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Semi build log... Watercooled 7700k CPU, air-cooled 2x EVGA GTX 1080 FTW cards

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koontz946

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Location
West Orange, NJ
Hey all,

So my build got off to an odd start; the first components I received were the case, monitor, and one GPU (EVGA GTX 1080 FTW).

Being impatient, I swapped out my monitor and plugged the GPU into my current *4-5 year old* rig. (not the one in my sig)

Just the GPU upgrade from my XFX HD6870 to the EVGA card would probably have sated my gaming needs, but I set out to build a rig, and I'm going to build it!

Fast-forward to the majority of the components arriving, namely the Gigabyte GA-Z270XUD5 (with no SLI bridge), and the EKWB L360 Kit (I haven't gotten to the CPU, RAM, or HDD / SDDs yet)

I had broken down the case (Corsair Air 540) so I could see what I had to work with... and boy, was that case a mistake for the watercooling kit I had chosen.

I went to plan out the WC system... 360 rad in the front (only place it would fit), CPU block is an obvious choice for placement... but the reservoir / pump... no place to mount it! After figuring where the GPUs would go, the PSU and it's connectors would be, and other drives & fans, this case did not provide a mounting place for the L360's reservoir/pump (even with the adapter plate).

So... as much as I'd like to see the one aesthetic piece of this WC setup (the reservoir with the EK logo), I had no choice but to drill custom mounting holes in the bottom, back by the PSU and route the hoses through the wire management grommets.

More to follow!

*edit* pics added
 
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koontz946

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Location
West Orange, NJ
g8zayh.jpg

HHGXoH.jpg
 
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koontz946

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Location
West Orange, NJ
I mounted the mobo so I could see where the CPU block would be, to cut the hoses to length. Once the leak test is finished, the mobo is coming back out, to have everything installed onto it.

One HUGE (IMHO) downside to this case is that there isn't an easy way to drain / maintain the WC setup... for a case with so many radiator configurations, it doesn't allow much for pump / reservoir installation.
 

Soulcatcher668

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2012
If you replaced the tubing you could move the res around a bit. In general, no not a lot of wiggle room in there.

Cover that Mobo socket while you are doing this. You are playing with fire there.
 
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koontz946

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Location
West Orange, NJ
Possibly move the pump / res with more flexible tubing, yes... but it'd still have to be behind the mobo / storage partition of the case (unless I could hang it upside-down). There are going to be 2x EVGA GTX 1080 FTW cards which measure about 10.5" in length and are pretty tall as well (didn't measure that, as the length killed my original plan)

And I appreciate the warning about covering the mobo socket, but why? Just out of curiosity.
 

Soulcatcher668

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2012
If you bend a pin the mobo is toast. They are extremely fragile.

Why did you remove the mounting bracket?
 
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koontz946

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Location
West Orange, NJ
But it's a socket... The CPU has the pins... I guess I don't understand what you see that I don't?

And you have to remove the 'mounting bracket' to install a waterblock.
 

Lochekey

Senior Pink Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2015
On intel the pins are on the mobo and the cup has contact pads.

How about using a uni mount to put the pump in front of the rear fan.
 
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koontz946

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Location
West Orange, NJ
Wow OK I learned something new... Thanks Soulcatcher and Lochekey for pointing that out and explaining it.

And Lochekey, the GPUs pretty much eliminated all thoughts of mounting the pump in the front of the case, unless there are options I don't know of?
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Also make sure to blow the interior out with compressed air thoroughly after drilling those holes. Metal flakes from the drilling can't can short out motherboard and/or video card exposed circuits.

In retrospect a different case would have served you better or a water kit that had the pump and block built into one unit. Technically, a reservoir is not needed.
 
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koontz946

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Location
West Orange, NJ
Well... the system is up and running...

Not without a time-consuming hiccup of course.

POST went fine, but I only saw the n.2 drive in the BIOS, and not the 2TB HDD. Odd, but not unheard of... so I installed Windows.

Install went fine, so I went to format the new HDD. Drive wouldn't initialize, or format. 2TB drive, Windows says it's too small for GPT, so I tried MBR... file not found?

Tried different SATA ports... still never showed up in BIOS, same response from Disk Manager.

Pulled a nearly identical HDD from my old rig and hooked it up... showed right up. All my pictures, games, etc were intact.

So I'm thinking I got a bad drive. No big deal, really... at least it wasn't a more crucial component! I have a 2TB external drive, so I'll probably back up the old rig drive and wipe it, and when the RMA drive shows up just put it in the old rig.

GPU temps while gaming are around 75C, and CPU temps idle are 27C. With a 100% CPU test, temps got up to 59C. Considering my i2500k OC'd to 3GHz was running near 100C (stock cooler) I'm pretty happy with the results... and thinking about WCing the GPUs as well...
 
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koontz946

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Location
West Orange, NJ
Also make sure to blow the interior out with compressed air thoroughly after drilling those holes. Metal flakes from the drilling can't short out motherboard and/or video card exposed circuits.

In retrospect a different case would have served you better or a water kit that had the pump and block built into one unit. Technically, a reservoir is not needed.

I did blow out the case after I drilled and dremeled... but it's still great advice!

A different case would have probably fit better, but having completed the build, I'm glad not everything fit perfectly... if it was easy, anyone could do it! (Anyone can do it, if they have the patience)
 

trents

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Oops! I see a typo in my post. Meant to say, they "can short out components." I guess you figured it out.
 

Suppressor1137

Member
Joined
May 4, 2011
Rock on brother!

I Have the same case. Good to know about the Water cooling reservoir tidbit. Gives me some fatal flaw avoidance :)

My wire management is Excellent all pushed into the back compartment and messy as heak, but main compartment is nice and roomy. I really need to make it a point to organize the back compartment one of these days...

I was going to utilize one of the HDD trays at the bottom to mount the res, screwing the res into the mount.

I wonder if that would work...
 
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koontz946

Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2003
Location
West Orange, NJ
Rock on brother!

I Have the same case. Good to know about the Water cooling reservoir tidbit. Gives me some fatal flaw avoidance :)

My wire management is Excellent all pushed into the back compartment and messy as heak, but main compartment is nice and roomy. I really need to make it a point to organize the back compartment one of these days...

I was going to utilize one of the HDD trays at the bottom to mount the res, screwing the res into the mount.

I wonder if that would work...

I was originally considering doing that, but it wouldn't have worked due to the SLI setup. The 2nd video card is only 3.5" from the bottom of the case, and only about 3" from the lip that the hard drive bays are on. The pump / reservoir from the EKWB kit is like 5.5" tall.

So glad I took my time planning where everything was going to be, before I started cutting tubing and drilling holes!