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  1. #16
    Joined
    Mar 2003
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    Central NJ
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    11,092

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    Wow, everything looks really compact with it all assembled. Its also really interesting to see the CFD results comparing the designed vs received part, but I'm having trouble interpreting the line drawing. Is the area at the top of the fin section just flat (like a bypass of the fins) or is that supposed to be filled in to focus flow to the lower part with the fins?

    Overall the level of design work going into this system is very very impressive.


    Trust me, I do science
    My Hardware, Past and Present

  2. #17
    Joined
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    18

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    Quote Originally Posted by Activate: AMD View Post
    Wow, everything looks really compact with it all assembled. Its also really interesting to see the CFD results comparing the designed vs received part, but I'm having trouble interpreting the line drawing. Is the area at the top of the fin section just flat (like a bypass of the fins) or is that supposed to be filled in to focus flow to the lower part with the fins?

    Overall the level of design work going into this system is very very impressive.
    You mean the Original Design part? where I cut away a part of the fin array. It is supposed to show the way the micro channel is made, so it's not just a straight cut through the copper, it actually has to be deeper, it goes from 3mm to 4mm and then back up to 3mm.

    I hope that makes it a little bit more clear, if not let me know and I try again :P

  3. #18
    Joined
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    11,092

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    Quote Originally Posted by QinX View Post
    You mean the Original Design part? where I cut away a part of the fin array. It is supposed to show the way the micro channel is made, so it's not just a straight cut through the copper, it actually has to be deeper, it goes from 3mm to 4mm and then back up to 3mm.

    I hope that makes it a little bit more clear, if not let me know and I try again :P
    ahh ok. I guess I wasn't sure if there were supposed to be fins there, if it was solid, or if you had just cut the array away. Sounds like its the latter to give the groove dimensions from one side to the next. I think I'm on the same page now


    Trust me, I do science
    My Hardware, Past and Present

  4. #19
    Joined
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    18

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    Stop! Update time.

    So as mentioned before the GPU stopped working, I thought the GPU itself might have died but after I disassembled the system I found the cause.
    It was my own fault, I hadn't checked my sources enough.
    One of the purposes of the Riser was to disconnect the 12V from the motherboard and only supply 12V via the HD-Plex 250W Board.
    I used http://pinouts.ru/Slots/pci_express_pinout.shtml as my guide, but Pin A3 is stated as reserved.
    However according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express Pin A3 is a +12V line.

    Sooooooo... upon inspection the trace got vaporized, causing the 12V to be disconnected and the GPU to stay off, apparently the GPU requires a 12V supply via the PCIe slot. So after connecting the the 12V from the HD-Plex to the PCIe RIser, as I had foreseen in my design but had not done yet, everything worked like a charm again.

    So I finally got the case. This is just the 2mm bare Aluminium. I have 1 more of each and they should be coming back from anodizing late next week. I will transfer to the new case and send the other 2 out for powder coating.




    So next up is the BIG Squeeze. It all fits nicely. Only the HD-Plex board is not the way I had intended but works fine as it is now.





    Having it up and running


    System is running nicely with decent temperatures, running Unigine Valley at 1920x1200 8xAA.


    But I do have a room ambient of only 15C so add at least 10 for the summer and the system can be classified as running toasty but stable, the fans are running at about 50%-60%.

    The pump is rather noisy but I think I damaged it when I was drilling a hole, so I will be replacing it.

    And as a final image at least for now, when drawing in CAD you sometimes forget to put things in perspective in terms of size. So when I received the O-rings I needed for the build I had a chuckle about the smallest one.


    I wasn't quite expecting this small :P

    What is on the ToDo list?
    1) new GPU waterblock
    2) anodized cases
    3) Powerder coated cases
    4) new reservoir and pump
    5) more stress testing and finetuning the fans

    If I can gather enough interest, say 10-20 people, I will look into a small batch production and a revision 2 that takes what I learned and make it easier to assemble and maintain, so I would appriacte some feedback about the design and "featureset". Pricing for the kit would depend on the amount of people, I can't give a real estimate, 5 or 15 people will make a big difference.

    Hope you enjoyed the update!

  5. #20
    Joined
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    11,092

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    Quote Originally Posted by QinX View Post
    Stop! Update time.

    So as mentioned before the GPU stopped working, I thought the GPU itself might have died but after I disassembled the system I found the cause.
    It was my own fault, I hadn't checked my sources enough.
    One of the purposes of the Riser was to disconnect the 12V from the motherboard and only supply 12V via the HD-Plex 250W Board.
    I used http://pinouts.ru/Slots/pci_express_pinout.shtml as my guide, but Pin A3 is stated as reserved.
    However according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express Pin A3 is a +12V line.

    Sooooooo... upon inspection the trace got vaporized, causing the 12V to be disconnected and the GPU to stay off, apparently the GPU requires a 12V supply via the PCIe slot. So after connecting the the 12V from the HD-Plex to the PCIe RIser, as I had foreseen in my design but had not done yet, everything worked like a charm again.
    Thats scary, luckily you didn't swap traces in a way that wound up destroying the GPU.

