Project SLITX - A water cooled SLI ITX Tower

Testifier

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Oct 16, 2017
51
88
Since the news crashed in about how Haswell would suffer from Spectre and Meltdown, I knew that it's time for a new compact powerful tower.

After contemplating on how to have an anything-goes PC, my finalized spec came out as:

Motherboard: X299E-ITX/AC <- because 64GB ram (16GB cannot handle my 200 Chrome tabs)
CPU: Intel Core i7 7800X <- cause it's the cheapest thing to go with the board
RAM: Kingston HyperX Impact DDR4 SODIMM 4 x 16GB @ 2400Mhz
Cooling: be quiet! Silent Loop 240 <- Low profile block and expandable
Storage: Toshiba NVMe SSD XG4 1TB <- the price was $200 for new OEM (windows 10 was even installed unactivated), so why not
GPU: Nvidia Geforce 980 Ti Reference <- decided to hold out for 2080, so these will have to do for now
PSU: Silverstone SX-800LTI <- Kinda no-brainer for this setup
Riser: Ameri-rack Bifurcated Riser and single Riser
Case: Makerbeam Starter Kit: 10x10 anodized extrusions <- This is the fun part cause I want to have the lowest displacement possible, so there is no other way but to make one


So first, I had to build a frame to hold all the components. These are the ingredients:


Abracadabra!


I actually had to whipped up some sketching in AutoCAD, but unfortunately I had accidentally permanently deleted the drawing T_T
I used the 200mm, 150mm, 300mm, 40mm bars and the overall dimension can be roughly estimated:
Height: 10 + 300 + 10 + 40 + 10 = 370mm
Width: 10 + 150 + 10 = 170mm
Depth: 200mm

H x W x D = 370 x 170 x 200


Let's try to stuff everything into the frame

Actually doesn't look that bigger than my SE one build if I were to put it upright. I can actually not use the top displacement to decrease the height by 50mm. But I want to route the cable to one side instead of having them hanging

Size compare against my keyboard



Some more views:
Front (?) view

I really need to improve my cabling skill T_T
The spacing between the two cards and the radiator looks decent. Let's hope that the thermal is fine.
If the two cards were to be converted to single slot, or just one card is used, I could even fit another radiator in the other side

Left (?) view


Right (?) view

The fans came with the Silent Loop 240 were a little bit too thick, so I replace them with the silverstone FN123 fans. The colors of the FN121 and Noctua A12x15 were too ... ergh... Will look into the Cooler Master Xtraflo 120


Back (?) view

The PSU have its own side for air intake. I had to print out a bracket to fix the PSU to the frame

Top view

The two GPUs are fixed to the frame with screws at two points on their pci brackets

Bottom view

The bottom of the GPUs are also fixed with thumb screws on their holes for rack mounting. With three point mounting like this, the GPUs are rock solid in place


Let's fire it up and pray!

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

But SLI is not working yet, need to look into this -_-

Next steps on the list
- Get SLI to work. The original driver of windows actually showed the SLI option in the Nvidia setting, but the Windows 10 reinstalled the driver and the option disappeared
- Redraw the sketch I deleted T_T, then draw the side panels and send to Ponoko for laser cut. I am thinking wood would be classy

Let me know what you think about this build
 

Testifier

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Oct 16, 2017
51
88
Thanks everyone!
I have struggled all day but unable to enable SLI. I was using the Different SLI Auto method, but no dice.
Like I mentioned. The first time I boot up with two GPUs, Nvidia Control Panel actually showed the SLI options without me doing anything. After windows automatically reinstalled the graphic driver, the option disappeared.
Hopefully someone can point me some direction !!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Biowarejak

Biowarejak

Maker of Awesome | User 1615
Silver Supporter
Mar 6, 2017
1,729
2,219
Thanks everyone!
I have struggled all day but unable to enable SLI. I was using the Different SLI Auto method, but no dice.
Like I mentioned. The first time I boot up with two GPUs, Nvidia Control Panel actually showed the SLI options without me doing anything. After windows automatically reinstalled the graphic driver, the option disappeared.
Hopefully someone can point me some direction !!!
Try disabling automatic updates and rolling back your drivers
 
  • Like
Reactions: Testifier

Testifier

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Oct 16, 2017
51
88
Thanks guys, and thank you, @aquelito for pointing me to the Bifurcation thread. The process is pretty simple, but it made me go through 100 pages to figure it out. Basically it's just:
- Apply DifferentSLIAuto
- Apply HyperSLI
Since HyperSLI only work up to Windows 8.1. That's the latest version of Windows that I can enable SLI for now. I'll look into other methods for windows 10

Here's some benchmark. Everything went well, no artifact or crash/BSOD. I don't know if these are the performance results I should be expecting though




Actually, I just got a reply from ASRock support, they sent me a new bios for SLI. I'll try using that bios with Windows 10 again to see if SLI can be natively enabled via bifurcation
 

LukeD

Master of Cramming
Case Designer
Jun 29, 2016
429
1,157
Hey mate, I was using the same Silverstone fans as you and found the following to be better:
http://www.coolermaster.com/cooling/case-fan/xtraflo-120-slim/

Silverstone
CFM: 32.6
H2O: 1.52mm

Coolermaster: XtraFlo 120 Slim specs:
CFM: 58.4
H2O: 1.76mm

You might also want to point the fans to exhaust hot air to the outside rather than blowing onto the GPU directly, that should improve temps a bit :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Testifier

Testifier

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Oct 16, 2017
51
88
Thanks, Luke!

I've also been looking up on the Xtraflo 120 Slim. The only problem is that this model is not sold in the US, and the cost to own this fan in the US is even higher than an NF-A12x15
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mtthwmths

LukeD

Master of Cramming
Case Designer
Jun 29, 2016
429
1,157
Yeah unfortunately I picked mine up from Ebay as no places in Australia would sell it either. $40 for shipping was a bummer :( $26 for the fan :/
 

Testifier

Trash Compacter
Original poster
Oct 16, 2017
51
88
Update: SLI now works on Windows 10. Still using the DifferentSLIAuto patch, but now combining with ACPI table modding method, no HyperSLI - no losing VT-x. I'm pretty sure that this method to enable SLI would work on any bifurcation-capable ITX motherboard, up to 388.71 drivers (the latest before the 390.65)



Ran some test again, for some reasons, the firestrike test produced much better result than Windows 8.1, like 2k points increase



- Pathetic attempts to make the cables look a little bit more... presentable(?)



I still want to do the bios mod to enable SLI without using the software patches, since it wouldn't depend on the developers of the patch anymore. But this current state will have to do for now. I'll move on to the side panels' design

Just a quick question, with all the side panels done, if this type of enclosure were to be sold as a case (like the ones from GEEEK), would anyone interested in buying? If not, is it because the layout is being to demanding of the components, or is it because people prefer unibody constructed case?
 

BaK

Master of Cramming
May 17, 2016
432
420
Not interested in buying as I am already building a case with Makerbeam frames, but very interested in seeing how you are going to do the side pannels as I don't have a fixed plan for that yet.

Keep up the good work, very nice build! :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mtthwmths