First water-loop build log.Semi-xtreme w/case mods *updated* I'm back!

Hey guys I am starting my first water cooling loop this weekend I have some of the parts and more will be here tomorrow and Friday.
I went all out on this computer because I am leaving for boot camp soon and want to blow all my money before I leave :lol:
The parts are as follows:
Mo-Ra 3 pro 4x180 radiator
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=29062
4x180mm silver stone air penetrator fans
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003RRY9SC/ref=pe_175190_21431760_M3C_SC_dp_1

Monsoon fittings x8
http://www.performance-pcs.com/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=59_346_1026_1027&products_id=34553

XSPC raystorm

Feser red tubing

690 hydro copper

MCP35X pump with the swiftech res top

I'll be mounting the radiator to the right side of the case and adding a window the the left side.


I will be adding links and pictures of what I have as well as anything else I forgot to mention.
It was hard for me to find pictures or info on a lot of this project, so hopefully someone out there will find this helpful/interesting.
Feel free to ask questions or comment :)

List of things to do:
-Lights
Ordered 2 12" uv cathode lights and one 4" red cathode
I need some more red lights I think and I need to figure out how I'm going to control all these because I only have one pci slot open.
-fan controller
Still deciding on one I only really need 1 or 2 channels but I want to put 4 5.4 watt fans on one channel on there own. Not sure how I am going to do this yet. Anyone experienced with this subject please pitch in. I would ultimately like to just have one switch for UV lights one switch for red lights one knob for rad fans and one knob for case fans.
-Cut hole for side panel window and install window
On the base there is a hobby shop where I can get tools so I will either do it myself or go somewhere and have the hole cut out for me
-Install everything on my new SSD.
will be ordering a Samsung 840 Pro 512GB tonight. I am under the impression that it is the fastest SSD available. Correct me if I'm wrong here I've been out of the loop for a while.
-Replace ugly stock cables with sleeved alchemy cables.
I'm excited about this I have replacements for the 24 pin 8 pin and the two PCIe 8 pin connectors. They are red individually sleeved. And a UV reactive red sata cable for my SSD. (ordered and shipping here)
54 answers Last reply
More about first water loop build semi xtreme case mods updated back
  1. I'd have gone for the 655 pump personally but I'm mainly responding to flag the thread so I can get updates when you post them :)
    Moto
  2. Remember to sand the edges to everything you cut and what I do when I mod things is I make a quick cardboard version of it first and see how it looks and what changes I need to make. Usually it's the simple stuff that gets you on these types of projects and I know for me these two things prevent a lot of cuts and generally makes things go a lot smoother for me.

    Beyond that I am curious as to how it looks when you get it together :)
  3. Flagging the thread as well, I'm also doing a water cooled rig soon and interested to see what others have done.
    Also some feedback on those Monsoon fittings would be great. It seems to be the only affordable compression fittings around where I live, might get them after my loop is done.
  4. manofchalk said:
    Flagging the thread as well, I'm also doing a water cooled rig soon and interested to see what others have done.
    Also some feedback on those Monsoon fittings would be great. It seems to be the only affordable compression fittings around where I live, might get them after my loop is done.

    Bit-tech gave them a review here:
    http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2012/06/18/monsoon-compression-fitting-six-pack-review/1
    I think they look cool and have a innovative design but then again I've never seen any other fittings before.
  5. Pictures incoming (I took these on my nexus phone so they aren't the best quality if you want t a better picture of something in particular I can bust out the better camera)

    https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=32a396d2f6&view=att&th=139e1526d66e5569&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1413590562588590080-1&safe=1&zw
    All the watercooling gear so far picture is kinda blurry.

