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My Latest WC Mod

jc634

Administrator
My latest Mod

A few months ago, I added a water-cooled setup to my computer. The original worklog can be seen here: https://forum.crystalfontz.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4452. In planning this upgrade, I did a lot of research prior to deciding which components I would purchase. The one item I did not plan for (at all) was wire management. Adding the water-cooling setup was at the top of the priority list, wire management was at the bottom. Once I completed this addition to my machine, I was quite happy with the reduced temperatures and decreased noise levels.<o></o>
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If you would like to know my system specs, please refer to the aforementioned worklog.<o></o>
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However, I was not very pleased with the “crowded” look of the inside of the case. So, it was finally time to go back to the drawing board and make some improvements. Based on the picture below, perhaps “improvement” is a somewhat understated choice of a word.<o></o>
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Aside from the obvious, hiding the wires, I decided that there were 4 more items that had to go or move elsewhere. Specifically:
  • My almost-never-used floppy drive. Gone!
  • My extra PATA drive. Great for storing MP3’s, but it has that god-awful looking cable, even if it was a rounded one.<o></o>
  • The water pump. Essential, but really “uglies” up the case. And I had nowhere to hide it.<o></o>
  • The reservoir. It kind of goes hand-in-hand with the pump. That extra HD cage it was mounted to needed to go, also.<o></o>
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The problem now was what to do with the stuff I had to keep? Well, I had an old Thermaltake Xaser III lying around gathering dust, so I decided that this might be the perfect place to dump all the stuff I wanted to remove from my “real” computer case. I also had an extra Crystalfontz CFA-633 lying around, so I decided that this would be a perfect place to mount this item, also.<o></o>
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I also decided that since I was going to mount this stuff in a rather large case, it might be nice to do a little water-cooling upgrade, as well. Specifically, I decided that the Xaser would be a perfect place to mount an extra radiator. Time to prepare a shopping list of parts I needed.<o></o>
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My preferred “moding” store of late has been Performance-PCs http://www.Performance-PCs.com. They seem to carry stuff that I can find nowhere else, their prices are reasonable, and their shipping rates are quite inexpensive. From here I ordered the following:<o></o>
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  • 20 feet of Swiftech 7/16" ID PVC Clear Tubing<o></o>
  • Black Ice® GT Stealth 240 Radiator (GTS240), Coolmetal Blue,
    (2) SCYTHE S-FLEX™ 120mm 1600 +RPM Fan - Sleeved (SFF21F) and
    RadGrillz™ Stripes 2x120 Stainless Steel
    shown below, ready for mounting in my Xaser III case.<o></o>
<o></o>


  • Scrap Aluminum for DIY Projects<o></o>
  • Roundcable2-FX ATA133 20cm (8") UV Blue, 1+1 device<o></o>
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  • (8) 1/2in. Stem to 1/2in. tube ID hose barb
<o></o><o></o>​
  • Swiftech MCW30 Chipset Water-block

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  • (8) Anodized Thumbscrews – Blue (for my BLUE theme!)

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  • (2) Serial ATA II Data Cable with latching mechanism 25cm (10") - Straight to Right Angle - UV Blue (would be nice if I could find some a few inches shorter)
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To plumb the tubing between the cases, I needed some sort of connector so that I could separate the 2 cases when needed. Colder makes some very nice quick connectors that would work nicely in this mod. I ordered 2 sets of 1/2” HFC connectors from http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/default.asp.
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I ordered the bulkhead mounting style for the female half, so that I could mount them directly to the Xaser case.<o></o>
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I also needed a USB hub for the Xaser case, so I ordered a D-Link 7-port hub from http://www.newegg.com/. Same price as the 4-port version, so why not?

