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Quantum Systems - Project Alpha^-1


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Mod: Tower, Overclocked
 

In short:

A passively water cooled build in a small form factor case.

 

Quick guide

1. Intro and basic project design. – 28-09-2020

2. Attaching hardware to its new bracket - 30-09-2020

3. Getting the (paint)job done - 11-10-2020

4. Sleeving the cables - 15-10-2020
5. Figuring out the loop(hole) - 25-10-2020
6. Technical background: The radiator - 6-12-2020

7. Taking the radiator for a spin (ish) - 24-12-2020
8. Finalizing, booting and test results

 

🗣Intro
Hi boys and girls, a newcomer to the scene. I am very excited to be here and to take you on my journey through modding. My name is Yorick de Ron and I’m a Dutchie. 30 years old atm (pfff). I started modding around the year 2018, which obviously got totally out of hand. I started modding under the name Quantum Systems in 2019 after redoing my own build over and over again to practice. I’m a mechanical engineer in my daily work I’m always around big factories and that knowledge I intend to use in this build. This worklog is going to evolve around the technical aspect of passively cool a water cooled PC. I did my calculations, but the final result will actually show me if the idea works yes or no. Makes me very curious, excited and extra motivated to get this done before January and see it boot with maybe an OC ? I hope u guys enjoy it as much as I do, happy modding!

 

💡Project design
Sitting next to your PC which would be entirely quiet…
That’s what got me thinking, what options do we have which makes a PC silent?
- Passively cooled PC’s.. But those chunky aluminum blocks? Big nope!
- Water cooling is pretty silent, without the fans, also looks nice?
- How to create a radiator which doesn’t require fans?
- Radiator: Water transports the heat to a different location where it can disperse.
- Can I combine this? Water cooling and a passively cooled radiator?
- One way to find out!

 

I’m going to mod on a CM Q300P which is a small-form factor case (approx. 24L excl. panels). This case is very modular, which allows me to use the case in different angles. It also looks very nice, but I will have some work to improve the air contact.

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 ⚙Hardware & Sponsors

Maingoodies:
MB         ASrock X299M Extreme4 – micro-ATX
CPU       Intel Core i5-7640X - Quad core, 4GHz-4,2GHz, IHS sanded, delidded, OC t.b.d.
RAM      Corsair Vengeance Led – 3000MHz 2x16GB
GPU      Asus ROG Strix Radeon RX5700 XT O8G Gaming
PSU       Seasonic Prime Titanium Fanless 600W
CAS        Cooler Master Q300P – Small form factor
STO        Samsung EVO 860 – M.2, 500GB

 

Sponsors:
None

 

Peripherals
Cooling GPU       EK-Qauntum Vector Strix RX5700XT D-RGB – Nickel + Plexi
Cooling CPU       Bykski - CPU-XPR-A-MC-V2 RBW – Nickel + Plexi
Cooling M.2        EK-M.2 Heatsink - Black
Pump                   EK-DDC PWM i.c.w. FLT120
Radiator              Custom {not sure of the name yet}
Tubes                   Barrow – Copper 16mm, Chromed
Fittings                 EK-HTC Classic 16mm – Nickel
Cables                  Seasonic PSU cables, custom length and sleeved.

 

🖌Creation process

I did the designing of a custom passive heat exchanger in 4 weeks (not full time). Building up the design step by step, to make sure I wouldn’t make mistakes in my model, which the CNC would follow as I program it to do so. Redrawn the entire layout 5 times, but this was my final drawing which eventually would be molded into a 3D model.

 

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I’m using an Acrylic block 349x359x30mm to make water channels with a CNC machine. The counterpart will be made out of copper as one big cool block, which creates a surface area where the heat spreaders will be soldered on. A local middle-age school allowed me to use their CNC machine for my operations, fantastic!
 

💥Action shots

Hardware to be used

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Assembled to try some different set-ups, rotations of the case, and planning for the cooling

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I have a small video of the CNC in action milling the Acrylic block, but can't upload that here. So you can check it out on Facebook and here are some pictures :)
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ROG Strix RX 5700XT with the EK waterblock:
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Final result of the acryllic part of the heat exchanger. Here you can get an idea already of the flow directions. I will share a deeper insight of the cooling solution later in the build log on how it works.
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Edited by Quantum Systems
Updating the quick guide
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🖌️Creation process

Attaching the motherboard to the acrylic part of the cool-block.
1. First we used tape on the Acrylic, put the motherboard in its position for the I/O. Also the GPU needs to be able to fit in the double Din.

2. With everything into place, mark the bolt holes of the motherboard

3. Get all the components back out, and drill out the holes, I used a 3mm drill bit.

4. The stand-offs have a slightly wider thread than M3 (probably imperial size), so I used some WD40 to make it able to cut the thread by forcing it (GENTLY) in the M3 hole.

