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Making the Switch (pun pun pun!) to a new case, need help/feedback

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a b K Overclocking
September 8, 2012 1:49:18 AM

Alright so I'm thinking about moving down to a smaller case from what I currently have, which is one of those beastly LD PC V8's. It's a fantastic case, don't get me wrong, but I want to switch cases to something smaller because:

a) I could resell this case and cover the cost of most any other case with no problem
b) I'm not fully utilizing the cooling capacity of this system (explained later)
c) It's massive! And I would like something smaller cause I will be moving soon, and this rig in its' box qualifies as oversized baggage (>62 " LWH combined).

Basically switching to a smaller size case will net me back money in the long run regardless. I should be able to sell my old case I'm guessing for about 350-400, plus it'll save me money when I move in terms of shipping.

Currently in my rig I've got the following:

Sabertooth Z77
3570k w/XSPC Raystorm
120GB Vertex2
2 2TB WD HDDs
GTX 690 w/XSPC Block
Alphacool VPP655 (MCP655)
16 GB Corsair Vengeance RAM
EK Multioption 250 Advanced Res
2 EK 360 XT Rads
1 EK 480 XT Rad
Lamptron Touch fan controller
DVD RW Drive

I'm planning to move over to the Switch 810. In doing so, I'm going to sell one of my 360 radiators and my 480, and buy one of those new Alphacool UT60 240mm rads that will go into the bottom of the case beside the PSU, while my old 360 will go up top. I think this should provide adequate cooling for my components, which have a total tdp of 375W w/o OC, and I'm giving a high end estimate of maybe 500 watts w/OC? Here's a quick mockup I did of how things would go, and it shows some spots where I've got questions:



So using this layout you can kinda see how the loop will go. But before that is the components of the loop itself. There is one big question mark here, and that is whether or not it's possible to fit my EK Multioption 250 Res on the side between the MB/GPU and the cages on the right?? I was thinking of using the two screw mounts that you see in the area where I drew in the res (one to the right of the "at" in location, and the second beneath where my res is drawn). If that's doable I'd rather do that over the alternative, which is to buy a bay res with a fitting for my pump (I know there's one or two bay res's for the 655).

The second question concerning the loop itself is the fillport, I've tried google searching around to see what people have done and found surprisingly little. Is there no way to make a fill port? It's not a very big deal if I end up using my EK res (I have a fill setup with it already).

The third question is the fans. I don't plan to reuse the fans from my current case. They're dead silent, but they don't push much air because I haven't needed to as badly because I have had so much excess rad space. I've been torn between the Cougar Vortex fans (black ones) and the Scythe GT's for a while. I've read some reviews, but nothing really directly compared them in detail, so it's always been cross comparing. I know one concern I think it is for the Cougar's is that when they're mounted horizontally sometimes they make noise? Anyone had that personally or heard it anywhere else? I'm up to suggestions for other fans but ultimately the requirement is being relatively quiet. I'm planning to hook up all the radiator fans to my Lamptron touch controller, while the case fans will be connected to the built in fan controller for the case.

So how feasible do you guys think this is? All comments are appreciated, I want to make sure I iron out every last detail before I even put together a cart for what I'll need. Sorry for the long post :whistle: .
a c 138 K Overclocking
September 8, 2012 2:21:42 AM

For a fill port I have in the past placed a fill port in the same place as you have drawn in on the picture and the thing with a fill port is you do want it to be the highest point in the loop.

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

The fans are the easy part since there are so many of them to choose from with varrying degrees of quietness and cfm a good combination shouldn't be too hard to find. Plus putting them in a fan controller will give you the option to adjust the noise/cfm to your likeing.
You might have a problem with the resivoir because the GTX 690 is not a small card and could interfere with the placement of the resivoir. I have a HAF-X and I wanted to place a 150 resivoir in the same place but had to move it up past the video card because there wasn't enough room. Evga GTX 580 Hydro Copper 2 video card. Because it was a 150 and not a 250 I was able to move it up. My HAF-X is 21.70" deep and the NZXT is just over 23" so you may luck out but I think it will be close. Worse case is to get a 150 instead of the 250 since you really don't need the 250 and a 150 will do fine , but the choice is yours.
I just put this radiator;

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

With two of these fans;

http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_p...

