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p0is0n

First H20 setup advice

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Hey guys,

 

Warning: Long post ahead.

As some of you would know, I have been exploring options recently for upgrading my ageing PC and have finally made a few decisions about what I want to do.

Anyone who wants to see the discussion can click here.

 

As the discussion has now moved away from options and selection of components, and into cooling configuration, I thought that it had probably run its course and it may be best to start a new thread here for that.

 

With that out of the way, I've been doing a lot of research recently into water cooling, but all the resources I've found are either way too dumbed down and simple, overly descriptive and complex, or unique to a very specific setup someone is doing. I am having a lot of trouble trying to determine what I should really be paying attention to whilst selecting components, and what is not so important, for an efficient single water cool loop. I am basically looking to be able to overclock to the limit of my CPU/GPUs whilst maintaining good temps, price is important in my decision, but if it is worth the money, I am happy to pay it. I am looking at water specifically as my living situation has recently changed, and an overclocked air cooled machine (like in my sig) is just too noisy for my bedroom if left running 24/7, and my GPU temps regularly get close to 90c (mostly the top card).

 

To begin with, the hardware. I haven't made any final decisions here, as I am kind of sitting on the fence about buying now or waiting for the AMD7000 series/Bulldozer/Ivy Bridge early next year. I figure that I do have some work to do on the case for now, so I would like to get started on that in the mean time, will probably end up testing it all on my current rig to ensure it performs and then putting in some new hardware when I make up my mind. I have enough ideas though, so this thread isn't about that.

 

Hypothetically, lets say something like this.

i5 2500k @ 5.0ghz+ (aiming for this or equivilent)

Corsair 1600MHz DDR3 8GB (2x4GB)

2x 6950 1GB or 7950 depending on price when the 7000s come out. From what I've read though, the 7950s look VERY appealing.

Compatible Motherboard

 

I have made a decision on case which is the Fractal Arc Mid Tower. I know it is not the biggest case, but it has all of the features I care about, is aesthetically pleasing, and very reasonably priced. I've also decided on a single loop, rather than one for CPU/one for GPUs and so I will need a big rad. I think a 480 rad would fit nicely externally along the top of that case, but I will need to figure out some way to mount it. There are 2 holes in the back of the case to run the tubing inside easily so I think it will work well. I haven't selected a 480 rad yet, I've seen some available for around $80-90 and then high end rads for about $150. I am not sure if I will really need a high end rad, or if a cheaper one would be just as effective. Any input here would be good.

 

Edit: I found a few pics of some great WC setups in this case, this one is all internal but shows that there is heaps of room.

Posted Image

 

Also managed to find this pic with the top grill removed. I am pretty sure this is of the Arc Mini which only has 2 top fan mounts, the Midi should have 3.. so I imagine it would look exactly the same with 1 more fan mount. In this case, I would probably just mount the rad with a few sets of longish standoffs. Will have to wait till I get my hands on one to really have a good look and figure something out.

Posted Image

 

CPU block and GPU block was a pretty easy decision. I like the look of the EK models, and they seem to perform well enough, although I also like the look of the cheaper XSPC Rasa. Not sure how it performs compared to the EK, but I've read its somewhat restrictive (~1.3 gallon/min). It would be nice if manufacturers included this kind of information in the product specs. These are the ones I like anyway, is there anything wrong with them, or would they be suitable for my needs? I should also mention my build will be somewhat themed, and lets just saw a big chrome water block would look very out of place, so these get points for style too.

 

EK-Supreme HF Acetal+EN Nickel $82

EK-VGA Supreme HF Acetal+EN Nickel $69 x2

 

Pump was a touch decision as I want to ensure I maintain a high flow throughout the system but I also don't want to spend too much here. The Swiftech MCP355 ($85) seems like a good price/performance option. I would also condider the cheaper EK-DCP 4.0 ($59) as it states 800L/H flow which seems almost double some of the more expensive pumps. Suggestions?

 

Fittings has been the most confusing part so far, like whats a G1/4 fitting, and why does it appear to come in 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2" sizes, shouldn't it be 1/4" only? Should I use compression fittings or barbs and clamps? I've seen some pics recently around the website where people also bought fittings too big to fit two of them on the same water block and had to order different ones. I'd like to avoid these kind of issues too, if possible. I understand that clear tubing usually comes in 1/2" and 3/8" ID so I assume I just need to pick a size and make sure all my fittings are that size, but also make sure that they will connect to my water blocks and pump etc. I can't see a size listed on the pump specs so I assume all fittings screw into a standard size but will accept different size tubing? Basically.. some clarification here about what to get or how to decide what to get would be much appreciated.

