Hey everybody! I finally finished my personal workstation. I'll primarily be doing video and photo editing. I got deals on the Gigabyte OC-FORCE motherboard, 4790K and two 980Tis from friends upgrading their hardware. The rest of the components were bought on sale or Ebay. I don't need the latest and greatest hardware as I rarely have time for gaming anymore. I've performed a lot of custom modifications to this PC build. The theme was inspired by legendary PORSCHE 917. The only Gulf Porsche 917 to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans was the one driven in Steve McQueen's "Le Mans" movie. If you're a motorsports enthusiast, I highly recommend seeing this movie for vintage racing footage alone. The story line stinks, but it's really about the event and cars. There is an HD version on YouTube. Many innovations in cinematography were created while filming this movie. Steve's production company welded brackets to the front frame work of the 917, so they could mount a camera to shoot him, and the other drivers, in the cockpit.
The OC-FORCE motherboard has north and south bridge water block by EK. The EVGA 960Ti cards have Koolance water blocks with back plates. The black acetal block tops and back plates were painted the Gulf Racing blue. The Bitspower dress-up pump cover was painted orange. The four Corsair Vengeance DDR (32GB) heat spreaders were painted to match later the theme later. A lot of people asked how I painted them, so I created a video guide for dismantling and painting your own DDR heat spreaders here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHVXsvd-5QE
Staying with the race car theme, I chose 1/2" O.D. Stainless Steel tubing was inspired by the fuel and brake lines of a race car. I used 316 Marine Grade Stainless, so corrosion isn't an issue. Working with Stainless Steel tubing requires a Mandrel bender and lots of practice. It takes a great deal of practice to get the perfect bends. I always keep my water loops simple for easy maintenance. I only use distilled water and change it every 6 – 8 months. I may use Mayhems Dyes when using clear PETG tubing to accent a color theme in other builds. I’ve been DIY liquid cooling for past decade and find most cooling additives or radiator cleaners are gimmicks and a waste of your money. Just use distilled water and be diligent about cleaning your loop. The water pump is an Alphacool VPP655 with adjustable speed. It has a Bitspower dress-up kit. The pump cover was painted to match the exterior paint. Did you notice that my loop has no reservoir? I like my builds simple and clean. I have a Koolance bleed valve on top of the SLI bridge for filling the loop. I fill the loop through a Koolance 3-way splitter fitting with fill port on the top of the 360mm radiator. Beneath the PC is a Koolance Drain Valve. All I have to do is connect tubing to the drain valve and drain the loop into a bucket next to my workbench.
The front grill is 1/8” thick cast acrylic that was laser cut into honeycomb. The top of the case has a smoked acrylic "moonroof" window. The clear side panel has embedded magnets. Both of these window panels are made by Mnpctech. It allows you to look into the PC from above. It has a machined aluminum 120mm ring / fan grill that emulates a fuel fill port on a race car. The ring has blue anodized washer with socket head screws. The rear fan grill is machined aluminum 120mm "Overkill" Ring. All of the fans are Scythe Gentle Typhoons AP-15. Part# D1225C12B5AP-15, 1,850 rpm, 28 dBA @ 57.68062 CFM. Unfortunately these cooling fans are no longer made by NIDEC SERVO, but there is still some available from online retailers. Dazmode sells similar version called the “DarkSide Gentle Typhoon Performance Radiator Fan” They have good static pressure and under volt nicely. You can easily dismantle them for custom paint.
You don't often see pastel colors used on custom PC builds, but it was important that the GULF RACING / PORSCHE LIVERY paint be authentic. We traced down the factory paint codes for the 1970 Porsche 917. The paint colors were mixed by Jim at "Auto Plus" in Bloomington, Minnesota. The EK XTX 360mm Radiator was painted the Gulf Racing Orange. The orange stripe is mirrored onto the chassis. The circle number five represents "Mastercase 5"
The gauge is a VDO 12 volt gauge from an old VW to indicate power. The main power switch is a momentary toggle switch with red safety cover which is used for ignition switch in the Porsche 917. The reset switch is Blue anodized aluminum push button. Both switches are mounted in machined aluminum mounting plate. The PSU shroud has embedded magnets, so it’s easy to remove and re-install. The paracord sleeving for the 24 pin and video card cables is “Graphite Grey” from Ensourced.net. The paracord PC cable combs are machined aluminum designed for the Ensourced cables.
I didn't like the Cooler Master Mastercase 5 case at first. I feel the engineer missed a lot of opportunities that could have made the case even better. Especially since CM marketed it as "modular" and it’s designed for DIY liquid cooling. The Mastercase falls 40% from it's marketing pitch, but the overall build quality and finish is outstanding. It eventually won me over after dismantling and re-assembling the case. Here is my final thoughts about the Mastercase 5 case, keeping in mind that I look at cases from perspective as DIY liquid cooler and modder.
RAVES about the Cooler Master Mastercase:
Overall Build Quality, Fit & finish. Top panel / cover design options are nice. Modular HD/SSD tray design and mounting options are best to date. 240/360/280 radiator option for front is nice.
REVISIONS for the Cooler Master Mastercase
Top radiator mounting location should be offset, to clear DDR slots on some motherboards 100% Riveted chassis?! I understand using rivets over screws to save time in manufacturing, but at minimum, the mid section floor should be removable for better access. Lack of Water pump and reservoir mounting. CM's competitors started embracing DIY cooling market over year ago, by including mounting options for reservoirs and water pumps. Mastercase 5/ Pro window panel is very flimsy. The "smoked" poly window is bluish/purple and has very poor clarity for viewing inside the case.
In closing, I want to stress that you can create an awesome PC build without having the bleeding edge of hardware inside.
Thanks again to everybody at PCPP! Bill Owen