HP BlackBird 002

In December 2007, I bought an HP BlackBird 002 A1 computer. It came equipped with an ASUS Striker Extreme motherboard, an Intel Core Extreme CPU Q6850 overclocked to 3.3 GHz, 4 GB of Corsair RAM, and 2 EVGA GTX 8800 Ultras running in SLI mode. The CPU was water cooled using an Asetek LCLC system similar to the new Corsair H50 but with a 240mm radiator instead of the 120mm radiator which comes with the H50. Along with the BlackBird, I also bought a 30 inch (76.20 cm) HP LP3065c LCD monitor and a Creative 7.1 THX speaker system. After 3 years it was time for an upgrade. This time around I decided that I would water cool not only the CPU but also the video cards and the North- and Southbridge as well. I also wanted to reduce fan noise so I would replace all existing fans with newer, quieter models that push more air, to complement the additional fans I would need to place in the BlackBird for the extra radiator that I planned to acquire to help cool all the components. To provide more power and quiet the Blackbird even more, I replaced the original PSU, a Topower Powerbird 1100W, with a Corsair 1200W Professional Gold Series PSU. To improve hard disk performance, I installed a Western Digital WD6000HL, 600GB 10,000 RPM boot drive. I also decided to buy top of the line components for this upgrade project. Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit is used as the OS. Three 1.5 GB Seagate ST31500341AS 7,200 RPM drives, used for storage, are the only components that remain from the original build.
HP BlackBird 002
This is a list of water cooling components purchased.
HP BlackBird 002
This is a list of the PC components purchased for the upgrade. They were the best available at time of purchase. Since the original upgrade, I have made a few…
HP BlackBird 002
This slide shows how how I set up the water cooling loop for all the components.
HP BlackBird 002
I did some benchmarking prior to the upgrade of the new system to full water cooling. The following results show the before and after idle temperature readings…
HP BlackBird 002
The buildout went smoothly and I was able to overclock the I7 – 980X processor from the stock speed of 3.33 GHz to 4.5 GHz without any major problems. To save…
HP BlackBird 002
As you can see in this photo, I was able to run the tubing in such a way that the majority of it will never be seen.
HP BlackBird 002
Another view of the tubing placement.
HP BlackBird 002
Yet another view of the tubing placement.
HP BlackBird 002
The build out turned out quite nicely. This is a view of the top compartment. An additional fan which is not shown in this photo has been added to the 120mm…
HP BlackBird 002
This is a closeup view of the second compartment where the NVidia GTX 480's reside. The tubing coming in from the top compartment goes into the water block of…
HP BlackBird 002
This is the bottom compartment where the PSU resides. I placed the water pump and the t-line in this compartment.
HP BlackBird 002
This is a view of all three compartments. I think you will agree it is a very clean build. I used the fill / bleed tubing as my reservoir and runs hidden all…
HP BlackBird 002
Another view of the Blackird with the left side door removed but all the components installed.
HP BlackBird 002
Another view of the BlackBird.
HP BlackBird 002
View of my home office setup.