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[Build Log] Monolith

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So this is my second proper computer build, and my first open loop!

This is a system that's going to be used for both university work and gaming, and I wanted to create something that would be functional as well as a work of art. I want something quiet but also very powerful, and I have some mild OCD so this is a chance for me to make it as perfect as it can be. I've always disliked the RGB ALL THE THINGS trend, so the theme is going to be a simple black with white accents. I plan to mod the case I'm using a little to accept the parts I want to fit in it, so this log will also detail how I do that.

Parts list: (Click to show)
Intel Core i7-6700k: This little thing is approaching a year old now, and comes from my previous build. It still packs plenty of power, so there's no reason to upgrade to a 7700k, and I can't justify a Ryzen build (yet), so I'm sticking with this one.
Zotac GTX 1080Ti Founder's Edition: I like my FPS and I'm impatient, what can I say?
Gigabyte Z270-MX Gaming 5: Had it from when I was planning a mATX build. I might change it out to a full ATX board if I decided to upgrade to Ryzen.
Corsair Vengeance LED White 3000MHz 4x8GB: Black with white LEDs and I happened to have it from my previous build. Slick looking, quality RAM.
Anidees AI Crystal Cube: I was lucky enough to be given this beautiful case by Anidees, so it will be the centerpiece of this computer as well as what ties the whole thing together.
Corsair AX860i: An incredible, quiet power supply. Had it from my previous build so it'll be reused.
Samsung 950 Pro 512GB: Got a spanking deal for it last year. My boot drive as well as where the essential programs will be installed.
Fujitsu F300 480GB: Yes, they make SSDs! Given to me by my dad, this is my games SSD.
WD Green 3TB: Also given to me by my dad. General storage purposes.
Corsair ML Pro white fans: They sound and perform great and also look amazing. In the build they go!
Cooling: (Click to show)
XSPC Raystorm Pro: Black and comes with two white LEDs. Sleek, a good performer and excellent value for money.
Watercool HEATKILLER​® IV for T​ITAN X and​ GTX 1080T​i - ACRYL ​Ni-Bl: A beautiful waterblock which has a slot for a LED strip which will naturally be white.
Watercool HEATKILLER​® Tube 150​ D5: Same reason as the GPU block. Beautiful, black, cool looking. I asked Watercool.de to make mine with 4 LED strip slots instead of one to get more even lighting in the reservoir.
Alphacool ​Eispump VP​P755: Beefed up, smaller D5. Why not?
Black ​Ice Nemesi​s Radiator​ GTS 280: The radiator going in the front 280mm radiator space. The best in class slim radiator of it's size, that's about it.
s x Magicool G2 Slim 240: Two of the are going in the top of the case. The AI Crystal Cube can only accept radiators up to 120mm wide if two are used at the top and these are the best performers in that category short of importing Black Ice Nemesis L-series radiators from America which I don't want to wait for. They're also dirt cheap!
Nanoxia CoolForce LED Fitting 16/13 - White: LED fittings! These will be used in place of LED strips. They look so cool and will make my build look unique, so hell yeah here I go! They're also cheaper than the Thermaltake RGB fittings and are much simpler to use.
Other Nanoxia fittings: They were cheaper to order as one shipment and match the LED fittings so here I go.
Other fittings: To attach the 240mm radiators together as well as go behind the motherboard tray where there is no need for LED fittings.
Bitspower stopcock: Got it for cheap from a nice friend. Will serve as my drain along with a length of tube and a fitting he gave me.

I am yet to order the fittings or 240mm radiators, so I'll do that in the next couple of days. Ordered the 240mm radiators, a multiport top, some 16/13mm Alphacool acrylic tubing and, because the website I was looking at didn't have them, a few fittings from other brands (EK and the WCUK house brand) instead of the Nanoxia ones I wanted to get at first.

This is it for now, I'll sign it off with most of the parts initially fitted in the case to let me plan out the build!

Edited by BucketInABucket - 4/8/17 at 12:29pm
post #2 of 7
Thread Starter 
Update: Ordered the 240mm radiators, a multiport top, some 16/13mm Alphacool acrylic tubing and, because the website I was looking at didn't have them, a few fittings from other brands (EK and the WCUK house brand) instead of the Nanoxia ones I wanted to get at first. The parts are slowly coming together!
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Update 2: Ordered the LED fittings. Also, have a rough drawing of how my loop is going to be laid out.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
So a bunch of parts have been coming in! The CPU block, GPU block, pump and reservoir are all here. Well, and a Nemesis GTS 280 which I already had, but it's not very exciting so I'm not including it here. The reason I didn't go for all watercool.de parts is because they don't have a CPU block which lights up, so I chose the Raystorm Pro which has a very similar aesthetic which matches the watercool.de parts. I must say, they do look fabulous together.

