*UPDATE* 5/14/19 (original build + version 2.0 stuff at the bottom)
- Swapped Dell U3415W 34" ultrawide for Alienware AW3418DW 34" ultrawide, wanted the 120Hz and G-Sync
- Removed LCD fan controller/monitor and added simple SilverStone fan hub. The touch-screen was crap and it threw temp alerts for no reason and beeped obnoxiously sometimes for a minute or more. From my seat I couldn't see the LCD clearly anyway.
- Replaced HWLabs 360 SR2 MP rad with 480mm version
- Replaced 250mm res tube with 300mm, replaced CCFL lights inside and behind res also to 300mm
- Added Crucial P1 M.2 PCI-E SSD (1TB)
- Added EZDIY-FAB M.2 PCI-E Adapter and Heatsink for the Crucial P1 (my primary M.2 slot is taken and secondary has the disk sticking out of the motherboard which I'm not a fan of)
- Removed tempered glass window completely
- Added iPhone 6S Plus mounted to one of the glass window pillar as new hardware monitor
- Redid 3 tube runs, removed a 90 degree fitting from GPU > CPU run to make it all tube
You'll see some of the first pics have 4 sticks of RAM because I tried to move up to 32GBs from 16. After getting everything connected, can't boot with all 4 sticks. Any combination of two sticks and each individual stick works fine - all 4 and no boot with "memory not installed error." Tried absolutely everything. I'll work on it later. I was doing it primarily to fill out the additional space for aesthetics anyway.
Quick comparison and more detailed info/pics below
Fans on the sexy ass HWLabs 480 SR2 MP:
The M.2 adapter and new 1TB SSD. There's a heatsink which I don't think is needed but this was the best reviewed PCI-E adapter I could find. It has RGB and is controlled by/syncs to Aura but my Maximus IX Code does not have a 5v RGB port, only 12v. Thankfully there's a button on the device that changes colors and patterns and turns it on and off so I can still control it.
After removing the LCD fan controller/monitor I knew I wanted to use my old iPhone 6S Plus to project software for the same purpose but didn't know how I was going to mount it as there is really no room left on the front. Then sitting around looking at it I realized a motorcycle/bicycle handle mount would work.
So after removing the tempered window and 3 pillars I left the left-corner pillar in and mounted to it. Pretty proud of this. Pics of it in action further in the post
The back is unchanged with the PS4 and DS4 mounted
New monitor. This thing is a beast:
Bunch of other pics:
There's a lot of lighting but when I'm playing I turn off whatever I can so it's pretty tame:
And this is CAM software projected to the iPhone 6S Plus as my hardware monitor. It faces me directly so is always viewable unlike the old LCD and of course I can turn it off.
I also sometimes use AI Suite:
That's it for now. Not really sure what else I have planned for this particular case/build but I'm sure I'll think of something before I change it up.
Added a 2080Ti and Sound Blaster Z. Made a permanent mount for controller, wanted to post some new pics.
2080Ti is an EVGA XC Gaming with EK RGB block and black backplate. Two week delay getting the card but it finally arrived
Blocked, installed and had to re-do the run from GPU to CPU because ports shifted to the right. Wanted it to be all tube instead of using fittings but at the time my silicone insert wasn't long enough to do multiple bends because when I was first building this thing I accidentally cut a tube with the insert still in and it became half the length, lol. Got a new insert recently and at some point I will redo it.
If you look at my original build below you'll see I wanted to figure out a permanent solution to the DualShock 4 mount on the front. I started off trying to use strong velcro to attach it to the "armor" on the motherboard but not surprisingly it didn't hold up.
I was sitting around playing with some L brackets and it dawned on me - just attach two brackets together and use nuts and bolts to secure:
Drilled into the case and secured the whole thing with more nuts and bolts, going from the backside through a port in the case. This worked out surprisingly well:
Moved the external disk to the inside of the case and added power cable extensions to clean up the look on the front as these came with combs preinstalled. Not as organized on the inside now but who cares you can't see it
Everything back together
Final touch was adding this glass shelf which originally came from a corner stand. I was about to throw the whole thing away and got an idea to see if I could use it, so I attached one of the legs and slid it under to rest on the legs of the case. It reflects the bottom LED strip and goes well with the aesthetic.
