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Scratch Build – In Progress El's Deskintosh - Final pictures

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by elAwesome, 19 Feb 2013.

  1. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    FINALLY FINISHED!

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    Head over to page 2 for the other final pictures

    Hey guys,

    I've been visiting this forum for quite some time now, and I've been planning my own mod for a few months now while getting inspiration from here.
    My biggest inspiration was l3p's d3sk, I absolutely love it.
    So I decided to build something similar :)
    The name is made up from desk and Macintosh (Macintosh because I'm gonna dual-boot Win7 and OS X from it), just in case you wonder.
    Further down in this post you'll see an image of the desk where I'm going to place all the stuff.


    What do I want?

    -It has to be silent. Really silent. That's why I'm spending all this money on a water cooling setup.
    -It has to be really good looking. Another reason why I spent all this money on a water cooling setup.
    -It has to be really fast. I'm a semi-professional graphic designer, so I'm doing a lot of video editing, which takes up every bit of power you can throw at it. Another reason why I spent all this money on a water cooling setup, to overclock the last little bit out of it :) LGA2011 wasn't worth the money for me, Ivy Bridge will do fine. I rather got an excellent GPU for some nice gaming evenings :)
    -It's gotta run OS X on it - For working, I really prefer it over Windows. And even running on a PC's hardware, it's more stable than Windows...

    This is the first time that I build a PC by myself, I've only been using Macs before. So please be kind :D

    So, let's begin:

    First package arrived, with some hardware in it:

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    Intel i7 3770k
    ASUS Sabertooth Z77
    EVGA GTX680 SuperClocked
    2x Corsair Dominator 1600MHZ 8GB (16 in total)
    2x Samsung 830 128GB SSD
    Seasonic X-750 750W power supply

    Had 3 WD 1TB drives and a slot-load DVD drive previously used.

    Quickly installed everything to boot it up for the first time

    [​IMG]

    Building a PC is far easier than I thought.



    Next package from AquaTuning Switzerland:

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    A hell lot of stuff....

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    Water blocks:
    EK Supremacy Plexi CSQ
    Ek Dominator Plexi CSQ
    EK FC-680 GTX+ Plexi CSQ

    Rest:
    Phobya Xtreme 1080 NOVA radiator (lol, huge thing)
    Alphacool D5 with preinstalled pump top
    Phobya 250mm reservoir
    2x BeQuiet SilentWing2 fans
    4x Phobya 180mm Slim fans for the rad
    Some tubing and a few fittings, some sleeve and sleeving tools
    And a lot of cables..


    Another package arrived:

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    I orded a Lian Li PC-7HX to strip and reuse its internal parts.
    Stripping was done quickly:

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    Looks pretty naked :D


    ___________________________________________

    Let's get to the building!!

    I started off installing the rad and the pump. For this, I'm going to use a spare PowerMac G5 case as an external radiator housing, to save some space in the desk.

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    Radiator with fans and pump:

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    Fits like a glove! Didn't had to screw/glue anything, just firmly push the pump inside, and everything sits perfectly. Made my evening :)

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    No metalwork necessary at all :)

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    The G5 is still by far the most beautiful case out there...

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    Moving on:

    This is where I will put the hardware.

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    Those are two pieces of glass, extra stable ones. I'm going to install it in the lower left corner, already placed the stuff in the picture. In the front, I'm going to insert another piece of glass, while on the sides and the back I'm place some black mesh metal.
    More on that to follow. Just for you to know what this is all about.


    Also did some other small things:

    The Lian Li HDD rack:

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    And after 15min of working, it's now equipped with a spare 120mm fan:

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    And installed HDDs:
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    I was amazed how much the fan improved my HDD temps, they used to be something like 35-40°C, now they dropped to about 30°. The fans is running at about 800RPM, you can't really hear it.



    Started to sleeve some cables:

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    First time ever that I sleeved a cable, I'm actually quite happy with it.



    With a spare MacBook power button, I pmrovised a little power button for this rig:
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    I find it much nicer than the usual Lamptron vandal switches (I've got one) and it also feels nicer. Just a small detail, I know...



    Next, the mobo tray was on my list:
    I took it form the Lian Li case, and glues some nice feet on it.

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    I think it looks really cool! :)



    And last but not least, I installed all the waterblocks on their components:

    Started with the GPU:

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    Also installed the backplate:

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    CPU followed:

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    And RAM:

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    I'm really in love with EKWB's Plexi CSQ blocks!
    I think they look totally awesome!
    I have some Mayhems Pastel Blue, it's going to look pretty cool ;)


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    I really want to thank AquaTuning Switzerland for the outstanding support!!

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    That's it for now, thanks for watching!
    As I said, it's my first mod, but until now, things went quite well...

    See you!
     
    Last edited: 7 May 2013
  2. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    Small update:

    Mounted the SSDs on the HDD rack. I wanted to mount them on top, but there weren't any screwholes, so I just took a strip of extra strong mounting tape on both sides, and it worked perfectly.

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    I need to re-sleeve those cables :/
    Fits nice :)

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    Overall I wasn't quite happy with the result, so I took everything apart and rebuild the cage, but differently. I put the fan on the bottom on four nice little feet, then turned the cage vertical and mounted the SSDs in front:

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    Looks much nicer now, doesen't it?
    Also placed a little Apple sticker on one of the SSDs, not just for the optics, but when I remove them I know which OS is installed on which SSD.



    HDD rack in place, also test-fitted the res:

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully I get to the plumbing tomorrow. I wanted to do that today, but other things took too much of my time...
    See you & thanks for watching!
     
