Gigabyte 3D Mercury Case - Get Into Liquid - Installation - Getting Started With The Merc

Article Index
Gigabyte 3D Mercury Case - Get Into Liquid
3D Mercury - It is What is Inside That Cools!
Cooling System Closeup and Full Specs
Installation - Getting Started With The Merc
Installation - Waterblock, Hardware and More!
3D Merc. - Add Water, Test Setup and Info.
3D Mercury - Q6600 Overclocking and Conclusion

Installation - Getting Started:

Gigabyte includes excellent documentation with the 3D Mercury Pro, and we referred to it a few times during installation to make sure we were doing everything right.  There is a full color quick installation guide included as well as a larger more detailed manual that covers everything from installation to replacement of individual parts of the Liquid Cooling System.  The documentation is quite good, but not perfect.

We started off by installing the Power Supply as recommended by Gigabyte - and I concur.  Once your PSU is installed, you can plug it in (switch in off position) and have the rest of your system properly grounded.  The PSU gets installed in a bracket that is secured to the rear of the case with four thumbscrews.  You have to use regular screws to secure the PSU to the bracket, but bracket installation in the case is tool-less.

 

 Frame Strapped to PSU
PSU Bracket Attached
 PSU Installed
PSU Installed

 

We are using the Zalman ZM600-HP Heatpipe Cooled PSU for this build.  It has proven itself to be solid and work very well is dual and quad core setups.

Once we've got the PSU installed, we can remove the CPU block from its secure shipping location and start the motherboard installation.

 WaterBlock Strapped For Shipping
WaterBlock Strapped For Shipping
Rear WB Bracket
Rear Stiffener Bracket

 

The Gigabyte CPU Water Block requires a stiffener plate for Socket 775 systems, but simply uses a clip to fasten to AMD Socket 939/940/AM2 motherboards.  The stiffener plate has an adhesive that helps keep it in place while you install the board in the case.  I've seen some cooling systems neglect using a rigid plate on Intel systems, and the board will flex if you over tighten the block.

Speaking of the CPU block . . .

 CPU Block Sticker
CPU Block Sticker
 CPU Block Finish
CPU Block Finish

 

The finish on the block is pretty good - and it appears to be very flat.  It isn't as smooth as a Zalman block, but it should work fine.  I know that some will want to polish this to a better finish, but we will test it as is ships.

Once we've got the CPU block out of the way we can proceed with the actual motherboard installation.  Some case manufacturers pre-install some motherboard stand-offs, but Gigabyte leaves them all up to you.  I prefer this because if a user is in a hurry and doesn't carefully check the location of the stand-offs, they could leave an extra stand-off installed that will short out the board.  I've seen this happen when some neighbors built a computer and it kept rebooting.

The MSI 975X Platinum Power Up Ed. V2 board we're using has a standard 9-hole ATX layout and once the stand-offs were installed we dropped in the board to secure it with some screws.

Bad Screw Angle
Bad Screw Angle

 

This is where we noticed the first minor issue.  The GBT Valves are somewhat in the way of the bottom corner and they cannot be removed easily.  This causes a pretty sharp angle to the bottom right corner of the motherboard.  It is possible, but you should take care so the screwdriver doesn't slip and you take a chunk out of your motherboard.

With the board installed, you can see that there is plenty of room to work inside this case.  The motherboard tray is not removable, but with this much room it isn't a big deal.  Even super long 8800GTX or HD2900 graphics cards can fit comfortable inside the 3D Mercury Pro.

 

Board Installed
Board Installed

 

We'll carry on installation of the water block and wiring on the next page.