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Thread: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

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    Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC - COMPLETE 22/03/2010

    Intro


    Hi to everyone at Hexus! My first time here! I thought i might run this scratch build on here, see what response i get! My main home is overclock.net so the first 4 updates are not really new! This is my second scratch build. My first was called Bloo Box, an acrylic mid tower case:





    You can find a worklog with big pictures and a video here: http://www.overclock.net/case-mod-wo...te-24-6-a.html

    Well I'm back again with another mod! I've caught the bug :wheee::wheee:

    This time I am going small! My inspiration came from seeing someone on OCN make a tiny mITX case with a Zotac mITX MoBo. It looked so awesome I wanted one! So I researched hardware and found you could get really nice mITX socket 775 motherboards for not a huge amount of money, including a PCI-E x16 slot. With that in mind, I came onto the problem of cooling. To do any substantial cooling would make the case quite large. The low profile coolers normally do not give amazing temperatures, and making the case fit one of the giant HFS's would remove the point of the small case. It was then i saw an all-in-one liquid cooling system from SwifTech. And the idea clicked!

    Build the world's smallest watercooled computer!



    Components



    Sponsors

    I am delighted to introduct my first sponsor, AquaTuning.co.uk! They will be sponsoring me with my watercooling equipment.



    Their website can be found here




    Ebuyer are also sponsoring me with a motherboard, processor and graphics card!

    Their website can be found here: http://www.ebuyer.com


    I would like to introduce my 3rd sponsor for this project, MNPCTech!



    They will be sponsoring me with 1 of these:


    http://www.mnpctech.com/Computer_Billet_Fan_Grills.html

    and a set of these:


    http://www.mnpctech.com/Aluminum_Com...Case_Feet.html

    Thanks very much to Bill



    I would like to introduce AC Ryan! They will be sponsoring me with some materials like Aluminium sheet and CCFL's and such things. Thanks Guys!



    WatercoolingUK will not be supplying me with watercooling equipment, they will be laser cutting metal and powdercoating for me! Thankyou to marcus there in particular!



    Enermax will be sponsoring me with 2 fans and a keyboard! Thankyou!



    Roccat will be sponsoring me with gaming equipment such as the Roccat Kone! Thanks!

    Case Plans

    The case will measure 20x20x20cm with everything inside, including radiator, fans etc. The case will be made out of a powdercoated steel frame with smoked acrylic filling the holes for the sides and top, and the front and back will be made out of powdercoated mesh. I am going for a blue and purple colour scheme inside (wiring, coolant, tubing etc). The metal will be cut on the CNC router at my school (it's tiny, about 30x30cm cutting area!). The plastic will be laser cut also at my school, and sponsor logos will be laser etched on during this process. All the cables will be sleeved in black and white sleeving.

    Final Photos









    Thanks for reading.


    Log

    #1 - First Sketchup
    #2 - Second Sketchup
    #3 - Third Sketchup - Everythign inside a 20cm cube!
    #4 - First price list
    #5 - Parts arrive!
    #6 - Final sketchup! Done precisely to scale, ready to start manufacturing!
    #7 - First PCB design for PWM fan controller
    #8 - More sponsorship arrives. Acrylic tests. First cad work complete. Second PCB fan controller done
    #9 - More sponsorship, some more CAD work, another PWM design and a surprise waterblock!
    #10 - Acrylic laser cutting done! Laser etching done! Hard drive bay tested. Custom waterblock arrives along with other stuff
    #11 - Watercooling sponsorship arrives! Mounted waterblocks on motherboard. Test fitted plastic + rad + fan + fan grills etc.
    #12 - First circuit boards fabricated and soldered up! Acrylic capillary bonded and test fitted with hard drives, entire drive bay assembled with CD drive.
    #13 - Second PCB made (first one destroyed). It works! First aluminium panel cut and mounted with acrylic. Test fit with motherboard tray and motherboard, gpu etc.
    #14 - Overclock.net logo, black oxide screws arrive, sleeving arrives from MDPC, sleeving and modding of the PSU galore!
    #15 - Fittings arrive, test fit of everything, WatercoolingUK sponsors announced!
    #16 - Video update of everything so far, Enermax announced as sponsors, updated price list!
    #17 - Enermax stuff arrived, new acrylic cubes with LEDs in
    #18 - Some acrylic done, new sponsor!
    #19 - Shell complete! Epic photos using new photography lighting toy
    #20 - Leaks, successes, epic photos, crazy lighting - the best update so far!
    #21 - No i'm not dead!
    #22 - The beginning of the end!
    #23 - Project Complete!
    Last edited by oliverw92; 23-03-2010 at 12:57 AM.

