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Advice & Log:Water Cooling a Sabertooth 990fx (rev 1.0) in a Blackhawk mid-ATX

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DJDelusional

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Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Advice & Log:Water Cooling a Sabertooth 990fx (rev 1.0) in a Blackhawk mid-ATX

Updated Images Here


Hey guys. So first real thread post right here. I'll get to the chase.
I'm a film maker. I do video editing.. Wait.. I'm sorry, did I say video editing? I meant a LOT of video editing. I don't have the cash for an Intel, so my system is an AMD build. I will say that right now as I know many will tell me I need an intel. I already know that. Next person who tells me that can BUY me my next intel build. ;-)

So here are the specs on my current build.
MB: Asus Sabertooth 990FX (rev 1.0)
Case: Rosewill BLACKHAWK
GPU: EVGA GTX 670 FTW+
CPU: AMD 6core 3.3ghz... Will get the exact specs once I get home to post it for those who want it. I will eventually upgrade to an 8-core 4.0, and that is the reason for this thread. That CPU will need liquid cooling.
RAM: 16GB, going to upgrade to 32 with either g-skill or corsair depending.

OS is booted off a *newly upgraded* 500GB Samsung EVO SSD. Prior to that the system was on a 120gb ssd and everything else was on a 1TB HDD,
now that whole partition was copied onto a WD 4TB 7200RPM Black HDD. So plenty of disk space and speed, easy upgrade while keeping from having to reinstall everything. (thank goodness)

Fact is, I have been running this build for a while. Works great for what I need. I won't be switching to Intel until I can afford my next build, and that will be once there is another "affordable" MB that has the same potential lifespan as the 990fx that i own now. Until then I am going to push this system until It wont do anymore, and run it until technology moves to the point where I must upgrade again. (Or until i have the $$$ :p )

So here is the important part. I am upgrading to liquid cooling for a few reasons. One is to OC this baby to improve my render times. For now I am doing CPU only, but eventually I will also add my GPU to the mix. The other reason is to cleanup my system's internals. I hate how my system is currently setup. I will upload some pictures for you to cringe at in the attachments.
The third reason (and maybe one of the biggest) is because I have always wanted to do a liquid cooling setup. I see those awesome cases online and I start to make a puddle of drool on my desk. :eek:
With constant render's that go on for hours it always makes me a little nervous to have my CPU running at 99% at night while I sleep. Never had a heating issue before, but I don't want to start now. So I finally decided the other day to go ahead and build it. I will say more about what I chose to get in a minute.

First, here is a list of things I know I need to do.

1. Clean my room. ;-)
2. Take everything out of my machine and clean it. Dust has collected for a while and it shows.
3. Redo my cable management. Sadly The PSU I am running does not have modular connections (it has been in 3 different builds and worked amazingly. its like a 850W unit, so plenty of power for what I am running right now.) Eventually I will get a new PSU, but for now this one is what I am stuck with.
4. Mount the new LC hardware and add my lighting to the case.

My biggest problem at the moment (besides #1) is #2 and 3. Firstly I have no idea what the best option is to get rid of the dust to make my system look all new and fresh.
Dust has been coated on there for a bit, and I want to get it off and keep it off. Any suggestions there would be greatly appreciated as well as anything else anyone wants to add. Anyone with experience in cable management in this small mid-size ATX case who wants to help me out would be appreciated as well.

Alright finally I will say what parts are already on the way. (These parts should be enough to do the initial liquid cooling setup, at least for a trial run.)

