Log Walrus mk02: a 3D-printed brickless ~4L case with external radiator

morj

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Hello again!

Last year I did a 5.5L watercooled build with a custom 3D-printed case.

Now that I have acquired RTX 3080 FE and Ryzen 5900X, time for the next 3D-printed concept, with even more non-standard solutions!

I wanted to get me some challenge in terms of case constraints. This time I aim for 4L brickless excluding the radiator, so a lot of tinkering is required to make it work.
  • around 217*179*105 dimensions (~4L)
  • brickless with 800W PSU (modded Supermicro PWS-804P-1R, I copied the mod by petricor)
  • RTX 3080 with EK FE waterblock
  • short PCI 4.0 riser
  • 58mm clearance for aquanaut-style CPU+DDC blocks (so the pump is built-in too)
  • total volume together with an external 240*30 radiator and slim fans: under 6L, but I'm planning on using a bigger one
I'm planning on getting some proper lazer-cut 1mm steel panels since it will allow for much sturdier overall design and a more finished look.
The panels are not designed yet (as well as the parts), the idea is that the 3080 waterblock should be presented through a cutout in a side panel for extra style points.

[UPD] 19 Apr renders:




Render without GPU installed:



Some preliminary render looked like this (on the first picture the motherboard backplate is facing the camera, but I've hidden it to make things clearer):





(motherboard model courtesy of Julian Bechtold from Grabcad)
 
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BaK

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First tangible step: the PSU is working with a Noctua mod, some 12V wiring pending.
Is the Noctua's magic happening even here, making this turbo jet kind of PSU silent?
 

morj

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Is the Noctua's magic happening even here, making this turbo jet kind of PSU silent?

It's not silent since I have to figure out if the PWM can be tamed somehow (it surely works, but has a very aggressive curve), but it definitely is much quieter than the stock fan (and also 5mm shorter). I can rock the LNA adapter or just wire it to the motherboard though. It depends on the way this PSU will handle the ~500W load, should have some headroom with its 800W platinum rating.
 
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BaK

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It's not silent since I have to figure out if the PWM can be tamed somehow (it surely works, but has a very aggressive curve), but it definitely is much quieter than the stock fan (and also 5mm shorter). I can rock the LNA adapter or just wire it to the motherboard though. It depends on the way this PSU will handle the ~500W load, should have some headroom with its 800W platinum rating.
Thanks for the feedback, sounds good! :p
 

morj

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Working on CAD for the case: designed the PSU mount, cutouts for the quick disconnects in the rear panel, as well as C14 plug cutout. Made it possible to actually install the GPU without dismantling almost all the parts, now only the top bracket must be removed to install/remove the GPU.

The only major place to update is the PCI riser position. Last time I couldn't get it right without printing the actual part, measuring and adjusting. Different risers tend to have different screw hole positions, so I have to design with the riser in hand. Having the riser in hand starts the 1 month countdown in which I can return the riser in case things wouldn't work out, so I haven't ordered said riser yet (want to try one of the PCI 4.0 ones).

 

morj

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APU time!

Printed all the parts just in time before the long Easter holidays (sorry for potato image quality).




Today I
  • trimmed the PSU to fit
  • soldered 12V wiring for the CPU and GPU, the 12AWG wires without connectors (TBD) will feed the 3080
  • assembled the case to test the overall fitment
  • did a provisional APU build as a sanity check with i7-8700K and some random air cooler
Everything works as expected, although the PSU fan is spinning a bit fast to my taste.

Next time: soldering connectors for the 3080, load testing. If everything will work well, then building a custom loop.





...and it spins!

 

morj

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Bonus: family portrait (with my previous case), shows how big of a difference 4L vs 5.5L is.

 
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BaK

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Wow!
The frame has a 'Formd T1' touch I think!
Really digging how the C14 is integrated into the back panel!
Can't wait to see how you are going to add tubing into that small space!

Can you please share your electrical circuit? I see you are not joking with those fat 12AWG cables!
 
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morj

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Wow!
The frame has a 'Formd T1' touch I think!
Really digging how the C14 is integrated into the back panel!
Can't wait to see how you are going to add tubing into that small space!

Can you please share your electrical circuit? I see you are not joking with those fat 12AWG cables!

I'm not really good at organizing documentation, but I can tell you that I just used petricor's build log thread for all the information on the Supermicro PSU modding. It's very thorough and the writing style is informative and engaging. See this post for fan spoofing (optional) and this post for the circuit wiring and modding the Pico PSU (essential).
 
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CC Ricers

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That's a great looking frame you've made there. And I like how it's easily adaptable for APU only builds or CPU+GPU with the motherboard standoffs. Do you find the long standoffs stable enough with the taller cooler you are using?

I also like the form factor of that PSU. Pity that it's rather pricey.
 
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morj

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That's a great looking frame you've made there. And I like how it's easily adaptable for APU only builds or CPU+GPU with the motherboard standoffs. Do you find the long standoffs stable enough with the taller cooler you are using?

Thanks! Actually, it's not adaptable in terms of changing the motherboard position. It's supposed to be in the place you saw on the pictures above regardless of the GPU presence, but omitting the GPU leaves around 87mm for the cooler height. In this picture you can see where the GPU goes: the cutout for the ports and riser mount are visible on the left side of the picture.

The lower (short) standoffs are 10mm, the upper are 40mm. I find the actual build very sturdy even without the panel behind the motherboard. When I will order and install this panel, it will be screwed to all 4 short (5mm) standoffs on the back of the motherboard as well as the rest of the frame, connecting the motherboard to 8 different points, making the completed build even more sturdy.



I also like the form factor of that PSU. Pity that it's rather pricey.

Yep, it costed me around 180 EUR here in Germany. Then throw in 20 EUR Pico PSU and miscellaneous stuff like wires and connectors.
 

morj

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Did a janky setup for PSU stress-testing. Prime + FurMark and the system pulls a whopping 504W at the wall. The PSU gets considerably warm to the touch after 5-10 minutes regardless of using the low noise adapter with the fan (I'm using NF-A4x20 on the PSU). Not sure if it's OK, but at least it doesn't shut off or show any signs of instability. I think I will proceed with testing the water-cooled setup for the build, since I don't feel like doing really long-running tests with this setup due to its provisional air cooling config. Long-term, probably, I will be researching options to cram a 60mm fan for the PSU instead of 40mm without losing too much compactness.


 

sos

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Feb 11, 2021
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Its good to know - I have plans to use 5900x with 3070 fe but with flex-atx 500 W psu - should be ok if we assume that 3070 uses 100 W less than 3080 ;)