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Case Mod - In Progress Lian Li PC-O9 - Maximus Leader in a glass house

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Sharangir, 27 Oct 2016.

  1. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    I finished my last project about 5 years ago. Have been upgrading where possible over the years and finally found myself in the spot where the CPU isn't enough anymore.

    My old rig (and main work computer until the new one is up and running) a few years ago:
    LINK

    I had a custom window made by martmamod in germany, so that only the mainboard section is visible and only when there's light from the inside.
    Then I replaced the GPU and as a consequence had to replace my beautiful LUND with a simple 5,25" bay reservoir, because the GPU now was several cm too long.
    I then also replaced the soundcard (X-Fi Platinum with front panel amp) with something prettier and more compact (ASUS Xonar Essence Pci-Ex) and added a Raid controller.

    Even with the R9 290 and 20 GB of RAM and a 550MB/s SATA SSD, the system is nowhere near as "fluid" as I'd like it to be in Lightroom (the GPU acceleration doesn't even work properly anyways), so I decided to ditch AMD and go for Intel, simply because Zen is another few months out.



    While I love the PC-P50 and am quite proud of how this very first build of mine turned out, I thought it would be more fun to work with more space available :)

    Enter the Lian Li PC-O9. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I really love this case and will likely keep it for the next 10 years to come. (So, the high price tag isn't such a bad investment for me)

    Last time, my focus was on computer games, but this has shifted somewhat. Nowadays I use my computer mostly for work, which includes both Office as well as Lightroom/Photoshop applications and I only rarely get to play games (but I'm really exited about the new Mass Effect).


    Water will obviously be involved and I hope that the finished product will be considered a work of art more so than a simple computer.
    Last time I checked, I still had two left hands, but I'll still try my luck with the PETG tubing from Monsoon.


    I'm going for a super silent system, so I decided to get Noiseblocker Multiframes with PWM control for the Radiators.

    Since I'm not one for UV bling and pastel colours, I chose my colour scheme based on the mainboard and what Nils (over at MDPC-X) has in his palette.
    The blocks are all nickel plated with acetal, so I'll use chrome fittings and the lighting will be white and some red (on the mainboard)


    I'll use pure, distilled water again. (haven't had an issue in over 3 years (only changed water once when I replaced the GPU) without any other additives).

    I'm considering to add some Quinine to the water, to be able to spot leaks quickly. (the blue fluorescent colour doesn't fit my colour scheme, but the solution is colourless in normal light, so that's a plus. )
    Won't need any anti-fungal stuff, because I'll be using injection-grade water that I can get fairly cheaply :D

    I chose "Case Mod" as a prefix, although there won't be too many mods done to the case, I can't stand the thought of hurting such a premium case :rolleyes:


    Let's go then...

    Hardware:
    Case: Lian Li PC-O9WX
    CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K
    Motherboard: ASUS Maximus VIII Formula
    RAM: 4 x 8 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum 3000MHz Cl15
    GPU: Radeon R9 290
    Sound: ASUS Xonar Essence STX
    PSU: Corsair AX860i

    Peripherals:
    Keyboard: Corsair Vengeance K70
    Mouse: Mionix NAOS 7000
    Speakers: Yamaha HS5
    Screen: EIZO CS270


    Sleeving: MDPC-X
    Shade 19, Color-X, Platinum Grey



    Water cooling:
    CPU: Aquacomputer Cuplex Kryos XT
    GPU: Heatkiller GPU-X3 R9-290X (with backplate)
    Pump: Alphacool VPP655 (Laing D5)
    Reservoir: Alphacool Eisbecher 150mm Acetal
    Radiator: Alphacool XT45 360mm Full Copper
    Radiator 2: Alphacool ST30 360mm X-Flow Full Copper
    Fans: Noiseblocker NB Multiframe 120mm (6 x M12-PS 1'500rpm PWM for rads and two M12-1 750rpm fans for case)

    Tubes: Monsoon 1/2x5/8" PETG hard tubes white
    Fittings: Monsoon 1/2x5/8" hard tube fittings (chrome and black)
    Drain: Alphacool T-piece with Eiszapfen 2-way valve


    key:
    ready/ordered, not yet ready


    In the time I waited to get activated here, all the parts had been shipped, so there's only green left :D





    Current state
    Windows up and running, cables and tubing installed, hardware installed.
    [​IMG]

    One RAM bar is defective and needs replacement. LED need to be installed, hardware cleaned, final pictures taken, benchmarks run, overclocking performed, etc.
     
