Project Log: APEX Ultra

Discussion in 'Overclocking, Cooling & Modding' started by SilentBotts, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. SilentBotts

    SilentBotts Newbie

    I've finally got my Swiftech APEX Ultra water cooling kit. :mrgreen:
    The kit was a X-mas gift from my Dad that came a few days early.

    The back of my case is not suited for a rear mounted install of the giant dual 120mm fan radiator, nor is there room in the case.

    Happily, I have an 80mm blow hole on the top, which will serve well as a mount point, with a minimal of case modding, I only need to cut holes to run the tubing.

    I'll be adding two Danger Den Maze4 gpu blocks to the loop, as well as installing a new DVD-Rom with a black bezel, the new DVD-ROM is a little frivolous, but I'm going to try to install my old DVD-Rom into a first-gen X-Box so it can play the newer games.

    Also some serious cable management work, I'll be sleeving all the cables in the case, with UV-Blue sleeving, and working on getting those cables organized and neat.

    I'll update with pics of the kit a few days. I will also post a few shots of the rig as it is now, and show you what I plan to change and what’s already been done.

    Here are a few pics of my rig now.
    You can't see it but those first few sleeved cables are UV-Blue, and there are two UV-CCFLs in the case. Once the new water cooling loop is installed the wires will all be tucked back, sleeved and generally organized. You can also see my present water cooler, a neat little Kingwin kit, it has served me well, but this Swiftech kit makes it look like a toy. On the front of the case you can see the drive bay pump/reservoir/temp. monitor for the Kingwin kit, as well the switch bus installed in the drive bay. Right now only one does anything, I've toyed with the idea of hooking up a sound activated CCFL and a normal Blue one for daytime when the UV doesn't show up so well.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And now the Swiftech Apex Ultra Liquid Cooling Kit, Gleeeeeeeee :D :mrgreen: :D :mrgreen:

    It came with 8' of tubing, a 40" length of cool sleeves, Hydrex additive, the new Apogee CPU water block; the gigantic dual 120mm fan radiator, the MCP655 pump, and the new MCRES-Micro reservoir, as well as all the hardware you'll ever need to install it.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2006
  2. PowerSlide

    PowerSlide Just Started

    i wana see the pic!!!!

    merry christmas eve :mrgreen:
  3. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Yes yes! Pics!!! Basket, I really feel like getting myself a christmas present too!!!
  4. SilentBotts

    SilentBotts Newbie

    Update: 01/10/06
    Sorry for the long delay.
    With the help of my trusty dremel and new jig-saw I managed to make a pretty decent cut in the top of my case for the radiator to be mounted. A cut that was an eight to a quarter of an inch off. The mounting holes were find to attach to 120mm fans, but did not match up properly with the rad. ARGGGG, add my ineptitude at measuring and paint scratches that needed would have needed to be fixed I used this as an excuse to buy a new case.

    This Case

    This is the prettiest case I've ever seen, and it is so huge that I will not have any trouble mounting the radiator.

    Tormorrow the rest of my parts come in, the GPU blocks, cable sleeving, uv molex's, coolant. I'll add pics when the stuff gets here.
  5. SilentBotts

    SilentBotts Newbie


    I totally gave up on any kind of project log.
    The project just snowballed into a nightmare.
    The APEX kit was to large for my old case so after an attempt to mod the case produced less than satisfactory results, I Upgraded to the new CM Stacker 830.

    This was my first water cooling kit where I had to measure and cut the tubing my self, my last kit was pre cut. I was unprepared for how inflexible 1/2" ID tubing can be in tight spaces. I was a little unhappy with my job of running the tubing so I had planned to replace the stock Swiftech tubing with new Tygon tubing.

    Earlier this week one of the fittings on the CPU block started to leak, judging by the amount of coolant I think it had been leaking slowly for some time. I was using MCT - 5 which claims to be nonconductive, which for the most part seems true, there was a small puddle forming on 6600gt when i discovered the leak, and after drying and cleaning that card still worked perfectly when I tested everything in a different rig. A good amount of coolant got into the PCIe slot on the motherboard though and even after cleaning I couldn't get video to work on the motherboard anymore.

    So as soon as I was done banging my head against my desk I used this as an excuse for some upgrading.

    I was really happy with my motherboard, the Asus A8N-SLI Deluxe, to replace it I bought an A8N-SLI Premium.

    Before the leak I was planning to upgrade my pair of 6600GTs to a pair of 7800GTs. For the money I could have gotten a single 7800GTX. I didn't feel the performance of the GTX over the GT was worth an extra $150 US though. Also my budget would let me get both GTs right now, and two 7800s is a hell of a status symbol in your rig.

    Originally the video cards were to be liquid cooled as well as the CPU, but I've decided it just isn't worth the hassle. The Stacker 830 has a removable mother board tray, which is a nice feature which was negated by all the tubing and water blocks. With two cards in SLI once those blocks are on and attached to the cooling loop it’s a pain in the ass to remove the cards or the blocks without cutting the tubing.

    With just the CPU being liquid cooled I can pull the whole mother board tray by simple removing the CPU water block.

    I've decided to go with a pair of Zalman coolers, nice and simple, good performance, and they come with ram sinks.

    I'm also updating my power supply to an SLI certified model.

    When I'm done all the internal cables will be sleeved in UV Blue as well. It’s a nice looking case and I think the effect will be really cool seen through the mesh side panel.

    When I'm finally done I'll post pictures of the finished rig, and pictures of what it looked like before I started my mad upgrading campaign.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2006
  6. Papercut

    Papercut Newbie

    Hehehe, this is why I went straight back to air cooling...water is just too troublesome.
  7. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Leak? Troublesome? You guys are not doing it correctly...
  8. Papercut

    Papercut Newbie

    Don't tell me you've never had problems with your setups... ;)
  9. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Not for the past 3 years...The only problems I had were due to my stupidity.
  10. ZuePhok

    ZuePhok Just Started

    two months here, still no leak :pray: :lol:
  11. Max_87

    Max_87 huehuehue

    I don't even have a chance to play with watercooling setups :shifty:
  12. SilentBotts

    SilentBotts Newbie

    Nearly finished, the only thing left is to reinstall the water cooler. I'm taking a trip to a big LAN in March and I'm a bit wary about moving the rig with the water cooler installed, it’s already huge and weighs a ton.

    My original Idea was to mount to radiator to the top blow hole, this ended up taking up way to much space, for the re-install I'm going to put it in the front of the case, I'll have the pump right behind it inside the case, and the rez will be a bit further in so that It can be refilled simply by removing the side panel. The hoses connecting these three parts of the loop will be nicely hidden in the lower part of the drive cage. Then just one hose from the pump outlet to the processor and then back to the rad. Much easier without the video cards.

    Sleaving is 95% done. I accidentally used non-uv reactive sleaving a few cables so those need to be re-done and my extracting tool broke while I was taking the molex off of the main atx power cable, so I haven't been able to change out the PCIe cables or the main.

    The new Zalman coolers are great; the primary gpu runs at 42 degrees idle and the secondary runs at 36. It hasn't gone above 50 even while running F.E.A.R at maximum settings.

    I'm going to run them through the 3d mark series tonight, and then try an overclock.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It looks like the case is hanging off the edge of the desk but the feet on this thing are a good 5 inches long so its alright.
    1 person likes this.
  13. PsYkHoTiK

    PsYkHoTiK Admin nerd

  14. ZuePhok

    ZuePhok Just Started

    :thumb: nice project!

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