 

I think this is probably getting long enough for now, so will leave it at that, however, I am certain I will have more questions, especially once I start ordering things. Goes without saying, but I will be certain to take pics and share them etc.

 

Edit:

Found a few reviews on the EK waterblocks and generally look pretty good. Maybe not best of the best but certainly adequate. Seem to perform better than the XSPC in flow and temp so looks like these are the ones to get. Also figured out that G1/4" is the thread size to attach the fittings and that the other measurements are the tube size. Still not sure which sizes to be looking at through.

 

Another edit:

Think I've figured out fittings now after a bit more research while waiting for BF3 to download. Looks like all of the components I selected use the same thread size G1/4" so I can buy the same fittings for the whole system, as most components require one. Also seems like 1/2" ID tubing is the best way to go so with that in mind, could I use either of these 2 fittings for the whole system?

Bitspower 1/2 Compression or Bitspower 1/2 Barb

I've read compression fittings aren't great as they can leak, and they are also a lot more expensive, but would be much better than having to clamp every hose. Is there a better place to order this kind of stuff than PCCG and do they stock a bigger range of fittings? I'd like black if possible, and cheaper than $11 each for compression if possible.. I saw some EK branded ones on PCCG too but they had no stock. Has to be smaller than 13mm to fit onto the water blocks so no oversize fittings.

 

Lastly tubing for the above fittings, would this be compatible? Tygon 3603 Tubing 1/2 ID

 

Just want to make sure I got things right guys, sorry for the long post which just got even longer.

 

Cheers

Edited by p0is(+)n

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Here are a couple other options for online stores.

http://www.radiical.com.au/products/fittings.asp

http://www.gammods.com.au/store/index.php?...&cPath=1_91

http://www.itestate.com.au/ (click Product up top then drill down through Computer Components then Fans/Heatsinks/Cooling then Liquid Cooling)

 

If you need to put some angles into your hose run, you can buy elbows and clamps at Bunnings close to where you can buy clear nylon hose.

 

Clamps are not too fiddly and there are a variety of them.

 

You can see blue butterfly thumb screw clamps on the GPU here:

Posted Image

 

and here are normal clamps and elbows.

Posted Image

 

The bad thing about barbs and clamps is getting them off. I've given up getting the hose off a bard a couple times and just cut them.

If getting the hose onto the barb is a struggle you can try a hair dryer to soften up the hose.

 

An issue that you don't hear many people talk about is the cutting of the hose. It can be very annoying trying to get a flat end and you'll want flat ends especially if you are going for a compression fitting. Somewhere in my log is how I did it, you can read it here http://users.datarealm.com/~opy/haf.html

 

Also look for fans that are designed for CPU cooling as they tend to create more pressure. High air flow is nice, but it needs pressure to get through the fins and pressure and air flow are not the same things.

 

These are just some tips. Others will know more. I'm not a pro by any means. I have built 2 water systems, 1 from a kit and 1 custom. Each time I learn more. Each time I learn I upgrade too often so water cooling is not ideal for me. Right now is the 2nd time that I've forgotten that, so I am designing my 3rd water setup at the moment.

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the stock mcp355 has 3/8" barbs which is fairly small but you can get mod tops for the pump which improves its performance a lot

 

here is a review of ek pump it dose rather well for its price (different name same pump)

http://martinsliquidlab.petrastech.com/Dan...ump-Review.html

 

G1/4" is the thread type and it has become a standard for most watercooling parts now

1/2" ect is the barb size for the hose

 

for tube i rather like 7/16" primochill

 

some other au watercooling stores

https://www.gammods.com.au/store/

http://www.radiical.com.au/

https://thekoolroom.com/category.php?id_category=91

 

i grabbed some of my gear from this us store post isnt cheap from there though

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/

 

you had a look at a few of the links in the parts guide? there is some handy ones there

 

i like to avoid using bend fittings whenever possible as they just add more flow resistance

they can make a neat looking loop when used correctly though

Edited by Dasa

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Thanks for the suggestions on other stores, good to have a few other places to compare prices from. Also thanks for that review on the pump Dasa, looks to mean business so I think I will get that one.

