Description

Hi guys, BucketInABucket here!

I grew up around computers. Not just shop-bought pre-mades, but actual hand-built towers. My dad was, fortunately or unfortunately depending on who you ask, a very big fan of custom-built PCs. Every few years, he would map out a rig for me and then build it right in front of my eyes. As I grew older, I had more say, but I could never really customize the rig to my liking as my dad had all the say and all the money. This all stopped when I went overseas, but my love for custom-built rigs has never really faded.

As for this project? This all started about a year ago, with a wee little Asus UX303LN laptop and piddly little NVidia GT840m graphics. It was, at the time I bought it, the most powerful ultra-book I could find short of the Razer Blade, and that was hideously expensive. As was typical of me, I had gotten rather bored of lugging around a small laptop and wanted something that could play games! Proper games, with max settings! Games like Crysis 3, and Metro: Last Light! The talk of the online benchmarking websites! Typical teenager, right?

Needless to say, I gravitated to the 980Ti, which at the time was the most powerful graphics card one can get their hands on, other than the ridiculously priced Titan cards. My brain started thinking. What if I could build a relatively compact system, but one that could hold sli 980Tis AND be water-cooled at the same time? I had very high standards, I must say. However, I had neither the funds nor the support to allow me such a rig, and thus I stayed with my laptop for another year. However, a seed had been planted.

A seed which would eventually grow into this.

Project Tao.

What is Project Tao, you may ask? (following paragraph mostly from Wikipedia cause I'm lazy).

Well, Taoism is a Chinese philosophy based on the writings of Lao-tzu, advocating humility and religious piety. Yin and Yang are parts of a Oneness that is also equated with the Tao. Yin and yang can be thought of as complementary (rather than opposing) forces that interact to form a dynamic system in which the whole is greater than the assembled parts. As you guys know, a GTX-1080 by itself is completely useless!

This is the core of what my build is based around. Or it could just be me wanting a cool name and concept and talking out of my arse to justify it. Who knows?

It has a surprisingly simple goal, carried over from my idea a year ago. Cram a ridiculous amount of power into as small a case as I can, while balancing the space with a proper water-cooling loop. Of course, in my mind, it's far more romanticized than that. In my mind, it is the ultimate harmony of form and function. Sleek, subtle, water-cooled and, of course, powerful. Very powerful.

Naturally, I will need a case to start, and my weapon of choice is the Jonsbo UMX4. A svelte Micro-ATX- sized case supporting two 240mm radiators, albeit only slim 27mm ones, and full ATX boards. However, I will be going with a MicroATX board to give myself more clearance for radiators at the bottom of the chassis. If I go smaller, I might as well have gone for a Mini ITX build if that was the case, but then I wouldn't have the option to SLI. Plus, as much power as possible, remember?

Here are my current components.

Intel i7-6700k

The 6700k is an incredibly powerful CPU, and will be useful not only for gaming but also for university work, which is why I chose to run with this. I don’t feel like I need the multiple cores any 2011-V3 socket-based chip offers me.

Scythe Kotetsu

Cheap and very effective cooling especially when used with a push pull setup.

Asus Maximus VIII Gene mATX

Fairly neutrally-coloured motherboard with SLI capabilities and the legendary Asus featureset which make them famous. Also gives me a little more clearance from the bottom for a thicker radiator if I ever need one.

Corsair Vengeance LED White 3000MHz 4x8GB

Looks pretty and I can take off the light spreaders to get really sexy lightbars which fit this rig perfectly.

MSI GTX-1080 Gaming X

The cheapest 1080 (which wasn’t Inno3D which I don’t trust that) that was on sale when I went shopping. The GTX1080 is the most powerful GPU not named Titan X Pascal which I simply cannot justify. I plan to get SLI GTX1080Tis eventually when they come out and I can afford them and hopefully 480x27mm worth of radiator will be enough to cool everything. I won’t pretend to say that the temps will be the best as that would simply be delusional, but I hope the radiators can at handle the TDP of the system without too much overclocking. The red doesn’t bother me too much as the entire thing will be replaced eventually.

