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catawalks

Power Supply PC - STX, Brickless, and now going for water cooling

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I built this little guy to bring to LTX this year before the current climate had set in. Figured I might as well show it off in here since the event was cancelled. So here it is, my Power Supply.

Link to the full album on Imgur. https://imgur.com/a/WqHYFbB

 

My litte PC.
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Cheap little power supply, nothing too special.
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Seems ordinary enough.
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Cables hanging all over the place and looks fine. But what's that noctua brown doing under the normal fan?
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Well, opening it up reveals an STX motherboard out of a Deskmini A300 and a 300w FLEX PSU running an AMD 3400g with 16gb of DDR4 and a 2TB NVMe drive.
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Had to do some hackery to get everything to fit. So all these components needed to get moved to the back of the PSU, mainly to make space for the fan but also because I had to ditch their heatsink. So now they just have a thermal pad and dissipate heat to the outside case. Also had to drill some small holes where the standoffs meet the case in order to mount the thing.
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Another thing that needed to move was this little capacitor on the front side. I didn't have room for it in the back and the fan didn't leave enough space to leave it where it was. So I got a new capacitor and left the legs long. Threw some heatshrink on them to insulate them and bent it out of the way. Seems to work fine.
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Of course I had to include some well shaped plastic behind the PSU to insulate the case, I didn't want any chances of things touching back there.
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Like I mentioned above, the fan and the PSU didn't like trying to both exist in the same spot. So not only did those PSU components need to move, but the fan also needed to lose some weight.
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There was a lot of the fan frame cut away. The thing is actually pretty flimsy without it being mounted to the top of the case.
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I also needed to trim all the front I/O off the motherboard in order for the PSU to sit low enough in the case. That and to fit the GDC Beast PCIe X4 version.
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I needed every single millimeter I could get to make the PSU and fan fit together. So much so that I had to bash as flat as I could the little divits that lowered the fan into the case. It may have gotten me only 2mm but it helped a ton.
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And since this motherboard was originally supposed to run on an external 19v DC power brick, the barrel connector had to go so I could solder on an EPS 12v cable. And yeah, those solder joints aren't my best work, but those pads are tiny and those wires are massive.
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Of course with that GDC connected to the M.2 slot, that means I can run an external GPU.
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I ended up going with a Radeon 5700 non-XT as it was the most powerful ITX GPU I could find to actually buy. I had to buy it from Amazon Japan, but at least it was in stock. Oh, and did I mention that all the PSU cables hanging out there still actually work? They actually power the GDC and GPU.
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I was originally planning to do this elaborate rear I/O setup, but after making my initial test cuts I was happy enough with the way it turned out that I decided to leave it be. Keep it simple.
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A close-up of the rear I/O shows the flaws, but it works fine for me and I was able to keep close to the stock powercord mounting location. It had to move up a little to clear the USB/Ethernet tower, but not by much.
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All the parts laid out ready to go with me.
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The nice thing about this litte setup is that because it's an APU in there, I don't necessarily need to bring the GPU and GDC with me, but I have the option of having that extra horsepower if needed. I mean I guess it's still pretty impractical to have all those wires all over the place, but hey, no one is perfect.
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This is, hands-down, the best fucking PC I have seen on these entire forums in a long time.

 

Absolutely hilarious yet executed so well. Good fucking job. This is so damn good lmao


Quote me to see my reply!

SPECS:

CPU: Xeon X5650 OC'd to 4.4GHz @ 1.36V (courtesy of @XR6) Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X58 RAM: 4x4GB G.Skill DDR3 1866MHz GPU: Asus RX 570 Strix Storage: WD Blue 1TB and a 128GB Kingston UV400 PSU: EVGA 600B Case: Fractal Design Define C Monitor: 3x Dell P2210 on a Steelcase Eyesite triple monitor stand Mouse: Logitech G403 Prodigy Wireless Keyboard: It changes, but usually Focus FK-9000 Mousepad: Steelseries QcK XL Headphones:  Sennheiser HD598SE

 

 

 

 

i use arch btw

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Oh... whew... Thank goodness you're not actually using that Solid Gear PSU as a PSU.  You scared me there for a minute until I saw what you were doing.  :D

 

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I actually thought about something like this as a project a day or two ago...

Except I would've just used an external PSU. 

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/asrock-am4-motherboard-ryzen-amd,38391.html

 

The ideal would be to slap in something like a 4800H. 