    Radiator pictures this thing is HUGE! It's like the size of the one in my car :o
    https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=32a396d2f6&view=att&th=139e151ffe1d2e1c&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1413590544710453871-1&safe=1&zw
    https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=32a396d2f6&view=att&th=139e1523832bf913&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1413590549718368256-1&safe=1&zw
    https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=32a396d2f6&view=att&th=139e15189ebb5ec3&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1413590511165374464-1&safe=1&zw
    Fans attached
    https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=32a396d2f6&view=att&th=139e14fc782bc639&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1413590378403069952-1&safe=1&zw

    Pump with res top attached:
    https://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=32a396d2f6&view=att&th=139e1531a707da0b&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1413590578050891776-1&safe=1&zw

    New issues:
    -Figure out size of screw for attaching radiator
    -Drill holes on right side panel for screw and cut holes for hoses to go through.
    -The radiator is so heavy that I am thinking about ways to make the case more bottom heavy.
    -I want to use plain water... so am I to just go to the store and buy a gallon of distilled water? or am I supposed to buy something more specialized?
  6. monkeymonk said:
    Bit-tech gave them a review here:
    http://www.bit-tech.net/modding/2012/06/18/monsoon-compression-fitting-six-pack-review/1
    I think they look cool and have a innovative design but then again I've never seen any other fittings before.


    Already found and read that review. While its pretty positive, I like to get opinions from multiple sources. Never know what they might have missed.

    Might just be me, but I'm getting 404 errors on those images you posted. Might want to post them to Photobucket or some other image hosting website, instead of links to your Gmail.

    Pretty much, the feedback I have gotten on my loop was just get distilled water. Dont need to go to excessive lengths to get "quality" distilled water since it will be contaminated by the air when you pour it and some of the metals in the loop will seep in anyway.

    If you cant find Distilled, Demineralized is roughly the same. Isn't guaranteed to be free of bacteria/algae, but should be fine if you are running a kill coil or a biocide.
  7. manofchalk said:
    Already found and read that review. While its pretty positive, I like to get opinions from multiple sources. Never know what they might have missed.

    Might just be me, but I'm getting 404 errors on those images you posted. Might want to post them to Photobucket or some other image hosting website, instead of links to your Gmail.

    Pretty much, the feedback I have gotten on my loop was just get distilled water. Dont need to go to excessive lengths to get "quality" distilled water since it will be contaminated by the air when you pour it and some of the metals in the loop will seep in anyway.

    If you cant find Distilled, Demineralized is roughly the same. Isn't guaranteed to be free of bacteria/algae, but should be fine if you are running a kill coil or a biocide.

    I'll let you know what I think about them when I set my loop up. weird that there isn't a way to attach a file... anyways I'll try photobucket then
  8. Was not allowed to edit my message...so guess I'm reposting


    Pictures incoming (I took these on my nexus phone so they aren't the best quality if you want t a better picture of something in particular I can bust out the better camera)


    All the watercooling gear so far picture is kinda blurry.

    Radiator pictures this thing is HUGE! It's like the size of the one in my car :o




    Fans attached


    Pump with res top attached:
  9. You have got to be mounting that externally... I have a large case and I wouldn't know where to put that much radiator.

    Looks pretty cool so far (pun intended), cant wait to see when its done.
  10. Yes it is going on the right side panel like this.
    http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll98/gcarver2006/rad_mount.png
    But I need to drill some holes for the tubing which has a 1/2" OD. My dad says using a circle cutter could distort the metal since its so thin.
  11. Yup, you want a stepped drillbit that will do about 19/20mm, because once the grommet is in place the tube sits nicely in it, but can be firm to pull through so lube the tubing with a little washing up liquid first :-)
    Moto
  12. Motopsychojdn said:
    Yup, you want a stepped drillbit that will do about 19/20mm, because once the grommet is in place the tube sits nicely in it, but can be firm to pull through so lube the tubing with a little washing up liquid first :-)
    Moto

    I'll be getting a stepped bit tomorrow!
  13. Don't forget to sandwich the (taped up to protect) panel between two bits of wood to avoid any ergh moments :)
    Moto
  14. Motopsychojdn said:
    Don't forget to sandwich the (taped up to protect) panel between two bits of wood to avoid any ergh moments :)
    Moto

