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Build Advice Nanoxia Deep Silence 1 - Watercooled + Now with side window!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Parge, 20 Mar 2013.

  1. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Hi BTers! How are you all? Sitting comfortably I hope.

    If you had to choose between the two, which do you value more, silence or power? I have to admit to erring on the side of silence. I live and work in London, and during the day I'm bombarded with the chatter of work colleagues, the thundering tubes or rushing cars. By the time I get home, I'm usually ready to get into my joggers, kick back and watch some house of cards.

    My previous two cases have been the Fractal Design Arc Midi, which comfortably held the two 60mm EK 240 XTX rads I bought second hand but did zero to hide pump noise (bay res), and the Silverstone TJ09 which looked gorgeous but only had space for a thin 240 and a 120 rad. Ultimately neither was perfect.

    I was very excited to hear about the Nanoxia Deep Silence. It had the acoustic dampening features of the Fractal R3 - but also watercooling support. There was only one downside - no window. When it comes to aesthetics I sit somewhere between Gamer and Minimalist camps - I'm not a fan of, for example, the HAFX but I find Lians Lis boxes a little too dull. What's more - if I'm going to build an awesome looking (and performing!) watercooled rig - I want to show that off, so I'm a big fan of windows. Now, I know what you are thinking :dremel: - but the truth is, I find it hard to slice and dice brand new cases, and prefer modding older ones.

    A few weeks ago though, Nanoxia tipped it for me - they confirmed a window was in development for the DS1 on their FB page (and even posted a prototype shot)

    [​IMG]

    What I like about this is, they've got it right. Controversial criticism time: what were Corsair thinking extending the window in the 800D over the 5.25" bays? I can't think of a single time someone has put something on the side of their 5.25" bays that they wanted to show off? Have Monsoon or Bitspower started making 'Premium' 6/32 screws for hard drives that cost £5 each? I hope not!

    Second controversial criticism time: what were Corsair thinking extending the window on the 800D down below the midplate? Sure ok, I confess, its not such a heinous crime - some people might have a super cool PSU, or want to show off their pump, but I'd bet for the majority of people it was more of annoyance having a nice window seperated halfway up by the edge of a midplate. Nanoxia have avoided this here, maybe showing the top of the PSU if you peek right up against the glass, but the focus of the window is where the focus should be - CPU, GPU, motherboard and res (assuming you are attaching one to the back like you'll see me do later).

    On the back of hearing and seeing this, I ordered one from Scan.co.uk for £88. It arrived the next day, kudos to scan, they packed it in a box bigger than my neighbours hallway....which was awkward when I had to collect it from my neighbours and we couldn't get it out, sorry number 45!

    Instead of using rivets which would require drilling out to secure the bottom drive bay, Nanoxia have used two sets of screws at the front and bottom, which are easily removed. The other two drive bays can be easily popped out by pushing down on levers on the reverse side of the case – though they are tightl. Once this was done, I also removed the central mounting rails that allow the attachment of the upper and mid drive bays, as I found they were fouling the 240mm radiators if I wanted the inlet/outlets at the top rather than the bottom. Again, these were fastened with screws which made life much easier.

    Now we have the naked case (ooo!), it’s time to check the fitting of the motherboard and radiators.

    Motherboard in….
    [​IMG]
    P1030153 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    Up top I had the option of fitting a 30mm rad, which would have shown off more of the motherboard – especially the heatsink laden area around the CPU socket. You can see that below.

    [​IMG]
    P1030154 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    Ultimately I decided that cooling and silence were my prime concerns, and even a 30mm rad obscures the topmost heatsink, which is very close to the top of the motherboard on the UD7, so I plumped for using a 60mm EK 240 XTX. Below you can compare it to the 30mm (both have a Corsair SP120 attached).

    [​IMG]
    P1030155 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    Now, two points of note here. First off, for the top radiator Nanoxia have sensibly ‘offset’ the radiator mounting holes so that when fitted, they are set away from the motherboard. This allows you to use deeper rads (I’m using a 60mm which I’d say is the most you could get away without totally obscuring the CPU socket) and gives you more flexibility when it comes to choosing RAM. I’m using the absolutely awesome Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 1866mhz OB which was £43 per 8GB from eBuyer. The CBTT has fully customisable blue or orange running lights around its base and on its top.

