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First watercooled build

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
So this is going to be a pretty shoddy build log. I had planned on taking pictures of all the boxes, the individual components, all that....but I got too excited and just wanted to put it together so I didn't really get any pictures until the end. I'll share my experience with the build anyway.

So my last PC I put together in 2010. It was based around an AMD Phenom II X6 1090T and an EVGA GTX470 graphics card. That was techically my first watercooled build since I used an H80 I think it is. It was a smaller single rad so I threw two Scythe Ultra Kaze fans on it in push-pull with a fan controller. It was pretty loud and while the CPU is still probably fine for my use (WoW, Diablo, LoL, KSP, occassional FarCry or Skyrim or a flight sim) the single GTX470 is now pretty dated. I had a rough year personally in 2014. I had been saving up for a house down payment but the circumstances surrunding that changed for the worse. With that out of the cards for the foreseeable future I decided to treat myself and use a chunk of that money to build myself an entirely new PC instead of just upgrading my old one. I bought all the parts in multiple orders through a combination of Newegg, Amazon, and a local MicroCenter store over the span of a month or two around Black Friday just buying the parts I wanted as they came on sale. With that background info out of the way, on to my thoughs about the components and my build experience. First of all, the parts

Processor-Intel i5 4690K
Motherboard-MSI Z97 Gaming 5
Memory-16GB G.SKILL Sniper Series DDR3 2400
Graphics-2x Gigabyte GTX970 G1 Gaming in SLI
Hard Drives-256 GB Samsung 850 PRO SSD for the OS/some applications and a 1TB WD Black for other storage
PSU-Corsair HX850
Cooling-EK-KIT X360 Watercooling Kit
Case-Thermaltake Urban T81
Other-Picked up a third ASUS VE28H 24" monitor for Surround, an Ergotech Triple monitor stand, 3 Noctua NF-F12 fans for the rad, and my first mechanical keyboard a Ducky Shine 3

An aside on why I went with a pre-packaged watercooling kit. From everything I researched all of the components in the kit are a solid choice so I wasn't paying for junk. I also have horrible luck, the last thing I wanted was to have forgotten something I needed to assemble my loop. Keep this in mind

I had planned on putting the whole PC together while visiting my family on work holiday. How great to spend all day Christmas putting together a PC, eating, and drinking. I live in the DC area and my family is in NJ. because of that I had most of the parts shipped up to NJ and they had been sitting unopened for a few weeks. The first thing I did when I arrived Christmas Eve was abandon all hope of pretty unboxing pictures and tear everything open. Some of my random thoughs included "Wow this case is huge", "The packaging on Corsair PSU's is ridiculous. Is that a fake felt bag they box it in?", "Wow these video cards are huge", "This is the sturdiest keyboard I've ever felt in my life", "Wow this radiator is huge". Seriously though the hardware is all pretty, I love the motherboards black PCB but I wish it wasn't covered in dragons. My enthusiasm came to an abrupt halt however when I found that EK's watercooling kit was missing all 8 of the compression fittings. One of the largest reasons I went with the kit was so I didn't forget any parts, and the kit came missing parts. I knew EK was a foreign company so I contacted FrozenCPU where I purchased it. They were very understanding of my frustration and without me having to ask they offered to ship out the 8 missing compression fittings. It's unfortunate that since this happened around the holidays I didn't get them in time to complete my build before having to return home. I do wish they would have overnighted or even shipped 2nd day delivery (I spoke to FrozenCPU on Wednesday and got the delivery the following Tuesday) but in the end it's not a huge deal.

As far as when I was actually able to do the build it all went pretty smooth and I just wrapped everything up last night. It's awesome how much you can disassemble a case these days to help with routing wires and mounting things where you want them. Taking apart the waterblock to put in the right jet plate and mouting it to the CPU/Mobo with the backplate all went smoth. I did run into a few problems though such as not having anywhere to mount the resevoir which required me to drill additional holes in the case. The part I was most worried about was actually running the tubing and then filling/bleeding the loop, but it all went well! There's one or two very small bubbles still stuck in part of the waterblock after tilting/shaking the case but I believe they may work themselves out with time. The radiator filled better than I expected, I think due to the fact I mounted it vertically with the fittings on top. When all was said and done, no leaks! One of the more frustrating parts of the build was figuring out the new UEFI BIOS stuff and hard drive AHCI settings. The motherboard seemed to dislike USB devices in non USB 3.0 ports and refused to post and then for a while after I installed, windows wouldn't boot from the disk unless the install USB was left in. Very furstrating and a lot less complicated than my last builds with the "old school" BIOS.