    I have both sides covered in painters tape but what do you mean with the wood?
  15. Put the panel between two peices of wood to avoid any shearing or twisting of the panel when you drill
    Moto
  16. New problem guys. I am trying to just set it up temporarily until I get some quick disconnects. So the case modding is on hold for now.
    My new problem is that when I try to screw my monsoon comp fittings into my pump it just cross threads. I use the barb that came with it and it goes in fine so I think it must be different threading. When I get the tubing on there do I just put a zip tie on it and its good to go? Also its being a real Pain in the rear to get that tubing on there so my question about the hot water thing is using tap hot tap water going to contaminate my loop?
  17. Yeah you can just put a zip tie over the barb and it'll hold it real snug. I personally would suggest using hot distilled water when dealing with anything on your loop personally just to play it safe.
  18. http://s1075.photobucket.com/albums/w429/xxxmonkeymonk/?action=view&current=IMG_20120923_191044_zps34b632a7.jpg
    That's how far I could get it on. I used a hairdryer but I think it might of just ended it up shrinking it. Do you think I could make more progress with the hot water method?
  19. Yup, soften that tubing in some very hot water, I think your tubing is actually too small for the fitting but hey ho, work with what you have :)
    and yes, once its on to the hilt, a cable tie will keep it there
    Moto
  20. What size tubing and barbs did you get? 3/8" ID tubing over a 1/2"ID barb? Why such the mismatch?
  21. rubix_1011 said:
    What size tubing and barbs did you get? 3/8" ID tubing over a 1/2"ID barb? Why such the mismatch?

    The fittings I purchased would start to cross thread and for some reason the barb that came with the pump would work even though the threading for both is 1/4" as far as I understand. I purchased a 1/4" QDC from koolance and am hoping that is going to work I don't know why it was giving me problems to begin with.
  22. Hey guys haven't updated in awhile because I have been conflicted on how exactly to proceed with this project. But I think I have figured it out I've ordered 3 rotary 90 degree fittings and a 45 degree just in case because some of the turns are really sharp. I have also ordered some koolance quick disconnects. I one is a threaded QDC which I will be attaching to the pump and be running straight through the right side panel to one fitting on the rad. The other is a "panel mounted" barb.
    http://koolance.com/vl3n-quick-disconnect-no-spill-coupling-male-panel-barb-for-id-10mm-3-8in
    I am hoping it is what it sounds like but I can't find any pictures of it in use. If you've used them before I would love to hear more.
    The QDCs will be coming tomorrow and I already have the rotary fittings.
    I have one more minor problem though. The rubber gaskets in my case are notorious for falling out and I have been having this issue. What sort of glue can/should I use to secure them permanently in place.
    Also do I put the kill coil just anywhere in the tubing or can I have it just floating in the res?
  23. Sorry, cant help from personal experience with the quick disconnects.
    Though a quick Youtube search came up with this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuSZJGiopiU

    No idea about glue.

    With Killcoil placement, I have mine just floating in the res. Make sure to bend it in a shape that wont allow it to get out, if it ends up in a water block or your pump there will be a problem.
    Have seen some evidence that the closer the coil is to the pump or PSU, the faster your water will cloud. Something to do with electromagnetic fields. So maybe coil it around the radiator intake, which would likely be furthest away from pump and PSU.
  24. I have three sets of VL3N's, two currently in use, last pair to be added soon, make sure you use pliers to slip the clamps on with, they are killers for fingers :P
    I don't have any of the bulkhead or threaded ones though, just simple barbs on mine,
    and if you are worried about coils clouding, use UV Cathodes instead
    Moto
  25. Motopsychojdn said:
    I have three sets of VL3N's, two currently in use, last pair to be added soon, make sure you use pliers to slip the clamps on with, they are killers for fingers :P
    I don't have any of the bulkhead or threaded ones though, just simple barbs on mine,
    and if you are worried about coils clouding, use UV Cathodes instead
    Moto

    I'm not worried about the clouding thing I'll be emptying the loop in a couple weeks anyways.
    I am going to be putting UV lights in anyways though I never even thought about how it could kill bacteria.
  26. :)
    I've ran my loop with several coils in for over a year without any clouding occurring, one of which is in one of my resses with a pump and two UV cathode reservoirs have kept my algae-free even though the rigs by a window (direct sunlight= Algae heaven)

    Moto
  27. Well I've abandoned my old routing plan of drilling the holes trough the side panel.
    I don't know what the problem is but almost anything I try to install into the output of my pump will cross thread. The thread standard is G1/4" and for some reason even though they are all the same thread type some work and some don't. '
    If anyone cares I can take a picture to show what I mean.