    Last edited: 21 Jan 2017
  2. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    Moved to modding until there are pics of work in progress
     
  3. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    @GeorgeK
    I was going to add some pictures, but the thread was blocked as soon as I hit "send" and it didn't show up in my subscriptions. :p
     
  4. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    When I received Mainboard and case, I quickly assembled it - using my old HD5850 to stand in for my R9 290 that is still being used - to have a template for my paint job.. :D
    [​IMG]

    Then I worked some painterly magic..
    [​IMG]

    Rear chamber:
    orange = reservoir and pump
    pump sitting on a shoggy sandwich and the reservoir mounted on the center fan of the radiator (Alphacool NexXxos XT45) above the pump.
    The radiator and 3 fans will also be in the rear chamber. (all those items should fit in there, leaving loads of free space in the main chamber.)

    That's how much space I've got between pump and power supply:
    [​IMG]

    yellow lnes = tubing (in black) connecting rad - res - pump - bulkhead connector in the mainboard tray


    in the main chamber we see:
    green = Monsoon PETG tubing (1/2 x 5/8") with Monsoon fittings in chrome and black (the black ones go on the rads and the bulkhead in the tray)
    blue = top radiator (Alphacool X-Flow ST30)


    There are probably going to be a few issues with the X-Flow rad.
    1. In the upper left corner there's gonna be some tight action, because the opening in the rad is all the way back in the corner.
    2. The connection between the two radiators might turn out to be somewhat fiddly, but I must get that one perfect, because it's gonna be one of the most prominent tubes you see when looking straight at the case.


    Some work I did so far:

    I also removed the pump pedestal since I'm not going to place it in the main chamber...
    [​IMG]

    You actually have to remove the filter holder to reach the screws..
    [​IMG]

    While I was at it, I also took out the fans..
    [​IMG]

    Those weird rubber things will probably have to leave too.. I'll decide once I've got some sleeving done.
    [​IMG]

    I'll never get why they decided to ditch the beautiful quick-swap system I have in my PC-P50 Armorsuit...
    [​IMG]


    On my screwing spree (no pun intended) I also decided to remove the PCI slot covers.. WHY would they not use thumb screws?
    [​IMG]

    Since I don't like "foreign" light entering my computer, I'll install solid slot covers instead.


    Oh.. and here's a question:
    Would you polish the pump cover or leave it as it is?
    [​IMG]

    I'm kinda torn, because I really like how it looks now.. and I can't go back if I polish it :D
     
  5. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    Hi

    Your first 10 posts require moderation to avoid people spamming the forum. If you read the project logs rules your first post should have contained the pics of work actually happening. I'll move your post back in a tick.

    Ta

    GK
     
  6. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    I'll have to elongate the slits in the top frame. The rad needs 33,5mm to the rear and I measured.. well.. it looked like 33,5mm, so it'll probably be about 33,4mm and not fit :D
    [​IMG]

    I will probably drill new holes for the mounting screws, offsetting the rad by 5mm or more, so that I get some air to the rear wall.



    This is my rad/fan dummy in place.. of course I forgot to account for those 33mm or so that the fans leave free to the rear wall, but it's still going to be tight to get a hard tube in there.. (oh man, no pun intended!)
    [​IMG]

    I'll see once I get the stuff test-fitted.



    Another thing that's bothering me.. why could they not design a small plug instead of soldering the i/o cables to the panel? How am I supposed to fit my sata sleeve over this huge USB3-connector?
    [​IMG]




    And there were some deliveries too :)

    Noiseblocker were quick to send me the promised fans:
    [​IMG]

    They're already sleeved, but I'll redo them with my own colours (Shade 19 for the fans) and especially making sure that there are no visible cables exposed.
    [​IMG]

    The rubber frame is amazing!
    [​IMG]


    I already had Noiseblockers in my old rig, but these Multiframes up the game by several levels!
    I mean, the bequiets I have in some other rigs are pretty awesome too, but they look and feel like normal fans.. The Noiseblockers have an air of "high end" about them.



