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Fully Watercooled NZXT Phantom Finally Complete

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Old 05-07-11, 10:07 AM Thread Starter   #1
Dooms101
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Fully Watercooled NZXT Phantom Finally Complete


I posted in another section about the beginning of my water cooling adventure in the NZXT Phantom but I think this section is more fitting. I started the build roughly a month ago and I have progressively added more and more to it. The goal of the build was to make a very clean, unique build that would last me a while and would be of professional quality. Every step of the build went smooth as silk and turned out far better than I ever expected. The coolest part about it is comparing it to some of my first modded builds. I've built 25+ computers for myself, friends, and family and each time I do one I gain a little more experience and refine my skill more. This build has definitely earned me far more experience than any other and I think of it as my first finished build.

If you followed the log for adding the 120.3 up top then you'll notice I've moved the res, remounted the pump, modded the drive area, and added a 120.2 rad with push/pull in the bottom.

Here's the hardware installed:
  • AMD PhenomII 1090T @ 4.2Ghz (248 x 17) 1.47v
  • ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO/USB3
  • 2x 2GB Kingston HyperX Blu @ 1653Mhz (9-9-9-26-1T) 1.66v
  • HIS AMD Radeon HD6870 @ stock
  • Thermaltake Tough Power XT 750w modular
  • OCZ Vertex 2 (34nm) 60GB + Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB

And here's the cooling equipment:
  • Swiftech MCP355 + Petra top
  • EK CoolStream XT (240) rad
  • Swiftech MCR320-QP rad
  • 3x Yate Loon High's on triple rad
  • 4x CoolerMaster R4's on doubl rad push/pull
  • Enzotech Sapphire Rev.A lapped cpu block
  • Enzotech SNBW Rev.A nb block
  • Enzotech VGA-IB gpu block
  • 5.25 bay mounted cylinder res
  • 7/16" UV blue Primochill Pro LRT tubing

I will post final pics as soon as I upload them, but you can tell how it look pretty much already by the pics below.

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Old 05-07-11, 10:12 AM   #2
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It has to be said...

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Old 05-07-11, 10:34 AM Thread Starter   #3
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Heres a log of mounting the 120.2 rad in the bottom, modding the drive area, and finishing up the build:


Got the two HDD racks out


I used the smaller removable HDD rack that holds three drives and cut it to hold only 2 so it clears the top fans on the bottom rad.


Got the fans all mounted up to the rad. The EK rad comes with M3.5 screw mounts for some reason, so I retapped them to 6-32 so I could use some 1/4" black machine screws. The grills are attached with black fan screws. The fans and rad together are really thick lol


This is how the pump will be mounted, that way the its not taking up space in the drive bays and its easier to access.




I came up with a clever way to mount the HDD rack using anti-vibration grommets from the tooless HDD sleds with a 1/2" 6-32 black machine screw pushed through it.


The bottom of the 5.25 bays has 4 1/4in holes in it and the grommets pushed into perfectly, I then pushed the machine screws through and screwed them into the HDD rack. Of course, I had already drilled and tapped the mounting holes on the top of the HDD rack beforehand.


Came out perfectly The F3 HDD makes a ton of vibration that the stock anti-vibration sleds don't prevent well enough, but now the drive is silent.


The angled aluminum pump mount also has an anti-vibration foam mount and the pump is completely silent as well. I also took a few minutes and sleeved the pump, it looks much better mounted there now.


Now begins the task of making the rad mounts. I could have made it easier for myself and just drilled holes in the case and mounted the rad directly to the floor, but I wanted to make this case perfect and I made mounts out of 3/4" aluminum square tube. I also wanted the rad raised up off the floor a little so it has more room to breathe and the tubing does that very well. I made 2x 7/64" holes in each square tube piece on one side for a fan screw to secure the tube piece to the fan and then drilled an 1/8" on the other side to insert a screw driver to screw it in.


After I mounted the tube pieces to the rad, I held it up to the case and marked where some of the vent holes lined up so I didn't have to drill into the case. I then used some self tapping black screws and secured the rad to the case. It is mounted very secure and looks awesome


Here you can see how little clearance I was working with. The rad really looks amazing in there and really completes the rest of the build. Before the mod, there was just a bunch of empty space not being utilized, now problem solved.