    Looks great man, the way everything fits in there is a testament to all the planning and everything you've done. Unfortunately I'm not in the market for a tiny case (the ncase M1 I have fills that role for me), but it'd be cool if you could get some people together for a small run.


    Trust me, I do science
    My Hardware, Past and Present

  6. #21
    Joined
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    18

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    So I have been running some tests to check out the stabillity of the system.
    It is nice and quiet when idle, gets a bit louder when running Unigine Valley and Heaven.
    Running Furmark (1920x1080 0xAA) and 3 threads of Prime95 small FFT, puts the highest possible stress on the system, it keeps then fans at max RPM (2900) and maximum power consumption at the wall is 295W.
    Though because of the extreme torture test it will be loud this kind of load is not even remotely realistic when playing games.
    Also because I want to make this a fair as possible I have not undervolted the CPU and have give the GPU a OC of +125MHz.
    Undervolting the CPU should reduce those extreme Furmark temperatures by 10 degrees easily.

    Here are some screenshots:
    Furmark 1920x1080 0xAA with Prime95 3 threads small FFT's in the background running for 11 hours and 30 minutes


    Heaven 4.0 1920x1200 8xAA running for 1 hour



    Quote Originally Posted by Activate: AMD View Post
    Thats scary, luckily you didn't swap traces in a way that wound up destroying the GPU.

    Looks great man, the way everything fits in there is a testament to all the planning and everything you've done. Unfortunately I'm not in the market for a tiny case (the ncase M1 I have fills that role for me), but it'd be cool if you could get some people together for a small run.
    Yeah I'm just glad it was the GPU, but everthing is running smooth now.
    I've go a couple of interested people on other forums, so maybe it'll happen. Might even to an Indiegogo campaign and try to get some more exposure.

  7. #22
    Joined
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    18

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    I've setup a couple of strawpolls, so if you guys would be so kind and vote on them

    Poll #1:
    http://strawpoll.me/3968083

    Poll #2:
    http://strawpoll.me/3968130

    Poll #3:
    http://strawpoll.me/3968139

  8. #23
    Joined
    May 2014
    Posts
    26

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    This is a really cool project. Thanks for keeping us updated!

  9. #24
    Joined
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    18

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    Hey all, just a quick Easter update!

    Please read until the end, I need your opinions on something

    I’m still working out the costs of the DIY kit, still figuring out ways to reduce costs.

    In the mean time I received the anodised cases back and I transplanted the entire system over to it.
    Here are some quick snapshots

    Photo of the Front


    Photo of the back


    Photo of my attempt at a closeup to show the finish.


    I personally really love the finish I’ve gone for, it’s not quite the silver finish that you find on most cases it has a little more grey mixed it.

    Now as for progress on the DIY kit.

    I’ve mentioned before that I am considering to support the Gigabyte GA-H81-TN over the original ASUS Q87T I used in my build. My reasoning is that besides the lack of 1 Ethernet port, who needs 2 anyway? And 2 of the 4 USB ports being 2.0 there is not a whole lot of difference between the boards.

    Did I mention it costs almost half of the Q87T?

    They both have
    mSATA
    Half-length mini-PCIe
    PCIe 3.0 4x
    4790K support
    16GB SODIMM support
    2 Fan header

    You could even argue the GA-H81-TN has better thermals because the heatsink on the PCH is bigger.

    Here is a side-by-side

    Photo of Top of Motherboards


    Photo of Motherboard I/O


    Would you guys be okay with the GA-H81-TN?

    Next is the thing I am very eager to hear you opinions about.
    So right now I am running on a 20V 350W Gigantic external brick. I think it is bulky and you all should feel the same .

    Recently ASUS has released the ASUS ROG G20 and it has 2 external bricks. Why? Most likely 2 smaller bricks are cheaper than 1 big brick. They made a bracket to hold them.



    I want to switch to a 2 brick design for 2 reasons.
    Reason 1: Costs, by going for 2 seperate bricks I can reduce the costs of these bricks
    Supply and demand is the cause of this. More manufacturers and consumers buy lower power AC adapters so more manufacturers make them and prices go down because of that.

    Reason 2: Space/Cost I can probably cut the HD-Plex 250W DC-DC board by going this route. I can use a power brick that supplies 12V to the GPU, thus giving me the option to make the system more versatile, maybe I can squeeze in a 2,5” or at least a 1,8” drive mount, allowing some form of HDD storage besides the mSATA drive. Also the DC board is expensive for what is does in this system, it is a glorified 20V to 12V adapter, so why not go from 230/115VAC to 12VDC directly?

    PS: I will make sure I have a nice bracket to discretly mount the 2 power bricks.

    Please let me know what you guys think about this.
    I’ve made a strawpoll, but if you feel the need to voice your opinion please do.
    http://strawpoll.me/4032713

    That is all for now have a nice Easter if you celebrate!
    Last edited by QinX; 04-03-2015 at 05:28 PM.

  10. #25
    Joined
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    18

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    I've been getting more and more question about the final price for the kit, so I guess I'll go ahead and release an estimate.

