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  1. #1
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    The Utterly Imbalanced CaseLabs TX10-D build(s): Haswell-E + Asus M6F, 3 custom loops



    Hey guys, I have been browsing these forums as a guest for years now, joined a while ago but decided to finally post today as this build log would definitely benefit from ideas and suggestions from people here (and elsewhere).

    Background

    My first ever build originated late last year with the Corsair 900D, Asus Maximus VI Formula, i7 4770k and dual AMD R9-290x cards all on a custom loop. But even before I could finish the loop, the mining craze hit and I sold off my Hawaii cards for a small profit and went with 2x EVGA 780 Ti Classified KPEs instead. So that went well for a few weeks till I realized a single Corsair AX1200i jsut wasn't enough power for this system when benching on water. I began looking towards CaseLabs then and put on a feeler post on Craigslist to sell the 900D. Then the magic happened

    I traded my 900D build (As seen below during the leak test stage):




    for this:





    Excuse those potato pictures since they were taken with excitement without setting up my dSLR. I really made out like a bandit in this trade. That is a TX10-D with pedestal and extended top along with plenty more goodies. So now, I do a massive benching/gaming rig on one side and one that's, well, just there for my girlfriend to replace her aging laptop that is pretty much a desktop these days due to the degraded battery.

    Update log

    Coming soon
    Last edited by vsg28; 07-03-2014 at 02:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks to the mod(s) for having approved this build log. Is it ok to name sponsor(s) in this forum? I didn't see anything about it.

    Post reserved for final pictures.

  3. #3
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    Components for side 1: Modelling/Benching/Gaming

    Main Components

    Platform: x99 only if the $1000 Haswell-E octacore overclocks well, else x79
    Processor: Intel i7 5960x (Anticipated, not obtained yet)
    Motherboard: Undecided
    Ram: DDR4, brand/model undecided
    GPUs: 2x EVGA 780 Ti Classified K|ngp|n Edition cards (Bought)
    PSUs: Corsair ax1200i, EVGA Supernova 1300G2 (Both bought)
    OS: Windows 7 (Bought)
    SSD : Undecided
    HDD : Hitachi Travelstar 1 TB 7200RPM (For Steam, bought)
    HDD : Toshiba 3 TB 7200RPM (For backup and storage, bought)
    External HDD : Hitachi 4TB USB 3.0 (Bought)

    Cooling

    1) CPU/Motherboard/RAM loop

    CPU Block: EK Supremacy/Koolance 380I (Have the Koolance block, will see if the EK block is better for Haswell-E)
    Motherboard block: Depends on the board (Undecided)
    RAM block: Undecided, depends on if DDR4 even benefits from watercooling
    Radiators: Alphacool Monsta 480mm (Bought)
    Fans: Corsair SP120 QE PWM push/pull on the Monsta (Bought)
    Fan controller: Aquaero 6XT w/loop temperature sensors and flow meter
    Reservoir(s): FrozenQ Mods 400mm Liquid Fusion Cylinder in Fluorescent Red (Bought)
    Pump: Laing D5 (Undecided on exact model)
    Tubing: Primochill Advanced LRT Clear in 1/2" x 3/4"
    Fittings: Assortment from various brands
    Coolant: Undecided

    2) GPU loop

    GPU Block(s): EK GTX 780 Classy in Acetal/Nickel (Bought)
    Radiators: Watercool Mo.Ra 3 Pro 9.140, Hardware Labs Black Ice SR1 560mm
    Fans: Gelid Wing 14 in push/pull on the Mo.Ra (Bought), Undecided on the SR1
    Fan controller: Same Aquaero 6 XT as above + secondary voltage controller for Mo.Ra fans (Undecided)
    Reservoir: FrozenQ Mods 400mm Liquid Fusion Cylinder in Fluorescent Blue (Partly bought)
    Pump: Swiftech mcp35x2 or the upcoming mcp50x2 (Not bought)
    Tubing: Primochill Advanced LRT Clear in 1/2" x 3/4"
    Fittings: Assortment from various brands
    Coolant: Undecided

