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Watercooling Watercooled Corsair 250D - It actually will fit afterall.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Neogumbercules, 26 Sep 2014.

  1. Neogumbercules

    Neogumbercules New Member

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    UPDATE: For smaller, easier to load pictures, please follow THIS LINK. They are unorganized and out of order but it should help out if you have a slower connection.

    Hello. This was 6 months in the making. Some of you may have seen my thread in the modding section where I pondered if a full WC loop would work in the 250D. Well, after hours of measuring, drafting, rendering and planning and months of saving and buying parts a little at a time, I am finally able to present to you my very first water cooled build.

    Before I get into the build log I will put together a quick and dirty parts list for those who are interested. All of the following were purchased through www.performance-pcs.com and www.frozencpu.com

    Core Components
    Case: Corsair Obsidian 250D
    Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Z87 Mini-ITX motherboard
    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670k Haswell
    GPU: Sapphire Radeon R9 290
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance LP - Black 1600mhz
    PSU: Seagate X750
    SSD: Crucial MX100 512GB
    HDD: Seagate 1TB

    Water Cooling Components
    Radiator 1: Hardware Labs Black Ice GTS 240mm
    Fans for Radiator 1: 2x Corsair SP120 case fans
    Radiator 2: Koolance HX 140mm
    Fans for Radiator 2: 1x Corsair AF140 case fan
    CPU Block: EK Supremacy Full Nickel
    GPU Block: EK-FC-R290X (reference design)
    Reservoir/Pump: EK-SBAY 5.25" bay resevoir
    Fittings: Bitspower Black Sparkle - standard fittings, extensions, 90° single rotaries, 90° dual and triple rotaries, 45° dual rotaries 1/2" x 3/4"
    Tubing: Primochill Advanced LRT 1/2" x 3/4"
    Coolant: Mayhems Pastel White 1L bottle.


    Miscellaneous
    ModMyToys 5 fan hub connector
    Gelid Extreme GC TIM for the Supremacy block (came with the block)
    Coolaboratory Liquid Ultra TIM for delid
    3m sandpaper in 800, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 grit for lapping
    Bitspower Syringe for filling the loop
    Re-useable cable ties
    M4 screws

    Now for the fun build log!

    The pictures taken here are literally spread out over a timeframe of -months- even though it looks like I sat down and did this in a day, it certainly was not the case!

    So before I started getting crazy taking pictures I managed to put together a few of the things I would need. Here you can see the radiators, the GPU with the block installed and the CPU block still fresh in the box.
    [​IMG]

    Slowly I started to build a collection of fittings.
    [​IMG]
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    When it came time to start putting stuff together I set up the computer on my crappy old work bench and got started. This was about a month ago. Yes I went a month without my own PC :waah:
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see where I decided to put the fan hub.
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    Stripped bare.
    [​IMG]

    Hey, what's that we have here?
    [​IMG]

    Nah, it's fine the way it is.
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    What are you doing?
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    gooby pls stahp
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    Hey it worked! (seriously I wasn't going to do this but I figured "go big or go home"
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    What a nice shiny surface!
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    Let's muck it up.
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    But first lets make sure those electrical contacts are protected during the application
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    Looks good. This was a -tiny- amount of CLU. Barely half a drop. Seriously. A little goes a long way, trust.
    [​IMG]

    Well I de-lidded, might as well lap it. Wasn't gonna do this either, but again, couldn't justify NOT doing. I'm so far past the line I might as well keep going.
    [​IMG]

    Ooh shiny but hey I must have had a spec of dust on my microfiber cloth and it put a tiny little scratch on the IHS. It shows up on camera very easily but it was a non-issue really.
    [​IMG]

    Also shiny, EK Supremacy full nickel
    [​IMG]

    OK jumping ahead a little here, the 5.25 bracket is too big for what I plan on doing AND it causes fittings to scrape on it when they are attached to the EK-SBAY. I had to chop it. Honestly I didn't have the right tools for this job but the cost was becoming an issue and I had to make due with what I had.
    [​IMG]
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    Needs paint
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    Honestly it doesn't look so bad installed
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    Starting to get quite a collection here. Bought a box to organize them.
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    Playing with fitting options. This connection required the most creativity because the I/O hardware is literally right where the bottom G1/4 hole is on this radiator. As you can see, it is necessary to come up and over all of that stuff.
    [​IMG]
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    One of my many test drops
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    Getting very close to my final layout
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    And this folks is why we can't have a typical tube res layout. WIRES!
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    And with all of those wires right there, we are gonna need a nice shroud. Reused the one that came with the 140 the case had pre-installed.
    [​IMG]

    Hey look what showed up
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    It's a very close fit
    [​IMG]

    Time to start tubing up! Pro-tips: Lube the tubing ends up with distilled water when putting them on the fittings. Makes it way easier. Also, prepare to have your thumbs destroyed. Get a nice pair of form fitting grippy work gloves. Thirdly, get a hose cutter. Scissors won't do. I used a retractable box cutting knife and just muscled straight through the tubing for straight cuts. Spend the extra 10-15 bucks and get a proper cutter.

