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Water Cooling a Scar 16 4090/13980hx Laptop

Orion_

Getting the ball rolling on water cooling my Scar 16. I wasn't dead set on doing this when I got it but after 2 weeks of hearing laptop fans again Im losing my mind. Im doing the same process I did with my MSI GP66 11UH but shooting for a non destructive design for the bottom case cover.

Used 3/8" copper pipe, Koolance dry break quick disconnects, and Sn42/Bi58 solder for its 140*c melting point. With newer heatsinks you also need a hot plate to heat soak the unit evenly or the solder will never bond because of the rapid heat dissipation. You'll also want as many clamps as you can fit on the heatsink, it is held together with solder that has a similar melting point.

 

r/GamingLaptops - Water/Air cooled Scar 16 4090/13980hx, getting started

The first step is getting the upper or lower part of your bending done. I do most of it by hand but the 180* I used a tool to get started. On the GP66 I didn't use a tool but this time I opted for 3/8" pipe over 1/4".

r/GamingLaptops - Water/Air cooled Scar 16 4090/13980hx, getting started

The purpose behind only doing one side first is that you need to hammer out the pipe to flatten it, this will cause it to shift. If you bend both sides and hammer it, it is very likely it will throw off the alignment. Hammering it out gives more surface area for heat transfer; gives a much better surface for the solder to bond to; and helps with 'locking in' the fist bend because the flattened pipe is much harder to bend out of place.

 

r/GamingLaptops - Water/Air cooled Scar 16 4090/13980hx, getting started

After getting the pipe bent to shape I made sure it fit where I wanted it to in the chassis. Ill be losing one fan screw but it isn't structural or part of the actual heat sink. I am hesitant about the fan being blocked some but given the case will be 20mm taller Im sure that will more than make up for the obstruction.

 

r/GamingLaptops - Water/Air cooled Scar 16 4090/13980hx, getting started

The biggest thing to keep in mind while doing this is the heatsink itself is held together by the same low temp solder you want to use. The white you see here is heatsink paste to reinforce the solder bonds...on top of 15 C clamps.

 

r/GamingLaptops - Water/Air cooled Scar 16 4090/13980hx, getting started

P for Plenty, the GPU and CPU die area got the brunt of the solder as well as the upper portion where the QDC fittings will be to reinforce where it will get the most use.

 

r/GamingLaptops - Water/Air cooled Scar 16 4090/13980hx, getting started

Used JB Weld to reinforce the solder and give it a bit more contact with the heatsink. The W/MK on JBW isn't something I am relying on, but it might give a bit more conductivity and was pressed into any gaps the solder missed.

 

r/GamingLaptops - Water/Air cooled Scar 16 4090/13980hx, getting started

Some sanding and a coat of black high temp paint to get a slightly more OEM look. More sanding will probably come for the JB Weld before Im content with the looks though.

r/GamingLaptops - Water/Air cooled Scar 16 4090/13980hx, getting started

Case spacer to come.

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Having a big sad moment. Poor planning and a bit of over excitement has it looking like Ill be ordering another heatsink. The reinforcement I added made the neck of the fittings too thick and needed to be trimmed. I took off enough material to get everything together just to realize the loop around where the fan goes blocks the fan which sits much higher than in the MSI I did before. Bent the pipe up enough for it to fit but the angle makes it take up more space than I think is acceptable. On top of all of that, two pops I heard during the soldering seem to have been the heat pipes, not my stove like I had hoped.

 

The water cooling is amazing and I saw a peak of 92*  and average of 86* in Cinebench after 5 minutes and ran my regular games at 60* using my 240mm rad and T30s. However, going back to air the temps skyrocketed and weren't going down with the fans, so, the heat pipes are fried. 

 

As much as this stinks, the need for space over the fan and hinge gives me space for threaded fittings instead of barbed fittings sealed into the 3/8 pipe. The new plan is going to be coper spacers and the water pipe both soldered, 3/8 to 1/4 threaded fitting, and then new threaded Koolance QDC. This will open up the ability to actually service the water pipe and be able to see into the coper pipe and see if there is any corrosion. Also looking into the possibility of compression fittings but Im hesitant because I take the laptop on the go still. 