    Peripherals

    Monitor: Dell U2713HM (Bought)
    Keyboard: Roccat Ryos MK Pro w/Cherry MX Brown switches (Bought)
    Mouse: Roccat Kone XTD (Bought)
    Speakers: Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II (Bought)
    Headphones: Sennheiser HD598 w/FiiO e17 (Bought)

    The cooling here isn't set in stone, I got plenty of space to put in a Phase change unit for the CPU but I am not a big fan of the noise. I might also consider a Bong cooler as the front flex bay compartment will be mostly unoccupied. I am open to thoughts and suggestions!
    Last edited by vsg28; 07-01-2014 at 09:15 PM.

  4. #4
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    Components for side 2: Productivity

    Main Components

    Platform: Z87
    Processor: Intel i7 477k(Bought)
    Motherboard: Asus Maximus 6 Formula (Bought)
    Ram: Corsair Dominator Platinum 2x8 GB 1866 C9 Kit (Bought)
    GPUs: A mid end card for CUDA and Adobe CS Live (Undecided)
    PSU: Something 500-600 W max (Undecided)
    OS: Windows 7
    SSD : Samsung 830 512 GB (Bought)
    HDD : Toshiba 3 TB 7200RPM (Bought)

    Cooling

    CPU block: Either EK Supremacy or Koolance 380i (See above for Side 1)
    GPU block: Undecided
    Motherboard block: EK M6F Acetal/Nickel
    Radiator: Phobya G-Changer 120, XSPC AX480
    Fans: Corsair SP120 QE PWM (Bought)
    Fan Controller: Undecided
    Reservoir: Bitspower Z Multi Water Tank 400mm (Bought)
    Pump: Swiftech mcp35x (Bought)

    Peripherals

    Monitor: Acer 1080p Monitor (This is what she has now, I really want to get a better one for her soon)
    Mouse: Logitech Performance Mouse MX
    Keyboard: CM Storm Trigger w/Cherry MX Blue switches
    Speakers: Undecided

  5. #5
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    Please excuse the phone camera pictures, my dSLR battery charger had died when these were taken so the next few pictures are not the best.

    Rad fans so far:





    That's 18 Gelid Wing 14s and 20 Corsair SP120 PWM fans. I wish I knew about the Corsair PWM issue before but you do what you can! At least I got a great deal on these fans. II will need at least 4 more 140mm fans.

    I also want to warn people about the QC of the Aquacomputer Aquaero 6 (XT or Pro versions)- they seem to not adhere completely to the 5 1/4" bay standard dimensions. Plenty of owners have had issues fitting it in, I was lucky with the 900D. In this case it was a lot more snug than I would like. Thankfully, CaseLabs made an accessory just for this (http://www.caselabs-store.com/flex-b...nonconforming/) and I will be ordering it soon. In the meantime, I went ahead and installed the passive heatsink accessory. When operating low PWM signals, the device gets pretty warm so this would help dissipate the heat better- especially with a fan blowing at it.











    and then installed it into the case along with one DVD drive:



    I went ahead and got some Cougar CF-V14HB fans for the SR1 and a Datavac compressor. The fans are very, very nice indeed! The compressor is also definitely worth the money and I got my rads as dust free as possible. The way I have it planned is to have all rads on quick disconnects so I can easily remove the rad/fan assembly and take it outdoors for dusting. No point spending money on restrictive filters that will also limit how I can use the rads.





    I also got a Swiftech 120mm rad after this picture was taken. In the meantime, about them Cougars:













    I think I am a believer in the Cougars now, and I love the drop-in radiator mount concept- especially coming off the terrible to use side mounts in the 900D. Today I go back to the Mo.Ra mount and attempt some drilling.

    If anyone else is interested, here are radiator volumes for the rads I have measured so far:

    1) Phobya G-Changer 120 (Pretty much an Alphacool UT60 120): 220 mL
    2) XSPC AX480: 300 mL
    3) Alphacool Monsta 480: 670 mL
    4) HardwareLabs Black Ice SR1 560: 490 mL

  6. #6
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    I got yet another package from PPC 2 weeks ago. Other than the odd fitting, splitter and flexbay solid covers I got 2 more things I am very excited to use









    I will only be using the Blitz kit on the unfortunately known to be "dirty" Alphacool and Phobya rads, the others will be just fine with hot water flushes + distilled water rinses hopefully. That's still a pretty decent kit for the money.

