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Build Advice mATX i7 watercooled Lian Li PC-A05N

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Asulc, 27 Mar 2009.

  1. Asulc

    Asulc Minimodder

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    For all who don't know, Lian Li is due to be releasing a new case soon, the PC-A03. This is a mATX chassis and is modeled quite similarly to the PC-7FW only without the window. I love the styling of the front fan grill on both of the cases. The only problem for me with the PC-7FW is that is is bigger than I want, being ATX, and with the A03 it is the alignment of the front bays, as they are not centered.

    Since it would be a lot easier to fix the bays than to shrink the ATX case, I am planning on using the A03 in my next case build. There are a few questions I have to make this build possible however... but first my component choices! (The prices are listed in American Dollars, fyi)

    Case: Lian Li PC-A03 (~$100)
    Motherboard: Asus Rampage II Gene ($250)
    Processor: Intel i7 920 ($280)
    Memory: G.Skill Pi series 3x2gb ($95)
    Video Card: EVGA GTX 285 ($345) X2?
    Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling 750 Quad (Free, Already Own)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Black 640gb ($80)
    DVD Drive: NU Slim DVD burner, External ($70)

    My plan is to make a dual loop, one loop to cool the i7 and one for the 285(s). I am not sure how large of radiators I would need to cool either of the loops. I have never watercooled before, but I want to keep it all internal, as it looks much cleaner that way. I also might go SLI with the 285, but only if that means I could still fit all the radiators internally.

    I will not be trying to set any overclocking records, so temperatures do not need to be extremely low, especially on the graphics cards. If I do overclock at all, it will only be on the i7. If I can know what size radiators to use, I will find a way to make it all fit! :dremel: Also, in terms of "nice" looking waterblocks, I am going for minimalist, so the most "bling" I would want would be EK Nickle/Acetal blocks. I will also be trying to make this a fairly quiet build, so if that affects anything...

    Thank you for all your help, and with any luck, this idea will become a reality over the summer! :clap:

    So my questions...
    1) Do my component choices look good and compatible?
    2) What size and brand radiator would I need to cool the i7?
    3) What size and brand radiator would I need to cool a single GTX 285?
    4) What size and brand radiator would I need to cool dual GTX 285s?
    5) What blocks would be good to use on the i7 and the 285(s)?
    6) As I have never watercooled before, what do I need for each loop?

    If a question still doesn't make sense after you :read:, let me know, and I will try to clarify!
     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2009
  2. tominated

    tominated What's a Dremel?

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    if you are using an external optical drive, you might wanna use the two 5 1/4 inch bays for a pair of combo res and pumps like this: http://www.xspc.biz/baypump.php
     
  3. Asulc

    Asulc Minimodder

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    Idea for layout, Power Supply changed to a Silverstone 600 watt fully modular

    I used 2 Swiftech MCR220-QP Stackable 3 x 120mm Radiators with 6 x 120mm fans.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Asulc

    Asulc Minimodder

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    UPDATE: Feser 240 was recommended for the i7, and a Feser 360 for dual gtx 285. Playing with this, I realized that there is physically no possible way to fit these radiators into a Lian Li PC-A03. I have decided, in the efforts to make this a clean build and to make sure everything fits easily, to use the Lian Li PC-A05N case instead. This fits my requirements of minimalism better as well.

    Case: Lian Li PC-A05N ($100)
    Motherboard: Asus Rampage II Gene ($250)
    Processor: Intel i7 920 ($280)
    Memory: G.Skill Pi series 3x2gb ($95)
    Video Card: EVGA GTX 285 ($345) X2
    Power Supply: Antec Signature 650 watt ($180)
    Hard Drive (OS/Games): G.Skill 64gb SSD ($140)
    Hard Drive (Data/Storage): Western Digital Black 1TB ($110)
    DVD Drive: Samsung Slim DVD burner, External ($80)


    This leaves me with a few questions, and a new idea.

    I can fit a Feser 360 into the case, but that is the most I can do with the radiators and keeping everything internal, which I want. So if it would work to air cool the i7 920 and water cool the graphics, I would go with 2 gtx 285. If this wouldn't work in a quiet manner, I will find what the most powerful graphics setup would be that would fit in the same loop as an i7 920 cooled by a Feser 360.

