Fully Internal Watercooled SLI system DIY project

Discussion in 'Notebook Cosmetic Modifications and Custom Builds' started by bennyg, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    The two added radiators are installed and working.
    (though intakes are not yet cut through the bottom for either of the added fans, a few more case mods to go)

    Disconnecting the pump during POST is required for now, reconnecting straight after has no problems. I may add a teeny DIP switch for that in the meantime. Might get a double and have a speed selector as well - either bypass the boost converter for 5V, or through it for a higher voltage (up to 12V but it's really noisy higher)

    The two fans running off each fan port seems to be working fine. The yellow (sense) line is only routed to the original GPU fans. The secondary fan on each line has the DC +V (red) and ground (black) lines connected in parallel, and that's all that's needed since speed control is through variable DC voltage in these old Clevos.

    I haven't checked for voltage drop under load.

    10 minutes of Kombustor at 115W per GPU
    Loop temp approx 45C which is acceptable, right in the target range.
    Maximum GPU load temp 65C
    Maximum CPU load temp was 70C (this is 63W running TSBench - on the stock fan curve I have set up, if on max fans it would be in the 50s)
    (eagle eyes may notice the 85C max on the Afterburner graph but that was when I disconnected the pump for a few seconds to see how quick temperature rises without flow - quickly at approx 5C/second...)

    For comparison, the stock heatsinks would reach ~80C on the CPU with liquid metal, and 79C/86C on the GPUs at 115W each.

    I redid the GPU2 VRM/memory heatsink with a different output direction and flattened the bottom of the copper tube more and used more solder, it seems to not feel quite as burning hot to the touch now. I think when I add the external lines I'll do the same with the GPU1 heatsink.

    Screenshot (11).png
    The dips in usage/power in the last couple of minutes were not causing dips in FPS reported in kombustor.

    This is what it currently looks like:
    190509-IMG_20190509_012253 (Large).jpg I'm not happy with the 90 degree join near GPU2, but I stuffed up with the available clearance against the bottom plate (I wanted it closer to the corner of the battery bay but there's less clearance there and that ridge where the bluetooth addon module would sit looks rather... structural, so I want to avoid cutting it.) It still allows RAM to fit in the slots if I ever put more in.
    There's a couple of other places where things don't quite fit yet, the housing for the fan on the lower right needs to be shaved as it's pushing right up against the frame on the top and bottom and that moves the vertical piece of frame where the HDD bay cover latches into. There's still actually a 2.5" SSD under that fan which is why it's rather crowded - airflow through that fan isn't the best since the copper tube is routed through the inside of the housing, and the case still blocks half of the radiator output (not shown) but it works.
    The exposed wiring with 3 pin connector is of course so the pump can be disconnected for booting.

    Here's whats crammed inside where the ODD bay used to be (lower left on the above pic):
    190509-IMG_20190509_013105 (Large).jpg
    There's a screw cap on the top left for filling/draining. the potentiometer screw from the boost converter is poking through where the ODD bay used to be anchored to the frame so it can be changed through the battery bay.
    I have a wad of foam that I have sitting on top of the pump for some vibration damping (it sits right underneath where your right palm would), you can see I even had to shave down the sides for it to fit without bowing the wrist-rest part.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2019
  2. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    I was part way through cutting some holes in the case for the fan intake and pump control switches and - at nearly 3mm thick - I realised the base layer of plastic alone is about half the total thickness of some of the modern ultralight things these days haha



    [​IMG]
     
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  3. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    Behold, my wiring

    Circuit diagram.png

    Two selector switches.
    One for source, either
    - From the 3-pin source that will be exposed in the battery bay area, from an external power supply, so the loop can be filled and bled with the battery out and the laptop powered off (and in case there's a spill, avoiding letting out all the magic smoke!!), and for avoiding the EC panic on POST)
    - or through the slimline SATA port when on

    and another switch to either bypass the boost converter and deliver 5V (quieter), or go through it for a faster speed (used for bleeding, and maximal performance)

    The hot glue is there to isolate the connections because they'll all be crammed in spaghetti style close together, and also to reinforce it as these super thin wire loves to break when bent...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
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  4. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Wish I had the balls to do this on my Ranger, would surely benefit immensely from water cooling

    Love the work so far, thanks for sharing!
     
