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 Post subject: Gerco's clear watercooled double cased custom case
PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2003 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:21 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Holland
Here are some pics of what is so far the result of my quest for silence 8)
http://www.xs4all.nl/~gercomar/PCcase/done/
when demand, I can post more pics.

Since the case is all clear, I hope these 5 pics dont need much explanation and you can see most of it, but I will tell some about the building process and my reasons for getting to this result.

The idea
When my vapochill died about a year ago I knew I wanted to get a more quieter case but yet with overclocking power. I had some polycarbonate lying around still and since I figured its not a shame to have a quiet case that is also cool and clear I decided to build it from that. Making a custom case from scratch is very hard as some people might know, that is why I decided to simply build a case in a case, so the inside case could hold my PC components, while the outside case could hold the watercooling parts (pumps, radiators and hosing and more). I thought this wouldnt be too hard but in the end it took more time then planned, because it wasnt all that easy, and also because I discovered many more things to improve my case.

hardware setup
AMD XP 2400+ currently running at 2.02 V / 2478 mhz (3000+ I think....)
Asus A7V8X mobo
4 x 200 gig Maxtor plus 9 in RAID 5 (570 gigs space)
Matrox G200 and G550 for my 2 x 22" Iyama CRT screens
Enermax 365 Papst. temp controlled fans, but still fans :)
further 2 x 512 DDR, card reader, floppy, HDD sled, CD player

case setup
The inside is a C3 (clearcomputercase.com) while the outside is 10 -12 mm polycarbonate (known as Lexan, but I had a different brand) This insulates the sound VERY well. I did have to make a front door to access the 5.25 bays as you can see on the pics. Also I had to make many plastic strips to properly guide airflow from one case into the other. Also with clear cases mounting and connecting stuff isnt easy since you can see everything. Mounting all plastic together with tapping thread in all places was a lot of work as well, but works great, now the case is very modular and easy to maintain. Case in casing did make the entire case rather big, it measures 58 (L) x 82 (H) x 34 (W) cm and weighs 85 kg !! If anybody knows a heavier case, let me know :)

watercooling setup.
CPU cooling block currently is an Innovatek Rev 3.0. I have the matching NB and GPU cooler as well. 2 x 12 Cm radiator is an Innovatek as well. The 4 HDD's are cooled with the HDD O matic from same brand. In the case are two Eheim 1048 pumps. I did 2 pumps for more flow and redundancy reasons but later on I found out both reasons are ehh not not so important since those pumps last a lifetime and flow is not that important. Also the vibrating doesnt help to make the case silent. Now I "cheated" and extended the hosing out of the case 2 meters and have a pump wrapped in towels that I do not hear at all. Large radiator on the back is a 50 x 70 cm self made stainless steel passive type. Its made from 3 mm steel and weighs a hefty 35 kg !! It almost makes my case tilt backwards so I have extra supports right under it. But it cools great :)
In normal operation I have one case fan on at 4 V, front or back one. and the PSU fans are always on still.... Without that case fan my case temp goes up to 51 celsius which is more then I like. That is why I am working on DDR cooling to eliminate more of the heat from within the case.
But with that one fan at 4 V and the Enermax 365 with papst fans all encased in my double layer case they are practically inaudible. And that double layer casing also works great to keep the HD noise inside the case. Only when I copy a lot of data or so do I hear a heavy rumbling at a very low Db.

Lighting
Lighting a clear case is also not easy as since with other parts you cant hide anything, so I used Aluminum L bars to mount my 6 CCFLs. the UV I have always on, the red only when I need extra light. Altho for strange reasons I have had two dual inverters break down that I used for only one CCFL. Not sure if they cant handle that or so... Also I have red UV water dye I am very anxious to put in my system, to go with the rest of the red in my case. I think it would also look great in my Tornado reservoir that I have yet to mount again, since its leaking and I have to fix it. Only on OverDose 2003 (Eindhoven, Holland) was it mounted, see http://www.crazycasemod.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=18#18 bottom two pics on this page for my Tornado Reservoir and my case.


Plans.
My current CPU/NB/GPU waterblocks are fairly functional but I have purchased new waterblocks from aquacomputer, they are much more visual and I also hope they perform better. Also connecting the hoses will be easier as the Innovateks have a screw system for 8 mm hosing that I dont use anymore since I use thicker hosing (non bend)
I am currently working on DDR watercooling to eliminate heat from my case so hopefully I can run without any casefans and yet keep my case temp way under 50 degrees. Also I am looking into getting a watercooled PSU, either I buy a Prosilence 420 watt and mount waterblocks on it, or I continue my plan to watercool my Qtec 550. However, watercooling a (heavily loaded!) PSU isnt easy if you consider that not just the coolribs are getting hot, since those are easy to cool with mounting a coolblock on it, but the coils are getting hot as well. In a test setup I registered them getting up to 120 Celsius which I find to hot for comfort to have in my case. Cooling those is hard since you cant simply mount a coolblock on them.
As for lighting, I have some actual RED CCFLs now that I hope to mount soon, the current CCFLs are too pink for my liking :oops: Also I have 8 laser leds that I think I can do nice things with to illuminate the case in nice spots. They are very bright and red. I think I can mount those nicely as well without showing the source of the light, so you stare right into the bright light which isnt proper I would say.