    Let me tell you this though: 18 fans and 72 hex screws are not easy to mount on the Mo.Ra:





    I know, I know.. I will have to cable manage better and drill a few more holes to give power/control the fans above but at least I am making full use of the extended top now. I also installed the SR1 below the Mo.Ra on the left side of the case:



    With everything put in place, it looks a lot neater:



    Now, I will need to add in more 5 1/4 devices so that front bay area isn't fixed by any means. I also got a Diva 'Dapter (aka the Double D's) from Darlene (IT Diva on OCN):



    For those who have no idea what this is, it is a amplifier board to boost the PWM signal off an Aquaero. Now the newer batches of the Aquaero 6 are supposedly already boosted, but this will help fully control devices such as Corsair SP120 PWM and the Laing D5 PWM that don't exactly adhere to the Intel PWM standard. Since I have 16 SP120 PWM fans in here, I am eager to test it out. More on this soon!

    While all this was going on, I got in touch with Thermene who have been making thermal paste from graphene. While their gen 1 paste from graphene oxide wasn't ground breaking, I got 2 samples of their new gen 2 paste and it is really promising. We have a home built device to measure electrical and thermal conductivity of thin films and I tested this against MX-4, PK-3 and AS-5. I don't know how the latter 3 measured their values but, other than PK-3, the actual values I got are different than what they report- especially AS-5 which was noticeably worse.



    Thermene, on the other hand, came in at 11.44 W/mK which is the best of the 4 I tested. The measurements done took cure time into consideration and the mounting is not a variable either so I am very impressed by it. I was in no way sponsored to say this and I will be using it in my build (and likely everywhere else in the future). PK-3 was quite close too for those who are wondering.

  7. #7
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    I love, love, love the removable motherboard tray. Such a simple idea and yet so useful!



    Since Haswell-E isn't out yet, I decided to assemble the z87/KPE rig. First off, the Maximus 6 Formula:



    I kinda cheated since the EK M6F and the Koolance 380i was already on from the previous build. Also, that massive cutout means either easy cabling or untidy looking mess of cables. I will make my mind as cables come in on whether or not I get the back covers for the motherboard trays. Next up, more bling bling with the Corsair Dominator Platinums and the light bar upgrade kit:



    Now then, let's have something Classified:



    Again, if anyone wants to see more pics of this engineering beauty, I link two albums: Unboxing the KPE and Watercooling the KPE

    Now then, one KPE is good but two are better:



    Ok, ok I know it is on the stock cooler but I have to test it first. How about a better looking SLI bridge instead?





    A 120mm exhaust fan later, it is back in the case for now. I got a thin 120 rad on the way that I might put in exhaust instead if it doesn't clash with the MOSFET block. The Phobya G-Changer definitely doesn't.



    A better look at the sheer amount of space left:



    Not to worry, there will be two massive reservoirs going in there along with 2-3 pumps. Heck, in my mind that space actually seems small now. One more look, this time with the door closed:



    I might have to get one XXL windowed door if this doesn't suffice. I will be removing the entire motherboard tray out, install the tech station parts and use it outside with the dual 480 rads till I get all the reservoirs and pumps inside.

  8. #8
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    Now then, a couple of international packages came in this past week. First up:



    Now what could that be? Oh ya, replacement brackets for the Aquaero 6 so they actually do fit in a standard 5 1/4" bay.



    Those didn't look any different from the naked eye, or dSLR lens for that matter. In fact, here is an image with one of the old and new brackets each next to each other. Imaginary brownie points for those who can tell which one is which:



    Got them installed on the AQ6, man that red heatsink looks very nice!