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  5. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    Thanks
    Having spare parts around from buying up broken units cheap over the past couple years as they pop up on ebay/gumtree reduces the anxiety a fair bit. I had enough spares I was able to recently build up a complete unit as a replacement for my dad's old slow dual core HP, 3.8ghz quad core with SSD is light speed compared to that thing

    Nearly done rejigging a few things and adding the external attachment bits, it'll all be back together soon and getting leak tested (2mm thick silicone tubing finally arrived) then benchmarked.

    Last week I grabbed a 3940XM pretty cheap on ebay with a Dell Precision attached, it was missing a few cosmetic panels and a hdd tray ($50 tops on aliexpress) but I put it to use (with a lesser CPU ofc) to replace the the laggy Core 2 Duo Latitude sitting on the desk running the barcode scanner and business CMS. Each Windows 10 update and Intel bug fix slows it down more
     
  6. TheReciever

    TheReciever D! For Dragon!

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    Oh yeah having spare parts laying around definitely takes the edge off. The ease of replacement parts is what made me stay with Dell for the most part.
     
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  7. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    190528-IMG_20190528_234013 (Large).jpg
    Installed and working.
    The silicone tube idea was a bust, it's so much easier to work with and much more flexible, it went on nice and easily but wasn't tight and leaked immediately, I simply CBF doing cable ties for every. single. attachment. when they're on and off regularly for testing, so it's back to the cheapo PVC stuff for now until it demonstrates a problem.


    190528-IMG_20190528_234103 (Large).jpg
    The fine routing bits for my dremel are getting blunt and it was hard to make the switch cutout a nice square.
    I had a plan to use my holesaw bits on my hammer drill for the fan intake hole but I just couldn't arrange my clamps and vice to hold the case still enough, so in the end I disassembled a busted fan and taped the metal housing against the inside, the sanding attachments die really quick against sharp metal but the hole is at least circular and fairly neat

    190528-IMG_20190528_234549 (Large).jpg
    *almost* able to fit the bottom plate on. This is a mangled one I've stuffed around with in the past (the ugly cutouts are from a while back when I had an idea of making see through sections abandoned that idea) and I have a spare I'll mod neater for a final product. There's still a couple of spots there's things with too much height. The tubes and joins down near the bottom right are a nightmare and stacking the tube on top of VGA1 heatsink doesn't fit, in both cases silicone would have squashed down without issue but the vinyl doesn't. It doesn't really matter but it would be nice to have it look "complete".

    190528-IMG_20190528_234612 (Large).jpg
    "Sleeper" lol. I got a bit too close when grinding making space for the pump, it didn't go through but I had the dremel too high rpm and the heat warped the plastic there, and combined with it being thin, it ended up breaking off making the hole just to the right of the wrist rest which looks white because I filled it with some epoxy
     
  8. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    190528-IMG_20190528_234114 (Large).jpg

    190528-IMG_20190528_234124 (Large).jpg

    190528-IMG_20190528_234152 (Large).jpg
    Copper desolder braid plus a fair bit of solder makes for good reinforcement when joining copper pipes together. This join cracked a couple times from the force upon it from the external connector.

    190528-IMG_20190528_234201 (Large).jpg
     
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  9. bennyg

    bennyg Notebook Virtuoso

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    Now, the problems.

    The dual-loop setup just doesn't work well at all due to opposing flows. The external pump even though it's a tiny DC-LT is a lot more powerful than the even tinier pump in the laptop. I set up the external loop to combine its output with the output from the internal pump in a Y join, sitting on top of the GPU1 heatsink, then there would be a common path across the main heat generators being the CPU, GPU1, then GPU2, then it would split back into the two loops after GPU2. However water works a bit differently from air it seems and instead of combining, the output is pushed out both of the sides of the Y join at the input which even at a lower speed is fighting against the internal pump. If the internal pump is off, water actually flows backwards through it.

    I might have to separate the two loops completely and have a separate line for the external, and just use it like a 'boost' to keep the internal loop cool.

    GPU2 mount seems to have been misaligned somehow, temps are 10-15C higher than GPU1 now which wasn't a problem before.

    The 3940XM is too hot for my bodged together CPU block. It jumps to over 80C immediately under 37x (about 65W). I have a spare and will make it better.

    The higher speed setting for the internal pump (approx 8V) does make a constant difference of about 3C throughout vs the low noise/low speed 5V.

    The extra rads do their job and the cold ambients of Melbourne winter at the moment mean the cooling is working well overall. I am yet to test it on a dual adapter and crank up the GPU power but ~115W per GPU is easily handled with low noise levels.
     
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