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(LF Advice) Planning a Desk-PC build, Component Placement and GPU mounting doubt

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pyrogfx

New Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Hey there guys, first time poster, this looked like a good place to ask for some advice :)

In a month I'll be moving, so I'll finally have space to work on a desk-PC combo project. I've been a busy bee with the planning since I can't do any actual building until I move, and although I've thought out most things, a couple still elude me;

1) Mounting the GPU. I want to mount the GPU horizontally, and well, it only has one mounting screw hole, and I'd like to avoid drilling into it for another hole (tho i've seen it done). I've been looking for easy solutions, and the only thing I can think of is using that one hole to mount it to a wood piece, then letting the corners of the card rest on other small wood pieces for support, which should be fine since it's non-conductive. Are there any better (not too expensive) options I'm overlooking?

2) Component placement. I've sketched up a basic idea (posted below) of what will be in the build and where it goes, but I'm having second thoughts. The exhaust, radiator and intake fans will all be LED lit; it'll have a tempered glass top resting on a small profile I will add to the inner side of the enclosure, supported underneath every 30cm or so. Under this profile I'll be running LED strips as well and possibly hiding some cables.
My doubt with the placement is how it'll look in the end; when I do upgrade my mobo and gpu (in 6-12 months), it'll also have some lighting involved. So the end result will be the middle being a bit boring (where the HDD and SSD now are planned in the sketch). An option to bypass this would be decorating the empty areas of the desk somehow I suppose. Other alternative is switching the CPU AIO radiator with the MoBo, but I can't quite visualize it looking great in my head, the fans in the middle.
My placement was based on the GPU being near a cold air intake, and close to the Mobo due to riser cable lengths; while trying to keep the motherboard somewhat central for all the connections and cables. Air would flow in thru the front and AIO and go out the exhaust on the other side. PSU somewhat central for the same reason + will be under the monitor, so it's somewhat hidden.
Real question is, anything that you'd do differently? I'm open to other designs that fit in said dimensions. I can also link the sketchup project if anyone wants to help :)

I'll appreciate any and all advice, first time trying something of this magnitude. Thanks in advance! :)

nZRsXNh.png
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
I see no issues with #1 as far as mounting, just know you'll need a good riser cable for what you're planning.
Are you planning to also watercool the GPU? Seems like you might get some odd airflow around it if you're using the air cooler laid down like that given where your fans are.
Any reason the exhaust fans aren't stood up like the intake fans? Same for the AIO, you want the rad to be the highest point in the loop as it acts as the reservoir.
 
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pyrogfx

New Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Yup, I was planning to go with a Lian-Li one :)
The GPU wont be watercooled (at least at first), although I do intend to go for a loop somewhere in the future, by rearranging the HDD/SDD area to make space for res/pump (not soon though). Those fans are lying down partly because i've seen other builds in similar configurations, and partly for aesthetic reasons (will be led lit, and also to fill up space a bit. I was hoping to have a stream running from intake to exhaust but yeah, the AIO radiator might get in the way of that. As far as making it the highest point, I could make a small frame under it to give it extra height in comparison to the CPU, I suppose?
I'm open to changing stuff around a bit (or I wouldnt be asking :p ), do you think it'd make a noticeable difference vs a matter of a couple of degrees?
 
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ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
The fan placement will make minor differences, but I would 100% be standing that AIO up on its side otherwise air will never bleed out of the block/tubing properly.

Re: RGB fans - Are you opposed to getting better fans and using an RGB LED strip around the perimeter of the desk instead of having fans light up?
 
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pyrogfx

New Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Not necessarily too opposed, it was more a matter of filling up empty surface on the enclosure, since I didnt want too many "deadzones" for appearance's sake... and I was already thinking of placing strips around the edge either way :p As for standing the radiator on the side, is it a matter of it really being on its side, or should it simply stand higher than the pump? Because if it's the latter, I could easily build a 6-7 centimeter frame under it, and elevate it above pump level that way.
I might add I'm not planning to overclock a lot (not at all at the start, anyway, before I do a general part upgrade). I'm running on a GTX 960 & i5-4460, looking to upgrade when 1180 and 9700k come out (or 8700, if it takes too long....), and then I'll think about refining it both in terms of the desk, and OC/Watercooling. As it stands now even an AIO is overkill, just getting one already so it's already in the desk + it's cross compatible with 1151 socket.

Sorry if some of what I suggest might make little sense / go against common modding knowledge, and seem a bit out of place at a modding forum, but it's one of my first goes into both modding proper and watercooling, which is one of the reasons I'm not doing a loop immediatly and sticking to AIO for now. Figured a project of this nature was complicated enough for a starter, considering I have no formal training in IT and most of what I know I just picked up along the way.... kinda like what I'm learning on this thread ^^ I do appreciate the advice though, it's been a pain finding anyone willing to give any input on such a project, and will try to brainstorm the design a bit more and see what I can change. :)
 

ATMINSIDE

Sim Racing Aficionado Co-Owner
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
The rad needs to be higher than the pump. If you build it up like that though you won't get ideal airflow into and out of the radiator due to spacing, note. You want either the intake to the rad fans or the exhaust of the rad to be flush against a surface.
I assume the top will be glass so you couldn't mount the rad to the top, correct? That's why I recommended mounting it to the side.

The reason I ask about the fans is you can typically get a higher quality fan if they don't have the RGB capability. Although this is becoming slightly less true, I still haven't been impressed with any RGB fans personally.
Take a look at controlling all of the intake/exhaust fans off of the CPU Fan header via PWM.

You can use this PWM Splitter
https://www.amazon.com/Swiftech-8W-PWM-SPL-ST-Way-PWM-Splitter-Sata/dp/B00IF6R4C8

And I will always suggest these fans. They have a great range of control and move a ton of air while staying quiet.
https://noctua.at/en/nf-a14-industrialppc-2000-pwm
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835608047
 
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pyrogfx

New Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
I just realised I never mentioned it, and I'm not sure if you assumed it already or not - but in that planning, there's supposed to be a hole on the bottom of the desk under the radiator thru which it can ventilate (same for the exhaust fans ofc). Kinda feel stupid for forgetting to mention that :p And yes, the top will be tempered glass
Those fans do look pretty great, some of the best specs I've seen around and pretty reasonably priced for such quality actually :eek:
 
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pyrogfx

New Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Thought I'd post an update ^^

Finally done with the build! Have to upgrade some actual hardware for the finishing touches (new motherboard with RGB Headers so I can sync it properly and add LED strips), but I'm pleased enough with the outcome considering it's my first casemod! Havent had issues with noise yet at all, and no temp issues either... so no complaints :D

Leaving a picture, as well as to the playlist with the build log in case anyone's interested








IMG_20180929_214610636.jpg
 
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