Project Absinthe – Part VI

Already to part 6 of this series and I still haven’t assembled anything resembling a water cooling loop – with the exception of getting both radiators mounted.

And that’s mainly because I need to do some more test fitting. This time it was putting the pump where I’d planned to mount it, using another fan to do the test fit. The fan in question is a Zalman ZM-F3 LED that came with the Z12 Plus case. It’s a 25mm thick, 1200 RPM fan that runs quite silently but doesn’t seem to move a lot of air. It does have a nice blue LED, though.

Now in attempting to mount this configuration, I did learn that the radiator will need to come out first. And with good reason as there isn’t a lot of clearance between the Z2 bracket and the radiator – as in I couldn’t fit a #8 washer between them.

Part of the tight fit is the fact I’m using two washers on the mount: one between the screw and bracket, and the other between the bracket and fan. Pulling out one of the washers won’t make much of a difference. But changing out the dust filter will. The filter I currently have on there is the SilverStone FF121, which is about 4.5mm thick. I can change those to the SilverStone FF123, which is a better filter and only 1.5mm thick. That will certainly open things up a little more.

And I’ll do that for both of the bottom 120mm fans. I already have the SilverStone FF143 on the rear 140mm intake.

The other test fit is for the hard drive cage I purchased from Mountain Mods. And on this one I wanted the pump in there as well so I could see how the entire unit would fit together.

The hard drive in the picture is a dead hard drive I just never discarded – who’ve thought it’d come in handy?

The fit toward the bottom is a little tighter than with the drive cage, which was contrary what I thought it’d be. I needed to move the pump a couple millimeters away from the drive mount, but as you can see, it still fits. This means again that the hard drives are getting air across them, whereas in the drive cage that wasn’t necessarily the case, or the airflow wasn’t as great as it could have been. So the slightly tighter fit is a reasonable and minor trade-off to having airflow across the drives.

So definitely a huge plus to Mountain Mods for making this drive mount.

Next order

So that’s it for now until I place the next order. That’ll include the 5 x Spectre Pro 120mm fans and two FF123 fan filters along with a different reservoir. Not sure if I’ll go with the Bitspower full-acrylic reservoir as I currently plan or if I’ll go with something else. The pump is part of the consideration on that, as is the front radiator – too tall of a reservoir and I can’t connect it easily to the outlet on the radiator. And as that’s how I want it to flow, that leaves only a few options from what I’ve seen available.

But I’m exploring my options, and I’ve got time before I place the next order.

After the next order arrives, I’ll be switching out the Zalman fans on the bottom and mounting the others to the radiator. Hopefully by then I’ll also have figured out how to mount and secure the reservoir, which will likely also include tubing up some parts of the loop. Details are still subject to change, so we’ll see what happens.