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Modding Watercooled Stacker 810 (Worklog)

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Krelldog, 29 Dec 2007.

  1. Krelldog

    Krelldog New Member

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    Hi all, this is my first mod and entry into the world of watercooling rolled into the one thread. My original full worklog is over here at the OCAU forums, but I thought I'd share the love with an abridged version on all the forums I've visited for inspiration and advice.

    I recieved a parcel from Sidewinder Computers, the day before Christmas no less. 5 days from the US to Aus.
    [​IMG]


    Boxing Day. How apt.

    My victim:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Playing with some ideas for component placement.
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    Out to the shed for some holes. I used a 22mm and 25mm hole saw, and a jigsaw to make some wiring access points in the motherboard tray.
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    Mounting points and hole for a 3x120 radiator. I've never used an angle grinder before :S
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    The case so far:
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    And pulled down for painting.
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    Roughing up the existing paint for some undercoat. Dad suggested kitchen scouring pads instead of sandpaper, and they worked fantastically, escpecially around the embossed bits. Apparently he got the tip from a painter.
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    Spray cans.
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    Start with the primer.
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    Day 2

    The inside of the case will be matte black.

    Like so. Paint is still wet, and I'm still learning to paint.
    [​IMG]

    After a day of painting, I was out of paint and not quite finished. The shops were shut, it will have to wait till tomorrow.


    Day 3

    I realised I'd left out the fillport hole. Here is the grill and fillport in place.
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    Marking out the side panel for a window cut.
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    At dad's suggestion I bought a tin of paint rather than another spray pack.
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    Best idea ever. The finish is much finer. The colour is more of a very dark grey, but is more matte. I ended up respraying everything I'd done yesterday after rubbing it down with scouring pads. Those things work wonders!
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    And finally it is all done, and left to dry over night.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. r4tch3t

    r4tch3t hmmmm....

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    Nice work there :thumb:
     
  3. Krelldog

    Krelldog New Member

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    Took it pretty easy today. I didn't have much planned, mostly waiting for paint to dry.

    A special blade on the dropsaw makes light work of aluminium panels
    [​IMG]

    A window!
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    After taping off the back of the side panels (which I decided against painting) I gave them a light sand
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    And followed up with some primer.
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    A layer of colour, a few hours and a light sand later, I put down the final coat:
    [​IMG]


    I can't seem to capture the colour with my cheap camera; depending on the light and the angle it's nearly black, or a rich blue, or a deep purple. Hopefully I can get some better photos once the case is reassembled.
     
  4. Angleus

    Angleus New Member

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    Looking good so far, keep it up
     
  5. Krelldog

    Krelldog New Member

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    With the painting done I can turn my attention to other details.

    Firstly, the plastic part at the top front of the starcker is now obstructing the radiator grill.
    [​IMG]

    The jigsaw fixes that up
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    I'm patching up the edge with Plastibond
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    And while I wait for that to dry, I can get started on putting the case back together.
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    [​IMG]
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    Voila!
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    A coat of paint
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    I was going to mount the radiator and pump, possibly even set up the whole loop, but the mounting screws I recieved with the radiator are too short to go though the top of the case, grill, fans and still have enough grip on the radiator. I'll have to make a run to the shops tomorrow morning.
    [​IMG]

    And there we have it.
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    Oh noes! The side panel slips in behind the vertical aluminium column on the front. Unfortunately, some paint came off when I took it out again. Because it sits behind the column I'm not going to worry too much about it. I will be giving it a few more days to dry before I try fitting the side again though.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 31 Dec 2007
  6. Krelldog

    Krelldog New Member

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    Armed with a packet of bolts I started to mount the radiator.
    [​IMG]
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    Of course what I didn't expect was for the holes to be out of alignment. So I drilled out the ones in the case a bit.
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    To then realise that the Radgrill was the culprit :O
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    So I drilled it out a bit as well
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    After cutting some screws down to appropriate size (I couldn't find them in the right length)
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    I finally had the radiator mounted
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    [​IMG]
     
  7. sheninat0r

    sheninat0r What's a Dremel?

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    Nice work, I like what you did with the top part of the Stacker front thingy...
     
  8. Krelldog

    Krelldog New Member

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    Naked GFX card :eek:
    [​IMG]

    Shiny
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    I'd read online that the adhesive on the Swiftech ramsinks wasn't very good. This is correct. I used the recommended method of a dab of glue in each corner (in my case, Araldite). The sinks still come off fairly easily, as I found out when I accidently bumped one.
    [​IMG]

    The back done.
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    It doesn't fit!
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    The engineers at Krelldog Labs work their magic yet again.
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    In my eagerness to finish I forgot to take any photos of the CPU heatsink installation!