    And I got the CPU and RAM too..
    [​IMG]


    Won't be home for the next week, but I should receive loads of stuff very soon:
    MDPC Sleeving, CPU cooler and my Aquatuning orders (LOADS of the good stuff!!!)
    Also, the Delid-Tool for the CPU should arrive this week.
     
  7. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    I received some more mail...

    [​IMG]

    Tipped Nils off about my profession :D
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Found some sample sleeve in there, as usual..
    [​IMG]

    the SATA sleeve
    [​IMG]

    some cable management stuff.. (although I might encounter some trouble using these, because I don't have any threads for screws anywhere :D
    [​IMG]

    For the shortened PCI-Ex wires (If I find myself in a need of performing any such surgery)
    [​IMG]


    I ordered some Atomic Green.. the sample just looked too great to pass on :D
    With Titanium
    [​IMG]

    And even cooler with Shade 19
    [​IMG]




    Aah.. yeah, the one's I'll actually be using for this build :D

    Shade 19, Color-X and Platinum grey
    [​IMG]

    But this one looks pretty cool too.
    Shade 19, Color-X and Titanium grey
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's been a few years since I last did some sleeving work, so I'll probably practice with the lian li fans and the sample sleeves first.

    Will be back home next thursday and bring an update with loads more parts that arrived now.
     
    Last edited: 29 Oct 2016
  8. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    Update!!!

    User MGGR from the Computerbase community offered to print this Skylake-Delidder for me. And it looks great :D
    [​IMG]

    The CPU fits nicely
    [​IMG]

    I'll hopefull get to do the beheading on Saturday and report the bloodshed next week :)


    As announced, I receivced some stuff from Aquatuning..
    [​IMG]

    Quality isn't that great.. But, since they aren't visible in the final product, this doesn't bother me too much.

    The Monsoon stuff looks awesome in comparison:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'll have to order many more fittings (from Alphacool, for the tubes in the rear chamber) in the coming days.


    I also realised that I'll need a cutter for the PETG tubes
    [​IMG]


    The CPU block isn't as pretty as I had hoped.. The manufacturing quality leaves me a bit disappointed. I'll use some metal polish pretty him up before the final assembly.
    [​IMG]

    At least the bottom side is perfect, my minion can attest to that
    [​IMG]


    He also fancies the new GPU cooler, looking pretty AF even though it's not brand new.
    [​IMG]



    Then there was more Alphacool stuff

    My minion had to clean the tank inside and out.. (he did a terrible job)
    [​IMG]

    Then he built some monster
    [​IMG]


    and combined it with the XT45 rad and the old Lian Li fans
    using some Perfect Seal fittings (alongside the Alphacool 90° fitting) and my old Primochill tubing
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Installing this beast was a PITA, but I managed... Only to realise that I'll need to mount the Reservoir to the top fan if I want to be able to place the pump underneath it. :(
    [​IMG]

    I'll probably hang the Pump from the Reservoir (with the Pump top facing the side wall and resting on a shoggy sandwich) in order to leave a smaller obstacle in front of the fans.


    I installed the CPU and RAM and connected the Pump and Rad to the CPU block with my primochill and perfect seal fittings
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    Then I found out that the Corsair AX860i is the perfect PSU for watercooling builds.
    Back in the days, you had to jump-start the ATX-cable in order to get the pump running without the PC.
    With the Corsair, you can just press and hold the Self Test button and the pump will go ahead and flush the loop :D

    After filing it up, I connected the ATX and CPU cables and checked out the BIOS. (Thank you Intel for including that crappy GPU in the Skylake cores :D )
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Everything runs smooth.. RAM were 2133 initially, but I could run the system with them set at 3000 MHz, so that should be fine.

    After delidding the CPU, I'll try it again with this setup before I drain the loop and go about assembling the parts as they were intended.


    Then I decided to try the Lian Li RGB strips with the built-in RG controls.. :(
    Pink looks awesome, but I don't want pink..
    [​IMG]

    So, let's set them to white, shall we?
    [​IMG]

    I'm not kidding you.. the blue LED's are so strong, that it's impossible to get a clean white light.
    I'll remove the built-in RGB controller and will use my pure white LED strip instead. It looked awesome in my previous build, so it should work just as fine here.


