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G5 Case and liquid coolers

liquid cooling g5 powermac

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#1
Ira Aduro

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As I am working through the planning and concepting part of my G5 build I decided liquid cooling is going to be the best way to go given my space constraints. I was wondering though, have any of you used liquid cooling in the G5 and if so what would you recommend? I thought it would be nice to remove the plastic backfan bracket and attach the radiator to the metal clip on part. Either that or cut out part of the G5 bottom to allow the radiator to draw in air.

So, what do you guys recommend as far as liquid coolers and what would you recommend for placement? Thanks in advance!

EDIT:
When I'm asking for cooler recommendations I don't mean which one works best but more of which one fits in the case well. I can use google to find out the ups and downs of each kind.

#2
nickjf20

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http://www.tonymacx8...g5-project.html

#3
SirKeldon

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Hey there,

I do run a watercooled G5 mod, from my point of view here you have some options:

With a "clean" disposition (removed PSU and GFX plate) you can fit 1xDual 120mm radiator in the front, mounted vertical (my current setup) OR 1xTriple or 1xDual 120mm radiator in the bottom (you have to make cuts)

With the original PSU i think you can still have room for 1xDual 120mm mounted on the front a lil bit higher.

With the original PSU and GFX plate you could fit 1 or 2xDual 80mm radiators in the original fan holders (one in the front, one in the rear)

If you remove the original 2x92mm fans from the back you could fit 1xSingle 120mm radiator also.

Hope to be helpful!

#4
Ira Aduro

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SirKeldon, is it necessary to remove the metal bracket the original back fan holder clips into? If not, that might be ideal.

Here's a bad photo of what I am planning out. I've made paper boxes for each component, approximating the size. The motherboard is a paper printout on cardboard. I've drawn on top of the photo to show my current plan for a single 120mm radiator. Was going to use Corsair H50 from Newegg (their's has higher quality tubing). I don't plan on overclocking at all. I'm doing watercooling simply because it gives me flexibility with thermal design of the case. Even though I have the current "shelves" in the G5 I'm going to make custom shelves. One for PSU at top, One dividing the mid section. One as a false flooring (going to light it from below). The false flooring is also going to make an air duct which the GPU is going to draw from. You can see the GPU sits below the radiator and the fans face down. If I flipped the motherboard so the IO ports are facing up I could attach the 120mm radiator to the current back fan spot.

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#5
SirKeldon

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Hello again,

I'm sorry but you confused me a little bit, are you gonna place the motherboard in that position? Losing the original PCI brackets? In that case how are you gona place the GPU in the spot it is right now? It's impossible. And if you place the GPU as should be with the MB in that position you're almost like to lose the space in the back to stick a radiator or it will be very uncomfortable to manipulate ... and even if you place the motherboard in vertical, for the GPU to be there you'll be constrained to have the motherboard IO inside the case, have in mind that this tower is kinda "BTX" factor, it will be kinda weird. In one word, you'd be doing good moving the GFX away from that spot.

If you want to use the original rear fans + mountings with a gap in the case floor i think your only chance is to stick a single 120mm rad or a dual 80mm rad, the dual 120mm one in the back is (i guess, i didn't try) impossible if you want to use the original PCI brackets, even without a false floor. If you're sure about that disposition i'd measure the plastic part and if it fits (assuming that a 120mm rad it's a lil bit wider than 120mm) i'd drill some holes in it to fix the rad, then place the original (or other 92mm) fans in it's correct spot if you don't want to lose the original back style, but i repeat that with the MB in that position will be uncomfortable to manipulate and maybe you'll have spacing issues due to you have to move your GFX, not to mention that the airflow in that part will be painless cause GFX will try to get air and the rad fan will push it out. On the other hand, if you're gonna leave some space in the floor, still you can mount a single or dual (if you cut some part of the mid shelf) 120mm rad in the front and being able to give airflow to the hard-drives and partially the GFX with the rad fans (if you go with the dual) and using the MB disposition that you prefer. I think it's always the best option in the G5, a single/dual 120mm rad in the front or a dual/triple 120mm in the bottom. That way also you give airflow to the rest of the case when using push->pull configuration. So i'll really reconsider to use that MB disposition and going with the habitual BTX factor.

