Flips out of the way with the rotary fittings so that it does not interfere with the front filter and cover plate
Tubes for the pump and reservoir are coiled up in the 5.25" bay in this shot while I was waiting on a replacement. The XSPC dual bay pump and reservoir that I received were the V1 version that had the issue with the top warping and potentially leaking. I ordered mine from Sidewinder Computers under the assumption that it would be the V2 version since XSPC's site says all of the retailers have the new version in stock. Unfortunately the one that I received was an old version that XSPC had sent Sidewinder Computers (not Sidewinder's fault) and since they used the same packaging for V1 and V2 there was no way to know until I had it in hand and opened. Gary at Sidewinder was awesome and really did an excellent job getting me a replacement (really cant speak highly enough of his customer service skills!)
. Waiting for the replacement was excruciating since I had finished the rest of the build while I was waiting for the replacement.
Very happy with the way that I managed to get the tubing on this build; I wanted nice straight tubes and I think I did a pretty good job. I would love to do rigid acrylic tubing, but as this was my first foray into water cooling I figured I would get my feet wet so to speak with traditional tubing. Good thing is that I have something to look forward to on my next build.
I bought three packs of the XSPC 7/16" tubing (ended up opening two) and with the first pack I used it was quite difficult to screw the compression rings on the Monsoon fittings down; I think I would have been in trouble if it was not for the tool that they give you with those fittings. At first I thought that maybe the Monsoon fittings and the XSPC tubing just were not getting along, but when I had to open the second package of XSPC tubing the fittings went on like butter. Basically there was some variance (very small but enough) in the tubing outside diameter to make things a little difficult. The inside diameter of the tubing seemed consistent between packages and fit nice and snug on the compression barbs.
Close up shots of the RAM installed
I really like having sleeved cables so I tend to focus on them in the pictures
I read a lot about water cooling before jumping in and I always heard the same thing about assembling the fittings on the blocks: Hand Tighten. So I followed that methodology when building my rig and for the most part it worked out fine. The only leak that I had when filling and leak testing was with the blanking covers. I think that it comes down to the fact that since they are so narrow depth wise, it can be hard to get a good grip on them with your fingers. When I went to tighten the one that was leaking up I used a penny for leverage and it was only then that I noticed how loosely they where installed. Tightened them all up with the coin and I was leak free after that.
Really would like a backplate for this card, but I have been unable to find one that is verified to fit. The EVGA 770 backplate looks like the hole pattern would match up with my Zotac 770 4GB card, so I think I will give it a try when I add my second card in a few months and have that part of the loop tore down.
I noticed while writing this post and looking at these three shots, that my 24 pin ATX connector cables got a little messy while I was doing the final wiring of the power supply inside the case. I know what I am doing tomorrow...
Was thinking about stitching my sleeved cables for neatness, but I really do like the more "natural" look (just not this "natural"
Very happy with the way that the orange LEDs worked out. I think I may need to get an LED lighting strip for the case and wire it up to a toggle switch installed in one of the expansion slots. The 900D is so big it is like trying to light up a cave.Things still left to do:
- Case lighting
- Second GTX 770 card and water block (in a few months or if I find a really good sale)
- Backplates for the GPU(s)
- Buy another 900D drive cage with the built in SATA back-plane when they start selling them
I also might make a plexiglass panel using translucent orange plexiglass and opaque black plexiglass. I would use a router to cut a geometric pattern or some lines in the black plexi and then epoxy the orange plexi to the back. Add a couple LED holes on the edge of the orange plexi and then only the areas that had the cutouts would have an orange glow. This piece would be mounted to the right of the motherboard and to the left of the drive cages to fill in the empty area. I was thinking a simple clean pattern would look nice and this would also help light the case.
Now that I have the rig up and running I am very happy with the performance thus far and I really have to say that I love water cooling now that I have tried it. Two words: Cool & QuietCool
I do not have anything overclocked yet but with the CPU and GPU stressed to 100% and the fans on 1000 RPM the GPU stabilized at 52 C and the CPU never goes above 45 C (turbo boost at 3.7 GHz). Played Final Fantasy XIV for the first time on this machine and it was super smooth at 2560x1440 on max settings and the GPU was hovering around 37 C. When playing games with my previous build my GTX 460s would run at around 88 C and would be laggy and display funny things due to the 1GB VRAM.Quiet
With the fans cranked all the way to 1850 RPM on the fan controller the thing is still very very quite, but 95% of the time I will be running them at 1000 RPM and at that speed they are basically silent. Coming from an air cooled build with two GTX 460s in SLI that sounded like jets taking off when I was gaming, it is like night and day. I have my D5 pump set to 4.5 / 5 and it is pretty darn quite. I was nervous because I wanted to go with a bay reservoir and pump combo for simplicity on my first build, but I was reading about pump decoupling after I had placed my order. It turns out that the pump and reservoir really do not resonate with the 900D so I am very happy. I think for my next build I will go with a tube reservoir to fill up the case a little more (I plan on using my 900D for quite a few years to come!). XSPC just released this one, which had it been out before I placed my order I may have been tempted: http://www.xs-pc.com/reservoirs/photon-270-tube-reservoir
I would like the say a big thanks to the OCN community for the inspiration and for answering my questions when I was planning this build. I also want to mention how great martinsliquidlab.org was when learning about this stuff; it really felt like a one stop shop for everything you need to know. Being new to water cooling, the stuff that I learned from these resources was invaluable.
Let me know what you think, I look forward to reading your comments.Edited by daveys93 - 9/8/13 at 8:54pm