Next changes will probably be replacing the LCD fan controller as it's barely function and sometimes starts beeping for no reason; also probably move to a 420 or 480mm radiator.
Recently finished my first water build and wanted to share.
First, a tribute to my old machine: a 2600k and Gene-Z IV in an Antec Skeleton, originally built in 2011. The GPU was always up-to-date (590 Classified, 780, 980Ti, 1080 Hybrid and now 1080Ti FE) so it kept up amazingly well. What a run! This was when it had a MSI 980Ti:
I've built a bunch of machines on air/hybrid but never a custom loop.
After a lot of research, waiting for parts, custom work, a couple of challenges and good old trial-and-error, I'm really happy with the way it turned out. The original concept was just a Washington DC-sports themed PC; later I decided to add the PS4 and make it kind of a centralized gaming system.
Gallery of Finished Build
(click to show)
- ASUS MAXIMUS IX Code
- EVGA 1080Ti FE
- 2 x 8GB Corsair Vengeance LED (3200)
- Samsung 960 EVO 500GB NVMe
- 2 x Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SATA
- Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SATA
- Corsair RM750i with Bitfenix Alchemy Cable Kit in red
- HW Labs Black Ice SR2 360MP + 3 x Corsair SP120 Quiet Edition fans
- Cuplex Kryos Next VISION
- EK-FC TXP + Backplate
- EK-D5 G2 PWM
- Monsoon MMRS (250mm tube in blood red, black chrome mounts, black chrome tension rods, red dual CCFL lights, red reservoir light plugs)
- Monsoon PETG Hardline tubes (1/2" x 5/8") in Blood Red
- Monsoon fittings, Barrow valve, Bitspower downstem
- PrimoChill Liquid Utopia
- Aerocool V12XT Touch LCD fan controller
- NZXT Hue+
- DeepCool RGB350
- Thermaltake Hard Tube Bending Kit
- Wagner HT1000 Heat Tool
- ArctiClean CPU cleaner
- PS4 Controller (red)
- PS4 Controller (black)
- Forza PS4 mount
- HideIt PS4 controller mounts
- Various tools and cables
- Distilled water
The P5's layout is essentially fixed in terms of where parts go, so I didn't have to do a lot of work here. Instead, I was already stressing about how tubes would be laid out, where things would need to be specifically to make it happen and whether I'd be lucky enough for everything to line up. Spoiler: I was not lucky enough. More on that later...
Got the case for $99 after a sale + MiR on Newegg:
It was a larger than I expected and given that I was going with a 360mm rad and mounting the GPU horizontally, having read all the issues with the riser cable, I was worried there was going to be a lot of unused space. That ended up inspiring me to add more and more parts and using a 250mm reservoir.
And so the parts kept coming...
Before I started the main build, I had to decide on a color combo for the reservoir and its related parts. I went with Monsoon MMRS for the individual parts because I loved the colors and options, buying them in both red and black chrome:
Building this was a lot of fun. After a few combos...
I decided on black chrome for everything. This is the final version with the CCFL dual lights and reservoir plugs:
Back to the main build.
There's a lot of "stuff" inside this case. I decided early on this was probably all going to go away. I'm not using HDDs, have my own ideas about where to put my SSDs and still don't know what the hell that middle plate is for:
Shoddy factory job cutting the padding. It was bothering me.
A metro card and finger cutting tool were handy here.
Motherboard is a Maximus IX Code. In a stroke of luck a friend of mine happened to be selling his barely-used Code for $250.
Side project: I decided to de-lid the 7700k and use some Liquid Metal, what with the reports of crappy factory TIM jobs. I actually did some tests with a cheap air cooler before doing this and temps seemed fine, but I figured this wouldn't hurt. Got the RockIt de-lid and re-lid tool. Easy as 1...
