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[ Build Log ] Nickel At Midnight - An Adventure In Watercooling

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
What originally started as an upgrade from Sandy Bridge to the Haswell X99 platform has turned into so much more. My original plan of having an all-black build was moving along fine, then something started to shimmer... Nickel At Midnight began to take shape.

This is technically my second venture into custom watercooling, after a series of component failures pushed me to scrap my Ncase M1 build. One of my favorite things about custom cooling components is that they are mostly transferable. In my case, I was able to move all of the components, with the exception of FrozenQ's custom M1 reservoir and the 240mm EK SE radiator, to my X99 build, which is housed in an NZXT S340.

Here's a quick component breakdown:

CPU: Intel i7-5820k
Motherboard: MSI X99A SLI Plus
RAM: G.Skill Value 32GB 2400MHz
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 3GB
SSD: Samsung 850 256GB
HDD: Western Digital 1.5TB Caviar Black
PSU: Corsair AXi 760

And the loop breakdown:

Pump: EK-D5 X-TOP (Plexi) w/ Swiftech MCP655
Reservoir: EK-RES X3 150
Radiators: EK-CoolStream CE 280, EK-CoolStream PE 120
Fans: EK-Vardar F3 140-ER x 2, EK-Vardar F3 120-ER, NZXT FZ-140 White LED
CPU Block: EK-Supremacy EVO Nickel
GPU Block: EK-FC780 GTX Ti - Nickel (Original CSQ)
Fittings: Nickel EK-ACF/AF fittings and adapters

Problems & Mods:

Upon receiving the radiators and installing them, or attempting to, into the case I realized that there would be a couple of issues. The first, and expected, was that the 280mm mounted to the front of the case was going to require the cable management bar to be removed. This was fine with me as I like seeing organized, sleeved cables, but what I didn't plan for was the removal of the header containing the power button, USB ports, and headphone and mic inputs. This also ended up being fine as a purchased another power switch that, in my opinion, looks nicer. Now there just needs to be some filling, sanding, and painting done.

The second, and biggest, problem I ran into was with the 120mm radiator in the rear of the case. Once mounted, it wouldn't allow the windowed side panel to lock into place, thus, I no longer have a functioning side panel. I used this as motivation to create a new panel option where I'll be using a painted acrylic sheet with a mix of matte black, frost, and clear finishes. The plan is to hold this in place with magnetic tape. This will be dependent on the strength of the magnetic tape, so any quality recommendations are appreciated!

This, along with the addition of a fill port to the top panel, are the only "hard" modifications I'll be making to the case. With the way things have been going so far I wouldn't be surprised if there's a couple more that will need to happen as well.

I've taken a few photos for the beginning of the build, which I'll add later as I'm at work currently, but I hope you'll join me in completing my first functioning custom loop! thumb.gif

Until next time!
post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 
Reserved for final pictures
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
As promised, some pics to introduce the build:


post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Today I'll begin patching up the cutouts left behind by the USB header and audio outputs, install the new power switch, and continue preparing things for a final assembly. A wrench was thrown into the spokes for my plan of adding a fill port, as it sits a little closer to my radiator than I thought. I'll have to try to figure something out in its place.

Things have continued to come in and I received my EK D5 Pump cover and new memory kit. I've painted the edges to keep with the black/nickel/plexi theme. Here's some pics.





I also found this little guy hanging out in my components drawer and thought he'd fit in quite nicely. I painted the bracket to match the rest of the build. It wouldn't be hard to run a cable from the modem, as I'll be sitting 2 feet away from it, but if I get decent speeds then it's one less cable I have to worry about!

post #5 of 8
Ah, nice thread. unfortunately I found your Ncase post before this one, and tried to help there.. now I see you have committed to a different path. I will say though, I went from my ncase watercooling first attempt to a Define S.. and that was fine untill I went to a LAN party and rediscovered how much more of a pain having a normal sized case is compared to the ncase. You might be less inclined to go back than I was if you haven't used the ncase for a while though, I had it as my main pc for over a year before I switched.. and now i'm back at it again. Can't beat that footprint.
Ryzen FT05
(19 items)
 