In the top of my case and connected the fans to a fan controller so if they get too loud I can turn them down a bit.
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a b K Overclocking
September 8, 2012 2:56:39 AM

Thanks for the input inzone. That's where I'd plan to put the fill port, but I haven't seen anyone that's done it this way, leading me to worry maybe you can't put it there?

As for the Res, you're right, the 690 extends approximately 2-2.5 inches beyond the MB. If I can't fit the res there, I'll just go with a bay reservoir, it'll be less of a headache and look less cramped IMHO. But if I end up with that bay res I'm gonna need to find a way to add a fillport, as my current system for filling my loop would no longer work.

The fans is the single most annoying part lol. I know there are plenty to choose from (Noctuas, Ultra Kazes, GTs, Cougars, Noiseblockers come to mind) but I really need some guidance from users as to what would be best. Because I haven't in person seen or tried these fans, the more opinions the merrier. Also, whatever fan I choose is also gonna be what my case fans are going to be as well.

Whoever already owns a Switch, could you please tell me what the dimensions of the box it comes in are? (preferable inches, but doesn't matter).

Another thing I've been thinking about in the back of my mind for a while has been the idea of maybe selling my 360 EK XT and instead picking up one of those thin 420mm radiators. I'm guessing (though I can't find any actual tests done) that a slim profile 420 would outdo a normal 360? Plus, that would also be easier to fit up top with my motherboard as it'll lower the clearance. Any know which slim profile ones might be best? I was thinking the XSPC EX420, but I don't know if it would be that much better than the HW Labs slim profile (GT Stealth I think), which would save me the need to drill the different radiator fan positioning on the mount.
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a b K Overclocking
September 8, 2012 9:48:35 AM

You can fit a thick 420 mm radiator in that case with push/pull set up without any modification. All you need is a small 90 degree fittings such as Alphacool 90 degree and you are set. I use a 56 mm thick Black Ice GTX Gen 2 420 mm radiator on top with Cougar Vortex fans in Push/Pull without any problem. I just recently switched out the 3 stock NZXT white fans on top of the case and replace those with 3 more Cougar Vortex 140mm fans as well since they move a ton of air while being dead silent at the same time.

Look here at my build if you want to see my build log with that case and the Black Ice GTX Gen 2 420 mm radiator on top.
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277308-29-quantum-sli...
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a b K Overclocking
September 8, 2012 3:25:57 PM

Thanks for replying jacknhut. I've actually read through your log about 3 or 4 times now haha. The reason why I'm planning to not use a full thickness radiator is the difference in cooling is not all that much. According to Martins Liquid Lab:



As a comparison, I looked at the alphacool line as a way to gauge what other rads would be like (a bit of a strong baseline but that's fine). The different between the full thickness nexxos (UT60) and the slim profile (ST30) is about 10 watts, or 5% (this is around the RPM range I'd choose to use it at). I'd rather lose 5% worth of cooling capacity to give myself about 2.5cm more space between the radiator and the motherboard to make sure it'll fit comfortably. It's a little hard to compare to your build because of the way my motherboard is designed:



I'm worried about the armor around the I/O shield. According to another build log I was reading, when he put it together there was less than 1mm spacing between his board and the fans on the radiator. Plus this way I wouldn't have to route the back tube behind the motherboard tray, which I'd really rather not to personally for aesthetic reasons (it looked to me like you had an incomplete loop in the first few photos lol). Plus the HWLabs rads are just outrageously expensive compared to other radiators, so either way I'll end up having to drill new mounts.

Also I've decided to go with cougar vortex fans like you did just because the pricing for noiseblockers, noctuas, and scythe's are like 8 bucks more per fan and they all perform within a stone's throw of each other. Do you hear anything from the cougar's mounted horizontally? Some people said the exhibited a whine when horizontal?

EDIT: Here's a photo from the other person's build log (Acallander on OCN). He is using an RX 360 (it is a smaller radiator, but I would still have this problem with the 420) and sabertooth motherboard and here's how close his port is to the motherboard:



That's why I'm going with a low profile radiator
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a b K Overclocking
September 8, 2012 8:38:47 PM

Perfectly understanable. Slim profile raid usually have higher fin density to make up for its lack of thickness so it's performance would be ok. Which rad are you using btw? The only thin profile rad that is compatible with that case without drilling is from HW labs since the XSPC EX line of rad has non standard mounting space and thus won't be compatible with that case mounting hole.

