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Antec 900 with water...

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[p]wnzor

New Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Location
Dub-K
Guys I'm sorry, I had no idea your forums only allow 10 pics...there are many more if you want to see...follow link at the end...sorry! My apologies to the mods..[p]



I had every intention of doing a very thorough tutorial/review when I decided to start working with this kit. :write: Unfortunately, a series of interruptions, and a vicious case of A.D.D. prevented me from taking step by step photos. Also, it would take me a day and a half to upload them all. The good news is that Swiftech's documentation isn't terrible. I figure a beginner could install this kit if they were patient and had a water cooling friendly case. That said, these pictures, at times, make water cooling look a lot more difficult that it need be if one had a larger case.

Anywho, what you’re going to get is a series of pictures. Pretty much in order, and written details about what is going on, and why below each one.

1kitboxvictimpj6.jpg


Above is the Swiftech kit in its box, and our little victim.

Pictures removed per forum picture count being exceeded...for originals go herehttp://http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=38

These are the various parts that come with the kit. Radiator, Pump, reservoir, ~6' of tube, bottle of non-corrosion/antifungal stuff, water block, bunch of 3 pin & 4 pin Molex wires for the fans, and a bunch of random hardware that you may or may not need. Duct tape & crap on my workbench sold separately. The kit is very nice, and if you choose to follow Swiftech's recommended mounting advise, then there is really not much assembly. The fans can spin quite fast and move a lot of air, at the cost of noise. Swiftech included a bunch of cables that I really didn't mess with much, but some of them ran the fans at a more somber ~1300 RPMs. The interesting thing I have noticed since running this, is the fan's speed (as long as they are moving) doesn't really impact temperatures.

Pictures removed per forum picture count being exceeded...for originals go herehttp://http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=38

If you are planning on anything but the most generic of installs, you will no doubt need a Dremel. Matter of fact, if you are serious about building your own PCs...you need a Dremel. Also pictured are some zip ties, cable clamps, tubing, and Super Glue. All good things to have around. Add some screwdrivers, duct tape, little wire snips...and you're on your way to a decent PC shop.

Pictures removed per forum picture count being exceeded...for originals go herehttp://http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=38

Prior to this picture most everything was stripped out of the Antec 900. It’s probably a good idea to completely strip your machine down before you install any of this...unless your case was seriously built for water...you are going have to cut something. This fan cover sticks out a bit, and would have interfered with the ideal location of the radiator mounting hardware.

grinding2hb6.jpg


One needs Demel Skillz. I've conceiled my identity so the [p]aparazzi leaves me alone

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After many test fits, I finally decided on a location for my inlet and outlet holes, you can see the left over pencil marks. Newer Antec 900s have pre-made holes below. You case may be very different. If you are thinking about water cooling and shopping for a case I strongly recommend you find one with a reputation for ease of H2O installation. I know that Thermaltake & Gigabyte make cases with everything ready to go…this can save you a lot of time. However you may still end up modifying things to suit your needs and preferences.

Pictures removed per forum picture count being exceeded...for originals go herehttp://http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=38

While I was cutting the heck out of my case it occurred to me that I would like to run my wires behind the motherboard tray. You need to do some serious thinking about where your wires need to go and where they are coming from. For a bottom mount PSU, holes in these locations are very beneficial. I used an 80mm hole saw I had laying around, you could also cut with a Dremel tool. If you look back up at one of the first pictures you will see that I purchased some car door edge molding. This is where I used it to make grommets so as to not cut the wires on the rough metal. If you go this route all you have to do is cut some notches out of them and they can easily be formed into a circle…as seen above. Ends up looking pretty nice. Be careful not to cut out any areas with motherboard standoffs. Once again, test fitting prior to cutting is crucial. What’s that old saying, measure twice, cut once.

Pictures removed per forum picture count being exceeded...for originals go herehttp://http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=38

Mounting the pump in such a small case proved to be a bit of a chore. There are many options to consider with the 900. I choose to cut a notch in the bottom hard drive enclosure. I have my hard drives in the top enclosure; I leave the bottom one free of obstruction to provide my video cards with adequate air supply. Again I made use of my 80mm hole saw, but a Dremel would suffice here as well.

Pictures removed per forum picture count being exceeded...for originals go herehttp://http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=38

And this is the logic behind that cut. With a bottom mount PSU and large SLI video cards I needed to get that pump as far out of the way as possible. Nothing into the hard drive enclosure made good sense to me. I also flipped the bracket around on the pump…otherwise more disassembly would be required if I ever had to service it.

