Description

This began as a $600 budget build in 2013 but slowly turned into a full fledged gaming PC with a custom waterloop and some pretty good parts. I will be replacing the APU and and motherboard with an with an Intel Core i7 4770K and an ASUS Maximus Impact VI.

The goal of this project was to get some experience with watercooling custom loops and basic case modding on a budget.

I had to mod the side panels to accommodate the radiator and fans. I also flipped the PSU over so the fan is on the same side as the other fans. I cut open the GPU area on the other side panel for when I had a multi-fan GPU installed.

Comments

  • 52 months ago
  • 3 points

Do you like the GPU? I want the same one (different cooler and manufacturer though).

  • 52 months ago
  • 10 points

the 290 is a beast GPU

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

It's certainly a beast, but the reference cooler gets very loud. I noticed that the reference cooler on my 970 is much quieter.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

So I hear... I want one :P

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

they anit cheap

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Cheaper than a 970.

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

I just got a Reference GTX 970 for $250 shipped. It was worth it just to try it out. Benchmarks are very similar so far.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

true

  • 49 months ago
  • 3 points

The R9 290 is a great card. Maxing out AAA games at 60+FPS at 2560x1080.

However, mine had a specific issue with the VRAM. The Elpida memory couldn't handle stock clocks while gaming, so I had to drop them by 20Hz. After that, no issues. Note this seems to apply to the Reference ASUS R9 290 that use Elpida for VRAM (Hynix are OK).

  • 52 months ago
  • 2 points

Hah, looks like fun. Who said you couldn't custom loop in that case?!

The cable behind the PSU bothers me. Is that thing bolted in??

I don't do custom loops so i didn't really look at the custom parts, but did you use a riser card for the GPU? I was just curious.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

The PSU is loose, and I decided to turn it back around. I wish this case allowed mounting the PSU both ways.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

that ultrawide monitor attracted my eye. the parts and description kept me reading. great build +1.

also how's noise and dust with all those open areas in the case?

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

Surprisingly, dust only collects on the radiator and the PSU grill. Both are relatively easy to clean.

The only noise I can hear comes from the dual SP120 fans. I haven't bothered to lower the RPMs since I have the temperature headroom. I can probably make it near silent if I wanted to, and only ramp up the fans during heavy load.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

200$ for a 290? Dang, great build. +1

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! It was a rare find, and well worth it.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Is that a reference ASUS 290? Don't quote me on this but I know some ASUS 290s can be flashed to a 290x. I did it with a XFX Reference before.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, it is the Reference ASUS R9 290 and I looked into that briefly, but I couldn't gather everything I needed to properly flash it. A lot of the sources I found had broken links to the flash utility and the 290X firmware was nowhere to be found. At the time I felt it wasn't worth the effort.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

AH ITS SO SQUISHY. IN THE GOOD WAY. +1.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

"I shall call him Squishy and he shall be mine and he shall be my Squishy."

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

lol okayyy... Eager to see those new upgrades come in!

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

Jesus Christ, i want to see the evolution of this monstrosity, +1 brother.

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!

I'll be adding an updated version of this build soon. The parts list is already in my saved lists.

  • 52 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm not a huge fan of the reservoir and pump on the top, but if you like it that is all that matters. I'm impressive build though. +1 for sure.

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

I found out that having it on the top makes it really hard to bleed because it severely limits the amount of tilting. Tilt the wrong way just a little too much and air rushed into the pump. I decided to mount it vertically on the back of the case. Filling and bleeding has become so much easier!

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

I tried building in this case but after a few minutes the 960 started overheating, I'm assuming it's because the side panels aren't well vented/holed and the GPU wasn't getting air. Does turning the GPU around to have the Fans face inside help at all?

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

The GPU side panel on this case is terrible for airflow. I never tried turning the GPU around, but I did remove the green mesh and cut out a larger hole so multi-fan GPUs can breathe. Ever since that mod, I haven't had any issues with temps. I currently use a Reference GTX 970 using the stock cooler.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I put together a very similar build (no liquid cooling tho) with same GPU and CPU with 8 gb of 2400 ram and it only goes to $600-$700 although it says the gpu wasn't verified with the case size I'll just cut a window in the side of the case https://pcpartpicker.com/user/LooganOverClocked/saved/#view=j4CRsY