    Thanks for checking in guys :)
     
  9. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    Quick update

    I delidded the CPU, successfully, I might add.. But, since I did it before assembling my rig, I won't be able to tell how much of an improvement it was.
    However, the guys at Computerbase did a test and the replacement of the oem TIM with liquid metal lead to significantly lower temps! (21 K at heavy OC)

    Okay then, let's put the guy in his "3D-printed socket"
    [​IMG]

    Now comes the difficult part..
    The glue on the Skylake CPU is quite hard, so it will "break" with a loud bang and then you need to be really fast, because the Delidder won't be held by the bench anymore and it could fall to the floor! (I had my hand hovering below to catch it..)
    [​IMG]

    The IHS comes off easily after that
    [​IMG]


    I cleaned both the die and the IHS with alcohol, then applied Phobya Liquid Metal on the die (used WAY too much and had to take off about 80% again so as not to risk any of the paste spilling over the die and getting in contact with some of the fex exposed contacts on the top of the PCB) and inserted the PCB into the socket.
    (No pictures of that, sorry.. was late last night)
    You can glue the IHS back on, but I wanted to see whether it was still working first (and the guys at Computerbase calimed you don't need to glue it together anymore) and use the socket clamp to apply even pressure and hold the IHS in place.

    I simply placed the IHS on the chip and closed the clamp, then applied some Prolimatech PK-1 (supplied with my cooler) on the IHS and reinstalled the block to see whether the cpu still works.

    It does :clap:

    I will use liquid metal for my final assembly, obviously.



    Now, the second mod I performed last week:
    Because the X-Flow Rad collides with the back of the case, I had to make new mounting holes. I shifted them only a little, so that I could still use some of the old ones.

    Prepared the frame with tape and carefully marked the spots
    [​IMG]


    Good to have family with a hang for tools and stuff :)
    [​IMG]


    Since I have two left hands, I was pretty happy with the result
    [​IMG]



    Back home, I wanted to install the rad, but I had to realise that there was another issue. The rad has openings on both sides, so I will need to install stoppers on the upper side.
    Unfortunately, these stoppers collide with the frame..

    I used a few spacers to create the necessary distance on the four outer screws
    [​IMG]

    This way, the stoppers have enough space to fit and I really hope that they won't leak..
    [​IMG]

    I also cut some dampening mat to create a little bit of isolation, but maybe I should've used rubber spacers to begin with.. Might still do that before the final assembly.. (If the fans are decoupled, would you think that's necessary?)


    ps: I don't have a precision tool for sanding and so I used my file to get the holes evened out.. then I was too lazy to repaint the frame, because this won't be visible..
    [​IMG]



    I got my last Aquatuning shipment yesterday.. Will take pictures of those parts next week and hopefully have a stepped drill bit to drill the hole in my midplate and finally start to assemble the hardware.
     
  10. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    Update incoming!!! Mostly good news, and some bad..

    Got moar fittings
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And built my drain valve
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    pretty compact once mounted to the pump
    [​IMG]


    Then I got this PWM splitter (for the rads)
    [​IMG]

    and obviously replaced the sleeves..
    [​IMG]

    I also got some temp sensors (from my old rig and a water temp sensor from phobya)
    and sleeved them in some hot color x :)
    [​IMG]


    started working on SATA cables, and ran out of sleeve..
    [​IMG]


    because I also figured out a way to sleeve the USB 3 cable:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    and the power button cable was sleeved too
    [​IMG]



    Since I've ordered 2 x 2 TB WD Gold HDDs, I'll need moar SATA sleeve.. (I'll run them in a Raid 10 with my 2 x 1 TB WD RE server drives, via my Inline raid controller)


    Speaking of storage, I finished the two fans for the cage
    [​IMG]



    and the fans for my top rad..
    [​IMG]

    used those fan grills because they look rad.. pun intended
    [​IMG]


    everything is gonna be fine.. unless that sucker leaks..
    [​IMG]



    I also drilled a hole.. man was I scared to do it..
    Tested it in my old Lian Li Window..
    [​IMG]

    then the serious stuff
    [​IMG]

    it was dark outdoors and cold as hell.. and I did it bent over the case with my huge drill..
    But I succeeded
    [​IMG]

    Back indoors, 30sec exposure :D
    [​IMG]

    but the passthrough fits
    [​IMG]




    I'll probably use another 90° fitting there.. too friggin narrow to tighten the tube..
    [​IMG]


    used liquid metal on the cpu and installed the rad and mainboard
    [​IMG]


    fittings for the tubing are ready
    [​IMG]


    Causes me a sore eye to see this pathetic excuse for a tube.. maybe I'll try my luck with a petg tube in the end.. (but the alignment of the fittings is not perfectly straight, that's what bothers me)
    [​IMG]


    More of those beautiful fan grills and the passthrough in its glory
    [​IMG]


    it's got quite a hefty backside that one..
    [​IMG]


    second rad with reservoir installed
    [​IMG]


    Unfortunately, now comes the bad news.. the pump is too fat.. It touches the sidewall of my case..
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]




    Already ordered an Alphacool DDC to replace my D5..