Here you can see how i routed mine:

Posted Image

Posted Image

- Dual 120mm rad in the front, which is resting in the top of two 60mm fans, everything hooked up with a metallic L shape to keep it in place (so you'll have room for a 60-65mm height false floor, maybe less if using a full ATX board mounted in vertical)
- Drilled some holes into the back plastic part to accommodate two 92mm fans (i couldn't use the original mountings that clips inside also due to the audio IO of the motherboard)
- Hard drives are resting in the bottom of the case with its original mounting, airflowed by the rad fans as well the two 60mm laying under the rad.
- CD/DVD unit and PSU is in your same disposition, i'm using the original top shelf and i just cutted a hole for the PSU being able to get fresh air.
- I'm also lighting the case, a 30cm white led strip is on the rear side part as well as a top UV led strip sticked in the PSU plate/shelf next to the door mechanism.

Give me some feedback so i can give you more help if needed.

PS: Did you check out the new Swiftech H20-220? It's an AIO unit but can be expanded for custom loops if you want, it's 129$ and gives way better (and silent) cooling than Antec/Corsair solutions. Can be helpful too if you decide to watercool your GFX in the future. Just add that in mind when deciding your unit.

#6
Ira Aduro

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Thanks for the detailed post about using the radiator. I can fit the GPU there because of this extender which is opening up some great possibilities.
Posted Image

By the way I love the covers you have for the upper area and also for the HD bays, very creative and stylish. I'm planning on doing something similar for my build.

#7
SirKeldon

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Interesting adaptor, never saw one of them before, will think in trying one of those if I decide to make some kind of X-Fire in the future, thank you!

Though that, reaching the GFX IO of the card and the MB IO would be complicated (even if you plan using an original G5 rear board, routing the MB IO with the PSU there is gonna be also problematic) not to mention that you will place the hottest component in the lowest part, so a lot of heat will be rising up and if you stick your rad in the middle or the back, is just hot air what's gonna drive which is not good at all. Use the exhaust fans, of course, but if you're gonna place the rad in the middle (which i don't recommend cause it can be a problem for GPU temps, not enough space to get air correctly) or the back w/o moving the GFX, use better intake ones, if not, airflow's gonna be a bigger compromise. That's why I insist to stick it into the front, specially if you decide to go with that disposal, you'll get always a fresh radiator and decent flow if going push->pull, more if you use a dual 120mm solution. Anyway, i'm not a fan of that MB position as i told you, you'll mod and/or arrange the case in a way that maybe in the future is unable/too hard to hold any other disposition or some 3rd party tray, even if you're not planning to OC and you're gonna watercool your CPU, the rest of the components are gonna still need good airflow with no big tricks. However, it's on your own as it's your case, just trying to give you some advices, hope not to sound too rude, maybe i'm such a fan or fool of having all components on the 20's-30's :jester:

Thanks for your comment about the covers, they're originally the heatsink covers of two diff models of G5s, the one on the top was a double one that i cutted to give some "Mac Pro" appearance aswell to cover the mess there. The other two ones got them from a neighbour and forgot them ... till days ago that i decided to try if they fitted on the top of the HD's, thought it could be stylish as you said, and it really did the job :thumbsup_anim:

Cheers and keep us briefed with your advances!

#8
Ira Aduro

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I have made an illustration of airflow, three illustrations actually. They are attached to this message.

The first image shows my original idea. See how the fans for the GPU are drawing air from below the false flooring. There shouldn't be any hot air blowing from the GPU to the Rad. However there will be warmness around bottom (top in this orientation) of the GPU. Given the dual 80mm fans in close proximity I would *think* the hot air would be pulled away.

The second image shows the GPU in what would be a more traditional setup. But here it is fighting with the PSU for air.

The third image shows the Rad moved forward so it is "first in line" for cold air and no need for worrying about warmness from the GPU. In this setup I could place an 80mm fan below the Rad to push air directly onto the GPU.

I was planning on making an enclosure for the GPU that would shield the Rad from warm air leaking up, something similar in idea to this excellent case mod.

By the way - did you paint the heatsinks on your Gigabyte board?

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#9
SirKeldon

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You really got me with the illustrations, nice explained plan now. Didn't know that you were planning to use the false floor to get a cool air conduct in that specific way, would you support it with some 50 or 60mm fans at the front?

