Add me to the club!
My last case was an Aerocool Xpredator, which is a half-decent case for air, and does allow fitting XL boards with room to use a triple slot GPU in the bottom slot if need be (which is why I originally bought it, running two Matrix Platinum 7970s).
The Matrix cards are gone (thank god), replaced with two 780 Ti's I'm going to put on water. Since I need to run at least a 360/240 setup with that much TDP, the Aerocool wouldn't work, it's really only got room for one top mounted 240 and two fans without hacking up the drive cages, and even that top clearance is tight. So it had to go.
First thought was a Corsair 750D, but the shipping costs to Malta almost double the price, if
you can find one in stock. And really, with just one SSD and one HDD, did I need all that drive flexibility? Same with the second choice, the NZXT Switch 810.
Imagine my surprise when I saw Amazon UK had the 540 Air on sale for only £102. Ran it through the cart, figuring at least 50 quid to ship, and got another surprise....only £12 to ship to Malta! I think they screwed that up, since it came from UPS and arrived last Friday, even though Amazon said next Monday, but hey, I'm not complaining! Added a NZXT Hue to the order after getting some inspiration from this thread, as it too was on sale, and it didn't change the shipping costs.
The plan was to do the swap over and water cooling build over the long holiday break (20th through the 6th), but since the case and Hue arrived early, I couldn't resist getting started early.
I went from this:
Temps dropped a few C across the board, even though I had the same AF140's in the Aerocool (one is in the 5.25 bay) along with 200mm BitFenix intake fans in the side panel and front. Needless to say, it's also a lot quieter, since both those BitFenix fans were pulling against some restriction.
As mentioned countless times in this thread (and yes, I've read the whole thing since ordering the case last Tuesday!), this thing is a pleasure to build in. I scavenged the 3.5 to 5.25 adaptor from the Aerocool case and mounted my HDD in the 5.25 bay behind the NZXT Hue controller. That solved the potential PSU clearance, the overly long hot-swap connector mess, and the unsightly look of a silver OEM HDD in the front floor of the 540.
Really looking forward to getting the CPU/GPU/GPU loop installed (and being able to lose that annoying
H100i pump whine is almost justification for the expense alone!)
I'll post some more pics up next week when the WC bits arrive (XSPC Razor GPU blocks and backplates, Raystorm dual-bay D5 AX360 kit, AX240 rad, Photon 170 reservoir, 8 more SP120 PWM QE's, temp sensors I'll be running off the mobo headers, PWM splitters, a whole bunch of red and matte black Monsoon compression and rotary fittings, red and black sleeved cables, and additional red LEDs for the blocks).
Right now I'm planning to use the red block LEDs and fittings as accents, go with dark red dye in clear tubing, add a splash of red with some red BitFenix and Corsair sleeved cables, while lighting the rest of the case with the Hue in medium brightness white, and also run a white LED in the Photon res .
I also ordered some Mayhem's Pastel Red concentrate, but regret buying that since I decided to go with the Photon reservoir, as the opaque coolant will kill most of the acrylic light tube bling factor, and won't quite match the darker anodized red bits on the mobo and fittings, even if I darken it up.
I might even do a build log if I can remember to slow down and take pics. I'm hoping there's not going to be any issues mounting the 7" Photon 170 reservoir in the vented area just above the expansion slots, and I suspect I can manage push/pull on the AX240, and be a fan short of full push/pull on the AX360.TL;DR? This is a great case!