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More test fitting. I cannot stress enough…test fit…test fit…test fit. As you can see, it looks as though my bottom hard drive might be placing a little kink in my future tubing. I opted to move the hard drive to another area. Not pictures is me test fitting with motherboard and video cards and other accessories. Last thing you want to do is make a permanent mod…only to find out something isn’t going to fit. This is also a nice close up of my notched car door guard grommet.

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After convincing my self that the pump will work there it is bolted down. You can now see why I opted to flip its mounting bracket…if I hadn’t the mounting screws would have been hidden without removing the bottom hard drive enclosure. The pump comes with a sticky rubber pad that it sits on and fastens with screws and rubber washers to reduce vibration. Installed correctly it is all but silent.

11pumpboltedinod8.jpg


Same as above. See pad and rubber washers.

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Test fitting the Radiator. It comes with more hardware than needed. In addition to the mounting option you see above, some spacers and longer screws are included. If used they would effectively move the radiator about another inch away from the case. I thought they looked stupid and made the mount more flimsy…so I chose to mount like this. The mounting contraption is really pretty nice; first you install a little included frame onto the back of your computer. It will mount to 80mm, 90mm, and 120mm fan holes. Or you can drill your own. Once the frame is installed the radiator assembly fits to it like a puzzle piece. Four screws later and you are good to go.

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Close up of the aforementioned mounting assembly. The fan on the inside is pretty much optional. I chose to keep it, is has LEDs and they are pretty. All joking aside, just because you water cool your PC doesn’t mean you should ditch all your fans. Quite the contrary…a water cooled PC needs more of a breeze since it now lacks the CPU cooler to move air around inside. Notice how the radiator assembly is about an inch to an inch and a half off the PC...this is crucial for optimum cooling. You don’t want hot case air blowing over your radiators. Or worse yet, to block the airflow to them.

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Another shot of the radiator mounted, and my holes that I drilled into the case…AFTER TEST FITTING ABOUT FOUR TIMES. I cannot stress this enough…test fit everything. The grommets you see are provided with the kit. Use them or a wet disaster may be in your future…plus they look better than my jagged holes.

Pictures removed per forum picture count being exceeded...for originals go herehttp://http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=38

Just another angle on the radiator mount. You can also see the final work I did with the wire holes and my car door guard ($2.83 at Wal-Mart) turned grommet.

Pictures removed per forum picture count being exceeded...for originals go herehttp://http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=38

If you were confused as to the purpose of the wire holes this should make it fairly obvious. There is quite a bit of room back there to run wires. If you have the patience this is a pretty nice modification that may score you a few degrees on case temps….and a few dozen cool points. Don’t ever be scared of duct tape.

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Wire holes from the inside. See how clean that is going to be? This is a great modification if you are air cooling too, but it really helps clear some clutter with all the extra components involved with water cooling. Note: see that tape measure? Measure twice, cut once.

replacedinstallmoboop7.jpg


Installed motherboard with water block. I forgot to take pictures of water block installation; however, if you can’t figure that out you don’t need to be water cooling. As noted with the kit, soak the tubes in very hot water and they are a breeze to install onto the fittings. Otherwise an extreme amount of force is required, too much in my opinion. See also how the 24pin power comes in and gets on the motherboard. Those wire holes are priceless. Not shown is also the top 8 pin power connector…why can’t you see it…because thanks to the holes it’s now hidden forever.

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I went a little bit crazy hiding wires. If you have too many back here like I do, you may want to remove the sheath that holds the 24pin and 8 pin wires together as they are quite thick. Separating the wires allows one to flatten them out and tape them down, thus allowing even more wires to be run “out back.” Another spur-of-the-moment modification I made was to cut some SPP/MCP access panels. I can now remove my SPP/MCP cooling apparatus without having to remove my motherboard. This is going over the top a little, but with water…disassembling the computer becomes very time intensive. What used to take an hour or so, now would take me five or six. Don’t forget the Mofset cooler access at the very top; the cooler is all one piece.

Pictures removed per forum picture count being exceeded...for originals go herehttp://http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=38

Edit: I goofed right here, lol...make sure your input to the waterblock is on the bottom, prevent's air bubles being trapped...we all make mistakes. :banghead:

Not a lot to say here, just a close up. See the 24pin nice and out of the way. You can also see the top 8pin nice and out of the way. Many of you have seen my SPP fan mod found here....http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/index.php


If you go water I suggest you point the fan up….works very nicely. That is a 60mm x 25mm fan with a three pin adapter to replace the silly load factory Nvidia one. In addition to lowering noise, it also cools much better. With this modification and proper MCP/SPP to heat sink contact (and good thermal paste) I doubt you will ever need to get aftermarket chipset coolers, water or air. My MCP is 38C-43C with the above work.