The HDD's also get a bunch of cool air xD


Sorry if the pics are crappy, but you can make out how the tubing was rerouted. I also bent a piece of acrylic, cut it to size, and painted one side black and mounted it over my PSU.






Cathodes on


Cathodes off









Hope you guys enjoyed my build, it took a lot of planning and a lot of hard work but it was well worth it. In a few hours I'll post better pics with my good camera of every angle in the first post so you can see how good this thing really looks

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Old 05-07-11, 12:36 PM   #4
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I would for sure open the holes on the bottom of the case. All your getting is mainly case air being pulled into the radiator, very little cool room air. I'd also consider making a gasket to get only room air into the rad. I'd also lift the case up at least 1/2 to 1" from the floor. Then the rad can get the air it deserves.

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Old 05-07-11, 12:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conumdrum View Post
I would for sure open the holes on the bottom of the case. All your getting is mainly case air being pulled into the radiator, very little cool room air. I'd also consider making a gasket to get only room air into the rad. I'd also lift the case up at least 1/2 to 1" from the floor. Then the rad can get the air it deserves.
This is exactly what I was going to post. Air takes the path of least resistance, so it will just circulate the warm air inside your case. Open up the bottom and duct it.

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Old 05-07-11, 03:11 PM Thread Starter   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thideras View Post
This is exactly what I was going to post. Air takes the path of least resistance, so it will just circulate the warm air inside your case. Open up the bottom and duct it.
It really doesn't recirculate as much as you'd think and my case has 3 giant vents that keep the inside air temp equal to the outside. I've stuck a temp probe in various spots to see the difference to the outside and its always the same except right next to the mobo surface. The front intake and the two side vents do a great job of feeding it air.

One thing I have noticed that is that the temps have not improved much, maybe 1 or 2c (I was expecting maybe 3 or 4). I am going to assume that this is from the cooling power of the rad being canceled out by the added flow resistance. Any ideas?

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Old 05-08-11, 04:13 PM   #7
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Ambient temps are a major player In water cooling(was the room temps the same before and after the 2nd rad upgrade?) idle temps never really change much when adding a 2nd rad to a loop, not unless you were using a 120mm rad to cool everything lol.
The question is is it better under full load?(looped benches or a 3-4 hr gaming session)
The more blocks and rads you add to a single loop the more restrictive it can be and cause a performance hit as well.
BTW Great build nice mods on the rad and pump mount as well, my old rad looks good sitting in there
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Old 05-08-11, 10:08 PM Thread Starter   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B-Shot View Post
Ambient temps are a major player In water cooling(was the room temps the same before and after the 2nd rad upgrade?) idle temps never really change much when adding a 2nd rad to a loop, not unless you were using a 120mm rad to cool everything lol.
The question is is it better under full load?(looped benches or a 3-4 hr gaming session)
The more blocks and rads you add to a single loop the more restrictive it can be and cause a performance hit as well.
BTW Great build nice mods on the rad and pump mount as well, my old rad looks good sitting in there
I've done some more testing and it was just the ambient temps lol My ambients have increased 2 - 4C since I last measured temps. My idle temps are maybe 1 or 2C lower and load temps are a good 5C lower for CPU and 7C lower for GPU. All around, I'd say this was a great upgrade. Awesome to see you joined OCF B-Shot thanks for the great deal on the rad, it now has a new loving home xD

I still have an itch to mod even more, I want to sleeve my PSU with some new sleeving they have on performance-pcs.com, it's normally white but when exposed to UV turns blue. It would go perfectly with my color scheme. Anyone know how many feet an average PSU uses? I don't want to buy the wrong amount...