    This connection was insanely hard to put together. It seems whenever you measure, add another 1/2" or more because even if it looks like it's the right length, once you get the first fitting on, the tubing magically shrinks. I had to remove the radiator and put this end of the tubing on because the space was too small for my hands.
    [​IMG]
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    Next up was the GPU to CPU connection. Be careful not to break your PCI slot when doing this. It actually takes quite a bit of force to squeeze this tubing on and then to tighten the collars. Make sure you use one hand to support the parts your pushing around. Pictured here also is the radiator to radiator hose. This one was nothing special. Just a matter of measure twice cut once, etc.
    [​IMG]
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    Here you can see what I did for the front radiator. My goal was to achieve the cleanest run possible through this case and I think I achieved that, but it was a pain in the butt!
    [​IMG]
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    Lastly, the pump/res out to gpu and here you can see the whole layout fully tubed up.
    [​IMG]

    I didn't get any pictures of the filling process because, well, I only have 2 hands. Let me tell you though, wow. These DDC pumps, particularly this one, seem to have a hard time with filling. You're supposed to prime the pump before running. No big deal. I struggled though because it kept taking coolant but it wasn't flowing into the pump correctly and causing the coolant to flow when I powered it on. I ended up having to shake it like crazy while priming to let it work it's way in, and filled about half the loop in the process, just trying to get that damn thing to fill. Don't worry, I didn't run it for more than 2-3 seconds when it was cavitated. Eventually, I got it to start pumping and away we went! This is where having a tube res pump top combo would have been real nice. Next time.
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    No leaks detected after an episode of Dr. Who, so towels are removed!
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    That's good. That's damn good.
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    All buttoned up. More exterior pics to come, but as you may have deduced by now, my photography environment is not exactly ideal.
    [​IMG]

    Final Thoughts​


    Well, I don't really know what to say other than I'm extremely happy with how this turned out. This is by far the coolest thing I've ever built and I'm very proud of the result. I can't help but stare at it, and shine it up with my micro fiber cloth. It still mesmerizes me to see this in person. The white pastel coolant is fantastic and I'm glad I chose it. It gives a great contrast to the black/red everything else. Oh and needless to say, the fittings look incredible and the nickel blocks are stunning.

    A LOT of planning and patience went into this build and that is the key to getting something like this done. All told, the only leftover part I had was a single 45° dual rotary fitting so I really was meticulous about everything I needed and only bought exactly what was necessary. This was -expensive- even with penny pinching. A lot of this went into fittings. In a normal case it would not be necessary to have so many rotary fittings, etc, but I needed to make some weird angles here so even though this case is so small, it actually cost more to get it set up than a bigger case. Oh and that bay res costs more than EKs MCP-655 based tube/pump/top combo!

    "But wait, where are the results!? Temps?! Noise!?"

    All in due time. Tomorrow I will run a usual series of benchmarks and record temps and performance and post it here in a nice format. For now, it's off to bed with me. I hope you guys enjoyed this build log. I certainly enjoyed doing it! :dremel:
     
    Last edited: 28 Sep 2014
    lilgoth89 and pete* like this.
  2. lilgoth89

    lilgoth89 Captin Calliope

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    Thats some nice work in such a cramped space

    +Rep
     
  3. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    That's an impressive effort!

    Well done cramming it all in there.
     
  4. Parge

    Parge the worst Super Moderator

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    Great job. Was this your first watercooling build? I remember mine!

    Definitely get some lighting in there (and take a pic of it with a better camera, without the flash!)
     
  5. pete*

    pete* Something witty here.

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    Looks awesome. +r'd earlier, couldn't be arsed tryin' to comment on phone. xD
     
  6. Neogumbercules

    Neogumbercules New Member

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    Thanks guys. Definitely gonna get lighting in there. At this point though I can't spend another penny on this build or the wife will end me. :hehe:

    Still running strong.
     
  7. meandmymouth

    meandmymouth Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful build. Nice to know this can all fit in a mitx case. I would love to do something like this is the future.
     