R9 3900x; 64GB RAM | RTX 2080 | 1.5TB Optane P4800x

1TB ADATA XPG Pro 8200 SSD | 2TB Micron 1100 SSD
HD800 + SCHIIT VALI | Topre Realforce Keyboard

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Posted · Original PosterOP
27 minutes ago, comander said:

I actually thought about something like this as a project a day or two ago...

Except I would've aimed for a board that took external power and then slapped on an external PSU. 

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/asrock-am4-motherboard-ryzen-amd,38391.html

 

The ideal would be to slap in something like a 4800H. 

 

That's the board I'm using. I just have a deep-seated hatred for external power bricks. Plus, I liked the novelty of using a standard PC power cable to power the thing.

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1 minute ago, catawalks said:

 

That's the board I'm using. I just have a deep-seated hatred for external power bricks. Plus, I liked the novelty of using a standard PC power cable to power the thing.

Makes sense. In some regard your solution is better and more elegant. 

I'm probably optimizing more towards "get more stuff done" and "figure out how to do 2x the stuff OK" instead of "learn and do a handful of awesome things"


R9 3900x; 64GB RAM | RTX 2080 | 1.5TB Optane P4800x

1TB ADATA XPG Pro 8200 SSD | 2TB Micron 1100 SSD
HD800 + SCHIIT VALI | Topre Realforce Keyboard

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Posted · Original PosterOP

  

15 minutes ago, comander said:

Makes sense. In some regard your solution is better and more elegant. 

I'm probably optimizing more towards "get more stuff done" and "figure out how to do 2x the stuff OK" instead of "learn and do a handful of awesome things"

 

Yeah, the Deskmini is a great system in itself, this was more for fun. I originally built it planning to put a 4000 series Ryzen APU in there (the Deskmini A300 only supports APUs) but I'm not sure if Asrock will supply an updated BIOS for this motherboard to add compatibility for them. They are planning to release a X300 model when the 4000 series APUs come out. I might upgrade to that if I have to, but if I can get away with a simple BIOS flash I'd much prefer that option.

 

I also bought some parts last night to now try and watercool this thing. Wish me luck.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
3 hours ago, jonnyGURU said:

Oh... whew... Thank goodness you're not actually using that Solid Gear PSU as a PSU.  You scared me there for a minute until I saw what you were doing.  :D

 

Lol, and lucky for me that Solid Gear PSU was only $20. Left me with no guilt when ripping the guts out.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Well, I got it in my head that I might be able to water cool this thing. The Corsair H60 pump/block is one of the shortest ones I could find which should help squeeze it all inside. I ordered some parts earlier this week and the H60 was the first piece to arrive. Time to check it out and see what I got. I gave it a quick test on a bench machine I've got laying around and all seems well. Fires up, makes a little bit of pump noise but once the bubbles settled it was acceptable.

 

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Woohoo, the internet didn't lie! This thing is actually only 28mm thick. Gonna have to read the lines though since the battery died on my cheap digital calipers.

 

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Looks like if I take off the plastic cover with the Corsair logo I can save about 1-1.5mm. Might need to do that to save as much space as possible, but my initial measurements say I shouldn't need to. We shall see.

 

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Obviously I can't fit a full size 120mm radiator and these long, thick tubes. So looking for a way to remove the tubes I found these little pressed in roll pins on the bottom.

 

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Luckily if you take off the plastic cover on top you have access to the other side of the pins. Using a small bit from an iFixit kit to get in there did the trick. I was able to do one by hand but the other needed some extra force, I just squeezed it out with some channel locks.

 

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Bam! And they are out just like that. Now what else holds those tubes in?

 

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Looks like just some rubber o-rings. They slip right out pretty easily. Nice.

 

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And we're left with just the bare pump/block.

 

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Now let's see what's under this cold plate. Just 8 Phillips head screws hold it on. Another job for the iFixit kit.

 

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Doesn't look too bad, seems alright at first glance.

 

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Looking a little closer it turns out there was some gunk starting to form and needed a little bit of cleaning. Overall not bad, this was a pretty good buy, I'm happy with it.

 

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After cleaning it up it's time for reassembly. It's not perfect but it's definitely better than it was. Anyways, I'm not worried as I think the limiting factor will be the radiator as I think I can only fit an 80mm one inside the case.

 

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Back together and waiting for new fittings and the radiator to get here from China. Next update might not be for a while depending on how long the shipping takes.

 

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