Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Top Nurse, 23 Sep 2005.
Great job! I wish you good luck in the future work
Thank you! This project got put on hold a few years back due to the water cooling technology not being adaptable to my vision. Now the technology is there to finish this project.
The first hurdle is that the newer video cards put out a ton of heat. So my idea for a 120mm rad in the top isn't going to make it. Instead I am working on a plan to put in a 360 sized radiator in the top of the case just to cool off the video cards. The CPU and hard drives will each still be cooled by a single 120mm radiator.
I didn't want anyone to think I died on the vine again. I have been getting ready to re-cut the top of the case for a bigger radiator. I ordered a radiator shroud from Koolance as it looked nice and would free up a lot of room in that the fans would be above the top of the case.
So far so good. The one issue for me was that these shrouds are designed for cheap looking wire fan protectors as you can see the indentations for them in the next pic.
So I bought some of the wire guards to see how they might look.
Not totally bad looking, but not really up to my standards so I found some more grills in the electronic bone yards around Southern California. Now we're getting somewhere as these are a bit more elegant to my cultured tastes.
The advantage to these are that they snap into the fans which eliminate having to use bolts to fasten to the grills. Unfortunately this was the beginning of one disappointment after another with the Koolance shroud.
As it turns out the Koolance shroud is designed for radiators with a hole spacing (from fan to fan) that doesn't fit the popular Black Ice radiators. After comparing the shroud with an old Aquacomputer grill I discovered that it fits the same fan hole pattern. This is a bigger problem than when I built FFI as then I just elongated the fan holes to make everything work out properly. That won't work with this fan shroud as there is no way to access the nuts on the fan nearest the fan grill like is seen below from FFI:
After discussing this with Koolance it appears that this is No-Go.
So I decided it was time to blow off some frustration and go shopping.
Cruised over to Home Depot as I wanted to quit going over to my brothers to use his jig saw. Found a nice jig saw, but it was like $70. So I finally decided that some portable battery operated tools would be better. That was when the dark clouds started looming again. Seems like the battery operated jig saw didn't come with a battery or charger.
Well I guess I had to get a Combo set + a jig saw.
So now it looks like I am going to be stuck making another change in plans. So I called up Petra's Tech Shop and ordered up some Scythe SFF21E 120mm low noise fans as I am not going to be able to re-use my elongated Papst fans I used in FFI. The Scythe aren't as nice as the Papst, but they are sure a hell of a lot cheaper at $14 a piece. So I suppose I can live with them and they will be here Monday afternoon.
So now that I have to go back to the radiator in the top and not use my FFI 360 BI Stealth I have decided to go for a X-Flow Black Ice Stealth 240 and an A.C. Ryan RadGrillz. I guess a couple of advantages are that one end of the radiator will dump out near the pump and the other end will dump out near the GPU. It also hides all the motherboard wiring as well.
I guess all's well that ends well except for my bank account.
I'm awaiting an Aquacomputer shipment so I have started cannibalizing my FFI Turbo-Cool PSU for the special looms I already built. Once the 240 radiator is installed in the top I can start wiring up the motherboard.
I am considering just de-soldering the PSU wires I don't need, as there seems to be a lot that I don't need. I guess it is time to take stock of what I want and put an order into Performance-Pcs as I need to change around the SATA connectors a bit.
The two (old style) Aquastream pumps will be used for the hard drives and the GPU's. These are going to be powered through the Aquaero. The CPU (and potentially the motherboard components) will be pumped by a new Aquastream XT.
I am terrible at painting, is there someone who would be interested in doing a couple of Aquacomputer FMJ's for me. PM me with your price and I am looking for a semi-gloss black finish.
Get those FMJs powder coated. In my experience of painting them, they have a habit of getting dinged and nicked... the powder will give the finish you want plus more durability. They should be really cheap to do too.
Just my .02....
Kinda late to the party, but I'm so glad to see you back at it, TN! Keep up the good work. Sorry the Koolance shroud isn't working out like you expected, but if I know you, I know you'll turn it into something even better than originally planned!!!!
Thanks for the tip as powder coating would be a lot easier and look better. I had two of these, but just sold one and I am not sure now if I am going to use the other one. Can you get this powder coating in something other than black?
Yeah, this project has been dragged out for a long time. The final straw was when I smoked the motherboard that was in FFI and I started looking around for something else and realized I had a nice Lian-Li almost ready to go.
So about a grand and a half in computer upgrades along with another $500 in additional water cooling gear and I'm raring to go again. I figure in another $500 in miscellaneous stuff from the electronics (need a Weller temp controlled soldering station) and art (maybe I should give spray painting a try) store.
