Project Log Feature: GwassGween by Cheapskate

Written by Antony Leather

July 4, 2014 // 8:51 a.m.

Tags: #acrylic #case-mod #pc-case-mod #pc-modding-project-feature-gwassgween-by-cheapskate #scratchbuild #water-cooled-pc #watercooling

Motherboard

I know a lot of people here are about hardware. I am the opposite. For this build I picked up a Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3. Is that powerful? I don't know. I bought it because it was black, and on sale. From the pictures of it online I determined that I might be able to completely water-cool it. That was important since I was going to stuff it in a box in another box.

*Project Log Feature: GwassGween by Cheapskate GwassGween by Cheapskate - Motherboard
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For the CPU block I modified a DangerDen TDX to suit my tastes. The large top hides the mounting springs and a decent chunk of the motherboard.

*Project Log Feature: GwassGween by Cheapskate GwassGween by Cheapskate - Motherboard *Project Log Feature: GwassGween by Cheapskate GwassGween by Cheapskate - Motherboard
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Next, I removed the stock heatsinks and measured the crap out of everything. Making the Northbridge block was fairly simple with a copper plate, O-ring, and plastic top. The Mosfet/V-reg...whatever they are called-thingy was a little trickier. The space was far too petite to seal with an O-ring and screws, so I milled a brass top that could be soldered to the copper base. I found out with the help of some of the machinists here that brass can warp if not annealed frequently. Getting the base sealed took several tries.

*Project Log Feature: GwassGween by Cheapskate GwassGween by Cheapskate - Motherboard *Project Log Feature: GwassGween by Cheapskate GwassGween by Cheapskate - Motherboard
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The southbridge was also a tight fit under the video card. I opted for a Delrin top since I had to carve down a lot of the top and needed the extra material strength.

*Project Log Feature: GwassGween by Cheapskate GwassGween by Cheapskate - Motherboard
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Since I added several pounds to the weight of the board, and plumbing was likely to add further stress, I made backplates for all of the new parts.

*Project Log Feature: GwassGween by Cheapskate GwassGween by Cheapskate - Motherboard *Project Log Feature: GwassGween by Cheapskate GwassGween by Cheapskate - Motherboard
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Long ago, motherboard manifolds were creatures of legend. Often they were spoken of with whispered voices around design threads when I was designing GG. By the time I had gotten around to working on my own, many a builder had finished their own motherboard manifolds far above my skill level. I plodded on with my own 'plastic brick' style despite several juicy and tempting innovations appearing.

My design centers around the fact that I couldn't make dead-on measurements of the ports. I needed to use tubing, but keep the manifold close to the board. My solution was to do away with the fittings and seat the tubing directly to the manifold.

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