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Project Open Core: Liquid P5, Hardline Tubing, Illuminated System Panel, VR Ready

- - - - - Liquid Cooling Core P5 Acrylic

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#21
Mr_Armageddon

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Project Open Core: Hardware - Radiator & Fans

My previous build I had 2 separate radiators, one for each loop.  A 360 for the CPU, MoBo, and RAM, and a 240 for the GPUs in Push/Pull configuration.  I have a few less waterblocks this go around, and will not be running SLI, so I opted for a single Alphacool NexXxoS 480 Radiator.  Look and feel is very nice, and the reviews I was able to find show that it performs really well.

Also picked up an inexpensive “gasket” to go between the rad and fans.

27484945002_724ebcb897_c.jpg

One thing I really like about this rad is that it has 6 inlets + 1 fill / bleed port at the top.  Tons of configuration options with that layout.  They also put a metal gaurd below the screw mounts so you don’t damage the radiator fins by going in too far.  That is something my last set of radiators did not have, and is a nice addition.  

Comes with everything you need to get started, including port plugs and various lengths of fan and mounting screws.

27484943942_30b5ffa09b_c.jpg

For the fans on this build, going with the Thermaltake Riing 120mm Blue LED Fans (x4).  These ones are specifically made to work with with radiators (static pressure), and the blue LED accent around the fan is a nice touch.  I saw at computex they just released an RGB version, but for now blue is fine.

27484943172_99577c6415_c.jpg

I did have to do some cable clean up to make this look nicer. Basically cut to length, sleeved and combined 2 pairs of cables to meet back up at the fan controller.  I didn’t want to have 4 separate cables running through the case so combined  them for a cleaner look.  

Verified with ASUS that the fan headers on the MAXIMUS Formula VIII support 1A per header.  Tested these fans and even at peak, none generated more than 160mA.  Combining 4 fans on one header is still well below the max supported current, and will allow for easier fan control.

27484941972_14f89714b3_c.jpg

Although not really a fan controller, the 4 fans meet back up at a Phobya 4Pin PWM to 4x 4Pin Fan Splitter.  They basically act as 1 fan now, and I will use the  ASUS AI Suite Software to control rotation and noise based on temperature curves.

27484941492_c29014a5c9_c.jpg

Picture of all 4 installed and spinning up with a nice blue glow. I kind of wish the blue were a bit more towards the green side of the color scale for a lighter blue, as these look a bit more purple.  Will have to play with the RGB setting on rest of the LEDs on the system, and will find something that works for everything.

27484941252_82e5ecd575_z.jpg

For High Resolution versions of all photos from this build log, pleas check out the Album on Flickr.
https://www.flickr.c...5522@N05/yB94Z9
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#22
Mr_Armageddon

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Custom Liquid "Hydro Copper" (1080 SC + EK Water Block), Initial OC Benchmarks & Temps


I was tired of waiting for more official news on the EVGA Hydro Coppers, so went ahead and grabbed an EVGA GTX 1080 SC Gaming, and EK Waterblock / Backplate.  Install was easy and the temps are unreal.  But before I get to the numbers, I wanted to get some forum feedback on a simple mod to the waterblock I am thinking about.
 
Here is the block installed, and a sample of the fluid I will be using.  Looks great, but since I am mounting this vertically in  the Core P5, if I insert LEDs they are a bit glaring in the dark.
 
26987112963_75a8411904_c.jpg
 
27523215631_52ac623767_c.jpg
 
So my idea was to basically "blackout" the acrlyic so that only the fluid parts show.  Now the LED only glows around the edges, which is what I prefer.
 
27523215131_399d5b0f21_c.jpg
 
27523215451_bbda9a0e26_c.jpg
 
Does anyone think this just looks terrible, or should I keep it this way?
(The black electrical tape is just to cover the LEDs, not staying there).
 
