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 Post subject: mATX i7 watercooled Lian Li PC-A05
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:58 pm 
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Location: Oregon, United States
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! 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!

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 it all, let me know, and I will try to clarify!

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Last edited by Asulc on Sat Apr 04, 2009 2:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:10 pm 
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1) Do my component choices look good and compatible?

Yes but the radiators for your 2 loops may not fit inside the Lian Li PC-A03

2) What size and brand radiator would I need to cool the i7?

At least a 240. Feser would be an ideal low airflow, low noise choice

3) What size and brand radiator would I need to cool a single GTX 285?

Feser 240

4) What size and brand radiator would I need to cool dual GTX 285s?

Feser 360

5) What blocks would be good to use on the i7 and the 285(s)?

i7 : EK Supreme, EK Supreme LT, DTek FuZion V.2 or Swiftech Apogee GTZ

285 : Danger Den DD-GTX285, EK (either EK-FC285 GTX SLI or VGA-Supreme) or Swiftech FuZion GFX 2

6) As I have never watercooled before, what do I need for each loop?

Waterblock, Pump, Radiator + Fans, Reservoir, Tubing, Barbs, Clamps and Coolant

BTW, you'll get a lot more suggestions and recommendations if you post it at XS Forums.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:25 pm 
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Location: Oregon, United States
Thank you for the quick reply! Regarding the radiators... are their any low airflow radiators that are thinner?

I would have already posted this on XS, but for some reason their website is not loading for me today... I will keep trying though!

How does this look for a layout? I changed the Power supply to a Silverstone 600 watt, fully modular (Would add a different fan)

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:29 pm 
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Asulc wrote:
Thank you for the quick reply! Regarding the radiators... are their any low airflow radiators that are thinner?

I would have already posted this on XS, but for some reason their website is not loading for me today... I will keep trying though!

How does this look for a layout? I changed the Power supply to a Silverstone 600 watt, fully modular (Would add a different fan)

Image


Yes. XS seems to be down for the past couple of days.

I wouldn't recommend stacking the radiators as one of them is going to get all the heat from the other and you'll see a rather poor thermal performance on that loop.

Black Ice GT Stealth is perhaps one of the thinnest radiator available but the fins are denser and you'll need a higher speed fan (1200rpm or higher) to allow for efficient dissipation of the heat from it.

I've tried a lot of radiators (Black Ice, Thermochill, Swiftech and XSPC) and the best one IMO is the Feser. Excellent workmanship and works great with low-speed fan (800rpm).

Regarding the power supply, I would highly recommend an Antec Signature (650W if you're running a single GTX 285 or 850W if you're running 2). It is made by Delta and is the best performing psu (in terms of electrical stability) in the market right now and is very silent if you don't push the power consumption beyond 60 % of the rated power.

Check out the review by OklahomaWolf @ JonnyGURU (IMO one of the best reviewer sites for PSUs) :

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?na ... y&reid=101

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:15 pm 
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@elpibe10: Do you know/think it's possible to cool a GTX285 (eVGA SC) with one 120mm Feser using two fans in push/pull(ie Noctua or Scythe low RPM)?

@Asulc: Nice choice of components. I have the same CPU and GPU (SC) and I'm trying to find a way to water cool everything quietly in my Lian Li PC-60FW. From what I've read (still new to WC), it seems that the Feser 360 would be best for your single loop (CPU & GPU). The i7s are hot chips. If I remember correctly they're putting out about 130W of heat. From my research in the last day or so, using a Swiftech MCP350 (quietest I've seen), you're looking at about 150W for a CPU loop alone; more if you overclock. It might be possible to cool it with a single 120mm rad with a good push/pull combo of fans, but you may be cutting it close.

The GTX285 should be around 150W and 280W in SLI. I'm trying to find out if it's possible to cool one GTX285 with a single Feser 120mm rad quietly, but still waiting on answers. I know that a 120mm can work on one GTX285 from some reviews of the newly released W/C GTX285s (ie BFG with a DD FC WB). But they were using "high flow" fans, which seems counter productive to me as I'm looking for silence.

Try this http://www.over-clock.co.uk/ivb/index.php?showtopic=20277 and see if you can pull any more information out of it. Their Rad performances are based on the Thermochill Rads, which the Feser has dethroned. So it may be possible. Also be on the look out for the Swiftech stackable rads if you're willing to sacrifice noise for space. Feser can run low RPM fans; I believe that Swiftechs require at least medium RPM fans.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:06 pm 
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thatguyX wrote:
@elpibe10: Do you know/think it's possible to cool a GTX285 (eVGA SC) with one 120mm Feser using two fans in push/pull(ie Noctua or Scythe low RPM)?


Yes you can but the load temp won't be nice. I'd recommend a 2x120mm radiator for the job.

The problem isn't just with the airflow, another important aspect is the surface area where heat is able to be dissipated.

A GTX 285 does generate quite a lot of heat on load (mine shows 85 deg C on stock hsf [room ambient 24 deg C] when running Furmark on extended period).

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Asus P7P55D | i7-860 w/ Noctua NH-U12P SE 2 | Sapphire 5670 512MB w/ Thermalright HR-03 Rev. A Passive | Auzen X-Meridian 7.1 --> Krell KAV-400xi --> Chario Constellation Cygnus | 2 x 2GB Kingston DDR3-1600 CL8 | Crucial M225 128GB SSD & WD AV-GP 1TB | FSP Zen 400W 80Plus Bronze | WiNDy ALCADIA ZR2000 SSV

Welcome to my WiNDy House of Soldam | http://www.freewebs.com/elpibe10/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 9:09 pm
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Location: Edison, NJ
Any idea what it may be at load? I believe the GTX should be fine up to 100C (not that anyone would want it there). Can I do this quietly and safely without ruining a new graphics card?