I requested the reservoir to be made with all four aluminium struts allowing for a LED strip, as I want the most even lighting possible and the stock one comes with only one strut supporting a LED strip.

I got a cheap 5m LED strip, a few molex to 3 pin fan adapters, a bunch of 3 pin female fan headers and a few XH-2P connectors off ebay. I plan to connect the LED strips directly to the PSU, via first the 3-pin fan header and then the adapters. This gives me the least fuss, as the pump already uses a molex connection, and is relatively simple to make myself.

As the GPU block also has space for a LED strip and the 1080Ti's PCB has an XH-2P male connector that's used to light the Geforce GTX logo green on the stock founder's edition card, I used an XH-2P connector to connect another LED strip directly to the 1080Ti's PCB. However, it doesn't really seem bright enough when I tested it, so I got another more expensive but brighter LED strip which I'll be installing when it comes.

The build is coming along quite nicely!
Edited by BucketInABucket - 4/15/17 at 4:45pm
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Some 3mm techflex, two 240mm radiators, the other fittings and the multiport top came in today. I took the opportunity to sleeve some LED strip cables. However, only two out of the four I made worked...can't figure out why but I suppose two will be fine.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the incredibly late update! I had a lot to deal with in the past few weeks, arranging an internship, flying over to Hong Kong and stuff, so I had no time to post in this thread. As a result, I have a giant update for you guys!

I stripped the case down to the very basics and took a dremel to it. I've decided to use a 280mm radiator in the front so the 120mm and 90mm fan mounts were removed to improve the airflow just a little and clean up the look of the front. I won't use the 80mm fan mounts at all so I removed part of it to show off the reservoir more.

I also cut a hole into the motherboard tray, as I plan to orientate the reservoir in such a way that the output will go directly into the main chamber.

As the reservoir mount I got is a little too big, I decided to fabricate my own.

I test fit the reservoir in the spot I planned to put it on and it fits perfectly.

Finally, I painted it with some nice matt black rustoleum that I found in a hardware store. Here it is finished up.

However, the hole I made in the motherboard tray is just a little too small.

The ports I plan to connect up are also not quite aligned with each other.

So I made a new set of reservoir mounts using separate pieces of steel this time.

I also enlarged the hole I made in the motherboard tray.

This time it all fits well.

However, the way I mounted the reservoir presented a little problem with one of the case feet. Namely, the head of the screw interferes with how the foot mounts.

I did my best to dremel part of it away to leave some room for the screw head.

As the position of the reservoir changed, I had to remove a little more of the front to allow the reservoir to be fully visible from the front.

Here's a shot of all the parts fitted and of the tubing runs.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to finish my build before I had to fly to Hong Kong. This was because three days before my flight, I found out the o-rings included with the Nanoxia fittings created a very weak seal, so most of my build ended up leaking. I tried to buy some thicker replacement o-rings from Amazon Prime but it turned out that they were too thick, and I accidentally split two of my tubes. By that time I had run out of tubing, so I'll have to purchase more when I return to the UK.

Anyways, I hope you guys have enjoyed the build log so far!
Edited by BucketInABucket - 5/30/17 at 1:25am
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
I purchased more acrylic tubing, some better o-rings (9mm ID x 1.8mm C/S) and re-bent all my tubes, as I now have a lot more experience with the whole process so I feel like I a better job of it this time. Here's my build all filled up with distilled water and undergoing leak testing.

Unfortunately, the Alphacool VPP755 I used failed after an hour or so of leak testing, so I had to take the damn thing apart again and RMA the pump. I then went and did some research and it turns out the VPP755 has a bit of a reputation for doing this so I asked the e-tailer I got it from, www.watercool.co.uk, to swap it for the EK D5 PWM instead and they happily obliged. A shout out to them, by the way. I don't know many companies who would be willing to do this but they did, so I only had to cover the additional cost of the pump I chose and I get free shipping to boot. Anyways, I'm nearly done now, I just need to fit the new pump in, leak test again and then add the white mayhems concentrate and then I'll be finished. I powered it on to test it out again after draining the loop: here's what it looks like with all the lights on.

Edited by BucketInABucket - 7/21/17 at 4:21pm
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