Fractal Design Desire XL H²o project

Discussion in 'Die-hard Overclocking & Case Modifications' started by Megabiv, Aug 25, 2013.

  1. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    Hi all, been a while since I was last active on these forums (previously as N00bt3r nearly a decade ago) but I felt that PC itch again and decided i was going to go H²o. In the past my first attempt of watercooling was with a second hand kit made by Thermaltake and while it was fun and very green it was a shoddy thing with different sized tubing, radiators with dents and a pump that would occasionally stop working... good purchase :3eyes:.

    This time I went and thought hard about what I wanted, where it would go and what I would need for the job.

    So I ended up with the XSPC RayStorm D5 AX360 kit which saved me some money over buying separately. I also went and bought an Aqua Computer AquagraFX Waterblock for my GTX 570 (more on this later). Since I would require some work done to my case to fit the radiator I bought a radiator grill to neaten up the cutting. Lastly I got some extras, an Asus Xonar D2X, some white tubing, white braided cable extensions and Corsair AX860 to replace my ancient Tagan 580 modular PSU (been used in all my builds since 2006!).

    Well that was the shopping list on to some pictures of my progress so far.

    Day 1

    After work I set about dismantling my PC. I started by removing the gigantic Thermalrite Silver Arrow, my GTX570, X-Fi gamer card.

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    I then proceeded to remove my Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo 2 from the GPU and gutted the rest of the case including removing the top mounted fan (220m I think) and shroud. Removing the front door and USB/Power cables.

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    Day 2

    Well the big day arrived and so did all of my components.

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    Using the radiator grill I bought I made a guide for the radiator on the top of the case. This was quite a challenge as a 360mm radiator will fit into the case, but it starts reaching the 5.25 bays and if I made a mistake in the measurements it could prove to be a problem.

    Luckily it all went to plan and after a very loud jigsawing session (never knew how much noise could be made from jigsawing metal in a garage) I had a space for my Radiator.

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    After the cutting and drilling was complete and I was happy with the result I moved on to giving the case a good wash/clean since it was absolutely filthy. Plus who wants swarf knocking round a PC case.

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    With the Radiator and grill fitted.

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    Once the radiator was in i fitted the D5 pump/reservoir and hooked it up, and installed the motherboard and CPU block into the case.

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    Now here is where my day took a big nose dive. After all things going well I went to fit my GPU block. Well guess what it didn't fit!

    Now I know I'm partly to blame since I did buy it, but what annoyed me the most was that the shop i bought it from had in the parts description "for reference GTX570 GF110". Now after a little research once I had calmed down it turns out that Nvidia made a different "reference" design for the GTX570 :bang:.

    The one I needed (and subsequently ordered) is a GTX580/570 block since my reference designed GTX570 is a 580 design with few less chips.

    So I get the fun of trying to return that (or if any one here is looking for a GTX570 water block that is unused/still dry PM me), but in the mean time i figured I still had quite a lot of work ahead of myself so I soldiered on.

    So I installed all the parts I could and did probably my most successful cable tidying yet getting it ready to have my GTX570 on H²o.

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    So there we have it for the moment the progress is halted until during the week when my additional parts arrive (got a couple of 90***730; angle fittings too).

    I'll add to this as/when I continue my project.
     
  2. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    GPU:
    GTX980Ti SLI (h²o)
    So another day another dollar...or quite a few. Went ahead and purchased a couple of extra bits while I'm waiting for my new GPU block to arrive.

    Some Koolance quick connectors to go either side of my GPU block for future upgrades.

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    Also found an EVGA back plate for £8 on ebay

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    Did a bit of extra work on my case, which included inserting some rubber fan mounts/pins through the additional drill holes on my radiator grill at the top, and cut two small grooves out of the PSU compartment cover to allow the cables to be fed through but make it a little neater.

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  3. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    GPU:
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    Well today I get home from work to find a package, it small so i figure its my Black Chrome 90' fittings.

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    Only to find they are 90' fittings, but they are not the Black Chrome I ordered instead are just plain chrome :(

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    I'm starting to think there's some other force at work trying to stop me from finishing this loop :/. I can only hope that the rest of the parts I ordered are
    1) Correct
    2) Arrive this week
    3) Have no leaks
     
  4. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    GPU:
    GTX980Ti SLI (h²o)
    Well today my new or shall I say correct water block arrived as well as some extras I'd ordered such as my 140mm XSPC Radiator :D.

    So I got to work and fitted my GPU block since my 570 has been lying around naked since last Friday. So here it is fitted.

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    Next I moved onto the 140mm rad.

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    Well this was a spur of the moment purchase and it now makes me realize that just because I have a 140mm exhaust fan it doesn't mean I can fit a 140mm rad there too, well I could if I hadn't already used the room for my 360mm on top :stewpid:.

    So after this dawned on me I set about using the rad brackets that were shipped with my XSPC kit and I never used since these would shift the rad enough that it clears the 360mm rad on top :banana:.

    Since they were just nasty looking steel I figured I'd paint them to keep in line with my black/white theme and here they are.

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    Here they are fitted to that 140mm beast

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    Next part was mounting my additional rad to the case getting the fan attached.

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    As can be seen, its a squeeze but it actually fits, which was followed by a nice sigh of relief I can tell you.

    Once that was done I had to get the GPU in and start getting the tubing routed and trying to avoid kinks. This took some figuring out but I got there in the end. So here she is, almost ready to be filled up and leak tested.