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I also ordered some new temperature sensors from http://www.crystalfontz.com/index.html that I needed for the new case, as well as replace some of the previous ones I had in my old case. <o></o>
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These were the main components I needed as well as miscellaneous fittings and hardware that I obtained from Menards, etc.<o></o><o></o>

After I ordered the components, I decided that it would be nice to see what kind of performance change I would see from the original configuration to the new configuration. So, I fired up the computer, let it idle for about 1/2 hour and took some temperature reading.<o></o><o></o>

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I then ran Prime95 and 3D Renderer from ATI Tray Tools for an hour.<o></o>
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The Mod<o></o><o></o>

The parts finally arrived, and it was time to gut the xaser case and prepare it for the components I planned on mounting in it. I gutted just about everything possible from the case and proceeded to cut out the top for the new radiator.<o></o><o></o>

Unmoded top:<o></o><o></o>


<o></o>Template located:<o></o>

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</o>Big hole!:<o></o>

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And the mounted reservoir:<o></o>
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I had a 1-1/4” hole saw laying around, which turned out to just the right size to drill a few hole thru the motherboard mounting plate. While I wasn’t too concerned about wiring in this case, it would still be nice to hide as much as possible.<o></o>
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The finished case with the components installed:<o></o>
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A inside close-up of bulkhead connectors:<o></o>
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And the outside:<o></o>
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And with the cover:<o></o>
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I chose the reservoir mounting position based simply on the fact that the motherboard mounting plate had 2 tapped holes that lined up perfectly with the mounting holes on the reservoir. It also lined up well in the window for easy viewing. I used a piece of mattress foam sample that I sent for, just for this purpose to mount under the pump. The result was an absolutely silent water pump. I added the front and rear fans just for some outside ambient cool make-up air for the radiator fans and give the PSU some load. Once everything was back up and running, I simply set them at 40% power, which made them absolutely silent, also.<o></o>
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Close-up of the reservoir mounting:<o></o>
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And for the record, the *ugly* other side:<o></o>
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Front:<o></o>
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BTW, the extra junk in the top and bottom 5-1/4” bays is just to close them off. I really need to put something more useful in those 2 bays! The handy little item in the lower 3-1/2” bay is simply an external power plug. Useful for checking computer HW, when needed.<o></o>
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Rear:<o></o>
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Temp sensor located at the exhaust fan of the PSU:<o></o>
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So what do I actually have in this case?
  • Cheapo Allied 350W power supply<o></o>
  • 2 sets of Colder 1/2” HFC quick connects<o></o>
  • 92 mm intake fan in the rear<o></o>
  • (2) 80 mm intake fans in the front<o></o>
  • CFA-633 LCD display<o></o>
  • Swissflow SF800 flow meter<o></o>
  • Black Ice® GT Stealth 240 Radiator<o></o>
  • (2) SCYTHE S-FLEX™ 120mm 1600RPM Fan<o></o>
  • RadGrillz™ Stripes 2x120 Stainless Steel<o></o>
  • WD 120 GB HD and PATA to USB converter<o></o>
  • D-Link 7-port hub<o></o>
  • Swiftech Micro Reservoir<o></o>
  • (4) Crystalfontz temperature sensors
Electrically, I wanted to put some load on each of the power supply rails. So, I connected the front Power and HD LED’s to the 3.3V rail. I divided the CFA-633 fan controller, harddisk, and pump between the 12V rails. To the 5 volt rail were attached the CFA-633, some LED lighted feet and the USB hub. I performed a nice little mod to eliminate the USB “brick” power lead. I have several old transformers that do not go to anything anymore, so I just cut the “brick” off and attached the leads to a molex connector, as can be seen below:<o></o>

