Non-destructive watercooling mod for Razer Core X Chroma... and why I switched b...
 
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Non-destructive watercooling mod for Razer Core X Chroma... and why I switched back to the Mantiz Venus.  

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Kelvin Tan
(@kelvin_tan)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

Due to the Radeon VII and its fan issues, been running a watercooled Mantiz Venus for a few weeks now.

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Have a Razer Core X Chroma sitting in the box unused, and thanks to a suggestion from @itsage, wanted to mod an enclosure around it to be able to take a clean 240 or 360mm radiator on top. Finished product first - loving the wood combi with the Noctua fans colour scheme.

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Went out with the wife to the local DIY store and found myself a nice wooden box for cheap (USD$8), measuring 400 x 200 x 300 (Length x Width x Height mm). Did some pre-planning for an EKWB 240mm radiator and marking cutouts. For the plan, I only needed to do pocket cuts in the wood for the top (radiator) and rear panel (IO).

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Took it to the garden where I set up a working bench to cut it with a jigsaw and a drill.

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It works! One non-straight edge but everything fits nicely - in fact the radiator can is a snug fit and needs no support from the bottom - it's tight and secure.

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Mounting the pump, fan controller (a USD$8 Zhiyun china controller that actually is very capable and does what I needed) and RGB lighting + controller.

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Slotting the Razer Core X Chroma caddy + Radeon VII inside and hooking up the tubes.

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Topping up the reservoir at the back was a bit of a pain, but just be careful and know what you are doing and it's not really an issue.

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Hook it up... and it's done! Was planning on getting an acrylic pane and cutting it to size, then affix it to the open side of the enclosure with hinges as a door. However...

Mini-review of Razer Core X Chroma (in my experience)

  • USB is flaky. I'm using a USB 2 hub at my desk with a Drevo Blademaster Pro keyboard (tried wireless and wired) and a Logitech wireless G900. They had no issues with my Mantiz Venus, but surprisingly, on the Core X Chroma with it's dual TB design, the keyboard and mouse was flaky. Not sure if it could be interference from the pump to the board. This happens for both my MBP 15" and X1 Tablet Gen 3.
  • The dreaded Error 12. I always wondered why people are complaining about Error 12 in Bootcamp. My Mantiz Venus AND Core X (not chroma) with Vega 56, Radeon VII, GTX1080Ti, and RX580 never had an issue in Bootcamp - it was just plug in, install the latest AMD drivers from Bootcampdrivers.com, and i'm good to go. With the Core X Chroma, I now had to deal with the error 12 issue of not having enough PCI resources.
  • Radeon VII junction temps dropped by... 4 Celsius. The primary reason for me doing this mod was to use a 240mm radiator. I could use a 240mm radiator in my Mantiz Venus mod, but aesthetically I didn't quite like a tower rad looming in the background. Thought I could get junction temps to drop by 10C or something (overclocked 2000mhz/1100mV) with a 240mm radiator... turns out it dropped only 4 Celsius (87C to 83C). While it's still a drop, it's not worth having to deal with the other two issues.

As a result, I'm back to the Mantiz Venus with a cute little CLC backpack behind (+ some further cleanup of CLC fittings and tubes arrangements). Happy as a clam. I'll keep the Core X Chroma around as another backup egpu enclosure, but for those who have a Core X (or even Core X Chroma) who wants to give a non-destructive mod for water-cooling a try, take a trip down to the DIY store and see if you can get a right-sized wooden box or build one yourself.

I do love the look of a wooden egpu enclosure on the desk, maybe i'll mod the Mantiz Venus into one!

This topic was modified 12 months ago

X1 Yoga Gen3, X1 Tablet Gen 3, MacBook Pro 15" 2018
Razer Core X / Mantiz Venus
Asrock Radeon VII, Zotac Nvidia 1080Ti Amp Core Extreme, Powercolor Vega 56 reference (flashed to V64 bios)


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

Love this! Love the wood. I need to get back to designing my custom enclosure. 

I had had a nightmare with error 12, you’re lucky to have a MacBook that’s super easy to set up.

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 560 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 [build link]  


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Kelvin Tan
(@kelvin_tan)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@eightarmedpet you should! I'll buy a good well-designed enclosure from you in a heartbeat. Current enclosures are lacking in so many areas.

X1 Yoga Gen3, X1 Tablet Gen 3, MacBook Pro 15" 2018
Razer Core X / Mantiz Venus
Asrock Radeon VII, Zotac Nvidia 1080Ti Amp Core Extreme, Powercolor Vega 56 reference (flashed to V64 bios)


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

Love this! Love the wood. I need to get back to designing my custom enclosure. 

I had had a nightmare with error 12, you’re lucky to have a MacBook that’s super easy to set up.