    New Questions
    1) Would it work to only watercool the graphic cards and use a Thermalright HR-01 Plus on the i7 920?
    2) Would the setup in question #1 remain quiet?
    3) What power supply should I use along with dual GTX 285?

    If question #1 and #2 is possible, then the other questions need not be answered.

    Proposed Layout
    [​IMG]

    Red: XSPC RX360 Radiator
    Grey: Enermax 120mm Fans (not shown, an additional exhaust fan in the rear)
    Yellow: Swiftech MCP350
    Purple: Antec Signature 650watt
    Light Blue: Hard Drives
    White: Alphacool Reservoir
    Dark Blue: Asus Gene
    Green: EVGA GTX 285
    Also not show: Thermalright HR-01 Plus
    Zalman ZM-MFC1 Fan Controller
     
  5. logan'srun

    logan'srun following the footsteps of giants

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    Hi,

    I'll tackle # 2 and 3 for you.

    1. Quiet? Not really. You're running a 3 fans on the rad to cool an SLI setup that's producing lot's of heat. Add to that 2 more fans (front and back) and you've got 5 fans in that little case. It will not be quiet. You'll hear the fans even if you undervolt them. I'm a stickler for noise and I have essentially the same amount of fans in my case and run them all on response curves through a Mcubed, and there's always a hum. Not as loud as other systems, but maybe it won't bother you. It becomes kind of white noise to me, as long as there's other noise in the background you won't notice it. As much.
    2. PSU. I loaded your specs into the PSU calculator and as long as you don't OC anything, 650 is OK. Running SLI I'd want to go to a 750 or 800 PSU just to be safe, but it should be OK with the 650. As long as you don't OC.

    Please post a link or worklog when you start, I'll be interested in seeing all this internally :naughty:
     
  6. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    OK. Heres the thing. I'm doing the same thing- Lian Li A05 with i7 and GTX280 in SLI on Asus Gene mATX, slim DVD, 2x Vertex SSDs. All internal.

    If you go for SLI, take at least Corsair 750W PSU. I have Thermaltake 850W modular.
    Watercooling: I'm going for dual loop cooling: one CPU loop - Feser 240, bottom of the case. Second loop for GPUs - Swiftech 360, top of the case.
    Only thing is I'm swapping the mobo tray, so it will go as regular case, window on the left, not right. You can fit Feser 360 on bottom of the case, but then you would have to put PSU verticaly. Then Feser 240 on top. With mATX mobo there is space for those two fat rads, I checked it already.

    I hope that helps...
     
  7. Asulc

    Asulc Minimodder

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    I will be glad to post a worklog when I do start. No promises on when, or if it will happen exactly like this plan, but I am working on making it happen. ETA: this summer

    I believe that it will be quieter (one of my main goals with this project) to have the CPU air cooled. Will a Thermalright HR-01 Plus be enough to cool a Intel i7 920?

    I was just looking at power supplies, and the two that stood out to me are the Corsair HX1000 and the Enermax Revolution85+ 850 watt. They are both about the same price, so which one would be better for my proposed system?

    Another Question...
    Which Slot load DVD drive would be better?
    Silverstone
    Sony
     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2009
  8. Asulc

    Asulc Minimodder

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    bump... anyone have ideas on my last questions?
     
  9. phinix

    phinix RIP Waynio...

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    Hi. Sorry I didn't get back to you before, was pretty busy with my Cube..

    Well. PSU - you can get one of those, but they both expensive. Corsair released lately nice 750 and 850W modular ones, they both have better prices than your psus, I think thats 120 and £140. For this case you need to go for modular - hiding all cables behind mobo tray from regular psu would be hard..

    Dvd - silverstone one is a new stuff, I would go for Pioneer, but Sony, samsung and others are easier to get. Get slot loaded, you can always hide it nicely. Either will do.

    i7 cooling - well, A05 my friend is not a good air cooled case, there are few disadvantages when you go air cooling. Putting triple rad, huge psu, pump and other stuff in this case you will close it pretty fast and air won't have a good escape route. So if you gonna go for watercooling gpus and air cool cpu - cpu coole rmay have problems with cooling OC'ed i7. I would go for water for cpu as well. What I'm gonna do is use double Feser on bottom for cpu and triple thinner Swiftech on top. That will fit.

    That's just my 2p...
     
  10. LT.BEECH

    LT.BEECH Minimodder

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    i'd choose the sony as they make very good drives :thumb:
     

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