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Thermally, I manufactured some new tee assemblies with CF sensors to measure incoming and outgoing water temperatures of the GT radiator. I also suspended a CF sensor inside the case to be able to monitor ambient case temperatures. I also attached a probe to the grill of the power supply exhaust fan, as can be seen earlier. This will probably be the most useful of the temp sensors in this case, as I am somewhat concerned about the stability of this supply.<o></o>
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So, on to the actual computer case. Aside from having to remove every component from this case, very little was required to mod this case. I simply used my 1-1/4” hole saw once again to drill 3 strategically placed holes thru the motherboard mounting plate.<o></o>
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A couple of close-ups of the hole locations:<o></o>
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Back into the case went all the components. I had to move a few things around due to the very short cables I had purchased, but the overall result was very nice, with 1 minor exception. I forgot to route the power lead of my radiator fans and rear 120mm fan underneath the motherboard. Everything was already reinstalled in the case, tubing plumbed, etc. before I realized my oversight. I certainly was not going to disassemble everything at this point for a fan cable! Since I plan on upgrading to a Conroe MB/CPU and new video card later this year, I will be able to correct that minor problem at that time.<o></o>
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For coolant, I used Pentosin blue anti-freeze. My original mixture was 95% distilled water and 5% anti-freeze. While I was leak testing the system, the blue seems more aqua colored than blue, so I added a little straight anti-freeze to “blue” it up a little.<o></o>
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So, the before/after pictures of this mod are as follows.<o></o>
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Before:<o></o>
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After:<o></o>
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Top section. You can see my “ambient case” temp sensor here.
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And for the record, the “ugly” side. Yes, that is a 4-port USB hub in the lower left corner!:<o></o>
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Front view, before:<o></o>
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And after:<o></o>
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<o></o><o></o>​

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As can be seen in the following picture, when I am sitting at the keyboard, I can just see the CFA-633 in the Xaser case over the monitor. I even used the Dremel tool to mill some holes thru the side case window so that buttons on the CFA-633 are functional. The bit that is supplied with the Dremel tool is about 3 times too big to properly mill the buttons cutouts, so I won’t show you a close-up picture of that “hack” job. Just lets say that I can use the buttons, if I so desire!<o></o>
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Other than a much improved wire management result, what did I gain or lose from this mod? Idle temps about 30 minutes after start-up:<o></o>
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Load temps after an hour of running Prime95 and 3D Renderer from ATI Tray Tools:<o></o>
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And for direct comparison:<o></o>
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<table class="MsoTableGrid" style="border: medium none ; border-collapse: collapse;" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr style=""><td style="border: 1pt solid windowtext; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Temperatures (Speedfan):</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">Before, °C:</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">After, °C:</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">CPU, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">35</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">32</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Motherboard, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">CPU, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">43</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">37</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Motherboard, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">35</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">33</td></tr></tbody></table>​


<table class="MsoTableGrid" style="border: medium none ; border-collapse: collapse;" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr style=""><td style="border: 1pt solid windowtext; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Temperatures (ATI Tray Tools)
</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">Before, °C:

</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">After, °C:</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">34.6</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31.5</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU Board, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">38.0</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">37.0</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">45.6</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">35.1</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU Board, load:
</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">52</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">43.0</td></tr></tbody></table>​


<table class="MsoTableGrid" style="border: medium none ; border-collapse: collapse;" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr style=""><td style="border: 1pt solid windowtext; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Temperatures (CF Sensors):</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">Before, °C:</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">After, °C:</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">CPU, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">33.4</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">30.1</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31.2</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">28.7</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Ambient Case, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">28.6</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">28.5</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">CPU, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">41.4</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">34.6</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">43.2</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31.4</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Ambient Case, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">33.2</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">30.4</td></tr></tbody></table>

Nice idle temp drops and excellent load temp drops! You just got to love the quad radiator setup!<o></o>


One note of interest is the decrease in pump flow rate this change made. Previously, I ran the pump at about 4.5, which gave me a flow rate of 5L/M. Under the current setup, the pump flow rate is 3.6 L/M with the pump set at 5.<o></o>
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Final Mod<o></o>
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One area if concern that I have with water cooling is the fact that the removal of the GPU and, in particular, the CPU fan is that less direct air cooling occurs on the motherboard components. Thermaltake recently released a new side panel for the Armor/Kandolf series of cases with a 240cm fan. It seemed to be a good silent replacement for the fans that were removed due to water cooling. It was the last component to arrive, which was kind of nice in that it allowed me to test the effects of adding this item to the otherwise finished mod.<o></o>
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The side panel installed:<o></o>
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For temperature readings, I let the computer idle for about 1/2 hour, as previously done. Temps are shown below:<o></o>
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And the load temps after an hour of running Prime95 and 3D Renderer from ATI Tray Tools:<o></o>
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<o></o>
And, for comparison with the previous table. That fan really does a nice job of lowering ambient case temperatures!<o></o>