I'm agree with you with the second disposition, i had that problem and though the temps were ok i didn't like the sensation of that warm zone (because air was really feeling warm, nearly hot sometimes) ... reason that i switched to watercool my GFX as well.

Now, when coming to the first picture maybe the GPU fans can take enough cold air from the outside (due to the duct) ... but when talking about the rad at the middle i don't see it clear at all, it's a long way and a way more wide space, in my humble opinion just a single 120mm fan is not gonna do it from that distance, maybe if you add another 120mm fan in the front or using the original 2x92mm front ones you could really avoid a potential hot spot if you go as you planned.

When talking about the third one, i must add that i barely disagree in just one thing, if you're going push->pull setup you could be reaching the same experience as with your plan if you add the extra intake that i was saying and the blue lines will arrive also till almost the back of the case and being quickly exhausted by the rear fans, even more if you add the custom plate to the GFX cause the hot rising from the metal will be surrounded just by cool air and being also quickly exhausted. Being honest, with this case and the front rad I never felt hot air coming out from the fans even after several hours of high GPU + CPU load. Neither in old systems with higher TDPs if i was doing push->pull in a rad, just my 5 cents.

Anyway, now that i'm watching it with more perspective ... it's a strange but nice plan, let's see how you finish it. Good luck!

#10
Ira Aduro

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I might have to put a small fan in the front if I do use the false floor to provide air to the gpu.

I want to put as few fans in the case as possible but if you think push/pull would help I'm not opposed to that solution. Thought of two more possible solutions, one incorporating the radiator at the back using the dual 92mm fans (I misrepresented their size in the first three illustrations) to pull while the fan that comes with the radiator pushes. The gpu would sit in front and pull in air. Second attachment is similar to previous idea but this time the radiator is close to front of case and the gpu isn't as close to the psu as before. This setup would also allow me to ditch the pci-e extender cable and plug directly into the motherboard. However the grated back of the gpu would be really close to the back fans and might cause a lot of noise.

I do appreciate your opinions on this, helps me consider the different angles. :) I wish I had the money and know-how to do a custom water cooled solution but I'd want stainless steel tubing and yeah, it would be $$$.

Oh and here's the concept for the outer case. Coloring isn't definite yet. I will definitely be installing a slot loading dvd (got one off ebay that was in a macbook pro) above the original dvd opening. The original opening will slide down to reveal a faceplate with 4 usb ports. Playing around with doing fluorescent or glow-in-the-dark paint for the trim.

By the way what motherboard is that in your g5? The gigabyte i have has blue heatsinks which I wish were grey or black.

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#11
SirKeldon

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I do like much more the second disposition. I understand your concern about fan amount and the noise involved, so remember that the original Apple fans are pretty noisy, that's why i decided to stick 2x92mm beQuiet fans in the back ... but the main thing is why i insist in push->pull? It's just due to the nature of the radiator and its fins. When coming to watercooling there is a important point with the fans, it's not just the CFM ... the main thing is static pressure that they're able to deliver. So if you want to use just one fan in the radiator make sure that is rated for static pressure, unfortunately these are prettty noisy (in the 35dba-40dba range when using them at 12V) and wouldn't let neither enough air to go through the case ... so my advice is to use less noisy ones but combined in a push->pull setup, maybe worst with the static pressure but within the range of 20-25dba delivering 70-80CFM you'll be able to cool correctly the rad as well as delivering a good inner flow cooling your RAM, chipsets and the GPU backplate (which also gets pretty hot due to the VRM's) if you go finally with the GFX at the bottom. Best option of course is to do a push pull of high static pressure fans ... and regulate them to 7V-5V to deliver a good air quantity with decent noise and pressure when not doing "hard" tasks ... take a look at the new corsair SP120 specs http://www.corsair.c...-120mm-fan.html, these will be my next acquisition i think:

Performance at 12V
Airflow 62.74 CFM
Static Pressure 3.1 mm/H20
Sound Level 35 dBA
Speed 2350 RPM

Performance at 7V
Airflow 37.85 CFM
Static Pressure 1.29 mm/H20
Sound Level 23 dBA
Speed 1450 RPM