From the reading I have done, the best option that didn't seem too overwhelming was to get the XSPC Raystorm 750 EX240 Universal CPU Water Cooling Kit everyone said that the block is one of the best out there. For a single loop cooling setup I heard that the res that comes with it is perfectly fine for what I need, and the kit comes with all the parts to get it setup. So in a moment of ecstasy i bought it with the following modifications:

Cable Sleeve Color: Red UV Reactive
Heatshrink Color: Red
Tubing Color: XSPC High Flex 7/16 x 5/8 - UV Red/Orange (which is semi-transparent)

These are all things I am happy with, as my final mod is planned to be red themed. Yes I know, the LED's that come with it are blue. I am planning on doing a blue/red setup. I also bought the RED led's that fit in the CPU block just in case i really hate the blue. ;-)

Here is where things start to get really dumb. I should have posted here before i clicked that buy button. I read some more and was told that the pre-mixed/dye solutions not only aren't as good as distilled, they also can clog up the system. But did I think about that when I was ordering the set? nope.
So I ended up buying the EK Ekoolant - 1L Blood Red solution. I feel dumb for that, but its done now. We will see what becomes of it. For now, I am stuck with it and with almost no more cash to buy anything else. I will make do for now unless anyone has a decent solution buy the time my parts get here.

I also got some lighting parts. I got a Logisys 12" Inverterless True-Color CCFL Light Bar (in red) and got the rocker switch setup with it as well. I probably could have rigged something up from parts at radioshack, but yeah... hindsight is always 20-20. -.-

So, what do you guys think? My main concern is that the rad won't fit inside the top of my case, but I am not sure as I have never done this before. Any suggestions/tips you guys can come up with would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully I didn't do anything too stupid.

I will update this thread as the build continues.
I await the flood of responses.

Thanks for your guys's tips and support in advance. :clap:

- Alexander G. Swensen
 

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ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Don't mess with a closed loop cooler, grab yourself an NH-D14, push to ~4.4GHz and you'll chug right through some videos :)
 
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DJDelusional

DJDelusional

Registered
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Mar 18, 2014
Don't mess with a closed loop cooler, grab yourself an NH-D14, push to ~4.4GHz and you'll chug right through some videos :)

Not messing with the closed loops. I have read too much on those and they aren't worth it. Trying clean up my case, increase airflow, and add bling. Hence why I am getting the XSPC Raystorm 750 EX240 :)
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Not messing with the closed loops. I have read too much on those and they aren't worth it. Trying clean up my case, increase airflow, and add bling. Hence why I am getting the XSPC Raystorm 750 EX240 :)

Sorry, didn't read quite all of that :p

But, truthfully, unless you're pushing for over 4.4GHz or more then the NH-D14 will do all you need for way cheaper and quieter than that kit can do.

Edit: I thought you were asking for help, not posting a build log since the title was "Advice:". Whoops!
 
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DJDelusional

DJDelusional

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Sorry, didn't read quite all of that :p

But, truthfully, unless you're pushing for over 4.4GHz or more then the NH-D14 will do all you need for way cheaper and quieter than that kit can do.

Lol, well I totally get that. The tower i have on there currently is in that same category. Truth be told though, I am pushing for over 4.4 ghz in the long run. Hence why I am building up the system now. If you would read the whole post you would see my logic. ;)

You would also notice I already bought a lot of the parts... so I already have one foot in the grave, so to speak.

Edit: I thought you were asking for help, not posting a build log since the title was "Advice:". Whoops!

Changed the Title to make it a bit more descriptive. ;) Yes I am looking for help, just doing it in a very detailed manner and looking for outside input. I have already decided to go liquid cooling at this point though. :)
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Well, first thing first, if you're pushing for every MHz or GHz then drop the dyed coolant and run distilled with a biocide.
The red coolant will be just as pretty on your desk in a glass.

Don't have any experience with that case, so I'm not sure how the radiator will fit. Might have to do some cutting.

Depending how old that PSU is, it might not be a terrible idea to get a new (modular) one. The 8350 will draw a LOT of power at the higher speeds and you'll want the extra airflow of having cables out of the case (not just a nest behind the motherboard, you want airflow back there too).

What software do you use for the video editing? Is it CUDA enabled?
If so, are you running CUDA?
 
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DJDelusional

DJDelusional

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Mar 18, 2014
Well, first thing first, if you're pushing for every MHz or GHz then drop the dyed coolant and run distilled with a biocide.
The red coolant will be just as pretty on your desk in a glass.

