Worlds first fully water cooled Cube….

Discussion in 'Completed Mods' started by minihack, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. minihack

    minihack

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    Nov 21, 2013 at 12:16 PM #1
    minihack

    minihack

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    Summary

    This is my latest Cube mod and most challenging. It started out as "I wonder if a Cube can be water cooled?" and grew by stages into what you see here as a final result.

    Some might say that it has been modded so much that it is no longer a Cube. I stick by it though as to me it has all the essential Cube elements of acrylic outer case, cool touch sensor, re-uses most of the internal structural parts. Gone though is the large passive heatsink (no point in a water cooled set up) and the handle mechanism - there was just no room!

    The Cube is cut down and lies on the side just because (a) the case came initially from an old mod that I did for my wife to hold her old Mac Mini in and ( B) the mod has a practical purpose living under my TV, so a cut down arrangement on the side works better.

    To get around the lack of the handle mechanism, I altered the top plate of the Cube to take some M6 Rivetnuts and then used the original holes in the acrylic case top plate with some fancy M6 socket head screws to hold everything in place.

    The water loop in there consists of an old H80 combined pump and block to cool my i7 3770K, a modified XSPC RASA Gpu block to cool the half height Sapphire HD7750, an Alphacool 120 mm radiator, a Noctua PWM cooling fan in "push" mode to throw air out from the case through the rad fins and lots of 6mm ID fittings (to route the pitifully short tubing around the case). It uses 6 elbow bends and then probably a total of about 10 to 15cm of flex tubing - definitely a top contender for smallest ever CPU/GPU cooling loop! Total de-ionised water to fill the loop? About 250ml. As you'll see from the benchmarks though this loop is still enough to make this run really cool and is incredibly quiet.

    To make such a lot fit in such a small space I used three custom cut plates to bridge the cut-down original drive holder brace and the handle bracket and these hold the rad,fan and GPU in one solid unit from which the PCB is then suspended by PCB standoffs. To finish it off I had made a laser cut bottom plate with a honeycomb middle opening to allow as much air as possible to be drawn into the case from top and bottom (back and front now!) and feed the radiator so it can be ejected from the top of the case.

    The system is running on Mavericks and everything works. Bootloader was installed to the EFI partition and that solves issues that the HD7750 had with not wanting to boot, now it is working great.

    Final parts list:

    Zotac Z77 ITX board
    [​IMG]
    i7 3770K
    Sapphire AMD HD7750 low profile card
    [​IMG]
    Noctua 120mm PWM fan
    [​IMG]

    Watercooling elements:
    Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper 120mm
    [​IMG]
    XSPC RASA GPU block
    [​IMG]
    Combined CPU block and pump from old H80 unit
    6mm ID tubing and fittings

    Extras:
    500GB Toshiba SSD;
    Compatible half height airport card;
    BT dongle.

    Finished Pictures

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Benchmarks

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Video
    [video=youtube_share;-SMZkWcbrdU]http://youtu.be/-SMZkWcbrdU[/video]

    On the second video you can gauge how quiet this machine is - I am using a webcam with an integrated mic and I am giving a whispered explanation of the lighting. The background noise is the sound of the Noctua fan and even more faintly the sound of the Corsair pump. Distance of the mic from the components is around 3cm from the fan intake and about 10 centimetres from the integrated pump/block…..

    [video=youtube_share;OjME8oJA22E]http://youtu.be/OjME8oJA22E[/video]

    Hope you like it! All comments welcomed….

    CREDITS:
    Thanks to Fleisch for first using this GPU in a Cube build and bringing it to my attention; to my fellow modders for encouragement and inspiration (esp. Neilhart; Esterhernd; MacTester57) and all on the forums for sharing advice.
     
  2. neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    Nov 22, 2013 at 3:42 PM #2
    neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    minihack - once again you have produced a unique machine that really performs. The bench marks are top notch as is the photo story here and in the G4 Cube section.

    I really appreciate the custom parts such as the bottom plate (now rear) and the hex mesh at the top (now the front). And you are one of few that has dared to alter the outer case.

    An outstanding cube!

    Good modding,
    neil
     
  3. rehpotsirhc

    rehpotsirhc

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    Nov 25, 2013 at 8:58 PM #3
    rehpotsirhc

    rehpotsirhc

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    It's crazy how much you managed to cram in there! Are you running the fan in push or pull? I can see advantages to both but I'm just curious.
     
  4. minihack

    minihack

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    Nov 25, 2013 at 10:55 PM #4
    minihack

    minihack

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    It's running in push as the Noctua spec.s say this one is optimised for that. You are right though I think it would probably be close either way, but it just feels right to be pushing the hot air out of the case instead of drawing it in (even if the air path inside to outside is laughably short!).

    Also as in this case (no pun meant…) the Cube is lying on the side with the vent on top then the old "heat rising" thing would seem to suggest push would be better.

    On the other hand, if it were in pull mode there would be direct air flow cooling the GPU RAM chips and the Motherboard chips so I guess it would be a close thing as to which is better.
     
  5. Solidww

    Solidww

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    Dec 7, 2013 at 6:46 PM #5
    Solidww

    Solidww

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    WOW! I gotta hand it to some of creative people on this forum. You all create some of the most amazing custom computers.

    Thank you for sharing. :clap:
     
  6. fleisch

    fleisch

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    May 17, 2014 at 2:40 PM #6
    fleisch

    fleisch

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    Hi there!
    Love your watercooled cube.
    I'm still using that same GPU in my Cube, but couldn't get it to work with 10.9.2 (the mini dp port anyway)
    Now I'm thinking about trying 10.9.3
    Some people say the system def. makes a difference with the gpu ports...did you upgrade yet?
    Thanks for your help!
    Cheers,
    Fleisch
     

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