I really appreciate that you take my points in consideration too, yeah, sometimes it's good to think with a twist. As i told you, "custom" water cooled solution it's not really a possibility if you go with some single 120mm AIO kit, none of them is extendable AFAIK, so i really recommend you the new Swiftech H220 as i said in a previous post. It's a dual 120mm rad (you could fit it using the second disposition and replacing the HD fan with a cut for fitting it with a push or push->pull configuration) ... and money is not really an issue cause it's pretty affordable, 129,95$, in the same range as Antec 620 or Corsair H100i, it's an AIO solution with a block+pump combo and a rad+reservoir combo and it looks like this:

Posted Image

The great thing is as you can see, apart from the nice black tubing for your scheme is that you can unclamp it in the future, so replace/clean/extensing in the future when your budget is up again it's possible, as well as Swiftech says that's capable to run a OC'd CPU+GPU SLI/X-Fire loop w/o compromising the temps, leaving you a video of CES2013 with a real performance demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZgctchIQ7M&playnext=1&list=PL8mG-RkN2uTxynknFjCZ2YVM_RiBgde7-&feature=results_video

I really like the scheme you're gonna apply, i wish i had the paint skills to do it as well. I do like the idea of using a gap for the cd, nice inspiration, maybe i won't use the front DVD cover for a USB hub ... i'd definitely stick my fan controller there or some lcd display with the temps, you really gave me a good idea, thanks!!!

By the way, my motherboard is currently a Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD4, and yes, i choose it specially because it was all in black (the heatsinks looks kinda dark greyish, depending on the light as you saw in my pictures too)

Posted Image

Really wanting to see some more progress in your project, keep me in touch buddy!

Edited by SirKeldon, 26 January 2013 - 04:43 PM.


#12
Ira Aduro

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Very tempting about the Swifttech. I am going to play around with some more airflow ideas, might try one with the dual radiator attached to the bottom (would have to cut out part of the bottom of the case).

I'm of two minds - one make the case very similar to the original reusing a lot of the original pieces - two make something Tron inspired.

Whatever I end up doing I will be releasing all the CAD drawings and schematics for anyone to use as well a build log. You've been a great help!

#13
Ira Aduro

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Another day another airflow idea. This one is the one I think I'll keep as it better separates potential hotspots. And just as good lets me hookup the video card to the backplate and no need for a DVI cable extender.

EDIT:
Arggghhh already thought of a way I can make this better. I could move the radiator to the right some to be closer to the CPU and put the HDs in front of the radiator, thereby making cool air pass over them. They are 2.5" drives and one is a SSD so they *shouldn't* generate a lot of heat. I think.

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#14
bonestonne

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Take a very minimalist approach to this, because you're throwing a lot at the situation, and it isn't going to give you much benefit, and here are some ideas for how to keep the fans down:

1) in your diagram, leave out the PSU fan, and if the GPU has fans as part of the cooler, leave those out as well. This will let you keep the diagram cleaner and easier for you to visualize

2) take out fans from the front of the case. in most cases, I can guarantee that you don't need them.

3) What is the hardware you're looking to put into the case? This will make or break how you need to position the fans inside the case.

I would look at the stock ducting options and how the case will direct airflow. The CPUs have a chamber, the GPU/expansion cards have a chamber. Hard drives do not heat up much, so general airflow will keep them very cool. SSDs are even cooler, so you don't have to worry about a fan for them.

A good tower cooler will be a maintenance free way to set up cooling for even a high overclock, and water cooling, while looking decent, will not be able to beat the cooling potential, price, or ease of use of air cooling with the correct setup.

Think about this:

1 tower cooler
1 CPU fan 120mm (shop around for a tower cooler that will fit with clearance)
1 Exhaust fan 120mm (or 2x 92mm with 7v wiring mod each)

GPU/PSU will have their own fans, leave them as they are. No intake fans anywhere along the front of the case. That should leave you with a cooler, quieter, and low maintenance machine.

For this particular build, a Mac Pro case would benefit your more, you could probably use the stock HDD mounts, the PSU is at the top anyway, etc etc. You should be able to work around this though, the G5 case isn't terrible to work in. With water cooling, your placement of the RAD means that you'll send that heat right over the CPU socket, so that's a problem already, if you do any overclocking, or if you have a high wattage CPU, this will be a problem, and could roast your VRMs, or your socket, and in a relatively short amount of time, you can see things start to have random problems.

