Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Let The Games Begin!

Well the rebuild has finally started. I spent all day today at it and I didn't get all that far. I got one of the Twin Turbos installed on a video card. Until I see how it performs I am going to leave the other one with the stock cooler on. Once again Arctic Cooling has failed to put decent thermal adhesive on the VRAM heat sinks. Fortunately I have a tube of Fujik thermal glue that seems to work somewhat better.
If you want to clean the thermal adhesive off of those heat sinks before applying your own solution I suggest using Goo Gone. It works very nicely but you stil have to re-clean them with alcohol as the Goo Gone leaves a slight oily film.

Despite the issues Arctic Cooling warned against, the Twin Turbo installs relatively easily. The VRAM heat sink does not interfere with the cooling pipes as much as I expected. I wasn't completely happy with the way the GPU cooler seated so I will be monitoring temps very closely.

The Nautilus 500 CPU water block mounted without a hitch. I have all of the hoses installed, but I had the wrong size clamps for the Primochill hose so I have ordered the proper ones. I don't care much for the tubing that comes with the Nautilus, it is very flimsy and kinks easily. I also ordered some anti kink coil for it. If that doesn't work I will order more the Primochill hose. It is very solid yet flexible and it doesn't kink at all.

I still chose to use the Y barbs but that is something else I will have to monitor as well to make sure I am getting a balanced flow. I didn't put in any flow meters so it will be all visual and temperature monitoring.

The Lian Li case has a built in LCD thermal monitor with 3 probes that I will mount on the CPU block and the North and South bridge. It also has 3 fan sensors, one I will use to monitor the Nautilus radiator fan, one for the Nautilus pump and the 3rd will just monitor one of the system fans. I don't believe there is any speed control for the fans, just a speed sensor.

I had to do a small mod to one of the 5.25 bay covers to mount the ASUS LCD POST monitor. It isn't pretty but I can live with it. Tomorrow I am going to buy a StarTech 5.25 to 3.5 drive bay adapter to install the nGear card reader as the case has no way to mount a 3.5 inch drive. That really surprises me because it is so jam packed with every other feature imaginable.

I also installed another case fan in the bottom to blow air upwards to the video cards. There will be another fan mounted on the side window panel grill to blow air in as well. The only fans out will be one at the rear of the case and the power supply. There is plenty of ventilation for hot air to escape so it's more important to pump lots of cool air in. A fan at the very top of the case would have been nice, but that is where the Nautilus will be sitting so that wouldn't work anyway.

I am really happy with the Lian Li case. There is so much room and so many excellent features. They provide more then enough hardware and it is all very good quality. Chrome speed screws, a very good anti-vibration mounting system for the hard drives, 4 - 120mm fans and numerous ways to configure your hardware.

If I don't get the clamps I ordered tomorrow, I am going to get some temporary water clamps and test the water cooling system for leaks. I don't expect any issues but I want to be absolutely sure. I don't imagine I will get to fire the computer up before Friday. If all goes well and the Twin Turbo works as promised I will install the second one next week.

Hopefully tomorrow I can post some pictures. It's late and I am beat! It's a long process, but slow and steady wins the race!

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