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6/8 cores in a Cube / X99 / 5930k / GTX 970 mini / 32GB RAM / M.2 SSD PCIe Gen3 x4

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6/8 cores in a Cube / X99 / 5820k / GTX 970 mini / 32GB RAM / M.2 SSD PCIe Gen3 x4

Hi all,

I've been thinking on putting a fast system inside a Cube for a year now.
I've tested the OSXx86 with the help of these pages in a small Intel Nuc, and I'm fine with the software part of this project.

I'll be for sure in trouble with the hardware modifications required for a successfully G4 Cube built.

Long story short, I've been checking for the Z97 platform with a 4790k and the smallest PSU that may give me gold 80 450watts, and by the time I was almost decided to go ahead, I noticed a new motherboard from ASRock with X99 chipset support.

ASRock X99E-ITX/ac means:
- more than 4 cores since it uses LGA 2011 v3 socket type.
- more than 16gb of DDR4 ram (32gb of ram DDR4, faster) (this mobo has 2 slots only, so still dual channel)
- m.2 ssd support (thus, no need to put ssd drives on it, just a small m.2 ssd chip)
- it seems it will be ready to receive Broadwell-E updates chips on 2016.

Then... You'll tell me...
- 6-core in a G4 Cube means 140W of heat... ok...
- none of the Hasweel-E or Broadwell-E i7 (in paticular 6-core i7-5930k) have integrated graphics... Then, I'll need to throw a dedicated GPU on it... ok....
- you're thinking on max 400w of power consumption..... ok...
- I'm crazy... :crazy: I know. You're probably right...


But I want to think out of the box, out of the cube in this case.
And I want the fastest possible cube (within my budget)
What could go wrong then? o_O

Flexibility must be the key:
- I don't plan to keep any of the internals: the opening-closing mechanism would be impossible to keep with the above configuration >> Then I'll have 4.91 L of volume inside the (170x170X170)mm metal cube..
- I found already the smallest modular PSU I may fit on it that will give me 80plus 480watts... Silverstone ST45SSF-G

The system then will be composed of:
- case G4 Cube (got it)
- motherboard: X99E-ITX/ac (got it)
- processor: 6-core i7-5820k (got it)
- ram: 32GB DDR4 2133MHz (got it)
- SSD Samsung M.2 SM951 supports 4 PCIE Lanes (32GB/s) (got it and it works great!!!)
- GPU: Gigabyte GTX 970 Mini 4GB DDR5 (got it)
- psu:450W PSU 80gold (got it)
- coolers: Dynatron R24 (comes with the mobo), Dynatron R25 and Dynatron R31 in case the stock R24 is too big. (got them all)
- fans: Noctua NF-A9x14 and Noctua NF-S12A PWM (got them)

If I find the extra space:
-2 x 512 GB SSD Drives 850 Pro in RAID 0, to hold OSX, and make the M.2 drive above to keep Windows 10 as (bootcamp + parallels). I already have the ssds in a macbook pro 2012.



I have another thread where I'm trying to find out if this new X99 motherboard should work easy with OSX and how hard it is, compared to other ASRock X99 mobos that successfully got OSX. (edited: OSX 10.10.4 does work indeed perfectly with this motherboard and graphics card)

trs96 (moderator) suggested me I'd also post this thread in the G4 CUbe section, so here I went.
Thanks trs96 for the suggestion.

So, now... the above as an intro, I think is fine...
See my next post were I'll show some color-sketches of volume management inside the cube.
 
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So, here is my 2nd post, with some color sketches on the volumes inside the cube.

- Green: X99E-ITX/ac Mobo
- Blue: R24 Cooler (comes with the mobo)
- Red: GTX 970 mini GPU
- Yellow: PSU
- Orange: 32gb of DDR4 RAM

cube_color.jpg

This is a screenshot of the mobo with the included cooler (Dynatron R24)
X99E-ITX_ac_Box-2_678x452.jpg

Of course you've noticed I plan, as I mentioned in my first post, to remove everything out of the metal cube.
No opening/close mechanism. Simply because there is no space to hold the cooler, a GPU and the PSU.
So I'll have all the 4.91 Liters of volume available inside the cube, for new parts.

Since, no need of extra space for drives, I just need to basically fit the PSU, Cooler and PSU in it, somehow...

Cooling it:
- If needed, I also plan to use 3-d printed airflow plastic tunnels to conduct the air to specific areas if needed.
- Last resort: If I cannot get it to stay low in temp wit the stock air cooler (or an alternative I may find), I have an idea on how to include non-maintenance water cooling on it. Hopefully I don't need to use this idea (heart-breaking idea, or acrylic-breaking would be more suitable in this post)

A conclusion: :think:
If the latching mechanism is removed from the cube, 4.91L of space become available.
Let's take a chance and try to fit everything in it. (edit) And not make a heater in the same process)
 
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< Reserved, may I? >
 
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Damn, this is definitely ambitious!

if you manage to do it - will be spectacular.

i do have my doubts though - not with the ability to fit it all, but will be mainly to do with heat - it will be possible to fit im sure - but you will need to cut the acrylic open at the back/ side to fit an exhaust/intake fan at least i think.

maybe think about moving the PSU external, that will make it a little easier at least.

looking forward to seeing how this comes out !
 
