JC's Water Cooling Worklog


The "Need" to Water Cool

Over the past few months, I have been seriously contemplating the purchase of a water cooled CPU/GPU cooling setup for my computer. The desire to do this upgrade is two-fold.
  1. I felt the "need" to lower my system temperatures.
  2. I want quiet and more quiet.[/list=1]Recently, I had purchased a newer generation video card. While much faster than my previous card, the downside was increased system temperatures and increased noise. My current idle temperatures are:
    • CPU: 38°C
    • MB: 32°C
    • GPU: 47°C
    • GPU PCB: 39°C
    Under load, these temperatures would go to:
    • CPU: 48°C
    • MB: 34°C
    • GPU: 71°C
    • GPU PCB: 50°C
    My system:
    • Thermaltake Armor aluminum case
    • Asus P4C800-E Deluxe motherboard
    • Intel P4 3000 MHz Northwood processor, slightly overclocked to 3300MHz
    • 1 Gigabyte Twin Corsair XMS 3700 memory modules
    • Seasonic S12 600 Watt Power Supply
    • ATI X850Pro video card
    • Zalman 7000 Cu heat sink/fan
    • (2) Hitachi 80 gig HD’s in Raid 0
    • WD 120 Gig HD
    • NEC DVD-DL optical drive
    • Memorex DVD RW optical drive
    • Crystalfontz CFA-631 LCD w/SCAB
    • Crystalfontz CFA-635 LCD w/SCAB
    • Crystalfontz CFA-632 LCD
    • (2) Crystalfontz CFA-633 LCD
    • Crystalfontz CFA-634 LCD
    • Floppy
    • Creative Audigy 2 Zs
    While I had expected a hotter video card, I have also noticed higher CPU temperatures of approximately 8°C. Whether this is the result of more heat being pumped into the case from the video card, decreased CPU heatsink efficiency, a combination of both, or other factors, it became clear that I needed (perhaps "wanted" is the more correct term) the higher cooling capacity of a water cooling setup.

    After much consideration, I decided to purchase a Swiftech H20-220 APEX ULTRA kit. I chose this kit simply because I did not want to piece together the components. With this kit, you get everything you need to install a water cooled setup. As I upgrade my aging system components, the "universal" mounting accessories will make it easy to install on a new processor. And finally, it is also one of the better kits out there. I also purchased a Swiftech MCW55 GPU waterblock.

    One of the things that I wanted to incorporate into my water cooling setup is a Crystalfontz LCD/SCAB fan controller. I have used this fan controller on my computer for over a year and it has done a fantastic job of automatically balancing cooling needs to fan noise control.

    I decided to divide up fan controlling duties between 2 separate controllers. My case fans would be controlled by a SCAB controller connected a CFA-631. 1 front, 2 rear, and 1 top case fans. These fans will be controlled by temp sensors mounted on my 2 SATA harddisks, an ambient case sensor and a sensor mounted on my Northbridge heatsink.

    The water loop components will be controlled by a SCAB controller connected to a CFA-635. The components I will be controlling will be the radiator fans and water pump. Temp sensors will be connected to the CPU and GPU blocks. I will also be putting temp sensors in the water loop, just before and after the radiator. I will use these sensors to balance the radiator fan speeds and pump speed. Basically, the question I have here is whether increasing pump speed (quieter?) vs. fan speed (louder?) will provide a better cooling solution.

    The SCAB controllers and LCD’s have been provided courtesy of Crystalfontz America Inc.

    I have also obtained a Swissflow SF800 flow meter, courtesy of Swissflow BV. This device would appear to have been designed for the computer water cooling market. A compact design in a 3/8" BSP in-line housing offers the kind of construction a serious water-cooler would need. Just hook it up to a SCAB fan header to provide the needed power and obtain a nice calibrated output, which can be easily interpreted by the CrystalControl2 software as liters or gallons per minute. Other than the perceived novelty of having a flow meter in the system, I felt a real need to have this nifty little item. One of the things that the CrystalControl2 software can do is enable alarms and shut down the computer in case water flow drops below a certain point.