  2. Received thanks from:

    Pob255 (03-09-2009),Zhaoman (01-09-2009)

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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Update #1 - 31/06/09

    Did a sketchup of the case. This was my first time using sketchup. Quite a few of the components I got off the database of models but i made several. The whole thing is precisely to scale (to the millimeter) so i can take measurements etc off it.



    Front



    Back



    Front



    Side



    Empty Case



    WC'ing loop



    Components




    Hope this gives you a good idea of what it is going to look like!

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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Update #2

    This is what it would look like with the rad inside. I could do it like that, or make the box 3cm taller and have the fan inside too. I'm a bit worried about getting my tubing in at those angle though. Hmm....






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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Update #3

    Redesigned again. Managed to get the whole thing down to 20cm x 20cm x18cm - that is including radiator and, well, everything!














    Getting the Apogee Drive will mean i can make the bottom compartment smaller and ALSO means i can have 2 2.5" drives! So potentially 1tb of storage at this point in time (maybe more if larger 2.5" drives are made). Anybody got any advice on those tight bends there? Does it matter how i have T joint being used (L joint in the main loop)

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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Update #4

    Ok so here is a price list!



    I think what is going to differ this from other miniature watercooling rigs is the power. I have not seen any other mITX watercooled mini pc's with a Q9550 or even a dedicated graphics card. I was lucky to find the 4670, it is a perfect fit.

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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Update #5 - 20/8/09



    A box arrives! I wasn't even expecting it...



    Ebuyer sponsorship arrives



    This motherboard is ridiculously small... i couldn't believe it when i first saw it



    PCI-E x16 slot



    Wireless module for it. Plugs into a USB header



    GPU test fit



    Fits the board perfectly!



    My friend



    So glad i chose this card, the blue is perfect for my colour scheme.



    I never thought i would get to hold one of these...


    So yeah not much of an update. But progress! I can now confirm all the measurements for the motherboard. I didn't expect to have the mobo so soon because eBuyer were out of stock. Somehow they managed to get me one though!

    I would like to thank eBuyer again for their generous contribution, and especially thank my contact there, Charlie. She has been brilliant!



    They really are the best computer e-tailer in the UK!
    Last edited by oliverw92; 31-08-2009 at 12:20 AM.

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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Update #6 - 30/08/09

    The final sketchup model is finished! I spent ages on this. It is EXACTLY how it will be, everything is perfectly to scale. By doing it like this i have actually solved loads of problems i would have come across later when i had got items laser cut etc.



    Front



    Right side



    Top with 120mm rad and fillport



    Without the outer shell and cubes



    Back view without shell



    Back



    Left hand side with GPU. Will actually be nVidia but never mind...



    Profile shot of the right hand side.



    The loop! Yes i am now cooling the 9300 chipset. One of the problems i discovered by doing the accurate sketchup is that the apogee drive would hit the heatsink on the chipset. So duniek at OCN is making be a custom block that looks very similar to the one above (i.e. barb positioning is the same). Yes there is some VERY tight tubing to be done. But hey! I'm up for a challenge!



    The back of the loop. 45 degree fittings will save this project! Most of the models in the sketchup are downloaded, however i made the apogee drive and several other parts. It is precisely to scale from the swiftech site. Very pleased with it!



    Bottom compartment. The cd drive rests on an acrylic plate that is glued to the HDD bay. There is a 60mm fan at the back blowing across the hdds. This will be mounted to the base using a bracket, rather than mounted to the grill.



    HDD Bay



    Empty shell. The whole thign is held together with 10mm acrylic cubes. There will be purple LEDs mounted in them which will shine out of the corners displayed by the rounded corners of the aluminium frame.



    Moneyshot



    So what do you think guys? I managed to get the 250W psu in, which i am very pleased about. I need to order things like the PSU, switch, CD drive and hdd before i can start milling out the aluminium.

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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Very nice, will be watching for the build log.

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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Very awesome.

    Can I ask what PSU you are using?
    ~'Armaments, universal debt, and planned obsolescence--those are the three pillars of Western prosperity'~ Aldous Huxley




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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    That is insane, I love it!

    while this is a bit late seeing as you've already got the bits (well done on the sponsership btw )

    The only thing the vagely worries me is is that 4670 actually anybetter than the 9300 onboard?
    Might be better off leaveing out the graphics card.

    Also might of been an idea to go the AMD route, so a socket AM2 mitx board with 780g chipset and pci-e
    Then you could use the hybrid crossfire

    Although thinking about it I think the 9300 chipset supports hybrid SLi although not sure what nvidia card you'd need to suport it


    On a side note, umm are you planning to cut a hole in the top so that rad&fan can actually draw in/push out air?
    Would of thought it would be better to have perspex on the front and mesh on the top.
    Mesh front and back on a normal pc case works because you have fans drawing the air through.

    As the motherboard tray is effectively forming 2 cells how about this for a layout.