 

I was able to pick up the case from a local supplier today at a good price, so I won't have to pay shipping on it just jumped in the car. Now that I've got my hands on it, I like it even more.

The cable management is excellent for a mid range case, heaps of room behind the motherboard and a nice big rear of motherboard access. Its fairly sturdy construction and comes with some nice quality fans. Top/front/bottom ventillation also has air filters included, which was a nice touch. The PSU had rubber mountings for minimal vibration, as do the HDD drives. Overall construction quality seems very good. Also just noticed it comes with a fan controller too which occupies one of the expansion slots, but it also gives you an extra vertically mounted one for such a purpose.

 

First thing I did was take off the top cover and get a look at the fan mounts. I think I will go with a 420 rad rather than 480, and I will just use 2 of the fan mounts on top to space the radiator and cut a little hole through the top cover. Here is a pic that may help make sense.

Posted Image

 

I also like the look of this rad now, as its also a little cheaper than the 480s and black ice 420s, and also has 2 choices for attaching fittings, which will be handy considering my choice of location.

http://thekoolroom.com/product.php?id_product=177

 

Think I have a pretty good handle on this, read through the parts guide and have read a few other good water cooling guides. I could link if anyone else is keen.

Will try and get my hands on some more bits soon and keep this up to date as I put things together.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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looks like a rather good value rad while being chunky and nice quality

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Should look rad man *boom tish* :P Again, if it were me, I would be going the whole hog and cutting a hole in the top that's the length of all the fans, but it wouldn't really make much difference I don't think.

 

Have you got a theme your going with colour wise, or haven't got that far yet? You going to do a window as well? Either way, can't wait to see this all plumbed up, should look sweet. :D

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Thanks guys, I might cut some holes for the fans to allow more air flow, but I plan to use the locations of the pre-cut fans for simplicity. I can mount straight onto the case without the need for standoffs, and maybe just cut the middle out of some cheap fans to use as shrouds if I need it. The rest of the top is already quite cut up for ventilation, doesn't leave many sturdy places to plan for screws etc. This picture shows a little better than the one I posted above..

Posted Image

 

I had a theme in mind for almost everything dark/black, and very subtle UV lighting of key components, however, I haven't found any fans in the right colours at 140mm size, but plenty at 120mm. I suppose my case does cater to both sizes. :)

 

The only thing stopping me now is money, as some of what I had ready needed to go to another expense. I will probably be slowly acquiring parts over the next few weeks.

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You can cut that honeycomb grill stuff with a half decent pair of wire clippers or side cutters as that's what I used on the grill at the back of my case. Strange that the fan grills aren't centred though, that would frustrate me to no end :P

 

Should be a sweet looking rig when its all done man, can't wait to see the end result :)

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It is a strange choice not to have nice center aligned fans.. I think might be to allow clearance from the mobo for a 120.2 rad internally.

What I will probably do is cut out the middle of each fan slot to reduce resistance, but leave the edges so I still have something to mount into.

Once I get my hands on a rad, first new purchase, will see how I can fit it and decide on the best method from there.

 

Will probably be buying a Dremel too as although I didn't mention it in my last post, I do plan on adding a window to the case, once there is something inside to show off of course :)

I will also borrow a camera to ensure I get a few decent pics, as I find other peoples pictures really helpful.

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It is a strange choice not to have nice center aligned fans.. I think might be to allow clearance from the mobo for a 120.2 rad internally.

What I will probably do is cut out the middle of each fan slot to reduce resistance, but leave the edges so I still have something to mount into.

Once I get my hands on a rad, first new purchase, will see how I can fit it and decide on the best method from there.

 

Will probably be buying a Dremel too as although I didn't mention it in my last post, I do plan on adding a window to the case, once there is something inside to show off of course :)

I will also borrow a camera to ensure I get a few decent pics, as I find other peoples pictures really helpful.

The other way to go for window-cutting is with a jigsaw. Just get an el cheapo one plus a decent metal cutting blade and do it that way, its what I used when we did the window on my case. It's also a lot quicker (and cheaper) than using a Dremel, unless of course you have other plans for the Dremel.

 

Just make sure you cover the side panel in masking tape so you don't scratch it and you won't have a problem. Its pretty easy stuff, just measure twice, cut once and it should go pretty well.

