Update: I recently completed a custom loop for this build, you can find the build update here: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/b/DbKBD3
Thank you PCPP for the feature! As someone who checks out builds here on a daily basis it's nice to be able to contribute to the collection of awesome builds. Keep up the great work, the interwebs wouldn't be the same without you!
I started this build about 6 months ago and I've finally got to a point at which I'm happy to post it on here. The build is inspired by some other great builds I've seen on this site. It's based on Zero Samus from the Metroid games which I use to love and my go to character on smash bros... rip GameCube. I hope you enjoy the photos!
A note on the case:
The following write up is mostly for people looking to build in this case to give them a decent idea of problems they may run into since it's 90% style/build quality over easy of access/convenience.
If you're looking into this case I'm sure you've heard it's hard to build in and I can only agree. I hope you enjoy cable management and undoing screws because you'll be at it for several hours. Getting a decent end result does require some planning but it's worth it.
Detailed build process:
Here I'll go through each component in the order that I'd recommend installing them. In each case I'll detail any problems I encountered along the way.
3.5" Hard Drives / SSDs / HUE+:
Picked up a 1080 TI about 2 weeks ago and decided to go for the founders since none of the announced aftermarket cards (<290mm) were really appealing to my tastes. I was considering an evga ftw2 or 3 card but since air flow in this case is hardly amazing I pulled the trigger on the FE card and don't regret it... it's a beast! I've also got the option to water cool easily with the FE but maybe after my wallet recovers.
The only down side to the FE card is the fans don't stop at idle. It's very quite any way and I rarely even notice it them at idle but if you are coming from a dead silence (fan stop) GPU it's something to keep in mind.
I terms of the actual volume and temps compared to my previous 980 TI they pretty much the same. Usually about 68-72 degrees with the in take fans and GPU fans between about 60-75% both set to monitor GPU temps.
My Current clocks:
I doubt I'll push the core any further but I need to work on the memory clock when I get some time.
Not much to say here really, it's a fantastic motherboard.
Almost forgot to mention the on-board sound is amazing, I really wasn't expecting it to be so good.
CPU + AIO NZXT Kraken x52:
This was probably the hardest bit of the build. I wanted 3 fans running along the top so the only positioning that was actually possible is shown in the pictures (with the 240mm rad on the far right of the case). I used a couple of cable ties and extra screws to attach the 3rd fan on the far right.
Once happy with the rad/top of the case I installed the CPU & pump.
A few points to take note of:
I was using the X52 as exhaust with negative air pressure (purely for aesthetics). I found switching to intake reduced GPU temps on my 980 TI (open air cooler) by 10-11 degrees, having the dust filter on top of that is a bonus. I haven't bothered changing it since.
As far as actually performance goes my CPU is clocked at 4.6ghz - 1.3 volts (4.7 seemed to be the max stable clock). I'll have to check temps and post some updates in the future because I can't remember exact load temps with this cooler.
Once everything is installed cable management needs some good planning if you want to get the back panel back on. There aren't any mounting holes for cable ties but it's possible to work around this. I had to invest in a lot of cable mounts/ties but after many hours I'm happy with the result.
If there's anything you see that isn't listed here feel free to ask me.
If I've learn anything from this build it's that blu tack is the ****. It single-handedly solved almost every problem I encountered along the way. I completely forgot it existed and I can't recommend it enough!