    Obviously, if I have a coolant leak and flow drops to nothing, I don’t need a flow sensor to tell me that I have destroyed my computer. However, if the pump fails for any reason, the computer will shut down long before the CPU and GPU sees any damaging temperatures. Just simply good insurance.

    The Components

    Pictured below is the Swiftech CPU kit packaging. Big and heavy.

    The following picture shows the nice packaging of the kit components.

    And finally, all laid out.

    There’s a lot of stuff there! This is my first water cooling adventure and after looking over all this stuff, it seems a might bit overwhelming.

    And for the record, pictured below is the GPU block.

    The remaining components of the water loop, the Crystalfontz temp sensors and Swissflow SF800 flow sensor, are shown below.

    Crystalfontz WRDOWY17 DS18B20 based temperature sensor for the CFA-633 and the CFA-631,CFA-635 SCAB

    Swissflow SF800 Flow Sensor components

    Swissflow SF800 Flow Sensor components assembled

    The connector that came installed on the flow meter was not the same type that used in fan headers. No problem though. I simply broke off the locking tab on the connector and it fits perfectly into the male half of a fan connector. The only other modification I needed to make was to switch 2 wires so they installed in the correct manner to the fan header, as can be seen below.

    Temp Sensor Construction

    In deciding how to incorporate Crystalfontz temperature sensors into the water loop, I went thru 2 design ideas before settling on a 3rd alternative. The 1st idea consisted of 3/8" nickel plated brass NPT tee and plug, and a SS tubing insert. I liked the concept, but quickly decided that the finished product would simply be too heavy to incorporate into the setup. From experiences with my fish tank plumbing, I did not like NPT threads, either.

    My next idea was inspired by anonymous_putterer in this thread: https://forum.crystalfontz.com/showthread.php?threadid=2142, I rejected this idea simply because it seemed difficult to locate and properly seal the sensor without covering the head and, in general, making a mess of the assembly. After all, I am a mechanical design engineer. I, like many typical engineers, are great at designing and terrible at building.

    My final idea I felt would be really slick. I purchased a ½" Quick Connect Tee (from Menards), some Swiftech ½" tube to ½" barb adapters and ½" tube to 3/8" barb adapters. I cut the 3/8" barb off the end of the Swiftech adapter, inserted the temp sensor thru the ½" tube side, and epoxied in the sensor. I also obtained the epoxy from Menards. The following pictures show the unassembled components and finished sensor assembly.

    Temp sensor components

    Finished temp sensor

    The business end.

    I filled the complete tube insert with epoxy.

    The completed temperature probe assembly.

    If you look closely, you can just see the head of the probe. In the water flow path, but not obstructing it.

    According to Crystalfontz, the epoxy should cover the probe just beyond the sensor seam, as illustrated above.

    Once I had the sensor assemblies completed, I thought it might be nice to do a little "technical" verification. I don’t have calibrated test equipment here in my home, but I wanted to make sure that I didn’t do anything bad to the sensors during the assembly process. I took the 2 probes along with my digital fish tank probe (Sorry, no high-tech calibrated probe to test against) and tested them under the following 3 conditions:

    Ice water: I stuck them in a glass of ice water for approximately 10 minutes. The results are illustrated below:

    Ambient room temperature: I simply let them warm up on my desk for about 15 minutes. The results are illustrated below:

    Hot Water: I heated some water in a microwave for 1 minute. I stuck the probes in the glass for approximately 5 minutes. The results are illustrated below:

    The results appeared adequate to me except at the 60+ temperature point. Due to my lack of foresight, however, I did not have an extra fitting to manufacture a new probe. Oh, well. When I get a chance, I will replace the offending probe with another, hopefully more accurate, probe.

    Water Cooling Assembly

    Once I got all the components on hand and, more importantly, found enough uninterrupted time to do this, it was time to blow the dust out my computer, remove the MB, install the water cooling components, and improve my horrid wire management!

    BWC (Before Water-Cooling):

    Two cases were required to house and test all the LCD’s. It was time to semi-retire 2 of them and get rid of that ugly (and noisy) Xaser III case.

    I think I mentioned horrible wire management earlier. Now do you believe me?