Don't forget your RAM, I would look at low profile and/or 30nm RAM for lower heat output. In the long run, it's possible it will seem insignificant, but lower heat and lower power usage is always helpful. For CPU models, the Core i* series CPUs have -S models, which have a slightly lower heat output at load than regular models. Finally, you should pick a GPU with a good stock cooler, Asus CU cooler cards are great, MSI Twin Frozr, and Gigabyte Windforce cooling are all incredibly good stock cards with very quiet coolers.

For fan choices, 120mm fans, Scythe Slip Stream, Nexus, NoiseBlocker, Noctua and Phantek fans are very good. I would not settle for stock fans that ship with most coolers.
For 92mm fans, I would look at Noctua and Scythe fans. Doing the hard wired 7v fan mod isn't hard, but you can also get special adapters with some Noctua fans that will do the same thing (Low Noise Adapters and Ultra Low Noise Adapters).

Lots and lots to think about with this setup. I don't have OSx86 on my current machine, but I will post a thread about the cooling setup in the next few days so you can see an example of how I do my builds.

#15
Ira Aduro

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Thank you for your excellent post. Some great things to think on. I had been told to have positive air pressure hence the front fans. I think the reasoning was less dust collections. However, the G5 is a solid case with no side openings and so dust shouldn't be so much of a problem (I hope). The original fans setup used a push/pull on the CPU heatsinks because the two heatsinks were back to back and so a stronger pressure was needed to push air through them both.

Here's my thoughts. I can move the PSU closer to the front, making it easier to get cool air. The exhaust out the back of the PSU would have a longer way to go before hitting the back of the case.

When you say "tower cooler" do you mean a large cpu heatsink like the Hyper 212 Evo? What are your thoughts on a cooler that blows down onto the CPU? I read that cools components around the CPU like the voltage regulator.

I wish I had a Mac Pro chassis but they are $$$.

Just so you have a more complete idea of my build. My setup is:
3570k i5
UD5H Gigabyte
Galaxy 660ti GC (love the cooling on this gpu)
Seasonic x750 Gold
Two 2.5" mechanical HD
One 2.5" SSD
Sadly I don't remember my RAM but it's not low profile. Just average 1.5v 1866mhz ram.

#16
bonestonne

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1) Positive pressure can cause more dust buildup inside the case. Negative pressure will cause dust buildup to occur primarily on the external vents of the case, but much less buildup on the components.

2) Yes, a tower cooler is something like the 212 Evo. There are many tower coolers on the market, check the clearance you have from the top of the motherboard socket to the inside edge of the case for what coolers will physically fit in the case. Coolers that blow down at the CPU socket generally create higher system temps overall because the heat gets spread all around the case, while a tower cooler allows for more directional airflow over the socket for lower overall temps.

3) The PSU location will not matter at all, front or back. For ease of installation, rear will work better, and make sure the hot air exits as quickly as possible, rather than building up. The fan in the PSU runs much slower than regular system fans, so the heat will take much longer to exit the case, and could cause heat buildup that you do not want. With a single socket, you only need a single CPU fan and then a general exhaust fan for the whole system to keep temps down.

4) The components you have selected should be totally fine, they are not very high heat components. I would think about stepping back to a non-K CPU unless you are really really looking to overclock. I don't think you will really need to do it.

5) Drop the 750W PSU, you don't even need half of it. Get a 350-400W PSU, and it be much better for you. I guarantee that you will never come close to using a full 250W, so save your money and get a better power supply. Antec makes a High Current Gamer 400W, it's very quiet, and is rated by Continuous Output, not peak output, so it has headroom above that 400W. More than enough for your needs.

For a truly silent, or quiet as possible, you want to minimize the number of fans, as well as the heat producing components. I would use a single SSD and a single, larger capacity mechanical drive rather than stacking 2.5" drives, only because you will get better performance. The 660TI is a great card, I use one myself. Gigabyte makes great motherboards. I just do not think you really need the K model CPU, I think the regular or even S model will do just as well for the work you're looking to do.

I would orient the motherboard so the rear IO ports would reach the back, and you could try and utilize the rear PCI-E slots. At worst, you could modify a LianLi motherboard tray. Because it's the G5, a pair of volt-modded 92mm fans will do fine for the exhaust fans, you should make sure you get really high quality fans to reduce vibrations, noise and get proper airflow. Fan grills should be very open, or cut out for use with classic wire fan grills.