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Old 05-08-11, 10:38 PM   #9
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Just shoot them an email and give the model# of your PSU, they have a cheat sheet for wire lengths for the most common PSU's. Or you can measure one wire on the 24pin power connector add 2in and multiply it by 24, measure one wire 6pin pcie connector and add 2in and multiply it by 6 and so on with the other wires you want to sleeve. 2in min of heatshrink per wire as well.
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Old 05-11-11, 10:00 PM   #10
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I have to say, you did an awesome job! I am currently runninga single 240 at the top of my Phantom just cooling my CPU, however after seeing this, I want to do something quite similar within the next month and get my vid cards under water

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Old 02-21-12, 11:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majicplicity View Post
I have to say, you did an awesome job! I am currently runninga single 240 at the top of my Phantom just cooling my CPU, however after seeing this, I want to do something quite similar within the next month and get my vid cards under water
hi man!
so....
in my build I have the
magicool

a
323x146x29mm
radiator, so the thikness is less tha 3 cm

It cud be more as it is inside...

by the way, a finnish girl left me tonight after nice dancing and kisses, it cud be 2 meters I wouldn't care..

good luck with the right one,

I talk about ladies not radiators


anyway, my radiator I think it is this one


http://www.aquatuning.de/product_inf...-Radiator.html
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Old 02-26-12, 03:50 PM   #12
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love this idea
i recently built my rig and my next move is to watercool it as im accumulating money
i was just thinking, would i need the double rad under the hdd bays done on both sides, thats the only thing i would change, as i am soon to also buy a second ssd and raid them and be even faster, and the little mounts under that rad, would you reccommend them being that large, as i know youll need more airflow than the little vents underneath, but im pushed for space

i was also thinking of having a dual loop, with either a single 120 rad or a dual 120 or 140 above on the top fans for the ram and eventually the gpu, although i may wait and get a 6990 or even a 7000 series amd card, as i will be able to get the direct waterblocks... sound good? haha

my build currently is an i7 2600k @ 4.31ghz on stock cooling, 8gb of dominator ram, a sapphire 6950 2gb dirt 3 edition, an asus sabertooth p67, a thousand watt ocz psu with a vertex 60gb ssd and a 1tb hdd
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Old 03-04-12, 12:32 AM   #13
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hi I'm not sure to understand your question.

but...

I suggest the radiator on the top as the heat that goes up, if you put it under the hdd the heat will go through the whole case, and the heat it's the same that comes form the gpu/cpu. you will have the same heat not less not more
and put good fans on the radiator before you buy another, maybe first try 2 pair of fans before putting another radiator.


second, I don't suggest watercool even if I have it, unless you like to take care to your machine like you take care on a turtle that you have in a aquarium. If you like it just to work, or you like to play and not loosing time on cleaning putting everything carefully together, go with a good aircool. maybe spend 100$ more with graphiccards that have a silence aircooling system.


third I have a western digital hdd with 2 terabytes bought at 210$ that transfers at about 90 mb/sec, and a ssd that has 180 gb of space, a speed of 170mb/sec bought at 180$. For 200 $ I would ever and always buy a hdd and never again a ssd. The caviar black is fast and big, the ssd speeds up the start by 20-25 seconds and the installing of programs.
I'm now installing programs on the hdd as the ssd is full. I suggest take the 3 tb fastest hdd on the market, take 2-3 of them if you enjoy big space , and listen to a song while installing games if you get bored. ssd is not a good buy for me. yes things start a bit faster..... and then?

forth
about new gpu... I would wait that new nvidia come out, and then wait that the prices levels.
I was quite shure to buy a 7990 when it come out.... then I'm changing my mind. I play crysis2 more than every other game I have installed, and want to add 2 screens.
As crysis2 runs better with nvidia I might change brand.
In this moment I have 2 6870 I play everything at maximum or almost, unless bf3 where I'm playing on high and not extreme. These 2 cards you find them for 170$ each. so for 340 you get good hd graphics. I talk about 80-120 fps and not less.
Anyway don't buy 6000 cards because the 7xxx cards have a better tesselation. Or buy 6xxx cards if you get such good performance as the 7xxx for a better price. Note. with this 6870 I have microstuttering, it's not much I can't notice it unless I play at very high graphic level and I move fast. I don't know where is the bottleneck, maybe on new games the memory, that by my cards is "just" 1 gb.


fifth
once you have the money, count it. Do you have 800$? Remember with that money you can do ALOT of nice things better than spend them on your pc.
For that money you can do one week holiday all inclusive on a paradiasiac beach and eat like a pork the best food. Wich is very nice. But you can do alot of other things, you can do courses of every kind and learn interesting things.

just think about it. Don't get drunk for 800$ unless you achieve something else
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Old 06-17-12, 05:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qiplayer View Post
hi I'm not sure to understand your question.

but...