    Back of case, perspex above the tray, mesh below.
    Cut an air vent in the tray towards the front.
    Mesh on the top, rad fan sucking air through the rad and pushing ait out of the top.

    In theroy air will get drawn into the harddrive&PSU cell at the back, flow past the drives, get drawn up into the upper cell, past the memory and sucked up through the rad and out the top.
    An additional vent could be added below the graphics card to help feed that with cool air.


    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/JandW...X-HDMI-DVI-VGA

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    Herr Doktor Oetker, ja!!! pollaxe's Avatar
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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Good work! I'll be following this with interest.

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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    +Subscribed.

    Brilliant little project.

    (PS, awesome sketchup work - could never get the hang of it myself)

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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Thanks for the comments guys!

    @format: It is a Seasonic Mini 1u PSU rated at 250W constant and 350W peak or something like that. People over at bit-tech have been helping me with this. I can get a 200W pico psu, however they advertise the max load as the load on the psu, so the real constant supply is around 130W. This is obviously not enough, the CPU alone draws around 95W. This is the psu: http://www.powersuppliesonline.co.uk...su/default.htm

    @Pob255: I thought about going AMD. That J&W mobo was VERY tempting indeed because of the onboard 7.1 audio. However scan refused my request for sponsorship and eBuyer do not stock it. I have also managed to get the mobo and cpu and GPU from ebuyer already, so it is a bit late now. In terms of GPU, the 4670 is alot more powerful than the 9300. It would be around on par with a 9700/non-oc'd 9800. It also has 1gb GDDR3 which is way more than the onboard has. Also means the onboard won't jack memory off of my RAM. There are no nVidia cards anywhere near as powerful as the 4670 that are the right size. This really is the only card for this project! About sli/xfire, i dont really think it would benefit the system much. It would sound cool, but would not achieve much really. About the airflow of the case. I have thought about this for many nights, often laying awake til early in the morning pondering it. Now i am cooling everthing on the motherboard, i do not need massive amounts of airflow in the top portion of the case. The GPU has its own fan and i plan to make a little fan grill to allow more air to get to it. Yes the radiator will have a grill on top, i didn't feel like drawing my design on there as it will be quite complex I think i will keep the mesh and acrylic as is. Splitting a panel into mesh and acrylic is a nono. It would be too hard to attach it. At the moment the plan is to screw the cubes onto the panel then put glue around the edge of the mesh/acrylic and put it in place. Wait a few minutes, then remove the cubes. This will get the panels exactly in position. Thanks for all your opinions though, they have definately made me think!

    @pollaxe: thanks!

    @Singh400: Thankyou very much! Yeh i was amazed myself at how well my sketchup work went. I surprise myself when i see the detail i did it to. I estimate i spent around 30 hours doing that model. I thought it essential and after doing it, i found it really was. I have solved so many problems, like the GPU not fitting, the psu not fitting, putting a block on the chipset, running the tubing, whether it will look good seeing the corner of the cubes out of the corners of the case (btw these will have LEDs shining out so in the corners you will see glowing purple light ). I am very pleased with it!

    If anyone wants to see what my coolant + tubing + coils combo will look like, i am doing the same as this guy:


  15. #14
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Ahh I see you're planning to just glue the sheets of arcylic together, sorry I was going by your sketchup which looks like you're going to make a frame out of Angle section and stick the panels to it somehow.

    The 9800gt is faster than the 4670, for simular speeds you need to go to the 4830 or 4770
    However that said I've doubled checked and the 4670 is a good chunk faster than the 9500gt, so the same will be true for the 9300 onboard.
    And yes both hybrid xfire and sli are not really worth it, but then you could of said that it's the Smallest (ever?) Watercooled sli or crossfire mITX system

    I did realise my comments are late as you've already got the bits

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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    Yes the 9800gt is faster than the 4670, but it also does not fit in the case I like the idea of smallest sli/xfire system though... that would be insanely epic. Maybe i will get an nvidia card that will fit as well just to say it can do SLI

  17. #16
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Project MiniMe - Smallest (ever?) Watercooled mITX PC

    need to check if that board can do it and which card supports it.
    Which I think was an 8500gt
    Due to lackluster performance and newer cards having far lower idle power draws, both ATi and nvidia have stoped mentioning it in the hope people will forget about it.
    Great in theory not that good in reality.
    Mentioned it just for that little extra thing you can add in, as the project seems to be not so much about the smallest possible but squeezeing as much as possible into a very small case.

    Keep up the good work, I'd love to see this at the end.

    EDIT:Would be funny if you could somehow squeeze a waterblock onto that 4670

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  1. help needed building a c++ project
    By kasavien in forum Software
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    Last Post: 08-11-2006, 10:18 AM

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