The Sleeper: A self contained, water cooled system with no external rads or hoses....
LAN parties rock.... we all know this. However, toting your machine back and forth is cumbersome, and in the event of watercooling.... dangerous. externally mounted radiators and tubes can get banged up, hung up, yanked and pulled upon... leading to leaks and failure of the entire system, along with expensive repair and part replacement just to fix the cooling system. This does not even touch on if the actual components of the computer system are actually leaked on!
So, I propose a rugged and durable PC designed to have the water cooling fully enclosed in the chassis. Make it easy to empty and maintain for transport, and easy to fill upon arrival.The chassis must also look good, because nobody wants to roll up to a LAN party and get laughed out because your machine looks like a$$. So, displaying the internal goodness through a window is a must. All of this hardware is beautiful to look at, but will need to be tied together in a cohesive theme. If the stuff does not match... I gotta make it match or tie together. Lighting the internals with accent LED's or flood LED's will need to be weighed. But the beauty inside needs to be seen outside. And it does no good if it gets busted while being moved, so the accents need to be durable and stylish.
Deciding on my case, I'm going to utilize a NZXT Tempest. I am working on my sketches for the internal layout and cable/tube management and will update the thread after I have a good concept for you all! But this case takes care of some of the size and construction issues, allowing for more of the time to be spent on a quality presentation of the components... as well as some awesome acrylic shaping and fabrication! But the key, is the components...
The Liquid cooling will allow for the best use of the Hybrid processor performance optimizations that are built into the Asus motherboard. The CPU being water cooled will make the system OC friendly and stable with exceptional heat management. Tapping into the Hybrid phase technology, I am anticipating my first true forray into overclocking to be a rewarding and smooth event. (The last time I went out purposefully overclocking, we were using Slot1 motherboards and I had a "Cloverleaf" Celeron 300a CPU, so it has been awhile!) Utilizing the enthusiast performance characteristics of this motherboard, I am looking to enjoy "performance for free". And if I'm at a LAN and need a few more FPS to lay some smack down on my opponent, I can slap the Turbo Key and get a little "somethin extra" to help push some pain! Or, if I'm gaming at my typical level, I'll simply die a WHOLE lot faster!
Challanges that I am going to have are ruggedizing the case, and the internal components, internalizing a good radiator with tube management will be key, cable management will be mandatory.... all of this while maintaining a stylish balance. The Antec Quattro 800w PSU will be more than up to the task of management due to it's modular approach to cabling.There may still need to be some custom power leads created to keep it sleek and clean inside.
When you are going for a performance machine, you need I/O, and the Samsung SSD hard drive will play a prominent role in the performance of this machine. with an SSD in the mix, there is no way you would hide a drive like this, so special fabricated mounting would be required to put the drive in a position of promanence.
The The GTX260 video card is a great performer of a card and would need to be modified to fit the rugged theme. There would be no water cooling on the card to keep the complexity to a minimum as well as weight. Remember, this is needs to be a portable performer.
The G.Skill memory with the cooling fan is *prime* for modification, but having never seen one, I'm unsure what all I can do to it. It is a good loooking piece of hardware all by itself and may only need minor touchups.
This is my plan... pictures and sketches will be forthcoming as I flesh out more of the details.
Should be a fun rig to build though!
-=Craig "Tech-Daddy" Tate