Yeah, that's what I figured. I have access to distilled water at the store. I guess i'll just grab some from there and use the bio-tablets thats coming with my parts. :-/ Too bad.

Don't have any experience with that case, so I'm not sure how the radiator will fit. Might have to do some cutting.

Well, if it doesn't fit inside, I can always put it outside. :rolleyes:

Depending how old that PSU is, it might not be a terrible idea to get a new (modular) one. The 8350 will draw a LOT of power at the higher speeds and you'll want the extra airflow of having cables out of the case (not just a nest behind the motherboard, you want airflow back there too).

PSU will be replaced. Just needing the cash for now. :-/ Will probably run the case open until then to make for more space.
I will post a better image of the cable management when I get home and start taking the case apart tonight. All the photos I have taken were from my phone, which is terrible in my room. As a film maker/photographer I have a good camera. I really should use it. :D

What software do you use for the video editing? Is it CUDA enabled?
If so, are you running CUDA?

Adobe Premiere CS6 && CC. Yes, CUDA enabled. Sometimes i turn off the CUDA acceleration though depending on the render. Some things render faster with CUDA turned off (timelapse with large 4k images and distortion correction), while others render faster with it enabled.

Thanks for the tips so far btw. Just knowing some people are here to help is making me feel a lot better about this project. I have never done this before. (Obviously)
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Yeah, that's what I figured. I have access to distilled water at the store. I guess i'll just grab some from there and use the bio-tablets thats coming with my parts. :-/ Too bad.

You could make a lava lamp with the dyed stuff and go back to the old days :thup:

Well, if it doesn't fit inside, I can always put it outside. :rolleyes:

That is very do-able, especially if you just want to get it running until you get another case and/or aren't planning on moving the system around.

PSU will be replaced. Just needing the cash for now. :-/ Will probably run the case open until then to make for more space.
I will post a better image of the cable management when I get home and start taking the case apart tonight. All the photos I have taken were from my phone, which is terrible in my room. As a film maker/photographer I have a good camera. I really should use it. :D

I expect it will continue to work now, but its the next thing I would get.
I should get a good camera :rolleyes:


Adobe Premiere CS6 && CC. Yes, CUDA enabled. Sometimes i turn off the CUDA acceleration though depending on the render. Some things render faster with CUDA turned off (timelapse with large 4k images and distortion correction), while others render faster with it enabled.

Glad you know (more than I do) about it. A large portion of people don't.
I do some Photoshop and a touch of Premiere, so I keep CUDA loaded up.


Thanks for the tips so far btw. Just knowing some people are here to help is making me feel a lot better about this project. I have never done this before. (Obviously)

You're welcome :) Everyone has to start somewhere!

My replies are red :p
 
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DJDelusional

DJDelusional

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You could make a lava lamp with the dyed stuff and go back to the old days

Or just make a dummy loop in the computer with extra $$$. :p Naw, It's probably gonna get left somewhere and never used.

That is very do-able, especially if you just want to get it running until you get another case and/or aren't planning on moving the system around.

Well the system stays in one place under my desk and is never moved unless I am working on it. My basement/room is freezing 10 months out of 12, so having the fans pumping out the extra heat is a bonus for me. I'll just point it towards my feet and I will be all set.

I expect it will continue to work now, but its the next thing I would get.
I should get a good camera

Yep. Trust me, this cable management has been a pain for a very long time for me and this case. More than once I have been tempted to do some heavy mods on the PSU, but I don't have time for it. I may end up routing some cables on the outside of the case as well.

What the pictures don't show (yet) is the SATA cables on the 990fx are put at a 90 along the edge of the MB rather than sticking up and out. Makes it a b**** to get the cables to bend around to where I need them, and is even worse when reconnecting stuff. This time I will be connecting the MB and the cables BEFORE putting it back into the case, and then do the cable management before locking down the board. This will only be my 5th(?) time re-doing one of my systems, so I am still learning. I don't have a clear and easy idea of how to fix it yet, so I will post them and maybe someone will have a bright idea.

