Agreed. Both my cards are dual 6-pin so my +2's are all hidden. I actually didn't even bother sleaving them. Kind of regretting that now that I'm starting to look at upgrades and will most likely need them
For the top, you don't necessarily have to use dedicated screw holes. If there is mesh similar to the rear fan, you could use one of the mesh holes for the reservoir screws. If the holes are too large and allow the screw heads to pass through, you can use washers. I've never seen the top without the cover removed though so I don't know if there is mesh or not
7/16" ID x 5/8" OD is my personal preference. Has a great bend radius while still being sturdy enough to not kink. It's a happy medium between the slightly small looking 1/2" OD and the beefy 3/4" OD tubing. Plus it allows you to run clampless on 1/2" barbs. The added tightness of the 7/16" ID over the 1/2" barbs allow you to run without clamps, which IMHO looks fantastic for a much lower price than compression fittings.
This. The pump always goes above the reservoir. I would, if possible, move the reservoir up higher so the outlet from the reservoir to the pump is, at the very least, even with the inlet of the pump.Here's an idea. Lay the reservoir on it's side above the PSU and put the pump under it between the PSU and HDD cage.
There are also a few single bay reservoirs available.
Alphacool - This particular one supports the installation of the DDC pump into the res. There is a version that does not have a pump mount. There are also a few different Alphacool models that I didn't link that come in black or white instead of clear.
The limitation is not the TIM itself. It's the space between the die and the IHS. The IHS doesn't sit all the way down on the die like it should. There is a slight gap that causes poor contact between the die and IHS. The main reason people delid isn't mainly to change the TIM, it's to remove that gap by scrapping away the black glue gunk around the edge of the IHS to let it sit properly on the die.
All 9 of my AP-00s from the Group Buy had the same black marks. Probably just a QC indicator or something. Even after three light coats of spray paint, the markings are every so slightly visible if you know what you're looking for. Acetone or MEK would take the markings of easily.