Pictures removed per forum picture count being exceeded...for originals go herehttp://http://www.411overkill.com/forum/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=38

An interesting shot from above the computer looking through the Antec 900’s 200mm fan.

22runningtubeya0.jpg


Running tubes, hot water and deep thoughts. You want to have more tube as opposed to less tube when in doubt. Less tubing will make you more inclined to kink it. I have also removed my third, lower, hard drive so that my tubing faces less of a bend down by the pump.

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Finishing up the tubing. This is an important picture. For optimal ease of use, you will want to be able to remove your reservoir for filling draining. It is also beneficial if you can get your reservoir higher in the air than any of the other water components. This makes purging much less of a hassle and is recommended by Swiftech. Speaking of Swiftech, they also recommend mounting the radiator with at least one of the inlets/outlets on top to prevent trapping air and to aid in purging. Try and keep all that in mind when planning and cutting your tubing. TEST FIT!

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This is an extra power supply and a power supply tester. You will want to run the water cooling setup without powering up your motherboard. In case there is a leak, your motherboard will probably survive, IF IT’S NOT POWERED ON! This is handy for purging and testing for leaks, a must if you desire success. You can also “jump” a power supply if you don’t have a tester…Google it. Also, only use distilled water in your loop, tap water contains minerals that may eat your water block and radiator.

25testingforleaksprgingjg1.jpg


Leak testing and purging. I added the Swiftech provided anti fungal anti corrosion to about a Liter (1/4 gallon) of water to fill the loop. The loop should be filled as much as possible using only gravity. After that, power the system on for about one second and power it back off, repeat. Add water as needed. With the reservoir as the top component of the loop, you can run it with out its cap and fill the system as it is circulating. Never run the pump dry, NEVER.

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Checking for flow, it should be quite turbulent…the Swiftech pump is quite powerful. The water will be a bit frothy for the first five minutes of use. Power it on, let it run for about three minutes and power it down. Rinse and repeat till the water is not frothy and all air bubbles have left the building. See that paper towel behind the reservoir, not a bad idea to have it or a towel handy in case “stuff hits the fan.” Little FYI.

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After purging and clearing bubbles, the resevior is mounted. I chose this spot for appearances, and it seems to me that will allow me to get at the majority of my hardware without interferance.

295finalclosuppj4.jpg


Just another closeup. Wires are pretty clean thanks to my wire holes. I could have ran the tube coming off the top of the pump on either side of the hard drives, I chose the back side so I could easily get to my PCI-e cards extra 6pin molex connectors.

30finalsidenv9.jpg


Side view of the overall install. I'm really quite amazed it all fit in there this well. It was not due to lack of effort. I've been cut, burn't, frustrated, confused, and slightly scared. Well worth it though.

31finalsidevk4.jpg


Yet another angle of installation. I should mention that a bit of the Antec 900's side door had to be shaved of to make clearance for some of the radiator's mounting hardware. Not actually on the face of the door but the lip that bends to fit the back of the case. Minor complaint.

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Thought this might help someone, thanks for looking ;)

[p]

http://www.411overkill.com/
 

Mobious

Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2005
Location
Massachusetts
I'm not exactly a big fan of external radiators for W/C, especially b/c I LAN, but that has definitely giving me second thoughts about W/C my 900, very nice job my friend.

-Mobious-
 

Shiggity

Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Location
Chicago, IL
Very impressive with the limited amount of space in the antec 900 case. If you can work that kind of magic with an antec 900, anything you mod will be amazing :bday:

(I have the 900 too and I have trouble with just normal wire managing lol)
 
OP
P

[p]wnzor

New Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2008
Location
Dub-K
Very impressive with the limited amount of space in the antec 900 case. If you can work that kind of magic with an antec 900, anything you mod will be amazing :bday:

(I have the 900 too and I have trouble with just normal wire managing lol)

Thanks guys...I have only one person to thank...he shall remain nameless...lol, but long story short he said it was a stupid idea and might not be doable....

that was all the motivation I needed, lol. The rest of my crew at 411overkill loves it...hahah. To each is own, lol. [p]
 

kaiweiler

Registered
Joined
Nov 4, 2007
Well done!
I've been debating moving to water for so long now...just seems like the newer processors just don't really need it.
But you definitely get some cool points there!
 

Revtek

Registered
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Thanks for sharing and great job! It looks like it was well worth it!