 

EDIT: Maybe you could attach the radiator to the case using the holes on the front fan grill, then cut out the other two completely so its centred?? Or even leave some of the grill near where the fan screw holes line up to, get some washers, and attach the fans/rad to the case through the holes in the grill? Wouldn't be that hard, and you would get the rad in the centre (having the rad centred may not be a problem for you, but it would shit me up the wall).

Edited by G-relk

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Haha yea it might annoy me, but it is a bit hard to picture without a rad in my hands, so will look at possible ways to mount it once I get my hands on one.

 

I could do like you said and mount it off the top front fan, and drill some extra holes for the other 2 mountings, cut out the centre to allow air flow for the fans, it just depends if the holes already there, as I wouldn't want it too loose or rattly. the only problem really is that wherever I mount it, it will be too long to fit the hose through the top of the case, but i think it will be high enough off the top that the hose won't kink going in through the back. Depending on if I use 140mmx 25 or 38... the radiator might end up being as much as 10cm high off the top of my case.. I was thinking I could just hollow out some cheap fans and double up to use as a shroud.

 

I probably would use a jigsaw for the window actually, as thats how i've always seen it done. But the dremel will see plenty use, as I've been waiting till I needed one for a few things before getting one.

 

Edit: Just tried lining it up, and neither way lines up well.. the holes would have to be basically in the middle of where several honeycomb cuts join.. if that make sense. doesn't seem practical.

 

Can you buy thin strips of strongish metal? I was thinking I could just build a 140x420 frame and bolt it to the case, then drill holes for fans and just cut the entire middle out of it. Too extreme?

 

I have a few other ideas too, so will keep u guys up to date when I get a rad.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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Haha yea it might annoy me, but it is a bit hard to picture without a rad in my hands, so will look at possible ways to mount it once I get my hands on one.

 

I could do like you said and mount it off the top front fan, and drill some extra holes for the other 2 mountings, cut out the centre to allow air flow for the fans, it just depends if the holes already there, as I wouldn't want it too loose or rattly. the only problem really is that wherever I mount it, it will be too long to fit the hose through the top of the case, but i think it will be high enough off the top that the hose won't kink going in through the back. Depending on if I use 140mmx 25 or 38... the radiator might end up being as much as 10cm high off the top of my case.. I was thinking I could just hollow out some cheap fans and double up to use as a shroud.

 

I probably would use a jigsaw for the window actually, as thats how i've always seen it done. But the dremel will see plenty use, as I've been waiting till I needed one for a few things before getting one.

 

Edit: Just tried lining it up, and neither way lines up well.. the holes would have to be basically in the middle of where several honeycomb cuts join.. if that make sense. doesn't seem practical.

 

Can you buy thin strips of strongish metal? I was thinking I could just build a 140x420 frame and bolt it to the case, then drill holes for fans and just cut the entire middle out of it. Too extreme?

 

I have a few other ideas too, so will keep u guys up to date when I get a rad.

Yeah, anywhere that does welding or metal work should be able to supply you with something like that no worries. You could use 1 or 2mm thick aluminium, that would be plenty strong enough, and won't rust out on you either. Hell, give them the dimensions and they could probably make it for you no worries, but I think mounting the hardware to a frame would be a better way of doing it. If you have a rivet gun you could attach the frame to the case with that, would be a little neater.

 

Get the dimensions perfect and you might be able to move it forward enough to have to the hose from the rad come though the top of the case even? Certainly worth measuring up just to try at the very least, and if it works, you will have a REALLY schmick looking case ;)

 

EDIT: Instead of doing it as a frame, you could just have two strips of aluminium say 20mm x 440mm x 2mm that you screw all the fans (or even the rad) directly onto, then bolt/rivet that to the case. Just cut one BIG hole for all the fans at the front that is further forward than the original honeycomb grills and you should have room to have your hoses from the rad go directly into the case.

 

I haven't got the case to measure it against obviously, but I roughed it up in paint using the pic from your last post and I THINK it should be possible. It will be a tight squeeze though no doubt.

 

EDIT2: A wireframe of what I mean. Black lines represent that case before modding, red lines are cutouts, and blue lines are the lengths of metal holding the rad and fans to the top of the case

 

Posted Image

Edited by G-relk

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Thanks G-relk I think you may be onto something. I could basically cut the entire middle section out of the top, and reinforce it a little, then attach to that. I just wonder if it would still hold the weight of a 2kg radiator OK after so much surgery. I made the following order from the koolroom yesterday, so hopefully I will have my hands on the rad by the weekend, and I can test fit it and see whats possible/easiest and what is going to be too much work. This should allow mounting of the rad in a push/pull config. I just hope these screws are the right length. Order would probably be top of case, fan, shroud, rad, shroud, fan.