5. With all the standoffs in place, I placed the motherboard back.

 

Tricky thing is, that the thinnest parts in the acrylic block are 5 mm. And from the 9 stand-offs, I had to drill 4 into 5mm acrylic. This can easily be done by a machine, but doing it all by hand made me kinda scared to cause cracks in the block. I shortened the length (on the thread side) from the 4 stand-offs to be sure.
By doing everything slowly and think things over, I managed not to cause any cracks. And the result is pretty dashing! 😄
 

20200926_124306.thumb.jpg.f66aae1845b67c8cc152d6bf90e16cad.jpg The tape makes it easy to mark the locations of the bolt holes

 20200929_120251.thumb.jpg.3c86fd56a6b88821b0a7ae2e832f025f.jpg 2 CPU's?! 😆

|
  20200929_100742.thumb.jpg.3718a0510b94f279e45b923e0e4b5e98.jpg Is that IHS sanded? Yes it is. It has been delidded as well. Push that thing to the outer limits on watercooling!

 

 

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 20200929_120220.thumb.jpg.3c5053dc4347b9d5696630a807c950e4.jpg 

 

Edited by Quantum Systems
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  • 2 weeks later...

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🖌️Creation process

To make make the spray painting a bit easier, I disassembled the case to spray it per panel. I chose the color gun-metal grey. It gives a metallic finish instead of the original mat black.
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I also had to void my warranty on the Seasonic Prime PSU, wanted the casing in the same color as the case. So I had to take off the PSU casing to spray it.
Logo's are gone now, but I have some backup stickers, but I will wait till the whole build is complete to choose a position.

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Result: 
(Funny thing is, it rather looks the same on the picture, but the taint is lighter than the original black on the PSU, you see the difference on the screws)
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After the paint job I had to assemble the case again. My rivets were bigger than the original rivets, but it didn't have any downside using bigger ones.

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The case looks pretty much the same, but that will still change! :) It's really not done yet....
Im pretty happy that my measurements were pretty accurate, because the cool block fits perfectly as the new motherboard bracket.

To give you guys a slight insight on the final idea:

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So next up: Figuring out the loop, I'm not happy with my initial idea so I have to reconsider my options here. Custom sleeved cables are almost finished, done by a friend of mine.

And way more to come! 

Edited by Quantum Systems
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🖌️Creation process
So, its almost November already. Time flies… I'm happy I started a few weeks already before CMWS started, because I'm taking things so slow. I would never made the deadline in Januari, if I started any later. Last week I noticed, while figuring out the loop, I was just staring at it for an hour, running the pipes in my head. I have yet faced other problems tho, something with Copper and soldering. I learned a lot there, I'll clarify later in this post. 

Last few things I have done(/tried) since my update:

- The Water cooling loop
- Paint every item, on which I didn't like the color
- The Copper cool-block


The Water cooling Loop
First of all, I changed the pump, I didn't like having a big D5 pump filling all the space in front of the CPU block. Plus, I could use the space for running the tubes, bc yeah sometimes I forget I'm working in a SFF case 😆.. So that is why I got this:

EK-Quantum Kinetic FLT 120 DDC PWM D-RGB. Yes a DDC pump, because its a small pump..
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To fit this block into the build, I had to get the grating out of the 120 back-side fan mount. Because I was doubting a bit over the pump and the planned pipes, I now had to grind into the case after the paint job. But hey! It's a way better solution now than I had in my mind before..
So to give you an idea what the difference is all about:
 

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I'm still wondering why I paid (a pretty) high price for the FLT120+DDC and the cables aren't even sleeved.
Oke well had to this myself anyway, but this was just me being annoyed. 
In order to get all the colors nice and neat, I decided to paint the details on the cooling items in the same color I painted the case.
So byebye warranty on new items, hello more space! 😄 
Anyways here is a picture after motherboard heat sinks were painted:
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I am pretty happy with the result. Turned out to be the right choice for the bigger picture.
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Copper Cool Block

This is where the trouble started. Apparently soldering a copper cool block is harder than it seemed. The solder wont 'stick' to the copper due to it's low thermal resistance. All the parts (heatfins) are cut, sanded and ready to be attached, but it just wont work with Tin and Heat. The heat is beeing spread by the copper so fast that it will not allow just a spot to warm up. If one fin sticks, it comes loose again when the next fin is being soldered. So my conclusion is, that the best way to do this  to machine it out of one solid block.... $$$$$$$$$$$$.. so nope.
Going to use 2 component epoxy now.
 

 

 

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Edited by Quantum Systems
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