    * Radiator installation and holes for tubing.

    Installing the radiator was unbelievably simple. The Armor case has holes on the back face that the Swiftech radbox bolted to perfectly. Attach the radiator and I was all done. It took less than 10 minutes to complete the radiator installation. The use of the radbox simplifies radiator installation greatly! Swiftech also ships the radiator with the hose barbs installed. Nice!

    The following pictures are just some shots of the installed radiator.

    The picture above shows the tubing knockouts that are part of the Armor case. While they are not designed for large diameter tubing, I found that they were perfect for the tubing supplied with the Swiftech kit. I simply lined the hole with some electrical tape and shoved the tubing thru.

    * Reservoir installation

    I was quite unsure how I was going to mount the reservoir. Then I remembered that worthless extra harddisk cage that ships with the Thermaltake Armor case. Worthless in that it was not designed for use with power supplies like my Seasonic S12 series. It completely blocks off all air flow to that nice big and silent 120mm intake fan. I already had 3 harddrives in the front, and had never used this cage. It would be a perfect place to mount the reservoir if I could just get airflow to the power supply.

    So out came my dremel and about 3 or 4 broken cutoff disks later, I had taken care of the problem. Original cage showing the blockage.

    The cage after I had removed the offending slide brackets.

    Much better airflow for my power supply intake fan!

    I drilled a hole thru a bracket on the opposite side and mounted the reservoir

    Another view of the assembled reservoir. Note how the fill port protrudes a little past the cage.

    The cage and reservoir in place. Sweet!

    Now this is what I liked most about this whole idea. I can mount the reservoir in place, and when I originally fill the loop or need to top it off, I can simply slide the cage out part way and I have very good access to the fill port.

    * Waterblock assembly

    I was now ready to take apart the computer and install the guts of the watercooling kit: the waterblocks. The Apogee CPU block requires removal of the motherboard, so out it came. I removed the all the components, the old Zalman heatsink, the CPU, and the Intel heatsink bracket.

    Motherboard with heatsink bracket still installed.

    I installed the mounting hardware, cleaned the processor thoroughly with acetone, and reinstalled the processor.

    As you can see above, the waterblock looks huge! I test fit the block into position, so that I could get a good idea on where I could mount a Crystalfontz temperature sensor. After careful examination of the underside, which was not easy, I was able to mount a sensor on the block without interfering with the ZIF socket. Once I had it located, I carefully fit the block back on, just to make sure it did not interfere with the ZIF socket. Very close, but it fit perfectly! I was so happy at this point, I applied the Artic Silver Ceramique and mounted the waterblock. In my haste, I completely forgot to get a picture of the mounted sensor!

    Just a word of caution at this point is needed. It is a very tight fit sliding the block down on the mounting hardware. There is literally no slop between the bolts and the mounting holes on the block! Take it slow, and bit by bit, you can get it to slide down to the CPU. After you have it down, take a flashlight and look all around to make sure it is down all the way! It is difficult to see around all the capacitors and other components, but the time it takes to make sure it fits properly will save you big headaches later on, if it is not seated properly.

    Completed installation of the waterblock

    It was now time to install the MCW55 VGA waterblock. Removal of the stock heatsink/fan from my ATI X850Pro was quite simple. Quite frankly, I was happy to see it go. Pretty worthless item in my opinion.

    The waterblock looks quite small in comparison to the stock heatsink/fan. As with the CPU, I cleaned the VPU with acetone. Nice and shiny processor. The one bummer that I had already figured out was the VPU has the extra 4 pipelines laser cut, so I am most definitely unable to have the card modded to a X850 XT. Oh, well. It’s fast enough for me with 12 pipes.

    I wanted to install a temp sensor on this block also. I had to mount it on the side of the block, as shown below, as there is insufficient room to mount it under the block.

    For both waterblocks, I used Artic Silver Alumina adhesive to secure the temperature probes. Easy to use and sets quickly.

    I installed the block, as shown below.

