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Swiftech MCW6500-T TEC (Peltier) Assisted Water Block

hardnrg    -   June 14, 2007
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Installation:

Right, so the TEC-block is ready for Socket 939, the Meanwell PSU has its brackets attached, so things are ready to rock and roll. What do you do now? Strip down your entire case to the bare chassis. What?! Yes, that's right, take everything out of your case in preparation for the hole you're going to cut. What hole? The one for the IEC C14 mains socket. Here's the back of my stripped down case chassis, you can see there are few places I could fit the mains connector.




The actual hole cutting is really easy. Swiftech suggest a 1 1/4" (32mm) holesaw. I measured the diagonal length of the housing of the connector to be 30mm and went for a 29mm holesaw instead going on previous experience of the holesaw producing a slightly bigger hole than its stated size. Here is the holesaw locked onto a 6mm arbor drill bit on my Ryobi drill.


Low RPM, high pressure, high torque and lubrication are needed for cutting thick or hard steel. My case is quite hard, so it took some steady cutting at around 240RPM to get through it. Most PC cases will be a lot easier to cut through so mine is sort of a "worst case" scenario. Ba-dum-tsssh!

I masked off an area above the 120mm exhaust and below the PSU. I'd eyed up this area before with the rig running and deemed it suitable for placing the connector there and fitting the relay next to it, running the cables neatly, etc.

 


If it's steel, remember to cut using drilling lubricant or some kinda oil. You could use WD-40 or something similar if you don't have actual cutting/drilling oil. Cutting dry into steel produces heat. Heat in turn makes the steel harder and more difficult to cut. So this can easily escalate to a point where the steel becomes too hot and hard to cut and you will just wear down your holesaw instead.

Place the IEC C14 connector in its mounting position and mark out the screw holes. Swiftech say 3mm, but I went up to 3.2mm. De-burr the edges with sandpaper or a half-moon needle file and you'll end up with something like this:

 


The mounting plate of the connector will cover up any damage to paintwork caused from cutting, drilling, sanding, or filing. Just keep in mind how big the mounting plate is and don't go crazy with the sanding / filing. At this point, you will want to clean out your case and make sure there are no iron filings (or aluminium filings?) in your case and de-grease the case to wipe up the cutting oil.

Okay, once you've done that, use the supplied screws and nuts to fasten the connector to the chassis. The relay module has an adhesive foam pad that lets you stick the relay to the inside of the chassis. Make sure the area is free of grease or dirt and stick it somewhere near the mains connector. Swiftech suggest a spacing of at least 1/4" (6.35mm) between the relay module and the mains connector. Here are the IEC C14 mains connector and relay module installed in the case:

 


How does that relay module work then? Glad you asked. Basically the relay module turns the Meanwell PSU on whenever your main computer PSU is on. How does it do that? Well, a 4-pin Molex is connected to one of your main PSU's molex lines and when your computer is turned on, the 12 Volts from the Molex activates the relay coil. This switches on the relay and passes the Live mains power to the Meanwell PSU. This makes it a lot easier to power the TEC when your PC is in operation. Carefully observe the mains wiring assignment for the socket terminals in the diagram below.


If your computer is turned on and the TEC was not powered up, the TEC acts as an insulator and the processor would become hot very quickly. Conversely, if the TEC is powered up, but the water pump is not powered (assuming it is a 12V pump powered from the main PSU), then the TEC itself will overheat and quickly deteriorate if its temperature exceeds 85°C.

Right, so the connector and relay are installed and we can just put the Meanwell PSU in the drive bay and hook it up, right? Wrong! I don't know if Swiftech or Meanwell produce the adapter brackets, but for some unknown reason, they are tapped with #4-40 UNC threads. I'm told they are very common in the US, but the standard for 5.25" drive bay screws is M3-50. Different diameter, different thread pitch, very annoying. So I had to buy a tap and die set and re-tap the threads to M3 to allow me to fit my "cheese head" screws. This has to be a manufacturing oversight. There is no reason to use #4-40 UNC threads here. The only screws I could find with those threads are the D-Sub jack posts - the things that are either side of VGA, serial, etc connectors.


It was an excuse to finally buy a tap and die set anyway, not sure how I've made it this far in life without one! So here is the Meanwell 320 PSU mounted in a drive bay.


The PSU is quite long, longer than most optical drives. The installation instructions suggest mounting it in the top drive bay. This would make sense I suppose, for cable routing and the exhaust fan would not be blocked by optical drives above it. But at the top spot, it's going to be blocked by the top case panel unless you mod a blowhole there. The PSU accessory kit comes with an 80mm fan guard and suggests that you mod a blowhole in the top of your case, if you mount the PSU in the top drive bay.

My case configuration makes it impossible to place the Meanwell in the top four, of six, 5.25" bays. This is because of my radiator air intake duct. No matter though, the PSU is fine down at the bottom 5.25" drive bay. It is still level with the main PSU, so it is roughly situated in the same place as the top 5.25" bay of a mid-tower case.

 


There is a transparent plastic cover that clips in place to cover the terminals. You just pull it off either at the top edge or bottom edge and it lets you use the screw terminals to hook up the mains power cables. Make sure you got the wiring correct at the connector end and then match up the crimped connectors to the screw terminals. If the white, black, green colours are not familar to you (in the UK it's brown = live, blue = neutral, green/yellow = earth) then the cables are even labeled to avoid any confusion. This is good, because confusion and mains electricity aren't a good mix.




  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look (Meanwell 320W PSU)
  3. Installation (Meanwell PSU)
  4. Installation (Motherboard Preparation)
  5. Installation (CPU & MCW6500-T)
  6. Specifications
  7. Testing (Opteron 170: Stock)
  8. Testing (Opteron 170: Overclocked)
  9. Testing (3500+ Venice: Stock)
  10. Testing (3500+ Venice: Overclocked)
  11. Conclusion
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