Computer upgrade, water cooled [IN ENGLISH]

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First off you need to know that this is going to be entirely in English as I want as many people as possible to be able to take part of this. I also want my sponsor EK to be able to read and understand the text I have provided to each picture here.

This is a work in progress and I will try to keep it updated as best I can. A computer is after all a "never ending upgrade" (at least for some of us).

What is this build you might ask? Well, it's a build around the x58-chipset from intel with a powerful CPU, two powerful graphics cards running simultaneously in SLI, powered by a monster PSU, housed by a massive steel cage and cooled by a silent and elegant water cooling solution.

It all started with upgrading my GPUs from GTX 470 to GTX 570. Since I previously had full cover blocks for my GPUs, I had to get new blocks in order for them to fit my new GTX 570. I figured, since I already have disassembled the loop, I might just as well go big upgrade whatever I feel necessary. So, this ended up in a few new things being purchased:
- My heatkiller 3.0 full copper block has been replaced with a EK Supreme HF Full Nickel.
- My two EK copper+acetal GTX 470 blocks have been replaced with two new acetal+nickel blocks for GTX 570.
- I figured backplates would be cool, so I got a couple of those too.
- My previous Thermochill PA120.3s have been replaced with new XSPC RX360s. The reason for this can summed up with a quote from skinneelabs: "One of the bigger gripes many including myself have with the PA is the never-ending radiator flux. Even though I always quick flush before looping a radiator up, the PA was like the gift that kept giving, only the gift was flux and you did not want it." So after having to deal with this never ending flux for way too long, I decided to replace them.

I am going to use the same pump, barbs and tubes from my previous build. The pump is a MCP350 with a XSPC top+res mounted.

The computer parts are these:
- Asus Rampage 3 Extreme
- Zotac GTX 570
- Intel Core i7 930
- Coolermaster Real Silent Pro Gold 1200W
- Corsair Obsidian 800D
- Corsair DDR3 1600mhz CL8 ram + fan
- Intel X25-M 160GB G2
- Western Digital raptor 300GB
- Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB
- Old Samsung drive 500GB

I have all of the components above, sitting either in the case, on my desk or in their respective packaging waiting to be used. I am however still (2011/02/03) waiting for a few parts to be replaced/delivered:
- As I said I bought 2 new XSPC RX360 rads. However, it turned out one of them had a leak so it has to be replaced. I should be getting my replacement some time next week (hopefully monday/tuesday)
- My water cooling parts from EK (CPU + 2x GPU + 2x Backplate) will arrive tomorrow (2011/02/04)
- It turns out that my XSPC res/top is defective because it cracked when I put the fittings in. I have contacted XSPC about this and it will be replaced. It should be here along with the radiator next week.

After I have received all of those parts, I will be able to finish this build!

Hopefully this "introductory" post has not been way too long and boring to read. Below you will find pictures from day one of the renovation till now.

Special thanks to EK for the sponsorship and Paul at XSPC for the excellent support!

Note: comments to this gallery can be made in Swedish or English! I would also like to apologize before hand for some of the bad pictures. I do my best, but I am not a pro and my camera isn't that good either!

Picture of the build, prior upgrade

This is how it all looked before I received my new water cooling parts.

Another angle

Water cooling + GPUs stripped

Temporarily threw everything on the floor of my room. PSU was removed as precaution (you don't want to get your PSU wet!)

Picture of the water cooled GTX 470s

Picture of the water cooled GTX 470s

Top mounted radiator removed


This is the ram I use. Currently sitting on my desk with a anti static pad from ASUS under it.

mCubed sensor

This is the sensor I used to measure the CPU temps. It's a digital sensor for the mCubed bigNG

Excess thermal paste

Here's a shot of the CPU block. A lot of excess thermal paste, I'll have to do a much better job this time.

CPU with thermal paste

Complement to above


My northbridge has always run hot for some reason. I never bothered to find out why, but now I do. The MX-3 paste I used here was completely rubbish. The thermal paste made little to no contact and was rock hard. I'll stick with MX-2/4 from now on!

Thermal paste's arch enemy!

Little magic with the products above: voila!

Since I will not be using this anymore, into the box it goes.

Quick picture of the cable mess in the back and my bigNG.

I decided the fan on the extra block ASUS provides made way too much noise, so I will revert to the original block, which also looks much better.

Ahh, MX4 <3

This is how it currently looks with the original heatsink mounted. Don't mind the thermal probes hanging all over the place, I'll deal with those later

Time to fit the air coolers back on the 470's and sell off the GPU blocks! I decided to do this on my (small) kitchen table.

Picture of the GTX 470 PCB

Bye bye!

Cracked acrylic

This damage looks as if I have tightened the barbs too much, granted, but thats not the case. I only hand-tighten my barbs (as thats all that is needed, you just need slight pressure on the o-ring) and the barb was a proper G1/4" thread. So the reason for the acrylic cracking like this is unknown. Either way, it's been replaced.

Complement to above.

Oh whats this?

Yay! More water cooling parts!

Complement to above.

Hmm, what could be in these?


Unfortunately one turned out to be defective..

Close-up of the RX360

Amazing fin-spacing on these puppies!

The fans I will be using

On this picture you see a bunch of Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpm fans

New location for everything!

So I decided to move everything off of the ground and put it on my desk. It'll stay there until I get everything else.

I need new screws to mount my fans...

I need screws just the right length to mount my fans. This is because I want to use them in pull in the top of my case, thus I decided to mount the fans to the radiator and the fans to the case. To do this I need to mount the fans in the bottom holes in to the radiator. I also want a rubber pad under each fan in order to avoid any vibrations. With that said, these screws had to become shorter (around the same length as the screw to the right)

A few minutes later..


This is the last picture for now. I used to have a lot more, but it seems my camera decided to delete a bunch. Either way, stay tuned! More pictures tomorrow when I unbox my new blocks!

Blocks arrived!

Yay! A box with delicious candy was dropped off at my door this morning :D!

Complementary to above

CPU block + backplate


It's amazing how shiny this thing is. Oh and I got a free tube of MX-2 which I will use.

So... shiny...

TIM + mounting screws attatched

For those who wonder I spread the tim out evenly with my hand (I have a plastic bag around my hand).

Block mounted

Block mounted, again

Time to put the blocks on the GPUs!


Well everything was just going too well for a change huh?! Turns out these graphic cards used Torx #6 screws. I have heads for them, but both are worn out so I got no good contact with the screw and I don't want to ruin the screw head. So I have to go buy a new one or something. Argh.

Stay tuned, more to come.

Shiny block!

Time to mount this nickel plated beast on my GPU!

Naked GTX 570 with thermal pads on it


Backplate added!

Yes, I did wipe that thumb print off.

Mounted in the case

Close up

Current overclock

This is what I am currently running. Temps are different in each program, but they top out at somewhere around 60. Note: fans are running at 500rpm.

Vantage Score

This is it. Computer is done, up and running and everything works like a charm. Thanks for dropping by!

Replacement has arrived!

Top + rad

Top/res mounted


The PSU...

1200w raw power in order to accurately power the beasty MCP 350

System complete