    Making sure that the block was properly seated was much easier than the CPU block. Making sure it properly installed was not as simple. The method used to install the CPU block is simple and ensures that you can not over tighten the hardware. Not so with the VGA block. Once I had the block installed, I took a look at the card edge and noticed that it was nicely bent. Not too much, but it was noticeable. So I simply loosened the hardware until the card looked nice and straight again.

    In addition to the MCW55, I also installed a set of Swiftech MC14 ramsinks. This is where I actually encountered a minor problem with the Swiftech components.

    Once I started installing the tubing, I found that 1 ramsink interfered with the tubing. I had to remove it and use my Dremel to cut it down a bit in order to clear the tubing, as shown in the picture above.

    I was now done with waterblock installation. So, back into the case goes the motherboard and VGA card. It was now time to install the tubing.

    * Component and tubing installation

    Once I got the MB and VGA card back into the case, it was time to determine how I wanted to run the tubing. After "careful" consideration, I decided to route the tubing in the following manner:

    Pump → CPU → GPU → Temp Sensor → Radiator → Temp Sensor → Flow Sensor → Reservoir → Pump

    Everything that I have read regarding tube routing told me that it did not make much difference whether the blocks were before the radiator or after it. Plumbing the tubing as indicated above gave me the gentlest tubing loops, so that is what I went for. The completed water loop is shown below.

    As can be seen in the picture above, I installed the pump in the bottom of case. Standard placement of the pump in about 99.9% of watercooling installations.

    Routing of the tubing to the blocks can be seen below:

    Nice gentle loops which did not require the use of any Swiftech SmartCoils.

    Downstream from the VGA bock, I installed the 1st temp sensor. Out of this temp sensor, and into the radiator. And the final loop contained the exit from the radiator thru the 2nd temp sensor, the Swissflow meter and finally into the reservoir. Again, nice gentle loops which did not require the use of any Swiftech SmartCoils.

    Getting the tubing thru the back of the case and into the radiator took a little work, since the holes in the case did not quite line up with the radiator barbs, as can be seen below:

    Originally, I had planned to install the Swissflow meter into the reservoir port. Unfortunately, the meter has 3/8 threads while the reservoir has 1/4 threads. So in the end, I had to cut more tubing and install more clamps. The final tubing loop can be seen below:

    One of the nice things that is incorporated into most of the fittings are o-rings seals, or in the case of the Swissflow meter, sealing washers. In my opinion O-rings are the best method of ensuring a leak-free connection, with one caveat that I have not seen mentioned anywhere on water-cooling forums. O-rings are very bad seals if assembled dry! I used some silicone lubricant (shown below) that I use on my fish tank O-ring fittings. This is not a recommendation, this is a requirement!

    * Leak testing

    Once I had all the components and tubing installed, it was time to fill the system with coolant and check for water leaks.

    Filling was uneventful except that I almost overflowed the reservoir once! It wouldn’t have been a disaster, but a pain to mop up any spills.

    I took a spare power supply and jumpered it so that I could power it up, I used this in my "spare" LCD case and rigged up a couple of jumpers using some miscellaneous connectors I had lying around, as seen below:

    Ghetto, but effective.

    After 3 or 4 quick jump starts of the pump, I had the water loop filled and ready to leak test. After several hours of shear boredom and anticipation, I was quite happy to not see a single leak in the water loop. Tight clamps and a nice bit of silicon lubricant at each o-ring/washer are the keys!

    * Getting ready to start the machine.

    It was now time to reinstall the power supply, sound card, wireless network card, SCAB’s, and back-panel cables.

    Crystalfontz provides 2 options for installing the SCAB board. One method is to attach it to a LCD bracket with a short cable, or remote with a longer cable. I like the remote method, simply because it is easier to install the wiring and change things, as needed. Since I will be using 2 SCAB boards, I decided to make a little mounting plate from lexan to provide a nice mounting surface that I could conveniently place out of the way, but still be easily accessible. I mounted the lexan plate to a 3-1/2" bay tray that I mounted my CFA-631 in. The final setup is shown below:

    One of the great plans I had when reassembling the computer was to improve my wiring layout. The placement of the SCAB board was the part of this plan, which was about the only part of my rewiring that succeeded!