Currently the highest I've seen my GPU temp was at 80C playing CoD:WaW (max settings at 1900x1200). That temp was measured using the evga tool which puts the some info in the corner of the screen.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 9:09 pm
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Location: Edison, NJ
pulled the trigger on the new Swiftech RX120 supposedly optimized for lowspeed fans. You may want to look at their other 240 and 360 if you want to keep everything quiet and cool all those hot components.

I'll let you know how it goes in a week or so when I get everything together. The gtx 285 has a TDP of 183W, so hopefully I can keep the loop in a temp that won't fry my pump (60C).

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 Post subject: Change of Components means Change in Cooling?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:03 am 
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Location: Oregon, United States
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. Therefore, 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
Image

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

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 8:58 pm 
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1) I think you'd be better off with the Thermalright HR-01 with a 120mm pushing out of the case and a dedicated loop for those GTX 285s.
2) With 3x1000RPM fans, I think you should be within in the range of fairly quiet... silent not really, but pretty close. Considering if it's only a GPU loop, you could actually go sub-1000RPM
3) As for the power supply, I couldn't really tell you for sure. I think they want about 750W power supply for SLI, last I checked, but the 650 should do it.

If you can manage a way to get all the tubing AND wiring in there neatly it should be quite a feat. Will your Thermalright be able to get enough air flow? Also, I'd be worried about how close the fans/rad would be to the GTXs and still be able to have tubing running maybe if you use some 90* elbows on the top GTX. The GTXs should put out about 300W which is within the 1000RPM range for a good 120.3 Rad. If I can make a suggestion, take a look at the XSPC RX320, which according to http://www.skinneelabs.com/Radiators/Triples.html is just a little better suited for low ran configs AND is also cheaper (~$45) than the famed Feser.

This looks like a hell of a build for such a small case. If you don't mind could you take pictures are you chop it up? I'm planning to add a 360 Rad later and just wanted to see progress pictures of how it all goes so I have something to compare to.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:04 pm 
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thatguyX wrote:
1) I think you'd be better off with the Thermalright HR-01 with a 120mm pushing out of the case and a dedicated loop for those GTX 285s.
2) With 3x1000RPM fans, I think you should be within in the range of fairly quiet... silent not really, but pretty close. Considering if it's only a GPU loop, you could actually go sub-1000RPM
3) As for the power supply, I couldn't really tell you for sure. I think they want about 750W power supply for SLI, last I checked, but the 650 should do it.

Good. That makes it easier for me. I would like a second opinion on what power supply I should use. I am interested in the Silverstone Strider series, as they are fully modular, making the wiring a little easier.

thatguyX wrote:
If you can manage a way to get all the tubing AND wiring in there neatly it should be quite a feat. Will your Thermalright be able to get enough air flow? Also, I'd be worried about how close the fans/rad would be to the GTXs and still be able to have tubing running maybe if you use some 90* elbows on the top GTX. The GTXs should put out about 300W which is within the 1000RPM range for a good 120.3 Rad. If I can make a suggestion, take a look at the XSPC RX320, which according to http://www.skinneelabs.com/Radiators/Triples.html is just a little better suited for low ran configs AND is also cheaper (~$45) than the famed Feser.

I do believe that the Thermalright will get enough airflow. The case would be set up in positive pressure, the three radiator fans pulling in cool air and a 120mm fan exhausting it out the back (not counting the power supply fan). I will look into the XSPC Radiators as well. Thank you for the link.

thatguyX wrote:
This looks like a hell of a build for such a small case. If you don't mind could you take pictures are you chop it up? I'm planning to add a 360 Rad later and just wanted to see progress pictures of how it all goes so I have something to compare to.

When I do build this computer it will be this summer, so don't get to excited now. But I will be sure to make a log of the project on this website, as well as a few others that I browse regularly. Thank you for your interest and your help!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 8:10 am 
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Well I got the GPU loop up and running yesterday. GPU is idles around 37C as opposed to the 45 it was on the stock cooler. System temp and CPU temps went up a few degrees, which is understandable because the intake now has a rad heating up incoming air. Asulc, if you're going to be doing WC in that small case, try to optimize your air flow or add another rad (internally if you can fit it or externally, if you're going to cool a CPU and 2GPUs.

I'm working on trying to get the temps in an acceptable range (they are stable so far, no real stress testing just a few hour gaming sessions) and keep the noise down. There's a significan't improvement over the stock GPU cooler noise. New problems now are Zalman CNPS 9900 feels louder and harddrive placement took out the harddrive cage to mount the rad. I should just replace the Zalman 9900 with a Noctua, but I may decide to add a 240 or 320 rad and just WC that too.

Currently GPU/CPU/SYS at idle is 41/47/46C before on idle it would be 46/38/40C, however I went from 2 intake fans to 1, which can explain some of the rise in CPU/SYS. So far at "load" i've seen 52/58/46

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 9:09 pm
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Location: Edison, NJ
@asulc: hey, I was browsing some other forums and I thought this might help you would with your planning and fitment for you stuff

http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=103 ... tcount=591
http://www.xtremesystems.org/Forums/sho ... tcount=590
http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/sho ... tcount=589

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