Preface: So seeing this whole PC setup that Puget did inspired me. I actually caught wind of this when I found myself blowing three air canisters of dust out of my PC, thus resolving my overheating issue lol. I wanted a way to be completely dustless, and frankly, look good. I'm not a huge gamer, and I don't do overclocking, so this setup isn't even for "extreme cooling" for myself... this is partially for the fun of doing it, and the fact that someone will walk into my house and say "Oh, cool fishtank, where are the fish?" and I can reply with "No, that's my computer." I also wanted to use different elements of Puget's different versions to incorporate into my V1. For example, take their power plug receptacle they introduced in V2 and put that in my V1.
I am planning on installing Ubuntu on the machine primarily since I'm going to be using very cheap hardware at first. I want to use the cheap stuff, go the non-intensive route, then later install a Windows platform if I so decide.
The overall intent of this writeup is to document my work in doing this, as well as show others that for someone with ZERO(0) liquid cooling experience, this isn't as hard as it looks(hopefully hehe).
I am slowly working on gathering all the materials needed for my preliminary model. Here are the materials grouped down by when/how I'll be needing them.
I haven't yet decided on which one, but once I get the motherboard tray
in tomorrow, I'll take the entire tray to the petstore and start dropping it in tanks to see which fits the best. I anticipate a small amount of modifications to the actual plastic cover of the tank to allow my motherboard tray
to sit properly within the tank. So far, I'm leaning towards this tank
, but the dimensions are very close to the motherboard tray
dimensions, so I'm going to wait to be sure. I may end up cutting some of the motherboard tray
down once I get it to allow it to fit. Part of the idea behind this is to allow myself to find/purchase LESS mineral oil to cut down on costs.
I've purchased the Lian Li Replacement Removable Motherboard Tray as in the Puget Systems V1 model.(http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...7314f7140335c0
) It will be arriving tomorrow, which I'll take it to the few local pet stores to drop it in some tanks to find the most compact fit(again, to save money on buying mineral oil).
This is actually proving to be a challenge to find it locally. Most vets have no idea what I'm talking about. I've managed to find a couple feed stores, and large animal vets, but none of them have been able to procure 5-10 gallons. I'm shooting for 5 because I'm looking at 5-6 gallon tanks. I figure the displacement of the computer components will at least be a gallon. Any extra is for my own testing or incidental loss of original, but I don't want to spend more than I need to. I could order it from STE Oil, but I'm trying to go the local route first. Some of the terms I've learned in what I'm looking for are "Technical Grade Mineral Oil" Viscosity 70T(which is the thinnest, and will move best)
Surprisingly, when I told people that I was building this, I had a ton of people offering me components to build with, just for the principle of them wanting to see it done. I also work in IT, so that may have something to do with all the spare parts laying around. In any event, I received enough spare parts from people to build an additional PC to what I already have, so I don't "risk" my higher end PC on the first test, similar to what Puget did on their first model.
My first model will consist of the following(again, all based on free hand-me-down components):
- 450W ATX Power Supply
- Generic Motherboard
- Intel Pentium 4 3.06Ghz CPU
- Generic CPU Heatsink
- 2GB DDR2 RAM
- 80GB SATA drive
These are just the core PC components that is the bare minimum to getting the system functional.
From what I can think of, these are the basic components to getting the system functional plain and simple. Now as far as extra pieces of hardware that I'm going to use to compose the system, below is the "Extra" stuff I'm going to use and where it came from. Some of these you won't want to do without.
- Computer Power Socket - Got this to break the power cable and am planning on cutting a hole in the motherboard tray for this.
- PCI Sata and Power Bracket - Considering I won't be using an SSD drive for my first model, I am going to incorporate this to allow for me to bring my power and SATA connections to a drive outside the liquid, using motherboard mounts and thumbscrews to support the hard drive off the surface of the tank.
- Direct Connect Power/HDD LED's - This is really just to save the time/trouble of making them myself.
- External CD/DVD Drive - I wanted something small but functional, so I got this to act as the external media device and also for installing the OS(So you'll probably need something like this anyway if you don't already have the OS pre-installed on the system).
- Asus Wireless-N USB Adapter - I wanted to have as few cables as possible so I got this for a wireless device. I don't know about its range/quality yet, but I know the router won't be far away so I'm not too concerned about distance anyway.
- Asus Bluetooth Dongle - Same idea as the above, I wanted few wires, and I already have a few misc bluetooth devices laying around to test with the system.
- Power Switch - To toggle the system on and off, I decided I'd make my own so it could be exactly what I wanted.
- Handles - Similar to the ones Puget sells, I'm not sure if I'll need handles yet, so I've omitted this from my pre-build purchases.
- USB Hub - This is negotiable, as I don't foresee myself using all of the existing USB ports, but I wanted to keep the option available to myself in case the need arose.
- Tank Gravel
- Bubble Stone, Air Pump and Tubing
- Radiator - I haven't decided on this yet since I'm not going to heavily test my machine, but I will be doing this in the near future once I get it built up to start.
- Submersible Pump - Same as the radiator, but I'll probably get the one Puget offers
- Tubing for the Pump/Radiator - Obvious.
- PCI Quick Disconnect Kit - Something like this will allow for disconnecting of the tubing without removing the entire system once I get to that point.
This concludes my part list and pre-build preparations, feel free to ask any questions regarding any of these parts or my intended implementation for them. I have more information I'll post shortly, but I'm going to lunch