    Motherboard and GFX card in place.
    [​IMG]

    The internet is made of tubes too, you know.
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    In order to run only the pump I had to jump start the PSU.
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    After a bit of mucking around the loop was finally filled.
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    While I ran some leak testing I inspected my carefully planned cable routing measures. Which I clearly didn't plan carefully enough.
    Epic fail.
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    The cables aren't quite long enough :waah:
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    Install the front access panel.
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    And the drives
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    Fun with cable management!
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    Front view, finished.
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    The glass shop was open today, so I got dad to pick up a sheet of perspex while he was doing a few errands of his own.
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    Credit for window installation goes to dad as well. He brought the sheet of acrylic in and had it installed before I knew what was going on!
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    Top notch job.
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    Now we wait for the silicon to dry.
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    A big thanks to Wimmera Glass Works, who by giving the perspex to dad for free have inadvertantly sponsored my project :p
    The benefit of having a builder in the family who does a lot of business with convenient suppliers :D


    Leak testing was run for about 18 hours, and I was impatient. So I moved the PC to the house, plugged it all in and crossed my fingers. It worked! Though the BIOS had completely reset, and windows demanded to be reactivated. Don't know why I bother with legal software :rolleyes:

    This morning, with the silicon dry, I put on the side panel and took a few pictures.
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    As you many be able to tell from the skewed timeframe, the work in the last couple of posts was done over the last couple of days.

    The majority of the work has been completed just in time, as I'm heading back to Melbourne this afternoon. I still have some smaller bits and pieces I want to do before I call this mod complete, but I have a fully functional PC until then.
    The fans I used on the radiator are the stock CM ones that came with the case. The bearings in one have all but given up already, so I unplugged it to shut it up. So a trio of decent fans, probably Scythe or Noctua are in order, along with a fan controller to keep them in check.
    I'm thinking if running a control rod through the bottom faceplate to the pump, so I can control that on the fly as well.
    And of course, no window mod would be complete without lighting, so I'll have to try out a few combinations for a nice effect.


    23.5kg of Performance :O
    I didn't do a massive amount of testing on stock, but I've been running this system for nearly two years now and I know it didn't handle the heat all that well.
    With the CPU under full load Core Temp would read 62/66 degrees on the two cores. I did some idle temp checks with NVMon before the mod, with the following results:

    stock idle
    cpu:36
    system:38
    gpu:59
    ambient:27.5

    The new temps: (running 2/3 fans, both@5V)

    wc.idle
    cpu:33
    system:38
    gpu:34
    ambient:25
    Very nice change for the GFX, not quite so much the CPU.

    But under CPU load:

    wc.cpu.load
    cpu:43
    system:40
    gpu:38
    ambient:24
    core temp:45/49

    Not bad.
    I'll be spending the next couple of weeks benching and overclocking, and I'll keep this thread updated with the results. I'm sure with some decent fans I'll be able to achieve some excellent results; I know this system has some headroom but high temps always kept me away from anything permanent. Of course, with summer really kicking in it may be all I need to keep my system cool enough!


    Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back in the near future for the finishing touches and some OC results!
     
  9. Guest-23315

    Guest-23315 Guest

    Looks nice!
     
  10. Thacrudd

    Thacrudd Where's the any key?!?

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    Good job! That's a great turnout for those GPU temps. I can dig it.
     
  11. dimebar

    dimebar New Member

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    looks great goood job!:thumb:

    what is the fan / pump noise really like?

    i am just about to fit a PA120.3 in the top of my stacker sto1, and like the idear of modding the silver top thingy the way you did! :dremel:

    but i may just move the rad back so it sticks out the rear of the cas eby 5-10mm, and have the fan grill, just under the rear of the silver thingy!

    will post pics!:hip:
     
  12. Minifly3

    Minifly3 New Member

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    Looks Nice, I'd paint the floppy & Cd Drive front plates tho or see if you can find some black ones.
     
  13. Krelldog

    Krelldog New Member

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    Thanks guys :)

    dimebar: The fan noise is as loud as you make them. I'm currently running the stock CM fans on the radiator, as the supplier I ordered fans from just went insolvent :eeek:
    The pump is about the same volume as my hard drives spinning, only a lower pitch. I have 2x 320G 7200RPM SATA II drives in the system.
    The noise level over all is noticable, but unless you try and sleep right next to the case fairly unintruding.

    Minifly3: I had intended to paint the drives black, but somewhere along the line I forgot about them :sigh: . It's on my list of things to do :)
     
  14. Krelldog

    Krelldog New Member

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    Faceplates get the treatment
    [​IMG]

    And there was much rejoicing
    [​IMG]
     
  15. sheninat0r

    sheninat0r What's a Dremel?

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    *rejoices*

    :D

    Very nice job overall Krell, congrats!
     

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