    [​IMG]

    It’s around 36mm high, and still has a couple of mm clearance between it and the radiator, but you won’t get stuff like the Corsair Vengeance line in here if you are planning on whacking a 60mm on the top. Be aware that if you are using a 280x60mm rad, you will definitely need some super low profile RAM to fit. Something to think about.

    Next up, we needed to test fit the front radiator. First of all, I placed it with the inlets on the floor of the case which seemed to work for me. As you’ll see later though, I ended up having to change this around and place the inlets at the top due to the location of the pump.

    [​IMG]
    P1030151 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    All seems good, lets get the screws out! Most modern radiators have M3 sized threads, so I ordered a pack of 20 6mm deep M3 screws to fit the top radiator. They don’t have to be too long as they are only going through one layer of metal, and we don’t want them any longer or you risk penetrating or bending radiator fin on their exit from the radiators thread.

    The stock fans in the Nanoxia snap out of their mounts quite easily, but I was very aware that the plastic used felt like it had the potential to snap if pulled to hard. I can’t say I like this system that much, but I didn’t encounter any breaks either. Once out, you can slip a screwdriver through the holes in the far side of the fan mounts to screw in the front radiator. Cleverly, the mounting holes are elongated, allowing for variations in radiator mounting hole placement, and of course, different configurations of the same radiator (the mounting holes will be in different places if you vertically rotate the rad).

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    P1030148 by Penderyn, on Flickr

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    P1030149 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    One thing I would like to comment on here, is that the radiator mounting bracket is made of plastic, and I wasn’t confident screwing in the metal screws, which I felt could have either sunk straight into the plastic, or worse, cracked it.

    As you can see below, there is ample space for even a 60mm or even 80mm (Alphacool Monsta anyone?) radiator in the front section – even in push pull.

    [​IMG]
    P1030151 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    I initially settled for a push config, using the stock fans, but as you’ll see later, this is another thing I changed my mind about during testing. Some users might note that there is a small gap between the front fans and the radiator, which is a little annoying but by no means a deal killer.

    So with the front rad in, it was time to load up the P67-UD7 with the CPU, waterblock and RAM. I picked up the UD7 as a returned RMA for £73, and although it doesn’t have the great UEFI of the Asus/MSI boards of this generation, I think we can all agree, it looks absolutely badass, and with its 24 power phases, the reviews tell me it overclocks like a dream. The waterblock is a Nickel Plexi EK Supreme HF, also second hand, and the CPU is a 2500K. Performance wise, I see almost no reason to upgrade beyond this CPU at this point, and it looks like even Haswell won’t give me a good reason.

    [​IMG]
    P1030156 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    Motherboard in…
    [​IMG]
    P1030158 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    P1030157 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    As anyone who has built a watercooled rig will know, this is the easy part. Radiator attached using 8x M3 screws to the top of the case. Also popped the PSU in. The Deep Silence has an easily removable dust filter along the bottom, which allows you to mount the PSU with the fan drawing air in from the below the case. As an aside, the case feet on the Deep Silence 1 are pretty tall, around an inch high, so there shouldn’t be any issues with the PSU or indeed any mid mounted fan sucking in dust from your carpet. If I was being critical, I’d say that the silver plastic finish on these is of a fairly low quality, but lets not forget – this is an £88 case – not a £200+ Corsair behemoth.
    [​IMG]
    P1030159 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    The fans I’m using on the top rad are Akasa Apache Black. These are marketed as ‘Silent’ and they pretty much are at their lower speeds. Since the aim of the build was silence, I decided to compromise some of my cooling ability in favour of a quieter system. Gah! I hate compromises, and as you’ll see I later went back on this decision.

    Bonus hint: Some of you may have noticed the green background on some of my shots. This is actually a towel. When building I always pop one down, as it allows you to easily spin whatever you are working on around without scratching the paint, if you need to get to the other side.

    So, now, where to put the pump and reservoir?

    I really wanted to show off the reservoir. For this I’m using a second hand EK Multioption 250 – an awesome piece of hardware, which gives you so many different options when it comes to inlets and outlets. In my previous build I’d made the stupid mistake of having the inlet at the top of the res – this kind of setup has the unfortunate side effect of making water trickling sounds if there is any air at all in the res. Nice for going to sleep to, not nice for watching quiet bits in movies! Also makes you want to pee.

    The obvious place for this was up against the rear of the case. All it obscures is the SLI connectors on the GPU, and I/O ports on the motherboard– no great loss! The Deep Silence has a meshed back, which, along with a couple of small metal washers, makes it easy to mount the Res. A res this large does require the removal of the rear 140mm fan, which was a shame, but since a majority of the air it would be blowing would be hitting the side of the rad, it wasn’t at all essential.

