Project SLITX - A water cooled SLI ITX Tower

Discussion in 'Build Logs' started by Testifier, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. Testifier

    Testifier Trash Compacter
    Thread Starter

    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:
    [​IMG]

    Abracadabra!
    [​IMG]

    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
    [​IMG]
    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
    [​IMG]


    Some more views:
    Front (?) view
    [​IMG]
    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
    [​IMG]

    Right (?) view
    [​IMG]
    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
    [​IMG]
    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
    [​IMG]
    The two GPUs are fixed to the frame with screws at two points on their pci brackets

    Bottom view
    [​IMG]
    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!
    [​IMG]
    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
     
  2. Runamok81

    Runamok81 Runner of Moks

    Dual 980 Tis in SLI? How ridicoulously impractical and powerful. I love it!
     
    Testifier, royalba94 and Biowarejak like this.
  3. Biowarejak

    Biowarejak Maker of Awesome | User 1615
    Silver Supporter

    That's awesome! :)
     
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  4. Phuncz

    Phuncz Lord of the Boards
    Moderator Gold Supporter SFF Purist

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  5. aquelito

    aquelito King of Cable Management
    Silver Supporter Piccolo PC

    #5 aquelito, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
    Nice to see an other bifurcated build !
    I'm waiting for my custom 1070 WB to finish mine.

    Chaining the Amerirack riser with a 3M riser worked for me.

    Regarding SLI, you will need to modify the Nvidia drivers, as did @LukeD a while ago !
     
    owliwar, Testifier and Biowarejak like this.
  6. Testifier

    Testifier Trash Compacter
    Thread Starter

    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 !!!
     
    Biowarejak likes this.
  7. Biowarejak

    Biowarejak Maker of Awesome | User 1615
    Silver Supporter

    Try disabling automatic updates and rolling back your drivers
     
    Testifier likes this.
  8. rfarmer

    rfarmer Master of Cramming
    Silver Supporter

    Use Display Driver Uninstaller and uninstall current driver in safe mode, there is a setting that prevents Windows from automatically installing a driver, then install latest nVidia driver.
     
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  9. aquelito

    aquelito King of Cable Management
    Silver Supporter Piccolo PC

    @Testifier : bifurcation is not SLI-friendly out of the box. You'll need to mod your drivers to allow SLI to work.
    You can refer to the ultimate thread online online.
     
  10. HeroXLazer

    HeroXLazer King of Cable Management

    This build looks really cool.
     
    Testifier likes this.
  11. Testifier

    Testifier Trash Compacter
    Thread Starter

    YEAAAAAAAAAAAAT! At least now I know it works!

    [​IMG]
     
    owliwar, Mtthwmths, MarcParis and 4 others like this.
  12. aquelito

    aquelito King of Cable Management
    Silver Supporter Piccolo PC

    Wahoo !! Very nice job !

    Did you modifiy your drivers ?
     
    Testifier likes this.
  13. HeroXLazer

    HeroXLazer King of Cable Management

    How did you make it work?
     
    Testifier likes this.
  14. Runamok81

    Runamok81 Runner of Moks

    TELL US!
     
    Testifier likes this.
  15. Testifier

    Testifier Trash Compacter
    Thread Starter

    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
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    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
     
    aquelito, WadeAK78, rokabeka and 2 others like this.
  16. LukeD

    LukeD Master of Cramming
    Case Designer

    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 :)
     
    Testifier likes this.
  17. Testifier

    Testifier Trash Compacter
    Thread Starter

    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
     
    Mtthwmths likes this.
  18. LukeD

    LukeD Master of Cramming
    Case Designer

    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 :/
     
  19. Testifier

    Testifier Trash Compacter
    Thread Starter

    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)

    [​IMG]

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

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

    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?
     
    MarcParis, EdZ and BaK like this.
  20. BaK

    BaK Cable-Tie Ninja

    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! :)
     
    Mtthwmths likes this.