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Damn, this is definitely ambitious!

if you manage to do it - will be spectacular.

i do have my doubts though - not with the ability to fit it all, but will be mainly to do with heat - it will be possible to fit im sure - but you will need to cut the acrylic open at the back/ side to fit an exhaust/intake fan at least i think.

maybe think about moving the PSU external, that will make it a little easier at least.

looking forward to seeing how this comes out !

Wow. I second that!

As soon as I saw the X99E-ITX I did wonder how long it would take until someone did a build. Like others, I do think you may end up with a cooling problem -- but I've been giving this some thought on my own project (currently on hold until we've finished moving).

What if you could use an old Harmon Kardon sound sticks subwoofer speaker enclosure as a place to hold a cooling radiator and fan. The hole in the centre of the unit could be used for air flow, and you'd place the radiator at the bottom with a fan pulling in cold air from below and expelling it out the top?

Sure, you'd have difficulty hiding the cooling pipes, but it *would* allow you to have a discrete cooling system away from the rest of the G4 cube itself...

You'd lose the subwoofer, but you could still use the stereo pair for sound, and maybe upgrade the cones in there with alternatives?

Also, not sure if the hole would provide adequate air flow for the purposes. You'd need a pretty strong fan...
 

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neilhart

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Damn, this is definitely ambitious!

if you manage to do it - will be spectacular.

i do have my doubts though - not with the ability to fit it all, but will be mainly to do with heat - it will be possible to fit im sure - but you will need to cut the acrylic open at the back/ side to fit an exhaust/intake fan at least i think.

maybe think about moving the PSU external, that will make it a little easier at least.

looking forward to seeing how this comes out !

Hi Rayd!
Thanks for your feedback!
I know! Seems impossible. Perhaps it is...
In fact, as a silver bullet my plan, if the air colling + airflow tunnels do no work, my plan was exactly that...
To cut open a vent on the backside, and put there either a fan in/out or even a water cooling radiator.

I checked ways to keep the PSU externaly, but yet not found one that may be 450w to support all the internals. If you have a suggestion on how to keep it external, it will be very welcomed!
Thanks!
 
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Wow. I second that!

As soon as I saw the X99E-ITX I did wonder how long it would take until someone did a build. Like others, I do think you may end up with a cooling problem -- but I've been giving this some thought on my own project (currently on hold until we've finished moving).

What if you could use an old Harmon Kardon sound sticks subwoofer speaker enclosure as a place to hold a cooling radiator and fan. The hole in the centre of the unit could be used for air flow, and you'd place the radiator at the bottom with a fan pulling in cold air from below and expelling it out the top?

Sure, you'd have difficulty hiding the cooling pipes, but it *would* allow you to have a discrete cooling system away from the rest of the G4 cube itself...

You'd lose the subwoofer, but you could still use the stereo pair for sound, and maybe upgrade the cones in there with alternatives?

Also, not sure if the hole would provide adequate air flow for the purposes. You'd need a pretty strong fan...


Thanks for your posting!
Nice thinking. I like the think out of the cube, to keep some hot stuff out of the cube, and at the same time, hidden in your desk..

I'll try to get everything inside the cube:
- mobo
- CPU air-cooling
- GPU
- PSU

If it's not possible, after lot of test and error on the way to move the hot air (I mean hot air only) out of the cube, I'll try to move the PSU out. That will even give me space for a slot-in bluray reader/writer (not that I need it thou)

The main problem I see on my analysis and sketch, is that heat is being generated in different areas, at the same time, and not part of the same airflow path.
For example, the new Mac Pro has a clear airflow path. Heat goes to the hearth of the macpro, and the hot air goes up helped by a single fan (similar to the original G4 Cube, where the heat flowed up, without the help of a fan)

In my sketch, if there is no natural flow (possible from bottom to top, helped by a fan on the top), I'll need to think on a way to create an internal path. (I have some ideas on using 3d printing for it)

btw, you packed lot of parts on your hack!
(I'll try to get a raid 0 with 2 SSDs in my cube too, but that will be a phase 2 on it)

Thanks again for your comments!
Luciano
 
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luchazo - Good luck with this project. As most will tell you, the key is getting the heat out of the cube. Minihack did it so it can be done with water cooling.

Should be required reading: http://www.tonymacx86.com/powermac-g4-cube/98231-water-cooled-cube-5.html

And many will be watching for your progress reports and cheering you on.

Good modding,
neil


Neil!
I've checked all of your builds *many* times!
Thanks for your feedback!

That's right, Minihack's water cooling solution (to cut open the back for the radiator) is a plan c, if I have no way to:
- plan a: use the stock air cooler plus 1 or 2 fans to move the air in and out (or an alternative air cooling solution)
- plan b: find the smallest water cooling solution and try to make it work (striping the PSU to gain some extra space)
- plan c: cut open a square in the back for the radiator intake, that works fine per Minihack's posting.


It seems all the parts will arrive before I go back home (in Buenos Aires), so probably, I'll have a couple of fun weeks ahead trying to make work everything outside the cube, to check doa problems.

Thanks for reading again,
Hopefully I'll have some news in 1 week or 2.
 
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Here I'm attahcing another view of the internals from the top, where a central, semi-free volume should serve as the bottom-up airflow needed to expulse the hot air.

- Green: X99E-ITX/ac Mobo
- Blue: R24 Cooler (comes with the mobo)
- Red: GTX 970 mini GPU
- Yellow: PSU
- Orange: 32gb of DDR4 RAM

cube_color_@.jpg

I've ordered all the required parts already. Possibly by the end of next week, I'll have a mock system running (to check DoA issues)
 
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