I made the decision to cut that material out and then do a touchup with my dremel to make everything nice and smooth, leaving a little extra material around the fan mount holes to make sure they won't crack in the future.

Then it was time for a test fit.

IMG_20200308_173952.jpg IMG_20200308_174001.jpg IMG_20200308_174011.jpg

Not apparent in these pictures is that I also ground out some slots on the bottom for the corner braces to sit in. This lowered the entire bracket by about a millimeter, making the fans fit better on top when opening and closing it.

Looks better than I expected, but this is where I have to concede that I am an engineer, not a machinist. I can design things in CAD, but making them myself is not my strong suite. When I went to attach the radiator and top fans some of the screw holes just did not line up. Lets call it a tolerance stackup error :p At this point I decided that I really didn't need such tight tolerancing on the screw holes, so I just drilled them out a little and made them larger with a slightly larger drill bit. Once I did this, everything fit happily!

IMG_20200308_182159.jpg IMG_20200308_182203.jpg IMG_20200308_182217.jpg

Last thing for tonight, I decided to mount the remaining top fans, and the top two of the front fans to see how everything fit now that I successfully moved the radiator further back:

IMG_20200308_190651.jpg IMG_20200308_190706.jpg

Looks like it worked pretty well!

Pain in the ass that I had to do this in order to address a design flaw, but at least now it is done.

I had hoped to also have time to drill out the rivets and remove the drive cage today, but that will have to wait for another day.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Oct 29, 2000
Messages
29,992
Also, I swear to god this house has gnomes, moving every tool, every screw I put down and making me spend several minutes looking for it instead of making progress, every few minutes.

I have likely spent much more time looking for that thing that was just in my hand a few minutes ago, than actually making progress thus far.

I still don't know what happened to a 120omm fan I misplaced somewhere during the project.

That;s a surprisingly large thing to lose.
 

Smoked Brisket

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
438
Took the time to read this thread today. Great work looks like a good deal of fun. Much respect to you for not being afraid to chop up this very expensive case. Looks to be a monster build, love it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Messages
29,992
Alright.

Had some more time to work on the build today. Time to drill out those rivets and remove the stupid drive cage.

IMG_20200314_145255.jpg

This was made more difficult due to the low quality rivets. On my first attempt the bit dug in, but then just started spinning the rivet.

IMG_20200314_151027.jpg

Adding some gorilla tape, and "shocking" it by going full speed quickly, helped me drill the rest out more easily. There are three on the front as seen above.

IMG_20200314_151039.jpg

And then there are six more on the back.

The bottom tray comes out...

IMG_20200314_151337.jpg

...but the front of the tray is still attached to the floor of the case.

IMG_20200314_152248.jpg IMG_20200314_152253.jpg IMG_20200314_152312.jpg

At first I was wondering how I was going to drill out the last three, as they were riveted from the bottom and not easily accessible, but as In a testament to how shitty these rivets are, two of them just popped out when I bent the sheet back. The last one took some convincing, but I dremeled off the back of the rivet, and it came right off.

End result:

IMG_20200314_153132.jpg

More free space for the pumps now!


Now I'm going to clean up my work area so I can start figuring out assembly.
 
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Nimisys

Likes To Play With Trannies
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Jun 20, 2000
Messages
18,244
Completely unrelated to the case mod. Do not paint the band saw table. Keep it bare. Just oil it on a regular basis. It will keep it both rust free and smooth.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Messages
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Decided to rinse the reservoir, the pumps and the pump top today.

The reservoir had these plastic low profile caps that were a little bit of a pain in the ass to line up right and avoid cross threading, but I tightened them in for the rinse.

Only problem is that there were 8 holes, and only 6 plugs included. (Presumably because they think it is a waste because you'd have at least two of them hooked up to tubing in actual use.

It made it a little bit more challenging to rinse it out, especially since they used special recessed mounts, so regular fittings don't fit without th enarrow EK extended. A bit of a pain in the ass, and I'm not sure what benefit it brings. I used the two included extenders and then put an extra set of stoppers on top in order to seal it off so I can shake it.