    So the new plan is to do it the easy way, out the back like most people do. I will use a pci bracket with QDCs already installed on it which will come tomorrow or Friday.

    I am currently trying to thin out how the tubing should be routed to the CPU. I have two options.
    One route the tubing to the in of the cpu block from the back of the case through the pre installed rubber grommets. Which will look like this:
    http://s1075.beta.photobucket.com/user/xxxmonkeymonk/media/566814_518145841546226_559110514_o_zpsa508e573.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0
    The second option is to route it from the pci bracket like I"m doing with the other rad hose. Like so:
    http://s1075.beta.photobucket.com/user/xxxmonkeymonk/media/567184_518149488212528_603452912_o_zps0c6dda60.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

    I don't like either option because either way the tubes cross over each other.
    I may be able to rotate the cpu block around I'll call and find out.
  28. If you are using QDC's I chose option 1 to better support the QDC fitting
    http://imageshack.us/a/img832/8233/comp23023.th.jpg
    http://imageshack.us/a/img59/8420/comp23024.th.jpg
    But that is me and this is how it looked
  29. Ok guys so I have all the hardware installed and the loop filled and bleed! But now my computer will not start unless I clear the csmos every time.... http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/55634-63-clear-csmos-everytime-start-computer
    There's the thread if any of ya'll want to help out.
    I have lots of pictures that I will be posting soon but getting my computer working is kinda taking priority right now :(
  30. Pictures!
    The bottom HDD cage removed:


    I started to use a coffee filter to clean the thermal paste off of the copper block but quickly noticed it was scratching... oops not too bad though

    Thermal paste on the CPU


    -The fittings for the PCI bracket QDC were too wide so I had to fix it. I originally wanted to use the vertical 5th slot but that was going to require a dremel to fix and I wasn't about to take everything out of my case and restart.

    -After a hack job with some tin snips it fit great

    -A bad picture but a chip on the bottom left of my mobo was getting smashed by the PCI bracket. Not sure if it matters but it was to late when I noticed.


    -Finally putting the tubing in. I didn't like how this piece went in but there wasn't much I could do about it because the was the only fitting that would work on the pump.

    -More tubing

    -External Rad tubing and QDC's


    -Filling loop, leak testing and bleeding.
  31. Check all of your hardware connections pull the memory clean and push back into place same with the video card check wire connections and see if that helps for a motherboard to react that way will usually mean that something is loose or has a slight cross connection from the component being a little crooked hopefully this will fix the issue but I have a bunch more easy tests to determine the problem.
  32. toolmaker_03 said:
    Check all of your hardware connections pull the memory clean and push back into place same with the video card check wire connections and see if that helps for a motherboard to react that way will usually mean that something is loose or has a slight cross connection from the component being a little crooked hopefully this will fix the issue but I have a bunch more easy tests to determine the problem.

    I figured the problem out I just needed a dual link DVI cord and now everything is working fantastically. thanks though!
  33. Looking good! :)
  34. would the real mod shady please step in and add tags too all those images :) ? please step in, please step in....okay I've made yet another bad joke. Would help all those people with broken index fingers and thumbs(if on cell phone)

    nice project though - guess this slipped under my nose when I was away.
    * well as a modder you've realized some mistakes are cosmetic than performance crunching - but a true modder will try not to achieve his targets by compromising on any of them.

    ** add your image links inside this tag---> replace the * with your photobucket image link
  35. Lutfij said:
    would the real mod shady please step in and add tags too all those images :) ? please step in, please step in....okay I've made yet another bad joke. Would help all those people with broken index fingers and thumbs(if on cell phone)

    nice project though - guess this slipped under my nose when I was away.
    * well as a modder you've realized some mistakes are cosmetic than performance crunching - but a true modder will try not to achieve his targets by compromising on any of them.