 

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i mean,  it sounds ridiculous,  but it can work... ive seen water cooled ps3s!  good luck! 🙂

 

The direction tells you... the direction

-Scott Manley, 2021

 

Softwares used:

Corsair Link (Anime Edition) 

MSI Afterburner 

OpenRGB

Lively Wallpaper 

OBS Studio

Shutter Encoder

Avidemux

FSResizer

Audacity 

VLC

WMP

GIMP

HWiNFO64

Paint

3D Paint

GitHub Desktop 

Superposition 

Prime95

Aida64

GPUZ

CPUZ

Generic Logviewer

 

 

 

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On 12/11/2023 at 4:57 AM, Mark Kaine said:

i mean,  it sounds ridiculous,  but it can work... ive seen water cooled ps3s!  good luck! 🙂

 

I haven't seen it on consoles! That sounds excessive, but fun. I did the same thing a few months ago on an MSI GP66 and have the TimeSpy record with it by a good margin (3080/11800), it works great. Got this Scar 16 on a crazy open box/ black Friday deal and am doing the same process over again. I have the water cooling working already but fried the air cooling on the spare heatsink in the process. On water temps were down ~20* which was what I hoped for, but on air it quickly over heated because some of the heat pipes burst.

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After a lot of thought Im going to be getting a spare bottom case cover and cutting it like on the MSI. I have the skeleton of the case spacer printed and was about to make a rough second draft but the more I think about it the more unsafe it seems. It would look MUCH better having the case just be 20mm thicker to accommodate everything, but it introduces some danger the aesthetic doesn't outweigh imo. The biggest issue is the clips along the border of the case, modeling them and getting them to print would take forever; without them it would easily shift around just having a few key screws holding it. Along with that lack of support, the longer screws needed would apply more leverage to the threads if ever bumped; this could cause them to strip and cause irreparable damage to the case or mobo. Not to mention the speakers and RGB which would be in danger of anything moving and causing damage. So, despite the cleaner look, Ill be going the case cover route again.

 

Also just heard back from A-accessories, wont have another heatsink until mid January...So it is going to be a bit. In the meantime though, Im going to use the one I fried the air cooling on to test other ways to mount the water pipe. I got a bunch of cheaper thermal paste and in the next few weeks will be testing heatsink putty and other adhesives to see if any could replace the solder effectively so this can be done more safely. 

 

Screenshot 2023-12-14 034038.png

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49 minutes ago, Orion_ said:

haven't seen it on consoles! That sounds excessive, but fun. 

hard to find pictures now... most im seeing rn look very fake... but i distinctively remember some ceramic white ones with blue leds and *external* pump... they looked amazing and tbh rather simple and elegant,  you could always just unplug the tubes, but im not sure if there would be any cooling then , but obviously never was meant to be a mobile device, so. 

 

ps: the thing is *all* of the early Japanese white ps3 fat models would die from over heating very quickly (~3 months) so this was the only viable way to keep them going,  pretty sure most of the modified ones would still work today, because the original cooling solution really was the main issue (no lead solder used, etc)

The direction tells you... the direction

-Scott Manley, 2021

 

Softwares used:

Corsair Link (Anime Edition) 

MSI Afterburner 

OpenRGB

Lively Wallpaper 

OBS Studio

Shutter Encoder

Avidemux

FSResizer

Audacity 

VLC

WMP

GIMP

HWiNFO64

Paint

3D Paint

GitHub Desktop 

Superposition 

Prime95

Aida64

GPUZ

CPUZ

Generic Logviewer

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Mark Kaine said:

ps: the thing is *all* of the early Japanese white ps3 fat models would die from over heating very quickly (~3 months)

Ahh, gotcha. With all the memes about jet engines taking off when they get older and makes sense to do. Especially if there was a known issue with them overheating I guess go for it. Probably could’ve saved some 360s back in the day, too, when they used solder that the system could melt itself lol. 