    [​IMG]
    P1030163 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    In the past I’ve used a XSPC bay reservoir which fit my 18W DDC MCP355 pump. However, in my experience these always cause a hell of a racket as they are ‘hard mounted’ to the case, and the reverberations ring out. Yuck.

    I had a Shoggy Sandwich from a previous build lying about that I’d never got round to using. Time to employ that! Using some 90 degree EK reservoir mounts I fitted it vertically to the floor of the case, right in front of the PSU. Hmm. The meshed bottom concerned me, I wanted this baby to be silent, even at full speed. I fitted some Acoustipak sound absorbtion material I had spare to the bottom of the case, which totally blocked the mesh – no sound was getting out the bottom now.

    You can see it below and better in some of the later shots. Some of you might also recognise my use of convoluted cable. If you’ve visited the modding section you might have seen my love of the stuff in places where you haven’t the time or money to custom sleeve wires. The over saturated yellow and blue wires of the pump were hidden. Though you can’t see it I also hid the bright yellow wire to a digital temperature sensor that monitors the temp of my pump, and relays it back to my second love – the Mcubed BigNG which you can read a full review of here

    [​IMG]
    P1030182 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    Some of you might be wondering about hard drives after I removed all the 3.5” mounts. I only run 2.5” drives nowadays. One OCZ 240GB Vertex 3 that was a refurb from Scan (£115), and 2x 500GB 7200rpm drives, and 1x 320GB 5400rpm drive. Most of my media is on a N40L under the stairs, so really all I need on these is my music and picture collections (the 5400rpm drive) and my Steam and Origin games (the SSD/7200rpmdrives). The reason I’ve gone down this route is the fact that these drives are all but silent vs their 3.5” counterparts, and give off less heat. Sure, there might be some small compromises made here and there on game loading times, but I certainly don’t notice it.

    All four drives were mounted into 3.5” to 5.25” adaptors which both hold 2x 2.5” drives. These were then installed in the 5.25” bays up top, along with the BigNG fan controller. For those of you that decided the review of the BigNg I linked to earlier was very much a ‘TL;DR’ type scenario, the BigNG monitors air and water temperatures, and then you can programme it via software to ramp up the fans, and the pump from 0-100% depending on any detected changes. This allows you to have an almost silent build at idle, and then ultimate cooling at load, and in my opinion it should be on the shopping list of any serious PC builder trying their hand at watercooling. In some of the later pics you can see the wire from the first temperature sensor leading up to the BigNG in the uppermost (of 3) 5.25” bay. For those have you that are thinking about jumping onboard with a BigNG – it has a heatsink for a reason! They run quite warm especially when feeding up to 80W worth energy to fans and pumps. They don’t really need active movement of air, but they shouldn’t be pressed right up against the side of your case for example.
     
    Last edited: 5 Apr 2013
  2. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    With the pump and res mounted that just left the GPU – easy peasy. I have a Zotac GTX 670 – famously this GPU shipped with a design flaw – the screws holding the cooler to the GPU core had stoppers on them that prevented good contact and it got very hot very fast. However, a couple of washers could solve this problem –as could whacking on a gorgeous (non CSQ!) EK Nickel Acetal Full Cover block which is what I’ve done here. Some of you may be thinking its length makes it look more like a 680 – that’s because it is indeed a 680 PCB – and that’s why this particular card is an excellent overclocker. I’ve also used two orange Monsoon G1/4 plugs to accent the GPU block – and complement the accents on the motherboard heatsinks.

    [​IMG]
    P1030166 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    Next up come the fittings.

    Previously I’ve always used second hand silver ½”ID ¾”OD fittings, but for this build I treated myself to 10 brand new black EK 3/8”ID fittings and Masterkleer clear tubing.

    Fittings on:
    [​IMG]
    P1030164 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    And now for some tubing
    [​IMG]
    P1030167 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    The keen eyed amongst you will have noticed that it was between these two photos that I realised that the pump output wasn’t going to play nicely with the front rad inlet. The answer was simple, flip the rad vertically. You can see the final result above.

    Now, time to leak test. Get the paper out!

    [​IMG]
    P1030168 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    Found one small leak – to the right of the top radiator is a Bitspower crystal T junction, around the G1/4 plug I had a tiny drip. Not to worry, I’ll tighten that……

    SPRAYED IN THE FACE!