On to Overclocking, Benchmarks, and Temps.  One thing I noticed off the bat that was kind of unexpected, is that this particular card will Boost to 2000MHz on stock settings.  Not complaining, but didn't know it was set by default to go that high.  As far as overclocking goes, the highest I could go and still get 100% stability was a max core clock of 2126MHz, and Memory at 5500MHz.  I haven't messed with voltage at all, so maybe there will be some more wiggle room if I do that.  Here is a benchmark running Haven Valley.
 
27523222911_8070ecf793_b.jpg
 
I also ran a few rounds of "Shadows of Mordor" and averaged around 126fps on Ultra settings, and then did a few runs on 3DMark to continue to test stability.  Note that my CPU is not overclocked much right now, as I am just trying to feel out the stability of the GPU at the moment, not go for max score with the the entire system OC'd to the limits.

  • Fire Strike Extreme:  9958
  • Fire Strike Ultra:  5404


 Here is the great news about this card and block combo... my temps after almost 2 hours of overclocked stress testing never went past 45c!  Loving the setup so far, but have to yank the card from my current system soon to go in the new build, so I can start bending hardline tubing!  It will stay in my current system for maybe 1 more day, so if you have any questions, post them here. Thanks in advance for any feedback!



#23
Mr_Armageddon

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Decided after getting some good feedback to modify the blackout and add RBG LED strips instead of the 2 x 3mm LEDs to give a more even light across the acrylic, instead of just 2 bright spots.

27605092256_a4a4b94039_c.jpg

Even without adding the carbon fiber vinyl, this is looking pretty sweet.

27605089146_8d1fe2a409_c.jpg

I personally think it looks even better this way, and the glow around the edge matches what I am trying to achieve with my case in this build.  Now that I have RGB LEDs Installed, I can also tweak things to make sure I have a uniform color throughout the entire build (which I have not done yet).

26760643574_7d3c11bcc6_z.jpg



#24
Mr_Armageddon

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Project Open Core: Hardware - Fittings

I have used Bitspower fittings in a few of my past builds.  Haven’t had any issues with them, but they are pretty expensive as far as fittings go.  This go around, I decided to give Barrow fittings a shot.  I have read on various forums they are physically the same as Bitspower, but much less expensive, and they have a matte black finish instead of shiny black likes Bitspower do.  I still have a few select bitspower fittings, but the majority will be Barrow for this build.

27398620140_ea5f13f8d1_c.jpg

Also decided to change out the o-rings for all the fittings to better match the theme of the build.  Went with Monsoon replacement o-rings.  They look pretty good when installed, and are nice and thick.

27398619380_4cc404e9be_c.jpg

For the hardline tubing, decided to go with Monsoon fittings as well.  They have the same matte black finish as the barrow fittings, and are really easy to install and tighten with the included tool the kit comes with.

27398618950_ba68d1a06e_c.jpg

For my drain port, I am using a combination of a Bitspower ball shutoff valve, and a Phobya Quick Disconnect Valve.  On a rotary fitting, it sits sung under the radiator, but can swivel out for easy access to drain the loop.  The setup works really well.  Swing it out, attach the female end of the QDC and tubing going to a bucket, then turn the ball valve.  Simple and quick system flush.

27398618620_b29cbcfac9_c.jpg

You may have noticed in the first picture above, I had a Bitspower flow indicator with the rest of the fittings.  After seeing another option, decided to change it out for one made by AlphaCool .  I like the shape, and it matches the overall look of the build better.

27398618000_23a8715a34_c.jpg

The only thing I don’t like is that ugly yellow spin wheel.  While one side is blue, I doubt I will be able to see that when the Blue Pastel fluid is going through it.  Don’t want any yellow showing (yuck), so used the good ole Vinyl dye to change to color to black.

27398617460_b07009dda9_c.jpg

Color change completed, I put it back together, and tested it with the fluid.  The black looks great, and much better than yellow. I may also install a very dim LED behind the indicator, but will test that out once I have the Pastel Blue fluid in the loops.

27398616640_9cbea7e215_c.jpg


For High Resolution versions of all photos from this build log, pleas check out the Album on Flickr.
https://www.flickr.c...5522@N05/yB94Z9
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#25
SimondsUnchaind

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Looking so awesome man. Loving the super well documented process. Cant wait to see this thing complete. Incredibly jealous of your man cave.