 

1x Phobya G-Changer 420

6x Yate Loon D14SM-12

6x Phobya Shroud & Decoupling 140mmx7mm

24x M3x35mm

24x M3 Black Washer

 

I also had another idea for cutting the mesh on the top cover of the case (the removable cover) which I would like some feedback on. I was thinking instead of just cutting a nice clean hole for the radiator to appear through, how about if I cut it a bit more "messy" like the radiator just burst through the top of the case, bending and twisting the thin metal a little to create the desired effect. The section that is removed I will attach to the top of the radiator like a fan grille so it really does appear to have just burst through.. thoughts?

 

Also after taking another look at this thread by sneh2j00, looks like he has had some problems with compression fittings being too bit for the blocks, and is using the same blocks I was considering, so I am thinking of maybe switching from 1/2" ID to 3/8" ID.. will this have much of an impact on performance? Any suggestions either way, or of 1/2" ID fittings that might fit onto the EK blocks?

 

EDIT: Just realised I made a mistake in the threat title too.. says H20 not H2O lol.. sure had my thinking cap on when I wrote that.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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Thanks G-relk I think you may be onto something. I could basically cut the entire middle section out of the top, and reinforce it a little, then attach to that. I just wonder if it would still hold the weight of a 2kg radiator OK after so much surgery. I made the following order from the koolroom yesterday, so hopefully I will have my hands on the rad by the weekend, and I can test fit it and see whats possible/easiest and what is going to be too much work. This should allow mounting of the rad in a push/pull config. I just hope these screws are the right length. Order would probably be top of case, fan, shroud, rad, shroud, fan.

 

1x Phobya G-Changer 420

6x Yate Loon D14SM-12

6x Phobya Shroud & Decoupling 140mmx7mm

24x M3x35mm

24x M3 Black Washer

 

I also had another idea for cutting the mesh on the top cover of the case (the removable cover) which I would like some feedback on. I was thinking instead of just cutting a nice clean hole for the radiator to appear through, how about if I cut it a bit more "messy" like the radiator just burst through the top of the case, bending and twisting the thin metal a little to create the desired effect. The section that is removed I will attach to the top of the radiator like a fan grille so it really does appear to have just burst through.. thoughts?

 

Also after taking another look at this thread by sneh2j00, looks like he has had some problems with compression fittings being too bit for the blocks, and is using the same blocks I was considering, so I am thinking of maybe switching from 1/2" ID to 3/8" ID.. will this have much of an impact on performance? Any suggestions either way, or of 1/2" ID fittings that might fit onto the EK blocks?

 

EDIT: Just realised I made a mistake in the threat title too.. says H20 not H2O lol.. sure had my thinking cap on when I wrote that.

I think it would be strong enough, worst case scenario it will bend inwards little bit, but that would be it. As long as you cut out as little as possible, and made sure you do a good clean job of it, I can never see it being a problem.

 

That could be cool, but if the shroud thing is aluminium, then it will be very VERY sharp if your not careful in filing all the edges and points back. I would stay with a nice clean cut if it were me.

 

If compression fittings are too big, why don't you just use regular 1/2" barbs?? They work well enough, and look fine, just put some hose clamps on them so the hoses don't pop off and you wont have a problem.

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Good news, after only ordering last night about 2am, I got an email from koolroom today to say its been shipped. Thats pretty fast :)

Hopefully this means I get it tomorrow or Friday at the latest, so I can have some time to work on things over the weekend.

 

I am not sure if the cover material is steel or aluminium, probably steel as its a pretty cheap case, but yes, sharp bits were a concern.. might try it out on some scrap and see how it looks first.

 

I haven't ordered any fittings yet, barbs are a nice option as they are a lot cheaper than compressions, and if i can find some secure black hose clamps I would be happy enough to go barb as I don't want to spend an extra $20 per block just for 2 compression fittings.

 

On top of everything else, I've also decided I am going to be sleeving all of my cables to keep them neat/hidden. I am not sure if I want to get as detailed as doing every wire on the 24 pin connectors but I don't want to see a single yellow/black/red cable anywhere. Matter of fact.. I don't want to see a single cable as much as I can help it.

