Description

So, she is finally finished. She has been a labor of love since December of 2016, and took years and years of planning. I had finally done it; I had finally fully joined the PC Master Race in a way that I wanted to. I wanted to move on from my crappy Radeon HD 5450 in my Phenom II X4 935 HP pre-build to a proper gaming rig that has everything that I needed plus one big thing that I wanted in my own custom machine. I decided to go right off the bat with a custom water cooling loop. I had been enamored with water cooling ever since I saw JayzTwoCents videos on the topic, and after binge-watching his videos on the subject, I knew that I wanted a custom water cooling loop. So, here she is, my first ever custom-built PC and my first custom water cooling loop.

So far, she is performing admirably. Absolutely fun to build and even more fun to game. Most of the time spent on this build was spent gaming on it in its air cooled configuration whilst waiting for my custom water cooling components to arrive. That was followed by one painful week of going back to my dusty old HP while I build the loop. It was frustrating, but the end result was absolutely worth the frustration. She is mostly finished as I plan to invest in a larger mirror to affix to the top of the power supply so I can view the fluid flowing through the GPU block and cover that ugly PSU sticker.

UPDATES: I can only go to 1370MHz on the core stable on my RX480. Temperatures are nice and chilly at 48 degrees Celsius under load, but pushing the core clock much higher makes the card unstable and artifact like billy-o.

Part Reviews

CPU

I wanted to wait for Ryzen. I really did. But that was back in November, and even today, there is no sign of iTX Ryzen boards. I decided to go with the best Intel offering (at the time) instead and I am happy with this processor. Haven't tried OCing yet, hoping for 4.6 GHz.

CPU Cooler

Honestly, I already knew I was going to remove this cooler to make way for the water cooling loop, so I should have gone with the Hyper T3. However, this cooler is still beast and I will totally recommend it especially if you are on a tight budget. Though, it was a pain to install.

Motherboard

It does the job. The only real issues I have with this board is the USB 3.0 header is in the middle of the board, and I hate that thick black cable hanging out front and center with all my tubing. Otherwise a very good board with a simple, easy to navigate BIOS. I have read about heating issues with the chipset on this board but that's not a problem in a case with adequate airflow.

Memory

16 Gigs is the sweet spot and the low profile heat spreaders look good.

Storage

I am never going to have a hard disk in my computer. Ever. This thing is so unbelievably fast compared to my HPs crappy WD Green. I'm going all SSD from now on, I never want to deal with hard disks ever again.

Video Card

Absolutely amazing card and build quality is outstanding even for a reference card. I have zero reservations about buying an XFX product from now on. With hindsight I could've gone with a black edition card but that doesn't matter. I feel like I hit the jackpot with this card given how well it performed wile it was on air. However, -1 star for having a warranty voided by removing the cooler. Come on, XFX, many manufacturers don't do that anymore because they know many people are going to remove the cooler for water cooling or a deep clean.

Case

I knew I wanted to water cool, but I also needed a small form-factor case given my extremely limited desk space. This case was absolutely perfect. After watching JayzTwoCents build in this case, I knew I had to have it. Small enough to fit on my desk and yet enough water cooling support to make water cooling noobs like me look competent. Love this case.

Power Supply

Excellent PSU with plenty of headroom for any potential upgrades. The white side sticker looks surprisingly well in my black/silver/pink color scheme; however the white sticker on the back of the PSU needs to be covered. I'm looking to get a mirror cut to the dimensions of the PSU to cover that sticker and allow me to see the fluid in my GPU block.

Case Fan

Great quiet radiator fan. PWM is a plus. Love these fans.

Case Fan

These fans are awesome! It's like a wind tunnel in there! Not very quiet fans but I'll be saving for a pair of headphones so it doesn't matter.

Case Fan

Great fan. Moves a fair bit of air and is reasonably quiet.

Monitor

I prefer high frame rates over high resolution, so I got this monitor. 144Hz, freesync, excellent color reproduction for a TN panel, and it was less than 250 bucks! Amazing.

Keyboard

I got this version for three reasons. One: I have very limited desk space, and any space I can save is a plus. Two: even if I had all the desk space in the world, my preferred posture while gaming brings my mouse so close to the ten keys, I kept accidentally click on something by hitting the keyboard on my old computer. Three: I don't need ten-keys. All they did on my old keyboard was collect dust. This keyboard is wonderful; compact, the rapidfire switches feel very good, and the RGB lighting is very vibrant.

Mouse

Amazing, super comfortable mouse. Recommended to be by a friend who had an older version of this mouse, which I tried before I bought this one. Palm grip is surprisingly comfortable; I hate using small, claw-grip mice now.

Comments

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

I'm really loving your build. Color scheme in so on point!

  • 34 months ago
  • 2 points

nothing personnel, kid, but that OC though

at least it has a bearable and consistent color scheme, and that's a massive step over a vast majority of them. Props for making something that is actually pleasant to look at.

Also spectacular work on the custom loop!

  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't tried OCing yet. I had 1360 on the core on the stock cooler before it crashed randomly one day and reset back to the factory OC shortly before constructing the loop. If I could get it at 1360 on the core on air then I am really looking forward to what it'll do on water. So far, I saw a good improvement over the air cooler in Heaven benchmark at stock settings. Fingers crossed for 1400+ on the core like Jay got.

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  • 34 months ago
  • 1 point

That's my dinner table. I took the photos there as soon as the build was finished. I since moved it to my computer desk.