More will come later, but do keep posting your thoughts as well, my laptop is dying, and it's time to go out to dinner!

#17
Ira Aduro

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These are the 92mm fans I was planning on using. I am still trying to nail down color scheme. Possibly going white and black. Noctua makes wonderful fans but the color is off putting.

I'm afraid with a tower cooler the GPU (which is sucking air from the chamber the CPU is in) will pull in hot air from the tower cooler. With a liquid cooler I can move the radiator all the way to the back and put in an airflow divider, dedicating the bottom of the two 92mm fans to pulling air through the radiator while the top 92mm pulls air in for the GPU.

Yes, I will probably never break 400W. However, 1) I got the PSU for $100 and that PSU is considered one of the best money can buy. Comes with a 7 year warranty. 2) It's fully modular. This is critical if I'm going to keep clutter down plus I'm going to sleeve everything so again needs to be modular. 3) It's gold rated which means it's very efficient, cutting down on heat. So, while the wattage is overkill I'd be hard pressed to find a fully modular PSU that's as efficient and is $100.

I am going to take my current 3.5" HD and put it in an external enclosure. So it can sit outside the case and attach via USB.

Ok, here are two more airflow studies and a wiring diagram.

Thermal Layout 8 is great in that it groups all components that require a SATA connection. However there is no airflow in front of the PSU so I'm afraid that's going to be a no-no. I thought about putting the HDs after the PSU with a 80mm fan drawing air across the HDs and from the rear of the PSU. I added a fan controller that would go in one of the PCI expansion slots. Something like this.

Layout 9 tweaks the HD placement. Notice on both of these I have the radiator now against the rear bottom 92mm fan so that's pulling air through it while another fan pushes.

In the wiring layout, green lines are power, purple are data (usb and sata) the blue lines are how the back two fans connect to the fan controller. I thought it would be a good idea to be able to control the speed of the two rear fans. Either that or ditch the fan controller and have them plug into the motherboard. Either way, I'm making a "power column" to the left of the motherboard that will cover and guide all cables. Ok, that's all for now.

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#18
bonestonne

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Just to clarify a few things..

PSU efficiency is rated at specific loads. The PSU will have peak efficiency at certain load points. If your computer is not drawing enough power to match those load points, it doesn't matter if it's rated Gold or not rated at all, it will not be running efficiently. Using a high wattage power supply for a low wattage computer can also affect startup, as a certain power draw is necessary for a successful boot. Users with PICO power supplies will be most familiar with this issue.

My personal build was a very black and white build, I used NoiseBlocker, Phantek and Scythe fans to keep that scheme going. I also painted my Antec HCG-750 white, as opposed to having the red center plate.

Again, I do not feel that water cooling will be a good long term solution for you. Running a dual CPU configuration in a very small case (all things considered) myself, I can tell you that you will have heat tradeoffs, but it will happen regardless of your cooling setup.

Your final two layouts look much more realistic for what you'll be able to achieve easily in the G5 case (I do have a G5 at work, but will not be doing any case mods for now). I would not add an additional fan in the PCI area, you simply do not need it. Between the GPU and the CPU area, your GPU will hardly suck any hot air from the CPU at all. If you set up your exhaust fans to run at 7v using a noctua LNA, they well create directional airflow, which will pull the air from the CPU socket area directly out the back. The GPU will have it's fan located above it (remember this project is BTX and components are flipped over), so it will draw little, if any heat at all from the CPU area. Eliminating front fans allows for easier airflow to cover all components and reduce the chance of having a dead spot or hot spot where heat will build it.


I would use two of these fans, instead of the Cooler Master fans you linked, for less noise and higher quality components.

I would not put a divider over the CPU socket area unless it's absolutely necessary. This is to ensure the entire system will benefit from the pressure from the fans. Internally, I would cover all of the vent holes on the back of the G5 case, so the only open vents are for the PSU exhaust and for the exhaust fans. Blocking off all other vent holes will prevent air from re-circulating in the case. This is a very important step you will have to take in order to make sure temps stay, because extra vents that disrupt airflow will increase the ambient temp inside the case.

