- Nov 20, 2020
This has been a long going design process. I began working on this years ago but haven’t come around to do it.
This has had some benefits, some parts have become more SFF friendly, and by revisiting my design I have shrunk
the case from 9.7 L down to 4.2 L, without losing any performance. (In theory at least).
I mainly use my rig for work, which includes heavy simulations, rendering and multitasking.
I like to game sometime, but when choosing between a larger case and a 3070, I chose the latter.
To get this to work I need to do a couple of things that has to do with temperatures.
I started out with making the assumption that most people overestimate the amount of cooling needed when water cooling.
This usually makes sense, bigger radiators isn’t that much more expensive and more fans does probably help to keep the noise down if done correctly.
At the same time, LTT showed us that while not satisfactory, it is possible to cool a 3090 on a 120mm radiator (66 degrees with full turbo).
This got me thinking. The 3090 has an average power consumption of 350W. The 3070 has an amazing performance at only 200W average.
That would potentially leave room for a high-end CPU.
The only thing I could not change size of was the motherboard, which became the starting point for about 20 iterations of different placements with different hardware.
When looking through cooling options I first opted out of water cooling because of the extra parts that would take up space.
I began looking at it again after realizing the thickness of the GPU is critical as it is hard to place somewhere where it fits.
After opting in to water cooling again, I began looking for radiators which is as large as the motherboard, but not larger. A 140mm radiator would be suitable here.
When this was figured out I had to find a suitable GPU. The 3070 FE was really the only alternative.
No other latest-gen GPU has a PCB below 170mm. Finding a 3070 FE is hard enough (I am yet to get my hands on one).
Finding a block for it is even harder. The blocks for the 3080/3090 FE versions are rather large and I would assume the 3070 blocks would be of equal size.
I decided I must make my own GPU-block to make this viable.
- X570 of some sort, the flatter the better.
- 5900X / 5950X (Same TDP, can't really defend the extra cost for 5950X but would be cool for performance)
- 3070 FE
- 64 GB, 3600MHz RAM of some kind, probably Vengeance low-profile.
- 500-700W Flex ATX - PSU (been looking at a few options, but most are on sites I do not know the language of).
- CPU block/Pump/res combo, been looking at the Alphacool LT Solo, might be too thick.
- Some slim fan, probably a NF 12x15.
- A 140mm radiator.
- Case, SMOL, by me.
Order components for practical measurements
Tubing size test with 10mm ID and 6mm ID for differences in tempertaure and flow.
Fan test for radiator with regards to temperature
Get hold of a 3070 FE...
Design waterblock for 3070 FE.
Make sure 140mm radiator that is heavily covered by CPU block will be enough for cooling high-end CPU + GPU
Fitting it all in 4.2L and below, this number might rise or fall depending on any last minute design progress.
Making a block that will be slim and cool sufficiently with zero air flow.
I would love your input, whether it is ideas or something I've missed. I'm also aware of that 4.2L might be overconfident, but I need something to drive innovative thinking.