Sorry not to comment since you came back but
I always did watch your log even when I lurked!
This is nice. Did you notice how the choice of parts changes from year to year? Interesting this modding is.
Thanks for the welcome.
Well the computer hardware has definitely changed, but the water cooling gear is essentially (or will be) the same. Three Aquastream pumps, three XXX radiators, three Aquatubes, and one Aquaero/Aquasuite to control them all. Sounds kind of like the Hobbit.
Just had to upgrade my PhotoBucket account to Pro status as I was approaching my 25Gb bandwidth limit after only two weeks.
Wow that really was 17 pages of awesome reading. you got a great project log going on there Top Nurse and so many well thought out tutorials and ideas
Yeah, you can get powder coating in any color you want... standard colors, candy coats, wrinkles, metallics, whatever...
Here's a small sample from some place in SoCal...
Some more pics (incl. metallics):
Just look online for a place nearby... you can get pretty much any color you want.
Glad you enjoyed it. I always like to explore new ways of doing things and believe in leaving a trail for others to follow.
I bookmarked those guys as Santa Ana is basically a short drive away. I didn't realize how inexpensive it was to powder coat. Been thinking of getting my Feeding Frenzy powder coated after I get done with all the case cutting.
One thing I find annoying is having a black case with bare aluminum cuts. Since I plan on having windows on both sides of the case the powder coating will fix this problem.
Yeah powder coating is great. Cheap, and very durable.
I'm about ready to send off my parts from SpeLL7 for powder. It's been a long time coming.
While I'm waiting for some Aquacomputer parts (can you believe 200+ Euro's just in parts...) I have been working on my Aquaduct. You can see it here if your interested. It's another dredged up project.
Today I had a wild urge to rip off the Gigabyte advertising on my motherboard. I even managed to restrain myself and turn off the computer before doing it. No big deal as the NB and power mosfet heatsinks will eventually be water cooled for a nice looking board. The SB cooler looks okay and is a pain to watercool.
What I saw underneath made me think of something that has been percolating for quite a while. just how much is there a need for all these big heatsinks, fans, and yes even water coolers? As you can see in the pics below the stock heatsinks have a lot of surface area to radiate heat. What is the point if you cover up them with a piece of aluminum where no air can get to them? Maybe the simple answer is that they are not really needed...
I really can't wait to get off those tubes they call "heat tubes." When they first came out on the Zalman air coolers they made a lot of sense to me in theory. However, their use on MB's leaves me scratching my head as how would the mfg know in what orientation the MB would be when it is installed? When I take them off I intend to find out if they are real heat tubes or just a piece of metal rod or pipe.
The other thing that leaves me scratching my head is why use a heat tube towards another heat producing heatsink like they did in the NB below the video card.
I think I got too much time on my hands if I am writing garbage like this. I want my Aquacomputer stuff so I can start tearing things up, cutting holes, and making a mess of the place.
TN, nowadays the heatpipes have a wick inside of them that wicks the cooled liquid back to where it gets hot so it can vaporize; they can work upside down, etc. no problem. They work primarily because they have a lower internal pressure and so the fluid boils at a low temperature.
All that to tell you that I think those heatsinks look amazing without the top covers. I would clean the goop off of them and use them as is!
Placed an order today with Stefan at AC Berlin.
Besides all the normal stuff like pumps and water blocks I got some new toys that will get added into this project. Some new temp sensors and an in-line filter. Thought about getting a copper Aquatube, but it would probably just end up being an expensive paper weight.
Now the waiting game starts.
Didn't know that, but these items are so cool that I wonder whether they are even needed. Besides I hate the look of those pics and those "heat rods." The SB looks decent all by itself. If I can get the heat pipes off and then get them all powder coated that might look decent.
didnt know that too.
powder coating nice. juz removed the whole heatsink with heatpipe and spray paint it.
or i think you should just change all the heatsinks to watercool one.
Got bored last night and decided to see what was under the stock cooling of my Asus HD4870 1Gb video card.
Here's the big view sans all the heatsinks:
The power end of the card:
Now this looks like a decent heatsink, though it wasn't very flat. It was acceptable by commercial standards however. I should have taken a picture of all the TIM that was all over it and the die. They slopped in on like they were putting jam on a piece of toast.
I was wondering whether the heatsink was more looks than go, but as you can see from the previous pics there really is a reason for it going between the capacitors. Glad I ordered a TwinPlex as a full cover block looks dubious here which doesn't bode well for those who get 4890 cards (supposedly the 4870 1Gb card is the same board that the 4890's have).
All ready to put it back together while I await my AC order. I'm using this computer and modding as I get parts.
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