#26
Mr_Armageddon

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Looking so awesome man. Loving the super well documented process. Cant wait to see this thing complete. Incredibly jealous of your man cave.

 

Ha, thanks!  The workspace definitely  makes it a bit easier to do projects.



#27
Mr_Armageddon

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Project Open Core: Hardware - GPU

As stated in the OP, part of the reason I decided to build this sytem was to put together the hardware to provide a good VR experience with the Oculus Rift.  Being that the GPU is the most important factor in this, decided and upgrade from my GTX 970 was in order.

Timing worked out pretty well, as Nvidia recently released their “Pascal” cards, and I was lucky enough to snag an EVGA GTX 1080 SuperClocked Edition card from Newegg’s first available batch.  Didn’t even have to wait in a queue.  Since that particular card although overclocked out of the box still retains the reference PCB design, I picked up an EK Waterblock and Backplate to go with it.

27419215730_d5e4876590_c.jpg

I have to hand it to EVGA, they made a really good looking card with the 1080.  Even though the stock cooler and backplate are coming off, wanted to take a sec to show what the card looks like before it gets “naked”.

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Removing the cover was very simple, and I was surprised to see a location where LED lights plug into the PCB.  On this particular version, the LED is white only, and the EK block covers the pins, so I didn't pay it much mind.   EVGA ships some sort of pre-shroud that goes between the cooler and the card.  It actually looks really cool, and it would have been great to be able to incorporate it into the water block, but they aren’t compatible, so it had to go.  

Behold a naked GTX 1080 SC. Important to note, that the stock EVGA backplate will NOT work with the EK Waterblock.  I had to purchase the EK backplate separately.

27419215110_f0e0ef9c66_c.jpg

This particular EK block is the Nickel & Plexi combo. I like the look of the nickel, and wanted to be able to see the fluid as it goes through the block, so this really was my only option.  I wish they made one that was a nickel / acetal / plexi combo that looked all black, but still showed the fluid in the middle. Since they don’t make one, I did a few mods to achieve that look.

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Here we have the card installed and a quick fluid test to see how it looks… and it looks great!   The backplate is very nice as well.

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I wanted the fluid to glow blue in this card, and was initially planning on using the two pre-drilled 3mm holes for LEDs on the block. Gave them a shot, and found they are too bright of a focal point, and wash out the color of the fluid as seen below.

27523215631_52ac623767_c.jpg

As a solution, I decided to add more RGB LED strips to both the GPU and CPU Waterblocks. Not oly does this allow me to get the color to match what I have going on around the case, but I can also tone down the brightness levels to a point where it just glows but doesn’t blind you.

27605092256_a4a4b94039_c.jpg

As nice as the photo above looks, all the little circles and cutouts glowing was a bit too distracting for my taste, so I went about using Carbon Fibre Vinyl to wrap the face of the block.  It worked really well, and helps focus the attention on just the fluid, and also glows around the exterior of the block similar to how I have the case setup.  They go really well together.

27605089146_8d1fe2a409_c.jpg

I drained the test fluid and installed the card on my case.  It looks really good sitting where it does, and as can be seen below in both the CPU and GPU blocks, the subtle blue glow really works well.  Can’t wait to finish my tubing so I can get some coolant running through this build!

27087092203_67312bd545_c.jpg


For High Resolution versions of all photos from this build log, pleas check out the Album on Flickr.
https://www.flickr.c...5522@N05/yB94Z9
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#28
Mr_Armageddon

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Project Open Core: Hardware - Displays & Peripherals

I am working on wrapping up hardline bends and sleeving, and will post on those topics once completed. As my last “Hardware” post, going to run through my Displays & Peripherals.

I am a consultant, and about 50% of my job is on the road.  When not traveling I work from home. For my setup, I went with a custom Sit/Stand desk with motorized legs.  I usually start the day standing, but by 2-3pm, the knees start to ache a bit and I drop the desk and pull up a chair.  My displays are wall mounted, on articulating arms.  Although I can adjust them to my heart’s content, I have found a good location for them that I can use while standing or sitting, so they never move.

