Description

I've built a few gaming machines before, most of which were plug and play. I'd match every component to (usually) the motherboard and then everything just snaps together. At the end of the day it would be a very good computer but it would just sit silently under the table. Well, actually not very silently because the fans would really kick in with games and intense media.

So this time I wanted to build something that would be powerful but also a show piece of craftsmanship, design and technology. Initially I wanted it to be black and have yellow pastel coolant. But a lot of computers are already like that, plus I really liked the look of the raiden blue memory sticks. So ended up deciding on a white-blue-black type of scheme.

The first thing that got in was the case. I stripped it apart and painted the inside white. It reflects the light better and makes good contrast with the black outside.

Next I did a test fit of the motherboard stuff. The cooler and the memories barely fit, there's almost no gap. After I got it all to fit, I removed the heatsinks for the motherboard and gave them a white and blue spray job.

Right after, the graphics card came in. I quickly realized that the reservoir i got was not going to fit standing. I ended up buying other reservoir bodies from another brand (koolance) but, even though the width was the same, the thread was very different. So I ended up having the tank go sideways. This was actually great for filling since the side of the tank has a small plug I can unscrew to help air go out when I put water in the system.

I also wanted a fillport on the very top of the case so I drilled through the radiator support bracket and then through the very top of the case with a 1 inch hole saw. I think it turned out great.

Tubing wise, I used soft and hard tubing. Most of the ones that stand out from the side window are hard tubing, the others are soft. It took me a long time to get the hang of bending the tubes. A lot of them are not perfect with some small stretch marks, some minor kinks etc. But hey, in the end this was the first time I did it, so it remains true to the fact I didn't know what I was doing.

I might give it an upgrade in about a year. The cooler and the cpu combo are fine for now, but I think I'm going to go with a 6700k and watercool that one too if I see a need for it.

I did a small OC on the GPU and it's running stable at ~2140Mhz and ~5300MHz for memory. Here are the benchmarks:

  • Time spy scored 6808 overall ( 8024 graphics, 3664 cpu )
  • User benchmark returned great for gaming, good desktop, ok workstation. Here: http://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/1787013
  • Haven 4.0 did 1300 score at 51 fps on ultra at 3440x1400 screen res with tessellation in extreme.

The scores are not jaw-dropping but it's a significant upgrade from my old machine and it's less than $4k, screen included. More than that, it sits next to me and it's dead quiet, even during hardcore gaming.

Other things I learned:

  • Most of the parts came from performance-pcs.com . Looking back I think I would have preferred to buy the stuff elsewhere. The shipping is expensive, the RMAs have a 20% restock fee and the website is super gnarly.
  • Having found an already installed cooling block on the GPU saved me a lot of time and trouble
  • Bending tubes is hard, but using the XSPC tube bending tool is much harder. I ended up doing it by hand and it was better. Actually, nothing inside the XSPC kit I got was useful.

Comments are welcome :) Parts that are $0 means I already had them.

Part Reviews

CPU

It's great for a gaming machine but without OC it will operate close to its's limit.

CPU Cooler

Great looks but the cooling performance is not the best. Will work on a 6600K not OC, but under load it might thermal-throttle the CPU

Motherboard

Great little motherboard, only complaint is that it's black and red, like 90% of other motherboards in the market.

Memory

If you put your computer to sleep the rams keep being powered (to keep the data) so they keep glowing. Cool!

Case

The build quality is fine. It's a good case for a mitx build

Case Fan

They are solid, high quality fans, but maybe slightly overpriced.

Comments

  • 37 months ago
  • 3 points

How are your CPU temps? I believe this is the first custom watercooled PC I have seen without a waterblock on the CPU... Other than that, great looking build, really digging the colour scheme!

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

WoW I did not even notice until now lol looks good but ya y no waterblock on cpu?

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

They are not the best. During heavy gaming it reaches 65C (fan at 80%), sits steady at 25C during idle. This is one of the upgrades I'm going to be doing in the future. There are 4 reasons why I didn't do it now:

  • Cost (waterblock, 2 fittins, more tubing)
  • Complexity, yet another tube I need to bend, when I've never done it before
  • I like the looks of the phankek cpu cooler
  • On my previous build I had a super-duper cpu and it ended up sleeping throughout most of my games.
  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Your PC looks like an hospital lol jk

Being serious, it's gorgeous.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha it does! Dammit I should have named it something hospital related :P

Cheers :D

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

I like it very very much! 1+

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Just saw this build in person (was doing craigslist pick up). It is ******* amazing. Hard line tubing makes things look so much nicer.

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks hehe! Small world :)

  • 37 months ago
  • 2 points

So far no one has noticed the plasma ram... amazing. Looks really sharp, 10/10

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

That might be partially my fault; I noticed no picture really makes it shine. Also, one of the rams got busted. I'm in conversations with Avexir to get it replaced. Using greens for now :)

Thanks for the praise :)

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

Hmmm hmmm hmmm your build is immaculate. if I could +10 I would. Fantastic job.

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

That's beautiful!

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey could u link me were u got the resevoir holder that is connect to the radiator?

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, sorry I don't check this often. The holder comes with the reservoir. It's basically two brackets that are the same size as the fan. I'm just using the same screws that came with the radiator.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build man I really like it. How do you like the Corsair ML series? I want to pick up enough to fill my case all running off PWM due to running them off DC isn't suggested. Is the paint effecting the heat on the VRAM at all? I was thinking about painting mine matte black.

  • 31 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, sorry, i just saw this (like 3 months later lol). I love the ML series, they are quiet, and even a slow speeds they can push a very significant amount of air into the box. I didn't paint the VRAM but I assume your talking about the parts i painted on the motherboard. I haven't had any issue with them :)

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

What kind of paint did you used? I'm about to strip down to it barebone by removing and changing the rivets... Did you just spray a few coats or did you not prep it at all?

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