 

This is for both appearance and practical reasons, such as having to run cables for 6 rad fans from outside the case to inside, and probably having to plug them into extenders or a cheap controller or something, so I want all of that to appear uniform. Good sleeving also makes the cables much easier to manage and seems to assist in tangles/airflow.

 

One last question I had.. probably should have asked before buying bits, but alas, how far into a radiator can I screw before "damaging fins" as I've bought 35mm screws, to hold in place 25mm fan and a 7mm shroud, possibly a washer if it is needed. This should allow ~3mm of thread to fix into the rad, hopefully enough.

 

Edit: I want to grab a few of these too.. as will probably need it. Will hopefully be able to fit it behind the motherboard tray, but if not, does anyone know where I can find one like this, but "flat" as in, the cables attach along the sides, not straight into the front if that make sense? Would it be easy to make one simply? Cheers.

Edited by p0is(+)n

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Good news, after only ordering last night about 2am, I got an email from koolroom today to say its been shipped. Thats pretty fast :)

Hopefully this means I get it tomorrow or Friday at the latest, so I can have some time to work on things over the weekend.

 

I am not sure if the cover material is steel or aluminium, probably steel as its a pretty cheap case, but yes, sharp bits were a concern.. might try it out on some scrap and see how it looks first.

 

I haven't ordered any fittings yet, barbs are a nice option as they are a lot cheaper than compressions, and if i can find some secure black hose clamps I would be happy enough to go barb as I don't want to spend an extra $20 per block just for 2 compression fittings.

 

On top of everything else, I've also decided I am going to be sleeving all of my cables to keep them neat/hidden. I am not sure if I want to get as detailed as doing every wire on the 24 pin connectors but I don't want to see a single yellow/black/red cable anywhere. Matter of fact.. I don't want to see a single cable as much as I can help it.

 

This is for both appearance and practical reasons, such as having to run cables for 6 rad fans from outside the case to inside, and probably having to plug them into extenders or a cheap controller or something, so I want all of that to appear uniform. Good sleeving also makes the cables much easier to manage and seems to assist in tangles/airflow.

 

One last question I had.. probably should have asked before buying bits, but alas, how far into a radiator can I screw before "damaging fins" as I've bought 35mm screws, to hold in place 25mm fan and a 7mm shroud, possibly a washer if it is needed. This should allow ~3mm of thread to fix into the rad, hopefully enough.

 

Edit: I want to grab a few of these too.. as will probably need it. Will hopefully be able to fit it behind the motherboard tray, but if not, does anyone know where I can find one like this, but "flat" as in, the cables attach along the sides, not straight into the front if that make sense? Would it be easy to make one simply? Cheers.

99% of PSU's already have sleeved cables, unless your keeping your old one for the final build?

 

I get maybe 4 or 5mm or clearance between the fins and the screw holes on my rad, but if your screws are too long, just lop the ends off with the dremel your going to buy. Easy enough done.

 

If you handy with a soldering iron, then I would dare say that you would be better off making a cable to do the same job as that adapter board. I've made them in the past using the low noise adapters that I got with some fans I bought. If you don't have any spare cables with the right ends, I think you can actually buy the fan power adapter plug separately from jaycar. Hell, you could just cut the ends off all the fan cables, then hard wire them into a singles molex plug. If your routing them behind the motherboard it won't matter anyway.

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I will be grabbing a shiny new modular PSU eventually, however I am talking about sleeving anything and everything just so that it is invisible. Fan cables (especially on the rad), front header if I need to, sata cables if I can't find black ones etc.

 

These fiddly bits are the areas where I don't have much experience.

 

Would you be able to give me a quick run down, or a link to explain what would be involved in re-wiring 3 fans to share a single molex? Is it literally as simple as joining the wires together, or can I overload them somehow doing that? I am somewhat handy with a soldering iron, but not for real intricate stuff. For example I've built my own speakers before including everything inside, but I've also looked at some electronic components and put the iron back down due to small solders and potential to fuck up.

 

/feels noob again

Edited by p0is(+)n

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I will be grabbing a shiny new modular PSU eventually, however I am talking about sleeving anything and everything just so that it is invisible. Fan cables (especially on the rad), front header if I need to, sata cables if I can't find black ones etc.

 

These fiddly bits are the areas where I don't have much experience.