27707092356_2c9bb1a09a_b.jpg

Using 3 monitors currently in a PLP configuration.

  • Primary Display - 30in Dell 3011U @ 2650x1600
  • Side Displays - 20in Dell 2007FP @ 1200x1600  (x2)

Total resolution is 3850x1600, which gives me a lot of good workspace.  Here is what the desktop looks like in a seamless “Print Screen”.  Using Display Fusion to manage my wallpapers, and a few Rainmeter “skins” to customize the look of the desktop and give me system stats at a glance.

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Keyboard and mouse using a Corsair K70 RGB Mechanical Keyboard, and a Logitech G502 Mouse.  Both utilize RGB LEDs, and are customizable.

The newest addition to my setup is the Saitek X-56 Rhino H.O.T.A.S. Flight Controller.  I have been getting into Space Sims lately, and this has been a huge upgrade from my old but trusty Logitech Extreme 3D Pro joystick. The difference the new X56 has from the X55 is two additional thumb control sticks for your thumbs, specifically helpful for extra control with space sims, and the addition of RGB lighting.

27666385321_971fa55e62_c.jpg

Here is a pic of all of them together.  Really liking that manufacturers are going with RGB lighting so you don’t have to settle for whatever color they decide to ship units with.  Very easy to match the colors of the new build.  Customization FTW!

27666385901_aa293c2331_c.jpg

For High Resolution versions of all photos from this build log, pleas check out the Album on Flickr.
https://www.flickr.c...5522@N05/yB94Z9
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#29
Mr_Armageddon

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Slight Problem, need help

I was planning on testing all of my wiring since I made the majority of the PSU cables myself, and ran into a bit of an issue.  Everything powers on well, lights up, pumps work, etc.  But the ASUS MoBo will not fully boot.  Keep getting an error saying  "USB Device Over Current Status Detected" and an error code on the motherboard of "55".  

A Google search tells me Code 55 is "Memory Not Installed", but as can be seen in the picture below, the RAM and CPU are fully recognized.  Plus, I don't see what that would have to do with the USB Over Current Error.

27722497656_4f253a8468_c.jpg

I have also unplugged everything from the motherboard (including front case USB headers) except the keyboard and mouse.  No Drives, GPU, or fans are plugged into the motherboard.  I have tried various USB ports, and have even tried different keyboards.  Keep getting the same error, and cannot get into the BIOS at all.

Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as I doubt I will hear back from ASUS for a few days. Thanks.



#30
Mr_Armageddon

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Issue Resolved… sort of

After trying what seemed like everything I could think of, along with some suggestions from people on various forums, finally figured out what the issue was.  I thought I had unplugged everything in my search for a fix, but I missed the PCIe USB 3.1 card, mainly because it was hidden behind the PCIe Riser Cable going to the GPU with its vertical installation.  I couldn't see it, and passed it over.

The reason that particular card was giving me issues was due to the fact that USB 3.1 can draw a lot more power than 2.0 and even 3.0, which it what was triggering that particular error message, and causing the reboots.  I went ahead and made a new SATA Power cable and added it to the expansion card, and the power / current issues are gone.

I have finished a few test, and was even able to install Windows 10 while checking for fluid leaks.  Still having an occasional issue during boot up, but I know that cause this time of the Q-Code 62.  That same PCIe Riser Cable that hid the USB Card, is causing the boot process to lock up.  As soon as I unplug the card, everything functions as it should.  I have been reading that adding extra shielding to the cable can fix the issue, so going to give that a shot.  If not, will have to hit up Thermaltake for a new cable.  I really hope it will be a quick fix, as the build is almost done and I  would hate to have this hold things up.

27502667140_012d26dbd9_c.jpg
 



#31
Mr_Armageddon

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Project Open Core: Hardline Tubing

For this build, I decided to go with Monsoon Hardline PETG Tubing 1/2" ID, 5/8" OD.  I initially had purchased PrimoChill PETG Tubing, but decided that the diameter was too thin and liked the look of ⅝” OD better.  This is my first time “tube bending” so I purchased a lot of it since I knew that I had to account for the varoius screw ups that would occur.  Luckily it is not very expensive.