IMG_20200315_181838.jpg IMG_20200315_181823.jpg IMG_20200315_181758.jpg

Next for the pumps and pump top. I rinsed them off and then assembled them. The drawing looks a little overly complicated, but it is not that bad.

IMG_20200315_190054.jpg

It's really just a matter of placing the included O-rings on the pumps, placing the pumps into the top, and screwing the locking ring in place behind them.

IMG_20200315_214051.jpg

Guess I am going to have to drill holes in the bottom of the case to mount this thing.

Also, I have been thinking about what to do with my Aquaero. There are no 5.25" drive bays to mount it in in this case. I could just take the screen off and not use it, as the base Aquaero6 does not have or need that screen, so you can just take it off and convert mine to the base model.

I kind of like it though. I have been considering mounting it to the top radiator bracket I just customized. Maye something like this?

IMG_20200315_214105.jpg

Still thinking about it...


Next, a few setbacks. Looks like I have nowhere near enough radiator fan screws. Whoops, going to need to order more of those.

Next for a bigger setback. The bracket that comes with my large EK reservoir had some surprisingly sharp and jagged edges on it around the brazing joints. It looks as if they forgot to buff it before chrome plating it. It's tough to see in pictures, but I'll give it a shot:
IMG_20200315_202911-sml.jpg IMG_20200315_202916-sml.jpg IMG_20200315_202926-sml.jpg IMG_20200315_202930-sml.jpg

By contrast, here is what th ejoint should look like, from the other bracket in the box (for mounting on top of fans, which I won't be doing)

IMG_20200315_214039-sml.jpg

I have reached out to Performance PC's (where I bought it) and I'm hoping they will be able to help me despite that it's been more than 30 days since I bought it (due delays stemming from my defective CPU, troubleshooting and RMA process)

Otherwise I guess I will need to reach out to EK in Slovenia, which may be a real delay to my build...
 
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primetime

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 17, 2005
Messages
6,531
Decided to rinse the reservoir, the pumps and the pump top today.

The reservoir had these plastic low profile caps that were a little bit of a pain in the ass to line up right and avoid cross threading, but I tightened them in for the rinse.

Only problem is that there were 8 holes, and only 6 plugs included. (Presumably because they think it is a waste because you'd have at least two of them hooked up to tubing in actual use.

It made it a little bit more challenging to rinse it out, especially since they used special recessed mounts, so regular fittings don't fit without th enarrow EK extended. A bit of a pain in the ass, and I'm not sure what benefit it brings. I used the two included extenders and then put an extra set of stoppers on top in order to seal it off so I can shake it.

View attachment 230377 View attachment 230376 View attachment 230375

Next for the pumps and pump top. I rinsed them off and then assembled them. The drawing looks a little overly complicated, but it is not that bad.

View attachment 230378

It's really just a matter of placing the included O-rings on the pumps, placing the pumps into the top, and screwing the locking ring in place behind them.

View attachment 230387

Guess I am going to have to drill holes in the bottom of the case to mount this thing.

Also, I have been thinking about what to do with my Aquaero. There are no 5.25" drive bays to mount it in in this case. I could just take the screen off and not use it, as the base Aquaero6 does not have or need that screen, so you can just take it off and convert mine to the base model.

I kind of like it though. I have been considering mounting it to the top radiator bracket I just customized. Maye something like this?

View attachment 230388

Still thinking about it...


Next, a few setbacks. Looks like I have nowhere near enough radiator fan screws. Whoops, going to need to order more of those.