<table class="MsoTableGrid" style="border: medium none ; border-collapse: collapse;" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr style=""><td style="border: 1pt solid windowtext; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Temperatures (Speedfan):</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">Before, °C:</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">After, °C:</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">With 120mm fan, °C:</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">CPU, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">35</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">32</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Motherboard, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">CPU, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">43</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">37</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">36</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Motherboard, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">35</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">33</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">33</td></tr></tbody></table>

<table class="MsoTableGrid" style="border: medium none ; border-collapse: collapse;" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr style=""><td style="border: 1pt solid windowtext; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Temperatures (ATI Tray Tools):</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">Before, °C:</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">After, °C:</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">With 120mm fan, °C:</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">34.6</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31.5</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">30.4</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU Board, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">38.0</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">37.0</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">33.0</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">45.6</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">35.1</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">37.3</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU Board, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">52</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">43.0</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">41.0</td></tr></tbody></table>

<table class="MsoTableGrid" style="border: medium none ; border-collapse: collapse;" border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"><tbody><tr style=""><td style="border: 1pt solid windowtext; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Temperatures (CF Sensors):</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">Before, °C:</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">After, °C:</td><td style="border-style: solid solid solid none; border-color: windowtext windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: 1pt 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">With 120mm fan, °C:</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">CPU, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">33.4</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">30.1</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">28.5</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31.2</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">28.7</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">28.6</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Ambient Case, idle:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">28.6</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">28.5</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">25.1</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">CPU, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">41.4</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">34.6</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">33.7</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">GPU, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">43.2</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">31.4</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">33.1</td></tr><tr style=""><td style="border-style: none solid solid; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.7in;" valign="top" width="163">Ambient Case, load:</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">33.2</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">30.4</td><td style="border-style: none solid solid none; border-color: -moz-use-text-color windowtext windowtext -moz-use-text-color; border-width: medium 1pt 1pt medium; padding: 0in 5.4pt; width: 1.5in;" valign="top" width="144">25.7</td></tr></tbody></table>

Component Observations<o></o>
<o></o>
As far as the components that I used in this mod, what follows is a quick set of observations about each item:
  • Swiftech 7/16" ID PVC Clear Tubing<o></o>
    • Allowed me to use tie wraps around most hose barbs, as the 7/16 ID creates a pretty good seal even without a clamp/tie wrap. I used this particular brand simply because that is what Performance-PCs sells for 7/16 ID tubing. Shipping would have killed any price savings of tubing purchased elsewhere.
  • Black Ice® GT Stealth 240 Radiator:<o></o>
    • Absolutely beautiful! It arrived in perfect condition, and had no “gunk” in the radiator.
  • Danger Den G1/4 High Flow Fittings - 1/2":<o></o>
    • Nice quality construction. Good looking. However, they lack the “idiot” proof construction of the Swiftech fittings. Swiftech employs a counterbore on the female half of their blocks. The mating fitting has a flange on it. This makes it quite forgiving when screwing in the fitting, as it is difficult to overtighten. The Danger Den fitting does not have this feature. Consequently, it is quite easy to overtighten and extrude the o-ring past the mating surface. If you extrude the o-ring, you lose the seal.\
  • SCYTHE S-FLEX™ 120mm 1600RPM Fan:
    • You may pay a small premium for these kinds of items at Performance-PCs, simply because they sleeve all of the items they sell with wires. Nice quality job! Regarding the fans, I use these same fans on my Swiftech radiator. Very good rated airflow and absolutely silent at 40-50% power.
  • RadGrillz™ Stripes 2x120 Stainless Steel grill:
    • Industrial-Strength quality. Nicely finished one side. Goes well with the aluminum case. The opposite side is not finished and has sharp edges. A slight turn off, since I did cut myself slightly on the slots on the unfinished side.
  • Scrap Aluminum for DIY Projects:
    • I had none. It came in handy, even if it was yellow!
  • Roundcable2-FX ATA133 20cm (8") UV Blue, 1+1 device:
    • Excellent item! Very short, actually almost too short. The short section between the device plugs works perfectly to eliminate excess wiring, which you find on standard rounded cables.
  • 1/2in. Stem to 1/2in. tube ID hose barb:<o></o>
    • Works great for making my water temp fittings. Refer to my previous worklog.
  • Swiftech MCW30 Chipset Water-block:
    • Works well. The temp sensor that I have mounted on this block gives me reading a few degrees more than my GPU temp sensor. I was not so impressed by the mounting for an Intel NB block. The wire clips make mounting simple, but the block itself is much narrower than a typical heatsink used on NB. Consequently, it had a tendency to slide back and forth as I adjusted the tubing in the case.<o></o>
  • Blue Anodized Thumbscrews:
    • What can I say. They go with my blue theme!<o></o>
  • Serial ATA II Data Cable with latching mechanism 25cm (10") - Straight to Right Angle:
    • I really liked the latching mechanism. Very nice improvement over the SATA I cable. It also helped to improve the looks of my wire management effort.<o></o>
  • Colder 1/2” HFC connectors:
    • Quality construction. The HFC (High Flow Connector) helps reduce pressure drop, supposedly. Since the connectors have shut-offs, there will be a pressure drop. Simply put, I expected a pressure drop, so no biggy.<o></o>
  • D-Link 7-port hub:
    • It has 7 ports. It works. Enough said.<o></o>
<o></o>
The Crystalfontz Connection (Temp Sensors)<o></o><o></o>