 
Barbed Define S
(22 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen 7 1700 @ 4ghz 1.416v Gigabyte X370 K7 Evga 1070 Superclocked Black Edition 8GB Gskill 16Gb 3200C14 Silver/Black (F4-3200C14D-1... 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 850 Evo 500GB Western Digital Red 3TB EK Supremacy EVO Full Nickel AM4 XSPC RS360 Radiator 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Liang 10W DDC w/ EK Top Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpm x3 @ 900rpm Windows 7 64bit Benq XL2420T 1080p120 with Lightboost 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ducky One w/ Chery Brown shwitches and White ke... be quiet! Pure Power 9 600W (spare) Silverstone FT05 Black w/ Window Zowie FK1 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Destructor Matrix Mini-I with Behringer Truth B3031A Activ... Audio Technica AD700's w/ Modmic powered by an ... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4790k Gigabyte H97N-Wifi EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC GAMING ACX 3.0 Black E... Corsair Veangance 1600c9 16gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 3TB WD Red Corsair H55 Ek Vardar F4-120ER Black x3 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Benq XL2420T Ducky One Cherry MX Brown Silverstone450w sfx 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Ncase M1 V1 #0594 Zowie FK1 Razer Destructor V1 Audio Technica AD700 
AudioAudio
Behringer Truth B3031A 8in Active monitors Matrix Mini-i 
  hide details  
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Ryzen FT05
(19 items)
 
 
Barbed Define S
(22 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen 7 1700 @ 4ghz 1.416v Gigabyte X370 K7 Evga 1070 Superclocked Black Edition 8GB Gskill 16Gb 3200C14 Silver/Black (F4-3200C14D-1... 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 850 Evo 500GB Western Digital Red 3TB EK Supremacy EVO Full Nickel AM4 XSPC RS360 Radiator 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
Liang 10W DDC w/ EK Top Scythe Gentle Typhoon 1850rpm x3 @ 900rpm Windows 7 64bit Benq XL2420T 1080p120 with Lightboost 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Ducky One w/ Chery Brown shwitches and White ke... be quiet! Pure Power 9 600W (spare) Silverstone FT05 Black w/ Window Zowie FK1 
Mouse PadAudioAudio
Razer Destructor Matrix Mini-I with Behringer Truth B3031A Activ... Audio Technica AD700's w/ Modmic powered by an ... 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 4790k Gigabyte H97N-Wifi EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 SC GAMING ACX 3.0 Black E... Corsair Veangance 1600c9 16gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 3TB WD Red Corsair H55 Ek Vardar F4-120ER Black x3 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 10 Benq XL2420T Ducky One Cherry MX Brown Silverstone450w sfx 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
Ncase M1 V1 #0594 Zowie FK1 Razer Destructor V1 Audio Technica AD700 
AudioAudio
Behringer Truth B3031A 8in Active monitors Matrix Mini-i 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VeritronX View Post

Ah, nice thread. unfortunately I found your Ncase post before this one, and tried to help there.. now I see you have committed to a different path. I will say though, I went from my ncase watercooling first attempt to a Define S.. and that was fine untill I went to a LAN party and rediscovered how much more of a pain having a normal sized case is compared to the ncase. You might be less inclined to go back than I was if you haven't used the ncase for a while though, I had it as my main pc for over a year before I switched.. and now i'm back at it again. Can't beat that footprint.

Yeah, I still have my M1 laying around. I'll build in it again someday! I just wish there was an X99 ITX board other than the Asrock.

Maybe someone will surprise us with Broadwell-E!
post #7 of 8
Is this just a build, or will you be modding the case?
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
There are plans to mod the case, I've just run out of spare time to do so lately. I'm planning on creating a full acrylic side panel and backlit plexi midplate to replace the current PSU/HDD shroud.

I've been held up recently as I've picked up some freelance work on the side and haven't had the opportunity to breakdown the build as I need it to be operational (doing 3D modeling & architectural renderings). I have a Caselabs BH2 coming in that I'll likely have a build log for as well, and once I get it up and running I'll come back to this guy and start/finish it.
Edited by JCArch - 6/7/16 at 5:39am
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