Used ArctiClean on the die and gave it the Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra:
To put it back together I went with some gasket maker (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002UEN1U/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
). Re-lid tool was clutch
CPU block is a Cuplex Kryos Next VISION. Went with the acetal/copper:
Backplate in and front locked down. RAM in. The LCD cable for the block is quite long and I wasn't initially sure what I was going to do with it. I hate exposed cables. I mean really hate them. We'll get to that in a bit...(if you want to play the game immediately, scroll down to the "Starting to come together" section:
Samsung M.2 in.
Cables from the fan controller are all sorts of crazy. Needed to subdue them.
They'll be routed through the holes for the radiator on the case but the colors will be noticeable. . Got some black cable sleeving on Amazon. I didn't want to cut any wires so I just split the sleeving and used black electrical tape throughout to tighten it up:
Time for power cables. I went with the Bitfenix Alchemy 2.0 Kit in red. This thing comes with like 1000 of every cable. This is also where I got the idea to scrap the HDD brackets and attach the SSDs directly to that metal plate to which the HDD brackets are attached. Also started to think about how cable management would go:
NZXT mounted nicely to the SSD spot:
Fans on. Corsair SP120s Quiet Edition:
HWLabs MP360 radiator mounted:
Our kitchen and dinner table are now working benches.
As I'm about to mount the reservoir I realize that with one of the top ports being an inlet, there's going to be some splash. Used Bitspower fitting with a stem.
Pump in and pump cover on:
I had originally drilled holes for the reservoir where I thought I wanted it but I f'ed up. At that spot, the pump mount cover was sitting below the bottom of the case. Decided to raise it. The old holes wouldn't really be visible but I'm weird about these things. Rubber spacers that came with the P5 were perfect to cover them up
Holding the reservoir, mounts, screws and dual CCFL lights together, while screwing this in was not fun but eventually I got it secured. Looking good from the back. By the way, if you're going to be using the Monsoon MMRS, get yourself one of these hex drivers: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006O500U/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006O500U/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Starting to come together. Remember the cable for the CPU block LCD? Can you find it?
Decided to plug in just the reservoir lights and fan controller to make sure everything is working:
Blocking the EVGA 1080Ti FE:
Card stripped and cleaned with ArctiClean. That stuff is amazing! On a related note and as a reminder, if you're going to be dismantling one of these, you need this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IYA8YTQ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Thermal pads on. Another tool plug: I had a kit with various-sized tweezers. These were clutch for removing and placing thermal pads.
Everything on and temporarily plugged into motherboard to get some measurements:
Another side project: I grabbed a Forza PS4 wall-mount and HideIt PS4 controller mounts - mounted the PS4 and a controller to the back panel.
Lining things up:
Drilled some holes, then swapped the screws out with some nuts and bolts. Rock solid!
Controller mount and the first of the DC-sports themed elements goes on:
PSU and controller mount goes on the front. The mount is using two strips of 3M velcro which are attached to the "armor" on the motherboard. However, long-term I want to get something fabricated that I can attach with nuts and bolts utilizing that oval hole you see in the case just under the controller:
Fittings and tube going on. Bending and measuring tubes turned out to be both easier (in some ways) and much harder (in other ways) than I imagined. Glad I had the bending kit. I also grabbed one of these pipe cutters: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00140VWZM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
. The combination of the circular cutter that comes with the Thermaltake kit (to create an initial cut) and this thing (to finish it off) made for some really nice cuts.
One last side project: I found a site called StickerYou and used Google Images to make some templates for DC sports logos stickers, in metallic, measured to the size of the SSDs. I tossed the HDD brackets and mounted the SSDs right to the metal panel. Just a matter of measuring and drilling holes.
Mounting the panel with SSDs. Used long nuts to secure the panel to the case.
Everything's in. Time to pour in distilled water and leak test...