    ** add your image links inside this tag---> replace the * with your photobucket image link

    Thank you.
    Yes the not compromising mindset is what made me take so long planning this to to begin with, I wanted to do this back in August but then one idea lead to another which led to more and more brainstorming on how to actually get certain things to work out. There are only 2 things that I had to compromise on that I really didn't want to do. One was routing the tubing out the back instead of straight out the side. I just thought it was so unoriginal to use those already drilled holes and it would look messy but I am actually pretty happy with the way it worked out it looks kinda cool, saved me a lot of trouble, and the QDC's are much easier to access. The second compromise was that I couldn't fit the PCI slot QDC in the vertical slot on the case. I had to rethink this baby so many times but ultimately I am glad the way it is turning out. I really just wanted to be able to use it for the last few weeks before boot camp. If I wasn't leaving you can bet your marbles that I wouldn't of strayed from my plan.

    Do I need to include the those boxed parenthesis things? these things, [] I did and it doesn't seem like those pictures are showing up
  36. A couple of pictures of how I have my computer half setup.
    I still need to cut the HDD bay so that it isn't contacting the GPU.
    Also I need to drill the holes for the radiator to be mounted to the side panel.

  37. on photobucket's album viewer mode, under every image where the box pops up - click on direct link and paste the link between the tags. and yes you have to include the [] the complete tag is just replace the * with the link form photobucket as I mentioned :)
  38. Lutfij said:
    on photobucket's album viewer mode, under every image where the box pops up - click on direct link and paste the link between the tags. and yes you have to include the [] the complete tag is just replace the * with the link form photobucket as I mentioned :)

    Nice! I've been trying to figure this out forever. :) in photobucket to the right there is a img link and all i have to do is click it.
    Think I'm going to change them all. It'll take up a lot of room though...
  39. max 210 images per post - so I think you can organize them nicely.
  40. Hacking the bottom of the drive cage off to be compatible with my vid card and the res top. My dad will be home soon and will help me clean those cuts up with the right tool.

    Installed drive cage

    The room between drive cage and vid card.
  41. Aaw man, check that pic of the drive cage?
    this is a prime example of needing patience,
    I would not have used tin snips to have done that job, hacksaw, file, dremel but not something as harsh as snips :)
    hopefully Dad helped you tidy it up enough but next time, plan, measure, measure again and then walk away, come back in five minutes recheck your measurements then cut, it seriously saves a lot of mistakes, crying and wasted money :)
    a nice straight cut filed neatly says 'A quality, professional modder has been here'
    a messy awkward cut like that says 'I let my six year old nephew in here and said don't touch anything'
    :P
    No offense meant man so please don't take it that way, just a friendly ribbing to help make you a better modder :)
    Moto
  42. Motopsychojdn said:
    Aaw man, check that pic of the drive cage?
    this is a prime example of needing patience,
    I would not have used tin snips to have done that job, hacksaw, file, dremel but not something as harsh as snips :)
    hopefully Dad helped you tidy it up enough but next time, plan, measure, measure again and then walk away, come back in five minutes recheck your measurements then cut, it seriously saves a lot of mistakes, crying and wasted money :)
    a nice straight cut filed neatly says 'A quality, professional modder has been here'
    a messy awkward cut like that says 'I let my six year old nephew in here and said don't touch anything'
    :P
    No offense meant man so please don't take it that way, just a friendly ribbing to help make you a better modder :)
    Moto

    Well I'm leaving in a week and i needed to get the cage in there so that i can plan were i want the hole for the window to be cut before I leave I only have seven days so i can't really be patient there isn't much of a choice here.
    There is a tool in the shop that is like a dremel and attaches to an air compressor (I cant remember what it is called at the moment) When I talked to my dad about it he just started talking about how dangerous it is, so I decided not to touch it until he is here to show me what to do. It's not that big of a deal to me to have it hacked off like that because it is a means to an end. I had to get it in so that I could get the next step done before I leave for boot camp.
    I'm not taking offense at all constructive criticism is welcome. I just kinda feel rushed to finish this I won't be able to make it look as pretty as i want until after boot anyways :(