    I simply had too many components inside the computer to do a satisfactory job. What components do I refer to?
    • 1 floppy drive
    • 3 harddisks
    • 4 LCD displays
    • 2 SCAB boards
    • 2 DVD drives
    • 4 case fans
    • 2 radiator fans
    • 1 flow meter
    • 1 pump
    • 8 temperature sensors
    • 1 4-port USB hub installed behind the right side panel
    Enough said?

    Actually, considering the condition that the case was in prior to installing the watercooling kit, the final result was an improvement. Improving my wire management was desirable, but I did not consider it a "must-do" priority. For the record, here is the final layout of the inside of the computer. For what it’s worth, I do have a sleeving kit and some other connectors coming that I hope to make use of to further improve the wiring layout. In other words, a "work in progress".

    And the machine with the side cover back on. It does look a little better with it on!

    And a final shot of the front of the machine.

    Well, the big moment finally came and I fired her up. I was working with a clean install of CC2, so I had no fan control at this point. Even without fan control, the case fans (without the CPU and VPU fans) were very quiet. I couldn’t hear the water pump at all. Those Delta fans on the radiator were a very different story, however. Does LOUD describe it well enough? I quickly added the LCD modules and plugged in the temp sensors one by one, so that I knew which sensor was which.

    I then configured the SCAB modules, and everything became VERY quiet. CC2 has a really great fan power vs. temperature curve editor that makes editing complex fan power response curves easy:

    Well everything became quiet except for those darn Delta fans on the radiator. Even at low power settings, the bearing noise is quite noticeable. It’s very possible that these fans do not like PWM control. Since one of my major reasons to use water was QUIET, this was an unsatisfactory situation. I immediately began a search for quiet, high CFM fan. The result was a Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F. High CFM and low noise. Time to order a couple.

    The next thing to test was how controllable the water pump was thru the SCAB. 90% power worked fine. At 80%, the pump quit. Oh, well. I simply left it hooked up to the SCAB and set it at 100%. It’s very quiet anyway.

    Now that I had the SCAB setup and running, it was time to write some screens for the all my temp sensors and flow meter. It was time to see just how low my CPU and VPU temps went to.

    Monitoring the system

    The following pictures are the screens I wrote for my current SCAB setup (more CC2 screens).

    More on this in a bit!

    Nice and low and quiet. Great temps, also!

    RPM’s, for the record. The NB does not have an RPM sensor.

    Very nice GPU temps!

    Lower than without water!

    Nice and low. Lower than without water!

    Radiator fans still too loud!

    Nice idle temps!

    And the pump, which uses CC2’s new calc plug-in.

    When I first fired up my new screens, one of the first things I noticed was my Northbridge temps seemed quite high. In the 50’s, even at idle! I dug up an old 40mm fan from my junk pile and screwed it down on top of my NB heatsink. Fired it up, toned it down, and my temps dropped to the mid-30’s, even under load. I do need to replace that fan with a quieter one, however. It is a whiner! Not bad at 40%, but still there.

    After a bit, I realized that the old CPU fan did more than just cool the CPU. It provided enough air movement on the MB to cool peripherals such as the NB and capacitors. A small downside to watercooling.

    There was one very nice benefit to having the flow sensor in the circuit. Since I could not use the SCAB to control speed, I adjusted the rheostat on the pump to see how it effected cooling capacity. One of first things I noticed is that water flow stayed at 4.6 L/M at the 4 and 5 setting. So, no need to run the pump at the 5 setting, which translates to a slightly quieter system.

    Final comments and links to web sites

    I’ve now had the setup running for about a week. Except for the radiator fans, it is incredible. I have done a minimal amount of loop tweaking and additional overclocking so far, mostly due to the task of completing this work-log. Things that I noticed about the setup are as follows:
    • Huge drop in ambient and load temps
    Repeating my temps from the beginning of this log:

    Before Water Cooling:

    • CPU: 38°C
    • MB: 32°C
    • GPU: 47°C
    • GPU PCB: 39°C
    Under load, these temperatures would go to:
    • CPU: 48°C
    • MB: 34°C
    • GPU: 71°C
    • GPU PCB: 50°C
    After Water Cooling:

    • CPU: 30°C
    • MB: 26°C
    • GPU: 29°C
    • GPU PCB: 33°C
    Under load:
    • CPU: 35°C
    • MB: 30°C
    • GPU: 38°C
    • GPU PCB: 47°C
    I also noticed a 2-3°C temperature drop in my harddisks. Nice side benefit!

