"The joy of water cooling has never been about its practical value. It's about taking a PC system and personalizing it in ways that lesser mortals can't even imagine. It's about mixing electronics and liquids with panache and bravado and creating something that isn't a slowly sparking mess."
*v3 was never published, but I've included the parts list.
(v1: June 2015, v2: Feb 2016, v4: June 2017, v5: Aug 2018)
Finally finished the liquid cooling. Still troubleshooting a couple things here and there. Like I think my pump isn't pushing as strong as it should be. But oh well. Works well enough to post it I suppose. Might add a few more stickers or change up the loop a little to make filling a little easier. Plays all but the most demanding of 4K games at max settings at 60fps (mostly because the 60" 4K TV caps it there).
Single loop cooling CPU, GPU, and Motherboard. Loop order: Res -> pump -> 280mm rad -> gpu -> mobo -> 420mm rad -> cpu -> res
CPU: I chose Intel’s Devil’s Canyon i7-4790K a couple years ago right when DDR4 was coming out and all the new shiny was overly expensive. It’s served me well since then, varying in overclocks from average 4.2 to 4.7 depending on my mood and whether its winter or not. :P Haven’t had the chance to really dig in and overclock since I’ve finished my custom loop though.
Motherboard: The ASUS Maximus VII Formula was the obvious choice back when I first built this pc as a barebones box. In the 7 series, there was no extreme edition, so I got the next best thing. It technically has an m.2 slot, but it can’t fit full length m.2 drives, so I’m using ASUS’s hyper expansion kit and running my OS drive through PCI-E.
RAM: Initially I grabbed 16GB of G.Skill Ripjaws X Series. After a year or so, I doubled down to fill the board.
Storage: I’ve gone through a wide variety of storage configurations. At one point I had 4-2.5” SSDs and 6HDDs in various RAID arrays. Got sick of the hassle and broke down and got a 1TB Samsung 960 EVO M.2 drive. This thing is fast. Installed windows in under 3 minutes fast.
GPU: I’ve always known I’ve wanted to water cool it at some point. So when I they came out with the ASUS Poseidon GTX 980 Ti, I was overjoyed. It was literally as simple as attaching the tubing. Didn’t have take anything apart or remove the heatsink to put on a waterblock. It was all ready to go! Plays games like a boss. King of the graphics cards for all of a few months until they came out with the 1080 and 1080Ti and refreshed the Titan, etc. But I love it. It will serve me well until I rebuild.
Case: The Corsair 760T is a large case. But I managed to fill it pretty full, even stretching the boundaries of what it can hold. Technically, it doesn’t support the 420mm radiator in the top. I had to bend some tabs in the CD drive bay out of the way, and since its 45mm thick (plus 25mm fan thickness), there’s virtually no clearance between the radiator and the motherboard once I put the fans in there. It fit down to the millimeter. Good thing the ROG Front Bay screen monitor thing is shallow. It just barely fit in front of the radiator. And the bluray disk drive squeezed tightly underneath. No extra room. And the front 280mm Monsta radiator shouldn’t have fit either. I had to drill out the fan screw holes to make it fit. Same is true of the Monsoon 200mm MMRS Reservoir. Drilled new holes, and its wedged between the gpu and the radiator fans down to the millimeter. The story of water cooling this case (with albeit oversize parts) has revolved around things fitting down to the millimeter with some slight modification. Good times! Also involved are some cheap red LED strips running around the case connect via molex to the psu.
PSU: Wanted the stability of Corsair’s Platinum certified power supplies. The initial barebones didn’t have a gpu, so I figured 760w would be plenty. Even now, I’m only hitting 500-600w peak. If I add too much more, I may need to up it from the Corsair AX760 to the AX1200 or so. The AX1500 won’t allow for the cables to fit between the psu and the reservoir very easily. Although I suppose that would be par for the course for this build. And the individually sleeved cables added a nice touch.
Case Fans and Radiators: 3-140mm BitFenix Pro 122CFM fans pull air through the top Alphacool NexXxos XT45 420mm beast of a radiator as exhaust. And 4-140mm Aerocool Dead Silence 93CFM fans force air in through the massive Alphacool NexXxos Monsta 280mm radiator in a push/pull config, with a fifth one pulling air in from the back. The goal was positive air pressure to help keep some dust out. 5 fans in (although some double up making it closer 3 in) at the front and back and 3 out at the top get me pretty close. I’ve considered a small 120mm on the bottom, but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Each radiator’s fans are on a fan header extension that allow them all to run at the same speed off of 2 mobo fan headers. I have some magnetic dust filters also helping out where I can.
Fittings and Reservoir: Shoutout to Monsoon for their totally awesome fittings and their wicked MMRS reservoir! The vast majority of all my fittings are monsoon with a couple Bitspower parts thrown in here and there. Also utilizing the MMRS CCFL tubes in and behind the res.
Pump: Swiftech’s MCP655 PWM pump is the heart of this system. Although I admit my concerns about the possibility of it not running at full strength. It seems to be working okay as the fluid does move around, but I’m a little worried my flow rate is too slow. If I change around the loop to make filling easier, I’ll prolly pull out the pump and do some testing, and maybe add a flow meter to the loop.
Fluid and Tubing: Mayhem’s X1 Coolant is the blood of my loop. (excuse the pun concerning the “blood red” color choice). Paired with their Ultra Clear tubing, I’m very pleased with how the build turned out.
Peripherals: Sticking with Corsair, I rounded out the build with Corsairs M65 RGB mouse and K70 RGB Keyboard with clear rubber o-ring key dampeners on a MM300 extended mousepad for some extended room. :)
Desk Accessories: I couldn't find any TV stands that would hold a 60" tv 11" off the surface of the desk. Most only went about 9.5", which wouldn't work for me. Hence, the trusty old cinder blocks and stock tv feet. :P Attached to the left block is a small boom arm with my Logitech HD Pro C920 webcam because the top of the tv is just little bit too high (or maybe a lot too high). This allows me to put it right where I want it, but gets it out of the way when I don’t. Some of the other things sitting on the desk are (from left to right): Xbox 360, a 4TB WD MyBook HDD, a small USB3 hub, my center speaker, and two battery backups. The larger one is for my pc only, the smaller one is for the tv/xbox/sound system/bluray player/etc. To the left of the keyboard is a small phone stand, and under the desk in the middle is a foot rest platform of some sort. The desk itself is an old office desk I picked up from a work giveaway and wrapped with a carbon fiber vinyl wrap.
Sound System: The sound system consists of an Onkyo TX-NR727 THX certified 7.2 Surround Sound A/V receiver (110w, 0.08THD) with Bic Acoustech Platinum Series speakers, currently in a 5.1 setup with PL-89II mains (2-8" woofers and 6.5" horn each), a PL-28II center (2-8" woofers and 6.5" horn to match), PL-66 surrounds (6.5" woofer, 6.5" horn, 5x7" passive), topped off with a PL-200 subwoofer (12" long throw, 1000w).
The home theater bluray player is a Sony BDP-S3500 (I think. I’ll have to check when I get home). Not 4k, unfortunately. But still looks really good.
And lastly I’ve got a Blue Yeti Blackout condenser mic on the way. Thanks for checking out my build! If you liked it leave me a +1, if you didn’t that’s okay too. Leave me a note in the comments and have a good day!