    O yeah and on top of physically working on this project I'm having lots of crashing and BSODs which I believe is being caused by a virus ... So yeah I'm feeling sorta overwhelmed and rushed here unfortunately.
  43. I hear you I really do, but if times short then leave it until you DO have the time, it gives you more time to plan and work out small details and then do the job properly at leisure, no matter now as I said but for next time :)
    I know the airpowered rotary cutters, they are the precursor to dremel type tools and your Dads right, any tool is dangerous in the wrong hands, better safe than sorry so well done for that choice,
    as for the virus, you tried scans etc to clear it up?
    maybe check the crashdump log for some info on whats causing the bsods
    Moto
  44. Motopsychojdn said:
    I hear you I really do, but if times short then leave it until you DO have the time, it gives you more time to plan and work out small details and then do the job properly at leisure, no matter now as I said but for next time :)
    I know the airpowered rotary cutters, they are the precursor to dremel type tools and your Dads right, any tool is dangerous in the wrong hands, better safe than sorry so well done for that choice,
    as for the virus, you tried scans etc to clear it up?
    maybe check the crashdump log for some info on whats causing the bsods
    Moto

    I also have a dremel which do you think would do a better job?
    Yes I've tried several antivirus programs. I'll start googling crash dump log. I've heard about it but have no idea where to find it etc. Here is my thread concerning the problem if you would like to help http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/57125-63-virus-windows32-small-causing-bsod-wanted
  45. Dremels are what most modders use, they are very handy :)
    I just use a 4 1/2" angle grinder for my cutting :P
    I'll check out the other thread too,
    Meh, its on .com, not co.uk so I can't sign in for some reason, Memtest is a free download and good, not sure about windows version sorry, never used it
    Moto
  46. Dremel is a great tool and should be in every modder's toolkit. An angle grinder is an excellent option for larger scale projects and I can definitely say it's a great option if you have one. Don't forget the usuals like a drill, snips, razor knives and straight edge.

    #1 tool- metric/SAE tape measure. You absolutely want to make sure you measure 10x and only cut what you want, once.
  47. Hey guys I'm back got out of bootcamp about two weeks ago and my computer just arrived yesterday. I'm ready to finish this project right! Hope ya'll didn't lose interest!
    Here is a couple pics of the holes in the right side panel I drilled right before I left. i know they are links but I am borrowing my roomates laptop and it's not loading the webpage right I'll fix when I get on a real computer.




    The big hole is for routing all my fan wires through it'll be covered by the radiator so it can't be seen. I still am thinking of what I want to use to cover that metal edge like some sort of grommet I guess or maybe just a rubber tube that I cut a slit in and glue on there. The four holes in a rectangle are were I am mounting my SSD (on the inside of the computer though) I'll be upgrading to a 500 gb ssd whatever one is the fastest, I'm thinking the 840 Pro. still trying to catch up on technology since I've been out of it. I am going to take everything out and mount the pump PROPERLY with screws to the bottom. (I need to drill two holes to do it) I also want to get some sleeved cables to replace those ones :) After that is just UV lights and cosmetics. O I have to cut a window in the left side panel. Maybe I shoulda made this a list instead of me just rambling on in paragraph form. lol >.<

    Anyone have a suggestion for a fan controller? I just want to control the 4 on the radiator, I have to do research on it I'm not sure how the voltage thing works and what not.

    Nice to be back guys I'm excited to do this! (properly) O and that nasty drive cage is coming out I don't need it. I want this to look nice :)
  48. Just wanted to tag this thread so i can see the updates.
  49. Ok guys I've made a lot of progress. I filled all the holes down so that they are smooth and re-drilled a couple so that they were bigger. I drilled two more holes on the bottom of the case to hard mount my pump with screws. The radiator is mounted which is awesome because I was worried about that, but it turned out perfect :) Pump is mounted all my hardware is back and water loop is filled. Now I am just reinstalling my OS and stuff because of the virus problem I was having before I left.
    Now for some pictures. ;)

    SSD mounted on back side panel so wires are covered and u can still see the ssd from the side window.


    blurry picture of the ssd on the back. old hdd cage removed. :) your welcome motopsychojdn haha.




    Holes for pump


    Bottom of case screws installed for pump.


    Rad mounted!! :D


    Loop filled! :)
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