Here is my first Custom loop.
About the build: For my first custom watercooled system, I am overall satisfied with the result. next time I bleed the system, i will change the weird loop tube, i just feel it dosent fit the build. (It was my first bent, so I decided to keep it.). the 3D printed Fan hub, psu shroud, i/o shroud are ok, but they do not offer the look of those pro modders working with acrylic and paint.
Here is what I learned:
mItx: May seems at first a budget builder choice because you may think small = less component = less $$. Wrong! Small = Less offer from sellers = more $$$. if you are on a budget go ATX.
AliExpress!!: While AliExpress seems to have good price at first, the shipping and customs fees make those prices less appealing at the end. Plus the time you will wait for the parts is amazingly long.
Fittings: Plan your stuff very carefully or you will miss some. if you think you can do without single and double rotary, without pass thru, without extender, without 3-way, without purge valve, without end cap, then think twice, you will need those on the run. If you are ordering via Aliexpress, then you will cry waiting for the fittings.
Custom cables: this is the most time consuming and it doesn't provide a lot of reward. Plus you need a lot of tools to do custom cables. If you still decide to do your own cable, Buy connectors, crimp pin and wires.
use 4mm sleeve for 16-18ga wire, use white wire for colored sleeve use black or dark grey for your 6mm/10mm sleeve ( fans / sata) Do the math, and plan for mistakes, you need more than you think. Do your pinout, and check twice. buy a cable/psu tester Do not mind about Capacitor prepare yourself to have burned fingertip.
Hard tubes: I ended up bending the tubes "freely" the tools to bend the tubes are a waste of money in my opinion, they do not allow multiple close bent. As you know, if this is your first time you will miss 2 out of 3 bends.
What about the components i used:
Barrow: I am really satisfied with the barrow product except for the fact that the 16mm straight fittings don't fit the pump head without a 3mm extension.
Alpha-cool GPX-N-1080 M14: it works, but it it not the sexiest block. the placement of the ports make it hard to work with.
Cooler Master Master fan Pro 140 RGB pressure fan. the RGB effect of the fan is really bad, fortunately for me it dosent really affect my build. The noise!!, the noise is terrible at High RPM. if you have those, be sure to set them bellow 800 RPM.
EVGA 550w B3: After I settled the Fan below 800 RPM, it becomes the part that does the most noise.Similar to those High Tension tower.
Gigabyte Z370N wifi. I have issues with the RGBW header. the blue led is always on. the RGB fusion software ( and mostly all others Gigabyte softwares) is a pain to use. Beside RGBW header and softwares, it works great.
Cable mod 5050 widebeam RGBW led strip. Leds are to far appart and since they are not addressable, the all have the same color and the same time. The problem with the motherboard does not allow me to give an honest review.
Fractal Design Nano S; for 59$ you can not expect more! However,the acrylic window scratches just by looking at it.
I am very satisfied with all the other component, specially the Primochill Vue Crimson red!
Take home message / What i will do next time.
- Go ATX format it gives access to a lot more offer in hardware, then better deal
- Buy premium parts from well known retailler. less frustration with shipping time.
- Better plan my build, trying to complete something and realise that you miss a 5$ fitting...
- Did I say buy premium parts?
- I will do my custom cable starting from scratch.
- I will use 3rd party Fan splitter and RGB Controller with addressable led strip
- I will use at least 500g m.2 SSD for operating software
- I will use black or really dark sleeve for (6mm-10mm) sata/fan/io cables