As for the camera, the Canon T3i or 60D are a nice place to start. Plenty of room for expansion of the feature sets as well in firmware hacks. (Don't get t4i, t5i, or 70D yet. Firmware hacks to expand functionality to decent ranges aren't out yet.) I could also recommend some mirrorless ones, but that's off topic anyway. Plenty of forums out there and always a PM system.

Glad you know (more than I do) about it. A large portion of people don't.
I do some Photoshop and a touch of Premiere, so I keep CUDA loaded up.

It's not hard. Took to video and photo tech the same way I took to computers. Same principles all apply, just a whole different area of research and study. Now I am having to catch back up in the hardware side of computing.
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Also, a tip for an external rad, get some sort of cover if you have one side without fans, just to make sure anything doesn't bend up the fins.

There are some building tricks that just can't be typed and you've gotta figure them out yourself :)
Sounds like you're getting the hang of it though!

I'll have to look into the cameras, it'll be after finishing up some of my PC mods though.
Definitely going to be researching on forums (especially here, we have some killer photographers).

Yeah, Adobe software is pretty easy to use, you just need to learn where things are.
I enjoy the little bit that I do, but not enough to do it all the time.
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
DJDelusional, I have the BlackHawk case the radiator will probably fit the problem will likely be the fans. you may have to take off the top cover and mount them up top. I don't think you'll have the clearance between the fans and the motherboard if mounted under the radiator. I had my 360 radiator mounted outside the Blackhawk because it wouldn't fit. You can use something like this to mount it outside.
 
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DJDelusional

DJDelusional

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Mar 18, 2014
DJDelusional, I have the BlackHawk case the radiator will probably fit the problem will likely be the fans. you may have to take off the top cover and mount them up top. I don't think you'll have the clearance between the fans and the motherboard if mounted under the radiator. I had my 360 radiator mounted outside the Blackhawk because it wouldn't fit. You can use something like this to mount it outside.

Thanks Mandrake. That is what I was expecting. I wont be taking the top off (at least not permanently) for this build, but I may end up doing a mount onto the top mesh. It needs a fair bit of work. Currently I am taking apart the case to the bare bones and cleaning it. (As well as documenting it for the sake of others)

How did you do your cable management? Got any pictures?
 
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DJDelusional

DJDelusional

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Alright, here are some better pictures than what I had before. I started the strip down of my rig to lay out and clean all the parts. Here is the front and back sides.
(Front)
IMG_1893.jpg

(Back)
IMG_1907.jpg


(MB)
IMG_1897.jpg

(Cable Management)

IMG_1909.jpg

As you can see, the cable management needs work on both sides of the case, the whole thing needs to be dusted out and cleaned very badly.

The PSU, however, is a different matter all together.

IMG_1925.jpg

I need a new PSU. This thing has been giving me hell since I got it. For now I am stuck with it, but its not something I would be writing high reviews about. Not modular = living hell.

With that device removed, however, things get much more spacious. I feel like with enough work I can make it all fit. As the rig gets more and more empty, the smaller and smaller it looks, however.

IMG_1927.jpg

And here it is, the reason why I am wanting to do watercooling. I need to get rid of this huge thing. It doesn't give me that warm fuzzy feeling I am wanting when I look at it. So its going away.

IMG_1931.jpg

With that out of the way there is space to clear things out.

IMG_1941.jpg

At this point I have this desk filled. My entire baby is all over the table.

IMG_1952.jpg

Oh my word the dust. Seems that the front dust filter was long since missing on this case. Going to be replacing that.

IMG_1955.jpg


At this point there is nothing left to do than to remove the top mesh. That proved to be a bit of fun but I figured it out.
This is the furthest I have ever gotten taking this thing apart. (I have done it 4 or 5 times previous.)

IMG_1975.jpg


At this point I found the perfect place for the rocker switch mod I will be using for the lighting. At first I was considering it on the side of the case, but it seems as if there will be enough room to put it on the top where all the other things are. It will be just above the USB 3.0 ports if I get my way.