    I'm still waiting on some small bits and pieces for final pricing, but the biggest wait is still the case. Also some other parts I haven't been able to calculate yet, because I still have to design them, such as the GPU power board.
    If I'd have to give an estimate I would say somewhere between €350 and €450 would be end user pricing.

    It will be an expensive kit, I realize that, but I think the pricing is justified looking at what the market has to offer and what you actually get.
    What do you actually get for that kind of money?

    Preliminary Box of Contents
    1x 2mm anodized Aluminum Chassis(With Horizontal and Vertical brackets)
    1x Dual 92mm Radiator
    2x 92*92*15mm Fans
    1x Copper/Acetal Socket 1150 CPU Waterblock
    1x Copper/Acetal GTX970 GPU Waterblock
    1x Acetal Reservoir
    1x 12VDC Pump
    1x 12VDC 180W AC Adapter for GPU
    1x 19VDC 120W AC Adapter for System(CPU, Motherboard etc.)
    1x AC Adapter mounting bracket
    1x GPU Power Board
    Miscellaneous accessories (Fittings, Tubing, Screws, Allen keys, Manual and all other things needed to build a system)

    What else do you need to buy to build a working system?

    Shopping list:
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H81TN, GA-B85TN, GA-H87TN, GA-Q87TN
    CPU: Any S1150 Haswell CPU up to the i7-4790K
    DRAM: SODIMM DDR3 or DDR3L, up to 16GB
    SSD: Any mSATA SSD
    GPU: GTX970 with short PCB and Single Slot I/O


    Here in the Netherlands I can build the following system including the kit for around €1550:
    CPU: Intel Core i5-4690 Boxed
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-B85TN
    GPU: Gainward GeForce GTX 970 4GB
    RAM: Kingston KVR16S11K2/16 (2x8GB)
    SSD: Crucial M550 mSATA 512GB
    Wifi: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 Plus Bluetooth
    OS: Windows 8.1 64-Bit OEM

  11. #26
    Joined
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    18

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    A while back I mentioned some results I had gotten with my setup but I've decided to do a quick run with some games included so here we go.

    Firstly I ran an Idle test, nothing spectacular, I was streaming Youtube at the same time.

    Ambient was 21C, with the radiator temperature being 30C so about 9C higher than ambient. Fans where at their minimum speed.
    Power draw at the wall was about 48 Watts.

    Next up we have Prime95 on 3 Cores with Furmark on 1 Core, this proved to be the most stressfull scenario I could create and is by no means even remotely comparable to a normal load.

    Ambient was 21C, with the radiator temperature being 40C so about 19C higher than ambient, Fans where at full blast.
    Power draw at the wall was about 285 Watts.
    HWInfo64 results seem a little vague, de maximums for CPU temperature are hitting 99C, but the average is 88C, and looking at the current temperatures it jumps from 88C to 97C for 1 second and goes back down.
    I this image you can also see how I had my probes for measuring temperatures arranged.

    Next up I tested 2 games, Skyrim with +- 200 mods and Far Cry 3.

    Ambient was 21C, with the radiator temperature being 47C so about 26C higher than ambient, fans where around 70%. Here can see that H2O-Micro can be small and quiet when playing games.
    Power draw at the wall was about 233 Watts.
    So with only 50 Watts less power consumed than the Prime95/Furmark run and the radiator being 5C hotter, temperatures are excellent on both the CPU(76C MAX) and GPU(73C MAX)



    Ambient was 20C, with the radiator temperature being 46C so about 26C higher than ambient. Fans where at around 70% speed.
    Power draw at the wall was about 207 Watts.
    Again excellent temperatures and fan speeds while playing a game.


    I've also received some samples this week for the kit to check out and test.
    Among them a set of fans most of you will recognize instantly.

    But first! I orderded some Anti-vandal switches, Both are the same model and have a white led but 1 is a Dot and the other a Ring, let me know which you prefer. I already have a preference, can you tell? :P

    Switches in Off state


    Switches in On state



    I modeled the switch in CAD and pooped out a render.


    And finally I was sent 2 Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM fans by Noctua. These are actually my first Noctua's and I'm looking forward to testing them. I will be comparing them to some other manufacturers but they haven't arrived yet.






    Some of my models I download from a website called www.grabcad.com and someone on there already made some Noctua models, but not of the Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM.
    So I went ahead and made a CAD model and gave it a lick of paint in 3dsmax. I have to say I'm pretty proud of this model, it's 99% accurate.


    That was it for now.

  12. #27
    Joined
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    18

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    Spent some time today rendering a short animation of the fans.

  13. #28
    Joined
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    18

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry about the lack of updates, I've been busy with the new design and getting my BOM and pricing complete.
    I'm close to final but you will have the bear with me for a little longer

    For now all I can show you is a small teaser of the new design.


  14. #29
    Joined
    May 2015
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    13

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    Fancy

  15. #30
    Joined
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    1

    Re: [Build Log] H2O-Micro (sub 3 Liter Custom Watercooled Gaming Rig)

    How are you getting the aluminum case built if you don't mind me asking? Just found a local machine shop...? It looks really nice, and it looks like something I'd love to do if I had the means.

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