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    Hopefully tomorrow my QDC kits arrive and once I can figure out a way to fit them into my loop she'll be ready for testing. My..its been a long week :)
     

  5. Loophole35

    Loophole35 Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    EVGA 1080ti SC
    Like it bro looking good.
     
  6. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    GPU:
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    Thanks, glad its all taking shape now after the whole GPU block problem at the start. Main issue is just delivery times and since its my first W/C build from scratch (certainly in a few years) it's noticing all the issues that you don't think about such as connector angles, tubing left, kinks, space. Still when I continue with future builds I'll be ready :)
     
  7. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    GPU:
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    Well I gave up waiting for my QDC's to arrive (since Royal Mail haven't even given me a delivery date yet) and also thought that since I added that 140mm rad the space for those connectors was going to be nigh on impossible without more tubing and additional angled connectors. So when they do arrive I'll use them as part of my next build/upgrade.
    I've nearly put a 1L into the loop, no leaks and most of the big air pockets are out so I'm now running it through for the little pockets that may remain.

    Ooohh sexy with the paper towels

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  8. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

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    Looking good man, keep the photo's coming.
     
  9. hallryu

    hallryu Don Altobello

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    GPU:
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    Black and white always looks good. Liking this build, good work.
     
  10. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    GPU:
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    So today I've got PC out of the garage and back in it's place since the leak testing went without any incidents. Now this case wasn't the lightest and once it was filled up it was quite a hernia inducing lift I can tell you.

    Anyway I've set about doing some overclocking and at the moment its at 3.8ghz 1.275v. I'm currently unable to get 4ghz although I'll keep trying different settings as I can boot into windows but getting through stability tests is a no go.

    Temps get to 73c after 20 runs with Intel Burn Test set on High stress but idle at 40-44c and during gaming around 55c.

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    Now my greatest enjoyment from this and also the reason I went with water cooling was for my GPU. This thing was hot, and no matter what I did with it it would typically sit in the 90-95c if it was a demanding game (BF3, Farcry3, The Witcher 2 etc.) but now it its idling at 37-40c (previously idled around 45c) and in the same games mentioned is sitting at 53-54c. Now that's a 40c drop in temperature for 99% load and for me has justified this whole experience :D.

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    Now I just need to get that 4ghz stable...
     

  11. Loophole35

    Loophole35 Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
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    GPU temp was the same reason I went water. Mine in SLI went from 75C down to 48C can't complain at all. Good work OP.
     
  12. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    GPU:
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    Well I'm back again since I really really had an urge to go SLI 570's. After browsing aroung the web I saw some of the prices on ebay and they really weren't that bad around £70-£90 for a GTX 570. So plus a water block put it around £150 for a nice little upgrade.

    So I headed into this with caution avoiding the type 2 GTX 570's that are about and checked out the web for reviews containing PCB shots and even using the http://www.coolingconfigurator.com/ website for that extra bit of assurance. WelL I spot an MSI Twin Frozr 2 for a good price and it even has the reference PCB that I require for the water block.

    Well it arrives and to my dismay the PCB is not reference....its a dreaded MSI V222 number (just put it into google) and is using a 400 series PCB.

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    So heart broken and money down I searched again for a reference GTX 570 (it's really difficult to find a reference one now, they're all Gainward Golden Samples or Asus Direct Cu2 coolers which all have custom PCB designs).

    Success Amazon had one, cost more than on ebay but for a new, reference design GXT 570 with next day shipping... I'll take it.

    It arrives and I get to work on fitting the blocks and using the SLI adapter block etc. to get this into my system. Even used the QDC's this time since I had the GPU out.

    Here are some pictures of it all.

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    So onward I got with the leak testing and eventually get this beast powered up and SLI enabled.

    Then it booted up and said it had a problem with my GTX 570... strange...error 43 in hardware manager. Well I re-enabled the device and it looked good and hit that SLI button... then it crashed, repeatedly. So I went through every web post and driver install/removal I could think of to get it working. I then thought perhaps It wasn't seated right...not that. Then I tried changing the PCI-E connectors in case something strange was going on with the PSU...not that either.

    Well by this time I'd spent nearly 12 hours with my PC in bits and decided I'l try removing the blocks and swapping them over in case it was a slot problem on the board or if the Asus didn't like being the slave card to the MSI. So an hour later after swapping the cards and getting it back into the loop this is what I was presented with...

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    :bang:

    Yes the card is DOA.... can you bloody believe it. So overall this has been a pretty crappy weekend but It did at lease prove that the QDC's worked as it saved me a lot of time in bleeding/filling the loop in between.

    So what I've done is managed to find some GTX 580's from Scan that cost £260 a pair and have bought those. I've had nothing but a headache from the GTX 570 series this week and thought I've already got the blocks so why not just step up.
     
  13. Megabiv

    Megabiv Master Guru

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    GPU:
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    So yesterday my new EVGA GTX 580's arrived (crazy price at £260 for both) and were both tested in another computer before I went ahead installing the water blocks this time.

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    Well they both worked and so I went ahead and fitted the blocks and the SLI adapter. Also purchased and painted black some single slot brackets so it would actually all fit in my case.

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    So finally here is the finished thing as I really don;t think I can fit much more in there...although I'm sure I could squeeze a 240 Rad vertically between the GPU's and the front.

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    Overall I felt this was perhaps a more stressing task than originally planned but what the hell I love it and couldn't be happier :banana:
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  14. weasel

    weasel Master Guru

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    Wow nice to see Megabiv good job and nice looking modding work you did on your case :thumbup:
     

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