Il•lu•sion - Worlds Smallest Watercooled Pico Itx & Watercooled Shuttle Introduction Il•lu•sion - A deceptive appearance or impression: "the illusion of togetherness". For years I have felt intrigued by Small Form Factor computers. I don't know if it’s the small compact dynamics, the portability or the real belief 'good things come in small sizes' but ever since i saw my first Shuttle SFF I knew I wanted one. Like all spoilt little brats I wanted one. My parents refused to buy me one on the grounds that we had a perfectly good computer. On a lone mission I saved for a whole summer holiday to be able to build one - at the age of 16 at the time. That’s a lot of summer holiday jobs! It finally arrived in all its glory... it seemed to take forever to arrive but it arrived none the less and I was happy and content! It even had a couple of the optional extras; Black carry bag and mesh sides! But to my dismay It was stolen in a house burglary 2 months later. Bugger! How does this bring us to now? Well 8 years on I was in the market for a new computer. A possible long distance commute to work (300 miles once every month) meant I needed something which was powerful enough to do coding, web design and general odds and sods but small enough that I could carry it if need be. Add into the equation that it would be used by the lads for our occasional games nights. As a self confessed geek and Years of reading bit-tech, various computer magazines and seeing some simply incredible pieces of art work I decided I needed to give it ago myself! Why is this project called Il•lu•sion? As the quote says – ‘a deceptive appearance or impression: “the illusion of togetherness” The small constraints of the case wouldn’t immediately make me belief this system was particularly powerful nor that it contained 2 computers. Coupled with my thoughts on layout I hope to have a seamless setup with as good cable management and pipe management too. I love the feedback I get from friends and family when I water-cool a computer as I’m sure many of you will know. It’s widely accepted that electronics and water don’t exactly go hand in hand but watercooling is nothing to worry about and people’s impressions seem unlikely to change. What makes this any different from any other shuttle system modified? Like many of those before me, I am attempting to achieve a water-cooled shuttle system whilst retaining everything within the constraints of the case lid. Some have managed it with fans on the outside or pipes hanging out of the sides. Some even mount the radiator externally and run the pipes in. I hope to have everything internal and ‘stock looking’. What about a water-cooled pico itx setup in the drive bay? Possibly even the smallest water-cooled pico setup in the UK? Europe? The World? (Okay okay... it might not be!) The pico system will house a complete watercooling loop of its own; Pump, radiator, and waterblock whilst being filled through a t-line. All of these parts will be specialist and as far as i can see not used to cool a pico system previously. A full ‘gaming spec’ shuttle with its own water-cooling housed internally and not a sealed loop either – pump, reservoir, blocks and radiator. Coupled with a full sized graphics card, a decent power supply – none of this 200w rubbish, Capable of driving 2 screens and with the ability to be easily upgradable. What am I using as a base? This computer will be a bit of a Frankenstein Face plate from a SN85G4 and the chassis from a SB61G2 Power supply from a J series and a lid from both. The chassis from the SB61G2 has a circular hole for the power supply fan. As opposed to the SN85G4 which is squarer. My reason for doing this is that modifying the J series power supply will be more seamless and give a more professional looking fit by the end. (I hope) Its unfortnate that on previous power supplies they used either 60mm fan facing into the chassis or a rear venting 40mm fan. Not a rear venting 50mm - Some modification will be needed! On the exterior Shuttle clearly takes time and consideration designing these small forms so they don’t immediately stand out as computers at first glance. They aren’t the traditional size which I think adds a little to the mystery of what could lay beneath the shiny cover! Internally, upgrade options are often limited by the non-standard motherboards, cramped interior space, with both power and airflow concerns to boot. I love a challenge! Shuttle clearly takes time and consideration designing these small forms so they don’t immediately stand out as computers at first glance. They aren’t the traditional size which I think adds a little to the mystery of what could lay beneath the shiny cover! Internally, upgrade options are often limited by the non-standard motherboards, cramped interior space, with both power and airflow concerns to boot.