When I installed my original water cooling setup, I had some small issues with the temp sensors that I obtained from Crystalfontz America Inc. http://www.crystalfontz.com/. I ordered some new ones to replace the existing sensors and, of course, I needed some additional ones for the “extra” case.<o></o>
<o></o>

Before I used the sensors, I performed the same tests I did with the previous sensors. I also compared them against a sensor on a brand new digital mutimeter I had just purchased. Unfortunately, the resolution of the meter temp sensor is 1°C. All the sensors compared favorably to the meter sensor, but a 1°C resolution was not something to write home about. Oh, well…<o></o>
<o></o>

Anyway, I took the readings at 3 points. What follows below documents the reading I obtained.<o></o>
<o></o>

<o></o>
<o></o>

<o></o>

<o></o><o></o>
At the 3 temperature points, the sensors all read within a degree of each other. I was quite satisfied with this.<o></o>
<o></o>


CrystalControl2 (CC2)<o></o>
<o></o>

Once I had everything installed and running to my satisfaction, it was time to update my Crystalfontz LCD module screens. In previous versions of CC2, the user had to write the screen in text files, load them into CC2, and test them to make sure everything worked as desired.<o></o>
<o></o>

The current version of CC2 that I am using, which is a BETA version, and consequently not yet available to the general user, has a large portion of the screen writing work incorporated into a GUI interface. One can write screens completely in the GUI and/or load existing screen files to use as is or modify.<o></o>
<o></o>

So what follows are a few pictures of CC2 screens that I wrote completely in the GUI for this mod. Hopefully, all Crystalfontz/CC2 users will be able to write screens in the GUI version later this year. I thought it would be nice for CC2 users to see what is in the wings.<o></o>
<o></o>

<o></o><o></o>
<o></o>
<o></o><o></o>
What follows is a series of pictures of how I make a min-current-max temperature bargraph I made using the GUI interface<o></o><o></o>

<o></o>

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<o></o>

<o></o>

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<o></o>
<o></o>
<o></o>
And how it looks on the CFA-635 LCD:<o></o>
<o></o>

<o></o><o></o>
Credits<o></o>
<o></o>

I have 2 places of business that I need to thank. Specifically:<o></o>
<o></o>

Performance-PCs, http://www.Performance-PCs.com. In my opinion, they certainly do have the “Performance” oriented items that a modder needs.<o></o>
<o></o>

Crystalfontz America Inc., http://www.crystalfontz.com/. Quite simply put, without their continued support of my efforts, my water-cooling/wire-management upgrades/worklogs would not be possible. The best displays and the best support in the computer business!<o></o>
<o></o>