27502718920_71a8c2b882_c.jpg

Since it was my first time working with hardline tubing, I had to acquire a few tools to make sure my bends look good. I already had a few things, like the rotary pipe cutters and a heat gun, but also picked up some Monsoon Mandrels to help form bends, a measuring kit, and a tube bending rig made by Barrow which came in really handy.  

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I have noticed that a lot of people cutting tubing use a hacksaw, but I personally thing the rotary pipe cutter is a much better tool.  Not only does is make very straight cuts, but it leaves no mess, and gives the tubing a nice beveled edge as can seen in the picture above, and ensures I don’t damage the o-rings when sliding them on for the fittings.

The Barrows bending rig was very useful when doing more complex / multi angle bends, and assured not only my angles were dead on, but that the tubing was straight throughout the level plane I was working with.  It also allowed me to keep things stable when doing larger 180 bends than what the Monsoon mandrel kit supported.  Used a can of compressed air as a form for one of the bends, and it come out really nice.

27502713830_bc220862b5_c.jpg

For the most part, my bends held true to my original 3D render which I was glad to see.  One place where I had to simplify a bit is where the Motherboard outlet connected to the GPU block. I was initially going to go with a nice multi-bend solution, but realized after installing the fittings that my plan wouldn’t work.  There wasn’t enough clearance between the fitting and the motherboard housing to do a 90 degree bend from that location. So I used my measuring kit to form a more simple
“L” bend directly to the GPU block.  

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Not as fancy, but the end result still looks great.  Towards the end of the process, I was getting really good and quick at making quality bends.  I may change things around at some point, but for now, I am happy with the end result.  Time to move on to finishing up making some power cables and getting them sleeved.

27706603891_aab2090cc2_c.jpg


For High Resolution versions of all photos from this build log, pleas check out the Album on Flickr.
https://www.flickr.c...5522@N05/yB94Z9
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#32
hardcore253

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This is amazing man!  Puts my recent P5 build to shame, lol.

 

I'm curious, did you add additional shielding to the provided 16x riser cable?  My rig is currently almost unusable due to consistent driver crashes.  I've narrowed it down to the riser cable.  If I power down, and monkey with the bend radius of the cable a bit, I can run benchmarks, watch youtube vids, etc without issue...for a bit.  Then all of a sudden I'll start getting driver crashes doing simple things like web browsing.  I tried hitting up Thermal Mike's post about getting a new cable, but have received no response.

 

Are you having issues with the cable provided?  Or did you get a new one?

 

Here is a couple shots of my build - nothing near as sweet as yours (I have the same ASUS mobo, and I really like it - especially the lighting control - mine is controlling the lights under the desk):

 

BD4Btu6.jpg

 

cXTuyLG.jpg



#33
Mr_Armageddon

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This is amazing man!  Puts my recent P5 build to shame, lol.

 

I'm curious, did you add additional shielding to the provided 16x riser cable?  My rig is currently almost unusable due to consistent driver crashes.  I've narrowed it down to the riser cable.  If I power down, and monkey with the bend radius of the cable a bit, I can run benchmarks, watch youtube vids, etc without issue...for a bit.  Then all of a sudden I'll start getting driver crashes doing simple things like web browsing.  I tried hitting up Thermal Mike's post about getting a new cable, but have received no response.

 

Are you having issues with the cable provided?  Or did you get a new one?

 

Here is a couple shots of my build - nothing near as sweet as yours (I have the same ASUS mobo, and I really like it - especially the lighting control - mine is controlling the lights under the desk):

 

BD4Btu6.jpg

 

cXTuyLG.jpg

 

I am actually using the 2nd version of the cable that Mike already sent out.  I too am having issues (can't even boot up) when the riser card is used.  I have emailed Mike again a few days ago, but haven't heard back.  :( 

 

I am going to try and add extra shielding to see if that helps.  I really like the idea of the vertical card installation, but so far in practice it is proving to be a poorly executed idea.



