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Water Cooled Cube

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Thank you for the comments E. I am trying hard with this one......enjoying it.

I thought I'd upload a couple of files again in case anyone might like to replicate or modify the top piece.
 

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Got this almost buttoned up ( a few cosmetic things etc. to add before final photos), but here in the meantime are some screen shots.
Configuration for these is inside the perspex outer case but without the metal "can". It is under my TV inside a cabinet.
As you can see it will hit a nice Geekbench mark and stays around 60c when stressed. At idle (I am working on turbo boost with a higher multiplier but no V core increase) the temp.s are around 30C (on a nice UK day).
After doing the benchmarking I have reduced the Turbo so it max.s out at 4GHz. I did that because I think my Pico will be running at the limit coping with a 3770K at 4.3GHz so benchmarking now comes out at a more conservative 14,800.
 

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Impressive results, Minihack! Not a cube in sight thats turned numbers like that.

:clap:




Cheers!
 
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So, I have taken a few steps back to move a few more forward.

I've actually been using the Cube in the form you saw above for a couple of weeks or so and quite happy with it, but still knowing I need to finish it off.

In the meantime though I was thinking that perhaps there was a little more room in there to do something with. And that maybe I should look at the graphics side to match that a little more evenly to the power of the CPU.

Inspired by Fleisch who put a Sapphire 7750 low profile into his Cube I thought that it would be nice to do the same thing in my build, but in keeping with the cooling scheme to watercool it.

Here is the virgin card:

67sv.jpg


and here it is being transformed:

zsq8.jpg


I couldn't find a universal block that was low enough and had side outputs and was specifically for the 7750 so I took a gamble and modified an XSPC universal RASA block. I basically ditched the mount bracket and removed the screws holding the heat transfer plate to the block and then used studding and nuts to secure the plate back together again. This studding is on a 43mm x 43mm square matrix which fits through the GPU holes.

xwo8.jpg


9nfs.jpg


hoia.jpg


The original rubber blocks from the aluminium air cooled heatsink are re-used to provide a cushioned contact for the GPU die and nuts are used on the reverse of the card to attach it. I am hopeful that the rubber blocks will let me get a good pressure on the GPU die without me over crushing it (!).

vhta.jpg


To mount this card I made a new support piece that provides a route for a rigid PCI-e x 16 extender to come up through it and also to take a supplementary DC-DC converter board (photos to follow) and fix this all to the side supports of the Cube.

The DC-DC converter board takes an unregulated supply of between 6 and 34v and provides a regulated 12v output of up to 120W. Before deciding to go ahead with this extra step I tried rigging the supplementary supply to a 24v input and using the output to supply the dedicated CPU molex connector while having the rest of the board/components supplied by the regular picopsu and tested it out under various operating conditions and all seemed to function well - so the Cube now has a potential 280W of power......not that I plan on using all of that. However, I am keen to try this as an experiment to see how well it might work. Plan is to get a high power (240W) external 12v supply and use that for everything in the Cube, but I do have to also look at getting the cabling solutions right from such a supply brick as potentially 20A needs to be factored in as an input current so a 4 pin connection system (e.g. like the original Cube used) is called for. In theory I think that by using a single high power 12v brick the Cube power regulators will not have to work hard and so heat from the PSU will not be a factor. ANyway, back to the case mod.s:

6p7t.jpg


I lowered the motherboard another 7mm over where it was before - to give more space - and here is a trial fit using an old 775 ITX board:

kbuu.jpg


Finally here is a first trial fit in the Cube base with single 120mm Noctua fan on the Alphacool radiator.

fyk3.jpg


Obviously next things to do are now a bit more complicated....new panel, more water fittings, making a circuit to ensure that the DC-DC board and picopsu can start at the same time from the on switch. So lots more things to figure out. Still, I am pretty sure one way or another it is all going to fit in there. :)
 
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Crazy. ;) You've used almost one half of the cube for fan and radiator. I think you will have to add antifreeze to protect the water cycle against freezing.:headbang:

MacTester
 
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Crazy. ;) You've used almost one half of the cube for fan and radiator. I think you will have to add antifreeze to protect the water cycle against freezing.:headbang:

MacTester

Yep....and there is still room for Mobo, graphics card, separate 500GB SSD and a supplementary power supply. :D
 

neilhart

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minihack - again you have raised the bar and set a new level with this hack. I am very impressed and look forward to more photos of the completed project.

