Where to start?
So I saw Linus' Mineral Oil Build Log when it came out and I thought it was amazing. When it came to doing my A2 Project for Graphics (UK) I was obsessed with Mineral Oil PC's. The only Problem being, I was a Graphics student not a Resistant Materials student. So without any thought on the matter I switched to fulfill my stupid fantasy of making a Mineral Oil PC from scratch. I have plenty of CNC experience but no wood or metal working skills to speak of. I have built a couple of PC's before which were quite high end, but have never water cooled let alone oil cooled.
I Initially wanted to copy the Puget Systems build idea as it would literally just involve me Laser Cutting and gluing Acrylic panels. This idea was superseded by imagination and ambition which got the better of me. I decided the easiest way to achieve a high grade in a subject I have not much experience in was to create a circular design... Anyway its use is as a media server for my Dad and the design must fit in with his house (Hardwood was everywhere). Airflow for the Rads is one 120mm outtake fan with a vent on the back, and a 5mm gap in the lid for the difference in air pressure to draw air in. I was banking on the system being low power enough for the 400l/h pump and thick rad to keep the oil cool. I know the spec isn't really server focused at all but I had to next to no funds to build this after buying materials.
I know the spec isn't really server focused at all but I had to next to no funds to build this after buying materials. I had a Budget of £400, which I found later was not nearly enough as Mineral Oil is sooooo expenisve. I persuaded my school to give me a grant of £100 for the oil. The rest of the money was spent on the spec:
- Phenom x4 965
- MSI Twin Frozr3 R7850
- 960GM-VGS3 FX
- 128gb Non branded SSD
- 1Tb HDD
- 120mm Magicool Rad
- Phobya 220 12v Pump
- Blu Ray Slim drive
- Windows 7 64bit
- 8Gb DDR3
- 450W CoolerMaster PSU (I think I removed the sticker so can't quite remember now)
The only thing I had to buy pre-made was the acrylic tube for £60. The wood was sourced locally and is an eclectic mix of Hardwoods. I spent £30 on copper piping and fittings. Another £25 was spent on switches and wires. I had to perfectly laser cut a circular disc to fit perfectly inside the tube and then glue it in place. I also laser cut the hanging piece of acrylic and bend it to a right angle to mount everything. The upper section was Laminated together from wooden rings I cut out from the hardwood. I had a fair amount of help to build this due to my inexperience.
Well unfortunately not quite. I started the build in Jan 2016 after much planning. "Finished" in May 2016. I say finished because it was only finished to the level of allowing me to get a grade. Unfortunately the GPU artifacts horrendously after installing the drivers. After Messing about for hours before the deadline I found out the problem is the PCIe connection. I don't know whether or not the Motherboard or GPU is broken as wiggling the card around in its slot fixes it incredibly briefly. This is probably my fault as the I/O shield had to be scrapped to finish the build in time and as such the card is zip tied to the wood to stop it wobbling. Because the GPU is broken I didnt put the oil so I also don't know if the pump system works annoyingly. I believe this is what you call a 50ft mod. I am incredibly proud of how the PC turned out but when you look inside at the mounting system you can tell the rush and manic solutions I had to find to finish in time.
For those wondering my practical grade was a B due to the interior being very rushed, but my overall grade was an A. I have just got the computer back and intend on finishing it but just need to save up for a GPU and fix some fittings and pray to god the oil hasn't gone off or something. As well as the pump working and being fast enough to keep everything cool with only 1x 120mm rad (although it is very thick). I did test the tube for leaks with water, but I am slighlty worried about oil dissolving the glue or heating up with the system and leaking somehow (When i eventually put it in). Pictures below of water test, and system booted into a BIOS. So yeah hopefully I can fully finish it soon!