My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

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My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Apoptosis » Fri May 04, 2012 8:17 am

Well, time has flown by and my PC has started to show signs of age as it was built back in 2009. Like many of you I was waiting on Intel to come out with Ivy Bridge before I updated my personal system.

So say goodbye to my 2009 creation. The Intel X58 platform has worked great over the past three years, but it is time to move on to some more power efficient and smaller. I've done loud, Lighted, big, water cooled and pretty much everything you can imagine with the exception of small. The goal of this project was to go small!

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I've spent the past month gathering parts to build a Mini ITX system that would be able to run the Intel Core i7-3770K processor and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 video card. I also wanted to run water cooling and be able to fit all this inside a Mini-ITX chassis. My part list after doing my research was a bit pricy, but this build will be epic:

Intel Ivy Bridge CPU - 3770K
ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe mini-ITX Z77 Motherboard
Cubitek Mini-ICE ITX case
Kingston HyperX 480 GB SSD
CoolIT Eco II 140 Liquid Cooler (thanks to Maingear)
Samsung 8x DVD Burner
Notebook Optical Drive Adapter
Corsair AX 650W Gold PSU

All the parts are here and I'm going to be building this up over the weekend if all goes as planned. I got some launch articles to do for next week that just arrived today though... so much to do!

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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Digital Puppy » Fri May 04, 2012 11:56 am

ASUS Board....Niiiiiice!!
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Bwall » Fri May 04, 2012 11:57 am

Very nice system. Hurry up and get this thing put together!! :supz:
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Apoptosis » Fri May 04, 2012 4:38 pm

Well, I measured everything and built this whole design around the CoolIT Eco II 140MM water cooler as I wanted a water cooled Mini-ITX system and ran into the first two issues.

1) The push/pull dual fan configuration for the water cooler fits, but I forgot to factor in the PSU and the second fan won't fit do to the PSU being in the way. Looks like I am limited to a single fan.

2) The power supply location makes fitting the Water Cooler super tough as the stiff plastic tubing is not playing nice with the power supply or chassis.

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I can run the hoses above the power supply, but they aren't long enough to bend around the PSU and attach to the socket. Flipping it 180 degrees runs the tubing straight into the motherboard.

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Well, that way isn't going to work.

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Hum, I have screws in the radiator... Nothing that a dremel can't fix right?
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Apoptosis » Fri May 04, 2012 6:41 pm

I'd call that water tube routing issue fixed.

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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby kenc51 » Fri May 04, 2012 6:56 pm

NIce job, simple and clean =D>
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Major_A » Fri May 04, 2012 10:19 pm

Damn man you made that circular cut with a Dremel? If so kudos to you. I can't cut a straight line with a Dremel. Looks good now keep the pictures coming.
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Apoptosis » Sat May 05, 2012 5:29 am

Yeah, it wasn't too bad to get it cut out as I basicaly just sanded it. I found that works better for curves like this. It ate up a sanding band for each hole (linky), which is what I expected.

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It looks like the water lines will tun down the hard drive cage and then turn and allow the water block and pump to fit flat against the mobo. The question now is will the power cable and SATA cables fit on the optical drive and will the water lines run over the top of the Corsair Vengeance memoty kit with the small heat spreaders.

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It looks like the lines clear the memory and a quick test fit shows the Slimeline SATA Adapter touching the water hose... TIGHT TIGHT fit, but it looks like all the planning paid off and it will all work.
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby KnightRid » Sat May 05, 2012 6:08 am

Just because i am curious - Why didnt you go with a blu-ray drive? This little thing would make a nice little player. I imagine you would have this hooked to a nice big screen HDTV anyway...??

Just curious :-k
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby XstollieX » Sat May 05, 2012 6:15 am

KnightRid wrote:Just because i am curious - Why didnt you go with a blu-ray drive? This little thing would make a nice little player. I imagine you would have this hooked to a nice big screen HDTV anyway...??

Just curious :-k

I'm pretty sure this is going to be his office computer.
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Apoptosis » Sat May 05, 2012 6:20 am

KnightRid wrote:Just because i am curious - Why didnt you go with a blu-ray drive? This little thing would make a nice little player. I imagine you would have this hooked to a nice big screen HDTV anyway...??

Just curious :-k


This is going to be my daily driver rig, so no Blu-Ray needed. It's going to be running a multi-monitor setup for work and then light gaming from time to time.

I could get the Samsung 8x Slim DVD Burner for under $30 and the lowest cost BluRay player was just under $135. Wasn't worth the extra $105 to me. Plus I couldn't find the right 5.25" bay adapter that had a slot load drive slit and the 3.5" drive bay under it for my media reader. I also got many blu-ray drives in various notebooks, so if I get bored or need one I'll go grab one and change it out! ;)

Getting closer to firing this bad boy up!

water-cooled.jpg


Oh and for the record... There is no place to run or hide wires in this case. Good thing is doesn't have any windows on the side panels!
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Major_A » Sat May 05, 2012 8:53 am

Man that motherboard is tiny. The waterblock/pump really puts it into perspective. I really like this...
light gaming from time to time

Yet you still put a GTX 680 in it. Guess you have the mentality that it's bad to bring a knife to a gun fight.
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Apoptosis » Sat May 05, 2012 10:15 am

Good thing I didn't put a GTX 690 in there then ;)

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Got it all wired up...

Cubitek looks like they were sleeping on the job though...

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Three of the wired were labeled power switch and had no other markings to make them distinguishable. Good thing I already had them zip tied... Never seen a case company do that in all my years of building PC's.
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Major_A » Sat May 05, 2012 12:59 pm

LOL, good thing for Cubitek most people using that case know what wires go to the correct connection. It would've been even funnier if they all said POWER SW.
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Apoptosis » Mon May 07, 2012 9:34 am

Looks like I'm building this at the right time... My WD 2TB Black Hard Drive just started knocking. I was going to move it over to this build, but I guess not.

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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby gwolfman » Mon May 07, 2012 3:07 pm

Nice! Interested in seeing how this turns out. How much did the case run you? Any gripes about it other than having to cut to route the tubing?
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Major_A » Mon May 07, 2012 7:17 pm

Ouch! Considering the price of that HDD has gone up since 2009, only a meager $280 on newegg. :shock:
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Apoptosis » Tue May 08, 2012 5:04 pm

It has actually gone down.

It was $325.99 in September 2009. You can get the same drive right now for $154.99 shipped. I think you are looking at the newer SATA III version.
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Apoptosis » Thu May 10, 2012 4:05 pm

Pretty much done and I'm loving this thing.

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You can read the full review on this case here - http://legitreviews.com/article/1922/1/
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Re: My 2012 Project: Water Cooled Mini ITX PC w/ Ivy Bridge

Postby Major_A » Fri May 11, 2012 6:45 pm

Looks good. You can tell you're getting older too. No flashy lights, no obnoxious case fans, and nothing over-the-top. My philosophy for the last few builds has been K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid).
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