@eightarmedpet, hahaha
Error 12 is a nightmare tale to scare children, best told at camp fire. Rational people like me are not afraid of such stories :p

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680

 
2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 & macOS 10.15.4 [build link]  


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Kelvin Tan

This information is really interesting and unsettling, too. "Common sense" says that those problems are no dependent of the eGPU enclosure because they use the same TB3-controller. It may be that Core X Chroma did something wrong when adding the USB-Ports and Ethernet-Port.

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680

 
2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 & macOS 10.15.4 [build link]  


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Kelvin Tan
(@kelvin_tan)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@oliverb same here, i would have thought that the pci resource allocation issues is independent of egpu chassis.

On the Error 12 message - just tried again with the Razer Core X Chroma + Vega 56... same thing Error 12.

USB issues wise... now this is interesting:

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  • Stock config + Vega 56 (No pump no wooden enclosure, Razer Chroma is as is out-of-box
  • Peripherals connected via a USB 2 hub is a Drevo Blademaster Pro keyboard on USB, and a Logitech G900 via USB wireless dongle
  • On X1 Tablet Gen 3 (Windows), I have severe unusable lag. See the screencast here.
  • In MacOS, on Macbook Pro... no issues. Everything is smooth.
  • Can't test in Bootcamp MBP as I didn't want to resolve the Error 12.
  • So USB issues have nothing to do with pump or circuitry in the customised enclosure.

I'm hoping Apple announces support for Nvidia GPUs tmr @ WWDC, then I'll use the Chroma as an enclosure for an Nvidia card and try again.

This post was modified 12 months ago

X1 Yoga Gen3, X1 Tablet Gen 3, MacBook Pro 15" 2018
Razer Core X / Mantiz Venus
Asrock Radeon VII, Zotac Nvidia 1080Ti Amp Core Extreme, Powercolor Vega 56 reference (flashed to V64 bios)


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Kelvin Tan

@oliverb same here, i would have thought that the pci resource allocation issues is independent of egpu chassis.

On the Error 12 message - just tried again with the Razer Core X Chroma + Vega 56... same thing Error 12.

@Kelvin_Tan
When exactly do get the Error 12 with the Vega56 in Bootcamp?
1) When you hot-plug the eGPU?
2) When you boot with the eGPU plugged in?

(Note: I have always 1), too, looks inevitable to me with an AMD eGPU, so I go way 2). where it never happens).

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680

 
2018 15" MacBook Pro (RP560X) [8th,6C,H] + RX 5700 XT @ 32Gbps-TB3 (ASUS XG Station Pro) + Win10 & macOS 10.15.4 [build link]  


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Kelvin Tan
(@kelvin_tan)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

@oliverb both hotplug and boot with egpu I get error 12. I'm not running any scripts or any mods of any kind apart from using the drivers from Bootcampdrivers.com

Switching to the mantiz Venus it works immediately - and when the Vega 56 was in the mantiz Venus it works fine too.

X1 Yoga Gen3, X1 Tablet Gen 3, MacBook Pro 15" 2018
Razer Core X / Mantiz Venus
Asrock Radeon VII, Zotac Nvidia 1080Ti Amp Core Extreme, Powercolor Vega 56 reference (flashed to V64 bios)


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 3 years ago
 

@kelvin_tan ha, thanks for the kind words of encouragement! Just realised I can cannibalise my Thunder 3 with a bigger PSU and some custom cables and I am half way their... plan is to find a way to integrate a TB3 add in card too so I can directly power my 5k in the same way a Blackmagic eGPU can (might also buy one of them to test for myself Bootcamp compatibility).

Either that or grab a Mantiz, I could fit the card inside that and the space grey model looks great in your pics...

@Oliverb HA! Just wait until you have a model that encounters error 12, it can be a bloody nightmare! (and yeah you are right, it is related to resources - so additional ports and gubbins only serve to make it more likely to occur - hence having to disable my iSight camera in my TB3 display).

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

---

LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix

 
2017 13" MacBook Pro [7th,2C,U] + RX 560 @ 32Gbps-TB3 (AKiTiO Node Lite) + macOS 10.15.4 & Win10 [build link]  


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joevt
(@joevt)
Noble Member
Joined: 3 years ago
 

Is error 12 caused by the eGPU having two Thunderbolt controllers, or does error 12 not occur for your system with all eGPUs that have two Thunderbolt controllers?

Mac mini (2018), Mac Pro (Early 2008), MacBook Pro (Retina, 15-inch, Mid 2015), GA-Z170X-Gaming 7, Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 580 8GB GDDR5, Sonnet Echo Express III-D, Trebleet Thunderbolt 3 to NVMe M.2 case


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