    But does it actually help out? It was hard to fit the AQ6 in earlier, the display front plate used to bulge out a bit and I was just about to order the Caselabs short non-confirming mounts when I realized I might as well make good use of Shoggy's offer of replacement brackets. This way, I can be rest assured that this would work with any case for anyone in the future- if it does work, that is!



    Yes!! Thanks Shoggy, it was a massive relief getting this in easily with no real effort.

    Before I go to the next international package, I had something in mind with the Aquaero, Darlene's Diva 'Dapter which was referenced previously in here and the Corsair SP120 "PWM" fans. My other PSU, the Corsair ax1200i, is already in the case so I figured what better way than this to test out the EVGA 1300G2 that I had recently bought:











    Customary EVGA logo close up shot above. Speaking of close up shots and small objects, here is the NZXT Grid which is currently at a great price on Amazon (US website anyway) next to a Nexus 4 for comparison. The thing is much smaller in person than what I expected from images:



    10 channel 3-pin fan hub, each channel capable of supplying upto 3 watts. It comes with all the cables needed as well. So at <$10 currently, this has to be a steal- not really. Thanks to an OCN member, I realized that the rpm (tach) signal wire is split to all 10 ports in this making it useless to use with most fan controllers because the rpm speed inputs from all of the fans will corrupt the signal and the fan speed will not be correctly reported to the controller. Even cheap 3-pin fan splitter cables will only have all three wires going to one of the fan plugs, and just the 12v and ground to the rest. So I decided to open 'er up to see if newer batches had this corrected by any chance.







    Unfortunately not, while faint one can still see the RPM trace going across from channel to channel on the PCB.. Oh well, there was already a solution provided above so I did the same, i.e, cut off the RPM signal prong from 9 of the 10 ports and make sure that single port with the RPM prong is occupied:



    Problem solved, the Aquaero displayed RPMs correctly now. Now to the other international package, Mayhems sent me a Blitz Basic kit for coming in close to winning a contest a few weeks back. I had already purchased a Blitz Pro kit from PPC so here they are together:



    Blitz Basic has only his Part 2 solution which is enough for a 4 L effective cleaning solution of a loop. Now if you have rads that you suspect haven't been cleaned well from the factory *cough..Alphacool, Phobya..cough* or have purchased 2nd hand rads which have had dyes/colored coolant run through them, I would recommend using Part 1 on the rads alone. Here is the issue I have: Thanks to US customs, Mick was forced to change the formulation of Part 1 so it only gives 1 L effective as opposed to 2 L everywhere else. The Alphacool Monsta 480 alone consumes over 650 mL filled and I got a Mo.Ra 3 9.140 and Black Ice SR 1 560 that were used by a previous owner which I want to clean up as well. While I am at it, I might as well clean the other rads I have too. So I would imagine needing 3-4 L effective Part 1 (I have numbers for all the rads but that Mo.Ra) which means needing another 2-3 Blitz Pro kits just for more Part 1. I am tempted to just do the Monsta and and SR 1 rads now and have the rest cleaned with a dilute phosphoric acid solution but if anyone has suggestions otherwise, I am all ears.

  9. #9
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    So I now started testing the real issue I had: Corsair's PWM implementation on their SP120 fans. Feel free to skip this section if this is not relevant to you. First up, the SP120 QE

    Hooked directly to the Aquaero, at 50% PWM control:



    Now connected to Channel 1 of the Swiftech 8 way PWM splitter, which is powered straight from the 1300G2:



    Ok, that's close enough. Let's add in another fan:



    We already start to see the effect of a non-standard PWM implementation. So now with fan 3 added:



    Fan 4:



    Fan 5:



    Getting bad now, what about 6 fans on the splitter?



    Ouch! Now adding fan 7:



    Full speed already, no control whatsoever possible. Finally, fan 8:



    Nothing changes as expected. So can the Double D help out? I hooked up the splitter to the adapter and had the passthrough over to the Aquaero.



    Now with all 8 channels filled, and at the same 50% PWM signal:



    Darlene is a magician- or someone with a very good electrical engineering background. Personally I prefer the former. Control is back on, the only change being a lower RPM compared to when a single fan was hooked up directly. I can live with that, I don't imagine having to run full speed anyway. The QEs are pretty quiet (who would have thought!) so let's try out a bigger challenge- the Corsair SP120 HPE fans.