  3. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    Almost 1.5k views and not a single reply? Hm :/

    Anyway, here's the next update:
    I bended the copper tubes today. It was way harder than I imagined, and my father had to help me a little :D
    But anyway, I like the result. I haven't leak-tested it yet, I hope it's fine...

    Pictures:

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    Put it into place and took some nice photos:

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    LED strips arrive tomorrow together with some more sleeving material

    See you!
     
  4. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    Still not a single reply? Is it that bad?

    Doing the leak test at the moment. Had a small leak at the CPU block, but just because I didn't screw in one of the fittings correctly. Works now.

    I'm a little worried with the pump: It seems that the water is flowing, but the pump is unbelievably loud! There is still a lot of air in the loop, could that be the reason?
    I'm adding pictures later.
     
  5. Maki role

    Maki role Dale you're on a roll... Staff

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    Well to be fair, it seems the last half of this week has been very slow in this section, both progress and comment wise. Loving the piping, I'm a real sucker for rigid tubing, just makes everything look clean and direct.

    Pump noise, as you pointed out, is likely because of the air still present. It'll quieten down significantly once all the bubbles have dissipated. Desks are certainly the in thing eh? Must say I wouldn't mind doing one myself, although a full tower is impractical to move around as it is, might wait until life has settled before I do that.
     
  6. jrs77

    jrs77 Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, I haven't commented on this one yet, as I don't see where this one is going, so I just observe for the time being.

    Did you use brute force to bend those pipes, or do you have a pipebending-tool at hand? The pipes look like they collapsed.
     
  7. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    Thanks for the comments!

    I agree on the nice look of metal pipes, but I'm sure I'm notgoing to do that again. It's really difficult. I had a pipe bender, but it was very low quality, so sometimes I had to improvise with other tools to get it fitting.

    I can understand that for a reader is might be pretty messy, as from the beginning on several things crashed my plans for this build. But I think I'm on a good way.

    I wanted to continiue working today, but Friday night striked me and today I wasn't able to do anything...
    Tomorrow I'll have some time...
     
  8. KithKhan

    KithKhan A dremel is all you need.

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    Beautiful choice in reservoirs!

    It'd be awesome to get a complete system inside a mid-tower with that massive reservoir INSIDE too. I love compact builds with surprising components.

    I know nothing about pipe bending. I figured it was like glass and you heat it with a propane torch. This is apparently not the case?
     
  9. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    Thanks.
    Well, bending metal pipes is quite different. You don't heat it, bu you've got a special tool where you put a straight piece of tube inside, then apply some force and it will bend around a curve. The tool is (obviously) called a pipe bender. Depending on its quality, the bends get good, or not.


    I'm currently waiting for some LED stuff to arrive, so I can't to a lot now., I'll hav to take it apart anyway again.


    Anway, here are some pictures of how I leak-tested everything:

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    The loop is already drained again. I'm going to use Mayhems Pastel next time :)

    Meanwhile, I place the parts where I want to have them to check if everything works out so far. It did.

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    On both sides, I will have BeQuiet 140mm fans pushing air through the case.
    On the left, I'll have the mobo, HDD cage and res in the middle, PSU and drive bay on the right hand side.
    This is all done very roughly, when I'm gonna do the final assembly, I will hide the stuff better!



    I hope to be able to deliver you more updates soon!
    See you!
     
  10. kinghong1970

    kinghong1970 Just a Clumsy Ape

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    you might wanna try inserting some springs prior to bending so you can keep it from collapsing..
    i too see it collapsed... especially the link between cpu and ram block and ram block to...

    but otherwise... nice progress!
     
  11. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    Thanks for the hint! Very good idea, I'll try to remember that one..
    The RAM bends are a bit flatter, but not collapsed. It might look like on the photos. I checked that, the water can flow fine through the bends.

    and thanks :)
     
  12. nagyizom

    nagyizom Member

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    Ok, this is gonna be something different from the other mods but I'm waiting for the followings.
     
  13. Zsolt Guriga

    Zsolt Guriga New Member

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    @ elAwesome
    those tubes are driving me crazy,I'll be follow for sure how the works are progressing
    well done
     
  14. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    Haha thanks guys, nice to hear!
     
  15. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    Hey guys,

    I finally found some time over the holidays to continiue working on this. Had some trouble with the LEDs before, which had cost me a lot of time.
    I'm going to post an update later on.

    Just one thing I saw:
    My CPU block looks somehow strange - it stayed for quite a while now almost empty. I leak-tested it with distilled water, and afterwards drained the loop again. While draining, I only got most of the water out of the loop, not all water. I left it lake that for about 3 weeks now (since the last update). Maybe this is just trapped evaporated water, but I'm worried that there is some kind of damage on the block? It didn't leak there, and I installed the block exaclte as shown in the instructions, I didn't open it or anything else.
    Could you help me a little?

    Here a picture:

    [​IMG]


    Thanks guys!
     
  16. Asouter

    Asouter --------

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    It could be condensation, is the loop open ? it could be algae .... it might be worth flushing your system again to see if the haze clears, The block isn't damaged, it might be dirty but not damaged. :)
     
  17. Asouter

    Asouter --------

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    Ohh looking good by the way it's progressing nicely
     
  18. elAwesome

    elAwesome New Member

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    Thank you! That helped. Yeah, the loop is open at one end of the RAM block right next to it. I just got a friend to take a look at it, and we both think it's just condensation. phew...

    And thanks, I admire your builds by the way! D33P THOUGHT was oustanding!
     
  19. Asouter

    Asouter --------

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    Glad to be of help, ohh and thanks for the compliment. :cooldude:
     
  20. Dragulax99

    Dragulax99 New Member

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    wow! first build and already bending pipes..you sure hit the ground running..nice job keep up the good work
     

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