    Yep, it wasn’t that the plug was overtight, it was that the T-Junction had a small hairline crack in, which had fractured as I’d tightened it.

    [​IMG]
    P1030172 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    With that replace with a second temperature sensor (so now I could measure the water temps entering the rad, and the water temps upon exit from the rad) we were good to go!

    No leaks this time. I ran the system for around 6 hours to clear any bubbles and check thoroughly. Seems fine!

    CPU lit up – thanks again to CrapBag from this very forum who custom built the 3mm LEDs for me!
    [​IMG]
    P1030173 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    And we are away. Time to connect everything up,tidy the cables and install windows. Could have used a few more room behind the motherboard tray to store cables, but managed to fit it all in in the end.

    [​IMG]
    P1030178 by Penderyn, on Flickr
    So, with windows installed I set about configuring everything, but I just wasn’t happy with the temps or acoustics.

    At idle, I was hitting around 35C with the Akasa Apaches and stock intakes spinning at 60%. An increase in speed meant to anything much higher made both sets of fans clearly audible, despite the sound dampening on the air chimney and the front door of the case. This isn’t how it was supposed to end!
    I then realised that slow fans were perhaps, in this case, a false economy.

    I had 6 Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850s, 2 Corsair AF 120s and 2 Corsair SP120s around, so I decided to do some highly technical testing.

    I wired one of the GTs and one of the SPs up to a 240mm rad I had spare (the thin one from earlier) and one by one ran them at 50% and then 100% using the BigNG. The two characteristics I was looking for were acoustics and airflow through a rad.
    I felt that the SPs pushed more air, but made more noise doing it, whereas the GTs didn’t push quite as much air, but had a nicer whooshing sound. However, I did find that the GTs do have an annoying whining sound a certain speeds, but this was only audible from the front. Put your ear around the side of the fans and you couldn’t hear a thing.
    So, I decided to go all out, and without taking the water out set about the perilous task of removing the stock and Apache fans, and replacing them all with 1850rpm Gentle Typoons. Two up the top, and four in the front (push pull). The moment I booted into Windows I rechecked my temps. 27.4C. Wow! Much better. That was with the front four fans at 60% and the top two at 50%. I left the top two as they were and bought the front fans down to 0% speed until water temps hit 35C at which point they’d ramp up to 60%, climbing higher as the temperature increased degree by degree

    Here’s my Response Curve:
    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Penderyn, on Flickr

    Eagled eyed readers will have also spotted my idle temperature on the left – 29C at idle - that’s a 9C Delta T with only one set of GTs running. It is literally whisper quiet!
    No good article would be complete without a ‘load test’ either, so I fired up Furmark and Prime 95 at the same time (everything at stock) for 10m of 100% load on the CPU and GPU, and set the fans at 90% to test maximum cooling ability (if I wanted a really aggressive Response Curve, I could have all fans hit 90% as soon as the temps rose 1C above idle).

    [​IMG]
    Untitled3 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    Wow! Max temps of 52C on the GPU on one core with the rest hitting 45C/47C/50C. The GPU meanwhile topped out at just 40C. My water temps increased to 34.5C at max. Happy days.

    So, did the Deep Silence 1 accomplish my dream of silence and power? I have to say, I think it did. Not only that but Nanoxia make a great many design decisions that make building a water cooled Rig in this case an absolute joy. There are a few things I’d change, namely the plastic front mounting bay, the case feet and slightly more room behind the motherboard would be nice, but in all honesty I’m nit picking because its very hard to find any other flaws. You would be extremely hard pressed to spend £88 on a better case, and I’d say that if you are thinking of watercooling, its an impossible task. What I’m waiting for now is for Nanoxia to finish the side panel window, so I can go about installing the lighting and really show off all my hard work.
    For now though, heres a couple more pics of the finished article.
    [​IMG]
    P1030195 by Penderyn, on Flickr

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    P1030191 by Penderyn, on Flickr

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    P1030190 by Penderyn, on Flickr

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    P1030189 by Penderyn, on Flickr
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    P1030188 by Penderyn, on Flickr
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    P1030186 by Penderyn, on Flickr

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    P1030184 by Penderyn, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    Untitled by Penderyn, on Flickr
     
  3. Tangster

    Tangster Butt-kicking for goodness!