Good modding,
neil
 
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minihack - again you have raised the bar and set a new level with this hack. I am very impressed and look forward to more photos of the completed project.

Good modding,
neil

Thank you Neil - it means a lot.

My key approach to this has been to make things as modular as I can so that the whole assembly can be worked on without the top or bottom in place, so the cross bracing between the old heatsink side pieces and the link from the old hard disk carrier to meet up with this is crucial. That then makes every space inside the structure accessible and useable while still allowing air intake from the top and bottom.

There is no way this could work without the hole in the "back" though. However, once that is there then a single 120mm fan I think is sufficient to cool it.

I'm finalizing this in the next few weeks hopefully.

By the way I have changed it around slightly from the photos above by moving the fan to the inside - as the Noctua fan is a focused flow specialist pushing fan.
 
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For completeness here is the way I plan to use the extra power board.

The board is an intelligent DC-DC converter that accepts a range of inputs and regulates the output. By default the output is 12v (10A peak).

It can operate in "dumb" or "car" modes and is programmable in a number of ways. In the dumb mode it just takes what is on the input and regulates to 12v on the output. In the car mode there is a ignition wire input which acts as a trigger. This trigger can initiate different board behaviours for start up and shut down.

The board also has a switch output that can be used to control the motherboard (i.e. take the place of the PC "ON" switch).

For this Cube I am planning to use the auxiliary board to provide the power just to the Processor molex plug and to let the Pico PSU power everything else. This way my CPU gets as much pure 12v power as it needs and the pico instead of having to drive the CPU gets to drive the graphics card which has a TDP of 50W only.

In one of the attached pictures I have sketched out how I can use the Cube switch, a 12 volt relay, and an emergency (push to break) switch to get everything synchronised so that it will all switch on using the touch switch and will shut down with a normal shutdown, with the "push to break" switch being an emergency way to shut down the Cube if needed without pulling the plug.

Here is how it works:

When the Cube switch is activated it completes a relay circuit by providing a path to earth for the relay coil that allows the 12v trigger signal to go to the auxiliary supply board (note: the Cube switch is NOT connected to the motherboard "ON" switch).

As the auxiliary supply turns on it gives power to the processor and also sends a signal to the motherboard to turn the pico psu supply on by using the normal power on pins on the mobo.

Because power is already at the processor input the PicoPSU sees what it wants to see as it powers on and it therefore turns on correctly and generates the PS_ON signal on the relevant pin (pin 14). That signal from pin 14 I am routing also back to my relay so that when the signal from the touch switch has disappeared the earth connection keeping the trigger signal present is now maintained.

Under normal conditions now, when the Cube is shutdown the signal PS_ON will cease to be at earth voltage and this will cause the relay to open and the trigger signal to fail. That then will turn off the auxiliary board.

If something goes wrong and a hard shutdown is needed this cannot be done by the Cube switch (as it does not physically send a signal directly to the motherboard) so instead I have put in a switch which when pushed will break the relay circuit and cause the trigger signal to fail. That means the CPU voltage will also fail and the motherboard will automatically shut down because the PS_ON line will stop being at earth volts.

So this is the theory. The only thing actually tested so far is that I know that the Cube works when the aux board is connected and giving the 12v signal to the CPU molex, so I know the two supplies will work in tandem. My hopes for getting them to operate in the way I have outlined above are so far not tested........and might not work. My main concern at the moment is whether the PS_ON signal will be generated quickly enough to maintain the earth connection to the relay coil before the earth path provided by the touch switch activation disappears.

Edit: By the way this sort of extra board could instead be used for driving a graphics card in place of powering the CPU. There are some PCI-e extenders that you can buy which as well as letting you place the GPU card elsewhere also allow you to replace the PCI-e slot power connection with one from a molex connector. So the higher output power version of this DC-DC board (which gives up to 150W) could be used to drive a proper graphics card such as a GTX 660. That's maybe a project for the future.
 

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