I suggest the radiator on the top as the heat that goes up, if you put it under the hdd the heat will go through the whole case, and the heat it's the same that comes form the gpu/cpu. you will have the same heat not less not more
and put good fans on the radiator before you buy another, maybe first try 2 pair of fans before putting another radiator.


second, I don't suggest watercool even if I have it, unless you like to take care to your machine like you take care on a turtle that you have in a aquarium. If you like it just to work, or you like to play and not loosing time on cleaning putting everything carefully together, go with a good aircool. maybe spend 100$ more with graphiccards that have a silence aircooling system.


third I have a western digital hdd with 2 terabytes bought at 210$ that transfers at about 90 mb/sec, and a ssd that has 180 gb of space, a speed of 170mb/sec bought at 180$. For 200 $ I would ever and always buy a hdd and never again a ssd. The caviar black is fast and big, the ssd speeds up the start by 20-25 seconds and the installing of programs.
I'm now installing programs on the hdd as the ssd is full. I suggest take the 3 tb fastest hdd on the market, take 2-3 of them if you enjoy big space , and listen to a song while installing games if you get bored. ssd is not a good buy for me. yes things start a bit faster..... and then?

forth
about new gpu... I would wait that new nvidia come out, and then wait that the prices levels.
I was quite shure to buy a 7990 when it come out.... then I'm changing my mind. I play crysis2 more than every other game I have installed, and want to add 2 screens.
As crysis2 runs better with nvidia I might change brand.
In this moment I have 2 6870 I play everything at maximum or almost, unless bf3 where I'm playing on high and not extreme. These 2 cards you find them for 170$ each. so for 340 you get good hd graphics. I talk about 80-120 fps and not less.
Anyway don't buy 6000 cards because the 7xxx cards have a better tesselation. Or buy 6xxx cards if you get such good performance as the 7xxx for a better price. Note. with this 6870 I have microstuttering, it's not much I can't notice it unless I play at very high graphic level and I move fast. I don't know where is the bottleneck, maybe on new games the memory, that by my cards is "just" 1 gb.


fifth
once you have the money, count it. Do you have 800$? Remember with that money you can do ALOT of nice things better than spend them on your pc.
For that money you can do one week holiday all inclusive on a paradiasiac beach and eat like a pork the best food. Wich is very nice. But you can do alot of other things, you can do courses of every kind and learn interesting things.

just think about it. Don't get drunk for 800$ unless you achieve something else
yeah dw i was looking at that and getting confused haha!

im gonna set a 240 down there and then maybe a rad up top (if needed, as i dont really love the rad there)

was just wondering if the whole idea of a rad here is the greatest

and yeah i do spend a lot of time and money on my pc as i absoloutely love it!
Gotta get a new card at some point if i want that cooled as well, but not sure on that one

just wondering if the whole idea is a good one and whether i should get a rx240 or a slim version as of the space

the only thing bothering me is airflow as i have 3 high speed fans in the slots by the hdd racks
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Old 06-17-12, 06:05 AM   #15
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I measured, a 420 rad should fit on the top of the case. I for now have a 280mm magiccool rad.
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Old 06-17-12, 06:16 AM   #16
benhiggs
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yeah a rad up top would be good, but i think they look crap when they are hanging down and getting in the way of my windowed panel haha

thats why i like the idea of the rad at the bottom,
Quote:
Here you can see how little clearance I was working with. The rad really looks amazing in there and really completes the rest of the build. Before the mod, there was just a bunch of empty space not being utilized, now problem solved.
just dont know whether to put a fat rad or a slim one in haha
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Old 06-17-12, 06:49 AM   #17
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Check the size of rads+fans and measure if it fits.
The one I have is abouth 3,5 cm thick.
So quite a small one
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Old 06-17-12, 07:28 AM   #18
benhiggs
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yeah man, the ones i looking at are either 3.5 cm or 5.8 cm thick

im verging towards the slimmer one,as its 20 cheaper haha

http://www.watercoolinguk.co.uk/cat/..._brand_17.html

looking at xspc ones anyway so i could find them cheaper elsewhere
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Old 06-17-12, 05:31 PM   #19
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Nice looking Rig! Water ftw!
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