conclusion
As said currently my system is fairly well overclocked, but its also overvolted, which pumps more heat into the processor. But gave me more options to overclock :) So I am pretty happy with it, having both a powerful system and yet very very quiet. Its also very neat that you can SEE all of my PC parts but not really hear it. In contrary to most PC's. As you can see on the pics I also have lighting in the case, UV and red. Initially I thought it was just very neat but I found out its very useful as well, since without the light there is no way to tell if the system is on or not. Somehow my power led does not work, if that could be the only indication.
So overall I am very happy with my system. I estimate it did cost me over 2000 E in watercooling parts / polycarbonate / hardware / small parts but since I work on it about 10 hours a day and I have a company I find it very useful and for the most part deductable :)

I hope this story isnt too long but if you are still reading this then I guess not :)
If you have any questions please let me know, I would be more then happy to share my experiences with others.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2003 3:14 pm
Posts: 204
Location: USA
Wow :shock:

You put much work into that I'm sure! Nice system. Please take more pics if you got them like of the radiator sides back etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:21 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Holland
Thanks :D
Yes I sure did put a lot of work into it, but the silence is worth it :)
I dont have to take too many pics of my system, I already have pics of like everything, I just have to sort out my pics and make nice galleries of them sometime hopefully soon :)

for now I can show you
http://www.xs4all.nl/~gercomar/PCcase/
which shows some pics of my case in progress and also my radiator.
I designed it and my dad is a very good welder.
It has channels on the inside to give the water a long path through the radiator. IN and OUT are on the bottom, but I added an extra outlet at the top to "vent" the radiator in case air gets trapped in it.

Let me know if you have more questions.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 10:04 am
Posts: 327
Location: New Hampshire, USA
Great work and a great write-up!

BTW, a Barton 3200+ only clocks at 2200MHz, so you've got that beat in clock speed!


Scott

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:21 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Holland
Thanks :D
Yes clockspeed maybe, but Bartons have a different formula for comparing to Intel ratings, something with mine has 1.2 and a Barton has 1.5 x actual clockspeed. Somebody who knows exactly, please correct me :roll:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 10, 2003 6:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 1:35 am
Posts: 1283
Location: Sweden, Linkoping
Quote:
Yes clockspeed maybe, but Bartons have a different formula for comparing to Intel ratings, something with mine has 1.2 and a Barton has 1.5 x actual clockspeed. Somebody who knows exactly, please correct me


The number is supposed to give a value that is comparable with pentium chips in performance, so other things than just MHz numbers comes into play. E.g. size of cache, speed of the buss etc.
Also they "round off" the values to some nice even figure, making things even more complex.
Looking at AMD rating numbers for a few processors the PR-rating multiplier sees to be about:
Athlon XP 266MHz bus: 1.20 (based on 1900+ to 2400+)
Barton 333MHz bus: 1.40 (based on 2500+ to 3000+)
Barton 400MHz bus: 1.45 (based on 3200+ only)

Not knowing what bus speed and memory speeds you run at it will be hard to tell what it would be comparable to. I guess you will end up close to 3000+.


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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 1:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 4:45 pm
Posts: 1413
Location: Sydney, Australia
very, very, very nice system Gerco :) i'm almost jealous.

i too would begin the process of going fanless but don't see the point just yet seeing as how i can't hear the radiator fans over the monitor...

as for processor ratings, try using sisoft sandra. the results it reports after a cpu test gives rough performance ratings, my xp2500 @ 2.54ghz gave a performance rating somewhere around 3700 and told me that my cpu model number was around 3600. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 6:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 1:21 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Holland
Thanks :lol: :lol:
I have this case for over a year now and everyday again i am very happy with the silence :)
Altho I am still not finished with this case (who is ever). I will add some more actual red lighting to the case, as my UV water is orange or pink, hardly red... Laser leds can do this job, I have them already. And adding the watercooled PSU and extra passive radiator.

I recently had Iiyama E511s TFTs that made noise as well, now I have dual HP L2335 23" screens that hardly make any noise, normally I dont hear them. Only at dead dead silence when I try hard I can hear them. But considering the image quality and size of them I am very happy with them :)

XP 3700+ certainly is fast ! Mine rated at 3000 I think, so maybe I should also get a barton and go further :) the XP 2800+ also is, correct ?


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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 2:24 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2003 4:45 pm
Posts: 1413
Location: Sydney, Australia
yeh barton's pretty good :) the cpu you want is the xp-m 2500 or xp-m 2600. these overclock to above 2.5ghz on air, getting close to 3.0 on water.

the 2800+ is a barton yep.


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PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2004 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2003 2:38 pm
Posts: 671
Location: California, US
Wow Gerco, that's a crazy Mad Scientist case you have there! I love it! 8)

What's happened to it in the last 6 months? Could you take pictures of anything new?


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