    First up, a fan hooked directly to the Aquaero at 50% control:



    Now the same fan hooked via the Swiftech splitter:



    Identical for all intents. Let's add fan 2:



    Sigh.. Why did you have to do this, Corsair? Oh that's right- proprietary implementation + making a controller that is the only thing to work with it = Profit :thumbsdow

    Fan 3 added:



    Fan 4 added:



    Now with fan 5:



    and the dreaded 6th fan:



    As expected, a massive jump with 6 fans on. A few users have reported having no control with 6 fans but I have a wee bit left as was the case with the QE fans. But now with fan 7:



    As before, everything now runs at ~100% speed no matter what. Adding in the final 8th fan does nothing really different:



    Does the 'Dapter help here too?



    Yes, it does. As with the previous case, the RPMs are lowered a bit. That isn't an issue for me as I said before but I am curious as to why this is happening. Moving on, I hooked up both splitters to the adapter PCB and then to the AQ6:



    No need to repeat the results here, it was the same as before. So I am confident the PCB will perform as intended with all channels occupied. In fact, this is so good that daisychaining also works. I hooked up 15 fans total (8 HPE, 7 QE) to the adapter and then to 1 channel on the AQ6 and it worked great. There is a caveat though- if I hooked up the 8 HPEs to 1 channel on the Swiftech splitter that housed 7 other QE fans, then there was no control available. If I daisychained it so that the QEs were hooked to the splitter that had the HPE fans, it was fine. Another point of curiosity but since I don't have any plans on having these different fans on the same channel, it does not affect me. Hopefully it will help others who want to try this.

    Tl,dr.: Darlene's Diva 'Dapter works great. If you have a PWM controller (Newer Aquaero 6 units have this taken care of apparently) and have Corsair's PWM fans, chances are it won't work as expected. This will help.

  10. #10
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    I took a break to watch the Google I/O event and then got a few more things done.

    There was always doubt of the best orientation of a CPU block, especially in the case of the Koolance 380i where Stren and a few other reviewers noted a difference of 2-3 ºC from orientation. Now one can attribute this to a lot of things but I wanted to be sure. I had the block oriented as shown below assuming that was the way to go:



    Since I wanted to replace the Arctic Cooling MX-4 paste on there with Thermene anyway, I called up Koolance and got the ok to open up the block without voiding any warranty.



    Not too bad a spread, but let's get rid of it. One of the benefits of having access to chemicals is this:





    That's much better. Now let's take a look inside that 380i:







    This purple stuff along with the left over coolant/dirt was quickly taken care of. Some of that purple stuff (anyone have any idea what it is?) was still left behind despite my best efforts but not enough to worry me unless someone can confirm that as possible corrosion. But seeing how the jetplate was oriented, and knowing that the 4770k has the die oriented vertically, I knew I had the orientation wrong previously. Now let's have some Thermene on:



    Assembling the block is way easier with the backplate already on:







    With the CPU taken care of, I now had one KPE left to put the water block on. Removing the stock heatsink is very easy, and then immediately we get to see the factory TIM application:



    Not as bad as was the case with my Asus 290x but definitely can be better. Got it cleaned up, and then it was time to introduce it to the EK FC 780 GTX Classy (Shouldn't it have been the EK FC GTX 780 Classy? Oh well!):





    All done, and with the stock backplate on again it was time to put it back into place for now:



    It will come back out soon since I will be testing those cards individually first before putting them together. But for now, it is ok. Meanwhile, a package arrived from Stren of XtremeRigs.net:



    Two pieces of his Project Thief! A 480mm drop-in rad mount that will be used on the XSPC AX480 and a 180.3 drop-in rad mount just in case I decided to expand side 2 with GPUs. I also bought this off him:



    By itself, it makes no sense. But combine it with the massive TX10-D HDD super mount, and things get clearer:



    So that's one cage taken care of, and there is still enough space for 4 more such cages if need be.

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