    Just for kicks, I ran Prime95 and ATITool at the same time. The CPU was hitting 100% usage during this time. Temps hardly went any higher than what you see above. The radiator fans stayed around 40% as Prime95 was running, and after bumping my graphics card speeds to 580/1160 (from 500/1000 default).
    • System noise
    With the exception of the radiator fans, overall system noise went down significantly. Got to get new radiator fans! Did you hear me??? Got to get new radiator fans! Sorry to say, but I don’t like those Delta fans very much.

    I can barely hear that old 40mm fan on the NB, but once I get some quieter radiator fans, I think I will quickly get annoyed by it. So I plan on getting a quieter 40mm fan, also, if such a thing exists!
    • Temperature Probes
    Placement of the temp probes on the CPU and VPU waterblocks gave me much closer temperatures to the corresponding diodes. On air, I would get a 6-8°C difference between readings. I now get a 3-4°C temperature difference.

    On my previous setup, I did not have an ambient air probe. I decided to add one with this setup, in order to lower my case fan speeds more. If the ambient air temperature does not go up, why increase case fan speeds? Of course, one must remember localized effects, like my previously mentioned NB temps.

    I was somewhat surprised by the water temp differences on each side of the radiator. Less than 1°C. But I have read that the total difference between any 2 points in a computer water-loop is only about 1°C, anyway. Why? I can think of a couple of reasons. First, (in my setup) Intel Northwood CPU’s run fairly cool, compared to more current generation CPU’s. Second, the Swiftech kit is really quite good. Third, there is a large reserve of cooling capacity in the water.
    • Swissflow Flow Meter
    It works. Quite well, as a matter of fact. When my pump stopped at the 80% SCAB power setting, the CPU temp went well over 50°C before I had even realized that it was not working. Please note that I did not have the SCAB Alarm Monitoring turned at that time. With this handy little item in the flow circuit, I won’t have to worry about a pump failure, as the flow meter will tell CC2 instantly, at which CC2 will shut down the system long before a heat problem occurs. Very nice insurance.
    • Overclocking
    My CPU is rated at 3000MHz. I have run it at 3300MHz since I have had it. I have tried to run at 3600MHz, but it would eventually restart. As I am writing this, I am running at 3600MHz. I have run Prime95 at this speed to make sure it was stable. I will be trying for higher speeds, just to see if it can. I had not overclocked the video card previously, but I feel pretty confident that I can to about 600/1200 stable.
    • Benchmark Tests
    I did not run before/after 3dMark tests. I’m sure they have increased, but it is not something that I care greatly about. If I did, I would have upgraded to the latest AMD or Intel CPU and have a pair of 7800’s. The speed of my current setup is quite adequate for my purposes. Perhaps next year, I may get that "Need for Speed" bug. Just not right now.

    I simply enjoy the relative quietness and lower temperatures I have at this point, even with those Delta radiator fans. It’s also quite "cool" having a water-cooled computer!


    For the record, listed below are links to the most of the components I used in assembling my water-cooled machine.

    Swiftech H20-220 Apex "Ultra" CPU Liquid Cooling Kit, MCW55 VPU Waterblock, MC14 ramsinks: http://www.swiftnets.com/

    Crystalfontz CFA-631: http://www.crystalfontz.com/products/631/index.html

    Crystalfontz CFA-632: http://www.crystalfontz.com/products/632usb/index.html

    Crystalfontz CFA-633: http://www.crystalfontz.com/products/633usb/index.html

    Crystalfontz CFA-635: http://www.crystalfontz.com/products/635/index.html

    Crystalfontz SCAB (System Cooling Accessory Board): http://www.crystalfontz.com/products/SCAB/index.html

    Crystalfontz WRDOWY17 Temperature Sensor: http://www.crystalfontz.com/products/cables/WRDOWY17_images.html

