I was going to do my next mod in a Switch 810. That was until the
came out and I HAD to have one. This build will be fully watecooled and build around an i7-3770k and a pair of XFX 6870's and will feature a black and green theme with custom windows and LOTS of sweet laser-cut accessories from my good friend Thomas at
White Light Laser
First off HUGE thanks to my current sponsors Lepa and Enermax!
Lepa supplied 5 LP70D12R fans and Enermax supplied a Platimax 1200W PSU!
Alright small update for the first one, but there's plenty more to come.
I took out the factory mesh on the top panel and made a window for it.
Next up I started getting some hardware mounted so I could figure out the routing for my tubing. The board shown here is just for mock-up.
Next I drilled mounting holes for the pump mount and mounted the pump.
Then I drilled holes for the reservoir mount. Being that this case is short and fat rather than the typical tall and skinny I decided to mount the res to the back panel.
Here's a shot with the board and GPU's I'll be using. I'll be using my current XFX 6870's paired with their EK blocks. The board shown here I'll be using along with an i7-3770k and the EK block shown here. I still need to strip the block mounting bracket from the last mod and repaint it black for this one. I also plan to remove the MB heatskink setup and paint the blue trim pieces green to match the rest of the mod.
And last up a shot of the green/black paracord I'll be using to sleeve all the cables for the mod.
I've got some Mayhem's pastel mint green coolant mixed up and waiting for the build as well. I think the whole black and green theme will look killer in this.
I'm also debating on adding another 120mm rad in the floor in the 5.25" drive bays for some extra cooling, but we'll see.
The two 6870 waterblocks were starting to get slightly stained, so I took them apart and hit them with some Mother's metal polish with the Dremel and buffing wheel and cleaned them up pretty good.
I also cleaned up the nickel on the CPU waterblock as well as stripped the old paint of the retention bracket and re-painted it black
I also got my care package in from
! I got a second XSPC 120mm radiator, some Bitspower fittings and some other assorted goodies.
I decided to mount the second 120mm rad on the bottom of the case in the 5.25" drive bay compartment. I'll be using a fan controller but it's short and won't interfere with the fan/rad setup at all.
I also removed almost all of the 3- and 5-way snake rotary fittings to clean up the overall look. It looks much cleaner this way and the Duralene tubing I'll be using is very flexible so I don't need perfectly straight line-of-sight from one barb to the next.
Next up I drilled a hole at the back of the case for the Bitspower panel fitting. This will allow me to connect the reservoir and pump through the back panel of the case.
I had to notch the motherboard tray support just a tad so the panel fitting lock ring would fit properly.
Then I installed the necessary rotary and barb fittings to line everything up.
I got a Bitfenix Recon fan controller to keep the system cool
Next I swapped the small piece of tubing leading into the pump for a Bitspower crystal link to clean things up
Then I got some sleeving done. I sleeved the 120mm and 80mm Lepa fans as well as the wiring for the front panel buttons and LEDs. I also removed the wiring for the front panel audio as I will have no use for it.
Then I cut out all the plastic honeycomb mesh that's molded into the front panel. I'll be keeping the steel mesh that covers the intake but I wanted that plastic stuff gone.
Lastly I drilled and mounted a 16mm Lamptron switch. This will turn on and off the case lighting.
I started off by sleeving all of the cables for the fan controller.
Next I tackled the vortex in the reservoir issue I was getting. I decided to cut a small piece of acrylic and thread it into the outlet.
And it worked beautifully
I also scooped up a G1.Sniper 2 from Lee Harrington for the build, this will fit the theme much better.
Next I designed and made the circuit board that will read and display the coolant temp and flow rate. I designed it in Eagle CAD as i do all of my boards. I decided to make it single-sided to it'd be easier to etch and solder together.
I printed the board layouts onto inkjet photo paper with a laser printer. The small boards on the bottom are for something else - I'll get to that in a bit.
Then I placed the printed side down on a piece of single-sided copper board and ran them through the laminator a few times to transfer the toner to the PCB.
Then they went into a warm etchant bath until all of the exposed copper was dissolved.
Then I trimmed the control board to it's proper size.
Next I drilled all the holes and soldered in the components. The ribbon cable is going to connect to the board that will have the LCD mounted to it which I still need to make.
Now most of you probably know that the G1 series of boards come with green LEDs in the heatsink assembly. Well Thomas is cutting me out some custom GPU backplates along with all the other laser-cut parts so I figured I'd like UV LED's to light it up rather than green ones. This is where that small board comes in. I picked up some 0603 SMD UV LED's and resistors and made a replacement PCB for it. These things are TINY!
Here is the board I made next to the one out of the board - looks like I measured the LED spacing correctly.
And a couple shots with the new PCB installed into the motherboard.
And a shot of it with my UV green fan template lit up.
Next up I got the side panels done. I measured and cut out the panels for the windows
I opened up the lower guide track and slid a white LED strip into the track to light up the window etchings.
Then I filed the cuts smooth and put some edge molding on then mounted the windows with 3M VHB tape.
Next I got to work on polishing the GPU blocks and the EK bridge link block and got the blocks mounted.
Now for strange unknown reasons EK chose to NOT put a G1/4" threaded hole on the bottom side of the bridge, only the bottom right side. Well that's useless isn't it? With the way the flow is set up I need the flow to enter the left side of the bridge and exit the right. This is due to the universal GPU blocks having a dedicated flowpath.
So I picked up an 11.5mm plastic drill and a G1/4" BSPP tap from McMaster and made my own hole.
Now the topside of the bridge block has one threaded hole recessed into the block while the other is not. Presumably the recess is for the plug to sit flush once it's installed. However this needs to be my exit and because of the recess I can't install a fitting here. So I took the Dremel out and milled out the recess enough to allow the installation of Bitspower's new rigid tubing compression fittings.
After that was done the blocks were all mounted and I got to work redoing the tubing to and from the GPU's.
I also picked up a green Bitspower LED station to make hooking up all my LED's easier. I wired the ground on the LED station's Molex power to the switch I mounted in the front panel earlier. This allows me to turn off all the lights if I want.
Then I installed white LED's into the CPU block, GPU blocks and the bridge block.
I filled the loop with Mayhem's Pastel Mint Green. I like it but it's a tad too light for me - I was looking for something a little bit darker...hmmm...will work on that later.
And here's how it looks with the white LED's in all of the blocks
Now while I was taking those last pics I noticed this side of the 5.25" drive bays was in need of something so I made up a cover panel out of black acrylic to make it look better.
Then I decided that the translucent green accents inside weren't as lit up as I'd like from the white LED's so I decided to add a pair of UV LED strips to either side of the top window. It worked but it had the side effect of making the Mayhem's Pastel Mint Green look almost white :O
So back to the light green issue...I had a bottle of Primochill UV Brite Green dye so I decided to squirt a bunch in - I ended up using just about the entire bottle (which dyes a gallon of coolant) but it turned out perfect and now the UV LED's actually make it light up green instead of turn a pasty white color
And with the top panel on and UV LED's on:
I like the way the UV LED's light up the top panel etchings purple as well - it sets it off nicely. Next update will be the final update with the final pics!