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Had time to try the 'thermally conductive adhesive' with a W/MK of a massive.... >.9... Huge no on that route. With Solder The system was running at 60* in a match on WT and idle was 36/30. With the glue It was idling at 54 and in game it couldn't keep up at all, hit 96* CPU just waiting in the main menu on WT for about a minute. Used Cooler Master Cryofuze and that will be my test standard if I try this again since MicroCenter had a bunch.

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Next up on this poor spare heatsink is going to be trimming and soldering these pipes onto each of these coper water blocks and giving this a go over the XMG clone style water pipe. Not totally set on using 3 or 4 of these blocks. 3 would be a cleaner look; with 4 Ill lose one fan screw; 4 loses more flow; but 4 will also be a touch more surface area pulling away heat.

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Going to try Upsiren U6 as TIM between these blocks and put epoxy around the border to maintain some level of mounting pressure and keep it sealed in. I think the issue with the heatsink epoxy was a lack of thermal conductivity more so than that an unsoldered approach wont work. Had a chat with someone who did a setup on their Legion 7 using only TG PP 10 and has better results than my GP66 did because of a much larger surface area, they also have their respective 1st place in Time Spy for the 3070ti (notebook) and 12800hx.

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Did a quick edit to show the goal better than my tape for planning.

batch_Screenshot 2023-11-27 184103.png

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Got the 4 40mm blocks soldered together and all the pipes bent and connected. The block on the left is elevated 1mm to clear the fan on that side and has a small copper shim to get it in better contact.

Screenshot2023-12-25122014.png.3694b20a2bf25b4ceb662632f07fd276.png

 

Finished this as I was heading into a 7 day work week for the holidays (funding this project with overtime) and have had time to think on the project. In my excitement to make something new instead of going the water pipe route, I never tried to look into something that exists and will work already, specifically this amalgamation of failure points I have made. Taking to Amazon, Ebay, and Alibaba I tried to find a 120mm x 40mm copper water block but all I could find was aluminum. My radiator being copper and me not wanting it to melt from the inside, this is a hard no. Kept looking around and suddenly remembered, RAM water cooling is a thing now. 

Screenshot2023-12-22133520.png.8669782a4b0015483dba6c6a2140d1f9.png

Doing some searching, I found this Alphacool RAM water block that is 128 x 45,2 x 11,1mm. Im specifically interested in this block because, unlike many others, the screws are on the acrylic side of the block, not the plate. Because of this, if the plate ends up needing to be soldered on, I will be able to take the acrylic off for cleaning and possibly using the uncut bottom case cover for travel, I doubt the few mm thick plate will be an issue sans water chamber. Additionally, the cutaway on the sides give me a way to mount the block to the stock heatsink, helping give a source for mounting pressure and maintain serviceability by avoiding soldering or using an epoxy.

Screenshot2023-12-25122139.png.5fdf0c658637da8b7f84ebe6c578ac44.png

The big downside of this will be, of course, form factor. Using a water block like this will require the use of 90* fittings which will add bulk. All said and done, this will add about 40-50mm to the thickness of the laptop, a much less desirable outcome than the 30mm that the Koolance fittings would have needed. Realistically, I don't think it will be a massive inconvenience because the laptop is always on a stand to elevate the back anyways, so the new design for the case will aim to make it into it's own stand. While Im not sold on how I will make this look good, I think having a pre made block will be a much safer and possibly better performing alternative. 

 

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41 minutes ago, Orion_ said:

Hey wait a minute 🤣

 

image.thumb.png.8650f1d8a674e7d24d7e12a02d546fb6.png

Saw that and was thinking huh.. I swear there was a thread where someone was doing just that! 

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15 minutes ago, GuiltySpark_ said:

Saw that and was thinking huh.. I swear there was a thread where someone was doing just that! 

Seeing them have a hard time with exactly where I struggled was great. The heatsink coming apart without enough clamps is a huge issue. Thankfully I read up enough on the process before doing mine and had a super old Aero 15 laying around to practice on first. 

