Progress and Setbacks

posted Jun 11, 2012, 10:09 PM by Andrew Stock   [ updated Jun 11, 2012, 10:09 PM ]
Had a hell of a week last week... so while I did work on my system a bit, I didn't get a chance to come back and post until now... sorry for the delay! :P

Anyway, on to the update! First, I did a bit of work with my side project, that Acrylic thingy I was showing before. I've never worked with Acrylic before now, so I figured I should get some practice by building some practical stuff to learn the ins and outs of the material! 

I started by trying to bend the acrylic with the heat gun I picked up in the previous post... talk about a job that requires patience! Maybe it was the type of Acrylic I grabbed off the shelf at Home Depot... or maybe it was that it was so thick... but it took probably 15 minutes of heating to get one edge warm enough to move at all. I took a few photos of the process... but they didn't come out, so I deleted them all. :P

Moving on, I went and picked up a drill and tap set at the local hardware store so that I could try tapping holes into the Acrylic. Not a bad little set for $10. 

First, I pre-drilled the holes with a bit just slightly smaller than the tap I planned on using (for reference, this was a #36 bit for a 6-32 tap.) I marked a few lines on a piece of scrap wood so that I could use it to line up the bit, so I was directly perpendicular to the Acrylic:

Next, I put together the tap, lined it up with my guide, and slowly turned it... backing up a quarter turn when I felt the bit getting grabby, and slowly proceeding, checking periodically to ensure I was still perpendicular to the Acrylic:

Nice, clean tap!

Fits like a glove!

Repeat that process 10 more times... and I had me a simple motherboard tray for my bench!

Granted, the tray is a little crude, and not SUPER useful... but it's great for temporarily mounting a motherboard on so that it's up off the surface of the table, and it makes sure there's room for the PCI-e boards and their faceplates to hang off the edge. Most of all, it was great practice for working with Acrylic a bit!

Next... I couldn't resist throwing the new rig together with all it's default cooling, just to give it a spin. Besides, I'll never know if it was DOA or if I broke it all by myself, if I jump strait into water cooling. 

The heatsink that came with the 3770K is about as cheap as it comes... I am a little concerned that this thing will not provide any cooling at all. It's even thinner than the Core 2 Duo stock heatsink fan... 

The thing was a pain to mount, too... cheap plastic fasteners. Every time I pressed one side down and gave it the quarter turn, the other side popped right back up. It was only through some creative finger-twister yoga that I managed to hold down and turn all four pegs simultaneously:

Fortunately, seating in the GTX 680 SC+ was quite a bit easier. This thing is monolithic! It dwarfs the motherboard... seems more like the motherboard is seated into the graphics card, at this point. :P

...and... first try, boot to bios! Huzzaw, no blue smoke!

Finally, to round out this session... while waiting for windows to install and update, I decided to unbox the radiators and try putting the core together. I started with the radiator interlink / drain port. All Bitspower parts, looks great!

Next, I threw some of my Gentile Typhoon's on the radiators:

And now... for the first setback of the project! Actually, there were multiple setbacks rolled into one here... fortunately, they are all on one part, so maybe I can fix them all together. :p

Setback #1: I cranked up the fans just to make sure they all worked... and one of the leads in my fan power multiplexer is dead. Oh well, I was going to re-sleeve it anyway, I can fix it while I am in there.

Setback #2: While powered up, I put the two radiators in roughly the position they were organized on my Sketchup drafts earlier in this thread... and my god, the noise! They created some kind of vacuum against eachother, causing a really low vibration that made my head want to implode. I tried putting a fan baffle between the two rows of fans, and it did nothing to help. I also noticed the air throughput coming out the other side of each radiator was dramatically reduced compared to when I separated the radiators. Here's how close they would need to be to even come close to fitting:

No good. 

Setback #3: Either the Sketchup was not to scale, my measurements in sketchup weren't true to form, or the radiators were wider than anticipated... but yea... the whole business doesn't fit in the bottom of my case!  It's off by about a quarter of an inch. No good.

So... I have some re-planning to do! Hmmm... 

Alas, it was a good weekend of playing around... as evidenced by the current state of my work area:

Next time... maybe some painting?