    Swissflow SF800 Flow Meter: http://www.swissflow.com/en/SF800

    Artic Silver Ceramique: http://www.arcticsilver.com/ceramique.htm

    Artic Silver Artic Alumina Adhesive: http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_alumina_thermal_adhesive.htm

    Lifegard Silicone Lubricant: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Produ...ll&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Np=1&N=2004&Nty=1

    Temp Probe Tee: http://www.watts.com/scripts/pro-pr...ro-products&_tar=_view5_quickconnectsolutions

    Epoxy: http://www.powerpoxy.com/productDetail.asp?productID=472


    I finally got a sleeving kit. Lots of sleeving, not enough heatshrink. Live and learn, I guess. Anyway, I sleeved all the Crystalfontz SCAB fan extension cables. Once I get more heatshrink, I’ll tackle some of the other wiring. The following picture is the unsleeved cable surrounded by the sleeved cable. Not bad for my first attempt. At least it is much nicer looking!

    Attached to the SCAB:

    I also tucked away a few other wires in my case, so here is an updated picture of the inside of the machine. It still won’t take any wire management awards, but at least it is an incremental improvement.
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Just a quick addition. I replaced those Delta's with a pair of Scythe S-FLEX 120mm Case Fan, 1600RPM, Model: SFF21F's.

Got a new 40mm for my NB: Evercool 40mm Low Noise Model No. EC4010M12CA.

I can BARELY hear any fans at all now. The loudest component in the machine are the HD's. I can actually hear the actuator movement!

And great temps!



New member
I have a computer, which is currently running at

CPU: 40C
HDD: 35C

I was considering getting a water-cooled system but I don't like the idea of using water and plus I doubt this case could handle it. The case is a Ultra Micro Fly mATX Case. I got it specifically because when I was upgrading my computer I decided to go from a giant computer to one that I could bring to LANS etc. I also wanted one with two drive bays, one for a internal DVD writer and the other to hold my Crystal fontz display. Anyway, it's probably the summer heat doing this to it and me but also the fact that I picked such a small case that is contributing to my heat problems.


There is a trade off for everything.;) I'm not into LAN parties, so that is not a consideration. Being a normal red-blooded American:D , the bigger the better for me!

Also, summer = heat for most computers. I just completed a 2nd mod where I added a 2nd dual rad. Summer heat is no longer a problem!

The worklog should be uploaded in the very near future. It also includes a sneak peak at the CC2 GUI, FWIW.



New member
Oh believe me I am too. The computer I had before was a full size tower. However; when I went to Houston Texas near when 9/11/01 hit I decided to bring my laptop and well it didn't play the games much at all. It was then I decided that I really needed to get a new case when I upgraded my computer in '06 near when the Unreal3 engine would be ready. It took me awhile to find the case but I did have all my requirement sets from what I had observed from my last case. Two 5 1/2 slots for my CD and Crystalfontz. 4 ports in back. I used three of the ports at the time and I assumed the 4th for the physics card that I had read about and that would be it. Of course now I'm afraid to put anything into it for fear the temp will go up. What I really need is a brand new solution. Maybe a water system would work or maybe adding a fan. It's going to take me awhile this time since I just got it. It's really nice. Has a temp display and even a handle I just wish the temp wasn't so high.


New member
Thanks for the excellent write-up and web links!!! Wish I had seen this sooner!!

I have a water-cooled rig that I never could find any worthwhile 1/2" ID flow meters or probes. So your info hopefully helps me finish my project. Also I'm going to add an ICE PROBE into my resevoir to further help cool down the coolant.

If interested, here's my rig setup.

Thanks Again!!


Nice work! I like the rad mounting in particular. Wow! and blood red coolant.

I would hate to guess how much $$ invested there. But me thinks it would run circles around my lowly E6600.:eek: Oh, well...

I really like the concept of the cube cases. If I could swing it (obstacle: wife;)), I would get the Lian Li PC-343B. Enough room even for the kitchen sink!

BTW, keep posting new screens in the User Screen Library. My imagination goes only so far. New ideas are always welcome there.