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New build - aesthetic advice needed

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'm new to overclock.net, but I have been tinkering with custom PC's for several years and currently "work" with and game on my custom built 17-930 with an SSD and dual GTX 570's and 12 GB of RAM.

I'm planning sort of an "all-out" build. My planned specs are 4770k, 32GB RAM, triple SLI 780's, Gigabyte sniper 5, corsair AX1200 fully sleeved, and custom water cooling single loop with 2 480 rads and probably a 120 rad to cool the mobo, CPU, and GPU's. Put that into a Corsair 900D. But hardware is not really why I am posting.

I'm trying to figure out exactly what I want to do for aesthetics. The first problem I tried to overcome was an ugly, stock SLI bridge. My thought for that is to take it to a small local custom paint shop that does airbrushing and have them air brush a design onto the SLI bridge using a stencil with a black primer coat underneath. My thought was I would put the EVGA logo across the middle of the SLI bridge with UV reactive green paint (from wildfirefx), and then the upper and lower portions of the SLI bridge would have the Nvidia claw logo painted on with invisible paint (from wildfirefx) that glows green under UV light but is normally invisible. So normally, you would only see the EVGA logo, but then when you turn on the UV, the Nvidia claw logos appear and glow green along with the EVGA logo.

Obviously I'm going to have UV lights. Not sure exactly what I'm going to use - still trying to figure that out. I need to get the case (probably next week) and start making some measurements and planning. Part of me wants to try and fit 1 or 2 (or maybe 3?) of wildfire's UltraRail series lamps with the blacklight blue bulbs around the perimeter of the case. I really don't want a purple or blue tinge to the case when I turn on the lights, which is why I was thinking of the BLB bulbs - they would also be really strong to give a maximum UV effect from sleeving/paint/water tubing. This presents issues though as they require 120V power. Thoughts on this? Any suggestions for good 12V lighting that doesn't cast an ugly blue/purple light? Or suggestion of how to sneak 120V power into the case? There looks to be plenty of room behind the mobo tray to have a short extension cord to plug in a couple 120V fixtures.

My other big sticking point right now is the tubing and coolant (and the SLI bridge design/paint) in conjunction with the sleeving. I am planning to do all the sleeving myself using MDPC sleeving (UV green on mobo/CPU/GPU power and black on fans/SATA power/etc.) and the shrinkless method. My concern is that the SLI bridge paint, sleeving, tubing, and coolant won't all be the same shade of green, especially when lit up with the UV light. My current thought is to use UV reactive tubing (PrimoChill PrimoFlex advanced LRT tubing, either atomic or pearl UV green) with clear coolant running through it.

Do you guys think the potential mismatch of colors/shades of green is a big problem? What have other people found using several different UV reactive products that are all "the same color?" I think it's just one of those things that would really annoy my type A personality. (I actually asked wildfire customer service if the green UV and invisible green paint are the same color, and they said they aren't - the visible green is more of a true green whereas the invisible green is more neon green). I guess I could paint all 3 logos on the SLI bridge with the invisible paint, but that still doesn't solve the problem of the paint/sleeving/tubing being different shades of green.

Sorry for the long post. Any thoughts? I'm at a point in life (right before several years of higher education) where this build would remain largely unchanged for several years after it's complete, so I want it to be done right. smile.gif
post #2 of 6
Something similar to this?
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Similar to that, yes. Obviously it would not be backlit though.

The more I think about it the more I am leaning towards having both the EVGA logo and the Nvidia claw logos painted in invisible UV green paint. My thought is I will use the OEM SLI bridge that comes with the mobo and take down the small bumps of solder that stick up from the PCB (probably super fine grit sandpaper). Then I'll have them apply a black basecoat/primer, and paint the invisible UV paint over that.
post #4 of 6
It seems like the sli bridge is causing you all kinds of concern. I'm not sure and I haven't looked into the next gen of Nvidia cards, but I believe Amd's newest cards have done away with the crossfire bridge and use bandwidth across the Pci-e ports. It's quite possible that Nvidia's new cards will do the same, although I haven't looked into it, but the release date most likely won't be for awhile and you'd be waiting for the greater part of a year.

As for the lighting issue I don't think you have an option if you don't want purplish or blue lighting. Black light bulbs give off a purplish tint. Ultraviolet light has no "color" because it is light that is at a wave length that is lower than the visible spectrum of light human's can see. The color associated with uv lights and black light bulbs is visible light that is being created and not blocked out of the filter. This usually appears violet or blueish because these are the closet colors to ultra violet on the visible spectrum. I haven't seen any UV lighting that gives off excess light in any other color than blue or purple.

Here's an interesting idea, look up uranium/vaseline glass. This is a glass made with small amounts of uranium which gives a strong green glow under ultra violet light. Might be cool to incorporate this some how. All I have read about the glass is that it is completely inert safe and is even used for drinking vessels so I imagine it would be fine in a computer.

As for using an extension cord in your case I'm not sure, as a former house manager know that fire-code prohibits permanent extension cord usage (I think permanent was longer then 45 days) in shared living spaces. Of course it's not like an extension cord is going to burst info flames or anything it's just a code, but if you are going to be cutting up and soldering on a cheap extension cord and running it into your case there is a real danger there for shorting out your pc or even getting shocked. One way to do it would be to cannabilze and older power supply and using it's receptacle and make a mounting space for it in the back of the case. Then you could just use a second pc power cord plugged into it. Would give a nice clean look and wouldn't even be very noticeable. Then you would just solder up your lights to the other end of the receptacle, which can be dangerous and would need to be properly insulated and I wouldn't recommend it unless you have experience with working on electronics, getting shocked by 110 AC is pretty painful.

As for the overall look of your intended case I'm sure it will look cool with all the lights and fluids and what not and you will go crazy if you keep worrying about such minute details that other's won't notice. Personally I like simpler cases and don't care for side windows so the looks of components don't really matter to me ^^
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I'll probably end up ordering the case tomorrow for delivery before the end of the week. Then I can finalize the planning and start making measurements for things like possible lighting, tubing, and a couple of PCI power cable mods I need to make.

Is there a specific forum that build work logs go in? I have looked through all of the forums and haven't found an obvious place where people document their builds.
post #6 of 6
Make a small acrylic plate to cover the bridge. You can do a lot with that once it's smooth. Use 3M black foam double sided tape.

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