#34
hardcore253

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Bummer man - I can at least boot up - but all intents and purposes, I might as well not be able to.  Let me know if you try more shielding and it works.  I've heard it can also be the bend radius of the cable - has to be a smooth bend.  I tried that after reading about that and got things working, if only for a bit.

 

I have found a few other cables that appear to be good quality (they look well shielded) I may try.  I went with this case over the Phantec Enthoo Primo because of the vertical GPU mounting, but like you said - seems a poorly executed product so far.  If I can't get the new cable (or get it work), and getting a new third-party cable doesn't work out - I'll have to drain the GPU loop and do a normal horizontal mount, thus having to re-do my bends, and that was a bit tedious for me, lol.



#35
hardcore253

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So, I've decided to give this a try:  https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Reviews seem MUCH better.  I won't get it for a few weeks due to back order (edit: I just happened to check it again and noticed it now suddenly said in stock!  so I'll have it by Friday) -I'll let you know if it works out.


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#36
Mr_Armageddon

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So, I've decided to give this a try:  https://www.amazon.c...0?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
Reviews seem MUCH better.  I won't get it for a few weeks due to back order (edit: I just happened to check it again and noticed it now suddenly said in stock!  so I'll have it by Friday) -I'll let you know if it works out.


I actually had that same cable in a wish list since it said as of yesterday, not available. When I clicked the link to see if it was the same one, they had them in stock. Mine will be here Friday as well!

Really hoping it fixes the issue. If not going to try the more expensive Lian-li cable which is similar tobthe ilone made by 3m.

#37
Mr_Armageddon

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Project Open Core: Sleeving

My last build incorporated sleeving from MDPC (MurderMods), and it turned out really good.  I still have a lot of sleeving left over from that project, but decided to try something different for this build. I have heard a lot of things, both good and bad, about Paracord sleeving, so I decided to do a sample to see if it would work for this build.  As I mentioned before, I like MDPC sleeving, but I find it a bit stiff to work with at times.  So I purchased a few hundred feet of coreless paracord, which cost less than $25, and got started sleeving.

In addition to the custom sleeving, I typically make my own power cables for each build.  I find by doing this I am able to limit all the extra cable length taking up room in the case, and it allows for better looking cable routing.  Here is a pic of the primary tools used for the job.

  • Paracord (Black)
  • Paracord (Royal Blue)
  • Paracord (Slate Grey)
  • Lutro Paracord Sleeving tool (makes job snag free)
  • 100ft 18AWG Wire
  • PSU Power Connector Pins (lots)
  • MDPC Crimping Tool
  • MDPC Pin Extractor
  • Molex PSU Connector Heads (Various)
  • Precision Titanium Snips
  • Hobby Knife
  • Bic Lighter

27764136212_04eb393dc7_c.jpg

After doing a few trail runs and deciding that I really like using Paracord, I set to work making my cables. In addition to looking great, and being very flexible, I like that with Paracord I can sleeve the cables without having to use heatshrink.  I personally think it looks cleaner, and it cuts down the time required to get the job done.

27830827986_48561e7015_c.jpg

For most of the build I am using “Wire Wraps” that are 3D printed by Ensourced. I find they are really easy to work with, and look great once installed.  They do a good job of keeping the sleeved cables tidy, especially when doing bends.  

Here you can see a comparison of my new paracord sleeved ATX connector vs my older one using MDPC sleeving.  So pretty!

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Here we have another comparison of the two types of sleeving.  Really impressed with the look and feel of the paracord.  Also liking the combination of the 3 colors, and how well it goes with the rest of the build.

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The cable shown below is one I had to create later on in the process after I was having boot issues caused by me not adding a power connector to my USB 3.1 expansion card.  You can see the cable plugged in the bottom part of this picture as well.  Glad I got that one figured out!

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Here we have the final stage of the custom cables and sleeving in all it’s glory.  Really liking how the colors look, and how clean the paracord sleeving turned out.  Cable management in the back is good, but could be better.  May work at securing everything down a bit more once I verify that everything is working the way it should.