 

Would you be able to give me a quick run down, or a link to explain what would be involved in re-wiring 3 fans to share a single molex? Is it literally as simple as joining the wires together, or can I overload them somehow doing that? I am somewhat handy with a soldering iron, but not for real intricate stuff. For example I've built my own speakers before including everything inside, but I've also looked at some electronic components and put the iron back down due to small solders and potential to fuck up.

 

/feels noob again

Well, your probably best off looking at somethign like the bitfenix sleeved extenders if your not overly confident.

 

LiveFire have them in a few different colours and styles here

 

 

Regards the fan cables, that is exactly what I meant, solder them all onto one cable that goes to a molex plug. Heat shrink all the joins and do a half decent job of soldering them and it won't be a problem. The amount of amperage that fans use you'd have a VERY hard time overloading any of the wires or plugs. Ordinary Fans usually have a red, black, and yellow cable, likewise, molex connectors have a red, two blacks, and a yellow wire. Go red - red, yellow - yellow, and the single black on the fan to the black next to the yellow on the molex plug and your done; the second black cable directly next to the red on the molex plug can be removed. I'll draw a basic diagram up tomorrow at work when it's quiet.....

 

EDIT: You can get a cable that goes from 1 molex to 3 fan plugs. If your not keen on doing it the DIY way, then a pair of these will do the trick perfectly.

Edited by G-relk

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EDIT: You can get a cable that goes from 1 molex to 3 fan plugs.

One of those came with my Silverstone case for the 3x 180mm fans, I'm using it now. Not sure I like it though, and will try using my unused Bitfenix 3-pin fan extenders sometime. Probably Friday, day off!

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I know I could have some extra fan adapters and such but I would rather keep as much clutter out of the case as possible. If it is just a case of twisting a few wires together and fixing them all to the same molex I can handle that :)

 

I do like the BitFenix ones but can't afford another $50 or so just for pretty cable extenders, I'd rather spend a bit less and do it myself, and sleeve anything that I need to, keeping all the mess neatly behind the motherboard. I've built some pretty extreme neat PCs in my time, so it is something I think I do quite well. I could see myself buying the bitfenix 24 pin cable though as I don't know if i can be bothered individually sleeving one if required.

 

No diagram necessary G-relk, unless u got the time, but I think I understand.

 

Fan has R B Y and molex has R B B Y, twist together 3 pairs of same colour fan cables and join them as described above, solder them in if it doesn't seem secure, heatshrink the join for safety and done. I like this ideas the best as this would take up much less room behind the motherboard than anything else I can think of, and I am guaranteed the right cable length. I don't want to have too much excess cable as that can be a pain to keep hidden.

 

Can I apply the same principle to extending fan cables? If I need a longer one, can I snip it, make it longer and still combine it with another 2 to share the same power connector? This is basically how I am planning on wiring up my rad fans.

 

Also.. what do you guys think about full cover GPU blocks, some people seem to swear by them and think I am gonna have VRM overheating issues without one... sounds BS but thoughts guys?

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I know I could have some extra fan adapters and such but I would rather keep as much clutter out of the case as possible. If it is just a case of twisting a few wires together and fixing them all to the same molex I can handle that :)

 

I do like the BitFenix ones but can't afford another $50 or so just for pretty cable extenders, I'd rather spend a bit less and do it myself, and sleeve anything that I need to, keeping all the mess neatly behind the motherboard. I've built some pretty extreme neat PCs in my time, so it is something I think I do quite well. I could see myself buying the bitfenix 24 pin cable though as I don't know if i can be bothered individually sleeving one if required.

 

No diagram necessary G-relk, unless u got the time, but I think I understand.

 

Fan has R B Y and molex has R B B Y, twist together 3 pairs of same colour fan cables and join them as described above, solder them in if it doesn't seem secure, heatshrink the join for safety and done. I like this ideas the best as this would take up much less room behind the motherboard than anything else I can think of, and I am guaranteed the right cable length. I don't want to have too much excess cable as that can be a pain to keep hidden.

 

Can I apply the same principle to extending fan cables? If I need a longer one, can I snip it, make it longer and still combine it with another 2 to share the same power connector? This is basically how I am planning on wiring up my rad fans.

 

Also.. what do you guys think about full cover GPU blocks, some people seem to swear by them and think I am gonna have VRM overheating issues without one... sounds BS but thoughts guys?