Failed! As if everything was going to go even semi-smoothly. Leas coming from the GPU > CPU run, at both ends.
I pull the run out and examine. Seems to me that the bends are not perfect and are tugging/pulling at either end. I redo the bend.
Redo it again, making sure it's flawless.
At this point I'm worried I just suck at bending. I put a soft tube with barbs in that section and it's bone dry, in addition to all the other runs in the loop. I try different bends, different fittings, 90 degree fittings and use as many straight tubes as I can.
After some tests the problem turned out to be O-ring size for the fittings.
A lot more leak testing and I'm close to being done.
Adding some power and playing with the DeepCool RGB350 LEDs.
Fan controller looking nice. However, at this point I can tell you mine was defective. The alarm goes off when temp thresholds are nowhere near reached (I'm not even using the temp sensors; they're hanging in the back of the case behind the rad where air is blowing on them and everything is reading in the upper 20's). Aerocool has provided good support and is sending me a replacement though, so I'm hopeful.
Playing with CPU display
Done. Went on a photoshoot:
Final side project! After plugging things in it's clear this case shows off everything about your build, including all the cables belonging to things plugged into the motherboard.
Here's what I've got:
I knew I could replace some of the USB drive cables with a hub but that still leaves current and future cables showing.
One idea was to drill holes in the side panel and use zip-ties to pin the cables. That would still show the cables. If you've read this far, you know this is a problem.
Another idea was to come across a perfect cable-hiding piece that could be affixed to the side, was black and had enough space for cables. Eventually came upon this:: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DNZDKE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
It came in a 4ft piece, so I Dremmel'ed it to cut it down to size.
There was another slight obstacle in these screws at the bottom of the side of the case:
More Dremmel. Also made a hole for the DisplayPort on the side as it was quite a bit farther down than the top USB port:
After getting a hub and mounting and running the cables:
Added the PS4 power and HDMi cables, zip-tied and cleaned up:
You may be wandering where the NZXT Hue+ went. I put the 4 strips in two sets of two on the back panel so the lights would show from behind the radiator and fans. Unfortunately one of my connection cables crapped out (NZXT is sending me a new one) so right now I just have one set, but it is providing some light and I like the look:
PC and PS4, living side-by-side:
And my last and favorite couple of shots:
For gaming and benches, the system is running at 5Ghz and hits a max of 2088/6026
In the same way I described rigid tubes, I'd say this build was both easier and harder than I imagined. Up until the leak related to O-ring size, things went fairly smoothly, even with the introduction of some custom work. The computer booted on the very first try, which is always nice. Having said that, I have learned a lot that will save me a ton of time and money in the future. I probably purchased upwards of $200 worth of things I either didn't end up using or had to replace because I messed up the first time. The worst of this was the Monsoon light inverter boxes. I ended up getting FOUR of these. That's right: FOUR. In my defense, these have a SATA power connector that is incredibly frail - I destroyed my first one by accidentally plugging the cable in the wrong way. I didn't even push that hard and the connector collapsed right into the housing. If you look at the Amazon reviews, you'll see this is a major problem. Second one I don't even know what happened, as I had the right side and the connector still collapsed. It's like you have to be exact to the nano-meter plugging one of these in and not ruining it. On the third I got it plugged in! And then it stopped providing power to two of the ports randomly! Fourth one is working fine, knock on wood.
I'm conflicted whether I'd recommend using rigid tubes for a first-timer on water or not. My issue with the different O-ring sizes had nothing to do with my bends and doesn't even apply to most fittings and tubes. So, I would not be as quick to discourage people from trying rigid even if its their first water rig, assuming you can measure things, are capable of learning from practice, use the right tools and watch some tutorials on YouTube.
This was the most time-consuming, costly, and difficult build I've done but also the most rewarding. I don't see myself ever going back to air/hybrid cooling. I already have ideas for the next theme on this build and I'm glad I went all in on this thing, especially with the rigid tubes. Thanks to all the threads and everyone on this site which/who provided information and answered my questions.
Last bonus cat