Glass Fusion v2.0
Glass Fusion v2.0, the latest revision, in a while for my main all purpose rig and finally a move to all H20. There is some elements that remain the same as my prior versions, mostly the overall look and style of the build, but a number of parts have changed such as the platform, storage and now everything is under water along with few smaller bits.
I am only going to comment on the part’s I changed otherwise it will be an essay of sorts. Before that some people may raise the question about why 3 GPU’s if only 2 way SLI is supported:
2 Way SLI is supported only officially. 3 / 4 way is supported for benchmarks natively however. Reason I mention this is because you can use Nvidia inspector to create custom profiles and use the SLI profile for benchmarking and apply it to the SLI profile for the game and have 3 and 4 way SLI working, though frame time’s are horrible, even if FPS is very high.
There are so many use cases outside of SLI that still work perfectly fine in 3 and 4 way or even higher number of GPU’s perfectly fine such as rendering, scientific work (my use case) and mining / Folding at home when not using the Rig. These mode’s are not SLI but rather Multi-GPU which is entirely different in the way each GPU is accessed. When I am running 3 way config’s it's often for one of these reasons and for gaming stick to 2 way config’s.
- Rig is currently 14th worldwide in Firestrike including those who use LN2 and 4 way configs: https://www.3dmark.com/hall-of-fame-2/fire+strike+3dmark+score+performance+preset/version+1.1
- 3rd in the world for 3 way SLI configs: https://www.3dmark.com/hall-of-fame-2/fire+strike+3dmark+score+performance+preset/version+1.1/3+gpu
- 12th if looking at just two way score's including LN2 results: https://www.3dmark.com/hall-of-fame-2/fire+strike+3dmark+score+performance+preset/version+1.1/2+gpu
- Cinebench is around 4500 mark with 215 single core for daily clock numbers.
I purchased a binned and delidded so temps remain cool and in check while performance is pretty amazing. For performance, the CPU runs all 18 core’s at 4.8 GHz use at 1.24 volts no issue. For daily use however I tone it down to 12 cores running at 4.6 GHz at 1.17 volts and the 6 remaining cores which are the better ones at 4.8 GHz running at 1.21 volts with an additional AVX and AVX512 offset. In all it means that for games and lightly threaded stuff, the 12 threads will pump out that little bit more grunt by running at 4.8 GHz but when multithreaded performance needed it is there with the other 24 threads can spool up.
Aside from that, Mesh is at 32 and RAM overclocking beyond normal specs is straightforward thanks to Skylake-X's better IPC (compared to X99). The CPU can hit 5 GHz with voltage cranked up and I run some bench's at that clock speed, but the power draw is absolutely ridiculous and really the VRM’s would need to be underwater for me to be happy doing that for long period of time.
Being delidded with thermal grizzly conductonaut and in a custom loop theCPU remains very cool and quiet and even with 1.24v running through it at 4.8 GHz all cores does not go above 80 degrees with stress testing and much less with my normal daily clock’s.
ASUS ROG Rampage VI Extreme
I usually always go for ASUS on most of my builds, in part thanks to the rock solid BIOS's, but also they usually tick all my boxes and this stunning yet massive board is no exception. This beast is feature packed with everything I need and the BIOS is an absolute pleasure to work with. Overclocking is very easy and straightforward and the build quality is immense. The board itself is massive with loads of zones to manage lighting, custom loop sensor’s, additional fan extension cards, wireless AD an so on.
While I don't overly care for RGB that much, ironic given some pics may show RGB, but for most the part everything is set to white aside for daily use aside from the motherboard which cycles though and it does look amazing when doing so. The Rampage seems to have a two way plastic cover, much like my case, but when the underlying lighting comes on, it shows through the trace design on the heatsinks and looks amazing.
The case I absolutely love and was not willing to give it up, however as my previous version show with the system mostly on air, putting everything under water was not an option given the single 360mm radiator mount, which is not sufficient for a trio of GPU’s and CPU.
For that reason an external radiator was the only option, but I wanted a smart solution that looked the part and worked well. From my experience with Aquacomptuer, there Aquaduct unit fit the bill perfectly and looked amazing. Basically the unit has everything, built in pump, fan’s, Aquacomputer Aquero touchscreen unit, reservoir, radiators and so on and communicates with your PC via USB header. In addition it has sensors that reads air temperature, water tempreture, can use said delta in temps to give rate of heat dissipation from loop in watts and so on. Pretty neat piece of kit. It also looks great, of course has RGB which can be setup to indicate water temp at a glance and the top cover has plexi glass window so you can see the water flow around which is neat.
Building the loop was time consuming and along the way revised my plans from my inital concept. I wanted an extremely discreet look, so the tubing could not be visible to anyone who comes in, which succeeded as people often take it to be a radiator or fan. However this meant the tubing run’s had to be longer than needed to hide them next to the skirting board (baseboard) and lots of 90 degree fittings were involved, to allow the tubing runs and cabling to enter the PC from a discreet location.
Through various iterations I got the loop done and while not exactly how I planned worked great. I picked up a EK dual D5 Serial pump combo, partly to keep the pressure and flow rate up due to using plenty of fittings as mentioned, but also as a fail safe. It is excessive and there are now 3 pumps in the system, but they can be run at a very low speed keeping things quiet.
Anyways while building it was a pain, up and running it works very well. Everything connects to the Aquero unit and managed via aquacomputer software which is amazing or the touchscreen panel on the external radiator. The fans in the system read water temperature and the fan’s adjust accordingly. Under heavy loads the GPU’s reach around 45 degrees while CPU for normal use / gaming is in the 50’s with a heavy overclock, or around 60 degrees under a heavy and continuous workload and all while remaining silent and the software does a great job and maintaining smooth fan profiles.
Final thing will be to add in Primochill VUE which I have ordered. To date I used to use Mayhems Aurora 2, which in my simple loops is fine. But given the complexity of this loop, I can’t have particles settling in random spots without it being a headache.
In all pretty happy with the move to X299 and everything under water. Aesthetically it pretty much what I was after with a base monochorme look of silver/ black / metal and glass type finish. While the pic’s may seem to show lots of RGB, most the time I have it set to white on and just the motherboard rotating through few colors to keep it simple
Performance wise, the 7980XE and GPU’s smash through most my workloads and gaming is a blast but most importantly the system is a lot quieter compared to running on blower cooler’s in a tight stack. This is worth alot when I am performing work on some of my simulation model's having the piece and quiet, yet at the same time the performance. There were some other changes as part of v2.0 in addition to the above, notably the PSU. My previous 1200w Corsair HXi was insufficient and kept tripping being able to pull more than 1200 watts under load when overclocked. The third GPU pushed it over the edge. The AXi would not be my first choice, but as I had sleeved the cables for my HXi prior, they could be reused on the AXi fine.
V2.0 has ticked off what was my biggest to do item when I put it under water. Going forward, the only changes i forsee is a move to Volta or whatever the gaming version of that is and a move to the ASUS PG35VQ whenever it lands. I will be looking to move my RAM to one of my other system’s sooner rather than later and pick up another kit, but as most my tasks are not RAM intensive, it's not urgent and would really be more of me wanting to tinker with higher speed kits rather than needing it.