Final thoughts, I think it looks awesome and I can't wait to try out some games on it (especially in surround). I've already noticed a few things I'll need to troubleshoot like intermittent un-responsiveneess in the desktop with surround enabled (ctrl+alt+delete is very slow to load) and flash player is unusably choppy in both firefox and IE (works great in chrome). I'll also need to get some rubber spaces for my pump mount because the case door starts to resonate with the pump vibration. The pictures I do have are below most are rushed and not great quality, thanks for reading!thumb.gif



Shiny polished waterblock



Fitment with res and video cards



Shot showing the radiator and the loop filled, so cloudy at first with tiny bubbles.



No Leaks!



Success!



Drool
New PC
(17 items)
 
Old Desktop
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 4690K MSI Z97 Gaming 5 2x GTX 970 SLI 16 GB G.SKILL Sniper Series DDR3 2400 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 850 Pro Western Digital Black EK Supremacy EVO  EK-CoolStream RAD XTX 360 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
EK DDC 3.2 PWM pump EK Res3x 150 Resevoir Windows 7 Professional 3x Asus VE248H 24" in Surround 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
Ducky Shine 3 Corsair HX850 Thermaltake Urban T81 O2+ODAC Amp+DAC 
Audio
AKG Q-701 Headphones 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsHard Drive
Phenom II X6 1090T Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 GTX-470 2 WD Caviar Black RAID 0 
  hide details  
Reply
New PC
(17 items)
 
Old Desktop
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 4690K MSI Z97 Gaming 5 2x GTX 970 SLI 16 GB G.SKILL Sniper Series DDR3 2400 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 850 Pro Western Digital Black EK Supremacy EVO  EK-CoolStream RAD XTX 360 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
EK DDC 3.2 PWM pump EK Res3x 150 Resevoir Windows 7 Professional 3x Asus VE248H 24" in Surround 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
Ducky Shine 3 Corsair HX850 Thermaltake Urban T81 O2+ODAC Amp+DAC 
Audio
AKG Q-701 Headphones 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsHard Drive
Phenom II X6 1090T Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 GTX-470 2 WD Caviar Black RAID 0 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 3
Awesome build man, i'm currently in the process of picking out my new rig and water cooling for the first time. I'm most likely going to go with a XSPC kit. You give me much hope! Great write up, was a pleasure to read!
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks and good luck! As long as your kit isn't missing any parts like mine it should be pretty straightforward.
New PC
(17 items)
 
Old Desktop
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 4690K MSI Z97 Gaming 5 2x GTX 970 SLI 16 GB G.SKILL Sniper Series DDR3 2400 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 850 Pro Western Digital Black EK Supremacy EVO  EK-CoolStream RAD XTX 360 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
EK DDC 3.2 PWM pump EK Res3x 150 Resevoir Windows 7 Professional 3x Asus VE248H 24" in Surround 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
Ducky Shine 3 Corsair HX850 Thermaltake Urban T81 O2+ODAC Amp+DAC 
Audio
AKG Q-701 Headphones 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsHard Drive
Phenom II X6 1090T Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 GTX-470 2 WD Caviar Black RAID 0 
  hide details  
Reply
New PC
(17 items)
 
Old Desktop
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel i5 4690K MSI Z97 Gaming 5 2x GTX 970 SLI 16 GB G.SKILL Sniper Series DDR3 2400 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 850 Pro Western Digital Black EK Supremacy EVO  EK-CoolStream RAD XTX 360 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
EK DDC 3.2 PWM pump EK Res3x 150 Resevoir Windows 7 Professional 3x Asus VE248H 24" in Surround 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
Ducky Shine 3 Corsair HX850 Thermaltake Urban T81 O2+ODAC Amp+DAC 
Audio
AKG Q-701 Headphones 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsHard Drive
Phenom II X6 1090T Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 GTX-470 2 WD Caviar Black RAID 0 
  hide details  
Reply
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