 

Edit - Want to clarify that I mean seeing them struggle was a confidence boost/made me feel less bad for having a hard time; not that them having a hard time was good.

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Waiting on the water block to come in so Im getting my ideas laid out for the external radiator. With how killer the Scar is on the go Im going for a less 'this needs to fit in a backpack' approach than with the GP66. Set on using the EK-Quantum Kinetic FLT 240 to finally have a D5 and a nice looking reservoir. Also interested in getting some uni fans which I forgot were a thing until AFTER ordering more T30s.... IF I can find a way to get the RGB to work without a PC to control it Ill return the T30s but if I can't control the RGB then Ill stick with them and whatever the default is fort the EK res/pump. 

 

WaterCoolingComponentsv11..thumb.png.ab6c7a25d2c2de37411d28a51c65fe52.png

WaterCoolingComponentsv11.thumb.png.ed4c63fbe0a5f9ccf17cd7dcb219d318.png

 

 

 

Screenshot2023-12-28074135.png.8847f161f29c6b5e8d986da3a3359d49.png

 

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Going the water block route vs copper pipe is definitely not as elegant.... Using worst case measurements so the case mod might be able to be a touch shorter, but only a few mm if anything. Wont be able to cut the case until after a trip this week and with that Ill be able to see what I can get away with for shortening things a bit. Air intake will be way better than stock and I use a stand anyways so the angle is something Ive accepted, but it is undeniably thikk. 

Screenshot 2023-12-30 200834.png

Screenshot 2023-12-30 200844.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got the external rad mostly assembled yesterday just to find out the PWM connector on the pump is just the two sense wires and not the power... Now I need to find a SATA to barrel or SATA to PWM to get things powered... Normally Id be all for cutting and soldering but these D5s are so damn expensive Id rather have a warranty... 

image.thumb.png.0d2779f1f046cd0d5e83f0e9763e8eaa.png

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1 hour ago, Orion_ said:

Got the external radiator together, now onto the laptop. 

very very cool, but very overkill and too heavy i think xd

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34 minutes ago, NorKris said:

very very cool, but very overkill and too heavy i think xd

This one is definitely less portable than the build for my GP66 because the idea here is for it to be removable with the RAM block using Upsiren putty instead of soldering it, so I was less concerned with making it fit in a backpack and wanted to use the Quantum Kinetic instead of the amazon special parts. I might convert the GP 66 to 3/4 fittings though so I can have an on the go rad for the Scar. 

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Now to the 3D Printer to get things looking pretty again. Literally just using Upsiren U6 between the RAM water block and the pressure of the case to mount this.... 32500 in R23 with a peak of 78* and Im playing Metro Exodus on ultra at 58/49 CPU/GPU. One issue Im running into is Armory Crate wont let you fully disable the fans like I could in MSI Control Center, so when it hits the high 58s the dumb things kick in...

 

Screenshot2024-01-15133207.thumb.png.787265f246cbad170d91b172e23dd76d.png

 

Also running into this issue with TS where my CPU is scoring 5k less than it should but that was happening previously. It hit 76* peak this run. I think the issue is with Process Lasso as Ive never totally understood how to set it up.

 

Screenshot2024-01-15131825.thumb.png.447e75de628785b550a14c43c627002f.png

 

During the R23 run

 

Screenshot2024-01-15133227.thumb.png.0da51d13e24d283e8a0e6ac4bdab3e7b.png

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Case mod is just about done. Need to reprint both
sides to get everything lined up just right.

IMG_1028.jpeg

IMG_1029.jpeg

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Reinstalled Windows and found some of my CPU score again. Still not amazing but better than whatever was going on with that 14k score.

 

image.thumb.png.91cd382c908156d26146453679798bb4.png

 

image.thumb.png.e6066dc28088a4b79a9112aa477fa2f5.png

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Case mod is wrapped up. Now to retest air temps and see where everything is at. new hose clamps are in the mail* big surprise for the 100th time the ones from Amazon were the wrong size.

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