Next for a bigger setback. The bracket that comes with my large EK reservoir had some surprisingly sharp and jagged edges on it around the brazing joints. It looks as if they forgot to buff it before chrome plating it. It's tough to see in pictures, but I'll give it a shot:
View attachment 230379 View attachment 230380 View attachment 230381 View attachment 230382

By contrast, here is what th ejoint should look like, from the other bracket in the box (for mounting on top of fans, which I won't be doing)

View attachment 230386

I have reached out to Performance PC's (where I bought it) and I'm hoping they will be able to help me despite that it's been more than 30 days since I bought it (due delays stemming from my defective CPU, troubleshooting and RMA process)

Otherwise I guess I will need to reach out to EK in Slovenia, which may be a real delay to my build...
yes its an imperfection but i wouldn't let it delay my build just over that (the jagged edges) in the picture it really hard to notice it unless looking for it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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Messages
29,992
yes its an imperfection but i wouldn't let it delay my build just over that (the jagged edges) in the picture it really hard to notice it unless looking for it.
It's worse than it looks. As I mentioned above the pictures don't do it justice.

I actually already scratched some of the paint with it.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
Joined
Oct 29, 2000
Messages
29,992
Next, a few setbacks. Looks like I have nowhere near enough radiator fan screws. Whoops, going to need to order more of those.

Next for a bigger setback. The bracket that comes with my large EK reservoir had some surprisingly sharp and jagged edges on it around the brazing joints. It looks as if they forgot to buff it before chrome plating it. It's tough to see in pictures, but I'll give it a shot:
View attachment 230379 View attachment 230380 View attachment 230381 View attachment 230382

By contrast, here is what th ejoint should look like, from the other bracket in the box (for mounting on top of fans, which I won't be doing)

View attachment 230386

I have reached out to Performance PC's (where I bought it) and I'm hoping they will be able to help me despite that it's been more than 30 days since I bought it (due delays stemming from my defective CPU, troubleshooting and RMA process)

Otherwise I guess I will need to reach out to EK in Slovenia, which may be a real delay to my build...
yes its an imperfection but i wouldn't let it delay my build just over that (the jagged edges) in the picture it really hard to notice it unless looking for it.
It's worse than it looks. As I mentioned above the pictures don't do it justice.

I actually already scratched some of the paint with it.
Alright, I heard back from EK via PerformancePC's.

EK told them as follows:
Unfortunately the replacement would be the same. This is how they are welded, we will however inform our welder about this. Thank you for the feedback.

I question this response, as their promotional pictures on their website don't look like this, and it is pretty much standard practice to buff any brazing or welding joints before plating operations, just like they do on the alternative bottom fan mount bracket.

p-0059_ekint_ek_reservoirs_retouch_ek-res_x4_250_r2.png

I'm guessing this is not a big seller, and they are planning on discontinuing it, and just don't want to deal with any fixes to existing inventory.

I am going to try buffing it with the buffing wheel attachment on my Dremel, starting with the back of the bracket. If it makes it less sharp, and doesn't go all the way through the plating (making it look very ugly), I'll do it on the front as well, just to make it less sharp.

Performance PC's were great here, helping me to the extent they were able. I am less impressed with EK.
 

Zarathustra[H]

I Complain about Everything
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I tried buffing the joints both with and without abrasive compound with little effect.

They aren't as sharp now as they were before, so they are less likely to scratch the paint or cut my fingers, but they are still ugly.

I installed the reservoir last night. Didn't take any pictures though. I'll post some this evening.

I am now being delayed for other reasons. Before the more restrictive rules went into place here yesterday, I went to MicroCenter to look at swivel/bend fittings. Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but it seems to me like they have gotten more expensive since I last bought some. I balked at their prices and went home to look at Amazon. Amazon prices have also gone up. $70+ for a four pack of Bitspower bends with prime seems to be pretty common now.

I ordered some of the more reasonably priced ones, but they are going to take their sweet time to get here...

My extra radiator fan screws I ordered are also delayed in shipping. Apparently Amazon is getting overloaded with everyone switching to online ordering due to the COVID19 virus scare.

I get it. Other peoples necessities really are more important than my silly hobby parts, so I am not really complaining, but I really wish I could just get this project done already.
 
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