If I were you I would solder the wires together not just twist them, but you have the correct basic principle. Just make sure you wire the black from the fan cables to the black next to the yellow on the molex cable and it will work fine.

 

And yes, you can use the exact same principle for extending cables. Just put some heat shrink or electrical tape over the joins so they can't short out on anything and you won't have a problem. The cable colours are standardised for molex and fan cables, so join red to red, yellow to yellow etc and you're set.

 

From my limited knowledge, I would just go with a universal block. Full cover blocks would probably work fine VRAM temp wise, but they are usually only for a specific GPU, where the universal blocks are, well, universal. You can re-use the same block in the future if you upgrade your GPU if you get a universal one.

 

 

Here's the wiring diagram. It's a bit rough, but you should get the general idea

Posted Image

 

 

EDIT: If your not confident doing the solder work yourself, you might be best off getting someone to do it for you?? Most decent computer techs should be able to do it for a small price, likewise so would an electrician or TV/whitegoods repairer. Hell, I could do it for you if you want, cover return postage and it won't be a hassle. would just need to know how long the cables need to be etc. I think I have some sleeving here that I stole from a cable I butchered when I did my case.....

Edited by G-relk

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Thanks for that diagram G-relk, I am pretty confident I will have no problems if it is this easy, I just like to make sure that I understand something like this before I attempt it as I hate trying to do something without complete comprehension of what I am doing. Sounds dead easy though, simpler than I thought :)

 

My thoughts exactly on the universal block, as I will want to be able to use it on almost any video card in the future. Seems stupid to invest so much in just 1 card unless I am buying top of the range gear and have money to burn, which I don't. I usually buy new mid range graphics cards every 18-24 months or so, rather than top of the line stuff, and so want to keep using this gear for a while.

 

Hopefully I will have some time to get stuck into all of this on the weekend.

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Thanks for that diagram G-relk, I am pretty confident I will have no problems if it is this easy, I just like to make sure that I understand something like this before I attempt it as I hate trying to do something without complete comprehension of what I am doing. Sounds dead easy though, simpler than I thought :)

 

My thoughts exactly on the universal block, as I will want to be able to use it on almost any video card in the future. Seems stupid to invest so much in just 1 card unless I am buying top of the range gear and have money to burn, which I don't. I usually buy new mid range graphics cards every 18-24 months or so, rather than top of the line stuff, and so want to keep using this gear for a while.

 

Hopefully I will have some time to get stuck into all of this on the weekend.

Yeah, nothing to it really. I assume that if your doing some work on it this weekend that the rad etc arrived from thekoolroom?? Either way, can't wait to see some progress :)

 

 

Once bulldozer is released I'm going to start another case mod, this time a clear case for a media PC. Should be good fun to play with some plastic, just need to get a motherboard tray and the parts and I am set.....

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I won't know for a few more hours until I get home, but i'd say if it was shipped with AAE yesterday there is a good chance I will get it by tomorrow.

Will keep you guys updated either way. Thanks for the encouragment.

 

Clear plastic cases are awesome, I remember wanting one a few years back. when I saw a fish tank side window mod, with real fish in it lol. I am sitting on the fence about bulldozer at the moment.. will see how it compares to the sandy bridge CPUs before I decide either way :)

 

Once I get some construction underway.. I will probably just start a build log for my project instead or having threads all over the place asking questions.

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I won't know for a few more hours until I get home, but i'd say if it was shipped with AAE yesterday there is a good chance I will get it by tomorrow.

Will keep you guys updated either way. Thanks for the encouragment.

 

Clear plastic cases are awesome, I remember wanting one a few years back. when I saw a fish tank side window mod, with real fish in it lol. I am sitting on the fence about bulldozer at the moment.. will see how it compares to the sandy bridge CPUs before I decide either way :)

 

Once I get some construction underway.. I will probably just start a build log for my project instead or having threads all over the place asking questions.

Hopefully I'm not biting off more than I can chew, but realistically, it's a box with some holes in it for some parts. Once I have a mobo tray, it should be relatively straight forward, Ill screw the HDD and ODD to the bottom, cut a hole in the side for a fan, some small holes in the other side for ventilation and job done.

 

I've already invested in AMD for my main PC, so it will get a Bulldozer CPU, and the Phenom II I have in it ATM will go into the media PC. Can't wait to see how it will OC under water though >:)

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