The Stimulus Package Project
My name is Greg (Stimulus),
and this is the story of my first â€œrealâ€ computer modding project. I have built computers for years for my work as a 3D modeler/animator/instructor (Game junkie). I had got a 3x 8800GTX sli, air-cooled rig that overheated all the time, so I decided to try liquid cooling to resolve this problem. I bought a â€œbuiltâ€ liquid-cooled case, and put it together. It too started over heating because the radiator was built in the front and it didnâ€™t have enough fans on the back to ventilate out all of the heat, which blew even hotter air in the case, which heated the liquid, which blew more hot air in the caseâ€¦wash, rinse, repeatâ€¦cry.
I decided to create my own custom â€œdreamâ€ computer case with function as the priority and artistic form as the secondary. What matters to me is POWER, not looks (and a computer that would not overheat when it was used would be real nice).
I started with a Silver Stone TJ07 case that I wanted to put two, 5 by 15in. radiators in the bottom, and one 5 by 15in. in the front for a total of 3 separate cooling loops. I couldnâ€™t find a place to put the 3 reservoirs that I had. I decided to cut holes in the top and put the reservoirs through them. This took quite a bit of work, and the case wasnâ€™t wide enough for the fans, radiators and the power supply in the bottom. I got 2 Koolance radiator shrouds, and put them on the outside of the case to hold the fans.
This is when I noticed that these modifications made my case looked like a car engine.
I decide to put pipes (zoomies), to cover the shroud of fans on the sides, and place a custom grill on the front to go more for this hot rod lookâ€¦
This is when I ran into a problemâ€¦
I had a leak from one of the reservoirs on top, and it leaked all over the running computerâ€¦Zap!
Now, this was bad, however not as bad as getting the fluid all over myself, which I quickly found out that I was allergic to in the worst of ways. After a trip to the emergency room, a bit of shear panic, and a week looking like the elephant man, I had a friend help me gut the liquid cooling system and replace it, the motherboard and the fluid with help from the money I had just got back from the 2008 Stimulus Packageâ€¦thus this rigs name came to be.
I put the flow, and temp meters on the top to help keep track of what is going on at a glance to know when these bad things happen.
I then took it to a local airbrush artist and had it painted in the â€œreal fireâ€ hot rod theme.
I put it back together, and found that it weighed over 60 pounds, and was huge on my desk. After moving it around I realized that I was worried about the paint job, breaking it, my desk or my back. My solution was to put it on wheels and set it on the floor next to my desk. I wanted to use RC car wheels, for they look much better but they couldnâ€™t handle the weight, so I had to go with toolbox casters. I think that this is one of the better ideas I came up with for itâ€™s much easier to get it around.
The blower on top was the last thing I did. It doesnâ€™t have much purpose other then to cover the ugly fluid inputs on top of the reservoirs, and protect them from drunken friends.
I finished in mid August, and had a friend talk me into entering into the Nvision 08 case mod competition. I did so, and got in the top ten, but not the top five.
I was a bit disappointed, but happy to have made it that far for my first mod. I met some great guys, and made some good contacts. Good time.
I feel happy with my rig and plan on keeping it for quite some timeâ€¦
Till it overheats.
The specs I ended up with on this rig are:
MB-EVGA LGA 775 NVIDIA 790i Ultra SLI DDR3. (The Asus Striker II board in earlier pictures is the one that got zapped, and is no longer with us).
CPU- Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770.
RAM- Crucial Ballistix 2GB (2 x 1GB) DDR3 2000.
Video Cards- 3x BFG Tech H2OC GTX 280 in Sli. (9800GX2â€™s are in some of the earlier pictures)
HDD- 3x 300 GB VelociRaptor Raid 0.
ROM- LG Black Super Multi Blu-ray Disc Burner & HD DVD-ROM Drive.
Power Supply- ABS Tagan BZ Series 1300W.
3x Koolance Liquid cooling loops. The North/South bridges, and 2-voltage regulators on the motherboard, 3 video cards and the CPU.
I have (of course), played with over clocking and now have it running very stable at 4.4 Ghz without any overheatingâ€¦Thank God.
Thanks for taking the time to hear my story.