Finally, as far as cable management goes, I would get a thin steel or aluminum plate that you can install in the case that you can hide the cables behind. The stock G5 and Mac Pro hide many cables behind the motherboard, which is something you will not be able to easily do because of the size of the cable (due to the sleeving). Cable management is difficult but very doable if you think creatively. Modular or not, a little creativity will give you the best results. My power supply is not modular at all, but you barely see any of the cables. Once I get a chance to re-sleeve and move power connectors, it will be even better.

One final note, air cooling will be cheaper than water cooling, if cost is an issue for this build, that is a very important variable to factor in. A good tower cooler will cost about as much as a good water block, but you will not need to consistently check the loop for leaks, you don't have to bleed the loop, or do any maintenance aside from bi-yearly dusting (and for some builds, they don't even need it that often). Water cooling is nice, but if it's not double and triple checked very carefully, it could be the end of your whole system. I would really suggest air cooling, but this is your computer, not mine, in the end, it's whatever you want.

Here is a link to a short writeup I just did about my current machine.

#19
Ira Aduro

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I had planned to have the GPU flipped using a pcie extender cable so it drew air from below (hence the need to split the CPU chamber and use water-cooling. I'm afraid if I have the GPU's fans pointed up, it and the power supply will fight over air. What do you think? The clearance between the two components is about 1.5" pretty tight. This is the current BIG STICKING POINT ™.

Since aluminum conveys heat well would attaching the PSU to the top of the computer (so it is touching the aluminum across a wide area) help at all? Or would having a 60-80mm fan behind the PSU to draw out air from it help?

In the third attachment on my last post I actually meant to point out the cables are running into a vertical plate that will hide them. My ultimate goal for this build is to have it featured on Million Dollar PC (yeah right) so I'm obsessing over the details.

So I'm guessing nix the idea of a fan controller and just undervolt the rear 92mm fans to 7v?

You got me curious about the efficiency of my PSU at various loads so I googled reviews and came across this on Hard|OCP.

Test #1 is equal to approximately 25% of the rated capacity of the Seasonic X-750 at 45C. This makes Test #1 equal to 189W by loading the 12v rail to 13a, the 5v rail to 2a, the 3.3v rail to 1a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. The results of Test #1 see all the positive DC output voltages starting above nominal with the 12v rail being the highest at 12.26v. The efficiency is starting off at 87.50% with an exhaust temperature of 46C.

Test #2 is equal to approximately 50% of the rated capacity of the Seasonic X-750 at 45C. This makes Test #2 equal to 372W by loading the 12v rail to 27a, the 5v rail to 4a, the 3.3v rail to 2a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. Test #2 sees only slight across the board drops in the positive DC output voltages. The greatest change in this test was on the 12v rail at 0.05v. The efficiency has moved up here as it hits 90.07%. This is followed by the exhaust temperature as it has moved up to 50C.

Test #3 is equal to approximately 75% of the rated capacity of the Seasonic X-750 at 45C. This makes Test #3 equal to 577W by loading the 12v rail to 42a, the 5v rail to 7a, the 3.3v rail to 5a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. Test #3 sees another across the board drop in DC output voltages which is lead by the 12v rail at 0.08v. The efficiency has just barely dropped off of Test #2’s high as it hits 89.74%. This is followed by a bit of a jump in the exhaust temperature as it hits 54C.

Test #4 is equal to approximately 100% of the rated capacity of the Seasonic X-750 at 45C. This makes Test #4 equal to 752W by loading the 12v rail to 60a, the 5v rail to 2a, the 3.3v rail to 1a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. In the final regular test we see a drop of 0.08v on the 12v rail and slight increases (5v) or leveling off (3.3v) on the minor rails. The efficiency has moved down again but is still coming in at 87.65% which is awesome. The exhaust temperature however, has certainly bounced up here at it hits 64C.


Full conclusions here. (worth reading)

So it looks like at the 50% mark it's the most efficient which is probably the top of the range I'll be using. Even at the 25% mark it's efficient.

Questions about your build:
On your monster build, there is a thin heatsink below the GPU. What is that?

I really love the Dark Knight tower coolers, very slick looking. How heavy is it? I was going to have a free standing mobo plate that screws into the four screw holes on the bottom of the G5 case (PSU attached to them). That was when I was going to use liquid cooling and wouldn't have to worry about much weight on the mobo. If I go with a tower cooler I'll have to secure the mobo plate to the side wall. I'm still going to make it so the mobo plate can be removed with the mobo still attached.

