First time WC'er, decided to go with my own loop over a kit. I also bought a new case, the Xigmatek Utgard (had a Lian Li PC-K62 prior). I loved my K62 however I wasn't able to mount an interior radiator without some case modification. I decided to go with the Utgard because it matched my color scheme flawlessly and there were no builds with it on water that I could find. All the reviews were done with an air cooler and just mentioned that it could mount a 240-280mm radiator. So, I decided to put it to the test and see how user friendly it was to a newbie WCer.
First - the loop hardware!
CPU Block: Swiftech Apogee HD
Radiator: XSPC EX240
Reservoir: EK Bay Spin
Pump: Danger Den DD-CPX Pro
Barb: ENZOTECH Matte Black 3/8in. ID High Flow
Tubing: XSPC High Flex 5/8"OD - UV Orange
I got the loop parts before getting the case. So instead of waiting patiently I had to set it up on the Lian Li case and just lay the rad out on the exterior because I can't let new toys sit there in front of me.
Just some of the parts laying out on my desk, I actually bought two reservoirs to see which one I liked best. A bay res and a cylinder res (which is shown in the picture above).
First look at the radiator OUTSIDE of the box.
The EK Bay Spin Res.
So I threw it all together in my K62 and this is what I ended up with.
This afternoon my case came. So right when I got home from work I started right up on seeing how well the Utgard does with an all interior water loop. My initial impressions with the case go along with what the reviews mention. Nice all black interior, seems decently roomy enough for a mid tower, nice to have a built in fan controller. For a $60 case it does have a lot of nice features but it also falls short in some areas as well...but I guess that's too be expected with that price tag?
The first thing I did was remove the HD cage. Well...try to remove the HD cage. On all the drive bays there is this 'tool less' feature that is suppose to make life easier. I reckon that would work, if the tool less feature didn't get bent making the HD cage become stuck rather well inside the drive bays. Luckily I'm not the type of chick who cares about her nails because by the time I muscled it out chips and scratches along with a little blood shed combined with a slightly bent HD cage.
Inside the drive bay - that will buff right out...right?
The culprit tool less clip that is now no more.
The HD cage itself and it's pitiful condition. The entire frame itself was a little off shape. A bit of time working with it I was able to bend it back into usable shape.
Putting the whole HD cage thing aside, I decided to see what mounting options I had for my radiator. I already knew where I wanted it to go (on top) but with 9 x 5.25" drive bays I wanted to see if a front mount would be possible and leave room for either a res, pump or horribad HD cage.
Sorry flash was on! The Rad really isn't that color and well bad flash is bad. ANYWAYS, a 240mm rad could be mounted in this position with enough room for two single HD coolers - no the crappy HD cage that comes with the case wouldn't fit if mounting a rad in this position.
Instead of two 120mm fans I went with two 140mm fans for the top.
Again, bad flash is bad (not all pictures are with the flash, just some of them before I finally figured out the flash was on). The rad sitting on it's new home, you can see how there is enough room to accommodate a 280mm rad up here instead. So technically could get one 280mm and one 240mm rad in this case internally if you so desired to do so. I will say that the mounting holes for the fans and rad on the top really didn't match up that well. I'm not sure if each rad is a little bit different on the space for the holes or if this is another little draw back of the Utgard because of the price tag.
SighFlash. This is with the top mesh cover on.
The rest of the build went rather smoothly, I was doing my cable management along the way so there wouldn't be a big rat's nest left over at the end. Rest will mostly be pictures with a few questions I have at the end - Enjoy!
Motherboard and Hard Drives installed. The way I went with the setup for the drive bays was Bay Res on top, horribad HD cage under that which then left more then enough room for the pump to go under that.
Sexy sexy block mounted...yes my block is sexy.
The EK Bay Spin Res in place, you can also see the front panel of the Utgard here as well. Pretty basic (which I like) and you can see the top panel with the fan controller and other tidbits.
The cable management! Beside the HD cables you really can't see much and there's nothing I can really do about that...unless I have no HDs.
Up and going after a few hours of leak testing.
I have some black anti-kink coils I have left to put on, which will tone down the Orange so it's not so BRIGHT but still orange. Overall I'm pretty happy about the case, it didn't turn out exactly how I wanted it to look (see question #1 below as to the reason why). I probably used a bit too much tubing and could have made things a bit tighter, but I think that kind of thing comes with experience. Since my flow is rockin (res has a built in flow meter!) I'm not too concerned about my over doing the tubing.
I did have a few questions...well two actually.
#1. To me it seems to be cluttered on one side. Would it be a good idea to move the pump to rest on top of my PSU which will bring the tubing out from just the right top area?
#2. My idle temps were initially 33C on start up and have risen to 35C now where they have been for the past hour or so. Will I be seeing other temp swings before the system is fully bled?
I don't think you'll find many cases in this price range that can offer a watercooling loop like the Utgard does. But now there is a build log with someone doing it!
It's almost 1:30am so I probably made some typos and spelling errors or the formatting is wonky, I apologize and that will be fixed in the morning. Until then - Night y'all!