I was also on the fence between thick and thin radiator just like you when I set up my system, and I was considering the thin profile HW labs SR 420 mm vs the full thickness rad Aquacomputer Airplex Revolution vs another thick rad HW labs Black Ice GTX Gen 2 Extreme 420. All 3 seem to have great performance, especially the AirPlex Revolution which is a 420 mm radiator but has mounting hole (on 1 side) for 360 mm radiator fans and thus compatible with the case.

Reviews at skinneelab showed that the Airplex Revolution pretty much dominate the chart (linked below) (seem to tie as 1st place with the HW labs GTX GEN 2 360 mm rad) and it also beat the Alphacool Nexxus UT60 in performance in another review here.

http://skinneelabs.com/2011-2012-radiator-comparison/3/

This review below compares directly the performance of Alphacool Nexxos UT 60 against other high performance radiator, Aquacomputer AirPlex Revolution included:
http://www.coolingtechnique.com/en-reviews/98-radiators...












If you look at the 10C Delta, the Aquacomputer Airplex Revolution has about the same performance as the Black ICE GTX Gen 2 Extreme 360mm, but the Aquacomputer is a 420 mm radiator while the Black Ice GTX Gen 2 Extreme is a 360 mm so if you actually compare it against the Black Ice GTX Gen 2 Extreme 420 mm radiator, the Black Ice would win hands down. Keep in mind that both of those radiators dominated the chart in skineee lab review as having highest cooing performance and when you cross compare it againt the Alphacool Nexxus UT 60, the Aquqcomputer also beats it in performance. Even though Black Ice GTX GEN 2 Extreme 360 mm is not in that 2nd review, but it has about the same performance as the Airplex Revolution in Skinneelabs review according to the chart above, you can conclude that Black Ice GTX Gen 2 360mm is also better than Alphacool Nexxus UT60 as well.

Having read through all this, I finally select the Black Ice GTX Gen 2 Extreme 420 mm radiator because it has even better performance than its smaller brother GTX GEN 2 360mm which is already tie in 1st place with the Airplex Revolution. Another reason I don't choose the Airplex Revolution (even though its a lot cheaper) is because I can't do push/pull with it since it is 63mm thick vs the 56 mm thick of the Black Ice. Keep in mind that all of the reviews above use only push fans and the Black Ice GTX Gen 2 Extreme radiator has 20 fins per mm square, so if you do push/pull with it, the performance would increase dramatically while the other radiators such as Airpler Revolution and Alphacool Nexxus UT60 has about 10 fins per mm square, which does not benefit much from increasing airflow in push/pull config.

Regarding the Cougar Vortex fans mounting horizontally, I don't hear any grinding noise at all, I think that issue has been fixed. They run very quiet which is a plus for me and move a ton of air at the same time.

Lastly, I run some of the tube behind the case for aesthetic reasons, not because I have to due to the thickness of the radiator. If I don't route it behind, that tube would have to cross the entire motherboard on top of the CPU to the bay resevoir in the front which is certainly possible, but doesn't look clean and neat. I looked at some of the builds that has water tube running across the entire motherboard everywhere and they don't look clean to me. The less tube running all over the place in the case, the cleaner and neater it is.
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a b K Overclocking
September 9, 2012 3:48:46 AM

Hey thanks for the lengthy reply, a lot of useful information in there. Like I said, I don't mind the idea of having to drill the holes in to make it fit better, It's hard to justify the $75 premium for the HWLabs just so I don't need to break out a drill.

I wanted to go with the UT60 originally because they've had great reviews at a great price point for the top rad, but it's just too thick. I'd much rather know for fact that I'll have clearance and a LITTLE less cooling capacity as opposed to a little more cooling capacity and not sure how I'm going to fit the radiator or if it will have enough clearance.

Oh I thought you put the tube on the back side of the case due to clearance, my bad. I just like to be able to see the whole loop from the window, just logically flows better in my head I guess.

Thanks for clearing up about the Cougar fans, definitely put me at ease. Which ones did you end up using again? The PWM ones? Or the ones that do 900-1200 with an adapter?
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a b K Overclocking
September 10, 2012 9:01:32 AM

scopey86 said:
Hey thanks for the lengthy reply, a lot of useful information in there. Like I said, I don't mind the idea of having to drill the holes in to make it fit better, It's hard to justify the $75 premium for the HWLabs just so I don't need to break out a drill.