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For High Resolution versions of all photos from this build log, pleas check out the Album on Flickr.
https://www.flickr.c...5522@N05/yB94Z9
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#38
Mr_Armageddon

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I am happy to report that the PCIe riser cable I purchased works perfectly!  No more boot errors, benchmarks work, and I can even OC without issues.

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Here is the Amazon link if anyone with the Core P5 Case would like to give it a go.  It seems a lot higher quality than the one provided by Thermaltake, and is shielded well. The only problem is that one of the screw holes doesn't line up exactly with the P5 case mount.  I ended up using the screw on the side with the PCIe latch, and a zip tie on the other.  Not ideal, but it works, and doesn't wiggle.

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One thing I made sure to do this time is not have any drastic bends, and to not bend anything near the connectors.  Used a can of Pledge Spray as my guide for nice rounded bends.  

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Now that I am back to having a 100% working system, I can work on getting this build finished up!  Time for some leak testing.
 



#39
Mr_Armageddon

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Project Open Core: Initial Fill and Leak Testing

Now that the tubing and cables are done, time to fill this thing up with fluid.  Before I did an entire system fill, there were 2 things I needed to do.

Needed to flush the radiator of any particulates.  I have heard in a lot of reviews that radiators can have all kinds of metal shards inside time left over from the manufacturing process.  I detached the radiator from the rest of the loop, and flushed it with distilled water.  Pleased to find very little in they way of particulates, so drained it and reattached the tubing.
Then had to decide on what color of LED I wanted to use in the Res, being that is was one of the few lights in the system that wasn’t RGB.  I filled it up a little over halfway, added a bit of Blue Dye, and first tried the White LED, which is the photo on the left.  It looked good, but wanted to try blue as well.

At first I was worried that the blue would look purple and not match the rest of my system (kinda like it does in the picture on the right).  But in real life, it is the perfect color blue, and seems to light up the entire Res a bit better than the white one, so going to stick with the blue LED for now. Its an easy change if I decide to go with the white sometime in the future.

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After deciding on the LED color, I drained the Res, connected the tubing to the rest of the system, and began filling with distilled water for the first official “Leak Test”.  Quick note of filling a system with this XSPC Photon Res… you will need a book, which you can see in the bottom right of my photo below.  The case/res has to be tilted at an angle during the fill process, or the opening will keep backing up with air bubbles.  The first 5 minutes of the fill process were very frustrating until I figured this out.  After sliding a good size book under the right leg of the case, filing became very easy.

Was able to fill the whole system in a just a few minutes, alternating between running the pump and tilting the case to release air bubbles. It looks like it is going to take around 1.4 liters to completely fill the system loop and res.  I then ran it for a few hours, and didn't find a single drop of water outside of the loop.  Leak test completed successfully.

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For High Resolution versions of all photos from this build log, pleas check out the Album on Flickr.
https://www.flickr.c...5522@N05/yB94Z9
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#40
hardcore253

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Yep - just came here to report that mine is working as well!  Had a couple minor issues with getting the bend radius correct.  I also had the issue with the screw hole lining up.  I wish I had checked here first!  I ended up draining my loop - which at first I was thinking I could avoid - and in the process, despite trying to be super careful with lots of paper towels, etc, I ended up dripping red coolant on my nice new desk and now it's pretty much ruined.  Luckily my large steele series mousepad covers it up.

 

It got it working, went to move the case back and it acted up again for a few - so maybe in a few months I'll use your mounting method - as I am experiencing a slight bit of droop - but, if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right!

 

I also got a response from Mike at Thermaltake, he is sending me a new one - I may try it out soon when I get another GPU.  If it still doesn't work, I know which one to purchase.  I'm definitely glad it worked, as I was starting to fear I'd have to plug it straight into the motherboard - making the purpose of this case null and void, and I'd have to re-do the tubing bends.

 

I'll check back later and re-read your post about cables and such!  Great work again man!  making already want to plan out some updates for the future (like the wrapping)


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