  8. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    One small criticism:

    You don't need 4K photos on a forum. It makes it a bit of a bugger to visit/revisit the thread. :)
     
  9. Neogumbercules

    Neogumbercules New Member

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  10. flame696

    flame696 Terminating People Since 1980....

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    Where are the pics?
     
  11. Neogumbercules

    Neogumbercules New Member

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    Can't see them? Still loading for me.
     
  12. bartiszon

    bartiszon Active Member

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    Just Unbelievably Amazing! :eeek:
     
  13. Neogumbercules

    Neogumbercules New Member

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    Thanks bartiszon!
     
  14. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    I really wanted to see this, but I've been waiting ten minutes for the first three images to load. They are simply too big for my connection.

    Have you got a link to smaller images for us non-fiber people?
     
  15. flame696

    flame696 Terminating People Since 1980....

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    Well all we need is the temp and benchmarks! That's a he'll of lot of gear to fit in such a tiny space, GOOD JOB!

    Edit: oh come on Nealieboyee pics are fine just get a better broadband supplier!! I viewed them on my phone without issue!
     
  16. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    Dude I don't have broadband. We live in the bush with a 512KB line. We're 3rd world like that :(
     
  17. flame696

    flame696 Terminating People Since 1980....

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    When did you move to Zambia???

    Or have you always been living there and I haven't noticed??

    But I swear I've sold you stuff, I'm confused?????

    Edit: sorry OP for derailing the thread
     
    Last edited: 27 Sep 2014
  18. Nealieboyee

    Nealieboyee Packaging Master!

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    I too apologize OP. Moved to Zambia about a 18 months ago lol. Haven't touched the marketplace since I left.
     
  19. Neogumbercules

    Neogumbercules New Member

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    Hey no worries! Sorry about the big pics, please follow THIS LINK for an unorganized but much more manageable gallery of the build!

    So I have some results to share. Sorry I don't have big graphs or anything like that. It's been a busy day of BS around-the-house work :grr:

    We'll start with GPU since that's the main reason I was inspired to do this.

    Maximum Load Temps
    Stock Cooler @ Stock frequencies: 95c
    Water Cooled @ 1100 GPU 1350 Mem +50mv, power limit maxed out at +50%: 55c

    Wow. Overclocked the balls off of it, it it's still running 40c LOWER than stock. How does that impact performance? Well I compared an old Heaven benchmark to a new one I took yesterday:

    Stock:
    [​IMG]

    Watercooled and OC'd
    [​IMG]

    I also did a quick benchmark with a couple of games using FRAPS:

    Battlefield 4 64man MP conquest Average FPS: 102fps

    Dark Souls w/DS Fix running@ 2560x1440 downsampled to 1920x1080, medium SMAA, every other setting maxed in DSFIX.ini Average FPS: 58.03

    Just those two for now. I'll do some more as the days go on. Still, very nice results.

    Now on to the CPU. As everyone knows, Ivy Bridge and Haswell are hot mothers. As you can see with the pictures above, I've gone ahead and de-lidded and lapped. My CPU has previously capped at 4.5ghz due to heat reasons. I haven't tried pushing past that yet, but nevertheless, here's some numbers. I chose these two applications because AutoCAD renders are basically the most CPU intensive task I put on the i5 by a country mile so it's the best "real world" test for me, specifically.

    Intel i5 4670k @4.5ghz, 1.23v

    H100i: Prime 95 Small FFT: 90c+ a fail since I won't run it that hot.
    AutoCAD Render: 72-75c

    Custom Loop: Prime 95 Small FFT: Core 0,1 ~65-70c. Core 2,3 80-85c
    AutoCAD render: 55c core 0,1,3 65c core 2

    OK now this is a little weird. I know that it's fairly normal for one core to run slightly hotter than the others, but I'm getting 15c difference consistently on core 2. It might be a bad TIM job or maybe something underneath with the CLU on the die itself. Or it may just be normal and now I'm getting greater extremes due to better cooling for the cooler cores. Could be a software thing too. Unfortunately there's no way in hell I'm taking it apart now so I'm just going to have to deal with it.

    Overall though you can see how the custom loop is a significant advantage over even the H100i.


    That's all I got for now. Long story short, watercooling is awesome.
     
    Last edited: 28 Sep 2014
  20. mrbungle

    mrbungle Undercooked chicken giver

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    Without a resizer the OP is a total mess for 1080p screens.

    Edit: Eventually kicked in after a refresh and is now viewable.

    Impressive build!
     

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