Project Absinthe – Part X

Build Log:

Wednesday didn’t see much action on Absinthe due to some thunderstorms that rolled through the KC area, so I took the time to plan out what was going to happen next. Obviously the graphics cards needed to go in before any tubing could be run, and I needed to see how they would relate to the rest of the build to see about finalizing my plans on that mark.

So that was the focus for tonight after I got home from work. As the original thermal pads that came with the water blocks are basically gone, I made sure to order new thermal pad material a while back. The material is Fujipoly’s SARCON X-E, both the 1.0mm and 0.5mm thicknesses since that is what the water block instructions call out the thicknesses to be. It was expensive, but it’s supposed to be pretty high performance.

Of course ArctiClean was used to clean the stock thermal compound from the GPU. Then it was a matter of lining up the block to the card and screwing it down into place. I described how I did this originally in the original build log. For the SLI bridge, I misplaced the screws that were supposed to go with it. Thankfully Home Depot carried M4 screws with the right sized heads to fit inside the recessed mounting hole. For those curious, the instructions call out 25mm screws.

Now with the graphics cards installed, a few things became apparent that would relate to tubing things up. For one, the face of the SLI bridge lines up near perfectly with the edge of the power supply. For much of the tubing, I had in mind trying to maintain 90-degree bends all over, with any bends in the tubing to keep it running parallel to a side of the case.

That however was going to get complicated in a hurry.


In the picture above, you can see single-rotary fittings on the inlet and outlet for the SLI bridge. In both cases, that will allow me to use 90-degree pieces of copper tubing to connect the pump to the SLI bridge, and the SLI bridge to the top radiator. One bend. No complications. It won’t have the tubing running parallel with the sides of the case, but the tubing looking a little off-sided is about in line with some descriptions of what absinthe does to your mind, the kind of distortion that can result from being a regular drinker of it, such as the poet in the painting to the right.

Come to think of it, a long gaming session can probably do the same to a gamer as the Hemingway to a typical person. The cocktail is described thusly: “Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”

But I digress.

The tubing not being square to the case reduces the complication and potential waste of trying to make it square to the case and allows me to instead focus on how to make it all work well. It should all still look pretty good in the end.

As tubing up the loop will require potentially making a lot of noise as I try to straighten lengths of it – hopefully not using more than what I bought in the process – that will likely have to wait till the weekend, though I’ll probably try to do some of the tubing Friday night, or I’ll just focus on the rest of the cabling first.

We’ll see.