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    By golly gosh but that's a loverly looking build.:)
     
  4. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Thanks dude, maybe it should come with a *wall of text* warning! :D
     
  5. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    Good effort. Looks lovely and clean. :)

    I just bought an i5 3570k and it's running at 4.7ghz in my PC @ 85c Max... Miss my 2500ks top of 65c~ with 4.7ghz kind of... But it's added a few fps to my skyrim session :)

    Be nice to have a deeper rad like yours... And the res. I know what u mean about the trickle!
     
  6. flame696

    flame696 Terminating People Since 1980....

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    Great build Tom and a great read. Hopefully should be starting a SFF build for the to use as a htpc which I'm thinking on water cooling should be interesting
     
  7. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Yeah, IB is still a beastly overclocker, but heatwise its just not as cool as its predecessor. Given that its a problem on the chip I'm not sure you'd see much of a difference using bigger rads anyway.

    I won't ever have the coolant coming into the top of the res again - nearly drove me mad.

    Thanks mate, I was going to keep it relatively short and sweet but it turned into a bit of an epic in the end.

    I'd love a WC'd HTPC! The only thing that will never ever get watercooled is my LAN rig - too much moving around - I just know I'd rock up at my mates house, unzip my bag and....slosh.... :waah: :D
     
  8. damien c

    damien c Mad FPS Gamer

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    Very nice build mate
     
  9. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    (sozzles for being useless and not getting you my XL...)

    Nice build :thumb:
     
  10. MrDomRocks

    MrDomRocks Well-Known Member

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    Great read. Beautiful looking build. I cant get a fully stable over clock to make water cooling remotely viable. 1.36vc at 4.5 and I end up with a bsd....

    Moving to an R4 next week.
     
  11. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Thanks dude!

    Hey dude, no worries at all, as you can see, it actually worked out pretty well in the end!

    Thanks for taking the time to read Dom.

    Somethings definitely wrong if you can't hit 4.5Ghz at 1.36v on that board.

    You followed this guide?

    This Gigabyte board was giving me a right headache - the F7 BIOS has a new feature called Multi step load line calibration which I had to up to level 7. Previously I couldn't get past 4Ghz but I'm currently on 4.6Ghz and still climbing.



    Additionally, after posting a pic on the Nanoxia FB page, they read this and offered to send me a prototype windowed side panel.

    I'm super excited and had better start planning my lighting setup.

    Thanks Nanoxia!
     
  12. MrDomRocks

    MrDomRocks Well-Known Member

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    I had followed the guide in CPC Magazine. To hit 4.5 I went up in v core. During exstended gaming I would get a kernel power bsd.

    Dropped OC. Checked drivers etc and havent had the issue since.

    Will double check my settings tomorrow or maybe next week as im at work tonight.

    Could be my settings or my board. It is the basic P67.
     
  13. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Its definitely your settings - that board will be an awesome overclocker - definitely up to 4.5Ghz. Being someone who records whilst playing its definitely worth your time too - as that's a very CPU heavy process.
     
  14. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    So, as well as offering to send me a Prototype Windowed Side Panel Nanoxia posted this to their Facebook page - super stoked!

    [​IMG]
     
  15. damien c

    damien c Mad FPS Gamer

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    Excellent!!!
     
  16. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    Yeah... going to de-lid. It's the only thing that is going to tame it. Although to be fair, when gaming and such it doesn't go over 70 that I've noticed yet. Just IBT, Cinebench and various other tools that push it up that high.

    For me I'm going to mount my res sideways this time I think. At the moment it looks plain weird with the way the hoses go into my GPU block and back up to the top. Grinds my gears anyway.

    The Nanoxia stuff is freaking cool also. Well played!
     
  17. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    I was going to suggest that, but it sure takes balls doesn't it!? :eeek:

    I've always wanted a sideways res. I always thought it would work well in case with a midplate, such as the 800D. You could have the tubing heading straight out of the GPU and into the res, then back out and up to the top at the other end.
     
  18. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    I like this. Lots. I think it's time that I tried a bit of WCing!
     
  19. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Do it :thumb: Did you see my temps? 40C at load on the GPU :)

    From my experience this is by far the easiest case in which to build a watercooled rig.
     
  20. law99

    law99 Custom User Title

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    Well... I haven't sold my 2500k yet just in case... :lol:

    They do look pretty cool and mine is the small ek one. So you can see from image that it's perfectly possible to do it and have a nice top side fill port.

    [​IMG]

    I think I picture your meaning also... with it fastened to the midplate. It would look cool!
     

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