    Got word of my Samsung EVO 960 250GB M.2 arriving in 2-3 weeks. I must wait for that to arrive because I have to install it with the graphics card out.


    My plans for the coming three weeks:
    - Sleeve and mod the PSU cables
    - Install GPU cooler
    - cut Alphacool backplate to fit my soundcard (and maybe use the leftovers for the raid controller..)
    - think about the length of the PETG tubes on the mainboard
     
  11. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    Wow, guys..

    Am I doing something wrong?
    Are there too many pictures in my updates or do you simply not read my log at all?

    I would really appreciate some feedback..

    I'll have to contact Monsoon re the fittings. Turns out the caps aren't polycarbonate yet..

    Also, I'd love to get a red fluorescent coolant..
    So far I haven't had any luck in finding one that's affordable, water soluble and photostable all at once :D

    (And I simply lack the patience and equipment to try and synthesise it myself..)
     
  12. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    No I'm really enjoying it :) 2x360s excessive cooling but more for looks I guess. Keep going!
     
  13. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    You gotta pretty much barf up a lung these days to get a reply :D

    In my day there were thousands of comments. So many you spent half a day just saying thanks to every one. By the time you were done your fingers were worn to the bones and your sister had died of starvation.

    Nah I'm joking like.

    If a build log is well done and says what it needs to say in pics you won't get many replies really.
     
  14. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    I don't consider 2x360s to be overkill. :)
    I want 4x4,6GHz on the cpu and next summer I might get a Vega GPU plus a 970 or 980 nvidia for physx (because I can..) overclocked as well.

    @Vault-Tec I'll take that as a hidden compliment then :)
     
  15. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    Small update for this week's progress..

    Received my Samsung 960 Evo 250GB
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    it's huge
    [​IMG]



    then I swapped the cooler on my graphics card
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Heatkiller series always was my favourite.. my new graphics card(s) will also get a heatkiller cooler next summer.. :D


    I did some sleeving too..
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    But man am I rusty.. killed like 20 heatshrinks in the process of two 8 pin cables
    [​IMG]

    test fit on the graphics card
    [​IMG]

    Looking good :D


    and a comparison to my first project sleeve.. well, I didn't really care about heatshrink uniformity then.. :D
    [​IMG]

    The stretch isn't perfect, but the cables are a bit thin, so the sleeve doesn't stay put that well..
    [​IMG]



    I'll get my new SATA sleeve this week, along with my 2 x 2 TB WD Gold hard drives and hopefully my last Aquatuning order, so I'll be all set to finish over the coming weeks.
    I have planned to finish all the sleeving next weekend and hopefully finish the loop in the rear chamber so that I can then focus on the main chamber, tubing and stuff..

    For today I still have the cut-up of the Alphacool backplate planned, so that I can then cover the raid controller and my sound card.
     
  16. Cown

    Cown Member

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    Nice, nice and freaking nice :) very slick components, and love that you are sing MDPC-X sleeving :D

    Looking forward to more!
     
  17. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    Well, for me there always was just one choice.. no compromise :D

    Glad you count the "old" R9 290 among the "slick" components :D
    I simply didn't want to upgrade just yet.. (not gaming very much these days and so I don't need the new hardware.. plus, I want to wait for Vega before I make a decision.. )
     
  18. Cown

    Cown Member

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    The w/b makes it look veeeeeeeeeery slick ^^
     
  19. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    It does indeed.. Always lusted for the Heatkillers but they usually sold for 20-30% more than the EKWB stuff.
    Now that I have them both side by side, my next GPU will get a Heatkiller no matter the price.. it's just too much awesomeness!
     
  20. Sharangir

    Sharangir Member

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    Meet my backplates for the raid controller and the soundcard
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I ordered some thermal padding to tape them to the cards.
     

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