How To Make Your Own Waterblock Mounting Clamp

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Free clamp prolongs the life of a waterblock – Will Maltby

I recently moved from a watercooled socket A system to a brand new socket 939 setup and wanted to keep my existing waterblock (Danger Den RBX). I knew before I even bought my new motherboard that I was going to have to either buy or build my own method of clamping the waterblock to the CPU, since the new motherboard did not have the 4 mounting holes that the Danger Den RBX requires to be mounted.

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Here’s the new motherboard (DFI NF3 Ultra D) and as you can see, the traditional 4 holes are completely absent. Fortunately, there are 2 holes through the motherboard underneath the yellow bracket that I could use and so my mounting device had to depend on these.

In terms of materials, I didn’t have much choice and frankly I was too lazy to go out my way to get anything clever or expensive, like some special plastic or even a small sheet of thickish metal. I also wanted something dead easy to cut and drill, so I simply settled for a good old thick piece of wood:

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Here it is after I cut the required size out. The basic idea of my mounting device was to simply;

  1. Cut a large hole (shown in red) in the piece of wood to put the RBX’s 3 barbs through (Highlighted in red on the waterblock).
  2. Drill 4 holes (shown in green) to line up with the RBX’s mounting holes (Highlighted in green on the waterblock).

  3. Drill 2 holes (shown in blue) to line up with the mounting holes on the motherboard.

After much drilling, hacking and grinding away, I finally ended up with this:

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I had to really carefully measure the distances between all the holes concerned because they absolutely had to be dead squared and centered. The last thing I needed here was to have the water block mounted lop-sided, which would cause an uneven contact of the waterblock on the CPU. I even used a little trigonometry to ensure I got every hole exactly right.

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The next thing was to simply glue in the 4 guiding poles (nails) that would slide into the 4 mounting holes on the RBX. Springs will go around these to provide the pressure as shown below:

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Here we see it with the springs put in place.

The weird amber coloured things are little slices of 3/8″ PVC tubing that I’ve superglued to the white washers to ensure that the springs don’t sit off-centre to the washers. The ends of the springs sit nicely inside the PVC slices and so don’t slip sideways.

Here it is with everything together with the waterblock sitting underneath:

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The two rods at each end are what will be used to actually attach the whole thing onto the motherboard via the two motherboard holes that I mentioned earlier. These two rods are two of four rods that originally came with the RBX waterblock, which normally attach it to a four holed socket A motherboard.

The two rods will actually be first attached onto the new motherboard’s two holes and then my mounting device and waterblock (all held together in one piece) will be slid onto these two rods. After that, the screws simply need to be tightened on the two rods and this will, of course, compress the four springs and provide the mounting force onto the CPU.

And here it is all mounted inside my case with the tubing attached:

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I’m very pleased with the result which turned out to be a dirt cheap (actually completely free), easy, and very good solution to the mounting problem I was faced with.

As a matter of fact, I don’t think there even existed an option to buy a special mount for the RBX waterblock for a socket 939 motherboard. If I didn’t make my own mount, I’d simply have had to buy a completely new waterblock.

Any comments/suggestions, my email is below.

Will Maltby

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