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New to watercooling, potential build, have many questions

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OP
Z

Zithras

Registered
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Well, the computer has been put together and is up and running. The next step is overclocking.

Non-overclocked, it scored a solid 9.8 across all the WEI indexes. I was expecting a 7.9 across the board, but the WEI isn't useful for anything but amusement value. More impressively, I can run Crysis easily on a single monitor with all settings at very high and with max AA, and at 5760*1080 3 monitor eyefinity, it runs Crysis (playable, but not great - some barely noticeable glitches in FMV sequences) with all settings at very high and no AA. I can't wait to see what it does overclocked (right now the GPUS run really cold - 40C under load max! Overclocking them till they his 90C will be fun).

Due to various life happenings, I was unable to get to it for several months, so until a couple weeks ago, it was just an (enormous) pile of parts in the middle of my living room (so please excuse me reviving this thread). I took a picture of the pile of boxes before unboxing, and it was truly impressive, but unfortunately, one of those life happenings included a stolen camera. I have all the build pictures though.

So, onto a brief build log. (I have lots of pics, and selected the best few and shrunk them so they're not 5 MB each; this will be a pretty much visual build log - post with questions for more details if desired).


Starting to put together the case; drive bays in, and the case skeleton, but not much else:
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Now to begin connecting up the tubing
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Not surprisingly, even with the huge case, I still didn't have space for 4 120.4 radiators: apparently there isn't enough space for them AND the drive bay, the way the case is designed. (If you buy an Ascension case from MM - REMEMBER THIS! There are no pictures on the site of 3 120.4's on a MM case despite the side panel designed for them; this is why) After some thought, I decided to mount the radiators on the outside of the case, the fans pulling in air on the inside, and the tubes running through a modified case fan hole (blocked by a thick piece of rubber to precent giant holes on the side of the case and to support and group the tubes). This worked out surprisingly well, although the radiators were rather difficult to install. The screws were too small for radiator+fan gasketx8+case side+fan, so I had to get longer wood screws and dremel them down to fit. The Gentle Typhoons aren't open fans, so those had to be dremeled a bit too.

The Motherboard's in now, along with all the waterblocks. One of the video cards had to be modified a bit to fit in the last slot (doublewide cards don't like fitting in the 7th PCIe slot, but luckily the waterblock made it thin enough to fit as long as I cut off the end of the bracket) The orangy dust is from drilling out the rubber I put in to cover the fan hole for the hoses (it'll get cleaned up later)
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Even halfway done, there's an ungodly mess of cords to connect
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I forgot to take a picture after everything was connected but before leaktesting, but here's one that's close. After this, most of the cords got stuffed behind the motherboard, or velcroed together, so looking into the case, it doesn't look all that bad at all, and the blue cathode lights + blue tubing + blue plexiglass all combine quite well.
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All three monitors set up, but off
309.jpg

Finally, after leaktesting, putting in the rest of the bits, then bleeding awhile, and screwing everything together, we get the final product (the pictures didn't turn out so well - looks much more impressive in person):
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Enjoy!
Zithras

(Expect another thread asking for overclocking advice when I get stuck - never tried overclocking an i7, and the unlocked multiplier just adds to the fun :) )
 
Last edited:

Farfarer

Registered
Joined
Jul 29, 2010
Location
Leeds, UK
How come you've got 2 loops but 3 separately connected rads on the outside?

Have you got component > rad > component > rad going on in one of them?

You could cut waaaay down on the loop length if you hook the two rads up in series.

As far as I understand it, the water temperature nearly equalises across the loop - there's not much benefit to having a rad before each component and expecting the water that comes out the rad to be cold.
 
OP
Z

Zithras

Registered
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Yup I've got 2 rads on the 3xGPU loop - it goes 2 cards->rad->card->rad

If I went 3 cards->2rads it would cut down on the loop length some, but really not all that much; the current loop length isn't really a problem, the pump handles it just fine, and I don't think a shorter loop would cut down on temperatures any (plus I'd have to buy another gpu connector set and drain and redo the system...). I suppose I could get rid of rad2 entirely, but there seems to be even less point to that, since I have it on there right now anyways

Rad 3 is for the CPU loop.

I was quite surprised at how powerful those little 655 pumps were - the first pump is able to get through 3 cards and 2 x4 rads without a problem, and I had to actually turn the CPU pump down a bit -> going through the cpu and 1 x4 rad it still had enough force to introduce unnecessary turbulence (and air) into the system as it ran, so I dialed it back down a bit and now it works much better.
 
OP
Z

Zithras

Registered
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
I looked at the Matrox, but it doesn't seem to do anything that Eyefinity doesn't already do better, especially when you set up Ultramon and profile hotkeys