The Noiseblocker fans are just the color scheme I'm looking for. When I first do my build I'm going to keep it the stock G5 color but I'll be having it powder coated or something later. Still trying to nail down the color scheme but I'm thinking white enamel outer shell with black inner shell (the perforated aluminum part).

#20
bonestonne

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The GPU and PSU will not fight for air at all. The PSU has a very low airflow under general use, for most idle or low usage, the GPU will be the same. Even under heavy loads, there will be no competition for air whatsoever between the two devices.

Having the PSU directly against the case or having an additional fan is a moot point. I would make sure that the PSU exhaust is ducted directly to the rear of the case. No additional fan is necessary at all.

Test #1 is equal to approximately 25% of the rated capacity of the Seasonic X-750 at 45C. This makes Test #1 equal to 189W by loading the 12v rail to 13a, the 5v rail to 2a, the 3.3v rail to 1a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.5a. The results of Test #1 see all the positive DC output voltages starting above nominal with the 12v rail being the highest at 12.26v. The efficiency is starting off at 87.50% with an exhaust temperature of 46C.


This is where you will likely see your builds' power usage probably 90% of the time, if not almost 100%. Your components will hardly draw a large amount of power all at once. Even in heavy gaming, the CPU rarely will reach peak loads. Over prolonged times, it will have significant heat buildup, but not as significant power usage.

I would not use a fan controller at all. Use as many PWM fans as possible, and those that cannot be PWM (or you can't find a suitable quality fan in PWM variants) I would just do a volt mod. 7V is common, but Noctua LNA adapters are worth the buy if you aren't comfortable with that.

A free standing motherboard plate will give you problems when you go to line up the GPU. You're adding too much height for it to look stock. I'm not sure even that riser card will fit the way you want it. I would work with JB Weld and put in motherboard mounts if possible, and think about using a LianLi motherboard tray for rear IO ports, or try to mod the case to allow you to use the rear IO ports with a close to stock look. I think this will look better than anything else. I have seen users create short cables and do a custom rear panel, and then set the motherboard and components more inward for a completely stock look with full functionality. If you're really feeling adventurous, that would be an impressive way to go, but will be a lot of work.

If you're looking to be featured on Million Dollar PC, re-sleeve the PSU, change the cable lengths, set the plugs where you need them to reduce any visible slack. I will be doing this over the summer with my current build, but as I am beginning many projects, I can't have the downtime right now.

About my build:

The heatsink under the GTX660Ti is a Thermalright HR-55. It's a southbridge heatsink. By all counts, it's largely overkill, and does not do any better than the stock south bridge heatsink, however I decided to put it on because I have seen builds similar to mine with all sorts of heat issues. I wanted to simply avoid all that from the beginning. I would not look to do this in your own build, it really just adds a lot of complications and does not cool any better than stock. Due to size constraints in my build, it very well may be removed.

The entire computer is fairly light, I haven't put it on a scale though. If I had to guess, maybe close to 20lbs. Everything all put together does add up a lot. Compared to the G5 I have here at work, the G5 is definitely heavier, but I couldn't give you an exact amount.

The Noiseblockers are expensive as far as fans go, but they are also some of the nicest that I have worked with before. As far as matching colors, I do think your black and white idea is good, but I will tell you that getting the whole case apart and back together for painting will be really hard. You may want to assemble the parts and do a lot of "dry fit" tests over time, and wait until you can paint and finalize the build all at once. Powder coat looks really nice, but will scratch easily when you use tools to get it back together, which is why you may want to be really careful about the measure twice-cut once rule.

For a tower cooler, I would not waste the time making the motherboard plate secured to the side wall. There have been drop tests with extremely heavy heatsinks on just intel push pins, and they do not come off easily. The weight has gone down a lot, and you will not see much flex at all. I've been using tower coolers for some time, and do not have any flex on my motherboards. Keep it simple, and it will be easier to work on and work with. There really is not much weight on the motherboard at all. It's much more important to make sure that you do not over-tighten any mounting screws when installing a tower cooler, as that will do irreparable damage. If the motherboard is installed properly with full ATX (or mATX) mounting points then you will have nothing to worry about. I've done countless tower cooler installs, and as long as you follow the directions, you will be fine.





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