WD Caviar Green 3TB Drive

Hand-me-down from my father. Will be replaced in time.

Fujitsu F300 480GB 2.5” SSD

Also a hand-me-down. Will be supplemented with an NVME boot drive in time and eventually replaced by faster storage when I feel the need.

Corsair ML120 Pro LED White fans

I love the ML120 sound profile, the very wide PWM range and the excellent performance it offers. White LEDs, cause black and white theme. Somewhat dumb, I know, but I am a very dumb person after all!

Corsair Commander Mini

This will tie the entire build together. I like to control my fans from windows, not the bios, and the usage of a Corsair i-enabled PSU was the tipping factor to use this over the NZXT option.

Corsair AX860i

The 160mm PSU with the largest power output I can find. An excellent power supply in general as well.

My cable management sucks and it took me 5 hour but I'm finally done with this! It was most definitely a challenge but I had a lot of fun building it and the final result is just exquisite.

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Comments

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build, not seen this case before, looks pretty amazing, +1

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

It's a beautiful case, I only heard about it about a month or so earlier after extensive research into ATX mini towers...

  • 37 months ago
  • 1 point

where did you purchase the case ? I found the jonsbo website but looks like they don't sell in n/a cause they are reselling throw rosewill. Unfortunately, rosewill doesn't resale this case :( or the W2.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Looks nice, though maybe you could get some more pictures of the side.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

It's incredibly difficult with the tempered glass panel but I'll try!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 boi that bed tho.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

That bed was a very good surface to build my computer on, I must say!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful build, building PCs is also my hobby, a very expensive one. I just got rid of my 2 GTX 980s and was able to get enough for them to fund my Asus Strix GTX 1080. The 1080 on its own will be plenty for me until the next generation cards release, this thing puts my 980s to shame, about the same performance and better in certain situations most likely due to the VRAM and speed. Hopefully we get to see your SLI 1080 ti in the near future.

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! This was my first rig in a long time, so I decided to go all-out and create the most beautiful machine I could come up with. I think it went quite well!

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

Got my HDMI cable at last! Everything's now set up with the Corsair Link software and there's barely any noise now! I also took the chance to reorganize the cables at the back, using the space between the PSU and the HDD cage to stuff extra cables, and it's a whole lot more manageable now. I will still need custom cables made eventually but for now, it's a damn sight less crazy than before. A picture of this has been added to the album. I've also added a glamour shot of it in the dark. Damn...

  • 41 months ago
  • 1 point

You sound like a chinese lol? With the father thing going on here.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

I am a Chinese :P

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Greetings! I just built in this case too! Like you, I had to research for quite a while before finding it. Man, I am glad I did though, for it is awesome. Great build my friend!!

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Brilliant case but it has its own quirks!

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm thinking about getting one of these. How are the temperatures? Does the GPU block too much air from the CPU? If that GPU was longer would it fit behind the cage, or is that basically the limit?

I have an old Silverstone FTO2 -- looking for the next case. I really like bottom-to-top airflow, and this is one of the few sleek cases to do it well and more compactly. Probably cross-shopping between this and the new Lian-Li 011 Dynamic ... hmm.

Thanks in advance. Have to ask here because there aren't many credible reviews to look up.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Well basically I have it set so that I have two fans at the bottom blowing air into the GPU, one fan in the back blowing air in and two blowing...out I believe, at the top. It's been a while since I've built in it. I do remember getting pretty good temperatures, though.

I believe a longer GPU does fit as long as your GPU isn't too high but that of course compromises HDD space.

Also, just keep in mind that your PSU should be 160mm or less if you want an optimal amount of space for the cables to come out of the PSU and that there isn't a whole lot of depth behind the motherboard tray for cable management.

  • 23 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks so much! I'm thinking that I'll probably do two fans bottom, small CPU radiator top.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, a 27mm thick AIO fits up there. Make sure it's not too much thicker, I think the max is 30mm but stick with 27 to be safe. I had a Deepcool Captain 240EX that fitted just about perfectly.

  • 11 months ago
  • 1 point

You talked about building water cooling in the description but the photos and parts only show air cooling?