I wanted to go with the UT60 originally because they've had great reviews at a great price point for the top rad, but it's just too thick. I'd much rather know for fact that I'll have clearance and a LITTLE less cooling capacity as opposed to a little more cooling capacity and not sure how I'm going to fit the radiator or if it will have enough clearance.

Oh I thought you put the tube on the back side of the case due to clearance, my bad. I just like to be able to see the whole loop from the window, just logically flows better in my head I guess.

Thanks for clearing up about the Cougar fans, definitely put me at ease. Which ones did you end up using again? The PWM ones? Or the ones that do 900-1200 with an adapter?


I got the PWM one. I run it at full speed though since it is so quiet lol cant hear them at all at around 3 feet away with case close. Btw, these fans (the PWM version) will be on sale at newegg starting tomorrow at 10 AM PST sharp for 9.99 dollars each, which is like a 40% off, make sure you take advantate of this sale and stock up a bunch for your radiators.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a b K Overclocking
September 10, 2012 9:18:55 AM

jacknhut said:
I got the PWM one. I run it at full speed though since it is so quiet lol cant hear them at all at around 3 feet away with case close. Btw, these fans (the PWM version) will be on sale at newegg starting tomorrow at 10 AM PST sharp for 9.99 dollars each, which is like a 40% off, make sure you take advantate of this sale and stock up a bunch for your radiators.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

That's awesome!! Thanks dude! I'll wait until then to buy em. Do they not have a PWM version of the 14CM? Or any sales on the 14cm version as well? :D 
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a b K Overclocking
September 10, 2012 9:44:07 AM

scopey86 said:
That's awesome!! Thanks dude! I'll wait until then to buy em. Do they not have a PWM version of the 14CM? Or any sales on the 14cm version as well? :D 


The 14cm version don't have the PWM. This is actually on sale right now for the 14 cm version for 9.49 dollars. This is the hyperspin bearing, not hydrodynamic, but it moves the same amount of air and is even quieter than the hydrodynamic version. It's rated to last 150,000 hours instead of 300,000 hours like the hydrodynamic bearing. The regular sleeve bearing lasts about 15,000 hours btw for comparison sake.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

FYI - If you use Asus motherboard like the ROG line of motherboard (Maximus and Rampage and Sabertooth), those motherboard have built in fan expert software which allows you to control the speed of the fan that is plugged in to the fan connectors on the motherboard and it doesn't matter if the fans are 3 pin or 4 pins (PWM) the fan expert can control the speed of both type of fans.
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a b K Overclocking
September 10, 2012 4:03:32 PM

Quote:
The 14cm version don't have the PWM. This is actually on sale right now for the 14 cm version for 9.49 dollars. This is the hyperspin bearing, not hydrodynamic, but it moves the same amount of air and is even quieter than the hydrodynamic version. It's rated to last 150,000 hours instead of 300,000 hours like the hydrodynamic bearing. The regular sleeve bearing lasts about 15,000 hours btw for comparison sake.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835553004

FYI - If you use Asus motherboard like the ROG line of motherboard (Maximus and Rampage and Sabertooth), those motherboard have built in fan expert software which allows you to control the speed of the fan that is plugged in to the fan connectors on the motherboard and it doesn't matter if the fans are 3 pin or 4 pins (PWM) the fan expert can control the speed of both type of fans.


Thx, but honestly I don't want the orange ones lol :lol: . I pulled the trigger and bought all my parts today. Manage to snag the Cougar CF-V14HB Vortex HDB 14cm Black Case Fan (Black 14cm) for 12.98 each (vs like 16 from newegg) from Outlet PC (they had 10 in stock, I bought 9 lmao). Got the 12cm pwm from newegg (nowhere I could find em cheaper), radiators (1 XSPC EX420 & UT60 240) and some sleeved psu extension cables from Performance PCs, and the Switch 810 from Amazon along with 2 crucial m4 256gb (Guys they're on sale today for 164.99, GET ONE NOW IF YOU NEED AN SSD!!). Thanks for all your help guys, I'll update this thread or my old Vidar thread soon as stuff comes in.
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