Final Thoughts<o></o>
<o></o>

Hopefully, my water cooling upgrades are finished. There is not much more I can do to improve my current setup, add more “bling”, etc. I am sure that there will be block mounting issues that I will have to resolve when I upgrade to Conroe later this year. Why not now? No way am I going to pay the premium that companies are charging for Conroe CPU’s/MB’s at this time. My current setup does me just fine at the moment. I’m not quite in the “must have the latest and greatest” mode!<o></o>
<o></o>

Regarding wire management, I can already tell that this is a never-ending quest. Once I had everything back together again, I was already in the mode of:
  • Why didn’t I do this instead of this?<o></o>
  • There are more wires to hide!<o></o>
  • And… There are still more wires to hide!<o></o>
  • I need to obtain edging for the holes I drilled in the cases.<o></o>
  • I really need to buy a fully sleeved PSU. And/or does anyone know of a top quality modular PSU? It might be nice to make the “ugly” side less ugly.<o></o>
Looking for additional LCD resources? Check out our LCD blog for the latest developments in LCD technology.
 
Last edited:

BlancMange

New member
nice worklog and mod mate :)

good to see some "out of the box" thinking when it comes to WC.... alot of people just try to cramp it into the same case :p

as for tidying cables.... its a forever going quest..... seriously... i open my case every few weeks trying to make it neater :p

mind you, having 3 IDE HDD's, 1 IDE DVD Burner and 1 SATA drive doesnt help, but i think ive done an alright job :p


anyways.... i like the case... neat and simple :) but can i have some pics of that monster fan on the side of the case... :eek:
 

jc634

Administrator
nice worklog and mod mate :)

good to see some "out of the box" thinking when it comes to WC.... alot of people just try to cramp it into the same case :p

as for tidying cables.... its a forever going quest..... seriously... i open my case every few weeks trying to make it neater :p

mind you, having 3 IDE HDD's, 1 IDE DVD Burner and 1 SATA drive doesnt help, but i think ive done an alright job :p


anyways.... i like the case... neat and simple :) but can i have some pics of that monster fan on the side of the case... :eek:
The Armor is a big case, but perhaps not as big/compartmentialized (sp?) as some of the bigger Lian Li's.

And yea, cable management is a never ending job. It just gets quite difficult once you put everything back in the case.

1 thing I really like about the SATA drives is the cabling. Much nicer to work with then PATA cables.

The really sad thing about all that work I did (in July) was that about a month after that, the MB died. The memory went to 1 kid and the video card went to another kid. I've saved the processor and dumped the MB. So right in the middle of the Conroe release, here I was trying to find parts in stock. Ended up with a E6600, P5W DH Deluxe, X1900XT, and 2 gigs of Corsair 6400 ram. VERY nice upgrade, but at quite a premium (except the video card!) in price.:(

I'll have to upload an addendum, when I get a chance to take some pixs. My oldest boy plays in a Fall baseball league, which KILLS every weekend thru the end of this month.

And, FWIW, here is a pix of the 240cm fan. Moves a fair amount of air, and regardless of one's opinion of Thermaltake products, it really is almost inaudible.

Jim
 

Attachments

Devonshire

New member
Im assumin thats a full tower?

im trying to build a pc & decided to go with water cooling but dangerden is really expensive.
almost $350

as for the tower, i guess i cant use a mid tower eh?
im thinking about thermaltake amour jr or antec 900 (any input on the cases? what should i get?)

hopefully i can find someone who are good with modifications
i may use that pic as an example.
 

jc634

Administrator
Im assumin thats a full tower?

im trying to build a pc & decided to go with water cooling but dangerden is really expensive.
almost $350

as for the tower, i guess i cant use a mid tower eh?
im thinking about thermaltake amour jr or antec 900 (any input on the cases? what should i get?)

hopefully i can find someone who are good with modifications
i may use that pic as an example.
See my reply to your PM over at the [H]. Hopefully, that helps.:)

Jim
 
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