IMG_1990.jpg

IMG_1991.jpg

At this point I am posting a photo of the area that I was initially wanting to have a radiator. Seems like there will be enough space, but with the MB in place I am not sure.

IMG_1997.jpg


I started to remove 2 of the HDD bays. I may put one back. I could use some feedback on this as well.

IMG_2022.jpg

IMG_2034.jpg


Thats all I have so far. I am cleaning out the last of the dust that wouldn't come out from my compressed air tank. Yes there are a lot of images. Sorry to you with mobile devices and slow connections. These are great for anyone who wants to draw diagrams and help me and / or illustrate suggestions.

It also ticked me off that I didn't have decent photos, so I am posting these in the first post as well. Should make life a little easier for you guys. (and a little easier on the eyes)
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
How did you do your cable management? Got any pictures?
It's not my 24/7 case anymore, I use it for benching now so it never has the sides panels on it. I did find tucking those wires in to get the right side panel on it to be tough at times. Otherwise I like that case a lot. If you cut the front of the hd tray you may be able to fit the rad on the bottom. Though I don't know how much support the HD tray will have if that is done. This is what it looks like these days.
IMG_3940a.jpg
 
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DJDelusional

DJDelusional

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Mar 18, 2014
It's not my 24/7 case anymore, I use it for benching now so it never has the sides panels on it. I did find tucking those wires in to get the right side panel on it to be tough at times. Otherwise I like that case a lot. If you cut the front of the hd tray you may be able to fit the rad on the bottom. Though I don't know how much support the HD tray will have if that is done. This is what it looks like these days.
View attachment 141138


Thanks for the tip. Yeah getting the side panel on while doing good cable management is a trick on this case. I think I will just mount the radiator externaly. I might even be able to fit the fans on if I do a mod to the part of the fans that intersect with the MB. I won't know for sure what my options are until my parts arrive.

Either way there are a few things I am learning so far.

1. I need a new case

2. I need a new PSU

3. I need a new MB. This one is old.

Summary: I need money. :D

Still, I shall do the best that I can when the parts arrive.
 

Valk

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2002
You don't need a new case just a good modular power supply. Looks like you have room for a 240/280 rad in the top and with the 50+mm thick ones of today that would be plenty.
 
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DJDelusional

DJDelusional

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Mar 18, 2014
You don't need a new case just a good modular power supply. Looks like you have room for a 240/280 rad in the top and with the 50+mm thick ones of today that would be plenty.
Well, then I know where my next paycheck is going. Until I can get the PSU I will make do with what I have. two weeks time I will be able to get a better unit. Thanks for the corrections. :)
 

Mandrake4565

Mr. Clean Senior Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
3. I need a new MB. This one is old.
You also do not need a motherboard, that Sabertooth is still one of the best 990Fx boards you can buy. Old means nothing either it works or it doesn't, if it still works then you don;t need to change it.
 
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DJDelusional

DJDelusional

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Mar 18, 2014
You also do not need a motherboard, that Sabertooth is still one of the best 990Fx boards you can buy. Old means nothing either it works or it doesn't, if it still works then you don;t need to change it.

Well it most certainly works. It works like a champ. Never had a better MB in my life in terms of being able to handle the work loads I throw at it. I have upgraded that from only 8gb of ram to soon having 32GB. Being able to throw in an 8-core 4.0ghz CPU is an awesome thing considering when I got it. I love the board.

Maybe I am just working on this too long. I have a tendency to get frustrated when I am pushing my boundaries/comfort zone.

I have cleaned all the parts and everything is nice & shiny & looking new. My LC gear should be here tomorrow.. or maybe the next day. But I hope its tomorrow. If all else fails the weekend will be a lot of fun.

I'm off for the night. Will catch up on this thread tomorrow.
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
I concur the Sabertooth 990FX was one bad mofo board. Quite possibly one of the best around still for overclocking older generation CPUs.

Im rocking the sabertooth R2.0 right now and its just as solid, but it does lack some features that the first generation had. Either way both boards are flippin solid.